1And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed; take all the people of war with thee and arise; go up to Ai. See, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai and his people and his city and his land.2And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king; only the spoil thereof and the cattle thereof, ye shall take for yourselves. Lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.
3So Joshua arose and all the people of war, to go up against Ai; and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour and sent them away by night.4And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city; do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.5And I and all the people that are with me, will approach the city; and when they come out against us, as at the first, we will flee before them6(for they will come out after us) until we have raptured them out of the city; for they will say, They flee before us as at the first. Therefore, we will flee before them.7Then ye shall rise up from the ambush and take possession of the city; for the Lord your God will deliver it into your hand.8And when ye have taken the city, ye shall set the city on fire. Ye shall do according to the word of the Lord. See, I have commanded you.9Then Joshua sent them forth, and they went to lie in ambush and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; and Joshua lodged that night in the midst of the people.10And Joshua rose up early in the morning and numbered the people and went up he and the elders of Israel, before the people against Ai.11And all the people of war that were with him, went up, and drew near and came before the city and pitched camp on the north side of Ai; now there was a valley between them and Ai.12And he took about five thousand men and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.13And the people, all the camp that was on the side of the north came near to the city, and their ambush on the west of the city. And Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley.14When the king of Ai saw it, he rose up early in the morning and made haste with the men of the city to go out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city.15Then Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them and fled by the way of the wilderness.16And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them; and they pursued after Joshua and were raptured from the city.17And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel that did not go out after Israel; and because they pursued after Israel, they left the city open.18Then the Lord said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thy hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.19And those of the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand; and they entered into the city and took it and made haste to set the city on fire.20And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way; and the people that were fleeing into the wilderness turned back upon their pursuers.21Then Joshua and all Israel, seeing that those of the ambush had taken the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned and slew the men of Ai.22And the others issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side; and they smote them so that they let none of them remain or escape.
23And they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.24And when Israel had finished slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness in which they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword until they were consumed, all the Israelites returned unto Ai and smote it with the edge of the sword.25And so it was that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.26For Joshua did not draw back his hand with which he stretched out the spear until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.27But the Israelites took the beasts and the spoil of the city for themselves, according unto the word of the Lord which he had commanded Joshua.28And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it a perpetual heap, desolate unto this day.29And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening, and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city and raise a great heap of stones upon it, that remains unto this day.
30Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in Mount Ebal,31as Moses, the slave, of the Lord had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no one lifted up any iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings upon it unto the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings.32He also wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written in the presence of the sons of Israel.33And all Israel and their elders and officers and their judges stood on one side and on the other near the ark, before the priests the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, the strangers, as well as the natural born among them, half of them over against Mount Gerizim and half of them over against Mount Ebal, as Moses, the slave of the Lord, had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.34After this he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.35There was not a word of all the things that Moses commanded which Joshua did not read before all the congregation of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers that walked among them.