After Achan's transgression of taking the accursed thing God apportions the blame in plural form to the israelites.

Joshua 7: KJV

10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? 11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.

Could it be some of the Israelites knew what Achan had done yet had not disclosed this information. God says they had "dissembled"/"lied" about it which seems to imply that they knew about this incident.

Could some of the Isrealites have known about this incident?


No, I do not believe the bible is alluding to duplicity on part of others in Israel in verse 11. I believe the context of verse 1 helps to clarify.

Joshua 7:1 (KJV)

But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel.

The verse starts by saying that "the children of Israel" committed a trespass in the accured thing but then defines what that means. The verse defines that one person (Achan) took of the accursed thing. The verse then says that the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel. So, verse one states that the offense was with the action of one person, however, the Lord was holding the nation responsible.

When we get down to verse 11 and see the usage of the plural "they", we understand that this is a reference from verse 1 where God is holding the nation responsible even when the sin (including lying) was the action of just one person.

In addition, in verse 1, the singular noun "a trespass" supports the idea that there was one offense, not multiple.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.