7 Bible Verses about Ai, The City
Most Relevant Verses
From there he pulled up [his tent pegs] and departed to the mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, Go up and spy out the land. So the men went up and spied out Ai. And they returned to Joshua and said to him, Let not all the men go up; but let about two thousand or three thousand go up and attack Ai; do not make the whole army toil up there, for they of Ai are few. So about three thousand Israelites went up there, but they fled before the men of Ai.read more.
And the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of them, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and slew them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.
And the Lord said to Joshua, Fear not nor be dismayed. Take all the men of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that its spoil and its cattle [this time] you shall take as booty for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city behind it. So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai; [he] chose thirty thousand mighty men of strength and sent them forth by night.read more.
And he commanded them, Behold, you shall lie in wait against the city behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. And I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out against us, as the first time, we will flee before them Till we have drawn them from the city, for they will say, They are fleeing from us as before. So we will flee before them. Then you shall rise up from the ambush and seize the city, for the Lord your God will deliver it into your hand. When you have taken the city, you shall set it afire; as the Lord commanded, you shall do. See, I have commanded you. So Joshua sent them forth, and they went to the place of ambush and remained between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua lodged that night among the people. Joshua rose up early in the morning and mustered the men, and went up with the elders of Israel before the warriors to Ai. And all the fighting men who were with him went up and drew near before the city and encamped on the north side of [it], with a ravine between them and Ai. And he took about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, west of the city. So they stationed all the army -- "the main encampment that was north of the city and their men in ambush behind and on the west of the city -- "and Joshua went that night into the midst of the ravine. When the king [and people] of Ai saw it, they hastily rose early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle [at a time and place appointed] before the Arabah [plain]. But he did not know of the ambush against him behind the city. And Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten by them, and fled toward the wilderness. So all the people in Ai were called together to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city. Not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who did not go out after Israel. Leaving the city open, they pursued Israel. Then the Lord said to Joshua, Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand. So Joshua stretched out the javelin in his hand toward the city. The men in the ambush arose quickly out of their place and ran when he stretched out his hand; and they entered the city and took it, and then hastened and set it afire. When the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to the heavens, and they had no power to flee this way or that way. Then the Israelites who fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. When Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city and that the smoke of the city went up, they turned again and slew the men of Ai. And the others came forth out of the city against them [of Ai], so that they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side. And [the Israelites] smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape. But they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua. When Israel had finished slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field and in the wilderness into which they pursued them, and they were all fallen by the sword until they were consumed, then all the Israelites returned to Ai and smote it with the sword. And all that fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand, including all the men of Ai. For Joshua drew not back his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as booty for themselves, according to the word of the Lord which He commanded Joshua. So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap of ruins for ever, even a desolation to this day.
Wail, O Heshbon [in Moab, just south of Ammon], for Ai [in Ammon] is laid waste! Cry out, you daughter [villages] of Rabbah! Gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament, and run to and fro inside the [sheepfold] enclosures; for Milcom [the god-king] shall go into exile, together with his priests and his princes.