8Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take all your fighting men and attack Ai, for I have given you the king of Ai, his people, his town, and his land.H3068H559H3091H3372H2865H3947H5971H4421H6965H5927H5857H7200H5414H3027H4428H5857H5971H5892H776 2You will destroy them as you destroyed Jericho and its king. But this time you may keep the plunder and the livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the town."H6213H5857H4428H6213H3405H4428H7998H929H962H7760H693H5892H310 3So Joshua and all the fighting men set out to attack Ai. Joshua chose 30,000 of his best warriors and sent them out at nightH3091H6965H5971H4421H5927H5857H3091H977H7970H505H1368H376H2428H7971H3915 4with these orders: "Hide in ambush close behind the town and be ready for action.H6680H559H7200H693H5892H310H5892H7368H3966H7368H5892H3559 5When our main army attacks, the men of Ai will come out to fight as they did before, and we will run away from them.H5971H7126H5892H3318H7125H7223H5127H6440 6We will let them chase us until we have drawn them away from the town. For they will say, 'The Israelites are running away from us as they did before.' Then, while we are running from them,H3318H310H5423H5892H559H5127H6440H7223H5127H6440 7you will jump up from your ambush and take possession of the town, for the LORD your God will give it to you.H6965H693H3423H5892H3068H430H5414H3027 8Set the town on fire, as the LORD has commanded. You have your orders."H8610H5892H3341H5892H784H1697H3068H6213H7200H6680 9So they left and went to the place of ambush between Bethel and the west side of Ai. But Joshua remained among the people in the camp that night.H3091H7971H3212H3993H3427H1008H5857H3220H5857H3091H3885H3915H8432H5971 10Early the next morning Joshua roused his men and started toward Ai, accompanied by the elders of Israel.H3091H7925H1242H6485H5971H5927H2205H3478H6440H5971H5857 11All the fighting men who were with Joshua marched in front of the town and camped on the north side of Ai, with a valley between them and the town.H5971H4421H5927H5066H935H5892H2583H6828H5857H1516H5857 12That night Joshua sent 5,000 men to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the town.H3947H2568H505H376H7760H693H1008H5857H3220H5857H5892 13So they stationed the main army north of the town and the ambush west of the town. Joshua himself spent that night in the valley.H7760H5971H4264H6828H5892H6119H3220H5892H3091H3212H3915H8432H6010 14When the king of Ai saw the Israelites across the valley, he and all his army hurried out early in the morning and attacked the Israelites at a place overlooking the Jordan Valley. But he didn't realize there was an ambush behind the town.H4428H5857H7200H4116H7925H582H5892H3318H7125H3478H4421H5971H4150H6440H6160H3045H693H310H5892 15Joshua and the Israelite army fled toward the wilderness as though they were badly beaten.H3091H3478H5060H6440H5127H1870H4057 16Then all the men in the town were called out to chase after them. In this way, they were lured away from the town.H5971H5857H5892H2199H7291H310H7291H310H3091H5423H5892 17There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who did not chase after the Israelites, and the town was left wide open.H376H7604H5857H1008H3318H310H3478H5800H5892H6605H7291H3478 18Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Point the spear in your hand toward Ai, for I will hand the town over to you." Joshua did as he was commanded.H3068H559H3091H5186H3591H3027H5857H5414H3027H3091H5186H3591H3027H5892 19As soon as Joshua gave this signal, all the men in ambush jumped up from their position and poured into the town. They quickly captured it and set it on fire.H693H6965H4120H4725H7323H5186H3027H935H5892H3920H4116H3341H5892H784 20When the men of Ai looked behind them, smoke from the town was filling the sky, and they had nowhere to go. For the Israelites who had fled in the direction of the wilderness now turned on their pursuers.H582H5857H6437H310H7200H6227H5892H5927H8064H3027H5127H2008H5971H5127H4057H2015H7291 21When Joshua and all the other Israelites saw that the ambush had succeeded and that smoke was rising from the town, they turned and attacked the men of Ai.H3091H3478H7200H693H3920H5892H6227H5892H5927H7725H5221H582H5857 22Meanwhile, the Israelites who were inside the town came out and attacked the enemy from the rear. So the men of Ai were caught in the middle, with Israelite fighters on both sides. Israel attacked them, and not a single person survived or escaped.H428H3318H5892H7125H8432H3478H5221H5704H7604H8300H6412 23Only the king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua.H4428H5857H8610H2416H7126H3091 24When the Israelite army finished chasing and killing all the men of Ai in the open fields, they went back and finished off everyone inside.H3478H3615H2026H3427H5857H7704H4057H7291H5307H6310H2719H8552H3478H7725H5857H5221H6310H2719 25So the entire population of Ai, including men and women, was wiped out that day—12,000 in all.H5307H3117H376H802H8147H6240H505H582H5857 26For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed.H3091H7725H3027H7725H5186H3591H2763H3427H5857 27Only the livestock and the treasures of the town were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these as plunder for themselves, as the LORD had commanded Joshua.H929H7998H5892H3478H962H1697H3068H6680H3091 28So Joshua burned the town of Ai, and it became a permanent mound of ruins, desolate to this very day.H3091H8313H5857H7760H8510H5769H8077H3117 29Joshua impaled the king of Ai on a sharpened pole and left him there until evening. At sunset the Israelites took down the body, as Joshua commanded, and threw it in front of the town gate. They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today.H4428H5857H8518H6086H6256H6153H8121H935H3091H6680H3381H5038H3381H6086H7993H6607H8179H5892H6965H1419H1530H68H3117 30Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal.H3091H1129H4196H3068H430H3478H2022H5858 31He followed the commands that Moses the LORD's servant had written in the Book of Instruction: "Make me an altar from stones that are uncut and have not been shaped with iron tools." Then on the altar they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to the LORD.H4872H5650H3068H6680H1121H3478H3789H5612H8451H4872H4196H8003H68H5130H1270H5927H5930H3068H2076H8002 32And as the Israelites watched, Joshua copied onto the stones of the altar the instructions Moses had given them.H3789H68H4932H8451H4872H3789H6440H1121H3478 33Then all the Israelites—foreigners and native-born alike—along with the elders, officers, and judges, were divided into two groups. One group stood in front of Mount Gerizim, the other in front of Mount Ebal. Each group faced the other, and between them stood the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the LORD's Covenant. This was all done according to the commands that Moses, the servant of the LORD, had previously given for blessing the people of Israel.H3478H2205H7860H8199H5975H727H3548H3881H5375H727H1285H3068H1616H249H2677H413H4136H2022H1630H2677H4136H2022H5858H4872H5650H3068H6680H7223H1288H5971H3478 34Joshua then read to them all the blessings and curses Moses had written in the Book of Instruction.H310H7121H1697H8451H1293H7045H3789H5612H8451 35Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them.H1697H4872H6680H3091H7121H6951H3478H802H2945H1616H1980H7130
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