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But the Bnei Yisroel broke [covenant] faith in regard to the Cherem; for Achan ben Carmi ben Zavdi ben Zerach of the tribe of Yehudah, took of the Cherem (that which was devoted to destruction); and the Af Hashem was kindled against the Bnei Yisroel.

And Yehoshua sent anashim from Yericho to Ai, which is near Beit-Aven, on the east of Beit-El, speaking unto them, saying, Go up and spy out HaAretz. And the anashim went up and spied out Ai.

And they returned to Yehoshua, and said unto him, Let not Kol HaAm go up; but let about two or three thousand Ish go up and attack Ai; and weary not kol HaAm there; for they are but few.

So there went up there of HaAm about three thousand Ish; and they fled before the anashim of Ai.

And the anashim of Ai struck down of them about thirty and six ish; for they chased them from before the sha’ar even unto Shevarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the levav HaAm melted, and became like mayim.

And Yehoshua tore his clothes, and fell to the ground upon his face before the Aron Hashem until erev, he and the Ziknei Yisroel, and they put dust upon their heads.

And Yehoshua said, Alas, Adonoi Hashem, why hast Thou at all brought HaAm Hazeh over the Yarden, to deliver us into the yad HaEmori, to destroy us? If only we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Yarden!

O Adonoi, what shall I say, when Yisroel turneth their backs before their enemies!

For the Kena’ani and all the inhabitants of HaAretz shall hear of it, and shall surround us, and cut off Shemeinu (our name) from HaAretz; and what wilt Thou do unto Thy Shem Hagadol?

10 And Hashem said unto Yehoshua, Stand up; why liest thou thus upon thy face?

11 Yisroel hath sinned, and they have also violated My Brit which I commanded them; for they have even taken of the Cherem, and have also played the ganav, and lied also, and they have put it even among their own possessions.

12 Therefore the Bnei Yisroel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they are for Cherem; neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the Cherem from among you.

13 Up, set HaAm apart as kodesh, and say, Set yourselves apart as kodesh against tomorrow: for thus saith Hashem Elohei Yisroel, There is Cherem among you, O Yisroel; thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the Cherem from among you.

14 In the boker therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes; and it shall be, that the shevet (tribe) which Hashem taketh shall come near according to the mishpekhot thereof; and the mishpakhah which Hashem shall take shall come near by batim; and the bais which Hashem shall take shall come near man by man.

15 And it shall be, that he that is taken with the Cherem shall be burned with eish, he and all that he hath; because he hath violated the Brit Hashem, and because he hath wrought shame in Yisroel.

16 So Yehoshua rose up early in the boker, and brought Yisroel near by their tribes; and the Shevet Yehudah was taken;

17 And he brought the Mishpakhat Yehudah; and the Mishpakhat Zarchi was taken; and he brought the Mishpakhat HaZarchi man by man; and Zavdi was taken;

18 And he brought near his Bais man by man; and Achan ben Carmi ben Zavdi ben Zerach, of the tribe of Yehudah, was taken.

19 And Yehoshua said unto Achan, Beni (my son), give, now, kavod to Hashem Elohei Yisroel, and give to Him todah; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.

20 And Achan answered Yehoshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against Hashem Elohei Yisroel, and thus and thus have I done;

21 When I saw among the plunder a beautiful robe of Shinar (Babylon), and two hundred shekels of kesef, and a wedge of zahav of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, hinei, they are hid in ha’aretz in the midst of my ohel, and the kesef under it.

22 So Yehoshua sent malachim, and they ran unto the ohel; and, hinei, it was hid in his ohel, and the kesef under it!

23 And they took them out of the midst of the ohel, and brought them unto Yehoshua, and unto all the Bnei Yisroel, and laid them out before Hashem.

24 And Yehoshua, and kol Yisroel with him, took Achan ben Zerach, and the kesef, and the robe, and the wedge of zahav, and his banim, and his banot, and his oxen, and his donkeys, and his tzon, and his ohel, and all that he had; and they brought them unto the Emek Achor (Valley of Trouble).

25 And Yehoshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? Hashem shall trouble thee yom hazeh. And kol Yisroel stoned him with even (stones), and burned them with eish, after they had stoned them with avanim (stones).

26 And they raised over him a heap of avanim gadol unto this day. So Hashem turned from the fierceness of His Af (Anger). Therefore the shem of that place was called, Emek Achor, unto this day.

Achan’s Sin

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)

Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai,(G) which is near Beth Aven(H) to the east of Bethel,(I) and told them, “Go up and spy out(J) the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.

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.” So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai,(K) 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.

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. 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! Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 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)

19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory(AQ) to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell(AR) me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”

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.


  1. 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.
  2. Joshua 7:1 See Septuagint and 1 Chron. 2:6; Hebrew Zabdi; also in verses 17 and 18.
  3. Joshua 7:21 Hebrew Shinar
  4. Joshua 7:21 That is, about 5 pounds or about 2.3 kilograms
  5. Joshua 7:21 That is, about 1 1/4 pounds or about 575 grams
  6. Joshua 7:26 Achor means trouble.

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