D w 1. Assemblage of elders. x 2-24. Covenant made. x 25-27. Covenant ratified. w 28. Dismissal of People.
1435 to 1434 B.C.
1: And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God (Heb.= ha-’ Elohim. Cp. 22:3).
x G¹ 2-15. Joshua. History and exhortations. H¹ 16-18. People. Assent. G² 19,20. Joshua. Alternatives. H² 21. People. Assent affirmed. G³ 22-. Joshua. Appeal. H³ -22. People. Assent. G4 23. Joshua. Exhortation. H4 24. People. Promise.
2: And Joshua said to all the People, “Thus has said the Lord God of Israel (a supplementary revelation by the Spirit of God, who knows all), ‘Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the river Euphrates in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
3: And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the river Euphrates (Gen. 11:31-12:1), and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac (Gen. 21:1-3).
4: And I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau (cp. Gen. 25:25,26): and I gave to Esau mount Seir (cp. Gen. 36:8. Deut. 2:5), to possess it; but Jacob and his sons went down into Egypt (cp. Gen. 46:5).
5: I sent Moses also and Aaron (cp. Ex. 3:10; 4:14-16), and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.
6: And I brought your fathers out of Egypt (after this word the Sept. preserves a sentence omitted by Fig. Homœoteleuton; "And they became there a great, populous, and mighty people, and were afflicted by Egypt"; the scribe's eye going back to this preceding word Egypt and continuing from there): and you all came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red sea (cp. Ex. 14:9).
7: And when they cried to the Lord, He put darkness between you and between the Egyptians (Heb. ’ophêlãh, thick and intense darkness. Occ.only here), and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt: and you all dwelt in the wilderness a long season.
8: And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you (Cp. Num. 21:32): and I gave them into your hand, that you all might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.
9: Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you (cp. Num. 22:5. Deut. 23:4):
10: But I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.
11: And you all went over Jordan, and came to Jericho: and the lords (or rulers) of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.
12: And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites (promise began to be fulfilled here. See Ex.23:28. Deut.7:20); but not with your sword, nor with your bow.
13: And I have given you a land for which you all did not labor, and cities which you all built not, and you all dwell in them; of the vineyards and olive-yards which you all planted not do you all eat.
14: Now therefore reverence (or love) the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt (so that they were idolaters there. Cp. Ezek. 23:8. Three systems of idolatry referred to in vv.14,15; Chaldean, Egyptian, and Canaanite); and serve you all Yehovah.
15: And if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you all will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you all dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
16: And the People answered and said, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods;
17: For the Lord our God, He is God, He brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed:
18: And the Lord drove out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for He is our God.”
19: And Joshua said to the People, “You all cannot serve the Lord unless you all put away your idols: for He is a set apart God (see Ex.3:5,14,15); He is a jealous GOD; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
20: If you all forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then He will turn and do you hurt (cp.23:15), and consume you, after that He has done you good.”
21: And the People said to Joshua, “No; but we will serve the Lord.”
22: And Joshua said to the People, “You all are witnesses against yourselves that you all have chosen you the Lord, to serve Him.”
And they said, “We are witnesses.”
23: “Now therefore put away”, said he, “the stranger's (or foreigner's) gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.”
24: And the People said to Joshua, “The Lord our God will we serve, and His voice will we obey.”
25: So Joshua made a covenant (i.e. by sacrifice. Cp. Jer. 3:18,19) with the People that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.
26: And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God (see Ex.17:14), and took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.
27: And Joshua said to all the People, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us; for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us: it shall be therefore a witness to you, lest you all deny your God.”
28: So Joshua let the People depart, every man to his inheritance.
X y 29,30. Death and burial of Joshua. z 31. Obedience to Yehovah's command. z 32. Obedience to Joseph's command. y 33. Death of Eleazar.
29: And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord , died (in 1434 B.C., after living 17 [= victory] years in the Land), being an hundred and ten years old.
30: And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. (The Sept. adds here: "And they placed with him in the tomb in which they buried him the knives of stone with which he circumcised the sons of Israel in Gilgal, when he brought them out of Egypt, as Yehovah appointed them; and there they are until this day." Cp. The Crucifixion of are Savior Yehoshua, and how the blood covenants were nailed to the cross and buried with Him.)
31: And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua (the expression is not necessarily a long period. In 11:18 it = seven years; in 23:1 = within ten years; here = three years), and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, and which had known all the work of the Lord, that He had done for Israel.
32: And the bones of Joseph (cp. Gen. 50:25. Heb. 11:22), which the sons of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem (where God first appeared to Abraham in Canaan [Gen. 12:6], and where he built his first altar [Gen.12:6,7]), in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver (Cp. Gen. 33:19. Not Acts 7:16, nor Gen. 23, which was quite a different transaction): and it became the inheritance of the sons of Joseph.
33: And Eleazar the son of Aaron died (He dies and is succeeded by his son Phinehas. Cp. Judg. 20:28. Phinehas had been acting as deputy high priest as far back as 1444 B.C.; 10 or 12 years before his father died. Cp. 22:13-32); and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in the hill country Ephraim. (The Sept. adds here: "In the day that the sons of Israel took the ark of Elohim, and carried it about among them; and Phinehas exercised the priest's office in the room of Eleazar his father, till he died, and he was buried in his own place Gabaar. But the sons of Israel departed every one to their place, and to their own city. And the sons of Israel worshiped Astarte [i.e. the Astorah; see Deut. 16:21] and Astarõth, and the gods of the nations round about them; and Yehovah delivered them into the hands of Eglom king of Moab, and he [i.e. the king of Moab] ruled over them 18 [= bondage] years".)