Joshua 22-24 Bible in Basic English

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The Altar by the Jordan

22 1  Then Joshua sent for the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, 2  And said to them, You have kept all the orders of Moses, the Lord's servant, and have done everything I gave you orders to do: 3  You have now been with your brothers for a long time; till this day you have been doing the orders of the Lord your God. 4  And now the Lord your God has given your brothers rest, as he said: so now you may go back to your tents, to the land of your heritage, which Moses, the Lord's servant, gave to you on the other side of Jordan. 5  Only take great care to do the orders and the law which Moses, the Lord's servant, gave you; to have love for the Lord your God and to go in all his ways; and to keep his laws and to be true to him and to be his servants with all your heart and with all your soul. 6  Then Joshua gave them his blessing and sent them away: and they went back to their tents. 7  Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh, Moses had given a heritage in Bashan; but to the other half, Joshua gave a heritage among their brothers on the west side of Jordan. Now when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he gave them his blessing, 8  And said to them, Go back with much wealth to your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver and gold and brass and iron, and with a very great store of clothing; give your brothers a part of the goods taken in the war. 9  So Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh went back, parting from the children of Israel at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their heritage which had been given to them by the Lord's order to Moses.

10  Now when they came to the country by Jordan in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh put up there, by Jordan, a great altar, seen from far. 11  And news came to the children of Israel, See, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have put up an altar opposite the land of Canaan, in the country by Jordan on the side which is Israel's. 12  Then all the meeting of the children of Israel, hearing this, came together at Shiloh to go up against them to war. 13  And the children of Israel sent Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, to the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, 14  And with him they sent ten chiefs, one for every tribe of the children of Israel, every one of them the head of his house among the families of Israel. 15  And they came to the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and said to them, 16  This is what all the meeting of the people of the Lord has said, What is this wrong which you have done against the God of Israel, turning back this day from the Lord and building an altar for yourselves, and being false to the Lord? 17  Was not the sin of Baal-peor great enough, from which we are not clear even to this day, though punishment came on the people of the Lord, 18  That now you are turned back from the Lord? and, because you are false to him today, tomorrow his wrath will be let loose on all the people of Israel. 19  But if the land you now have is unclean, come over into the Lord's land where his House is, and take up your heritage among us: but do not be false to the Lord and to us by building yourselves an altar in addition to the altar of the Lord our God. 20  Did not Achan, the son of Zerah, do wrong about the cursed thing, causing wrath to come on all the people of Israel? And not on him only came the punishment of death.

21  Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22  God, even God the Lord, God, even God the Lord, he sees, and Israel will see—if it is in pride or in sin against the Lord, 23  That we have made ourselves an altar, being false to the Lord, keep us not safe from death this day; and if for the purpose of offering burned offerings on it and meal offerings, or peace-offerings, let the Lord himself send punishment for it; 24  And if we have not, in fact, done this designedly and with purpose, having in our minds the fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25  For the Lord has made Jordan a line of division between us and you, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad; you have no part in the Lord: so your children will make our children give up fearing the Lord. 26  So we said, Let us now make an altar for ourselves, not for burned offerings or for the offerings of beasts: 27  But to be a witness between us and you, and between the future generations, that we have the right of worshipping the Lord with our burned offerings and our offerings of beasts and our peace-offerings; so that your children will not be able to say to our children in time to come, You have no part in the Lord. 28  For we said to ourselves, If they say this to us or to future generations, then we will say, See this copy of the Lord's altar which our fathers made, not for burned offerings or offerings of beasts, but for a witness between us and you. 29  Never let it be said that we were false to the Lord, turning back this day from him and building an altar for burned offerings and meal offerings and offerings of beasts, in addition to the altar of the Lord our God which is before his House.

30  Then Phinehas the priest and the chiefs of the meeting and the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, hearing what the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh said, were pleased. 31  And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, said to the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh, Now we are certain that the Lord is among us, because you have not done this wrong against the Lord: and you have kept us from falling into the hands of the Lord. 32  Then Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, and the chiefs went back from the land of Gilead, from the children of Reuben and the children of Gad, and came to the children of Israel in Canaan and gave them the news. 33  And the children of Israel were pleased about this; and they gave praise to God, and had no more thought of going to war against the children of Reuben and the children of Gad for the destruction of their land. 34  And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad gave to that altar the name of Ed. For, they said, It is a witness between us that the Lord is God.

Joshua's Charge to the People

23 1  Now after a long time, when the Lord had given Israel rest from wars on every side, and Joshua was old and full of years, 2  Joshua sent for all Israel, for their responsible men and their chiefs and their judges and their overseers, and said to them, I am old, and full of years: 3  You have seen everything the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you; for it is the Lord your God who has been fighting for you. 4  Now I have given to you, as the heritage of your tribes, all these nations which are still in the land, together with those cut off by me, from Jordan as far as the Great Sea on the west. 5  The Lord your God will send them away by force, driving them out before you; and you are to take their land for your heritage, as the Lord your God said to you. 6  So be very strong to keep and do whatever is recorded in the book of the law of Moses, not turning away from it to the right or to the left; 7  Have nothing to do with these nations who still are living among you; let not their gods be named by you or used in your oaths; do not be their servants or give them worship: 8  But be true to the Lord your God as you have been till this day. 9  For the Lord has sent out from before you nations great and strong: and they have all given way before you till this day. 10  One man of you is able to put to flight a thousand; for it is the Lord your God who is fighting for you, as he has said to you.

11  So keep watch on yourselves, and see that you have love for the Lord your God. 12  For if you go back, joining yourselves to the rest of these nations who are still among you, getting married to them and living with them and they with you: 13  Then you may be certain that the Lord your God will not go on driving these nations out from before you; but they will become a danger and a cause of sin to you, a whip for your sides and thorns in your eyes, till you are cut off from this good land which the Lord your God has given you. 14  Now I am about to go the way of all the earth: and you have seen and are certain, all of you, in your hearts and souls, that in all the good things which the Lord said about you, he has kept faith with you; everything has come true for you. 15  And you will see that, as all the good things which the Lord your God undertook to do for you, have come to you, so the Lord will send down on you all the evil things till he has made your destruction complete, and you are cut off from the good land which the Lord your God has given you. 16  If the agreement of the Lord your God, which was given to you by his orders, is broken, and you become the servants of other gods and give them worship, then the wrath of the Lord will be burning against you, and you will quickly be cut off from the good land which he has given you.

Joshua's Farewell Address

24 1  Then Joshua got all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem; and he sent for the responsible men of Israel and their chiefs and their judges and their overseers; and they took their place before God. 2  And Joshua said to all the people, These are the words of the Lord, the God of Israel: In the past your fathers, Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor, were living on the other side of the River: and they were worshipping other gods. 3  And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, guiding him through all the land of Canaan; I made his offspring great in number, and gave him Isaac. 4  And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau: to Esau I gave Mount Seir, as his heritage; but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. 5  And I sent Moses and Aaron, troubling Egypt by all the signs I did among them: and after that I took you out. 6  I took your fathers out of Egypt: and you came to the Red Sea; and the Egyptians came after your fathers to the Red Sea, with their war-carriages and their horsemen. 7  And at their cry, the Lord made it dark between you and the Egyptians, and made the sea go over them, covering them with its waters; your eyes have seen what I did in Egypt: then for a long time you were living in the waste land. 8  And I took you into the lands of the Amorites on the other side of Jordan; and they made war on you, and I gave them into your hands and you took their land; and I sent destruction on them before you. 9  Then Balak, the son of Zippor, king of Moab, went up to war against Israel; and he sent for Balaam, the son of Beor, to put a curse on you: 10  But I did not give ear to Balaam; and so he went on blessing you; and I kept you safe from him. 11  Then you went over Jordan and came to Jericho: and the men of Jericho made war on you, the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Hivites and the Jebusites: and I gave them up into your hands. 12  And I sent the hornet before you, driving out the two kings of the Amorites before you, not with your sword and your bow. 13  And I gave you a land on which you had done no work, and towns not of your building, and you are now living in them; and your food comes from vine-gardens and olive-gardens not of your planting. 14  So now, go in fear of the Lord, and be his servants with true hearts: put away the gods worshipped by your fathers across the River and in Egypt, and be servants of the Lord.

15  And if it seems evil to you to be the servants of the Lord, make the decision this day whose servants you will be: of the gods whose servants your fathers were across the River, or of the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living: but I and my house will be the servants of the Lord. 16  Then the people in answer said, Never will we give up the Lord to be the servants of other gods; 17  For it is the Lord our God who has taken us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the prison-house, and who did all those great signs before our eyes, and kept us safe on all our journeys, and among all the peoples through whom we went: 18  And the Lord sent out from before us all the peoples, the Amorites living in the land: so we will be the servants of the Lord, for he is our God. 19  And Joshua said to the people, You are not able to be the servants of the Lord, for he is a holy God, a God who will not let his honour be given to another: he will have no mercy on your wrongdoing or your sins. 20  If you are turned away from the Lord and become the servants of strange gods, then turning against you he will do you evil, cutting you off, after he has done you good. 21  And the people said to Joshua, No! But we will be the servants of the Lord. 22  And Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that you have made the decision to be the servants of the Lord. And they said, We are witnesses. 23  Then, he said, put away the strange gods among you, turning your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel. 24  And the people said to Joshua, We will be the servants of the Lord our God, and we will give ear to his voice. 25  So Joshua made an agreement with the people that day, and gave them a rule and a law in Shechem. 26  And Joshua put these words on record, writing them in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and put it up there under the oak-tree which was in the holy place of the Lord. 27  And Joshua said to all the people, See now, this stone is to be a witness against us; for all the words of the Lord have been said to us in its hearing: so it will be a witness against you if you are false to the Lord your God. 28  Then Joshua let the people go away, every man to his heritage.

The Death of Joshua

29  Now after these things, the death of Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, took place, he being then a hundred and ten years old. 30  And they put his body in the earth in the land of his heritage in Timnath-serah, in the hill-country of Ephraim, to the north of Mount Gaash. 31  And Israel was true to the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the older men who were still living after Joshua's death, and had seen what the Lord had done for Israel.

Joseph's Bones Buried at Shechem

32  And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel had taken up from Egypt, they put in the earth in Shechem, in the property which Jacob had got from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for a hundred shekels: and they became the heritage of the children of Joseph.

The Death of Eleazar

33  Then the death of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, took place; and his body was put in the earth in the hill of Phinehas his son, which had been given to him in the hill-country of Ephraim.

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