Joshua 5; Joshua 6; Joshua 7; Joshua 8

1 All the Amorite kings on the west side of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings near the sea heard that the LORD had dried up the water of the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over. Then their hearts melted. They lost all courage because of the Israelites. 2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, "Make yourself flint knives. Circumcise the Israelites for a second time." 3 So Joshua made flint knives for himself. He circumcised the Israelites at Foreskins Hill. 4 This is the reason Joshua did so: All the people who went out of Egypt, that is, all the men who were soldiers, had died in the desert on the way after they left Egypt. 5 All the people who went out were circumcised. But none of the people born in the desert on the way after they had left Egypt had been circumcised. 6 This was because the Israelites journeyed forty years in the desert until the whole nation died off. These were the men old enough to fight who went out from Egypt and who hadn't obeyed the LORD. The LORD had pledged to them never to show them the land that the LORD had pledged to their ancestors to give us. It is a land full of milk and honey. 7 Joshua circumcised their children, the ones the LORD had set in their place. They were uncircumcised because they hadn't been circumcised on the way. 8 After the whole nation had undergone circumcision, they remained in the camp until they got well again. 9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt." So the place was called Gilgal, as it is today. 10 The Israelites camped in Gilgal. They celebrated Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the plains of Jericho. 11 On the very next day after Passover, they ate food produced in the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped on that next day, when they ate food produced in the land. There was no longer any manna for the Israelites. So that year they ate the crops of the land of Canaan. 13 When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up. He caught sight of a man standing in front of him with his sword drawn. Joshua went up and said to him, "Are you on our side or that of our enemies?" 14 He said, "Neither! I'm the commander of the LORD's heavenly force. Now I have arrived!" Then Joshua fell flat on his face and worshipped. Joshua said to him, "What is my master saying to his servant?" 15 The commander of the LORD's heavenly force said to Joshua, "Take your sandals off your feet because the place where you are standing is holy." So Joshua did this.
1 Now Jericho was closed up tightly because of the Israelites. No one went out or came in. 2 The LORD said to Joshua, “Look. I have given Jericho and its king into your power, along with its mighty warriors. 3 Circle the city with all the soldiers, going around the city one time. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry seven trumpets made from rams' horns in front of the chest. On the seventh day, circle the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 "Have them blow a long blast on the ram's horn. As soon as you hear that trumpet blast, have all the people shout out a loud war cry. Then the city wall will collapse, and the people will rise up, attacking straight ahead." 6 So Joshua, Nun's son, called the priests. He said to them, "Lift up the covenant chest. Let seven priests carry seven trumpets made from rams' horns in front of the LORD's chest." 7 He said to the people, "Go forward. Circle the city. Let the armed soldiers go in front of the LORD's chest." 8 As soon as Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying seven ram's horn trumpets moved forward in front of the LORD. They blew the trumpets. The LORD's covenant chest followed. 9 The initial group of soldiers was going in front of the priests who were blowing the trumpets. The rear guard was coming behind the chest, with trumpets blowing continuously. 10 Joshua ordered the people, "Don't shout. Don't let your voice be heard. Don't let a word come out of your mouth until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!' Then shout!" 11 He made the LORD's chest circle the city, going around one time. They went back to the camp and stayed there overnight. 12 Joshua got up early in the morning. The priests lifted up the LORD's chest. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets made from rams' horns were going in front of the LORD's chest, blowing trumpets continuously. The armed soldiers were going in front of them. The rear guard was coming after the LORD's chest, blowing trumpets continuously. 14 They circled the city one time on the second day. Then they went back to the camp. They did this for six days. 15 On the seventh day, they got up at dawn. They circled the city in this way seven times. It was only on that day that they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time, the priests blew the trumpets. Then Joshua said to the people, "Shout, because the LORD has given you the city! 17 The city and everything in it is to be utterly wiped out as something reserved for the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute is to stay alive, along with everyone with her in her house. This is because she hid the messengers we sent. 18 But you, keep away from the things set aside for God so that you don't desire and take some of the things reserved. That would turn the camp of Israel into a thing doomed to be utterly wiped out and bring calamity on it. 19 All silver and gold, along with bronze and iron equipment, are holy to the LORD. They must go into the LORD's treasury." 20 Then the people shouted. They blew the trumpets. As soon as the people heard the trumpet blast, they shouted a loud war cry. Then the wall collapsed. The people went up against the city, attacking straight ahead. They captured the city. 21 Without mercy, they wiped out everything in the city as something reserved for God—man and woman, young and old, cattle, sheep, and donkeys. 22 Joshua spoke to the two men who had scouted out the land. "Go to the prostitute's house. Bring out the woman from there, along with everyone related to her, exactly as you pledged to her." 23 So the young men who had been spies went and brought Rahab out, along with her father, her mother, her brothers, and everyone related to her. They brought her whole clan out and let them stay outside Israel's camp. 24 They burned the city and everything in it. But they put the silver and gold, along with the bronze and iron equipment, into the treasury of the LORD's house. 25 Joshua let Rahab the prostitute live, her family, and everyone related to her. So her family still lives among Israel today, because she hid the spies whom Joshua had sent to scout out Jericho. 26 At that time Joshua made this decree: "Anyone who starts to rebuild this city of Jericho will be cursed before the LORD. Laying its foundations will cost them their oldest child. Setting up its gates will cost them their youngest child." 27 The LORD was with Joshua. News about him spread throughout the land.
1 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. 2 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. 3 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." 4 So about three thousand men from the people went up in that direction. But they fled from the men of Ai. 5 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. 6 Joshua ripped open his clothes. He, along with the elders of Israel, lay flat on their faces before the LORD's chest until evening. They put dust on their heads. 7 Then Joshua said, "Oh no, LORD God! Why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan? Was it to hand us over to the power of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been prepared to live on the other side of the Jordan! 8 Please forgive me, LORD. What can I say now that Israel has retreated before its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the whole population of the land will hear of it. They will surround us and make our name disappear from the earth. What will you do about your great name then?" 10 The LORD said to Joshua, "Get up! Why do you lie flat on your face like this? 11 Israel has sinned. They have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the things reserved for me and put them with their own things. They have stolen and kept it a secret. 12 The Israelites can't stand up to their enemies. They retreat before their enemies because they themselves have become a doomed thing reserved for me. I will no longer be with you unless you destroy the things reserved for me that are present among you. 13 Go and make the people holy. Say, ‘Get ready for tomorrow by making yourselves holy. This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Israel! Things reserved for me are present among you. You won't be able to stand up to your enemies until you remove from your presence the things reserved for me.'' 14 In the morning, come forward tribe by tribe. Whichever tribe the LORD selects must come forward clan by clan. Whichever clan the LORD selects must come forward family by family. Whichever family the LORD selects will come forward by individual soldiers. 15 The person selected, who has the things reserved for God, must be put to death by burning. Burn everything that belongs to him too. This is because he has violated the LORD's covenant and has committed an outrage in Israel." 16 Joshua got up early in the morning. He made Israel come forward tribe by tribe. The tribe of Judah was selected. 17 He made the clans of Judah come forward. He selected the clan of Zerah. He made the clan of Zerah come forward as individual soldiers. Zabdi was selected. 18 He made each soldier of his family come forward. Achan was selected. He was a son of Carmi, grandson of Zabdi, great-grandson of Zerah, and of the tribe of Judah. 19 Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give glory to the LORD the God of Israel. Tell me what you have done. Don't hide anything from me." 20 Achan answered Joshua, "It's true. I've sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 Among the booty I saw a single beautiful robe in the Babylonian style, two hundred shekels of silver, and a single gold bar weighing fifty shekels. I desired them and took them. Now they are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver on the bottom." 22 Then Joshua sent messengers. They ran to the tent. There it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver on the bottom. 23 They took the things from inside the tent. They brought them to Joshua and to all the Israelites and emptied them out before the LORD. 24 Then Joshua seized Achan, Zerah's son, along with the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys, flocks, tent, and everything that belonged to him. All Israel joined Joshua. They brought them up to Achor Valley. 25 Joshua said, "You have brought disaster to us! May the LORD bring disaster to you today!" Then all Israel stoned him. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. 26 They raised over him a great pile of stones that is still there today. Then the LORD turned away from his fury. So he named that place Achor Valley. It is still called that today.
1 The LORD said to Joshua, "Don't be afraid or terrified. Take the entire army with you. Start to go up to Ai. Look! I have given the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land into your power. 2 Do to Ai and its king what you did to Jericho and its king. But you may take its booty and cattle as plunder. Set your ambush behind the city." 3 So Joshua and the whole army got ready to go up to Ai. Joshua chose thirty thousand brave soldiers. He sent them out by night. 4 He commanded them, "Look. You are to ambush the city from behind. Don't move too far away from the city. Be ready, all of you. 5 I will approach the city with all the people. When they come out against us the same way as before, we will flee from them. 6 They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city. They will think, They are fleeing from us as before. So we will flee from them. 7 But you will rise up from the ambush and take over the city. The LORD your God will give it into your power. 8 As soon as you seize the city, set it on fire. Act according to the LORD's word. Indeed, I have given you an order!" 9 Joshua sent them off, and they went to set the ambush. They stayed between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai. Joshua spent that night among the people. 10 Joshua got up early in the morning and mustered the people. Then he and the elders of Israel went up in front of the people to Ai. 11 The entire army that was with him went up. They moved in close, in front of the city. Then they camped north of Ai, with the valley between them and Ai. 12 He took about five thousand men and positioned them as an ambush between Bethel and Ai to the west of the city. 13 The people positioned the main camp on the north side of the city and its rear guard on its west side. That night, Joshua went into the middle of the valley. 14 As soon as the king of Ai saw this, he and all his troops, the men of the city, hurried out early in the morning to meet Israel in battle. They moved out to the battleground on the slopes down toward the Jordan. He didn't know that there was an ambush set against him behind the city. 15 Then Joshua and all Israel let themselves be beaten before them. They fled in the direction of the desert. 16 Next, all the troops who were still in the city were called out to chase them. They chased after Joshua and so let themselves be drawn away from the city. 17 No one who hadn't gone out after Israel was left in either Ai or Bethel. They left the city wide open and chased after Israel. 18 The LORD said to Joshua, "Point the dagger in your hand toward Ai, because I will give it into your power." So Joshua pointed the dagger in his hand toward the city. 19 The ambush quickly rose from its place. As soon as he reached out his hand, it charged. They entered the city and captured it. They set the city on fire at once. 20 Then the men of Ai turned around. They caught sight of the smoke of the city rising toward the sky. They had no chance to flee one way or the other. The troops who were fleeing toward the desert turned against the pursuit. 21 Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city was rising. So they turned and struck down the men of Ai. 22 When other Israelites came out of the city to confront them, the men of Ai were caught in the middle. Some Israelites were on one side of them and some on the other. The Israelites struck them down until there was no one left to escape. 23 But they seized the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua. 24 Israel finished killing the entire population of Ai that had chased them out into the open wasteland. All of them were finished off without mercy. Then all Israel went back to Ai and struck it down without mercy. 25 Twelve thousand men and women died that day, all the people of Ai. 26 Joshua didn't pull back the hand that was stretched out holding a dagger until he had wiped out the whole population of Ai as something reserved for God. 27 However, Israel did take the cattle and other booty of that city as plunder for themselves, in agreement with the command that the LORD had given Joshua. 28 Then Joshua burned Ai. He made it a permanently deserted mound. That is still the case today. 29 He hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening. At sundown, Joshua gave an order, and they took his body down from the tree. They threw it down at the opening of the city gate. Then they raised over it a great pile of stones that is still there today. 30 Then Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal to the LORD, the God of Israel. 31 This was exactly what Moses the LORD's servant had commanded the Israelites. It is what is written in the Instruction scroll from Moses: "an altar of crude stones against which no iron tool has swung." On it they offered entirely burned offerings to the LORD and sacrificed well-being offerings. 32 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on the stones a copy of the Instruction from Moses, which Moses had written earlier. 33 All Israel—with its elders, officers, and judges—were standing on either side of the chest. They were facing the levitical priests who carry the LORD's chest containing the covenant. They included both immigrants and full citizens. Half stood facing Mount Gerizim and half stood facing Mount Ebal. This was exactly what Moses the LORD's servant had initially commanded for the blessing of the Israelite people. 34 Afterward, Joshua read aloud all the words of the Instruction, both blessing and curse, in agreement with everything written in the Instruction scroll. 35 There wasn't a single word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua failed to read aloud in the presence of the entire assembly of Israel. This assembly included the women and small children, along with the immigrants who lived among them.
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