8:1 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither
be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and
arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king
of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:
8:2 And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto
Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle
thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee
an ambush for the city behind it.
8:3 So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up
against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men
of valor, and sent them away by night.
8:4 And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in
wait against the city, even behind the city: go not very far
from the city, but be ye all ready:
8:5 And I, and all the people that are with me, will
approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they
come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee
8:6 (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn
them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us,
as at the first: therefore we will flee before them.
8:7 Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon
the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your
8:8 And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, that ye
shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of
the LORD shall ye do. See, I have commanded you.
8:9 Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie
in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side
of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people.
8:10 And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and numbered
the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before
the people to Ai.
8:11 And all the people, even the people of war that were
with him, went up, and drew nigh, and came before the city,
and pitched on the north side of Ai: now there was a valley
between them and Ai.
8:12 And he took about five thousand men, and set them to
lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the
8:13 And when they had set the people, even all the host
that was on the north of the city, and their liers in wait
on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the
midst of the valley.
8:14 And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it, that
they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went
out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a
time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that there
were liers in ambush against him behind the city.
8:15 And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten
before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.
8:16 And all the people that were in Ai were called
together to pursue after them: and they pursued after
Joshua, and were drawn away from the city.
8:17 And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that
went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and
pursued after Israel.
8:18 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear
that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine
hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his
hand toward the city.
8:19 And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and
they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they
entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the
city on fire.
8:20 And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw,
and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven,
and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the
people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the
8:21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had
taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended,
then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.
8:22 And the other issued out of the city against them; so
they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and
some on that side: and they smote them, so that they let
none of them remain or escape.
8:23 And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to
8:24 And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of
slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the
wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all
fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed,
that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with
the edge of the sword.
8:25 And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of
men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.
8:26 For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he
stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all
the inhabitants of Ai.
8:27 Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took
for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the
LORD which he commanded Joshua.
8:28 And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever,
even a desolation unto this day.
8:29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide:
and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they
should take his carcass down from the tree, and cast it at
the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a
great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.
The Covenant Renewed at
8:30 Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of
Israel in mount Ebal,
8:31 As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the
children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law
of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath
lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings
unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.
8:32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law
of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of
8:33 And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and
their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side
before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the
covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was
born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim,
and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the
servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should
bless the people of Israel.
8:34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the
blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in
the book of the law.
8:35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded,
which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel,
with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that
were conversant among them.