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Joshua 7-8 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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.

Adonai said to Y’hoshua, “Don’t be afraid or fall into despair! Take all the people who can fight with you, set out, and go up to ‘Ai; because now I have handed over to you the king of ‘Ai, his people, his city and his land. Do to ‘Ai and its king as you did to Yericho and its king; but this time, take its spoil and cattle as booty for yourselves. Ambush the city from behind.”

So Y’hoshua set out for ‘Ai with all the people who could fight. Y’hoshua chose 30,000 men, the most courageous of his troops, and sent them out by night. He instructed them, “You are to lie in wait to ambush the city from behind. Stay close to the city; and all of you, be ready. I and all the troops with me will approach the city; and when they come out to attack us, as they did before, we will run away from them. They will chase after us until we have drawn them away from the city; because they will say, ‘They’re running away from us, as they did before’; so we’ll run away from them. Then you will jump up from your ambush position and take possession of the city, for Adonai your God will hand it over to you. When you have captured the city, you are to set it on fire; do according to what Adonai has said. Those are your orders.”

Y’hoshua sent them out; and they went to the place for the ambush, staying between Beit-El and ‘Ai, to the west of ‘Ai; while Y’hoshua camped that night with the people. 10 Y’hoshua got up early in the morning, mustered his men and went up to ‘Ai ahead of the people, he and the leaders of Isra’el . 11 All the troops marching with him went up, advanced, arrived in front of the city and camped on the north side of ‘Ai, with a valley between him and ‘Ai. 12 Then he took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Beit-El and ‘Ai, to the west of ‘Ai. 13 Thus the people arrayed themselves, with all the army to the north of the city, and their rearguard lying in wait to the west of the city. Y’hoshua spent that night in the valley.

14 The king of ‘Ai saw this, so the men in the city hurried out early in the morning to battle against Isra’el, he and all his people, at a meeting-place facing the ‘Aravah. But he was unaware that behind the city an ambush had been laid against him. 15 Y’hoshua and all Isra’el made as if they had been defeated before them and ran off on the road to the desert. 16 All the people in ‘Ai were summoned together to pursue them, so they chased Y’hoshua and were drawn away from the city. 17 Not a man was left in ‘Ai or Beit-El who had not gone after Isra’el; pursuing Isra’el, they left the city wide open.

18 Then Adonai said to Y’hoshua, “Point the spear in your hand toward ‘Ai, because I will hand it over to you.” Y’hoshua pointed the spear in his hand toward the city. 19 The men in ambush jumped up quickly from their place; the moment he stretched out his hand, they ran, entered the city and captured it; and they hurried to set the city on fire. 20 When the men of ‘Ai looked behind them, they saw it — there was the smoke from the city, rising to the sky; and they had no power to flee this way or that — at which point the people who had run off toward the desert turned back on the pursuers. 21 When Y’hoshua and all Isra’el saw that the ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city was going up, they turned back and slaughtered the men of ‘Ai; 22 while the others came out of the city against them too; so that they were surrounded by Isra’el with some on this side and some on that side. They attacked them, allowing none to remain or escape. 23 But they took the king of ‘Ai alive and brought him to Y’hoshua.

24 When Isra’el had finished slaughtering all the inhabitants of ‘Ai in the countryside, in the desert where they had pursued them, and they had all fallen, consumed by the sword, then all Isra’el returned to ‘Ai and defeated it with the sword. 25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day, everyone in ‘Ai. 26 For Y’hoshua did not withdraw his hand, which he had used to point the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of ‘Ai. 27 Only the livestock and the spoil of that city did Isra’el take as booty for themselves, in keeping with the order Adonai had given Y’hoshua. 28 So Y’hoshua burned down ‘Ai and turned it into a tel forever, so that it remains a ruin to this day. 29 The king of ‘Ai he hanged on a tree until evening; at sundown Y’hoshua gave an order, so they took his carcass down from the tree, threw it at the entrance of the city gate and piled on it a big heap of stones, which is there to this day.

30 Then Y’hoshua built an altar to Adonai, the God of Isra’el, on Mount ‘Eival, 31 as Moshe the servant of Adonai had ordered the people of Isra’el to do (this is written in the book of the Torah of Moshe), an altar of uncut stones that no one had touched with an iron tool. On it they offered burnt offerings to Adonai and sacrificed peace offerings. 32 He wrote there on the stones a copy of the Torah of Moshe, inscribing it in the presence of the people of Isra’el. 33 Then all Isra’el, including their leaders, officials and judges, stood on either side of the ark in front of the cohanim, who were L’vi’im and who carried the ark for the covenant of Adonai. The foreigners were there along with the citizens. Half of the people were in front of Mount G’rizim and half of them in front of Mount ‘Eival, as Moshe the servant of Adonai had ordered them earlier in connection with blessing the people of Isra’el. 34 After this, he read all the words of the Torah, the blessing and the curse, according to everything written in the book of the Torah. 35 There was not a word of everything Moshe had ordered that Y’hoshua did not read before all Isra’el assembled, including the women, the little ones and the foreigners living with them.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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