Joshua 7International Standard Version (ISV)
Israel is Defeated at Ai
7 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.
2 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 3 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.”
4 So about three thousand went up there, but they ran away from the men of Ai. 5 The men of Ai killed about 36 of them, pursuing them outside the city gates as far as Shebarim, killing them as they descended. As a result, the army became terrified and lost their confidence.[a] 6 At this, Joshua tore his clothes, fell down to the ground on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening—he and the leaders of Israel—and they covered their heads with dust. 7 “Lord God,” Joshua asked, “Why have you brought this people across the Jordan River? To hand us over to the Amorites so we’ll be destroyed? Wouldn’t it have been better for us to be content to settle on the other side of the Jordan? 8 Lord, what am I to say, now that Israel has run[b] away from its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of this, will surround us, and eliminate us[c] from the earth! Then what will you do about your great reputation?”[d]
The Lord Rebukes Joshua
10 “Get up!” the Lord replied to Joshua. “Why have you fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned. They broke my covenant that I commanded them by taking some of the things that had been turned over to destruction. They have stolen, have been deceitful, and have stored what they stole[e] among their own belongings. 12 The Israelis have been unable to stand before their enemies. They’re turning their backs and running from[f] their enemies because they themselves have been turned over to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy these things that have been turned over to destruction. 13 So get up and sanctify the people. Tell them, ‘Sanctify yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, because this is what the Lord God of Israel, says: “There are things turned over to destruction among you, Israel. You won’t be able to defeat your enemies until you remove what has been turned over to destruction. 14 Tomorrow morning you are to come forward tribe by tribe. The tribe that the Lord selects[g] is to come forward by tribes, the tribe that the Lord selects is to come forward by households, and the household that the Lord selects is to come forward one by one. 15 The one selected as having taken what has been turned over to destruction is to be incinerated, along with everything that pertains to him, because he has transgressed against the covenant of the Lord and committed an outrageous thing in Israel.”’”
Achan’s Sin Revealed
16 So Joshua got up early that morning, brought Israel near tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was selected. 17 He brought near the tribes of Judah, and the Zerahite tribe was selected. Then he brought near the Zerahite tribe family by family, and the household of Zabdi was selected. 18 Next, he brought near his household one by one, and Carmi’s son Achan, grandson of Zabdi and great-grandson of Zerah, was selected from the tribe of Judah.
20 Achan answered Joshua, “It’s true. I’m the one who sinned against the Lord God of Israel. 21 I noticed among the war spoils a beautiful mantle from Shinar,[j] 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels. Because I wanted them, I took them, and they’re buried in the ground inside my tent. The silver is underneath.”
22 So Joshua sent some messengers, who ran to the tent. And there it was, hidden in the tent with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from the tent that had been turned over to destruction,[k] brought them to Joshua and all of the Israelis, and laid them out in the presence of the Lord. 24 Then Joshua, with all Israel accompanying him, took Zerah’s son Achan, along with the silver, the mantle, the gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and everything that belonged to him to the Valley of Achor.
25 Joshua announced, “Why did you bring trouble to us? Today the Lord is bringing trouble to you!” So all Israel stoned him to death, incinerated them, and buried them with stones, 26 piling up a large mound of boulders that remains to this day. After this, the Lord turned his burning anger away, and that is why that place is called “the Valley of Achor”[l] to this day.
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