All the men of Ai were called to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were lured away1 from the city.
Not a man remained in Ai or Bethel who did not go after Israel. They left the city open and went in pursuit of Israel.
Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Hold out toward Ai the javelin2 that is in your hand,3 for into your hand I will deliver the city." So Joshua held out his javelin4 toward Ai.
As soon as he did this, the men in the ambush rose quickly5 from their position and rushed forward. They entered the city and captured it and quickly set it on fire.620
The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising against the sky,7 but they had no chance to escape in any direction, for the Israelites who had been fleeing toward the desert had turned back against their pursuers.
For when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city and that smoke was going up from the city, they turned around8 and attacked the men of Ai.
The men of the ambush also came out of the city against them, so that they were caught in the middle, with Israelites on both sides. Israel cut them down, leaving them neither survivors nor fugitives.923
But they took the king of Ai alive10 and brought him to Joshua.
When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the desert where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it.
Twelve thousand men and women fell that day--all the people of Ai.1126
For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin12 until he had destroyeda13 all who lived in Ai.14