Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: Joshua 8-10
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
Israel Conquers Ai
1. The Lord told Joshua, “Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! Take the whole army with you and march against Ai! See, I am handing over to you the king of Ai, along with his people, city, and land.
2. Do to Ai and its king what you did to Jericho and its king, except you may plunder its goods and cattle. Set an ambush behind the city!”
3. Joshua and the whole army marched against Ai. Joshua selected thirty thousand brave warriors and sent them out at night.
4. He told them, “Look, set an ambush behind the city. Don’t go very far from the city; all of you be ready!
5. I and all the troops who are with me will approach the city. When they come out to fight us like before, we will retreat from them.
6. They will attack us until we have lured them from the city, for they will say, ‘They are retreating from us like before.’ We will retreat from them.
7. Then you rise up from your hiding place and seize the city. The Lord your God will hand it over to you.
8. When you capture the city, set it on fire. Do as the Lord says! See, I have given you orders.”
9. Joshua sent them away and they went to their hiding place west of Ai, between Bethel and Ai. Joshua spent that night with the army.
10. Bright and early the next morning Joshua gathered the army, and he and the leaders of Israel marched at the head of it to Ai.
11. All the troops that were with him marched up and drew near the city. They camped north of Ai on the other side of the valley.
12. He took five thousand men and set an ambush west of the city between Bethel and Ai.
13. The army was in position – the main army north of the city and the rear guard west of the city. That night Joshua went into the middle of the valley.
14. When the king of Ai saw Israel, he and his whole army quickly got up the next day and went out to fight Israel at the meeting place near the Arabah. But he did not realize men were hiding behind the city.
15. Joshua and all Israel pretended to be defeated by them and they retreated along the way to the desert.
16. All the reinforcements in Ai were ordered to chase them; they chased Joshua and were lured away from the city.
17. No men were left in Ai or Bethel; they all went out after Israel. They left the city wide open and chased Israel.
18. The Lord told Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the curved sword in your hand, for I am handing the city over to you.” So Joshua held out toward Ai the curved sword in his hand.
19. When he held out his hand, the men waiting in ambush rose up quickly from their place and attacked. They entered the city, captured it, and immediately set it on fire.
20. When the men of Ai turned around, they saw the smoke from the city ascending into the sky and were so shocked they were unable to flee in any direction. In the meantime the men who were retreating to the desert turned against their pursuers.
21. When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the city was going up in smoke, they turned around and struck down the men of Ai.
22. At the same time the men who had taken the city came out to fight, and the men of Ai were trapped in the middle. The Israelites struck them down, leaving no survivors or refugees.
23. But they captured the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.
24. When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai who had chased them toward the desert (they all fell by the sword), all Israel returned to Ai and put the sword to it.
25. Twelve thousand men and women died that day, including all the men of Ai.
26. Joshua kept holding out his curved sword until Israel had annihilated all who lived in Ai.
27. But Israel did plunder the cattle and the goods of the city, in accordance with the Lord’s orders to Joshua.
28. Joshua burned Ai and made it a permanently uninhabited mound (it remains that way to this very day).
29. He hung the king of Ai on a tree, leaving him exposed until evening. At sunset Joshua ordered that his corpse be taken down from the tree. They threw it down at the entrance of the city gate and erected over it a large pile of stones (it remains to this very day).
30. Then Joshua built an altar for the Lord God of Israel on Mount Ebal,
31. just as Moses the Lord’s servant had commanded the Israelites. As described in the law scroll of Moses, it was made with uncut stones untouched by an iron tool. They offered burnt sacrifices on it and sacrificed tokens of peace.
32. There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua inscribed on the stones a duplicate of the law written by Moses.
33. All the people, rulers, leaders, and judges were standing on either side of the ark, in front of the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Both resident foreigners and native Israelites were there. Half the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and the other half in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the Lord’s servant had previously instructed to them to do for the formal blessing ceremony.
34. Then Joshua read aloud all the words of the law, including the blessings and the curses, just as they are written in the law scroll.
35. Joshua read aloud every commandment Moses had given before the whole assembly of Israel, including the women, children, and resident foreigners who lived among them.
The Gibeonites Deceive Israel
1. When the news reached all the kings on the west side of the Jordan – in the hill country, the lowlands, and all along the Mediterranean coast as far as Lebanon (including the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites) –
2. they formed an alliance to fight against Joshua and Israel.
3. When the residents of Gibeon heard what Joshua did to Jericho and Ai,
4. they did something clever. They collected some provisions and put worn-out sacks on their donkeys, along with worn-out wineskins that were ripped and patched.
5. They had worn-out, patched sandals on their feet and dressed in worn-out clothes. All their bread was dry and hard.
6. They came to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land. Make a treaty with us.”
7. The men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you live near us. So how can we make a treaty with you?”
8. But they said to Joshua, “We are willing to be your subjects.” So Joshua said to them, “Who are you and where do you come from?”
9. They told him, “Your subjects have come from a very distant land because of the reputation of the Lord your God, for we have heard the news about all he did in Egypt
10. and all he did to the two Amorite kings on the other side of the Jordan – King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan in Ashtaroth.
11. Our leaders and all who live in our land told us, ‘Take provisions for your journey and go meet them. Tell them, “We are willing to be your subjects. Make a treaty with us.”’
12. This bread of ours was warm when we packed it in our homes the day we started out to meet you, but now it is dry and hard.
13. These wineskins we filled were brand new, but look how they have ripped. Our clothes and sandals have worn out because it has been a very long journey.”
14. The men examined some of their provisions, but they failed to ask the Lord’s advice.
15. Joshua made a peace treaty with them and agreed to let them live. The leaders of the community sealed it with an oath.
16. Three days after they made the treaty with them, the Israelites found out they were from the local area and lived nearby.
17. So the Israelites set out and on the third day arrived at their cities – Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim.
18. The Israelites did not attack them because the leaders of the community had sworn an oath to them in the name of the Lord God of Israel. The whole community criticized the leaders,
19. but all the leaders told the whole community, “We swore an oath to them in the name of the Lord God of Israel. So now we can’t hurt them!
20. We must let them live so we can escape the curse attached to the oath we swore to them.”
21. The leaders then added, “Let them live.” So they became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had decided.
22. Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said to them, “Why did you trick us by saying, ‘We live far away from you,’ when you really live nearby?
23. Now you are condemned to perpetual servitude as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”
24. They said to Joshua, “It was carefully reported to your subjects how the Lord your God commanded Moses his servant to assign you the whole land and to destroy all who live in the land from before you. Because of you we were terrified we would lose our lives, so we did this thing.
25. So now we are in your power. Do to us what you think is good and appropriate.
26. Joshua did as they said; he kept the Israelites from killing them
27. and that day made them woodcutters and water carriers for the community and for the altar of the Lord at the divinely chosen site. (They continue in that capacity to this very day.)
Israel Defeats an Amorite Coalition
1. Adoni-Zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua captured Ai and annihilated it and its king as he did Jericho and its king. He also heard how the people of Gibeon made peace with Israel and lived among them.
2. All Jerusalem was terrified because Gibeon was a large city, like one of the royal cities. It was larger than Ai and all its men were warriors.
3. So King Adoni-Zedek of Jerusalem sent this message to King Hoham of Hebron, King Piram of Jarmuth, King Japhia of Lachish, and King Debir of Eglon:
4. “Come to my aid so we can attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.”
5. So the five Amorite kings (the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon) and all their troops gathered together and advanced. They deployed their troops and fought against Gibeon.
6. The men of Gibeon sent this message to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, “Do not abandon your subjects! Rescue us! Help us! For all the Amorite kings living in the hill country are attacking us.”
7. So Joshua and his whole army, including the bravest warriors, marched up from Gilgal.
8. The Lord told Joshua, “Don’t be afraid of them, for I am handing them over to you. Not one of them can resist you.”
9. Joshua attacked them by surprise after marching all night from Gilgal.
10. The Lord routed them before Israel. Israel thoroughly defeated them at Gibeon. They chased them up the road to the pass of Beth Horon and struck them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.
11. As they fled from Israel on the slope leading down from Beth Horon, the Lord threw down on them large hailstones from the sky, all the way to Azekah. They died – in fact, more died from the hailstones than the Israelites killed with the sword.
12. The day the Lord delivered the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua prayed to the Lord before Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon! O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon!”
13. The sun stood still and the moon stood motionless while the nation took vengeance on its enemies. The event is recorded in the Scroll of the Upright One. The sun stood motionless in the middle of the sky and did not set for about a full day.
14. There has not been a day like it before or since. The Lord obeyed a man, for the Lord fought for Israel!
15. Then Joshua and all Israel returned to the camp at Gilgal.
16. The five Amorite kings ran away and hid in the cave at Makkedah.
17. Joshua was told, “The five kings have been found hiding in the cave at Makkedah.”
18. Joshua said, “Roll large stones over the mouth of the cave and post guards in front of it.
19. But don’t you delay! Chase your enemies and catch them! Don’t allow them to retreat to their cities, for the Lord your God is handing them over to you.”
20. Joshua and the Israelites almost totally wiped them out, but some survivors did escape to the fortified cities.
21. Then the whole army safely returned to Joshua at the camp in Makkedah. No one dared threaten the Israelites.
22. Joshua said, “Open the cave’s mouth and bring the five kings out of the cave to me.”
23. They did as ordered; they brought the five kings out of the cave to him – the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon.
24. When they brought the kings out to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the commanders of the troops who accompanied him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came up and put their feet on their necks.
25. Then Joshua said to them, “Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! Be strong and brave, for the Lord will do the same thing to all your enemies you fight.
26. Then Joshua executed them and hung them on five trees. They were left hanging on the trees until evening.
27. At sunset Joshua ordered his men to take them down from the trees. They threw them into the cave where they had hidden and piled large stones over the mouth of the cave. (They remain to this very day.)
Joshua Launches a Southern Campaign
28. That day Joshua captured Makkedah and put the sword to it and its king. He annihilated everyone who lived in it; he left no survivors. He did to its king what he had done to the king of Jericho.
29. Joshua and all Israel marched from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against it.
30. The Lord handed it and its king over to Israel, and Israel put the sword to all who lived there; they left no survivors. They did to its king what they had done to the king of Jericho.
31. Joshua and all Israel marched from Libnah to Lachish. He deployed his troops and fought against it.
32. The Lord handed Lachish over to Israel and they captured it on the second day. They put the sword to all who lived there, just as they had done to Libnah.
33. Then King Horam of Gezer came up to help Lachish, but Joshua struck down him and his army until no survivors remained.
34. Joshua and all Israel marched from Lachish to Eglon. They deployed troops and fought against it.
35. That day they captured it and put the sword to all who lived there. That day they annihilated it just as they had done to Lachish.
36. Joshua and all Israel marched up from Eglon to Hebron and fought against it.
37. They captured it and put the sword to its king, all its surrounding cities, and all who lived in it; they left no survivors. As they had done at Eglon, they annihilated it and all who lived there.
38. Joshua and all Israel turned to Debir and fought against it.
39. They captured it, its king, and all its surrounding cities and put the sword to them. They annihilated everyone who lived there; they left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king what they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron.
40. Joshua defeated the whole land, including the hill country, the Negev, the lowlands, the slopes, and all their kings. He left no survivors. He annihilated everything that breathed, just as the Lord God of Israel had commanded.
41. Joshua conquered the area between Kadesh Barnea and Gaza and the whole region of Goshen, all the way to Gibeon.
42. Joshua captured in one campaign all these kings and their lands, for the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel.
43. Then Joshua and all Israel returned to the camp at Gilgal.