Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai,1 which is near Beth Aven2 to the east of Bethel,3 and told them, "Go up and spy out4 the region." So the men went up and spied out Ai.
When they returned to Joshua, they said, "Not all the people will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary all the people, for only a few men are there."
So about three thousand men went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai,55
who killed about thirty-six6 of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarriesa and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted7 and became like water.
Then Joshua tore his clothes8 and fell facedown9 to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening.10 The elders of Israel11 did the same, and sprinkled dust12 on their heads.
And Joshua said, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, why13 did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us?14 If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!
O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies?
The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth.15 What then will you do for your own great name?16"
The LORD said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?
Israel has sinned;17 they have violated my covenant,18 which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied,19 they have put them with their own possessions.2012
That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies;21 they turn their backs22 and run23 because they have been made liable to destruction.24 I will not be with you anymore25 unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.
"Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, 'Consecrate yourselves26 in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.
" 'In the morning, present27 yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe that the LORD takes28 shall come forward clan by clan; the clan that the LORD takes shall come forward family by family; and the family that the LORD takes shall come forward man by man.
He who is caught with the devoted things29 shall be destroyed by fire,30 along with all that belongs to him.31 He has violated the covenant32 of the LORD and has done a disgraceful thing in Israel!' "3316
Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was taken.
The clans of Judah came forward, and he took the Zerahites.34 He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was taken.
Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah,35 was taken.3619
Then Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give glory37 to the LORD,b the God of Israel, and give him the praise.c Tell38 me what you have done; do not hide it from me."
Achan replied, "It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done:
When I saw in the plunder39 a beautiful robe from Babylonia,d two hundred shekelse of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels,f I coveted40 them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath."
So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath.
They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the LORD.
Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons41 and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor.4225
Joshua said, "Why have you brought this trouble43 on us? The LORD will bring trouble on you today." Then all Israel stoned him,44 and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.4526
Over Achan they heaped46 up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day.47 Then the LORD turned from his fierce anger.48 Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achorg49 ever since.