Today, our journey through biblical locations brings us to Ye•ri•cho, Jericho. It is also called “the City of Palms,” based on a verses in the Bible:
“And the Negev, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees”
Jericho is located in the Jordan Valley, about 6 miles north of the Dead Sea. Jericho’s elevation is about 780 feet below sea level, making it the world’s lowest inhabited city. According to current research, Jericho is also the oldest city in the world. Today, it is in the Palestinian Authority and has no Jewish population.
Researchers assume that the name Yericho, Jericho, originates in Hebrew, though they offer two different meanings that are made up with the same letters. The more acceptable theory claims that the name comes from: ‘ya•re•ach,’ which means ‘the moon,” after the cult of the moon was prevalent in Yericho. Others claim that Yericho comes from the word ‘re•ach,’ which means ‘scent’, ‘smell’, and fragrance’, and it was called so due to special fragrant trees that were planted in the area. Jericho is a large oasis in the arid desert that hardly ever sees rain. The city was populated over the years, thanks to two nearby springs. It was also deserted in the past when the water of its main spring, Elisha Fountain, turned red as blood. The book of Joshua tells that Jericho was the first city to be conquered by the children of Israel in their entry to the Land. This is the city whose walls collapsed by miracle when the priests blew with the shofarot. In North America, you can find Jericho locations in Arkansas, Indiana, New York, Vermont, and in New Brunswick, Canada.