ai Summary and Overview
Bible Dictionaries at a Glance
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 Smith's Bible Dictionary
(heap of ruins).
1. A city lying east of Bethel and "beside Bethaven." #Jos 7:2; 8:9| It was the second city taken by Israel after the passage of the Jordan, and was "utterly destroyed." #Jos 7:3-5; 8:1 ...; 9:3; 10:1,2; 12:9|
2. A city of the Ammonites, apparently attached to Heshbon. #Jer 49:3|
ai in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
A'I (heap of ruins). 1. A city of the Canaanites, Gen 13:3 ; taken by Joshua, Josh 7:2-5 ; Josh 8:1-29 ; also called Aiath, Isa 10:28, and Aija. Neh 11:31. Abraham pitched his tent between Hai and Bethel. Gen 12:8. The two cities were so far apart that Joshua could place an ambush west of Ai unseen by the men of Bethel, while he was in the valley north of Ai. The city of Ai was east of Bethel, and about 9 miles north of Jerusalem. It is named 38 times in the Bible. It is now Haiyas. 1. A city of the Ammonites not far from Heshbon. Jer 49:3.
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).