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The Capture Of Jericho And Ai

Now Jericho had closed its gates because of the Israelites, and no one
went in or out. But Jehovah said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho
to you with its king and its able warriors. You shall march around the
city, all the soldiers going about the city once. You shall do this for
six days, and on the seventh day the people shall make the attack, each
man going up straight before him."

Then Joshua said to the people, "March around the city and let the armed
men pass on before the ark of Jehovah. You shall not shout the
battle-cry nor let your voice be heard; not a word shall escape from
your mouth until the day I say to you, 'Shout the battle-cry'; then you
shall shout!"

So he had the ark of Jehovah carried around the city once; then they
returned to the camp and spent the night there. The second day they also
marched around the city once and returned to the camp. Thus they did six
days. The seventh day they rose early at dawn and made the circuit of
the city in the same way, only on that day they marched about the city
seven times. The seventh time the priests blew the trumpets, and Joshua
said to the people, "Shout the battle-cry; for Jehovah has given you the
city. The city and all that is in it shall be sacrificed to Jehovah;
only Rahab and those who are with her in her house shall live, because
she hid the messengers whom we sent."

So the people shouted the battle-cry and the wall fell down and they
went straight up into the city and captured it. But Joshua spared the
lives of Rahab and her father's family and all that she had, because she
hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to explore Jericho; and they have
lived among the Israelites even to this day.

Then Joshua set out with all the warriors to go up to Ai. And he
selected thirty thousand brave soldiers and sent them out at night with
this command, "Hide somewhere beyond the town, not very far from it, but
be ready to act. I and all the people who are with me will go toward the
town, but when they come out against us, we will flee before them. They
will come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the town; for
they will say, 'They are fleeing before us.' Then you shall rise up from
where you are hiding, and take the town. When you have captured it, set
it on fire."

So Joshua sent them out, and they went to the place where they were to
hide and placed themselves on the west side of Ai. Joshua spent that
night among the people, and rose early the next morning and gathered
them, and he went up, together with the rulers of Israel, before the
people to Ai. And the warriors who were with him went up and came before
the town. When the king of Ai saw it, the men of the town quickly rose
up and went out to fight against the Israelites, but the king did not
know that men were hiding behind the town to rise up and attack him.

Then Joshua and the Israelites pretended to be beaten and fled toward
the wilderness; and all the people that were in the town were called
together to pursue them. So they left the town unguarded and pursued the
Israelites. Then the men who were hiding rose quickly out of their place
and set the town on fire. When the men of Ai looked back, they saw the
smoke of the town rising to heaven; and they had no chance to flee this
way or that, for the Israelites who had been fleeing to the wilderness
turned back upon those who were following them. When the smoke of the
town rose up, the rest of the Israelites came out of the town against
them; so they were surrounded by the Israelites, some on this side, and
some on that, so that they let none of the people of Ai remain or

Next: Women Who Saved A Nation

Previous: Crossing The River Jordan

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