(Aʹchan) [related through a play on words to Achar, meaning “Bringer of Ostracism (Trouble)”].
The son of Carmi of the household of Zabdi of the family of Zerah of the tribe of Judah; also called Achar.—1Ch 2:7.
When the Israelites crossed the Jordan, Jehovah explicitly commanded that the firstfruits of the conquest, the city of Jericho, “must become a thing devoted to destruction; . . . it belongs to Jehovah.” Its silver and gold were to be given to the treasury of Jehovah. (Jos 6:17, 19) Achan, however, upon finding a costly garment from Shinar and a 50-shekel gold bar (worth some $6,400) and 200 silver shekels ($440), secretly buried them beneath his tent. (Jos 7:21) Actually he had robbed God! Because of this violation of Jehovah’s explicit instructions, when the next city, Ai, was attacked Jehovah withheld his blessing, and Israel was put to flight. Who was guilty? No one confessed. All Israel was then put on trial. Tribe by tribe, then family by family of the tribe of Judah, and finally, man by man of the house of Zabdi, they passed before Jehovah until Achan “got to be picked.” (Jos 7:4-18) Only then did he admit his sin. Execution quickly followed. Achan, his family (who could hardly have been ignorant of what he had done), and his livestock were first stoned to death, and then burned with fire, together with all his possessions, in the Valley of Achor, meaning “Ostracism; Trouble.”—Jos 7:19-26.