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Joshua 8 - NIV

Ai Destroyed

1 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.

2 You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”

3 So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai. He chose thirty thousand of his best fighting men and sent them out at night

4 with these orders: “Listen carefully. You are to set an ambush behind the city. Don’t go very far from it. All of you be on the alert.

5 I and all those with me will advance on the city, and when the men come out against us, as they did before, we will flee from them.

6 They will pursue us until we have lured them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are running away from us as they did before.’ So when we flee from them,

7 you are to rise up from ambush and take the city. The Lord your God will give it into your hand.

8 When you have taken the city, set it on fire. Do what the Lord has commanded. See to it; you have my orders.”

9 Then Joshua sent them off, and they went to the place of ambush and lay in wait between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai—but Joshua spent that night with the people.

10 Early the next morning Joshua mustered his army, and he and the leaders of Israel marched before them to Ai.

11 The entire force that was with him marched up and approached the city and arrived in front of it. They set up camp north of Ai, with the valley between them and the city.

12 Joshua had taken about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city.

13 So the soldiers took up their positions—with the main camp to the north of the city and the ambush to the west of it. That night Joshua went into the valley.

14 When the king of Ai saw this, he and all the men of the city hurried out early in the morning to meet Israel in battle at a certain place overlooking the Arabah. But he did not know that an ambush had been set against him behind the city.

15 Joshua and all Israel let themselves be driven back before them, and they fled toward the wilderness.

16 All the men of Ai were called to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were lured away from the city.

17 Not a man remained in Ai or Bethel who did not go after Israel. They left the city open and went in pursuit of Israel.

18 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city.” So Joshua held out toward the city the javelin that was in his hand.

19 As soon as he did this, the men in the ambush rose quickly from their position and rushed forward. They entered the city and captured it and quickly set it on fire.

20 The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising up into the sky, but they had no chance to escape in any direction; the Israelites who had been fleeing toward the wilderness had turned back against their pursuers.

21 For when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city and that smoke was going up from it, they turned around and attacked the men of Ai.

22 Those in the ambush also came out of the city against them, so that they were caught in the middle, with Israelites on both sides. Israel cut them down, leaving them neither survivors nor fugitives.

23 But they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.

24 When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the wilderness where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it.

25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai.

26 For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed[a] all who lived in Ai.

27 But Israel did carry off for themselves the livestock and plunder of this city, as the Lord had instructed Joshua.

28 So Joshua burned Ai[b] and made it a permanent heap of ruins, a desolate place to this day.

29 He impaled the body of the king of Ai on a pole and left it there until evening. At sunset, Joshua ordered them to take the body from the pole and throw it down at the entrance of the city gate. And they raised a large pile of rocks over it, which remains to this day.

The Covenant Renewed at Mount Ebal

30 Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel,

31 as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings.

32 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on stones a copy of the law of Moses.

33 All the Israelites, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the Lord, facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Both the foreigners living among them and the native-born were there. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel.

34 Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—just as it is written in the Book of the Law.

35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the foreigners who lived among them.


a. Joshua 8:26 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
b. Joshua 8:28 Ai means the ruin.

Sermons on Joshua 8 More sermons: Joshua 8

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Shared by: Cletus Blamo on Sep, 2016
Summary: The focus of my sermon is to redefine and retify the wrong impression of success in life generally.
Scripture: Joshua 1:1-8:8
Denomination: Pentecostal
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Shared by: David Henderson on May, 2016
Summary: One of the things that many of us look for in life as a shortcut-a way to get something done faster without changing the end result. And most of these so-called shortcuts share one thing in common-they don’t work. For instance...
Scripture: Joshua 8:1-29
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Paul Clemente avatar
Shared by: Paul Clemente on May, 2016
Summary: how should we worship God?
Series: Joshua
Scripture: Joshua 8:30-35
Denomination: Evangelical Free
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Paul Clemente avatar
Ai Plunder?
Shared by: Paul Clemente on Apr, 2016
Summary: God allowed plunder at Ai but not at Jericho, why?
Series: Joshua
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Scripture: Joshua 8:1-29
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Ian Humphrey avatar
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Shared by: Ian Humphrey on Nov, 2015
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Scripture: Joshua 7:1-8:26
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Shared by: Manny Salva Cruz on Oct, 2015
Summary: Failures can be transformed into victories if we only learn how to persevere and correct our mistakes. In this study, we will look on how Joshua faced his past failure and conquer that small city of Ai resulting into deeper commitment to serve God.
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Scripture: Joshua 8:1-8
Denomination: Nazarene
Views: 1,508
Jason Lim avatar
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Shared by: Jason Lim on Oct, 2015
Summary: Three principles to obeying the crucial word of God taken from the renewing of the covenant at Shechem.
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Scripture: Joshua 8:30-35
Denomination: Presbyterian/Reformed
Views: 1,566
William R. Nabaza avatar
JESUS, our Burnt Offering and Peace Offering
Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Apr, 2015
Summary: To show that Moses as a type of CHRIST offered on the altar, both burnt offering and peace offering. In the New Testament, CHRIST is all in all, CHRIST is the (a) One offering Himself up to GOD, (b) CHRIST is the Altar, (c) CHRIST is the Burnt Offering, (
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JESUS is our burnt offering
Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Feb, 2015
Summary: To show that JESUS (Aleph-Tav) is the Burnt offering and JESUS (symbolized by Joshua) is the offerer. GOD will destroy our enemies forever.
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Scripture: Joshua 8:28
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William R. Nabaza avatar
Keep on stretching your hand in prayer
Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Feb, 2015
Summary: To show that we need to be encouraged in our prayer times, spend at least 30 minutes to an hour in prayer.
Scripture: Joshua 8:26
Denomination: Independent/Bible
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Stones contain the Law
Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Feb, 2015
Summary: To prove by secret message (sm) that JESUS fulfilled ALL the Law for us so we could live under Grace.
Scripture: Joshua 8:32
Denomination: Independent/Bible
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Pastor Dr. Tim Awotide avatar
Shared by: Pastor Dr. Tim Awotide on Oct, 2014
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Series: Success
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Shared by: Donnie De loney on Apr, 2014
Summary: God can bring victory out of defeat-Following God's direction.
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Scripture: Joshua 8:1-8
Denomination: Assembly Of God
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Jeff van Wyk avatar
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Shared by: Jeff van Wyk on Jun, 2013
Summary: When we read the Word of God, it becomes evident that our choices affect our children and their future. History teaches us that whenever Israel turned their back on God and served idols and other Gods, their children paid a price for their actions.
Scripture: Joshua 8:35
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Justin Ford avatar
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Shared by: Justin Ford on Nov, 2012
Summary: Part of a Capital Fundraising Campaign Series. This message was centered on the temptation for churches to grow complacent (like the Israelites) in the midst of blessing
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Shared by: Michael McCartney on Sep, 2011
Summary: Joshua’s life reminds us that success in life depends on obedience to God’s Word and a desire in your life to become a God Chaser.
based on 1 rating
Views: 2,142
Adrian Rogers avatar
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Shared by: Adrian Rogers on Aug, 2011
Summary: none
based on 18 ratings
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 20,592
Damian Phillips avatar
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Shared by: Damian Phillips on Aug, 2011
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Scripture: Joshua 8:30-35
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 4,868
Billy  Ricks avatar
Positional Thinking: Victory from Defeat
Shared by: Billy Ricks on Aug, 2011
Summary: The world wants us to think positive. This leads to separation from God and others. God wants us to think positionally. We are seated in Christ Jesus according to His finished work. Joshua and his generals were positive they could take AI. However, t
Scripture: Joshua 8:1-35
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 1,709
Ovidiu Radulescu avatar
Thou Shall Be Content (8)
Shared by: Ovidiu Radulescu on Apr, 2011
Summary: God’s instruction regarding Jericho: "Don’t touch it. It’s mine. This was, and is, a lesson in trust as well as tithe. The Israelites have been given the Promised Land totally by the power of God. To remind them that this was His power, His land, He told
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Views: 2,737
Jeff Strite avatar
The Family Who Stole From God
Shared by: Jeff Strite on Mar, 2011
Summary: Achan stole from God... but all of Israel was guilty? How did that happen? And what can it tell us about our responsibility before God?
based on 66 ratings
Scripture: Joshua 6:12-8:2
Views: 9,232
Chris Appleby avatar
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Shared by: Chris Appleby on Jan, 2011
Summary: God warns of teh dangers and blessings that come with the law of God and provides the means by which sin can be dealt with
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Scripture: Joshua 8:30-35
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David Cook avatar
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Shared by: David Cook on Jul, 2010
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Scripture: Joshua 7:1-8:2
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Quint Pitts avatar
Eclipsing Sin
Shared by: Quint Pitts on Dec, 2009
Summary: This is the fourth in a series on the life of Joshua. This message focuses on the fallout from the defeat at Ai.
Series: Heroes
Scripture: Joshua 6:17-8:1
Denomination: *other
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David Elvery avatar
Lessons from Joshua
Shared by: David Elvery on May, 2009
Summary: Sermon on the occasion of the induction of our new Senior Pastor. Looking at Joshua and his leadership.
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Joshua 1:1-8:38
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 6,518
Jerry Shirley avatar
The Valley of Decision
Shared by: Jerry Shirley on Nov, 2008
Summary: 1.) God forgives sin. 2.) God judges sin. 3.) He allows us to choose: Pardon or Punishment - God gave both Jericho and Ai to Israel, but He did it in very different ways. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint.
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Scripture: Joshua 8:1-35
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Views: 9,282
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“How To Rise Again To Victory”
Shared by: Dave McFadden on Oct, 2008
Summary: A sermon on what needs to happen if we are to recover from defeat and rise to victory.
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Scripture: Joshua 7:14-8:35
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Shared by: Aarron Ellerman on Mar, 2008
Summary: Sometimes getting our spiritual lives back on track is as simple as listening to God and doing what we know is right to do.
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Scripture: Joshua 8:30-35
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Charles Cockroft avatar
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Shared by: Charles Cockroft on Mar, 2008
Summary: What looked like defeat, set up Victory over the enemy
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Scripture: Joshua 8:1-8
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Jerry Watts avatar
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Shared by: Jerry Watts on Nov, 2007
Summary: To complete God’s best means having a heart for Him.
Scripture: Joshua 8:28-35
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Views: 483