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Joshua's Conquest and The Mystery of Ai - The Exodus

Joshua's Conquest and The Mystery of Ai - The Exodus

What is the significance of Ai in the Bible?

Ai was a place in central Canaan. It is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 12:8 as a place where Abram camped during his journey toward the land God promised in Genesis 12:1: “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” When Abram reached Ai, he built an altar and “called upon the name of the Lord.” The name Ai means “heap of ruins” (Joshua 8:28).

According to Joshua 7:2, Ai was a Canaanite city located approximately two miles east of Bethel (Joshua 10:1). The ruins of the city now lie beneath the modern archaeological site of Et-Tell on a slope leading from the Jordan Valley to Bethel. Ai is notable for being the scene of a humiliating Israelite defeat as the small city of Ai routed the Israelites and inflicted three dozen casualties. The loss at Ai was due to the sin of Achan (Joshua 7:1–5). In direct defiance of God’s command to keep nothing for themselves from the wicked city of Jericho (Joshua 6:19), Achan had kept a robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and a fifty-shekel bar of gold and hid it all in a hole he had dug within his tent. Achan kept his theft a secret until Israel was defeated at Ai. God then revealed to Joshua the cause for this defeat, and Achan, his family, and everything he owned was destroyed at God’s command (Joshua 7:25–26).

Once the sin had been purged from the camp and Achan had been punished, God gave Joshua victory over Ai (Joshua 8:1–29). After drawing the men of Ai out of the city and ambushing them, Israelite warriors captured the king and brought him to Joshua (Joshua 8:23), who impaled him and left his body on public display as a testament to Israel’s great triumph over the enemies of the Lord. The body of the king of Ai was left hanging until evening, at which time it was thrown in the gate of Ai and piled over with rocks (verse 29). After first tasting terrible defeat at Ai due to hidden sin, Israel learned about the power of purging sin from their midst so that the Lord could fight for them (see Joshua 23:3).

The region around Ai became part of the land given to the tribe of Benjamin in the distribution of the Promised Land (Ezra 2:28). Ai was the second Canaanite city taken by Israel in its conquest of the Promised Land, the first being the great victory at the battle of Jericho.

The prophet Isaiah mentions a rebuilt Ai in Isaiah 10:28, calling it Aiath." from the article:

"What is the Patterns Of Evidence Film Series?

Patterns of Evidence is a documentary film series that travels through the Bible, investigating evidence of its historical credibility, the accuracy of its transmission through the centuries, and how it impacts the modern world.

Timothy Mahoney is an award-winning investigative filmmaker, raised as a Christian, who now has the same question that many today are asking: Did the stories recorded in the Bible really happen?

In this film series, he sets off to seek answers by traveling to the locations where biblical events are said to have happened. Along the way, he interviews leading archaeologists and scholars from all over the world who argue all sides of the debate about the credibility of the Bible. The biblical stories are retold, accompanied by dramatic reenactments and special effects.

Patterns of Evidence lets the viewer draw their own conclusions as it takes them on a journey to the ancient world of the Bible. This refreshingly balanced approach is inspiring and intellectually challenging for both skeptics and believers alike, providing profound new evidence that affirms the Bible.

Thinking Man Films is the production company for the Patterns of Evidence film series and television programs. Thinking Man Media is the book publishing, curriculum development, and distribution company for Patterns of Evidence media.

-- Patterns of Evidence Films --

► "The Exodus" - Is the history found in the Bible credible? Is there any physical evidence to support the biblical story of the Exodus? An in-depth investigation by filmmaker Timothy Mahoney searches for answers to these questions amid startling new finds that match the Bible’s account of the Exodus from Egypt.

► "The Moses Controversy" - ​The film uncovers a new pattern of evidence that some believe link the Israelites to the world’s first alphabet. Was this a divine gift necessary for the Israelites to read the words given to Moses at Mt Sinai?

► "The Red Sea Miracle" - In this investigation Timothy Mahoney examines the journey to the crossing location, looking at two competing views of the Red Sea Miracle. The investigation raises giant questions about the real location for the crossing site and its implications on your view of God. The answers to these questions point to one of two very different realities.

► "The Red Sea Miracle II" - How could thousands of feet of water be parted at the Red Sea? Or was the sea merely parted by the act of wind in nature, through a shallow Egyptian lake? Mahoney investigates these locations to see if any have a pattern of evidence matching the Bible. This cinematic journey leads him to inquire… “Do miracles still happen today?”

from the video introduction

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