New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Defeat at Ai. 1 But the Israelites acted treacherously with regard to the ban; Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, took goods that were under the ban,(A) and the anger of the Lord flared up against the Israelites.
2 (B)Joshua next sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven and east of Bethel, with the order, “Go up and reconnoiter the land.” When they had explored Ai, 3 they returned to Joshua and advised, “Do not send all the people up; if only about two or three thousand go up, they can attack and overcome Ai. You need not tire all the people: the enemy there are few.” 4 About three thousand of the people made the attack, but they fled before the army at Ai, 5 who killed some thirty-six of them. They pursued them from the city gate to the Shebarim, and defeated them on the descent, so that the confidence of the people melted away like water.
6 Joshua, together with the elders of Israel, tore their garments and fell face down before the ark of the Lord until evening; and they threw dust on their heads. 7 “Alas, Lord God,” Joshua prayed, “why did you ever allow this people to cross over the Jordan, delivering us into the power of the Amorites, that they might destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell on the other side of the Jordan. 8 Please, Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has turned its back to its enemies? 9 When the Canaanites and the other inhabitants of the land hear of it, they will close in around us and efface our name from the earth. What will you do for your great name?”(C)
10 The Lord replied to Joshua: Stand up. Why are you lying there? 11 (D)Israel has sinned: they have transgressed the covenant[a] which I enjoined on them. They have taken goods subject to the ban. They have stolen and lied, placing the goods in their baggage. 12 If the Israelites cannot stand up to their enemies, but must turn their back to them, it is because they are under the ban. I will not continue to be with you unless you remove that which is banned from among you. 13 Get up, sanctify the people.(E) Tell them, “Sanctify yourselves before tomorrow, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: That which is banned is in your midst, Israel. You cannot stand up to your enemies until you remove it from among you. 14 In the morning you must come forward by tribes. The tribe which the Lord designates shall come forward by clans; the clan which the Lord designates shall come forward by families; the family which the Lord designates shall come forward one by one. 15 Whoever is designated as having incurred the ban shall be destroyed by fire, with all that is his, because he has trangressed the covenant of the Lord and has committed a shameful crime in Israel.”(F)
Achan’s Guilt and Punishment. 16 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and the tribe of Judah was designated.[b] 17 Then he had the clans of Judah come forward, and the clan of Zerah was designated. He had the clan of Zerah(G) come forward by families, and Zabdi was designated. 18 Finally he had that family come forward one by one, and Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, was designated. 19 Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and praise him by telling me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” 20 Achan answered Joshua, “I have indeed sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 Among the spoils, I saw a beautiful Babylonian mantle, two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight; I coveted them and I took them. They are now hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” 22 Joshua sent messengers and they ran to the tent and there they were, hidden in the tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took them from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and spread them out before the Lord.
24 Then Joshua and all Israel took Achan, son of Zerah, with the silver, the mantle, and the bar of gold, and with his sons and daughters, his ox, his donkey and his sheep, his tent, and all his possessions, and led them off to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “What misery have you caused us? May the Lord bring misery upon you today!”(H) And all Israel stoned him to death. They burnt them with fire and they stoned them. 26 Over Achan they piled a great heap of stones, which remains to the present day.(I) Then the Lord turned from his anger. That is why the place is called the Valley of Achor[c] to this day.
- 7:11 Transgressed the covenant: the Hebrew word translated “transgressed” appears frequently in the first five chapters where it is used to describe how Israel “crossed” the Jordan River. There is a wordplay here to emphasize Israel’s responsibility to follow God to the promised land and so to obey and not transgress the divine command.
- 7:16–18 Was designated: probably by means of the Urim and Thummim; cf. 1 Sm 14:38–42. See note on Ex 28:30.
- 7:26 Achor: “misery,” or “disaster.” The reference is to the saying of Joshua in v. 25, with an allusion also to the similar-sounding name of Achan.
New International Version
7 But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things[a];(A) Achan(B) son of Karmi, the son of Zimri,[b] the son of Zerah,(C) of the tribe of Judah,(D) took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned(E) against Israel.(F)
3 When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” 4 So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai,(K) 5 who killed about thirty-six(L) of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear(M) and became like water.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes(N) and fell facedown(O) to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening.(P) The elders of Israel(Q) did the same, and sprinkled dust(R) on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why(S) did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us?(T) If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8 Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth.(U) What then will you do for your own great name?(V)”
10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned;(W) they have violated my covenant,(X) which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied,(Y) they have put them with their own possessions.(Z) 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies;(AA) they turn their backs(AB) and run(AC) because they have been made liable to destruction.(AD) I will not be with you anymore(AE) unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.
13 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves(AF) in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.
14 “‘In the morning, present(AG) yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord chooses(AH) shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the Lord chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man. 15 Whoever is caught with the devoted things(AI) shall be destroyed by fire,(AJ) along with all that belongs to him.(AK) He has violated the covenant(AL) of the Lord and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!’”(AM)
16 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen. 17 The clans of Judah came forward, and the Zerahites were chosen.(AN) He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was chosen. 18 Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah,(AO) was chosen.(AP)
20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder(AS) a beautiful robe from Babylonia,[c] two hundred shekels[d] of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels,[e] I coveted(AT) them and took them. 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 there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the Lord.
24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons(AU) and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor.(AV) 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble(AW) on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”
Then all Israel stoned him,(AX) and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.(AY) 26 Over Achan they heaped(AZ) up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day.(BA) Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger.(BB) Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor[f](BC) ever since.
- Joshua 7:1 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 11, 12, 13 and 15.
- Joshua 7:1 See Septuagint and 1 Chron. 2:6; Hebrew Zabdi; also in verses 17 and 18.
- Joshua 7:21 Hebrew Shinar
- Joshua 7:21 That is, about 5 pounds or about 2.3 kilograms
- Joshua 7:21 That is, about 1 1/4 pounds or about 575 grams
- Joshua 7:26 Achor means trouble.