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But the people of Isra’el misappropriated some of the goods set aside to be destroyed; for ‘Akhan, the son of Karmi, the son of Zavdi, the son of Zerach, of the tribe of Y’hudah, took some of the things reserved for destruction. In consequence, the anger of Adonai blazed up against the people of Isra’el.

Y’hoshua sent men from Yericho to ‘Ai, which is next to Beit-Aven, east of Beit-El, telling them to go up and spy out the land. So the men went up, reconnoitered ‘Ai, returned to Y’hoshua and told him, “Don’t have all the people go up; but let perhaps two or three thousand men go up and attack ‘Ai. There’s no point in making all the people exert themselves to get there, because there are only a few of them.” So from the people about three thousand men went up there, but they were routed by the men of ‘Ai. The men of ‘Ai killed some thirty-six of them and chased them from before their gate all the way to Sh’varim, attacking them on the descent. The hearts of the people melted and turned to water.

Y’hoshua tore his clothes and fell to his face on the ground before the ark of Adonai until evening, he and the leaders of Isra’el, and they put dust on their heads. Y’hoshua said, “Oh, Adonai Elohim! Why did you take the trouble to bring this people across the Yarden if you meant to hand us over to the Emori and have us perish? We should have been satisfied to live on the other side of the Yarden! Oh, Adonai! What can I say, after Isra’el has turned their backs and retreated before their enemies? For when the Kena‘ani and the other people living in the land hear about it, they will surround us and wipe us off the face of the earth. What will you do then to save the honor of your great name?”

10 Adonai said to Y’hoshua, “Stand up! Why are you lying there face down? 11 Isra’el has sinned. Yes, they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them. They have taken some of what was to have been set aside for destruction. They have stolen it, lied about it and put it with their own things. 12 This is why the people of Isra’el cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs on their enemies, because they have come under a curse. I won’t be with you any more unless you destroy the things meant for destruction that you have with you. 13 So get up, consecrate the people, and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for here is what Adonai the God of Isra’el says: “Isra’el, you have things under the curse of destruction among you; and you will not be able to stand before your enemies until you remove the things that were to have been destroyed from among you.” 14 Therefore, tomorrow morning you are to come forward, one tribe at a time; the tribe Adonai takes is to come forward, one family at a time; the family Adonai takes is to come forward, one household at a time; and the household Adonai takes is to come forward, one person at a time. 15 The person who is caught with things in his possession that were reserved for destruction is to be burned to ashes, he and everything he has, because he has violated the covenant of Adonai and has committed a shameful deed in Isra’el.’”

16 So Y’hoshua got up early in the morning and had Isra’el come forward, one tribe at a time; and the tribe of Y’hudah was taken. 17 He had the families of Y’hudah come forward and took the family of the Zarchi. He had the Zarchi family come forward by household leaders, and Zavdi was taken. 18 He had his household come forward, one person at a time; and ‘Akhan the son of Karmi, the son of Zavdi, the son of Zerach, of the tribe of Y’hudah, was taken.

19 Y’hoshua said to ‘Akhan, “My son, swear to Adonai, the God of Isra’el, that you will tell the truth and confess to him. Tell me, now, what did you do? Don’t hide anything from me.” 20 ‘Akhan answered Y’hoshua, “It is true: I have sinned against Adonai, the God of Isra’el. Here is exactly what I did: 21 when I saw there with the spoil a beautiful robe from Shin‘ar, five pounds of silver shekels and a one-and-a-quarter-pound wedge of gold, I really wanted them. So I took them. You will find them hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” 22 Y’hoshua sent messengers, who ran to the tent. It was all there, hidden in his tent, including the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from inside the tent, brought them to Y’hoshua and all the people of Isra’el, and put them down before Adonai.

24 Y’hoshua, together with all Isra’el, took ‘Akhan, the son of Zerach, with the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons, his daughters, his cattle, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and everything he had, and brought them up to the Akhor Valley. 25 Y’hoshua said, “Why have you brought trouble on us? Today Adonai will bring trouble on you!” Then all Isra’el stoned him to death; they burned them to ashes and stoned them. 26 Over him they piled a great mound of stones, which is there to this day. Finally Adonai turned away from his fierce anger. And this is why that place is called the Valley of Akhor [trouble] to this day.

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