The Altar by the Jordan
22 1 Then Joshua called the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, 2 and said to them, “You have kept all that Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, and have listened to my voice in all that I commanded you. 3 You have not left your brothers these many days to this day, but have performed the duty of the commandment of Yahweh your God. 4 Now Yahweh your God has given rest to your brothers, as he spoke to them. Therefore now return and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of Yahweh gave you beyond the Jordan. 5 Only take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, to love Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, to keep his commandments, to hold fast to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” 6 So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away; and they went to their tents. 7 Now to the one half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given inheritance in Bashan; but to the other half gave Joshua among their brothers beyond the Jordan westward. Moreover when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them, 8 and spoke to them, saying, “Return with much wealth to your tents, with very much livestock, with silver, with gold, with brass, with iron, and with very much clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brothers.” 9 The children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession, which they owned, according to the commandment of Yahweh by Moses.
10 When they came to the region about the Jordan, that is in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, a great altar to look at. 11 The children of Israel heard this, “Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar in the forefront of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that pertains to the children of Israel.” 12 When the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up against them to war. 13 The children of Israel sent to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, 14 and with him ten princes, one prince of a fathers’ house for each of the tribes of Israel; and they were everyone of them head of their fathers’ houses among the thousands of Israel. 15 They came to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying, 16 “Thus says the whole congregation of Yahweh, ‘What trespass is this that you have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following Yahweh, in that you have built you an altar, to rebel this day against Yahweh? 17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day, although there came a plague on the congregation of Yahweh, 18 that you must turn away this day from following Yahweh? It will be, seeing that you rebel today against Yahweh, that tomorrow he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel. 19 However, if the land of your possession is unclean, then pass over to the land of the possession of Yahweh, in which Yahweh’s tabernacle dwells, and take possession among us; but don’t rebel against Yahweh, nor rebel against us, in building an altar other than the altar of Yahweh our God. 20 Didn’t Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the devoted thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? That man didn’t perish alone in his iniquity.’”
21 Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered, and spoke to the heads of the thousands of Israel, 22 “The Mighty One, God, Yahweh, the Mighty One, God, Yahweh, he knows; and Israel shall know: if it was in rebellion, or if in trespass against Yahweh (don’t save us this day), 23 that we have built us an altar to turn away from following Yahweh; or if to offer burnt offering or meal offering, or if to offer sacrifices of peace offerings, let Yahweh himself require it. 24 “If we have not out of concern done this, and for a reason, saying, ‘In time to come your children might speak to our children, saying, “What have you to do with Yahweh, the God of Israel? 25 For Yahweh has made the Jordan a border between us and you, you children of Reuben and children of Gad. You have no portion in Yahweh.”’ So your children might make our children cease from fearing Yahweh. 26 “Therefore we said, ‘Let’s now prepare to build ourselves an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice; 27 but it will be a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, that we may perform the service of Yahweh before him with our burnt offerings, with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings;’ that your children may not tell our children in time to come, ‘You have no portion in Yahweh.’ 28 “Therefore we said, ‘It shall be, when they tell us or our generations this in time to come, that we shall say, “Behold the pattern of the altar of Yahweh, which our fathers made, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice; but it is a witness between us and you.”’ 29 “Far be it from us that we should rebel against Yahweh, and turn away this day from following Yahweh, to build an altar for burnt offering, for meal offering, or for sacrifice, besides the altar of Yahweh our God that is before his tabernacle!”
30 When Phinehas the priest, and the princes of the congregation, even the heads of the thousands of Israel that were with him, heard the words that the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them well. 31 Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the children of Reuben, to the children of Gad, and to the children of Manasseh, “Today we know that Yahweh is in the midst of us, because you have not committed this trespass against Yahweh. Now you have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of Yahweh.” 32 Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the princes, returned from the children of Reuben, and from the children of Gad, out of the land of Gilead, to the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought them word again. 33 The thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and spoke no more of going up against them to war, to destroy the land in which the children of Reuben and the children of Gad lived. 34 The children of Reuben and the children of Gad named the altar “A Witness Between Us that Yahweh is God.”
Joshua's Charge to the People
23 1 It happened after many days, when Yahweh had given rest to Israel from their enemies all around, and Joshua was old and well advanced in years, 2 that Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders and for their heads, and for their judges and for their officers, and said to them, “I am old and well advanced in years. 3 You have seen all that Yahweh your God has done to all these nations because of you; for it is Yahweh your God who has fought for you. 4 Behold, I have allotted to you these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even to the great sea toward the going down of the sun. 5 Yahweh your God will thrust them out from before you, and drive them from out of your sight. You shall possess their land, as Yahweh your God spoke to you. 6 “Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that you not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left; 7 that you not come among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow down yourselves to them; 8 but hold fast to Yahweh your God, as you have done to this day. 9 “For Yahweh has driven great and strong nations out from before you. But as for you, no man has stood before you to this day. 10 One man of you shall chase a thousand; for it is Yahweh your God who fights for you, as he spoke to you.
11 Take good heed therefore to yourselves, that you love Yahweh your God. 12 “But if you do at all go back, and hold fast to the remnant of these nations, even these who remain among you, and make marriages with them, and go in to them, and they to you; 13 know for a certainty that Yahweh your God will no longer drive these nations from out of your sight; but they shall be a snare and a trap to you, a scourge in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which Yahweh your God has given you. 14 “Behold, today I am going the way of all the earth. You know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which Yahweh your God spoke concerning you. All have happened to you. Not one thing has failed of it. 15 It shall happen that as all the good things have come on you of which Yahweh your God spoke to you, so Yahweh will bring on you all the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land which Yahweh your God has given you, 16 when you disobey the covenant of Yahweh your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods, and bow down yourselves to them. Then the anger of Yahweh will be kindled against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which he has given to you.”
Joshua's Farewell Address
24 1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 2 Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Your fathers lived of old time beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor: and they served other gods. 3 I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. 4 I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave to Esau Mount Seir, to possess it. Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. 5 “‘I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did in its midst: and afterward I brought you out. 6 I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came to the sea. The Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and with horsemen to the Red Sea . 7 When they cried out to Yahweh, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea on them, and covered them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt: and you lived in the wilderness many days. 8 “‘I brought you into the land of the Amorites, that lived beyond the Jordan: and they fought with you; and I gave them into your hand. You possessed their land; and I destroyed them from before you. 9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. He sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you; 10 but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you still. So I delivered you out of his hand. 11 “‘You went over the Jordan, and came to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I delivered them into your hand. 12 I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; not with your sword, nor with your bow. 13 I gave you a land whereon you had not labored, and cities which you didn’t build, and you live in them. You eat of vineyards and olive groves which you didn’t plant.’ 14 “Now therefore fear Yahweh, and serve him in sincerity and in truth. Put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, in Egypt; and serve Yahweh.
15 If it seems evil to you to serve Yahweh, choose this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh.” 16 The people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake Yahweh, to serve other gods; 17 for it is Yahweh our God who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way in which we went, and among all the peoples through the midst of whom we passed. 18 Yahweh drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve Yahweh; for he is our God.” 19 Joshua said to the people, “You can’t serve Yahweh; for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your disobedience nor your sins. 20 If you forsake Yahweh, and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you evil, and consume you, after he has done you good.” 21 The people said to Joshua, “No; but we will serve Yahweh.” 22 Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen Yahweh yourselves, to serve him.”
They said, “We are witnesses.” 23 “Now therefore put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to Yahweh, the God of Israel.” 24 The people said to Joshua, “We will serve Yahweh our God, and we will listen to his voice.” 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26 Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of Yahweh. 27 Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of Yahweh which he spoke to us. It shall be therefore a witness against you, lest you deny your God.” 28 So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.
The Death of Joshua
29 It happened after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yahweh, died, being one hundred and ten years old. 30 They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash. 31 Israel served Yahweh all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, and had known all the work of Yahweh, that he had worked for Israel.
Joseph's Bones Buried at Shechem
32 They buried the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. They became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.
The Death of Eleazar
33 Eleazar the son of Aaron died. They buried him in the hill of Phinehas his son, which was given him in the hill country of Ephraim.
24:6 or, Sea of Reeds