Joshua 5-8 World English Bible

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The Circumcision and Passover at Gilgal

5 1  It happened, when all the kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, who were by the sea, heard how that Yahweh had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we had passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel. 2  At that time, Yahweh said to Joshua, “Make flint knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.” 3  Joshua made himself flint knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. 4  This is the reason Joshua circumcised: all the people who came out of Egypt, who were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. 5  For all the people who came out were circumcised; but all the people who were born in the wilderness by the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised. 6  For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, even the men of war who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they didn’t listen to the voice of Yahweh. Yahweh swore to them that he wouldn’t let them see the land which Yahweh swore to their fathers that he would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7  Their children, whom he raised up in their place, were circumcised by Joshua; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them on the way. 8  It happened, when they were done circumcising all the nation, that they stayed in their places in the camp until they were healed. 9  Yahweh said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you.” Therefore the name of that place was called Gilgal, [1] to this day.

10  The children of Israel encamped in Gilgal. They kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. 11  They ate unleavened cakes and parched grain of the produce of the land on the next day after the Passover, in the same day. 12  The manna ceased on the next day, after they had eaten of the produce of the land. The children of Israel didn’t have manna any more; but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

Joshua and the Man with a Drawn Sword

13  It happened, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him, and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14  He said, “No; but I have come now as commander of Yahweh’s army.”

Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and worshipped, and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15  The prince of Yahweh’s army said to Joshua, “Take your shoes off of your feet; for the place on which you stand is holy.” Joshua did so.

The Fall of Jericho

6 1  Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the children of Israel. No one went out, and no one came in. 2  Yahweh said to Joshua, “Behold, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the mighty men of valor. 3  All your men of war shall march around the city, going around the city once. You shall do this six days. 4  Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day, you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5  It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

6  Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of Yahweh.” 7  They said to the people, “Advance! March around the city, and let the armed men pass on before Yahweh’s ark.” 8  It was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before Yahweh advanced, and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of Yahweh followed them. 9  The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the ark went after them. The trumpets sounded as they went. 10  Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout, nor let your voice be heard, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” 11  So he caused the ark of Yahweh to go around the city, going about it once. Then they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp. 12  Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of Yahweh. 13  The seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of Yahweh went on continually, and blew the trumpets: and the armed men went before them. The rear guard came after the ark of Yahweh. The trumpets sounded as they went. 14  The second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. They did this six days. 15  It happened on the seventh day, that they rose early at the dawning of the day, and marched around the city in the same way seven times. Only on this day they marched around the city seven times. 16  It happened at the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for Yahweh has given you the city!

17  The city shall be devoted, even it and all that is in it, to Yahweh. Only Rahab the prostitute shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18  But as for you, only keep yourselves from the devoted thing, lest when you have devoted it, you take of the devoted thing; so would you make the camp of Israel accursed, and trouble it. 19  But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are holy to Yahweh. They shall come into Yahweh’s treasury.” 20  So the people shouted, and the priests blew the trumpets. It happened, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, that the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21  They utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, both young and old, and ox, and sheep, and donkey, with the edge of the sword. 22  Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house, and bring out from there the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her.” 23  The young men who were spies went in, and brought out Rahab with her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. They also brought out all her relatives, and they set them outside of the camp of Israel. 24  They burnt the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only they put the silver, the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron into the treasury of Yahweh’s house. 25  But Rahab the prostitute, her father’s household, and all that she had, Joshua saved alive. She lived in the midst of Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers, whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. 26  Joshua commanded them with an oath at that time, saying, “Cursed is the man before Yahweh, who rises up and builds this city Jericho. With the loss of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up its gates.” 27  So Yahweh was with Joshua; and his fame was in all the land.

The Sin of Achan

7 1  But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the devoted things; for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. Therefore Yahweh’s anger burned against the children of Israel. 2  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 land.”

The men went up and spied out Ai. 3  They returned to Joshua, and said to him, “Don’t let all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and strike Ai. Don’t make all the people to toil there, for there are only a few of them.” 4  So about three thousand men of the people went up there, and they fled before the men of Ai. 5  The men of Ai struck about thirty-six men of them, and they chased them from before the gate even to Shebarim, and struck them at the descent. The hearts of the people melted, and became like water.

6  Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of Yahweh until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. 7  Joshua said, “Alas, Lord Yahweh, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to cause us to perish? I wish that we had been content and lived beyond the Jordan! 8  Oh, Lord, what shall I say, after that Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9  For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and will surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. What will you do for your great name?”

10  Yahweh said to Joshua, “Get up! Why are you fallen on your face like that? 11  Israel has sinned. Yes, they have even transgressed my covenant which I commanded them. Yes, they have even taken of the devoted things, and have also stolen, and also deceived. They have even put it among their own stuff. 12  Therefore the children of Israel can’t stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will not be with you any more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. 13  “Get up! Sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, for Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, “There is a devoted thing in the midst of you, Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted thing from among you.” 14  “‘In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. It shall be that the tribe which Yahweh selects shall come near by families. The family which Yahweh selects shall come near by households. The household which Yahweh selects shall come near man by man. 15  It shall be, that he who is taken with the devoted thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of Yahweh, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.’”

16  So Joshua rose up early in the morning and brought Israel near by their tribes. The tribe of Judah was selected. 17  He brought near the family of Judah; and he selected the family of the Zerahites. He brought near the family of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was selected. 18  He brought near his household man by man, and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was selected. 19  Joshua said to Achan, “My son, please give glory to Yahweh, the God of Israel, and make confession to him. Tell me now what you have done! Don’t hide it from me!” 20  Achan answered Joshua, and said, “I have truly sinned against Yahweh, the God of Israel, and this is what I have done. 21  When I saw among the spoil a beautiful Babylonian robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I coveted them and took them. Behold, they are hidden in the ground in the middle of my tent, with the silver under it.” 22  So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent. Behold, it was hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23  They took them from the middle of the tent, and brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel. They laid them down before Yahweh. 24  Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his cattle, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor. 25  Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? Yahweh will trouble you this day.” All Israel stoned him with stones, and they burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. 26  They raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Yahweh turned from the fierceness of his anger. Therefore the name of that place was called “The valley of Achor” to this day.

The Capture and Destruction of Ai

8 1  Yahweh said to Joshua, “Don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. Behold, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, with his people, his city, and his land. 2  You shall do to Ai and her king as you did to Jericho and her king, except its spoil and its livestock, you shall take for a plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it.”

3  So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up to Ai. Joshua chose thirty thousand men, the mighty men of valor, and sent them out by night. 4  He commanded them, saying, “Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind the city. Don’t go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. 5  I, and all the people who are with me, will approach to the city. It shall happen, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them. 6  They will come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the city; for they will say, ‘They flee before us, like the first time.’ So we will flee before them, 7  and you shall rise up from the ambush, and take possession of the city; for Yahweh your God will deliver it into your hand. 8  It shall be, when you have seized on the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do this according to the word of Yahweh. Behold, I have commanded you.” 9  Joshua sent them out; and they went to set up the ambush, and stayed between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua stayed among the people that night. 10  Joshua rose up early in the morning, mustered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. 11  All the people, even the men of war who were with him, went up, and drew near, and came before the city, and encamped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai. 12  He took about five thousand men, and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 13  So they set the people, even all the army who was on the north of the city, and their ambush on the west of the city; and Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley. 14  It happened, when the king of Ai saw it, that they hurried and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at the time appointed, before the Arabah; but he didn’t know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15  Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16  All the people who were in the city were called together to pursue after them. They pursued Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. 17  There was not a man left in Ai or Beth El who didn’t go out after Israel. They left the city open, and pursued Israel. 18  Yahweh said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.”

Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19  The ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and entered into the city, and took it. They hurried and set the city on fire. 20  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. The people who fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers. 21  When Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and killed the men of Ai. 22  The others came out of the city against them, so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. They struck them, so that they let none of them remain or escape.

23  They captured the king of Ai alive, and brought him to Joshua. 24  It happened, when Israel had made an end of killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness in which they pursued them, and they had all fallen by the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all Israel returned to Ai, and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25  All that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai. 26  For Joshua didn’t draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 27  Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took for prey to themselves, according to the word of Yahweh which he commanded Joshua. 28  So Joshua burnt Ai, and made it a heap forever, even a desolation, to this day. 29  He hanged the king of Ai on a tree until the evening, and at the sundown Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree, and threw it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raised a great heap of stones on it that remains to this day.

The Law Recorded at Mount Ebal

30  Then Joshua built an altar to Yahweh, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, 31  as Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones, on which no man had lifted up any iron. They offered burnt offerings on it to Yahweh, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32  He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 33  All Israel, and their elders and officers, and their judges, stood on this side of the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, who carried the ark of Yahweh’s covenant, the foreigner as well as the native; half of them in front of Mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of Yahweh had commanded at the first, that they should bless the people of Israel. 34  Afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35  There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua didn’t read before all the assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the foreigners who were among them.

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Footnotes

[1] 5:9 “Gilgal” sounds like the Hebrew for “roll.”

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