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Joshua 8

1 - The LORD said to Joshua, "Don't be afraid, and don't be dismayed. Take all the warriors with you, and arise, go up to Ai. Behold, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, with his people, his city, and his land.

2 - You shall do to Ai and her king as you did to Jericho and her king, except you shall take its goods and its livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it."

3 - So Joshua arose, with all the warriors, to go up to Ai. Joshua chose thirty thousand men, the mighty men of valor, and sent them out by night.

4 - He commanded them, saying, "Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind the city. Don't go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.

5 - I and all the people who are with me will approach to the city. It shall happen, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them.

6 - They will come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the city; for they will say, 'They flee before us, like the first time.' So we will flee before them,

7 - and you shall rise up from the ambush, and take possession of the city; for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.

8 - It shall be, when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do this according to The LORD's word. Behold, I have commanded you."

9 - Joshua sent them out; and they went to set up the ambush, and stayed between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua stayed among the people that night.

10 - Joshua rose up early in the morning, mustered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai.

11 - All the people, even the men of war who were with him, went up, and came near, and came before the city, and encamped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai.

12 - He took about five thousand men, and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.

13 - So they set the people, even all the army who was on the north of the city, and their ambush on the west of the city; and Joshua went that night into the middle of the valley.

14 - When the king of Ai saw it, they hurried and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at the time appointed, before the Arabah; but he didn't know that there was an ambush against him behind the city.

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

16 - All the people who were in the city were called together to pursue after them. They pursued Joshua, and were drawn away from the city.

17 - There was not a man left in Ai or Beth El who didn't go out after Israel. They left the city open, and pursued Israel.

18 - The LORD said to Joshua, "Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand."Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city.

19 - The ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and entered into the city, and took it. They hurried and set the city on fire.

20 - 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. The people who fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers.

21 - 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 killed the men of Ai.

22 - The others came out of the city against them, so they were in the middle of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. They struck them, so that they let none of them remain or escape.

23 - They captured the king of Ai alive, and brought him to Joshua.

24 - When Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness in which they pursued them, and they had all fallen by the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, all Israel returned to Ai, and struck it with the edge of the sword.

25 - All that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.

26 - For Joshua didn't draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

27 - Israel took for themselves only the livestock and the goods of that city, according to The LORD's word which he commanded Joshua.

28 - So Joshua burned Ai, and made it a heap forever, even a desolation, to this day.

29 - He hanged the king of Ai on a tree until the evening, and at sundown 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 a great heap of stones on it that remains to this day.

30 - Then Joshua built an altar to The LORD, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal,

31 - as 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 uncut stones, on which no one had lifted up any iron. They offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings.

32 - He wrote there on the stones a copy of Moses' law, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.

33 - All Israel, their elders and officers, and their judges, stood on both sides of the ark before the priests the Levites, who carried the ark of The LORD's covenant, the foreigner as well as the native; half of them in front of Mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded at the first, that they should bless the people of Israel.

34 - 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.

35 - There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua didn't read before all the assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the foreigners who were among them.

Joshua Images and Notes

The Book of Joshua

Joshua 5:13 - And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, [Art] thou for us, or for our adversaries?
Joshua 5:14 - And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
Joshua 5:15 - And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy. And Joshua did so.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Joshua
Hebrew Name - Yehoshua "Yahweh is salvation"
Greek Name - Iesous (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Joshua
Date - From 1451 to 1425 BC Approximately
Theme - The Conquest of Canaan
Types and Shadows - In Joshua Jesus is the captain of the LORD's host

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ancient Rallying Horn

Carchemish Relief Horn Blowing

This Carchemish relief reveals how horns were blown.


Summary of The Book of Joshua

The book of Joshua received its name because of the main character of the book which is Joshua, whose name means "Jehovah is salvation". The Greek form of the name of Joshua is actually Jesus and means the same thing as the Hebrew Joshua.  The man Joshua makes his first appearance as the commander of the armies of Israel against the Amalekites in the book of Exodus (Exodus 17:8 ff). Joshua was clearly a leader of Israel, he accompanied Moses to the foot of Mount Sinai when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the 10 Commandments, but Joshua did not go up with him (Exodus 24).

The way that Joshua enters the  book of Joshua is already as an established leader in. Even Moses commissioned Joshua as the man chosen and conquer the land.

When Moses gave his farewell speech in Deuteronomy 34 Joshua accompanied him to the foot of Mount Sinai

This book is named for its chief character, Joshua, whose name means "Jehovah is salvation." The Greek form of this name is Jesus. The first appearance of Joshua is as the leader of the forces of Israel against Amalek (Exodus 17:8ff). The manner in which he is introduced into the story indicates that he was already well established as a leader. Later, he accompanied Moses to the foot of Mt. Sinai, but did not make the ascent with him (Exodus 24). In Exodus 32-33 he is also found in close association with Moses. No doubt, the years which he spent with Moses greatly influenced his spiritual development. The aspect of his life for which Joshua is most often remembered is his having brought back a positive report from the land of Canaan after serving as one of twelve men sent to spy out the land (Numbers 13). From this it can be seen that the experience and spirit which were Joshua's equipped him well for his duties and responsibilities as the leader, of God's people.

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Conquest of Canaan
Map of the Conquest of Canaan (Click to Enlarge)

The book may be regarded as consisting of three parts which may be analyzed as follows :

Outline of the Book of Joshua

1) The Conquest of Canaan (Joshua 1-12). This includes the preparation for and crossing of the Jordan (Joshua 1-4). After the crossing, they camped at Gilgal. Here they circumcised all the males who were born in the wilderness, as circumcision had not been observed since the departure from Egypt. Gilgal was also the scene of the keeping of the Passover and the cessation of the manna. Joshua 5:13-6:27 tells of the miraculous destruction of Jericho and the salvation of Rahab. The crime and punishment of Achan is discussed in Joshua 7. In Joshua 8, the narrative records the avenging of the defeat which Israel had suffered at the hands of Al because of the sin of Achan. The latter portion of this chapter tells of the setting up of the stones on Mount Ebal. The stratagem of the Gibeonites is the topic of Joshua 9. In Joshua 10 is contained the story of the conquest of Southern Canaan, with the aid of Joshua's long day. Joshua 11-12 describes the conquest of Northern Canaan and give a list of the defeated kings.

2) The Distribution of the Territory (Joshua 13-22). This provides a record of the area which was assigned to the various tribes (13-19), the appointment of the six cities of refuge (Joshua 20) and the forty-eight cities of the Levites (Joshua 21), as well as the departure of the Transjordanic tribes to their home.

3) Joshua's farewell addresses (Joshua 23-24). The first of these is a speech of encouragement and warning. The second recalls the history of Israel, with emphasis on divine interventions on their behalf. At the close of this speech, Joshua issued the famous statement, "choose you this day whom you will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).

The book closes with an account of the renewal of the covenant and the death of Joshua and Eleazer.

Quick Reference Maps

The Conquest of Canaan

The City of Jericho

The City of Sidon

Philistia

The Twelve Tribes

The First Day. Light.

Joshua Resources

Joshua and the Promised Land

More About the Book of Joshua
Joshua in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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