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Joshua Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Joshua Becomes the Leader of Israel
1Moses, the LORD's servant, was dead. So the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, who had been the assistant of Moses. The LORD said:
2My servant Moses is dead. Now you must lead Israel across the Jordan River into the land I'm giving to all of you. 3Wherever you go, I'll give you that land, as I promised Moses. 4It will reach from the Southern Desert to the Lebanon Mountains in the north, and to the northeast as far as the great Euphrates River. It will include the land of the Hittites, and the land from here at the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. 5Joshua, I will always be with you and help you as I helped Moses, and no one will ever be able to defeat you. 6-8Long ago I promised the ancestors of Israel that I would give this land to their descendants. So be strong and brave! Be careful to do everything my servant Moses taught you. Never stop reading The Book of the Law he gave you. Day and night you must think about what it says. If you obey it completely, you and Israel will be able to take this land. 9I've commanded you to be strong and brave. Don't ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the LORD your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.
The Eastern Tribes Promise To Help
10Joshua ordered the tribal leaders 11to go through the camp and tell everyone:
In a few days we will cross the Jordan River to take the land that the LORD our God is giving us. So fix as much food as you'll need for the march into the land.
12Joshua told the men of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh: 13-14The LORD's servant Moses said that the LORD our God has given you land here on the east side of the Jordan River, where you could live in peace. Your wives and children and your animals can stay here in the land Moses gave you. But all of you that can serve in our army must pick up your weapons and lead the men of the other tribes across the Jordan River. They are your relatives, so you must help them 15conquer the land that the LORD is giving them. The LORD will give peace to them as he has given peace to you, and then you can come back and settle here in the land that Moses promised you.
16The men answered:
We'll cross the Jordan River and help our relatives. We'll fight anywhere you send us. 17-18If the LORD our God will help you as he helped Moses, and if you are strong and brave, we will obey you as we obeyed Moses. We'll even put to death anyone who rebels against you or refuses to obey you.
Rahab Helps the Israelite Spies
1Joshua chose two men as spies and sent them from their camp at Acacia with these instructions: " Go across the river and find out as much as you can about the whole region, especially about the town of Jericho."
The two spies left the Israelite camp at Acacia and went to Jericho, where they decided to spend the night at the house of a prostitute named Rahab. 2But someone found out about them and told the king of Jericho, " Some Israelite men came here tonight, and they are spies." 3-7So the king sent soldiers to Rahab's house to arrest the spies.
Meanwhile, Rahab had taken the men up to the flat roof of her house and had hidden them under some piles of flax plants that she had put there to dry. The soldiers came to her door and demanded, " Let us have the men who are staying at your house. They are spies."
She answered, " Some men did come to my house, but I didn't know where they had come from. They left about sunset, just before it was time to close the town gate. I don't know where they were going, but if you hurry, maybe you can catch them." The guards at the town gate let the soldiers leave Jericho, but they closed the gate again as soon as the soldiers went through. Then the soldiers headed toward the Jordan River to look for the spies at the place where people cross the river.
8Rahab went back up to her roof. The spies were still awake, so she told them:
9I know that the LORD has given Israel this land. Everyone shakes with fear because of you. 10We heard how the LORD dried up the Red Sea so you could leave Egypt. And we heard how you destroyed Sihon and Og, those two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River. 11We know that the LORD your God rules heaven and earth, and we've lost our courage and our will to fight. 12Please promise me in the LORD's name that you will be as kind to my family as I have been to you. Do something to show 13that you won't let your people kill my father and mother and my brothers and sisters and their families.
14" Rahab," the spies answered, " if you keep quiet about what we're doing, we promise to be kind to you when the LORD gives us this land. We pray that the LORD will kill us if we don't keep our promise!" 15Rahab's house was built into the town wall, and one of the windows in her house faced outside the wall. She gave the spies a rope, showed them the window, and said, " Use this rope to let yourselves down to the ground outside the wall. 16Then hide in the hills. The men who are looking for you won't be able to find you there. They'll give up and come back after a few days, and you can be on your way." 17-20The spies said:
You made us promise to let you and your family live. We will keep our promise, but you can't tell anyone why we were here. You must tie this red rope on your window when we attack, and your father and mother, your brothers, and everyone else in your family must be here with you. We'll take the blame if anyone who stays in this house gets hurt. But anyone who leaves your house will be killed, and it won't be our fault.
21" I'll do exactly what you said," Rahab promised. Then she sent them on their way and tied the red rope to the window.
22The spies hid in the hills for three days while the king's soldiers looked for them along the roads. As soon as the soldiers gave up and returned to Jericho, 23the two spies went down into the Jordan valley and crossed the river. They reported to Joshua and told him everything that had happened. 24" We're sure the LORD has given us the whole country," they said. " The people there shake with fear every time they think of us."
Israel Crosses the Jordan River
1Early the next morning, Joshua and the Israelites packed up and left Acacia. They went to the Jordan River and camped there that night. 2Two days later their leaders went through the camp, 3-4shouting, " When you see some of the priests carrying the sacred chest, you'll know it is time to cross to the other side. You've never been there before, and you won't know the way, unless you follow the chest. But don't get too close! Stay about half a mile back." 5Joshua told the people, " Make yourselves acceptable to worship the LORD, because he is going to do some amazing things for us." 6Then Joshua turned to the priests and said, " Take the chest and cross the Jordan River ahead of us." So the priests picked up the chest by its carrying poles and went on ahead.
7The LORD told Joshua, " Beginning today I will show the people that you are their leader, and they will know that I am helping you as I helped Moses. 8Now, tell the priests who are carrying the chest to go a little way into the river and stand there."
9Joshua spoke to the people:
Come here and listen to what the LORD our God said he will do! 10The Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites control the land on the other side of the river. But the living God will be with you and will force them out of the land when you attack. And now, God is going to prove that he's powerful enough to force them out. 11-13Just watch the sacred chest that belongs to the LORD, the ruler of the whole earth. As soon as the priests carrying the chest step into the Jordan, the water will stop flowing and pile up as if someone had built a dam across the river.
The LORD has also said that each of the twelve tribes should choose one man to represent it.
14The Israelites packed up and left camp. The priests carrying the chest walked in front, 15until they came to the Jordan River. The water in the river had risen over its banks, as it often does in springtime. But as soon as the feet of the priests touched the water, 16-17the river stopped flowing, and the water started piling up at the town of Adam near Zarethan. No water flowed toward the Dead Sea, and the priests stood in the middle of the dry riverbed near Jericho while everyone else crossed over.
The People Set Up a Monument
1After Israel had crossed the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua:
2-3Tell one man from each of the twelve tribes to pick up a large rock from where the priests are standing. Then have the men set up those rocks as a monument at the place where you camp tonight. 4Joshua chose twelve men; he called them together, 5and told them:
Go to the middle of the riverbed where the sacred chest is, and pick up a large rock. Carry it on your shoulder to our camp. There are twelve of you, so there will be one rock for each tribe. 6-7Someday your children will ask, " Why are these rocks here?" Then you can tell them how the water stopped flowing when the chest was being carried across the river. These rocks will always remind our people of what happened here today.
8The men followed the instructions that the LORD had given Joshua. They picked up twelve rocks, one for each tribe, and carried them to the camp, where they put them down.
9Joshua had some other men set up a monument next to the place where the priests were standing. This monument was also made of twelve large rocks, and it is still there in the middle of the river.
The People of Israel Set Up Camp at Gilgal
10-13The army got ready for battle and crossed the Jordan. They marched quickly past the sacred chest and into the desert near Jericho. Forty thousand soldiers from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh led the way, as Moses had ordered. The priests stayed right where they were until the army had followed the orders that the LORD had given Moses and Joshua. Then the army watched as the priests carried the chest the rest of the way across.
14-18" Joshua," the LORD said, " have the priests come up from the Jordan and bring the chest with them." So Joshua went over to the priests and told them what the LORD had said. And as soon as the priests carried the chest past the highest place that the floodwaters of the Jordan had reached, the river flooded its banks again.
That's how the LORD showed the Israelites that Joshua was their leader. For the rest of Joshua's life, they respected him as they had respected Moses. 19It was the tenth day of the first month of the year when Israel crossed the Jordan River. They set up camp at Gilgal, which was east of the land controlled by Jericho. 20The men who had carried the twelve rocks from the Jordan brought them to Joshua, and they made them into a monument. 21Then Joshua told the people: Years from now your children will ask you why these rocks are here. 22-23Tell them, " The LORD our God dried up the Jordan River so we could walk across. He did the same thing here for us that he did for our people at the Red Sea, 24because he wants everyone on earth to know how powerful he is. And he wants us to worship only him."
1The Amorite kings west of the Jordan River and the Canaanite kings along the Mediterranean Sea lost their courage and their will to fight, when they heard how the LORD had dried up the Jordan River to let Israel go across.
Israel Gets Ready To Celebrate Passover
2While Israel was camped at Gilgal, the LORD said, " Joshua, make some flint knives and circumcise the rest of the Israelite men and boys." 3Joshua made the knives, then circumcised those men and boys at Haaraloth Hill. 4-7This had to be done, because none of Israel's baby boys had been circumcised during the forty years that Israel had wandered through the desert after leaving Egypt. And why had they wandered for forty years? It was because right after they left Egypt, the men in the army had disobeyed the LORD. And the LORD had said, " None of you men will ever live to see the land that I promised Israel. It is a land rich with milk and honey, and someday your children will live there, but not before you die here in the desert."
8Everyone who had been circumcised needed time to heal, and they stayed in camp.
9The LORD told Joshua, " It was a disgrace for my people to be slaves in Egypt, but now I have taken away that disgrace." So the Israelites named the place Gilgal, and it still has that name. 10Israel continued to camp at Gilgal in the desert near Jericho, and on the fourteenth day of the same month, they celebrated Passover. 11-12The next day, God stopped sending the Israelites manna to eat each morning, and they started eating food grown in the land of Canaan. They ate roasted grain and thin bread made of the barley they had gathered from nearby fields.
Israel Captures Jericho
13One day, Joshua was near Jericho when he saw a man standing some distance in front of him. The man was holding a sword, so Joshua walked up to him and asked, " Are you on our side or on our enemies' side?"
14" Neither," he answered. " I am here because I am the commander of the LORD's army."
Joshua fell to his knees and bowed down to the ground. " I am your servant," he said. " Tell me what to do."
15" Take off your sandals," the commander answered. " This is a holy place."
So Joshua took off his sandals.
1Meanwhile, the people of Jericho had been locking the gates in their town wall because they were afraid of the Israelites. No one could go out or come in.
2-3The LORD said to Joshua:
With my help, you and your army will defeat the king of Jericho and his army, and you will capture the town. Here is how to do it: March slowly around Jericho once a day for six days. 4Take along the sacred chest and have seven priests walk in front of it, carrying trumpets. But on the seventh day, march slowly around the town seven times while the priests blow their trumpets. 5Then the priests will blast on their trumpets, and everyone else will shout. The wall will fall down, and your soldiers can go straight in from every side.
6Joshua called the priests together and said, " Take the chest and have seven priests carry trumpets and march ahead of it."
7-10Next, he gave the army their orders: " March slowly around Jericho. A few of you will go ahead of the chest to guard it, but most of you will follow it. Don't shout the battle cry or yell or even talk until the day I tell you to. Then let out a shout!"
As soon as Joshua finished giving the orders, the army started marching. One group of soldiers led the way, with seven priests marching behind them and blowing trumpets. Then came the priests carrying the chest, followed by the rest of the soldiers. 11They obeyed Joshua's orders and carried the chest once around the town before returning to camp for the night.
12-14Early the next morning, Joshua and everyone else started marching around Jericho in the same order as the day before. One group of soldiers was in front, followed by the seven priests with trumpets and the priests who carried the chest. The rest of the army came next. The seven priests blew their trumpets while everyone marched slowly around Jericho and back to camp. They did this once a day for six days.
15On the seventh day, the army got up at daybreak. They marched slowly around Jericho the same as they had done for the past six days, except on this day they went around seven times. 16Then the priests blew the trumpets, and Joshua yelled:
Get ready to shout! The LORD will let you capture this town. 17But you must destroy it and everything in it, to show that it now belongs to the LORD. The woman Rahab helped the spies we sent, so protect her and the others who are inside her house. But kill everyone else in the town. 18-19The silver and gold and everything made of bronze and iron belong to the LORD and must be put in his treasury. Be careful to follow these instructions, because if you see something you want and take it, the LORD will destroy Israel. And it will be all your fault. 20The priests blew their trumpets again, and the soldiers shouted as loud as they could. The walls of Jericho fell flat. Then the soldiers rushed up the hill, went straight into the town, and captured it. 21-25They killed everyone, men and women, young and old, everyone except Rahab and the others in her house. They even killed every cow, sheep, and donkey.
Joshua said to the two men who had been spies, " Rahab kept you safe when I sent you to Jericho. We promised to protect her and her family, and we will keep that promise. Now go into her house and bring them out."
The two men went into Rahab's house and brought her out, along with her father and mother, her brothers, and her other relatives. Rahab and her family had to stay in a place just outside the Israelite army camp. But later they were allowed to live among the Israelites, and her descendants still do. The Israelites took the silver and gold and the things made of bronze and iron and put them with the rest of the treasure that was kept at the LORD's house. Finally, they set fire to Jericho and everything in it. 26After Jericho was destroyed, Joshua warned the people, " Someday a man will rebuild Jericho, but the LORD will put a curse on him, and the man's oldest son will die when he starts to build the town wall. And by the time he finishes the wall and puts gates in it, all his children will be dead." 27The LORD helped Joshua in everything he did, and Joshua was famous everywhere in Canaan.
Achan Is Punished for Stealing from the LORD
1The LORD had said that everything in Jericho belonged to him. But Achan from the Judah tribe took some of the things from Jericho for himself. And so the LORD was angry with the Israelites, because one of them had disobeyed him. 2While Israel was still camped near Jericho, Joshua sent some spies with these instructions: " Go to the town of Ai and find out whatever you can about the region around the town." The spies left and went to Ai, which is east of Bethel and near Beth-Aven. 3They went back to Joshua and reported, " You don't need to send the whole army to attack Ai--two or three thousand troops will be enough. Why bother the whole army for a town that small?"
4-5Joshua sent about three thousand soldiers to attack Ai. But the men of Ai fought back and chased the Israelite soldiers away from the town gate and down the hill to the stone quarries. Thirty-six Israelite soldiers were killed, and the Israelite army felt discouraged. 6Joshua and the leaders of Israel tore their clothes and put dirt on their heads to show their sorrow. They lay facedown on the ground in front of the sacred chest until sunset. 7Then Joshua said:
Our LORD, did you bring us across the Jordan River just so the Amorites could destroy us? This wouldn't have happened if we had agreed to stay on the other side of the Jordan. 8I don't even know what to say to you, since Israel's army has turned and run from the enemy. 9Everyone will think you weren't strong enough to protect your people. Now the Canaanites and everyone else who lives in the land will surround us and wipe us out.
10The LORD answered:
Stop lying there on the ground! Get up! 11I said everything in Jericho belonged to me and had to be destroyed. But the Israelites have kept some of the things for themselves. They stole from me and hid what they took. Then they lied about it. 12What they stole was supposed to be destroyed, and now Israel itself must be destroyed. I cannot help you anymore until you do exactly what I have said. That's why Israel turns and runs from its enemies instead of standing up to them.
13Tell the people of Israel, " Tomorrow you will meet with the LORD your God, so make yourselves acceptable to worship him. The LORD says that you have taken things that should have been destroyed. You won't be able to stand up to your enemies until you get rid of those things.
14" Tomorrow morning everyone must gather near the place of worship. You will come forward tribe by tribe, and the LORD will show which tribe is guilty. Next, the clans in that tribe must come forward, and the LORD will show which clan is guilty. The families in that clan must come, and the LORD will point out the guilty family. Finally, the men in that family must come, 15and the LORD will show who stole what should have been destroyed. That man must be put to death, his body burned, and his possessions thrown into the fire. He has done a terrible thing by breaking the sacred agreement that the LORD made with Israel."
16Joshua got up early the next morning and brought each tribe to the place of worship, where the LORD showed that the Judah tribe was guilty. 17Then Joshua brought the clans of Judah to the LORD, and the LORD showed that the Zerah clan was guilty. One by one he brought the leader of each family in the Zerah clan to the LORD, and the LORD showed that Zabdi's family was guilty. 18Finally, Joshua brought each man in Zabdi's family to the LORD, and the LORD showed that Achan was the guilty one.
19" Achan," Joshua said, " the LORD God of Israel has decided that you are guilty. Is this true? Tell me what you did, and don't try to hide anything."
20" It's true," Achan answered. " I sinned and disobeyed the LORD God of Israel. 21-22While we were in Jericho, I saw a beautiful Babylonian robe, two hundred pieces of silver, and a gold bar that weighed the same as fifty pieces of gold. I wanted them for myself, so I took them. I dug a hole under my tent and hid the silver, the gold, and the robe."
Joshua had some people run to Achan's tent, where they found the silver, the gold, and the robe. 23They brought them back and put them in front of the sacred chest, so Joshua and the rest of the Israelites could see them. 24Then everyone took Achan and the things he had stolen to Trouble Valley. They also took along his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys, and sheep, his tent, and everything else that belonged to him. 25Joshua said, " Achan, you caused us a lot of trouble. Now the LORD is paying you back with the same kind of trouble."
The people of Israel then stoned to death Achan and his family. They made a fire and burned the bodies, together with what Achan had stolen, and all his possessions. 26They covered the remains with a big pile of rocks, which is still there. Then the LORD stopped being angry with Israel.
That's how the place came to be called Trouble Valley.
Israel Destroys the Town of Ai
1-2The LORD told Joshua:
Don't be afraid, and don't be discouraged by what happened at the town of Ai. Take the army and attack again. But first, have part of the army set up an ambush on the other side of the town. I will help you defeat the king of Ai and his army, and you will capture the town and the land around it. Destroy Ai and kill its king as you did at Jericho. But you may keep the livestock and everything else you want.
3-4Joshua quickly got the army ready to attack Ai. He chose thirty thousand of his best soldiers and gave them these orders:
Tonight, while it is dark, march to Ai and take up a position behind the town. Get as close to the town as you can without being seen, but be ready to attack.
5-6The rest of the army will come with me and attack near the gate. When the people of Ai come out to fight, we'll run away and let them chase us. They will think we are running from them just like the first time. But when we've let them chase us far enough away, 7you come out of hiding. The LORD our God will help you capture the town. 8Then set it on fire, as the LORD has told us to do. Those are your orders, 9now go!
The thirty thousand soldiers went to a place on the west side of Ai, between Ai and Bethel, where they could hide and wait to attack.
That night, Joshua stayed in camp with the rest of the army. 10Early the next morning he got his troops ready to move out, and he and the other leaders of Israel led them to Ai. 11They set up camp in full view of the town, across the valley to the north. 12Joshua had already sent five thousand soldiers to the west side of the town to hide and wait to attack. 13Now all his troops were in place. Part of the army was in the camp to the north of Ai, and the others were hiding to the west, ready to make a surprise attack. That night, Joshua went into the valley. 14-15The king of Ai saw Joshua's army, so the king and his troops hurried out early the next morning to fight them. Joshua and his army pretended to be beaten, and they let the men of Ai chase them toward the desert. The king and his army were facing the Jordan valley as Joshua had planned.
The king did not realize that some Israelite soldiers were hiding behind the town. 16-17So he called out every man in Ai to go after Joshua's troops. They all rushed out to chase the Israelite army, and they left the town gates wide open. Not one man was left in Ai or in Bethel. Joshua let the men of Ai chase him and his army farther and farther away from Ai. 18Finally, the LORD told Joshua, " Point your sword at the town of Ai, because now I am going to help you defeat it!" As soon as Joshua pointed his sword at the town, 19the soldiers who had been hiding got up and ran into the town. They captured it and set it on fire.
20-21When Joshua and his troops saw smoke rising from the town, they knew that the other part of their army had captured it. So they turned and attacked.
The men of Ai looked back and saw smoke rising from their town. But they could not escape, because the soldiers they had been chasing had suddenly turned and started fighting. 22-24Meanwhile, the other Israelite soldiers had come from the town and attacked the men of Ai from the rear. The Israelites captured the king of Ai and brought him to Joshua. They also chased the rest of the men of Ai into the desert and killed them. The Israelite army went back to Ai and killed everyone there. 25-26Joshua kept his sword pointed at the town of Ai until every last one of Ai's twelve thousand people was dead. 27But the Israelites took the animals and the other possessions of the people of Ai, because this was what the LORD had told Joshua to do.
28-29Joshua made sure every building in Ai was burned to the ground. He told his men to kill the king of Ai and hang his body on a tree. Then at sunset he told the Israelites to take down the body, throw it in the gateway of the town, and cover it with a big pile of rocks. Those rocks are still there, and the town itself has never been rebuilt.
Joshua Reads the Blessings and Curses
30-32One day, Joshua led the people of Israel to Mount Ebal, where he told some of his men, " Build an altar for offering sacrifices to the LORD. And use stones that have never been cut with iron tools, because that is what Moses taught in The Book of the Law." Joshua offered sacrifices to please the LORD and to ask his blessing. Then with the Israelites still watching, he copied parts of The Book of the Law of Moses onto stones. 33-35Moses had said that everyone in Israel was to go to the valley between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, where they were to be blessed. So everyone went there, including the foreigners, the leaders, officials, and judges. Half of the people stood on one side of the valley, and half on the other side, with the priests from the Levi tribe standing in the middle with the sacred chest. Then in a loud voice, Joshua read the blessings and curses from The Book of the Law of Moses.
The People of Gibeon Trick the Leaders of Israel
1-2The kings west of the Jordan River heard about Joshua's victories, and so they got together and decided to attack Joshua and Israel. These kings were from the hill country and from the foothills to the west, as well as from the Mediterranean seacoast as far north as the Lebanon Mountains. Some of them were Hittites, others were Amorites or Canaanites, and still others were Perizzites, Hivites, or Jebusites.
3The people of Gibeon had also heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai. 4So they decided that some of their men should pretend to be messengers to Israel from a faraway country. The men put worn-out bags on their donkeys and found some old wineskins that had cracked and had been sewn back together. 5Their sandals were old and patched, and their clothes were worn out. They even took along some dry and crumbly bread. 6Then they went to the Israelite camp at Gilgal, where they said to Joshua and the men of Israel, " We have come from a country that is far from here. Please make a peace treaty with us." 7-8The Israelites replied, " But maybe you really live near us. We can't make a peace treaty with you if you live nearby." The Gibeonites said, " If you make a peace treaty with us, we will be your servants." " Who are you?" Joshua asked. " Where do you come from?"
9We are your servants, and we live far from here. We came because the LORD your God is so famous. We heard what the LORD did in Egypt 10and what he did to those two Amorite kings on the other side of the Jordan: King Og of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth, and King Sihon of Heshbon.
11Our leaders and everyone who lives in our country told us to meet with you and tell you that all of us are your servants. They said to ask you to make a peace treaty with our people. They told us to be sure and take along enough food for our journey. 12See this dry, crumbly bread of ours? It was hot out of the oven when we packed the food on the day we left our homes. 13These cracked wineskins were new when we filled them, and our clothes and sandals are worn out because we have traveled so far.
14The Israelites tried some of the food, but they did not ask the LORD if he wanted them to make a treaty. 15So Joshua made a peace treaty with the messengers and promised that Israel would not kill their people. Israel's leaders swore that Israel would keep this promise. 16-17A couple of days later, the Israelites found out that these people actually lived in the nearby towns of Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-Jearim. So the Israelites left the place where they had camped and arrived at the four towns two days later. 18But they did not attack the towns, because the Israelite leaders had sworn in the name of the LORD that they would let these people live. The Israelites complained about their leaders' decision not to attack, 19-21but the leaders reminded them, " We promised these people in the name of the LORD God of Israel that we would let them live, so we must not harm them. If we break our promise, God will punish us. We'll let them live, but we'll make them cut wood and carry water for our people."
22Joshua told some of his soldiers, " I want to meet with the Gibeonite leaders. Bring them here."
When the Gibeonites came, Joshua said, " You live close to us. Why did you lie by claiming you lived far away? 23Now you are under a curse, and your people will have to send workers to cut wood and carry water for the place of worship." 24The Gibeonites answered, " The LORD your God told his servant Moses that you were to kill everyone who lives here and take their land for yourselves. We were afraid you would kill us, and so we tricked you into making a peace treaty. But we agreed to be your servants, 25and you are strong enough to do anything to us that you want. We just ask you to do what seems right."
26Joshua did not let the Israelites kill the Gibeonites, 27but he did tell the Gibeonites that they would have to be servants of the nation of Israel. They would have to cut firewood and bring it for the priests to use for burning sacrifices on the LORD's altar, wherever the LORD decided the altar would be. The Gibeonites would also have to carry water for the priests. And that is still the work of the Gibeonites.
Joshua Commands the Sun To Stand Still
1King Adonizedek of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured and destroyed the town of Ai, and then killed its king as he had done at Jericho. He also learned that the Gibeonites had signed a peace treaty with Israel. 2This frightened Adonizedek and his people. They knew that Gibeon was a large town, as big as the towns that had kings, and even bigger than the town of Ai had been. And all of the men of Gibeon were warriors. 3So Adonizedek sent messages to the kings of four other towns: King Hoham of Hebron, King Piram of Jarmuth, King Japhia of Lachish, and King Debir of Eglon. The messages said, 4" The Gibeonites have signed a peace treaty with Joshua and the Israelites. Come and help me attack Gibeon!" 5When these five Amorite kings called their armies together and attacked Gibeon, 6the Gibeonites sent a message to the Israelite camp at Gilgal: " Joshua, please come and rescue us! The Amorite kings from the hill country have joined together and are attacking us. We are your servants, so don't let us down. Please hurry!"
7Joshua and his army, including his best warriors, left Gilgal. 8" Joshua," the LORD said, " don't be afraid of the Amorites. They will run away when you attack, and I will help you defeat them."
9Joshua marched all night from Gilgal to Gibeon and made a surprise attack on the Amorite camp. 10The LORD made the enemy panic, and the Israelites started killing them right and left. They chased the Amorite troops up the road to Beth-Horon and kept on killing them, until they reached the towns of Azekah and Makkedah. 11And while these troops were going down through Beth-Horon Pass, the LORD made huge hailstones fall on them all the way to Azekah. More of the enemy soldiers died from the hail than from the Israelite weapons. 12-13The LORD was helping the Israelites defeat the Amorites that day. So about noon, Joshua prayed to the LORD loud enough for the Israelites to hear:
" Our LORD, make the sun stop
in the sky over Gibeon,
and the moon stand still
over Aijalon Valley." So the sun and the moon
stopped and stood still
until Israel defeated its enemies.
This poem can be found in The Book of Jashar. The sun stood still and didn't go down for about a whole day. 14Never before and never since has the LORD done anything like that for someone who prayed. The LORD was really fighting for Israel. 15After the battle, Joshua and the Israelites went back to their camp at Gilgal.
Joshua Kills the Five Enemy Kings
16While the enemy soldiers were running from the Israelites, the five enemy kings ran away and hid in a cave near Makkedah. 17Joshua's soldiers told him, " The five kings have been found in a cave near Makkedah."
18Joshua answered, " Roll some big stones over the mouth of the cave and leave a few soldiers to guard it. 19But you and everyone else must keep after the enemy troops, because they will be safe if they reach their walled towns. Don't let them get away! The LORD our God is helping us get rid of them." 20So Joshua and the Israelites almost wiped out the enemy soldiers. Only a few safely reached their walled towns.
21The Israelite army returned to their camp at Makkedah, where Joshua was waiting for them. No one around there dared say anything bad about the Israelites. 22Joshua told his soldiers, " Now, move the rocks from the entrance to the cave and bring those five kings to me."
23The soldiers opened the entrance to the cave and brought out the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. 24After Joshua had called the army together, he forced the five kings to lie down on the ground. Then he called his officers forward and told them, " You fought these kings along with me, so put your feet on their necks." The officers did, 25and Joshua continued, " Don't ever be afraid or discouraged. Be brave and strong. This is what the LORD will do to all your enemies."
26Joshua killed the five kings and told his men to hang each body on a tree. Then at sunset 27he told some of his troops, " Take the bodies down and throw them into the cave where the kings were found. Cover the entrance to the cave with big rocks."
Joshua's troops obeyed his orders, and those rocks are still there.
Joshua Continues the Fighting
28Later that day, Joshua captured Makkedah and killed its king and everyone else in the town, just as he had done at Jericho.
29Joshua and his army left Makkedah and attacked the town of Libnah. 30The LORD let them capture the town and its king, and they killed the king and everyone else, just as they had done at Jericho.
31Joshua then led his army to Lachish, and they set up camp around the town. They attacked, 32and the next day the LORD let them capture the town. They killed everyone, as they had done at Libnah. 33King Horam of Gezer arrived to help Lachish, but Joshua and his troops attacked and destroyed him and his army.
34From Lachish, Joshua took his troops to Eglon, where they set up camp surrounding the town. They attacked, 35captured it that same day, then killed everyone, as they had done at Lachish.
36Joshua and his army left Eglon and attacked Hebron. 37They captured the town and the nearby villages, then killed everyone, including the king. They destroyed Hebron in the same way they had destroyed Eglon.
38Joshua and the Israelite army turned and attacked Debir. 39They captured the town, and its nearby villages. Then they destroyed Debir and killed its king, together with everyone else, just as they had done with Hebron and Libnah.
40Joshua captured towns everywhere in the land: In the central hill country and the foothills to the west, in the Southern Desert and the region that slopes down toward the Dead Sea. Whenever he captured a town, he would kill the king and everyone else, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded. 41Joshua wiped out towns from Kadesh-Barnea to Gaza, everywhere in the region of Goshen, and as far north as Gibeon. 42-43The LORD fought on Israel's side, so Joshua and the Israelite army were able to capture these kings and take their land. They fought one battle after another, then they went back to their camp at Gilgal after capturing all that land.
Joshua Captures Towns in the North
1King Jabin of Hazor heard about Joshua's victories, so he sent messages to many nearby kings and asked them to join him in fighting Israel. He sent these messages to King Jobab of Madon, the kings of Shimron and Achshaph, 2the kings in the northern hill country and in the Jordan River valley south of Lake Galilee, and the kings in the foothills and in Naphath-Dor to the west. 3He sent messages to the Canaanite kings in the east and the west, to the Amorite, Hittite, Perizzite, and Jebusite kings in the hill country, and to the Hivite kings in the region of Mizpah, near the foot of Mount Hermon. 4-5The kings and their armies went to Merom Pond, where they set up camp, and got ready to fight Israel. It seemed as though there were more soldiers and horses and chariots than there are grains of sand on a beach. 6The LORD told Joshua:
Don't let them frighten you! I'll help you defeat them, and by this time tomorrow they will be dead.
When you attack, the first thing you have to do is to cripple their horses. Then after the battle is over, burn their chariots. 7Joshua and his army made a surprise attack against the enemy camp at Merom Pond 8-9and crippled the enemies' horses. Joshua followed the LORD's instructions, and the LORD helped Israel defeat the enemy. The Israelite army even chased enemy soldiers as far as Misrephoth-Maim to the northwest, the city of Sidon to the north, and Mizpeh Valley to the northeast. None of the enemy soldiers escaped alive. The Israelites came back after the battle and burned the enemy's chariots. 10Up to this time, the king of Hazor had controlled the kingdoms that had joined together to attack Israel, so Joshua led his army back and captured Hazor. They killed its king 11and everyone else, then they set the town on fire.
12-15Joshua captured all the towns where the enemy kings had ruled. These towns were built on small hills, and Joshua did not set fire to any of these towns, except Hazor. The Israelites kept the animals and everything of value from these towns, but they killed everyone who lived in them, including their kings. That's what the LORD had told his servant Moses to do, that's what Moses had told Joshua to do, and that's exactly what Joshua did. 16Joshua and his army took control of the northern and southern hill country, the foothills to the west, the Southern Desert, the whole region of Goshen, and the Jordan River valley. 17-18They took control of the land from Mount Halak near the country of Edom in the south to Baal-Gad in Lebanon Valley at the foot of Mount Hermon in the north. Joshua and his army were at war with the kings in this region for a long time, but finally they captured and put to death the last king. 19-20The LORD had told Moses that he wanted the towns in this region destroyed and their people killed without mercy. That's why the LORD made the people in the towns stubborn and determined to fight Israel. The only town that signed a peace treaty with Israel was the Hivite town of Gibeon. The Israelite army captured the rest of the towns in battle.
21During this same time, Joshua and his army killed the Anakim from the northern and southern hill country. They also destroyed the towns where the Anakim had lived, including Hebron, Debir, and Anab. 22There were not any Anakim left in the regions where the Israelites lived, although there were still some in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. 23That's how Joshua captured the land, just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and Joshua divided it up among the tribes.
Finally, there was peace in the land.
The Kings Defeated by the Israelites
1Before Moses died, he and the people of Israel had defeated two kings east of the Jordan River. These kings had ruled the region from the Arnon River gorge in the south to Mount Hermon in the north, including the eastern side of the Jordan River valley.
2The first king that Moses and the Israelites defeated was an Amorite, King Sihon of Heshbon. The southern border of his kingdom ran down the middle of the Arnon River gorge, taking in the town of Aroer on the northern edge of the gorge. The Jabbok River separated Sihon's kingdom from the Ammonites on the east. Then the Jabbok turned west and became his northern border, so his kingdom included the southern half of the region of Gilead. 3Sihon also controlled the eastern side of the Jordan River valley from Lake Galilee south to Beth-Jeshimoth and the Dead Sea. In addition to these regions, he ruled the town called Slopes of Mount Pisgah and the land south of there at the foot of the hill. 4Next, Moses and the Israelites defeated King Og of Bashan, who lived in the town of Ashtaroth part of each year and in Edrei the rest of the year. Og was one of the last of the Rephaim. 5His kingdom stretched north to Mount Hermon, east to the town of Salecah, and included the land of Bashan as far west as the borders of the kingdoms of Geshur and Maacah. He also ruled the northern half of Gilead. 6Moses, the LORD's servant, had led the people of Israel in defeating Sihon and Og. Then Moses gave their land to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh.
7-8Later, Joshua and the Israelites defeated many kings west of the Jordan River, from Baal-Gad in Lebanon Valley in the north to Mount Halak near the country of Edom in the south. This region included the hill country and the foothills, the Jordan River valley and its western slopes, and the Southern Desert. Joshua and the Israelites took this land from the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Joshua divided up the land among the tribes of Israel.
The Israelites defeated the kings of the following towns west of the Jordan River:
9-24Jericho, Ai near Bethel, Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon, Gezer, Debir, Geder, Hormah, Arad, Libnah, Adullam, Makkedah, Bethel, Tappuah, Hepher, Aphek, Lasharon, Madon, Hazor, Shimron-Meron, Achshaph, Taanach, Megiddo, Kedesh, Jokneam on Mount Carmel, Dor in Naphath-Dor, Goiim in Galilee, and Tirzah. There were thirty-one of these kings in all.
The Land Israel Had Not Yet Taken
1Many years later, the LORD told Joshua:
Now you are very old, but there is still a lot of land that Israel has not yet taken. 2-7First, there is the Canaanite territory that starts at the Shihor River just east of Egypt and goes north to Ekron. The southern part of this region belongs to the Avvites and the Geshurites, and the land around Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron belongs to the five Philistine rulers. The other Canaanite territory is in the north. Its northern border starts at the town of Arah, which belongs to the Sidonians. From there, it goes to Aphek, then along the Amorite border to Hamath Pass. The eastern border starts at Hamath Pass and goes south to Baal-Gad at the foot of Mount Hermon, and its southern boundary runs west from there to Misrephoth-Maim. This northern region includes the Lebanon Mountains and the land that belongs to the Gebalites and the Sidonians who live in the hill country from the Lebanon Mountains to Misrephoth-Maim. With my help, Israel will capture these Canaanite territories and force out the people who live there. But you must divide up the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea among the nine tribes and the half of Manasseh that don't have any land yet. Then each tribe will have its own land.
The Land East of the Jordan River
8Moses had already given land east of the Jordan River to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh. 9This region stretched north from the town in the middle of the Arnon River valley, and included the town of Aroer on the northern edge of the valley. It covered the flatlands of Medeba north of Dibon, 10and took in the towns that had belonged to Sihon, the Amorite king of Heshbon. Some of these towns were as far east as the Ammonite border.
11-12Geshur and Maacah were part of this region, and so was the whole territory that King Og had ruled, that is, Gilead, Mount Hermon, and all of Bashan as far east as Salecah. Og had lived in Ashtaroth part of each year, and he had lived in Edrei the rest of the year. Og had been one of the last of the Rephaim, but Moses had defeated Sihon and Og and their people and had forced them to leave their land. 13However, the Israelites did not force the people of Geshur and Maacah to leave, and they still live there among the Israelites.
Moses Did Not Give Land to the Levi Tribe
14Moses did not give any land to the Levi tribe, because the LORD God of Israel had told them, " Instead of land, you will receive the sacrifices offered at my altar."
Moses Gives Land to the Reuben Tribe
15Moses gave land to each of the clans in the Reuben tribe. 16Their land started in the south at the town in the middle of the Arnon River valley, took in the town of Aroer on the northern edge of the valley, and went as far north as the flatlands around Medeba. 17-21The Amorite King Sihon had lived in Heshbon and had ruled the towns in the flatlands. Now Heshbon belonged to Reuben, and so did the following towns in the flatlands: Dibon, Bamoth-Baal, Beth-Baal-Meon, Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, Kiriathaim, Sibmah, Zereth-Shahar on the hill in the valley, Beth-Peor, Slopes of Mount Pisgah, and Beth-Jeshimoth.
Moses defeated Sihon and killed him and the Midianite chiefs who ruled parts of his kingdom for him. Their names were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba. 22The Israelites also killed Balaam the son of Beor, who had been a fortuneteller.
23This region with its towns and villages was the land for the Reuben tribe, and the Jordan River was its western border.
Moses Gives Land to the Gad Tribe
24Moses also gave land to each of the clans in the Gad tribe. 25It included the town of Jazer, and in the Gilead region their territory took in the land and towns as far east as the town of Aroer just west of Rabbah. This was about half of the land that had once belonged to the Ammonites. 26The land given to Gad stretched from Heshbon in the south to Ramath-Mizpeh and Betonim in the north, and even further north to Mahanaim and Lidebor. 27Gad also received the eastern half of the Jordan River valley, which had been ruled by King Sihon of Heshbon. This territory stretched as far north as Lake Galilee, and included the towns of Beth-Haram, Beth-Nimrah, Succoth, and Zaphon. 28These regions with their towns and villages were given to the Gad tribe.
Moses Gives Land to Half of the Manasseh Tribe
29Moses gave land east of the Jordan River to half of the clans from the Manasseh tribe. 30-31Their land started at Mahanaim and took in the region that King Og of Bashan had ruled, including Ashtaroth and Edrei, the two towns where he had lived. The villages where the Jair clan settled were part of Manasseh's land, and so was the northern half of the region of Gilead. The clans of this half of Manasseh had sixty towns in all.
The Manasseh tribe is sometimes called the Machir tribe, after Manasseh's son Machir.
32That was how Moses divided up the Moab Plains to the east of Jericho on the other side of the Jordan River, so these two and a half tribes would have land of their own. 33But Moses did not give any land to the Levi tribe, because the LORD had promised that he would always provide for them.
The Land West of the Jordan River
1-5Nine and a half tribes still did not have any land, although two and a half tribes had already received land east of the Jordan River. Moses had divided that land among them, and he had also said that the Levi tribe would not receive a large region like the other tribes. Instead, the people of Levi would receive towns and the nearby pastures for their sheep, goats, and cattle. And since the descendants of Joseph had become the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, there were still nine and a half tribes that needed land. The LORD had told Moses that he would show those tribes how to divide up the land of Canaan. When the priest Eleazar, Joshua, and the leaders of the families and tribes of Israel met to divide up the land of Canaan, the LORD showed them how to do it.
Joshua Gives Hebron to Caleb
6One day while the Israelites were still camped at Gilgal, Caleb the son of Jephunneh went to talk with Joshua. Caleb belonged to the Kenaz clan, and many other people from the Judah tribe went with Caleb. He told Joshua:
You know that back in Kadesh-Barnea the LORD talked to his prophet Moses about you and me. 7I was forty years old at the time Moses sent me from Kadesh-Barnea into Canaan as a spy. When I came back and told him about the land, everything I said was true. 8The other spies said things that made our people afraid, but I completely trusted the LORD God. 9The same day I came back, Moses told me, " Since you were faithful to the LORD God, I promise that the places where you went as a spy will belong to you and your descendants forever."
10Joshua, it was forty-five years ago that the LORD told Moses to make that promise, and now I am eighty-five. Even though Israel has moved from place to place in the desert, the LORD has kept me alive all this time as he said he would. 11I'm just as strong today as I was then, and I can still fight as well in battle.
12So I'm asking you for the hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You were there. You heard the other spies talk about that part of the hill country and the large, walled towns where the Anakim live. But maybe the LORD will help me take their land, just as he promised. 13Joshua prayed that God would help Caleb, then he gave Hebron to Caleb and his descendants. 14And Hebron still belongs to Caleb's descendants, because he was faithful to the LORD God of Israel.
15Hebron used to be called Arba's Town, because Arba had been one of the greatest of the Anakim. There was peace in the land.
1The clans of the Judah tribe were given land that went south along the border of Edom, and at its farthest point south it even reached the Zin Desert. 2Judah's southern border started at the south end of the Dead Sea. 3As it went west from there, it ran south of Scorpion Pass to Zin, and then came up from the south to Kadesh-Barnea. It continued past Hezron up to Addar, turned toward Karka, 4and ran along to Azmon. After that, it followed the Egyptian Gorge and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. This was also Israel's southern border. 5Judah's eastern border ran the full length of the Dead Sea.
The northern border started at the northern end of the Dead Sea. 6From there it went west up to Beth-Hoglah, continued north of Beth-Arabah, and went up to the Monument of Bohan, who belonged to the Reuben tribe. 7From there, it went to Trouble Valley and Debir, then turned north and went to Gilgal, which is on the north side of the valley across from Adummim Pass. It continued on to Enshemesh, Enrogel, 8and up through Hinnom Valley on the land sloping south from Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem itself belonged to the Jebusites. Next, the border went up to the top of the mountain on the west side of Hinnom Valley and at the north end of Rephaim Valley. 9At the top of the mountain it turned and went to Nephtoah Spring and then to the ruins on Mount Ephron. From there, it went to Baalah, which is now called Kiriath-Jearim. 10From Baalah the northern border curved west to Mount Seir and then ran along the northern ridge of Mount Jearim, where Chesalon is located. Then it went down to Beth-Shemesh and over to Timnah. 11It continued along to the hillside north of Ekron, curved around to Shikkeron, and then went to Mount Baalah. After going to Jabneel, the border finally ended at the Mediterranean Sea, 12which was Judah's western border. The clans of Judah lived within these borders.
13Joshua gave Caleb some land among the people of Judah, as God had told him to do. Caleb's share was Hebron, which at that time was known as Arba's Town, because Arba was the famous ancestor of the Anakim. 14Caleb attacked Hebron and forced the three Anakim clans of Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai to leave. 15Next, Caleb started a war with the town of Debir, which at that time was called Kiriath-Sepher. 16He told his men, " The man who captures Kiriath-Sepher can marry my daughter Achsah." 17Caleb's nephew Othniel captured Kiriath-Sepher, and Caleb let him marry Achsah. 18Right after the wedding, Achsah started telling Othniel that he ought to ask her father for a field. She went to see her father, and while she was getting down from her donkey, Caleb asked her, " What's bothering you?" 19She answered, " I need your help. The land you gave me is in the Southern Desert, so I really need some spring-fed ponds for a water supply." Caleb gave her a couple of small ponds, named Higher Pond and Lower Pond.
Towns in Judah's Land
20The following is a list of the towns in each region given to the Judah clans:
21-32The first region was located in the Southern Desert along the border with Edom, and it had the following twenty-nine towns with their surrounding villages:
Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, Kinah, Dimonah, Aradah, Kedesh, Hazor of Ithnan, Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, Hazor-Hadattah, Kerioth-Hezron, which is also called Hazor, Amam, Shema, Moladah, Hazar-Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-Pelet, Hazar-Shual, Beersheba and its surrounding villages, Baalah, Iim, Ezem, Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah, Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, Lebaoth, Shilhim, and Enrimmon. 33-36The second region was located in the northern part of the lower foothills, and it had the following fourteen towns with their surrounding villages:
Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, Zanoah, En-Gannim, Tappuah, Enam, Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, Shaaraim, Adithaim, Gederah, and Gederothaim.
37-41The third region was located in the southern part of the lower foothills, and it had the following sixteen towns with their surrounding villages:
Zenan, Hadashah, Migdalgad, Dilan, Mizpeh, Joktheel, Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, Cabbon, Lahmas, Chitlish, Gederoth, Beth-Dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah. 42-44The fourth region was located in the central part of the lower foothills, and it had the following nine towns with their surrounding villages:
Libnah, Ether, Ashan, Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah.
45-47The fifth region was located along the Mediterranean seacoast, and it had the following towns with their surrounding settlements and villages:
Ekron and the towns between there and the coast, Ashdod and the larger towns nearby, Gaza, the towns from Gaza to the Egyptian Gorge, and the towns along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
48-51The sixth region was in the southwestern part of the hill country, and it had the following eleven towns with their surrounding villages:
Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, Dannah, Kiriath-Sannah, which is now called Debir, Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, Goshen, Holon, and Giloh. 52-54The seventh region was located in the south-central part of Judah's hill country, and it had the following nine towns with their surrounding villages:
Arab, Dumah, Eshan, Janim, Beth-Tappuah, Aphekah, Humtah, Kiriath-Arba, which is now called Hebron, and Zior. 55-57The eighth region was located in the southeastern part of the hill country, and it had the following ten towns with their surrounding villages:
Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah. 58-59The ninth region was located in the central part of Judah's hill country, and it had the following six towns with their surrounding villages:
Halhul, Beth-Zur, Gedor, Maarath, Beth-Anoth, and Eltekon.
The tenth region was located in the north-central part of Judah's hill country, and it had the following eleven towns with their surrounding villages:
Tekoa, Ephrath, which is also called Bethlehem, Peor, Etam, Culon, Tatam, Shoresh, Kerem, Gallim, Bether, and Manahath. 60The eleventh region was located in the northern part of Judah's hill country, and it had the following two towns with their surrounding villages:
Rabbah, and Kiriath-Baal, which is also called Kiriath-Jearim.
61-62The twelfth region was located in the desert along the Dead Sea, and it had the following six towns with their surrounding villages:
Beth-Arabah, Middin, Secacah, Nibshan, Salt Town, and En-Gedi.
63The Jebusites lived in Jerusalem, and the people of the Judah tribe could not capture the city and get rid of them. That's why Jebusites still live in Jerusalem along with the people of Judah.
1-4Ephraim and Manasseh are the two tribes descended from Joseph, and the following is a description of the land they received. The southern border of their land started at the Jordan River east of the spring at Jericho. From there it went west through the desert up to the hill country around Bethel. From Bethel it went to Luz and then to the border of the Archites in Ataroth. It continued west down to the land that belonged to the Japhlet clan, then went on to Lower Beth-Horon, Gezer, and the Mediterranean Sea. 5The following is a description of the land that was divided among the clans of the Ephraim tribe. Their southern border started at Ataroth-Addar and went west to Upper Beth-Horon 6-8and the Mediterranean Sea. Their northern border started on the east at Janoah, curved a little to the north, then came back south to Michmethath and Tappuah, where it followed the Kanah Gorge west to the Mediterranean Sea.
The eastern border started on the north near Janoah and went between Janoah on the southwest and Taanath-Shiloh on the northeast. Then it went south to Ataroth, Naarah, and on as far as the edge of the land that belonged to Jericho. At that point it turned east and went to the Jordan River. The clans of Ephraim received this region as their tribal land. 9Ephraim also had some towns and villages that were inside Manasseh's tribal land.
10Ephraim could not force the Canaanites out of Gezer, so there are still some Canaanites who live there among the Israelites. But now these Canaanites have to work as slaves for the Israelites.
Manasseh's Land West of the Jordan River
1-6Manasseh was Joseph's oldest son, and Machir was Manasseh's oldest son. Machir had a son named Gilead, and some of his descendants had already received the regions of Gilead and Bashan because they were good warriors. The other clans of the Manasseh tribe descended from Gilead's sons Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida. The following is a description of the land they received.
Hepher's son Zelophehad did not have any sons, but he did have five daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. One day the clans that were descendants of Zelophehad's five daughters went to the priest Eleazar, Joshua, and the leaders of Israel. The people of these clans said, " The LORD told Moses to give us land just as he gave land to our relatives." Joshua followed the LORD's instructions and gave land to these five clans, as he had given land to the five clans that had descended from Hepher's brothers. So Manasseh's land west of the Jordan River was divided into ten parts. 7The land of the Manasseh tribe went from its northern border with the Asher tribe south to Michmethath, which is to the east of Shechem. The southern border started there, but curved even farther south to include the people who lived around Tappuah Spring. 8The town of Tappuah was on Manasseh's border with Ephraim. Although the land around Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, the town itself belonged to Ephraim. 9-10Then the border went west to the Kanah Gorge and ran along the northern edge of the gorge to the Mediterranean Sea. The land south of the gorge belonged to Ephraim. And even though there were a few towns that belonged to Ephraim north of the gorge, the land north of the gorge belonged to Manasseh.
The western border of Manasseh was the Mediterranean Sea, and the tribe shared a border with the Asher tribe on the northwest and with the Issachar tribe on the northeast.
11Manasseh was supposed to have the following towns with their surrounding villages inside the borders of Issachar's and Asher's tribal lands:
Beth-Shan, Ibleam, Endor, Taanach, Megiddo, and Dor, which is also called Naphath. 12But the people of Manasseh could not capture these towns, so the Canaanites kept on living in them. 13When the Israelites grew stronger, they made the Canaanites in these towns work as their slaves, though they never did force them to leave.
Joseph's Descendants Ask for More Land
14One day the Joseph tribes came to Joshua and asked, " Why didn't you give us more land? The LORD has always been kind to us, and we have too many people for this small region." 15Joshua replied, " If you have so many people that you don't have enough room in the hill country of Ephraim, then go into the forest that belonged to the Perizzites and the Rephaim. Clear out the trees and make more room for yourselves there." 16" Even if we do that," they answered, " there still won't be enough land for us in the hill country. And we can't move down into Jezreel Valley, because the Canaanites who live in Beth-Shan and in other parts of the valley have iron chariots."
17" Your tribes do have a lot of people," Joshua admitted. " I'll give you more land. Your tribes are powerful, 18so you can have the rest of the hill country, but it's a forest, and you'll have to cut down the trees and clear the land. You can also have Jezreel Valley. Even though the Canaanites there are strong and have iron chariots, you can force them to leave the valley."
Joshua Gives Out the Rest of the Land
1After Israel had captured the land, they met at Shiloh and set up the sacred tent. 2There were still seven tribes without any land, 3-7so Joshua told the people: The Judah tribe has already settled in its land in the south, and the Joseph tribes have settled in their land in the north. The tribes of Gad, Reuben, and East Manasseh already have the land that the LORD's servant Moses gave them east of the Jordan River. And the people of Levi won't get a single large region of the land like the other tribes. Instead, they will serve the LORD as priests. But the rest of you haven't done a thing to take over any land. The LORD God who was worshiped by your ancestors has given you the land, and now it's time to go ahead and settle there.
Seven tribes still don't have any land. Each of these tribes should choose three men, and I'll send them to explore the remaining land. They will divide it into seven regions, write a description of each region, and bring these descriptions back to me. I will find out from the LORD our God what region each tribe should get. 8Just before the men left camp, Joshua repeated their orders: " Explore the land and write a description of it. Then come back to Shiloh, and I will find out from the LORD how to divide the land."
9The men left and went across the land, dividing it into seven regions. They wrote down a description of each region, town by town, and returned to Joshua at the camp at Shiloh. 10Joshua found out from the LORD how to divide the land, and he told the tribes what the LORD had decided.
11Benjamin was the first tribe chosen to receive land. The region for its clans lay between the Judah tribe on the south and the Joseph tribes on the north. 12Benjamin's northern border started at the Jordan River and went up the ridge north of Jericho, then on west into the hill country as far as the Beth-Aven Desert. 13-14From there it went to Luz, which is now called Bethel. The border ran along the ridge south of Luz, then went to Ataroth-Orech and on as far as the mountain south of Lower Beth-Horon. At that point it turned south and became the western border. It went as far south as Kiriath-Baal, a town in Judah now called Kiriath-Jearim. 15Benjamin's southern border started at the edge of Kiriath-Jearim and went east to the ruins and on to Nephtoah Spring. 16From there it went to the bottom of the hill at the northern end of Rephaim Valley. The other side of this hill faces Hinnom Valley, which is on the land that slopes south from Jerusalem. The border went down through Hinnom Valley until it reached Enrogel. 17At Enrogel the border curved north and went to Enshemesh and on east to Geliloth, which is across the valley from Adummim Pass. Then it went down to the Monument of Bohan, who belonged to the Reuben tribe. 18The border ran along the hillside north of Beth-Arabah, then down into the Jordan River valley. 19Inside the valley it went south as far as the northern hillside of Beth-Hoglah. The last section of the border went from there to the northern end of the Dead Sea, at the mouth of the Jordan River. 20The Jordan River itself was Benjamin's eastern border. These were the borders of Benjamin's tribal land, where the clans of Benjamin lived.
21-24One region of Benjamin's tribal land had twelve towns with their surrounding villages. Those towns were Jericho, Beth-Hoglah, Emek-Keziz, Beth-Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, Chephar-Ammoni, Ophni, and Geba.
25-28In the other region there were the following fourteen towns with their surrounding villages: Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, Mizpeh, Chephirah, Mozah, Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, Zelah, Haeleph, Gibeah, Kiriath-Jearim, and Jerusalem, which is also called Jebusite Town. These regions are the tribal lands of Benjamin.
1Simeon was the second tribe chosen to receive land, and the region for its clans was inside Judah's borders. 2-6In one region of Simeon's tribal land there were the following thirteen towns with their surrounding villages:
Beersheba, Shema, Moladah, Hazar-Shual, Balah, Ezem, Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth-Marcaboth, Hazar-Susah, Beth-Lebaoth, and Sharuhen. 7In another region, Simeon had the following four towns with their surrounding villages:
Enrimmon, Tachan, Ether, and Ashan. 8Simeon's land also included all the other towns and villages as far south as Baalath-Beer, which is also called Ramah of the South.
9Simeon's tribal land was actually inside Judah's territory. Judah had received too much land for the number of people in its tribe, so part of Judah's land was given to Simeon.
10-12Zebulun was the third tribe chosen to receive land. The southern border for its clans started in the west at the edge of the gorge near Jokneam. It went east to the edge of the land that belongs to the town of Dabbesheth, and continued on to Maralah and Sarid. It took in the land that belongs to Chislothtabor, then ended at Daberath.
The eastern border went up to Japhia 13and continued north to Gath-Hepher, Ethkazin, and Rimmonah, where it curved toward Neah 14and became the northern border. Then it curved south around Hannathon and went as far west as Iphtahel Valley. 15Zebulun had twelve towns with their surrounding villages. Some of these were Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Jiralah, and Bethlehem. 16This is the tribal land, and these are the towns and villages of the Zebulun clans.
17-23Issachar was the fourth tribe chosen to receive land. The northern border for its clans went from Mount Tabor east to the Jordan River. Their land included the following sixteen towns with their surrounding villages:
Jezreel, Chesulloth, Shunem, Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, Debirath, Kishion, Ebez, Remeth, En-Gannim, Enhaddah, Beth-Pazzez, Tabor, Shahazumah and Beth-Shemesh.
24-26Asher was the fifth tribe chosen to receive land, and the region for its clans included the following towns:
Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph, Allammelech, Amad, and Mishal.
Asher's southern border ran from the Mediterranean Sea southeast along the Shihor-Libnath River at the foot of Mount Carmel, 27then east to Beth-Dagon. On the southeast, Asher shared a border with Zebulun along the Iphtahel Valley. On the eastern side their border ran north to Beth-Emek, went east of Cabul, and then on to Neiel, 28Abdon, Rehob, Hammon, Kanah, and as far north as the city of Sidon. 29-31Then it turned west to become the northern border and went to Ramah and the fortress-city of Tyre. Near Tyre it turned toward Hosah and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. Asher had a total of twenty-two towns with their surrounding villages, including Mahalab, Achzib, Acco, Aphek, and Rehob.
32-34Naphtali was the sixth tribe chosen to receive land. The southern border for its clans started in the west, where the tribal lands of Asher and Zebulun meet near Hukkok. From that point it ran east and southeast along the border with Zebulun as far as Aznoth-Tabor. From there the border went east to Heleph, Adami-Nekeb, Jabneel, then to the town called Oak in Zaanannim, and Lakkum. The southern border ended at the Jordan River, at the edge of the town named Jehudah. Naphtali shared a border with Asher on the west. 35-39The Naphtali clans received this region as their tribal land, and it included nineteen towns with their surrounding villages. The following towns had walls around them:
Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Chinnereth, Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, Kedesh, Edrei, Enhazor, Iron, Migdalel, Horem, Beth-Anath, and Beth-Shemesh.
40-46Dan was the seventh tribe chosen to receive land, and the region for its clans included the following towns:
Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir-Shemesh, Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, Elon, Timnah, Ekron, Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, Jehud, Azor, Beneberak, Gath-Rimmon, Mejarkon, and Rakkon. Dan's tribal land went almost as far as Joppa. 47-48Its clans received this land and these towns with their surrounding villages. Later, when enemies forced them to leave their tribal land, they went to the town of Leshem. They attacked the town, captured it, and killed the people who lived there. Then they settled there themselves and renamed the town Dan after their ancestor.
49-51The Israelites were still gathered in Shiloh in front of the sacred tent, when Eleazar the priest, Joshua, and the family leaders of Israel finished giving out the land to the tribes. The LORD had told the people to give Joshua whatever town he wanted. So Joshua chose Timnath-Serah in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people gave it to him. Joshua went to Timnath-Serah, rebuilt it, and lived there.
The Safe Towns
(Numbers 35.9-15; Deuteronomy 19.1-13)
1One day the LORD told Joshua:
2When Moses was still alive, I had him tell the Israelites about the Safe Towns. Now you tell them that it is time to set up these towns. 3-4If a person accidentally kills someone and the victim's relatives say it was murder, they might try to take revenge. Anyone accused of murder can run to one of the Safe Towns and be safe from the victim's relatives. The one needing protection will stand at the entrance to the town gate and explain to the town leaders what happened. Then the leaders will bring that person in and provide a place to live in their town. 5One of the victim's relatives might come to the town, looking for revenge. But the town leaders must not simply hand over the person accused of murder. After all, the accused and the victim had been neighbors, not enemies. 6The citizens of that Safe Town must come together and hold a trial. They may decide that the victim was killed accidentally and that the accused is not guilty of murder.
Everyone found not guilty must still live in the Safe Town until the high priest dies. Then they can go back to their own towns and their homes that they had to leave behind. 7The Israelites decided that the following three towns west of the Jordan River would be Safe Towns:
Kedesh in Galilee in Naphtali's hill country, Shechem in Ephraim's hill country, and Kiriath-Arba in Judah's hill country. Kiriath-Arba is now called Hebron.
8The Israelites had already decided on the following three towns east of the Jordan River:
Bezer in the desert flatlands of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead, which was a town that belonged to Gad, and Golan in Bashan, which belonged to Manasseh.
9These Safe Towns were set up, so that if Israelites or even foreigners who lived in Israel accidentally killed someone, they could run to one of these towns. There they would be safe until a trial could be held, even if one of the victim's relatives came looking for revenge.
1-2While the Israelites were still camped at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, the family leaders of the Levi tribe went to speak to the priest Eleazar, Joshua, and the family leaders of the other Israelite tribes. The leaders of Levi said, " The LORD told Moses that you have to give us towns and provide pastures for our animals." 3Since the LORD had said this, the leaders of the other Israelite tribes agreed to give some of the towns and pastures from their tribal lands to Levi. 4The leaders asked the LORD to show them in what order the clans of Levi would be given towns, and which towns each clan would receive. The Kohath clans were first. The descendants of Aaron, Israel's first priest, were given thirteen towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. 5The other members of the Kohath clans received ten towns from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and West Manasseh. 6The clans that were descendants of Gershon were given thirteen towns from the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and East Manasseh. 7The clans that were descendants of Merari received twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun. 8The LORD had told Moses that he would show the Israelites which towns and pastures to give to the clans of Levi, and he did.
Towns from Judah, Simeon, Benjamin
9-19 The descendants of Aaron from the Kohath clans of Levi were priests, and they were chosen to receive towns first. They were given thirteen towns and the pastureland around them. Nine of these towns were from the tribes of Judah and Simeon and four from Benjamin.
Hebron, Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, Holon, Debir, Ashan, Juttah, and Beth-Shemesh were from Judah and Simeon. Hebron, located in the hill country of Judah, was earlier called Arba's Town. It had been named after Arba, the ancestor of the Anakim. Hebron's pasturelands went along with the town, but its farmlands and the villages around it had been given to Caleb. Hebron was also one of the Safe Towns for people who had accidentally killed someone. Gibeon, Geba, Anathoth, and Almon were from Benjamin.
Towns from Ephraim, Dan, West Manasseh
20-26 The rest of the Kohath clans of the Levi tribe received ten towns and the pastureland around them. Four of these towns were from the tribe of Ephraim, four from Dan, and two from West Manasseh.
Shechem, Gezer, Kibzaim, and Beth-Horon were from Ephraim. Shechem was located in the hill country, and it was also one of the Safe Towns for people who had accidentally killed someone.
Elteke, Gibbethon, Aijalon, and Gath-Rimmon were from Dan.
Taanach and Jibleam were from West Manasseh.
Towns from East Manasseh, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali
27-33 The clans of Levi that were descendants of Gershon received thirteen towns and the pastureland around them. Two of these towns were from the tribe of East Manasseh, four from Issachar, four from Asher, and three from Naphtali.
Golan in Bashan and Beeshterah were from East Manasseh.
Kishion, Daberath, Jarmuth, and En-Gannim were from Issachar.
Mishal, Abdon, Helkath, and Rehob were from Asher.
Kedesh in Galilee, Hammothdor, and Kartan were from Naphtali. Golan in Bashan and Kedesh in Galilee were also Safe Towns for people who had accidentally killed someone.
Towns from Zebulun, Reuben, Gad
34-40 The rest of the Levi clans were descendants of Merari, and they received twelve towns with the pastureland around them. Four towns were from the tribe of Zebulun, four from Reuben, and four from Gad.
Jokneam, Kartah, Rimmonah, and Nahalal were from Zebulun. Bezer, Jazah, Kedemoth, and Mephaath were from Reuben. Bezer was located in the desert flatlands east of the Jordan River across from Jericho. Ramoth in Gilead, Mahanaim, Heshbon, and Jazer were from Gad.
Bezer and Ramoth in Gilead were Safe Towns for people who had accidentally killed someone. 41-42The people of the Levi tribe had a total of forty-eight towns within Israel, and they had pastures around each one of their towns.
Israel Settles in the Land
43The LORD gave the Israelites the land he had promised their ancestors, and they captured it and settled in it. 44There still were enemies around Israel, but the LORD kept his promise to let his people live in peace. And whenever the Israelites did have to go to war, no enemy could defeat them. The LORD always helped Israel win. 45The LORD promised to do many good things for Israel, and he kept his promise every time.
The Two and a Half Tribes Return Home
1Joshua had the men of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh come for a meeting, and he told them:
2-3You have obeyed every command of the LORD your God and of his servant Moses. And you have done everything I've told you to do. It's taken a long time, but you have stayed and helped your relatives. 4The LORD promised to give peace to your relatives, and that's what he has done. Now it's time for you to go back to your own homes in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan River.
5Moses taught you to love the LORD your God, to be faithful to him, and to worship and obey him with your whole heart and with all your strength. So be very careful to do everything Moses commanded.
6-9You've become rich from what you've taken from your enemies. You have big herds of cattle, lots of silver, gold, bronze, and iron, and plenty of clothes. Take everything home with you and share with the people of your tribe.
I pray that God will be kind to you. You are now free to go home.
The tribes of Reuben and Gad started back to Gilead, their own land. Moses had given the land of Bashan to the East Manasseh tribe, so they started back along with Reuben and Gad. God had told Moses that these two and a half tribes should conquer Gilead and Bashan, and they had done so.
Joshua had given land west of the Jordan River to the other half of the Manasseh tribe, so they stayed at Shiloh in the land of Canaan with the rest of the Israelites.
10-11The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh reached the western side of the Jordan River valley and built a huge altar there beside the river. When the rest of the Israelites heard what these tribes had done, 12the Israelite men met at Shiloh to get ready to attack the two and a half tribes. 13But first they sent a priest, Phinehas the son of Eleazar, to talk with the two and a half tribes. 14Each of the tribes at Shiloh sent the leader of one of its families along with Phinehas. 15Phinehas and these leaders went to Gilead and met with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh. They said:
16All of the LORD's people have gathered together and have sent us to find out why you are unfaithful to our God. You have turned your backs on the LORD by building that altar. Why are you rebelling against him? 17Wasn't our people's sin at Peor terrible enough for you? The LORD punished us by sending a horrible sickness that killed many of us, and we still suffer because of that sin. 18Now you are turning your backs on the LORD again. If you don't stop rebelling against the LORD right now, he will be angry at the whole nation. 19If you don't think your land is a fit place to serve God, then move across the Jordan and live with us in the LORD's own land, where his sacred tent is located. But don't rebel against the LORD our God or against us by building another altar besides the LORD's own altar. 20Don't you remember what happened when Achan was unfaithful and took some of the things that belonged to God? This made God angry with the entire nation. Achan died because he sinned, but he also caused the death of many others. 21The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh answered:
22The LORD is the greatest God! We ask him to be our witness, because he knows whether or not we were rebellious or unfaithful when we built that altar. If we were unfaithful, then we pray that God won't rescue us today. Let us tell you why we built that altar, 23and we ask the LORD to punish us if we are lying. We didn't build it so we could turn our backs on the LORD. We didn't even build it so we could offer animal or grain sacrifices to please the LORD or ask his blessing.
24-25We built that altar because we were worried. Someday your descendants might tell our descendants, " The LORD made the Jordan River the boundary between us Israelites and you people of Reuben and Gad. The LORD is Israel's God, but you're not part of Israel, so you can't take part in worshiping the LORD."
Your descendants might say that and try to make our descendants stop worshiping and obeying the LORD. 26That's why we decided to build the altar. It isn't for offering sacrifices, not even sacrifices to please the LORD. 27-29To build another altar for offering sacrifices would be the same as turning our backs on the LORD and rebelling against him. We could never do that! No, we built the altar to remind us and you and the generations to come that we will worship the LORD. And so we will keep bringing our sacrifices to the LORD's altar, there in front of his sacred tent. Now your descendants will never be able to say to our descendants, " You can't worship the LORD." But if they do say this, our descendants can answer back, " Look at this altar our ancestors built! It's like the LORD's altar, but it isn't for offering sacrifices. It's here to remind us and you that we belong to the LORD, just as much as you do."
30-31Phinehas and the clan leaders were pleased when they heard the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh explain why they had built the altar. Then Phinehas told them, " Today we know that the LORD is helping us. You have not been unfaithful to him, and this means that the LORD will not be angry with us."
32Phinehas and the clan leaders left Gilead and went back to Canaan to tell the Israelites about their meeting with the Reuben and Gad tribes. 33The Israelites were happy and praised God. There was no more talk about going to war and wiping out the tribes of Reuben and Gad.
34The people of Reuben and Gad named the altar " A Reminder to Us All That the LORD Is Our God."
Joshua's Farewell Speech
1The LORD let Israel live in peace with its neighbors for a long time, and Joshua lived to a ripe old age. 2One day he called a meeting of the leaders of the tribes of Israel, including the old men, the judges, and the officials. Then he told them:
I am now very old. 3You have seen how the LORD your God fought for you and helped you defeat the nations who lived in this land. 4-5There are still some nations left, but the LORD has promised you their land. So when you attack them, he will make them run away. I have already divided their land among your tribes, as I did with the land of the nations I defeated between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
6Be sure that you carefully obey everything written in The Book of the Law of Moses and do exactly what it says. 7Don't have anything to do with the nations that live around you. Don't worship their gods or pray to their idols or make promises in the names of their gods. 8Be as faithful to the LORD as you have always been.
9When you attacked powerful nations, the LORD made them run away, and no one has ever been able to stand up to you. 10Any one of you can defeat a thousand enemy soldiers, because the LORD God fights for you, just as he promised. 11Be sure to always love the LORD your God. 12-13Don't ever turn your backs on him by marrying people from the nations that are left in the land. Don't even make friends with them. I tell you that if you are friendly with those nations, the LORD won't chase them away when you attack. Instead, they'll be like a trap for your feet, a whip on your back, and thorns in your eyes. And finally, none of you will be left in this good land that the LORD has given you.
14I will soon die, as everyone must. But deep in your hearts you know that the LORD has kept every promise he ever made to you. Not one of them has been broken. 15-16Yes, when the LORD makes a promise, he does what he has promised. But when he makes a threat, he will also do what he has threatened. The LORD is our God. He gave us this wonderful land and made an agreement with us that we would worship only him. But if you worship other gods, it will make the LORD furious. He will start getting rid of you, and soon not one of you will be left in this good land that he has given you.
We Will Worship and Obey the LORD
1Joshua called the tribes of Israel together for a meeting at Shechem. He had the leaders, including the old men, the judges, and the officials, come up and stand near the sacred tent. 2Then Joshua told everyone to listen to this message from the LORD, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors lived on the other side of the Euphrates River, and they worshiped other gods. This continued until the time of your ancestor Terah and his two sons, Abraham and Nahor. 3But I brought Abraham across the Euphrates River and led him through the land of Canaan. I blessed him by giving him Isaac, the first in a line of many descendants. 4Then I gave Isaac two sons, Jacob and Esau. I had Esau live in the hill country of Mount Seir, but your ancestor Jacob and his children went to live in Egypt.
5-6Later I sent Moses and his brother Aaron to help your people, and I made all those horrible things happen to the Egyptians. I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, but the Egyptians got in their chariots and on their horses and chased your ancestors, catching up with them at the Red Sea. 7Your people cried to me for help, so I put a dark cloud between them and the Egyptians. Then I opened up the sea and let your people walk across on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, I commanded the sea to swallow them, and they drowned while you watched. You lived in the desert for a long time, 8then I brought you into the land east of the Jordan River. The Amorites were living there, and they fought you. But with my help, you defeated them, wiped them out, and took their land. 9King Balak decided that his nation Moab would go to war against you, so he asked Balaam to come and put a curse on you. 10But I wouldn't listen to Balaam, and I rescued you by making him bless you instead of curse you. 11You crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho. The rulers of Jericho fought you, and so did the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. I helped you defeat them all. 12Your enemies ran from you, but not because you had swords and bows and arrows. I made your enemies panic and run away, as I had done with the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River.
13You didn't have to work for this land--I gave it to you. Now you live in towns you didn't build, and you eat grapes and olives from vineyards and trees you didn't plant.
14Then Joshua told the people:
Worship the LORD, obey him, and always be faithful. Get rid of the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt. 15But if you don't want to worship the LORD, then choose right now! Will you worship the same idols your ancestors did? Or since you're living on land that once belonged to the Amorites, maybe you'll worship their gods. I won't. My family and I are going to worship and obey the LORD!
16The people answered:
We could never worship other gods or stop worshiping the LORD. 17The LORD is our God. We were slaves in Egypt as our ancestors had been, but we saw the LORD work miracles to set our people free and to bring us out of Egypt. Even though other nations were all around us, the LORD protected us wherever we went. 18And when we fought the Amorites and the other nations that lived in this land, the LORD made them run away. Yes, we will worship and obey the LORD, because the LORD is our God.
The LORD is fearsome; he is the one true God, and I don't think you are able to worship and obey him in the ways he demands. You would have to be completely faithful, and if you sin or rebel, he won't let you get away with it. 20If you turn your backs on the LORD and worship the gods of other nations, the LORD will turn against you. He will make terrible things happen to you and wipe you out, even though he had been good to you before.
21But the people shouted, " We won't worship any other gods. We will worship and obey only the LORD!"
22Joshua said, " You have heard yourselves say that you will worship and obey the LORD. Isn't that true?"
" Yes, it's true," they answered.
23Joshua said, " But you still have some idols, like those the other nations worship. Get rid of your idols! You must decide once and for all that you really want to obey the LORD God of Israel."
24The people said, " The LORD is our God, and we will worship and obey only him."
25Joshua helped Israel make an agreement with the LORD that day at Shechem. Joshua made laws for Israel 26and wrote them down in The Book of the Law of God. Then he set up a large stone under the oak tree at the place of worship in Shechem 27and told the people, " Look at this stone. It has heard everything that the LORD has said to us. Our God can call this stone as a witness if we ever reject him." 28Joshua sent everyone back to their homes.
Joshua, Joseph, and Eleazar Are Buried
29Not long afterwards, the LORD's servant Joshua died at the age of one hundred ten. 30The Israelites buried him in his own land at Timnath-Serah, north of Mount Gaash in the hill country of Ephraim.
31As long as Joshua lived, Israel worshiped and obeyed the LORD. There were other leaders old enough to remember everything that the LORD had done for Israel. And for as long as these men lived, Israel continued to worship and obey the LORD.
32When the people of Israel left Egypt, they brought the bones of Joseph along with them. They took the bones to the town of Shechem and buried them in the field that Jacob had bought for one hundred pieces of silver from Hamor, the founder of Shechem. The town and the field both became part of the land belonging to the descendants of Joseph. 33When Eleazar the priest died, he was buried in the hill country of Ephraim on a hill that belonged to his son Phinehas.