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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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ACHAN . Son of Carmi, of the tribe of Judah ( Joshua 7:1 ). It is brought home to Joshua ( Joshua 7:8-12 ) that the defeat at Ai was due to the fact of Jahweh’s covenant having been transgressed. An inquiry is instituted, and Achan is singled out as the transgressor. He confesses that after the capture of Jericho he had hidden part of the spoil, the whole of which had been placed under the ban ( chçrem ), i.e. devoted to Jahweh, and was therefore unlawful for man to touch. According to the usage of the times, both he and his family are stoned, and their dead bodies burned the latter an even more terrible punishment in the eyes of ancient Israel. The sentence is carried out in the valley of Achor (‘troubling’). According to Joshua 7:25-26 , this valley was so called after Achan, the ‘troubler’ of Israel. Later his name was changed to Achar to correspond more closely with the name of the valley ( 1 Chronicles 2:7 ).

W. O. E. Oesterley.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Achan'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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