Joshua 8

And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou discouraged: take with thee all the people of war, 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 to its king as thou hast done unto Jericho and its king; only its spoil and its cattle shall ye take for booty unto yourselves; but lay thee an ambush for the city in its rear. So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against ‘Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valor, and sent them away by night. And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait against the city, in the rear of the city; go not very far from the city; and 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 that, when they come out against us, as at the first time, we will flee before them; And they will come out after us, till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee from us as at the first time: and we will flee before them. And then shall ye rise up from the ambush, and take possession of the city; and the Lord your God will deliver it in into your hand. And it shall be, that as soon as ye have seized the city, ye shall set the city on fire; according to the word of the Lord shall ye do: see, I have commanded you. And Joshua sent them off: and they went to lie in ambush, and remained between Beth-el and ‘Ai, on the west side of ‘Ai; but Joshua lodged that night among the people. 10 And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and numbered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people, toward ‘Ai. 11 And all the people of war that were with him went up, and drew nigh, and came opposite the city, and encamped on the north side of ‘Ai; and the valley was between them and ‘Ai. 12 And he took about five thousand men, and set them as an ambush between Beth-el and ‘Ai, on the west side of ‘Ai. 13 And the people, all the camp that was on the north of the city, and its ambush on the west of the city got ready; and Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley. 14 And it came to pass, when the king of ‘Ai saw this, the men of the city hastened and rose up early, and went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at the time appointed, before the plain; but he knew not that there was an ambush against him in the rear of the city. 15 And Joshua and Israel feigned themselves beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16 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. 17 And there was not a man left in ‘Ai or Beth-el, that went not out after Israel; and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel. 18 And the Lord said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward ‘Ai; for into thy hand will I give it. And Joshua stretched out the spear which was in his hand toward the city. 19 And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he stretched out his hand; and they entered into the city, and took possession of it, and hastened and set the city on fire. 20 And the men of ‘Ai turned and looked behind them, and 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; and the people that had fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. 21 For when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had seized the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended: they turned back, and smote the men of ‘Ai. 22 And the others issued out of the city against them; so that the Israelites had them in the middle, some on this side, and some on that side; and they smote them, until there was not left of them one that remained or escaped. 23 And the king of ‘Ai they caught alive, and brought him to Joshua. 24 And it came to pass, that, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of ‘Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they had pursued them, and when they were all fallen by the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, All the Israelites returned unto ‘Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword. 25 And the number of all that fell in that day, both of men and women, was twelve thousand, all the people of ‘Ai. 26 And Joshua drew not back his hand, wherewith he had stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of ‘Ai. 27 Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took as booty unto themselves, according to the word of the Lord which he had commanded Joshua. 28 And Joshua burnt ‘Ai, and made it a ruinous heap of desolation for ever, even unto this day, 29 And the king of ‘Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide; and at the going down of the sun, Joshua commanded, and they took his carcass down from the tree and cast it at the entrance of the city gate, and they raised over him a great heap of stones, which is even unto this day. 30 Then did Joshua build an altar unto the Lord, the God of Israel on mount ‘Ebal, 31 As Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no one had lifted up any iron tool; and they offered thereon burnt-offerings unto the Lord, and sacrificed peace-offerings. 32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 33 And all Israel, and their elders, and the officers, and their judges, stood on this side and on that side of the ark, opposite the priests the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, the stranger no less than the native born: half of them turned toward mount Gerizzim, and the other half of them turned toward mount ‘Ebal; as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded, to bless the people of Israel at first. 34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, all, just as it is written in the book of the law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded, which Joshua did not read before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the stranger that walked in the midst of them.
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