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, shall ye take for a prey unto 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: go not very far from the city, but be ye all ready:5And I, and all the people that are with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them,6(For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from 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 seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.8And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, that ye shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall ye do. See, I have commanded you.9Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among 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 to Ai.11And all the people, even the people of war that were with him, went up, and drew nigh, and came before the city, and pitched 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 when they had set the people, even all the host that was on the north of the city, and their liers in wait on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley.14And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it , that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that there were liers in ambush against him behind the city.15And 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 drawn away from the city.17And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.18And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.19And 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 hasted and 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 fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers.21And 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 slew the men of Ai.22And the other 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 the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua.24And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that 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 drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.27Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua.28And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day.29And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: 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 thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.30Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal,31As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.32And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.33And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.34And afterward 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 that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
English Standard Version
The Fall of Ai
1And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. (De 1:21; De 7:18; De 31:8; Jos 1:9; Jos 2:24; Jos 6:2; Jos 10:25)2And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it.” (De 20:14; Jos 6:21; Jos 8:27)3So Joshua and all the fighting men arose to go up to Ai. And Joshua chose 30,000 mighty men of valor and sent them out by night.4And he commanded them, “Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you remain ready. (Jud 20:29)5And I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out against us just as before, we shall flee before them. (Jos 7:5)6And they will come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the city. For they will say, ‘They are fleeing from us, just as before.’ So we will flee before them. (Jos 8:16)7Then you shall rise up from the ambush and seize the city, for the Lord your God will give it into your hand.8And as soon as you have taken the city, you shall set the city on fire. You shall do according to the word of the Lord. See, I have commanded you.” (2Sa 13:28)9So Joshua sent them out. And they went to the place of ambush and lay between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai, but Joshua spent that night among the people.10Joshua arose early in the morning and mustered the people and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai.11And all the fighting men who were with him went up and drew near before the city and encamped on the north side of Ai, with a ravine between them and Ai. (Jos 8:5)12He took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city.13So they stationed the forces, the main encampment that was north of the city and its rear guard west of the city. But Joshua spent that night in the valley.14And as soon as the king of Ai saw this, he and all his people, the men of the city, hurried and went out early to the appointed place toward the Arabah to meet Israel in battle. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. (De 1:1; Jud 20:34)15And Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them and fled in the direction of the wilderness. (Jud 20:36)16So all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and as they pursued Joshua they were drawn away from the city. (Jos 8:6)17Not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who did not go out after Israel. They left the city open and pursued Israel.18Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” And Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. (Jos 8:26)19And the men in the ambush rose quickly out of their place, and as soon as he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it. And they hurried to set the city on fire.20So when the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that, for the people who fled to the wilderness turned back against the pursuers.21And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had captured the city, and that the smoke of the city went up, then they turned back and struck down the men of Ai.22And the others came out from the city against them, so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. And Israel struck them down, until there was left none that survived or escaped. (De 7:2)23But the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him near to Joshua.24When Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai and struck it down with the edge of the sword.25And all who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000, all the people of Ai.26But Joshua did not draw back his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had devoted all the inhabitants of Ai to destruction. (Jos 8:18)27Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as their plunder, according to the word of the Lord that he commanded Joshua. (Jos 8:2)28So Joshua burned Ai and made it forever a heap of ruins, as it is to this day. (De 13:16)29And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening. And at sunset 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 over it a great heap of stones, which stands there to this day. (De 21:23; Jos 7:26; Jos 10:26)
Joshua Renews the Covenant
30At that time Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal, (Ex 20:24; De 27:4)31just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, “an altar of uncut stones, upon which no man has wielded an iron tool.” And they offered on it burnt offerings to the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings.32And there, in the presence of the people of Israel, he wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written. (De 27:2)33And all Israel, sojourner as well as native born, with their elders and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded at the first, to bless the people of Israel. (De 11:29; De 27:11; De 31:9; De 31:12; De 31:25)34And 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. (De 28:2; De 30:19; De 31:11; Ne 8:2; Ne 13:1)35There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them. (De 31:12; Jos 8:33)