To get what Joshua 7:5 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

“And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.”

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Joshua 7:5 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Hebrew Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
And the men אַנְשֵׁ֣י Properly, a mortal (and thus differing from the more dignified H0120); hence, a man in general (singly or collectively) men
of Ai הָעַ֗י Ai, Aja or Ajath, a place in Palestine Ai
smote וַיַּכּ֨וּ To strike (lightly or severely, literally or figuratively) smote
of them about thirty כִּשְׁלֹשִׁ֤ים Thirty; or (ordinal) thirtieth about thirty
and six וְשִׁשָּׁה֙ Six (as an overplus beyond five or the fingers of the hand); as ordinal, sixth six
men: אִ֔ישׁ A man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation) men
for they chased וַֽיִּרְדְּפ֞וּם To run after (usually with hostile intent; figuratively [of time] gone by) chased
them before לִפְנֵ֤י The face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.) before
from (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
the gate הַשַּׁ֙עַר֙ An opening, i.e., door or gate gate
even (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
unto עַד As far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with) unto
Shebarim, הַשְּׁבָרִ֔ים Shebarim, a place in Palestine Shebarim
and smote וַיַּכּ֖וּם To strike (lightly or severely, literally or figuratively) smote
them in the going down: בַּמּוֹרָ֑ד A descent; as architecture, an ornamental appendage, perhaps a festoon going down
wherefore the hearts לְבַב The heart (as the most interior organ) wherefore hearts
of the people הָעָ֖ם A people (as a congregated unit); specifically, a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively, a flock people
melted, וַיִּמַּ֥ס To liquefy; figuratively, to waste (with disease), to faint (with fatigue, fear or grief) melted
and became וַיְהִ֥י To exist, i.e., be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary) became
as water. לְמָֽיִם׃ Water; figuratively, juice; by euphemism, urine, semen water

Verse Context

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  • 3  And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.

  • 4  So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.

  • 5  And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

  • 6  And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.

  • 7  And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database ( within the BibleForge project ( Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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