Metaphysical meaning of Ai (mbd)
Ai, a'-l (Heb.)--the heap; a heap of rubbish; heap of ruins.
A city east of Bethel; it is now a hill of stones. In Scripture history, Ai (eye), or Hai, was a royal city of the Canaanites (Josh. 7:2-5; 8:9-28; Ezra 2:28). The Aiath of Isaiah 10:28 is a form of Ai.
Meta. Ai is mentioned in the Bible with Bethel. In Joshua 8, much is written about the utter destruction of Ai, but nothing is said about Bethel's being destroyed, though both at that time were cities of the Canaanites. We are told that Jacob named Bethel house of God, when he had the dream that caused him to exclaim: "Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not" (Gen. 28: 10-22). Abraham also built an altar between Bethel and Ai (Gen. 12:8). Abraham signifies faith in God as awakening in the human consciousness. This faith is inner spiritual sight, that in man which perceives the divine presence and man's oneness with it (Bethel). Ai must refer to egotism and self-confidence without recognition of Spirit. These are counterfeits of faith; they are destructive (heap of ruins) to the building of a truly spiritual character and must be put away that the individual may come into a knowledge of his unity with God.
Real, practical faith in God, in the unseen yet almighty, omnipresent, omniscient Spirit of truth, is a heap of rubbish to the state of thought that is built up in self. The ruling idea of egotism and skepticism in the sense consciousness (the King of Ai) must be overcome by the I AM (Joshua), that faith in God may be established and that the individual may come into a realization of his true relation to God.