Joshua 24

1 Then Joshua got all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem; and he sent for the responsible men of Israel and their chiefs and their judges and their overseers; and they took their place before God.
2 And Joshua said to all the people, These are the words of the Lord, the God of Israel: In the past your fathers, Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor, were living on the other side of the River: and they were worshipping other gods.
3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, guiding him through all the land of Canaan; I made his offspring great in number, and gave him Isaac.
4 And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau: to Esau I gave Mount Seir, as his heritage; but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.
5 And I sent Moses and Aaron, troubling Egypt by all the signs I did among them: and after that I took you out.
6 I took your fathers out of Egypt: and you came to the Red Sea; and the Egyptians came after your fathers to the Red Sea, with their war-carriages and their horsemen.
7 And at their cry, the Lord made it dark between you and the Egyptians, and made the sea go over them, covering them with its waters; your eyes have seen what I did in Egypt: then for a long time you were living in the waste land.
8 And I took you into the lands of the Amorites on the other side of Jordan; and they made war on you, and I gave them into your hands and you took their land; and I sent destruction on them before you.
9 Then Balak, the son of Zippor, king of Moab, went up to war against Israel; and he sent for Balaam, the son of Beor, to put a curse on you:
10 But I did not give ear to Balaam; and so he went on blessing you; and I kept you safe from him.
11 Then you went over Jordan and came to Jericho: and the men of Jericho made war on you, the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Hivites and the Jebusites: and I gave them up into your hands.
12 And I sent the hornet before you, driving out the two kings of the Amorites before you, not with your sword and your bow.
13 And I gave you a land on which you had done no work, and towns not of your building, and you are now living in them; and your food comes from vine-gardens and olive-gardens not of your planting.
14 So now, go in fear of the Lord, and be his servants with true hearts: put away the gods worshipped by your fathers across the River and in Egypt, and be servants of the Lord.
15 And if it seems evil to you to be the servants of the Lord, make the decision this day whose servants you will be: of the gods whose servants your fathers were across the River, or of the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living: but I and my house will be the servants of the Lord.
16 Then the people in answer said, Never will we give up the Lord to be the servants of other gods;
17 For it is the Lord our God who has taken us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the prison-house, and who did all those great signs before our eyes, and kept us safe on all our journeys, and among all the peoples through whom we went:
18 And the Lord sent out from before us all the peoples, the Amorites living in the land: so we will be the servants of the Lord, for he is our God.
19 And Joshua said to the people, You are not able to be the servants of the Lord, for he is a holy God, a God who will not let his honour be given to another: he will have no mercy on your wrongdoing or your sins.
20 If you are turned away from the Lord and become the servants of strange gods, then turning against you he will do you evil, cutting you off, after he has done you good.
21 And the people said to Joshua, No! But we will be the servants of the Lord.
22 And Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that you have made the decision to be the servants of the Lord. And they said, We are witnesses.
23 Then, he said, put away the strange gods among you, turning your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.
24 And the people said to Joshua, We will be the servants of the Lord our God, and we will give ear to his voice.
25 So Joshua made an agreement with the people that day, and gave them a rule and a law in Shechem.
26 And Joshua put these words on record, writing them in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and put it up there under the oak-tree which was in the holy place of the Lord.
27 And Joshua said to all the people, See now, this stone is to be a witness against us; for all the words of the Lord have been said to us in its hearing: so it will be a witness against you if you are false to the Lord your God.
28 Then Joshua let the people go away, every man to his heritage.
29 Now after these things, the death of Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, took place, he being then a hundred and ten years old.
30 And they put his body in the earth in the land of his heritage in Timnath-serah, in the hill-country of Ephraim, to the north of Mount Gaash.
31 And Israel was true to the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the older men who were still living after Joshua's death, and had seen what the Lord had done for Israel.
32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel had taken up from Egypt, they put in the earth in Shechem, in the property which Jacob had got from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for a hundred shekels: and they became the heritage of the children of Joseph.
33 Then the death of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, took place; and his body was put in the earth in the hill of Phinehas his son, which had been given to him in the hill-country of Ephraim.

Images for Joshua 24

Joshua 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

God's benefits to their fathers. (1-14) Joshua renews the covenant between the people and God. (15-28) Joshua's death, Joseph's bones buried, The state of Israel. (29-33)

Verses 1-14 We must never think our work for God done, till our life is done. If he lengthen out our days beyond what we expected, like those of Joshua, it is because he has some further service for us to do. He who aims at the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, will glory in bearing the last testimony to his Saviour's goodness, and in telling to all around, the obligations with which the unmerited goodness of God has bound him. The assembly came together in a solemn religious manner. Joshua spake to them in God's name, and as from him. His sermon consists of doctrine and application. The doctrinal part is a history of the great things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before them. The application of this history of God's mercies to them, is an exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for his favour, and that it might be continued.

Verses 15-28 It is essential that the service of God's people be performed with a willing mind. For LOVE is the only genuine principle whence all acceptable service of God can spring. The Father seeks only such to worship him, as worship him in spirit and in truth. The carnal mind of man is enmity against God, therefore, is not capable of such spiritual worship. Hence the necessity of being born again. But numbers rest in mere forms, as tasks imposed upon them. Joshua puts them to their choice; but not as if it were indifferent whether they served God or not. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is laid plainly before you. He resolves to do this, whatever others did. Those that are bound for heaven, must be willing to swim against the stream. They must not do as the most do, but as the best do. And no one can behave himself as he ought in any station, who does not deeply consider his religious duties in family relations. The Israelites agree with Joshua, being influenced by the example of a man who had been so great a blessing to them; We also will serve the Lord. See how much good great men do, by their influence, if zealous in religion. Joshua brings them to express full purpose of heart to cleave to the Lord. They must come off from all confidence in their own sufficiency, else their purposes would be in vain. The service of God being made their deliberate choice, Joshua binds them to it by a solemn covenant. He set up a monument of it. In this affecting manner Joshua took his last leave of them; if they perished, their blood would be upon their own heads. Though the house of God, the Lord's table, and even the walls and trees before which we have uttered our solemn purposes of serving him, would bear witness against us if we deny him, yet we may trust in him, that he will put his fear into our hearts, that we shall not depart from him. God alone can give grace, yet he blesses our endeavours to engage men to his service.

Verses 29-33 Joseph died in Egypt, but gave commandment concerning his bones, that they should not rest in their grave till Israel had rest in the land of promise. Notice also the death and burial of Joshua, and of Eleazar the chief priest. The most useful men, having served their generation, according to the will of God, one after another, fall asleep and see corruption. But Jesus, having spent and ended his life on earth more effectually than either Joshua or Joseph, rose from the dead, and saw no corruption. And the redeemed of the Lord shall inherit the kingdom he prepared for them from the foundation of the world. They will say in admiration of the grace of Jesus, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 24

This chapter gives us an account of another summons of the tribes of Israel by Joshua, who obeyed it, and presented themselves before the Lord at Shechem, Jos 24:1; when Joshua in the name of the Lord rehearsed to them the many great and good things the Lord had done for them, from the time of their ancestor Abraham to that day, Jos 24:2-13; and then exhorted them to fear and serve the Lord, and reject idols, Jos 24:14; and put them upon making their choice, whether they would serve the true God, or the gods of the Canaanites; and they choosing the former, he advised them to abide by their choice, Jos 24:15-24; and made a covenant with them to that purpose, and then dismissed them, Jos 24:25-28; and the chapter is concluded with an account of the death and burial of Joshua and Eleazar, and of the interment of the bones of Joseph, Jos 24:29-33.

Joshua 24 Commentaries