Joshua 7:6-9

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?”

Joshua 7:6-9 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 7:6-9 In-Context

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?”
10 The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?
11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.

Cross References 9

  • 1. S Genesis 37:29
  • 2. S Genesis 17:3; 1 Chronicles 21:16; Ezekiel 9:8
  • 3. Judges 20:23
  • 4. Joshua 8:10; Joshua 9:11; Joshua 20:4; Joshua 23:2
  • 5. 1 Samuel 4:12; 2 Samuel 13:19; 2 Samuel 15:32; Nehemiah 9:1; Job 2:12; Lamentations 2:10; Ezekiel 27:30; Revelation 18:19
  • 6. 1 Samuel 4:3
  • 7. S Exodus 5:22; S Numbers 14:16
  • 8. Exodus 32:12; S Deuteronomy 9:28
  • 9. Deuteronomy 28:58; 1 Samuel 12:22; Psalms 48:10; Psalms 106:8; Jeremiah 14:21