Joshua’s Final Plea. 1Many years later, after the LORD had given the Israelites rest from all their enemies round about them, and when Joshua was old and advanced in years,a 2he summoned all Israel, including their elders, leaders, judges, and officers, and said to them: “I am old and advanced in years.b 3You have seen all that the LORD, your God, has done for you against all these nations; for it has been the LORD, your God, who fought for you. 4c See, I have apportioned among your tribes as their heritage the nations that survive, as well as those I destroyed, between the Jordan and the Great Sea in the west. 5The LORD, your God, will drive them out and dispossess them at your approach, so that you will take possession of their land as the LORD, your God, promised you. 6Therefore be strong and be careful to observe all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, never turning from it right or left,d 7or mingling with these nations that survive among you. You must not invoke their gods by name, or swear by them, or serve them, or bow down to them,e 8but you must hold fast to the LORD, your God, as you have done up to this day. 9At your approach the LORD has dispossessed great and strong nations; not one has withstood you up to this day. 10One of you puts to flight a thousand, because it is the LORD, your God, himself who fights for you,f as he promised you. 11As for you, take great care to love the LORD, your God. 12For if you ever turn away from him and join with the remnant of these nations that survive among you, by intermarrying and intermingling with them,g 13know for certain that the LORD, your God, will no longer dispossess these nations at your approach. Instead they will be a snare and a trap for you, a scourge for your sides and thorns for your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD, your God, has given you.h
14“Today, as you see, I am going the way of all the earth.* So now acknowledge with your whole heart and soul that not one of all the promises the LORD, your God, made concerning you has failed. Every one has come true for you; not one has failed. 15i But just as every promise the LORD, your God, made to you has come true for you, so will he bring upon you every threat,* even so far as to exterminate you from this good land which the LORD, your God, has given you. 16If you transgress the covenant of the LORD, your God, which he enjoined on you, to go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the anger of the LORD will flare up against you and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.”
* [23:14] Going the way of all the earth: drawing near to death, the inevitable end of all; cf. 1 Kgs 2:1–2.
* [23:15] Every threat: mentioned especially in the list of curses in Dt 28:15–68.
c. [23:4] Jos 13:2–7; 14:2; 18:10; Ps 78:55.
e. [23:7] Ex 20:3–6; Dt 5:7–10; 7:2–11.
f. [23:10] Ex 14:14; Lv 26:8; Dt 3:22.