Joshua 22; Joshua 23; Joshua 24

1 Then Joshua called a meeting of all the people from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh. 2 He said to them, "You have done everything Moses, the Lord's servant, told you to do. You have also obeyed all my commands. 3 For a long time you have supported the other Israelites. You have been careful to obey the commands the Lord your God gave you. 4 The Lord your God promised to give the Israelites peace, and he has kept his promise. Now you may go back to your homes, to the land that Moses, the Lord's servant, gave you, on the east side of the Jordan River. 5 But be careful to obey the teachings and laws Moses, the Lord's servant, gave you: to love the Lord your God and obey his commands, to continue to follow him and serve him the very best you can." 6 Then Joshua said good-bye to them, and they left and went away to their homes. 7 Moses had given the land of Bashan to East Manasseh. Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan River to West Manasseh. And he sent them to their homes and he blessed them. 8 He said, "Go back to your homes and your riches. You have many animals, silver, gold, bronze, and iron, and many beautiful clothes. Also, you have taken many things from your enemies that you should divide among yourselves." 9 So the people from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh left the other Israelites at Shiloh in Canaan and went back to Gilead. It was their own land, given to them by Moses as the Lord had commanded. 10 The people of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh went to Geliloth, near the Jordan River in the land of Canaan. There they built a beautiful altar. 11 The other Israelites still at Shiloh heard about the altar these three tribes built at the border of Canaan at Geliloth, near the Jordan River on Israel's side. 12 All the Israelites became very angry at these three tribes, so they met together and decided to fight them. 13 The Israelites sent Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest to Gilead to talk to the people of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh. 14 They also sent one leader from each of the ten tribes at Shiloh. Each of them was a leader of his family group of Israelites. 15 These leaders went to Gilead to talk to the people of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh. They said: 16 "All the Israelites ask you: 'Why did you turn against the God of Israel by building an altar for yourselves? You know that this is against God's law. 17 Remember what happened at Peor? We still suffer today because of that sin, for which God made many Israelites very sick. 18 And now are you turning against the Lord and refusing to follow him? "'If you don't stop what you're doing today, the Lord will be angry with everyone in Israel tomorrow. 19 If your land is unclean, come over into our land where the Lord's Tent is. Share it with us. But don't turn against the Lord and us by building another altar for the Lord our God. 20 Remember how Achan son of Zerah refused to obey the command about what must be completely destroyed. That one man broke God's law, but all the Israelites were punished. Achan died because of his sin, but others also died.'" 21 The people from Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh answered, 22 "The Lord is God of gods! The Lord is God of gods! God knows, and we want you to know also. If we have done something wrong, you may kill us. 23 If we broke God's law, we ask the Lord himself to punish us. We did not build this altar to offer burnt offerings or grain and fellowship offerings. 24 "We did not build it for that reason. We feared that some day your people would not accept us as part of your nation. Then they might say, 'You cannot worship the Lord, the God of Israel. 25 The Lord made the Jordan River a border between us and you people of Reuben and Gad. You cannot worship the Lord.' So we feared that your children might make our children stop worshiping the Lord. 26 "That is why we decided to build this altar. But it is not for burnt offerings and sacrifices. 27 This altar is proof to you and us and to all our children who will come after us that we worship the Lord with our whole burnt offerings, grain, and fellowship offerings. This was so your children would not say to our children, 'You are not the Lord's.' 28 "In the future if your children say that, our children can say, 'See the altar made by our ancestors. It is exactly like the Lord's altar, but we do not use it for sacrifices. It shows that we are part of Israel.' 29 "Truly, we don't want to be against the Lord or to stop following him by building an altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings, or sacrifices. We know the only true altar to the Lord our God is in front of the Holy Tent. " 30 When Phinehas the priest and the ten leaders heard the people of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh, they were pleased. 31 So Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, said, "Now we know the Lord is with us and that you didn't turn against him. Now the Israelites will not be punished by the Lord." 32 Then Phinehas and the leaders left the people of Reuben and Gad in Gilead and went back to Canaan where they told the Israelites what had happened. 33 They were pleased and thanked God. So they decided not to fight the people of Reuben and Gad and destroy those lands. 34 And the people of Reuben and Gad named the altar Proof That We Believe the Lord Is God.
1 The Lord gave Israel peace from their enemies around them. Many years passed, and Joshua grew very old. 2 He called a meeting of all the older leaders, heads of families, judges, and officers of Israel. He said, "I am now very old. 3 You have seen what the Lord has done to our enemies to help us. The Lord your God fought for you. 4 Remember that your people have been given their land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the land I promised to give you 5 The Lord your God will force out the people living there. The Lord will push them out ahead of you. And you will own the land, as he has promised you. 6 "Be strong. You must be careful to obey everything commanded in the Book of the Teachings of Moses. Do exactly as it says. 7 Don't become friends with the people living among us who are not Israelites. Don't say the names of their gods or make anyone swear by them. Don't serve or worship them. 8 You must continue to follow the Lord your God, as you have done in the past. 9 "The Lord has forced many great and powerful nations to leave ahead of you. No nation has been able to defeat you. 10 With his help, one Israelite could defeat a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, as he promised to do. 11 So you must be careful to love the Lord your God. 12 "If you turn away from the way of the Lord and become friends with these people who are not part of Israel and marry them, 13 the Lord your God will not help you defeat your enemies. They will be like traps for you, like whips on your back and thorns in your eyes, and none of you will be left in this good land the Lord your God has given you. 14 "It's almost time for me to die. You know and fully believe that the Lord has done great things for you. You know that he has not failed to keep any of his promises 15 Every good promise that the Lord your God made has come true, and in the same way, his other promises will come true. He promised that evil will come to you and that he will destroy you from this good land that he gave you. 16 This will happen if you don't keep your agreement with the Lord your God. If you go and serve other gods and worship them, the Lord will become very angry with you. Then none of you will be left in this good land he has given you."
1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem. He called the older leaders, heads of families, judges, and officers of Israel to stand before God. 2 Then Joshua said to all the people, "Here's what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you: 'A long time ago your ancestors lived on the other side of the Euphrates River. Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, worshiped other gods. 3 But I, the Lord, took your ancestor Abraham from the other side of the river and led him through the land of Canaan. And I gave him many children, including his son Isaac. 4 I gave Isaac two sons named Jacob and Esau. I gave the land around the mountains of Edom to Esau, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. 5 Then I sent Moses and Aaron to Egypt, where I brought many disasters on the Egyptians. Afterwards I brought you out. 6 When I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, they came to the Red Sea, and the Egyptians chased them with chariots and men on horses. 7 So the people called out to the Lord. And I brought darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea to cover them. You yourselves saw what I did to the army of Egypt. After that, you lived in the desert for a long time. 8 "'Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, east of the Jordan River. They fought against you, but I handed them over to you. I destroyed them before you, and you took control of that land. 9 But the king of Moab, Balak son of Zippor, prepared to fight against the Israelites. The king sent for Balaam son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I refused to listen to Balaam. So he asked for good things to happen to you! I saved you and brought you out of his power. 11 "'Then you crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho, where the people of Jericho fought against you. Also, the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites fought against you. But I handed them over to you. 12 I sent terror ahead of you to force out two Amorite kings. You took the land without using swords and bows. 13 I gave you that land where you did not have to work. I gave you cities that you did not have to build. And now you live in that land and in those cities, and you eat from vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant.'" 14 Then Joshua said to the people, "Now respect the Lord and serve him fully and sincerely. Throw away the gods that your ancestors worshiped on the other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord. 15 But if you don't want to serve the Lord, you must choose for yourselves today whom you will serve. You may serve the gods that your ancestors worshiped when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River, or you may serve the gods of the Amorites who lived in this land. As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." 16 Then the people answered, "We will never stop following the Lord to serve other gods! 17 It was the Lord our God who brought our ancestors out of Egypt. We were slaves in that land, but the Lord did great things for us there. He brought us out and protected us while we traveled through other lands. 18 Then he forced out all the people living in these lands, even the Amorites. So we will serve the Lord, because he is our God." 19 Then Joshua said, "You are not able to serve the Lord, because he is a holy God and a jealous God. If you turn against him and sin, he will not forgive you. 20 If you leave the Lord and serve other gods, he will send you great trouble. The Lord may have been good to you, but if you turn against him, he will destroy you." 21 But the people said to Joshua, "No! We will serve the Lord." 22 Then Joshua said, "You are your own witnesses that you have chosen to serve the Lord." The people said, "Yes, we are." 23 Then Joshua said, "Now throw away the gods that you have. Love the Lord, the God of Israel, with all your heart." 24 Then the people said to Joshua, "We will serve the Lord our God, and we will obey him." 25 On that day at Shechem Joshua made an agreement for the people. He made rules and laws for them to follow. 26 Joshua wrote these things in the Book of the Teachings of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up under the oak tree near the Lord's Holy Tent. 27 Joshua said to all the people, "See this stone! It will remind you of what we did today. It was here the Lord spoke to us today. It will remind you of what happened so you will not turn against your God." 28 Then Joshua sent the people back to their land. 29 After that, Joshua son of Nun died at the age of one hundred ten. 30 They buried him in his own land at Timnath Serah, in the mountains of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 31 The Israelites served the Lord during the lifetime of Joshua and during the lifetimes of the older leaders who lived after Joshua who had seen what the Lord had done for Israel. 32 When the Israelites left Egypt, they carried the bones of Joseph with them. They buried them at Shechem, in the land Jacob had bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor (Hamor was the father of Shechem). This land now belonged to Joseph's children. 33 And Eleazar son of Aaron died and was buried at Gibeah in the mountains of Ephraim, which had been given to Eleazar's son Phinehas.