Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.”

Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: The families of Ai (Joshua 8:18-29).

Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Stretch out the sword that is in your hand towards Ai; for I will give it into your hand.’ And Joshua stretched out the sword that was in his hand towards the city. As soon as he stretched out his hand, the troops in ambush rose quickly out of their place and rushed forward. They entered the city, took it, and at once set the city on fire.

So when the men of Ai looked back, the smoke of the city was rising to the sky. They had no power to flee this way or that, for the people who fled to the wilderness turned back against the pursuers. When Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city and that the smoke of the city was rising, then they turned back and struck down the men of Ai. And the others came out from the city against them; so they were surrounded by Israelites, some on one side, and some on the other; and Israel struck them down until no one was left who survived or escaped. But the king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua.

When Israel had finished slaughtering all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them, and when all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai, and attacked it with the edge of the sword. The total of those who fell that day, both men and women, was twelve thousand — all the people of Ai. For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the sword, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as their booty, according to the word of the Lord that he had issued to Joshua. So Joshua burned Ai, and made it for ever a heap of ruins, as it is to this day. And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening; and at sunset Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree, threw it down at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raised over it a great heap of stones, which stands there to this day.

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  • EllieMurasaki

    I gotta admit I don’t see the family bit here. I mean, it’s a story worth reminding people of, and certainly not as part of the ‘Sunday favorites’ series, but not as part of the ‘Biblical Family of the Day’ series either.

  • CoolHandLNC

    I’m not seeing the family connection either.

  • Ursula L

    God’s telling Joshua to murder all the people in Ai.  This includes families – parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.  

    Families were destroyed, not protected, loved, or given any particular value, in this Bible story.  The people were disposable, their property taken by those more powerful and ruthless than they were.

    Which I suppose some “pro-Biblical family” people would be fine with, because the right sort of families got the property.  

  • Münchner Kindl

    However, there’s nothing in here, unlike Sodom or the Levite’s concubine story, that the people of Ai were gay/ rapists/ inhospitable and therefore “deserved” this. (Maybe there is in the verses before that Fred didn’t quote?)

    Even then, it’s pretty hard for today’s values to come up with a reason to kill kiddies and women for something the menfolk did wrong, though it is standard practise several times in the OT.

  • flat

    Fred destroying cities, murdering the people who lived there is all interesting to know.

    But I believe these articles are about families who are destroying and murdering each other.

  • AnonymousSam

    That’s been the problem with the majority of these– there are plenty of ultraconservatives in the right wing who would love if real life worked this way. Controlling women, getting God’s endorsement on taking slaves, murdering anyone who worships a different invisible avenger…

  • The inhabitants of Ai “deserved” it because they were living on land that had been promised to the Israelites. Nothing more.

    (This incident is one of the biggest giveaways that the whole Joshua / invasion thing never happened, because “Ai” means something like “ruins”, and indeed the site of Ai had been a ruin – and a large and noticeable one – and uninhabited for a thousand years before any possible time period in which Joshua could have lived.)

  • Ursula L

    Fred destroying cities, murdering the people who lived there is all interesting to know.But I believe these articles are about families who are destroying and murdering each other.

    Cities are filled with families.  People are parts of families.  You can’t have war without destroying families.  

    And when you have “family values” candidates shaking sabers and talking war, they’re talking about destroying families with warfare.