Joshua 8:5, 6: The Frontal Assault at Ai

Verse 5:[1] 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 (Judg. 20:32) we will flee before them…

[The remaining multitude] Hebrew: all the people.[2] By which understand not the whole multitude of Israelites (for it is not likely that the men of Ai were going to come forth, if they had observed such a multitude), but the twenty-five thousand, as was said (Masius).

That are, or, that shall be; for at present he sent them away, verse 9, but he next morning followed them, and joined himself with them, verses 10 and 11. We will flee; I and the twenty-five thousand with me.


Verse 6:[3] (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn (Heb. pulled[4]) them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them.

[Until they be drawn forth, etc., עַ֣ד הַתִּיקֵ֤נוּ אוֹתָם֙ מִן־הָעִ֔יר[5]] Until we pull them away (lead them away, draw them away [Vatablus], remove them [Arabic], draw them out [Masius, Jonathan]) from that city (Junius and Tremellius), outside of the city (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַאֲנִ֗י וְכָל־הָעָם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתִּ֔י נִקְרַ֖ב אֶל־הָעִ֑יר וְהָיָ֗ה כִּֽי־יֵצְא֤וּ לִקְרָאתֵ֙נוּ֙ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר בָּרִֽאשֹׁנָ֔ה וְנַ֖סְנוּ לִפְנֵיהֶֽם׃

[2] Hebrew: וְכָל־הָעָם.

[3] Hebrew: וְיָצְא֣וּ אַחֲרֵ֗ינוּ עַ֣ד הַתִּיקֵ֤נוּ אוֹתָם֙ מִן־הָעִ֔יר כִּ֣י יֹֽאמְר֔וּ נָסִ֣ים לְפָנֵ֔ינוּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר בָּרִֽאשֹׁנָ֑ה וְנַ֖סְנוּ לִפְנֵיהֶֽם׃

[4] Hebrew: הַתִּיקֵנוּ.

[5] נָתַק, to draw or pull, in the Hiphil signifies to draw or drag away.

1 thought on “Joshua 8:5, 6: The Frontal Assault at Ai

  1. Matthew Henry: “What an infatuated enemy the king of Ai was…[t]hat from the killing of thirty-six men out of 3000, when Israel made the former attack upon his city, he should infer the total routing of so great an army as now he had to deal with (Joshua 8:6): They flee before us as at the first. See how the prosperity of fools destroys them and hardens them to their ruin. God had made use of the men of Ai as a scourge to chastise his people for meddling with the accursed thing, and this had puffed them up with a conceit that they must have the honour of delivering their country from these formidable invaders; but they were soon made to see their mistake, and that when the Israelites had reconciled themselves to their God they could have no power against them. God had made use of them only for the rebuking of Israel, with a purpose, when the correction was over, to throw the rod itself into the fire; howbeit, they meant not so, but it was in their heart to destroy and cut off, Isaiah 10:5-7.”

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