Defeat at Ai
1But the children of Israel committed a #Josh. 7:20, 21trespass regarding the #Josh. 6:17–19accursed things, for #Josh. 22:20Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.
2Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, “Go up and spy out the country.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few.” 4So about three thousand men went up there from the people, #Lev. 26:17; Deut. 28:25but they fled before the men of Ai. 5And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore #Lev. 26:36; Josh. 2:9, 11the hearts of the people melted and became like water.
6Then Joshua #Gen. 37:29, 34tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they #1 Sam. 4:12put dust on their heads. 7And Joshua said, “Alas, Lord God, #Ex. 17:3; Num. 21:5why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all—to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan! 8O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies? 9For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear it, and surround us, and #Deut. 32:26cut off our name from the earth. Then #Ex. 32:12; Num. 14:13what will You do for Your great name?”
The Sin of Achan
10So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? 11Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. #Josh. 6:17–19For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and #Acts 5:1, 2deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. 12#Judg. 2:14Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because #Deut. 7:26; (Hag. 2:13, 14)they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. 13Get up, #Ex. 19:10sanctify the people, and say, #Josh. 3:5‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.” 14In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which #(Prov. 16:33)the Lord takes shall come according to families; and the family which the Lord takes shall come by households; and the household which the Lord takes shall come man by man. 15#1 Sam. 14:38, 39Then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has #Josh. 7:11transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he #Gen. 34:7; Judg. 20:6has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.’ ”
16So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken. 17He brought the clan of Judah, and he took the family of the Zarhites; and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. 18Then he brought his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, #1 Sam. 14:42was taken.
19Now Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, #1 Sam. 6:5; Jer. 13:16; John 9:24give glory to the Lord God of Israel, #Num. 5:6, 7; 2 Chr. 30:22; Ezra 10:10, 11; Ps. 32:5; Prov. 28:13; Jer. 3:12, 13; Dan. 9:4and make confession to Him, and #1 Sam. 14:43tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.”
20And Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed #Num. 22:34; 1 Sam. 15:24I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”
22So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. 24Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and #Num. 16:32, 33; Dan. 6:24all that he had, and they brought them to #Josh. 7:26; 15:7the Valley of Achor. 25And Joshua said, #Josh. 6:18; 1 Chr. 2:7; (Gal. 5:12)“Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” #Deut. 17:5So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
26Then they #Josh. 8:29; 2 Sam. 18:17; Lam. 3:53raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So #Deut. 13:17the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called #Josh. 7:24; Is. 65:10; Hos. 2:15the Valley of Achor to this day.