Then the Lord said to Joshua, Have no fear and do not be troubled: take with you all the fighting-men and go up against Ai: for I have given into your hands the king of Ai and his people and his town and his land:
And you are to do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king: but their goods and their cattle you may take for yourselves: let a secret force be stationed to make a surprise attack on the town from the back.
So Joshua and the fighting-men got ready to go up against Ai; and Joshua took thirty thousand men of war, and sent them out by night.
And he gave them their orders, saying, Go and take up your position secretly at the back of the town: do not go very far away, and let all of you be ready:
And I and all the people with me will come near the town, and when they come out against us as they did before, we will go in flight from them;
And they will come out after us, till we have got them away from the town; for they will say, They have gone in flight from us as before; so we will go in flight before them;
Then you will get up from your secret position and take the town, for the Lord your God will give it up into your hands.
And when you have taken the town, put fire to it, as the Lord has said: see, I have given you your orders.
So Joshua sent them out: and they took up a secret position between Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua kept with the people that night.
And early in the morning Joshua got up, and put the people in order, and he and the chiefs of Israel went up before the people to Ai.
And all the fighting-men who were with him went up and came near the town, and took up a position on the north side of Ai facing the town, with a valley between him and the town.
And taking about five thousand men, he put them in position for a surprise attack on the west side of Ai, between Beth-el and Ai.
So all the people were in their places, the army on the north side of the town and the secret force on the west; and that night Joshua went down into the valley.
Now when the king of Ai saw it, he got up quickly and went out to war against Israel, he and all his people, to the slope going down to the valley; but he had no idea that a secret force was waiting at the back of the town.
Then Joshua and all Israel, acting as if they were overcome before them, went in flight by way of the waste land.
And all the people in Ai came together to go after them; and they went after Joshua, moving away from the town.
There was not a man in Ai and Beth-el who did not go out after Israel; and the town was open and unwatched while they went after Israel.
And the Lord said to Joshua, Let your spear be stretched out against Ai; for I will give it into your hands. So Joshua took up his spear, stretching it out in the direction of the town.
Then the secret force came quickly from their place, and running forward when they saw his hand stretched out, went into the town and took it, and put fire to it straight away.
Then the men of Ai, looking back, saw the smoke of the town going up to heaven, and were unable to go this way or that: and the people who had gone in flight to the waste land were turned back on those who were coming after them.