Daily Tanach, Sunday: Yehoshua Chapter 8-The conquest of Aiy-Part 1


Chapter 8: The conquest of Aiy

1.      G-d commands Yehoshua to wage a new battle against Aiy:

  • Hashem said to Yehoshua not to fear, and that he is to take with him the entire nation to wage war against Aiy. Hashem promised Yehoshua that He has handed him the king of Aiy, his nation and his entire land. Hashem stated: “You shall do to Aiy, and to its king, as you did to Jericho and its king. You shall make an ambush from behind the city.”
  • Hashem instructs Yehoshua regarding the plunder: Hashem instructed: The plunder of the city of Aiy you shall take for yourself [and do not consecrate it as you did by Jericho].

2.      The battle strategy against Aiy:

  • Yehoshua and the entire nation went towards Aiy to wage war, and Yehoshua chose 30,000 warriors and sent them off at night to create an ambush from behind the city. He instructed them not to distance themselves too much from the city, and to be ready in wait to capture the enemy.
  • The ambush plan: The plan was as follows: Yehoshua and the rest of the nation would come towards the city, and when the enemy soldiers wage their attack against us as they did originally, we will flee from before them. They will chase us until the point that they are completely disconnected from the city, as they will think that we are once again fleeing from them as occurred originally. Now, you will get up from your ambush and enter the city and drive out [and decimate[1]] all the inhabitants. After capturing the city, you shall light the city afire as G-d commanded [regarding Jericho, and that so should be done to Aiy[2]].

3.      The troops are stationed:

  • The first ambush: Yehoshua sent the soldiers and they set up the ambush between Beis Eil and Aiy, to the west of Aiy.
  • Soldiers are positioned: Yehoshua slept that night amongst the nation [in order to be ready to wage battle immediately in the morning[3]]. In the morning, Yehoshua instructed the nation and led them in battle towards Aiy. They stationed themselves to the north of Aiy.
  • The second ambush: Yehoshua took 5000 men and set up a [second[4] and closer] ambush between Beis Eil and Aiy, to the west of the city.
  • The entire nation was positioned to the north of the city, while the ambush was to the west of the city. That night Yehoshua slept within the valley.

4.      The battle begins:

  • When the king of Aiy saw the soldiers, he hurriedly gathered his troops, the members of his city, to engage the Jews in battle within the plains [that was outside the city[5]]. He was completely unaware of the ambush that was staged. He desired to begin the battle at the set time [that his sorcerers determined to be auspicious for them to win[6]].
  • The Jews flee while all the men of Aiy give chase: The Jewish people began fleeing from in front of the enemy, making it appear as if they were weak, scared and injured. They fled towards the desert. All the [male] city inhabitants chased after the Jewish people, and Yehoshua, with a roar, thus detaching them from the city. There was no man left in the city of Aiy and Beis Eil who did not go out to wage war against Yehoshua, thus leaving the city open [for destruction].


[1] See Rashi and Radak 8:7

[2] Radak 8:8

[3] Rashi and Radak 8:11

[4] Rashi and Metzudos David 8:12

[5] Radak 8:14

[6] Rashi 8:14

About The Author

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.