Joshua’s Farewell Address
Joshua 23:1 Now it came to pass, a long time after the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua was old, advanced in age. :2 And Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers, and said to them: “I am old, advanced in age.
Joshua 24:29 indicates that the great warrior of Israel died at age one hundred and ten years. He could not have been much less than that on this occasion. Because of his advanced age, Joshua felt a need to call Israel to a convocation and say farewell to his beloved people. All Israel was present through their representatives, the elders, heads, judges, and officers (see 24:1). The stage was now set for Joshua’s final address.
Joshua 23:3 You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has fought for you. :4 See, I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, as far as the Great Sea westward.
Joshua never failed to reflect the glory for Israel’s great victories toward the Lord God.
He takes frequent opportunity to remind Israel that it was Jehovah who drove the enemy out of the land.
Not only must they remember who the agent of their deliverance was, but the extent of that deliverance. The inheritance divided among the tribes extended from Jordan … unto the Great Sea. From east to west, the Promised Land was now the inheritance of Israel. They must not forget to be grateful.
Joshua 23:5 And the Lord your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. So you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God promised you.
Joshua 23:6 Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left,
Joshua 23:7 and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them,
Joshua 23:8 but you shall hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.
Joshua 23:9 For the Lord has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day.
Joshua 23:10 One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.
Joshua 23:11 Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God.
Joshua 23:12 Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, :13 know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
Joshua 23:14 “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.
Joshua 23:15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all the good things have come upon you which the Lord your God promised you, so the Lord will bring upon you all harmful things, until He has destroyed you from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
Joshua 23:16 When you have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed down to them, then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land which He has given you.”
Last Chapter- The Death of Joshua
Joshua 24:1 Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.
Here, too, Joshua and the people pronounced the blessings and cursings which were then inscribed on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. This would have been the best place in the Promised Land to address all the tribes of Israel, because of the natural amphitheater made by the acoustical phenomenon of the facing mountains. And too, it was Mizpeh and Shechem which were the fixed meeting places for a gathering of the tribes (see Jud 10:17; 11:11; 20:1; 1 Sam 7:5).
Joshua 24:2 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods. :3 Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac. :4 To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave the mountains of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. :5 Also I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to what I did among them. Afterward I brought you out. :6 ‘Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. :7 So they cried out to the Lord; and He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, brought the sea upon them, and covered them. And your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. Then you dwelt in the wilderness a long time. :8 And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, who dwelt on the other side of the Jordan, and they fought with you. But I gave them into your hand, that you might possess their land, and I destroyed them from before you.
The grand review of Israel’s history began with Abraham’s father, Terah, and the service of other gods. The presence of the teraphim in the household of Laban amply illustrates this truth (Gen 31:19, 30).
Abraham was taken by God from the other side of the flood, i.e. the Euphrates River, and led to Canaan, where Isaac, Jacob, and Esau were subsequently born. When the descendants of Jacob went down into Egypt, God called upon Moses to bring them through the Red Sea unto the land of the Amorites (see 12:1–6; Num 21:21– 34; Deut 2:31–36; 3:1–17). Why is history so important to our faith?
Joshua 24:9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose to make war against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you. :10 But I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he continued to bless you. So I delivered you out of his hand.
Hinson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 121). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr., MacDonald, Farstad, Believers Bible; Hinson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 2195). Nashville: Thomas Nelson