23 The Lord gave Israel peace from their enemies around them. He made Israel safe. Many years passed, and Joshua became very old. 2 So he called a meeting of all the elders, heads of families, judges and officers of the Israelites. He said, “I am now very old. 3 You have seen what the Lord has done to our enemies. He did it to help us. The Lord your God fought for you. 4 Remember that your people have been given their land. It’s the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in the west. It’s the land I promised to give you. But you don’t control that land yet. 5 The Lord your God will make the people living there leave. You will enter the land. And the Lord will force them out ahead of you. He has promised you this.
6 “Be strong. You must be careful to obey everything the Lord has commanded. Obey everything written in the Book of the Teachings of Moses. Do exactly as it says. 7 There are still some people living among us who are not Israelites. They worship their own gods. Don’t become friends with them. Don’t serve or worship their gods. 8 You must continue to follow the Lord your God. You have done this in the past. And you must continue to do it.
9 “The Lord has helped you defeat many great and powerful nations. He has forced them to leave ahead of you. No nation has been able to defeat you. 10 With his help, one Israelite could defeat a thousand enemies. This is because the Lord your God fights for you, as he promised to do. 11 So you must be careful to love the Lord your God.
12 “Don’t turn away from the way of the Lord. Don’t become friends with these people who are not part of Israel. Don’t marry them. If you do become their friends, 13 the Lord your God will not help you defeat your enemies. So they will become like traps for you. They will cause you pain like a whip on your back and thorns in your eyes. And none of you will be left in this good land the Lord your God has given you.
14 “It’s almost time for me to die. You know and fully believe that the Lord has done great things for you. You know that he has not failed in any of his promises. He has kept every promise he has given. 15 Every good promise that the Lord your God made has come true. And in the same way, his other promises will come true. He promised that evil will come to you. He will destroy you from this good land that he gave you. 16 This will happen if you don’t keep your agreement with the Lord your God. You will lose this land if you go and serve other gods. You must not worship them. If you do, the Lord will become very angry with you. Then none of you will be left in this good land he has given you.”
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