Achan's Deeds

ACHAN’S DEEDS


“The Lord had said that everything in Jericho belonged to him. But Achan from the Judah tribe took some of the things from Jericho for himself. And so the Lord was angry with the Israelites, because one of them had disobeyed him.” (Joshua 7:1 CEV)

THE ITEMS
The things that were taken were a garment and silver and gold: “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” (Joshua 7:21 KJV)
•    The goodly Babylonish garment - The “attractive mantle from Shinar” (AMP) may have been the outer piece of clothing worn by a priest from Babylon. The word translated as “mantle” means a “cloak made of fur or fine material; a prophet's garment” (’addereth OT:155 Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon) The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges states, “The word here translated “garment,” means a long robe, such as was worn by kings on state occasions and by prophets … Probably it was stuff embroidered, made in the loom with many colours, and wrought of gold and silk threads” (Joshua 7:21 The Book of Joshua with Notes, Maps, and Introduction. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (p. 68). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) The Babylonian origin appears to indicate more than fine workmanship, but also that the Babylonian occult practices had spread to Jericho. A Critical and Expository Commentary of the Hebrew Text describes these as “smooth, and embroidered with pictures of men and animals” (Joshua 7:21 The Book of Joshua: A Critical and Expository Commentary of the Hebrew Text (p. 96). London: Hodder and Stoughton)
•    Two hundred shekels of silver – The word translated as “silver” means “money” (keceph OT:3701 Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon) Silver was used as the main means of currency in the ancient world. The ancient historian Josephus indicates that this may have been gold and not silver: “But there was one Achar, the son [of Charmi, the son] of Zebedias, of the tribe of Judah, who, finding a royal garment woven entirely of gold, and a piece of gold that weighted two hundred shekels” (“Antiquities of the Jews” Book 5, section 1, paragraph 10, by Flavius Josephus) The UBS Handbook Series states, “two hundred shekels would be over two kilograms in the metric system and five pounds in the English system” (Joshua 7:21 “A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Joshua. UBS Handbook Series)
•    The wedge of gold – the word translated as “wedge” means “the tongue” (lashown OT:3956 Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon) The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges states, “The name lingula was given by the Romans to a spoon, and to an oblong dagger made in the shape of a tongue. The weight of the wedge was 50 shekels = about 25 ounces.” (Joshua 7:21 Maclear, G. F. (1897). The Book of Joshua with Notes, Maps, and Introduction. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (p. 68). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)
Achan gained the robe of a king and prophet, the wealth of a king and the gold dagger of a warrior. Yet he lost his own soul.

RESERVED OR ACCURSED
•    Many versions incorrectly describe the items as “accursed thing” (KJV), “accursed things” (ASV) or “goods set aside to be destroyed” (Complete Jewish Bible) or “things under the ban” (NASU)
•    The translation of “accursed thing” creates the incorrect impression that the items themselves were cursed. Some may think that the items themselves were unclean; yet these items were holy to the Lord. Some may imagine that there was a judgment upon merely touching these items; yet these items would have to be touched in order to be taken to the treasury of the Lord
•    The word used means “a thing devoted, a thing dedicated” (cherem OT:2764 Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)
•    All the items taken from Jericho were to go into the treasury of the Lord: “But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” (Joshua 6:19 ESV)

THE EXTENT OF HIS SIN
The sins of Achan were many:
•    KILL – Achan caused the death of thirty warriors: “And they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent.” (Joshua 7:4-5 ESV)
•    STEAL - Achan took the sacred things to Himself that were reserved to the LORD: “But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things” (Joshua 7:1 ESV)
•    DESTROY – Achan destroyed the confidence of the people: “And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.” (Joshua 7:5 ESV) 
•    LIED – Achan lied when he kept silent about his theft: “Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings.” (Joshua 7:11 ESV)
Achan followed the patter of the devil who comes to kill, steal and destroy and to lie: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10 NASU) “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 NASU)

THE JUDGMENT
The sin of Achan brought judgment upon his family: “And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. And Joshua said, ‘Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.’ And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones.” (Joshua 7:24-25 ESV) 

FORESHADOWING OF CHRIST

TRIBE OF JUDAH
•    Achan – Achan was from the tribe of Judah: “He brought near his household man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.” (Joshua 7:18 AMP)
•    Jesus – Jesus was from the tribe of Judah: “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2 NASU)

COMPLETE JUDGMENT
•    Achan – There was a complete judgment for sin: “And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be [killed and his body] burned with fire, he and all he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord and because he has done a shameful and wicked thing in Israel” (Joshua 7:10 AMP)