Joshua 7:2

2 Now 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.

Joshua 7:2 in Other Translations

KJV
2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.
ESV
2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, "Go up and spy out the land." And the men went up and spied out Ai.
NLT
2 Joshua sent some of his men from Jericho to spy out the town of Ai, east of Bethel, near Beth-aven.
MSG
2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai (The Ruin), which is near Beth Aven just east of Bethel. He instructed them, "Go up and spy out the land." The men went up and spied out Ai.
CSB
2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and told them, "Go up and scout the land." So the men went up and scouted Ai.

Joshua 7:2 Meaning and Commentary

Joshua 7:2

And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai
Which was the next city of importance, though not so large as Jericho, and was, as the Jews say F12, three miles distant from it; Abarbinel says F13 four miles, and so Bunting F14; Jerom F15 says, that in his times very few ruins of it appeared, only the place was shown where it stood:

which [is] beside Bethaven;
a name by which Bethel in later times was called, ( Hosea 4:15 ) ; but here it is manifestly a distinct place from it; just hard by or near to this place, as Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it, was the city of Ai: Bethaven seems to have been the suburbs of it, or however was very near unto it:

on the east side of Bethel;
near to which Abraham built an altar, as did Jacob also, and which in former times was called Luz, ( Genesis 12:8 ) ( Genesis 35:1 Genesis 35:3 Genesis 35:6 Genesis 35:7 ) ; and was well known in later ages by the name of Bethel; it was reckoned about a mile from Ai: the situation of this city is so particularly described to distinguish it from another city of this name, Ai of the Amorites, ( Jeremiah 49:3 ) ; and is here called "that Ai", that well known Ai, as Kimchi observes:

and spake unto them;
at the time he sent them, when he gave them their orders to go thither:

saying, go up and view the country;
the mountainous part of it; for they were now in a plain, where Jericho was seated; and observe what place was most proper to attack next, and which the best way of coming at it:

and the men went up and viewed Ai;
what a sort of a city it was, how large, and what its fortifications, and what avenues were to it: by this it appears that Ai was built upon a hill, or at least was higher than Jericho and its plains; and with this agrees what a traveller says


FOOTNOTES:

F16 of it, it is a village full of large ruins (in this he differs from Jerom) and from hence are seen the valley of Jericho, the dead sea, Gilgal, and Mount Quarantania, and many other places towards the east.


F12 Shemoth Rabba, sect. 32. fol. 185. 2.
F13 In Josh. xx. fol. 34. 1.
F14 Travels Of the Patriarchs p. 95.
F15 De loc. Heb. fol. 87. E.
F16 Baumgarten. Peregrinatio, l. 3. c. 1. p. 105.

Joshua 7:2 In-Context

1 But 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.
2 Now 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.
3 When 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.”
4 So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai,
5 who 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.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S Genesis 12:8; S Joshua 8:1,28
  • 2. Joshua 18:12; 1 Samuel 13:5; 1 Samuel 14:23; Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 10:5
  • 3. Genesis 12:8; Joshua 12:16; Joshua 16:1; Judges 1:22; 1 Samuel 30:27; 2 Kings 23:15; Jeremiah 48:13; Amos 3:14; Amos 4:4; Amos 5:5-6; Amos 7:10,13
  • 4. S Numbers 21:32