Joshua Becomes Israel’s Leader
1Moses, the servant of the Lord, died. After that, the Lord spoke to Joshua, the son of Nun. Joshua was Moses’ helper. The Lord said to Joshua, 2 “My servant Moses is dead. Now then, I want you and all these people to get ready to go across the Jordan River. I want all of you to go into the land I am about to give to the Israelites. 3 I will give all of you every place you walk on, just as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will reach from the Negev Desert all the way to Lebanon. The great Euphrates River will be to the east. The Mediterranean Sea will be to the west. Your territory will include all the Hittite country. 5 Joshua, no one will be able to oppose you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will never leave you. I will never desert you. 6 Be strong and brave. You will lead these people. They will take the land as their very own. It is the land I promised to give their people of long ago.
7 “Be strong and very brave. Make sure you obey the whole law my servant Moses gave you. Do not turn away from it to the right or the left. Then you will have success everywhere you go. 8 Never stop reading this Book of the Law. Day and night you must think about what it says. Make sure you do everything written in it. Then things will go well with you. And you will have great success. 9 Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.”
10 So Joshua gave orders to the officers of the people. He said, 11 “Go through the camp. Tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will go across the Jordan River right here. You will go in and take over the land. The Lord your God is giving it to you as your very own.’ ”
12 Joshua also spoke to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh. He said to them, 13 “Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you. He said, ‘The Lord your God is giving you this land. It’s a place where you can make your homes and live in peace and rest.’ 14 Your wives, children and livestock can stay here east of the Jordan River. Moses gave you this land. But all your fighting men must get ready for battle. They must go across ahead of the other tribes. You must help them 15 until the Lord gives them rest. In the same way, he has already given you rest. You must help them until they also have taken over their land. It’s the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you can come back here. Then you can live in your own land. It’s the land that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you east of the Jordan River. It’s toward the sunrise.”
16 Then the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh answered Joshua. They said, “We’ll do what you have commanded us to do. We’ll go where you send us. 17 We obeyed Moses completely. And we’ll obey you just as completely. But may the Lord your God be with you, just as he was with Moses. 18 Suppose people question your authority. And suppose they refuse to obey anything you command them to do. Then they will be put to death. Just be strong and brave!”