23 The Lord gave Israel peace from their enemies around them. Many years passed, and Joshua grew very old. 2 He called a meeting of all the elders, heads of families, judges, and officers of Israel. He said, “I am now very old. 3 You have seen what the Lord has done to our enemies to help us. The Lord your God fought for you. 4 Remember that your people have been given their land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the land I promised to give you. 5 The Lord your God will force out the people living there. The Lord will push them out ahead of you. And you will own the land, as he has promised you.
6 “Be strong. You must be careful to obey everything commanded in the Book of the Teachings of Moses. Do not stray from it either from the left or the right. 7 Don’t become friends with the people living among us who are not Israelites. Don’t say the names of their gods or make anyone swear by them. Don’t serve or worship them. 8 You must continue to follow the Lord your God, as you have done in the past.
9 “The Lord has forced many great and powerful nations to leave ahead of you. No nation has been able to defeat you. 10 With his help, one Israelite could defeat a thousand, 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 “If you turn away from the way of the Lord and become friends with these people who are not part of Israel and marry them, 13 the Lord your God will not help you defeat your enemies. They will be like traps for you, like whips 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 to keep any of his promises. 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 and that 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. If you go and serve other gods and worship them, 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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