New English Translation
Israel Renews its Commitment to the Lord
24 Joshua assembled all the Israelite tribes at Shechem. He summoned Israel’s elders, rulers, judges, and leaders, and they appeared before God. 2 Joshua told all the people, “This is what the Lord God of Israel has said: ‘In the distant past your ancestors lived beyond the Euphrates River,[a] including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor. They worshiped[b] other gods, 3 but I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates[c] and brought him into[d] the entire land of Canaan. I made his descendants numerous; I gave him Isaac, 4 and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I assigned Mount Seir,[e] while Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. 5 I sent Moses and Aaron, and I struck Egypt down when I intervened in their land.[f] Then I brought you out. 6 When I brought your fathers out of Egypt, you arrived at the sea. The Egyptians chased your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 7 Your fathers[g] cried out for help to the Lord; he made the area between you and the Egyptians dark,[h] and then he drowned them in the sea.[i] You witnessed with your very own eyes[j] what I did in Egypt. You lived in the wilderness for a long time.[k] 8 Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought with you, but I handed them over to you; you conquered[l] their land, and I destroyed them from before you. 9 Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, launched an attack[m] against Israel. He summoned[n] Balaam son of Beor to call down judgment on[o] you. 10 I refused to respond to Balaam; he kept[p] prophesying good things about[q] you, and I rescued you from his power.[r] 11 You crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The leaders[s] of Jericho, as well as the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites, fought with you, but I handed them over to you. 12 I sent terror[t] ahead of you to drive out before you the two[u] Amorite kings. I gave you the victory; it was not by your swords or bows.[v] 13 I gave you a land in[w] which you had not worked hard; you took up residence in cities you did not build, and you are eating the produce of[x] vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.’
14 “Now[y] obey[z] the Lord and worship[aa] him with integrity and loyalty. Put aside the gods your ancestors[ab] worshiped[ac] beyond the Euphrates[ad] and in Egypt, and worship[ae] the Lord. 15 If you have no desire[af] to worship[ag] the Lord, then choose today whom you will worship,[ah] whether it be the gods whom your ancestors[ai] worshiped[aj] beyond the Euphrates,[ak] or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But I and my family[al] will worship[am] the Lord.”
16 The people responded, “Far be it from us to abandon the Lord so we can[an] worship[ao] other gods! 17 For the Lord our God took us and our fathers out of slavery[ap] in the land of Egypt[aq] and performed these awesome miracles[ar] before our very eyes. He continually protected us as we traveled and when we passed through nations.[as] 18 The Lord drove out from before us all the nations, including the Amorites who lived in the land. So we too will worship[at] the Lord, for he is our God!”
19 Joshua warned[au] the people, “You will not keep worshiping[av] the Lord, for[aw] he is a holy God.[ax] He is a jealous God who will not forgive[ay] your rebellion or your sins. 20 If[az] you abandon the Lord and worship[ba] foreign gods, he will turn against you;[bb] he will bring disaster on you and destroy you,[bc] though he once treated you well.”[bd]
21 The people said to Joshua, “No! We really will[be] worship[bf] the Lord.” 22 Joshua said to the people, “Do you agree to be witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to worship the Lord?”[bg] They replied, “We are witnesses!”[bh] 23 Joshua said,[bi] “Now put aside the foreign gods that are among you and submit to[bj] the Lord God of Israel.”
25 That day Joshua drew up an agreement[bm] for the people, and he established rules and regulations[bn] for them in Shechem. 26 Joshua wrote these words in the Law Scroll of God. He then took a large stone and set it up there under the oak tree near the Lord’s sanctuary. 27 Joshua said to all the people, “Look, this stone will be a witness against us, for it has heard everything the Lord said to us.[bo] It will be a witness against you if[bp] you deny your God.” 28 When Joshua dismissed the people, they went to their allotted portions of land.[bq]
An Era Ends
29 After all this[br] Joshua son of Nun, the Lord’s servant, died at the age of 110. 30 They buried him in his allotted territory[bs] in Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 31 Israel worshiped[bt] the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men who outlived him remained alive.[bu] These men had experienced firsthand everything the Lord had done for Israel.[bv]
32 The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the part of the field that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of money.[bw] So it became the inheritance of the tribe of Joseph.[bx]
33 Eleazar son of Aaron died, and they buried him in Gibeah in the hill country of Ephraim, where his son Phinehas had been assigned land.[by]
- Joshua 24:2 tn Heb “the river,” referring to the Euphrates. This has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Joshua 24:2 tn Or “served.”
- Joshua 24:3 tn Heb “the river,” referring to the Euphrates. This has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Joshua 24:3 tn Or “through.”
- Joshua 24:4 tn Heb “I gave to Esau Mount Seir to possess it.”
- Joshua 24:5 tn Heb “by that which I did in its midst.”
- Joshua 24:7 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the fathers) has been specified in the translation for clarity (see the previous verse).
- Joshua 24:7 tn Or “put darkness between you and the Egyptians.”
- Joshua 24:7 tn Heb “and he brought over them the sea and covered them.”
- Joshua 24:7 tn Heb “your eyes saw.”
- Joshua 24:7 tn Heb “many days.”
- Joshua 24:8 tn Or “took possession of.”
- Joshua 24:9 tn Heb “arose and fought.”
- Joshua 24:9 tn Heb “sent and called.”
- Joshua 24:9 tn Or “to curse.”
- Joshua 24:10 tn The infinitive absolute follows the finite verb in the Hebrew text and indicates continuation or repetition of the action. Balaam pronounced several oracles of blessing over Israel (see Num 23-24).
- Joshua 24:10 tn Heb “blessing.” Balaam’s “blessings” were actually prophecies of how God would prosper Israel.
- Joshua 24:10 tn Heb “hand.”
- Joshua 24:11 tn Or perhaps, “citizens.”
- Joshua 24:12 tn Traditionally, “the hornet” (so KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV) but the precise meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain (cf. NEB “panic”).
- Joshua 24:12 tn The LXX has “twelve,” apparently understanding this as a reference to Amorite kings west of the Jordan (see Josh 5:1, rather than the trans-Jordanian Amorite kings Sihon and Og (see Josh 2:10; 9:10).
- Joshua 24:12 tn Heb “and it drove them out from before you, the two kings of the Amorites, not by your sword and not by your bow.” The words “I gave you the victory” are supplied for clarification.
- Joshua 24:13 tn Or perhaps, “for.”
- Joshua 24:13 tn The words “the produce of” are supplied for clarification.
- Joshua 24:14 sn Joshua quotes the Lord’s words in vv. 2b-13 (note that the Lord speaks in the first person in these verses); in vv. 14-15 Joshua himself exhorts the people (note the third person references to the Lord).
- Joshua 24:14 tn Heb “fear.”
- Joshua 24:14 tn Or “and serve.”
- Joshua 24:14 tn Heb “your fathers.”
- Joshua 24:14 tn Or “served.”
- Joshua 24:14 tn Heb “the river,” referring to the Euphrates. This has been specified in the translation for clarity; see v. 3.
- Joshua 24:14 tn Or “and serve.”
- Joshua 24:15 tn Heb “if it is bad in your eyes.”
- Joshua 24:15 tn Or “to serve.”
- Joshua 24:15 tn Or “will serve.”
- Joshua 24:15 tn Heb “your fathers.”
- Joshua 24:15 tn Or “served.”
- Joshua 24:15 tn Heb “the river,” referring to the Euphrates. This has been specified in the translation for clarity; see v. 3.
- Joshua 24:15 tn Heb “house.”
- Joshua 24:15 tn Or “will serve.”
- Joshua 24:16 tn Heb “to.”
- Joshua 24:16 tn Or “can serve.”
- Joshua 24:17 tn Heb “of the house of slavery.”
- Joshua 24:17 tn Heb “for the Lord our God, he is the one who brought up us and our fathers from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves.”
- Joshua 24:17 tn Or “great signs.”
- Joshua 24:17 tn Heb “and he guarded us in all the way in which we walked and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed.”
- Joshua 24:18 tn Or “will serve.”
- Joshua 24:19 tn Heb “said to.”
- Joshua 24:19 tn Heb “you are not able to serve.”
- Joshua 24:19 sn For an excellent discussion of Joshua’s logical argument here, see T. C. Butler, Joshua (WBC), 274-75.
- Joshua 24:19 tn In the Hebrew text both the divine name (אֱלֹהִים, ʾelohim) and the adjective (קְדֹשִׁים, qedoshim, “holy”) are plural. Normally the divine name, when referring to the one true God, takes singular modifiers, but this is a rare exception where the adjective agrees grammatically with the honorific plural noun. See GKC §124.i and IBHS 122.
- Joshua 24:19 tn Heb “lift up” or “take away.”sn This assertion obviously needs qualification, for the OT elsewhere affirms that God does forgive. Joshua is referring to the persistent national rebellion against the Mosaic covenant that eventually causes God to decree unconditionally the nation’s exile.
- Joshua 24:20 tn Or “when.”
- Joshua 24:20 tn Or “and serve.”
- Joshua 24:20 tn The words “against you” are added for clarification.
- Joshua 24:20 tn Heb “bring you to an end.”
- Joshua 24:20 tn Heb “after he did good for you.”
- Joshua 24:21 tn The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) is emphatic. Another option is to take it as explanatory, “No, for we will….”
- Joshua 24:21 tn Or “will serve.”
- Joshua 24:22 tn Heb “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves the Lord to serve him.”
- Joshua 24:22 sn Like witnesses in a court of law, Israel’s solemn vow to worship the Lord will testify against them in the divine court if the nation ever violates its commitment.
- Joshua 24:23 tn The words “Joshua said” are supplied for clarification.
- Joshua 24:23 tn Heb “bend your heart toward.” The term לֵבָב (levav, “heart”) probably here refers to the people’s volition or will.
- Joshua 24:24 tn Or “will serve.”
- Joshua 24:24 tn Heb “and listen to his voice.”
- Joshua 24:25 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”
- Joshua 24:25 tn Heb “a statute and a judgment.”
- Joshua 24:27 tn Heb “all the words of the Lord which he spoke with us.”
- Joshua 24:27 tn Or “lest,” “so that you might not.”
- Joshua 24:28 tn Heb “And Joshua sent the people away, each to his inheritance.”
- Joshua 24:29 tn Heb “after these things.”
- Joshua 24:30 tn Heb “in the territory of his inheritance.”
- Joshua 24:31 tn Or “served.”
- Joshua 24:31 tn Heb “all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived him.”
- Joshua 24:31 tn Heb “who knew all the work of the Lord which he had done for Israel.”
- Joshua 24:32 tn Heb “one hundred qesitahs.” The Hebrew word קְשִׂיטָה (qesitah) is generally understood to refer to a unit of money, but the value and/or weight is unknown. The word occurs only here and in Gen 33:19 and Job 42:11.
- Joshua 24:32 tn Heb “and they became for the sons of Joseph an inheritance.” One might think “bones” is the subject of the verb “they became,” but the verb is masculine, while “bones” is feminine. The translation follows the emendation suggested in the BHS note, which appeals to the Syriac and Vulgate for support. The emended reading understands “the part (of the field)” as the subject of the verb “became.” The emended verb is feminine singular; this agrees with “the part” (of the field), which is feminine in Hebrew.
- Joshua 24:33 tn Heb “in Gibeah of Phinehas, his son, which had been given to him in the hill country of Ephraim.”