Compare Translations for Joshua 8:26

  • Joshua 8:26 (ASV) For Joshua drew not back his hand, wherewith he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (BBE) For Joshua did not take back his hand with the outstretched spear till the destruction of the people of Ai was complete.

  • Joshua 8:26 (CEB) Joshua didn't pull back the hand that was stretched out holding a dagger until he had wiped out the whole population of Ai as something reserved for God.

  • Joshua 8:26 (CEBA) Joshua didn't pull back the hand that was stretched out holding a dagger until he had wiped out the whole population of Ai as something reserved for God.

  • Joshua 8:26 (CJB) For Y'hoshua did not withdraw his hand, which he had used to point the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of 'Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (CSB) Joshua did not draw back his hand that was holding the sword until all the inhabitants of Ai were completely destroyed.

  • Joshua 8:26 (DBY) And Joshua did not draw back his hand, which he had stretched out with the javelin, until they had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (ESV) But Joshua did not draw back his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had devoted all the inhabitants of Ai to destruction.

  • Joshua 8 (GNT) The Lord said to Joshua, "Take all the soldiers with you and go on up to Ai. Don't be afraid or discouraged. I will give you victory over the king of Ai; his people, city, and land will be yours. You are to do to Ai and its king what you did to Jericho and its king, but this time you may keep its goods and livestock for yourselves. Prepare to attack the city by surprise from the rear." So Joshua got ready to go to Ai with all his soldiers. He picked out thirty thousand of his best troops and sent them out at night with these orders: "Hide on the other side of the city, but not too far away from it; be ready to attack. My men and I will approach the city. When the men of Ai come out against us, we will turn and run, just as we did the first time. They will pursue us until we have led them away from the city. They will think that we are running from them, as we did before. Then you will come out of hiding and capture the city. The Lord your God will give it to you. After you have taken the city, set it on fire, just as the Lord has commanded. These are your orders." So Joshua sent them out, and they went to their hiding place and waited there, west of Ai, between Ai and Bethel. Joshua spent the night in camp. Early in the morning Joshua got up and called the soldiers together. Then he and the leaders of Israel led them to Ai. The soldiers with him went toward the main entrance to the city and set up camp on the north side, with a valley between themselves and Ai. He took about five thousand men and put them in hiding west of the city, between Ai and Bethel. The soldiers were arranged for battle with the main camp north of the city and the rest of the men to the west. Joshua spent the night in the valley. When the king of Ai saw Joshua's men, he acted quickly. He and all his men went out toward the Jordan Valley to fight the Israelites at the same place as before, not knowing that he was about to be attacked from the rear. Joshua and his men pretended that they were retreating, and ran away toward the barren country. All the men in the city had been called together to go after them, and as they pursued Joshua, they kept getting farther away from the city. Every man in Ai went after the Israelites, and the city was left wide open, with no one to defend it. Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Point your spear at Ai; I am giving it to you." Joshua did as he was told, and as soon as he lifted his hand, the men who had been hiding got up quickly, ran into the city and captured it. They immediately set the city on fire. When the men of Ai looked back, they saw the smoke rising to the sky. There was no way for them to escape, because the Israelites who had run toward the barren country now turned around to attack them. When Joshua and his men saw that the others had taken the city and that it was on fire, they turned around and began killing the men of Ai. The Israelites in the city now came down to join the battle. So the men of Ai found themselves completely surrounded by Israelites, and they were all killed. No one got away, and no one lived through it except the king of Ai. He was captured and taken to Joshua. The Israelites killed every one of the enemy in the barren country where they had chased them. Then they went back to Ai and killed everyone there. Joshua kept his spear pointed at Ai and did not put it down until every person there had been killed. The whole population of Ai was killed that day - twelve thousand men and women. The Israelites kept for themselves the livestock and goods captured in the city, as the Lord had told Joshua. Joshua burned Ai and left it in ruins. It is still like that today. He hanged the king of Ai from a tree and left his body there until evening. At sundown Joshua gave orders for the body to be removed, and it was thrown down at the entrance to the city gate. They covered it with a huge pile of stones, which is still there today. Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel. He made it according to the instructions that Moses, the Lord's servant, had given the Israelites, as it says in the Law of Moses: "an altar made of stones which have not been cut with iron tools." On it they offered burnt sacrifices to the Lord, and they also presented their fellowship offerings. There, with the Israelites looking on, Joshua made on the stones a copy of the Law which Moses had written. The Israelites, with their leaders, officers, and judges, as well as the foreigners among them, stood on two sides of the Lord's Covenant Box, facing the levitical priests who carried it. Half of the people stood with their backs to Mount Gerizim and the other half with their backs to Mount Ebal. The Lord's servant Moses had commanded them to do this when the time came for them to receive the blessing. Joshua then read aloud the whole Law, including the blessings and the curses, just as they are written in the book of the Law. Every one of the commandments of Moses was read by Joshua to the whole gathering, which included women and children, as well as the foreigners living among them.

  • Joshua 8 (GNTA) The Lord said to Joshua, "Take all the soldiers with you and go on up to Ai. Don't be afraid or discouraged. I will give you victory over the king of Ai; his people, city, and land will be yours. You are to do to Ai and its king what you did to Jericho and its king, but this time you may keep its goods and livestock for yourselves. Prepare to attack the city by surprise from the rear." So Joshua got ready to go to Ai with all his soldiers. He picked out thirty thousand of his best troops and sent them out at night with these orders: "Hide on the other side of the city, but not too far away from it; be ready to attack. My men and I will approach the city. When the men of Ai come out against us, we will turn and run, just as we did the first time. They will pursue us until we have led them away from the city. They will think that we are running from them, as we did before. Then you will come out of hiding and capture the city. The Lord your God will give it to you. After you have taken the city, set it on fire, just as the Lord has commanded. These are your orders." So Joshua sent them out, and they went to their hiding place and waited there, west of Ai, between Ai and Bethel. Joshua spent the night in camp. Early in the morning Joshua got up and called the soldiers together. Then he and the leaders of Israel led them to Ai. The soldiers with him went toward the main entrance to the city and set up camp on the north side, with a valley between themselves and Ai. He took about five thousand men and put them in hiding west of the city, between Ai and Bethel. The soldiers were arranged for battle with the main camp north of the city and the rest of the men to the west. Joshua spent the night in the valley. When the king of Ai saw Joshua's men, he acted quickly. He and all his men went out toward the Jordan Valley to fight the Israelites at the same place as before, not knowing that he was about to be attacked from the rear. Joshua and his men pretended that they were retreating, and ran away toward the barren country. All the men in the city had been called together to go after them, and as they pursued Joshua, they kept getting farther away from the city. Every man in Ai went after the Israelites, and the city was left wide open, with no one to defend it. Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Point your spear at Ai; I am giving it to you." Joshua did as he was told, and as soon as he lifted his hand, the men who had been hiding got up quickly, ran into the city and captured it. They immediately set the city on fire. When the men of Ai looked back, they saw the smoke rising to the sky. There was no way for them to escape, because the Israelites who had run toward the barren country now turned around to attack them. When Joshua and his men saw that the others had taken the city and that it was on fire, they turned around and began killing the men of Ai. The Israelites in the city now came down to join the battle. So the men of Ai found themselves completely surrounded by Israelites, and they were all killed. No one got away, and no one lived through it except the king of Ai. He was captured and taken to Joshua. The Israelites killed every one of the enemy in the barren country where they had chased them. Then they went back to Ai and killed everyone there. Joshua kept his spear pointed at Ai and did not put it down until every person there had been killed. The whole population of Ai was killed that day - twelve thousand men and women. The Israelites kept for themselves the livestock and goods captured in the city, as the Lord had told Joshua. Joshua burned Ai and left it in ruins. It is still like that today. He hanged the king of Ai from a tree and left his body there until evening. At sundown Joshua gave orders for the body to be removed, and it was thrown down at the entrance to the city gate. They covered it with a huge pile of stones, which is still there today. Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel. He made it according to the instructions that Moses, the Lord's servant, had given the Israelites, as it says in the Law of Moses: "an altar made of stones which have not been cut with iron tools." On it they offered burnt sacrifices to the Lord, and they also presented their fellowship offerings. There, with the Israelites looking on, Joshua made on the stones a copy of the Law which Moses had written. The Israelites, with their leaders, officers, and judges, as well as the foreigners among them, stood on two sides of the Lord's Covenant Box, facing the levitical priests who carried it. Half of the people stood with their backs to Mount Gerizim and the other half with their backs to Mount Ebal. The Lord's servant Moses had commanded them to do this when the time came for them to receive the blessing. Joshua then read aloud the whole Law, including the blessings and the curses, just as they are written in the book of the Law. Every one of the commandments of Moses was read by Joshua to the whole gathering, which included women and children, as well as the foreigners living among them.

  • Joshua 8:26 (GW) Joshua did not lower his hand holding the spear until he had completely destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (HNV) For Yehoshua didn't draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of `Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (JUB) For Joshua did not draw back his hand with which he stretched out the spear until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (KJV) For Joshua drew not his hand back , wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (KJVA) For Joshua drew not his hand back , wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (LEB) For Joshua did not draw back his hand that was stretched out with the sword until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (MSG) Joshua didn't lower his outstretched javelin until the sacred destruction of Ai and all its people was completed.

  • Joshua 8:26 (NAS) For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (NCV) Joshua had held his spear toward Ai, as a sign to destroy the city, and did not draw it back until all the people of Ai were destroyed.

  • Joshua 8:26 (NIRV) Joshua kept the javelin that was in his hand pointed at Ai. He didn't lower his hand until he and his men had totally destroyed everyone who lived there.

  • Joshua 8:26 (NIV) For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed all who lived in Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (NKJV) For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (NLT) For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed.

  • Joshua 8:26 (NRS) For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the sword, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (NRSA) For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the sword, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (RHE) But Josue drew not back his hand, which he had stretched out on high, holding the shield, till all the inhabitants of Hai were slain.

  • Joshua 8:26 (RSV) For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (RSVA) For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (TMB) For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (TMBA) For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (TNIV) For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed all who lived in Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (WBT) For Joshua drew not his hand back with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (WEB) For Joshua didn't draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

  • Joshua 8:26 (WYC) For Joshua withdrew not his hand, which he had directed on high holding up his banner [that in height he put up holding the sword (that he had put on high holding up his sword)], till that all the dwellers of Ai were slain.

  • Joshua 8:26 (YLT) And Joshua hath not brought back his hand which he stretched out with the javelin till that he hath devoted all the inhabitants of Ai;

Commentaries For Joshua 8

  • Chapter 8

    God encourages Joshua. (1,2) The taking of Ai. (3-22) The destruction of Ai and its king. (23-29) The law read on Ebal and Gerizim. (30-35)

    Verses 1-2 When we have faithfully put away sin, that accursed thing which separates between us and God, then, and not till then, we may look to hear from God to our comfort; and God's directing us how to go on in our Christian work and warfare, is a good evidence of his being reconciled to us. God encouraged Joshua to proceed. At Ai the spoil was not to be destroyed as at Jericho, therefore there was no danger of the people's committing such a trespass. Achan, who caught at forbidden spoil, lost that, and life, and all; but the rest of the people, who kept themselves from the accursed thing, were quickly rewarded for their obedience. The way to have the comfort of what God allows us, is, to keep from what he forbids us. No man shall lose by self-denial.

    Verses 3-22 Observe Joshua's conduct and prudence. Those that would maintain their spiritual conflicts must not love their ease. Probably he went into the valley alone, to pray to God for a blessing, and he did not seek in vain. He never drew back till the work was done. Those that have stretched out their hands against their spiritual enemies, must never draw them back.

    Verses 23-29 God, the righteous Judge, had sentenced the Canaanites for their wickedness; the Israelites only executed his doom. None of their conduct can be drawn into an example for others. Especial reason no doubt there was for this severity to the king of Ai; it is likely he had been notoriously wicked and vile, and a blasphemer of the God of Israel.

    Verses 30-35 As soon as Joshua got to the mountains Ebal and Gerizim, without delay, and without caring for the unsettled state of Israel, or their enemies, he confirmed the covenant of the Lord with his people, as appointed, ( Deuteronomy 11 , Deuteronomy 27 ) . We must not think to defer covenanting with God till we are settled in the world; nor must any business put us from minding and pursuing the one thing needful. The way to prosper is to begin with God, ( Matthew 6:33 ) . They built an altar, and offered sacrifice to God, in token of their dedicating themselves to God, as living sacrifices to his honour, in and by a Mediator. By Christ's sacrifice of himself for us, we have peace with God. It is a great mercy to any people to have the law of God in writing, and it is fit that the written law should be in a known tongue, that it may be seen and read of all men.

  • CHAPTER 8

    Joshua 8:1-28 . GOD ENCOURAGES JOSHUA.

    1, 2. The Lord said unto Joshua, Fear not--By the execution of justice on Achan, the divine wrath was averted, the Israelites were reassured, defeat was succeeded by victory; and thus the case of Ai affords a striking example of God's disciplinary government, in which chastisements for sin are often made to pave the way for the bestowment of those temporal benefits, which, on account of sin, have been withdrawn, or withheld for a time. Joshua, who had been greatly dispirited, was encouraged by a special communication promising him (see Joshua 1:6 , Deuteronomy 31:6-8 ) success in the next attempt, which, however, was to be conducted on different principles.
    take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai--The number of fighting men amounted to six hundred thousand, and the whole force was ordered on this occasion, partly because the spies, in their self-confidence, had said that a few were sufficient to attack the place ( Joshua 7:3 ), partly to dispel any misgivings which the memory of the late disaster might have created, and partly that the circumstance of the first spoil obtained in Canaan being shared among all, might operate both as a reward for obedience in refraining from the booty of Jericho, and as an incentive to future exertions ( Deuteronomy 6:10 ). The rest of the people, including the women and children, remained in the camp at Gilgal. Being in the plains of Jericho, it was an ascent to Ai, which was on a hill.
    I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land . . . lay thee an ambush for the city--God assured Joshua of Ai's capture, but allowed him to follow his own tactics in obtaining the possession.

    3. So Joshua . . . chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour--Joshua despatched thirty thousand men under cover of night, to station themselves at the place appointed for the ambuscade. Out of this number a detachment of five thousand was sent forward to conceal themselves in the immediate precincts of the town, in order to seize the first opportunity of throwing themselves into it [ Joshua 8:12 ].

    4. behind the city--is rendered ( Joshua 8:9 ), "on the west side of Ai."

    9. between Beth-el and Ai--Beth-el, though lying quite near in the direction of west by north, cannot be seen from Tell-el-hajar; two rocky heights rise between both places, in the wady El-Murogede, just as the laying of an ambush to the west of Ai would require [VAN DE VELDE; ROBINSON].

    10. Joshua . . . numbered the people--that is, the detachment of liers-in-wait; he did this, to be furnished with clear evidence afterwards, that the work had been done without any loss of men, whereby the people's confidence in God would be strengthened and encouragement given them to prosecute the war of invasion with vigor.
    he and the elders of Israel--the chief magistrates and rulers, whose presence and official authority were necessary to ensure that the cattle and spoil of the city might be equally divided between the combatants and the rest of the people ( Numbers 31:27 )--a military rule in Israel, that would have been very liable to be infringed, if an excited soldiery, eager for booty, had been left to their own will.

    11-14. there was a valley between them and Ai--literally, "the valley."

    13. Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley--The deep and steep-sided glen to the north of Tell-el-hajar, into which one looks down from the tell, fully agrees with this account [VAN DE VELDE]. Joshua himself took up his position on the north side of "the ravine"--the deep chasm of the wady El-Murogede; "that night"--means, while it was dark, probably after midnight, or very early in the morning ( John 20:1 ). The king of Ai, in the early dawn, rouses his slumbering subjects and makes a hasty sally with all his people who were capable of bearing arms, once more to surprise and annihilate them.

    14. at a time appointed--either an hour concocted between the king and people of Ai and those of Beth-el, who were confederates in this enterprise, or perhaps they had fixed on the same time of day, as they had fought successfully against Israel on the former occasion, deeming it a lucky hour ( Judges 20:38 ).
    but he wist not that there were liers in ambush against him behind the city--It is evident that this king and his subjects were little experienced in war; otherwise they would have sent out scouts to reconnoitre the neighborhood; at all events, they would not have left their town wholly unprotected and open. Perhaps an ambuscade may have been a war stratagem hitherto unknown in that country, and among that people.

    15-17. Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them--the pretended flight in the direction of the wilderness; that is, southeast, into the Ghor, the desert valley of the Jordan, decoyed all the inhabitants of Ai out of the city, while the people of Beth-el hastened to participate in the expected victory. It is supposed by some, from "the city," and not "cities," being spoken of, that the effective force of Beth-el had been concentrated in Ai, as the two places were closely contiguous, and Ai the larger of the two. (See Joshua 12:9 ). It may be remarked, however, that the words, "or Beth-el," are not in the Septuagint, and are rejected by some eminent scholars, as an interpolation not found in the most ancient manuscripts.

    18-25. Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city--The uplifted spear had probably a flag, or streamer on it, to render it the more conspicuous from the height where he stood. At the sight of this understood signal the ambush nearest the city, informed by their scouts, made a sudden rush and took possession of the city, telegraphing to their brethren by raising a smoke from the walls. Upon seeing this, the main body, who had been reigning a flight, turned round at the head of the pass upon their pursuers, while the twenty-five thousand issuing from their ambuscade, fell back upon their rear. The Ai-ites surprised, looked back, and found their situation now desperate.

    23. the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua--to be reserved for a more ignominious death, as a greater criminal in God's sight than his subjects. In the mingled attack from before and behind, all the men were massacred.

    24. all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword--the women, children, and old persons left behind, amounting, in all, to twelve thousand people [ Joshua 8:25 ].

    26. Joshua drew not his hand back--Perhaps, from the long continuance of the posture, it might have been a means appointed by God, to animate the people, and kept up in the same devout spirit as Moses had shown, in lifting up his hands, until the work of slaughter had been completed--the ban executed.

    28. Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever--"For ever" often signifies "a long time" ( Genesis 6:3 ). One of the remarkable things with regard to the tell we have identified with Ai is its name--the tell of the heap of stones--a name which to this day remains [VAN DE VELDE].

    Joshua 8:29 . THE KING HANGED.

    29. The king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide--that is, gibbeted. In ancient, and particularly Oriental wars, the chiefs, when taken prisoners, were usually executed. The Israelites were obliged, by the divine law, to put them to death. The execution of the king of Ai would tend to facilitate the conquest of the land, by striking terror into the other chiefs, and making it appear a judicial process, in which they were inflicting the vengeance of God upon His enemies.
    take his carcass down . . . and raise thereon a great heap of stones--It was taken down at sunset, according to the divine command ( Deuteronomy 21:23 ), and cast into a pit dug "at the entering of the gate," because that was the most public place. An immense cairn was raised over his grave--an ancient usage, still existing in the East, whereby is marked the sepulchre of persons whose memory is infamous.

    Joshua 8:30 Joshua 8:31 . JOSHUA BUILDS AN ALTAR.

    30,31. Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in twenty miles from Ai. The march through a hostile country and the unmolested performance of the religious ceremonial observed at this mountain, would be greatly facilitated, through the blessing of God, by the disastrous fall of Ai. The solemn duty was to be attended to at the first convenient opportunity after the entrance into Canaan ( Deuteronomy 27:2 ); and with this in view Joshua seems to have conducted the people through the mountainous region that intervened though no details of the journey have been recorded. Ebal was on the north, opposite to Gerizim, which was on the south side of the town Sichem (Nablous).

    31. an altar of whole stones--according to the instructions given to Moses ( Exodus 20:25 , Deuteronomy 27:5 ).
    over which no man hath lifted up any iron--that is, iron tool. The reason for this was that every altar of the true God ought properly to have been built of earth ( Exodus 20:24 ); and if it was constructed of stone, rough, unhewn stones were to be employed that it might retain both the appearance and nature of earth, since every bloody sacrifice was connected with sin and death, by which man, the creature of earth, is brought to earth again [KEIL].
    they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings--This had been done when the covenant was established ( Exodus 24:5 ); and by the observance of these rites ( Deuteronomy 27:6 ), the covenant was solemnly renewed--the people were reconciled to God by the burnt offering, and this feast accompanying the peace or thank offering, a happy communion with God was enjoyed by all the families in Israel.

    32. he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of that is, the blessings and curses of the law. Some think that the stones which contained this inscription were the stones of the altar: but this verse seems rather to indicate that a number of stone pillars were erected alongside of the altar, and on which, after they were plastered, this duplicate of the law was inscribed.

    33. all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side--One half of Israel was arranged on Gerizim, and the other half on Ebal--along the sides and base of each.
    before the priests the Levites--in full view of them.

    34. afterward he read all the words of the law--caused the priests or Levites to read it ( Deuteronomy 27:14 ). Persons are often said in Scripture to do that which they only command to be done.

    35. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not--It appears that a much larger portion of the law was read on this occasion than the brief summary inscribed on the stones; and this must have been the essence of the law as contained in Deuteronomy ( Deuteronomy 4:44 , 6:9 , 27:8 ). It was not written on the stones, but on the plaster. The immediate design of this rehearsal was attained by the performance of the act itself. It only related to posterity, in so far as the record of the event would be handed down in the Book of Joshua, or the documents which form the groundwork of it [HENGSTENBERG]. Thus faithfully did Joshua execute the instructions given by Moses. How awfully solemn must have been the assemblage and the occasion! The eye and the ear of the people being both addressed, it was calculated to leave an indelible impression; and with spirits elevated by their brilliant victories in the land of promise, memory would often revert to the striking scene on mounts Ebal and Gerizim, and in the vale of Sychar.