And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel. — Joshua 7:15

And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. — Joshua 7:24

What does "and all that he hath" mean here? What does the Hebrew phrase, kal asher low, mean?

In 7:24, the text separates Achan's children and animals from "all that he had"; is this meant to say that they were not included in the phrase, or is it meant to simply name of the things that he had first, and the phrase served the same purpose that something like "et cetera" would serve today?

Thank you.

  • Logically it must mean 'and everything else he had'. Otherwise there is no sense in the entire statement 'a+b+c+d+all'.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 31, 2019 at 19:14
  • @NigelJ I understand your point. But after looking at 7:24 closely, I noticed that the list goes like this: Achan; the forbidden items; Achan's children; Achan's animals; all that Achan had. Achan is first as the perpetrator, and then the forbidden things are mentioned, which it doesn't seem right to say were "his", of course. The first two items at least were not "his"; namely, himself and the forbidden items, suggesting that the verse isn't only listing what he had. This would make the final clause necesaary to add. What is your opinion on this?
    – CMK
    Oct 31, 2019 at 19:32
  • The silver and gold were not returned to their former owner. They are accepted as having been appropriated by Achan. He took them and the consequence is his, together with the consequential item. They are now a part of his 'all' - by his doing. It is as though (like any covetous person) he is swallowed up - and all that is his is also swallowed up - by the acquisition. He is taken with the accursed thing. It is the accursed thing that has a destiny. Achan (and all that is his) becomes wedded, inevitably, to that destiny.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 31, 2019 at 19:37
  • @NigelJ What you said makes sense, but I personally am not convinced. It seems like Achan had no right to the goods, then being put up for the ban, ans thus they can't be said to have been his. In addition, the accursed thing seems to be separated from "all that he hath" in verse 19. Maybe you're right, though.
    – CMK
    Oct 31, 2019 at 19:55

2 Answers 2


In Joshua 7:24, we read in hebrew:

וַיִּקַּ֣ח יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ אֶת־עָכָ֣ן בֶּן־זֶ֡רַח וְאֶת־הַכֶּ֣סֶף וְאֶת־הָאַדֶּ֣רֶת וְֽאֶת־לְשׁ֣וֹן הַזָּהָ֡ב וְֽאֶת־בָּנָ֡יו וְֽאֶת־בְּנֹתָ֡יו וְאֶת־שׁוֹרוֹ֩ וְאֶת־חֲמֹר֨וֹ וְאֶת־צֹאנ֤וֹ וְאֶֽת־אׇהֳלוֹ֙ וְאֶת־כׇּל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ וְכׇל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עִמּ֑וֹ וַיַּעֲל֥וּ אֹתָ֖ם עֵ֥מֶק עָכֽוֹר׃

כׇּל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ is literally "all the belongins", which means, in other words, all that he had, (which can be inferred by the text, in this case, the pronoun he). Indeed that can confuse a bit, for ל֔וֹ can also mean "to him", and also, "them", but in this case, it's not case.

Another ocurrence is in Samuel 1:15:

עַתָּה֩ לֵ֨ךְ וְהִכִּיתָ֜ה אֶת־עֲמָלֵ֗ק וְהַֽחֲרַמְתֶּם֙ אֶת־כׇּל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ וְלֹ֥א תַחְמֹ֖ל עָלָ֑יו וְהֵמַתָּ֞ה מֵאִ֣ישׁ עַד־אִשָּׁ֗ה מֵֽעֹלֵל֙ וְעַד־יוֹנֵ֔ק מִשּׁ֣וֹר וְעַד־שֶׂ֔ה מִגָּמָ֖ל וְעַד־חֲמֽוֹר׃ {ס}

And lastly another appears in 2 Samuel 6:12:

וַיֻּגַּ֗ד לַמֶּ֣לֶךְ דָּוִד֮ לֵאמֹר֒ בֵּרַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֗ה אֶת־בֵּ֨ית עֹבֵ֤ד אֱדֹם֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ בַּעֲב֖וּר אֲר֣וֹן הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים וַיֵּ֣לֶךְ דָּוִ֗ד וַיַּעַל֩ אֶת־אֲר֨וֹן הָאֱלֹהִ֜ים מִבֵּ֨ית עֹבֵ֥ד אֱדֹ֛ם עִ֥יר דָּוִ֖ד בְּשִׂמְחָֽה׃

By interpreation we can conclude that since in hebrew there isn't the verb to have, we have that יש לו means he has, i.e., "there is to him, thus, we conclude that it's talking about everything who pertains to the person, and not a only things that were not mentioned.


What does "and all that he hath" in Joshua 7:15 and 24 entail?

In effect, the expression is saying 'all his possessions' or 'all that belongs to him'. We can see the different ways that this is translated by comparing verses in a parallel Bible search.

We must keep in mind that this was a newly formed nation with new laws and commandments. When something significant happened, Jehovah God was in a position to act in accordance with his prescribed directives.

A similar situation happened with Korah and his supporters. After Jehovah God determined that Korah and his supporters were rebelling against Jehovah's decisions, Jehovah dealt with them:

And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.–Numbers 16:32 (KJV) [bold mine]

Later, in Numbers 26:10, this event is mentioned as a sign or warning example.

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