March 22

Joshua 7-8


Conquering the Land of Canaan: 3 Phases   Joshua 6:1-12:24, cont’d.


Joshua 6:1-8:35                  Phase 1: Conquering Central Canaan, cont’d.


Joshua 7:1-26-Defeat at Ai…Achan’s sin


In verse 26 of this chapter, Joshua makes an amazing threefold prophecy about this fallen city. He predicted:

(1) That Jericho would be rebuilt again by one man.

(2) That the builder's oldest son would die when the work on the city had begun.

(3) That the builder's youngest son would die when the work was completed.


  1. Joshua uttered these words around 1406 B.C. Did all this happen? Some five centuries later, in 930 B.C., we are told the following:

(1) That a man named Hiel from Bethel rebuilt Jericho. That as he laid the foundations, his oldest son, Abiram, died.

(2) That when he had completed the gates, his youngest son, Segub, died. (See 1 Ki. 16:34.)

Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, H.L. Willmington, p. 87


Joshua 7:1-Achan (from the tribe of Judah) took some of the things under the ban from Jericho (cf. 6:17).  At this point in time…no one knew what he had done.  All of the people were held accountable for the sin of Achan (7:1).

Joshua 7:2-26-The campaign against Ai.  Spies come back and tell Joshua that they only need a small force because Ai is not a stronghold.  However, they are defeated and chased away.  Joshua and the leaders all mourn what has happened.  They are afraid that the Canaanites will hear how they have been defeated and gain courage to attack them.  God tells them to quit their whining and take responsibility for what has happened.  He tells Joshua that the people have sinned and that is the reason that they were defeated…”You cannot stand before our enemies until you have removed the things under the ban in your midst”.  Through a thorough search of all the people, Achan was discovered.  When questioned, Achan said described the process that led him to sin: 1.-I saw; 2.-I coveted; 3.-took; 4.-concealed.  Isn’t this the path that sin so often takes in o our hearts?  Achan, his family, and all of his belongings were stoned and burned with fire.  Why?  While the Bible doesn’t tell us…we might assume that they had been accomplices (Deuteronomy 24:16).  “Achor” means “trouble”…Joshua asked Achan why has brought “trouble” upon Israel.  It was about 1 mile south of Jericho.


Joshua 8:1-29-Victory at Ai…a strategic city for western Canaan


Joshua 8:1-29-The second campaign against Ai.  This time they took 30,000 men.  Since they had retreated from the army of Ai in the first battle, they were instructed to use this to their advantage in this battle.  Joshua sent 5,000 soldiers out the night before and instructed them to sneak into position behind the city of Ai (to the west between Ai).  The rest of the army would attack from the north, the front.  At a given point, the soldiers in front were instructed to retreat like they had done the first time.  When the army of Ai left the city and began to pursue them, God instructed Joshua to hold up his javelin as a signal for the army behind Ai to attack.  The battle went just as planned and Israel was victorious.  All of the people of Ai (12,000 men and women) died.  Evidently, the men of Bethel had joined the men of Ai in the battle (:17).


The Israelites went out a second time at Ai.  This time there were victors.  The taking of Ai shows real military strategy.  In working for the Lord there must always be a recognition of the value of the best in human reason, but strategy without obedience is worth nothing.  Moody said, “Work as if everything depended on you.  Pray as if everything depended on God.”

What the Bible is All About, Henrietta C. Mears, p. 90


Joshua 8:30-35-Worship at Mt. Ebal…reading of the Law


Joshua 8:30-35-Joshua then leads the people to worship God at Mt. Ebal.  He wrote a copy of the Law on stones.  The people stood on Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal just as Moses had commanded them (Deuteronomy 27:2-14) and Joshua read all of the Law.


Prayer: Lord, I ask that when the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin…that You help me to immediately recognize it and repent.  As seen here in the life of Achan sin not only has an affect on me, but it also has an affect on others.  Help me to keep my life free from sin and to hunger and thirst for righteousness.

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