Achan takes the spoils of Jericho, Part 4

  • 50 minutes
  • Grades: 5-6
  • Lesson Plan

by: Rabbi Eli Kohn

Students study Sefer Yehoshua 7:10-15 in greater detail.

Lesson objectives

The student will:
1. describe how God responds to Yehoshua (7:10-15).
2. relate what God requests of the people (7:13-15).
3. describe the sin of the people (7:15).
4. explain Rashi on 7:10.
5. explain Metzudat David on 7:1 and 7:11.


The student should be able to
1. read the verses with understanding.
2. read the verses with punctuation (use of Taamei Hamikra).
3. deduce an inference from the verses.
4. read a commentary of Metzudat David with understanding.
5. read a commentary of Rashi with understanding.


The student will:
1. appreciate how God works through reward and punishment.
2. appreciate the concept of “Kol Yisrael Areivim Ze Laze” (all of Israel is responsible for one another).
3. value the role model of Yehoshua in his handling of the crisis.

Resources & Equipment needed

Tanakh for every student

Copies of the following commentaries:

מצודת דוד
פרק ז’ פסוק א’: “וימעלו”
פרק ז’ פסוק י”א: “חטא ישראל”

פרק ז, פסוק י’: “קום לך”


1. The teacher should first read these verses clearly and then ask students to read—a different student for each verse. It is important for the teacher to read first so that the student can learn how to read the verses properly. The teacher should be particular to emphasize the words correctly and utilize Taamei Hamikra – in particular the etnachta and zakef katan– in punctuating the verse.

2. Analysis of verse 10. Ask the students the following questions: (a) Why does God ask Yehoshua to “get up”? Rashi offers 3 explanations (see “Kum Lecha” on 7:10). The students should try to understand Rashi on their own. The second explanation should be emphasized (Yehoshua was at fault for not having gone with the spies himself—he should have got up with them.) (b) What is God saying here? Who sinned—the entire people or Achan? Study the Metzudat David which explains that Bnei Yisrael should have watched over each other and therefore all the people share in the guilt (see “Chet Yisrael” 7:11). (c) Where else do we see this idea in the chapter? Students should find that according to the first verse of the chapter, all of Bnei Yisrael transgressed, not just Achan—see Metzudat David (see “Vayamalu” 7:1)

3. The concept of ”Kol Yisrael Areivim Ze Laze” should be discussed in detail. Have the students think of other places we find this concept in the Torah. (For example, Eglah Arufa in Sefer Devarim). The teacher may want to relate the story of the men in the boat. One man in the boat said that if he drilled a hole under his seat, it would sink only under him! It is obvious that everyone would sink.

4. Have the students read over verses 14-15 and answer the following question in their notebooks: How did God suggest to find the culprit?