God's promise to Joshua to help in a second attempt to conquer the Canaanite city of Ai swiftly brought Israel's leader out of his state of discouragement. Joshua immediately chose thirty thousand soldiers for the strategy he had in mind. Well-Planned Strategy. "I'm not sending you to directly attack Ai," Joshua informed the officers who were to be in command. "Late tonight you are to take your soldiers toward Ai. Guides will show you the way. Do not go close to the city. Go well around it to the west and conceal yourselves in the rugged country between Ai and Bethel, which is a few miles west of Ai. I shall send others before dawn." (Joshua 8:1-8.) It was well after dark when the thirty thousand fully equipped foot soldiers set out to the northwest. Guides led them well off to a safe distance west of Ai.
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