Joshua 1

God tells Joshua what to do

1 The Lord's servant, Moses, had died. Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, son of Nun. Joshua had helped Moses in his work. 2 The Lord said,

‘Moses, my servant, is dead. Now you and all these people must get ready to cross the river Jordan. You, the people of Israel, will go into the land that I am going to give you. 3 I have given you every part of the ground that you walk upon. I promised Moses that I would do this. 4 You will have all the land from the desert in the south to the mountains of Lebanon in the north. It will be from the river Euphrates to the Great Sea on the west. You will have all the land of the Hittite people. 5 No one can stop you from taking this land as long as you live. As I was with Moses, I will always be with you. I will never leave you alone.

6 Be strong and do not be afraid. You will lead these people to take the land. That is the land that I promised to give to their fathers. 7 Be strong and do not be afraid. Be careful to do all the things that Moses told you. Remember to do everything that he told you. Then everything will go well with you. You will win, everywhere you go. 8 You must keep on speaking about the words of God's law. Think about what it says, all the time. Then you will be careful to obey it. Then you will help yourselves to do well, and to win. 9 Remember that I have told you to do this. So be strong and do not be afraid. Do not be weak but be brave. I, the Lord your God, will be with you, everywhere that you go.’

Joshua speaks to the Israelites

10 So Joshua said to the leaders of the people, 11 ‘Go through all the places where the people live. Tell them to get food ready for a journey. In 3 days or less, you will cross the river Jordan. You will begin to take the land for yourselves. This is the land that the Lord your God is giving to you.’

12 Moses had given land east of the Jordan to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh. Then Joshua said to these tribes, 13 ‘Remember what Moses, the Lord's servant, told you. The Lord your God is giving you a place to rest. He has given you this land. 14 Your wives, children and animals can stay in this land that Moses gave you, east of the Jordan. But your fighting men must cross the river, with their weapons. They must go in front of their brother Israelites. You must help them 15 until the Lord gives them rest as he has given you. When all the other tribes are safe in the land, you may return to the land east of the Jordan. Moses gave this to you.’

16 The people said to Joshua, ‘We will do whatever you tell us. And we will go everywhere that you send us. 17 As we always obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. The Lord your God was with Moses. So we pray that the Lord will be with you too. 18 Someone might not agree with your word. If anyone does not obey you, we will make sure that he dies. But be very strong and be brave. Do not be afraid.’

1:18‘Rest’ was something very special to the people of Israel. It meant that they had a rich land. No one was hungry there. It meant that there was no fighting. Everyone was happy. It did not mean that they did not have to do any work.