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¶ AND the LORD said to Joshua, Fear not, neither be dismayed;
take all the men of war with you, and arise and go up to Ai;
because I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai and his people, his city and his land;
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And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king;
only the spoil and the cattle shall you take as a prey for yourselves;
lay an ambush against the city, from behind it.
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¶ So Joshua arose, and all the men of war, to go up against Ai;
and Joshua chose three thousand mighty men of valor, and sent them away by night.
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And he commanded them, saying.
Behold, when you shall lie in wait against the city, from behind it, do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready;
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And I and the men that are with me will approach the city;
and it shall come to pass, when they first come out against us, we will flee before them;
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For they will come out after us, and drive us away from the city, and they will say, They are fleeing before us, as at first;
and behold, as we flee before them,
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Then you shall rise up from your ambush, and seize upon the city;
for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hands.
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And it shall be, when you have taken the city, you shall set it on fire;
according to the commandment of the LORD you shall do.
See, I have commanded you.
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So Joshua sent them forth;
and they went to the place of ambush, and lay between Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of Ai;
but Joshua spent that night among the people.
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And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and counted the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai.
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And all the men of war that were with him went up and drew near to the city, and encamped on the north side of Ai.
Now there was a valley between them and Ai;
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And Joshua took five thousand men, and set them in ambush between Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of the city;
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And when he had set his men and all his host on the north side of the city, and the rear guard on the west of the city, Joshua went that night among the people.
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And when the king of Ai saw it, he hastened, and the men of the city rose up, and went out against Israel to battle;
so all the people of Ai were in the plain;
and they did not know that there was an ambush against them from behind the city.
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And Joshua and all Israel scattered before them to flee by way of the wilderness.
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And all the people of Ai shouted as they pursued them;
and they followed Joshua, and were drawn out of the city.
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And there was not a man left in Ai or Beth-el who did not go out after Israel;
and they left the city open, and pursued Israel.
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And the LORD said to Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai;
for I have delivered it into your hands.
And Joshua stretched out the spear that was in his hand toward the city.
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And the men in ambush arose quickly from their places, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand;
and they entered into the city and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.
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And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw the smoke of their city going up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way;
and the people of Israel that fled to the wilderness turned back upon their pursuers.
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And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the city was going up in smoke, then they turned back and slew the men of Ai.
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And the others went out of the city to meet them;
so the men of Ai were caught in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side;
and they smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape.
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¶ And they took the king of Ai alive, and brought him to Joshua.
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And when Israel had finished slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the fields and in the wilderness where they pursued them, and when all of them had fallen by the edge of the sword until they were consumed, then all Israel returned to Ai and smote it with the edge of the sword.
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And so it was, that twelve thousand men and women, all the inhabitants of Ai, fell that day.
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For Joshua did not draw his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
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Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey for themselves, according to the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua.
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And Joshua burned Ai, and made it a heap of ruins for ever to this day.
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And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until the evening;
and when the sun was set, Joshua commanded, and they took his corpse down from the tree and cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raised over it a heap of large stones that remains to this day.
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Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD God of Israel in mount Gebal,
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As Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of unhewn stones upon which no man has lifted up any iron instrument;
and they offered thereon burnt offerings to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.
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And he wrote there upon the stones of the altar a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.
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And all Israel and their elders and their scribes and their judges stood on this side of the ark, and on that side the priests and the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the natives as well as the sojourners;
half of them toward mount Gerizim, and half of them toward mount Gebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded, that they should bless the people of Israel as before.
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And afterward Joshua read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.
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There was not a word of all that Moses commanded which Joshua did not read before all the congregation of Israel and before the women and the little ones and sojourners who were among them.