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Achan’s Sin

7 But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted thingsa;f Achang son of Karmi, the son of Zimri,b the son of Zerah,h of the tribe of Judah,i took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burnedj against Israel.k

Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai,l which is near Beth Avenm to the east of Bethel,n and told them, “Go up and spy outo the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.

When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai,p who killed about thirty-sixq of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fearr and became like water.

Then Joshua tore his clothess and fell facedownt to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening.u The elders of Israelv did the same, and sprinkled dustw on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, whyx did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us?y If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth.z What then will you do for your own great name?a

10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned;b they have violated my covenant,c which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied,d they have put them with their own possessions.e 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies;f they turn their backsg and runh because they have been made liable to destruction.i I will not be with you anymorej unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.

13 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselvesk in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.

14 “ ‘In the morning, presentl yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord choosesm shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the Lord chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man. 15 Whoever is caught with the devoted thingsn shall be destroyed by fire,o along with all that belongs to him.p He has violated the covenantq of the Lord and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!’ ”r

16 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen. 17 The clans of Judah came forward, and the Zerahites were chosen.s He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was chosen. 18 Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah,t was chosen.u

19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give gloryv to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tellw me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”

20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunderx a beautiful robe from Babylonia,c two hundred shekelsd of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels,e I covetedy them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the Lord.

24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sonsz and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor.a 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this troubleb on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”

Then all Israel stoned him,c and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.d 26 Over Achan they heapede up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day.f Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger.g Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achorf h ever since.


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