[Joshua 7:1] BUT THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL COMMITTED A TRESPASS IN THE
ACCURSED THING: FOR ACHAN, THE SON OF CARMI, THE SON OF ZABDI, THE SON OF
ZERAH, OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH TOOK OF THE ACCURSED THING: AND THE ANGER OF
THE LORD WAS KINDLED AGAINST THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
<<SON OF>> etc The Commentator Daat Sofrim says that Scripture emphasizes
the high birth of the culprit to illustrate that something was wrong with
the entire community. The fish begins to smell from the head.
<<ANGER...WAS KINDLED>>: literally nostrils burned as opposed to nostrils
extended denoting restraint. The Commentator Daat Sofrim says that the
intention is that up to now God had been holding Himself back and
overlooking all kinds of faults. This particular offence caused an arousal
not only against the offence itself but also against all the other sins
that had until now had been overlooked.
[Joshua 7:2] AND JOSHUA SENT MEN FROM JERICHO TO AI, WHICH IS BESIDE
BETHAVEN, ON THE EAST OF BETHEL, AND SPAKE UNTO THEM, SAYING, GO UP AND
VIEW THE COUNTRY. AND THE MEN WENT UP AND VIEWED AI.
[Joshua 7:3] AND THEY RETURNED TO JOSHUA, AND SAID UNTO HIM, LET NOT ALL
THE PEOPLE GO UP; BUT LET ABOUT TWO OR THREE THOUSAND MEN GO UP AND SMITE
AI; AND MAKE NOT ALL THE PEOPLE TO LABOUR THITHER; FOR THEY ARE BUT FEW.
They were over-confident, relied on past successes and assumed that God
would continue to intercede for them. They under-estimated the enemy and
[Joshua 7:4] SO THERE WENT UP THITHER OF THE PEOPLE ABOUT THREE THOUSAND MEN: AND THEY FLED BEFORE THE MEN OF AI.
[Joshua 7:5] AND THE MEN OF AI SMOTE OF THEM ABOUT THIRTY AND SIX MEN: FOR
THEY CHASED THEM FROM BEFORE THE GATE EVEN UNTO SHEBARIM, AND SMOTE THEM IN
THE GOING DOWN: WHEREFORE THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE MELTED, AND BECAME AS WATER.
<<SHEBARIM>>: means the "breaks". Israel broke down at that point. The
names of places often presage events that later occur there.
[Joshua 7:6] AND JOSHUA RENT HIS CLOTHES, AND FELL TO THE EARTH UPON HIS
FACE BEFORE THE ARK OF THE LORD UNTIL THE EVENTIDE, HE AND THE ELDERS OF
ISRAEL, AND PUT DUST UPON THEIR HEADS.
[Joshua 7:7] AND JOSHUA SAID, 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 JORDAN!
Joshua had a point. They had conquered the eastern side of the Jordan.
There was plenty of room. They could have stayed there and then perhaps
attempted to conquer the western side later. God told them to cross the
Jordan and conquer the western side. This was despite the fact that the
western side was well-populated with strong fortified cities, warlike
peoples who were probably more sophisticated militarily than they were.
The Israelites relied on God, were obeying the commandment of God and
therefore it was logical to expect God to help them. Even now people who
come to Israel from overseas when they encounter difficulties suddenly
regret leaving their former place of residence or wishing that (if they had
to leave anyway, as many of them did) that they had gone elsewhere. This is
natural. Human nature is essentially the same all over. We can improve
ourselves by small increments and then it is the marginal differences that
determine the end result. Water at 99 degrees is still in a liquid state,
one more degree and it changes altogether and becomes something else. So
too, with human beings. So too, with all of us. We can change and even if
we cannot where there is life there is hope. Keep trying and God helps. He
is always there, we must learn to turn to him from time to
[Joshua 7:8] O LORD, WHAT SHALL I SAY, WHEN ISRAEL TURNETH THEIR BACKS
BEFORE THEIR ENEMIES!
The defeat was not only a physical one but a moral spiritual one as well.
Until now much of their success was due to the terror they struck into the
hearts of the opponent, the reputation they had for invincibility and their
claim that the God of Israel was the God the Universe and would fight for
them. Now everything had been reversed. Suddenly they were revealed as a
mass of family-oriented citizens who could not fight but would run away
and allow themselves to be beaten by a relatively small number of
opponents. Their enemies were liable to sense the vulnerability of the
Israelites and come swarming down for the kill.
[Joshua 7:9] FOR THE CANAANITES AND ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE LAND SHALL
HEAR OF IT, AND SHALL ENVIRON US ROUND, AND CUT OFF OUR NAME FROM THE
EARTH: AND WHAT WILT THOU DO UNTO THY GREAT NAME?
Defeat would also be a desecration of the name of God in the eyes of the
Even now when something bad happens to the Jews in Israel the name of God
is desecrated. The calamities may be caused by sin but nevertheless in the
eyes of others the Jews are still considered representative of God.
The same applies, surprisingly enough, on another level to the USA. The USA
in the eyes of others is considered a religious country. By religious I
mean honoring God in the Israelite sense. America and even Britain in a way
are also considered as the equivalent of Israelites in the eyes of the
heathen. This is a strange phenomenon but it can be sensed.
The same applies to people like you and I. I started out doing research etc
and writing. Things took their own turn and now a certain standard is
expected of myself for better or for worse. The same applies to Brit-Am
people in general. We must now watch more closely how we act, endeavor to
act well, and not antagonize people unnecessarily. We made a few mistakes
in the past but on the whole I think we learned from them.
How Brit-Am functions and to what degree it succeeds may have implications
on how people view the whole subject of Israelite Identity.
We are in need of all of you. We have a true good message that deserves to
succeed and needs to be made known for the good of others and of ourselves.
Each one of you should realize that in a way he/she has a stake in us and
should endeavor however possible to strengthen yourselves and us. In some
way we are all part of one entity. Nothing is by chance.
[Joshua 7:10] AND THE LORD SAID UNTO JOSHUA, GET THEE UP; WHEREFORE LIEST
THOU THUS UPON THY FACE?
[Joshua 7:11] ISRAEL HATH SINNED, AND THEY HAVE ALSO TRANSGRESSED MY
COVENANT WHICH I COMMANDED THEM: FOR THEY HAVE EVEN TAKEN OF THE ACCURSED
THING, AND HAVE ALSO STOLEN, AND DISSEMBLED ALSO, AND THEY HAVE PUT IT EVEN
AMONG THEIR OWN STUFF.
<<DISSEMBLED ALSO>>: Joshua had apparently made an enquiry and endeavored
to induce the guilty party to come forward of his own volition. An
examination and investigation had been conducted and the culprit had
[Joshua 7:12] THEREFORE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL COULD NOT STAND BEFORE THEIR
ENEMIES, BUT TURNED THEIR BACKS BEFORE THEIR ENEMIES, BECAUSE THEY WERE
ACCURSED: NEITHER WILL I BE WITH YOU ANY MORE, EXCEPT YE DESTROY THE
ACCURSED FROM AMONG YOU.
<<BECAUSE THEY WERE ACCURSED>>: I repeat: Not only for the particular sin
but for other things as well they had aroused the ire of the Almighty. This
anger had been triggered off by the sin in question.
[Joshua 7:13] UP, SANCTIFY THE PEOPLE, AND SAY, SANCTIFY YOURSELVES AGAINST
TO MORROW: FOR THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, THERE IS AN ACCURSED
THING IN THE MIDST OF THEE, O ISRAEL: THOU CANST NOT STAND BEFORE THINE
ENEMIES, UNTIL YE TAKE AWAY THE ACCURSED THING FROM AMONG YOU.
<<SANCTIFY THE PEOPLE>>: This meant to undergo a ritual immersion in a
spring, pond, or river and spiritually cleanse themselves.
[Joshua 7:14] IN THE MORNING THEREFORE YE SHALL BE BROUGHT ACCORDING TO
YOUR TRIBES: AND IT SHALL BE, THAT THE TRIBE WHICH THE LORD TAKETH SHALL
COME ACCORDING TO THE FAMILIES THEREOF; AND THE FAMILY WHICH THE LORD SHALL
TAKE SHALL COME BY HOUSEHOLDS; AND THE HOUSEHOLD WHICH THE LORD SHALL TAKE
SHALL COME MAN BY MAN.
The lot is about to happen who the individual offender was but it starts
off with the tribe and then works down through the household clan before
reaching the family. This comes to tell us that even though the individual
offender is to be punished he became what he is at least partially due to
where he had come from. He is not to be excused for his offence but the
society and family structure that produced him is also going to sweat as
all eyes turn towards it. It too has offended by not taking care of its own
while there was opportunity. A lot of us have children and some children
have a tendency to be frequently in trouble. It is not always our fault or
if it is the time to do something is sometimes beyond us. Even so, if one
prays and corrects oneself and does better things get improved and
sometimes change for the good altogether.
[Joshua 7:15] AND IT SHALL BE, THAT HE THAT IS TAKEN WITH THE ACCURSED
THING SHALL BE BURNT WITH FIRE, HE AND ALL THAT HE HATH: BECAUSE HE HATH
TRANSGRESSED THE COVENANT OF THE LORD, AND BECAUSE HE HATH WROUGHT FOLLY IN ISRAEL.
[Joshua 7:16] SO JOSHUA ROSE UP EARLY IN THE MORNING, AND BROUGHT ISRAEL BY
THEIR TRIBES; AND THE TRIBE OF JUDAH WAS TAKEN:
[Joshua 7:17] AND HE BROUGHT THE FAMILY OF JUDAH; AND HE TOOK THE FAMILY OF
THE ZARHITES: AND HE BROUGHT THE FAMILY OF THE ZARHITES MAN BY MAN; AND
ZABDI WAS TAKEN:
[Joshua 7:18] AND HE BROUGHT HIS HOUSEHOLD MAN BY MAN; AND ACHAN, THE SON
OF CARMI, THE SON OF ZABDI, THE SON OF ZERAH, OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, WAS TAKEN.
[Joshua 7:19] AND 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.
<<MY SON>>: Joshua was a good man. He had compassion even on he who whose
behavior had threatened the whole community. He spoke kindly unto
[Joshua 7:20] AND ACHAN ANSWERED JOSHUA, AND SAID, INDEED I HAVE SINNED
AGAINST THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, AND THUS AND THUS HAVE I DONE:
[Joshua 7:21] 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
IN THE MIDST OF MY TENT, AND THE SILVER UNDER IT.
<<BABYLONISH>>: The Hebrew has 'of Shinar'. Shinar was the area of Babylonia.
In modern terms Shinar is pronounced as Sumer.
[Joshua 7:22] SO JOSHUA SENT MESSENGERS, AND THEY RAN UNTO THE TENT; AND,
BEHOLD, IT WAS HID IN HIS TENT, AND THE SILVER UNDER IT.
[Joshua 7:23] AND THEY TOOK THEM OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE TENT, AND BROUGHT
THEM UNTO JOSHUA, AND UNTO ALL THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, AND LAID THEM OUT
BEFORE THE LORD.
[Joshua 7:24] AND JOSHUA, AND ALL ISRAEL WITH HIM, TOOK ACHAN THE SON OF
ZERAH, AND THE SILVER, AND THE GARMENT, AND THE WEDGE OF GOLD, AND HIS
SONS, AND HIS DAUGHTERS, AND HIS OXEN, AND HIS ASSES, AND HIS SHEEP, AND
HIS TENT, AND ALL THAT HE HAD: AND THEY BROUGHT THEM UNTO THE VALLEY OF ACHOR.
<<HIS SONS, AND HIS DAUGHTERS>>: They too, it appears, had been
accomplices and had helped hide the booty.
[Joshua 7:25] AND JOSHUA SAID, WHY HAST THOU TROUBLED US? THE LORD SHALL
TROUBLE THEE THIS DAY. AND ALL ISRAEL STONED HIM WITH STONES, AND BURNED
THEM WITH FIRE, AFTER THEY HAD STONED THEM WITH STONES.
<<THIS DAY>>: The Commentators mention that Achan would be punished on that
day but then it would be over. Through the punishment he would be purified
of his sin. After this day he would be free and not be punished in the next
world. All Israel stoned him because in a sense all Israel bore some of the
guilt and this was their atonement. Punishment of wrongdoers is necessary
for the health of society as much as for the sake of the criminal and not
just as revenge on behalf of the offended parties.
[Joshua 7:26] AND THEY RAISED OVER HIM A GREAT HEAP OF STONES UNTO THIS
DAY. SO THE LORD TURNED FROM THE FIERCENESS OF HIS ANGER. WHEREFORE THE
NAME OF THAT PLACE WAS CALLED, THE VALLEY OF ACHOR, UNTO THIS DAY.
<<A GREAT HEAP OF STONES>>: The Israelites were accustomed to regularly
erect stone heaps and monuments. They continued to do so in their places of
exile, as explained in "Ephraim". Usually however these monuments were
erected to commemorate important positive events or future messages.
Help us through contributions, and purchasing our products
Publications now available:
You too are from Israel! You too are the People"
[A Summary of Most of the Major Biblical and Historical Research
Until Now] $20
"Biblical Truth. The Lost Ten tribes in the West
According to the Book of Genesis"
Special Offer available at present:
"Origin" and "Biblical Truth" may be obtained for $40
"Ephraim. The Gentile Children of Israel" (2nd edition) $30
"Joseph. The Israelite Destiny of America", $30
"Ephraim'" and "Joseph" together may be obtained for $50
The prices include postage by registered air-mail
"And I will bless them that bless you" (Genesis 12:15).
Joshua Index page