Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 8:28

So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation until this day.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Zeal, Religious;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Kill, Killing;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Holman Bible Dictionary - 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 - Ai;   Heap;   Joshua (2);   Palestine;   Palestine (Recent Exploration, I.e. as of 1915);   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ai;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ban;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Unto this day - This last clause was probably added by a later hand.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-8.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Joshua burnt Ai,.... The whole city, fire being only set before to a few houses, to make a smoke as a signal; he did with it as he had done with Jericho, for so he was ordered, Joshua 8:2,

and made it an heap for ever; that is, for a long time, for it appears to have been rebuilt, and to have been inhabited by the Jews, after their return from their Babylonish captivity, Nehemiah 11:31,

even a desolation unto this day; to the time of the writing of this book; and by what has been just observed, it appears that Ezra could not be the writer of it, since this city was inhabited in his time.

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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 8:28". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for l ever, [even] a desolation unto this day.

(l) That it could never be built again.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-8.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever — “For ever” often signifies “a long time” (Genesis 6:3). One of the remarkable things with regard to the tell we have identified with Ai is its name - the tell of the heap of stones - a name which to this day remains [Van De Velde].

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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 8:28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-8.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 8:28 And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, [even] a desolation unto this day.

Ver. 28. And Joshua burnt Ai.] {See Trapp on "Joshua 8:8"}

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-8.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 28. And Joshua burnt Ai, &c.— After giving up the city to plunder, according to the express command of God, Joshua caused it to be burnt to ashes, leaving there only a heap of stones, which was to be seen even to the time of writing this book. See ver. 11. 26. As to the expression an heap for ever, it is well known that it should not be understood in strictness. When the Hebrews say a thing will last for ever, it almost always signifies, that it will last a very long time, and nothing more. Thus we find that the city of Ai had been rebuilt, and was inhabited at the time of Esdras and Nehemiah. Ezra 2:28. Nehemiah 11:31.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". 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

For ever, or, for a long time, as that word oft signifies, as Genesis 6:3 Isaiah 42:14; for that it was after some ages rebuilt, may seem from Nehemiah 11:31, unless that were another city built near the former, there being some little difference in the name also.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". 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 Joshua burnt Ai, and made it a heap (a mound - ‘tel’) for ever, even a desolation to this day.’

This must have been written before the later restoration of Ai which, if the usual site is accepted, was in the time of the Judges. But it was not even then restored as a walled city. The much later city was probably built elsewhere (Isaiah 10:28; Ezra 2:28). So the great battle of Ai was over with victory going to YHWH. There is no further mention of Bethel. That city was probably not taken which is why it was not mentioned. But it would be militarily weak for a long time to come. Its king was slain by Israel later on (Joshua 12:16).

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-8.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

28.A heap for ever — [The word translated heap is תל, Tel, and strikingly confirms Capt. Wilson’s identification of the site of Ai with the mound still bearing, after the lapse of ages, the name Et-Tel, the ruined heap. Compare note on Joshua 7:2.] Because the meaning of Ai is a heap of ruins the Rationalists build up a theory that the history of its conquest is a myth, growing out of ruins of unknown origin. But the city destroyed by Joshua may have taken the name of Ai or Hai, the ruins, from the ruins of a more ancient city out of which it may have been built.

Unto this day — This clause seems awkward, coming immediately after for ever, but it shows that the word for ever sometimes has a limited reference. Perhaps, however, the historian, or some later editor, meant by the former clause, closing with for ever, to express Joshua’s purpose to make Ai a perpetual desolation, and by the latter clause to indicate its fulfilment. The name of Ai appears again, after a thousand years, as inhabited. Nehemiah 11:31. But it was probably on another site, just as there were an Old and a New Troy, an Old and a New Tyre.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-8.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

For ever, or for a long time. It was rebuilt before the captivity, 2 Esdras vii. 31.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-8.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

heap. Its only name to-day is "Tell" = the Heap.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". "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 Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day.

Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, [ teel (Hebrew #8510), heap of ruins]. "For ever" often signifies a long time (Genesis 6:3). One of the remarkable things with regard to the Tell we have identified with Ai is its name-the Tell, or the heap of stones-a name which to this day remains (Van de Velde).

A desolation unto this day - probably a gloss by Ezra, or some later editor.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". "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

(28) An heap for ever.—Heb., Tel-ôlam; modern name, Et-tel.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-8.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day.
an heap
Deuteronomy 13:16; 2 Kings 19:25; Isaiah 17:1; 25:2; Jeremiah 9:11; 49:2; 50:26; Micah 3:12
unto this day
4:9
Reciprocal: Joshua 6:24 - burnt;  Joshua 8:2 - do to Ai;  Joshua 8:8 - set the city

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 8:28". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-8.html.