Private Collection/Bridgeman Art Library

The towers of Jericho begin to tumble in Tamas Galambos’s 1985 painting “The Fall of Jericho,” now in a private collection. According to the Book of Joshua, the Israelites circled the Canaanite city for seven days before Joshua cried out: “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city.” The people shouted, seven priests blew their trumpets and “the wall fell down flat” (Joshua 6:16). The Israelites then destroyed the city and slew the residents. They also stoned to death Achan the Israelite, who had stolen booty from Jericho. Only Rahab the prostitute and her family were spared by Joshua.

Why was this Canaanite whore saved and the Israelite killed? According to author Frank Anthony Spina, the crossed fates of these two characters provide the key to interpreting the conquest of Canaan as more than just a territorial victory.