Joshua 23 – “Joshua’s Sermon”

one against many - chessHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Joshua gathers the people in his old age, praises Yahweh for conquering the land, and warns that intermarriage and idolatry will cause calamity.


II. Photo

Joshua explains how Yahweh supported individuals: “A single man of you would put a thousand to flight, for Yahweh your God himself has been fighting for you, as he promised you.” (v. 10)


III. Select Verses

3-5: You have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all those nations on your account, for it was the LORD your God who fought for you.  See, I have allotted to you, by your tribes, [the territory of] these nations that still remain, and that of all the nations that I have destroyed, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.  The LORD your God Himself will thrust them out on your account and drive them out to make way for you, and you shall possess their land as the LORD your God promised you.

6-8:  But be most resolute to observe faithfully all that is written in the Book of the Teaching of Moses, without ever deviating from it to the right or to the left, and without intermingling with these nations that are left among you. Do not utter the names of their gods or swear by them; do not serve them or bow down to them.  But hold fast to the LORD your God as you have done to this day.

10: A single man of you would put a thousand to flight, for the LORD your God Himself has been fighting for you, as He promised you.

11-13:  For your own sakes, therefore, be most mindful to love the LORD your God.  For should you turn away and attach yourselves to the remnant of those nations — to those that are left among you — and intermarry with them, you joining them and they joining you,  know for certain that the LORD your God will not continue to drive these nations out before you; they shall become a snare and a trap for you, a scourge to your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land that the LORD your God has given you.

16: If you break the covenant that the LORD your God enjoined upon you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and you shall quickly perish from the good land that He has given you.


IV. Outline

1-2a. Joshua summons all of Israel in his old age

2b. Joshua’s age

3. Yahweh fought for Israel

4. The land is allotted

5. Yahweh will conquer the remaining nations

6-8. Warning: follow the Torah of Moses, avoid the gods of other nations

9-10. Yahweh has miraculously fought for Israel

11. Love Yahweh

12-13. Intermarriage leads to Yahweh’s abandonment and death

14a. Joshua’s age

14b. Yahweh’s promises have come true

15-16. Breaking the covenant leads to punishment and death


V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.


VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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