0 The Ai Massacre (Joshua 8-9)

Episode 81: The Ai Massacre

(Joshua 8-9)

The Ai Massacre

1 God said to Joshua,

Go up to Ai. I've given into your hand the king of Ai, its people, city, and land.

2 Do to Ai like you did to Jericho. Only this time, you can keep all the prey for yourselves.

3 So Joshua and 30,000 soldiers went to Ai.

18 God said to Joshua,

Stretch out your spear toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.

And Joshua stretched out his spear toward Ai.

19 As soon as Joshua stretched out his hand, his men entered the city and set it on fire.

21 Then Joshua and the Israelites killed the men of Ai.

22 They killed everyone in Ai, except for the king, who they brought to Joshua.

25 They killed 12,000 men and women of Ai in one day.

26 Joshua didn't hold his hand back until he had killed everyone in Ai.

Gustave Doré, "Joshua Burns the Town of Ai" (1866)

27 But Joshua kept the animals and the spoil, as God commanded.

28 Then he burned Ai and destroyed it forever. It is a desolation to this day.

29 Joshua hung the king of Ai on a tree until the evening. After sunset, Joshua took the carcass down, left it at the gate of the city, and put up a pile of stones. It's still there today.

30-31 Then Joshua built an altar and offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings to God.

32 At the altar, Joshua wrote the entire law of Moses on stones, while all of the Israelites watched. 34 After writing the law on stones, Joshua read every commandment of Moses to the people, along with all the blessings and curses. 35 There wasn't a single word that Moses commanded that Joshua didn't read to the people.

Joshua enslaves the Gibeonites

9 3 The Gibeonites heard about the massacres at Jericho and Ai, and they wanted to avoid becoming Joshua's next genocide victims. So they came up with a plan.

4-5 They pretended to be travelers from afar by dressing in old clothes, with old bread and wine.

6 Then they went to Joshua and said to him,

We are from a faraway country.

Make a treaty with us.

15 Joshua made peace with them and agreed to let them live.

16 Three days later, the Israelites found out that the Gibeonites were their neighbors.

22 Joshua called the Gibeonites and said to them,

Why did you lie to us? You said you were from a faraway country.

23So now you are cursed. You will be slaves and never be free.

You'll chop our wood and fetch water for God's house.

27 So Joshua made them choppers of wood and fetchers of water. They are still doing that to this day.

A few more words about this episode

Do to Ai like you did to Jericho. (8:2)
The Jericho Massacre (Episode 79)
They killed 12,000 men and women of Ai in one day. (8:25)
The Ai Massacre
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