The discovery and punishment of the guilty one Achan (Josh 7:16-7:26)

“Joshua rose early in the morning. He brought Israel near tribe by tribe. The tribe of Judah was taken. He brought near the clans of Judah. The clan of the Zerahites was taken. He brought near the clan of the Zerahites, family by family, and Zabdi was taken. He brought near his household one by one, and Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.”

For those who read the beginning of this chapter this is no surprise. How they were chosen is not clear, but there must have been some sort of divine lottery that brought them to the culprit.

“Then Joshua said to Achan. ‘My son, give glory to Yahweh God of Israel, and make confession to him. Tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me.’ Achan answered Joshua. ‘It is true. I am the one who sinned against Yahweh God of Israel. This is what I did. When I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I coveted them and took them. They now lie hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.’ So Joshua sent messengers. They ran to the tent. There it was hidden in his tent with the silver underneath. They took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites. They spread them out before Yahweh.”

Okay, this solves the problem. Achan very easily truly confesses his sins by naming exactly what he took from Shinar, a Babylonian god, at Jericho. He took clothing, silver, and gold. He hid it in the ground in this tent. Then the messengers find it like he said, case closed.

“Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, with the silver, the mantle, and the bar of gold, with his sons and daughters, with his oxen, donkeys, and sheep, and his tent and all that he had. They brought them up to the Valley of Achor. Joshua said. ‘Why did you bring trouble on us? Yahweh is bringing trouble on you today.’ All Israel stoned him to death. They burned them with fire. They cast stones on them. They raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then Yahweh turned from his burning anger. Therefore that place to this day is called the Valley of Achor.”

Achor was the valley of trouble near Jericho. They both burn and stone him. These evil ones must be eliminated. His whole family shares in his guilt since it is not the guilt of one man, so that they must also die. His guilt affects his family and all the Israelites.

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