The Sin of Achan
71 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
81 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.
The Deceit of the Gibeonites
91 Now on hearing the news of these things, all the kings on the west side of Jordan, in the hill-country and the lowlands and by the Great Sea in front of Lebanon, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, 2 Came together with one purpose, to make war against Joshua and Israel.
3 And the men of Gibeon, hearing what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 Acting with deceit, got food together as if for a long journey; and took old food-bags for their asses, and old and cracked wine-skins kept together with cord; 5 And put old stitched-up shoes on their feet, and old clothing on their backs; and all the food they had with them was dry and broken up. 6 And they came to Joshua to the tent-circle at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, We have come from a far country: so now make an agreement with us. 7 And the men of Israel said to the Hivites, It may be that you are living among us; how then may we make an agreement with you? 8 And they said to Joshua, We are your servants. Then Joshua said to them, Who are you and where do you come from? 9 And they said to him, Your servants have come from a very far country, because of the name of the Lord your God: for the story of his great name, and of all he did in Egypt has come to our ears, 10 And what he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of Jordan, to Sihon, king of Heshbon, and to Og, king of Bashan, at Ashtaroth. 11 So the responsible men and all the people of our country said to us, Take food with you for the journey and go to them, and say to them, We are your servants: so now make an agreement with us. 12 This bread which we have with us for our food, we took warm and new from our houses when starting on our journey to you; but now see, it has become dry and broken up. 13 And these wine-skins were new when we put the wine in them, and now they are cracked as you see; and our clothing and our shoes have become old because of our very long journey here. 14 And the men took some of their food, without requesting directions from the Lord.
15 So Joshua made peace with them, and made an agreement with them that they were not to be put to death: and the chiefs of the people took an oath to them. 16 Now three days after, when they had made this agreement with them, they had word that these men were their neighbours, living near them. 17 And the children of Israel went forward on their journey, and on the third day came to their towns. Now their towns were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beeroth and Kiriath-jearim. 18 And the children of Israel did not put them to death, because the chiefs of the people had taken an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel. And all the people made an outcry against the chiefs. 19 But all the chiefs said to the people, We have taken an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, and so we may not put our hands on them. 20 This is what we will do to them: we will not put them to death, for fear that wrath may come on us because of our oath to them. 21 Keep them living, and let them be servants, cutting wood and getting water for all the people. And all the people did as the chiefs had said to them.
22 Then Joshua sent for them, and said to them, Why have you been false to us, saying, We are very far from you, when you are living among us? 23 Now because of this you are cursed, and you will for ever be our servants, cutting wood and getting water for the house of my God. 24 And, answering Joshua, they said, Because it came to the ears of your servants that the Lord your God had given orders to his servant Moses to give you all this land, and to send destruction on all the people living in it, because of you; so, fearing greatly for our lives because of you, we have done this. 25 And now we are in your hands: do to us whatever seems good and right to you. 26 So he kept them safe from the children of Israel, and did not let them be put to death. 27 And that day Joshua made them servants, cutting wood and getting water for the people and for the altar of the Lord, in the place marked out by him, to this day.