March 10

Joshua 7:1 — 8:35

7 And the sons of Israel went committing an act of unfaithfulness respecting the thing devoted to destruction in that Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the thing devoted to destruction. At this Jehovah’s anger grew hot against the sons of Israel.

2 Then Joshua sent men out from Jericho to Ai, which is close by Beth-aven, to the east of Bethel, and said to them: “Go up and spy on the land.” Accordingly the men went up and spied on Ai. 3 After that they returned to Joshua and said to him: “Let not all the people go up. Let about two thousand men or about three thousand men go up and strike Ai. Do not weary all the people with going there, for they are few.”

4 So about three thousand men of the people went up there, but they took to flight before the men of Ai. 5 And the men of Ai got to strike down about thirty-six men of them, and they went pursuing them from before the gate as far as Shebarim and continued striking them down on the descent. Consequently the heart of the people began to melt and became as water.

6 At this Joshua ripped his mantles and fell upon his face to the earth before the ark of Jehovah until the evening, he and the older men of Israel, and they kept putting dust upon their heads. 7 And Joshua went on to say: “Alas, Sovereign Lord Jehovah, why did you bring this people all the way across the Jordan, just to give us into the hand of the Amorites for them to destroy us? And if only we had taken it upon ourselves and continued dwelling on the other side of the Jordan! 8 Excuse me, O Jehovah, but what can I say after Israel has turned his back before his enemies? 9 And the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will certainly surround us and cut our name off from the earth; and what will you do for your great name?”

10 In turn Jehovah said to Joshua: “Get up, you! Why is it that you are falling upon your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also overstepped my covenant that I laid as a command upon them; and they have also taken some of the thing devoted to destruction and have also stolen and also kept it secret and have also put it among their own articles. 12 And the sons of Israel will not be able to rise up against their enemies. The back is what they will turn before their enemies, because they have become a thing devoted to destruction. I shall not prove to be with YOU again unless YOU annihilate the thing devoted to destruction out of YOUR midst. 13 Get up! Sanctify the people, and you must say, ‘Sanctify yourselves tomorrow, for this is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said: “A thing devoted to destruction is in your midst, O Israel. You will not be able to rise up against your enemies until YOU people have removed the thing devoted to destruction from YOUR midst. 14 And YOU must present yourselves in the morning, tribe by tribe, and it must occur that the tribe that Jehovah will pick will come near, family by family, and the family that Jehovah will pick will come near, household by household, and the household that Jehovah will pick will come near, able-bodied man by able-bodied man. 15 And it must occur that the one picked with the thing devoted to destruction will be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has overstepped the covenant of Jehovah and because he has committed a disgraceful folly in Israel.”’”

16 Then Joshua rose early in the morning and had Israel come near, tribe by tribe of it, and the tribe of Judah got to be picked. 17 Next he had the families of Judah come near and picked the family of the Zerahites, after which he had the family of the Zerahites come near, able-bodied man by able-bodied man, and Zabdi got to be picked. 18 Finally he had his household come near, able-bodied man by able-bodied man, and Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, got to be picked. 19 Then Joshua said to Achan: “My son, render, please, glory to Jehovah the God of Israel and make confession to him, and tell me, please, What have you done? Do not hide it from me.”

20 At this Achan answered Joshua and said: “For a fact I—I have sinned against Jehovah the God of Israel, and this way and that way I have done. 21 When I got to see among the spoil an official garment from Shinar, a good-looking one, and two hundred shekels of silver and one gold bar, fifty shekels being its weight, then I wanted them, and I took them; and, look! they are hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent with the money underneath it.”

22 At once Joshua sent messengers, and they went running to the tent, and, look! it was hidden in his tent with the money underneath it. 23 So they took them from the midst of the tent and brought them to Joshua and all the sons of Israel and poured them out before Jehovah. 24 Joshua, and all Israel with him, now took Achan the son of Zerah and the silver and the official garment and the bar of gold and his sons and his daughters and his bull and his ass and his flock and his tent and everything that was his and they brought them up to the low plain of Achor. 25 Then Joshua said: “Why have you brought ostracism upon us? Jehovah will bring ostracism upon you on this day.” With that all Israel went pelting him with stones, after which they burned them with fire. Thus they stoned them with stones. 26 And they proceeded to raise up over him a big pile of stones, down to this day. At this Jehovah turned away from his hot anger. That is why the name of that place has been called Low Plain of Achor, down to this day.

8 Then Jehovah said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid or be terrified. Take with you all the people of war and get up, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai and his people and his city and his land. 2 And you must do to Ai and to its king just as you did to Jericho and its king. Only YOU people may plunder its spoil and its domestic animals for yourselves. Set an ambush of yours against the city at its rear.”

3 Accordingly Joshua and all the people of war rose to go up to Ai, and Joshua proceeded to choose thirty thousand men, valiant mighty ones, and to send them off by night. 4 And he went on to command them, saying: “See, YOU are lying in ambush against the city to the rear of the city. Do not go very far away from the city, and YOU must all of YOU hold yourselves in readiness. 5 As for me and all the people who are with me, we shall go close to the city. And it must occur that, in case they should come out to meet us just as at the first, we must then flee before them. 6 And they must come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us just as at the first.’ And we must flee before them. 7 Then YOU—YOU will rise up from the ambush, and YOU must take possession of the city; and Jehovah YOUR God will certainly give it into YOUR hands. 8 And it must occur that as soon as YOU have seized the city, YOU should set the city on fire. According to Jehovah’s word YOU should do. See, I have commanded YOU.”

9 After that Joshua sent them out and they marched to the place of ambush and took up quarters between Bethel and Ai to the west of Ai, while Joshua kept lodging on that night in the midst of the people.

10 Then Joshua rose up early in the morning and reviewed the people and went up, he and the older men of Israel, before the people to Ai. 11 And all the people of war who were with him went up, that they might approach and get in front of the city, and they proceeded to camp to the north of Ai, with the valley between them and Ai. 12 In the meantime he took about five thousand men and set them as an ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. 13 So the people set the main camp that was to the north of the city and the extreme rear of it that was to the west of the city, and Joshua proceeded to go during that night into the middle of the low plain.

14 And it came about that, as soon as the king of Ai saw it, then the men of the city got in a hurry and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people, at the appointed time, before the desert plain. As for him, he did not know that there was an ambush against him to the rear of the city. 15 When Joshua and all Israel suffered a blow before them, then they took to flight by the way of the wilderness. 16 At that all the people who were in the city were called out to chase after them, and they went chasing after Joshua and got to be drawn away from the city. 17 And there was not a man remaining in Ai and Bethel that did not go out after Israel, so that they left the city wide open and went chasing after Israel.

18 Jehovah now said to Joshua: “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for into your hand I shall give it.” Accordingly Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19 And the ambush rose up quickly from its place, and they began to run at the instant that he stretched out his hand, and they proceeded to enter the city and capture it. Then they hurried and set the city on fire.

20 And the men of Ai began to turn back and look, and there the smoke of the city ascended to the heavens, and there proved to be no ability in them to flee this way or that. And the people that were fleeing to the wilderness turned upon the pursuers. 21 And Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had captured the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, and so they turned around and went striking the men of Ai down. 22 And these others came out of the city to meet them, so that they got to be in between Israel, these on this side and those on that, and they went striking them down until there did not remain of them either a survivor or an escapee. 23 And the king of Ai they caught alive and proceeded to bring him near to Joshua.

24 And it came about that while Israel was finishing the killing of all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness in which they had pursued them, they kept falling, all of them, by the edge of the sword until they came to their end. After that all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25 And all those who fell on that day, from man to woman, amounted to twelve thousand, all the people of Ai. 26 And Joshua did not draw back his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had devoted all the inhabitants of Ai to destruction. 27 Only the domestic animals and the spoil of that city Israel plundered for themselves, according to Jehovah’s word that he had laid in command upon Joshua.

28 Then Joshua burned Ai and reduced it to an indefinitely lasting mound, as a desolation down to this day. 29 And he hanged the king of Ai upon a stake until the evening time; and as the sun was about to set Joshua gave the command, and then they took his dead body down from the stake and pitched it at the entrance of the gate of the city and raised up a great pile of stones over him, down to this day.

30 It was then that Joshua proceeded to build an altar to Jehovah the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, 31 just as Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses: “An altar of whole stones, upon which no iron tool has been wielded”; and they went offering up burnt offerings upon it to Jehovah and sacrificing communion sacrifices.

32 Then he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses that he had written before the sons of Israel. 33 And all Israel and their older men and the officers and their judges were standing on this side and on that side of the Ark in front of the priests, the Levites, carrying the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, the alien resident as well as the native, one half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and the other half of them in front of Mount Ebal, (just as Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded,) to bless the people of Israel first of all. 34 And after this he read aloud all the words of the law, the blessing and the malediction, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35 There proved to be not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read aloud in front of all the congregation of Israel, together with the women and the little ones and the alien residents who walked in their midst.