Achan is an antagonist in the Book of Joshua. He is the man responsible for the first major downfall of the nation of Israel.


When attacking Ai, God ordered that all the treasure be bought to Him. Unfortunately, someone disobeyed the command, and the nation of Israel lost the battle.


Furious at the deception, God ordered lots drawn to find the culprit. The guilty party lead to Achan. He had stolen from Babylon gold and a robe which he coveted. Joshua implicated Achan and his family in the sin. The reason his family were also accused is explained by Rabbis as that they had all engaged in incest, and worked on the Sabbath. Furious at the betrayal, Joshua had them arrested.


Joshua and the Hebrews bought Achan and his family to the Valley of Achor (trouble in Hebrew). Achan confessed his sins, and he openly admitted defying God. Angry, the Hebrews stoned Achan and his family to death.


  • Achan has been said by Jewish Rabbis to have committed incest, explaining why his family deserved execution too.
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