The Fall of Ai
8 And the Lord said to Joshua, f“Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, gI have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. 2 And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did hto Jericho and its king. Only iits spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it.”
3 So Joshua and all the fighting men arose to go up to Ai. And Joshua chose 30,000 mighty men of valor and sent them out by night. 4 And he commanded them, “Behold, jyou shall lie in ambush against the city, behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you remain ready. 5 And I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out against us kjust as before, we shall flee before them. 6 And they will come out after us, until we have ldrawn them away from the city. For they will say, ‘They are fleeing from us, just as before.’ So we will flee before them. 7 Then you shall rise up from the ambush and seize the city, for the Lord your God will give it into your hand. 8 And as soon as you have taken the city, you shall set the city on fire. You shall do according to the word of the Lord. mSee, I have commanded you.” 9 So Joshua sent them out. And they went to the place of ambush and lay between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai, but Joshua spent that night among the people.
10 Joshua arose early in the morning and mustered the people and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. 11 And nall the fighting men who were with him went up and drew near before the city and encamped on the north side of Ai, with a ravine between them and Ai. 12 He took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. 13 So they stationed the forces, the main encampment that was north of the city and its rear guard west of the city. But Joshua spent that night in the valley. 14 And as soon as the king of Ai saw this, he and all his people, the men of the city, hurried and went out early to the appointed place1 toward othe Arabah to meet Israel in battle. pBut he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15 And Joshua and all Israel qpretended to be beaten before them and fled in the direction of the wilderness. 16 So all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and as they pursued Joshua they rwere drawn away from the city. 17 Not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who did not go out after Israel. They left the city open and pursued Israel.
18 Then the Lord said to Joshua, s“Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” And Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19 And the men in the ambush rose quickly out of their place, and as soon as he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it. And they hurried to set the city on fire. 20 So when the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that, for the people who fled to the wilderness turned back against the pursuers. 21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had captured the city, and that the smoke of the city went up, then they turned back and struck down the men of Ai. 22 And the others came out from the city against them, so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. And Israel struck them down, until there was tleft none that survived or escaped. 23 But the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him near to Joshua.
24 When Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai and struck it down with the edge of the sword. 25 And all who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000, all the people of Ai. 26 But Joshua did not draw back his hand with which he ustretched out the javelin until he had devoted all the inhabitants of Ai to destruction.2 27 Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as their plunder, according to the word of the Lord that he vcommanded Joshua. 28 So Joshua burned Ai and made it forever a wheap of ruins, as it is to this day. 29 xAnd he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening. yAnd at sunset Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree and threw it at the entrance of the gate of the city and zraised over it a great heap of stones, which stands there to this day.
Joshua Renews the Covenant
30 At that time Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, aon Mount Ebal, 31 just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, “an altar of uncut stones, upon which no man has wielded an iron tool.” And they offered on it burnt offerings to the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings. 32 And there, in the presence of the people of Israel, he wrote on bthe stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written. 33 And all Israel, csojourner as well as native born, with their elders and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the ark before the Levitical priests dwho carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, ejust as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded at the first, to bless the people of Israel. 34 And afterward fhe read all the words of the law, gthe blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, hand the women, and the little ones, and ithe sojourners who lived3 among them.
21 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he yturns it wherever he will.
2 zEvery way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord aweighs the heart.
3 bTo do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 cHaughty eyes and a proud heart,
5 The plans of ethe diligent lead surely to abundance,
6 hThe getting of treasures by a lying tongue
7 The violence of the wicked will lsweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
8 The way of the guilty mis crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.
9 It is nbetter to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11 When oa scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12 The Righteous One pobserves the house of the wicked;
he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13 qWhoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.
14 rA gift in secret averts anger,
and a concealed bribe,3 strong wrath.
15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
sbut terror to evildoers.
16 One who wanders from the way of good sense
twill rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
and the traitor for the upright.
19 It is wbetter to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20 xPrecious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling,
but a foolish man ydevours it.
21 Whoever zpursues righteousness and kindness
will find alife, righteousness, and honor.
22 bA wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 cWhoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
24 f“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
25 The desire of gthe sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
26 All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous hgives and does not hold back.
27 iThe sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more jwhen he brings it with evil intent.
28 kA false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29 A wicked man puts on a bold face,
30 mNo wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.
31 nThe horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but othe victory belongs to the Lord.
The Steadfast Love of the Lord
33 hShout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
iPraise befits the upright.
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the jlyre;
3 Sing to him la new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4 For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in mfaithfulness.
5 He nloves righteousness and justice;
othe earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
6 By pthe word of the Lord the heavens were made,
7 He gathers the waters of the sea as sa heap;
he tputs the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For uhe spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The Lord vbrings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 wThe counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
12 xBlessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has ychosen as his heritage!
13 The Lord zlooks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 cThe king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 dThe war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.
18 Behold, ethe eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
fon those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may gdeliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in hfamine.
20 Our soul iwaits for the Lord;
21 For our heart is lglad in him,
because we mtrust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.