Joshua 1-4 Bible in Basic English

Preparations for the Conquest of Canaan

1 1  Now after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the word of the Lord came to Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses' helper, saying, 2  Moses my servant is dead; so now get up! Go over Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, to the children of Israel. 3  Every place on which you put your foot I have given to you, as I said to Moses. 4  From the waste land and this mountain Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, and all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea, in the west, will be your country. 5  While you are living, all will give way before you: as I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not take away my help from you or give you up. 6  Take heart and be strong; for you will give to this people for their heritage the land which I gave by an oath to their fathers. 7  Only take heart and be very strong; take care to do all the law which Moses my servant gave you, not turning from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may do well in all your undertakings. 8  Let this book of the law be ever on your lips and in your thoughts day and night, so that you may keep with care everything in it; then a blessing will be on all your way, and you will do well. 9  Have I not given you your orders? Take heart and be strong; have no fear and do not be troubled; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,

10  Then Joshua gave their orders to those who were in authority over the people, saying, 11  Go through the tents and give orders to the people, saying, Get ready a store of food; for in three days you are to go over this river Jordan and take for your heritage the land which the Lord your God is giving you. 12  And to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 13  Keep in mind what Moses, the servant of the Lord, said to you, The Lord your God is sending you rest and will give you this land. 14  Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle will be kept here in the land which Moses gave you on this side of Jordan; but you, the fighting-men, are to go over before your brothers, armed, to give them help; 15  Till the Lord has given your brothers rest, as he has given it to you, and they have taken their heritage in the land which the Lord your God is giving them: then you will go back to the land of your heritage which Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you on the east side of Jordan.

16  Then they said to Joshua in answer, Whatever you say to us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17  As we gave attention to Moses in all things, so we will give attention to you: and may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18  Whoever goes against your orders, and does not give attention to all your words, will be put to death: only take heart and be strong.

The Spies Sent to Jericho

2 1  Then Joshua, the son of Nun, sent two men from Shittim secretly, with the purpose of searching out the land, and Jericho. So they went and came to the house of a loose woman of the town, named Rahab, where they took their rest for the night. 2  And it was said to the king of Jericho, See, some men have come here tonight from the children of Israel with the purpose of searching out the land. 3  Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, Send out the men who have come to you and are in your house; for they have come with the purpose of searching out all the land. 4  And the woman took the two men and put them in a secret place; then she said, Yes, the men came to me, but I had no idea where they came from; 5  And when it was the time for shutting the doors at dark, they went out; I have no idea where the men went: but if you go after them quickly, you will overtake them. 6  But she had taken them up to the roof, covering them with the stems of flax which she had put out in order there. 7  So the men went after them on the road to Jordan as far as the river-crossing: and when they had gone out after them, the door into the town was shut.

8  And before the men went to rest, she came up to them on the roof, 9  And said to them, It is clear to me that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has come on us; 10  For we have had news of how the Lord made the Red Sea dry before you when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites, on the other side of Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you gave up to the curse. 11  And because of this news, our hearts became like water, and there was no more spirit in any of us because of you; for the Lord your God is God in heaven on high and here on earth. 12  So now, will you give me your oath by the Lord, that, because I have been kind to you, you will be kind to my father's house, 13  And that you will keep safe my father and mother and my brothers and sisters and all they have, so that death may not come on us? 14  And the men said to her, Our life for yours if you keep our business secret; and when the Lord has given us the land, we will keep faith and be kind to you. 15  Then she let them down from the window by a cord, for the house where she was living was on the town wall. 16  And she said to them, Get away into the hill-country, or the men who have gone after you will overtake you; keep yourselves safe there for three days, till the searchers have come back, and then go on your way. 17  And the men said to her, We will only be responsible for this oath which you have made us take, 18  If, when we come into the land, you put this cord of bright red thread in the window from which you let us down; and get your father and mother and your brothers and all your family into the house; 19  Then if anyone goes out of your house into the street, his blood will be on his head, we will not be responsible; but if any damage comes to anyone in the house, his blood will be on our heads. 20  But if you say anything about our business here, then we will be free from the oath you have made us take. 21  And she said, Let it be as you say. Then she sent them away, and they went; and she put the bright red cord in the window.

22  And they went into the hill-country and were there three days, till the men who had gone after them had come back; and those who went after them were searching for them everywhere without coming across them. 23  Then the two men came down from the hill-country and went over and came back to Joshua, the son of Nun; and they gave him a complete account of what had taken place. 24  And they said to Joshua, Truly, the Lord has given all the land into our hands; and all the people of the land have become like water because of us.

Israel Passes over the Jordan

3 1  Then Joshua got up early in the morning, and, moving on from Shittim, he and all the children of Israel came to Jordan and were there for the night before going over. 2  And at the end of three days, the men in authority over the people went through the tents, 3  Giving the people their orders, and saying, When you see the ark of the agreement of the Lord your God lifted up by the priests, the Levites, then get up from your places and go after it; 4  But let there be a space between you and it of about two thousand cubits: come no nearer to it, so that you may see the way you have to go, for you have not been over this way before. 5  And Joshua said to the people, Make yourselves holy, for tomorrow the Lord will do works of wonder among you. 6  Then Joshua said to the priests, Take up the ark of the agreement and go over in front of the people. So they took up the ark of the agreement and went in front of the people.

7  And the Lord said to Joshua, From now on I will give you glory in the eyes of all Israel, so that they may see that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8  And you are to give orders to the priests who take up the ark of the agreement, and say, When you come to the edge of the waters of Jordan, go no further. 9  And Joshua said to the children of Israel, Come to me here: and give ear to the words of the Lord your God. 10  And Joshua said, By this you will see that the living God is among you, and that he will certainly send out from before you the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Hivite and the Perizzite and the Girgashite and the Amorite and the Jebusite. 11  See, the ark of the agreement of the Lord of all the earth is going over before you into Jordan. 12  So take twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, a man from every tribe. 13  And when the feet of the priests who take up the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the waters of Jordan, the waters of Jordan will be cut off, all the waters flowing down from higher up, and will come together in a mass.

14  So when the people went out from their tents to go over Jordan, the priests who took up the ark of the agreement were in front of the people; 15  And when those who took up the ark came to Jordan, and the feet of the priests who took up the ark were touching the edge of the water (for the waters of Jordan are overflowing all through the time of the grain-cutting), 16  Then the waters flowing down from higher up were stopped and came together in a mass a long way back at Adam, a town near Zarethan; and the waters flowing down to the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were cut off: and the people went across opposite Jericho. 17  And the priests who took up the ark of the agreement of the Lord kept their places, with their feet on dry land in the middle of Jordan, while all Israel went over on dry land, till all the nation had gone over Jordan.

The Twelve Stones Taken from the Jordan

4 1  Now when all the nation had come to the other side of Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2  Take twelve men from the people, a man for every tribe, 3  And say to them, Take up from the middle of Jordan, from the place where the feet of the priests were resting, twelve stones, and take them over with you and put them down in the place where you take your rest tonight. 4  So Joshua sent for the twelve men, whom he had ready, one man out of every tribe of the children of Israel, 5  And he said to them, Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of Jordan, and let every one of you take up a stone on his back, one for every tribe of the children of Israel: 6  So that this may be a sign among you; when your children say to you in time to come, What is the reason for these stones? 7  Then you will say to them, Because the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the Lord's agreement; when it went over Jordan the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones will be a sign for the children of Israel, keeping it in their memory for ever. 8  So the children of Israel did as Joshua gave them orders, and took twelve stones from the middle of Jordan, as the Lord had said to Joshua, one for every tribe of the children of Israel; these they took across with them to their night's resting-place and put them down there. 9  And Joshua put up twelve stones in the middle of Jordan, where the feet of the priests who took up the ark of the agreement had been placed: and there they are to this day.

10  For the priests who took up the ark kept there in the middle of Jordan till all the orders given to Joshua by Moses from the Lord had been done: then the people went over quickly. 11  And when all the people had come to the other side, the ark of the Lord went over, and the priests, before the eyes of the people. 12  And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh went over armed before the children of Israel as Moses had said to them: 13  About forty thousand armed for war went over before the Lord to the fight, to the lowlands of Jericho. 14  That day the Lord made Joshua great in the eyes of all Israel; and all the days of his life they went in fear of him, as they had gone in fear of Moses. 15  Then the Lord said to Joshua, 16  Give orders to the priests who take up the ark of witness, to come up out of Jordan. 17  So Joshua gave orders to the priests, saying, Come up now out of Jordan. 18  And when the priests who took up the ark of the Lord's agreement came up out of Jordan and their feet came out on to dry land, the waters of Jordan went back to their place, overflowing its edges as before. 19  So on the tenth day of the first month the people came up out of Jordan, and put up their tents in Gilgal, on the east side of Jericho.

20  And the twelve stones which they took out of Jordan, Joshua put up in Gilgal. 21  And he said to the children of Israel, When your children say to their fathers in time to come, What is the reason for these stones? 22  Then give your children the story, and say, Israel came over this river Jordan on dry land. 23  For the Lord your God made the waters of Jordan dry before you till you had gone across, as he did to the Red Sea, drying it up before us till we had gone across: 24  So that all the peoples of the earth may see that the hand of the Lord is strong; and that they may go in fear of the Lord your God for ever.


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