The Lord Commissions Joshua1 After Moses the Lord’s servant died, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Get ready! ▼
▼ Heb “Get up!”Cross the Jordan River! ▼
▼ Heb “this Jordan”; the word “River” has been supplied in the translation for clarity (likewise in v. 11).Lead these people into the land which I am ready to hand over to them. ▼
▼ Heb “Cross over this Jordan, you and all these people, to the land that I am giving to them, to the children of Israel.” The final phrase, “to the children of Israel,” is probably a later scribal addition specifying the identity of “these people/them.”3 I am handing over to you every place you set foot, as I promised Moses. ▼
▼ Heb “Every place on which the sole of your foot walks, to you I have given it, as I said to Moses.” The second person pronouns in vv. 3–4 are plural, indicating that all the people are addressed here. The verbal form נְתַתִּיו (netattiv, “I have given it”) is probably a perfect of certitude, emphasizing the certainty of the action. Another option is to translate, “I have already assigned it.” In this case the verb would probably refer to the Lord’s decree to Abraham that he would give this land to his descendants.4 Your territory will extend from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north. It will extend all the way to the great River Euphrates in the east (including all of Syria) ▼
▼ Heb “all the land of the Hittites.” The expression “the land of the Hittites” does not refer to Anatolia (modern Turkey), where the ancient Hittite kingdom of the second millennium b.c. was located, but rather to Syria, the “Hatti land” mentioned in inscriptions of the first millennium b.c. (see HALOT 1:363). The phrase is omitted in the LXX and may be a scribal addition.and all the way to the Mediterranean Sea ▼
▼ Heb “the Great Sea,” the typical designation for the Mediterranean Sea.in the west. ▼
▼ Heb “From the wilderness and this Lebanon even to the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, even to the great sea [at] the place where the sun sets, your territory will be.”5 No one will be able to resist you ▼
▼ Heb “A man will not stand before you.” The second person pronouns in this verse are singular, indicating Joshua is the addressee.all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not abandon you or leave you alone. 6 Be strong and brave! You must lead these people in the conquest of this land that I solemnly promised their ancestors I would hand over to them. ▼
▼ Heb “For you will cause these people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give to them.” The pronoun “them” at the end of the verse refers to either the people or to the fathers.7 Make sure you are ▼
▼ Or “Only be.”very strong and brave! Carefully obey ▼
▼ Heb “so you can be careful to do.” The use of the infinitive לִשְׁמֹר (lishmor, “to keep”) after the imperatives suggests that strength and bravery will be necessary for obedience. Another option is to take the form לִשְׁמֹר as a vocative lamed (ל) with imperative (see Isa 38:20 for an example of this construction), which could be translated, “Indeed, be careful!”all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! ▼
▼ Heb “commanded you.”Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful ▼
▼ Heb “be wise,” but the word can mean “be successful” by metonymy.in all you do. ▼
▼ Heb “in all which you go.”8 This law scroll must not leave your lips! ▼
▼ Heb “mouth.”▼
▼ This law scroll must not leave your lips. The ancient practice of reading aloud to oneself as an aid to memorization is in view here.You must memorize it ▼
▼ Heb “read it in undertones,” or “recite it quietly” (see HALOT 1:237).day and night so you can carefully obey ▼
▼ Heb “be careful to do.”all that is written in it. Then you will prosper ▼
▼ Heb “you will make your way prosperous.”and be successful. ▼
▼ Heb “and be wise,” but the word can mean “be successful” by metonymy.9 I repeat, ▼
▼ Heb “Have I not commanded you?” The rhetorical question emphasizes the importance of the following command by reminding the listener that it is being repeated.be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, ▼
▼ Or perhaps, “don’t get discouraged!”for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.” ▼
▼ Heb “in all which you go.”
Joshua Prepares for the Invasion10 Joshua instructed ▼
▼ Or “commanded.”the leaders of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your supplies, for within three days you will cross the Jordan River and begin the conquest of the land the Lord your God is ready to hand over to you.’” ▼
▼ Heb “to enter to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving to you to possess it.”
12 Joshua told the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh: 13 “Remember what Moses the Lord’s servant commanded you. ▼
▼ Heb “remember the word which Moses, the Lord’s servant, commanded you.”▼ The Lord your God is giving you a place to settle and is handing this land over to you. ▼
▼ Heb “is providing rest for you and is giving to you this land.”▼
▼ “This land” refers to the trans-Jordanian lands allotted to these tribes.14 Your wives, children and cattle may stay in the land that Moses assigned to you east of the Jordan River. But all you warriors must cross over armed for battle ahead of your brothers. ▼
▼ Heb “But you must cross over armed for battle before your brothers, all [you] mighty men of strength.”You must help them 15 until the Lord gives your brothers a place like yours to settle and they conquer the land the Lord your God is ready to hand over to them. Then you may go back to your allotted land and occupy the land Moses the Lord’s servant assigned you east of the Jordan.” ▼
▼ Heb “Then you may return to the land of your possession and possess it, that which Moses, the Lord’s servant, gave to you beyond the Jordan toward the rising of the sun.”
16 They told Joshua, “We will do everything you say. We will go wherever you send us. 17 Just as we obeyed ▼
▼ Heb “listened to.”Moses, so we will obey you. But ▼
▼ Or “Only.” Here and in v. 18 this word qualifies what precedes (see also v. 7).may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses! 18 Any man who rebels against what you say and does not obey all your commands will be executed. ▼
▼ Heb “any man who rebels against your mouth and does not listen to your words, to all which you command us, will be put to death.”But ▼
▼ Or “Only.” Here and in v. 17 this word qualifies what precedes (see also v. 7).be strong and brave!”
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