Joshua encouraged the Israeli people to worship only Yahweh
1 Many years later, Joshua summoned representatives of all the tribes of Israel. He gathered together the elders, the leaders, the judges, and the other officials at Shechem city. He told them to listen to what God wanted to tell them. 2 Joshua said to all of them, “This is what Yahweh, the God we Israeli people worship, is saying: ‘Long ago, your ancestors, including Abraham's father Terah and Abraham's younger brother Nahor, lived on the east side of the Euphrates River. 3 But I took your ancestor Abraham from that land east of the Euphrates River, and I led him as he lived in various places in this land of Canaan, and I enabled him to have many descendants. First, I enabled him to have a son, Isaac. 4 When Isaac grew up, I enabled him to have twin sons, Jacob and Esau. I enabled Esau to live in the hilly area in Seir region, but many years later Jacob and his sons and their families went down to live in Egypt.
5 Many years later, I sent Moses and his older brother Aaron to Egypt, and I caused the people of Egypt to suffer very much because of what I did there. Then I enabled your ancestors to leave Egypt. 6 When I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, they came to the Red Sea. The Egyptian army pursued them, some riding in chariots and others on horses, and they also arrived at the Red Sea. 7 Then your ancestors pleaded with me to help them. So he caused ◄darkness/a very dark cloud► to come between your ancestors and the Egyptian army, so that the Egyptian army could not see your ancestors. I separated the water so that your ancestors could cross it, but when the Egyptian army tried to cross in the same way to pursue them, I caused the water to come back and cover them, and the Egyptian soldiers all drowned, as your ancestors watched and were amazed [IDI]. But after that, you lived in the desert for many years.
8 Then I brought you to the area where the groups who were descendants of Amor lived, east of the Jordan River. They fought against you, but I enabled you to defeat them [IDI]. I enabled you to keep destroying them so that you could live in their land [IDI]. 9 Then, Zippor's son Balak, the King of Moab, ◄decided that his army would fight against/opposed► the Israelis. He summoned Beor's son Balaam and asked him to curse you. 10 But I would not do what Balaam asked, so he ◄blessed/said that I would do great things for► you four times, and I did not enable the army of Moab to defeat you [IDI].
11 Then you all crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho. The people of Jericho prepared to fight against you, and the armies of the descendants of Amor, Periz, Canaan, Heth, Girgash, Hiv, and Jebus all prepared to do the same thing, but I enabled you to defeat [IDI] them all. 12 I am the one who caused them to panic as you advanced and enabled you to defeat them, as I had enabled you to do earlier to the two kings of the groups who were descendants of Amor. You did not defeat them by using your own bows and arrows and swords; it was I who defeated them. 13 So I gave you a land that you had not tilled/planted, and I gave you cities that you did not build. Now you live in those cities and you eat the grapes from the grapevines that you did not plant, and you eat olives from trees that you did not plant.’ ”
14 Then Joshua said to the people, “ Because of all that Yahweh has done for you, have an awesome respect for him, and serve/worship him very faithfully. Throw away the idols that your ancestors worshiped on the east/other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve only Yahweh. 15 But if you do not want to serve/worship Yahweh, you should decide today what gods you will serve/worship. You should decide whether you will serve/worship the gods that your ancestors who lived on the other/east side of the Euphrates River served, or whether you will serve/worship the gods that the descendants of Amor, who previously lived in the land where you are now living, serve/worship. But as for me and my family [MTY], we will serve/worship Yahweh!”
16 The Israeli people answered, “We will never quit serving/worshiping Yahweh! We would never think of [IDI] serving/worshiping other gods! 17 It was our God, Yahweh, who brought our parents and grandparents up out of Egypt. He rescued them from that land where they were slaves. As he rescued them, they saw him perform great miracles. He protected them all the time when they were traveling. He protected them from all the people-groups through whose territory they traveled. 18 As our forefathers advanced, Yahweh expelled the descendants of Amor and the other people-groups who lived in this land. Yahweh is our God, so we are saying that we also will serve/worship him.”
19 Joshua replied to the people, “ I think that you are not able to serve/worship Yahweh, because he is a holy God. He will not forgive your sinning and rebelling against him. He demands that you serve/worship only him [IDI]. 20 He was good to you before, but if you turn away from him and serve/worship foreign/other gods, he will turn against you and he will cause disasters to happen to you. He will punish [IDI] you severely!” 21 But the people replied to Joshua, “No, we will not turn away from worshiping/serving Yahweh! We will serve/worship Yahweh!”
22 Then Joshua said, “You yourselves are saying that you have decided to serve/worship Yahweh.” They replied, “Yes, we are saying that.” 23 Then Joshua said, “Since you have decided that, you must throw away all the other gods/idols that you have among you, and promise that you will wholeheartedly give yourselves to Yahweh, the God whom we Israelis serve/worship.” 24 The people replied, “We will serve/worship Yahweh, our God, and obey him.”
25 That day, Joshua made an agreement between the people and Yahweh. He wrote for them all the laws that they were required to obey. 26 He wrote all these laws on a scroll. He called it 'The laws of God.' Then he told some men to set up a large stone there at Shechem, under the large oak tree near the place where they worshiped Yahweh. 27 He said to all the people, “Look! It is as though this stone has heard everything that Yahweh said to you and that you promised Yahweh. It will be a witness against you if you rebel against your God!”
28 Then Joshua sent the people away, and all of them returned to their own areas/homes.
29 Some time after that, Nun's son Joshua, the faithful servant of Yahweh, died. He was 110 years old when he died. 30 The Israeli people buried his body on his own property in Timnath-Serah town. It is north of Gaash Mountain in the hilly area of the tribe who were descendants of Ephraim. 31 The Israeli people served/worshiped Yahweh as long as Joshua was alive. After Joshua died, they continued serving/worshiping Yahweh while the elders who had experienced everything that Yahweh had done for the Israeli people were still alive. 32 Joseph's bones, which the Israeli people had brought up there from Egypt, were buried at Shechem. The people buried them in the piece of land that Jacob had bought long ago for a hundred pieces of silver from Hamor, the father of Shechem. That piece of land was in the area that was given to the people who were descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph's sons. 33 Eleazar, the supreme priest, the son of Aaron, also died. They buried his body at Gibeah, in the area that had been given to Eleazar's son Phinehas, in the hilly area that belonged to the people who were descendants of Ephraim.