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Israel is Defeated at Ai

Later, the Israelis broke their promise regarding the things that had been turned over to destruction. Carmi’s son Achan, grandson of Zabdi and great-grandson of Zerah from the tribe of Judah, appropriated some of the things that had been turned over to destruction. As a result, the Lord became angry with the Israelis.

Meanwhile, Joshua had sent some soldiers from Jericho to Ai, which was near Beth-aven, east of Bethel. He ordered them, “Go up and scout the land.” So the soldiers went up and scouted Ai and returned to Joshua.

“Not all of the people need to go up,” they reported. “Only about two or three thousand men should attack Ai. Since they are so few, don’t make all of the army work hard up there.”

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