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There is only one person in the entire Bible who is named Achan. The name is said to mean trouble. Achan was an Israelite, of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 7:1). He lived during the time when God's chosen people were about to enter the "Promised Land." When the Israelites came against Jericho, God condemned the city to destruction along with most of its material possessions. Only Rahab and her family were spared. The gold and silver along with the vessels of brass and iron were consecrated for the treasury of the Lord (Joshua 6:16-19). All other goods were to be destroyed.

Achan brought sin into the camp of the Israelites and even though God had given them victory over the great city of Jericho, they were defeated by the little city of Ai and thirty-six men were slain in the process (Joshua 7:1-5).

God told Joshua that the defeat was the result of sin in the camp (Joshua 7:1012). God also gave them the process of discovering the guilty party and in the process, Achan confessed his sin (Joshua 7:16-21).

Achan was held accountable for his sin and the people stoned him and all his family (Joshua 7:22-26). His sin against God cost the lives of many men who died in battle and all their families were lastingly affected by his sin, so as judgment, it cost him and his family their lives. Yes, our sin does affect others!

In the distribution of lands in Canaan, two and one half tribes wanted to remain on the other side of Jordan. As heads of the other tribes met with them the name of Achan is mentioned (Joshua 22:19-20).


This lesson is about judgment for sins. From the beginning there were consequences for sin (Genesis 2:17). In the days of Isaiah he warned the people of the penalty for sins and promises for obedience (Isaiah 1:18-20). In the New Testament, James had a similar message (James 1:22-25). May we take seriously the teachings of God's holy Word and obey God rather than men (Acts 5:27-29).

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This page last updated on June 17, 2014