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Joshua Chapter 24

1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

2 Joshua said to all the people, "The LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'Your fathers lived of old time beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor. They served other gods.

3 I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his offspring, and gave him Isaac.

4 I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave to Esau Mount Seir, to possess it. Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

5 " 'I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did amongst them: and afterward I brought you out.

6 I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came to the sea. The Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and with horsemen to the Red Sea.

7 When they cried out to the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea on them, and covered them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. You lived in the wilderness many days.

8 " 'I brought you into the land of the Amorites, that lived beyond the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand. You possessed their land, and I destroyed them from before you.

9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. He sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you,

10 but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you still. So I delivered you out of his hand.

11 " 'You went over the Jordan, and came to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I delivered them into your hand.

12 I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; not with your sword, nor with your bow.

13 I gave you a land on which you had not laboured, and cities which you didn't build, and you live in them. You eat of vineyards and olive groves which you didn't plant.'

14 "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth. Put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, in Egypt; and serve the LORD.

15 If it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

16 The people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

17 for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way in which we went, and amongst all the peoples through the middle of whom we passed.

18 The LORD drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD; for he is our God."

19 Joshua said to the people, "You can't serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your disobedience nor your sins.

20 If you forsake the LORD, and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you evil, and consume you, after he has done you good."

21 The people said to Joshua, "No, but we will serve the LORD."

22 Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD yourselves, to serve him." They said, "We are witnesses."

23 "Now therefore put away the foreign gods which are amongst you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel."

24 The people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God, and we will listen to his voice."

25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

26 Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

27 Joshua said to all the people, "Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the LORD's words which he spoke to us. It shall be therefore a witness against you, lest you deny your God."

28 So Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.

29 After these things, Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being one hundred and ten years old.

30 They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash.

31 Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, and had known all the work of the LORD, that he had worked for Israel.

32 They buried the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver. They became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

33 Eleazar the son of Aaron died. They buried him in the hill of Phinehas his son, which was given him in the hill country of Ephraim.

Footnotes

Verse 3 (offspring)
or, seed
Verse 32 (pieces of silver)
Hebrew: kesitahs. A kesitah was a kind of silver coin.

Version: World English Bible


Joshua Chapter 24 Guide

Here we have the record of the final address of Joshua. In it he first concisely and comprehensively traced the Hebrews' history from the call of Abraham and did so in the form of the speech of Jehovah to them. In the brief compass of eleven verses the pronoun "I" as referring to Jehovah occurs no less than seventeen times. The whole movement emphasized the truth that everything of greatness in the history of the people was the result of divine action.

Then he appealed to them with a touch of fine irony. If they would not serve God, he called them to choose whom they would serve, asking them whether they would go back to the gods of their fathers beyond the river or turn to the gods of the Amorites in whose land they were now dwelling. Thus, by presenting the alternatives to loyalty to Jehovah he made patent the foolhardiness of disloyalty. He ended with the declaration of personal decision. "As for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah."

Then we have a dramatic description of what followed. The people declared their choice of God as against any other gods. From an intimate knowledge of them Joshua declared that in spite of their declared choice they were not able to serve God. It was a strange outburst and one wonders whether the tone was of scorn or of intense pity. The subsequent history of the people shows that the words were prophetic. Again the people affirmed their determination to serve the Lord and Joshua called them to put away all strange gods. Everything ended with the making of a covenant and the erection of a memorial.

The Book closes with an account of the death of Joshua and the death of Eleazer. It is significant that in the midst of the darkness of death there was something almost weird and yet full of the suggestion of hope. The bones of Joseph were buried in the land.

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.