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Joshua 8:1-29 RSV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 And the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not fear or be dismayed; take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land; 1 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.
2 and you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king; only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves; lay an ambush against the city, behind it." 2 You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city."
3 So Joshua arose, and all the fighting men, to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose thirty thousand mighty men of valor, and sent them forth by night. 3 So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai. He chose thirty thousand of his best fighting men and sent them out at night
4 And he commanded them, "Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind it; do not go very far from the city, but hold yourselves all in readiness; 4 with these orders: "Listen carefully. You are to set an ambush behind the city. Don't go very far from it. All of you be on the alert.
5 and I, and all the people who are with me, will approach the city. And when they come out against us, as before, we shall flee before them; 5 I and all those with me will advance on the city, and when the men come out against us, as they did before, we will flee from them.
6 and they will come out after us, till we have drawn them away from the city; for they will say, 'They are fleeing from us, as before.' So we will flee from them; 6 They will pursue us until we have lured them away from the city, for they will say, 'They are running away from us as they did before.' So when we flee from them,
7 then you shall rise up from the ambush, and seize the city; for the LORD your God will give it into your hand. 7 you are to rise up from ambush and take the city. The LORD your God will give it into your hand.
8 And when you have taken the city, you shall set the city on fire, doing as the LORD has bidden; see, I have commanded you." 8 When you have taken the city, set it on fire. Do what the LORD has commanded. See to it; you have my orders."
9 So Joshua sent them forth; and they went to the place of ambush, and lay between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai; but Joshua spent that night among the people. 9 Then Joshua sent them off, and they went to the place of ambush and lay in wait between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai--but Joshua spent that night with the people.
10 And Joshua arose early in the morning and mustered the people, and went up, with the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. 10 Early the next morning Joshua mustered his men, and he and the leaders of Israel marched before them to Ai.
11 And all the fighting men who were with him went up, and drew near before the city, and encamped on the north side of Ai, with a ravine between them and Ai. 11 The entire force that was with him marched up and approached the city and arrived in front of it. They set up camp north of Ai, with the valley between them and the city.
12 And he took about five thousand men, and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. 12 Joshua had taken about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city.
13 So they stationed the forces, the main encampment which was north of the city and its rear guard west of the city. But Joshua spent that night in the valley. 13 They had the soldiers take up their positions--all those in the camp to the north of the city and the ambush to the west of it. That night Joshua went into the valley.
14 And when the king of Ai saw this he and all his people, the men of the city, made haste and went out early to the descent toward the Arabah to meet Israel in battle; but he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 14 When the king of Ai saw this, he and all the men of the city hurried out early in the morning to meet Israel in battle at a certain place overlooking the Arabah. But he did not know that an ambush had been set against him behind the city.
15 And Joshua and all Israel made a pretense of being beaten before them, and fled in the direction of the wilderness. 15 Joshua and all Israel let themselves be driven back before them, and they fled toward the desert.
16 So all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and as they pursued Joshua they were drawn away from the city. 16 All the men of Ai were called to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were lured away from the city.
17 There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, who did not go out after Israel; they left the city open, and pursued Israel. 17 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.
18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai; for I will give it into your hand." And Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city." So Joshua held out his javelin toward Ai.
19 And the ambush rose quickly out of their place, and as soon as he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and took it; and they made haste to set the city on fire. 19 As soon as he did this, the men in the ambush rose quickly from their position and rushed forward. They entered the city and captured it and quickly set it on fire.
20 So when the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven; and they had no power to flee this way or that, for the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. 20 The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising against the sky, 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.
21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city went up, then they turned back and smote the men of Ai. 21 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 around and attacked the men of Ai.
22 And the others came forth from the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side; and Israel smote them, until there was left none that survived or escaped. 22 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.
23 But the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua. 23 But they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.
24 When Israel had finished slaughtering all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them and all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword. 24 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.
25 And all who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand, all the people of Ai. 25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day--all the people of Ai.
26 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. 26 For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed all who lived in Ai.
27 Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took as their booty, according to the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua. 27 But Israel did carry off for themselves the livestock and plunder of this city, as the LORD had instructed Joshua.
28 So Joshua burned Ai, and made it for ever a heap of ruins, as it is to this day. 28 So Joshua burned Ai and made it a permanent heap of ruins, a desolate place to this day.
29 And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening; and at the going down of the sun Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree, and cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raised over it a great heap of stones, which stands there to this day. 29 He hung the king of Ai on a tree and left him there until evening. At sunset, Joshua ordered them to take his body from the tree and throw it down at the entrance of the city gate. And they raised a large pile of rocks over it, which remains to this day.