Achan Sins Against the Lord
1But the Israelites weren’t faithful to the Lord. They didn’t destroy what had been set apart to him. So they did not do what they had been told to do. Achan had taken some of those things. So the Lord became very angry with Israel. Achan was the son of Karmi. Karmi was the son of Zimri. And Zimri was the son of Zerah. Achan and all his relatives were from the tribe of Judah.
2Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai. Ai is near Beth Aven east of Bethel. Joshua told the men, “Go up and check out the area around Ai.” So the men went up and checked it out.
3Then they returned to Joshua. They said, “The whole army doesn’t have to go up and attack Ai. Send only two or three thousand men. They can take the city. Don’t make the whole army go up there. Only a few people live in Ai.” 4So only about 3,000 troops went up. But the men of Ai drove them away. 5They chased the Israelites from the city gate all the way to Shebarim. They killed about 36 of them on the way down. So the Israelites were terrified.
6Joshua and the elders of Israel became sad. Joshua tore his clothes. He fell in front of the ark of the Lord with his face to the ground. He remained there until evening. The elders did the same thing. They also sprinkled dust on their heads. 7Joshua said, “Lord and King, why did you ever bring these people across the Jordan River? Did you want to hand us over to the Amorites? Did you want them to destroy us? I wish we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8Lord, our enemies have driven us away. What can I say? 9The Canaanites will hear about it. So will everyone else in the country. They will surround us. They’ll erase any mention of our name from the face of the earth. Then what will you do when people don’t honor your great name anymore?”
10The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! What are you doing down there on your face? 11Israel has sinned. I made a covenant with them. I commanded them to keep it. But they have broken it. They have taken some of the things that had been set apart to me in a special way to be destroyed. They have stolen. They have lied. They have taken the things they stole and have put them with their own things. 12That is why the Israelites can’t stand up against their enemies. They turn their backs and run. That’s because I have decided to let them be destroyed. You must destroy the things you took that had been set apart to me. If you do not, I will not be with you anymore.
13“Go and set the people apart. Tell them, ‘Make yourselves pure. Get ready for tomorrow. Here is what the Lord, the God of Israel, wants you to do. He says, “People of Israel, you have kept some of the things that had been set apart to me to be destroyed. You can’t stand up against your enemies until you get rid of those things.”
14“ ‘In the morning, come forward tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord chooses will come forward group by group. The group the Lord chooses will come forward family by family. And the men in the family the Lord chooses will come forward one by one. 15Whoever is caught with the things that had been set apart to the Lord will be destroyed by fire. Everything that belongs to that person will also be destroyed. He has broken the Lord’s covenant. He has done a very terrible thing in Israel!’ ”
16Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes. The tribe of Judah was chosen. 17The groups of Judah came forward. The group of Zerah was chosen. Joshua had the group of Zerah come forward by families. The family of Zimri was chosen. 18He had their men come forward one by one. Achan was chosen. Achan was the son of Karmi. Karmi was the son of Zimri. And Zimri was the son of Zerah. Zerah was from the tribe of Judah.
19Joshua said to Achan, “My son, the Lord is the God of Israel. So give him glory and honor him by telling the truth! Tell me what you have done. Don’t hide it from me.”
20Achan replied, “It’s true! I’ve sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. Here is what I’ve done. 21I saw a beautiful robe from Babylonia among the things we had taken. I saw five pounds of silver. And I saw a gold bar that weighed 20 ounces. I wanted them, so I took them. I hid them in the ground inside my tent. The silver is on the bottom.”
22So Joshua sent some messengers. They ran to Achan’s tent. And there was everything, hidden in his tent! The silver was on the bottom. 23They brought the things out of the tent. They took them to Joshua and all the Israelites. And they spread them out in the sight of the Lord.
24Then Joshua and all the people grabbed Achan, the son of Zerah. They took the silver, the robe and the gold bar. They took Achan’s sons and daughters. They took his cattle, donkeys and sheep. They also took his tent and everything he had. They carried all of it out to the Valley of Achor. 25Joshua said to Achan, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”
Then all the people killed Achan by throwing stones at him. They also killed the rest of his family with stones. They burned all of them up. 26They placed a large pile of rocks on top of Achan’s body. The place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since. That pile is still there to this day. After the people killed Achan, the Lord was no longer angry with them.
1But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things7:1 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 11, 12, 13 and 15.; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri,7:1 See Septuagint and 1 Chron. 2:6; Hebrew Zabdi; also in verses 17 and 18. the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.
2Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.
3When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” 4So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, 5who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.
6Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. 7And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?”
10The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.
13“Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.
14“ ‘In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord chooses shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the Lord chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man. 15Whoever is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the Lord and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!’ ”
16Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen. 17The clans of Judah came forward, and the Zerahites were chosen. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was chosen. 18Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was chosen.
19Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”
20Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia,7:21 Hebrew Shinar two hundred shekels7:21 That is, about 5 pounds or about 2.3 kilograms of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels,7:21 That is, about 1 1/4 pounds or about 575 grams I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
22So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the Lord.
24Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”
Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. 26Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor7:26 Achor means trouble. ever since.