Joshua 7:2
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New International Version
Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, "Go up and spy out the region." So the men went up and spied out Ai.

New Living Translation
Joshua sent some of his men from Jericho to spy out the town of Ai, east of Bethel, near Beth-aven.

English Standard Version
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai.

New American Standard Bible
Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, "Go up and spy out the land." So the men went up and spied out Ai.

King James Bible
And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and told them, "Go up and scout the land." So the men went up and scouted Ai.

International Standard Version
Meanwhile, Joshua had sent some soldiers from Jericho to Ai, which was near Beth-aven, east of Bethel. He ordered them, "Go up and scout the land." So the soldiers went up and scouted Ai and

NET Bible
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai (which is located near Beth Aven, east of Bethel) and instructed them, "Go up and spy on the land." So the men went up and spied on Ai.

New Heart English Bible
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, "Go up and spy out the land." The men went up and spied out Ai.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai. Ai is near Beth Aven, east of Bethel. He said to them, "Go, look at that country." So the men went and looked at Ai.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Beth-el, and spoke unto them, saying: 'Go up and spy out the land.' And the men went up and spied out Ai.

New American Standard 1977
Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which was beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke unto them, saying, Go up and spy out the land. And the men went up and spied out Ai.

King James 2000 Bible
And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.

American King James Version
And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.

American Standard Version
And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Beth-el, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and spy out the land. And the men went up and spied out Ai.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when Josue sent men from Jericho against Hai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of the town of Bethel, he said to them: Go up, and view the country: and they fulfilled his command, and viewed Hai.

Darby Bible Translation
And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, Go up and spy out the country. And the men went up and spied out Ai.

English Revised Version
And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Beth-el, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and spy out the land. And the men went up and spied out Ai.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Beth-el, and spoke to them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.

World English Bible
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, "Go up and spy out the land." The men went up and spied out Ai.

Young's Literal Translation
And Joshua sendeth men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-Aven, on the east of Bethel, and speaketh unto them, saying, 'Go up and spy the land;' and the men go up and spy Ai,
Study Bible
Israel Defeated at Ai
1But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel. 2Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, "Go up and spy out the land." So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3They returned to Joshua and said to him, "Do not let all the people go up; only about two or three thousand men need go up to Ai; do not make all the people toil up there, for they are few."…
Cross References
Joshua 7:3
They returned to Joshua and said to him, "Do not let all the people go up; only about two or three thousand men need go up to Ai; do not make all the people toil up there, for they are few."

Joshua 18:12
Their border on the north side was from the Jordan, then the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north, and went up through the hill country westward, and it ended at the wilderness of Beth-aven.

1 Samuel 13:5
Now the Philistines assembled to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and people like the sand which is on the seashore in abundance; and they came up and camped in Michmash, east of Beth-aven.

1 Samuel 14:23
So the LORD delivered Israel that day, and the battle spread beyond Beth-aven.

1 Samuel 30:27
to those who were in Bethel, and to those who were in Ramoth of the Negev, and to those who were in Jattir,

Jeremiah 49:3
"Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai has been destroyed! Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah, Gird yourselves with sackcloth and lament, And rush back and forth inside the walls; For Malcam will go into exile Together with his priests and his princes.
Treasury of Scripture

And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.

to Ai

Joshua 12:9 The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;

Genesis 12:8 And he removed from there to a mountain on the east of Bethel, and …

Hai
Beth-aven

Joshua 18:12 And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border …

Genesis 28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that …

Hosea 4:15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and …

Go up

Joshua 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, …

Proverbs 20:18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel you shall make your war: and in multitude of …

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you …

Ephesians 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

(2) Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai.--Why Ai should be the next town selected for attack after Jericho, is a question which perhaps we cannot answer with certainty. But we may observe that the next step after the capture of Ai, before the further conquest of the country, was to set up the Ten Commandments in Mount Ebal, in the heart of the country, and to pronounce there the blessing and the curse which are the sanction of the law of God. It may well be that the course of the first military operations was directed to this end. The capture of Ai would put the Israelites in possession of the main road running north and south through Palestine, and enable them to reach the centre immediately. Thus the character of the war, which was no mere human enterprise, is maintained; and it is probable that the Divine reason for the movement is that which we are intended to observe. For the first mention of Ai, see Genesis 12:8. It is noticeable that there Abram fitst pitched his tent after his return to Canaan out of Egypt. (See also on Joshua 8:1.) Note also that Beth-aven and Bethel are distinct, although adjacent, places. The one is not a later name of the other, as has been sometimes supposed, although one is "the house of vanity" (i.e., perhaps of idols) and the other "the house of God."

Verse 2. - Ai. עַי or הָעַי "the ruins" (cf. Iim and Ije-abarim, the ruins or heaps of Abarim, Numbers 33:44, 45; and Iim, Joshua 15:29. Probably it is the same as הָעַוּים which we find mentioned in conjunction with Bethel in Joshua 18:22, 23. It becomes עַיָּא in Nehemiah 11:31, and the feminine form is found in Isaiah 10:28. The latter, from the mention of Michmash in the route of Sennacherib immediately afterwards, is probably the same as Ai. Robinson and Hell - the former very doubtfully - place it at Turmus Aya, an eminence crowned with ruins above Deir Duwan. But Vandevelde contests this, and places it at Tell-el-Hajar, i.e., the Tell or heap of ruins; and G. Williams and Capt. Wilson have independently fixed on the same spot, though they call it et-Tel, or "the heap," and suppose the "el-Hajar" to have been added in answer to the question, "what heap?" This situation seems best to suit the requirements of the narrative. For it is "on the southern brow of the Wady-el-Mutyah" (Vandevelde), near that "wild entanglement of hill and valley at the head of the Wady Harith," which "climbs into the heart of the mountains of Benjamin till it meets the central ridge of the country at Bethel" (Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 202). Its situation, unlike that of Turmus Aya, is calculated to give cover to an ambush of 5,000 men, and it also answers to the conditions in its nearness to Michmash, from which Turmus Aya is more than three hours' journey distant. The Tell is "covered with heaps of ruins" (Capt. Wilson, 'Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement,' 4. p. 124). Conder, however ('Handbook,' p. 254), identifies Ai with Haiyan, two miles from Bethel, in the same Wady, but why, he gives no hint. A fortress so situated was one which Joshua could not leave in his rear, and so its capture was a matter of necessity. By its position, if not from the number of its inhabitants, it was necessarily a very strong one. Ai is mentioned as early as Genesis 12:8, and we find that it was inhabited down to the Captivity, for the "men of Bethel and Ai" are mentioned (and, it may be observed, in close proximity to those of Rama, Geba, and Michmash - see Isaiah 10:28 above cited) in Ezra 2:28. See also Nehemiah 11:31, above cited. The name Ai, or ruins, found so early, implies that the aboriginal inhabitants had built a city in that almost inaccessible situation. Lieut. Conder gives a very vivid description of the site et-Tel in 'Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement,' April, 1874. There are, he says, "huge mounds of broken stone and shingle ten feet high. The town," he adds, "must have been pounded small, and the fury of its destruction is still evidenced by its completeness." He continues: "The party for the ambush, following the ancient causeway from Bethel to Jordan (which we have recovered throughout its entire length) as far as Michmash, would then easily ascend the great wady west of Ai, and arrive within a quarter of a mile of the city without having ever come in sight of it. Here, hidden by the knoll of Burjums and the high ground near it, a force of almost any magnitude might wait unsuspected. The main body in the meanwhile, without diverging from the road, would ascend the gently sloping valley and appear before the town on the open battlefield which stretches away to its east and south. From the knoll the figure of Joshua would be plainly visible to either party, with his spear stretched against the sky" [see ch Joshua 8:18). But the site still eludes investigation. Lieut. Kitchener, Mr. Birch, Mr. Guest, would place it at Kh-Haiy, or the rock Rimmon. When those who have visited the country are so divided in opinion, nothing but silence remains for those who have not. Beth-avern (cf. 1 Samuel 14:23). This place has not yet been identified. It was close by Ai, and not far from Bethel, as the transference of its name to Bethel by Hosea (Hosea 4:15; 5:8; 10:5) shows. It could not have been a place of any importance, or the historian would not have found it necessary to explain where it was. Hosea has perhaps derived his knowledge of it from this passage. Some writers have identified it with Bethel. But this is obviously incorrect, since the literal rendering of the Hebrew here places Ai "in the immediate proximity of Beth-aven, eastward of Bethel." The LXX. omits all reference to Beth-aven. But there are many various readings. Bethel Formerly Luz (Genesis 28:19; Genesis 35:7; Judges 1:23). The last-cited passage seems to prove that Bethel was not among, the cities taken during Joshua's campaign; though this is extraordinary in the face of the fact that the inhabitants of Luz gave their assistance to the men of Ai in the battle (see Joshua 8:17, where, however, it is remarkable that the LXX. omits all reference to Bethel). We may observe that there is no mention of the capture of Bethel, or the destruction of the inhabitants, and that this exactly agrees with Judges 1:22-26. This is an undesigned coincidence well worthy of note. We may also remark on the exact conformity between the situation of Bethel as described here and in Genesis 12:8. The city to which the name Bethel was attached was not the place of Abraham's altar, as we learn from the passage just cited, but was in its immediate neighbourhood. The ruins which now mark its site are of a later date than the events recorded in Scripture. Its modern name is Beitin. Go up and view the country. Rather, spy (or reconnoitre); literally, foot the country. Joshua does not refuse to avail himself of human expedients because he is under Divine guidance (see also ch. 2). The reasons for this reconnoitring expedition are made clear enough by the passage quoted from Lieut. Condor's survey above. And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai,.... Which was the next city of importance, though not so large as Jericho, and was, as the Jews say (l), three miles distant from it; Abarbinel says (m) four miles, and so Bunting (n); Jerom (o) says, that in his times very few ruins of it appeared, only the place was shown where it stood:

which is beside Bethaven; a name by which Bethel in later times was called, Hosea 4:15; but here it is manifestly a distinct place from it; just hard by or near to this place, as Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it, was the city of Ai: Bethaven seems to have been the suburbs of it, or however was very near unto it:

on the east side of Bethel; near to which Abraham built an altar, as did Jacob also, and which in former times was called Luz, Genesis 12:8; and was well known in later ages by the name of Bethel; it was reckoned about a mile from Ai: the situation of this city is so particularly described to distinguish it from another city of this name, Ai of the Amorites, Jeremiah 49:3; and is here called "that Ai", that well known Ai, as Kimchi observes:

and spake unto them; at the time he sent them, when he gave them their orders to go thither:

saying, go up and view the country; the mountainous part of it; for they were now in a plain, where Jericho was seated; and observe what place was most proper to attack next, and which the best way of coming at it:

and the men went up and viewed Ai; what a sort of a city it was, how large, and what its fortifications, and what avenues were to it: by this it appears that Ai was built upon a hill, or at least was higher than Jericho and its plains; and with this agrees what a traveller says (p) of it, it is a village full of large ruins (in this he differs from Jerom) and from hence are seen the valley of Jericho, the dead sea, Gilgal, and Mount Quarantania, and many other places towards the east.

(l) Shemoth Rabba, sect. 32. fol. 185. 2.((m) In Joshua 20.fol. 34. 1.((n) Travels Of the Patriarchs, &c. p. 95. (o) De loc. Heb. fol. 87. E. (p) Baumgarten. Peregrinatio, l. 3. c. 1. p. 105. Jos 7:2-26. The Israelites Smitten at Ai.

2. Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai—After the sacking of Jericho, the next step was to penetrate into the hills above. Accordingly, spies went up the mountain pass to view the country. The precise site of Ai, or Hai, is indicated with sufficient clearness (Ge 12:8; 13:3) and has been recently discovered in an isolated tell, called by the natives Tell-el-Hajar, "the mount of stones," at two miles', or thirty-five minutes' distance, east southeast from Beth-el [Van De Velde].

Beth-aven—("house of vanity")—a name afterwards given derisively (Ho 4:15; 5:8; 10:5), on account of its idolatries, to Beth-el, "house of God," but here referred to another place, about six miles east of Beth-el and three north of Ai.7:1-5 Achan took some of the spoil of Jericho. The love of the world is that root of bitterness, which of all others is most hardly rooted up. We should take heed of sin ourselves, lest by it many be defiled or disquieted, Heb 12:15; and take heed of having fellowship with sinners, lest we share their guilt. It concerns us to watch over one another to prevent sin, because others' sins may be to our damage. The easy conquest of Jericho excited contempt of the enemy, and a disposition to expect the Lord to do all for them without their using proper means. Thus men abuse the doctrines of Divine grace, and the promises of God, into excuses for their own sloth and self-indulgence. We are to work out our own salvation, though it is God that works in us. It was a dear victory to the Canaanites, whereby Israel was awakened and reformed, and reconciled to their God, and the people of Canaan hardened to their own ruin.
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