God to Joshua: Armor up in bravery
- 1 Moses, who worked for the LORD, died. Afterward, the LORD talked to Joshua, Nun’s son. Joshua had worked for Moses.
- 2 The LORD told him, “My devoted worker, Moses, has died. It’s time for you to get the Israelite people ready to cross the Jordan River and go into the land I’m giving them.
- 3 Every piece of ground you step on will be yours for the taking, just as I promised Moses.
- 4 Your land will stretch from the desert wastelands1 to Lebanon, and from the great Euphrates River in the north, where the Hittites live, to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.2
- 5 No enemy is going to beat you. For the rest of your life, you’ll win those battles. I’ll stick with you just as I did with Moses. I’m not going to leave you or disappoint you.
- 6 But you’ll need to be strong and brave. You’re going to lead these people as they take control of this land that I promised to their ancestors.
- 7 That’s why you need to be strong and courageous. And you need to follow the law, which my devoted worker, Moses, taught you. Don’t sidestep it. Not one false step to the left or the right. Stay on track so you’ll succeed.
- 8 Don’t stop talking about the law. Recite it day and night, so you’ll know it well enough to follow it. You’ll need to follow the law to succeed in life and to make a prosperous living for yourself.
- 9 Here are your orders. Be strong. Armor up in courage. Don’t get worried. Don’t get scared. Wherever you go, the LORD your God goes with you.”
Joshua to Israel: Load your supplies now
- 10 Joshua called in Israel’s leaders. He gave them these instructions.
- 11 “Load up on supplies for yourselves. In three days, we’re out of here. We’ll cross the Jordan River and start taking control of the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
- 12 Then he turned to leaders of the tribes who had already settled east of the river: Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh. He told them,
- 13 “Remember what Moses said.3 He told you the LORD had already given you a place to live in peace. He assigned you this territory we’ve already conquered.
- 14 Moses said that when it’s time for us to cross the river, your families and livestock can stay behind, in the land assigned to you, where it’s safe. But your armies will take point, leading each charge into battle. You’ll do this to help the other tribes conquer the land assigned to them. Stick with them.
- 15 Don’t leave until you’ve finished the job of taking the land and establishing a peaceful place for them to live. Only then can you go back to your homes east of the Jordan River, in the land that Moses, the LORD’s worker, gave you.”
- 16 Tribal leaders assured Joshua, “We’ll do whatever you say and go wherever you send us.
- 17 We’ll obey you just as we obeyed Moses. We hope the LORD your God will be with you like he was with Moses.
- 18 Anyone who disobeys your orders should be executed. Be strong. Be courageous.”
It’s unclear which desert. There were desert wastelands east of where Joshua was at the time, in what is now the country of Jordan. And there were desert badlands to the south, in what are now the Negev and the Sinai Peninsula.
These boundaries are the same ones Moses spoke about in Deuteronomy 11:24-25. This is more land than Israel ever owned, as far as history reports. But it does seem to track with the land the Israelites controlled during the time of King David and his son, King Solomon (2 Samuel 8:3). See also Deuteronomy 1:7.