Joshua 8 ©

God puts new courage into Joshua, and commands him to go and besiege Ai, promises him that he shall take it, v. 1 etc. Joshua besieges Ai, and lays an ambush against it, 3. And they take it by stratagem and by surprise, 19. Ai is burned, 20. The king of Ai is taken prisoner, 23. All the inhabitants of the city are put to the sword, 25. And the cattle and other goods are spoiled, 27. Ai is made an heap of stones, 28. The king thereof hanged, 29. Joshua builds an altar unto the Lord, 30. According to God’s command, and offered thereon, 31. He writes the law of Moses in stones, 32. Causes the same with its blessings and curses to be read to all the people upon the mountains, Gerizim, and Ebal, 33.


AND the LORD said unto Joshua, Feara 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:


And thou shalt do to Ai and her king asb thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a preyc unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.


¶So 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.


And 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:


And 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,


(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.


1Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, 2and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.


And 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.


¶Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people.


And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and 3numbered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai.


And 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.


And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of the city.


And when they had 4set the people, even all the host that was on the north of the city, and their 5liers in wait on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst 6of the valley.


¶And 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 7his people, 8at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that there were liers in ambush against him behind the city.


And Joshua and all Israel 9made as if they were beaten before them, and fled 10by the way of the wilderness.


And 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.


And there was 11not a man left in Ai or Beth-el, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.


And the LORD said unto Joshua, 12Stretch out the 13spear 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.


And 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 14set the city on fire.


And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had 15no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers.


And 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.


And 16the other issued out of the city against 17them; so 18they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and theyd smote them, 19so that they let none of them remain or escape.


And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua.


And 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 20them, and when they were all fallen on 21the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and 22smote it with the edge of the sword.


And so it was, that all that fell that day, 23both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.


For Joshua drew not his hand back, 24wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly 25destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.


Onlye the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, accordingf unto the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua.


And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it 26an heap for ever, even a 27desolation unto this day.


And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree 28until eventide: and as soong 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.


¶Then Joshua 29built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount 30Ebal,


Ash 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, 31over which no man hath 32lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.


¶Andi he wrote there 33upon the stones 34a copy of the law of Moses, 35which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.


And 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 36Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded 37before, that they should bless38 the people of Israel.


And afterward 39he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.


There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not beforej all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and 40the strangers that were conversantk among them.