And the men of Ai turned and looked behind them, and behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no ability to flee this way or that way. And the people who had been fleeing toward the wilderness turned back on the pursuers. Bible see other translations

“they had no ability to flee.” The Hebrew text is idiomatic and very concrete: “they had no hands to flee,” because a person’s power was expressed through their hands. It means they had no power or ability to flee.

“the people who had been fleeing.” That is, the troops of Israel who had been pretending to run away.

Commentary for: Joshua 8:20