Joshua 24

What God has done

1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders of Israel, its leaders, judges, and officers. They presented themselves before God.
2 Then Joshua said to the entire people, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Long ago your ancestors lived on the other side of the Euphrates. They served other gods. Among them was Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor.
3 I took Abraham your ancestor from the other side of the Euphrates. I led him around through the whole land of Canaan. I added to his descendants and gave him Isaac.
4 To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Mount Seir to Esau to take over. But Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.
5 Then I sent Moses and Aaron. I plagued Egypt with what I did to them. After that I brought you out.
6 I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. The Egyptians chased your ancestors with chariots and horses to the Reed Sea.
7 Then they cried for help to the LORD. So he set darkness between you and the Egyptians. He brought the sea down on them, and it covered them. With your own eyes you saw what I did to the Egyptians. You lived in the desert for a long time.
8 “Then I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They attacked you, but I gave them into your power, and you took over their land. I wiped them out before you.
9 Then Moab's King Balak, Zippor's son, set out to attack Israel. He summoned Balaam, Beor's son, to curse you.
10 But I wasn't willing to listen to Balaam, so he actually blessed you. I rescued you from his power.
11 Then you crossed over the Jordan. You came to Jericho, and the citizens of Jericho attacked you. They were Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites. But I gave them into your power.
12 I sent the hornet before you. It drove them out before you and did the same to the two kings of the Amorites. It wasn't your sword or bow that did this.
13 I gave you land on which you hadn't toiled and cities that you hadn't built. You settled in them and are enjoying produce from vineyards and olive groves that you didn't plant.

Challenge to be faithful

14 “So now, revere the LORD. Serve him honestly and faithfully. Put aside the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and serve the LORD.
15 But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the LORD."
16 Then the people answered, "God forbid that we ever leave the LORD to serve other gods!
17 The LORD is our God. He is the one who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. He has done these mighty signs in our sight. He has protected us the whole way we've gone and in all the nations through which we've passed.
18 The LORD has driven out all the nations before us, including the Amorites who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God."
19 Then Joshua said to the people, "You can't serve the LORD, because he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He won't forgive your rebellion and your sins.
20 If you leave the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn around and do you harm and finish you off, in spite of having done you good in the past."
21 Then the people said to Joshua, "No! The LORD is the one we will serve."
22 So Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD." They said, "We are witnesses!"
23 "So now put aside the foreign gods that are among you. Focus your hearts on the LORD, the God of Israel."
24 The people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God and will obey him."

Joshua makes a covenant

25 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people and established just rule for them at Shechem.
26 Joshua wrote these words in God's Instruction scroll. Then he took a large stone and put it up there under the oak in the sanctuary of the LORD.
27 Joshua said to all the people, "This stone will serve here as a witness against us, because it has heard all the LORD's words that he spoke to us. It will serve as a witness against you in case you aren't true to your God."
28 Then Joshua sent the people away to each one's legacy.

Three important graves

29 After these events, Joshua, Nun's son, the LORD's servant, died. He was 110.
30 They buried him within the border of his own legacy, in Timnath-serah in the highlands of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash.
31 Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua. They had known every act the LORD had done for Israel.
32 The Israelites had brought up the bones of Joseph from Egypt. They buried them at Shechem in the portion of field that Jacob had purchased for one hundred qesitahs from the descendants of Hamor the father of Shechem. They became a legacy of the descendants of Joseph.
33 Eleazar son of Aaron died. They buried him at Gibeah, which belonged to his son Phinehas. It had been given to him in the highlands 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.

Footnotes 2

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