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Joshua Chapter 7 | Parsha:

1The Israelites, however, violated the proscription: Achan son of Carmi son of Zabdi son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of that which was proscribed, and the Lord was incensed with the Israelites.

2Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which lies close to Beth-aven—east of Bethel—with orders to go up and spy out the country. So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3They returned to Joshua and reported to him, “Not all the troops need go up. Let two or three thousand men go and attack Ai; do not trouble all the troops to go up there, for [the people] there are few.” 4So about three thousand of the troops marched up there; but they were routed by the men of Ai. 5The men of Ai killed about thirty-six of them, pursuing them outside the gate as far as Shebarim, and cutting them down along the descent. And the heart of the troops sank in utter dismay.

6Joshua thereupon rent his clothes. He and the elders of Israel lay until evening with their faces to the ground in front of the Ark of the Lord; and they strewed earth on their heads. 7“Ah, Lord God!” cried Joshua. “Why did You lead this people across the Jordan only to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites, to be destroyed by them? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan! 8O Lord, what can I say after Israel has turned tail before its enemies? 9When the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land hear of this, they will turn upon us and wipe out our very name from the earth. And what will You do about Your great name?”

10But the Lord answered Joshua: “Arise! Why do you lie prostrate? 11Israel has sinned! They have broken the covenant by which I bound them. They have taken of the proscribed and put it in their vessels; they have stolen; they have broken faith! 12Therefore, the Israelites will not be able to hold their ground against their enemies; they will have to turn tail before their enemies, for they have become proscribed. I will not be with you any more unless you root out from among you what is proscribed. 13Go and purify the people. Order them: Purify yourselves for tomorrow. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Something proscribed is in your midst, O Israel, and you will not be able to stand up to your enemies until you have purged the proscribed from among you. 14Tomorrow morning you shall present yourselves by tribes. Whichever tribe the Lord indicates shall come forward by clans; the clan that the Lord indicates shall come forward by ancestral houses, and the ancestral house that the Lord indicates shall come forward man by man. 15Then he who is indicated for proscription, and all that is his, shall be put to the fire, because he broke the Covenant of the Lord and because he committed an outrage in Israel.”

16Early next morning, Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes; and the tribe of Judah was indicated. 17He then had the clans of Judah come forward, and the clan of Zerah was indicated. Then he had the clan of Zerah come forward by ancestral houses, and Zabdi was indicated. 18Finally he had his ancestral house come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was indicated.

19Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, pay honor to the Lord, the God of Israel, and make confession to Him. Tell me what you have done; do not hold anything back from me.” 20Achan answered Joshua, “It is true, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I did: 21I saw among the spoil a fine Shinar mantle, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, and I coveted them and took them. They are buried in the ground in my tent, with the silver under it.”

22Joshua sent messengers, who hurried to the tent; and there it was, buried in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23They took them from the tent and brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and displayed them before the Lord. 24Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan son of Zerah—and the silver, the mantle, and the wedge of gold—his sons and daughters, and his ox, his ass, and his flock, and his tent, and all his belongings, and brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25And Joshua said, “What calamity you have brought upon us! The Lord will bring calamity upon you this day.” And all Israel pelted him with stones. They put them to the fire and stoned them. 26They raised a huge mound of stones over him, which is still there. Then the anger of the Lord subsided. That is why that place was named the Valley of Achor—as is still the case.

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