1At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.2He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.3One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”4Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.5Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.6He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”7When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants.8He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.
9About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.10He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.11He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.13Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”14“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”15The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”16This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.17While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate.18They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.19While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you.20So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”21Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”22The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.”
23Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along.24The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.25As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.26But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”27While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people.28He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”30Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me31and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.32Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’33So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”
1But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things ; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD’s anger burned against Israel.2Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.3When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.”4So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai,5who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.6Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads.7And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!8Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies?9The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?”10The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?11Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.12That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.13“Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.14“ ‘In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the LORD chooses shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the LORD chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the LORD chooses shall come forward man by man.15Whoever is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the LORD and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!’ ”16Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen.17The clans of Judah came forward, and the Zerahites were chosen. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was chosen.18Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was chosen.19Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”20Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done:21When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”22So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath.23They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the LORD.24Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor.25Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The LORD will bring trouble on you today.” Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.26Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since.
1Then 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.2You 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.”3So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai. He chose thirty thousand of his best fighting men and sent them out at night4with 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.5I 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.6They 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,7you are to rise up from ambush and take the city. The LORD your God will give it into your hand.8When you have taken the city, set it on fire. Do what the LORD has commanded. See to it; you have my orders.”9Then 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.10Early the next morning Joshua mustered his army, and he and the leaders of Israel marched before them to Ai.11The 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.12Joshua had taken about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city.13So the soldiers took up their positions—with the main camp to the north of the city and the ambush to the west of it. That night Joshua went into the valley.14When 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.15Joshua and all Israel let themselves be driven back before them, and they fled toward the wilderness.16All the men of Ai were called to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were lured away from the city.17Not a man remained in Ai or Bethel who did not go after Israel. They left the city open and went in pursuit of Israel.18Then 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 toward the city the javelin that was in his hand.19As 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.20The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising up into the sky, but they had no chance to escape in any direction; the Israelites who had been fleeing toward the wilderness had turned back against their pursuers.21For when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city and that smoke was going up from it, they turned around and attacked the men of Ai.22Those in 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.23But they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.24When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the wilderness 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.25Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai.26For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed all who lived in Ai.27But Israel did carry off for themselves the livestock and plunder of this city, as the LORD had instructed Joshua.28So Joshua burned Ai and made it a permanent heap of ruins, a desolate place to this day.29He impaled the body of the king of Ai on a pole and left it there until evening. At sunset, Joshua ordered them to take the body from the pole 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.
30Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel,31as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the LORD burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings.32There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on stones a copy of the law of Moses.33All the Israelites, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD, facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Both the foreigners living among them and the native-born were there. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel.34Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—just as it is written in the Book of the Law.35There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the foreigners who lived among them.
1“Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?2There are those who move boundary stones; they pasture flocks they have stolen.3They drive away the orphan’s donkey and take the widow’s ox in pledge.4They thrust the needy from the path and force all the poor of the land into hiding.5Like wild donkeys in the desert, the poor go about their labor of foraging food; the wasteland provides food for their children.6They gather fodder in the fields and glean in the vineyards of the wicked.7Lacking clothes, they spend the night naked; they have nothing to cover themselves in the cold.8They are drenched by mountain rains and hug the rocks for lack of shelter.9The fatherless child is snatched from the breast; the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.10Lacking clothes, they go about naked; they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.11They crush olives among the terraces ; they tread the winepresses, yet suffer thirst.12The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the souls of the wounded cry out for help. But God charges no one with wrongdoing.13“There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths.14When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up, kills the poor and needy, and in the night steals forth like a thief.15The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’ and he keeps his face concealed.16In the dark, thieves break into houses, but by day they shut themselves in; they want nothing to do with the light.17For all of them, midnight is their morning; they make friends with the terrors of darkness.18“Yet they are foam on the surface of the water; their portion of the land is cursed, so that no one goes to the vineyards.19As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow, so the grave snatches away those who have sinned.20The womb forgets them, the worm feasts on them; the wicked are no longer remembered but are broken like a tree.21They prey on the barren and childless woman, and to the widow they show no kindness.22But God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life.23He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways.24For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone; they are brought low and gathered up like all others; they are cut off like heads of grain.25“If this is not so, who can prove me false and reduce my words to nothing?”