16 Early the next morning Joshua brought Israel forward, tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was picked out. 17 He brought the tribe of Judah forward, clan by clan, and the clan of Zerah was picked out. Then he brought the clan of Zerah forward, family by family, and the family of Zabdi was picked out. 18 He then brought Zabdi's family forward, one by one, and Achan, the son of Carmi and grandson of Zabdi, was picked out. 19 Joshua said to him, “My son, tell the truth here before the Lord, the God of Israel, and confess. Tell me now what you have done. Don't try to hide it from me.”
20 “It's true,” Achan answered. “I have sinned against the Lord, Israel's God, and this is what I did. 21 Among the things we seized I saw a beautiful Babylonian cloak, about five pounds of silver, and a bar of gold weighing over one pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. You will find them buried inside my tent, with the silver at the bottom.”
22 So Joshua sent some men, who ran to the tent and found that the condemned things really were buried there, with the silver at the bottom. 23 They brought them out of the tent, took them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and laid them down in the presence of the Lord. 24 Joshua, along with all the people of Israel, seized Achan, the silver, the cloak, the bar of gold, together with Achan's sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys, and sheep, his tent, and everything else he owned; and they took them to Trouble Valley. 25 And Joshua said, “Why have you brought such trouble on us? The Lord will now bring trouble on you!” All the people then stoned Achan to death; they also stoned and burned his family and possessions. 26 They put a huge pile of stones over him, which is there to this day. That is why that place is still called Trouble Valley.
Then the Lord was no longer furious.
The Capture and Destruction of Ai
8 The Lord said to Joshua, “Take all the soldiers with you and go on up to Ai. Don't be afraid or discouraged. I will give you victory over the king of Ai; his people, city, and land will be yours. 2 You are to do to Ai and its king what you did to Jericho and its king, but this time you may keep its goods and livestock for yourselves. Prepare to attack the city by surprise from the rear.”
3 So Joshua got ready to go to Ai with all his soldiers. He picked out thirty thousand of his best troops and sent them out at night 4 with these orders: “Hide on the other side of the city, but not too far away from it; be ready to attack. 5 My men and I will approach the city. When the men of Ai come out against us, we will turn and run, just as we did the first time. 6 They will pursue us until we have led them away from the city. They will think that we are running from them, as we did before. 7 Then you will come out of hiding and capture the city. The Lord your God will give it to you. 8 After you have taken the city, set it on fire, just as the Lord has commanded. These are your orders.” 9 So Joshua sent them out, and they went to their hiding place and waited there, west of Ai, between Ai and Bethel. Joshua spent the night in camp.
10 Early in the morning Joshua got up and called the soldiers together. Then he and the leaders of Israel led them to Ai. 11 The soldiers with him went toward the main entrance to the city and set up camp on the north side, with a valley between themselves and Ai. 12 He took about five thousand men and put them in hiding west of the city, between Ai and Bethel. 13 The soldiers were arranged for battle with the main camp north of the city and the rest of the men to the west. Joshua spent the night in the valley. 14 When the king of Ai saw Joshua's men, he acted quickly. He and all his men went out toward the Jordan Valley to fight the Israelites at the same place as before, not knowing that he was about to be attacked from the rear. 15 Joshua and his men pretended that they were retreating, and ran away toward the barren country. 16 All the men in the city had been called together to go after them, and as they pursued Joshua, they kept getting farther away from the city. 17 Every man in Ai[a] went after the Israelites, and the city was left wide open, with no one to defend it.
18 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Point your spear at Ai; I am giving it to you.” Joshua did as he was told, 19 and as soon as he lifted his hand, the men who had been hiding got up quickly, ran into the city and captured it. They immediately set the city on fire. 20 When the men of Ai looked back, they saw the smoke rising to the sky. There was no way for them to escape, because the Israelites who had run toward the barren country now turned around to attack them. 21 When Joshua and his men saw that the others had taken the city and that it was on fire, they turned around and began killing the men of Ai. 22 The Israelites in the city now came down to join the battle. So the men of Ai found themselves completely surrounded by Israelites, and they were all killed. No one got away, and no one lived through it 23 except the king of Ai. He was captured and taken to Joshua.
24 The Israelites killed every one of the enemy in the barren country where they had chased them. Then they went back to Ai and killed everyone there. 25-26 Joshua kept his spear pointed at Ai and did not put it down until every person there had been killed. The whole population of Ai was killed that day—twelve thousand men and women. 27 The Israelites kept for themselves the livestock and goods captured in the city, as the Lord had told Joshua. 28 Joshua burned Ai and left it in ruins. It is still like that today. 29 He hanged the king of Ai from a tree and left his body there until evening. At sundown Joshua gave orders for the body to be removed, and it was thrown down at the entrance to the city gate. They covered it with a huge pile of stones, which is still there today.
The Law Is Read at Mount Ebal
30 (A)Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel. 31 (B)He made it according to the instructions that Moses, the Lord's servant, had given the Israelites, as it says in the Law of Moses: “an altar made of stones which have not been cut with iron tools.” On it they offered burnt sacrifices to the Lord, and they also presented their fellowship offerings. 32 There, with the Israelites looking on, Joshua made on the stones[b] a copy of the Law which Moses had written. 33 (C)The Israelites, with their leaders, officers, and judges, as well as the foreigners among them, stood on two sides of the Lord's Covenant Box, facing the levitical priests who carried it. Half of the people stood with their backs to Mount Gerizim and the other half with their backs to Mount Ebal. The Lord's servant Moses had commanded them to do this when the time came for them to receive the blessing. 34 Joshua then read aloud the whole Law, including the blessings and the curses, just as they are written in the book of the Law. 35 Every one of the commandments of Moses was read by Joshua to the whole gathering, which included women and children, as well as the foreigners living among them.
The Gibeonites Deceive Joshua
9 The victories of Israel became known to all the kings west of the Jordan—in the hills, in the foothills, and all along the coastal plain of the Mediterranean Sea as far north as Lebanon; these were the kings of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 2 They all came together and joined forces to fight against Joshua and the Israelites.
The Shrewd Manager
16 Jesus said to his disciples, “There was once a rich man who had a servant who managed his property. The rich man was told that the manager was wasting his master's money, 2 so he called him in and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Turn in a complete account of your handling of my property, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ 3 The servant said to himself, ‘My master is going to dismiss me from my job. What shall I do? I am not strong enough to dig ditches, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 Now I know what I will do! Then when my job is gone, I shall have friends who will welcome me in their homes.’ 5 So he called in all the people who were in debt to his master. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 ‘One hundred barrels of olive oil,’ he answered. ‘Here is your account,’ the manager told him; ‘sit down and write fifty.’ 7 Then he asked another one, ‘And you—how much do you owe?’ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he answered. ‘Here is your account,’ the manager told him; ‘write eight hundred.’ 8 As a result the master of this dishonest manager praised him for doing such a shrewd thing; because the people of this world are much more shrewd in handling their affairs than the people who belong to the light.”
9 (A)And Jesus went on to say, “And so I tell you: make friends for yourselves with worldly wealth, so that when it gives out, you will be welcomed in the eternal home. 10 Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones. 11 If, then, you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth, how can you be trusted with true wealth? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what belongs to you?
13 (B)“No servant can be the slave of two masters; such a slave will hate one and love the other or will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Some Sayings of Jesus(C)
14 When the Pharisees heard all this, they made fun of Jesus, because they loved money. 15 Jesus said to them, “You are the ones who make yourselves look right in other people's sight, but God knows your hearts. For the things that are considered of great value by people are worth nothing in God's sight.
16 (D)“The Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets were in effect up to the time of John the Baptist; since then the Good News about the Kingdom of God is being told, and everyone forces their way in. 17 (E)But it is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest detail of the Law to be done away with.
18 (F)“Any man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery; and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
God the Supreme Ruler[a]
82 God presides in the heavenly council;
in the assembly of the gods he gives his decision:
2 “You must stop judging unjustly;
you must no longer be partial to the wicked!
3 Defend the rights of the poor and the orphans;
be fair to the needy and the helpless.
4 Rescue them from the power of evil people.
5 “How ignorant you are! How stupid!
You are completely corrupt,
and justice has disappeared from the world.
6 (A)‘You are gods,’ I said;
‘all of you are children of the Most High.’
7 But you will die like mortals;
your life will end like that of any prince.”
8 Come, O God, and rule the world;
all the nations are yours.
- Psalm 82:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by Asaph.