Joshua 23:1 - 24:33

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

THE CONCLUSION

 

We have already seen the invasion of Canaan in Joshua 1:1-5:12 and the conquest of Canaan in Joshua 5:13-12:24 .

 

We have also already seen the division of the land to the twelve tribes in Joshua 13-21 .

We come to the –

 IV.     Conclusion – 22:1 - 24:33

 

We have already seen –

            A.  A border dispute – 22:1-34

 

We continue with –

            B.  The last days of Joshua – 23:1 - 24:28

 

                        1.   Joshua’s final charge to the leaders – 23:1-16

 

                                    a.   The first round – 23:1-8

 

23:1-2 – . . . These words were spoken to the leaders, whereas the words in chapter 24 were spoken to the entire nation, to renew the covenant.

 

Joshua 23:1 And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD [i.e. after the LORD] had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old [i.e. was old] and stricken [i.e. advanced] in age [Joshua was about 110].

 

Joshua 23:2 And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age:

 

Joshua 23:3 And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you.

 

Joshua 23:4 Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward [i.e. the Mediterranean Sea].

 

Joshua 23:5 And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you.

 

Joshua 23:6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;

 

Joshua 23:7 That ye come not among these nations [i.e. that you do not mix with them], these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them [i.e. worship them]:

 

Joshua 23:8 But cleave unto [i.e. hold fast to] the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.

 

Does this sound familiar? It should.

 

Joshua 1:6-96 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

 

It’s also true today.

 

II Timothy 31 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. 10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

 

II Timothy 4:1 1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

Separation from the ungodly was commanded in the Old Testament in order to maintain a purity. Separation was not only from some but was also positive. It was a separation unto the LORD. When we were married, we likewise separated ourselves from all others and separated ourselves unto our own spouses.

 

                                    b.  The second round – 23:9-13

 

Joshua 23:9 For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.

 

Joshua 23:10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.

 

Joshua 23:11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.

 

Joshua 23:12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you [i.e. intermarry with them and have children with them]:

 

Joshua 23:13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

 

                                    c.   The third round – 23:14-16

 

Joshua 23:14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth [i.e. I am getting ready to die]: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.

 

Joshua 23:15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

 

Joshua 23:16 When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

 

                        2.   Joshua’s final charge to the people – 24:1-28

 

                                    a.   Joshua Rehearses their blessings – 24:1-13

 

Joshua 24:1 And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

 

Why Shechem? Shechem was where Abraham first received the promise that God would give Abraham’s seed the land of Canaan. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

 

Joshua 24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood [i.e. The word translated “flood” is the Hebrew word for “river.” Thus, “on the other side of the flood” means north and east of the Euphrates River] in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

 

Joshua 24:3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood [i.e. on the north and east side of the Euphrates River], and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.

 

Joshua 24:4 And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

 

Joshua 24:5 I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.

 

Joshua 24:6 And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea [i.e. the Red Sea]; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.

 

Joshua 24:7 And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.

 

Joshua 24:8 And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan [i.e. on the east side of the Jordan River]; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.

 

Joshua 24:9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:

 

Joshua 24:10 But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his [i.e. Balak’s] hand.

 

Joshua 24:11 And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.

 

Joshua 24:12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.

 

24:12 – the hornet. May be literal or figurative. . . .[Ryrie Study Bible note on Ex. 23:28 – (RSB) hornets. May refer to actual hornets or may represent the Egyptian army that raided Canaan regularly, weakening her before the Israelites came.]

 

Joshua 24:13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

 

                                    b.  Joshua rehearses their responsibilities – 24:14-24

 

Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood [i.e. on the north and east side of the Euphrates River], and in Egypt [the Israelites had involvement with idolatry while in Egypt]; and serve ye the LORD.

 

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood [i.e. on the north and east side of the Euphrates River], or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 

Joshua 24:16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

 

Joshua 24:17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

 

Joshua 24:18 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

 

Joshua 24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

 

Joshua 24:20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

 

Joshua 24:21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

 

Joshua 24:22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

 

Joshua 24:23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you [idolatry was being secretly practiced among the Israelites at this time], and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

 

Joshua 24:24 And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.

 

                                    c.   Joshua reminds them of their pledge – 24:25-28

 

Joshua 24:25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

 

Joshua 24:26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

 

Joshua 24:27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.

 

Joshua 24:28 So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.

 

Finally, we come to –

            C.  The appendix – 24:29-33

 

Joshua 24:29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.

 

Joshua 24:30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.

 

Joshua 24:31 And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.

 

Joshua 24:32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

 

24:32 – The burial of the body of Joseph is a reminder of Joseph’s faith in God’s promise to give Israel the land of Canaan, and of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promise.

 

Joshua 24:33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.