Joshua 24

1Joshua called all the family groups of Israel to meet together at Shechem. Then Joshua called the older leaders, the heads of the families, the judges, and the officers and the rulers and the judges of Israel. These men stood before God. 2Then Joshua spoke to all the people. He said, “I am telling you 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. I am talking about men like Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor. At that time, those men worshiped other gods. 3But I, the Lord, took your father Abraham out of the land on the other side of the River. I led him through the land of Canaan and gave him many, many children. I gave Abraham his son named Isaac. 4And I gave Isaac two sons named Jacob and Esau. To Esau, I gave the land around the mountains of Seir. Jacob and his sons did not live there. They went to live in the land of Egypt. 5Then I sent Moses and Aaron to Egypt. I wanted them to bring my people out of Egypt. I caused many terrible things to happen to the people of Egypt. Then I brought your people out of Egypt. 6So I brought your ancestors out of Egypt. They came to the Red Sea, and the men of Egypt were chasing them. There were chariots and men on horses. 7So the people asked me, the Lord, for help. And I caused great trouble to come to the men of Egypt. I, the Lord, caused 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. 8Then I brought you to the land of the Amorite people. This was east of the Jordan River. Those people fought against you, but I allowed you to defeat them. I gave you the power to destroy those people. Then you took control of that land. 9Then Balak, the son of Zippor, the king of Moab, prepared to fight against the people of Israel. The king sent for Balaam the son of Beor. He asked Balaam to curse you. 10But I, the Lord, refused to listen to Balaam. So Balaam asked for good things to happen to you! He blessed you many times. I saved you and brought you out of trouble. 11Then you went across the Jordan River to the city of Jericho. The people in Jericho fought against you. Also, the Amorite people, the Perizzite people, the Canaanite people, the Hittite people, the Girgashite people, the Hivite people, and the Jebusite people fought against you. But I allowed you to defeat all of them. 12While your army traveled forward, I sent the Hornet ahead of them. The hornet made the people leave. So you took the land without using your swords and bows. 13I, the Lord, gave that land to you! You didn’t work for that land—I gave it to you! You did not build those cities—I gave them to you! And now you live in that land and in those cities. You have gardens of grapevines and olive trees, but you did not have to plant those gardens.” 14Then Joshua said to the people, “Now you have heard the Lord’s words. So you must respect the Lord and truly serve him. Throw away the false gods that your ancestors worshiped. That was something that happened a long time ago on the other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Now you must serve only the Lord. 15“But maybe you don’t want to serve the Lord. You must choose for yourselves today. Today you must decide who you will serve. Will you serve the gods that your ancestors worshiped when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River? Or will you serve the gods of the Amorite people that lived in this land? You must choose for yourselves. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord!” 16Then the people answered, “We will never stop following the Lord. We will never serve other gods! 17We know that it was the Lord God who brought our people out of Egypt. We were slaves in that land. But the Lord did great things for us there. He brought us out of that land and protected us while we traveled through other lands. 18The Lord helped us to defeat the people living in these lands. The Lord helped us to defeat the Amorite people who lived in this land where we are now. So we will continue to serve the Lord. Why? Because he is our God.” 19Then Joshua said, “˻That is not true.˼ You will not be able to continue serving the Lord. The Lord God is holy. And God hates his people worshiping other gods. God will not forgive you if you turn against him like that. 20But you will leave the Lord and serve other gods. And the Lord will cause terrible things to happen to you. The Lord will destroy you. The Lord God has been good to you, but if you turn against him he will destroy you.” 21But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.” 22Then Joshua said, “Look around at yourselves and the people with you here. Do you all know and agree that you have chosen to serve the Lord? Are you all witnesses to this?” The people answered, “Yes, it is true! We all see that we have chosen to serve the Lord.” 23Then Joshua said, “So throw away the false gods that you have among you. Love the Lord the God of Israel with all your heart.” 24Then the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God. We will obey him.” 25So that day Joshua made an agreement for the people. Joshua made this agreement at the town called Shechem. It became a law for them to follow. 26Joshua wrote these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then Joshua found a large stone. ˻This stone was proof of this agreement.˼ He put the stone under the oak tree near the Lord’s Holy Tent. 27Then Joshua said to all the people, “This stone will help you remember the things we said today. This stone was here when the Lord was speaking to us today. So this stone will be something that helps you remember what happened today. The stone will be a witness against you. It will stop you from turning against the Lord your God.” 28Then Joshua told the people to go home. So every person went back to his own land. 29After that Joshua son of Nun died. Joshua was 110 years old. 30Joshua was buried on his own land at Timnath Serah. This was in the hill country of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash. 31The people of Israel had served the Lord during the time Joshua was living. And after Joshua died, the people continued to serve the Lord. The people continued to serve the Lord while their leaders were alive. These were the leaders that had seen the things that the Lord had done for Israel. 32When the people of Israel left Egypt, they carried the bones from the body of Joseph with them. So the people buried the bones of Joseph at Shechem. They buried the bones on the land that Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of the man named Shechem. Jacob had bought that land for 100 pieces of pure silver. This land belonged to Joseph’s children. 33Aaron’s son, Eleazar, died and was buried at Gibeah in the hill country of Ephraim. Gibeah had been given to Eleazar’s son Phinehas.

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