Bible: Joshua 6-7

6:1 Now Jericho 1  was shut tightly 2  because of the Israelites. No one was allowed to leave or enter. 3  6:2 The Lord told Joshua, “See, I am about to defeat Jericho for you, 4  along with its king and its warriors. 6:3 Have all the warriors march around the city one time; 5  do this for six days. 6:4 Have seven priests carry seven ramshorns 6  in front of the ark. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the horns. 6:5 When you hear the signal from the ram’s horn, 7  have the whole army give a loud battle cry. 8  Then the city wall will collapse 9  and the warriors should charge straight ahead.” 10 

6:6 So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and instructed them, “Pick up the ark of the covenant, and seven priests must carry seven ramshorns in front of the ark of the Lord.” 6:7 And he told 11  the army, 12 Move ahead 13  and march around the city, with armed troops going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”

6:8 When Joshua gave the army its orders, 14  the seven priests carrying the seven ramshorns before the Lord moved ahead and blew the horns as the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed behind. 6:9 Armed troops marched ahead of the priests blowing the horns, while the rear guard followed along behind the ark blowing rams’ horns. 6:10 Now Joshua had instructed the army, 15 Do not give a battle cry 16  or raise your voices; say nothing 17  until the day I tell you, ‘Give the battle cry.’ 18  Then give the battle cry! 19  6:11 So Joshua made sure they marched the ark of the Lord around the city one time. 20  Then they went back to the camp and spent the night there. 21 

6:12 Bright and early the next morning Joshua had the priests pick up the ark of the Lord. 22  6:13 The seven priests carrying the seven ramshorns before the ark of the Lord marched along blowing their horns. Armed troops marched ahead of them, while the rear guard followed along behind the ark of the Lord blowing rams’ horns. 6:14 They marched around the city one time on the second day, then returned to the camp. They did this six days in all.

6:15 On the seventh day they were up at the crack of dawn 23  and marched around the city as before – only this time they marched around it seven times. 24  6:16 The seventh time around, the priests blew the rams’ horns and Joshua told the army, 25 Give the battle cry, 26  for the Lord is handing the city over to you! 27  6:17 The city and all that is in it must be set apart for the Lord, 28  except for Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house, because she hid the spies 29  we sent. 6:18 But be careful when you are setting apart the riches for the Lord. If you take any of it, you will make the Israelite camp subject to annihilation and cause a disaster. 30  6:19 All the silver and gold, as well as bronze and iron items, belong to the Lord. 31  They must go into the Lord’s treasury.”

6:20 The rams’ horns sounded 32  and when the army 33  heard the signal, 34  they gave a loud battle cry. 35  The wall collapsed 36  and the warriors charged straight ahead into the city and captured it. 37  6:21 They annihilated with the sword everything that breathed in the city, 38  including men and women, young and old, as well as cattle, sheep, and donkeys. 6:22 Joshua told the two men who had spied on the land, “Enter the prostitute’s house 39  and bring out the woman and all who belong to her as you promised her.” 40  6:23 So the young spies went and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her. They brought out her whole family and took them to a place outside 41  the Israelite camp. 6:24 But they burned 42  the city and all that was in it, except for the silver, gold, and bronze and iron items they put in the treasury of the Lord’s house. 43  6:25 Yet Joshua spared 44  Rahab the prostitute, her father’s family, 45  and all who belonged to her. She lives in Israel 46  to this very day because she hid the messengers Joshua sent to spy on Jericho. 47  6:26 At that time Joshua made this solemn declaration: 48  “The man who attempts to rebuild 49  this city of Jericho 50  will stand condemned before the Lord. 51  He will lose his firstborn son when he lays its foundations and his youngest son when he erects its gates! 52  6:27 The Lord was with Joshua and he became famous throughout the land. 53 

Achan Sins and is Punished

7:1 But the Israelites disobeyed the command about the city’s riches. 54  Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, 55  son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, stole some of the riches. 56  The Lord was furious with the Israelites. 57 

7:2 Joshua sent men from Jericho 58  to Ai (which is located near Beth Aven, east of Bethel 59 ) 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, 60 Don’t send the whole army. 61  About two or three thousand men are adequate to defeat Ai. 62  Don’t tire out the whole army, for Ai is small.” 63 

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 64  and defeated them on the steep slope. 65  The people’s 66  courage melted away like water. 67 

7:6 Joshua tore his clothes; 68  he and the leaders 69  of Israel lay face down on the ground before the ark of the Lord until evening 70  and threw dirt on their heads. 71  7:7 Joshua prayed, 72 O, Master, Lord! Why did you bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites so they could destroy us? 7:8 If only we had been satisfied to live on the other side of the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say now that Israel has retreated 73  before its enemies? 7:9 When the Canaanites and all who live in the land hear about this, they will turn against us and destroy the very memory of us 74  from the earth. What will you do to protect your great reputation? 75 

7:10 The Lord responded 76  to Joshua, “Get up! Why are you lying there face down? 77  7:11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenantal commandment! 78  They have taken some of the riches; 79  they have stolen them and deceitfully put them among their own possessions. 80  7:12 The Israelites are unable to stand before their enemies; they retreat because they have become subject to annihilation. 81  I will no longer be with you, 82  unless you destroy what has contaminated you. 83  7:13 Get up! Ritually consecrate the people and tell them this: ‘Ritually consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, because the Lord God of Israel says, “You are contaminated, 84  O Israel! You will not be able to stand before your enemies until you remove what is contaminating you.” 85  7:14 In the morning you must approach in tribal order. 86  The tribe the Lord selects 87  must approach by clans. The clan the Lord selects must approach by families. 88  The family the Lord selects must approach man by man. 89  7:15 The one caught with the riches 90  must be burned up 91  along with all who belong to him, because he violated the Lord’s covenant and did such a disgraceful thing in Israel.’

7:16 Bright and early the next morning Joshua made Israel approach in tribal order 92  and the tribe of Judah was selected. 7:17 He then made the clans of Judah approach and the clan of the Zerahites was selected. He made the clan of the Zerahites approach and Zabdi 93  was selected. 94  7:18 He then made Zabdi’s 95  family approach man by man 96  and Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, was selected. 7:19 So Joshua said to Achan, “My son, honor 97  the Lord God of Israel and give him praise! Tell me what you did; don’t hide anything from me! 7:20 Achan told Joshua, “It is true. I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel in this way: 98  7:21 I saw among the goods we seized a nice robe from Babylon, 99  two hundred silver pieces, 100  and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels. I wanted them, so I took them. They are hidden in the ground right in the middle of my tent with the silver underneath.”

7:22 Joshua sent messengers who ran to the tent. The things were hidden right in his tent, with the silver underneath. 101  7:23 They took it all from the middle of the tent, brought it to Joshua and all the Israelites, and placed 102  it before the Lord. 7:24 Then Joshua and all Israel took Achan, son of Zerah, along with the silver, the robe, the bar of gold, his sons, daughters, ox, donkey, sheep, tent, and all that belonged to him and brought them up to the Valley of Disaster. 103  7:25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought disaster 104  on us? The Lord will bring disaster on you today!” All Israel stoned him to death. (They also stoned and burned the others.) 105  7:26 Then they erected over him a large pile of stones (it remains to this very day 106 ) and the Lord’s anger subsided. So that place is called the Valley of Disaster to this very day.

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