1But the people of Israel weren't faithful to the Lord. They didn't do what they were told to do with the things that had been set apart to him in a special way to be destroyed. Achan had taken some of those things. So the Lord's anger burned against Israel. Achan was the son of Carmi. Carmi was the son of Zimri. And Zimri was the son of Zerah. They were from the tribe of Judah.2Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai. Ai is near Beth Aven east of Bethel. Joshua told the men, “Go up and check out the area around Ai.” So the men went up and checked it out.3Then they returned to Joshua. They said, “The whole army doesn't have to go up and attack Ai. Send only two or three thousand men. They can take the city. Don't make the whole army go up there. Ai only has a few men.”4So only about 3,000 men went up. But the men of Ai drove them away.5They chased the men of Israel from the city gate all the way to Shebarim. They killed about 36 of them on the way down. So the hearts of the people of Israel melted away in fear.6Joshua and the elders of Israel became sad. Joshua tore his clothes. He fell in front of the ark of the Lord with his face to the ground. He remained there until evening. The elders did the same thing. They also sprinkled dust on their heads.7Joshua said, “Lord and King, why did you ever bring these people across the Jordan River? Did you want to hand us over to the Amorites? Did you want them to destroy us? I wish we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!8“Lord, our enemies have driven us away. What can I say?9The people of Canaan will hear about it. So will everyone else in the country. They will surround us. They'll wipe our name from the face of the earth. Then what will you do when people don't honor your great name anymore?”10The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! What are you doing down there on your face?11“Israel has sinned. I made a covenant with them. I commanded them to keep it. But they have broken it. They have taken some of the things that had been set apart to me in a special way to be destroyed. They have stolen. They have lied. They have taken the things they stole and have put them with their own things.12“That is why the men of Israel can't stand up against their enemies. They turn their backs and run. It is because I have decided to let them be destroyed. You must destroy the things you took that had been set apart to me. If you do not, I will not be with you anymore.13“Go. Set the people apart. Tell them, ‘Make yourselves pure. Get ready for tomorrow. Here is what the Lord, the God of Israel, wants you to do. He says, “People of Israel, you have kept some of the things that had been set apart to me in a special way to be destroyed. You can't stand up against your enemies until you get rid of those things.”14” ‘In the morning, come forward tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord chooses will come forward group by group. The group the Lord chooses will come forward family by family. And the men in the family the Lord chooses will come forward one by one.15” ‘Anyone who is caught with the things that had been set apart to the Lord will be destroyed by fire. Everything that belongs to that person will also be destroyed. He has broken the Lord's covenant. He has done a very terrible thing in Israel!’ ”16Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes. The tribe of Judah was picked.17The groups of Judah came forward. Joshua picked the group of Zerah. He had the group of Zerah come forward by families. The family of Zimri was picked.18He had their men come forward one by one. Achan was picked. Achan was the son of Carmi. Carmi was the son of Zimri. And Zimri was the son of Zerah. Zerah was from the tribe of Judah.19Joshua spoke to Achan. He said, “My son, the Lord is the God of Israel. So give him glory by telling the truth! Give him praise by admitting you have sinned! Tell me what you have done. Don't hide it from me.”20Achan replied, “It's true! I've sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. Here is what I've done.21I saw a beautiful robe from Babylonia among the things we had taken. I saw five pounds of silver. And I saw a gold bar that weighed 20 ounces. I wanted them, so I took them. I hid them in the ground inside my tent. The silver is on the bottom.”22So Joshua sent some messengers. They ran to Achan's tent. And there was everything, hidden in his tent! The silver was on the bottom.23They brought the things out of the tent. They took them to Joshua and all of the people of Israel. And they spread them out in the sight of the Lord.24Then Joshua and all of the people grabbed hold of Achan, the son of Zerah. They took the silver, the robe and the gold bar. They took Achan's sons and daughters. They took his cattle, donkeys and sheep. They also took his tent and everything he had. They took all of it to the Valley of Achor.25Joshua said to Achan, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.” Then all of the people killed Achan by throwing stones at him. They also killed the rest of his family with stones. They burned all of them up.26They placed a large pile of rocks on top of Achan's body. The place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since. That pile is still there to this very day. After the people killed Achan, the Lord turned his burning anger away from them.
English Standard Version
Israel Defeated at Ai
1But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel. (Jos 22:20; 1Ch 2:6)2Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. (Jos 18:12; 1Sa 13:5; 1Sa 14:23; Ho 4:15; Ho 5:8; Ho 10:5)3And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.”4So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, (Le 26:17; De 28:25)5and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water. (Jos 2:9; Jos 2:11)6Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. (Ge 37:29; Ge 37:34; Nu 14:5; Nu 14:6; 1Sa 4:12; 2Sa 1:11; 2Sa 13:31)7And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! (Ex 5:22; 2Ki 3:10)8O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies!9For 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. And what will you do for your great name?” (Ps 83:4)
The Sin of Achan
10The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face?11Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. (Jos 6:17; Jos 7:15)12Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. (Nu 14:45; Jos 6:18; Jos 7:8; Jos 7:11; Jud 2:14)13Get up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the Lord, God of Israel, “There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.” (Jos 3:5)14In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. And the tribe that the Lord takes by lot shall come near by clans. And the clan that the Lord takes shall come near by households. And the household that the Lord takes shall come near man by man. (1Sa 10:19)15And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.’” (Ge 34:7; Jos 7:11; Jud 20:6; 1Sa 14:38)16So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel near tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was taken.17And he brought near the clans of Judah, and the clan of the Zerahites was taken. And he brought near the clan of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. (Nu 26:20)18And he brought near his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.19Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” (Nu 5:6; 1Sa 6:5; 1Sa 14:43; 2Ch 30:22; Ezr 10:11; Jer 13:16; Da 9:4; Mal 2:2; Joh 9:24)20And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: (2Sa 12:13)21when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”22So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was hidden in his tent with the silver underneath.23And they took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the people of Israel. And they laid them down before the Lord.24And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. (Jos 7:26; Jos 15:7; Isa 65:10; Ho 2:15)25And Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. (Le 20:2; Le 24:14; Jos 6:18; Jos 22:20; 1Ch 2:7)26And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor. (De 13:17; Jos 8:29; 2Sa 18:17; La 3:53)