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November 19    Scripture



Bible Cities: Ai
Ai was a city in ancient Canaan, east of Bethel. It was near Beth Aven and North of Mishmash

Map of Ancient Ai




Ai in Easton's Bible Dictionary ruins. (1.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh.10:1; Gen. 12:8; 13:3). It was the scene of Joshua's defeat, and afterwards of his victory. It was the second Canaanite city taken by Israel (Josh. 7:2-5; 8:1-29). It lay rebuilt and inhibited by the Benjamites (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32; 11:31). It lay to the east of Bethel, "beside Beth-aven." The spot which is most probably the site of this ancient city is Haiyan, 2 miles east from Bethel. It lay up the Wady Suweinit, a steep, rugged valley, extending from the Jordan valley to Bethel.(2.) A city in the Ammonite territory (Jer. 49:3). Some have thought that the proper reading of the word is Ar (Isa. 15:1).

Ai in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ("heap of rains".)1. AI or HAI, i.e. the Ai (Genesis 12:8); a royal city (Joshua 7:2; Joshua 8:9; Joshua 8:23; Joshua 8:29; Joshua 10:1-2; Joshua 12:9); E. of Bethel, "beside Bethaven." The second Canaanite city taken by Israel and "utterly destroyed." The name AIATH still belonged to the locality when Sennacherib marched against Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:28). "Men of Bethel and Ai," (223 according to Ezra 2:28, but 123 according to Nehemiah 7:32,) returned from Babylon with Zerubbzbel. Ezra's list was made in Babylon; Nehemiah's in Judaea long after. Death and change of purpose would make many in Ezra's list of intending returners not appear in Nehemiah's list of those actually arriving. Aija is mentioned among the towns reoccupied by the Benjamites (Nehemiah 11:31). Perhaps the site is at the head of Wary Harith. (See BETHEL.) There is a hilltop E. of the church remains on the hill adjoining and E. of Bethel (Beitin); its Arab name, et Tel, means "the heap," and it doubtless is the site of Ai, or Hai (on the east of Abraham's encampment and altar, Genesis 12:8). In the valley behind Joshua placed his ambush. Across the intervening valley is the spot where Joshua stood when giving the preconcerted signal. The plain or ridge can be seen down which the men of Ai rushed after the retreating Israelites, so that the men in ambush rose and captured the city behind the pursuers, and made it. "a heap" or tel for ever. 2. A city of Ammon, near Heshbon (Jeremiah 49:3).

Ai in Hitchcock's Bible Names Aiath - same as Ai; an hour; eye; fountain

Ai in Naves Topical Bible 1. A royal city of the Canaanites. Conquest and destruction of Jos 7:8. Rebuilt Ezr 2:28. Also called AIJA Ne 11:31. And AIATH Isa 10:28. Population of Jos 8:25. 2. A city of the Ammonites Jer 49:3

Ai in Smiths Bible Dictionary A-iath(feminine of Ai), a place named by Isaiah, Isa 10:28 in connection with Migron and Michmash probably the same as Ai.

Ai in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE a'-i (`ay, written always with the definite article, ha-`ay, probably meaning "the ruin," kindred root, `awah): (1) A town of central Israel, in the tribe of Benjamin, near and just east of Bethel (Gen 12:8). It is identified with the modern Haiyan, just south of the village Der Diwan (Conder in HDB; Delitzsch in Commentary on Gen 12:8) or with a mound, El-Tell, to the north of the modern village (Davis, Dict. Biblical). The name first appears in the earliest journey of Abraham through Israel (Gen 12:8), where its location is given as east of Bethel, and near the altar which Abraham built between the two places. It is given similar mention as he returns from his sojourn in Egypt (Gen 13:3). In both of these occurrences the King James Version has the form Hai, including the article in transliterating. The most conspicuous mention of Ai is in the narrative of the Conquest. As a consequence of the sin of Achan in appropriating articles from the devoted spoil of Jericho, the Israelites were routed in the attack upon the town; but after confession and expiation, a second assault was successful, the city was taken and burned, and left a heap of ruins, the inhabitants, in number twelve thousand, were put to death, the king captured, hanged and buried under a heap of stones at the gate of the ruined city, only the cattle being kept as spoil by the people (Josh 7; 8). The town had not been rebuilt when Josh was written (Josh 8:28). The fall of Ai gave the Israelites entrance to the heart of Canaan, where at once they became established, Bethel and other towns in the vicinity seeming to have yielded without a struggle. Ai was rebuilt at some later period, and is mentioned by Isa (10:28) in his vivid description of the approach of the Assyrian army, the feminine form (`ayyath) being used. Its place in the order of march, as just beyond Michmash from Jerusalem, corresponds with the identification given above. It is mentioned also in post-exilic times by Ezr (2:28) and Neh (7:32, and in 11:31 as, `ayya'), identified in each case by the grouping with Bethel.(2) The Ai of Jer 49:3 is an Ammonite town, the text probably being a corruption of `ar; or ha-`ir, "the city" (BDB).

Ai Scripture - Isaiah 10:28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages:

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