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 javelin1 that is in your hand,2 for into your hand I will deliver the city." So Joshua held out his javelin3 toward Ai.
References for Joshua 8:18
As soon as he did this, the men in the ambush rose quickly4 from their position and rushed forward. They entered the city and captured it and quickly set it on fire.5
References for Joshua 8:19
The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising against the sky,6 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.
References for Joshua 8:20
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 around7 and attacked the men of Ai.
References for Joshua 8:21
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.8
References for Joshua 8:22
But they took the king of Ai alive9 and brought him to Joshua.
References for Joshua 8:23
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.10
References for Joshua 8:25
For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin11 until he had destroyed12 all who lived in Ai.13
References for Joshua 8:26
But Israel did carry off for themselves the livestock and plunder of this city, as the LORD had instructed Joshua.14
References for Joshua 8:27