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, who had helped Moses in his work. 2 The Lord said to Joshua,

1:1When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.

‘Moses, my servant, is dead. Now you and all these people must get ready to cross the Jordan River. Lead the people of Israel into the land that I am giving to them. 3 I have given to you every part of the ground that you walk on. I promised Moses that I would do this. 4 You will have all the land from the desert in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north. It will be from the river Euphrates to the Mediterranean 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 ancestors. 7 Be strong and do not be afraid. Be very careful to do all the things that Moses commanded you to do. Then everything will go well with you, everywhere that you go. 8 You must keep on speaking about the words of God's law. Think about what it says, all the time. Be careful to obey it. Then you will do well, and you will win. 9 Remember that I have told you this: 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 commanded 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 three days, you will cross the Jordan River. You will begin to take the land for yourselves. This is the land that the Lord your God is ready to give to you.’

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

1:13‘Rest’ was very special to the people of Israel. It meant that they had a land where they could grow food and live safely.

16 The people said to Joshua, ‘We will do whatever you tell us. And we will go wherever 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 If anyone turns against you and he does not obey your commands, we will make sure that he dies. You must be very strong and brave.’