Joshua 7:3
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New International Version
When they returned to Joshua, they said, "Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there."

New Living Translation
When they returned, they told Joshua, "There's no need for all of us to go up there; it won't take more than two or three thousand men to attack Ai. Since there are so few of them, don't make all our people struggle to go up there."

English Standard Version
And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.”

New American Standard Bible
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."

King James Bible
And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.

Christian Standard Bible
After returning to Joshua they reported to him, "Don't send all the people, but send about two thousand or three thousand men to attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, don't wear out all our people there."

Contemporary English Version
They went back to Joshua and reported, "You don't need to send the whole army to attack Ai--2,000 or 3,000 troops will be enough. Why bother the whole army for a town that small?"

Good News Translation
they reported back to Joshua: "There is no need for everyone to attack Ai. Send only about two or three thousand men. Don't send the whole army up there to fight; it is not a large city."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
After returning to Joshua they reported to him, "Don't send all the people, but send about 2,000 or 3,000 men to attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, don't wear out all our people there."

International Standard Version
returned to Joshua. "Not all of the people need to go up," they reported. "Only about two or three thousand men should attack Ai. Since they are so few, don't make all of the army work hard up there."

NET Bible
They returned and reported to Joshua, "Don't send the whole army. About two or three thousand men are adequate to defeat Ai. Don't tire out the whole army, for Ai is small."

New Heart English Bible
They returned to Joshua, and said to him, "Do not let all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and strike Ai. Do not make all the people to toil there, for there are only a few of them."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They came back to Joshua and told him, "You don't need to send all the troops. Only about two or three thousand men are needed to destroy Ai. Don't tire the troops out by sending all of them. There are only a few troops in Ai."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him: 'Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; make not all the people to toil thither; for they are but few.'

New American Standard 1977
And 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.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And they returned to Joshua and said unto him, Let not all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; do not make all the people to labour there; for they are but few.

King James 2000 Bible
And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai; and make not all the people to toil up there; for they are but few.

American King James Version
And they returned to Joshua, and said to him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labor thither; for they are but few.

American Standard Version
And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; make not all the people to toil thither; for they are but few.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And returning they said to him: Let not all the people go up, but let two or three thousand men go and destroy the city: why should all the people be troubled in vain against enemies that are very few?

Darby Bible Translation
And they returned to Joshua, and said to him, Let not all the people go up; let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; make not all the people to toil thither, for they are few.

English Revised Version
And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; make not all the people to toil thither; for they are but few.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they returned to Joshua, and said to him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labor thither; for they are but few.

World English Bible
They returned to Joshua, and said to him, "Don't let all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and strike Ai. Don't make all the people to toil there, for there are only a few of them."

Young's Literal Translation
and they turn back unto Joshua, and say unto him, 'Let not all the people go up; let about two thousand men, or about three thousand men, go up, and they smite Ai; cause not all the people to labour thither; for they are few.'
Study Bible
Israel Defeated at Ai
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." 4So about three thousand men from the people went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai.…
Cross References
Joshua 7:2
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.

Joshua 7:4
So about three thousand men from the people went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai.
Treasury of Scripture

And they returned to Joshua, and said to him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labor thither; for they are but few.

about two [heb] about

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of …

Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the slothful kills him; for his hands refuse to labor.

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say to you, will …

Hebrews 4:11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall …

Hebrews 6:11,12 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to …

2 Peter 1:5,10 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; …

(3) Make not all the people to labour thither.--In these words we see, by a sort of side-glance, the (not unnatural) comment of Israel on the seven days' march round Jericho. They thought it useless labour, and were unable to appreciate the lesson which it taught. Again our attention is directed to the peculiar character of the warfare. It was not that kind of war which men would naturally have been disposed to wage. But the narrative is consistent throughout. (See Note on Joshua 2:1.)

Verse 3. - Make not all the people to labour thither; or, weary not the people with the journey thither. "Good successe lifts up the heart with too much confidence" (Bp. Hall). And they returned unto Joshua, and said unto him, let not all the people go up,.... After they had reconnoitred the place, they came back to their general, and gave it as their opinion, that there was no need for the whole army to go up against the city:

but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; such a number they judged were sufficient to take it:

and make not all the people to labour thither; carrying their tents, bearing their armour, and going up hill:

for they are but few; the inhabitants of Ai, men and women making but twelve thousand; Joshua 8:25. 3. Let not all the people go up, … for they are but few—As the population of Ai amounted to twelve thousand (Jos 8:25), it was a considerable town; though in the hasty and distant reconnoitre made by the spies, it probably appeared small in comparison to Jericho; and this may have been the reason for their proposing so small a detachment to capture it.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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OT History: Joshua 7:3 They returned to Joshua and said (Josh. Jos) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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