Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem and summoned Israel's elders, leaders, judges, and officers, 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 ancestors, including Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods.
But I took your father Abraham from the region beyond the Euphrates River, led him throughout the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants. I gave him Isaac,
and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave the hill country of Seir to Esau as a possession, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.
" 'Then I sent Moses and Aaron, I plagued Egypt by what I did there, and afterwards I brought you out.
When I brought your fathers out of Egypt and you reached the Red Sea, the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen as far as the sea.
Your fathers cried out to the Lord, so He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea over them, engulfing them. Your own eyes saw what I did to Egypt. After that, you lived in the wilderness a long time.
" 'Later, I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan. They fought against you, but I handed them over to you. You possessed their land, and I annihilated them before you.
Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, set out to fight against Israel. He sent for Balaam son of Beor to curse you,
but I would not listen to Balaam. Instead, he repeatedly blessed you, and I delivered you from his hand.
" 'You then crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The people of Jericho-as well as the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites-fought against you, but I handed them over to you.
I sent the hornetab ahead of you, and it drove out the two Amorite kingsc before you. It was not by your sword or bow.
I gave you a land you did not labor for, and cities you did not build, though you live in them; you are eating from vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.'
"Therefore, fear the Lord and worship Him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and worship the Lord.
But if it doesn't please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord."
The people replied, "We will certainly not abandon the Lord to worship other gods!
For the Lord our God brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, the place of slavery and performed these great signs before our eyes. He also protected us all along the way we went and among all the peoples whose lands we traveled through.
The Lord drove out before us all the peoples, including the Amorites who lived in the land. We too will worship the Lord, because He is our God."
But Joshua told the people, "You will not be able to worship the Lord, because He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not remove your transgressions and sins.
If you abandon the Lord and worship foreign gods, He will turn against [you], harm you, and completely destroy you, after He has been good to you."
"No!" the people answered Joshua. "We will worship the Lord."
Joshua then told the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you yourselves have chosen to worship the Lord." "We are witnesses," they said.
"Then get rid of the foreign gods that are among you and offer your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel."
So the people said to Joshua, "We will worship the Lord our God and obey Him."
On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people at Shechem and established a statute and ordinance for them.
Joshua recorded these things in the book of the law of God; he also took a large stone and set it up there under the oak next to the sanctuary of the Lord.
And Joshua said to all the people, "You see this stone-it will be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words the Lord said to us, and it will be a witness against you, so that you will not deny your God."
Then Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.