Joshua Says Good-by to the Leaders 23 1A long time had passed. The Lord had given Israel peace and rest from all of their enemies who were around them. By that time Joshua was very old. 2So he sent for all of the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel. He said to them, “I’m very old. 3You yourselves have seen everything the Lord your God has done. You have seen what he’s done to all of those nations because of you. The Lord your God fought for you. 4“Remember how I’ve given you all of the land of the nations that remain here. I’ve given each of your tribes a share of it. It’s the land of the nations I won the battle over. It’s between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5The Lord your God himself will drive those nations out of your way. He will push them out to make room for you. You will take over their land, just as the Lord your God promised you. 6“Be very strong. Be careful to obey everything that is written in the Scroll of the Law of Moses. Don’t turn away from it to the right or the left. 7“Don’t have anything to do with the nations that remain among you. Don’t use the names of their gods for any reason at all. Don’t take oaths and make promises in their names. You must not serve them. You must not bow down to them. 8You must remain true to the Lord your God, just as you have done until now. 9“The Lord has driven out great and powerful nations to make room for you. To this very day no one has been able to fight against you and win. 10One of you can chase a thousand away. That’s because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised he would. 11So be very careful to love the Lord your God. 12“But suppose you turn away from him. You mix with the people who are left alive in the nations that remain among you. Later, you and they get married to each other. And you do other kinds of things with them. 13Then you can be sure of what the Lord your God will do. He won’t drive out those nations to make room for you anymore. Instead, they will become traps and snares for you. They will be like whips on your backs. They will be like thorns in your eyes. All of that will continue until you are destroyed. It will continue until you are removed from this good land. It’s the land the Lord your God has given you. 14“Now I’m about to die, just as everyone else on earth does. The Lord your God has kept all of the good promises he gave you. Every one of them has come true. Not one has failed to come true. And you know that with all your heart and soul. 15“Every good promise of the Lord your God has come true. So you know that the Lord will bring on you all of the evil things he has warned you about. He’ll do it until he has destroyed you. He’ll do it until he has removed you from this good land. It’s the land he has given you. 16“Suppose you break the covenant the Lord your God made with you. He commanded you to obey it. But suppose you go and serve other gods. And you bow down to them. Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you. You will quickly be destroyed. You will be removed from the good land he has given you.”
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