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1Yahweh said to Joshua, Don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed: take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai; behold, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land; 2You shall do to Ai and her king as you did to Jericho and her king: only the spoil of it, and the livestock of it, shall you take for a prey to yourselves: set you an ambush for the city behind it. 3So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up to Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand men, the mighty men of valor, and sent them forth by night. 4He commanded them, saying, Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind the city; don’t go very far from the city, but be all ready: 5and I, and all the people who are with me, will approach to the city. It shall happen, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them; 6and they will come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: so we will flee before them; 7and you shall rise up from the ambush, and take possession of the city: for Yahweh your God will deliver it into your hand. 8It shall be, when you have seized on the city, that you shall set the city on fire; according to the word of Yahweh shall you do: behold, I have commanded you. 9Joshua sent them forth; and they went to set up the ambush, and stayed between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people. 10Joshua arose up early in the morning, and mustered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. 11All the people, even the men of war who were with him, went up, and drew near, and came before the city, and encamped on the north side of Ai: now there was a valley between him and Ai. 12He took about five thousand men, and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 13So they set the people, even all the army who was on the north of the city, and their ambush on the west of the city; and Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley. 14It happened, when the king of Ai saw it, that they hurried and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at the time appointed, before the Arabah; but he didn’t know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16All the people who were in the city were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. 17There was not a man left in Ai or Beth El, who didn’t go out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel. 18Yahweh said to Joshua, Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai; for I will give it into your hand. Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19The ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and entered into the city, and took it; and they hurried and set the city on fire. 20When 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 who fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers. 21When 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 killed the men of Ai. 22The others came forth 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 struck them, so that they let none of them remain or escape. 23The king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua. 24It happened, when Israel had made an end of killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness in which they pursued them, and they were all fallen by the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all Israel returned to Ai, and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25All that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai. 26For Joshua didn’t draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 27Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took for prey to themselves, according to the word of Yahweh which he commanded Joshua. 28So Joshua burnt Ai, and made it a heap forever, even a desolation, to this day. 29The king of Ai he hanged on a tree until the evening: and at the going down of the sun Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree, and cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raised thereon a great heap of stones, to this day. 30Then Joshua built an altar to Yahweh, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, 31as Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones, on which no man had lifted up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings to Yahweh, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote, in the presence of the children of Israel. 33All 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 Yahweh, as well the foreigner as the native; half of them in front of Mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of Mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of Yahweh had commanded at the first, that they should bless the people of Israel. 34Afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua didn’t read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the foreigners who were among them.
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