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Joshua 24:18-24

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 1  the Lord, for he is our God!”

24:19 Joshua warned 2  the people, “You will not keep worshiping 3  the Lord, for 4  he is a holy God. 5  He is a jealous God who will not forgive 6  your rebellion or your sins. 24:20 If 7  you abandon the Lord and worship 8  foreign gods, he will turn against you; 9  he will bring disaster on you and destroy you, 10  though he once treated you well.” 11 

24:21 The people said to Joshua, “No! We really will 12  worship 13  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?” 14  They replied, “We are witnesses!” 15  24:23 Joshua said, 16  “Now put aside the foreign gods that are among you and submit to 17  the Lord God of Israel.”

24:24 The people said to Joshua, “We will worship 18  the Lord our God and obey him.” 19 

1 tn Or “will serve.”

2 tn Heb “said to.”

3 tn Heb “you are not able to serve.”

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

5 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.

6 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.

7 tn Or “when.”

8 tn Or “and serve.”

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

10 tn Heb “bring you to an end.”

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

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

13 tn Or “will serve.”

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

15 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.

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

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

18 tn Or “will serve.”

19 tn Heb “and listen to his voice.”

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