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Thursday, May 23 2019

A Bible Journey, 195: Who Got Ambushed By The LORD?

"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"

The English-language word "ambush" originated from an Old French word, embusche, that meant to lie in wait. The French word itself originated from a more ancient Latin word, imboscare, that meant lying in wait while concealed by bushes.

While ambush is now generally regarded as a matter involving soldiers or hunters, it is also a very good means of defense that the LORD provided for many creatures (see Creation Day 6: Animals And Mankind). Ironically, when the first humans became sinners, they hid themselves in "ambush" against the LORD (see the Fact Finder question below).

Regardless of how it's used, "ambush" can be very effective. An example is the peacock "ambush" shown below.

Ambush

Israel's first attempt to take the Canaanite city of Ai failed as a punishment from the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) for a theft that one of them committed at Jericho (see A Bible Journey, 194: Stolen Booty). 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)

Joshua then deployed the troops according to the LORD's Command. "Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand."

"8:3 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.

8:9 Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people.

8:10 And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and numbered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. 8:11 And all the people, even the people of war that were with him, went up, and drew nigh, and came before the city, and pitched on the north side of Ai: now there was a valley between them and Ai. 8:12 And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 8:13 And when they had set the people, even all the host that was on the north of the city, and their liers in wait on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley." (Joshua 8:3-13 KJV)

The defenders of Ai assumed that they would have another easy victory against the Israelites, so they smugly 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.

Joshua Captures Ai

"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.

8:18 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city. 8:19 And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.

8:20 And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. 8:21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai. 8:22 And the other issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and they smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape. 8:23 And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua.

8:24 And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword. 8:25 And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai. 8:26 For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 8:27 Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua.

8:28 And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day. 8:29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day." (Joshua 8:14-29 KJV)

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.

8:34 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. 8:35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them." (Joshua 8:30-35 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why did the first humans "ambush" the LORD after they became sinners?
See Who Invented Camouflage?

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This Day In History

This Day In History, May 23

1498: Girolamo Savonarola, Italian religious and political reformer, was hanged and burned at the stake by the order of Pope Alexander VI.

1533: Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declared Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon void, and his marriage to Anne Boleyn in January legal, a judgment that was condemned by the Vatican.

Spanish-born Catherine was the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella - the instigators of the "Spanish Inquisition" that tortured and killed a vast number of people all across Europe ("water boarding," a Papal mockery of genuine Biblical Baptism by immersion, was one of the torture methods devised during the tyranny of the Spanish Inquisition).

Ferdinand and Isabella were also the employers of Christopher Columbus who was declared the "discoverer of America" even though his voyages were all only to the islands of the Caribbean (he never once set foot on what today declares itself to be "America") and the Vikings had already done so 500 years before Columbus was born (the Papacy declared Columbus to be the discoverer, even though they knew the truth, because Columbus was a "good Catholic" while the freedom-loving Vikings were "heathens" who rejected domination by the Church of Rome).

Catherine of Aragon

Henry

1568: The Netherlands declared independence from Spain.

1568: Dutch rebels under the command of Louis of Nassau (brother of William I of Orange) defeated Jean de Ligne, the Duke of Aremberg and his troops at the Battle of Heiligerlee, beginning the Eighty Years' War.

1618: The Thirty Years War began when, during a Bohemian revolt against the Hapsburg Emperor, three opponents of the Reformation are thrown through a window. The incident became known as the Defenestration of Prague.

1633: Samuel de Champlain was made the first governor of New France (North America).

New France

1701: Scottish pirate William Kidd ("Captain Kidd") was hanged at London's Execution Dock after being convicted of piracy and murder.

1706: The Battle of Ramillies; the British army under John Churchill (of the same family from which future British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was born 2 centuries later), the 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeated a French army under Marshal Villeroi.

1805: In the Cathedral of Milan, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy.

1873: The Canadian North West Mounted Police were established. They formed part of what is known today as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the "Mounties").

Mountie

1934: The criminals "Bonnie and Clyde" (Bonnie Parker, 24 and Clyde Barrow, 25) were killed (shot at least 25 times each) by police in Louisiana. Their crime spree included robberies (gas stations, stores and banks), kidnappings and the murders of numerous people, including police officers.

Bonnie and Clyde

1939: The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sank off the coast of New Hampshire. 26 sailors were killed; 33 others were rescued.

1945: Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi Gestapo ("Gestapo" was the abbreviation for "The State Police"), committed suicide after being captured by Allied forces.

1960: Fugitive Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was captured by Israeli agents in Argentina. He was returned to Israel for trial where he was found guilty and hanged. His body was incinerated and the ashes dumped far out into the Mediterranean Sea.

1967: Prior to the Six Day War (see Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century), Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and blockaded Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba (see also Where Is Palestine? and Jordan's West Bank Invasion).

1983: The first heart-lung transplant in Canada was performed, at University Hospital in London, Ontario.

1991: Israel began "Operation Solomon" - a 2 day airlift of 14,400 Ethiopian Jews out of Addis Ababa (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).

2006: The Alaskan volcano Mount Cleveland erupted.


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