1 And Jehovah said to Joshua: Do not be afraid, nor 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,
his people, 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 spoils and
its cattle you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it.
3 So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai; and Joshua chose thirty
thousand mighty men of valor and sent them away by night.
4 And he commanded them, saying: Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city,
behind the city. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.
5 And I and all the people with me shall approach the city; and it shall come about, when
they come out against us as at the first, that we shall flee before them.
6 For they will come out after us till we have drawn them from the city, for they will
think, They are fleeing before us as at the first. Therefore we will flee before them.
7 Then you shall rise up from the ambush and seize the city, for Jehovah your God has
delivered it into your hand.
8 And it shall be, when you have taken the city, that you shall set the city on fire.
According to the word of Jehovah you shall do. See, I have commanded you.
9 Joshua therefore sent them out; and they went to lie in ambush, and stayed between
Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; and Joshua lodged that night among the people.
10 And Joshua rose up early in the morning and mustered the people, and went up, he
and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai.
11 And all the people of war who were with him went up and drew near; and they came
before the city and camped on the north side of Ai. Now a valley lay between them and Ai.
12 So he took about five thousand men and set them 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 guard on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley.
14 And it happened, when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and arose
early and went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at an appointed place
before the plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the
15 And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by way of
16 So all the people of Ai were assembled to pursue them. And they pursued Joshua and
were drawn away from the city.
17 There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who had not gone out after Israel. So they
left the city open and pursued Israel.
18 And Jehovah said to Joshua, Stretch out the javelin in your hand toward Ai, for I will
give it into your hand. And Joshua stretched out the javelin in his hand toward the city.
19 And those in ambush rose up quickly out of their place; they ran as soon as he had
stretched out his hand, and they entered the city and took it, and hurried to set the city on
20 And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and behold, the smoke of the
city ascended to the heavens. So they had no strength to flee this way or that way, and the
people who had fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers.
21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city and that the
smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and struck down the men of Ai.
22 And the others came out of the city against them; so they were caught in the midst of
Israel, some on this side and some on that side. And they struck them down, so that they let
none of them remain or escape.
23 And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua.
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 where they pursued them, and when they all had fallen by the
edge of the sword until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned to Ai and struck
it with the edge of the sword.
25 And all who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand; all the people
26 For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he
had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
27 Only the livestock and the spoils of that city Israel took as plunder for themselves,
according to the word of Jehovah which He had commanded Joshua.
28 And Joshua burned Ai and made it a perpetual heap, a desolation to this day.
29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until evening. And as soon as the sun was
down, Joshua commanded and they took his corpse down from the tree, cast it at the
entrance of the gate of the city, and raise over it a great heap of stones that remains to this
30 And Joshua built an altar unto Jehovah the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal,
31 as Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded the children of Israel, as it is written
in the Book of the Law of Moses: an altar of whole stones on which no man has wielded
an iron tool. And they offered upon it burnt offerings unto Jehovah, and sacrificed peace
32 And there, in the presence of the children of Israel, he wrote on the stones a copy of
the Law of Moses, which he had written.
33 And all Israel, with their elders and officers and judges, stood on either side of the ark
before the priests, the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, the sojourner
as well as he who was born among them. Half of them were in front of Mount Gerizim
and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded
before, that they should bless the people of Israel.
34 And afterward he read all the Words of the Law, the blessings and the curses,
according to all that is written in the Book of the Law.
35 There was not a Word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read
before all the assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the sojourners who
were living among them.