Daily Tanach, Monday: Yehoshua Chapter 8 Part 2-The conquest of Aiy


1.      The ambush attacks and the city is set afire:

  • The spear is lifted: Hashem instructed Yehoshua to lift his spear towards Aiy [as a sign for the ambush to close in on the city and begin their attack[1]].
  • Aiy is set ablaze: Yehoshua did as instructed and the men waiting in ambush ran from its position and entered the city, capturing it. They quickly set the city ablaze. The men of Aiy turned around towards the city and watched their entire city set aflame, with smoke rising to the heavens. They had no energy, or area left to flee in any direction, and the Jewish army who had fled to the desert turned around and began chasing them.
  • The Aiy army and city is decimated: Yehoshua and the Jewish people saw that the entire city was captured by the attack of the ambush and was set ablaze, and they then smote all the people of Aiy. The warriors within the city came out towards the fighters of Aiy, hence trapping them from both sides. They destroyed the entire army of Aiy until no survivor was left. The king of Aiy was captured alive and brought to Yehoshua. After they annihilated the army of Aiy in the field, they set forth to annihilate the residents [i.e. women and children[2]] of the city, and they killed them all with the sword.
  • The total number of deaths: The total amount of people killed in Aiy was 12000.
  • The spear of Yehoshua: Yehoshua did not put down his spear until all the inhabitants of Aiy were killed.
  • The spoils: The animals and spoils of the city were taken for personal use by the Jewish people, as Hashem instructed Yehoshua.
  • Yehoshua burnt the city of Aiy and left it as a desolate mound until this day.
  • The king of Aiy is hung: The king of Aiy was hung on a tree until nighttime. At sundown, Yehoshua instructed to take down the corpse from the tree and for it to be thrown in the entrance of the city. A stone mound was placed over his corpse and remains there until this very day.

2.      Har Gerizim and Har Eival:

  • Building an altar: Yehoshua built an altar for Hashem on Har Eival, as Moshe commanded in his Torah to make an altar of whole stones which metal has not touched. They brought upon it Karbanos to Hashem. The Torah of Moshe was written on the stones. [In truth, this took place the day they crossed the Jordon, prior to the battle of Jericho or Aiy.[3]]
  • All the Jewish people, and its elders and judges, stood across the Aron, opposite the Kohanim and the Levites, half [i.e. Shimon, Levi, Yehuda Yissachar, Yosef, Binyamin[4]] towards Har Gerizim and half [i.e. Reuvein, Gad, Asher, Zevulun, Naftali] towards Har Eival, as Moshe originally commanded. Afterwards they read the entire Torah scroll, the blessings and curses, as it is all written in the Torah. There was no matter in the commands of Moshe [i.e. the 613 commands[5] or the curses and blessings[6]] that was not read before the entire congregation of Israel, including the women and children, and converts.

[1] Rashi 8:18

[2] Metzudos David 8:24

[3] Rashi 8:30; Radak 8:29

[4] Radak 8:33

[5] Radak 8:35; however, see Metzudos David 8:33-35

[6] Metzudos David 8:33-35

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