Warrior Prophets: Chapter 2
Inside the Walls of Jericho
Boaz sat cross-legged on the dusty plain of the Jordan Valley staring intently at the grasshopper. It looked like any other grasshopper as it drank from the early morning dew. Boaz squeezed his eyes shut and concentrated. Was that a flickering light he noticed in his mind’s eye? Boaz opened his eyes. The grasshopper was gone. He banged his little fist on his folded leg, muttering, “Caleb is making me do the silliest things.”
He searched for a new target. He spotted a gray desert mole digging under the exposed roots of a dead eucalyptus tree. Boaz sighed and closed his eyes again. He perceived the typical grainy lightshow of the bright Canaanite sun playing on the inside of his eyelids. I’m not giving up, Boaz thought. Caleb said with practice I would develop the Sight. Isaac’s Sight.
He repeated to himself all the words Caleb had instructed him. Breath deeply. There are different levels of reality. Imagine God underlying everything. Calmly. What we see with our eyes is only the most superficial level.
With his eyes still closed, Boaz perceived a muted warm orange glow. It was the mole! He could see it, see its life force. He could tell the mole was hungry. It was a mother digging out a new cave for its young. Its old cave had been trampled by the Israelite army surrounding Jericho. Somehow Boaz knew this just by Sighting it. Boaz fumbled for a small stone, not wanting to lose Sight of the mole. He clutched a smooth rock and tossed it in the creature’s direction. The mole hid under the tree roots. Boaz was able to follow the movements of the mole with his eyes closed.
A small red glow swooped towards the mole. A falcon, Boaz thought. The falcon just missed catching the mole as it shivered under the tree root.
Boaz expanded his Sight and saw a multitude of small pale colors. Reds and yellows of birds flying overhead. Oranges and browns of rodents. A green in the distance that must have been a fox. Small grays and blacks of ants, spiders and grasshoppers.
A large white light approached him from behind. Caleb. I am seeing Caleb’s spirit. It is so bright! Boaz opened his eyes as the Sight of Caleb’s spirit hurt him. Boaz stood up, turned around and bowed to his approaching Master.
“Now you See?” Caleb asked.
“Yes! It’s amazing. By why do you call it Isaac’s Sight? I thought he was blind and couldn’t even tell the difference between his sons.”
“Isaac did become blind later in his life and he was confused between Jacob and Esau. We are often confused by things or people we are close to. But even in his blindness, Isaac could often discern the truth and essence of those around him.”
“Okay, what’s next?” Boaz asked.
“The siege will end today. I kept us away from the siege so you could focus on your training. The entire army has been completely silent for the past week and I knew there was no way you could stand it.” Caleb smiled.
“Not a word?” Boaz asked.
“Not a sound. I think the entire camp is ready to explode.”
“It hurt my Sight to look at you. What will happen when I see the whole camp?”
Caleb smiled again. “You will see different people in different shades and colors. Some brighter than others. You will get used to it. Very strong emotions may affect you though.”
“How do you know the siege will end today?”
“Joshua has informed us and he has assigned me a mission in the city. I would like you to accompany me.”
“Me? Into the battle zone? I’m just a kid.”
“You are no ordinary child, Boaz. I suspect that your instincts may be helpful.”
“You keep talking about these instincts. How did I get them? Am I the only one?”
“Let’s walk back to the camp as I explain.”
They both turned back to the camp which encircled the walled city of Jericho. Hundreds of thousands of Israelite soldiers surrounded the large stone walls of the city.
“Everyone is born with natural instincts which develop as they get older,” Caleb explained. “As a descendent of Judah you have been blessed with an inordinate amount of instinct. We call it simply Judah’s Instinct. Of all the sons of Jacob, amongst all twelve brothers, Judah had the most developed instinct. He somehow just knew what to do and did it. How you have more than most people, I don’t know. I expect you will play an important role in things to come. You are not unique in having a powerful attribute. Amongst each of the tribes there are people who have strongly inherited a trait of their Tribal ancestor. There is Naftali’s Speed, Simeon’s Courage, Yissachar’s Stamina. Each of the twelve tribes has a special aspect that exhibits itself in each generation.”
“Can I get the other traits as well? How about Isaac’s Sight?” Boaz asked.
“Traits from other tribes are possible to develop, but much harder. Traits of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are more easily learned by every Israelite, but we only train those that have an underlying skill.”
“What are Abraham’s and Jacob’s traits?”
“Abraham is Generosity and Jacob is Astuteness.”
“Will you teach me?”
“One thing at a time. We have a city to conquer and a maiden to protect. We are almost at the camp. From now until we hear the signal not a word, not a murmur, not a sound. It is critical for the operation that the whole camp remains completely silent. Use Isaac’s Sight to understand what is going on. I will not be able to explain anything until later. Is that clear?”
Boaz wordlessly shook his head in understanding. Caleb nodded his approval.
Boaz and Caleb reached a perimeter of Judean soldiers facing them with spears and shields in hand. Every ten steps around the camp stood a soldier with his back to Jericho. All the other soldiers concentrated their attention towards the city. The sentries nodded at Caleb as he approached. Eyebrows went up as they noted Boaz approaching, but nobody stopped his entry into the camp.
Boaz closed his eyes lightly and tried to use Isaac’s Sight on the soldiers. He saw a hue of colors. Each soldier was composed of a mix of colors. Some were bright vivid colors, others were subdued. Many of the colors swirled with a yellow or an orange or a blue becoming more dominant. A few had contrasting colors fighting for supremacy. Others were very stable in their color mix. There were many soldiers with bright colors that outshone their neighbors. A small number of colors were dark and foreboding.
Boaz opened his eyes again and tried to match the colors with the soldiers he was seeing. He recognized angry Beria, a bright red. His cousin Ruchem a playful blue. As Boaz walked with Caleb through the troops he tried to use the Sight with his eyes open. He found he could still get a sense of the person’s personality and mood, though not as strongly as with his eyes closed.
They reached the front of the siege. The front line of the camp was positioned beyond arrow range of the walls of Jericho. Boaz had never seen a walled city before. The wall was constructed of massive stones; each was as long as his ten-year old height and was as high as his chest. The entire wall was as high as five grown men standing one on top of the other. It looked impregnable to him.
Then he noticed the priests. Four of them carried the Ark. Aaron’s sons, Elazar and Itamar; and two other priests whose names he didn’t remember bared the poles of the Ark on their shoulders as they marched right below the walls of Jericho. Boaz was about to point out the danger to Caleb, but then he realized the silence.
Everyone was staring intently at the Ark, yet no one said a word. In front of the Ark, walked seven other priests, each holding a long ram’s horn and blowing on it. The trumpeting was the only sound cutting through the early morning silence. Thousands of armed troops of Israelites marched in front of and behind the priests. Rows of archers were interspersed amongst foot soldiers carrying long spears and wooden shields. All the soldiers had swords at their sides.
From the ramparts of the walls, soldiers of Jericho looked down apprehensively. Neither side attacked or made a threatening move.
Boaz looked at the soldiers on the wall with his Sight. He was overwhelmed by their fear. A sickly yellow aura pervaded their bodies. He looked back down at the Israelite troops. The priests were radiating white light. The soldiers displayed an array of colors and emotions. A steely blue resolve. A light red confidence. A darker red bloodlust.
The priests and their military entourage marched a full circuit around the city, blasting the ram’s horns as they reached each of the four compass points of Jericho. They repeated the process again and again as the sun grew hotter in the spring morning of the Jordan Valley.
More than he could ever recall, Boaz wanted to speak. He had so many questions to ask of Caleb at his side. The oppressive silence of the camp and the soldiers held his tongue. Caleb’s attention kept shifting from the priests, to the city walls, and to one particular window high in the wall. Boaz followed Caleb’s gaze. A thin red strand of silk hung from the window. Boaz closed his eyes and tried his Sight on the occupants in the wall-bound house. He sensed dozens of people crammed into a small house. They were all family. There was a strong sense of fear, like that of the soldiers on the ramparts, but it was mixed with hope, a healthy blue, like that of a bubbling spring. There were some shades of red anger, and one blinding beacon of white hope, confidence and faith. That must be the harlot Rahav, Boaz thought.
The priests finished their seventh circuit of the city. They trumpeted on the ram’s horns one last time. Boaz was startled as a booming voice broke the human silence. Joshua in the distance called out:
“Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!”
As one, the children of Israel shouted. A roar that shook the very earth. The pent up sounds of seven whole days came out in a rush of power and energy. Boaz saw the energy as a blazing inferno. The walls of Jericho shook. The foundations crumbled and in moments the walls fell in on themselves. Cries came from the soldiers on the ramparts as their bodies were crushed by falling stones. Most of the Jericho army was destroyed along with their wall. Only one part of the wall still stood whole. The one with the red string hanging from its window.
Joshua called out again:
“The city shall be consecrated! It and everything in it shall be the Lord’s. Only Rahav the harlot shall live. She and whoever is with her in her house, for she hid the messengers we sent.”
The Israelite soldiers that had accompanied the Ark were the first to enter the city, climbing over rubble and the remains of the city’s defenders. The rest of the Israelite camp rushed to the fallen city in the wake of the first soldiers. The priests, their job done, moved away from the cursed city with a stately, dignified march, carrying the Ark somberly.
“Follow me,” Caleb said and ran towards Rahav’s house, sword drawn, with a wooden shield on his left arm. He looked fearsome with his blazing red and white beard.
“But I don’t have a weapon,” Boaz fought down his panic.
“Pick up a stick,” Caleb said without looking back. “You are sure to find many a broken spear in the ruins of the wall. Hurry up. I know how fast you can move.”
Fighting back tears, Boaz followed Caleb, wondering again why a ten-year old was allowed on a battlefield.
Boaz caught up with Caleb’s long strides. He nimbly climbed over the broken wall. He almost retched as he saw the bodies of the Jericho soldiers amongst the man sized stones. Then he saw the Israelite army decimating the rest of the Jericho population. This is not a battle, Boaz thought, this is a massacre. Some Jericho residents resisted and fought back, but most just fell to the merciless onslaught of Israelite swords. Old, young, women, children, all succumbed equally to the sharp metal of the Children of Israel.
Caleb made way towards the entrance to Rahav’s house. Next to a dead defender, Boaz found the lower half of a broken spear and grabbed it. Its broken end was still damp with blood. Boaz wondered whose blood it was.
A crowd of two dozen defenders stood on a stone ramp leading to the door to Rahav’s house. A tall, swarthy man was banging loudly on the heavy oak door.
“You betrayed us, Rahav. I will break down this door and kill you and the rest of your family.”
“This is what Joshua was afraid of,” Caleb whispered to Boaz. “Watch my back.”
Caleb dived into the crowd on the ramp. He landed low and spun around, quickly slicing all the men in arm’s reach. Half a dozen defenders fell dead in one turn. Caleb walked to the door and dispatched one defender after another. He seemed to know their moves before they did, and efficiently stabbed, sliced and hacked at each man. Boaz watched the whole battle from a few steps behind Caleb, walking up the ramp as yet another defender fell.
The tall, swarthy man turned to face Caleb with a heavy broadsword. He looked in fear at the bodies all around Caleb. Caleb was unscratched. The man snarled at Caleb and attacked with a furious wave of blows. Caleb blocked each blow and parried. Their sword skills were evenly matched. The defender battered at Caleb with his heavy sword, hoping to either break Caleb’s thinner sword or wear him down.
Boaz felt a tingling on the back of his neck. He turned around quickly but did not see anyone. He closed his eyes and saw him. A swirling mass of yellow fear and red anger. An archer hiding behind the rubble. Boaz instinctively raised his stick. The stick intercepted an arrow aimed at Caleb’s back. Boaz looked at his stick and the arrow with his mouth ajar. An Israelite swordsman spotted the hidden archer and cut him down. Boaz recognized the swordsman as Pinhas the priest. Pinhas circled their position, searching for other defenders.
“I knew you would be handy to have around,” Caleb said to Boaz. “Time to end this fracas.”
Caleb jumped seven feet into the air. He somersaulted and landed behind the swarthy fellow, facing the door. Without looking Caleb stabbed backwards, piercing his opponent in the back. The tall, swarthy man fell to his knees and then on his face. Caleb knocked politely on Rahav’s door.
“Rahav! It’s me, Caleb. It’s safe to come out now. Hurry, before other disgruntled neighbors show up!”
Boaz standing behind Caleb looked through the door. There was the bright essence that he knew to be Rahav. Next to her was a dark red glow, mixed with a crazed yellow. The door opened.
Boaz was shocked by two contrasting sights. The beauty of Rahav was indescribable. He had never seen a woman as beautiful as her. Even at his young age he understood that men the world over would die or even kill for her. The other sight was the burly man grabbing her hair and holding a sword to her neck.
“Make way, Israelite,” the man demanded of Caleb.
“I am not going anywhere without Rahav safely in our hands,” Caleb stated calmly.
“She has betrayed us all. Betrayed her city, betrayed her family, betrayed her people. Give me free passage, or I shall slay her right here.”
“Rahav has saved your life by protecting you in her house. All of your family have been saved through her efforts. You all would have been doomed otherwise. You are free to go now, but without her.”
“No! I will escape this city you have destroyed and then I will kill this traitor.” The burly man pulled Rahav’s hair tighter. Rahav looked at Boaz with a silent plea in her eyes.
Boaz felt the spirit of Judah fill him. He dived underneath the burly man’s legs, rolled on the ground, turned around and with all his might slammed the tip of his stick into the man’s back. The man dropped his sword and released Rahav’s hair. Caleb grabbed the man by the neck.
“Stop!” Rahav yelled. “Don’t kill him, Caleb. He is angry and confused. My sister’s husband is a decent man. The fall of Jericho was a big blow to him.”
“As you wish, my Lady.” Caleb bowed to Rahav, stepped on the fallen sword and pushed the brother-in-law back into the house.
“And you my young hero,” Rahav smiled and tussled Boaz’s mop of red hair. “Thank you for saving me. I shall ever be in your debt, Boaz.”
Boaz thought his heart would break. Rahav was so beautiful, he wasn’t sure where her physical beauty stopped and where her shinning essence began.
“How, how do you know my name?” Boaz stuttered.
“Why, you have been in my dreams, Boaz. I have also seen the young man that wants you dead.”
* * * * * *
Joshua Chapter 6
12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 And the seven priests bearing the seven rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew with the horns; and the armed men went before them; and the rearward came after the ark of the Lord, [the priests] blowing with the horns continually. 14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp; so they did six days. 15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early at the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times; only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the horns, that Joshua said unto the people: ‘Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. 17 And the city shall be devoted, even it and all that is therein, to the Lord; only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the devoted thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed by taking of the devoted thing, so should ye make the camp of Israel accursed, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are holy unto the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.’ 20 So the people shouted, and [the priests] blew with the horns. And it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the horn, that the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, both young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. 22 And Joshua said unto the two men that had spied out the land: ‘Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye swore unto her.’ 23 And the young men the spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had, all her kindred also they brought out; and they set them without the camp of Israel. 24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein; only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 But Rahab the harlot, and her father’s household, and all that she had, did Joshua save alive; and she dwelt in the midst of Israel, unto this day; because she hid the messengers, whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.