Joshua 7:3
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.”

Berean Study Bible
On returning to Joshua, they reported, “There is no need to send all the people; two or three thousand men are enough to go up and attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, you need not wear out all our people there.”

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.

New King James Version
And 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 attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few.”

New American Standard Bible
Then they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up; have only about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai; do not trouble all the people there, for they are few.”

NASB 1995
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.”

NASB 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.”

Amplified Bible
Then they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not make all the people go up [to fight]; have only about two thousand or three thousand men go up and attack Ai; do not make the entire army go up there, for they [of Ai] are 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.”

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.”

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.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they returned to Yeshua and they were saying to him: “Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up. They will destroy Ai. Do not send all the people, because they are few”,

Brenton Septuagint 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 take the city by siege: carry not up thither the whole people, for the enemy are few.

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?"

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?

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.

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."

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."

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."

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.'

Literal Standard Version
and they return to Joshua, and say to him, “Do not let all the people go up; let about two thousand men, or about three thousand men, go up, and they strike Ai; do not cause all the people to labor there; for they [are] few.”

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."

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.'

Additional Translations ...
Context
Israel Defeated at Ai
2Meanwhile, Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the land.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3On returning to Joshua, they reported, “There is no need to send all the people; two or three thousand men are enough to go up and attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, you need not wear out all our people there.” 4So about three thousand men went up, but they fled before the men of Ai.…

Cross References
Joshua 7:2
Meanwhile, Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven to the east of Bethel, and told 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 went up, but they fled before 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 desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

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

Luke 13:24
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.









(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).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
On returning
וַיָּשֻׁ֣בוּ (way·yā·šu·ḇū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 7725: To turn back, in, to retreat, again

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

Joshua,
יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ (yə·hō·wō·šu·a‘)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3091: Joshua -- 'the LORD is salvation', Moses' successor, also the name of a number of Israelites

they reported,
וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ (way·yō·mə·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“There is no need
אַל־ (’al-)
Adverb
Strong's 408: Not

to send all
כָּל־ (kāl-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3605: The whole, all, any, every

the people;
הָעָם֒ (hā·‘ām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

two
כְּאַלְפַּ֣יִם (kə·’al·pa·yim)
Preposition-k | Number - md
Strong's 505: A thousand

or
א֚וֹ (’ōw)
Conjunction
Strong's 176: Desire, if

three
כִּשְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת (kiš·lō·šeṯ)
Preposition-k | Number - masculine singular construct
Strong's 7969: Three, third, thrice

thousand
אֲלָפִ֣ים (’ă·lā·p̄îm)
Number - masculine plural
Strong's 505: A thousand

men [are enough]
אִ֔ישׁ (’îš)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 376: A man as an individual, a male person

to go up
יַעֲל֖וּ (ya·‘ă·lū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 5927: To ascend, in, actively

and attack
וְיַכּ֣וּ (wə·yak·kū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Conjunctive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 5221: To strike

Ai.
הָעָ֑י (hā·‘āy)
Article | Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 5857: Ai -- a Canaanite city

Since
כִּ֥י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

the people of Ai
הֵֽמָּה׃ (hêm·māh)
Pronoun - third person masculine plural
Strong's 1992: They

are so few,
מְעַ֖ט (mə·‘aṭ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 4592: A little, fewness, a few

you need not
אַל־ (’al-)
Adverb
Strong's 408: Not

wear out
תְּיַגַּע־ (tə·yag·ga‘-)
Verb - Piel - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's 3021: To gasp, to be exhausted, to tire, to toil

all
כָּל־ (kāl-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3605: The whole, all, any, every

our people
הָעָ֔ם (hā·‘ām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

there.?
שָׁ֙מָּה֙ (šām·māh)
Adverb | third person feminine singular
Strong's 8033: There, then, thither


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OT History: Joshua 7:3 They returned to Joshua and said (Josh. Jos)
Joshua 7:2
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