Joshua 24

1 Y'hoshua gathered all the tribes of Isra'el to Sh'khem; he summoned the leaders, heads, judges and officials of Isra'el; and they presented themselves before God.
2 Y'hoshua said to all the people, "This is what ADONAI the God of Isra'el says: 'In antiquity your ancestors lived on the other side of the [Euphrates] River-Terach the father of Avraham and Nachor-and they served other gods.
3 I took your ancestor Avraham from beyond the River, led him through all the land of Kena'an, increased his descendants and gave him Yitz'chak.
4 I gave to Yitz'chak Ya'akov and 'Esav. To 'Esav I gave Mount Se'ir as his possession, but Ya'akov and his children went down into Egypt.
5 I sent Moshe and Aharon, I inflicted plagues on Egypt in accordance with what I did among them, and afterwards I brought you out.
6 Yes, I brought your fathers out of Egypt: you arrived at the sea, and the Egyptians were pursuing your ancestors with chariots and horsemen to the Sea of Suf.
7 But when they cried out to ADONAI, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, overwhelmed them with the sea and drowned them. Your eyes saw what I did in Egypt, and then you lived in the desert for a long time.
8 I brought you into the land of the Emori living beyond the Yarden; they fought against you, but I handed them over to you. You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them ahead of you.
9 Then Balak the son of Tzippor, king of Mo'av, rose up and fought against Isra'el. He sent and summoned Bil'am the son of B'or to put a curse on you.
10 But I refused to listen to Bil'am, and he actually blessed you. In this way I rescued you from him.
11 Next you crossed the Yarden and came to Yericho. The men of Yericho fought against you-the Emori, P'rizi, Kena'ani, Hitti, Girgashi, Hivi and Y'vusi - and I handed them over to you.
12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, driving them out from ahead of you, the two kings of the Emori - it wasn't by your sword or your bow.
13 Then I gave you a land where you had not worked and cities you had not built, and you live there. You eat fruit from vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.'
14 "Therefore fear ADONAI, and serve him truly and sincerely. Put away the gods your ancestors served beyond the [Euphrates]River and in Egypt, and serve ADONAI!
15 If it seems bad to you to serve ADONAI, then choose today whom you are going to serve! Will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the River? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? As for me and my household, we will serve ADONAI!"
16 The people answered, "Far be it from us that we would abandon ADONAI to serve other gods;
17 because it is ADONAI our God who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from a life of slavery, and did those great signs before our eyes, and preserved us all along the way we traveled and among all the peoples we passed through;
18 and it was ADONAI who drove out from ahead of us all the peoples, the Emori living in the land. Therefore we too will serve ADONAI, for he is our God."
19 Y'hoshua said to the people, "You can't serve ADONAI; because he is a holy God, a jealous God, and he will not forgive your crimes and sins.
20 If you abandon ADONAI and serve foreign gods, he will turn, doing you harm and destroying you after he has done you good."
21 But the people said to Y'hoshua, "No, but we will serve ADONAI."
22 Y'hoshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen ADONAI, to serve him." They answered, "We are witnesses."
23 "Now," Y'hoshua urged, "put away the foreign gods you have among you, and turn your hearts to ADONAI, the God of Isra'el."
24 The people answered Y'hoshua, "We will serve ADONAI our God; we will pay attention to what he says."
25 So Y'hoshua made a covenant with the people that day, laying down for them laws and rulings there in Sh'khem.
26 Y'hoshua wrote these words in the book of the Torah of God. Then he took a big stone and set it up there under the oak next to the sanctuary of ADONAI.
27 Y'hoshua said to all the people, "See, this stone will be a witness against us; because it has heard all the words of ADONAI which he said to us; therefore it will be a witness against you, in case you deny your God."
28 Then Y'hoshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.
29 After this, Y'hoshua the son of Nun, the servant of ADONAI, died; he was 110 years old.
30 They buried him on his property in Timnat-Serach, which is in the hills of Efrayim, north of Mount Ga'ash.
31 Isra'el served ADONAI throughout Y'hoshua's lifetime and throughout the lifetimes of the leaders who outlived Y'hoshua and had known all the deeds that ADONAI had done on behalf of Isra'el.
32 The bones of Yosef, which the people of Isra'el had brought up from Egypt, they buried in Sh'khem, in the parcel of ground which Ya'akov had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Sh'khem for a hundred pieces of silver; and they became a possession of the descendants of Yosef.
33 Finally, El'azar the son of Aharon died; and they buried him on the hill belonging to Pinchas his son, which had been given to him in the hills of Efrayim.

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


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

Complete Jewish Bible Copyright 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.