1. And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear, nor be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise; go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land.
2. And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take for a prize for yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it.”
3. So Joshua and all the people of war arose to go up against Ai. And Joshua chose out thirty thousand men, mighty warriors, and sent them away by night.
4. And he commanded them, saying, “Behold, you will be an ambush against the city, behind the city. You shall not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.
5. And I, and all the people with me, shall go toward the city. And it shall be, when they come out against us, as at the first, we will flee before them,
6. For they will come out after us, until we have drawn them out of the city, for they will say, ‘They flee before us, even as at the first.’ And we will flee before them.
7. Then you shall rise up from the ambush and seize upon the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.
8. And it shall be, when you have taken the city, you shall set the city on fire, according to the command of the LORD you shall do. See, I have commanded you.”
9. And Joshua sent them out. And they went to lie in ambush and stayed between Bethel and Ai on the west side of Ai. But Joshua stayed that night among the people.
10. And Joshua rose up early in the morning and called up the people. And they went up, he and the elders of Israel, in the sight of the people of Ai.
11. And all the people of war with him went up and drew near. And they came before the city and pitched on the north side of Ai. And a valley was between them and Ai.
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 city.
13. And when they had set the people, all the army that was on the north of the city and its rear ambush on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the middle of the valley.
14. And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it, they hurried and rose up early. And the men of the city went out to do battle against Israel, he and all his people, at the time appointed before the plain. But he did not know that there were some lying in ambush against him behind the city.
15. And Joshua and all Israel acted as if they were beaten before them and fled by the way of the wilderness.
16. And all the people in Ai were called together to run after them. And they ran after Joshua and were drawn away from the city.
17. And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who did not go after Israel. They left the city open and ran after Israel.
18. And the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the spear in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” And Joshua stretched out the spear in his hand toward the city.
19. And the ambushers arose quickly out of their place and ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand. And they entered into the city, took it, and hurried and set the city on fire.
20. And the men of Ai looked behind them and saw. And, behold, the smoke of the city went up into the sky, and they had no power to flee this way or that way. And the people who fled to the wilderness turned back against the pursuers.
21. And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city went up, then they turned again and killed the men of Ai.
22. And the others came out of the city against them. Thus they were in the middle of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. And they struck them so that they let none of them remain or escape.
23. But they took the king of Ai and brought him alive to Joshua.
24. And it came to pass when Israel had made an end of killing all those who lived in Ai, in the field and in the wilderness where they chased them, and when they had all fallen on the edge of the sword until they were gone, all the Israelites returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword.
25. And all who fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, all the men of Ai,
26. For Joshua did not draw his hand back, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the people of Ai.
27. Only, Israel took the spoil of the livestock and that city for a prize for themselves, according to the word of the LORD which He commanded Joshua.
28. And Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a ruin to this day.
29. And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening. And as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his body down from the tree and throw it down at the entrance to the gate of the city, and raise on it a great heap of stones, still standing to this day.
30. Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD God of Israel in Mount Ebal,
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 has lifted any iron. And they offered on it burnt offerings to the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings.
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 Israel.
33. And all Israel, and their elders and officers, and their judges, stood on this side of the ark, and on that side before the priests, the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the stranger as well as the homeborn 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 all the people of Israel.
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.
35. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded which Joshua did not read before all the congregation of Israel, with the women and the little ones, and the strangers that walked among them.
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