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Joshua 24

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Israel Renews its Commitment to the Lord

24:1 Joshua assembled all the Israelite tribes at Shechem. He summoned Israel’s elders, rulers, judges, and leaders, and they appeared before God. 24:2 Joshua told all the people, “Here is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘In the distant past your ancestors 1  lived beyond the Euphrates River, 2  including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor. They worshiped 3  other gods, 24:3 but I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates 4  and brought him into 5  the entire land of Canaan. I made his descendants numerous; I gave him Isaac, 24:4 and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I assigned Mount Seir, 6  while Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. 24:5 I sent Moses and Aaron, and I struck Egypt down when I intervened in their land. 7  Then I brought you out. 24:6 When I brought your fathers out of Egypt, you arrived at the sea. The Egyptians chased your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 24:7 Your fathers 8  cried out for help to the Lord; he made the area between you and the Egyptians dark, 9  and then drowned them in the sea. 10  You witnessed with your very own eyes 11  what I did in Egypt. You lived in the wilderness for a long time. 12  24:8 Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought with you, but I handed them over to you; you conquered 13  their land and I destroyed them from before you. 24:9 Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, launched an attack 14  against Israel. He summoned 15  Balaam son of Beor to call down judgment 16  on you. 24:10 I refused to respond to Balaam; he kept 17  prophesying good things about 18  you, and I rescued you from his power. 19  24:11 You crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. 20  The leaders 21  of Jericho, as well as the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites, fought with you, but I handed them over to you. 24:12 I sent terror 22  ahead of you to drive out before you the two 23  Amorite kings. I gave you the victory; it was not by your swords or bows. 24  24:13 I gave you a land in 25  which you had not worked hard; you took up residence in cities you did not build and you are eating the produce of 26  vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.’

24:14 Now 27  obey 28  the Lord and worship 29  him with integrity and loyalty. Put aside the gods your ancestors 30  worshiped 31  beyond the Euphrates 32  and in Egypt and worship 33  the Lord. 24:15 If you have no desire 34  to worship 35  the Lord, choose today whom you will worship, 36  whether it be the gods whom your ancestors 37  worshiped 38  beyond the Euphrates, 39  or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But I and my family 40  will worship 41  the Lord!”

24:16 The people responded, “Far be it from us to abandon the Lord so we can 42  worship 43  other gods! 24:17 For the Lord our God took us and our fathers out of slavery 44  in the land of Egypt 45  and performed these awesome miracles 46  before our very eyes. He continually protected us as we traveled and when we passed through nations. 47  24:18 The Lord drove out from before us all the nations, including the Amorites who lived in the land. So we too will worship 48  the Lord, for he is our God!”

24:19 Joshua warned 49  the people, “You will not keep worshiping 50  the Lord, for 51  he is a holy God. 52  He is a jealous God who will not forgive 53  your rebellion or your sins. 24:20 If 54  you abandon the Lord and worship 55  foreign gods, he will turn against you; 56  he will bring disaster on you and destroy you, 57  though he once treated you well.” 58 

24:21 The people said to Joshua, “No! We really will 59  worship 60  the Lord!” 24:22 Joshua said to the people, “Do you agree to be witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to worship the Lord?” 61  They replied, “We are witnesses!” 62  24:23 Joshua said, 63  “Now put aside the foreign gods that are among you and submit to 64  the Lord God of Israel.”

24:24 The people said to Joshua, “We will worship 65  the Lord our God and obey him.” 66 

24:25 That day Joshua drew up an agreement 67  for the people, and he established rules and regulations 68  for them in Shechem. 24:26 Joshua wrote these words in the Law Scroll of God. He then took a large stone and set it up there under the oak tree near the Lord’s shrine. 24:27 Joshua said to all the people, “Look, this stone will be a witness against you, for it has heard everything the Lord said to us. 69  It will be a witness against you if 70  you deny your God.” 24:28 When Joshua dismissed the people, they went to their allotted portions of land. 71 

An Era Ends

24:29 After all this 72  Joshua son of Nun, the Lord’s servant, died at the age of one hundred ten. 24:30 They buried him in his allotted territory 73  in Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 24:31 Israel worshiped 74  the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men who outlived him remained alive. 75  These men had experienced firsthand everything the Lord had done for Israel. 76 

24:32 The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the part of the field that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for one hundred pieces of money. 77  So it became the inheritance of the tribe of Joseph. 78 

24:33 Eleazar son of Aaron died, and they buried him in Gibeah in the hill country of Ephraim, where his son Phinehas had been assigned land. 79 

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1 tn Heb “your fathers.”

2 tn Heb “the river,” referring to the Euphrates. This has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Or “served.”

4 tn Heb “the river,” referring to the Euphrates. This has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Or “through.”

6 tn Heb “I gave to Esau Mount Seir to possess it.”

7 tn Heb “by that which I did in its midst.”

8 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the fathers) has been specified in the translation for clarity (see the previous verse).

9 tn Or “put darkness between you and the Egyptians.”

10 tn Heb “and he brought over them the sea and covered them.”

11 tn Heb “your eyes saw.”

12 tn Heb “many days.”

13 tn Or “took possession of.”

14 tn Heb “arose and fought.”

15 tn Heb “sent and called.”

16 tn Or “to curse.”

17 tn The infinitive absolute follows the finite verb in the Hebrew text and indicates continuation or repetition of the action. Balaam pronounced several oracles of blessing over Israel (see Num 23-24).

18 tn Heb “blessing.” Balaam’s “blessings” were actually prophecies of how God would prosper Israel.

19 tn Heb “hand.”

20 map For location see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

21 tn Or perhaps, “citizens.”

22 tn Traditionally, “the hornet” (so KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV) but the precise meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain (cf. NEB “panic”).

23 tn The LXX has “twelve,” apparently understanding this as a reference to Amorite kings west of the Jordan (see Josh 5:1, rather than the trans-Jordanian Amorite kings Sihon and Og (see Josh 2:10; 9:10).

24 tn Heb “and it drove them out from before you, the two kings of the Amorites, not by your sword and not by your bow.” The words “I gave you the victory” are supplied for clarification.

25 tn Or perhaps, “for.”

26 tn The words “the produce of” are supplied for clarification.

27 sn Joshua quotes the Lord’s words in vv. 2b-13 (note that the Lord speaks in the first person in these verses); in vv. 14-15 Joshua himself exhorts the people (note the third person references to the Lord).

28 tn Heb “fear.”

29 tn Or “and serve.”

30 tn Heb “your fathers.”

31 tn Or “served.”

32 tn Heb “the river,” referring to the Euphrates. This has been specified in the translation for clarity; see v. 3.

33 tn Or “and serve.”

34 tn Heb “if it is bad in your eyes.”

35 tn Or “to serve.”

36 tn Or “will serve.”

37 tn Heb “your fathers.”

38 tn Or “served.”

39 tn Heb “the river,” referring to the Euphrates. This has been specified in the translation for clarity; see v. 3.

40 tn Heb “house.”

41 tn Or “will serve.”

42 tn Heb “to.”

43 tn Or “can serve.”

44 tn Heb “of the house of slavery.”

45 tn Heb “for the Lord our God, he is the one who brought up us and our fathers from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves.”

46 tn Or “great signs.”

47 tn Heb “and he guarded us in all the way in which we walked and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed.”

48 tn Or “will serve.”

49 tn Heb “said to.”

50 tn Heb “you are not able to serve.”

51 sn For an excellent discussion of Joshua’s logical argument here, see T. C. Butler, Joshua (WBC), 274-75.

52 tn In the Hebrew text both the divine name (אֱלֹהִים, ’elohim) and the adjective (קְדֹשִׁים, qÿdoshim, “holy”) are plural. Normally the divine name, when referring to the one true God, takes singular modifiers, but this is a rare exception where the adjective agrees grammatically with the honorific plural noun. See GKC §124.i and IBHS 122.

53 tn Heb “lift up” or “take away.”

sn This assertion obviously needs qualification, for the OT elsewhere affirms that God does forgive. Joshua is referring to the persistent national rebellion against the Mosaic covenant that eventually cause God to decree unconditionally the nation’s exile.

54 tn Or “when.”

55 tn Or “and serve.”

56 tn The words “against you” are added for clarification.

57 tn Heb “bring you to an end.”

58 tn Heb “after he did good for you.”

59 tn The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) is emphatic. Another option is to take it as explanatory, “No, for we will….”

60 tn Or “will serve.”

61 tn Heb “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves the Lord to serve him.”

62 sn Like witnesses in a court of law, Israel’s solemn vow to worship the Lord will testify against them in the divine court if the nation ever violates its commitment.

63 tn The words “Joshua said” are supplied for clarification.

64 tn Heb “bend your heart toward.” The term לֵבָב (levav, “heart”) probably here refers to the people’s volition or will.

65 tn Or “will serve.”

66 tn Heb “and listen to his voice.”

67 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

68 tn Heb “a statute and a judgment.”

69 tn Heb “all the words of the Lord which he spoke with us.”

70 tn Or “lest,” “so that you might not.”

71 tn Heb “And Joshua sent the people away, each to his inheritance.”

72 tn Heb “after these things.”

73 tn Heb “in the territory of his inheritance.”

74 tn Or “served.”

75 tn Heb “all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived him.”

76 tn Heb “who knew all the work of the Lord which he had done for Israel.”

77 tn Heb “one hundred qesitahs.” The Hebrew word קְשִׂיטָה (qesitah) is generally understood to refer to a unit of money, but the value and/or weight is unknown. The word occurs only here and in Gen 33:19 and Job 42:11.

78 tn Heb “and they became for the sons of Joseph an inheritance.” One might think “bones” is the subject of the verb “they became,” but the verb is masculine, while “bones” is feminine. The translation follows the emendation suggested in the BHS note, which appeals to the Syriac and Vulgate for support. The emended reading understands “the part (of the field)” as the subject of the verb “became.” The emended verb is feminine singular; this agrees with “the part” (of the field), which is feminine in Hebrew.

79 tn Heb “in Gibeah of Phinehas, his son, which had been given to him in the hill country of Ephraim.”



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