Jericho is a Palestinian city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank. The city was occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967, and has been held under Israeli occupation since 1967; administrative control was handed over to the Palestinian Authority in 1994. It is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the city with the oldest known protective wall in the world.
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho.
Copious springs in and around the city have attracted human habitation for thousands of years and Jericho is described in the Hebrew Bible as the “City of Palm Trees”.
The Book of Joshua, tells the story of the one of the most notable incidents that took place in the city of Jericho, the first Canaanite city that the Israelites attacked upon their entry into Canaan. The Israelites destroyed the wall of Jericho by walking around it with the Ark of the Covenant for seven days. The Israelites circled the walls once per day for the first six days, then circled the walls seven times on the final day. The Israelites under Joshua’s command blew trumpets of rams’ horns and shouted to make the walls fall down (Joshua 6:14-15).
In the New Testament
The Christian Gospels state that Jesus of Nazareth passed through Jericho where he healed (Mark 10:46, Luke 18:35) (Matthew 20:29) blind beggars, and inspired a local chief tax-collector named Zacchaeus to repent of his dishonest practices. The road between Jerusalem and Jericho is the setting for the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Biblical and Christian sites in and around Jericho:
Mount of Temptation,
the Spring of Elisha, as the Ein es-Sultan spring is known to Jews and Christians
the Sycamore tree of Zacchaeus (two such trees are venerated at different locations as being related to the original tree mentioned in the Gospels)
the nearby traditional site of the baptism of Jesus at Qasr el-Yahud/Al-Maghtas on the Jordan River
the Monastery of Saint Gerasimos known as Deir Hajla; in the Jordan Valley near Jericho
the Saint George Monastery in Wadi Qelt above Jericho.