Joshua 8:15
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New International Version
Joshua and all Israel let themselves be driven back before them, and they fled toward the wilderness.

New Living Translation
Joshua and the Israelite army fled toward the wilderness as though they were badly beaten.

English Standard Version
And Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them and fled in the direction of the wilderness.

New American Standard Bible
Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

King James Bible
And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten back by them and fled toward the wilderness.

International Standard Version
Because Joshua and the entire fighting force of Israel pretended to lose the battle by running away in front of them toward the wilderness,

NET Bible
Joshua and all Israel pretended to be defeated by them and they retreated along the way to the desert.

New Heart English Bible
Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Joshua and all Israel pretended to be defeated. They ran away toward the desert.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

New American Standard 1977
And Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them and fled by the way of the wilderness.

King James 2000 Bible
And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

American King James Version
And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

American Standard Version
And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But Josue, and all Israel gave back, making as if they were afraid, and fleeing by the way of the wilderness.

Darby Bible Translation
And Joshua and all Israel let themselves be beaten before them; and they fled by the way of the wilderness.

English Revised Version
And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

World English Bible
Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

Young's Literal Translation
And Joshua and all Israel seem stricken before them, and flee the way of the wilderness,
Study Bible
The Conquest of Ai
14It came about when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16And all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city.…
Cross References
Joshua 8:14
It came about when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city.

Joshua 15:61
In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin and Secacah,

Joshua 16:1
Then the lot for the sons of Joseph went from the Jordan at Jericho to the waters of Jericho on the east into the wilderness, going up from Jericho through the hill country to Bethel.

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.

Judges 20:36
So the sons of Benjamin saw that they were defeated. When the men of Israel gave ground to Benjamin because they relied on the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah,

Judges 20:42
Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them while those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of them.
Treasury of Scripture

And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

by the way

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

Verse 15. - Made as though they were beaten. "Joshua conquered by yielding. So our Lord Jesus Christ, when He bowed His head and gave up the ghost, seemed as if death had triumphed over Him; but in His resurrection He rallied again, and gave the powers of darkness a total defeat" (Matthew Henry). By the way of the wilderness. Northwestward, in the direction of the wilderness of Bethel (Joshua 16:1) And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them,.... Or smitten, as some of them might be in the pursuit:

and fled by the way of the wilderness; not a barren desert, but, according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, a place for the pasture of cattle; though perhaps it is the same with the wilderness of Bethaven, Joshua 18:12. Epiphanius (w) makes mention of the wilderness of Bethel and Ephraim as near Jericho.

(w) Contr. Haeres. l. 1. tom. 2.15-17. Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them—the pretended flight in the direction of the wilderness; that is, southeast, into the Ghor, the desert valley of the Jordan, decoyed all the inhabitants of Ai out of the city, while the people of Beth-el hastened to participate in the expected victory. It is supposed by some, from "the city," and not "cities," being spoken of, that the effective force of Beth-el had been concentrated in Ai, as the two places were closely contiguous, and Ai the larger of the two. (See Jos 12:9). It may be remarked, however, that the words, "or Beth-el," are not in the Septuagint, and are rejected by some eminent scholars, as an interpolation not found in the most ancient manuscripts.8:3-22 Observe Joshua's conduct and prudence. Those that would maintain their spiritual conflicts must not love their ease. Probably he went into the valley alone, to pray to God for a blessing, and he did not seek in vain. He never drew back till the work was done. Those that have stretched out their hands against their spiritual enemies, must never draw them back.
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