Defeat at Ai
1The Israelites, however, were unfaithful7:1 Lv 6:2; Nm 5:27; 31:16; Dt 32:51; Jos 22:16; Ezr 9:2–4 regarding the things set apart for destruction. Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of what was set apart, and the Lord’s anger burned against the Israelites.
3After returning to Joshua they reported to him, “Don’t send all the people, but send about two thousand or three thousand7:3 Or send two or three military units of men to attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, don’t wear out all our people there.”
4So about three thousand men7:4 Lit men from the people went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai.7:4 Lv 26:17; Dt 28:25
5The men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of them and chased them from outside the city gate to the quarries,7:5 Or to Shebarim striking them down on the descent. As a result, the people lost heart.7:5 Lit people’s hearts melted and became like water7:5 Dt 20:8; Jos 2:11; 5:1; 2Sm 17:10; Ps 22:14; Is 13:7; 19:1; Ezk 21:7
6Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord until evening,7:6 Jb 1:20 as did the elders of Israel; they all put dust on their heads.7:6 Neh 9:1; Lm 2:10; Ezk 27:30; Rv 18:19
7“Oh, Lord God,” Joshua said, “why did you ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan!
8What can I say, Lord, now that Israel has turned its back and run from its enemies?
10The Lord then said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why have you fallen facedown?
11Israel has sinned. They have violated my covenant that I appointed for them. They have taken some of what was set apart. They have stolen, deceived, and put those things with their own belongings.7:11 Jos 6:18
13“Go and consecrate the people. Tell them to consecrate themselves for tomorrow,7:13 Jos 3:5 for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are things that are set apart among you, Israel. You will not be able to stand against your enemies until you remove what is set apart.
14In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord selects is to come forward clan by clan. The clan the Lord selects is to come forward family by family. The family the Lord selects is to come forward man by man.
16Joshua got up early the next morning. He had Israel come forward tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was selected.
17He had the clans of Judah come forward, and the Zerahite clan was selected. He had the Zerahite clan come forward by heads of families,7:17 Lit forward man by man and Zabdi was selected.
18He then had Zabdi’s family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was selected.
20Achan replied to Joshua, “It is true. I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel.7:20 Jos 22:20 This is what I did:
21When I saw among the spoils a beautiful cloak from Babylon,7:21 Lit Shinar five pounds7:21 Lit 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing a pound and a quarter,7:21 Lit 50 shekels I coveted them and took them.7:21 Gn 3:6; 2Sm 12:2–4; 1Jn 2:16 You can see for yourself. They are concealed in the ground inside my tent, with the silver under the cloak.”
22So Joshua sent messengers who ran to the tent, and there was the cloak, concealed in his tent, with the silver underneath.
23They took the things from inside the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and spread them out in the Lord’s presence.
24Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the cloak, and the bar of gold, his sons and daughters, his ox, donkey, and sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and brought them up to the Valley of Achor.7:24 Jos 15:7
25Joshua said, “Why have you brought us trouble?7:25 Jos 6:18; 1Ch 2:7 Today the Lord will bring you trouble!” So all Israel stoned them7:25 Lit him to death. They burned their bodies, threw stones on them,
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