Joshua Chapter 24 |
1Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Schechem. He summoned Israel’s elders and commanders, magistrates and officers; and they presented themselves before God. 2Then Joshua said to all the people, “Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel: In olden times, your forefathers—Terah, father of Abraham and father of Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and worshiped other gods. 3But I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates and led him through the whole land of Canaan and multiplied his offspring. I gave him Isaac, 4and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau the hill country of Seir as his possession, while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.
5“Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with [the wonders] that I wrought in their midst, after which I freed you—
6I freed your fathers—from Egypt, and you came to the Sea. But the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Sea of Reeds with chariots and horsemen.
7They cried out to the Lord, and He put darkness between you and the Egyptians; then He brought the Sea upon them, and it covered them. Your own eyes saw what I did to the Egyptians.
“After you had lived a long time in the wilderness, 8I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan. They gave battle to you, but I delivered them into your hands; I annihilated them for you, and you took possession of their land. 9Thereupon Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, made ready to attack Israel. He sent for Balaam son of Beor to curse you, 10but I refused to listen to Balaam; he had to bless you, and thus I saved you from him.
11“Then you crossed the Jordan and you came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho and the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites fought you, but I delivered them into your hands. 12I sent a plague ahead of you, and it drove them out before you—[just like] the two Amorite kings—not by your sword or by your bow. 13I have given you a land for which you did not labor and towns which you did not build, and you have settled in them; you are enjoying vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.
14“Now, therefore, revere the Lord and serve Him with undivided loyalty; put away the gods that your forefathers served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15Or, if you are loath to serve the Lord, choose this day which ones you are going to serve—the gods that your forefathers served beyond the Euphrates, or those of the Amorites in whose land you are settled; but I and my household will serve the Lord.”
16In reply, the people declared, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord and serve other gods! 17For it was the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, the house of bondage, and who wrought those wondrous signs before our very eyes, and guarded us all along the way that we traveled and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. 18And then the Lord drove out before us all the peoples—the Amorites—that inhabited the country. We too will serve the Lord, for He is our God.”
19Joshua, however, said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions and your sins. 20If you forsake the Lord and serve alien gods, He will turn and deal harshly with you and make an end of you, after having been gracious to you.” 21But the people replied to Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!” 22Thereupon Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have by your own act chosen to serve the Lord.” “Yes, we are!” they responded. 23“Then put away the alien gods that you have among you and direct your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24And the people declared to Joshua, “We will serve none but the Lord our God, and we will obey none but Him.”
25On that day at Shechem, Joshua made a covenant for the people and he made a fixed rule for them. 26Joshua recorded all this in a book of divine instruction. He took a great stone and set it up at the foot of the oak in the sacred precinct of the Lord; 27and Joshua said to all the people, “See, this very stone shall be a witness against us, for it heard all the words that the Lord spoke to us; it shall be a witness against you, lest you break faith with your God.” 28Joshua then dismissed the people to their allotted portions.
29After these events, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred and ten years. 30They buried him on his own property, at Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 31Israel served the Lord during the lifetime of Joshua and the lifetime of the elders who lived on after Joshua, and who had experienced all the deeds that the Lord had wrought for Israel.
32The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought for a hundred kesitahs from the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, and which had become a heritage of the Josephites.
33Eleazar son of Aaron also died, and they buried him on the hill of his son Phinehas, which had been assigned to him in the hill country of Ephraim.