God Chooses Joshua to Lead Israel
1Moses was the Lord’s servant, and Joshua son of Nun was Moses’ helper. After Moses died, the Lord spoke to Joshua and said, 2“My servant Moses is dead. Now you and all these people must go across the Jordan River. You must go into the land I am giving to the Israelites. 3I promised Moses that I would give you this land, so I will give you all the land wherever you go. 4All the land from the desert to Lebanon all the way to the great river (that is, the Euphrates River) and all the land of the Hittites will be yours. And all the land from here to the Mediterranean Sea in the west (that is, the place where the sun sets) will be within your borders. 5Just as I was with Moses, I will be with you. No one will be able to stop you all your life. I will not abandon you. I will never leave you.
6“Joshua, you must be strong and brave! You must lead these people so that they can take their land. I promised their fathers that I would give them this land. 7But you must be strong and brave about obeying the commands my servant Moses gave you. If you follow his teachings exactly, you will be successful in everything you do. 8Always remember what is written in that book of law. Speak about that book and study it day and night. Then you can be sure to obey what is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything you do. 9Remember, I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua Takes Command
10So Joshua gave orders to the leaders of the people: 11“Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get some food ready. Three days from now we will go across the Jordan River and take the land that the Lord our God is giving us.’”
12Then Joshua said to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, 13-14“Remember what the Lord’s servant Moses told you. He said that the Lord your God would give you a place to live. So he has given you this land east of the Jordan River. But now you must help your relatives get their land. Your wives and children can stay here with your animals. But all your fighting men must prepare for battle and lead the men of the other tribes across the river. 15The Lord has given you a place to live, and he will do the same for your brothers. But you must help them until they take control of the land the Lord your God is giving them. Then you can come back and settle here on the east side of the river. This is the land that the Lord’s servant Moses said would be yours.”
16Then the people answered Joshua, “We will do whatever you command us to do. We will go wherever you tell us to go. 17We will obey whatever you say, just as we obeyed Moses. We only ask that the Lord your God be with you just as he was with Moses. 18Then anyone who refuses to obey your commands or turns against you will be killed. Just be strong and brave!”