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Tuesday, February 4 2014
Joshua 8: The Ambush Of Ai
"The LORD said unto Joshua ... lay thee an ambush for the city"
Israel's first attempt to capture the Canaanite city of Ai was not successful because of a transgression that one of them committed against the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) at Jericho (see Joshua 7: What Did Achan Do?). With the matter resolved however, the LORD commanded Joshua to take Ai - by means of an ambush.
"8:1 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: 8:2 And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it." (Joshua 8:1-2 KJV)
"8:3 So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night. 8:4 And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city: go not very far from the city, but be ye all ready: 8:5 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 we will flee before them, 8:6 (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them. 8:7 Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 8:8 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. See, I have commanded you.
The defenders of Ai assumed that they would have another easy victory against the Israelites, so they recklessly left the city undefended when they sent their entire force in "pursuit" of Israel. The main group of Israelites then took the undefended city, while the Israelites in mock retreat then turned and attacked the enemy in the open country.
"8:14 And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it, that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that there were liers in ambush against him behind the city. 8:15 And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 8:16 And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. 8:17 And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.
With two absolute victories achieved, "Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal." "And afterward he read all the words of the Law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the Law."
"8:30 Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal, 8:31 As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 8:32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 8:33 And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.
Fact Finder: What made the army of Israel in the time of Joshua a righteous army?
This Day In History, February 4
211: Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died at Eboracum (now York, England) during a campaign against the Caledonians. He was succeeded by his sons, Caracalla (reigned 211-217) and Geta (reigned 211) (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba).
634: The Battle of Dathin. Rashidun military forces under Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan defeated the "Christian" Arabs around Gaza (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad, What Does The Bible Say About Arabs? and Gaza In History And Prophecy).
1169: A severe earthquake struck the coast of Sicily, causing tens of thousands of deaths and injuries.
1194: Richard I ("Richard Lion Heart") of England was freed from captivity in Germany where he had been held as the prisoner of Holy Roman Emperor Heinreich ("Henry") VI (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1441: Pope Eugene IV published the encyclical Cantante domino. It proclaimed that the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church contains the 66 protocanonical books (i.e. the complete "Protestant" Bible) and 12 deuterocanonical ("apocryphal") books (see also Apocryphal Means Not Authoritative).
1783: An earthquake killed 50,000 people in Italy.
1783: England officially proclaimed an end to hostilities with its rebellious colonies in New England.
1787: Shay's Rebellion, an uprising of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers, failed.
1797: An earthquake killed 40,000 people in Ecuador.
1859: The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt.
1861: After some of his relatives were lynched, Chief Cochise began the 25 year Apache war with the US Army.
1904: The Russo-Japanese War began when Japan laid siege to Port Arthur.
1915: At the beginning of the First World War, the first Canadian troops arrived in Europe and entered battle at Flanders. Among them was a Canadian Army doctor, John McCrae (1872-1918), who while serving on the front lines, wrote In Flanders Fields, a poem made famous after the war (McCrae did not survive the war and ironically became among those that he wrote about in his poem).
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
1924: Mahatma Gandhi was released after spending 2 years in jail in Bombay.
1945: Near the end of the Second World War, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Josef Stalin began meetings at the Soviet Black Sea port of Yalta; they agreed to demand Germany's unconditional surrender, to try its leaders as war criminals, and to share the occupation of Germany with France.
1969: Terrorist leader Yasser Arafat became chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
1974: Patricia Hearst, granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped by the "Symbionese Liberation Army" in California.
1976: An earthquake killed 23,000 people in Guatemala; 1,500,000 homes were destroyed.
1992: A coup d'etat led by Hugo Chavez overthrew Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez.
1997: 73 Israeli soldiers were killed when 2 Sikorsky transport helicopters collided while ferrying troops to Lebanon. It was Israel's worst military aircraft disaster (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).
1998: A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck northeast Afghanistan, killing more than 5,000 people.
2003: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed as Serbia and Montenegro.