Joshua 8:16
And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.At a time appointed - Rather, "at the place appointed," i. e. some spot suitable for the drawing up of his men, which had been assigned beforehand. This was "before the plain," i. e. it was at the entrance of the depressed tract of land which runs down to the Jordan valley, up which lay the route of the Israelites from Gilgal to Ai. 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. All the people, to wit, all that were able to bear arms, for old men and children were unfit for the pursuit or fight; and that they were yet left, may seem from Joshua 8:24,25. And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them,.... Because the host of Israel was very numerous, it was judged proper that all the people in Ai should assist in pursuing them, not only to kill the more in the pursuit, but to carry off the spoil and prisoners they should take; or rather the sense is, that all the people in Ai, which were come out with the king to battle, when they saw Israel flee, "cried" (x), or shouted, as soldiers do when victorious, "in" or "while pursuing" (y) after them:

and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city; at some considerable distance from it; which was the design to be answered by feigning a flight.

(x) "vociferantes", V. L. "vociferati sunt", Pagninus, Montanus. (y) "persequendo", Pagninus, Montanus.

And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 16. - Were called together. So the Masorites. Perhaps it would be better to translate, raised a cry ("at illi vociferantes." Vulgate. "Da schrie das ganze Volk." Luther). This gives us the scene in all its picturesque detail. We hear the exultant shout of the men of Ai, as they thought the victory won. The LXX. appear to have read חָזַק for זָעַק for they translate ἐνίσχυσε. The city. The Masorites correct here again into "Ai." But the LXX. and Vulgate render as the English translation. The next morning he mustered the people as early as possible, and then went, with the elders of Israel, "before the people of Ai." The elders of Israel are not "military tribunes, who were called elders because of their superiority in military affairs," as Masius supposes, but, as in every other case, the heads of the people, who accompanied Joshua as counsellors.
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