Joshua 24

Listen to Joshua 24

The Covenant Renewal at Shechem

1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel 1to Shechem and 2summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And 3they presented themselves before God.
2 And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Long ago, 4your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and 5they served other gods.
3 6Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and 7led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. 8I gave him Isaac.
4 And to Isaac I gave 9Jacob and Esau. 10And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, 11but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.
5 12And I sent Moses and Aaron, 13and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and 14afterward I brought you out.
6 "'Then 15I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and 16you came to the sea. 17And the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea.
7 18And when they cried to the LORD, 19he put darkness between you and the Egyptians 20and made the sea come upon them and cover them; 21and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. 22And you lived in the wilderness a long time.
8 Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. 23They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you.
9 24Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. 25And he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you,
10 26but I would not listen to Balaam. 27Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand.
11 28And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, 29and the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also 30the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And I gave them into your hand.
12 And I sent 31the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was 32not by your sword or by your bow.
13 I gave you a land on which you had not labored 33and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.'

Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 34"Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. 35Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
15 36And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, 37choose this day whom you will serve, whether 38the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or 39the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. 40But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
16 Then the people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods,
17 for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed.
18 And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God."
19 But Joshua said to the people, "You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is 41a holy God. He is 42a jealous God; 43he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.
20 44If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then 45he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good."
21 And the people said to Joshua, "No, but we will serve the LORD."
22 Then Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that 46you have chosen the LORD, to serve him." And they said, "We are witnesses."
23 He said, "Then 47put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel."
24 And the people said to Joshua, "The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey."
25 So Joshua 48made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place 49statutes and rules for them at Shechem.
26 And Joshua 50wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And 51he took a large stone and set it up there 52under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.
27 And Joshua said to all the people, "Behold, 53this stone shall be a witness against us, for 54it has heard all the words of the LORD that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God."
28 So Joshua 55sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.

Joshua's Death and Burial

29 56After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being 110 years old.
30 And they buried him in his own inheritance at 57Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.
31 58Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua 59and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel.
32 60As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land 61that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money.[a] It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.
33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of 62Phinehas his son, which had been given him in 63the hill country of Ephraim.

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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.

Cross References 63

  • 1. ver. 25, 32
  • 2. See Joshua 23:2
  • 3. 1 Samuel 10:19
  • 4. See Genesis 11:27-32
  • 5. [Genesis 31:30; Genesis 35:2]
  • 6. See Genesis 12:1-5; Acts 7:2-4
  • 7. Genesis 12:6
  • 8. Genesis 21:2, 3
  • 9. Genesis 25:24-26
  • 10. Genesis 36:8; Deuteronomy 2:5
  • 11. Genesis 46:1, 6; Acts 7:15
  • 12. Exodus 3:10; Exodus 4:14
  • 13. See Ex. 7 - 12
  • 14. Exodus 12:37, 51
  • 15. [See ver. 5 above]
  • 16. Exodus 14:2
  • 17. Exodus 14:9
  • 18. Exodus 14:10
  • 19. Exodus 14:20
  • 20. Exodus 14:27, 28
  • 21. Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 29:2
  • 22. See Joshua 5:6
  • 23. See Numbers 21:21-35
  • 24. [Judges 11:25]
  • 25. Numbers 22:5; Deuteronomy 23:4
  • 26. Numbers 23:11, 20; Numbers 24:1, 10
  • 27. Numbers 23:11, 20; Numbers 24:1, 10
  • 28. Joshua 3:14, 17; Joshua 4:10-13
  • 29. Joshua 6:1; See Joshua 10:1-3; Joshua 11:1-3
  • 30. Joshua 6:1; See Joshua 10:1-3; Joshua 11:1-3
  • 31. Exodus 23:28; Deuteronomy 7:20
  • 32. Psalms 44:3
  • 33. Deuteronomy 6:10, 11; [Joshua 11:13]
  • 34. Deuteronomy 10:12; 1 Samuel 12:24
  • 35. ver. 2, 23
  • 36. 1 Kings 18:21; Ezekiel 20:39
  • 37. ver. 22
  • 38. [See ver. 14 above]
  • 39. Ex. 23:24, 32, 33; Exodus 34:15; Deuteronomy 13:7; Deuteronomy 29:18; Judges 6:10
  • 40. Genesis 18:19
  • 41. Leviticus 19:2; 1 Samuel 6:20; Psalms 99:5, 9; Isaiah 5:16
  • 42. Exodus 20:5; Nahum 1:2
  • 43. Exodus 23:21
  • 44. [1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2; Ezra 8:22; Isaiah 1:28; Isaiah 65:11, 12; Jeremiah 17:13]
  • 45. Joshua 23:15; Isaiah 63:10; [Acts 7:42]
  • 46. ver. 15
  • 47. ver. 14; Judges 10:16; 1 Samuel 7:3
  • 48. 2 Kings 11:17; 2 Chronicles 23:16; Nehemiah 9:38
  • 49. Exodus 15:25
  • 50. Deuteronomy 31:24
  • 51. [Joshua 4:3; Genesis 28:18]
  • 52. Genesis 35:4; Judges 9:6
  • 53. Joshua 22:27, 28, 34; Genesis 31:48, 52; Deuteronomy 31:19, 21, 26
  • 54. [Deuteronomy 32:1]
  • 55. Judges 2:6
  • 56. For ver. 29-31, see Judges 2:7-9
  • 57. [Joshua 19:50]
  • 58. Judges 2:7
  • 59. Deuteronomy 11:2; Deuteronomy 31:13
  • 60. Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:19
  • 61. Genesis 33:19
  • 62. Joshua 22:13
  • 63. ver. 30; Joshua 17:15

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew for a hundred qesitah; a unit of money of unknown value

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.