How the Israelites Won the Land of Canaan

Now God had told the Israelites when they fought the city of Jericho not to take any of the things they found in the city for themselves. But a man named Achan took some things and hid them in his tent. He thought that no one but his family new about it, but God knew about it.

The next city that the Israelites fought against was Ai. Joshua sent some men to the city to spy it out. When they returned, they said, "It is not a large city. Send only about two or three thousand men. "So Joshua sent three thousand Israelites to attack the city. But the men of Ai won the battle and killed about thirty six of the Israelites.

When Joshua heard that the Israelites had lost, he fell down in front of the Ark of the Covenant and prayed to God. Then God told him, "Get up! Why are you lying on the ground like this? Israel has sinned. They have taken some of the things from the city for themselves that I told them not to take. That is why the Israelites cannot win against their enemies."

Early the next morning Joshua called together all the Israelites. He had someone from each tribe pass in front of him and they drew lots to see which tribe God would pick. The tribe of Judah was chosen. The clans from Judah passed in front of him and the clan of Zerah was chosen. Then the families of Zerah passed in front of him and the family of Zabdi was chosen. Then the men in Zabdi's Family passed in front of Joshua and Achan was chosen. Joshua said to him, "My son, tell the truth. What have you done? Don't try to hide it." Achan answered, "I have sinned against God. I saw a beautiful robe from Babylonia, about five pounds of silver, and a bar of gold that weighs over a pound; I wanted them and took them. You will find them buried inside my tent."

So Joshua sent some men to his tent and found the things buried there. They brought them back to Joshua. Then the Israelites took Achan, out to a valley along with the things he had stolen, his sons and daughters, and all he owned. They stoned Achan and his family until they were dead because they had taken and hidden the things God said not to take. Then they burned their bodies and all their things with fire and piled rocks on top of them.

Then God told Joshua, "Take all the soldiers to Ai." Joshua divided his army into two parts. Some of them hid on the west of the city while the others attacked from the front. When the men of Ai came out to fight, the Israelites moved back. The men of Ai chased them and left the city unguarded. Then the Israelites who were hiding came out and attacked the city and set fire to it. When the men of Ai looked around, they saw their city on fire and Israelites coming up behind them. The Israelites killed all the men of Ai that day.

After that the men of Canaan from Several cities gathered to fight the Israelites. But God was with the Israelites and sent large hailstones on the Canaanites. The Israelites won a great victory. Then they moved north and fought some more Canaanites. Here again they destroyed the Canaanites. With God's help they captured the whole land and it became called the land of Israel instead of the land of Canaan. Then they divided the land between the nine and half tribes that had not yet received any land.

The men from the two and a half tribes on the east side of the river went home. The Levite Tribe did not receive any land but they did receive many cities to live in taken from each of other tribes' lands.

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