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Joshua 8

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 1 And the LORD said to Joshua, "Fear not, neither be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, that I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land.

 2 And you shall do to Ai and her king as you did to Jericho and her king; only the spoil of it, and the cattle of it you shall you take as plunder to yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it."

 3 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.

 4 And he commanded them, saying, "Behold, you shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city; do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.

 5 And I with all the people who are with me, will approach to the front of city; and it shall come to pass that when they come out against us, as they did in the first battle, that we will flee before them.

 6 (For they will come out after us) until we have drawn them from the city. They will say, 'They flee before us just like the first battle.' Therefore we will flee before them [to draw them away from the city].

 7 Then you shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city. The LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.

 8 And it shall be, when you have taken the city, that you shall set the city on fire; according to the commandment of the LORD, so you shall do. See, I have commanded you."

 9 Joshua therefore sent them forth, and they went to lie in ambush, and abode 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 and numbered the people; and he and the elders of Israel in front of the people proceeded to Ai.

 11 And all the people, including the people of war that were with him, went up and drew near, coming before the city where they pitched camp on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between them and Ai.

 12 And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.

 13 And that night after they had positioned the people, all the host that was on the north of the city, and those hidden on the west of the city, Joshua went into the midst of the valley.

 14 And it came to pass that when the king of Ai saw it, they hurried, rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle. The king and all his people, at a time appointed, went out before the plain; but he did not know that there was an ambush hidden against him behind the city.

 15 And Joshua and all Israel pretended as if they were 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. They pursued after Joshua, and so were drawn away from the city.

 17 And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, who did not go out after Israel; and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.

 18 And the LORD said to Joshua, "Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai for I will give it into your hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.

 19 And those hidden in ambush rose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand; they entered into the city, took it, and quickly set the city on fire.

 20 And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, beheld, the smoke of the city that ascended up to heaven; and they had no power to flee this way or that way. Then the people who had fled to the wilderness turned back against their pursuers.

 21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned around and slew the men of Ai.

 22 And the other [part of Israel's army] came out of the city against Ai also; so the people of Ai were surrounded by Israel, some on this side, and some on that side; and Israel smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape.

 23 And they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.

 24 And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness where they chased them, and when they had all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were dead, that all the Israelites returned to Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword.

 25 And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, who numbered twelve thousand, including all the men of Ai.

 26 For Joshua did not draw his hand back, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

 27 Only the cattle and the spoil of that city was taken by Israel as plunder for themselves, according to the word of the LORD that he had commanded Joshua.

 28 And Joshua burnt Ai, making it a heap forever, which is even a desolation to this day.

 29 And he hung the king of Ai on a tree until evening. As soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcass down from the tree, cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raise on it a great heap of stones, which remains to this day.

 30 Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD God of Israel on mount Ebal,

 31 [An altar built] 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 man has lifted up any iron; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.

 32 And there in the presence of the children of Israel Joshua wrote a copy of the law of Moses upon the stones.

 33 And all Israel, their elders, officers, and their judges stood on either side of the ark before the priests the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD; also there was the stranger, as well as those who had been born among them; half of them stood over against mount Gerizim, and half of them stood over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.

 34 And afterward Joshua read all the words of the law, the blessings and curses, 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 did not read before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers who were conversant among them.


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