LOOK at what this man is burying in his tent! A beautiful robe, and a gold bar and some pieces of silver. He has taken them from the city of Jerʹi·cho. But what should have been done with the things in Jerʹi·cho? Do you remember?
They were supposed to have been destroyed, and the gold and silver were to have been given to the treasury of Jehovah’s tabernacle. So these people have disobeyed God. They have stolen what belongs to God. The man’s name is Aʹchan, and those with him are part of his family. Let’s see what happens.
After Aʹchan steals these things, Joshua sends out some men to fight against the city of Aʹi. But they are beaten in battle. Some are killed, and the rest run away. Joshua is very sad. He lies down with his face to the ground and prays to Jehovah: ‘Why have you let this happen to us?’
Jehovah answers: ‘Get up! Israel has sinned. They have taken some of the things that were to be destroyed or to be given to Jehovah’s tabernacle. They stole a beautiful robe and kept it secret. I will not bless you until you destroy it, and the one who has taken these things.’ Jehovah says that he will show Joshua who the bad man is.
So Joshua gathers all the people together, and Jehovah picks out the bad man Aʹchan. Aʹchan says: ‘I have sinned. I saw a beautiful robe, and the bar of gold and the silver pieces. I wanted them so much that I took them. You will find them buried inside my tent.’
When these things are found and brought to Joshua, he says to Aʹchan: ‘Why have you brought trouble on us? Now Jehovah will bring trouble on you!’ At that all the people stone Aʹchan and his family to death. Doesn’t that show that we should never take things that do not belong to us?
Afterward Israel goes out to fight against Aʹi again. This time Jehovah helps his people, and they win the battle.