Joshua 8:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.

King James Bible
And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to Joshua, Fear not, neither be dismayed. Take with thee all the people of war, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land.

World English Bible
Yahweh said to Joshua, "Don't be afraid, neither be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. Behold, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, with his people, his city, and his land.

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith unto Joshua, 'Fear not, nor be affrighted, take with thee all the people of war, and rise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land,

Joshua 8:1 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Fear not - The iniquity being now purged away, because of which God had turned his hand against Israel, there was now no cause to dread any other disaster, and therefore Joshua is ordered to take courage.

Take all the people of war with thee - From the letter of this verse it appears that all that were capable of carrying arms were to march out of the camp on this occasion: thirty thousand chosen men formed an ambuscade in one place; five thousand he placed in another, who had all gained their positions in the night season: with the rest of the army he appeared the next morning before Ai, which the men of that city would naturally suppose were the whole of the Israelitish forces; and consequently be the more emboldened to come out and attack them. But some think that thirty thousand men were the whole that were employed on this occasion; five thousand of whom were placed as an ambuscade on the west side of the city between Beth-el and Ai, Joshua 8:12, and with the rest he appeared before the city in the morning. The king of Ai seeing but about twenty-five thousand coming against him, and being determined to defend his city and crown to the last extremity, though he had but twelve thousand persons in the whole city, Joshua 8:25, scarcely one half of whom we can suppose to be effective men, he was determined to risk a battle; and accordingly issued out, and was defeated by the stratagem mentioned in the preceding part of this chapter. Several eminent commentators are of opinion that the whole Israelitish force was employed on this occasion, because of what is said in the first verse; but this is not at all likely.

1. It appears that but thirty thousand were chosen out of the whole camp for this expedition, the rest being drawn up in readiness should their co-operation be necessary. See Joshua 8:3, Joshua 8:10.

2. That all the people were mustered in order to make this selection, Joshua 8:1.

3. That these thirty thousand were sent off by night, Joshua 8:3, Joshua himself continuing in the camp a part of that night, Joshua 8:9, with the design of putting himself at the head of the army next morning.

4. That of the thirty thousand men five thousand were directed to lie in ambush between Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of the city, Joshua 8:12; the twenty-five thousand having taken a position on the north side of the city, Joshua 8:11.

5. That the whole of the troops employed against Ai on this occasion were those on the north and west, Joshua 8:13, which we know from the preceding verses were composed of thirty thousand chosen men.

6. That Joshua went in the course of the night, probably before daybreak, into the valley between Beth-el and Ai, where the ambuscade of five thousand men was placed, Joshua 8:13, and gave them the proper directions how they were to proceed, and agreed on the sign he was to give them at the moment he wished them to act, see Joshua 8:18 : and that, after having done so, he put himself at the head of the twenty-five thousand men on the north side of the city: for we find him among them when the men of Ai issued out, Joshua 8:15, though he was the night before in the valley on the west side, where the ambuscade lay, Joshua 8:13.

7. That as Ai was but a small city, containing only twelve thousand inhabitants, it would have been absurd to have employed an army of several hundred thousand men against them.

8. This is confirmed by the opinion of the spies, Joshua 7:3, who, from the smallness of the place, the fewness of its inhabitants, and the panic-struck state in which they found them, judged that three thousand troops would be quite sufficient to reduce the place.

9. That it appears this judgment was correctly enough formed, as the whole population of the place amounted only to twelve thousand persons, as we have already seen, Joshua 8:25.

10. That even a less force might have been sufficient for the reduction of this place, had they been supplied with battering-rams, and such like instruments, which it does not appear the Israelites possessed.

11. That this is the reason why Joshua employed the stratagems detailed in this chapter: having no proper instruments or machines by means of which he might hope to take the city by assault, (and to reduce it by famine, which was quite possible, would have consumed too much time), he used the feigned flight, Joshua 8:19, to draw the inhabitants from the city, that the ambush, Joshua 8:12, Joshua 8:15, might then enter, and take possession of it.

12. That had he advanced with a greater force against the city the inhabitants would have had no confidence in risking a battle, and consequently would have kept within their walls, which would have defeated the design of the Israelites, which was to get them to issue from their city.

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Fear not

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed...

Joshua 7:6,7,9 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide...

Deuteronomy 1:21 Behold, the LORD your God has set the land before you: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has said to you; fear not...

Deuteronomy 7:18 You shall not be afraid of them: but shall well remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh, and to all Egypt;

Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that does go before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: fear not...

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 46:11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song...

Isaiah 41:10-16 Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you...

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus said the LORD that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you...

Jeremiah 46:27 But fear not you, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save you from afar off...

Matthew 8:26 And he said to them, Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea...

take all It would seem, from this verse, that all that were capable of bearing arms were to march out of the camp on this occasion:

30,000 formed an ambuscade in one pald??; and

5000 were placed in another, who all gained their positions in the night. With the rest of the army, Joshua appeared the next morning before Ai, which the men of that city would naturally suppose was the whole of the Israelitish force and, consequently, be the more emboldened to come out and attack them. Some, however, think that

20,000 men were the whole that were employed on this occasion,

5000 of whom were placed in ambush on the west of the city, between Bethel and Ai (ver

Joshua 8:12 And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.

) and, with the rest, Joshua appeared before the city in the morning. The king, seeing but about

25,000 coming against him, though he had but

12,000 person in the whole city (ver

Joshua 8:25 And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.

), determined to risk a battle, issued out, and was defeated by a stratagem.

See, I have

Joshua 6:2 And the LORD said to Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor.

Psalm 44:3 For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but your right hand, and your arm...

Daniel 2:21,27,38 And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets up kings: he gives wisdom to the wise...

Daniel 4:25,35 That they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you to eat grass as oxen...

Library
The National Oath at Shechem
'And Joshua said unto the people. Ye cannot serve the Lord: for He is an holy God; He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20. If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then He will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that He hath done you good. 21. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord. 22. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves, that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve Him. And they said,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Formation and History of the Hebrew Canon.
1. The Greek word canon (originally a straight rod or pole, measuring-rod, then rule) denotes that collection of books which the churches receive as given by inspiration of God, and therefore as constituting for them a divine rule of faith and practice. To the books included in it the term canonical is applied. The Canon of the Old Testament, considered in reference to its constituent parts, was formed gradually; formed under divine superintendence by a process of growth extending through
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

Cross References
Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Joshua 6:2
Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.

Joshua 10:7
So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men.

Joshua 10:8
The LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you."

Jeremiah 49:3
"Wail, Heshbon, for Ai is destroyed! Cry out, you inhabitants of Rabbah! Put on sackcloth and mourn; rush here and there inside the walls, for Molek will go into exile, together with his priests and officials.

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