1 Joshua son of Nun was a great soldier and the next of the prophets after Moses. He lived up to the meaning of his name as the great deliverer of the Lord's chosen people. He defeated the enemies that attacked them, so that Israel could claim its land. 1
2 How magnificent it was when he raised his arm and then led the attacks on the cities!
3 No one could stand up to him; he was fighting a holy war for the Lord.
4 Remember how he held back the sun and made one day as long as two?
5 When his enemies were threatening him from every side, he prayed to the mighty Lord Most High, and his prayer was answered with a hailstorm of devastating force.
6 The Lord hurled the hail down on the enemy and destroyed them at the pass at Beth Horon, so that the nations would realize how strong Joshua was, since he was fighting as a devoted follower of the Lord.
7 Joshua was loyal as long as Moses lived, both he and Caleb son of Jephunneh. They stood up to the whole community, made them stop their ungrateful complaining, and kept them from sinning. 2
8 Out of the 600,000 Israelites who marched through the wilderness, these two were the only ones spared and allowed to enter the rich and fertile land that was to be theirs.
9 The Lord made Caleb strong, and when he was an old man, he was still strong enough to go up into the hill country and capture it for himself and his descendants.
10 Then all of Israel could see how good it is to follow the Lord.
11 Then there were the judges, each of them famous in their own right, who never fell into idolatry and never abandoned the Lord. 3
12 May their memory be honored! May these whom we honor spring from the grave to new life in their descendants!
13 Samuel was loved by the Lord. As the Lord's prophet he established the kingdom and appointed rulers for the people. 4
14 He judged the nation in accordance with the Law of the Lord, and the Lord protected Israel.
15 Because Samuel was faithful, he was accepted as a true prophet. People trusted him as a seer because of his words.
16 When his enemies were threatening him from every side, he called upon the mighty Lord and offered him a young lamb as a sacrifice.
17 Then the Lord thundered from heaven with a mighty roar
18 and destroyed all the enemy rulers of Philistia.
19 When Samuel was about to die, he gave assurances before the Lord and the anointed king that he had never taken anyone's property, not even so much as a pair of shoes, and no one contradicted him.
20 Even after he died, he prophesied to King Saul how he would die. Out of the grave he spoke as a prophet, to blot out his people's wickedness.