1And the LORD said unto Joshua,
Fear not, neither be dismayed: take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:
2And you shall do to Ai and her king as you did unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall you take for a prey unto yourselves: lay you an ambush for the city behind it.
3So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valor, and sent them away by night.
4And he commanded them, saying, Behold, you shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city: go not very far from the city, but be you all ready:
5And I, and all the people that are with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them,
6(For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them.
7Then you shall rise up from the ambush, and seize the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.
8And it shall be, when you have taken the city, that you shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall you do. See, I have commanded you.
9Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people.
10And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and numbered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai.
11And all the people, even the people of war that were with him, went up, and drew near, and came before the city, and camped on the north side of Ai: now there was a valley between them and Ai.
12And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.
13And when they had set the people, even all the host that was on the north of the city, and those lying in wait on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley.
14And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it, that they hurried and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he knew not that there was an ambush against him behind the city.
15And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.
16And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city.
17And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.
18And the LORD said unto Joshua,
Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai; for I will give it into your hand.
And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.
19And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hurried to set the city on fire.
20And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers.
21And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.
22And the others came out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and they struck them, so that they let none of them remain or escape.
23And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua.
24And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness where they had chased them, and when they were all fallen by the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and struck it with the edge of the sword.
25And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.
26For Joshua drew not his hand back, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
27Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua.
28And Joshua burned Ai, and made it a heap forever, even a desolation unto this day.
29And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until evening: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his body down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise on it a great heap of stones, that remains unto this day.
30Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal,
31As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man has lifted up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.
32And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.
33And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side of the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them in front of mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.
34And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.
35There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were living among them.