The Sin of Achan
7 But the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] ·did not obey the Lord [L acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; 6:17]. There was a man from the tribe of Judah named Achan. (He was the son of Carmi and grandson of Zabdi, who was the son of Zerah.) Because Achan kept some of the ·things that were to be given to the Lord [L devoted things], the ·Lord became very angry [L Lord’s anger burned] at the Israelites.
2 Joshua sent some men from Jericho to Ai [C the name means “dump,” indicating that it should have been an easy military target], which was near Beth Aven, east of Bethel. He told them, “Go to Ai and spy out the area.” So the men went to spy on Ai.
3 Later they came back to Joshua and said, “There are ·only a few people [few soldiers] in Ai, so we will not need all our people to defeat them. Send only two or three thousand men to fight. ·There is no need to send [or Don’t tire out] all of our people.” 4 So about three thousand men went up to Ai, but ·the people of Ai beat them badly [L they fled from the men of Ai]. 5 The people of Ai killed about thirty-six Israelites and then chased the rest from the city gate all the way down to ·the canyon [or the stone quarries; or Shebarim], killing them as they went down the hill. When the Israelites saw this, ·they lost their courage [L the heart of the people melted and became like water].
6 Then Joshua tore his ·clothes in sorrow [L clothes]. He ·bowed [fell] facedown on the ground before the Ark of the Lord and stayed there until evening. The ·leaders [L elders] of Israel did the same thing. They also threw ·dirt [dust] on their heads [C to show their sorrow]. 7 Then Joshua said, “·Lord God [or Sovereign Lord], why did you bring our people across the Jordan River ·and then let the Amorites destroy us [to give us into the hands of the Amorites]? ·We would have [L If only we had] been happy to stay on the other side of the Jordan. 8 Lord, ·there is nothing I can say now [what can I say now that…]. Israel has ·been beaten by [fled from; L turned their back before] the enemy. 9 The Canaanites and all the other people in this country will hear about this and will ·surround [encircle] and ·kill us all [L cut off our name from the earth]! Then what will you do for your own great name?”
10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why are you down on your face? 11 The Israelites have sinned; they have broken the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] I commanded them to obey. They took some of the ·things I commanded them to destroy [devoted things]. They have stolen and lied and have ·taken those things for themselves [L put them among their own belongings]. 12 That is why the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] cannot ·face [stand before] their enemies. They ·turn away from the fight and run [fled/turned their backs before their enemies], because I have ·commanded that they be destroyed [devoted them for destruction]. I will not ·help [L be with] you anymore unless you destroy ·everything as I commanded [the things devoted for destruction from among] you.
13 “Now go! ·Make the people holy [Consecrate the people]. Tell them, ‘·Set yourselves apart to the Lord [Consecrate yourselves] for tomorrow. The Lord, the God of Israel, says ·some of you are keeping things he commanded you to destroy [L there are devoted things among you, Israel!]. You will never ·defeat [L stand before] your enemies until you ·throw away those things [L remove the devoted things from among you].
14 “‘Tomorrow morning you must be present with your tribes. The Lord will choose one tribe to stand alone before him. Then the Lord will choose ·one family group [clan] from that tribe to stand before him. Then the Lord will choose one family from that ·family group [clan] to stand before him, person by person. 15 The one who is ·keeping what should have been destroyed [L caught with the devoted things] will himself be destroyed by fire. Everything ·he owns [that is his] will be destroyed with him. He has broken the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with the Lord and has done a disgraceful thing ·among the people of [L in] Israel!’”
16 Early the next morning Joshua led all of Israel to present themselves in their tribes, and the Lord chose the tribe of Judah. 17 So the ·family groups [clans] of Judah presented themselves, and the Lord then chose the ·family group [clan] of Zerah. When all the ·families [clan] of Zerah presented themselves, the family of Zabdi was chosen. 18 And Joshua told all the men in that family to present themselves. The Lord chose Achan son of Carmi. (Carmi was the son of Zabdi, who was the son of Zerah.)
19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, ·tell the truth. Confess to the Lord, the God of Israel [L Give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to him; C a solemn charge to tell the truth and confess his sins to God]. Tell me what you did, and don’t try to hide anything from me.”
20 Achan answered, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I did: 21 Among the things I saw was a beautiful ·coat [robe; cloak] from ·Babylonia [L Shinar] and about ·five pounds [L two hundred shekels] of silver and ·more than one and one-fourth pounds of gold [L a gold bar weighing fifty shekels]. I wanted these things very much for myself, so I took them. You will find them buried in the ground under my tent, with the silver underneath.”
22 So Joshua sent ·men [L messengers] who ran to the tent and ·found the things [T behold, it was] hidden there, with the silver underneath. 23 The men brought them out of the tent, took them to Joshua and all the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel], and spread them out on the ground before the Lord. 24 Then Joshua and all the people led Achan son of Zerah to the Valley of ·Trouble [or Achor; C a Hebrew word meaning “trouble” or “disaster”]. They also took the silver, the coat, the gold bar, Achan’s sons, daughters, cattle, donkeys, sheep, tent, and everything he owned. 25 Joshua said, “·I don’t know why [L Why have…?] you caused so much trouble [C Hebrew achor] for us, but now the Lord will bring trouble [C Hebrew achor] to you.” Then all the people threw stones at Achan and his family until they died [Ex. 19:13; Lev. 24:23; Num. 15:36]. Then the people burned them. 26 They piled rocks over Achan’s body, and they are still there today. That is why it is called the Valley of ·Trouble [L Achor]. After this the Lord ·was no longer angry [L turned from his burning anger].