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.”
24:25 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
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.”
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
28 tn Heb “fear.”
29 tn Or “and serve.”
30 tn Heb “your fathers.”
31 tn Or “served.”
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.”
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
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
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
70 tn Or “lest,” “so that you might not.”
71 tn Heb “And Joshua sent the people away, each to his inheritance.”