Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 8:9

So Joshua sent them away, and they went to the place of ambush and remained between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua spent that night among the people.
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;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Ambush;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Holman Bible Dictionary - 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;   Smith Bible Dictionary - A'i;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ai;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Joshua therefore sent them forth,.... The thirty thousand chosen men:

and they went to lie in ambush; as they were ordered, Joshua 8:2,

and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; for as Ai was on the east of Bethel, Joshua 7:2. Bethel must be on the west of Ai, as Jarchi notes:

but Joshua lodged that night among the people; the main body of the army, to direct them in the affair of war, how they should behave the next day, when they came to fight; and to inspire them with courage and confidence, that they might not be afraid, because of their having been smitten before by this people, so Ben Gersom; or rather that he and they might be ready in the morning to march towards Ai, as Jarchi and Kimchi.

Copyright Statement
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 8:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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 c among the people.

(c) With the rest of the army.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 8:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-8.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

between Beth-el and Ai — Beth-el, though lying quite near in the direction of west by north, cannot be seen from Tell-el-hajar; two rocky heights rise between both places, in the wady El-Murogede, just as the laying of an ambush to the west of Ai would require [Van De Velde; Robinson].

Copyright Statement
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 8:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-8.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Sent them — The same party.

Among the people — Heb. that people, the people of war as they are called, verse11, that is, the main body of the host consisting of thirty thousand.

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 8:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-8.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 8:9 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.

Ver. 9. Joshua therefore sent them forth, &c.] Thus he fulfilled all parts and points of a good general: being, as Velleius saith of Mithridates, king of Pontus, Virtute eximius, plerunque fortuna, semper animo maximus, consiliis dux, miles manu, &c., and as Catullus of Achilles,

Hostibus haud tergo, sed forti pectore notus.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-8.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Sent them forth; the same party designed by the pronoun them, Joshua 8:3, of which see the notes there.

Among the people, Heb. that people, to wit, the people of war, as they are called, Joshua 8:11, to wit, the main body of that host, consisting of thirty thousand.

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 8:9". 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

Joshua therefore sent them out and they went to the ambush site and settled in between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai. But Joshua lodged that night among the people.’

So the battle plan was laid out and the first part carried out. The men in the ambush would hopefully arrive at the appointed place during the night and settle in. They would then wait a day and a night while everything else was getting in place. Some commentators, who have never fought a battle in their lives, grumble over Joshua taking too long about the attack, but this time he was taking no chances. They had plenty of time.

“Settled in between Bethel and Ai.” This may have been the first time that they were really aware of Bethel. It may have been a message sent back about it that prompted Joshua to send them five eleph more men.

“Joshua lodged that night among the people.” Joshua remained in the camp at Gilgal. He wanted to give the ambush plenty of time to get into place, and he wanted to settle his own somewhat discouraged troops for what lay ahead.

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 8:9". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-8.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9.Between Bethel and Ai — This region is greatly cut up with gorges and ravines, “and,” says Dr. Thomson, “as I passed from Bethel towards Michmash, (southeasterly,) I could easily understand how Joshua’s ambush of five thousand men could be hid between Ai and Bethel.”

[On the west side of Ai — A short distance west of Et-Tel, says Captain Wilson, “and entirely concealed from it by rising ground, is a small ravine well suited for an ambush, one of the branches of the main valley, which runs close to Et-Tel, and protects its northern face — the same into which the army of the Israelites descended the night before the capture of the city. On the hills to the north, beyond the valley, Joshua encamped before making his final arrangements for the attack, (Joshua 8:11,) and it seems probable that he took his stand at some point on the hillside while the battle was raging, for there is a most commanding view over the whole scene, not only up the lateral valley, in which the ambush was placed, but also down by the way of the wilderness. Joshua 8:15. He would thus be able at the same time to control the feigned flight of the Israelites, and signal the ambush (Joshua 8:18-19) to rise up quickly and seize the city.”]

Joshua lodged that night among the people — That is, among the twenty-five thousand who encamped for the night on the north side of Ai in the valley. Joshua 8:11; Joshua 8:13. The night here mentioned is to be understood as identical with that mentioned in Joshua 8:3; Joshua 8:13.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 8:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-8.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

between Beth-el and Ai. The place of Abraham"s altar, Genesis 12:8 : so that the place where the promise of the Land was made, is the place where it began to be fulfilled. Abraham had come down from Sichem: Joshua goes up to Sichem, and builds his altar on the same spot where Abraham had built his. Compare Genesis 12:6-8 with Joshua 8:30-35 and Deuteronomy 11:30.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 8:9". "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

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.

Between Beth-el and Al. Beth-el, though lying quite near, in the direction of west by north, cannot be seen from Tell-el-bajar, two rocky heights rising between both places, in the Wady El-Murogede, just as the laying of an ambush to the west of Ai would require (Van de Velde, Robinson).

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 8:9". "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

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-8.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
between
12; 7:2; Genesis 12:8
Hai
Ezra 2:28; Nehemiah 7:32
lodged
Genesis 32:21
Reciprocal: Joshua 8:2 - lay thee;  Nehemiah 11:31 - Aija

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 8:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-8.html.