1 But the children of Israel committed a great offense, for they kept back for themselves something from what was accursed. Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took something from what was accursed, and the Lord was very angry with the sons of Israel. 2 Then Joshua sent men into Ai, which is near Bethel, saying, “Spy out Ai.” So the men went up, and spied out Ai. 3 After this, they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Let not all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and force the city to surrender. Do not lead all the people there, for they are few in number.” 4 Thus, about three thousand men went up, but they fled from the face of the men of Ai. 5 The men of Ai killed thirty-six of them and pursued them from the gate; and they crushed them on the steep slope. So the hearts of the people were terrified and became as water.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the ground before the face of the Lord until evening, both he and the elders of Israel, and they put dust on their heads. 7 Joshua said, “I beseech You, O Lord. Why did Your servant lead this people over Jordan to deliver them to the Amorite to destroy us? If only we had remained and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan. 8 What shall I say, since Israel turned his back before his enemy? 9 When the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land hear this, they will surround us and destroy us from off the land. Then what will You do for Your great name?”
10 So the Lord said to Joshua, “Rise up. Why have you fallen upon your face? 11 The people sinned and transgressed the covenant I made with them; for they stole something from what was accursed and put it among their goods. 12 So the sons of Israel will be unable to stand against the face of their enemies. They will turn their backs before their enemies, because they are accursed; and I will not be with you until you remove the accursed thing from among you. 13 Rise up and sanctify the people; and tell them to be sanctified for tomorrow. Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The accursed thing is among you. You shall not be able to stand against your enemies until you remove the accursed thing from among you. 14 In the morning you shall all be gathered together by your tribes, and it shall come to pass that the tribe the Lord points out, you shall bring forward family by family. Then the family the Lord points out, you shall bring household by household. After this, the household the Lord points out, you shall bring man by man. 15 So whoever is pointed out, he shall be burned with fire along with whatever he has, because he transgressed the covenant of the Lord and brought lawlessness in Israel.’ ”
16 Now Joshua arose early in the morning and gathered the people tribe by tribe; and the tribe of Judah was pointed out. 17 Then he brought family by family, and the family of Zara was pointed out. After this, he brought man by man, 18 and Achan, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, was pointed out. 19 Thus, Joshua said to Achan, “Give glory to the Lord God of Israel today and make confession. Tell me what you did and hide nothing from me.”
20 So Achan answered Joshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel. Thus and thus I did: 21 I saw a beautiful, multicolored garment in the spoil and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of fifty shekels of gold. I desired them and took them. Behold, they are hidden in the ground in my tent, and the silver is concealed under them.” 22 Then Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent in the camp. These things were hidden in the tent, with the silver under them. 23 They carried them from the tent; and they brought them to Joshua and the elders of Israel and placed them before the Lord.
24 After this, Joshua took Achan the son of Zerah and led him up to the Valley of Achor, along with his sons and daughters, and his calves, and all his donkeys and sheep, and his tent and all his belongings. Thus he led them all to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said to Achan, “Why did you destroy us? May the Lord destroy you this very day.” Then all Israel stoned him with stones; 26 and they put over him a great heap of stones, and the Lord ceased from the wrath of his anger. Therefore and to this day, the place is named the Valley of Achor.
The Destruction of Ai
1 The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid, nor be cowardly. Take all the men of war with you and arise, go up to Ai. Behold, I have given the king of Ai and his land into your hands. 2 You shall do to Ai as you did to Jericho and its king, and you will plunder for yourself the spoil of its cattle. Prepare for yourself an ambush from behind the city.”
3 So Joshua arose along with all the people of war to go up to Ai. Then Joshua chose thirty thousand mighty men and sent them by night. 4 He commanded them, saying, “You shall lie in ambush behind the city. Do not be far from the city, and all of you be ready. 5 But I and everyone with me will approach the city, and it shall come to pass that as the inhabitants of Ai come out to meet us, we at first shall flee from their face. 6 Then as they come out after us, we will draw them away from the city. They will say, ‘They are fleeing from us as before.’ 7 Then you shall rise up from the ambush and go into the city. 8 You shall do according to this word. Behold, I have commanded you.” 9 So Joshua sent them out; and they went to the ambush site and waited between Bethel and Ai, westward of Ai.
10 Then Joshua rose early in the morning and visited the people; and he and the elders went up before the people to Ai. 11 All the men of war also went up with him; and they proceeded and came opposite the city eastward. 12 But the ambush was on the west side of the city.
13 Then it came to pass that when the king of Ai saw it, he hurried out and immediately went to meet them in battle, he and all the people with him. But he did not know that an ambush was set against him behind the city. 14 So Joshua and Israel saw and retreated from before them. 15 They pursued after the sons of Israel, but were drawn further away from the city. 16 There was no one left in Ai who did not pursue after Israel. They left the city open and pursued after them.
17 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Stretch out your hand with the spear in your hand toward the city, for I have given it into your hands; and the ambush will rise up quickly from their place.” So Joshua stretched out his hand with the spear toward the city, 18 and when he stretched out his hand, those in ambush rose up quickly from their place and went into the city. They seized it and quickly set the city on fire. 19 Then the inhabitants of Ai turned to look behind them and saw smoke rising from the city toward heaven. They no longer had any place to flee this way or that way. 20 Then Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush took the city, and that smoke from the city went up toward heaven; and they turned and struck down the men of Ai. 21 These came out from the city to meet them, and they were in the midst of this army, some on this side and some on that side. The army struck them down until there was not one of them left who survived and escaped. 22 But they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua. 23 Thus, when the sons of Israel ceased killing all those in Ai who were in the plains and in the mountain on the slope, where they pursued them to the end, then Joshua returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword.
24 Those who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand—all the inhabitants of Ai. 25 But the cattle and the spoils in the city, everything which the sons of Israel took as spoils, they did according to the ordinance of the Lord, in the manner the Lord commanded Joshua. 26 Then Joshua burned the city with fire; he made it an uninhabited heap forever, even to this day. 27 The king of Ai was hanged on a forked tree, and he remained on the tree until evening. When the sun went down, Joshua gave orders, and they took down the body from the tree and cast it into a pit. Then they heaped a pile of stones over him that remains to this day.
1 When the kings of the Amorites on the other side of the Jordan, and those in the hills and in the lowland, and in all the coasts of the Great Sea, and those near Lebanon, and the Hittites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Amorites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites heard what happened, 2 they all came together in one place to war against Joshua and Israel.
Israel Reaffirms the Covenant
3 Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal, 4 which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded the sons of Israel as written in the Law of Moses concerning an altar of whole stones, upon which an iron tool should not be laid. There they offered whole burnt offerings to the Lord, and a sacrifice of peace offering. 5 Joshua also wrote on stones the second law of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the sons of Israel. 6 All Israel and their elders and judges and their scribes also passed by on each side of the ark. Then the priests and the Levites took up the ark of the covenant of the Lord. The resident aliens and those born among them, half of them stood near Mount Gerizim, and half of them near Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord commanded when he blessed the people the first time. 7 Thus after this, Joshua read all the words of this law, the blessings and the curses, according to everything written in the Law of Moses. 8 There was not a word from everything Moses commanded Joshua that Joshua did not read in the ears of all the assembly of the children of Israel, to the men, women, and children, and to the resident aliens who came with Israel.
Deception of the Gibeonites
9 When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard everything the Lord did to Jericho and Ai, 10 indeed they also devised a crafty plan. So they went and supplied themselves with provisions and prepared themselves. They took old sacks on their shoulders and old, torn, and patched bottles of wine. 11 The upper part of their shoes and sandals were old and crudely patched on their feet; and the clothing they wore was worn out. The bread of their provision was dry, dirty, and moldy. 12 Then they came to Joshua at Israel’s camp in Gilgal and said to Joshua and Israel, “We have come from a far land. Now then, make a covenant with us.” 13 The children of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you live among us. How then can I make a covenant with you?‘ 14 So they replied to Joshua, “We are your servants.” Joshua then said to them, “Who are you, and where do you come from?” 15 So they said, “Your servants have come from a very distant land in the name of the Lord your God; for we heard of His name, and everything He did in Egypt, 16 and everything He did to the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon the king of Heshbon and to Og the king of Bashan, who dwelled in Ashtaroth and Edrei.
17 “So when we heard this, our elders and all those who inhabited our land spoke to us, saying, ‘Take provisions for yourselves for the road, and go to meet them and say to them, “We are your servants. Now then, make a covenant with us.’ ” 18 These are the loaves of bread, and we took them hot for our journey on the day we left to come to you; but now they are dried and have become moldy. 19 These are the wineskins we filled when new; but they are torn, and our clothing and shoes are old because of the very long journey.” 20 Then the rulers took some of their provisions, but they did not inquire of the Lord. 21 Joshua then made peace with them and established a covenant to keep them safe; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.
22 Now it came to pass that three days after they made a covenant with them, they heard that they were near neighbors and that they dwelt among them. 23 Then the children of Israel departed and came to their cities. Their cities were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beeroth, and the city of Kirjathjearim. 24 The sons of Israel did not fight with them, because all the rulers had sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel; but all the congregation complained against the rulers. 25 So the rulers said to all the congregation, “We swore an oath to them by the Lord God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them. 26 This is what we will do. We will capture them alive and keep them safe, so no wrath will come upon us because of the oath we swore to them. 27 They shall live, but they shall be woodcutters and water-carriers for the entire congregation, as the rulers direct them.”
28 Thus Joshua summoned them together and spoke to them, saying, “Why have you deceived me, saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you are fellow-countrymen of those who dwell among us? 29 Now therefore, you are cursed, and there shall not fail to be a servant nor a woodcutter among you to serve me and my God.” 30 So they answered Joshua, saying, “It was reported to us what the Lord your God ordered His servant Moses, to give you this land and to destroy us and all who dwell in it from before you. Thus we did this thing, because we feared greatly for our lives before you. 31 Now behold, we are in your hands, do to us as it is pleases you and as it seems good to you.”
32 So they did this to them in this way, and Joshua delivered them on that day from the hands of the children of Israel; and they did not kill them. 33 On that day, Joshua appointed them to be woodcutters and water-carriers for the entire congregation and for the altar of God. Therefore, the inhabitants of Gibeon became woodcutters and water-carriers for the altar of God until this very day, and for the place the Lord chose for Himself.
21 Our God is the God who saves us,
And the issues of death belong to the Lord’s Lord.
22 But God will crush the heads of His enemies,
The hairy head of those who continue in their transgressions.
23 The Lord said, “I will return from Bashan;
I will return in the depths of the sea,
24 So your foot may be dipped in blood,
The tongue of your dogs in the blood of your enemies.”
25 Your processionals were seen, O God,
The processionals of my God and my King in the holy place.
26 The rulers drew near, singers followed after;
In the midst of them came young maidens playing timbrels.
27 Bless God in the churches,
The Lord from the fountains of Israel.
28 There is the young Benjamin in ecstasy;
The rulers of Judea are their leaders,
The rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali.
29 Give command, O God, to Your power;
Strengthen, O God, what You accomplished in us.
30 Because of Your temple at Jerusalem,
Kings will bring gifts to You.
31 Rebuke the wild beasts of the reed,
The herd of bulls among the heifers of the peoples,
Lest they shut out those proven in silver;
Scatter the nations that desire wars.
32 Ambassadors shall come out of Egypt;
Ethiopia shall draw near to stretch out its hand to God.
33 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing to the Lord.
34 Sing to God, who rides upon the heaven of heavens towards the east;
Behold, He will speak with His voice, a voice of power.
35 Give glory to God;
His magnificence is over Israel,
And His power is in the clouds.
36 God is wondrous in His saints;
The God of Israel shall give power and strength to His people.
Blessed is God.
1 Wise women build houses,
But those without discernment destroy them with their hands.
2 He who walks uprightly fears the Lord,
But he who is crooked in his ways will be dishonored.
3 From the mouth of a man without discernment comes a rod of arrogance,
But the lips of wise men guard themselves.
4 Where there are no oxen, the stalls are clean,
But where there are abundant crops, the strength of an ox is evident.
5 A faithful witness does not lie,
But an unrighteous witness kindles lies.
53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.
54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.
55 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none.
56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.
57 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying,
58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ”
59 But not even then did their testimony agree.
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?”
61 But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?
64 “You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
65 Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands.
Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps
(Matt. 26:69–75; Luke 22:54–62; John 18:15–18, 25–27)
66 Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came.
67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.”
68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed.
69 And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.”
70 But he denied it again. And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.”
71 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!”
72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.