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;
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;
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;
then you shall rise up from the ambush, and seize the city; for the LORD your God will give it into your hand.
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."
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.
And Joshua arose early in the morning and mustered the people, and went up, with the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai.
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.
And he took about five thousand men, and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city.
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.
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.