7:2 Joshua sent men from Jericho 1 to Ai (which is located near Beth Aven, east of Bethel 2 ) and instructed them, “Go up and spy on the land.” So the men went up and spied on Ai. 7:3 They returned and reported to Joshua, 3 “Don’t send the whole army. 4 About two or three thousand men are adequate to defeat Ai. 5 Don’t tire out the whole army, for Ai is small.” 6
7:4 So about three thousand men went up, but they fled from the men of Ai. 7:5 The men of Ai killed about thirty-six of them and chased them from in front of the city gate all the way to the fissures 7 and defeated them on the steep slope. 8 The people’s 9 courage melted away like water. 10
3 tn Heb “and they returned to Joshua and said to him.”
4 tn Heb “Don’t let all the people go up.”
5 tn Heb “Let about two thousand men or about three thousand men go up to defeat Ai.”
6 tn Heb “all the people for they are small.”
7 tn The meaning and correct translation of the Hebrew word שְׁבָרִים (shÿvarim) is uncertain. The translation “fissures” is based on usage of the plural form of the noun in Ps 60:4 HT (60:2 ET), where it appears to refer to cracks in the earth caused by an earthquake. Perhaps deep ravines or gorges are in view, or the word is a proper noun (“all the way to Shebarim”).
8 sn The precise geographical location of the Israelite defeat at this “steep slope” is uncertain.
9 tn Or “army’s.”
10 tn Heb “and the heart of the people melted and became water.”