Then Joshua assembled1 all the tribes of Israel at Shechem.2 He summoned3 the elders,4 leaders, judges and officials of Israel,5 and they presented themselves before God.
Joshua said to all the people, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor,6 lived beyond the Rivera and worshiped other gods.73
But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the River and led him throughout Canaan8 and gave him many descendants.9 I gave him Isaac,104
and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau.11 I assigned the hill country of Seir12 to Esau, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.135
" 'Then I sent Moses and Aaron,14 and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out.156
When I brought your fathers out of Egypt, you came to the sea,16 and the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and horsemenb17 as far as the Red Sea.c187
But they cried19 to the LORD for help, and he put darkness20 between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them.21 You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians.22 Then you lived in the desert for a long time.238
" 'I brought you to the land of the Amorites24 who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave them into your hands. I destroyed them from before you, and you took possession of their land.259
When Balak son of Zippor,26 the king of Moab, prepared to fight against Israel, he sent for Balaam son of Beor27 to put a curse on you.2810
But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you29 again and again, and I delivered you out of his hand.
" 'Then you crossed the Jordan30 and came to Jericho.31 The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites,32 Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites,33 but I gave them into your hands.3412
I sent the hornet35 ahead of you, which drove them out36 before you--also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow.3713
So I gave you a land38 on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.'3914
"Now fear the LORD40 and serve him with all faithfulness.41 Throw away the gods42 your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt,43 and serve the LORD.
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites,44 in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household,45 we will serve the LORD."4616
Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake47 the LORD to serve other gods!
It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery,48 and performed those great signs49 before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.
And the LORD drove out50 before us all the nations,51 including the Amorites, who lived in the land.52 We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God.53"
Joshua said to the people, "You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God;54 he is a jealous God.55 He will not forgive56 your rebellion57 and your sins.
If you forsake the LORD58 and serve foreign gods, he will turn59 and bring disaster60 on you and make an end of you,61 after he has been good to you."
But the people said to Joshua, "No! We will serve the LORD."
Then Joshua said, "You are witnesses62 against yourselves that you have chosen63 to serve the LORD." "Yes, we are witnesses,64" they replied.
"Now then," said Joshua, "throw away the foreign gods65 that are among you and yield your hearts66 to the LORD, the God of Israel."
And the people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God and obey him."6725
On that day Joshua made a covenant68 for the people, and there at Shechem69 he drew up for them decrees and laws.7026
And Joshua recorded71 these things in the Book of the Law of God.72 Then he took a large stone73 and set it up there under the oak74 near the holy place of the LORD.
"See!" he said to all the people. "This stone75 will be a witness76 against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue77 to your God."78