|“||Joshua 8:28 And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day.
Nehemiah 7:32 The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.
The city of Ai was destroyed, but the land of Ai was reinhabited by the Israelites, as with other areas like Jericho and Bethel. God specifically stated that the land of Ai was being given to the Israelites, and it apparently kept that name afterward.
|“||Joshua 8:1 And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:||”|
Thus Jeremiah spoke afterward about how Ai was to be spoiled. It had become inhabited by the Israelites and bore its former name of Ai. The original city of Ai was destroyed, but the name of Ai itself had not fallen out of us in referring to the land.
|“||Jeremiah 49:3 Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, and his priests and his princes together.||”|
- Marlow, Andy (2009). Contradictions in the Bible. Project Reason.