Jericho is also known as Tell es-Sultan, and it is the most excavated site in Israel after Jerusalem. The bible implies that Jericho was heavily fortified and piles of bricks from the walls were found there, as described in Joshua 6. They say that the destruction occured at the end of the 15th century BC, during the time of the conquest of Canaan.
Mounds of 1,200 ft. long and 50 ft. in height supported four smaller mounds, the highest of which is 90 ft. above the base of the main one.
“And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.”
Numbers 22:1 KJV
Jericho jer′i-kō (the word occurs in two forms. In the Pentateuch, in 2 Ki 25:5 and in Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles it is written יְרֵחוֹ; יְרִיחוֹ, elsewhere): In 1 Ki 16:34 the final Hebrew letter is he (ה), instead of waw (ו). The termination ו thought to preserve the peculiarities of the old Canaanite. dialect. In the LXX we have the indeclinable form, Ἰεριχώ (Swete has the form Iereichō as well), both with and without the feminine article; in the NT Ἰερειχώ, once with the feminine article The Arabic is er-Riha. According to Dt 32:49 it stood opposite Nebo, while in 34:3 it is called a city grove of palm trees. It was surrounded with a wall (Josh 2:15), and provided with a gate which was closed at night (Josh 2:5), and was ruled over by a king. When captured, vessels of brass and iron, large quantities of silver and gold, and “a goodly Babylonish garment” were found in it (Josh 7:21). It was on the western side of the Jordan, not far from the camp of Israel at Shittim, before crossing the river (Josh 2:1). The city was on the “plains” (Josh 4:13), but so close to “the mountain” on the W. (probably the cliffs of Quarantania, the traditional scene of Christ’s temptation) that it was within easy reach of the spies, protected by Rahab. It was in the lot of Benjamin (Josh 18:21), the border of which ascended to the “slope (English VSS of the Bible “side”) of Jeremiah on the north” (Josh 18:12). Authorities are generally agreed in locating the ancient city at Tel es-Sultan, a mile and a half N.W. of modern Jericho. Here there is a mound 1,200 ft. long and 50 ft. in height supporting 4 smaller mounds, the highest of which is 90 ft. above the base of the main mound.
“Jericho,” ISBE, paragraph 30605.
Jesus in Jericho
“And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:1–10 KJV
JERICHO (Jĕr′ ı̆′ kō) Place-name meaning “moon.” Apparently the oldest city in the world and the first city Israel conquered under Joshua. Jericho is situated in the lower Jordan Valley, which, according to Gen. 13:10, “was well-watered everywhere … like the LORD’S garden” (HCSB). The OT town lies beneath Tell es-Sultan near one of Palestine’s strongest springs.
New Testament Jericho, founded by Herod the Great, was about one and one-half miles southward in the magnificent Wadi Qelt. The spring, Ain es-Sultan, issues some 30,000 cubic feet of water daily which falls about 160 feet in the first mile of its course down many channels to the Jordan River six miles away, irrigating about 2,500 acres.
Jericho: place of fragrance, a fenced city in the midst of a vast grove of palm trees, in the plain of Jordan, over against the place where that river was crossed by the Israelites (Josh. 3:16). Its site was near the ‘Ain es-Sultan, Elisha’s Fountain (2 Kings 2:19-22), about 5 miles west of Jordan. It was the most important city in the Jordan valley (Num. 22:1; 34:15), and the strongest fortress in all the land of Canaan. It was the key to Western Palestine.
This city was taken in a very remarkable manner by the Israelites (Josh. 6). God gave it into their hands. The city was “accursed” (Heb. herem, “devoted” to Jehovah), and accordingly (Josh. 6:17; comp. Lev. 27:28, 29; Deut. 13:16) all the inhabitants and all the spoil of the city were to be destroyed, “only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron” were reserved and “put into the treasury of the house of Jehovah” (Josh. 6:24; comp. Num. 31:22, 23, 50-54). Only Rahab “and her father’s household, and all that she had,” were preserved from destruction, according to the promise of the spies (Josh. 2:14). In one of the Amarna tablets Adoni-zedec (q.v.) writes to the king of Egypt informing him that the ‘Abiri (Hebrews) had prevailed, and had taken the fortress of Jericho, and were plundering “all the king’s lands.” It would seem that the Egyptian troops had before this been withdrawn from Palestine.
This city was given to the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. 18:21), and it was inhabited in the time of the Judges (Judg. 3:13; 2 Sam. 10:5). It is not again mentioned till the time of David (2 Sam. 10:5). “Children of Jericho” were among the captives who returned under Zerubbabel Ezra 2:34; Neh. 7:36). Hiel (q.v.) the Bethelite attempted to make it once more a fortified city (1 Kings 16:34). Between the beginning and the end of his undertaking all his children were cut off.
In New Testament times Jericho stood some distance to the south-east of the ancient one, and near the opening of the valley of Achor. It was a rich and flourishing town, having a considerable trade, and celebrated for the palm trees which adorned the plain around. It was visited by our Lord on his last journey to Jerusalem. Here he gave sight to two blind men (Matt. 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52), and brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus the publican (Luke 19:2-10).
The poor hamlet of er-Riha, the representative of modern Jericho, is situated some two miles farther to the east. It is in a ruinous condition, having been destroyed by the Turks in 1840. “The soil of the plain,” about the middle of which the ancient city stood, “is unsurpassed in fertility; there is abundance of water for irrigation, and many of the old aqueducts are almost perfect; yet nearly the whole plain is waste and desolate...The climate of Jericho is exceedingly hot and unhealthy. This is accounted for by the depression of the plain, which is about 1,200 feet below the level of the sea.”
There were three different Jerichos, on three different sites, the Jericho of Joshua, the Jericho of Herod, and the Jericho of the Crusades. Er-Riha, the modern Jericho, dates from the time of the Crusades. Dr. Bliss has found in a hollow scooped out for some purpose or other near the foot of the biggest mound above the Sultan’s Spring specimens of Amorite or pre-Israelitish pottery precisely identical with what he had discovered on the site of ancient Lachish. He also traced in this place for a short distance a mud brick wall in situ, which he supposes to be the very wall that fell before the trumpets of Joshua. The wall is not far from the foot of the great precipice of Quarantania and its numerous caverns, and the spies of Joshua could easily have fled from the city and been speedily hidden in these fastnesses.
“Jericho,” Easton’s Bible Dictionary, paragraph 3955.