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God Instructs Joshua
1 Now after the death of His servant Moses, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore arise, you and all these people, and cross over the Jordan into the land that I am giving to the children of Israel.
3 I have given you every place where the sole of your foot will tread, just as I promised to Moses. 4 Your territory shall extend from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great River Euphrates—all the land of the Hittites—and west as far as the Great Sea. a
5 No one shall stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so will I be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. b
6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give these people the inheritance of the land that I swore to their fathers I would give them.
7 Above all, be strong and very courageous. Be careful to observe all the law that My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do.
9 Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua Takes Charge
10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you will cross the Jordan to go in and take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’ ”
12 But to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 13 “Remember what Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you when he said, ‘The LORD your God will give you rest, and He will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your young children, and your livestock may remain in the land that Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But all your mighty men of valor must be armed for battle to cross over ahead of your brothers and help them, 15 until the LORD gives them rest as He has done for you, and your brothers also possess the land that the LORD your God is giving them. Then you may return to the land of your inheritance and take possession of that which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the east side of the Jordan.”
16 So they answered Joshua, “Everything you have commanded us we will do, and everywhere you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. And may the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Anyone who rebels against your order and does not obey your words, all that you command him, will be put to death. Above all, be strong and courageous!”
4 a That is, the Mediterranean Sea
5 b Cited in Hebrews 13:5
Rahab Welcomes the Spies
1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim, a saying, “Go, inspect the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
2 And it was reported to the king of Jericho: “Behold, some men of Israel have come here tonight to spy out the land.”
3 So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab and said, “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, for they have come to spy out the whole land.”
4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. So she said, “Yes, the men did come to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5 At dusk, when the gate was about to close, the men went out, and I do not know which way they went. Pursue them quickly, and you may catch them!” 6 (But Rahab had taken them up to the roof and hidden them among the stalks of flax that she had laid out there.)
7 So the king’s men set out in pursuit of the spies along the road to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as they had gone out, the gate was shut.
The Promise to Rahab
8 Before the spies lay down for the night, Rahab went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that the fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who dwell in the land are melting in fear of you. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the waters of the Red Sea b before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites across the Jordan, whom you devoted to destruction. c 11 When we heard this, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in the heavens above and on the earth below.
12 Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD that you will indeed show kindness to my family, because I showed kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will deliver us from death.”
14 “Our lives for your lives!” the men agreed. “If you do not report our mission, we will show you kindness and faithfulness when the LORD gives us the land.”
15 Then Rahab let them down by a rope through the window, since the house where she lived was built into the wall of the city. 16 “Go to the hill country,” she said, “so that your pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there for three days until they have returned; then go on your way.”
17 The men said to her, “We will not be bound by this oath you made us swear 18 unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother and brothers and all your family into your house. 19 If anyone goes out the door of your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head, and we will be innocent. But if a hand is laid on anyone with you in the house, his blood will be on our heads. 20 And if you report our mission, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.”
21 “Let it be as you say,” she replied, and she sent them away. And when they had gone, she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
22 So the spies went out into the hill country and stayed there three days, until their pursuers had returned without finding them, having searched all along the road. 23 Then the two men started back, came down from the hill country, and crossed the river. So they came to Joshua son of Nun and reported all that had happened to them.
24 “The LORD has surely delivered the entire land into our hands,” they said to Joshua. “Indeed, all who dwell in the land are melting in fear of us.”
1 a Or Acacia Grove
10 b Or the Sea of Reeds
10 c Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
Crossing the Jordan
1 Early the next morning Joshua got up and left Shittim a with all the Israelites. They went as far as the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over.
2 After three days the officers went through the camp 3 and commanded the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, you are to set out from your positions and follow it. 4 But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits b between yourselves and the ark. Do not go near it, so that you can see the way to go, since you have never traveled this way before.”
5 Then Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” 6 And he said to the priests, “Take the ark of the covenant and go on ahead of the people.” So they carried the ark of the covenant and went ahead of them.
7 Now the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you just as I was with Moses. 8 Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the waters, stand in the Jordan.’ ”
9 So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God.” 10 He continued, “This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that He will surely drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites. 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go ahead of you into the Jordan.
12 Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 When the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—touch down in the waters of the Jordan, its flowing waters will be cut off and will stand up in a heap.”
14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carried the ark of the covenant ahead of them.
15 Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the flowing water stood still. It backed up as far upstream as Adam, a city in the area of Zarethan, while the water flowing toward the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea c) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed over the dry ground, until the entire nation had crossed the Jordan.
1 a Or Acacia Grove
4 b 2,000 cubits is approximately 3,000 feet or 914.4 meters.
16 c That is, the Dead Sea
Twelve Stones from the Jordan
1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and command them:‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan where the priests were standing, carry them with you, and set them down in the place where you spend the night.’ ”
4 So Joshua summoned the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of Israel, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 you are to tell them, ‘The waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters were cut off.’ Therefore these stones will be a memorial to the Israelites forever.”
8 Thus the Israelites did as Joshua had commanded them. They took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each tribe of Israel, just as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them to the camp, where they set them down.
9 Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, a in the place where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant stood. And the stones are there to this day.
10 Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until the people had completed everything the LORD had commanded Joshua to tell them, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried across, 11 and after everyone had finished crossing, the priests with the ark of the LORD crossed in the sight of the people. 12 The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over before the Israelites, armed for battle as Moses had instructed them. 13 About 40,000 troops armed for battle crossed over before the LORD into the plains of Jericho.
14 On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses.
15 Then the LORD said to Joshua, 16 “Command the priests who carry the ark of the Testimony b to come up from the Jordan.”
17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up from the Jordan.”
18 When the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD came up out of the Jordan and their feet touched the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their course and overflowed all the banks as before.
The Camp at Gilgal
19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And there at Gilgal Joshua set up the twelve stones they had taken from the Jordan.
21 Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of these stones?’ 22 you are to tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, just as He did to the Red Sea, c which He dried up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, and so that you may always fear the LORD your God.”
9 a Some translators And Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan
16 b That is, the ark of the covenant
23 c Or the Sea of Reeds
The Circumcision and Passover at Gilgal
1 Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast a heard how the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, b their hearts melted and their spirits failed for fear of the Israelites.
2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel once again. c” 3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth. d
4 Now this is why Joshua circumcised them: All those who came out of Egypt—all the men of war—had died on the journey in the wilderness after they had left Egypt. 5 Though all who had come out were circumcised, none of those born in the wilderness on the journey from Egypt had been circumcised.
6 For the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness forty years, until all the nation’s men of war who had come out of Egypt had died, since they did not obey the LORD. So the LORD vowed never to let them see the land He had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7 And Joshua raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones he circumcised. Until this time they were still uncircumcised, since they had not been circumcised along the way.
8 And after all the nation had been circumcised, they stayed there in the camp until they were healed.
9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So that place has been called Gilgal e to this day.
10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they kept the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate unleavened bread and roasted grain from the produce of the land.
12 And the day after they had eaten from the produce of the land, the manna ceased. There was no more manna for the Israelites, so that year they began to eat the crops of the land of Canaan.
The Commander of the LORD’s Army
13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, “Are You for us or for our enemies?”
14 “Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as Commander of the LORD’s army.”
Then Joshua fell facedown in reverence f and asked Him, “What does my Lord have to say to His servant?”
15 The Commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”
And Joshua did so.
1 a That is, along the Mediterranean coast; literally along the sea
1 b Or until we had crossed over
2 c Literally again the second time
3 d Gibeath-haaraloth means the hill of the foreskins .
9 e Gilgal sounds like the Hebrew for roll .
14 f Or and paid homage or and worshiped
The Walls of Jericho
1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Behold, I have delivered Jericho into your hand, along with its king and its mighty men of valor. 3 March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry seven rams’ horns in front of the ark. Then on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the horns. 5 And when there is a long blast of the ram’s horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the wall of the city will collapse a and all your people will charge straight into the city. b”
6 So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said, “Take up the ark of the covenant and have seven priests carry seven rams’ horns in front of the ark of the LORD.”
7 And he told the people, “Advance and march around the city, with the armed troops going ahead of the ark of the LORD.”
8 After Joshua had spoken to the people, seven priests carrying seven rams’ horns before the LORD advanced and blew the horns, and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. 9 While the horns continued to sound, the armed troops marched ahead of the priests who blew the horns, and the rear guard followed the ark.
10 But Joshua had commanded the people: “Do not give a battle cry or let your voice be heard; do not let one word come out of your mouth until the day I tell you to shout. Then you are to shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the LORD carried around the city, circling it once. And the people returned to the camp and spent the night there.
12 Joshua got up early the next morning, and the priests took the ark of the LORD. 13 And the seven priests carrying seven rams’ horns kept marching ahead of the ark of the LORD and blowing the horns. The armed troops went in front of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the horns kept sounding. 14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 Then on the seventh day, they got up at dawn and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. That was the only day they circled the city seven times. 16 After the seventh time around, the priests blew the horns, and Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! 17 Now the city and everything in it must be devoted to the LORD for destruction. c Only Rahab the prostitute and all those with her in her house will live, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the things devoted to destruction, lest you yourself be set apart for destruction. If you take any of these, you will set apart the camp of Israel for destruction and bring disaster upon it. 19 For all the silver and gold and all the articles of bronze and iron are holy to the LORD; they must go into His treasury.”
20 So when the rams’ horns sounded, the people shouted. When they heard the blast of the horn, the people gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed. Then all the people charged straight into the city and captured it. 21 At the edge of the sword they devoted to destruction everything in the city—man and woman, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys.
22 Meanwhile, Joshua told the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the house of the prostitute and bring out the woman and all who are with her, just as you promised her.” 23 So the young spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother and brothers, and all who belonged to her. They brought out her whole family and settled them outside the camp of Israel.
24 Then the Israelites burned up the city and everything in it. However, they put the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house. 25 And Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her father’s household and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent to spy out Jericho. So she has lived among the Israelites to this day.
26 At that time Joshua invoked this solemn oath:
“Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up
and rebuilds this city, Jericho;
at the cost of his firstborn
he will lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
he will set up its gates.” d
27 So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.
5 a Or fall under itself or fall flat ; similarly in verse 20
5 b Literally and the people will go up, every man straight ahead ; similarly in verse 20
17 c Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in verses 18 and 21.
26 d See 1 Kings 16:34.
The Defeat at Ai
1 The Israelites, however, acted unfaithfully regarding the things devoted to destruction. a Achan b son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, c the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of what was set apart. So the anger of the LORD burned against the Israelites.
2 Meanwhile, Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the land.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.
3 On returning to Joshua, they reported, “There is no need to send all the people;two or three thousand men are enough to go up and attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, you need not wear out all our people there.”
4 So about three thousand men went up, but they fled before the men of Ai. 5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of them, chasing them from the gate as far as the quarries d and striking them down on the slopes. So the hearts of the people melted and became like water.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown before the ark of the LORD until evening, as did the elders of Israel; and they all sprinkled dust on their heads.
7 “O, Lord GOD,” Joshua said, “why did You ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to be destroyed? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has turned its back and run from its enemies? 9 When the Canaanites and all who live in the land hear about this, they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great name?”
10 But the LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why have you fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned;they have transgressed My covenant that I commanded them, and they have taken some of what was devoted to destruction. Indeed, they have stolen and lied, and they have put these things with their own possessions. 12 This is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies. They will turn their backs and run from their enemies, because they themselves have been set apart for destruction. I will no longer be with you unless you remove from among you whatever is devoted to destruction.
13 Get up and consecrate the people, saying, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Among you, O Israel, there are things devoted to destruction. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them. 14 In the morning you must present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe that the LORD selects shall come forward clan by clan, and the clan that the LORD selects shall come forward family by family, and the family that the LORD selects shall come forward man by man. 15 The one who is caught with the things devoted to destruction must be burned, along with all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD and committed an outrage in Israel.’ ”
The Sin of Achan
16 So Joshua arose early the next morning and had Israel come forward tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was selected. 17 He had the clans of Judah come forward, and the clan of the Zerahites was selected. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward, and the family of Zabdi was selected. 18 And he had the family of Zabdi come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was selected.
19 So Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and make a confession to Him. I urge you to tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”
20 “It is true,” Achan replied, “I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I did: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful cloak from Shinar, e two hundred shekels of silver, f and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, g I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
22 So Joshua sent messengers who ran to the tent, and there it all was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from inside the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and spread them out before the LORD.
24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the cloak, the bar of gold, his sons and daughters, his oxen and donkeys and sheep, his tent, and everything else he owned, and brought them to the Valley of Achor.
25 “Why have you brought this trouble upon us?” said Joshua. “Today the LORD will bring trouble upon you!” And all Israel stoned him to death. Then they stoned the others and burned their bodies. 26 And they heaped over Achan a large pile of rocks that remains to this day. So the LORD turned from His burning anger. Therefore that place is called the Valley of Achor h to this day.
1 a Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in verses 11, 12, 13, and 15.
1 b Achan means troubler ; also called Achar in 1 Chronicles 2:7.
1 c Zabdi is a variant of Zimri ; also in verses 17 and 18; see LXX and 1 Chronicles 2:6.
5 d Or as far as Shebarim
21 e That is, Babylonia
21 f 200 shekels is approximately 5 pounds or 2.3 kilograms of silver.
21 g 50 shekels is approximately 1.26 pounds or 569.8 grams of gold.
26 h Achor means trouble .
The Conquest of Ai
1 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. See, I have delivered into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. 2 And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set up an ambush behind the city.”
3 So Joshua and the whole army set out to attack Ai. Joshua chose 30,000 mighty men of valor and sent them out at night 4 with these orders:“Pay attention. You are to lie in ambush behind the city, not too far from it. All of you must be ready. 5 Then I and all the troops with me will advance on the city. When they come out against us as they did the first time, we will flee from them. 6 They will pursue us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘The Israelites are running away from us as they did before.’ So as we flee from them, 7 you are to rise from the ambush and seize the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 8 And when you have taken the city, set it on fire. Do as the LORD has commanded! See, I have given you orders.”
9 So Joshua sent them out, and they went to the place of ambush and lay in wait between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai. But Joshua spent that night among the people.
10 Joshua got up early the next morning and mobilized his men, and he and the elders of Israel marched before them up to Ai. 11 Then all the troops who were with him marched up and approached the city. They arrived in front of Ai and camped to the north of it, with the valley between them and the city.
12 Now Joshua had taken about five thousand men and set up an ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. 13 So the forces were stationed with the main camp to the north of the city and the rear guard to the west of the city. And that night Joshua went into the valley.
14 When the king of Ai saw the Israelites, he hurried out early in the morning with the men of the city to engage them in battle at an appointed place overlooking the Arabah. But he did not know that an ambush had been set up against him behind the city. 15 Joshua and all Israel let themselves be beaten back before them, and they fled toward the wilderness. 16 Then all the men of Ai were summoned to pursue them, and they followed Joshua and were drawn away from the city. 17 Not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who did not go out after Israel, leaving the city wide open while they pursued Israel.
18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Hold out your battle lance a toward Ai, for into your hand I will deliver the city.” So Joshua held out his battle lance toward Ai, 19 and as soon as he did so, the men in ambush rose quickly from their position. They rushed forward, entered the city, captured it, and immediately set it on fire.
20 When the men of Ai turned and looked back, the smoke of the city was rising into the sky. They could not escape in any direction, and the troops who had fled to the wilderness now became the pursuers. 21 When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that smoke was rising from it, they turned around and struck down the men of Ai. 22 Meanwhile, those in the ambush came out of the city against them, and the men of Ai were trapped between the Israelite forces on both sides. So Israel struck them down until no survivor or fugitive remained. 23 But they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.
24 When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai who had pursued them into the field and wilderness, and when every last one of them had fallen by the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and put it to the sword as well. 25 A total of twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai. 26 Joshua did not draw back the hand that held his battle lance until he had devoted to destruction b all who lived in Ai. 27 Israel took for themselves only the cattle and plunder of that city, as the LORD had commanded Joshua.
28 So Joshua burned Ai c and made it a permanent heap of ruins, a desolation to this day. 29 He hung the king of Ai on a tree d until evening, and at sunset Joshua commanded that they take down the body from the tree and throw it down at the entrance of the city gate. And over it they raised a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day.
Joshua Renews the Covenant
30 At that time Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal to the LORD, the God of Israel, 31 just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses: “an altar of uncut stones on which no iron tool has been used.” e And on it they offered burnt offerings to the LORD, and they sacrificed peace offerings.
32 And there in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua inscribed on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written. 33 All Israel, foreigners and citizens alike, with their elders, officers, and judges, stood on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded earlier, to bless the people of Israel.
34 Afterward, Joshua read aloud all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua failed to read before the whole assembly of Israel, including the women, the little ones, and the foreigners who lived among them.
18 a Or javelin ; twice in this verse, and also in verse 26
26 b Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
28 c Ai means ruin .
29 d Or He impaled the king of Ai on a pole
31 e Exodus 20:25;Deuteronomy 27:5
The Deceit of the Gibeonites
1 Now when news of this reached all the kings west of the Jordan—those in the hill country, the foothills, a and all along the coast of the Great Sea b toward Lebanon (the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites)— 2 they came together to wage war against Joshua and Israel.
3 But the people of Gibeon, having heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 acted deceptively and set out as envoys, c carrying on their donkeys worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. 5 They put worn, patched sandals on their feet and threadbare clothing on their bodies, and their whole supply of bread was dry and moldy. 6 They went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land; please make a treaty d with us.”
7 But the men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you dwell near us. How can we make a treaty with you?”
8 “We are your servants,” they said to Joshua.
Then Joshua asked them, “Who are you and where have you come from?”
9 “Your servants have come from a very distant land,” they replied, “because of the fame of the LORD your God. For we have heard the reports about Him: all that He did in Egypt, 10 and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites beyond the Jordan—Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth. 11 So the elders and inhabitants of our land told us, ‘Take provisions for your journey; go to meet them and say to them: We are your servants. Please make a treaty with us.’
12 This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But take a look, it is now dry and moldy. 13 These wineskins were new when we filled them, but look, they are cracked. And these clothes and sandals are worn out from our very long journey.”
14 Then the men of Israel sampled their provisions, but did not seek the counsel of the LORD. 15 And Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them.
16 Three days after they had made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites learned that they were neighbors, living among them. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day arrived at their cities—Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. And the whole congregation grumbled against the leaders.
19 All the leaders answered, “We have sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them. 20 This is how we will treat them: We will let them live, so that no wrath will fall on us because of the oath we swore to them.” 21 They continued, “Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers for the whole congregation.” So the leaders kept their promise.
22 Then Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you deceive us by telling us you live far away from us, when in fact you live among us? 23 Now therefore you are under a curse and will perpetually serve as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”
24 The Gibeonites answered, “Your servants were told clearly that the LORD your God had commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land and wipe out all its inhabitants before you. So we greatly feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we have done this. 25 Now we are in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you.”
26 So Joshua did this and delivered them from the hands of the Israelites, and they did not kill the Gibeonites. 27 On that day he made them woodcutters and water carriers, as they are to this day for the congregation of the LORD and for the altar at the place He would choose.
1 a Hebrew Shephelah or lowlands ; that is, the western foothills of Judea
1 b That is, the Mediterranean Sea
4 c Or set out with provisions
6 d Forms of the Hebrew berit are translated in most passages as covenant ; also in verses 7, 11, 15, and 16.
The Day the Sun Stood Still
1 Now Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai and devoted it to destruction a —doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king—and that the people of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were living near them. 2 So Adoni-zedek and his people were greatly alarmed, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were mighty.
3 Therefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon, saying, 4 “Come up and help me. We will attack Gibeon, because they have made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.”
5 So the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon—joined forces and advanced with all their armies. They camped before Gibeon and made war against it.
6 Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come quickly and save us! Help us, because all the kings of the Amorites from the hill country have joined forces against us.”
7 So Joshua and his whole army, including all the mighty men of valor, came from Gilgal.
8 The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for I have delivered them into your hand. Not one of them shall stand against you.”
9 After marching all night from Gilgal, Joshua caught them by surprise. 10 And the LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great slaughter at Gibeon, pursued them along the ascent to Beth-horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel along the descent from Beth-horon to Azekah, the LORD cast down on them large hailstones from the sky, and more of them were killed by the hailstones than by the swords of the Israelites.
12 On the day that the LORD gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
“O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” b
13 So the sun stood still
and the moon stopped
until the nation took vengeance
upon its enemies. c
Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? d
“So the sun stopped
in the middle of the sky
and delayed going down
about a full day.” e
14 There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man, because the LORD fought for Israel.
15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.
The Victory at Makkedah
16 Now the five kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah. 17 And Joshua was informed: “The five kings have been found; they are hiding in the cave at Makkedah.”
18 So Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and post men there to guard them. 19 But you, do not stop there. Pursue your enemies and attack them from behind. Do not let them reach their cities, for the LORD your God has delivered them into your hand.”
20 So Joshua and the Israelites continued to inflict a terrible slaughter until they had finished them off, and the remaining survivors retreated to the fortified cities. 21 The whole army returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah, and no one dared to utter a word against the Israelites.
22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.” 23 So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon.
24 When they had brought the kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had accompanied him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.”
So the commanders came forward and put their feet on their necks.
25 “Do not be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua said. “Be strong and courageous, for the LORD will do this to all the enemies you fight.”
26 After this, Joshua struck down and killed the kings, and he hung their bodies on five trees f and left them there until evening. 27 At sunset Joshua ordered that they be taken down from the trees and thrown into the cave in which they had hidden. Then large stones were placed against the mouth of the cave, and the stones are there to this day.
28 On that day Joshua captured Makkedah and put it to the sword, along with its king. He devoted to destruction everyone in the city, leaving no survivors. So he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.
Conquest of the Southern Cities
29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. 30 And the LORD also delivered that city and its king into the hand of Israel, and Joshua put all the people to the sword, leaving no survivors. And he did to the king of Libnah as he had done to the king of Jericho.
31 And Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Libnah to Lachish. They laid siege to it and fought against it. 32 And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, and Joshua captured it on the second day. He put all the people to the sword, just as he had done to Libnah.
33 At that time Horam king of Gezer went to help Lachish, but Joshua struck him down along with his people, leaving no survivors.
34 So Joshua moved on from Lachish to Eglon, and all Israel with him. They laid siege to it and fought against it. 35 That day they captured Eglon and put it to the sword, and Joshua devoted to destruction everyone in the city, just as he had done to Lachish.
36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and fought against it. 37 They captured it and put to the sword its king, all its villages, and all the people. Joshua left no survivors, just as he had done at Eglon; he devoted to destruction Hebron and everyone in it.
38 Finally Joshua and all Israel with him turned toward Debir and fought against it. 39 And they captured Debir, its king, and all its villages. They put them to the sword and devoted to destruction everyone in the city, leaving no survivors. Joshua did to Debir and its king as he had done to Hebron and as he had done to Libnah and its king.
40 So Joshua conquered the whole region—the hill country, the Negev, the foothills, g and the slopes, together with all their kings—leaving no survivors. He devoted to destruction everything that breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua conquered the area from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, and the whole region of Goshen as far as Gibeon.
42 And because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel, Joshua captured all these kings and their land in one campaign. 43 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.
1 a Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in verses 28, 35, 37, 39, and 40.
12 b See Jasher 88:63.
13 c Or triumphed over its enemies
13 d Or the Book of the Upright One , commonly cited as Jasher
13 e See Jasher 88:64.
26 f Or impaled their bodies on five poles ; similarly in verse 27
40 g Hebrew Shephelah or lowlands ; that is, the western foothills of Judea
Conquest of the Northern Cities
1 Now when Jabin king of Hazor heard about these things, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon; to the kings of Shimron and Achshaph; 2 to the kings of the north in the mountains, in the Arabah south of Chinnereth, in the foothills, a and in Naphoth-dor b to the west; 3 to the Canaanites in the east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites at the foot of Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
4 So these kings came out with all their armies, a multitude as numerous as the sand on the seashore, along with a great number of horses and chariots. 5 All these kings joined forces and encamped at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.
6 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for by this time tomorrow I will deliver all of them slain before Israel. You are to hamstring their horses and burn up their chariots.”
7 So by the waters of Merom, Joshua and his whole army came upon them suddenly and attacked them, 8 and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who struck them down and pursued them all the way to Greater Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward as far as the Valley of Mizpeh. They struck them down, leaving no survivors. 9 Joshua treated them as the LORD had told him; he hamstrung their horses and burned up their chariots.
10 At that time Joshua turned back and captured Hazor and put its king to the sword, because Hazor was formerly the head of all these kingdoms. 11 The Israelites put everyone in Hazor to the sword, devoting them to destruction. c Nothing that breathed remained, and Joshua burned down Hazor itself.
12 Joshua captured all these kings and their cities and put them to the sword. He devoted them to destruction, as Moses the LORD’s servant had commanded. 13 Yet Israel did not burn any of the cities built on their mounds, except Hazor, which Joshua burned.
14 The Israelites took for themselves all the plunder and livestock of these cities, but they put all the people to the sword until they had completely destroyed them, not sparing anyone who breathed. 15 As the LORD had commanded His servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua. That is what Joshua did, leaving nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.
Joshua Takes the Whole Land
16 So Joshua took this entire region: the hill country, all the Negev, all the land of Goshen, the western foothills, the Arabah, and the mountains of Israel and their foothills, 17 from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon at the foot of Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings and struck them down, putting them to death.
18 Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long period of time. 19 No city made peace with the Israelites except the Hivites living in Gibeon; all others were taken in battle. 20 For it was of the LORD to harden d their hearts to engage Israel in battle, so that they would be set apart for destruction and would receive no mercy, being annihilated as the LORD had commanded Moses.
21 At that time Joshua proceeded to eliminate the Anakim from the hill country of Hebron, Debir, and Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah and of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction, along with their cities. 22 No Anakim were left in the land of the Israelites; only in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod did any survive.
23 So Joshua took the entire land, in keeping with all that the LORD had spoken to Moses. And Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to the allotments to their tribes. Then the land had rest from war.
2 a Hebrew Shephelah or lowlands ; that is, the western foothills of Judea; also in verse 16
2 b Or in the heights of Dor ; Naphoth-dor is a variant of Naphath-dor ; see Joshua 12:23.
11 c Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in verses 12, 20, and 21.
20 d Or stiffen or strengthen
The Kings Defeated East of the Jordan
1 Now these are the kings of the land whom the Israelites struck down and whose lands they took beyond the Jordan to the east, from the Arnon Valley to Mount Hermon, including all the Arabah eastward:
2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon. He ruled from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Valley, along the middle of the valley, up to the Jabbok River (the border of the Ammonites), that is, half of Gilead, 3 as well as the Arabah east of the Sea of Chinnereth a to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea b), eastward through Beth-jeshimoth, and southward below the slopes of Pisgah.
4 And Og king of Bashan, c one of the remnant of the Rephaim, who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei. 5 He ruled over Mount Hermon, Salecah, all of Bashan up to the border of the Geshurites and Maacathites, and half of Gilead to the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.
6 Moses, the servant of the LORD, and the Israelites had struck them down and given their land as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
The Kings Defeated West of the Jordan
7 And these are the kings of the land that Joshua and the Israelites conquered beyond the Jordan to the west, from Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir (according to the allotments to the tribes of Israel, Joshua gave them as an inheritance 8 the hill country, the foothills, d the Arabah, the slopes, the wilderness, and the Negev—the lands of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites):
9 the king of Jericho, one;
the king of Ai, which is near Bethel, one;
10 the king of Jerusalem, one;
the king of Hebron, one;
11 the king of Jarmuth, one;
the king of Lachish, one;
12 the king of Eglon, one;
the king of Gezer, one;
13 the king of Debir, one;
the king of Geder, one;
14 the king of Hormah, one;
the king of Arad, one;
15 the king of Libnah, one;
the king of Adullam, one;
16 the king of Makkedah, one;
the king of Bethel, one;
17 the king of Tappuah, one;
the king of Hepher, one;
18 the king of Aphek, one;
the king of Lasharon, one;
19 the king of Madon, one;
the king of Hazor, one;
20 the king of Shimron-meron, one;
the king of Achshaph, one;
21 the king of Taanach, one;
the king of Megiddo, one;
22 the king of Kedesh, one;
the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one;
23 the king of Dor in Naphath-dor, e one;
the king of Goiim in Gilgal, f one;
24 and the king of Tirzah, one.
So there were thirty-one kings in all.
3 a That is, the Sea of Galilee
3 b That is, the Dead Sea
4 c LXX; Hebrew And the territory of Og king of Bashan
8 d Hebrew Shephelah or lowlands ; that is, the western foothills of Judea
23 e Or in the heights of Dor ; Naphath-dor is a variant of Naphoth-dor ; see Joshua 11:2.
23 f Hebrew; LXX Goyim in Galilee
Lands Yet Unconquered
1 Now Joshua was old and well along in years, and the LORD said to him, “You are old and well along in years, but very much of the land remains to be possessed. 2 This is the land that remains:
All the territory of the Philistines and the Geshurites, 3 from the Shihor east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the north (considered to be Canaanite territory)—that of the five Philistine rulers of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron, as well as that of the Avvites;
4 to the south, all the land of the Canaanites, from Mearah a of the Sidonians to Aphek, as far as the border of the Amorites;
5 the land of the Gebalites; b
and all Lebanon to the east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo-hamath.
6 All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim—all the Sidonians—I Myself will drive out before the Israelites. Be sure to divide it by lot as an inheritance to Israel, as I have commanded you. 7 Now therefore divide this land as an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”
The Inheritance East of the Jordan
(Numbers 32:1–42; Deuteronomy 3:12–22)
8 The other half of Manasseh, along with the Reubenites and Gadites, had received the inheritance Moses had given them beyond the Jordan to the east, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had assigned to them:
9 The area from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Valley, along with the city in the middle of the valley, the whole plateau of Medeba as far as Dibon, 10 and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites who reigned in Heshbon, as far as the border of the Ammonites;
11 also Gilead and the territory of the Geshurites and Maacathites, all of Mount Hermon, and all Bashan as far as Salecah— 12 the whole kingdom of Og in Bashan, who had reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei and had remained as a remnant of the Rephaim.
Moses had struck them down and dispossessed them, 13 but the Israelites did not drive out the Geshurites or the Maacathites. So Geshur and Maacath dwell among the Israelites to this day.
14 To the tribe of Levi, however, Moses had given no inheritance. The offerings made by fire to the LORD, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, just as He had promised them.
15 This is what Moses had given to the clans of the tribe of Reuben:
16 The territory from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Valley, along with the city in the middle of the valley, to the whole plateau beyond Medeba, 17 to Heshbon and all its cities on the plateau, including Dibon, Bamoth-baal, Beth-baal-meon, 18 Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, 19 Kiriathaim, Sibmah, Zereth-shahar on the hill in the valley, 20 Beth-peor, the slopes of Pisgah, and Beth-jeshimoth— 21 all the cities of the plateau and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon until Moses killed him and the chiefs of Midian (Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba), the princes of Sihon who lived in the land.
22 The Israelites also killed the diviner Balaam son of Beor along with the others they put to the sword. 23 And the border of the Reubenites was the bank of the Jordan.
This was the inheritance of the clans of the Reubenites, including the cities and villages.
24 This is what Moses had given to the clans of the tribe of Gad:
25 The territory of Jazer, all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the Ammonites as far as Aroer, near Rabbah;
26 the territory from Heshbon to Ramath-mizpeh and Betonim, and from Mahanaim to the border of Debir; c
27 and in the valley, Beth-haram, Beth-nimrah, Succoth, and Zaphon, with the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon (the territory on the east side of the Jordan up to the edge of the Sea of Chinnereth d).
28 This was the inheritance of the clans of the Gadites, including the cities and villages.
Manasseh’s Eastern Inheritance
29 This is what Moses had given to the clans of the half-tribe of Manasseh, that is, to half the tribe of the descendants of Manasseh:
30 The territory from Mahanaim through all Bashan—all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, including all the towns of Jair that are in Bashan, sixty cities; 31 half of Gilead; and Ashtaroth and Edrei, the royal cities of Og in Bashan.
All this was for the clans of the descendants of Machir son of Manasseh, that is, half of the descendants of Machir.
32 These were the portions Moses had given them on the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan, east of Jericho.
33 To the tribe of Levi, however, Moses had given no inheritance. The LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, just as He had promised them.
4 a Or Arah
5 b Or the area of Byblos
26 c LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate; Hebrew Li-debir , a variant of Lo-debar ; see 2 Samuel 9:4, 2 Samuel 17:27, and Amos 6:13.
27 d That is, the Sea of Galilee
Land Division West of the Jordan
1 Now these are the portions that the Israelites inherited in the land of Canaan, as distributed by Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the families of the tribes of Israel. 2 Their inheritance was assigned by lot for the nine and a half tribes, as the LORD had commanded through Moses. 3 For Moses had given the inheritance east of the Jordan to the other two and a half tribes. But he granted no inheritance among them to the Levites.
4 The descendants of Joseph became two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. And no portion of the land was given to the Levites, except for cities in which to live, along with pasturelands for their flocks and herds.
5 So the Israelites did as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they divided the land.
Caleb Requests Hebron
6 Then the sons of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh-barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back to him an honest report.
8 Although my brothers who went with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear, I remained loyal to the LORD my God. 9 On that day Moses swore to me, saying, ‘Surely the land on which you have set foot will be an inheritance to you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the LORD my God.’
10 Now behold, as the LORD promised, He has kept me alive these forty-five years since He spoke this word to Moses, while Israel wandered in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old, 11 still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. As my strength was then, so it is now for war, for going out, and for coming in.
12 Now therefore give me this hill country that the LORD promised me on that day, for you yourself heard then that the Anakim were there, with great and fortified cities. Perhaps with the LORD’s help I will drive them out, as the LORD has spoken.”
13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 Therefore Hebron belongs to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite as an inheritance to this day, because he wholly followed the LORD, the God of Israel. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath-arba, after Arba, the greatest man among the Anakim.)
Then the land had rest from war.
1 Now the allotment for the clans of the tribe of Judah extended to the border of Edom, to the Wilderness of Zin at the extreme southern boundary:
2 Their southern border started at the bay on the southern tip of the Salt Sea, a 3 proceeded south of the Ascent of Akrabbim, b continued on to Zin, went over to the south of Kadesh-barnea, ran past Hezron up to Addar, and curved toward Karka. 4 It proceeded to Azmon, joined the Brook of Egypt, and ended at the Sea. c This was their d southern border.
5 The eastern border was the Salt Sea as far as the mouth of the Jordan.
The northern border started from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan, 6 went up to Beth-hoglah, proceeded north of Beth-arabah, and went up to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. 7 Then the border went up to Debir from the Valley of Achor, turning north to Gilgal, which faces the Ascent of Adummim south of the ravine. It continued along the waters of En-shemesh and came out at En-rogel. 8 From there the border went up the Valley of Hinnom along the southern slope of the Jebusites (that is, Jerusalem) and ascended to the top of the hill that faces the Valley of Hinnom on the west, at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim. 9 From the hilltop the border curved to the spring of the Waters of Nephtoah, proceeded to the cities of Mount Ephron, and then bent around toward Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). 10 The border curled westward from Baalah to Mount Seir, ran along the northern slope of Mount Jearim (that is, Chesalon), went down to Beth-shemesh, and crossed to Timnah. 11 Then it went out to the northern slope of Ekron, curved toward Shikkeron, proceeded to Mount Baalah, went on to Jabneel, and ended at the Sea.
12 And the western border was the coastline of the Great Sea.
These are the boundaries around the clans of the descendants of Judah.
Caleb’s Portion and Conquest
13 According to the LORD’s command to him, Joshua gave Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah—Kiriath-arba, that is, Hebron. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.) 14 And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak—the descendants of Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.
15 From there he marched against the inhabitants of Debir (formerly known as Kiriath-sepher). 16 And Caleb said, “To the man who strikes down Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage.” 17 So Othniel son of Caleb’s brother Kenaz captured the city, and Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage.
18 One day Acsah came to Othniel and urged him e to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What do you desire?”
19 “Give me a blessing,” she answered. “Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me springs of water as well.”
So Caleb gave her both the upper and lower springs.
The Cities of Judah
20 This is the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Judah. 21 These were the southernmost cities of the tribe of Judah in the Negev toward the border of Edom:
Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24 Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, 25 Hazor-hadattah, Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor), 26 Amam, Shema, Moladah, 27 Hazar-gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-pelet, 28 Hazar-shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29 Baalah, Iim, Ezem, 30 Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah, 31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon—twenty-nine cities in all, along with their villages.
33 These were in the foothills: f
Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34 Zanoah, En-gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, 36 Shaaraim, Adithaim, and Gederah (or Gederothaim)—fourteen cities, along with their villages.
37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal-gad, 38 Dilan, Mizpeh, Joktheel, 39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40 Cabbon, Lahmas, Chitlish, 41 Gederoth, Beth-dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah—sixteen cities, along with their villages.
42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44 Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah—nine cities, along with their villages.
45 Ekron, with its towns and villages; 46 from Ekron to the sea, all the cities near Ashdod, along with their villages; 47 Ashdod, with its towns and villages;Gaza, with its towns and villages, as far as the Brook of Egypt and the coastline of the Great Sea.
48 These were in the hill country:
Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, 49 Dannah, Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir), 50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51 Goshen, Holon, and Giloh—eleven cities, along with their villages.
52 Arab, Dumah, Eshan, 53 Janim, Beth-tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior—nine cities, along with their villages.
55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57 Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah—ten cities, along with their villages.
58 Halhul, Beth-zur, Gedor, 59 Maarath, Beth-anoth, and Eltekon—six cities, along with their villages.
60 Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), and Rabbah—two cities, along with their villages.
61 These were in the wilderness:
Beth-arabah, Middin, Secacah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt, and En-gedi—six cities, along with their villages.
63 But the descendants of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites living in Jerusalem. So to this day the Jebusites live there among the descendants of Judah.
2 a That is, the Dead Sea; also in verse 5
3 b Or the Ascent of Scorpions or Scorpion Pass
4 c That is, the Mediterranean Sea, also called the Great Sea; also in verses 11, 12, and 47
4 d LXX; Hebrew your
18 e Hebrew and some LXX manuscripts; other LXX manuscripts and he urged her ; see Judges 1:14.
33 f Hebrew Shephelah or lowlands ; that is, the western foothills of Judea
1 The allotment for the descendants of Joseph extended from the Jordan at Jericho to the waters of Jericho on the east, through the wilderness that goes up from Jericho into the hill country of Bethel. 2 It went on from Bethel (that is, Luz) a and proceeded to the border of the Archites in Ataroth. 3 Then it descended westward to the border of the Japhletites as far as the border of Lower Beth-horon and on to Gezer, and it ended at the Sea. b
4 So Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, received their inheritance. 5 This was the territory of the descendants of Ephraim by their clans:
The border of their inheritance went from Ataroth-addar in the east to Upper Beth-horon 6 and out toward the Sea. From Michmethath on the north it turned eastward toward Taanath-shiloh and passed by it to Janoah on the east. 7 From Janoah it went down to Ataroth and Naarah, and then reached Jericho and came out at the Jordan. 8 From Tappuah the border went westward to the Brook of Kanah and ended at the Sea.
This was the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Ephraim, 9 along with all the cities and villages set apart for the descendants of Ephraim within the inheritance of Manasseh. 10 But they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer. So the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites to this day, but they are forced laborers.
2 a LXX (See also Joshua 18:13); Hebrew from Bethel to Luz
3 b That is, the Mediterranean Sea, also called the Great Sea; also in verses 6 and 8
Manasseh’s Western Inheritance
1 Now this was the allotment for the tribe of Manasseh as Joseph’s firstborn son, namely for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh and father of the Gileadites, who had received Gilead and Bashan because Machir was a man of war. 2 So this allotment was for the rest of the descendants of Manasseh—the clans of Abiezer, a Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida. These are the other male descendants of the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph.
3 But Zelophehad son of Hepher (the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh) had no sons but only daughters. These are the names of his daughters:Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 4 They approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders, and said, “The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers.”
So Joshua gave them an inheritance among their father’s brothers, in keeping with the command of the LORD. 5 Thus ten shares fell to Manasseh, in addition to the land of Gilead and Bashan beyond the Jordan, 6 because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among his sons. And the land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh.
7 Now the border of Manasseh went from Asher to Michmethath near Shechem, then southward to include the inhabitants of En-tappuah. 8 The region of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but Tappuah itself, on the border of Manasseh, belonged to Ephraim. 9 From there the border continued southward to the Brook of Kanah. There were cities belonging to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh, but the border of Manasseh was on the north side of the brook and ended at the Sea. b 10 Ephraim’s territory was to the south, and Manasseh’s was to the north, having the Sea as its border and adjoining Asher on the north and Issachar on the east.
11 Within Issachar and Asher, Manasseh was assigned Beth-shean, Ibleam, Dor (that is, Naphath), Endor, Taanach, and Megiddo, each with their surrounding settlements.
12 But the descendants of Manasseh were unable to occupy these cities, because the Canaanites were determined to stay in this land. 13 However, when the Israelites grew stronger, they put the Canaanites to forced labor; but they failed to drive them out completely.
14 Then the sons of Joseph said to Joshua, “Why have you given us only one portion as an inheritance? We have many people, because the LORD has blessed us abundantly.”
15 Joshua answered them, “If you have so many people that the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go to the forest and clear for yourself an area in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim.”
16 “The hill country is not enough for us,” they replied, “and all the Canaanites who live in the valley have iron chariots, both in Beth-shean with its towns and in the Valley of Jezreel.”
17 So Joshua said to the house of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—“You have many people and great strength. You shall not have just one allotment, 18 because the hill country will be yours as well. It is a forest; clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours. Although the Canaanites have iron chariots and although they are strong, you can drive them out.”
2 a Abiezer is a variant of Iezer ; see Numbers 26:30.
9 b That is, the Mediterranean Sea, also called the Great Sea; also in verse 10
The Remainder Divided
1 Then the whole congregation of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the Tent of Meeting there. And though the land was subdued before them, 2 there were still seven tribes of Israel who had not yet received their inheritance.
3 So Joshua said to the Israelites, “How long will you put off entering and possessing the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you? 4 Appoint three men from each tribe, and I will send them out to survey the land and map it out, according to the inheritance of each. Then they will return to me 5 and divide the land into seven portions. Judah shall remain in their territory in the south, and the house of Joseph shall remain in their territory in the north. 6 When you have mapped out the seven portions of land and brought it to me, I will cast lots for you here in the presence of the LORD our God.
7 The Levites, however, have no portion among you, because their inheritance is the priesthood of the LORD. And Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh have already received the inheritance that Moses the servant of the LORD gave them beyond the Jordan to the east.”
8 As the men got up to go out, Joshua commanded them to map out the land, saying, “Go and survey the land, map it out, and return to me. Then I will cast lots for you here in Shiloh in the presence of the LORD.”
9 So the men departed and went throughout the land, mapping it city by city into seven portions. Then they returned with the document to Joshua at the camp in Shiloh.
10 And Joshua cast lots for them in the presence of the LORD at Shiloh, where he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their divisions.
11 The first lot came up for the clans of the tribe of Benjamin. Their allotted territory lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph:
12 On the north side their border began at the Jordan, went up past the northern slope of Jericho, headed west through the hill country, and came out at the wilderness of Beth-aven. 13 From there the border crossed over to the southern slope of Luz (that is, Bethel) and went down to Ataroth-addar on the hill south of Lower Beth-horon.
14 On the west side the border curved southward from the hill facing Beth-horon on the south and came out at Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), a city of the sons of Judah. This was the western side.
15 On the south side the border began at the outskirts of Kiriath-jearim and extended westward to the spring at the Waters of Nephtoah. 16 Then it went down to the foot of the hill that faces the Valley of Hinnom at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim and ran down the Valley of Hinnom toward the southern slope of the Jebusites and downward to En-rogel. 17 From there it curved northward and proceeded to En-shemesh and on to Geliloth facing the Ascent of Adummim, and continued down to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. 18 Then it went on to the northern slope of Beth-arabah a and went down into the valley. 19 The border continued to the northern slope of Beth-hoglah and came out at the northern bay of the Salt Sea, b at the mouth of the Jordan. This was the southern border.
20 On the east side the border was the Jordan.
These were the borders around the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
21 These were the cities of the clans of the tribe of Benjamin:
Jericho, Beth-hoglah, Emek-keziz, 22 Beth-arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24 Chephar-ammoni, Ophni, and Geba—twelve cities, along with their villages.
25 Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26 Mizpeh, Chephirah, Mozah, 27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, 28 Zelah, Haeleph, Jebus c (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, d and Kiriath-jearim e—fourteen cities, along with their villages.
This was the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
18 a LXX; Hebrew slope facing the Arabah
19 b That is, the Dead Sea
28 c LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate; Hebrew the Jebusite
28 d Hebrew Gibeath
28 e LXX; Hebrew Kiriath
1 The second lot came out for the clans of the tribe of Simeon:
Their inheritance lay within the territory of Judah 2 and included Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah, 3 Hazar-shual, Balah, Ezem, 4 Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5 Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susah, 6 Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen—thirteen cities, along with their villages.
7 Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan—four cities, along with their villages, 8 and all the villages surrounding these cities as far as Baalath-beer (Ramah of the Negev).
This was the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Simeon. 9 The inheritance of the Simeonites was taken from the territory of Judah, because the share for Judah’s descendants was too large for them. So the Simeonites received an inheritance within Judah’s portion.
10 The third lot came up for the clans of the tribe of Zebulun:
The border of their inheritance stretched as far as Sarid. 11 It went up westward to Maralah, reached Dabbesheth, and met the brook east of Jokneam. 12 From Sarid it turned eastward along the border of Chisloth-tabor and went on to Daberath and up to Japhia. 13 From there it crossed eastward to Gath-hepher and to Eth-kazin; it extended to Rimmon and curved around toward Neah. 14 Then the border circled around the north side of Neah to Hannathon and ended at the Valley of Iphtah-el. 15 It also included Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem. There were twelve cities, along with their villages.
16 This was the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Zebulun, including these cities and their villages.
17 The fourth lot came out for the clans of the tribe of Issachar:
18 Their territory included Jezreel, Chesulloth, Shunem, 19 Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, 20 Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, 21 Remeth, En-gannim, En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez. 22 The border reached Tabor, Shahazumah, and Beth-shemesh, and ended at the Jordan. There were sixteen cities, along with their villages.
23 This was the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Issachar, including these cities and their villages.
24 The fifth lot came out for the clans of the tribe of Asher:
25 Their territory included Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph, 26 Allammelech, Amad, and Mishal. On the west the border touched Carmel and Shihor-libnath, 27 then turned eastward toward Beth-dagon, touched Zebulun and the Valley of Iphtah-el, and went north to Beth-emek and Neiel, passing Cabul on the left. 28 It went on to Ebron, a Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, as far as Greater Sidon. 29 The border then turned back toward Ramah as far as the fortified city of Tyre, turned toward Hosah, and came out at the Sea b in the region of Achzib, 30 Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob. There were twenty-two cities, along with their villages.
31 This was the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Asher, including these cities and their villages.
32 The sixth lot came out for the clans of the tribe of Naphtali:
33 Their border started at Heleph and the great tree of Zaanannim, passing Adami-nekeb and Jabneel as far as Lakkum and ending at the Jordan. 34 Then the border turned westward to Aznoth-tabor and ran from there to Hukkok, touching Zebulun on the south side, Asher on the west, and Judah at the Jordan c on the east. 35 The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Chinnereth, 36 Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, 37 Kedesh, Edrei, En-hazor, 38 Iron, Migdal-el, Horem, Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh. There were nineteen cities, along with their villages.
39 This was the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Naphtali, including these cities and their villages.
40 The seventh lot came out for the clans of the tribe of Dan:
41 The territory of their inheritance included Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir-shemesh, 42 Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, 43 Elon, Timnah, Ekron, 44 Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, 45 Jehud, Bene-berak, Gath-rimmon, 46 Me-jarkon, and Rakkon, including the territory across from Joppa.
47 (Later, when the territory of the Danites was lost to them, they went up and fought against Leshem, captured it, and put it to the sword. So they took possession of Leshem, settled there, and renamed it after their father Dan.)
48 This was the inheritance of the clans of the tribe of Dan, including these cities and their villages.
49 When they had finished distributing the land into its territories, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them, 50 as the LORD had commanded. They gave him the city of Timnath-serah d in the hill country of Ephraim, as he requested. He rebuilt the city and settled in it.
51 These are the inheritances that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the families distributed by lot to the tribes of Israel at Shiloh before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. So they finished dividing up the land.
28 a Some Hebrew manuscripts Abdon ; see Joshua 21:30.
29 b That is, the Mediterranean Sea, also called the Great Sea
34 c Hebrew; LXX west, and the Jordan
50 d Timnath-serah is also known as Timnath-heres ; see Judges 2:9.
Six Cities of Refuge
(Numbers 35:9–34; Deuteronomy 4:41–43; Deuteronomy 19:1–14)
1 Then the LORD said to Joshua, 2 “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills another unintentionally or accidentally may flee there. These will be your refuge from the avenger of blood. 4 When someone flees to one of these cities, stands at the entrance of the city gate, and states his case before its elders, they are to bring him into the city and give him a place to live among them.
5 Now if the avenger of blood pursues him, they must not surrender the manslayer into his hand, because that man killed his neighbor accidentally without prior malice. 6 He is to stay in that city until he stands trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest serving at that time. Then the manslayer may return to his own home in the city from which he fled.”
7 So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah.
8 And beyond the Jordan, east of Jericho, they designated Bezer on the wilderness plateau from the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh.
9 These are the cities appointed for all the Israelites and foreigners among them, so that anyone who kills a person unintentionally may flee there and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly.
Forty-Eight Cities for the Levites
(Numbers 35:1–8; 1 Chronicles 6:54–81)
1 Now the family heads of the Levites approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the other tribes of Israel 2 at Shiloh in the land of Canaan and said to them, “The LORD commanded through Moses that we be given cities in which to live, together with pasturelands for our livestock.”
3 So by the command of the LORD, the Israelites gave the Levites these cities and their pasturelands out of their own inheritance:
4 The first lot came out for the Kohathite clans. The Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest received thirteen cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.
5 The remaining descendants of Kohath received ten cities by lot from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
6 The descendants of Gershon received thirteen cities by lot from the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.
7 And the descendants of Merari received twelve cities from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.
8 So the Israelites allotted to the Levites these cities, together with their pasturelands, as the LORD had commanded through Moses.
9 From the tribes of Judah and Simeon, they designated these cities by name 10 to the descendants of Aaron from the Kohathite clans of the Levites, because the first lot fell to them:
11 They gave them Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), with its surrounding pasturelands, in the hill country of Judah. (Arba was the father of Anak.) 12 But they had given the fields and villages around the city to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.
13 So to the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave these cities, together with their pasturelands: Hebron, a city of refuge for the manslayer, Libnah, 14 Jattir, Eshtemoa, 15 Holon, Debir, 16 Ain, Juttah, and Beth-shemesh—nine cities from these two tribes, together with their pasturelands.
17 And from the tribe of Benjamin they gave them Gibeon, Geba, 18 Anathoth, and Almon—four cities, together with their pasturelands.
19 In all, thirteen cities, together with their pasturelands, were given to the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
20 The remaining Kohathite clans of the Levites were allotted these cities:
From the tribe of Ephraim 21 they were given Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim (a city of refuge for the manslayer), Gezer, 22 Kibzaim, and Beth-horon—four cities, together with their pasturelands.
23 From the tribe of Dan they were given Elteke, Gibbethon, 24 Aijalon, and Gath-rimmon—four cities, together with their pasturelands.
25 And from the half-tribe of Manasseh they were given Taanach and Gath-rimmon—two cities, together with their pasturelands.
26 In all, ten cities, together with their pasturelands, were given to the rest of the Kohathite clans.
27 This is what the Levite clans of the Gershonites were given:
From the half-tribe of Manasseh they were given Golan in Bashan, a city of refuge for the manslayer, and Beeshterah—two cities, together with their pasturelands.
28 From the tribe of Issachar they were given Kishion, Daberath, 29 Jarmuth, and En-gannim—four cities, together with their pasturelands.
30 From the tribe of Asher they were given Mishal, Abdon, 31 Helkath, and Rehob—four cities, together with their pasturelands.
32 And from the tribe of Naphtali they were given Kedesh in Galilee (a city of refuge for the manslayer), Hammoth-dor, and Kartan—three cities, together with their pasturelands.
33 In all, thirteen cities, together with their pasturelands, were given to the Gershonite clans.
34 This is what the Merarite clan (the rest of the Levites) were given:
From the tribe of Zebulun they were given Jokneam, Kartah, 35 Dimnah, and Nahalal—four cities, together with their pasturelands.
36 From the tribe of Reuben they were given Bezer, Jahaz, 37 Kedemoth, and Mephaath—four cities, together with their pasturelands.
38 And from the tribe of Gad they were given Ramoth in Gilead, a city of refuge for the manslayer, Mahanaim, 39 Heshbon, and Jazer—four cities in all, together with their pasturelands.
40 In all, twelve cities were allotted to the clans of Merari, the remaining Levite clans.
41 For the Levites, then, there were forty-eight cities in all, together with their pasturelands, within the territory of the Israelites. 42 Each of these cities had its own surrounding pasturelands; this was true for all the cities.
43 Thus the LORD gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and settled in it.
44 And the LORD gave them rest on every side, just as He had sworn to their fathers. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
45 Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel had failed;everything was fulfilled.
The Eastern Tribes Return Home
1 Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh 2 and told them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and you have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you. 3 All this time you have not deserted your brothers, up to this very day, but have kept the charge given you by the LORD your God.
4 And now that the LORD your God has given your brothers rest as He promised them, you may return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you across the Jordan. 5 But be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD 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 on their way, and they went to their homes. 7 (To the half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given land in Bashan, and to the other half Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan among their brothers.) When Joshua sent them to their homes he blessed them, 8 saying, “Return to your homes with your great wealth, with immense herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, iron, and very many clothes. Divide with your brothers the spoil of your enemies.”
The Altar of Witness
9 So the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at Shiloh in the land of Canaan to return to their own land of Gilead, which they had acquired according to the command of the LORD through Moses. 10 And when they came to Geliloth a near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altar there by the Jordan.
11 Then the Israelites received the report: “Behold, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar on the border of the land of Canaan, at Geliloth near the Jordan on the Israelite side.” 12 And when they heard this, the whole congregation of Israel assembled at Shiloh to go to war against them.
13 The Israelites sent Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest to the land of Gilead, to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 14 With him they sent ten chiefs—one family leader from each tribe of Israel, each the head of a family among the clans of Israel.
15 They went to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in the land of Gilead and said to them, 16 “This is what the whole congregation of the LORD says: ‘What is this breach of faith you have committed today against the God of Israel by turning away from the LORD and building for yourselves an altar, that you might rebel against the LORD this day?
17 Was not the sin of Peor enough for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day? It even brought a plague upon the congregation of the LORD. 18 And now, would you turn away from the LORD? If you rebel today against the LORD, tomorrow He will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel.
19 If indeed the land of your inheritance is unclean, then cross over to the land of the LORD’s possession, where the LORD’s tabernacle stands, and take possession of it among us. But do not rebel against the LORD or against us by building for yourselves an altar other than the altar of the LORD our God.
20 Was not Achan b son of Zerah unfaithful regarding what was set apart for destruction, c bringing wrath upon the whole congregation of Israel? Yet it was not only Achan who perished because of his sin!’ ”
21 Then the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered the leaders of the clans of Israel: 22 “The LORD, the Mighty One, is God! The LORD, the Mighty One, is God! He knows, and may Israel also know. If this was in rebellion or breach of faith against the LORD, do not spare us today. 23 If we have built for ourselves an altar to turn away from Him and to offer burnt offerings and grain offerings on it, or to sacrifice fellowship offerings on it, may the LORD Himself hold us accountable.
24 But in fact we have done this for fear that in the future your descendants might say to ours, ‘What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel? 25 For the LORD has made the Jordan a border between us and you Reubenites and Gadites. You have no share in the LORD!’ So your descendants could cause ours to stop fearing the LORD.
26 That is why we said, ‘Let us take action and build an altar for ourselves, but not for burnt offerings or sacrifices. 27 Rather, let it be a witness between us and you and the generations to come, that we will worship the LORD in His presence with our burnt offerings, sacrifices, and peace offerings.’ Then in the future, your descendants cannot say to ours, ‘You have no share in the LORD!’
28 Therefore we said, ‘If they ever say this to us or to our descendants, we will answer:Look at the replica of the altar of the LORD that our fathers made, not for burnt offerings or sacrifices, but as a witness between us and you.’
29 Far be it from us to rebel against the LORD and turn away from Him today by building an altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings, or sacrifices, other than the altar of the LORD our God, which stands before His tabernacle.”
30 When Phinehas the priest and the chiefs of the congregation—the heads of Israel’s clans who were with him—heard what the descendants of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh had to say, they were satisfied. 31 Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest said to the descendants of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, “Today we know that the LORD is among us, because you have not committed this breach of faith against Him. Consequently, you have delivered the Israelites from the hand of the LORD.”
32 Then Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest, together with the other leaders, returned to the Israelites in the land of Canaan and brought back a report regarding the Reubenites and Gadites in the land of Gilead. 33 The Israelites were satisfied with the report, and they blessed God and spoke no more about going to war against them to destroy the land where the Reubenites and Gadites lived. 34 So the Reubenites and Gadites named the altar Witness, for they said, d “It is a witness between us that the LORD is God.”
10 a Or to the circle of stones or to the region ; similarly in verse 11
20 b Achan means troubler ; also called Achar in 1 Chronicles 2:7.
20 c Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
34 d Literally named the altar, for
Joshua’s Charge to Leaders
1 A long time after the LORD had given Israel rest from all the enemies around them, when Joshua was old and well along in years, 2 he summoned all Israel, including its elders, leaders, judges, and officers. “I am old and well along in years,” he said, 3 “and you have seen everything that the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake, because it was the LORD your God who fought for you.
4 See, I have allotted as an inheritance to your tribes these remaining nations, including all the nations I have already cut off, from the Jordan westward to the Great Sea. a 5 The LORD your God will push them out of your way and drive them out before you, so that you can take possession of their land, as the LORD your God promised you.
6 Be very strong, then, so that you can keep and obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, not turning aside from it to the right or to the left. 7 So you are not to associate with these nations that remain among you. You must not call on the names of their gods or swear by them, and you must not serve them or bow down to them. 8 Instead, you shall hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.
9 The LORD has driven out great and powerful nations before you, and to this day no one can stand against you. 10 One of you can put a thousand to flight, because the LORD your God fights for you, just as He promised. 11 Therefore watch yourselves carefully, that you love the LORD your God. 12 For if you turn away and cling to the rest of these nations that remain among you, and if you intermarry and associate with them, 13 know for sure that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become for you a snare and a trap, a scourge in your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land that the LORD your God has given you.
14 Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know with all your heart and soul that not one of the good promises the LORD your God made to you has failed. Everything was fulfilled for you; not one promise has failed. 15 But just as every good thing the LORD your God promised you has come to pass, likewise the LORD will bring upon you the calamity He has threatened, until He has destroyed you from this good land He has given you. 16 If you transgress the covenant of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from this good land He has given you.”
4 a That is, the Mediterranean Sea
Joshua Reviews Israel’s History
1 Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges, and officers of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.
2 And Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:‘Long ago your fathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates a and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates and led him through all the land of Canaan, and I multiplied his descendants. I gave him Isaac, 4 and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau Mount Seir to possess, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.
5 Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and afterward I brought you out. 6 When I brought your fathers out of Egypt and you reached the Red Sea, b the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and horsemen as far as the Red Sea. 7 So your fathers cried out to the LORD, and He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, over whom He brought the sea and engulfed them. Your very eyes saw what I did to the Egyptians. Then you lived in the wilderness for a long time.
8 Later, I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan. They fought against you, but I delivered them into your hand, that you should possess their land when I destroyed them before you. 9 Then Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, set out to fight against Israel. He sent for Balaam son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam. So he blessed you again and again, and I delivered you from his hand.
11 After this, you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The people of Jericho fought against you, as did the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I delivered them into your hand. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, and it drove out the two Amorite kings before you, but not by your own sword or bow. 13 So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities that you did not build, and now you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’
Choose Whom You Will Serve
14 Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; cast aside the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if it is unpleasing in your sight to serve the LORD, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!”
16 The people replied, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! 17 For the LORD our God brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and performed these great signs before our eyes. He also protected us throughout our journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. 18 And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because He is our God!”
19 But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for He is a holy God; He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your rebellion or your sins. 20 If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, He will turn and bring disaster on you and consume you, even after He has been good to you.”
21 “No!” replied the people. “We will serve the LORD!”
22 Then Joshua told them, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD.”
“We are witnesses!” they said.
23 “Now, therefore,” he said, “get rid of the foreign gods among you and incline your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
24 So the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and obey His voice.”
25 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he established for them a statute and ordinance. 26 Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak c that was near the sanctuary of the LORD. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, “You see this stone. It will be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words the LORD has spoken to us, and it will be a witness against you if you ever deny your God.”
28 Then Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.
Joshua’s Death and Burial
29 Some time later, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110. 30 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath-serah d in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 31 Israel had served the LORD throughout the days of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced all the works that the LORD had done for Israel.
32 And the bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up out of Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the plot of land that Jacob had purchased from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of silver. e So it became an inheritance for Joseph’s descendants.
33 Eleazar son of Aaron also died, and they buried him at Gibeah, which had been given to his son Phinehas in the hill country of Ephraim.
2 a Hebrew the River ; also in verses 3, 14, and 15
6 b Or the Sea of Reeds
26 c Or terebinth
30 d Timnath-serah is also known as Timnath-heres ; see Judges 2:9.
32 e Hebrew a hundred kesitahs ; the value or weight of the kesitah is no longer known.