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Then the men of the city (Jericho, mine) said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.”

And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’” So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke (2 Kings 2:19-22).

In Elisha’s first miracle, he was called on to heal the water of the city of Jericho. He went to the source and broke the curse. Why was Jericho cursed? It was the first city God called Israel to conquer post Egypt. After they took the city, Joshua cursed the city and anyone that would rebuild it. 

Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, “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” (Joshua 6:26).

The curse was very specific and direct. And it came to light hundreds of years later:

In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and with his youngest son Segub he set up its gates, according to the word of the Lord, which He had spoken through Joshua the son of Nun (1 Kings 16:34).

Hiel lost his firstborn son, Abiram, because he rebuilt the city that was cursed. He lost his youngest son when he set up the gates of the city. The city was still under the curse because of the influence and behavior of the prior generations. So when Elisha is called on to heal Jericho’s waters, he knew things would change if he had a new vessel. God will give us new experiences of Him to break old patterns in our families. The longer an unhealthy, unresolved issue is allowed to remain in our lives, the greater the presence and influence of the curse and the wider the impact on those around us.