The Book of Joshua

Chapter 7

The Israelites are smitten at Ai, 1-5. Joshua's complaint, 6-9. God instructs him what to do, 10-15. Achan is taken by the lot, 16-18. His confession, 19-23. He and all he had are destroyed in the valley of Achor, 24-26.

1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Beth-el, and spoke to them, saying, "Go up and view the country." And the men went up and viewed Ai. 3 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 smite Ai. And do not make all the people to labor there, for they are but few." 4 So there went up there of the people about three thousand men. And they fled before the men of Ai. 5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty-six men, and they chased them from before the gate even to Shebarim and smote them in the going down. Therefore, the hearts of the people melted and became as water.

6 And Joshua rent his clothes and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening—he and the elders of Israel—and put dust upon their heads. 7 And Joshua said, "Alas, O Lord GOD, why have you at all brought this people over the Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? O that we had been content and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan. 8 O Lord, what shall I say when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies? 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do to your great name?"

10 And the LORD said to Joshua, "Arise. Why do you lie thus upon your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them, for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and they have also stolen, dissembled, and put it even among their own goods. 12 Therefore, the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed. Neither will I be with you anymore unless you destroy the accursed from among you. 13 Rise, sanctify the people, and say, 'Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, for thus says the LORD God of Israel: "There is an accursed thing in the midst of you, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you." 14 In the morning therefore, you shall be brought according to your tribes. And it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD takes shall come according to their families, and the family which the LORD takes shall come by households, and the household which the LORD takes shall come man by man. 15 And it shall be, that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire—he and all that he has—because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD and because he has wrought folly in Israel.'"

16 So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken. 17 And he brought the family of Judah, and he took the family of the Zarhites. And he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. 18 And he brought his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 And Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give, I pray you, glory to the LORD God of Israel and make confession to him. And tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me." 20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, "Indeed, I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 When I saw among the plunder a fine Babylonish garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, I coveted them and took them, and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it."

22 So Joshua sent messengers and they ran to the tent, and behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. 23 And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. 24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had. And they brought them to the valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The LORD shall trouble you this day." And all Israel stoned him with stones. And they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Therefore, the name of that place was called the Valley of Achor to this day.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Joshua, Chapter 7[➚]


[v.1] - "the accursed thing" - Reference Joshua 6:18.