by Henry T. Vriesen
When the city of Jericho was destroyed by the Israelites according to God’s word, there was a man among them that disobeyed the Lord’s command. It was Achan, a man of the tribe of Judah, who saw among the goods a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight. He coveted them, and took them, and buried them in his tent. He thought that no one had seen this. But God the Searcher of hearts, knew it, and his anger was kindled not only against Achan but against all Israel.
Not far from Jericho, on one of the hills above the plain, stood a small city called Ai. Joshua did not think that it was necessary to send all the army to take Ai, so he sent only about three thousand men. But the men of Ai came and defeated them, and they failed to take the city. When the people heard of this defeat, they became discouraged. Joshua also was alarmed: he could not understand this. He fell to the earth upon his face before God, saying, “Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of Jordan!”
And the Lord said to Joshua, “Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned … neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” The next morning, very early, Joshua called all the tribes to appear before him. When the tribe of Judah came, God pointed out to Joshua that this was the tribe. After that the divisions of Judah came up, and the Zarhites were taken; after the Zarhites came up, the family of Zabdi was taken; and in Zabdi’s household, Achan was singled out as the man who had robbed God. Joshua said unto Achan, “My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.” Achan did not try to evade, but he confessed and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: when I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth.”
Joshua sent messengers to Achan’s tent. There they found the garment, the silver, and the gold. And Joshua said to Achan, “Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day.” And all Israel stoned him with stones, and raised over him a great heap of stones. Then Joshua arose and all the people of war, to go up against Ai, and they defeated the men of Ai.For further information on this resource, click here.