Josué 24

1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem. He called the elders, the leaders, the judges, and the officers of Israel, and they came to the presence of God.

2 Joshua said to all the people: »This is what Jehovah, the God of Israel says: ‘Long ago your ancestors lived on the other side of the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. One of those ancestors was Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor.

3 »‘I took Abraham, your ancestor, from the land across the Euphrates and led him through the whole land of Canaan. I gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac,

4 and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau the hill country of Edom as his possession, but your ancestor Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

5 »‘Later I sent Moses and Aaron, and I brought great trouble on Egypt. I led you out.

6 »‘I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, and the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and cavalry. When your ancestors got to the Red Sea

7 they cried out to me for help. I put darkness between them and the Egyptians. I made the sea come rolling over the Egyptians and drown them. You know what I did to Egypt. You lived in the desert a long time.

8 »‘I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the east side of the Jordan. They fought you, but I gave you victory over them. You took their land. I destroyed them as you advanced.

9 »‘The king of Moab, Balak son of Zippor, fought against you. He sent word to Balaam son of Beor and asked him to put a curse on you.

10 »‘But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you, and in this way I rescued you from Balak.

11 »‘You crossed the Jordan and traveled to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought you, as did the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. I gave you victory over all of them.

12 »‘You advanced and I threw them into panic in order to drive out the two Amorite kings. Your swords and bows had nothing to do with it.

13 »‘I gave you a land that you had never worked and cities that you had not built. Now live there and eat grapes from vines that you did not plant, and olives from trees that you did not plant.

14 »‘Honor Jehovah and serve him sincerely and in truth. Get rid of the gods that your ancestors used to worship in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve only Jehovah.

15 »‘If you are not willing to serve him, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your ancestors worshiped in Mesopotamia or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are now living. As for my family and me, we will serve Jehovah.’«

16 The people replied: »We would never leave Jehovah to serve other gods!

17 »Jehovah our God brought our fathers and us out of slavery in Egypt. We saw the miracles he performed. He kept us safe wherever we went among all the nations through which we passed.

18 »As we advanced to this land, Jehovah drove out all the Amorites who lived here. We also will serve Jehovah. He is our God!«

19 Joshua said to the people: »You may not be able to serve Jehovah. He is a holy God and will not forgive your sins. He will tolerate no rivals,

20 and if you leave him to serve foreign gods, he will turn against you and punish you. He will destroy you, even though he was good to you before.«

21 The people said to Joshua: »No! We will serve Jehovah!«

22 Joshua replied: »You are your own witnesses to the fact that you have chosen to serve Jehovah.« They said: »We are witnesses!«

23 »Remove the foreign gods you have.« He demanded: »Pledge your loyalty to Jehovah, the God of Israel.«

24 The people said to Joshua: »We will serve Jehovah our God. We will obey his commands.«

25 Joshua made a covenant for the people that day at Shechem. He gave them laws and rules to follow.

26 Joshua wrote these commands in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up under the oak tree in Jehovah’s sanctuary.

27 He told the people: »This stone will serve as our witness. It has heard all the words that Jehovah spoke to us. So it will be a witness against you, to keep you from rebelling against your God.«

28 Joshua sent the people away, and everyone returned to their own part of the land.

29 After that, Jehovah’s servant Joshua son of Nun died at the age of a hundred and ten.

30 They buried him on his own land at Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash.

31 As long as Joshua lived, the people of Israel served Jehovah. After his death they continued to do so as long as those leaders were alive who had seen for themselves everything Jehovah had done for Israel.

32 The body of Joseph, which the people of Israel had brought from Egypt, was buried at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for a hundred pieces of silver. Joseph’s descendants inherited this land.

33 Eleazar son of Aaron died and was buried at Gibeah, the town in the hill country of Ephraim that had been given to his son Phinehas.