Joshua 5; Joshua 6; Joshua 7; Joshua 8

1 All of the Amorite and Canaanite kings heard how the LORD had dried up the Jordan River. They heard how he had dried it up for the people of Israel until they had gone across it. The Amorite kings lived west of the Jordan. The kings of Canaan lived along the Mediterranean Sea. When all of those kings heard what the LORD had done, their hearts melted away in fear. They weren't brave enough to face the people of Israel anymore. 2 At that time the LORD spoke to Joshua. He said, "Make knives out of hard stone. Circumcise the men of Israel." 3 So Joshua made knives out of hard stone. Then he circumcised the men of Israel at Gibeath Haaraloth. 4 Here is why Joshua circumcised them. All of the men who came out of Egypt had died. They died while they were going through the Sinai Desert after they had left Egypt. They were the men who were old enough to serve in the army. 5 All of the men who came out had been circumcised. But all of the men who were born in the desert during the journey from Egypt hadn't been circumcised. 6 The people of Israel had moved around in the desert for 40 years. By the end of that time all of the men who were old enough to serve in the army when they left Egypt had died. That's because they hadn't obeyed the Lord. The LORD had taken an oath. He had told them they wouldn't see the land. It's the land he had promised with an oath to their people to give us. It's a land that has plenty of milk and honey. 7 Because they hadn't obeyed him, he raised up their sons to take their place. They were the ones Joshua circumcised. They hadn't been circumcised yet. That's because no one had circumcised them during the journey. 8 So Joshua circumcised all of those men. The whole nation remained in the camp until the men were healed. 9 Then the LORD spoke to Joshua. He said, "Today I have taken away from you the shame of being laughed at by Egypt." That's why the place where the men were circumcised has been called Gilgal to this very day. 10 The people of Israel celebrated the Passover Feast. They observed it on the evening of the 14th day of the month. They did it while they were camped at Gilgal on the flatlands around Jericho. 11 The day after the Passover, they ate some of the food that was grown in the land. On that very day they ate grain that had been cooked. They also ate bread that was made without yeast. 12 The manna stopped coming down the day after they ate the food that was grown in the land. The people of Israel didn't have manna anymore. Instead, that year they ate food that was grown in Canaan. 13 When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him. The man was holding a sword. He was ready for battle. Joshua went up to him. He asked, "Are you on our side? Or are you on the side of our enemies?" 14 "I am not on either side," he replied. "I have come as the commander of the LORD's army." Then Joshua fell with his face to the ground. He asked the man, "What message does my Lord have for me?" 15 The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals. The place you are standing on is holy ground." So Joshua took them off.
1 The gates of Jericho were shut tight and guarded closely because of the people of Israel. No one went out. No one came in. 2 Then the LORD spoke to Joshua. He said, "I have handed Jericho over to you. I have also handed its king and its fighting men over to you. 3 "March around the city once with all of your fighting men. In fact, do it for six days. 4 Have seven priests get trumpets that are made out of rams' horns. They must carry them in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times. Have the priests blow the trumpets as you march. 5 "You will hear them blow a long blast on the trumpets. When you do, have all of the men give a loud shout. The wall of the city will fall down. Then the whole army will go up to the city. Every man will go straight in." 6 So Joshua, the son of Nun, called for the priests. He said to them, "Go and get the ark of the covenant of the Lord. I want seven of you to carry trumpets in front of it." 7 He gave an order to the men. He said, "Move out! March around the city. Some of the fighting men must march in front of the ark of the Lord." 8 When Joshua had spoken to the men, the seven priests went forward. They were carrying the seven trumpets as they marched in front of the ark of the Lord. They were blowing the trumpets. The ark of the LORD's covenant was carried behind the priests. 9 Some of the fighting men marched ahead of the priests who were blowing the trumpets. The others followed behind the ark and guarded all of them. That whole time the priests were blowing the trumpets. 10 But Joshua had given an order to the fighting men. He had said, "Don't give a war cry. Don't raise your voices. Don't say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!" 11 So he had the ark of the LORD carried around the city once. Then the men returned to camp. They spent the night there. 12 Joshua got up early the next morning. The priests went and got the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests who were carrying the seven trumpets started out. They marched in front of the ark of the Lord. They blew the trumpets. Some of the fighting men marched ahead of them. The others followed behind the ark and guarded all of them. The priests kept blowing the trumpets. 14 On the second day they marched around the city once. Then the men returned to camp. They did all of those things for six days. 15 On the seventh day, they got up at sunrise. They marched around the city, just as they had done before. But on that day they went around it seven times. 16 On the seventh time around, the priests blew a long blast on the trumpets. Then Joshua gave a command to the men. He said, "Shout! The LORD has given you the city! 17 The city and everything that is in it must be set apart to the LORD in a special way to be destroyed. But the prostitute Rahab and all those who are with her in her house must be spared. That's because she hid the spies we sent. 18 "But keep away from the things that have been set apart to the Lord. If you take any of them, you will be destroyed. And you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. You will cause it to be destroyed. 19 All of the silver and gold is holy. It is set apart to the Lord. So are all of the articles that are made out of bronze and iron. All of those things must be added to the treasures that are kept in the LORD's house." 20 The priests blew the trumpets. As soon as the fighting men heard the sound, they gave a loud shout. Then the wall fell down. Every man charged straight in. So they took the city. 21 They set it apart to the LORD in a special way to be destroyed. They destroyed every living thing in it with their swords. They killed men and women. They wiped out young people and old people. They destroyed cattle, sheep and donkeys. 22 Then Joshua spoke to the two men who had gone in to check out the land. He said, "Go into the prostitute's house. Bring her out. Also bring out everyone who is with her. That's what you promised her you would do when you took an oath." 23 So the young men who had checked out the land went into Rahab's house. They brought her out along with her parents and brothers. They brought out everyone else who was there with her. They put them in a place that was outside the camp of Israel. 24 Then they burned the whole city and everything that was in it. But they added the silver and gold to the treasures that were kept in the LORD's house. They also put there the articles that were made out of bronze and iron. 25 But Joshua spared the prostitute Rahab. He spared her family. He also spared everyone else who was in the house with her. He did it because she hid the spies he had sent to Jericho. Rahab lives among the people of Israel to this very day. 26 At that time Joshua took an oath and called down a curse. He said, "May the man who tries to rebuild this city of Jericho be under the LORD's curse. "If he lays its foundations, it will cost the life of his oldest son. If he sets up its gates, it will cost the life of his youngest son." 27 So the LORD was with Joshua. And Joshua became famous everywhere in the land.
1 But the people of Israel weren't faithful to the Lord. They didn't do what they were told to do with the things that had been set apart to him in a special way to be destroyed. Achan had taken some of those things. So the LORD's anger burned against Israel. Achan was the son of Carmi. Carmi was the son of Zimri. And Zimri was the son of Zerah. They were from the tribe of Judah. 2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai. Ai is near Beth Aven east of Bethel. Joshua told the men, "Go up and check out the area around Ai." So the men went up and checked it out. 3 Then they returned to Joshua. They said, "The whole army doesn't have to go up and attack Ai. Send only two or three thousand men. They can take the city. Don't make the whole army go up there. Ai only has a few men." 4 So only about 3,000 men went up. But the men of Ai drove them away. 5 They chased the men of Israel from the city gate all the way to Shebarim. They killed about 36 of them on the way down. So the hearts of the people of Israel melted away in fear. 6 Joshua and the elders of Israel became sad. Joshua tore his clothes. He fell in front of the ark of the LORD with his face to the ground. He remained there until evening. The elders did the same thing. They also sprinkled dust on their heads. 7 Joshua said, "LORD and King, why did you ever bring these people across the Jordan River? Did you want to hand us over to the Amorites? Did you want them to destroy us? I wish we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8 "Lord, our enemies have driven us away. What can I say? 9 The people of Canaan will hear about it. So will everyone else in the country. They will surround us. They'll wipe our name from the face of the earth. Then what will you do when people don't honor your great name anymore?" 10 The LORD said to Joshua, "Get up! What are you doing down there on your face? 11 "Israel has sinned. I made a covenant with them. I commanded them to keep it. But they have broken it. They have taken some of the things that had been set apart to me in a special way to be destroyed. They have stolen. They have lied. They have taken the things they stole and have put them with their own things. 12 "That is why the men of Israel can't stand up against their enemies. They turn their backs and run. It is because I have decided to let them be destroyed. You must destroy the things you took that had been set apart to me. If you do not, I will not be with you anymore. 13 "Go. Set the people apart. Tell them, 'Make yourselves pure. Get ready for tomorrow. Here is what the Lord, the God of Israel, wants you to do. He says, "People of Israel, you have kept some of the things that had been set apart to me in a special way to be destroyed. You can't stand up against your enemies until you get rid of those things." 14 " 'In the morning, come forward tribe by tribe. The tribe the LORD chooses will come forward group by group. The group the LORD chooses will come forward family by family. And the men in the family the LORD chooses will come forward one by one. 15 " 'Anyone who is caught with the things that had been set apart to the LORD will be destroyed by fire. Everything that belongs to that person will also be destroyed. He has broken the LORD's covenant. He has done a very terrible thing in Israel!' " 16 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes. The tribe of Judah was picked. 17 The groups of Judah came forward. Joshua picked the group of Zerah. He had the group of Zerah come forward by families. The family of Zimri was picked. 18 He had their men come forward one by one. Achan was picked. Achan was the son of Carmi. Carmi was the son of Zimri. And Zimri was the son of Zerah. Zerah was from the tribe of Judah. 19 Joshua spoke to Achan. He said, "My son, the LORD is the God of Israel. So give him glory by telling the truth! Give him praise by admitting you have sinned! Tell me what you have done. Don't hide it from me." 20 Achan replied, "It's true! I've sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. Here is what I've done. 21 I saw a beautiful robe from Babylonia among the things we had taken. I saw five pounds of silver. And I saw a gold bar that weighed 20 ounces. I wanted them, so I took them. I hid them in the ground inside my tent. The silver is on the bottom." 22 So Joshua sent some messengers. They ran to Achan's tent. And there was everything, hidden in his tent! The silver was on the bottom. 23 They brought the things out of the tent. They took them to Joshua and all of the people of Israel. And they spread them out in the sight of the Lord. 24 Then Joshua and all of the people grabbed hold of Achan, the son of Zerah. They took the silver, the robe and the gold bar. They took Achan's sons and daughters. They took his cattle, donkeys and sheep. They also took his tent and everything he had. They took all of it to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said to Achan, "Why have you brought this trouble on us? The LORD will bring trouble on you today." Then all of the people killed Achan by throwing stones at him. They also killed the rest of his family with stones. They burned all of them up. 26 They placed a large pile of rocks on top of Achan's body. The place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since. That pile is still there to this very day. After the people killed Achan, the LORD turned his burning anger away from them.
1 Then the LORD spoke to Joshua. He said, "Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. Go up and attack Ai. Take the whole army with you. I have handed the king of Ai over to you. I have given you his people, his city and his land. 2 "Remember what you did to Jericho and its king. You will do the same thing to Ai and its king. But this time you can keep for yourselves the livestock and everything else you take from them. Have some of your fighting men hide behind the city and take them by surprise." 3 So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai. He chose 30,000 of his best fighting men. He sent them out at night. 4 He gave them orders. He said, "Listen carefully to what I'm saying. You must hide behind the city. Don't go very far away from it. All of you must be ready to attack it. 5 "I and all of the men who are with me will go up to the city. The men of Ai will come out to fight against us, just as they did before. Then we'll run away from them. 6 They'll chase us until we've drawn them away from the city. They'll say, 'They are running away from us, just as they did before.' "When we run away from them, 7 come out of your hiding place. Take over the city. The LORD your God will hand it over to you. 8 When you have taken it, set it on fire. Do what the LORD has commanded. Make sure you obey my orders." 9 Then Joshua sent them away. They went to the place where they had planned to hide. They hid in a place west of Ai. It was between Bethel and Ai. But Joshua spent that night with his men. 10 Early the next morning Joshua brought his men together. He and the leaders of Israel marched in front of them to Ai. 11 The whole army that was with him marched up to the city. They stopped in front of it. They set up camp north of Ai. There was a valley between them and the city. 12 Joshua had chosen about 5,000 soldiers. He had ordered them to hide in a place west of Ai. It was between Bethel and Ai. 13 The men took up their battle positions. All of the men who were in the camp that was north of the city took up their positions. So did those who were supposed to hide west of the city. That night Joshua went into the valley. 14 The king of Ai saw what the army of Israel was doing. So he and all of his men hurried out of the city early in the morning. They marched out to meet Israel in battle. They went to a place that looked out over the Arabah Valley. The king didn't know that some of Israel's fighting men were hiding behind the city. 15 Joshua and all of his men let the men of Ai drive them back. The men of Israel ran away toward the desert. 16 All of the men of Ai were called out to chase them. They chased Joshua. So they were drawn away from the city. 17 Not even one man remained in Ai or Bethel. All of them went out to chase Israel. When they did, they left the city wide open. 18 Then the LORD spoke to Joshua. He said, "Point the javelin that is in your hand at Ai. I will hand the city over to you." So Joshua pointed his javelin at Ai. 19 As soon as he did, the men who were hiding behind the city got up quickly. They came out of their hiding places and rushed forward. They entered the city and captured it. They quickly set it on fire. 20 The men of Ai looked back. They saw smoke rising up from the city into the sky. But they couldn't escape in any direction. The men of Israel had been running away toward the desert. But now they turned around to face those who were chasing them. 21 Joshua and all of his men saw that the men who had been hiding behind the city had captured it. They also saw the smoke that was going up from it. So they turned around and attacked the men of Ai. 22 The men who had set Ai on fire came out of the city. They also fought against the men of Ai. So the men of Ai were caught in the middle. The army of Israel was on both sides of them. Israel struck them down. They didn't let anyone remain alive or get away. 23 But they took the king of Ai alive. They brought him to Joshua. 24 Israel finished killing all of the men of Ai. They destroyed them in the fields and in the desert where they had chased them. They struck every one of them down with their swords. Then all of the men of Israel returned to Ai. And they killed those who were left in it. 25 The total number of men and women they killed that day was 12,000. They put to death all of the people of Ai. 26 Joshua kept the javelin that was in his hand pointed at Ai. He didn't lower his hand until he and his men had totally destroyed everyone who lived there. 27 But this time Israel kept for themselves the livestock and everything else they had taken from the city. The LORD had directed Joshua to let them do it. 28 So Joshua burned Ai down. He tore it down so it could never be built again. It has been deserted to this very day. 29 Joshua killed the king of Ai. He stuck a pole through the body. Then he set it up where people could see it. He left it there until evening. At sunset, Joshua ordered his men to remove the body from the pole. He told them to throw the body down at the entrance of the city gate. They put a large pile of rocks over the body. That pile is still there to this very day. 30 Joshua built an altar to honor the Lord, the God of Israel. He built it on Mount Ebal. 31 Moses, the servant of the Lord, had commanded the people of Israel to do that. Joshua built the altar in keeping with what is written in the Scroll of the Law of Moses. He built an altar out of stones that iron tools had never touched. Then the people offered on the altar burnt offerings to the Lord. They also sacrificed friendship offerings on it. 32 Joshua copied the written law of Moses on stones. He did it while all of the people of Israel were watching. 33 They were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All of the people of Israel, including outsiders and citizens, were there. Israel's elders, officials and judges were also there. All of them faced the priests, who were Levites. They were carrying the ark. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim. The other half stood in front of Mount Ebal. Moses, the servant of the Lord, had earlier told them to do it. It was when he had given directions to bless the people of Israel. 34 Then Joshua read all of the words of the law out loud. He read the blessings and the curses. He read them in keeping with what is written in the Scroll of the Law. 35 Joshua read every word Moses had commanded. He read them to the whole community of Israel. That included the women and children. It also included the outsiders who were living among them.
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