Deuteronomy 30-34Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Returning to the Lord
30 “When all these things happen to you—the blessings and curses I have set before you—and you come to your senses while you are in all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, 2 and you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and all your soul by doing[a] everything I am giving you today, 3 then He will restore your fortunes,[b] have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 Even if your exiles are at the ends of the earth,[c] He will gather you and bring you back from there. 5 The Lord your God will bring you into the land your fathers possessed, and you will take possession of it. He will cause you to prosper and multiply you more than He did your fathers. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants, and you will love Him with all your heart and all your soul so that you will live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 Then you will again obey Him and follow all His commands I am giving you today. 9 The Lord your God will make you prosper abundantly in all the work of your hands with children,[d] the offspring of your livestock, and your land’s produce. Indeed, the Lord will again delight in your prosperity, as He delighted in that of your fathers, 10 when you obey the Lord your God by keeping His commands and statutes that are written in this book of the law and return to Him with all your heart and all your soul.
11 “This command that I give you today is certainly not too difficult or beyond your reach. 12 It is not in heaven so that you have to ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven, get it for us, and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it?’ 13 And it is not across the sea so that you have to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea, get it for us, and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it?’ 14 But the message is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may follow it. 15 See, today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 For[e] I am commanding you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live[f] and multiply, and the Lord your God may bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you do not listen and you are led astray to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I tell you today that you will certainly perish and will not live long in the land you are entering to possess across the Jordan. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 love the Lord your God, obey Him, and remain faithful[g] to Him. For He is your life, and He will prolong your life in the land the Lord swore to give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Joshua Takes Moses’ Place
31 Then Moses continued to speak these[h] words to all Israel, 2 saying, “I am now 120 years old; I can no longer act as your leader.[i] The Lord has told me, ‘You will not cross this Jordan.’ 3 The Lord your God is the One who will cross ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will drive them out. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, as the Lord has said. 4 The Lord will deal with them as He did Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and their land when He destroyed them. 5 The Lord will deliver them over to you, and you must do to them exactly as I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
7 Moses then summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will go with[j] this people into the land the Lord swore to give to their fathers. You will enable them to take possession of it. 8 The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
9 Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of debt cancellation, during the Festival of Booths, 11 when all Israel assembles[k] in the presence of the Lord your God at the place He chooses, you are to read this law aloud before all Israel. 12 Gather the people—men, women, children, and foreigners living within your gates—so that they may listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and be careful to follow all the words of this law. 13 Then their children who do not know the law will listen and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
14 The Lord said to Moses, “The time of your death is now approaching. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the tent of meeting so that I may commission him.” When Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting, 15 the Lord appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood at the entrance to the tent.
16 The Lord said to Moses, “You are about to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon commit adultery with the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will abandon Me and break the covenant I have made with them. 17 My anger will burn against them on that day; I will abandon them and hide My face from them so that they will become easy prey.[l] Many troubles and afflictions will come to them. On that day they will say, ‘Haven’t these troubles come to us because our God is no longer with us?’ 18 I will certainly hide My face on that day because of all the evil they have done by turning to other gods. 19 Therefore write down this song for yourselves and teach it to the Israelites; have them recite it,[m] so that this song may be a witness for Me against the Israelites. 20 When I bring them into the land I swore to give their fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey, they will eat their fill and prosper.[n] They will turn to other gods and worship them, despising Me and breaking My covenant. 21 And when many troubles and afflictions come to them, this song will testify against them, because[o] their descendants will not have forgotten it. For I know what they are prone to do,[p] even before I bring them into the land I swore to give them.” 22 So Moses wrote down this song on that day and taught it to the Israelites.
23 The Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I swore to them, and I will be with you.”
Moses Warns the People
24 When Moses had finished writing down on a scroll every single word[q] of this law, 25 he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, 26 “Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God so that it may remain there as a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you are rebelling against the Lord now, while I am still alive, how much more will you rebel after I am dead! 28 Assemble all your tribal elders and officers before me so that I may speak these words directly to them and call heaven and earth as witnesses against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will become completely corrupt and turn from the path I have commanded you. Disaster will come to you in the future, because you will do what is evil in the Lord’s sight, infuriating Him with what your hands have made.” 30 Then Moses recited aloud every single word[r] of this song to the entire assembly of Israel:
Song of Moses
32 Pay attention, heavens, and I will speak;
5 His people have acted corruptly toward Him;
10 He found him in a desolate land,
15 Then[y] Jeshurun[z] became fat and rebelled—
19 When the Lord saw this, He despised them,
23 “I will pile disasters on them;
26 “I would have said: I will cut them to pieces[ac]
28 Israel is a nation lacking sense
34 “Is it not stored up with Me,
44 Moses came with Joshua[am] son of Nun and recited all the words of this song in the presence of the people. 45 After Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all these words I am giving as a warning to you today, so that you may command your children to carefully follow all the words of this law. 47 For they are not meaningless words to you but they are your life, and by them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Moses’ Impending Death
48 On that same day the Lord spoke to Moses, 49 “Go up Mount Nebo in the Abarim range in the land of Moab, across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan I am giving the Israelites as a possession. 50 Then you will die on the mountain that you go up, and you will be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. 51 For both of you broke faith with Me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin by failing to treat Me as holy in their presence. 52 Although from a distance you will view the land that I am giving the Israelites, you will not go there.”
33 This is the blessing that Moses, the man of God, gave the Israelites before his death. 2 He said:
The Lord came from Sinai
6 Let Reuben live and not die
7 He said this about Judah:
Lord, hear Judah’s cry and bring him to his people.
8 He said about Levi:
Your Thummim and Urim belong to Your faithful one;[aw]
12 He said about Benjamin:
13 He said about Joseph:
May his land be blessed by the Lord
18 He said about Zebulun:
Rejoice, Zebulun, in your journeys,
20 He said about Gad:
The one who enlarges Gad’s territory
22 He said about Dan:
Dan is a young lion,
23 He said about Naphtali:
Naphtali, enjoying approval,
24 He said about Asher:
May Asher[bf] be the most blessed of the sons;
26 There is none like the God of Jeshurun,[bh]
34 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which faces Jericho, and the Lord showed him all the land: Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean[bk] Sea, 3 the Negev, and the region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. 4 The Lord then said to him, “This is the land I promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you will not cross into it.”
5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, as the Lord had said. 6 He buried him[bl] in the valley in the land of Moab facing Beth-peor, and no one to this day knows where his grave is. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died; his eyes were not weak, and his vitality had not left him. 8 The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab 30 days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.
9 Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. 10 No prophet has arisen again in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. 11 He was unparalleled for all the signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do against the land of Egypt—to Pharaoh, to all his officials, and to all his land, 12 and for all the mighty acts of power and terrifying deeds that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
Joshua 1-9Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Encouragement of Joshua
1 After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua[a] son of Nun, who had served Moses: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites. 3 I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great Euphrates River—all the land of the Hittites—and west to the Mediterranean Sea.[b] 5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.
6 “Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance. 7 Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. 8 This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite[c] it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. 9 Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua Prepares the People
10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get provisions ready for yourselves, for within three days you will be crossing the Jordan to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you to inherit.’”
12 Joshua said to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh: 13 “Remember what Moses the Lord’s servant commanded you when he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest, and He will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, young children, and livestock may remain in the land Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan.[d] But your fighting men must cross over in battle formation[e] ahead of your brothers[f] and help them 15 until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He has given you, and they too possess the land the Lord your God is giving them. You may then return to the land of your inheritance and take possession of what Moses the Lord’s servant gave you on the east side of the Jordan.”
16 They answered Joshua, “Everything you have commanded us we will do, and everywhere you send us we will go. 17 We will obey you, just as we obeyed Moses in everything. And may the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Anyone who rebels against your order and does not obey your words in all that you command him, will be put to death. Above all, be strong and courageous!”
Spies Sent to Jericho
2 Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men as spies from the Acacia Grove,[g] saying, “Go and scout the land, especially Jericho.” So they left, and they came to the house of a woman, a prostitute named Rahab, and stayed there.
2 The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelite men have come here tonight to investigate the land.” 3 Then the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab and said, “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, for they came to investigate the entire land.”
4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. So she said, “Yes, the men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they were from. 5 At nightfall, when the gate was about to close, the men went out, and I don’t know where they were going. Chase after them quickly, and you can catch up with them!” 6 But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them among the stalks of flax that she had arranged on the roof. 7 The men pursued them along the road to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as they left to pursue them, the gate was shut.
The Promise to Rahab
8 Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you.[h] 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. 11 When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed[i] because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below. 12 Now please swear to me by the Lord that you will also show kindness to my family, because I showed kindness to you.[j] Give me a sure sign[k] 13 that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death.”
14 The men answered her, “We will give our lives for yours. If you don’t report our mission, we will show kindness and faithfulness to you when the Lord gives us the land.”
15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, since she lived in a house that was built into the wall of the city. 16 “Go to the hill country so that the men pursuing you won’t find you,” she said to them. “Hide yourselves there for three days until they return; afterward, go on your way.”
17 The men said to her, “We will be free from this oath you made us swear, 18 unless, when we enter the land, you tie this scarlet cord to the window through which you let us down. Bring your father, mother, brothers, and all your father’s family into your house. 19 If anyone goes out the doors of your house, his blood will be on his own head, and we will be innocent. But if anyone with you in the house should be harmed,[l] his blood will be on our heads. 20 And if you report our mission, we are free from the oath you made us swear.”
21 “Let it be as you say,” she replied, and she sent them away. After they had gone, she tied the scarlet cord to the window.
22 So the two men went into the hill country and stayed there three days until the pursuers had returned. They searched all along the way, but did not find them. 23 Then the men returned, came down from the hill country, and crossed the Jordan. They went to Joshua son of Nun and reported everything that had happened to them. 24 They told Joshua, “The Lord has handed over the entire land to us. Everyone who lives in the land is also panicking because of us.”[m]
Crossing the Jordan
3 Joshua started early the next morning and left the Acacia Grove[n] with all the Israelites. They went as far as the Jordan and stayed there before crossing. 2 After three days the officers went through the camp 3 and commanded the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God carried by the Levitical priests, you must break camp and follow it. 4 But keep a distance of about 1,000 yards[o] between yourselves and the ark. Don’t go near it, so that you can see the way to go, for you haven’t traveled this way before.”[p]
5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, because the Lord will do wonders among you tomorrow.” 6 Then he said to the priests, “Take the ark of the covenant and go on ahead of the people.” So they carried the ark of the covenant and went ahead of them.
7 The Lord spoke to Joshua: “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so they will know that I will be with you just as I was with Moses. 8 Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant: When you reach the edge of the waters,[q] stand in the Jordan.”
9 Then Joshua told the Israelites, “Come closer and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” 10 He said: “You will know that the living God is among you and that He will certainly dispossess before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites 11 when the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth goes ahead of you into the Jordan. 12 Now choose 12 men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. 13 When the feet[r] of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the Jordan’s waters, its waters will be cut off. The water flowing downstream will stand up in a mass.”
14 When the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carried the ark of the covenant ahead of the people. 15 Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan, their feet touched the water at its edge 16 and the water flowing downstream stood still, rising up in a mass that extended as far as[s] Adam, a city next to Zarethan. The water flowing downstream into the Sea of the Arabah (the Dead Sea) was completely cut off, and the people crossed opposite Jericho. 17 The priests carrying the ark of the Lord’s covenant stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed on dry ground until the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan.
The Memorial Stones
4 After the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord spoke to Joshua: 2 “Choose 12 men from the people, one man for each tribe, 3 and command them: Take 12 stones from this place in the middle of the Jordan where the priests[t] are standing, carry them with you, and set them down at the place where you spend the night.”
4 So Joshua summoned the 12 men he had selected from the Israelites, one man for each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go across to the ark of the Lord your God in the middle of the Jordan. Each of you lift a stone onto his shoulder, one for each[u] of the Israelite tribes, 6 so that this will be a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 you should tell them, ‘The waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the Lord’s covenant. When it crossed the Jordan, the Jordan’s waters were cut off.’ Therefore these stones will always be a memorial for the Israelites.”
8 The Israelites did just as Joshua had commanded them. The 12 men took stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each[v] of the Israelite tribes, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the camp and set them down there. 9 Joshua also set up 12 stones in the middle[w] of the Jordan where the priests[x] who carried the ark of the covenant were standing. The stones are there to this day.
10 The priests carrying the ark continued standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the Lord had commanded Joshua to tell the people, in keeping with all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people hurried across, 11 and after everyone had finished crossing, the priests with the ark of the Lord crossed in the sight of the people. 12 The Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh went in battle formation in front of the Israelites, as Moses had instructed them. 13 About 40,000 equipped for war crossed to the plains of Jericho in the Lord’s presence.
14 On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him throughout his life, as they had revered Moses. 15 The Lord told Joshua, 16 “Command the priests who carry the ark of the testimony[y] to come up from the Jordan.”
17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up from the Jordan.” 18 When the priests carrying the ark of the Lord’s covenant came up from the middle of the Jordan, and their feet[z] stepped out on solid ground, the waters of the Jordan resumed their course, flowing over all the banks as before.
19 The people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month,[aa] and camped at Gilgal on the eastern limits of Jericho. 20 Then Joshua set up in Gilgal the 12 stones they had taken from the Jordan, 21 and he said to the Israelites, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of these stones?’ 22 you should tell your children, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over. 24 This is so that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord’s hand is mighty, and so that you may always fear the Lord your God.”
Circumcision of the Israelites
5 When all the Amorite kings across the Jordan to the west and all the Canaanite kings near the sea heard how the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, they lost heart and their courage failed[ab] because of the Israelites.
2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelite men again.” 3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelite men at Gibeath-haaraloth.[ac] 4 This is the reason Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males—all the men of war—had died in the wilderness along the way after they had come out of Egypt. 5 Though all the people who came out were circumcised, none of the people born in the wilderness along the way were circumcised after they had come out of Egypt. 6 For the Israelites wandered in the wilderness 40 years until all the nation’s men of war who came out of Egypt had died off because they did not obey the Lord. So the Lord vowed never to let them see the land He had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7 Joshua raised up their sons in their place; it was these he circumcised. They were still uncircumcised, since they had not been circumcised along the way. 8 After the entire nation had been circumcised, they stayed where they were in the camp until they recovered. 9 The Lord then said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the disgrace of Egypt from you.” Therefore, that place is called Gilgal[ad] to this day.
Food from the Land
10 While the Israelites camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they kept the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month.[ae] 11 The day after Passover they ate unleavened bread and roasted grain from the produce of the land. 12 And the day after they ate from the produce of the land, the manna ceased. Since there was no more manna for the Israelites, they ate from the crops of the land of Canaan that year.
Commander of the Lord’s Army
13 When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, “Are You for us or for our enemies?”
14 “Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as commander of the Lord’s army.”
Then Joshua bowed with his face to the ground in worship and asked Him, “What does my Lord want to say to His servant?”
15 The commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
The Conquest of Jericho
6 Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites—no one leaving or entering. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you. 3 March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets. 5 When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the people will advance, each man straight ahead.”
6 So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and have seven priests carry seven trumpets in front of the ark of the Lord.” 7 He said to the people, “Move forward, march around the city, and have the armed troops go ahead of the ark of the Lord.”
8 After Joshua had spoken to the people, seven priests carrying seven trumpets before the Lord moved forward and blew the trumpets; the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. 9 While the trumpets were blowing, the armed troops went in front of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard went behind the ark. 10 But Joshua had commanded the people: “Do not shout or let your voice be heard. Don’t let one word come out of your mouth until the time I say, ‘Shout!’ Then you are to shout.” 11 So the ark of the Lord was carried around the city, circling it once. They returned to the camp and spent the night there.[af]
12 Joshua got up early the next morning. The priests took the ark of the Lord, 13 and the seven priests carrying seven trumpets marched in front of the ark of the Lord. While the trumpets were blowing, the armed troops went in front of them, and the rear guard went behind the ark of the Lord. 14 On the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 Early on the seventh day, they started at dawn and marched around the city seven times in the same way. That was the only day they marched around the city seven times. 16 After the seventh time, the priests blew the trumpets, and Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 But the city and everything in it are set apart to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and everyone with her in the house will live, because she hid the men[ag] we sent. 18 But keep yourselves from the things set apart, or you will be set apart for destruction. If you[ah] take any of those things, you will set apart the camp of Israel for destruction and bring disaster on it. 19 For all the silver and gold, and the articles of bronze and iron, are dedicated to the Lord and must go into the Lord’s treasury.”
20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets sounded. When they heard the blast of the trumpet, the people gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed. The people advanced into the city, each man straight ahead, and they captured the city. 21 They completely destroyed everything in the city with the sword—every man and woman, both young and old, and every ox, sheep, and donkey.
Rahab and Her Family Spared
22 Joshua said to the two men who had scouted the land, “Go to the prostitute’s house and bring the woman out of there, and all who are with her, just as you promised her.” 23 So the young men who had scouted went in and brought out Rahab and her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her. They brought out her whole family and settled them outside the camp of Israel.
24 They burned up the city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 However, Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, her father’s household, and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent to spy on Jericho, and she lives in Israel to this day.
26 At that time Joshua imposed this curse:
The man who undertakes
27 And the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.
Defeat at Ai
7 The Israelites, however, were unfaithful regarding the things set apart for destruction. Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of what was set apart, and the Lord’s anger burned against the Israelites.
2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and scout the land.” So the men went up and scouted Ai.
3 After returning to Joshua they reported to him, “Don’t send all the people, but send about 2,000 or 3,000[ai] men to attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, don’t wear out all our people there.” 4 So about 3,000 men[aj] went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai. 5 The men of Ai struck down about 36 of them and chased them from outside the gate to the quarries,[ak] striking them down on the descent. As a result, the people’s hearts melted and became like water.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell before the ark of the Lord with his face to the ground until evening, as did the elders of Israel; they all put dust on their heads. 7 “Oh, Lord God,” Joshua said, “why did You ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan! 8 What can I say, Lord, now that Israel has turned its back and run from its enemies? 9 When the Canaanites and all who live in the land hear about this, they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. Then what will You do about Your great name?”
10 The Lord then said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why are you on the ground?[al] 11 Israel has sinned. They have violated My covenant that I appointed for them. They have taken some of what was set apart. They have stolen, deceived, and put the things with their own belongings. 12 This is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies. They will turn their backs and run from their enemies, because they have been set apart for destruction. I will no longer be with you unless you remove from you what is set apart.
13 “Go and consecrate the people. Tell them to consecrate themselves for tomorrow, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are things that are set apart among you, Israel. You will not be able to stand against your enemies until you remove what is set apart. 14 In the morning you must present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord selects is to come forward clan by clan. The clan the Lord selects is to come forward family by family. The family the Lord selects is to come forward man by man. 15 The one who is caught with the things set apart must be burned,[am] along with everything he has, because he has violated the Lord’s covenant and committed an outrage in Israel.”
16 Joshua got up early the next morning. He had Israel come forward tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was selected. 17 He had the clans of Judah come forward, and the Zerahite clan was selected. He had the Zerahite clan come forward by heads of families,[an] and Zabdi was selected. 18 He then had Zabdi’s family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was selected.
19 So Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and make a confession to Him.[ao] I urge you, tell me what you have done. Don’t hide anything from me.”
20 Achan replied to Joshua, “It is true. I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I did: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful cloak from Babylon,[ap] 200 silver shekels,[aq] and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels,[ar] I coveted them and took them. You can see for yourself. They are concealed in the ground inside my tent, with the money under the cloak.” 22 So Joshua sent messengers who ran to the tent, and there was the cloak, concealed in his tent, with the money underneath. 23 They took the things from inside the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and spread them out in the Lord’s presence.
24 Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the cloak, and the bar of gold, his sons and daughters, his ox, donkey, and sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? Today the Lord will trouble you!” So all Israel stoned them[as] to death. They burned their bodies,[at] threw stones on them, 26 and raised over him a large pile of rocks that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from His burning anger. Therefore that place is called the Valley of Achor[au] to this day.
Conquest of Ai
8 The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take the whole military force with you and go attack Ai. Look, I have handed over to you the king of Ai, his people, city, and land. 2 Treat Ai and its king as you did Jericho and its king; you may plunder its spoil and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”
3 So Joshua and the whole military force set out to attack Ai. Joshua selected 30,000 fighting men and sent them out at night. 4 He commanded them: “Pay attention. Lie in ambush behind the city, not too far from it, and all of you be ready. 5 Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. When they come out against us as they did the first time, we will flee from them. 6 They will come after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing from us as before.’ While we are fleeing from them, 7 you are to come out of your ambush and seize the city, for the Lord your God has handed it over to you. 8 After taking the city, set it on fire. Follow the Lord’s command—see that you do as I have ordered you.” 9 So Joshua sent them out, and they went to the ambush site and waited between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai. But he spent that night with the troops.
10 Joshua started early the next morning and mobilized them. Then he and the elders of Israel led the troops up to Ai. 11 All those[av] who were with him went up and approached the city, arriving opposite Ai, and camped to the north of it, with a valley between them and the city. 12 Now Joshua had taken about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. 13 The military force was stationed in this way: the main[aw] camp to the north of the city and its rear guard to the west of the city. And that night Joshua went into the valley.
14 When the king of Ai saw the Israelites, the men of the city hurried and went out early in the morning so that he and all his people could engage Israel in battle at a suitable place facing the Arabah. But he did not know there was an ambush waiting for him behind the city. 15 Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten back by them and fled toward the wilderness. 16 Then all the troops of Ai were summoned to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city. 17 Not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who did not go out after Israel, leaving the city exposed while they pursued Israel.
18 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Hold out the sword in your hand toward Ai, for I will hand the city over to you.” So Joshua held out his sword toward it. 19 When he held out his hand, the men in ambush rose quickly from their position. They ran, entered the city, captured it, and immediately set it on fire.
20 The men of Ai turned and looked back, and smoke from the city was rising to the sky! They could not escape in any direction, and the troops who had fled to the wilderness now became the pursuers. 21 When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that smoke was rising from it, they turned back and struck down the men of Ai. 22 Then men in ambush came out of the city against them, and the men of Ai were trapped between the Israelite forces, some on one side and some on the other. They struck them down until no survivor or fugitive remained, 23 but they captured the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.
24 When Israel had finished killing everyone living in Ai who had pursued them into the open country, and when every last one of them had fallen by the sword, all Israel returned to Ai and struck it down with the sword. 25 The total of those who fell that day, both men and women, was 12,000—all the people of Ai. 26 Joshua did not draw back his hand that was holding the sword until all the inhabitants of Ai were completely destroyed. 27 Israel plundered only the cattle and spoil of that city for themselves, according to the Lord’s command that He had given Joshua.
28 Joshua burned Ai and left it a permanent ruin, desolate to this day. 29 He hung[ax] the body of the king of Ai on a tree[ay] until evening, and at sunset Joshua commanded that they take his body down from the tree. They threw it down at the entrance of the city gate and put a large pile of rocks over it, which remains to this day.
Renewed Commitment to the Law
30 At that time Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal to the Lord, the God of Israel, 31 just as Moses the Lord’s servant had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the book of the law of Moses: an altar of uncut stones on which no iron tool has been used. Then they offered burnt offerings to the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings on it. 32 There on the stones, Joshua copied the law of Moses, which he had written in the presence of the Israelites. 33 All Israel, foreigner and citizen alike, with their elders, officers, and judges, stood on either side of the ark of the Lord’s covenant facing the Levitical priests who carried it. As Moses the Lord’s servant had commanded earlier, half of them were in front of Mount Gerizim and half in front of Mount Ebal, to bless the people of Israel. 34 Afterward, Joshua read aloud all the words of the law—the blessings as well as the curses—according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read before the entire assembly of Israel, including the women, the little children, and the foreigners who were with them.
Deception by Gibeon
9 When all the kings heard about Jericho and Ai, those who were west of the Jordan in the hill country, in the Judean foothills,[az] and all along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea toward Lebanon—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites— 2 they formed a unified alliance to fight against Joshua and Israel.
3 When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they acted deceptively. They gathered provisions[ba] and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys and old wineskins, cracked and mended. 5 They wore old, patched sandals on their feet and threadbare clothing on their bodies. Their entire provision of bread was dry and crumbly. 6 They went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land. Please make a treaty with us.”
7 The men of Israel replied to the Hivites,[bb] “Perhaps you live among us. How can we make a treaty with you?”
8 They said to Joshua, “We are your servants.”
Then Joshua asked them, “Who are you and where do you come from?”
9 They replied to him, “Your servants have come from a far away land because of the reputation of the Lord your God. For we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt, 10 and all that He did to the two Amorite kings beyond the Jordan—Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan, who was in Ashtaroth. 11 So our elders and all the inhabitants of our land told us, ‘Take provisions with you for the journey; go and meet them and say, “We are your servants. Please make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we took it from our houses as food on the day we left to come to you. But take a look, it is now dry and crumbly. 13 These wineskins were new when we filled them, but look, they are cracked. And these clothes and sandals of ours are worn out from the extremely long journey.” 14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions, but did not seek the Lord’s counsel. 15 So Joshua established peace with them and made a treaty to let them live, and the leaders of the community swore an oath to them.
Gibeon’s Deception Discovered
16 Three days after making the treaty with them, they heard that the Gibeonites were their neighbors, living among them. 17 So the Israelites set out and reached the Gibeonite cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the community had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel. Then the whole community grumbled against the leaders.
19 All the leaders answered them, “We have sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them. 20 This is how we will treat them: we will let them live, so that no wrath will fall on us because of the oath we swore to them.” 21 They also said, “Let them live.” So the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had promised them.
22 Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said to them, “Why did you deceive us by telling us you live far away from us, when in fact you live among us? 23 Therefore you are cursed and will always be slaves—woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”
24 The Gibeonites answered him, “It was clearly communicated to your servants that the Lord your God had commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you. We greatly feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this. 25 Now we are in your hands. Do to us whatever you think is right.”[bc] 26 This is what Joshua did to them: he delivered them from the hands of the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 On that day he made them woodcutters and water carriers—as they are today—for the community and for the Lord’s altar at the place He would choose.