On the west bank of the Jordan, a city 10 km. (6 miles) north of the Dead Sea, which comes into OT history when Joshua captured and destroyed it (Josh. 6: 20–21) at the beginning of the Israelite invasion of Canaan. Jericho has been thoroughly explored by archaeologists, and John Garstang in the 1930s believed that the ruin of a mud brick wall was evidence of the city's fall about 1400 BCE. However, more recent excavation suggests that Jericho can tell us nothing about Israelite settlement as it was unoccupied for most of the 2nd millennium. It gradually recovered (1 Kgs. 16: 34) and by the 6th cent. BCE it was a centre of administration. On the banks of the Wadi Qelt a palace was built by Herod the Great, who died there in 4 BCE.

Visits by Jesus to Jericho and its neighbourhood are recorded: he healed blind Bartimaeus as he left the city (Mark 10: 46), or as he approached it (Luke 18: 35); here he met Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19: 1–11) and spoke the parable of the pounds (Luke 19: 12–28). Travellers from Galilee to Jerusalem passed through Jericho in order not to be harassed by Samaritans.