I was cursed because of sin but God (El or Eloheim) sent His firstborn, Jesus, to die in my place. Though I was cursed, I live, and God’s fragrance, His Holy Spirit, wafts through my life.
Once there was a cursed City, Jericho, torn down for her sins and cursed by Joshua who declared, “Cursed be the man before the LORD who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.” Josh 6:26.
Approximately 600 years later (between 874 and 853 BC) this prophecy came true literally, during the reign of Ahab, through a man known as Hiel. Hiel was from Bethlehem and his name means God lives. Hiel lost his firstborn and youngest sons in the construction of Jericho (1 Kings 16:34), according to Joshua’s prophecy.
Jericho is a significant city, mentioned 64 times in the Bible, even more than Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Savior. Jesus taught there and did several miracles, and it was there in Jericho that Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector (and therefore, by Jewish reckoning, a chief sinner) was converted. In the case of Zacchaeus we get a direct view of the transforming power of the gospel as he gave half his goods to the poor and restored four fold to any he had defrauded.
Jericho (Ἰεριχώ) means, “Place of fragrance.”
So, I was cursed because of sin, like Jericho was under a curse, but God, as represented by Hiel (God lives) sacrificed His firstborn Son, Jesus, as represented by Hiel’s firstborn and youngest sons dying upon the rebuilding of Jericho. Just as Hiel was from Bethlehem, so the Father sent the Holy Spirit to Mary, who gave birth in Bethlehem.
Jericho was reborn as a city and figured prominently in Jewish history. Similarly, even though I was cursed I am born again. Just like Jericho’s meaning, “place of fragrance,” now the fragrance of Christ, through His Holy Spirit, wafts through my life. “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15
I once was lost. My walls were torn down like Jericho. But God sent His firstborn to suffer and die a cruel death for me. I was like a worthless city, hopelessly lost but Halleluiah, Hiel! (God lives!) Now I am Jericho (place of fragrance) and now I am Zacchaeus.
Guess what Zacchaeus means? (You have a computer. Look it up, lol)
Probably without realizing it, Joshua’s prophecy about Jericho extends all the way to you and I today! Okay, I’ll save you a few nano seconds. Zacchaeus means “pure”.