Joshua Will Be the New Leader
1Then Moses went and spoke these words to all the Israelites. 2Moses said to them, “I am now 120 years old. I cannot lead you anymore. The Lord said to me, ‘You will not go across the Jordan River.’ 3But the Lord your God will lead your people into that land. He will destroy these nations for you. You will take their land away from them. The Lord said that Joshua must lead you.
4“The Lord destroyed Sihon and Og. He destroyed those Amorite kings and he will do the same thing for you again! 5The Lord will help you defeat these nations. But you must do to them everything I told you to do. 6Be strong and be brave. Don’t be afraid of those people because the Lord your God is with you. He will not fail you or leave you.”
7Then Moses called Joshua. All the Israelites watched while Moses said to Joshua, “Be strong and brave. You will lead these people into the land that the Lord promised to give to their ancestors. You will help the Israelites take that land and divide it among them. 8The Lord will lead you. He himself is with you. He will not fail you or leave you. Don’t worry. Don’t be afraid!”
Moses Writes the Book of Teachings
9Then Moses wrote this Book of Teachings and gave it to the priests, who are from the tribe of Levi. They have the work of carrying the Lord’s Box of the Agreement. Moses also gave it to all the elders of Israel. 10Then Moses spoke to the leaders. He said, “At the end of every seven years, in the Year of Freedom,#31:10 Year of Freedom That is, the year for canceling debts. read these teachings at the Festival of Shelters. 11At that time all the Israelites must come to meet with the Lord your God at the special place he will choose. Then you must read the teachings to the people so that they can hear them. 12Bring together all the people—the men, the women, the little children, and the foreigners living in your cities. They will hear the teachings, and they will learn to respect the Lord your God. Then they will be able to do everything in this Book of Teachings. 13If their descendants don’t know the teachings, they will hear them, and they will learn to respect the Lord your God. They will respect him as long as you live in your country. You will soon go across the Jordan River and take that land to be your own.”
The Lord Calls Moses and Joshua
14The Lord said to Moses, “Now the time is near for you to die. Get Joshua and come to the Meeting Tent. I will tell Joshua what he must do.” So Moses and Joshua went to the Meeting Tent.
15The Lord appeared at the Tent in a tall cloud. The tall cloud stood over the entrance of the Tent. 16The Lord said to Moses, “You will die soon. And after you have gone to be with your ancestors, these people will not continue to be faithful to me. They will break the agreement I made with them. They will leave me and begin worshiping other gods—the false gods of the land where they are going. 17At that time I will become very angry with them, and I will leave them. I will refuse to help them, and they will be destroyed. Terrible things will happen to them, and they will have many troubles. Then they will say, ‘These bad things happened to us because our God is not with us.’ 18And I will refuse to help them, because they have done evil and worshiped other gods.
19“So write down this song, and teach it to the Israelites. Teach them to sing this song. Then this song will be a witness for me against the Israelites. 20I will take them into the land that I promised to give to their ancestors—a land filled with many good things.#31:20 land … things Literally, “land flowing with milk and honey.” And they will have all they want to eat. They will have a rich life. But then they will turn to other gods and serve them. They will turn away from me and break my agreement. 21Then many terrible things will happen to them. They will have many troubles. At that time their descendants will still know this song, and it will show them how wrong they are. I have not yet taken them into the land I promised to give them. But I already know what they are planning to do there.”
22So that same day Moses wrote down the song and taught it to the Israelites.
23Then the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun and said, “Be strong and brave. You will lead the Israelites into the land I promised them, and I will be with you.”
Moses Warns the Israelites
24Moses carefully wrote all these teachings in a book. When he finished, 25he gave a command to the Levites. (These men carry the Lord’s Box of the Agreement.) Moses said, 26“Take this Book of Teachings and put it by the side of the Box of the Agreement of the Lord your God. Then it will be a witness against you. 27I know you are very stubborn. I know you want to live your own way. Look, you refused to obey the Lord while I was with you. So I know you will refuse to obey him after I die. 28Bring together all the officers and leaders of your tribes. I will tell them these things. And I will call heaven and earth to be witnesses against them. 29I know that after my death you will become evil. You will turn from the way I commanded you to follow. Terrible things will happen to you in the future, because you want to do what the Lord says is wrong. You will make him angry because of the evil things you do.”
The Song of Moses
30All the Israelites were gathered together, and Moses sang this whole song for them: