Now the LORDsaid to Joshua, "1Do not fear or be dismayed. Takeall the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai ; see, 2I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.
"You shall do to Ai and its kingjust as you did to Jericho and its king ; you shall 3takeonly its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. aSet an ambush for the citybehind it."
So Joshuarose with all the people of war to go up to Ai ; and Joshuachose30,000men, valiantwarriors, and sent them out at night.
He commanded them, saying, "See, you are 4going to ambush the city from behindbit. Do not goveryfar from the city, but all of you be ready.
"Then I and all the peoplewho are with me will approach the city. And when they come out to meet us as at the first, 5we will fleebefore them.
"They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, 'They are fleeingbefore us as at the first.' So we will fleebefore them.
"And you shall rise from your ambush and takepossession of the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.
"Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it 6according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you."
So Joshuasent them away, and they went to the place of ambush and remainedbetweenBethel and Ai, on the westside of Ai ; but Joshuaspent that nightamong the people.
Now Joshua7roseearly in the morning and mustered the people, and he went up with the elders of Israelbefore the people to Ai.
Then all the people of warwho were with him went up and drewnear and arrived in front of the city, and camped on the northside of Ai. Now there was a valleybetween him and Ai.
And he took about 5,000men and set them in ambushbetween8Bethel and Ai, on the westside of the ccity.
So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the northside of the city, and its rearguard on the westside of the city, and Joshuaspent that night in the midst of the valley.
It came about when the king of Aisaw it, that the men of the cityhurried and rose up early and went out to meetIsrael in battle, he and all his people at the appointedplacebefore the desertplain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city.
15Joshua and allIsraelpretended to be beatenbefore them, and fled9by the way of the wilderness.
And all the peoplewho were in the city were calledtogether to pursue them, and they pursuedJoshua and 10were drawnaway from the city.
So not a man was left in Ai or Bethelwho had not gone out afterIsrael, and they left the citydunguarded and pursuedIsrael.
Then the LORDsaid to Joshua, "11Stretch out the javelin that is in your handtowardAi, for I will give it into your hand." So Joshuastretched out the javelin that was in his handtoward the city.
The men in ambushrosequickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quicklyset the city on fire.
When the men of Aiturnedeback and looked, behold, the smoke of the cityascended to the sky, and they hadnoplace to fleethisway or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wildernessturnedagainst the pursuers.
When Joshua and allIsraelsaw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the cityascended, they turnedback and fslew the men of Ai.
22gThe otherscame out from the city to encounter them, so that they were trapped in the midst of Israel, hsome on thisside and some on that side ; and they islew them until12no one was leftjof those whosurvived or escaped.
But they tookalive the king of Ai and brought him to Joshua.
Now when Israel had finishedkillingall the inhabitants of Ai in the field in the wildernesswhere they pursued them, and all of them were fallen by the edge of the sworduntil they were destroyed, then allIsraelreturned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword.
2513All who fell that day, bothmen and women, were 12,000-all the kpeople of Ai.
For Joshua14did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelinuntil he had lutterlydestroyedall the inhabitants of Ai.
2715Israeltookonly the cattle and the spoil of that city as plunder for themselves, according to the word of the LORDwhich He had commandedJoshua.
So JoshuaburnedAi and made it 16a heapforever, a desolationuntilthisday.
2917He hanged the king of Ai on a treeuntilevening ; and at sunsetJoshuagavecommand and they took his bodydown from the tree and threw it at the entrance of the citygate, and raisedover it a greatheap of stones that stands to thisday.