Joshua’s conquest of Jericho is one of the most exciting and popular accounts in all the Old Testament (Joshua 6). The events over the next few weeks, however, are less well-known and often overlooked. But the conquest of the Canaanite fortress (or city) of Ai, recounted in Joshua 7–8, remains of great importance in the history of God’s dealing with His people.
Like so many other amazing events described in Scripture, the historical accuracy of this one is also under attack. Fortunately, God’s Word gives us light to reevaluate the archaeological evidence.
Sin in the Camp
After Israel’s victory at Jericho, Achan secretly took some of the “devoted things” (Joshua 7:1, NIV). His foolish sin against God’s direct command brought divine judgment on Israel, which suffered a major defeat at the hands of Ai’s king (Joshua 7:2–5). After Achan’s sin was discovered and punished, the Lord sent the Israelites out to battle once again. This time, they won a great victory.
The Bible gives some fascinating details about the countryside and the strategy Joshua used. But since most modern biblical scholars and archaeologists refuse to accept God’s infallible Word as their starting point for interpreting the evidence, they reject the historicity of these events.
[Read the rest of the article at Answers in Genesis.]