A city of Benjamin, Joshua 16:7 18:21, about eighteen miles east north east of Jerusalem, and seven miles from the Jordan. It was the first city in Canaan taken by Joshua, who being miraculously aided by the downfall of its walls, totally destroyed it, sparing only Rahab and her household, and pronounced a curse upon the person who should ever rebuild it, which was more than five hundred years afterwards fulfilled on Hiel, Joshua 6:26 1 Kings 16:34. Meanwhile a new Jericho had been built on some neighboring site, Judges 3:3 2 Samuel 10:5. Jericho was also called the "city of palm-trees," Deuteronomy 34:3 Judges 1:16, and became afterwards flourishing and second in importance only to Jerusalem. It contained a school of the prophets, and as the residence of Elisha, 2 Kings 2:4,18. Here also Christ healed two blind men, Matthew 20:29-34, and forgave Zaccheus, Luke 19:2-8.
The site of Jericho has usually been fixed at Rihah, a mean and foul Arab hamlet of some two hundred inhabitants. Recent travellers, however, show that the probably location of Jericho was two mile west of Rihah, at the mouth of Wady Kelt, and where the road from Jerusalem comes into the plain. The city destroyed by Joshua may have been nearer to the fountain of Elisha, supposed to be the present Ain es-Sultan, two miles northwest of Rihah. On the west and north of Jericho rise high limestone hills, one of which, the dreary Quarantana, 1,200 or 1,500 feet high, derives its name from the modern tradition that it was the scene of our Lord’s forty days’ fast and temptation. Between the hills and the Jordan lies "the plain of Jericho," Joshua 4:13, over against "the plains of Moab" east of the river. It was anciently well watered and amazingly fruitful. It might easily be made so again, but now lies neglected, and the palmtrees, balsam, and honey, for which it was once famous, have disappeared.
The road from Jericho to Jerusalem ascends through narrow and rocky passes amid ravines and precipices. It is an exceedingly difficult and dangerous route, and is still infested by robbers, as in the time of the good Samaritan, Luke 10:30-34.