When the children of Israel went to conquer the next city, God was not with them because one of the soldiers had taken something forbidden from Jericho. 36 soldiers of the children of Israel died and Israel’s soldiers turned around scared and ran away from the battle.

When this happened Joshua tore his clothes and fell down on his face in front of the throne of the Lord, the Ark of the Covenant, and stayed there until evening. He said to God, O Lord, why did you bring us across the river. I wish we had stayed on the other side.

How can we win if our warriors get afraid and run away? The people of the land will hear about this and come attack us and wipe us out. And then how will the people of the world hear about how great You are and Your great love for them?

The Lord said to Joshua, Get up, why are you lying on your face? Israel has sinned. They broke our deal and took some of the stuff from the bad one and hid it in with their things. That’s why the children of Israel could not stand strong and win against their enemies.


I cannot be with you any more unless you get rid of the cursed things.

Get up and get the people ready for tomorrow and we will take the cursed things from the people so they can stand before their enemies.

The next day, the priest put on the holy clothes for standing before God. Then Joshua had each family come before the priest until they found Achan from the family of Judah. They took him because God showed them that he was the one who took the cursed things.

Joshua said to him, What have you done? Achan answered, I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon and wanted it really bad. So I took it with 200 silver coins and a block of gold. They are hid in the middle of my tent.

Joshua sent men to get the stuff. They brought it and took Achan and his family and all their stuff and took them into a valley far away and threw stones at them and burned them with fire and piled stones on them really high for the 36 men who died.


Then the Lord said to Joshua, Do not be afraid, Take all Israel’s warriors and go up to conquer the city. You will take it like you took Jericho but you can keep all the treasures and animals for yourselves.

The Lord told him to go at night and set a trap behind the city. The next day they started the battle and pretended to be losing. When they turned and ran away, the men of the city followed them and then other Israelite warriors went into the city and set it on fire.

Then Israel turned and won the battle and let none of the warriors of the bad one escape.

Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord and they gave offerings to God that told of His love for them. They held the Lord high in their hearts and thanked Him over and over for showing them how to win and helping them.

They wrote a copy of God’s rules on huge stones. Then they put half of the families of Israel on one mountain and the other half on the mountain across from them. The people spoke God’s blessings from one mountain and His cursings from the other mountain.




Then Joshua read all of God’s words real loud. He didn’t leave out a single word. All the people heard and their children heard and the people from other countries that were with them heard all the words of God.

When all the kings on this side of the river and in the hills, and in the valleys, and at the seacoasts heard of the victories of the children of Israel they gathered together to fight against them to get them out of God’s special land for them.

But the men of one of the great cities tricked Israel instead. They pretended to be from somewhere far away and not part of the land under God’s curse for following the bad one with all their heart.

The wore ragged clothes and took old, dry food and came to Joshua and said, We are from very far away but come to you because of how great the Lord your God is. We want you to make a deal with us that you won’t hurt us, but instead, we will serve you.


Joshua and the men of Israel saw the ragged clothes and old food but they did not ask God. They swore to the deal in God’s name.


Three days later they found out these were men close by who were under God’s curse. Joshua called them to come to him and said, You tricked us!


But they could not harm them because they promised in God’s name to keep them safe. So Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for Israel.