The Scriptures (ISR 1998)
1And יהוה said to Yehoshua, “Do not be afraid, nor be discouraged. Take all the soldiers with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the sovereign of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land.
2“So you shall do to Ai and its sovereign as you did to Yeriḥo and its sovereign. Only its spoil and its livestock you take as plunder for yourselves. Set for yourselves an ambush for the city, behind it.”
3And Yehoshua and all the soldiers rose up, to go up to Ai. And Yehoshua chose thirty thousand mighty brave men and sent them away by night,
4and commanded them, saying, “See, you are going to lie in ambush against the city, behind the city. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you shall be prepared,
5while I and all the people who are with me approach the city. And it shall be, when they come out against us, as formerly, that we shall flee before them,
6and they shall come out after us till we have drawn them from the city, as though saying, ‘They are fleeing before us as formerly.’ And we shall flee before them,
7then you shall rise from the ambush and seize the city. And יהוה your Elohim shall give it into your hand.
8“And it shall be, when you capture the city, that you burn the city with fire. Do according to the word of יהוה. See, I have commanded you.”
9And Yehoshua sent them out. And they went to lie in ambush, and stayed between Bĕyth Ěl and Ai, on the west side of Ai. But Yehoshua stayed that night in the midst of the people.
10And Yehoshua rose up early in the morning and inspected the people, and went up, he and the elders of Yisra’ĕl, before the people to Ai.
11And all the soldiers who were with him went up and drew near, and came before the city and camped on the north side of Ai, with the valley between them and Ai.
12And he took about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bĕyth Ěl and Ai, on the west side of the city.
13So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the north of the city, and its rear guard on the west of the city, and Yehoshua went that night into the midst of the valley.
14And it came to be, when the sovereign of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hastened and rose up early and went out against Yisra’ĕl to battle, he and all his people, at an appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city.
15And Yehoshua and all Yisra’ĕl let themselves be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.
16And all the people who were in Ai were called together to pursue them. And they pursued Yehoshua and were drawn away from the city.
17So there was not a man left in Ai or Bĕyth Ěl who did not go out after Yisra’ĕl, and they left the city open and pursued Yisra’ĕl.
18And יהוה said to Yehoshua, “Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai, for I give it into your hand.” And Yehoshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city,
19and the ambush rose up quickly from their place, and they ran at the stretching out of his hand, and entered the city and took it, and hastened to burn the city with fire.
20And the men of Ai looked behind them and saw the smoke of the city rising to the heavens. And there was no power in them to flee this way or that way, for the people who had fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers.
21For when Yehoshua and all Yisra’ĕl saw that the ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city went up, they turned back and smote the men of Ai.
22The others also came out of the city against them, so they were in the midst of Yisra’ĕl, some on this side and some on that side. And they smote them until none were left, and none had escaped.
23But the sovereign of Ai they caught alive, and brought him to Yehoshua.
24And it came to be, when Yisra’ĕl ended slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness where they pursued them, and when they all had fallen by the edge of the sword until they were consumed, that all the Yisra’ĕlites returned to Ai and smote it with the edge of the sword.
25And it came to be that all who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand – all men of Ai.
26And Yehoshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had put all the inhabitants of Ai under the ban.
27Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Yisra’ĕl took as booty for themselves, according to the word of יהוה which He had commanded Yehoshua.
28And Yehoshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a ruin to this day.
29And he hanged the sovereign of Ai on a tree until evening. And at sunset Yehoshua commanded that they should take his corpse down from the tree, and throw it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raise over it a great heap of stones, to this day.
30And Yehoshua built an altar to יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl in Mount Ěyḇal,
31as Mosheh the servant of יהוה had commanded the children of Yisra’ĕl, as it is written in the Book of the Torah of Mosheh, “an altar of unhewn stones over which no man has wielded iron.” And they offered on it burnt offerings to יהוה, and slaughtered peace offerings.
32And there, in the presence of the children of Yisra’ĕl, he wrote on the stones a copy of the Torah of Mosheh, which he had written.
33And all Yisra’ĕl – the sojourner as well as the native – with their elders and officers and judges, stood on either side of the ark before the priests, the Lĕwites, who bore the ark of the covenant of יהוה. Half of them were in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ěyḇal, as Mosheh the servant of יהוה had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Yisra’ĕl.
34And afterward he read all the words of the Torah, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the Book of the Torah.
35There was not a word of all that Mosheh had commanded which Yehoshua did not read before all the assembly of Yisra’ĕl, with the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who accompanied them.