The Israelites did a disrespectful thing concerning the items reserved for God. Achan was the son of Carmi, grandson of Zabdi, great-grandson of Zerah. He was from the tribe of Judah. He took some of the things reserved for God. So the LORD was furious with the Israelites.
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven to the east of Bethel. He said to them, "Go up. Scout out the land." So the men went up and scouted out Ai.
They came back to Joshua and said to him, "There is no need for all of the people to go up. Two or three thousand men could go up and strike Ai. Don't make all of the people bother going there. There are just a few of them."
So about three thousand men from the people went up in that direction. But they fled from the men of Ai.
The men of Ai struck down approximately thirty-six of them. They chased them from outside the gate as far as Shebarim. They struck them down on the slope. Then the hearts of the people melted and turned to water.