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Joshua 7:1-5

Achan Sins and is Punished

7:1 But the Israelites disobeyed the command about the city’s riches. 1  Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, 2  son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, stole some of the riches. 3  The Lord was furious with the Israelites. 4 

7:2 Joshua sent men from Jericho 5  to Ai (which is located near Beth Aven, east of Bethel 6 ) 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, 7  “Don’t send the whole army. 8  About two or three thousand men are adequate to defeat Ai. 9  Don’t tire out the whole army, for Ai is small.” 10 

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 11  and defeated them on the steep slope. 12  The people’s 13  courage melted away like water. 14 

1 tn Heb “But the sons of Israel were unfaithful with unfaithfulness concerning what was set apart [to the Lord].”

2 tn 1 Chr 2:6 lists a “Zimri” (but no Zabdi) as one of the five sons of Zerah (cf. also 1 Chr 7:17, 18).

3 tn Heb “took from what was set apart [to the Lord].”

4 tn Heb “the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel.”

sn This incident illustrates well the principle of corporate solidarity and corporate guilt. The sin of one man brought the Lord’s anger down upon the entire nation.

5 map For location see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

6 map For the location of Bethel see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

7 tn Heb “and they returned to Joshua and said to him.”

8 tn Heb “Don’t let all the people go up.”

9 tn Heb “Let about two thousand men or about three thousand men go up to defeat Ai.”

10 tn Heb “all the people for they are small.”

11 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”).

12 sn The precise geographical location of the Israelite defeat at this “steep slope” is uncertain.

13 tn Or “army’s.”

14 tn Heb “and the heart of the people melted and became water.”

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