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Achan

ACHAN (ā'kan, Heb. ‘ākhān). An Israelite whose tragic experience is recorded in Josh.7.1-Josh.7.26. Achan took a garment, silver, and gold—part of the spoil of Jericho. Joshua had devoted the metals to God (Josh.6.17-Josh.6.19). All else was to be destroyed. Because of one man’s disobedience, Israel was defeated at Ai. God revealed the reason to Joshua. By a process of elimination Achan was found out. He confessed, and he and his family and possessions were brought down to the valley of Achor. In spite of some difficulty in understanding the Hebrew text in Josh.6.25-Josh.6.26, there is little ground for holding that Joshua’s command (Josh.6.17) was not carried out in the execution of both Achan and his entourage. In the Scriptures the Lord often allows us to see the full significance of our sinful ways. Achan’s experience illustrates the biblical revelation that we never sin alone: there is always a family involvement (cf. Exod.20.5-Exod.20.6) and also a wider pollution touching the