The Circumcision and Passover at Gilgal
5 1 Now when the news came to all the kings of the Amorites on the west side of Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites living by the sea, how the Lord had made the waters of Jordan dry before the children of Israel, till they had gone across, their hearts became like water, and there was no more spirit in them, because of the children of Israel. 2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, Make yourself stone knives and give the children of Israel circumcision a second time. 3 So Joshua made stone knives and gave the children of Israel circumcision at Gibeath-ha-araloth. 4 And this is the reason why Joshua did so: all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the fighting-men, had been overtaken by death in the waste land on the way, after they came out of Egypt. 5 All the people who came out had undergone circumcision; but all the people whose birth had taken place in the waste land on their journey from Egypt had not. 6 For the children of Israel were wandering in the waste land for forty years, till all the nation, that is, all the fighting-men, who had come out of Egypt, were dead, because they did not give ear to the voice of the Lord: to whom the Lord said, with an oath, that he would not let them see the land which the Lord had given his word to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7 And their children, who came up in their place, now underwent circumcision by the hands of Joshua, not having had it before: for there had been no circumcision on the journey. 8 So when all the nation had undergone circumcision, they kept in their tents till they were well again. 9 And the Lord said to Joshua, Today the shame of Egypt has been rolled away from you. So that place was named Gilgal, to this day.
10 So the children of Israel put up their tents in Gilgal; and they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, in the lowlands of Jericho. 11 And on the day after the Passover, they had for their food the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and dry grain on the same day. 12 And there was no more manna from the day after they had for their food the produce of the land; the children of Israel had manna no longer, but that year the produce of the land of Canaan was their food.
Joshua and the Man with a Drawn Sword
13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, lifting up his eyes he saw a man in front of him, with his sword uncovered in his hand: and Joshua went up to him and said, Are you for us or against us? 14 And he said, No; but I have come as captain of the armies of the Lord. Then Joshua, falling down with his face to the earth in worship, said, What has my lord to say to his servant? 15 And the captain of the Lord's army said to Joshua, Take off your shoes from your feet, for the place where you are is holy. And Joshua did so.
The Fall of Jericho
6 1 (Now Jericho was all shut up because of the children of Israel: there was no going out or coming in.) 2 And the Lord said to Joshua, See, I have given into your hands Jericho with its king and all its men of war. 3 Now let all your fighting-men make a circle round the town, going all round it once. Do this for six days. 4 And let seven priests go before the ark with seven loud-sounding horns in their hands: on the seventh day you are to go round the town seven times, the priests blowing their horns. 5 And at the sound of a long note on the horns, let all the people give a loud cry; and the wall of the town will come down flat, and all the people are to go straight forward.
6 Then Joshua, the son of Nun, sent for the priests and said to them, Take up the ark of the agreement, and let seven priests take seven horns in their hands and go before the ark of the Lord. 7 And he said to the people, Go forward, circling the town, and let the armed men go before the ark of the Lord. 8 So after Joshua had said this to the people, the seven priests with their seven horns went forward before the Lord, blowing on their horns: and the ark of the Lord's agreement went after them. 9 And the armed men went before the priests who were blowing the horns, and the mass of the people went after the ark, blowing their horns. 10 And to the people Joshua gave an order, saying, You will give no cry, and make no sound, and let no word go out of your mouth till the day when I say, Give a loud cry; then give a loud cry. 11 So he made the ark of the Lord go all round the town once: then they went back to the tents for the night. 12 And early in the morning Joshua got up, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 And the seven priests with their seven horns went on before the ark of the Lord, blowing their horns: the armed men went before them, and the mass of the people went after the ark of the Lord, blowing their horns. 14 The second day they went all round the town once, and then went back to their tents: and so they did for six days. 15 Then on the seventh day they got up early, at the dawn of the day, and went round the town in the same way, but that day they went round it seven times. 16 And the seventh time, at the sound of the priests' horns, Joshua said to the people, Now give a loud cry; for the Lord has given you the town.
17 And the town will be put to the curse, and everything in it will be given to the Lord: only Rahab, the loose woman, and all who are in the house with her, will be kept safe, because she kept secret the men we sent. 18 And as for you, keep yourselves from the cursed thing, for fear that you may get a desire for it and take some of it for yourselves, and so be the cause of a curse and great trouble on the tents of Israel. 19 But all the silver and gold and the vessels of brass and iron are holy to the Lord: they are to come into the store-house of the Lord. 20 So the people gave a loud cry, and the horns were sounded; and on hearing the horns the people gave a loud cry, and the wall came down flat, so that the people went up into the town, every man going straight before him, and they took the town. 21 And they put everything in the town to the curse; men and women, young and old, ox and sheep and ass, they put to death without mercy. 22 Then Joshua said to the two men who had been sent to make a search through the land, Go into the house of the loose woman, and get her out, and all who are with her, as you gave her your oath. 23 So the searchers went in and got out Rahab and her father and mother and her brothers and all she had, and they got out all her family; and they took them outside the tents of Israel. 24 Then, after burning up the town and everything in it, they put the silver and gold and the vessels of brass and iron into the store-house of the Lord's house. 25 But Joshua kept Rahab, the loose woman, and her father's family and all she had, from death, and so she got a living-place among the children of Israel to this day; because she kept safe the men whom Joshua had sent to make a search through the land. 26 Then Joshua gave the people orders with an oath, saying, Let that man be cursed before the Lord who puts his hand to the building up of this town: with the loss of his first son will he put the first stone of it in place, and with the loss of his youngest son he will put up its doors. 27 So the Lord was with Joshua; and news of him went through all the land.
The Sin of Achan
7 1 But the children of Israel did wrong about the cursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the family of Judah, took of the cursed thing, moving the Lord to wrath against the children of Israel. 2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is by the side of Beth-aven, on the east side of Beth-el, and said to them, Go up and make a search through the land. And the men went up and saw how Ai was placed. 3 Then they came back to Joshua and said to him, Do not send all the people up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and make an attack on Ai; there is no need for all the people to be tired with the journey there, for it is only a small town. 4 So about three thousand of the people went up, and were sent in flight by the men of Ai. 5 The men of Ai put to death about thirty-six of them, driving them from before the town as far as the stoneworks, and overcoming them on the way down: and the hearts of the people became like water.
6 Then Joshua, in great grief, went down on the earth before the ark of the Lord till the evening, and all the chiefs of Israel with him, and they put dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, O Lord God, why have you taken us over Jordan only to give us up into the hands of the Amorites for our destruction? If only it had been enough for us to keep on the other side of Jordan! 8 O Lord, what am I to say now that Israel have given way before their attackers? 9 For when the news comes to the Canaanites and all the people of the land, they will come up, shutting us in and cutting off our name from the earth: and what will you do for the honour of your great name?
10 Then the Lord said to Joshua, Get up; what are you doing with your face to the earth? 11 Israel has done wrong, sinning against the agreement which I made with them: they have even taken of the cursed thing; acting falsely like thieves they have put it among their goods. 12 For this reason the children of Israel have given way, turning their backs in flight before their attackers, because they are cursed: I will no longer be with you, if you do not put the cursed thing away from among you. 13 Up! make the people holy; say to them, Make yourselves holy before tomorrow, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has said, There is a cursed thing among you, O Israel, and you will give way before your attackers in the fight till the cursed thing has been taken away from among you. 14 So in the morning you are to come near, tribe by tribe; and the tribe marked out by the Lord is to come near, family by family; and the family marked out by the Lord is to come near, house by house; and the house marked out by the Lord is to come near, man by man. 15 Then the man who is taken with the cursed thing is to be burned, with everything which is his; because he has gone against the agreement of the Lord and has done an act of shame in Israel.
16 So Joshua got up early in the morning, and made Israel come before him by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken; 17 Then he made Judah come forward, and the family of the Zerahites was taken; and he made the family of the Zerahites come forward man by man; and Zabdi was taken; 18 Then the house of Zabdi came forward man by man, and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 And Joshua said to Achan, My son, give glory and praise to the Lord, the God of Israel; give me word now of what you have done, and keep nothing back from me. 20 And Achan, answering, said to Joshua, Truly I have done wrong against the Lord, the God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 When I saw among their goods a fair robe of Babylon and two hundred shekels of silver, and a mass of gold, fifty shekels in weight, I was overcome by desire and took them; and they are put away in the earth in my tent, and the silver is under it. 22 So Joshua sent men quickly, and looking in his tent, they saw where the robe had been put away secretly with the silver under it. 23 And they took them from the tent and came back with them to Joshua and the children of Israel, and put them before the Lord. 24 Then Joshua and all Israel took Achan, the son of Zerah, and the silver and the robe and the mass of gold, and his sons and his daughters and his oxen and his asses and his sheep and his tent and everything he had; and they took them up into the valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, Why have you been a cause of trouble to us? Today the Lord will send trouble on you. And all Israel took part in stoning him; they had him stoned to death and then burned with fire. 26 And over him they put a great mass of stones, which is there to this day; then the heat of the Lord's wrath was turned away. So that place was named, The Valley of Achor, to this day.
The Capture and Destruction of Ai
8 1 Then the Lord said to Joshua, Have no fear and do not be troubled: take with you all the fighting-men and go up against Ai: for I have given into your hands the king of Ai and his people and his town and his land: 2 And you are to do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king: but their goods and their cattle you may take for yourselves: let a secret force be stationed to make a surprise attack on the town from the back.
3 So Joshua and the fighting-men got ready to go up against Ai; and Joshua took thirty thousand men of war, and sent them out by night. 4 And he gave them their orders, saying, Go and take up your position secretly at the back of the town: do not go very far away, and let all of you be ready: 5 And I and all the people with me will come near the town, and when they come out against us as they did before, we will go in flight from them; 6 And they will come out after us, till we have got them away from the town; for they will say, They have gone in flight from us as before; so we will go in flight before them; 7 Then you will get up from your secret position and take the town, for the Lord your God will give it up into your hands. 8 And when you have taken the town, put fire to it, as the Lord has said: see, I have given you your orders. 9 So Joshua sent them out: and they took up a secret position between Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua kept with the people that night. 10 And early in the morning Joshua got up, and put the people in order, and he and the chiefs of Israel went up before the people to Ai. 11 And all the fighting-men who were with him went up and came near the town, and took up a position on the north side of Ai facing the town, with a valley between him and the town. 12 And taking about five thousand men, he put them in position for a surprise attack on the west side of Ai, between Beth-el and Ai. 13 So all the people were in their places, the army on the north side of the town and the secret force on the west; and that night Joshua went down into the valley. 14 Now when the king of Ai saw it, he got up quickly and went out to war against Israel, he and all his people, to the slope going down to the valley; but he had no idea that a secret force was waiting at the back of the town. 15 Then Joshua and all Israel, acting as if they were overcome before them, went in flight by way of the waste land. 16 And all the people in Ai came together to go after them; and they went after Joshua, moving away from the town. 17 There was not a man in Ai and Beth-el who did not go out after Israel; and the town was open and unwatched while they went after Israel. 18 And the Lord said to Joshua, Let your spear be stretched out against Ai; for I will give it into your hands. So Joshua took up his spear, stretching it out in the direction of the town. 19 Then the secret force came quickly from their place, and running forward when they saw his hand stretched out, went into the town and took it, and put fire to it straight away. 20 Then the men of Ai, looking back, saw the smoke of the town going up to heaven, and were unable to go this way or that: and the people who had gone in flight to the waste land were turned back on those who were coming after them. 21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the town had been taken by the surprise attack, and that the smoke of the town had gone up, turning round they overcame the men of Ai. 22 Then the other force came out of the town against them, so that they were being attacked on this side and on that: and Israel overcame them and let not one of them get away with his life.
23 But the king of Ai they made prisoner, and took him to Joshua. 24 Then, after the destruction of all the people of Ai in the field and in the waste land where they went after them, and when all the people had been put to death without mercy, all Israel went back to Ai, and put to death all who were in it without mercy. 25 On that day twelve thousand were put to death, men and women, all the people of Ai. 26 For Joshua did not take back his hand with the outstretched spear till the destruction of the people of Ai was complete. 27 But the cattle and the goods from that town, Israel took for themselves, as the Lord had given orders to Joshua. 28 So Joshua gave Ai to the flames, and made it a waste mass of stones for ever, as it is to this day. 29 And he put the king of Ai to death, hanging him on a tree till evening: and when the sun went down, Joshua gave them orders to take his body down from the tree, and put it in the public place of the town, covering it with a great mass of stones, which is there to this day.
The Law Recorded at Mount Ebal
30 Then Joshua put up an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, 31 In the way ordered by Moses, the servant of the Lord, as it is recorded in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones, untouched by any iron instrument: and on it they made burned offerings and peace-offerings to the Lord. 32 And he made there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, writing it before the eyes of the children of Israel. 33 And all Israel, those who were Israelites by birth, as well as the men from other lands living with them, and their responsible men and their overseers and judges, took their places round the ark, in front of the priests, the Levites, whose work it was to take up the ark of the Lord's agreement; half of them were stationed in front of Mount Gerizim and half in front of Mount Ebal, in agreement with the orders for the blessing of the children of Israel which Moses, the servant of the Lord, had given. 34 And after, he gave them all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, as it is all recorded in the book of the law; 35 Reading to all the meeting of Israel, with the women and the children and the men from other lands who were living among them, every word of the orders which Moses had given.