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Joshua -- Chapter 2

[5] Now, when the Amorite and Canaanite kings along the coast heard how god had dried up the Jordan for the Israelites their hearts melted in fear and they didn't dare face the Israelites.

God said to Moses, "Make some flint knives and mutilate the Israelites' penises again. So he did so, because all those people who had been born in the wilderness had not been mutilated.

On the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal, the Israelites celebrated the Passover, and ate some of the produce of the land along with unleavened bread and roasted grain. There was no more manna.

Now, when Joshua came near Jericho he saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword and asked, "Are you for us or against us? If you are against us we kill you. If you are for us we kill you also, because god said to kill everyone."

"Neither," responded the man. "I am here as commander of god's army. He says to take off your sandals. You are on holy ground."

So he did so.

[6] The gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israeilites' approach. God said to Joshua, "I have delivered them into your hands. March around the city once for six days, with the priests carrying their trumpets in front of the ark. On the seventh day march around seven times, have the priests blow their trumpets and yell really loud. The the walls will fall and the army will go straight in."

So they did so, and on the seventh day when they shouted the walls of the city fell down, and the army rushed in and killed everybody -- man, woman, child, baby, everyone -- just the way god likes. They also killed all their livestock. They spared only Rahab the prostitute and her family. Then they burned the city after taking all the gold, silver, bronze and iron.

Then Joshua pronounced an oath: "At the cost of his firstborn son will anyone lay again the foundations of this city. At the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates."

So god was with Joshua and his fame spread throughout the land.

[7] However, Achan, son of Karmi, son of Zimri, son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah took some of the devoted things. Therefore, being the fair and just god that he is, god was angry against the whole of Israel.

Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai and told them, "Go up and spy out the region." When they returned they said, "Not everyone will have to go up against Ai. Only a few live there. Just send two or three thousand men." But they were beaten by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty-six of them.

The hearts of the people melted in fear. Joshua, along with the elders, tore his clothes and fell on the ground in front of the ark of god and sprinkled dust on their heads. And Joshua whined, "Oh Mr. god, why did you bring us all the way here to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites? Now that we have been routed by our enemies the rest of the nations will surround us and wipe us out. Then what will become of your great name?"

"Get up on your feet!" god commanded. "Why are you grovelling? Israel has sinned. They have taken some of my devoted things. I won't help you out until you destroy them."

"But who did this?" asked Joshua.

"Well, I could just tell you," god responded, "but instead you must go through the following long procedure. Present yourselves tribe by tribe before me and I will choose a tribe. Then have each of those families pass before me and I will choose a family. Whoever is caught with the items has violated the covenant and made me kill thirty-six of you."

So the next morning Joshua had the tribes come forward and Judah was chosen. When the clans of Judah came forward the Zarahites were chosen. When the families of the Zerahites cme forward the family of Zimri was chosen. When all these men came forward Achan was chosen. And Joshua asked, "Achan, what have you done?"

Achan responded, "It is true. I have sinned against god. When I saw all that plunder I took a beautiful robe and some silver and gold. They are in the ground under my tent."

So Joshua sent messengers who went to Achan's tent and found the items. So they took Achan and his family and everything he owned to the Valley of Achor where they stoned them all to death. When god saw how eagerly they killed evan Achan's innocent children he was pleased and stopped being angry.

[8] Now god said, "Don't be afraid. Take the whole army and go up and attack Ai, for I deliver them into your hands. You will do the same as you did with Jericho, except you can carry off the plunder and livestock. Set an ambush behind the city."

So Joshua moved the whole army to Ai, choosing thirty thousand of his best men to set the ambush. "Wait for the rest of us to attack and draw the men of Ai out of the city," he instructed. "We will run away, and when they pursue us you come from in back and take the city and burn it."

It worked perfectly. When the city went up in fire the Israelites turned back and killed the men from Ai. Then they went back and pleased god by killing all the women, children and others in Ai, except that they took the king alive and brought him to Joshua, who impaled him on a pole for the day. Then they took it down and buried it under a pile of rocks that remain to this day. (Just try to find those, too.)

Then Joshua built an altar and engraved the law of Moses on it. Then half of the Israelites, including the foreigners who lived among them (whoever they were, considering that they killed them all in the name of god), stood half in front of Mount Ebal and half in front of Mount Gerizim while Joshua read the entire words of the law, both blessings and curses, just as is written in the Book of the Law (which, thank Lucifer again, is not included herein).