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.