Joshua 8:20
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New International Version
The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising up into the sky, but they had no chance to escape in any direction; the Israelites who had been fleeing toward the wilderness had turned back against their pursuers.

New Living Translation
When the men of Ai looked behind them, smoke from the town was filling the sky, and they had nowhere to go. For the Israelites who had fled in the direction of the wilderness now turned on their pursuers.

English Standard Version
So when the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that, for the people who fled to the wilderness turned back against the pursuers.

New American Standard Bible
When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers.

King James Bible
And 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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The men of Ai turned and looked back, and smoke from the city was rising to the sky! They could not escape in any direction, and the troops who had fled to the wilderness now became the pursuers.

International Standard Version
Then the men of Ai looked back behind them—and all of a sudden!—smoke from the city was rising into the sky. They were unable to run in any direction, because the Israelis who had fled toward the wilderness had turned around to attack their pursuers.

NET Bible
When the men of Ai turned around, they saw the smoke from the city ascending into the sky and were so shocked they were unable to flee in any direction. In the meantime the men who were retreating to the desert turned against their pursuers.

New Heart English Bible
When the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and look, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way. The people who fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the men of Ai looked back, they could see the city going up in smoke. They had no place to go, since the Israelites, who had been running toward the desert, had now turned back on them.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And 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.

New American Standard 1977
When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And 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 were fleeing into the wilderness turned back upon their pursuers.

King James 2000 Bible
And 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.

American King James Version
And 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 on the pursuers.

American Standard Version
And 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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the men of the city, that pursued after Josue, looking back and seeing the smoke of the city rise up to heaven, had no more power to flee this way or that way: especially as they that had counterfeited flight, end were going toward the wilderness, turned back most valiantly against them that pursued.

Darby Bible Translation
And the men of Ai turned and saw, and behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way; and the people that fled to the wilderness turned upon the pursuers.

English Revised Version
And 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and behold, the smoke of the city ascended 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.

World English Bible
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. The people who fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers.

Young's Literal Translation
And the men of Ai look behind them, and see, and lo, the smoke of the city hath gone up unto the heavens, and there hath not been in them power to flee hither and thither -- and the people who are fleeing to the wilderness have turned against the pursuer, --
Study Bible
The Conquest of Ai
19The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire. 20When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers. 21When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and slew the men of Ai.…
Cross References
Joshua 8:19
The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire.

Joshua 8:21
When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and slew the men of Ai.

Judges 20:38
Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the men in ambush was that they would make a great cloud of smoke rise from the city.

Judges 20:40
But when the cloud began to rise from the city in a column of smoke, Benjamin looked behind them; and behold, the whole city was going up in smoke to heaven.
Treasury of Scripture

And 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 on the pursuers.

the smoke

Genesis 19:28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land …

Isaiah 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go …

Revelation 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived …

Revelation 19:3 And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

and they had

Job 11:20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, …

Psalm 48:5,6 They saw it, and so they marveled; they were troubled, and hurried away…

Psalm 76:5 The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none …

Amos 2:14-16 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong …

Revelation 6:15-17 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, …

power [heb] hand

Verse 20. - And they had no power. Literally, no hands. Our version here follows the Arabic, Syriac, and Chaldee versions. The LXX. and Vulgate render no direction in which to fly. But in this case לָהֶם would seem preferable to בָהֶם. The Vulgate translates the last clause of the verse, "Praesertim cum hi, qui simulaverint fugam... fortissime restitissent." They could not flee back to the city, for it was in flames. They could not advance northward, because the Israelites had faced about and were coming to meet them. To flee in any other direction would be to cut off the last hope of saving the city. For יָד in the sense of side or direction, however, see Exodus 2:5; Deuteronomy 2:37, and especially the dual, as here, in Genesis 34:21; Isaiah 33:21. And when the men of Ai looked behind them,.... On some account or another, perhaps observing that the army of Israel made a full stop and was gazing at the city:

they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven; from whence they concluded an enemy was there, and had set fire to it:

and they had no power to flee this way or that way; for if they turned back to their city there was an enemy, how powerful they knew not, possessed of it, and whom they might expect would meet them; and if they pushed forward, there was the whole army of Israel against them, which now turned and faced them, showing no fear of them:

and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers; the people of Israel, that fled by the way of the wilderness, Joshua 8:15, turned about, and fell upon the men of Ai that pursued them. 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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Alphabetical: against Ai and any ascended back been behold but chance city desert direction escape flee fleeing for had in Israelites looked men no of or people place pursuers rising saw sky smoke that The their they this to toward turned way When who wilderness

OT History: Joshua 8:20 When the men of Ai looked behind (Josh. Jos) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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