Joshua 23

Joshua Challenges Israel to be Faithful

1A long time
Heb “many days.”
passed after the Lord made Israel secure from all their enemies,
Heb “the Lord had given rest to Israel from their enemies all around.”
and Joshua was very old.
Heb “was old, coming into the days.” This expression, referring to advancing in years, also occurs in the following verse.
2So Joshua summoned all Israel, including the elders, rulers, judges, and leaders, and told them: “I am very old. 3You saw everything the Lord your God did to all these nations on your behalf, for the Lord your God fights for you.
Heb “for the Lord your God, he [is] the one who fights for you.”
4See, I have parceled out to your tribes these remaining nations,
Heb “I have assigned by lots to you these remaining nations as an inheritance for your tribes.”
from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea
Heb “the Great Sea,” the typical designation for the Mediterranean Sea.
in the west, including all the nations I defeated.
Heb “from the Jordan and all the nations which I cut off and the Great Sea [at] the place where the sun sets.” The relationship of the second half of the verse, which mentions nations already conquered, to the first half, which speaks of “remaining nations,” is difficult to understand.
5The Lord your God will drive them out from before you and remove them,
The Hebrew text reads, “from before you.” This has not been included in the translation because it is redundant in English.
so you can occupy
Or “take possession of.”
their land as the Lord your God promised
Heb “said to.”
6Be very strong! Carefully obey
Heb “Be strong so you can be careful to do.”
all that is written in the law scroll of Moses so you won’t swerve from it to the right or the left,
7or associate with these nations that remain near
Heb “with.”
you. You must not invoke or make solemn declarations by the names of their gods!
Heb “and in the name of their gods you must not invoke and you must not make solemn declarations.” The words “and you must not make solemn declarations” are omitted in the LXX and may represent a later scribal addition to elucidate the immediately preceding command. The Hiphil of שָׁבַע (shava’) without an object occurs only here and in Josh 6:26.
You must not worship
Or “serve.”
or bow down to them!
8But you must be loyal to
Heb “hug.”
the Lord your God, as you have been
Heb “done.”
to this very day.

9 “The Lord drove out from before you great and mighty nations; no one has been able to resist you
Heb “not a man has stood before you.”
to this very day.
10One of you makes a thousand run away,
Or “chases a thousand.”
for the Lord your God fights for you
Heb “for the Lord your God, he [is] the one who fights for you.”
as he promised you he would.
Heb “as he said to you.”
11Watch yourselves carefully! Love the Lord your God!
Heb “Watch carefully yourselves so as to love the Lord your God.”
12But if you ever turn away and make alliances with
Heb “and hug.”
these nations that remain near you,
Heb “the remnant of the these nations, these nations that are with you.”
and intermarry with them and establish friendly relations with them,
Heb “and go into them, and they into you.”
13know for certain that the Lord our God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. They will trap and ensnare you;
Heb “be a trap and a snare to you.”
they will be a whip that tears
Heb “in.”
your sides and thorns that blind
Heb “thorns in your eyes.”
your eyes until you disappear
Or “perish.”
from this good land the Lord your God gave you.

14 “Look, today I am about to die.
Heb “go the way of all the earth.”
You know with all your heart and being
Or “soul.”
that not even one of all the faithful promises the Lord your God made to you is left unfulfilled; every one was realized – not one promise is unfulfilled!
Heb “one word from all these words which the Lord your God spoke to you has not fallen, the whole has come to pass for you, one word from it has not fallen.”
15But in the same way every faithful promise the Lord your God made to you has been realized,
Heb “and it will be as every good word which the Lord your God spoke to you has come to pass.”
it is just as certain, if you disobey, that the Lord will bring on you every judgment
Heb “so the Lord will bring every injurious [or “evil”] word [or “thing”] upon you.”
until he destroys you from this good land which the Lord your God gave you.
16If you violate the covenantal laws of the Lord your God which he commanded you to keep,
Heb “when you violate the covenant of the Lord your God which he commanded you.”
and follow, worship, and bow down to other gods,
Heb “and you walk and serve other gods and bow down to them.”
the Lord will be very angry with you and you will disappear
Or “perish.”
quickly from the good land which he gave to you.”

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