Joshua 24 – “Joshua’s Death”

person boulderHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Joshua recounts the history of Israel, convinces the people to commit to Yahweh, and sets up a stone as a witness. Joshua dies and is buried in Ephraim.

II. Photo

Joshua sets up a stone to remind the people of their commitment: “He took a great stone and set it up at the foot of the oak tree in Yahweh’s holy place.” (v. 26)

III. Select Verses

2-13: Then Joshua said to all the people, “Thus said the LORD, the God of Israel: In olden times, your forefathers — Terah, father of Abraham and father of Nahor — lived beyond the Euphrates and worshiped other gods.  But I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates and led him through the whole land of Canaan and multiplied his offspring. I gave him Isaac, and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau the hill country of Seir as his possession, while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with [the wonders] that I wrought in their midst, after which I freed you — I freed your fathers — from Egypt, and you came to the Sea. But the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Sea of Reeds with chariots and horsemen. They cried out to the LORD, and He put darkness between you and the Egyptians; then He brought the Sea upon them, and it covered them. Your own eyes saw what I did to the Egyptians. “After you had lived a long time in the wilderness,  I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan. They gave battle to you, but I delivered them into your hands; I annihilated them for you, and you took possession of their land.  Thereupon Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, made ready to attack Israel. He sent for Balaam son of Beor to curse you,   but I refused to listen to Balaam; he had to bless you, and thus I saved you from him. Then you crossed the Jordan and you came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho and the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites fought you, but I delivered them into your hands.  I sent a plague ahead of you, and it drove them out before you — [just like] the two Amorite kings — not by your sword or by your bow.  I have given you a land for which you did not labor and towns which you did not build, and you have settled in them; you are enjoying vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.

29-30: After these events, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of one hundred and ten years.  They buried him on his own property, at Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

32: The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought for a hundred kesitahs from the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, and which had become a heritage of the Josephites.

IV. Outline

1. Joshua gathers the twelve tribes at Shechem

2-15. Joshua’s message

    2-13. A history of Israel and Yahweh’s good deeds

        2-4. The patriarchs: Terah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Esau

        5-7. Moses, Aaron, and the punishment of Egypt

        8-9. The victory against the Amorites; Balaam’s blessing

        11-13. Yahweh’s gift of the land 

    14-15a. Message: abandon idols and serve Yahweh alone

    15b. Joshua’s commitment to Yahweh

16-18. The people pledge allegiance to Yahweh 

19-25. The covenant to serve Yahweh

26a. Joshua records the events in a book

26b-27. Joshua sets up a stone as a witness

28. Joshua dismisses the people

29-30. Joshua’s death and burial in Ephraim

31. Statement about Israel’s loyalty to Yahweh

32. Joseph’s bones, brought from Egypt, are buried in Shechem

33. Eleazar’s death and burial in Ephraim

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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