Joshua 7

1But the people of Israel did not obey God. There was a man from the family group of Judah named Achan son of Carmi, grandson of Zimri. Achan kept some of the things that should have been destroyed. So the Lord became very angry at the people of Israel. 2After they defeated Jericho, Joshua sent some men to Ai. Ai was near Beth Aven, east of Bethel. Joshua told them, “Go to Ai and look for weaknesses in that area.” So the men went to spy on that land. 3Later the men came back to Joshua. They said, “Ai is a weak area. We will not need all of our people to defeat that place. Send 2,000 or 3,000 men to fight there. There is no need to use the whole army. There are only a few men there to fight against us.” 4- 5So about 3,000 men went to Ai. But the people of Ai killed about 36 men of Israel. And the people of Israel ran away. The people of Ai chased them from the city gates all the way to the quarries. The people of Ai beat them badly. When the people from Israel saw this, they became very frightened and lost their courage. 6When Joshua heard about this, he tore his clothes ˻to show his sadness˼. He bowed down on the ground before the Holy Box. Joshua stayed there until evening. The leaders of Israel did the same thing. They also threw dirt on their heads ˻to show their sadness˼. 7Joshua said, “Lord my Master! You brought our people across the Jordan River. Why did you bring us this far and then allow the Amorite people to destroy us? We should have been satisfied and stayed on the other side of the Jordan River! 8I promise by my life, Lord! There is nothing I can say now. Israel has surrendered to the enemy. 9The Canaanite people and all the other people in this country will hear about what happened. Then they will attack us and kill all of us! Then what will you do to protect your great name?” 10The Lord said to Joshua, “Why are you down there with your face on the ground? Stand up! 11The people of Israel sinned against me. They broke the Agreement that I commanded them to obey. They took some of the things that I commanded them to destroy. They have stolen from me. They have lied. They have taken those things for themselves. 12That is why the army of Israel turned and ran away from the fight. They did that because they have done wrong. They should be destroyed. I will not continue to help you. I will not continue to be with you unless you destroy everything I commanded you to destroy. 13“Now go and make the people pure. Tell the people, 'Make yourselves pure. Prepare for tomorrow. The Lord God of Israel says that some people are keeping things that he commanded to be destroyed. You will never be able to defeat your enemies until you throw away those things. 14“'Tomorrow morning you must all stand before the Lord. All of the family groups will stand before the Lord. The Lord will choose one family group. Then only that family group will stand before the Lord. Then the Lord will choose one clan from that family group. Then only that clan must stand before the Lord. Then the Lord will look at each family in that clan. Then the Lord will choose one family. Then the Lord will look at each man in that family. 15The man who is keeping those things that we should have destroyed will be caught. Then that man will be destroyed by fire. And everything that he owns will be destroyed with him. That man broke the Agreement with the Lord. He has done a very bad thing to the people of Israel!’” 16Early the next morning, Joshua led all the people of Israel before the Lord. All of the family groups stood before the Lord. The Lord chose the family group of Judah. 17So all the clans of Judah stood before the Lord. The Lord chose the Zerah clan. Then all the families of the Zerah clan stood before the Lord. The family of Zimri was chosen. 18Then Joshua told all the men in that family to come before the Lord. The Lord chose Achan the son of Carmi. (Carmi was the son of Zimri. And Zimri was the son of Zerah.) 19Then Joshua said to Achan, “Son, ˻say your prayers˼. You should honor the Lord God of Israel and confess your sins to him. Tell me what you did, and don’t try to hide anything from me!” 20Achan answered, “It is true! I sinned against the Lord God of Israel. This is what I did: 21˻We captured the city of Jericho and all the things in it.˼ I saw a beautiful coat from Babylon, about 5 pounds of silver; and about a pound of gold. I wanted these things for myself. So I took them. You will find those things buried in the ground under my tent. The silver is under the coat.” 22So Joshua sent some men to the tent. They ran to the tent and found those things hidden there in the tent. The silver was under the coat. 23The men brought the things out of the tent. They took those things to Joshua and all the people of Israel. They threw them on the ground before the Lord. 24Then Joshua and all the people led Achan son of Zerah to the Valley of Achor. They also took the silver, the coat, the gold, Achan’s sons and daughters, his cattle, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and everything he owned. They took all these things to the Valley of Achor with Achan. 25Then Joshua said, “You caused much trouble for us! But now the Lord will bring trouble to you!” Then all the people threw stones at Achan and his family until they died. Then the people burned them and everything he owned. 26After they burned Achan, they put many rocks over his body. Those rocks are still there today. ˻So God brought trouble to Achan.˼ That is why that place is called the Valley of Achor. After this the Lord was not angry with the people.

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