Joshua 8:7, 8: Springing the Trap at Ai

Verse 7:[1] Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.

Ye shall rise up from the ambush, to wit, upon the signal given, of which verse 18.

[And ye shall ravage the city (thus Munster, Tigurinus),וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּ֖ם אֶת־הָעִ֑יר[2]] And ye shall drive away, that is, ye shall destroy (Vatablus). Ye shall cast them out, and destroy them from the city (thus Jonathan and many Hebrews, Munster). Ye shall expel the city, that is, its survivors, the inhabitants remaining in the city (Drusius out of Junius). But the men of war were not able to be expelled; they had all gone forth, verse 17. Neither were those remaining to be expelled, but to be killed (Piscator). Ye extirpate the city (Jonathan, Arabic); ye shall destroy the city (Syriac).


Verse 8:[3] And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, that ye shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall ye do. (2 Sam. 13:28) See, I have commanded you.

Ye shall set the city on fire, to wit, part of it, as a sign to their brethren of their success; for the whole city was not burnt now, but afterwards, as is said verse 28.

[As I have commanded[4]] Behold, I have commanded you. He appears to allude obliquely to the example of Achan; to whom it was destruction not to have obeyed the Divine commands (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וְאַתֶּ֗ם תָּקֻ֙מוּ֙ מֵהָ֣אוֹרֵ֔ב וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּ֖ם אֶת־הָעִ֑יר וּנְתָנָ֛הּ יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֖ם בְּיֶדְכֶֽם׃

[2] יָרַשׁ, to possess or dispossess, in the Hiphil signifies to cause take possession, or to dispossess.

[3] Hebrew: וְהָיָ֞ה כְּתָפְשְׂכֶ֣ם אֶת־הָעִ֗יר תַּצִּ֤יתוּ אֶת־הָעִיר֙ בָּאֵ֔שׁ כִּדְבַ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה תַּעֲשׂ֑וּ רְא֖וּ צִוִּ֥יתִי אֶתְכֶֽם׃

[4] Hebrew: רְא֖וּ צִוִּ֥יתִי אֶתְכֶֽם׃.

1 thought on “Joshua 8:7, 8: Springing the Trap at Ai

  1. Matthew Henry: “What an obedient people Israel was! What Joshua commanded them to do, according to the commandment of the Lord (Joshua 8:8), they did it without murmuring or disputing. Those that were sent to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai (two cities confederate against them) were in a post of danger, and had they been discovered might all have been cut off, and yet they ventured; and, when the body of the army retreated and fled, it was both disgraceful and perilous, and yet, in obedience to Joshua, they did it.”

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