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Joshua 23

Joshua Challenges Israel to be Faithful

23:1 A long time 1  passed after the Lord made Israel secure from all their enemies, 2  and Joshua was very old. 3  23:2 So Joshua summoned all Israel, including the elders, rulers, judges, and leaders, and told them: “I am very old. 23:3 You saw everything the Lord your God did to all these nations on your behalf, for the Lord your God fights for you. 4  23:4 See, I have parceled out to your tribes these remaining nations, 5  from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea 6  in the west, including all the nations I defeated. 7  23:5 The Lord your God will drive them out from before you and remove them, 8  so you can occupy 9  their land as the Lord your God promised 10  you. 23:6 Be very strong! Carefully obey 11  all that is written in the law scroll of Moses so you won’t swerve from it to the right or the left, 23:7 or associate with these nations that remain near 12  you. You must not invoke or make solemn declarations by the names of their gods! 13  You must not worship 14  or bow down to them! 23:8 But you must be loyal to 15  the Lord your God, as you have been 16  to this very day.

23:9 “The Lord drove out from before you great and mighty nations; no one has been able to resist you 17  to this very day. 23:10 One of you makes a thousand run away, 18  for the Lord your God fights for you 19  as he promised you he would. 20  23:11 Watch yourselves carefully! Love the Lord your God! 21  23:12 But if you ever turn away and make alliances with 22  these nations that remain near you, 23  and intermarry with them and establish friendly relations with them, 24  23:13 know for certain that the Lord our God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. They will trap and ensnare you; 25  they will be a whip that tears 26  your sides and thorns that blind 27  your eyes until you disappear 28  from this good land the Lord your God gave you.

23:14 “Look, today I am about to die. 29  You know with all your heart and being 30  that not even one of all the faithful promises the Lord your God made to you is left unfulfilled; every one was realized – not one promise is unfulfilled! 31  23:15 But in the same way every faithful promise the Lord your God made to you has been realized, 32  it is just as certain, if you disobey, that the Lord will bring on you every judgment 33  until he destroys you from this good land which the Lord your God gave you. 23:16 If you violate the covenantal laws of the Lord your God which he commanded you to keep, 34  and follow, worship, and bow down to other gods, 35  the Lord will be very angry with you and you will disappear 36  quickly from the good land which he gave to you.”

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1 tn Heb “many days.”

2 tn Heb “the Lord had given rest to Israel from their enemies all around.”

3 tn Heb “was old, coming into the days.” This expression, referring to advancing in years, also occurs in the following verse.

4 tn Heb “for the Lord your God, he [is] the one who fights for you.”

5 tn Heb “I have assigned by lots to you these remaining nations as an inheritance for your tribes.”

6 tn Heb “the Great Sea,” the typical designation for the Mediterranean Sea.

7 tn Heb “from the Jordan and all the nations which I cut off and the Great Sea [at] the place where the sun sets.” The relationship of the second half of the verse, which mentions nations already conquered, to the first half, which speaks of “remaining nations,” is difficult to understand.

8 tn The Hebrew text reads, “from before you.” This has not been included in the translation because it is redundant in English.

9 tn Or “take possession of.”

10 tn Heb “said to.”

11 tn Heb “Be strong so you can be careful to do.”

12 tn Heb “with.”

13 tn Heb “and in the name of their gods you must not invoke and you must not make solemn declarations.” The words “and you must not make solemn declarations” are omitted in the LXX and may represent a later scribal addition to elucidate the immediately preceding command. The Hiphil of שָׁבַע (shava’) without an object occurs only here and in Josh 6:26.

14 tn Or “serve.”

15 tn Heb “hug.”

16 tn Heb “done.”

17 tn Heb “not a man has stood before you.”

18 tn Or “chases a thousand.”

19 tn Heb “for the Lord your God, he [is] the one who fights for you.”

20 tn Heb “as he said to you.”

21 tn Heb “Watch carefully yourselves so as to love the Lord your God.”

22 tn Heb “and hug.”

23 tn Heb “the remnant of the these nations, these nations that are with you.”

24 tn Heb “and go into them, and they into you.”

25 tn Heb “be a trap and a snare to you.”

26 tn Heb “in.”

27 tn Heb “thorns in your eyes.”

28 tn Or “perish.”

29 tn Heb “go the way of all the earth.”

30 tn Or “soul.”

31 tn Heb “one word from all these words which the Lord your God spoke to you has not fallen, the whole has come to pass for you, one word from it has not fallen.”

32 tn Heb “and it will be as every good word which the Lord your God spoke to you has come to pass.”

33 tn Heb “so the Lord will bring every injurious [or “evil”] word [or “thing”] upon you.”

34 tn Heb “when you violate the covenant of the Lord your God which he commanded you.”

35 tn Heb “and you walk and serve other gods and bow down to them.”

36 tn Or “perish.”

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