Joshua 7:1-5

Achan’s Sin

1 But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things[a] ; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri,[b] 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.

Joshua 7:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
ESV
1 But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel.
NLT
1 But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the LORD . A man named Achan had stolen some of these dedicated things, so the LORD was very angry with the Israelites. Achan was the son of Carmi, a descendant of Zimri son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah.
MSG
1 Then the People of Israel violated the holy curse. Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, took some of the cursed things. God became angry with the People of Israel.
CSB
1 The Israelites, however, were unfaithful regarding the things set apart for destruction. Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of what was set apart, and the Lord's anger burned against the Israelites.

Joshua 7:1-5 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 7

For the trespass of Achan the children of Israel were smitten and put to flight by the men of Ai, Jos 7:1-5; which gave him and the elders of the people great concern, both for Israel and for the name of the Lord, which was expressed by Joshua in prayer to God, Jos 7:6-9; when the Lord informed him of the reason of it, and gave him directions for finding out the guilty person, and for the punishment of him, Jos 7:10-15; which directions Joshua followed, and the person was found out, who being urged to a confession made one, Jos 7:16-21; upon which he and all he had, with the things he had taken, were burnt with fire, Jos 7:22-26.

Joshua 7:1-5 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.
6 Then 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.
7 And 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!
8 Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies?
9 The 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?”

Cross References 13

  • 1. S Joshua 6:18
  • 2. ver 26; 1 Chronicles 2:7
  • 3. Joshua 22:20
  • 4. ver 18; Numbers 1:4
  • 5. S Exodus 4:14; S Exodus 32:20
  • 6. S Leviticus 10:6
  • 7. S Genesis 12:8; S Joshua 8:1,28
  • 8. Joshua 18:12; 1 Samuel 13:5; 1 Samuel 14:23; Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 10:5
  • 9. 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
  • 10. S Numbers 21:32
  • 11. S Leviticus 26:17; S Deuteronomy 28:25
  • 12. Joshua 22:20
  • 13. S Genesis 42:28; Psalms 22:14; Isaiah 13:7; Leviticus 26:36; Joshua 2:9,11; Ezekiel 21:7; Nahum 2:10

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 11, 12, 13 and 15.
  • [b]. See Septuagint and 1 Chron. 2:6; Hebrew "Zabdi" ; also in verses 17 and 18.
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