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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Joshua 7

Verses 1-26

Achan’s sin (7:1-26)

God was angry that Israel had not been fully obedient to him in the conquest of Jericho. One of the people, Achan, secretly kept for himself what he should have destroyed (7:1). Therefore, when the Israelites moved on to attack the much smaller town of Ai, God allowed them to be driven back and to suffer losses (2-5). Joshua was distressed, not just because Israel had been defeated, but because their defeat would encourage the Canaanites. If all the Canaanites joined forces, Israel could be destroyed (6-9).
In response to Joshua’s desperate prayer, God told him the reason for Israel’s defeat. One person’s sin concerning the devoted things of Jericho was enough to break the agreement that the whole nation had made with God, and so bring disaster upon it. God’s curse on the devoted things passed on automatically to those associated with them. The person who kept the devoted things was now himself devoted to destruction, and through him Israel was also (see 6:18). The nation could be saved only by destroying the devoted things and all persons and things connected with them (10-15). Through the ritual of drawing lots, Joshua discovered that Achan was the guilty person. Achan’s confession confirmed that the choice was correct (16-21). He and all that was his were then destroyed (22-26).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Joshua 7". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.