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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 24

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1Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders of Israel, the heads of families, the judges and officers. When they presented themselves before God, 2Joshua said to all the people: ‘This is the word of the LORD the God of Israel: Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. 3I took your ancestor Abraham from beside the Euphrates and led him through the length and breadth of Canaan. I gave him many descendants: I gave him Isaac, 4and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill-country of Seir to Esau as his possession; Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.

5‘Later I sent Moses and Aaron, and I struck the Egyptians with plagues—you know well what I did among them—and after that I brought you out; 6I brought your forefathers out of Egypt, but at the Red Sea a 24:6 Red Sea: or sea of Reeds. the Egyptians sent their chariots and cavalry to pursue them. 7When they appealed to the LORD, he put a screen of darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea down on them to engulf them; you saw for yourselves what I did to Egypt.

‘For a long time you lived in the wilderness, 8and then I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power; you took possession of their country, when I destroyed them before you. 9The king of Moab, Balak son of Zippor, took the field against Israel. He sent for Balaam son of Beor to lay a curse on you, 10but I would not listen to Balaam. Instead of that he was constrained to bless you, and so I saved you from Balak's clutches. 11Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. Its people fought against you b 24:11 against you: prob. rdg; Heb. adds Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites. , but I delivered them into your hands. 12I spread panic before your advance, and it was this, not your sword or your bow, that drove out the two kings of the Amorites. 13I gave you land on which you had not laboured, towns which you had not built; you have settled in those towns and you eat the produce of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.

14‘Now hold the LORD in awe, and serve him in loyalty and truth. Put away the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15But if it does not please you to serve the LORD, choose here and now whom you will serve: the gods whom your forefathers served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But I and my family, we shall serve the LORD.’

16The people answered, ‘God forbid that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods!’ They declared: 17‘The LORD our God it was who brought us and our forefathers up from Egypt, that land of slavery; it was he who displayed those great signs before our eyes, who guarded us on all our wanderings among the many peoples through whose lands we passed. 18The LORD drove out before us the Amorites and all the peoples who lived in that country. We too shall serve the LORD; he is our God.’

19Joshua said to the people, ‘You may not be able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God, a jealous God, and he will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign deities, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, even though he once brought you prosperity.’ 21The people answered, ‘No; we shall serve the LORD.’ 22He said to them, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD and will serve him.’ ‘Yes,’ they answered, ‘we are witnesses.’ 23‘Then here and now banish the foreign gods that are among you,’ he said to them, ‘and turn your hearts to the LORD the God of Israel.’ 24The people replied, ‘We shall serve the LORD our God and his voice we shall obey.’

25So Joshua made a covenant for the people that day; he drew up a statute and an ordinance for them in Shechem 26and recorded its terms in the book of the law of God. He took a great stone and set it up there under the terebinth in the sanctuary of the LORD. 27He said to all the people, ‘You see this stone—it will be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words which the LORD has spoken to us. If you renounce your God, it will be a witness against you.’ 28Then Joshua dismissed the people, each man to his allotted holding.

29After these events, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 30They buried him within his own holding in Timnath-serah to the north of Mount Gaash in the hill-country of Ephraim. 31Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who knew all that the LORD had done for Israel.

32The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried in Shechem, in the plot of land which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor father of Shechem for a hundred sheep c 24:32 sheep: or pieces of money. ; and they passed into the ancestral holding of the house of Joseph.

33Eleazar son of Aaron died and was buried in the hill which had been assigned to Phinehas his son in the hill-country of Ephraim.

Notes:

a 24:6 Red Sea: or sea of Reeds.

b 24:11 against you: prob. rdg; Heb. adds Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites.

c 24:32 sheep: or pieces of money.

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