Joshua 1; Joshua 2; Joshua 3; Mark 16

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Joshua 1

1 Moses, the servant of the Lord, died. After that, the LORD spoke to Joshua, the son of Nun. Joshua was Moses' helper. The LORD said to Joshua,
2 "My servant Moses is dead. Now then, I want you and all of these people to get ready to go across the Jordan River. I want all of you to go into the land I am about to give to the people of Israel.
3 "I will give all of you every place you walk on, just as I promised Moses.
4 Your territory will reach from the Negev Desert all the way to Lebanon. The great Euphrates River will be to the east. The Mediterranean Sea will be to the west. Your territory will include all of the Hittite country.
5 "Joshua, no one will be able to stand up against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will never leave you. I will never desert you.
6 "Be strong and brave. You will lead these people, and they will take the land as their very own. It is the land I promised with an oath to give their people long ago.
7 "Be strong and very brave. Make sure you obey the whole law my servant Moses gave you. Do not turn away from it to the right or the left. Then you will have success everywhere you go.
8 Never stop reading this Scroll of the Law. Day and night you must think about what it says. Make sure you do everything that is written in it. Then things will go well with you. And you will have great success.
9 "Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the LORD your God. I will be with you everywhere you go."
10 So Joshua gave orders to the officers of the people. He said,
11 "Go through the camp. Tell the people, 'Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will go across the Jordan River right here. You will go in and take over the land. The LORD your God is giving it to you as your very own.' "
12 Joshua also spoke to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh. He said to them,
13 "Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you. He said, 'The LORD your God is giving you this land. It's a place where you can settle down and live in peace and rest.'
14 "Your wives, children and livestock can stay here east of the Jordan River. Moses gave you this land. But all of your fighting men must get ready for battle. They must go across ahead of the other tribes. You must help them
15 until the LORD gives them rest. In the same way, he has already given you rest. You must help them until they also have taken over their land. It's the land the LORD your God is giving them. After that, you can come back here. Then you can live in your own land. It's the land that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you east of the Jordan River. It's toward the sunrise."
16 Then the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh answered Joshua. They said, "We'll do what you have commanded us to do. We'll go where you send us.
17 We obeyed Moses completely. And we'll obey you just as completely. But may the LORD your God be with you, just as he was with Moses.
18 "Suppose people question your authority. And suppose they refuse to obey anything you command them to do. Then they will be put to death. Just be strong and brave!"
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Joshua 2

1 Joshua, the son of Nun, sent two spies from Shittim. He sent them in secret. He said to them, "Go. Look the land over. Most of all, check out Jericho." So they went to Jericho. They stayed at the house of a prostitute. Her name was Rahab.
2 The king of Jericho was told, "Look! Some of the people of Israel have come here tonight. They've come to check out the land."
3 So the king sent a message to Rahab. It said, "Bring out the men who came into your house. They've come to check out the whole land."
4 But the woman had hidden the two men. She said, "It's true that the men came here. But I didn't know where they had come from.
5 They left at sunset, when it was time to close the city gate. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You might catch up with them."
6 But in fact she had taken them up on the roof. There she had hidden them under some flax she had piled up.
7 The king's men left to hunt down the spies. They took the road that leads to where the Jordan River can be crossed. As soon as they had gone out of the city, the gate was shut.
8 Rahab went up on the roof before the spies settled down for the night.
9 She said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you. We are very much afraid of you. Everyone who lives in this country is weak with fear because of you.
10 "We've heard how the LORD dried up the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt. We've heard what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings. They ruled east of the Jordan River. You completely destroyed them.
11 "When we heard about it, our hearts melted away in fear. Because of you, we aren't brave anymore. The LORD your God is the God who rules over heaven above and earth below.
12 "Now then, please take an oath. Promise me in the name of the LORD that you will be kind to my family. I've been kind to you. Promise me
13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother. Spare my brothers and sisters. Also spare everyone in their families. Promise that you won't put any of us to death."
14 So the men made a promise to her. "We'll give up our lives to save yours," they said. "But don't tell anyone what we're doing. Then we'll be kind and faithful to you when the LORD gives us the land."
15 The house Rahab lived in was part of the city wall. So she let the spies down by a rope through the window.
16 She had said to them, "Go up into the hills. The men who are chasing you won't be able to find you. Hide yourselves there for three days until they return. Then you can go on your way."
17 The men said to her, "You made us take an oath and make a promise. But we won't keep it
18 unless you do what we say. When we enter the land, you must tie this bright red rope in the window. Tie it in the window you let us down through. "Bring your father and mother into your house. Also bring your brothers and everyone else in your family into your house.
19 None of you must go out into the street. If you do, anything that happens to you will be your own fault. Don't hold us accountable. "But if anyone hurts someone who is inside the house with you, it will be our fault. And you can hold us accountable.
20 "Don't tell anyone what we're doing. If you do, we won't have to keep the promise you asked us to make."
21 "I agree," Rahab replied. "I'll do as you say." So she sent them away, and they left. Then she tied the bright red rope in the window.
22 When the spies left, they went up into the hills. They stayed there for three days. By that time the men who were chasing them had searched all along the road. They couldn't find them. So they returned.
23 Then the two spies started back. They went down out of the hills. They went across the Jordan River. They came to Joshua, the son of Nun. They told him everything that had happened to them.
24 They said, "We're sure the LORD has given the whole land over to us. All of the people there are weak with fear because of us."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Joshua 3

1 Early one morning Joshua and all of the people of Israel started out from Shittim. They went down to the Jordan River. They camped there before they went across it.
2 After three days the officers went all through the camp.
3 They gave orders to the people. They said, "Watch for the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. The priests, who are Levites, will be carrying it. When you see it, you must move out from where you are and follow it.
4 Then you will know which way to go. You have never gone this way before. But don't go near the ark. Stay about 1,000 yards away from it."
5 Joshua spoke to the people. He said, "Set yourselves apart to the Lord. Tomorrow he'll do amazing things among you."
6 Joshua said to the priests, "Go and get the ark of the covenant. Walk on ahead of the people." So they went and got it. Then they walked on ahead of them.
7 The LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to honor you in the eyes of all of the people of Israel. Then they will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses.
8 Speak to the priests who carry the ark of the covenant. Tell them, 'When you reach the edge of the Jordan River, go into the water and stand there.' "
9 Joshua spoke to the people of Israel. He said, "Come here. Listen to what the LORD your God is saying.
10 You will soon know that the living God is among you. You can be sure that he'll drive out the people who are now living in the land. He'll do it to make room for you. He'll drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites.
11 "The ark will go into the Jordan River ahead of you. It's the ark of the covenant of the Lord of the whole earth.
12 "Choose 12 men from the tribes of Israel. Choose one from each tribe.
13 "The priests will carry the ark of the Lord. He's the Lord of the whole earth. As soon as the priests step into the Jordan, it will stop flowing. The water that's coming down the river will pile up in one place. That's how you will know that the living God is among you."
14 So the people took their tents down. They prepared to go across the Jordan River. The priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.
15 The water of the Jordan was going over its banks. It always does that at the time the crops are being gathered. The priests came to the river. Their feet touched the water's edge.
16 Right away the water that was coming down the river stopped flowing. It piled up far away at a town called Adam near Zarethan. The water that was flowing down to the Dead Sea was completely cut off. So the people went across the Jordan River opposite Jericho.
17 The priests carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD. They stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the river. They stayed there until the whole nation of Israel had gone across on dry ground.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Mark 16

1 The Sabbath day ended. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices. They were going to apply them to Jesus' body.
2 Very early on the first day of the week, they were on their way to the tomb. It was just after sunrise.
3 They asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?"
4 Then they looked up and saw that the stone had been rolled away. The stone was very large.
5 They entered the tomb. As they did, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe. He was sitting on the right side. They were alarmed.
6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. But he has risen! He is not here! See the place where they had put him.
7 Go! Tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. It will be just as he told you.' "
8 The women were shaking and confused. They went out and ran away from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
9 Jesus rose from the dead early on the first day of the week. He appeared first to Mary Magdalene. He had driven seven demons out of her.
10 She went and told those who had been with him. She found them crying. They were very sad.
11 They heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him. But they did not believe it.
12 After that, Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them. This happened while they were walking out in the country.
13 The two returned and told the others about it. But the others did not believe them either.
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating. He spoke firmly to them because they had no faith. They would not believe those who had seen him after he rose from the dead.
15 He said to them, "Go into all the world. Preach the good news to everyone.
16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who does not believe will be punished.
17 Here are the miraculous signs that those who believe will do. In my name they will drive out demons. They will speak in languages they had not known before.
18 They will pick up snakes with their hands. And when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all. They will place their hands on sick people. And the people will get well."
19 When the Lord Jesus finished speaking to them, he was taken up into heaven. He sat down at the right hand of God.
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere. The Lord worked with them. And he backed up his word by the signs that went with it.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.