The Lord Instructs Joshua
1 After the death of the Lord’s servant Moses, the Lord said to Moses’ assistant Joshua, son of Nun, 2 “My servant Moses is dead. Now you and all these people must cross the Jordan River into the land that I am going to give the people of Israel. 3 I will give you every place on which you set foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your borders will be the desert ⌊on the south⌋, nearby Lebanon to the Euphrates River (the country of the Hittites) ⌊on the north⌋, and the Mediterranean Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to oppose you successfully as long as you live. I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will never neglect you or abandon you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will help these people take possession of the land I swore to give their ancestors.
7 “Only be strong and very courageous, faithfully doing everything in the teachings that my servant Moses commanded you. Don’t turn away from them. Then you will succeed wherever you go. 8 Never stop reciting these teachings. You must think about them night and day so that you will faithfully do everything written in them. Only then will you prosper and succeed.
9 “I have commanded you, ‘Be strong and courageous! Don’t tremble or be terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ ”
The People Promise to Obey Joshua
10 Then Joshua ordered the officers of the people, 11 “Go through the camp. Tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River to take possession of the land the Lord your God is going to give you.’ ”
12 Next, Joshua said to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh, 13 “Remember what the Lord’s servant Moses commanded you. Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will give you this land—a place to rest.’ 14 Your wives, children, and livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan River. However, all your best soldiers must march in battle formation ahead of your relatives. You must help your relatives 15 take possession of the land the Lord your God is going to give them. Then they will have a place to rest like you do. After that, you may go back and take possession of the land east of the Jordan River which the Lord’s servant Moses gave you.”
16 The people responded to Joshua, “We’ll do everything you tell us and go wherever you send us. 17 We will obey you as we obeyed Moses. May the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your authority or does not obey your orders will be put to death. Just be strong and courageous!”