Joshua 8:19
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And the men in the ambush rose quickly out of their place, and as soon as he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it. And they hurried to set the city on fire.

King James Bible
And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.

American Standard Version
And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and entered into the city, and took it; and they hasted and set the city on fire.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when he had lifted up his shield towards the city, the ambush that lay hid, rose up immediately: and going to the city, took it and set it on fire.

English Revised Version
And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and entered into the city, and took it; and they hasted and set the city on fire.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted, and set the city on fire.

Joshua 8:19 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The whole of the people of war also advanced with him to the front of the town, and encamped on the north of Ai, so that the valley was between it (בינו, as in Joshua 3:4) and Ai. This was probably a side valley branching off towards the south from the eastern continuation of the Wady es Suweinit. - In Joshua 8:12, Joshua 8:13, the account of the preparations for the attack is founded off by a repetition of the notice as to the forces engaged, and in some respects a more exact description of their disposition. Joshua, it is stated in Joshua 8:12, took about 5000 men and placed them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west of the town. As the place where this ambuscade was posted is described in precisely the same terms as that which was occupied, according to Joshua 8:9, by the 30,000 men who were sent out to form an ambuscade in the night before the advance of the main army against Ai (for the substitution of "the city" for Ai cannot possibly indicate a difference in the locality), the view held by the majority of commentators, that Joshua 8:12 refers to a second ambuscade, which Joshua sent out in addition to the 30,000, and posted by the side of them, is even more than questionable, and is by no means raised into a probability by the expression את־עקבו (Eng. "their liers in wait") in Joshua 8:13. The description of the place, "on the west of the city," leaves no doubt whatever that "their liers in wait" are simply the ambuscade (ארב) mentioned in Joshua 8:12, which was sent out from the whole army, i.e., the ambuscade that was posted on the west of the town. עקב signifies literally the lier in wait (Psalm 49:5), from עקב, insidiari, and is synonymous with ארב. The meaning which Gesenius and others attach to the word, viz., the rear or hinder part of the army, cannot be sustained from Genesis 49:19. If we add to this the fact that Joshua 8:13 is obviously nothing more than a repetition of the description already given in Joshua 8:11 of the place where the main army was posted, and therefore bears the character of a closing remark introduced to wind up the previous account, we cannot regard Joshua 8:12 as anything more than a repetition of the statements in Joshua 8:3, Joshua 8:9, and can only explain the discrepancy with regard to the number of men who were placed in ambush, by supposing that, through a copyist's error, the number which was expressed at first in simple letters has in one instance been given wrongly. The mistake, however, is not to be found in the 5000 (Joshua 8:12), but in the 30,000 in Joshua 8:3, where ה has been confounded with ל. For a detachment of 5000 men would be quite sufficient for an ambuscade that had only to enter the town after the soldiers had left it in pursuit of the Israelites, and to set it on fire, whereas it hardly seems possible that 30,000 men should have been posted in ambush so near to the town.

(Note: We need have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that there is a mistake in the number given in Joshua 8:3, as the occurrence of such mistakes in the historical books is fully established by a comparison of the numbers given in the books of Samuel and Kings with those in the books of Chronicles, and is admitted by every commentator. In my earlier commentary on Joshua, I attempted to solve the difficulty by the twofold assumption: first, that Joshua 8:12 contains a supplementary statement, in which the number of the men posted in ambush is given for the firs time; and secondly, that the historian forgot to notice that out of the 30,000 men whom Joshua chose to make war upon Ai, 5000 were set apart to lie in ambush. But, on further examination of the text, I have come to the conclusion that the second assumption is irreconcilable with the distinct words of Joshua 8:3, and feel obliged to give it up. On the other hand, I still adhere to the conviction that there is not sufficient ground either for the assumption that Joshua 8:12, Joshua 8:13, contain an old marginal gloss that has crept into the text, or for the hypothesis of Ewald and Knobel, that these verses were introduced by the last editor of the book out of some other document. The last hypothesis amounts to a charge of thoughtlessness against the latest editor, which is hardly reconcilable with the endeavour, for which he is praised in other places, to reconcile the discrepancies in the different documents.)

- In Joshua 8:13, העם (the people) is to be taken as the subject of the sentence: "The people had set all the host, that was on the north of the city, and its ambuscade on the west of the city." In the night, namely the night before the army arrived at the north of the town, Joshua went through the midst of the valley, which separated the Israelites from the town, so that in the morning he stood with all the army close before the town.

Joshua 8:19 Parallel Commentaries

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Joshua 8:6-8 (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first...

Cross References
Joshua 8:18
Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand." And Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city.

Joshua 8:20
So when the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that, for the people who fled to the wilderness turned back against the pursuers.

Judges 20:33
And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place and set themselves in array at Baal-tamar, and the men of Israel who were in ambush rushed out of their place from Maareh-geba.

Judges 20:37
Then the men in ambush hurried and rushed against Gibeah; the men in ambush moved out and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.

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