Israel Is Circumcised

Now it came about when all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the (A)Canaanites who were by the sea, (B)heard how the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the sons of Israel until [a]they had crossed, that their hearts melted, and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the sons of Israel.

At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make for yourself (C)flint knives and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time.” So Joshua made himself flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at [b]Gibeath-haaraloth. This is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: (D)all the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness along the way after they came out of Egypt. For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised. For the sons of Israel walked (E)forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, [c]perished because they did not listen to the voice of the Lord, (F)to whom the Lord had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the Lord had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. So their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua [d]circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way.

Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they recovered. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away (G)the shame of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called [e]Gilgal to this day.

10 While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal (H)they celebrated the Passover on the evening of the (I)fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho. 11 Then on the day after the Passover, on [f]that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and roasted grain. 12 And (J)the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year.

13 Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, he raised his eyes and looked, and behold, (K)a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” 14 He said, “No; rather I have come now as captain of the army of the Lord.” And Joshua (L)fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” 15 And the captain of the Lords army said to Joshua, “(M)Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

The Conquest of Jericho

Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. But the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have handed Jericho over to you, with (N)its king and the valiant warriors. And you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. Also seven priests shall carry seven (O)trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down [g]flat, and the people shall go up, everyone [h]straight ahead.”

So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and have seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark of the Lord.” Then [i]he said to the people, “Go forward and march around the city, and the armed men shall go on ahead of the ark of the Lord.” And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. And the armed men went ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and (P)the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard, nor let a word proceed from your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord [j]taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.

12 Now Joshua got up early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 Then (Q)the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went ahead of them, and (R)the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 14 So the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did the same for six days.

15 Then on the seventh day they got up early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same way seven times; only on that day did they march around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “(S)Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 But the city shall be (T)designated for [k]destruction, it and everything that is in it belongs to the Lord; only Rahab the prostitute [l]and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18 But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things designated for destruction, so that you do not covet them and (U)take some of the designated things, and turn the camp of Israel into something designated for destruction and bring disaster on it. 19 (V)But all the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20 So the people shouted, and [m]the priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout, and the (W)wall fell down [n]flat, so that the people went up into the city, everyone straight [o]ahead, and they took the city. 21 (X)They [p]utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, sheep, and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

22 And Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “(Y)Go into the prostitute’s house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, just as you have sworn to her.” 23 So the young men who were spies went in and (Z)brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives, and placed them outside the camp of Israel. 24 Then (AA)they burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and the articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the [q]house of the Lord. 25 However, (AB)Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua [r]spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, because (AC)she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, “(AD)Cursed before the Lord is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he will lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he will set up its gates.” 27 So (AE)the Lord was with Joshua, and his (AF)fame was in all the land.

Israel Is Defeated at Ai

(AG)But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully regarding the things designated for destruction, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the designated things; therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel.

Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near (AH)Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “[s]Go up and spy out the land.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. Then they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up; have only about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai; do not trouble all the people there, for they are few.” So about three thousand men from the people went up there, but (AI)they fled [t]from the men of Ai. And the men of Ai struck and killed about thirty-six of their men, and pursued them [u]from the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them on the mountainside; and the (AJ)hearts of the people melted and became like water.

Then Joshua (AK)tore his clothes and fell to the ground on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and (AL)they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Oh, Lord [v]God! Why did You ever bring this people across the Jordan, only to hand us over to the Amorites, to eliminate us? If only we had been willing [w]to live beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their [x]back before their enemies? (AM)For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear about it, and they will surround us and eliminate our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?”

10 So the Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and (AN)they have also violated My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things designated for destruction, and have both stolen and kept it a secret. Furthermore, they have also put them among their own things. 12 Therefore the (AO)sons of Israel cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their [y]backs before their enemies, because they have become designated for destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you eliminate from your midst the things designated for destruction. 13 Stand up! (AP)Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, because the Lord, the God of Israel, has said this: “(AQ)There are things designated for destruction in your midst, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you have removed the designated things from your midst.” 14 So in the morning you shall come forward by your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which (AR)the Lord selects by lot shall come forward by families, and the family which the Lord selects shall come forward by households, and the household which the Lord selects shall come forward man by man. 15 And (AS)it shall be that the one who is selected with the things designated for destruction shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has violated the covenant of the Lord, and because he (AT)has committed a disgraceful thing in Israel.’”

The Sin of Achan

16 So Joshua got up early in the morning and brought Israel forward by [z]tribes, and the tribe of Judah was selected. 17 So he brought the family of Judah forward, and he selected the family of the Zerahites; then he brought the family of the Zerahites forward man by man, and Zabdi was selected. 18 And he brought his household forward man by man; and (AU)Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, was selected. 19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I implore you, (AV)give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him; and tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me.” 20 So Achan answered Joshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel, and [aa]this is what I did: 21 when I saw among the spoils a beautiful robe from Shinar, two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I (AW)wanted them and took them; and behold, they are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was hidden in his tent with the silver underneath it. 23 So they took them from inside the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the sons of Israel; and they [ab]laid them out before the Lord. 24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the bar of gold, his sons, his daughters, his [ac]oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that belonged to him; and they brought them up to (AX)the Valley of [ad]Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why have you (AY)brought disaster on us? The Lord will bring disaster on you this day.” And all Israel stoned [ae]them with stones; and they burned them with fire [af]after they had stoned them with stones. 26 Then they erected over him a large heap of stones that stands to this day, and the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called (AZ)the Valley of [ag]Achor to this day.

The Conquest of Ai

Now the Lord said to Joshua, “(BA)Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you. Arise, go up to Ai; see, (BB)I have handed over to you the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king; you shall (BC)take only its spoils and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. [ah]Set an ambush for the city behind it.”

So Joshua rose up with all the people of war to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose thirty thousand men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night. He commanded them, saying, “See, you are (BD)going to ambush the city from behind [ai]it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out to meet us as they did the first time, (BE)we will flee before them. They will come out after us until we have lured them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us just as they did the first time.’ So we will flee before them. Then you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the Lord your God will hand it over to you. Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it (BF)in accordance with the word of the Lord. See, I have commanded you.” So Joshua sent them away, and they went to the place of ambush and remained between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua spent that night among the people.

10 Now Joshua (BG)got up early in the morning and mustered the people, and he went up with the elders of Israel before the people to Ai. 11 Then all the people of war who were with him went up and approached, and arrived in front of the city; and they camped on the north side of Ai. And there was a valley between him and Ai. 12 Then he took about five thousand men and set them in ambush between (BH)Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the [aj]city. 13 So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the north side of the city, and its rear guard on the west side of the city, and Joshua spent that night in the midst of the valley. 14 And it came about, when the king of Ai saw them, that the men of the city hurried and got up early, and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15 Then Joshua and all Israel [ak]pretended to be defeated before them, and fled (BI)by the way of the wilderness. 16 And all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and (BJ)were lured away from the city. 17 So not a man was left in Ai or Bethel, [al]but they had all gone out after Israel, and they left the city [am]unguarded and pursued Israel.

18 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “(BK)Reach out with the sword that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will hand it over to you.” So Joshua reached out with the sword that was in his hand toward the city. 19 Then the men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had reached out with his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire. 20 When the men of Ai turned [an]back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers. 21 When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and [ao]killed the men of Ai. 22 [ap]The others came out from the city to confront them, so that they were trapped in the midst of Israel, [aq]some on this side and some on that side; and they [ar]killed them until there was not (BL)one [as]left who escaped or survived. 23 But they captured the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.

24 Now when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field in the wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them had fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25 So (BM)all who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand—all the [at]people of Ai. 26 For Joshua (BN)did not withdraw his hand with which he reached out with the sword until he had [au]utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 27 (BO)Israel took only the cattle and the spoils of that city as plunder for themselves, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He had commanded Joshua. 28 So Joshua burned Ai and made it (BP)a refuse heap forever, a desolation until this day. 29 And (BQ)he hanged the king of Ai on [av]a tree until evening; but at sunset Joshua gave the command and they took his body down from [aw]the tree and threw it at the entrance of the city gate, and erected over it a large heap of stones that stands to this day.

30 Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, on (BR)Mount Ebal, 31 just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, (BS)an altar of uncut stones on which no one had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32 And he (BT)wrote there on the stones a copy of the Law of Moses, which [ax]he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel. 33 (BU)And all Israel with their elders, officers, and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of (BV)Mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded at first to bless the people of Israel. 34 Then afterward he read all the words of the Law, the blessing and the curse, according to everything that is written in (BW)the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel (BX)with the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were [ay]living among them.

Footnotes

  1. Joshua 5:1 Other mss we
  2. Joshua 5:3 I.e., the hill of the foreskins
  3. Joshua 5:6 Lit were finished
  4. Joshua 5:7 Lit circumcised them
  5. Joshua 5:9 I.e., wheel, or stone circle
  6. Joshua 5:11 Lit this
  7. Joshua 6:5 Lit in its place
  8. Joshua 6:5 Lit before himself
  9. Joshua 6:7 Another reading is they
  10. Joshua 6:11 Lit to go around
  11. Joshua 6:17 I.e., as an offering to God
  12. Joshua 6:17 Lit she and all
  13. Joshua 6:20 Lit they
  14. Joshua 6:20 Lit in its place
  15. Joshua 6:20 Lit before himself
  16. Joshua 6:21 Or put under the ban
  17. Joshua 6:24 I.e., tabernacle
  18. Joshua 6:25 Lit let live
  19. Joshua 7:2 Lit saying, Go
  20. Joshua 7:4 Lit before
  21. Joshua 7:5 Lit before
  22. Joshua 7:7 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  23. Joshua 7:7 Lit and had lived
  24. Joshua 7:8 Lit neck
  25. Joshua 7:12 Lit necks
  26. Joshua 7:16 Lit its tribes
  27. Joshua 7:20 Lit thus and thus I did
  28. Joshua 7:23 Lit emptied
  29. Joshua 7:24 Or cattle
  30. Joshua 7:24 I.e., disaster
  31. Joshua 7:25 Lit him
  32. Joshua 7:25 Lit and they stoned
  33. Joshua 7:26 I.e., disaster
  34. Joshua 8:2 Lit Set for yourself
  35. Joshua 8:4 Lit the city
  36. Joshua 8:12 I.e., Ai
  37. Joshua 8:15 Lit reversed before
  38. Joshua 8:17 Lit who had not gone
  39. Joshua 8:17 Lit open
  40. Joshua 8:20 Lit behind them
  41. Joshua 8:21 Lit struck
  42. Joshua 8:22 Lit These came
  43. Joshua 8:22 Lit these...these
  44. Joshua 8:22 Lit struck
  45. Joshua 8:22 Lit left to it one
  46. Joshua 8:25 Lit men
  47. Joshua 8:26 Lit put under the ban
  48. Joshua 8:29 Lit the wood
  49. Joshua 8:29 Lit the wood
  50. Joshua 8:32 I.e., Moses
  51. Joshua 8:35 Lit walking