Tribes beyond Jordan Return

22 (A)Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and said to them, “You have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, (B)and have listened to my voice in all that I commanded you. You have not abandoned your brothers these many days to this day, but have fulfilled the obligation of the commandment of the Lord your God. And now (C)the Lord your God has given rest to your brothers, as He spoke to them; therefore turn now and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan. Only be very careful to [a]follow the commandment and the Law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to (D)love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways, and keep His commandments and cling to Him, and serve Him (E)with all your heart and with all your soul.” So Joshua (F)blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.

Now (G)to the one half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but (H)to the other half Joshua gave a possession among their brothers westward beyond the Jordan. So when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he also blessed them, and said to [b]them, “Return to your tents with great riches and with very many livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, iron, and with very many clothes; (I)divide the spoils of your enemies with your brothers.” So the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned home, [c]leaving the sons of Israel at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the (J)land of Gilead, to the land of their possession in which they had settled, in accordance with the [d]command of the Lord [e]through Moses.

The Offensive Altar

10 When they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan, the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan, [f]a large altar in appearance. 11 But the sons of Israel [g]heard a report: “Behold, the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have (K)built an altar at the [h]frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan, on the side belonging to the sons of Israel.” 12 And when the sons of Israel heard about it, the entire congregation of the sons of Israel assembled at (L)Shiloh to go up against them in battle.

13 Then the sons of Israel sent to the sons of Reuben, to the sons of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, (M)Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, 14 and with him ten leaders, one leader for each father’s household from each of the tribes of Israel; and (N)each one of them was the head of his father’s household among the [i]thousands of Israel. 15 They came to the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying, 16 “This is what the whole congregation of the Lord says: ‘What is this unfaithful act which you have committed against the God of Israel, turning away from following the Lord this day, by (O)building yourselves an altar, to rebel against the Lord this day? 17 Is (P)the wrongdoing of Peor [j]not enough for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day, although [k]a plague came on the congregation of the Lord, 18 that you must turn away this day from following the Lord? If you rebel against the Lord today, (Q)He will be angry with the entire congregation of Israel tomorrow. 19 If, however, the land of your possession is unclean, then [l]cross into the land of the possession of the Lord, where the Lords [m]tabernacle [n]stands, and settle among us. Only do not rebel against the Lord, or rebel against us, by (R)building an altar for yourselves besides the altar of the Lord our God. 20 Did (S)Achan the son of Zerah not act unfaithfully in the things designated for destruction, and wrath fall on the entire congregation of Israel? So that man did not perish alone in his guilt.’”

21 Then the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered and spoke to the heads of the [o]families of Israel. 22 “The (T)Mighty One, God, the Lord, the Mighty One, God, the Lord! (U)He knows, and may Israel itself know. If it was in rebellion, or if in an unfaithful act against the Lord, do not save us this day! 23 If we have built us an altar to turn away from following the Lord, or if to (V)offer a burnt offering or grain offering on it, or if to offer sacrifices of peace offerings on it, may the Lord Himself [p]demand it. 24 But truly we have done this out of concern, [q]for a reason, saying, ‘In time to come your sons may say to our [r]sons, “What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25 For the Lord has made the Jordan a border between us and you, you sons of Reuben and sons of Gad; you have no portion in the Lord.” So your sons may make our sons stop fearing the Lord.’

26 “Therefore we said, ‘Let’s [s]build an altar, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; 27 rather, it shall be (W)a witness between us and you and between our generations after us, that we are to (X)perform the service of the Lord before Him with our burnt offerings, our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings, so that your sons will not say to our sons in time to come, “You have no portion in the Lord.”’ 28 Therefore we said, ‘It shall also come about if they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say, “See the copy of the altar of the Lord which our fathers made, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; rather, it is a witness between us and you.”’ 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against the Lord and turn away from following the Lord this day, by (Y)building an altar for burnt offering, for grain offering, or for sacrifice, besides the altar of the Lord our God which is before His [t]tabernacle.”

30 So when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation, that is, the heads of the [u]families of Israel who were with him, heard the words which the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and the sons of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them. 31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and to the sons of Manasseh, “Today we know that the (Z)Lord is in our midst, because you have not committed this unfaithful act against the Lord; now you have saved the sons of Israel from the hand of the Lord.”

32 Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest and the leaders returned from the sons of Reuben and from the sons of Gad, from the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the sons of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 The word pleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel (AA)blessed God; and they did not speak of going up against them in battle to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were living. 34 And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad (AB)called the altar Witness; “For,” they said, “it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.”

Joshua’s Farewell Address

23 Now it came about after many days, when the Lord had given (AC)rest to Israel from all their enemies on every side, and Joshua was old, advanced in years, that (AD)Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, their heads, their judges, and their officers, and said to them, “I am old, advanced in years. And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for (AE)the Lord your God is He who has been fighting for you. See, (AF)I have apportioned to you these nations which remain as an inheritance for your tribes, with all the nations which I have eliminated, from the Jordan even to the Great Sea toward the [v]west. And the Lord your God, He will thrust them away from you and [w](AG)drive them from you; and (AH)you will take possession of their land, just as the Lord your God [x]promised you. (AI)Be very determined, then, to keep and do everything that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, so that you will not turn aside from it to the right or to the left, so that you will not [y]associate with these nations, these which remain with you, or (AJ)mention the name of their gods, or (AK)make anyone swear by them, or (AL)serve them, or bow down to them. But you are to cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day. (AM)For the Lord has [z]driven out great and mighty nations from before you; and as for you, (AN)no one has stood against you to this day. 10 (AO)One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is (AP)He who fights for you, just as He [aa]promised you. 11 So take great care for yourselves that you love the Lord your God. 12 For if you ever go back and (AQ)cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain with you, and (AR)intermarry with them, so that you [ab]associate with them and they with you, 13 know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to [ac]drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a (AS)snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.

14 “Now behold, today (AT)I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that (AU)not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed; they all have [ad]been fulfilled for you, not [ae]one of them has failed. 15 But it will come about that just as all the good words which the Lord your God spoke to you have come upon you, so (AV)the Lord will bring upon you [af]all the warnings, until He has eliminated you from this good land which the Lord your God has given you. 16 (AW)When you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and you go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and you will perish quickly from the good land which He has given you.”

Joshua Reviews Israel’s History

24 Then (AX)Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, their heads, their judges, and their officers; and they presented themselves before God. Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates River, namely, (AY)Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods. Then (AZ)I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and (BA)multiplied his [ag]descendants and gave him (BB)Isaac. To Isaac I gave (BC)Jacob and Esau, and (BD)to Esau I gave Mount Seir, to possess it; but (BE)Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. Then (BF)I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt [ah]by what I did in its midst; and afterward I brought you out. So I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and (BG)you came to the sea; and Egypt pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the [ai]Red Sea. But when they cried out to the Lord, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them and covered them; and your own eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And (BH)you lived in the wilderness for a long time. Then (BI)I brought you into the land of the Amorites, who lived beyond the Jordan, and they fought with you; but I handed them over to you, and you took possession of their land when I eliminated them before you. Then (BJ)Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, rose up and fought against Israel, and he sent messengers and summoned Balaam the son of Beor to curse you. 10 But I (BK)was not willing to listen to Balaam. So he had to bless you, and I saved you from his hand. 11 (BL)You crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho; and the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and (BM)the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Therefore (BN)I handed them over to you. 12 Then I (BO)sent the hornet before you and it [aj]drove out the two kings of the Amorites from you—(BP)not by your sword nor your bow. 13 And (BQ)I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’

“We Will Serve the Lord

14 “Now, therefore, [ak](BR)fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and [al]truth; and do away with the gods which your fathers served beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates River, or (BS)the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

16 The people answered and said, “Far be it from us that we would abandon the Lord to serve other gods; 17 for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves, and did these great signs in our sight and watched over us through all the way in which we went and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. 18 The Lord drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.”

19 Then Joshua said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the Lord, (BT)for He is a holy God. He is (BU)a jealous God; (BV)He will not forgive your wrongdoing or your sins. 20 (BW)If you abandon the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and destroy you after He has done good to you.” 21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord.” 22 So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that (BX)you have chosen for yourselves the Lord, to serve Him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23 “Now then, do away with the foreign gods which are in your midst, and (BY)incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24 And (BZ)the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and [am]obey His voice.” 25 (CA)So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26 And Joshua (CB)wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God; and he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27 Then Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, (CC)this stone shall be a witness against us, because it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke [an]to us; so it shall be a witness against you, so that you do not deny your God.” 28 Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his inheritance.

Joshua’s Death and Burial

29 Now it came about after these things that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being 110 years old. 30 And they buried him in the territory of his inheritance, in (CD)Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of Mount Gaash.

31 (CE)Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who [ao]survived Joshua, and had known every deed of the Lord which He had done for Israel.

32 Now (CF)they buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt, at Shechem, in the plot of land (CG)which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred [ap]pieces of money; and they became the inheritance of Joseph’s sons. 33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of his son (CH)Phinehas, which was given to him in the hill country of Ephraim.

Footnotes

  1. Joshua 22:5 Lit perform
  2. Joshua 22:8 Lit them, saying,
  3. Joshua 22:9 Lit and went from
  4. Joshua 22:9 Lit mouth
  5. Joshua 22:9 Lit by the hand of
  6. Joshua 22:10 Or an altar clearly visible
  7. Joshua 22:11 Lit heard, saying, Behold
  8. Joshua 22:11 Lit front
  9. Joshua 22:14 Or families
  10. Joshua 22:17 Lit a trifle for us
  11. Joshua 22:17 Lit an affliction
  12. Joshua 22:19 Lit cross for yourselves
  13. Joshua 22:19 Lit dwelling place
  14. Joshua 22:19 Lit resides
  15. Joshua 22:21 Lit thousands
  16. Joshua 22:23 I.e., hold him responsible
  17. Joshua 22:24 Lit from
  18. Joshua 22:24 Lit sons, saying
  19. Joshua 22:26 Lit prepare to build for ourselves
  20. Joshua 22:29 Lit dwelling place
  21. Joshua 22:30 Lit thousands
  22. Joshua 23:4 Lit sunset
  23. Joshua 23:5 Or dispossess
  24. Joshua 23:5 Lit spoke to
  25. Joshua 23:7 Lit come among
  26. Joshua 23:9 Or dispossessed
  27. Joshua 23:10 Lit spoke to
  28. Joshua 23:12 Lit come among
  29. Joshua 23:13 Or dispossess
  30. Joshua 23:14 Lit come
  31. Joshua 23:14 Lit one word
  32. Joshua 23:15 Lit every bad word
  33. Joshua 24:3 Lit seed
  34. Joshua 24:5 Lit according to
  35. Joshua 24:6 Lit Sea of Reeds
  36. Joshua 24:12 Lit drove them out
  37. Joshua 24:14 Or revere
  38. Joshua 24:14 Or faithfulness
  39. Joshua 24:24 Lit listen to
  40. Joshua 24:27 Lit with
  41. Joshua 24:31 Lit prolonged days after
  42. Joshua 24:32 Heb qesitah