“So fear the and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the alone.
But if you refuse to serve the , then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the .”
The people replied, “We would never abandon the and serve other gods.
For the our God is the one who rescued us and our ancestors from slavery in the land of Egypt. He performed mighty miracles before our very eyes. As we traveled through the wilderness among our enemies, he preserved us.
It was the who drove out the Amorites and the other nations living here in the land. So we, too, will serve the , for he alone is our God.”
Then Joshua warned the people, “You are not able to serve the , for he is a holy and jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.
If you abandon the and serve other gods, he will turn against you and destroy you, even though he has been so good to you.”
But the people answered Joshua, “No, we will serve the !”
“You are a witness to your own decision,” Joshua said. “You have chosen to serve the .” “Yes,” they replied, “we are witnesses to what we have said.”
“All right then,” Joshua said, “destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the , the God of Israel.”
The people said to Joshua, “We will serve the our God. We will obey him alone.”
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day at Shechem, committing them to follow the decrees and regulations of the .
Joshua recorded these things in the Book of God’s Instructions. As a reminder of their agreement, he took a huge stone and rolled it beneath the terebinth tree beside the Tabernacle of the .
Joshua said to all the people, “This stone has heard everything the said to us. It will be a witness to testify against you if you go back on your word to God.”
Then Joshua sent all the people away to their own homelands.
After this, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the , died at the age of 110.
They buried him in the land he had been allocated, at Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
The people of Israel served the throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him—those who had personally experienced all that the had done for Israel.