So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night.
And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait against the city, even
behind the city: go not very far from the city, but be ye all ready:
And I, and all the people that are
with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them,
(For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them.
Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.
And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, that
ye shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall ye do. See, I have commanded you.
Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people.
And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and numbered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai.
And all the people, even the people
of war that were
with him, went up, and drew nigh, and came before the city, and pitched on the north side of Ai: now there was
a valley between them and Ai.
And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.
And when they had set the people, even
all the host that was
on the north of the city, and their liers in wait on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley.
And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it
, that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that there were
liers in ambush against him behind the city.
And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.
And all the people that were
in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city.
And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.
And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is
in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had
in his hand toward the city.
And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.
And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers.
And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.