23 A long time afterward, the Lord gave the Israelites peace with all their enemies around them. Joshua was old, near the end of his life. 2 So he called all the leaders, chiefs, judges, and officers of Israel together. He said to them, “I am old, near the end of my life. 3 You have seen for yourselves everything the Lord your God did to all those nations. The Lord your God fought for you! 4 I have given you the territory of the nations that still remain as an inheritance for your tribes. This includes the territory of all the nations I have already destroyed from the Jordan River westward to the Mediterranean Sea. 5 The Lord your God will expel them right in front of your eyes and force them out of your way. You will take their land as the Lord your God told you. 6 Now you must be very strong to keep and to do everything written in the Book of Moses’ Teachings. Don’t turn away from them. 7 Don’t get mixed up with the nations left in your territory. Don’t ever mention the names of their gods or swear an oath to them. Don’t ever serve their gods or bow down to them. 8 But you must be loyal to the Lord your God, as you have been until now. 9 The Lord has forced important and powerful nations out of your way. Not one person has ever been able to stand up to you. 10 One of you used to chase a thousand. That was because the Lord your God was fighting for you, as he had promised you. 11 Be very careful to love the Lord your God.
12 “But if you turn away and go along with the other nations within your borders, if you intermarry with them or associate with them, 13 then you should know that the Lord your God will never again force these people out of your way. Instead, they will be a snare and a trap for you, a whip laid to your sides, and thorns in your eyes until none of you are left in this good land that the Lord your God has given you.
14 “Pay attention, because I will soon die like everyone else. You know with all your heart and soul that not one single promise which the Lord your God has given you has ever failed to come true. Every single word has come true.
15 “Every good word the Lord your God has promised you has come true for you. In the same way the Lord will bring about every evil curse until he has destroyed you from this good land that he has given you. 16 When you ignore the conditions[a] placed on you by the Lord your God and follow other gods, serve them and bow down to them, the Lord will be angry with you. Then you will quickly disappear from the good land he has given you.”
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