Joshua Chapter 23 to 24 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Joshua Encourages the People

23 The Lord gave Israel peace from their enemies around them. The Lord made Israel safe. Many years passed, and Joshua became very old. 2At this time, Joshua called a meeting of all the older leaders, heads of families, judges, and officers of the people of Israel. Joshua said, “I have grown very old. 3You have seen the things that the Lord did to our enemies. He did this to help us. The Lord your God fought for you. 4Remember that I told you your people could have that land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in the west. I promised to give you that land, but you don’t control it yet. 5But the Lord your God will force the people living there to leave. You will take that land. The Lord will force the people living there to leave! The Lord your God promised to do this for you. 6“You must be careful to obey all the things the Lord has commanded us. Obey everything that is written in the Book of the Law* of Moses. Don’t turn away from that law. 7There are still some people living among us that are not people of Israel. Those people worship their own gods. Don’t become friends with those people. Don’t serve or worship their gods. 8You must continue to follow the Lord your God. You have done this in the past, and you must continue to do it. 9“The Lord helped you to defeat many great and powerful nations. The Lord forced those people to leave. No nation has been able to defeat you. 10With the Lord’s help, one man from Israel could defeat 1,000 enemy soldiers. Why? Because the Lord your God fights for you. The Lord promised to do this. 11So you must continue to love the Lord your God. 12“Don’t stop following the Lord. Don’t become friends with these other people that are not part of Israel. Don’t marry any of their people. But if you do become friends with these people, 13then the Lord your God will not help you to defeat your enemies. These people will become like a trap for you. They will cause you pain—like smoke and dust in your eyes. And you will be forced to leave this good land. The Lord your God gave you this land. But you can lose it if you don’t obey this command. 14“It is almost time for me to die. You know and truly believe that the Lord has done many great things for you. You know that he has not failed in any of his promises. The Lord has kept every promise that he has made to us. 15Every good promise that the Lord your God made to us has come true. But in the same way, the Lord will make his other promise come true. He promised that if you do wrong, then bad things will happen to you. He promised that he will force you to leave this good land that he gave you. 16This will happen if you refuse to keep your agreement with the Lord your God. You will lose this land if you go and serve other gods. You must not worship those other gods. If you do, the Lord will become very angry at you. Then you will quickly be forced to leave this good land that he gave you.”

Law Or “Teachings”

Joshua Says Goodbye

24 Joshua 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.

Joshua Dies

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.

Joseph Comes Home

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.

curse To ask for bad things to happen to someone. Hornet A stinging insect, like a large wasp or bee. Here, it might mean God’s angel or his great power. land Hebrew adds, “of the two Amorite kings.”

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