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Joshua 1-24 The Message (MSG)

1-9 After the death of Moses the servant of God, God spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant:

“Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon east to the Great River, the Euphrates River—all the Hittite country—and then west to the Great Sea. It’s all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”

The Taking of the Land

10-11 Then Joshua gave orders to the people’s leaders: “Go through the camp and give this order to the people: ‘Pack your bags. In three days you will cross this Jordan River to enter and take the land God, your God, is giving you to possess.’”

12-15 Then Joshua addressed the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He said, “Remember what Moses the servant of God commanded you: God, your God, gives you rest and he gives you this land. Your wives, your children, and your livestock can stay here east of the Jordan, the country Moses gave you; but you, tough soldiers all, must cross the River in battle formation, leading your brothers, helping them until God, your God, gives your brothers a place of rest just as he has done for you. They also will take possession of the land that God, your God, is giving them. Then you will be free to return to your possession, given to you by Moses the servant of God, across the Jordan to the east.”

16-18 They answered Joshua: “Everything you commanded us, we’ll do. Wherever you send us, we’ll go. We obeyed Moses to the letter; we’ll also obey you—we just pray that God, your God, will be with you as he was with Moses. Anyone who questions what you say and refuses to obey whatever you command him will be put to death. Strength! Courage!”

Rahab

Joshua son of Nun secretly sent out from Shittim two men as spies: “Go. Look over the land. Check out Jericho.” They left and arrived at the house of a harlot named Rahab and stayed there.

The king of Jericho was told, “We’ve just learned that men arrived tonight to spy out the land. They’re from the People of Israel.”

The king of Jericho sent word to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you to stay the night in your house. They’re spies; they’ve come to spy out the whole country.”

4-7 The woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, two men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they’d come from. At dark, when the gate was about to be shut, the men left. But I have no idea where they went. Hurry up! Chase them—you can still catch them!” (She had actually taken them up on the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax that were spread out for her on the roof.) So the men set chase down the Jordan road toward the fords. As soon as they were gone, the gate was shut.

8-11 Before the spies were down for the night, the woman came up to them on the roof and said, “I know that God has given you the land. We’re all afraid. Everyone in the country feels hopeless. We heard how God dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt, and what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you put under a holy curse and destroyed. We heard it and our hearts sank. We all had the wind knocked out of us. And all because of you, you and God, your God, God of the heavens above and God of the earth below.

12-13 “Now promise me by God. I showed you mercy; now show my family mercy. And give me some tangible proof, a guarantee of life for my father and mother, my brothers and sisters—everyone connected with my family. Save our souls from death!”

14 “Our lives for yours!” said the men. “But don’t tell anyone our business. When God turns this land over to us, we’ll do right by you in loyal mercy.”

15-16 She lowered them down out a window with a rope because her house was on the city wall to the outside. She told them, “Run for the hills so your pursuers won’t find you. Hide out for three days and give your pursuers time to return. Then get on your way.”

17-20 The men told her, “In order to keep this oath you made us swear, here is what you must do: Hang this red rope out the window through which you let us down and gather your entire family with you in your house—father, mother, brothers, and sisters. Anyone who goes out the doors of your house into the street and is killed, it’s his own fault—we aren’t responsible. But for everyone within the house we take full responsibility. If anyone lays a hand on one of them, it’s our fault. But if you tell anyone of our business here, the oath you made us swear is canceled—we’re no longer responsible.”

21 She said, “If that’s what you say, that’s the way it is,” and sent them off. They left and she hung the red rope out the window.

22 They headed for the hills and stayed there for three days until the pursuers had returned. The pursuers had looked high and low but found nothing.

23-24 The men headed back. They came down out of the hills, crossed the river, and returned to Joshua son of Nun and reported all their experiences. They told Joshua, “Yes! God has given the whole country to us. Everybody there is in a state of panic because of us.”

The Jordan

1-4 Joshua was up early and on his way from Shittim with all the People of Israel with him. He arrived at the Jordan and camped before crossing over. After three days, leaders went through the camp and gave out orders to the people: “When you see the Covenant-Chest of God, your God, carried by the Levitical priests, start moving. Follow it. Make sure you keep a proper distance between you and it, about half a mile—be sure now to keep your distance!—and you’ll see clearly the route to take. You’ve never been on this road before.”

Then Joshua addressed the people: “Sanctify yourselves. Tomorrow God will work miracle-wonders among you.”

Joshua instructed the priests, “Take up the Chest of the Covenant and step out before the people.” So they took it up and processed before the people.

7-8 God said to Joshua, “This very day I will begin to make you great in the eyes of all Israel. They’ll see for themselves that I’m with you in the same way that I was with Moses. You will command the priests who are carrying the Chest of the Covenant: ‘When you come to the edge of the Jordan’s waters, stand there on the river bank.’”

9-13 Then Joshua addressed the People of Israel: “Attention! Listen to what God, your God, has to say. This is how you’ll know that God is alive among you—he will completely dispossess before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites. Look at what’s before you: the Chest of the Covenant. Think of it—the Master of the entire earth is crossing the Jordan as you watch. Now take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from each tribe. When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the Chest of God, Master of all the earth, touch the Jordan’s water, the flow of water will be stopped—the water coming from upstream will pile up in a heap.”

14-16 And that’s what happened. The people left their tents to cross the Jordan, led by the priests carrying the Chest of the Covenant. When the priests got to the Jordan and their feet touched the water at the edge (the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest), the flow of water stopped. It piled up in a heap—a long way off—at Adam, which is near Zarethan. The river went dry all the way down to the Arabah Sea (the Salt Sea). And the people crossed, facing Jericho.

17 And there they stood; those priests carrying the Chest of the Covenant stood firmly planted on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground. Finally the whole nation was across the Jordan, and not one wet foot.

1-3 When the whole nation was finally across, God spoke to Joshua: “Select twelve men from the people, a man from each tribe, and tell them, ‘From right here, the middle of the Jordan where the feet of the priests are standing firm, take twelve stones. Carry them across with you and set them down in the place where you camp tonight.’”

4-7 Joshua called out the twelve men whom he selected from the People of Israel, one man from each tribe. Joshua directed them, “Cross to the middle of the Jordan and take your place in front of the Chest of God, your God. Each of you heft a stone to your shoulder, a stone for each of the tribes of the People of Israel, so you’ll have something later to mark the occasion. When your children ask you, ‘What are these stones to you?’ you’ll say, ‘The flow of the Jordan was stopped in front of the Chest of the Covenant of God as it crossed the Jordan—stopped in its tracks. These stones are a permanent memorial for the People of Israel.’”

8-9 The People of Israel did exactly as Joshua commanded: They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan—a stone for each of the twelve tribes, just as God had instructed Joshua—carried them across with them to the camp, and set them down there. Joshua set up the twelve stones taken from the middle of the Jordan that had marked the place where the priests who carried the Chest of the Covenant had stood. They are still there today.

10-11 The priests carrying the Chest continued standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything God had instructed Joshua to tell the people to do was done (confirming what Moses had instructed Joshua). The people crossed; no one dawdled. When the crossing of all the people was complete, they watched as the Chest of the Covenant and the priests crossed over.

12-13 The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had crossed over in battle formation in front of the People of Israel, obedient to Moses’ instructions. All told, about forty thousand armed soldiers crossed over before God to the plains of Jericho, ready for battle.

14 God made Joshua great that day in the sight of all Israel. They were in awe of him just as they had been in awe of Moses all his life.

15-16 God told Joshua, “Command the priests carrying the Chest of The Testimony to come up from the Jordan.”

17 Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”

18 They did it. The priests carrying God’s Chest of the Covenant came up from the middle of the Jordan. As soon as the soles of the priests’ feet touched dry land, the Jordan’s waters resumed their flow within the banks, just as before.

19-22 The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. They set up camp at The Gilgal (The Circle) to the east of Jericho. Joshua erected a monument at The Gilgal, using the twelve stones that they had taken from the Jordan. And then he told the People of Israel, “In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’

23-24 “Yes, God, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as God, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always.”

When all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and the Canaanite kings along the seacoast heard how God had stopped the Jordan River before the People of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts sank; the courage drained out of them just thinking about the People of Israel.

2-3 At that time God said to Joshua, “Make stone knives and circumcise the People of Israel a second time.” So Joshua made stone knives and circumcised the People of Israel at Foreskins Hill.

4-7 This is why Joshua conducted the circumcision. All the males who had left Egypt, the soldiers, had died in the wilderness on the journey out of Egypt. All the people who had come out of Egypt, of course, had been circumcised, but all those born in the wilderness along the way since leaving Egypt had not been. The fact is that the People of Israel had walked through that wilderness for forty years until the entire nation died out, all the men of military age who had come out of Egypt but had disobeyed the call of God. God vowed that these would never lay eyes on the land God had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. But their children had replaced them. These are the ones Joshua circumcised. They had never been circumcised; no one had circumcised them along the way.

When they had completed the circumcising of the whole nation, they stayed where they were in camp until they were healed.

God said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt.” That’s why the place is called The Gilgal. It’s still called that.

10 The People of Israel continued to camp at The Gilgal. They celebrated the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the plains of Jericho.

11-12 Right away, the day after the Passover, they started eating the produce of that country, unraised bread and roasted grain. And then no more manna; the manna stopped. As soon as they started eating food grown in the land, there was no more manna for the People of Israel. That year they ate from the crops of Canaan.

13 And then this, while Joshua was there near Jericho: He looked up and saw right in front of him a man standing, holding his drawn sword. Joshua stepped up to him and said, “Whose side are you on—ours or our enemies’?”

14 He said, “Neither. I’m commander of God’s army. I’ve just arrived.” Joshua fell, face to the ground, and worshiped. He asked, “What orders does my Master have for his servant?”

15 God’s army commander ordered Joshua, “Take your sandals off your feet. The place you are standing is holy.”

Joshua did it.

Jericho

Jericho was shut up tight as a drum because of the People of Israel: no one going in, no one coming out.

2-5 God spoke to Joshua, “Look sharp now. I’ve already given Jericho to you, along with its king and its crack troops. Here’s what you are to do: March around the city, all your soldiers. Circle the city once. Repeat this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s horn trumpets in front of the Chest. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, the priests blowing away on the trumpets. And then, a long blast on the ram’s horn—when you hear that, all the people are to shout at the top of their lungs. The city wall will collapse at once. All the people are to enter, every man straight on in.”

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and told them, “Take up the Chest of the Covenant. Seven priests are to carry seven ram’s horn trumpets leading God’s Chest.”

Then he told the people, “Set out! March around the city. Have the armed guard march before the Chest of God.”

8-9 And it happened. Joshua spoke, the people moved: Seven priests with their seven ram’s horn trumpets set out before God. They blew the trumpets, leading God’s Chest of the Covenant. The armed guard marched ahead of the trumpet-blowing priests; the rear guard was marching after the Chest, marching and blowing their trumpets.

10 Joshua had given orders to the people, “Don’t shout. In fact, don’t even speak—not so much as a whisper until you hear me say, ‘Shout!’—then shout away!”

11-13 He sent the Chest of God on its way around the city. It circled once, came back to camp, and stayed for the night. Joshua was up early the next morning and the priests took up the Chest of God. The seven priests carrying the seven ram’s horn trumpets marched before the Chest of God, marching and blowing the trumpets, with the armed guard marching before and the rear guard marching after. Marching and blowing of trumpets!

14 On the second day they again circled the city once and returned to camp. They did this six days.

15-17 When the seventh day came, they got up early and marched around the city this same way but seven times—yes, this day they circled the city seven times. On the seventh time around the priests blew the trumpets and Joshua signaled the people, “Shout!—God has given you the city! The city and everything in it is under a holy curse and offered up to God.

“Except for Rahab the harlot—she is to live, she and everyone in her house with her, because she hid the agents we sent.

18-19 “As for you, watch yourselves in the city under holy curse. Be careful that you don’t covet anything in it and take something that’s cursed, endangering the camp of Israel with the curse and making trouble for everyone. All silver and gold, all vessels of bronze and iron are holy to God. Put them in God’s treasury.”

20 The priests blew the trumpets.

When the people heard the blast of the trumpets, they gave a thunderclap shout. The wall fell at once. The people rushed straight into the city and took it.

21 They put everything in the city under the holy curse, killing man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey.

22-24 Joshua ordered the two men who had spied out the land, “Enter the house of the harlot and rescue the woman and everyone connected with her, just as you promised her.” So the young spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, and brothers—everyone connected with her. They got the whole family out and gave them a place outside the camp of Israel. But they burned down the city and everything in it, except for the gold and silver and the bronze and iron vessels—all that they put in the treasury of God’s house.

25 But Joshua let Rahab the harlot live—Rahab and her father’s household and everyone connected to her. She is still alive and well in Israel because she hid the agents whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 Joshua swore a solemn oath at that time:

Cursed before God is the man
    who sets out to rebuild this city Jericho.
He’ll pay for the foundation with his firstborn son,
    he’ll pay for the gates with his youngest son.

27 God was with Joshua. He became famous all over the land.

Achan

Then the People of Israel violated the holy curse. Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, took some of the cursed things. God became angry with the People of Israel.

Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai (The Ruin), which is near Beth Aven just east of Bethel. He instructed them, “Go up and spy out the land.” The men went up and spied out Ai.

They returned to Joshua and reported, “Don’t bother sending a lot of people—two or three thousand men are enough to defeat Ai. Don’t wear out the whole army; there aren’t that many people there.”

4-5 So three thousand men went up—and then fled in defeat before the men of Ai! The men of Ai killed thirty-six—chased them from the city gate as far as The Quarries, killing them at the descent. The heart of the people sank, all spirit knocked out of them.

Joshua ripped his clothes and fell on his face to the ground before the Chest of God, he and the leaders throwing dirt on their heads, prostrate until evening.

7-9 Joshua said, “Oh, oh, oh . . . Master, God. Why did you insist on bringing this people across the Jordan? To make us victims of the Amorites? To wipe us out? Why didn’t we just settle down on the east side of the Jordan? Oh, Master, what can I say after this, after Israel has been run off by its enemies? When the Canaanites and all the others living here get wind of this, they’ll gang up on us and make short work of us—and then how will you keep up your reputation?”

10-12 God said to Joshua, “Get up. Why are you groveling? Israel has sinned: They’ve broken the covenant I commanded them; they’ve taken forbidden plunder—stolen and then covered up the theft, squirreling it away with their own stuff. The People of Israel can no longer look their enemies in the eye—they themselves are plunder. I can’t continue with you if you don’t rid yourselves of the cursed things.

13 “So get started. Purify the people. Tell them: Get ready for tomorrow by purifying yourselves. For this is what God, the God of Israel, says: There are cursed things in the camp. You won’t be able to face your enemies until you have gotten rid of these cursed things.

14-15 “First thing in the morning you will be called up by tribes. The tribe God names will come up clan by clan; the clan God names will come up family by family; and the family God names will come up man by man. The person found with the cursed things will be burned, he and everything he has, because he broke God’s covenant and did this despicable thing in Israel.”

16-18 Joshua was up at the crack of dawn and called Israel up tribe by tribe. The tribe of Judah was singled out. Then he called up the clans and singled out the Zerahites. He called up the Zerahite families and singled out the Zabdi family. He called up the family members one by one and singled out Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah.

19 Joshua spoke to Achan, “My son, give glory to God, the God of Israel. Make your confession to him. Tell me what you did. Don’t keep back anything from me.”

20-21 Achan answered Joshua, “It’s true. I sinned against God, the God of Israel. This is how I did it. In the plunder I spotted a beautiful Shinar robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and a fifty-shekel bar of gold, and I coveted and took them. They are buried in my tent with the silver at the bottom.”

22-23 Joshua sent off messengers. They ran to the tent. And there it was, buried in the tent with the silver at the bottom. They took the stuff from the tent and brought it to Joshua and to all the People of Israel and spread it out before God.

24 Joshua took Achan son of Zerah, took the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his ox, donkey, sheep, and tent—everything connected with him. All Israel was there. They led them off to the Valley of Achor (Trouble Valley).

25-26 Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? God will now trouble you. Today!” And all Israel stoned him—burned him with fire and stoned him with stones. They piled a huge pile of stones over him. It’s still there. Only then did God turn from his hot anger. That’s how the place came to be called Trouble Valley right up to the present time.

Ai

God said to Joshua, “Don’t be timid and don’t so much as hesitate. Take all your soldiers with you and go back to Ai. I have turned the king of Ai over to you—his people, his city, and his land.

“Do to Ai and its king what you did to Jericho and its king. Only this time you may plunder its stuff and cattle to your heart’s content. Set an ambush behind the city.”

3-8 Joshua and all his soldiers got ready to march on Ai. Joshua chose thirty thousand men, tough, seasoned fighters, and sent them off at night with these orders: “Look sharp now. Lie in ambush behind the city. Get as close as you can. Stay alert. I and the troops with me will approach the city head-on. When they come out to meet us just as before, we’ll turn and run. They’ll come after us, leaving the city. As we are off and running, they’ll say, ‘They’re running away just like the first time.’ That’s your signal to spring from your ambush and take the city. God, your God, will hand it to you on a platter. Once you have the city, burn it down. God says it, you do it. Go to it. I’ve given you your orders.”

Joshua sent them off. They set their ambush and waited between Bethel and Ai, just west of Ai. Joshua spent the night with the people.

10-13 Joshua was up early in the morning and mustered his army. He and the leaders of Israel led the troops to Ai. The whole army, fighting men all, marched right up within sight of the city and set camp on the north side of Ai. There was a valley between them and Ai. He had taken about five thousand men and put them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, west of the city. They were all deployed, the main army to the north of the city and the ambush to the west. Joshua spent the night in the valley.

14 So it happened that when the king of Ai saw all this, the men of the city lost no time; they were out of there at the crack of dawn to join Israel in battle, the king and his troops, at a field en route to the Arabah. The king didn’t know of the ambush set against him behind the city.

15-17 Joshua and all Israel let themselves be chased; they ran toward the wilderness. Everybody in the city was called to the chase. They pursued Joshua and were led away from the city. There wasn’t a soul left in Ai or Bethel who wasn’t out there chasing after Israel. The city was left empty and undefended as they were chasing Israel down.

18-19 Then God spoke to Joshua: “Stretch out the javelin in your hand toward Ai—I’m giving it to you.” Joshua stretched out the javelin in his hand toward Ai. At the signal the men in ambush sprang to their feet, ran to the city, took it, and quickly had it up in flames.

20-21 The men of Ai looked back and, oh! saw the city going up in smoke. They found themselves trapped with nowhere to run. The army on the run toward the wilderness did an about-face—Joshua and all Israel, seeing that the ambush had taken the city, saw it going up in smoke, turned and attacked the men of Ai.

22-23 Then the men in the ambush poured out of the city. The men of Ai were caught in the middle with Israelites on both sides—a real massacre. And not a single survivor. Except for the king of Ai; they took him alive and brought him to Joshua.

24-25 When it was all over, Israel had killed everyone in Ai, whether in the fields or in the wilderness where they had chased them. When the killing was complete, the Israelites returned to Ai and completed the devastation. The death toll that day came to twelve thousand men and women—everyone in Ai.

26-27 Joshua didn’t lower his outstretched javelin until the sacred destruction of Ai and all its people was completed. Israel did get to take the livestock and loot left in the city; God’s instructions to Joshua allowed for that.

28-29 Joshua burned Ai to the ground. A “heap” of nothing forever, a “no-place”—go see for yourself. He hanged the king of Ai from a tree. At evening, with the sun going down, Joshua ordered the corpse cut down. They dumped it at the entrance to the city and piled it high with stones—you can go see that also.

30-32 Then Joshua built an altar to the God of Israel on Mount Ebal. He built it following the instructions of Moses the servant of God to the People of Israel and written in the Book of The Revelation of Moses, an altar of whole stones that hadn’t been chiseled or shaped by an iron tool. On it they offered to God Whole-Burnt-Offerings and sacrificed Peace-Offerings. He also wrote out a copy of The Revelation of Moses on the stones. He wrote it with the People of Israel looking on.

33 All Israel was there, foreigners and citizens alike, with their elders, officers, and judges, standing on opposite sides of the Chest, facing the Levitical priests who carry God’s Covenant Chest. Half of the people stood with their backs to Mount Gerizim and half with their backs to Mount Ebal to bless the People of Israel, just as Moses the servant of God had instructed earlier.

34-35 After that, he read out everything written in The Revelation, the Blessing and the Curse, everything in the Book of The Revelation. There wasn’t a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua didn’t read to the entire congregation—men, women, children, and foreigners who had been with them on the journey.

Gibeon

1-2 All the kings west of the Jordan in the hills and foothills and along the Mediterranean seacoast north toward Lebanon—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Girgashites, and Jebusites—got the news. They came together in a coalition to fight against Joshua and Israel under a single command.

3-6 The people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai and cooked up a ruse. They posed as travelers: their donkeys loaded with patched sacks and mended wineskins, threadbare sandals on their feet, tattered clothes on their bodies, nothing but dry crusts and crumbs for food. They came to Joshua at Gilgal and spoke to the men of Israel, “We’ve come from a far-off country; make a covenant with us.”

The men of Israel said to these Hivites, “How do we know you aren’t local people? How could we then make a covenant with you?”

They said to Joshua, “We’ll be your servants.”

Joshua said, “Who are you now? Where did you come from?”

9-11 They said, “From a far-off country, very far away. Your servants came because we’d heard such great things about God, your God—all those things he did in Egypt! And the two Amorite kings across the Jordan, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan, who ruled in Ashtaroth! Our leaders and everybody else in our country told us, ‘Pack up some food for the road and go meet them. Tell them, We’re your servants; make a covenant with us.’

12-13 “This bread was warm from the oven when we packed it and left to come and see you. Now look at it—crusts and crumbs. And our cracked and mended wineskins, good as new when we filled them. And our clothes and sandals, in tatters from the long, hard traveling.”

14 The men of Israel looked them over and accepted the evidence. But they didn’t ask God about it.

15 So Joshua made peace with them and formalized it with a covenant to guarantee their lives. The leaders of the congregation swore to it.

16-18 And then, three days after making this covenant, they learned that they were next-door neighbors who had been living there all along! The People of Israel broke camp and set out; three days later they reached their towns—Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim. But the People of Israel didn’t attack them; the leaders of the congregation had given their word before the God of Israel. But the congregation was up in arms over their leaders.

19-21 The leaders were united in their response to the congregation: “We promised them in the presence of the God of Israel. We can’t lay a hand on them now. But we can do this: We will let them live so we don’t get blamed for breaking our promise.” Then the leaders continued, “We’ll let them live, but they will be woodcutters and water carriers for the entire congregation.”

And that’s what happened; the leaders’ promise was kept.

22-23 But Joshua called the Gibeonites together and said, “Why did you lie to us, telling us, ‘We live far, far away from you,’ when you’re our next-door neighbors? For that you are cursed. From now on it’s menial labor for you—woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”

24-25 They answered Joshua, “We got the message loud and clear that God, your God, commanded through his servant Moses: to give you the whole country and destroy everyone living in it. We were terrified because of you; that’s why we did this. That’s it. We’re at your mercy. Whatever you decide is right for us, do it.”

26-27 And that’s what they did. Joshua delivered them from the power of the People of Israel so they didn’t kill them. But he made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation and for the Altar of God at the place God chooses. They still are.

The Five Kings

10 1-2 It wasn’t long before My-Master-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and destroyed it and its king under a holy curse, just as he had done to Jericho and its king. He also learned that the people of Gibeon had come to terms with Israel and were living as neighbors. He and his people were alarmed: Gibeon was a big city—as big as any with a king and bigger than Ai—and all its men were seasoned fighters.

3-4 Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon: “Come and help me. Let’s attack Gibeon; they’ve joined up with Joshua and the People of Israel.”

So the five Amorite (Western) kings—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon—combined their armies and set out to attack Gibeon.

The men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua camped at Gilgal, “Don’t let us down now! Come up here quickly! Save us! Help us! All the Amorite kings who live up in the hills have ganged up on us.”

7-8 So Joshua set out from Gilgal, his whole army with him—all those tough soldiers! God told him, “Don’t give them a second thought. I’ve put them under your thumb—not one of them will stand up to you.”

9-11 Joshua marched all night from Gilgal and took them by total surprise. God threw them into total confusion before Israel, a major victory at Gibeon. Israel chased them along the ridge to Beth Horon and fought them all the way down to Azekah and Makkedah. As they ran from the People of Israel, down from the Beth Horon ridge and all the way to Azekah, God pitched huge stones on them out of the sky and many died. More died from the hailstones than the People of Israel killed with the sword.

12-13 The day God gave the Amorites up to Israel, Joshua spoke to God, with all Israel listening:

“Stop, Sun, over Gibeon;
Halt, Moon, over Aijalon Valley.”
And Sun stopped,
Moon stood stock still
Until he defeated his enemies.

13-14 (You can find this written in the Book of Jashar.) The sun stopped in its tracks in mid sky; just sat there all day. There’s never been a day like that before or since—God took orders from a human voice! Truly, God fought for Israel.

15 Then Joshua returned, all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

16-17 Meanwhile the five kings had hidden in the cave at Makkedah. Joshua was told, “The five kings have been found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah.”

18-19 Joshua said, “Roll big stones against the mouth of the cave and post guards to keep watch. But don’t you hang around—go after your enemies. Cut off their retreat. Don’t let them back into their cities. God has given them to you.”

20-21 Joshua and the People of Israel then finished them off, total devastation. Only a few got away to the fortified towns. The whole army then returned intact to the camp and to Joshua at Makkedah. There was no criticism that day from the People of Israel!

22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring me those five kings.”

23 They did it. They brought him the five kings from the cave: the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.

24 When they had them all there in front of Joshua, he called up the army and told the field commanders who had been with him, “Come here. Put your feet on the necks of these kings.”

They stepped up and put their feet on their necks.

25 Joshua told them, “Don’t hold back. Don’t be timid. Be strong! Be confident! This is what God will do to all your enemies when you fight them.”

26-27 Then Joshua struck and killed the kings. He hung them on five trees where they remained until evening. At sunset Joshua gave the command. They took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden. They put large stones at the mouth of the cave. The kings are still in there.

No Survivors

28 That same day Joshua captured Makkedah, a massacre that included the king. He carried out the holy curse. No survivors. Makkedah’s king got the same treatment as Jericho’s king.

29-30 Joshua, all Israel with him, moved on from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. God gave Libnah to Israel. They captured city and king and massacred the lot. No survivors. Libnah’s king got the same treatment as Jericho’s king.

31-32 Joshua, all Israel with him, moved on from Libnah to Lachish. He set up camp nearby and attacked. God gave Lachish to Israel. Israel took it in two days and killed everyone. He carried out the holy curse, the same as with Libnah.

33 Horam, king of Gezer, arrived to help Lachish. Joshua attacked him and his army until there was nothing left of them. No survivors.

34-35 Joshua, all Israel with him, moved on from Lachish to Eglon. They set up camp and attacked. They captured it and killed everyone, carrying out the holy curse, the same as they had done with Lachish.

36-37 Joshua, all Israel with him, went up from Eglon to Hebron. He attacked and captured it. They killed everyone, including its king, its villages, and their people. No survivors, the same as with Eglon. They carried out the holy curse on city and people.

38-39 Then Joshua, all Israel with him, turned toward Debir and attacked it. He captured it, its king, and its villages. They killed everyone. They put everyone and everything under the holy curse. No survivors. Debir and its king got the same treatment as Hebron and its king, and Libnah and its king.

40-42 Joshua took the whole country: hills, desert, foothills, and mountain slopes, including all kings. He left no survivors. He carried out the holy curse on everything that breathed, just as God, the God of Israel, had commanded. Joshua’s conquest stretched from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the entire region of Goshen to Gibeon. Joshua took all these kings and their lands in a single campaign because God, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.

43 Then Joshua, all Israel with him, went back to the camp at Gilgal.

11 1-3 When Jabin king of Hazor heard of all this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon; to the king of Shimron; to the king of Acshaph; to all the kings in the northern mountains; to the kings in the valley south of Kinnereth; to the kings in the western foothills and Naphoth Dor; to the Canaanites both east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites below Hermon in the region of Mizpah.

4-5 They came out in full force, all their troops massed together—a huge army, in number like sand on an ocean beach—to say nothing of all the horses and chariots. All these kings met and set up camp together at the Waters of Merom, ready to fight against Israel.

God said to Joshua: “Don’t worry about them. This time tomorrow I’ll hand them over to Israel, all dead. You’ll hamstring their horses. You’ll set fire to their chariots.”

7-9 Joshua, his entire army with him, took them by surprise, falling on them at the Waters of Merom. God gave them to Israel, who struck and chased them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and then to the Valley of Mizpah on the east. No survivors. Joshua treated them following God’s instructions: he hamstrung their horses; he burned up their chariots.

10-11 Then Joshua came back and took Hazor, killing its king. Early on Hazor had been head of all these kingdoms. They killed every person there, carrying out the holy curse—not a breath of life left anywhere. Then he burned down Hazor.

12-14 Joshua captured and massacred all the royal towns with their kings, the holy curse commanded by Moses the servant of God. But Israel didn’t burn the cities that were built on mounds, except for Hazor—Joshua did burn down Hazor. The People of Israel plundered all the loot, including the cattle, from these towns for themselves. But they killed the people—total destruction. They left nothing human that breathed.

15 Just as God commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it. He didn’t leave incomplete one thing that God had commanded Moses.

16-20 Joshua took the whole country: the mountains, the southern desert, all of Goshen, the foothills, the valley (the Arabah), and the Israel mountains with their foothills, from Mount Halak, which towers over the region of Seir, all the way to Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon in the shadows of Mount Hermon. He captured their kings and then killed them. Joshua fought against these kings for a long time. Not one town made peace with the People of Israel, with the one exception of the Hivites who lived in Gibeon. Israel fought and took all the rest. It was God’s idea that they all would stubbornly fight the Israelites so he could put them under the holy curse without mercy. That way he could destroy them just as God had commanded Moses.

21-22 Joshua came out at that time also to root out the Anakim from the hills, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, from the mountains of Judah, from the mountains of Israel. Joshua carried out the holy curse on them and their cities. No Anakim were left in the land of the People of Israel, except in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod—there were a few left there.

23 Joshua took the whole region. He did everything that God had told Moses. Then he parceled it out as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribes.

And Israel had rest from war.

The Defeated Kings

12 These are the kings that the People of Israel defeated and whose land they took on the east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon, with the whole eastern side of the Arabah Valley.

2-3 Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned from Heshbon: His rule extended from Aroer, which sits at the edge of the Arnon Gorge, from the middle of the gorge and over half of Gilead to the Gorge of the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites. His rule included the eastern Arabah Valley from the Sea of Kinnereth to the Arabah Sea (the Salt Sea), eastward toward Beth Jeshimoth and southward to the slopes of Pisgah.

4-5 And Og king of Bashan, one of the last of the Rephaim who reigned from Ashtaroth and Edrei: His rule extended from Mount Hermon and Salecah over the whole of Bashan to the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites (the other half of Gilead) to the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.

Moses the servant of God and the People of Israel defeated them. And Moses the servant of God gave this land as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half of the tribe of Manasseh.

7-24 And these are the kings of the land that Joshua and the People of Israel defeated in the country west of the Jordan, from Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon south to Mount Halak, which towers over Seir. Joshua gave this land to the tribes of Israel as a possession, according to their divisions: lands in the mountains, the western foothills, and the Arabah Valley, on the slopes, and in the wilderness and the Negev desert (lands on which Hittites, Amorites and Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites had lived). The kings were:

The king of Jerichoone
The king of Ai (near Bethel)one
The king of Jerusalemone
The king of Hebronone
The king of Jarmuthone
The king of Lachishone
The king of Eglonone
The king of Gezerone
The king of Debirone
The king of Gederone
The king of Hormahone
The king of Aradone
The king of Libnahone
The king of Adullamone
The king of Makkedahone
The king of Bethelone
The king of Tappuahone
The king of Hepherone
The king of Aphekone
The king of Lasharonone
The king of Madonone
The king of Hazorone
The king of Shimron Meronone
The king of Acshaphone
The king of Taanachone
The king of Megiddoone
The king of Kedeshone
The king of Jokneam in Carmelone
The king of Dor (Naphoth Dor)one
The king of Goyim in Gilgalone
The king of Tirzahone

A total of thirty-one kings.

The Receiving of the Land

13 1-6 When Joshua had reached a venerable age, God said to him, “You’ve had a good, long life, but there is a lot of land still to be taken. This is the land that remains:

all the districts of the Philistines and Geshurites;

the land from the Shihor River east of Egypt to the border of Ekron up north, Canaanite country (there were five Philistine tyrants—in Gaza, in Ashdod, in Ashkelon, in Gath, in Ekron); also the Avvim from the south;

all the Canaanite land from Arah (belonging to the Sidonians) to Aphek at the Amorite border;

the country of the Gebalites;

all Lebanon eastward from Baal Gad in the shadow of Mount Hermon to the Entrance of Hamath;

all who live in the mountains, from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim;

all the Sidonians.

6-7 “I myself will drive them out before the People of Israel. All you have to do is allot this land to Israel as an inheritance, as I have instructed you. Do it now: Allot this land as an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”

Land East of the Jordan

The other half-tribe of Manasseh, with the Reubenites and Gadites, had been given their inheritance by Moses on the other side of the Jordan eastward. Moses the servant of God gave it to them.

9-13 This land extended from Aroer at the edge of the Arnon Gorge and the city in the middle of the valley, taking in the entire tableland of Medeba as far as Dibon, and all the towns of Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled from Heshbon, and out to the border of the Ammonites. It also included Gilead, the country of the people of Geshur and Maacah, all of Mount Hermon, and all Bashan as far as Salecah—the whole kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei. He was one of the last survivors of the Rephaim. Moses had defeated them and taken their land. The People of Israel never did drive out the Geshurites and the Maacathites—they’re still there, living in Israel.

14 Levi was the only tribe that did not receive an inheritance. The Fire-Gift-Offerings to God, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, just as he told them.

Reuben

15-22 To the tribe of Reuben, clan by clan, Moses gave:

the land from Aroer at the edge of the Arnon Gorge and the town in the middle of the valley, including the tableland around Medeba;

Heshbon on the tableland with all its towns (Dibon, Bamoth Baal, Beth Baal Meon, Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, Kiriathaim, Sibmah, Zereth Shahar on Valley Mountain, Beth Peor, the slopes of Pisgah, Beth Jeshimoth);

and all the cities of the tableland, the whole kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled at Heshbon, whom Moses put to death along with the princes of Midian: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, who lived in that country, all puppets of Sihon. (In addition to those killed in battle, Balaam son of Beor, the soothsayer, was put to death by the People of Israel.)

23 The boundary for the Reubenites was the bank of the Jordan River. This was the inheritance of the Reubenites, their villages and cities, according to their clans.

Gad

24-27 To the tribe of Gad, clan by clan, Moses gave:

the territory of Jazer and all the towns of Gilead and half the Ammonite country as far as Aroer near Rabbah;

the land from Heshbon to Ramath Mizpah and Betonim, and from Mahanaim to the region of Debir;

in the valley: Beth Haram, Beth Nimrah, Succoth, and Zaphon, with the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon (the east side of the Jordan, north to the end of the Sea of Kinnereth).

28 This was the inheritance of the Gadites, their cities and villages, clan by clan.

Half-Tribe of Manasseh

29-31 To the half-tribe of Manasseh, clan by clan, Moses gave:

the land stretching out from Mahanaim;

all of Bashan, which is the entire kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the settlements of Jair in Bashan—sixty towns in all.

Half of Gilead with Ashtaroth and Edrei, the royal cities of Og in Bashan, belong to the descendants of Makir, a son of Manasseh (in other words, the half-tribe of the children of Makir) for their clans.

32-33 This is the inheritance that Moses gave out when he was on the plains of Moab across the Jordan east of Jericho. But Moses gave no inheritance to the tribe of Levi. God, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, just as he told them.

Land West of the Jordan

14 1-2 Here are the inheritance allotments that the People of Israel received in the land of Canaan. Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the family clans made the allotments. Each inheritance was assigned by lot to the nine and a half tribes, just as God had commanded Moses.

3-4 Moses had given the two and a half tribes their inheritance east of the Jordan, but hadn’t given an inheritance to the Levites, as he had to the others. Because the sons of Joseph had become two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, they gave no allotment to the Levites; but they did give them cities to live in with pasture rights for their flocks and herds.

The People of Israel followed through exactly as God had commanded Moses. They apportioned the land.

Caleb

6-12 The people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite spoke: “You’ll remember what God said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me back at Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of God sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land. And I brought back an honest and accurate report. My companions who went with me discouraged the people, but I stuck to my guns, totally with God, my God. That was the day that Moses solemnly promised, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance, you and your children’s, forever. Yes, you have lived totally for God.’ Now look at me: God has kept me alive, as he promised. It is now forty-five years since God spoke this word to Moses, years in which Israel wandered in the wilderness. And here I am today, eighty-five years old! I’m as strong as I was the day Moses sent me out. I’m as strong as ever in battle, whether coming or going. So give me this hill country that God promised me. You yourself heard the report, that the Anakim were there with their great fortress cities. If God goes with me, I will drive them out, just as God said.”

13-14 Joshua blessed him. He gave Hebron to Caleb son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. Hebron belongs to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite still today, because he gave himself totally to God, the God of Israel.

15 The name of Hebron used to be Kiriath Arba, named after Arba, the greatest man among the Anakim.

And the land had rest from war.

Judah

15 The lot for the people of Judah, their clans, extended south to the border of Edom, to the wilderness of Zin in the extreme south.

2-4 The southern border ran from the tip of the Salt Sea south of The Tongue; it ran southward from Scorpions Pass, went around Zin and just south of Kadesh Barnea; then it ran past Hezron, ascended to Addar, and curved around to Karka; from there it passed along to Azmon, came out at the Brook of Egypt, ending at the Sea. This is the southern boundary.

5-11 The eastern boundary: the Salt Sea up to the mouth of the Jordan.

The northern boundary started at the shallows of the Sea at the mouth of the Jordan, went up to Beth Hoglah and around to the north of Beth Arabah and to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. The border then ascended to Debir from Trouble Valley and turned north toward Gilgal, which lies opposite Red Pass, just south of the gorge. The border then followed the Waters of En Shemesh and ended at En Rogel. The border followed the Valley of Ben Hinnom along the southern slope of the Jebusite ridge (that is, Jerusalem). It ascended to the top of the mountain opposite Hinnom Valley on the west, at the northern end of Rephaim Valley; the border then took a turn at the top of the mountain to the spring, the Waters of Nephtoah, and followed the valley out to Mount Ephron, turned toward Baalah (that is, Kiriath Jearim), took another turn west of Baalah to Mount Seir, curved around to the northern shoulder of Mount Jearim (that is, Kesalon), descended to Beth Shemesh, and crossed to Timnah. The border then went north to the ridge of Ekron, turned toward Shikkeron, passed along to Mount Baalah, and came out at Jabneel. The border ended at the Sea.

12 The western border: the coastline of the Great Sea.

This is the boundary around the people of Judah for their clans.

13 Joshua gave Caleb son of Jephunneh a section among the people of Judah, according to God’s command. He gave him Kiriath Arba, that is, Hebron. Arba was the ancestor of Anak.

14-15 Caleb drove out three Anakim from Hebron: Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, all descendants of Anak. He marched up from there against the people of Debir. Debir used to be called Kiriath Sepher.

16-17 Caleb said, “Whoever attacks Kiriath Sepher and takes it, I’ll give my daughter Acsah to him as his wife.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave him his daughter Acsah as his wife.

18-19 When she arrived she got him
    to ask for farmland from her father.
As she dismounted from her donkey
    Caleb asked her, “What would you like?”
She said, “Give me a marriage gift.
    You’ve given me desert land;
Now give me pools of water!”
    And he gave her the upper and the lower pools.

20-32 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the people of Judah, clan by clan.

The southern towns of the tribe of Judah in the Negev were near the boundary of Edom:

Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur,
Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah,
Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan,
Ziph, Telem, Bealoth,
Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (that is, Hazor),
Amam, Shema, Moladah,
Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet,
Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah,
Baalah, Iim, Ezem,
Eltolad, Kesil, Hormah,
Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah,
Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon—
    a total of twenty-nine towns and their villages.

33-47 In the Shephelah (the western foothills) there were:
Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah,
Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam,
Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah,
Shaaraim, Adithaim, and Gederah (or Gederothaim)—
    fourteen towns and their villages.
Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad,
Dilean, Mizpah, Joktheel,
Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon,
Cabbon, Lahmas, Kitlish,
Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah—
    sixteen towns and their villages.
Libnah, Ether, Ashan,
Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib,
Keilah, Aczib, and Mareshah—
    nine towns and their villages.
Ekron with its towns and villages;
From Ekron, west to the sea, all that bordered Ashdod with its villages;
Ashdod with its towns and villages;
Gaza with its towns and villages all the way to the Brook of Egypt.
The Great Sea is the western border.

48-60 In the hill country:
Shamir, Jattir, Socoh,
Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (that is, Debir),
Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim,
Goshen, Holon, and Giloh—
    eleven towns and their villages.
Arab, Dumah, Eshan,
Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah,
Humtah, Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior—
    nine towns and their villages.
Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah,
Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah,
Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah—
    ten towns and their villages.
Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor,
Maarath, Beth Anoth, and Eltekon—
    six towns and their villages.
Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim) and Rabbah—
    two towns and their villages.

61-62 In the wilderness:
Beth Arabah, Middin, Secacah,
Nibshan, the City of Salt, and En Gedi—
    six towns and their villages.

63 The people of Judah couldn’t get rid of the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem. The Jebusites stayed put, living alongside the people of Judah. They are still living there in Jerusalem.

Joseph

16 1-3 The lot for the people of Joseph went from the Jordan near Jericho, east of the spring of Jericho, north through the desert mountains to Bethel. It went on from Bethel (that is, Luz) to the territory of the Arkites in Ataroth. It then descended westward to the territory of the Japhletites to the region of Lower Beth Horon and on to Gezer, ending at the Sea.

This is the region from which the people of Joseph—Manasseh and Ephraim—got their inheritance.

5-9 Ephraim’s territory by clans:

The boundary of their inheritance went from Ataroth Addar in the east to Upper Beth Horon and then west to the Sea. From Micmethath on the north it turned eastward to Taanath Shiloh and passed along, still eastward, to Janoah. The border then descended from Janoah to Ataroth and Naarah; it touched Jericho and came out at the Jordan. From Tappuah the border went westward to the Brook Kanah and ended at the Sea. This was the inheritance of the tribe of Ephraim by clans, including the cities set aside for Ephraim within the inheritance of Manasseh—all those towns and their villages.

10 But they didn’t get rid of the Canaanites who were living in Gezer. Canaanites are still living among the people of Ephraim, but they are made to do forced labor.

17 1-2 This is the lot that fell to the people of Manasseh, Joseph’s firstborn. (Gilead and Bashan had already been given to Makir, Manasseh’s firstborn and father of Gilead, because he was an outstanding fighter.) So the lot that follows went to the rest of the people of Manasseh and their clans, the clans of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida. These are the male descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph by their clans.

3-4 Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters. Their names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They went to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders and said, “God commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our kinsmen.” And Joshua did it; he gave them, as God commanded, an inheritance amid their father’s brothers.

5-6 Manasseh’s lot came to ten portions, in addition to the land of Gilead and Bashan on the other side of the Jordan, because Manasseh’s daughters got an inheritance along with his sons. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the people of Manasseh.

7-10 The boundary of Manasseh went from Asher all the way to Micmethath, just opposite Shechem, then ran southward to the people living at En Tappuah. (The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but Tappuah itself on the border of Manasseh belonged to the Ephraimites.) The boundary continued south to the Brook Kanah. (The cities there belonged to Ephraim although they lay among the cities of Manasseh.) The boundary of Manasseh ran north of the brook and ended at the Sea. The land to the south belonged to Ephraim; the land to the north to Manasseh, with the Sea as their western border; they meet Asher on the north and Issachar on the east.

11 Within Issachar and Asher, Manasseh also held Beth Shan, Ibleam, and the people of Dor, Endor, Taanach, and Megiddo, together with their villages, and the third in the list is Naphoth.

12-13 The people of Manasseh never were able to take over these towns—the Canaanites wouldn’t budge. But later, when the Israelites got stronger, they put the Canaanites to forced labor. But they never did get rid of them.

14 The people of Joseph spoke to Joshua: “Why did you give us just one allotment, one solitary share? There are a lot of us, and growing—God has extravagantly blessed us.”

15 Joshua responded, “Since there are so many of you, and you find the hill country of Ephraim too confining, climb into the forest and clear ground there for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim.”

16 But the people of Joseph said, “There’s not enough hill country for us; and the Canaanites who live down in the plain, both those in Beth Shan and its villages and in the Valley of Jezreel, have iron chariots.”

17-18 Joshua said to the family of Joseph (to Ephraim and Manasseh): “Yes, there are a lot of you, and you are very strong. One lot is not enough for you. You also get the hill country. It’s nothing but trees now, but you will clear the land and make it your own from one end to the other. The powerful Canaanites, even with their iron chariots, won’t stand a chance against you.”

The Shiloh Survey

18 1-2 Then the entire congregation of the People of Israel got together at Shiloh. They put up the Tent of Meeting.

The land was under their control but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had yet to receive their inheritance.

3-5 Joshua addressed the People of Israel: “How long are you going to sit around on your hands, putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors, has given you? Pick three men from each tribe so I can commission them. They will survey and map the land, showing the inheritance due each tribe, and report back to me. They will divide it into seven parts. Judah will stay in its territory in the south and the people of Joseph will keep to their place in the north.

“You are responsible for preparing a survey map showing seven portions. Then bring it to me so that I can cast lots for you here in the presence of our God.

“Only the Levites get no portion among you because the priesthood of God is their inheritance. And Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh already have their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan, given to them by Moses the servant of God.”

So the men set out. As they went out to survey the land, Joshua charged them: “Go. Survey the land and map it. Then come back to me and I will cast lots for you here at Shiloh in the presence of God.”

So off the men went. They covered the ground and mapped the country by towns in a scroll. Then they reported back to Joshua at the camp at Shiloh.

10 Joshua cast the lots for them at Shiloh in the presence of God. That’s where Joshua divided up the land to the People of Israel, according to their tribal divisions.

Benjamin

11 The first lot turned up for the tribe of Benjamin with its clans. The border of the allotment went between the peoples of Judah and Joseph.

12-13 The northern border began at the Jordan, then went up to the ridge north of Jericho, ascending west into the hill country into the wilderness of Beth Aven. From there the border went around to Luz, to its southern ridge (that is, Bethel), and then down from Ataroth Addar to the mountain to the south of Lower Beth Horon.

14 There the border took a turn on the west side and swung south from the mountain to the south of Beth Horon and ended at Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim), a town of the people of Judah. This was the west side.

15-19 The southern border began at the edge of Kiriath Jearim on the west, then ran west until it reached the spring, the Waters of Nephtoah. It then descended to the foot of the mountain opposite the Valley of Ben Hinnom (which flanks the Valley of Rephaim to the north), descended to the Hinnom Valley, just south of the Jebusite ridge, and went on to En Rogel. From there it curved north to En Shemesh and Geliloth, opposite the Red Pass (Adummim), down to the Stone of Bohan the son of Reuben, continued toward the north flank of Beth Arabah, then plunged to the Arabah. It then followed the slope of Beth Hoglah north and came out at the northern bay of the Salt Sea—the south end of the Jordan. This was the southern border.

20 The east border was formed by the Jordan.

This was the inheritance of the people of Benjamin for their clans, marked by these borders on all sides.

21-28 The cities of the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, were:

Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz,
Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel,
Avvim, Parah, Ophrah,
Kephar Ammoni, Ophni, and Geba—
    twelve towns with their villages.
Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth,
Mizpah, Kephirah, Mozah,
Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah,
Zelah, Haeleph, the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, and Kiriath Jearim—
    fourteen cities with their villages. This was the inheritance for Benjamin, according to its clans.

Simeon

19 1-8 The second lot went to Simeon for its clans. Their inheritance was within the territory of Judah. In their inheritance they had:

Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah,
Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem,
Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah,
Ziklag, Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susah,
Beth Lebaoth, and Sharuhen—
    thirteen towns and their villages.
Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan—
    four towns and their villages—plus all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath Beer, the Ramah of the Negev.

8-9 This is the inheritance of the tribe of Simeon according to its clans. The inheritance of Simeon came out of the share of Judah, because Judah’s portion turned out to be more than they needed. That’s how the people of Simeon came to get their lot from within Judah’s portion.

Zebulun

10-15 The third lot went to Zebulun, clan by clan:

The border of their inheritance went all the way to Sarid. It ran west to Maralah, met Dabbesheth, and then went to the brook opposite Jokneam. In the other direction from Sarid, the border ran east; it followed the sunrise to the border of Kisloth Tabor, on to Daberath and up to Japhia. It continued east to Gath Hepher and Eth Kazin, came out at Rimmon, and turned toward Neah. There the border went around on the north to Hannathon and ran out into the Valley of Iphtah El. It included Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem—twelve cities with their villages.

16 This is the inheritance of the people of Zebulun for their clans—these towns and their villages.

Issachar

17-21 The fourth lot went to Issachar, clan by clan. Their territory included:

Jezreel, Kesulloth, Shunem,
Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath,
Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez,
Remeth, En Gannim, En Haddah, and Beth Pazzez.

22 The boundary touched Tabor, Shahazumah, and Beth Shemesh and ended at the Jordan—sixteen towns and their villages.

23 These towns with their villages were the inheritance of the tribe of Issachar, clan by clan.

Asher

24 The fifth lot went to the tribe of Asher, clan by clan:

25-30 Their territory included Helkath, Hali, Beten, Acshaph, Allammelech, Amad, and Mishal. The western border touched Carmel and Shihor Libnath, then turned east toward Beth Dagon, touched Zebulun and the Valley of Iphtah El, and went north to Beth Emek and Neiel, skirting Cabul on the left. It went on to Abdon, Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, all the way to Greater Sidon. The border circled back toward Ramah, extended to the fort city of Tyre, turned toward Hosah, and came out at the Sea in the region of Aczib, Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob—twenty-two towns and their villages.

31 These towns and villages were the inheritance of the tribe of Asher, clan by clan.

Naphtali

32 The sixth lot came to Naphtali and its clans.

33 Their border ran from Heleph, from the oak at Zaanannim, passing Adami Nekeb and Jabneel to Lakkum and ending at the Jordan.

34 The border returned on the west at Aznoth Tabor and came out at Hukkok, meeting Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west, and the Jordan on the east.

The fort cities were:

35-38 Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinnereth,
Adamah, Ramah, Hazor,
Kedesh, Edrei, En Hazor,
Iron, Migdal El, Horem, Beth Anath, and Beth Shemesh—
    nineteen towns and their villages.

39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of Naphtali, the cities and their villages, clan by clan.

Dan

40-46 The seventh lot fell to Dan. The territory of their inheritance included:

Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir Shemesh,
Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah,
Elon, Timnah, Ekron,
Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath,
Jehud, Bene Berak, Gath Rimmon,
Me Jarkon, and Rakkon, with the region facing Joppa.

47 But the people of Dan failed to get rid of the Westerners (Amorites), who pushed them back into the hills. The Westerners kept them out of the plain and they didn’t have enough room. So the people of Dan marched up and attacked Leshem. They took it, killed the inhabitants, and settled in. They renamed it Leshem Dan after the name of Dan their ancestor.

48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of Dan, according to its clans, these towns with their villages.

49-50 They completed the dividing of the land as inheritance and the setting of its boundaries. The People of Israel then gave an inheritance among them to Joshua son of Nun. In obedience to God’s word, they gave him the city which he had requested, Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. He rebuilt the city and settled there.

51 These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun and the ancestral leaders assigned by lot to the tribes of Israel at Shiloh in the presence of God at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. They completed the dividing of the land.

Asylum-Cities

20 1-3 Then God spoke to Joshua: “Tell the People of Israel: Designate the asylum-cities, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally—that is, unintentionally—may flee there as a safe place of asylum from the avenger of blood.

“A person shall escape for refuge to one of these cities, stand at the entrance to the city gate, and lay out his case before the city’s leaders. The leaders must then take him into the city among them and give him a place to live with them.

5-6 “If the avenger of blood chases after him, they must not give him up—he didn’t intend to kill the person; there was no history of ill-feeling. He may stay in that city until he has stood trial before the congregation and until the death of the current high priest. Then he may go back to his own home in his hometown from which he fled.”

They set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hills of Naphtali, Shechem in the hills of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hills of Judah.

8-9 On the other side of the Jordan, east of Jericho, they designated Bezer on the desert plateau from the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh. These were the designated cities for the People of Israel and any resident foreigner living among them, so that anyone who killed someone unintentionally could flee there and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood without a fair trial before the congregation.

Cities for the Levites

21 1-2 The ancestral heads of the Levites came to Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun and to the heads of the other tribes of the People of Israel. This took place at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. They said, “God commanded through Moses that you give us cities to live in with access to pastures for our cattle.”

So the People of Israel, out of their own inheritance, gave the Levites, just as God commanded, the following cities and pastures:

4-5 The lot came out for the families of the Kohathites this way: Levites descended from Aaron the priest received by lot thirteen cities out of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. The rest of the Kohathites received by lot ten cities from the families of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

The Gershonites received by lot thirteen cities from the families of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.

The families of the Merarites received twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.

So the People of Israel gave these cities with their pastures to the Levites just as God had ordered through Moses, that is, by lot.

Cities for the Descendants of Aaron

9-10 They assigned from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin the following towns, here named individually (these were for the descendants of Aaron who were from the families of the Kohathite branch of Levi because the first lot fell to them):

11-12 Kiriath Arba (Arba was the ancestor of Anak), that is, Hebron, in the hills of Judah, with access to the pastures around it. The fields of the city and its open lands they had already given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.

13-16 To the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron (the asylum-city for the unconvicted killers), Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, Holon, Debir, Ain, Juttah, and Beth Shemesh, all with their accompanying pastures—nine towns from these two tribes.

17-18 And from the tribe of Benjamin: Gibeon, Geba, Anathoth, and Almon, together with their pastures—four towns.

19 The total for the cities and pastures for the priests descended from Aaron came to thirteen.

20-22 The rest of the Kohathite families from the tribe of Levi were assigned their cities by lot from the tribe of Ephraim: Shechem (the asylum-city for the unconvicted killer) in the hills of Ephraim, Gezer, Kibzaim, and Beth Horon, with their pastures—four towns.

23-24 From the tribe of Dan they received Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Aijalon, and Gath Rimmon, all with their pastures—four towns.

25 And from the half-tribe of Manasseh they received Taanach and Gath Rimmon with their pastures—two towns.

26 All told, ten cities with their pastures went to the remaining Kohathite families.

27 The Gershonite families of the tribe of Levi were given from the half-tribe of Manasseh: Golan in Bashan (an asylum-city for the unconvicted killer), and Be Eshtarah, with their pastures—two cities.

28-29 And from the tribe of Issachar: Kishion, Daberath, Jarmuth, and En Gannim, with their pastures—four towns.

30-31 From the tribe of Asher: Mishal, Abdon, Helkath, and Rehob, with their pastures—four towns.

32 From the tribe of Naphtali: Kedesh in Galilee (an asylum-city for the unconvicted killer), Hammoth Dor, and Kartan, with their pastures—three towns.

33 For the Gershonites and their families: thirteen towns with their pastures.

34-35 The Merari families, the remaining Levites, were given from the tribe of Zebulun: Jokneam, Kartah, Dimnah, and Nahalal, with their pastures—four cities.

36-37 From the tribe of Reuben: Bezer, Jahaz, Kedemoth, and Mephaath, with their pastures—four towns.

38-39 From the tribe of Gad: Ramoth in Gilead (an asylum-city for the unconvicted killer), Mahanaim, Heshbon, and Jazer, with their pastures—a total of four towns.

40 All these towns were assigned by lot to the Merarites, the remaining Levites—twelve towns.

41-42 The Levites held forty-eight towns with their accompanying pastures within the territory of the People of Israel. Each of these towns had pastures surrounding it—this was the case for all these towns.

43-44 And so God gave Israel the entire land that he had solemnly vowed to give to their ancestors. They took possession of it and made themselves at home in it. And God gave them rest on all sides, as he had also solemnly vowed to their ancestors. Not a single one of their enemies was able to stand up to them—God handed over all their enemies to them.

45 Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right.

22 1-5 Then Joshua called together the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He said: “You have carried out everything Moses the servant of God commanded you, and you have obediently done everything I have commanded you. All this time and right down to this very day you have not abandoned your brothers; you’ve shouldered the task laid on you by God, your God. And now God, your God, has given rest to your brothers just as he promised them. You’re now free to go back to your homes, the country of your inheritance that Moses the servant of God gave you on the other side of the Jordan. Only this: Be vigilant in keeping the Commandment and The Revelation that Moses the servant of God laid on you: Love God, your God, walk in all his ways, do what he’s commanded, embrace him, serve him with everything you are and have.”

6-7 Then Joshua blessed them and sent them on their way. They went home. (To the half-tribe of Manasseh, Moses had assigned a share in Bashan. To the other half, Joshua assigned land with their brothers west of the Jordan.)

7-8 When Joshua sent them off to their homes, he blessed them. He said: “Go home. You’re going home rich—great herds of cattle, silver and gold, bronze and iron, huge piles of clothing. Share the wealth with your friends and families—all this plunder from your enemies!”

The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the People of Israel at Shiloh in the land of Canaan to return to Gilead, the land of their possession, which they had taken under the command of Moses as ordered by God.

10 They arrived at Geliloth on the Jordan (touching on Canaanite land). There the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar on the banks of the Jordan—a huge altar!

11 The People of Israel heard of it: “What’s this? The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar facing the land of Canaan at Geliloth on the Jordan, across from the People of Israel!”

12-14 When the People of Israel heard this, the entire congregation mustered at Shiloh to go to war against them. They sent Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (that is, to the land of Gilead). Accompanying him were ten chiefs, one chief for each of the ten tribes, each the head of his ancestral family. They represented the military divisions of Israel.

15-18 They went to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh and spoke to them: “The entire congregation of God wants to know: What is this violation against the God of Israel that you have committed, turning your back on God and building your own altar—a blatant act of rebellion against God? Wasn’t the crime of Peor enough for us? Why, to this day we aren’t rid of it, still living with the fallout of the plague on the congregation of God! Look at you—turning your back on God! If you rebel against God today, tomorrow he’ll vent his anger on all of us, the entire congregation of Israel.

19-20 “If you think the land of your possession isn’t holy enough but somehow contaminated, come back over to God’s possession, where God’s Dwelling is set up, and take your land there, but don’t rebel against God. And don’t rebel against us by building your own altar apart from the Altar of our God. When Achan son of Zerah violated the holy curse, didn’t anger fall on the whole congregation of Israel? He wasn’t the only one to die for his sin.”

21-22 The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh replied to the heads of the tribes of Israel:

The God of Gods is God,
The God of Gods is God!

22-23 “He knows and he’ll let Israel know if this is a rebellious betrayal of God. And if it is, don’t bother saving us. If we built ourselves an altar in rebellion against God, if we did it to present on it Whole-Burnt-Offerings or Grain-Offerings or to enact there sacrificial Peace-Offerings, let God decide.

24-25 “But that’s not it. We did it because we cared. We were anxious lest someday your children should say to our children, ‘You’re not connected with God, the God of Israel! God made the Jordan a boundary between us and you. You Reubenites and Gadites have no part in God.’ And then your children might cause our children to quit worshiping God.

26 “So we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s do something. Let’s build an altar—but not for Whole-Burnt-Offerings, not for sacrifices.’

27 “We built this altar as a witness between us and you and our children coming after us, a witness to the Altar where we worship God in his Sacred Dwelling with our Whole-Burnt-Offerings and our sacrifices and our Peace-Offerings.

“This way, your children won’t be able to say to our children in the future, ‘You have no part in God.’

28 “We said to ourselves, ‘If anyone speaks disparagingly to us or to our children in the future, we’ll say: Look at this model of God’s Altar which our ancestors made. It’s not for Whole-Burnt-Offerings, not for sacrifices. It’s a witness connecting us with you.’

29 “Rebelling against or turning our backs on God is the last thing on our minds right now. We never dreamed of building an altar for Whole-Burnt-Offerings or Grain-Offerings to rival the Altar of our God in front of his Sacred Dwelling.”

30 Phinehas the priest, all the heads of the congregation, and the heads of the military divisions of Israel who were also with him heard what the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had to say. They were satisfied.

31 Priest Phinehas son of Eleazar said to Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, “Now we’re convinced that God is present with us since you haven’t been disloyal to God in this matter. You saved the People of Israel from God’s discipline.”

32-33 Then Priest Phinehas son of Eleazar left the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (from Gilead) and, with the chiefs, returned to the land of Canaan to the People of Israel and gave a full report. They were pleased with the report. The People of Israel blessed God—there was no more talk of attacking and destroying the land in which the Reubenites and Gadites were living.

34 Reuben and Gad named the altar:

A Witness Between Us.
God Alone Is God.

Joshua’s Charge

23 1-2 A long time later, after God had given Israel rest from all their surrounding enemies, and Joshua was a venerable old man, Joshua called all Israel together—elders, chiefs, judges, and officers. Then he spoke to them:

2-3 “I’m an old man. I’ve lived a long time. You have seen everything that God has done to these nations because of you. He did it because he’s God, your God. He fought for you.

4-5 “Stay alert: I have assigned to you by lot these nations that remain as an inheritance to your tribes—these in addition to the nations I have already cut down—from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. God, your God, will drive them out of your path until there’s nothing left of them and you’ll take over their land just as God, your God, promised you.

6-8 “Now, stay strong and steady. Obediently do everything written in the Book of The Revelation of Moses—don’t miss a detail. Don’t get mixed up with the nations that are still around. Don’t so much as speak the names of their gods or swear by them. And by all means don’t worship or pray to them. Hold tight to God, your God, just as you’ve done up to now.

9-10 God has driven out superpower nations before you. And up to now, no one has been able to stand up to you. Think of it—one of you, single-handedly, putting a thousand on the run! Because God is God, your God. Because he fights for you, just as he promised you.

11-13 “Now, vigilantly guard your souls: Love God, your God. Because if you wander off and start taking up with these remaining nations still among you (intermarry, say, and have other dealings with them), know for certain that God, your God, will not get rid of these nations for you. They’ll be nothing but trouble to you—horsewhips on your backs and sand in your eyes—until you’re the ones who will be driven out of this good land that God, your God, has given you.

14 “As you can see, I’m about to go the way we all end up going. Know this with all your heart, with everything in you, that not one detail has failed of all the good things God, your God, promised you. It has all happened. Nothing’s left undone—not so much as a word.

15-16 “But just as sure as everything good that God, your God, has promised has come true, so also God will bring to pass every bad thing until there’s nothing left of you in this good land that God has given you. If you leave the path of the Covenant of God, your God, that he commanded you, go off and serve and worship other gods, God’s anger will blaze out against you. In no time at all there’ll be nothing left of you, no sign that you’ve ever been in this good land he gave you.”

The Covenant at Shechem

24 1-2 Joshua called together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He called in the elders, chiefs, judges, and officers. They presented themselves before God. Then Joshua addressed all the people:

2-6 “This is what God, the God of Israel, says: A long time ago your ancestors, Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor, lived to the east of the River Euphrates. They worshiped other gods. I took your ancestor Abraham from the far side of The River. I led him all over the land of Canaan and multiplied his descendants. I gave him Isaac. Then I gave Isaac Jacob and Esau. I let Esau have the mountains of Seir as home, but Jacob and his sons ended up in Egypt. I sent Moses and Aaron. I hit Egypt hard with plagues and then led you out of there. I brought your ancestors out of Egypt. You came to the sea, the Egyptians in hot pursuit with chariots and cavalry, to the very edge of the Red Sea!

7-10 “Then they cried out for help to God. He put a cloud between you and the Egyptians and then let the sea loose on them. It drowned them.

“You watched the whole thing with your own eyes, what I did to Egypt. And then you lived in the wilderness for a long time. I brought you to the country of the Amorites, who lived east of the Jordan, and they fought you. But I fought for you and you took their land. I destroyed them for you. Then Balak son of Zippor made his appearance. He was the king of Moab. He got ready to fight Israel by sending for Balaam son of Beor to come and curse you. But I wouldn’t listen to Balaam—he ended up blessing you over and over! I saved you from him.

11 “You then crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The Jericho leaders ganged up on you as well as the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites, but I turned them over to you.

12 “I sent the Hornet ahead of you. It drove out the two Amorite kings—did your work for you. You didn’t have to do a thing, not so much as raise a finger.

13 “I handed you a land for which you did not work, towns you did not build. And here you are now living in them and eating from vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.

14 “So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped on the far side of The River (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God.

15 “If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve—and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.”

16 The people answered, “We’d never forsake God! Never! We’d never leave God to worship other gods.

17-18 God is our God! He brought up our ancestors from Egypt and from slave conditions. He did all those great signs while we watched. He has kept his eye on us all along the roads we’ve traveled and among the nations we’ve passed through. Just for us he drove out all the nations, Amorites and all, who lived in the land.

“Count us in: We too are going to worship God. He’s our God.”

19-20 Then Joshua told the people: “You can’t do it; you’re not able to worship God. He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He won’t put up with your fooling around and sinning. When you leave God and take up the worship of foreign gods, he’ll turn right around and come down on you hard. He’ll put an end to you—and after all the good he has done for you!”

21 But the people told Joshua: “No! No! We worship God!”

22 And so Joshua addressed the people: “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen God for yourselves—to worship him.”

And they said, “We are witnesses.”

23 Joshua said, “Now get rid of all the foreign gods you have with you. Say an unqualified Yes to God, the God of Israel.”

24 The people answered Joshua, “We will worship God. What he says, we’ll do.”

25-26 Joshua completed a Covenant for the people that day there at Shechem. He made it official, spelling it out in detail. Joshua wrote out all the directions and regulations into the Book of The Revelation of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up under the oak that was in the holy place of God.

27 Joshua spoke to all the people: “This stone is a witness against us. It has heard every word that God has said to us. It is a standing witness against you lest you cheat on your God.”

28 Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his own place of inheritance.

29-30 After all this, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of God, died. He was 110 years old. They buried him in the land of his inheritance at Timnath Serah in the mountains of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

31 Israel served God through the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him, who had themselves experienced all that God had done for Israel.

32 Joseph’s bones, which the People of Israel had brought from Egypt, they buried in Shechem in the plot of ground that Jacob had purchased from the sons of Hamor (who was the father of Shechem). He paid a hundred silver coins for it. It belongs to the inheritance of the family of Joseph.

33 Eleazar son of Aaron died. They buried him at Gibeah, which had been allotted to his son Phinehas in the mountains of Ephraim.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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