Joshua 24

The Covenant Renewed at Shechem

1 Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.
2 Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods.
3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac,
4 and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill country of Seir to Esau, but Jacob and his family went down to Egypt.
5 “ ‘Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out.
6 When I brought your people out of Egypt, you came to the sea, and the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and horsemen[a] as far as the Red Sea.[b]
7 But they cried to the LORD for help, and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them. You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians. Then you lived in the wilderness for a long time.
8 “ ‘I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave them into your hands. I destroyed them from before you, and you took possession of their land.
9 When Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, prepared to fight against Israel, he sent for Balaam son of Beor to put a curse on you.
10 But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you again and again, and I delivered you out of his hand.
11 “ ‘Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands.
12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you—also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow.
13 So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’
14 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods!
17 It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.
18 And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God.”
19 Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.
20 If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”
21 But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the LORD.”
22 Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD.” “Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied.
23 “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
24 And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and obey him.”
25 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws.
26 And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD.
27 “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”
28 Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to their own inheritance.

Buried in the Promised Land

29 After these things, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten.
30 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Serah[c] in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
31 Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the LORD had done for Israel.
32 And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver[d] from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants.
33 And Eleazar son of Aaron died and was buried at Gibeah, which had been allotted to his son Phinehas 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.

Cross References 91

  • 1. Genesis 49:2
  • 2. S Genesis 12:6
  • 3. 1 Samuel 12:7; 1 Kings 8:14
  • 4. Joshua 7:6
  • 5. Joshua 23:2
  • 6. Genesis 11:26
  • 7. Genesis 11:32
  • 8. S Genesis 12:1
  • 9. S Genesis 1:28; S Genesis 12:2; Genesis 15:5
  • 10. S Genesis 21:3
  • 11. S Genesis 25:26
  • 12. S Genesis 14:6; S Numbers 24:18; Deuteronomy 2:5
  • 13. Genesis 46:5-6
  • 14. S Exodus 3:10
  • 15. Exodus 12:51
  • 16. S Exodus 14:22
  • 17. S Exodus 14:9
  • 18. Exodus 14:23
  • 19. S Exodus 14:10
  • 20. Exodus 14:20
  • 21. S Exodus 14:28
  • 22. S Exodus 19:4
  • 23. Deuteronomy 1:46
  • 24. S Exodus 23:23
  • 25. S Numbers 21:31
  • 26. Numbers 22:2
  • 27. S Numbers 23:7
  • 28. S Numbers 22:6
  • 29. S Numbers 23:11; S Deuteronomy 23:5
  • 30. S Exodus 14:29; Joshua 3:16-17
  • 31. Joshua 6:1
  • 32. S Joshua 3:10
  • 33. S Genesis 15:18-21
  • 34. Exodus 23:23; Deuteronomy 7:1
  • 35. S Exodus 23:28; Deuteronomy 7:20; Ps 44:3,6-7
  • 36. S Exodus 23:31
  • 37. Psalms 135:11
  • 38. Exodus 6:8
  • 39. Deuteronomy 6:10-11
  • 40. 1 Samuel 12:14; Job 23:15; Psalms 19:9; Psalms 119:120
  • 41. Deuteronomy 10:12; Deuteronomy 18:13; 1 Samuel 12:24; 2 Corinthians 1:12
  • 42. ver 23; S Genesis 31:19; Exodus 12:12; Exodus 18:11; Exodus 20:3; Numbers 25:2; Deuteronomy 11:28; Judges 10:16; Ruth 1:15; Isaiah 55:7
  • 43. Ezekiel 23:3
  • 44. Judges 6:10; Ruth 1:15
  • 45. S Genesis 35:2
  • 46. Ruth 1:16; Ruth 2:12; 1 Kings 18:21; Daniel 3:18
  • 47. Joshua 22:29
  • 48. Judges 6:8
  • 49. S Exodus 10:1
  • 50. S Exodus 23:31
  • 51. S Deuteronomy 33:27
  • 52. Acts 7:45
  • 53. S Genesis 28:21
  • 54. S Leviticus 11:44; Leviticus 19:2; S Leviticus 20:26
  • 55. S Exodus 20:5
  • 56. S Exodus 34:7
  • 57. S Exodus 23:21
  • 58. 1 Chronicles 28:9,20; 2 Chronicles 24:18
  • 59. Acts 7:42
  • 60. 1 Samuel 12:25; Hosea 13:11
  • 61. Joshua 23:15
  • 62. ver 27; Ruth 4:10; Isaiah 8:2; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:8; Jeremiah 42:5; Malachi 2:14
  • 63. Psalms 119:30,173
  • 64. S Deuteronomy 25:9
  • 65. S ver 14
  • 66. 1 Kings 8:58; Psalms 119:36; Psalms 141:4; Jeremiah 31:33
  • 67. Exodus 19:8; Exodus 24:3,7; Deuteronomy 5:27; Jeremiah 42:6
  • 68. S Exodus 24:8
  • 69. S Joshua 17:7
  • 70. Exodus 15:25
  • 71. S Deuteronomy 17:18
  • 72. S Deuteronomy 28:61; S Deuteronomy 31:24
  • 73. S Genesis 28:18; S Deuteronomy 27:2
  • 74. S Genesis 12:6; S Judges 4:11
  • 75. S Genesis 28:18; Habakkuk 2:11
  • 76. S ver 22; S Genesis 21:30; S Joshua 22:27
  • 77. S Joshua 7:11
  • 78. S Numbers 11:20; S Proverbs 30:9
  • 79. Judges 21:23,24
  • 80. Judges 1:1
  • 81. S Genesis 50:22; Judges 2:8
  • 82. S Joshua 19:50
  • 83. 2 Samuel 23:30
  • 84. Joshua 7:6; Judges 2:7
  • 85. Hebrews 11:22
  • 86. S Genesis 47:29-30; Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:19
  • 87. Genesis 33:19; John 4:5; Acts 7:16
  • 88. S Joshua 22:13
  • 89. S Joshua 15:57
  • 90. S Exodus 6:25
  • 91. 1 Samuel 9:4; 1 Kings 4:8

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or "charioteers"
  • [b]. Or "the Sea of Reeds"
  • [c]. Also known as "Timnath Heres" (see Judges 2:9)
  • [d]. Hebrew "hundred kesitahs" ; a kesitah was a unit of money of unknown weight and 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

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