Joshua 7:5

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.

Read Joshua 7:5 Using Other Translations

And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.
and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.
chased the Israelites from the town gate as far as the quarries, and they killed about thirty-six who were retreating down the slope. The Israelites were paralyzed with fear at this turn of events, and their courage melted away.

What does Joshua 7:5 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Joshua 7:5

And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men
In the pursuit of them, which were but few, but a sufficient rebuke of Providence; their loss was but small, but their shame and disgrace great:

for they chased them [from] before the gate;
the gate of the city of Ai:

[even] unto Shebarim;
not that there was a place of this name before, but it was so called from hence, because there they were broken, as Kimchi observes; and the Targum and Jarchi render it,

``until they were broken,''

their lines broken, not being able to retreat in order, but were scattered, and fled to their camp as they could: Gussetius F17 thinks it was the; name of a place, but not so called for the above reason, but because there lay broken pieces of the rock scattered about:

and smote them in the going down;
the hill from Ai; "Morad", rendered "going down", may taken for the proper name of a place, and which, Kimchi says, was a place before Ai, in which there was a declivity and descent, and in that place they smote them when they fled:

wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water;
that is, the whole body of the people, when this little army returned defeated, their spirits failed them, their courage was lost, their nerves were loosed, and they became languid, faint, and feeble; not that their loss was so great, but that they perceived God had forsaken them, and what the issue of this would be they dreaded.


FOOTNOTES:

F17 Comment. Ebr. p. 825.
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