The Morgan Crusader Bible of Louis IX
or Maciejowski Bible
or The Bible of Shah Abbas

Ms Morgan 638, folio 10r

Detail of upper right


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Joshua Defeated at Ai:
This is the first of the Picture Bible's great battle scenes. Joshua has taken a small contingent of the army to destroy the Amorite city of Ai. As soon as the Israelites arrive at the city gates, they are repulsed by a small force of defenders, including a crossbowman who takes aim from atop the portcullis. Thirty-six men of the expedition are killed as Amorite horsemen vengefully pursue and strike down their assailants. Joshua, shown again in brown tunic and with tri-point shield, narrowly escapes with his life. Nearby, an Amorite breaks his spear in the side of an Israelite horseman whose mount has collapsed beneath him, and a disoriented Israelite foot soldier is trampled by the fleeing cavalry. (Joshua 7:15)

A Costly Transgression Revealed:
Confused and aggrieved by the defeat at Ai, Joshua prostrates himself before the Ark of the Covenant (depicted here as a rich reliquary chest) and begs for an explanation. It is discovered that Achan, a man of the tribe of Judah, took forbidden spoil from the accursed town of Jericho. Later Achan confesses the sin to Joshua; he and his family show Joshua a bar of gold (here painted silver), a rich garment, and two hundred shekels. The Lord points accusingly at the greedy family from the heavens. To appease Him, they must be destroyed. (Joshua 7:1923)

Achan Stoned:
Although Joshua appears loathe to do so, he orders the stoning of Achan, his entire family, and his cattle. Later, the Israelites will destroy Achan's thatched dwelling; all the possessions of the transgressor must be done away with in order to appease the Lord. (Joshua 7:2425)

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