Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 8:24

Now when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field in the wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them were fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Massacre;   Strategy;   War;   Thompson Chain Reference - Conquests;   Israel;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ambush;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Arms;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Desert;   Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ai;   Israel;   Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ai, Hai ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ai;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Natural Features;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ai;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword. - This must refer to the women, children, and old persons, left behind; for it is likely that all the effective men had sallied out when they imagined the Israelites had fled. See Joshua 8:16.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-8.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"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 pursued them, and they were all fallen by the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all Israel returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword. And all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai. For Joshua drew not back his hand, wherewith he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of Jehovah which he commanded Joshua. So Joshua burnt Ai, and made it a heap forever, even a desolation, unto this day. And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until the eventide: and at the going down of the sun Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree, and cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raised thereon a great heap of stones, unto this day."

"Joshua drew not back his hand ..." This means that, "According to the common custom of war, the general did not lower the war signal until the conflict was to cease."[23]

Another interesting thing here is that the king of Ai's body was taken down at sunset, exactly in compliance with the Mosaic instructions in Deuteronomy 21:22,23. In fact, all of Joshua shows this constant reflection of the Deuteronomic laws and of the commandments of Moses, which Joshua carefully honored at all times. All efforts of Biblical critics to make a portion of Joshua "the original Deuteronomy" are contradicted and made to be, in fact ridiculous, by this constant reflection of the previous Biblical books in the pages of Joshua. Woudstra dealt with the critical postulations that would make the narratives of Joshua out to be "etiological," meaning simply that the stories were invented by some subsequent generation in order to explain the monuments, such as the cairn of stones raised over the bodies of Achan and of the king of Ai. We agree with the firm way in which Woudstra contradicted such false notions:

"The Bible presents a reliable record of what the God of history did in space and time. For this reason, the Israel of Joshua's day had good reason to treasure the memories attached to the monuments of the past ... It was not the monuments that remain `unto this day' that triggered the Biblical narratives. The events recorded in the Bible are the true cause of the monuments."[24]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/joshua-8.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai,.... That came out against them:

in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them; both in the arable lands that were sown with corn, and now clothed with it, the wheat especially, not being gathered in, as not yet ripe, and in the pasture ground, designed by the wilderness, see Joshua 8:15; so Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it:

and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword; and were slain by it:

until they were consumed; and not one left:

that all the Israelites returned unto Ai; both the ambush that came out of it, and the army that came against it:

and smote it with the edge of the sword; that is, the inhabitants that were left in it unfit for war, as old men, infirm persons, women and children, as follows.

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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 8:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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 k smote it with the edge of the sword.

(k) For the fire, which they had before set in the city, was not to consume it, but to signify to Joshua that they had entered.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-8.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword — the women, children, and old persons left behind, amounting, in all, to twelve thousand people [Joshua 8:25 ].

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-8.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Smote it — That is, the inhabitants of it, the men, who through age or infirmity were unfit for war, and the women, verse25.

Copyright Statement
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 8:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-8.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 8:24 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.

Ver. 24. Returned unto Ai, and smote it.] Diruendi sunt corvorum nidi, crows’ nests are to be destroyed, lest they nest and lay there again the next year. If this city had been suffered to stand, the Canaanites might have fortified it again against them, while they were led farther to mount Ebal, and mount Gerizim.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-8.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

i.e. The inhabitants of it, the men, who through age or infirmity were unfit for war, and the women, Joshua 8:25.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". 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 so it was that when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai out in the countryside, in the wilderness in which they pursued them, and they were all fallen by the edge of the sword until they were consumed, that all Israel returned to Ai and smote it with the edge of the sword.’

Once God’s judgment had been carried out on the army of Ai and Bethel, who were caught in the open country, Israel turned their attention to those who remained in Ai, the older people and the women. They too were smitten with the edge of the sword until not one was left. All were ‘devoted’ to YHWH.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-8.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.Smote it with the edge of the sword — The non-combatant population, without regard to age or sex, were indiscriminately slain. For several considerations in justification of the total excision of the Canaanites, see note on Joshua 6:21.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-8.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

consumed = spent.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-8.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

All the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword - the women, children, and old persons left behind, amounting, in all, to 12,000 people.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-8.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
returned unto Ai
This must refer to the women, children, and old persons left behind; for it seems that all the effective men had sallied out when they imagined the Israelites had fled. (ver. 16.)
10:30-41; 11:10-14; Numbers 21:24
Reciprocal: Genesis 14:10 - fell;  Deuteronomy 7:2 - utterly;  Joshua 8:2 - do to Ai;  Joshua 8:17 - a man;  Joshua 10:20 - had made;  John 11:54 - Ephraim

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 8:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-8.html.