Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 8:11

Then all the people of war who were with him went up and drew near and arrived in front of the city, and camped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ambush;   Armies;   Strategy;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Sieges;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ambush;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Vale;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Bethel;   Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ai;   Israel;   Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ai, Hai ;   Ambush, Ambushment;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ai;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ai;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And all the people, even the people of war that were with him, and went up, and drew nigh,.... To the city of Ai:

and came before the city; as if they intended to besiege it, storm it, or force an entrance into it:

and pitched on the north side of Ai; which was judged fittest for the purpose:

now there was a valley between them and Ai; which the Rabbins call the valley of Halacah, as Jarchi says; so that they were upon a hill, at least on rising ground, and might the more easily be seen by the inhabitants of Ai, whom they wanted to draw out of their city.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-8.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

That were with him — Namely, the thirty thousand mentioned, verse3, or the most of them.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-8.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 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.

Ver. 11. And all the people, even the people of war.] Not two or three thousand only, as when they first went against Ai, and were discomfited, but all the chief of the soldiery; lest some man should say to him, as once Archidamus did to his son, rashly conflicting with the Athenians, but wanting strength to make his party good with them, Aut viribus adde, aut animis adime: Either add to your forces, or abate of your valour.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-8.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 11. And came—and pitched on the north side of Ai Those who came with Joshua were all the people of war who were with him; i.e. evidently the bulk of the army, in opposition to the thirty thousand men who had been detached in the night-time. It was about three leagues from Gilgal to Ai. See Calmet. The army at noon might be over against this latter town, having only the valley to cross to reach the high places on which it was situated. But Joshua clearly conducted it in such a manner, that it was concealed by mountains which lay on that side, and which covered their march from the sight of the men of Ai.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-8.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The people of war that were with him, to wit, the thirty thousand mentioned Joshua 8:3, or the most of them.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-8.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And all the people, the people of war who were with him, went up, and drew near, and came before the city, and pitched on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai.’

The army made the ascent and camped to the north of Ai with a valley between them and Ai. Notice the stress on the slow approach - ‘went up, drew near, came before, pitched on the north side’. They were feeling the effects of the climb. Some commentators would have him attack at once, but he wisely rested his men. But he did it within sight of the city so that they would realise what was happening and anticipate a frontal assault.

It was at this time that he was able to survey Bethel which made him set a further five eleph men in ambush. He wanted to protect all sides.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-8.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.A valley between them and Ai — The Hebrew reads the valley, the article intimating that it was well known. It was the main valley, of which the ravine in which the ambush was laid was a branch. See note on Joshua 8:9.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-8.html. 1874-1909.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

All the people. [The Septuagint translation gives a different and somewhat ambiguous idea of the mode of attack-Greek: kai pas ho laos ho polemistees met' autou anebeesan, kai poreuomenoi eelthon ezenantias tees poleoos apo anatoloon, kai ta henedra tees poleoos apo thalassees-And all the mentor war that were with him went up, and in their march came before the city on the east, and the ambush before the city from the sea (on the west).]

There was a valley (literally the valley) between them and Ai.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-8.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) On the north side.—The lurking-place of the thirty thousand was on the west side, between Bethel and Ai. There is a ravine called the Wady Maheesin which runs nearly east and west, on the north of et-Tel, and probably Joshua’s main body took up a position on the rising ground to the north of this ravine, for it is added, “the ravine (or Gai) was between them and Ai.”

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-8.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Joshua href="/desk/?q=jos+8:1-5&sr=1">Joshua 8:1-5
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 8:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-8.html.