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Joshua - Chapter 7

1 But the Israelites were unfaithful to the curse of destruction. Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took something that fell under the curse of destruction, and the anger of Yahweh was aroused against the Israelites.

2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai (which is near Beth-Aven), to the east of Bethel, having said to them, 'Go up and reconnoitre the country.' They went up and reconnoitred Ai.

3 Coming back to Joshua, they said, 'There is no need for the whole people to go up; let some two or three thousand go and attack Ai. Spare the whole people such an effort; there are only a few of them!'

4 Of the people, some three thousand marched up, but these broke before the people of Ai,

5 who killed some thirty-six of them and pursued them from the town gate as far as Shebarim, and on the slope cut them to pieces. The hearts of the people melted away and turned to water.

6 Joshua then tore his clothes and prostrated himself before the ark of Yahweh till nightfall; the elders of Israel did the same, and all poured dust on their heads.

7 And Joshua said, 'Alas, Lord Yahweh, why did you bother to bring this nation across the Jordan, if it was only to put us at the mercy of the Amorites and destroy us? If only we could have settled down on the other side of the Jordan!

8 Forgive me, Lord, but what can I say, now that Israel has turned tail on the enemy?

9 The Canaanites, all the inhabitants of the land, will hear of it; they will unite against us to wipe our name from the earth. And what will you do about your great Name then?'

10 Yahweh said to Joshua, 'Stand up! Why are you lying prostrate like this?

11 Israel has sinned; they have violated the covenant which I imposed on them. They have gone so far as to take what was under the curse of destruction, they have even stolen it; they have actually hidden it; they have put it in their baggage.

12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand up to their foes, why they have turned tail on their enemies: because they have come under the curse of destruction themselves. Unless you get rid of the object among you which has been put under the curse of destruction, I shall be with you no longer.'

13 'Get up, sanctify the people and say, "Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, since Yahweh, the God of Israel, declares: The curse of destruction has now fallen on you, Israel; you will not be able to stand up to your enemies, until you have rid yourselves of that object which has been put under the curse of destruction.

14 Tomorrow morning, therefore, you will come forward tribe by tribe, and then the tribe which Yahweh selects by lot will come forward clan by clan, and the clan which Yahweh selects by lot will come forward family by family, and the family which Yahweh selects by lot will come forward mam by man.

15 And the man indicated by lot as regards the object which has been put under the curse of destruction will be delivered to the flames, he and all his possessions, for having violated the covenant with Yahweh and for having committed an infamy in Israel." '

16 Joshua got up early; he made Israel come forward tribe by tribe, and the lot indicated the tribe of Judah.

17 He summoned the clans of Judah, and the lot indicated the clan of Zerah. He summoned the clan of Zerah, family by family, and the lot indicated Zabdi.

18 Joshua then summoned the family of Zabdi, man by man, and the lot indicated Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah.

19 Joshua then said to Achan, 'My son, give glory to Yahweh, God of Israel, and confess; tell me what you have done and hide nothing from me.'

20 Achan replied to Joshua, 'Yes, I am the man who has sinned against Yahweh, God of Israel, and this is what I have done.

21 In the loot, I saw a fine robe from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and an ingot of gold weighing fifty shekels, I set my heart on them and I took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.'

22 Joshua sent messengers; they ran to the tent, and the robe was indeed hidden in the tent, with the silver underneath.

23 They took the things out of the tent and, bringing them to Joshua and all the Israelites, laid them out before Yahweh.

24 Joshua then took Achan son of Zerah and led him up to the Vale of Achor, with the silver and the robe and the ingot of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his goats, his tent and all his belongings. All Israel went with him.

25 Joshua said, 'Why have you brought misfortune on us? Today may Yahweh bring misfortune on you!' And all Israel stoned him to death (and they burned them and threw stones at them).

26 Over him, they raised a great mound of stones, which is still there today. Yahweh then relented from his fierce anger. That was why the place was called the Vale of Achor, as it still is today.

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