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Jos 24:1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, their judges and their officers; and they presented themselves before God-
"Before God" means before Joshua  or before the tabernacle. This is a major theme in the Bible- that the representative of a person or entity is spoken of as being that person. Understanding this helps us easily understand the verses wrested to support the mistaken doctrine of the Trinity.

 
Jos 24:2 Joshua said to all the people, Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel, ‘Your fathers lived of old time beyond the River, even Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor: and they served other gods-
The meanings of Abraham's immediate ancestors all have associations with idolatry, confirming the note here that Abram and his ancestors were idolaters. Out of that background, God chose a man who had the potential to be different. Another reading of "Terah" is that it means "One who tarries / remains", which would fit with his remaining in Haran and not going further towards Canaan.


Jos 24:3 I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac-
Note that God took Abram, when Abram had been asked to leave of his own volition. He didn't do this, and so God as it were muscled in and dragged him out. God made him obedient to the call. Gen. 20:13 LXX has "when God brought me forth out of the house of my father"; we see the emphasis upon God bringing him out to separation from his relatives, rather than his obedience to the call to do so. By saying this, he would be growing closer to appreciating grace; that God caused him to be obedient when he of himself was not. This is the same work of the Spirit which continues in our days. The Gentile believers are in this sense 'made obedient' by the Spirit's work (Rom. 15:18; 1 Pet. 1:2). Truly our salvation is not of works of obedience, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:9).

Our own calling out of this world is likewise a matter of God’s grace; He wishes to save us, and leads us out of situations and into new ones, when we ourselves ought to have made the moves of our own volition. He makes us wander from our father’s house (Gen. 20:13). This is all part of the “blessing” to Abraham, which involves turning us away from sin (Acts 3:25,26). God was the one who brought about Abraham’s obedience. "From thence [Haran]... God removed him into (Canaan)" (Acts 7:4 R.V.).


Jos 24:4 I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau. I gave to Esau Mount Seir, to possess it. Jacob and his children went down into Egypt-
We note the stress is on how Isaac was given children, the seed; whereas Esau was given possessions. This is a difference between the believer and the world. Esau as the direct grandson of Abraham could have had the promises of inheritance of the eretz relevant to him; but he chose to go out of that land. Mount Seir was just outside the promised land (Josh. 15:10). And so God accepted that and gave him an inheritance in Seir, although without the promises of eternal inheritance and of the saviour seed. He wanted a possession immediately in this life, and God gave Esau what he really wanted. And this is part of a big theme, both in the Bible and in life- that we get what we truly want. And so what is so critical is a spiritual mind that wants the things of the Kingdom above all.

Jos 24:5 I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt according to that which I did in its midst: and afterward I brought you out-
The idea is that this was all done by God with a view to bringing His people into Canaan, and their serving Him exclusively, with no worship of other gods. The plaguing of Egypt is mentioned in this context; for the plagues were each one targeting a specific idol (Ex. 12:12). And it seems from Josh. 24:14 that Israel had taken those gods with them, and were worshipping the very idols which Yahweh had plagued. This points up the hypocrisy of the western tribes in appearing so hyper zealous to destroy the eastern tribes because of their suspected, although unproven, idolatry.

Jos 24:6 I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came to the sea. The Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and with horsemen to the Red Sea-
They were brought out of Egypt just as Abraham was "taken" from Ur (see on :3). This was all by grace. Although the pursuit of Israel by the Egyptians was a historical act at a specific time, caused by God's direct action upon the hearts of the Egyptians (Ex. 14:8), the pursuit and their destruction is described as ongoing "to this day" (Dt. 11:4). God's word and His actions according to that word are somehow alive to this day. This is the unique nature of Biblical history. All the incidents within it speak to us of later generations. And so in Josh. 24;6 and often, Israel are bidden understand their history as speaking directly to them, to perceive God's grace to them in history, and respond now. Ps. 114:5,6 RV describes the Red Sea as even now fleeing before God’s people. And thus because of the records of God's past activities, we should be motivated in our decisions now. Josh. 24:13,14 reminds Israel of the record of their past history with God, and then on this basis exhorts them: "Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him..." .

This Divine speech relayed by Joshua is clearly repeating the argument and some phrases from Dt. 11:2-9, which climaxes in the appeal to not serve idols but obey Yahweh exclusively. This was to be the power of history in human life. Yet human nature has a tendency to declare history as bunk, reflecting our preference to live for the immediate present and disregard the past.  


Jos 24:7 When they cried out to Yahweh, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians and brought the sea on them, and covered them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt; and you lived in the wilderness many days-
Darkness was believed to be somehow demonic and under the control of the gods. But those gods didn't exist, and therefore they should not worship them. For the darkness was controlled by God. "Your eyes saw..." could suggest that Joshua was particularly addressing the generation who were under 20 when they had left Egypt. But still they were worshipping the idols of Egypt (:14), and at least one of them was the god of darkness, whom Yahweh had targetted in the plague of darkness, and shown His supremacy over at the Red Sea crossing.


Jos 24:8 I brought you into the land of the Amorites that lived beyond the Jordan; and they fought with you; and I gave them into your hand. You possessed their land; and I destroyed them from before you-
This conflict had been intended as a foretaste of their far larger scale victories against the Canaanites, and possession of Canaan. God gently leads us through one experience to prepare us for the next, larger one. AV "That you might possess their land". "Drive out" is s.w. "possess". We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.

Jos 24:9 Then Balak the son of Zippor king of Moab arose and fought against Israel. He sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you-
This conflict with Balak, and their salvation from him and Balaam by grace, had been intended as a foretaste of their far larger scale victories against the Canaanites, and possession of Canaan. God gently leads us through one experience to prepare us for the next, larger one.


Jos 24:10 but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you still. So I delivered you out of his hand-
Balaam, in his heart, didn't want to bless Israel; he wanted to curse them so he could get his hands on the riches Balak promised him if he did so. Balaam knew if God had told him to bless Israel, there was no way of changing things. But God says that He refused to hear Balaam's prayer to curse Israel. It seems that Yahweh read Balaam's latent, unexpressed desires as prayer to Him. It is our dominant desire which is read as prayer. For otherwise the efficacy of prayer would be related to how good we are at verbalizing things, and not everyone is good at that. Our innermost desires are read as prayer; hence Elijah was understood as praying against Israel in his heart, and God refused to hear that too (Rom. 11:2). There is another example of this kind of thing in :11.

 

Jos 24:11 You went over the Jordan and came to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I delivered them into your hand-
There is no record of the men of Jericho fighting against Israel; perhaps their intention to do so was read by God as if they had done it. Shutting the gates against Israel and not submitting to the call to repentance which was implicit in the jubilee trumpet blasts was perhaps read as actively resisting Israel. For passivity can also be a form of 'fighting against' in aggression. This continues the theme discussed on :10, that internal attitudes are read by God as far more than that.

 We note there are typically seven nations listed as dwelling in the land, as here. This sets up the basis for understanding the 'kings of the earth / land' in later Biblical prophecy as referring to leaders within the eretz promised to Abraham.


Jos 24:12 I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites-
The fear amongst the Canaanites prior to Israel's approach and the weakness of those nations was due to "the hornet" being sent before Israel (Dt. 7:20; Josh. 24:12); it would seem that this is a reference to the Angels softening up the Canaanite tribes, perhaps through inciting the Egyptians to raid them and ruin the economy. And specifically, the two kings of the Amorites attacking the other Canaanites. "The hornet" could also refer to the Phoenician raiders, who had hornets as totems; they too weakened Canaan before the Israelites arrived, and would have been manipulated to do so by an Angel. In Ex. 23:27 God says He will "send My fear before you, and will destroy all the people to whom you shall come". Jacob likens his guardian Angel to "the God before whom my fathers walked" (Gen. 48:16), who is called "the fear of Isaac" (Gen. 31:42,53) when Jacob describes the personal presence of God in his life. So the "fear of God" is associated with an Angel; God sent His fear, an Angel, before Israel into Canaan, as promised explicitly in Ex. 23. "The hornet" could have referred to literal hornets, used by God to destroy the nations of Canaan. For they were indeed a problem in the land; "Zorah" in Judah means "place of hornets". But I prefer the idea that the Angel manipulated Gentile nations to soften up the Canaanites before Israel's arrival. The same figure is found in Is. 7:18, where God whistled for the "fly that is in Egypt and the bee that is in Assyria". We note that this was all built in to God's wider plan; for had Israel entered Canaan 40 years before they did, they would've found the Canaanites that much stronger than they were after "the hornet" had weakened them for 40 years. It's as if God recalculated the program according to the great weakness of Israel. They didn't enter when they could have done, and so He used the period of their wilderness wanderings to make their entrance to the land that much easier than it would otherwise have been. 

Not with your sword, nor with your bow-
"Bow" and "sword" often occur together as almost an idiom for human strength (Gen.48:22; Josh. 24:12; 2 Kings 6:22; 1 Ch. 5:18; Hos. 1:7). Right at the very end of Jacob’s life, he lets slip a comment which would seem more appropriate to his earlier life: "Shechem... which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow" (Gen. 48:22). The wrongness of this attitude seems to be alluded to in Josh. 24:12, which says that God drove out the tribes "but not with your sword, neither with your bow". And Ps. 44:3,6 also: "They got not the land in possession by their own sword... I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me". So Jacob, right at the end of his life, still hadn't completely overcome that besetting weakness of self-reliance. This is, of course, a dangerous road to go down. In no way can we be complacent about our urgent need for spiritual growth. But on the other hand, we will never reach the stature of Christ without righteousness being imputed to us.


Jos 24:13 I gave you a land whereon you had not laboured-
The spies' comment that not all the people needed to "toil" or "labour" to capture Ai betrays a wrong idea that victory was through their labour, rather than God's grace (Josh. 7:3). And so Josh. 24:13 uses the word in saying that Israel were given a land for which they did not "labour" (s.w.). They were taught through Achan's sin that they were not defeating the Canaanites by their strength, but by God's undeserved grace. Their inheritance of the Kingdom was not according to works.

And cities which you didn’t build, and you live in them. You eat of vineyards and olive groves which you didn’t plant-
This continues the repeated reminder that they had been shown grace and a place in the Kingdom not according to works. This emphasis upon grace now leads up to the appeal to quit any other gods (:14)- because Yahweh alone is the God of grace. The other gods had no concept of this; it was unique to Yahweh. And true grace is likewise the unique feature of true Christianity. 

Jonah 2:8 reflects Jonah's understanding of this: "Those who regard lying vanities forsake their own mercy". This is a profound truth; true grace ["mercy" is hesed] and salvation is only found in Yahweh the God of Israel. To forsake Him is to forsake our own access to mercy and grace. Jonah was surely reflecting upon how the sailors had begged their idols and gods for salvation, and not found it. Only Yahweh had provided such saving grace, both to them and to Jonah. This reflection was surely to motivate Jonah to now go and try to persuade the Ninevites of Yahweh's grace. Jonah is constantly quoting from the Psalms, and here he may have in mind Ps. 31:6: "I have hated them that regard lying vanities". But now Jonah doesn't hate the idolaters personally, but rather perceives the tragedy of the fact that they are rejecting their own access to Yahweh's grace. Yahweh is all about mercy, or grace; again, Ps. 59:17 "the God of my mercy" is in mind. But we preclude His grace if we trust in the lying vanities of this world.


Jos 24:14 Now therefore fear Yahweh, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth-
God's living word places us in their position; for the appeal to serve Him in "sincerity and in truth" applies to us (1 Cor. 5:8; 2 Cor. 1:12; 2:17).

Put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve Yahweh-
See on :13. Compare Joshua's earlier over positive statements. Now it seems he came to a final sense of realism about sin, obedience and Israel’s failure. They had taken the idols of Egypt with them (Ez. 20:6-8 also mentions this), even though God had judged those idols (:5). They worshipped that which had afflicted them, and they were to continue worshipping the idols of their enemies. Acts 7:43 speaks of them carrying another tabernacle with them through the wilderness, and the star of Remphan along with the standards of the tribes. This is the idiocy of idol worship; but when it comes to spiritual matters, we act without attention to even basic logic.


Jos 24:15 If it seems evil to you to serve Yahweh-
As we will see on :16, this is very similar to the exaggerated challenge made by the hypocritical western tribes to the eastern tribes in Josh. 22:19 "However, if the land of your possession is unclean, then pass over to the land of the possession of Yahweh". Joshua was speaking to the western tribes as they had spoken to the eastern tribes- and accusing them of idolatry, as they had [perhaps falsely, but hypocritically] accused the eastern tribes. The western tribes were being made to feel how they had made the eastern tribes feel; and were being reminded of their own idolatry. God likewise works with men today, often confronting those who confront their brethren, and trying to help them perceive their hypocrisy and repent.

Choose this day whom you will serve-
Elijah uses the same logic in 1 Kings 18:21, offering Israel an 'all or nothing' choice between total devotion to Yahweh, and idolatry.

Whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell-
Joshua asks them to make two choices. Firstly, to decide whether they want to serve Yahweh exclusively, and any other choice apart from that would be "evil". And then, if they did choose other gods, they were to decide which of them they preferred, and serve them exclusively- either the gods of Abraham's family, or those of the land of Canaan. This second choice was surely sarcastic, but it was inviting them to see the seriousness of the situation. Israel however were to be characterized by serving many gods of many nations, whereas as the prophets point out, a nation usually only served one set of gods and didn't change their gods unless they were forced to by domination by other nations. But Israel were, as Hosea says, like a sexually addicted woman, ever seeking new religious experiences. See on :19.  

As for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh-
Joshua perhaps feels that he and his family alone have chosen to exclusively serve Yahweh. In the context of his argument in this verse, any other choice apart from total devotion to Yahweh is "evil". This is the logic of total commitment to the things of Yahweh. Joshua appears to be alluding to Gen. 18:19, as if raising a family devoted to Yahweh is the sign of being a true seed of Abraham. I will note on :19 that as in :15, Joshua almost encourages Israel not to try serving Yahweh whilst worshipping idols; and is perhaps implying that God's purpose with His people can continue through him and his family, as God had once offered to do with Moses.

Jos 24:16 The people answered, Far be it from us that we should forsake Yahweh to serve other gods-
These are pretty much the words of the eastern tribes in Josh. 22:29 (see on :15). The western tribes were hypocritical in implying that they were so totally devoted to Yahweh alone that they had to slay their eastern brethren because of their possible idolatry. They are effectively accused of idolatry by Joshua in the same way as they accused the eastern tribes of it. And they are answering in the same way- even though they were guilty of idolatry themselves, and needed to "put away" their idols (Josh. 24:14).    


Jos 24:17 for it is Yahweh our God who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way in which we went, and among all the peoples through the midst of whom we passed-
The people repeat the words of Joshua, as if they assent to all he has said, and recognize Yahweh's grace and care toward them. And yet there is no evidence that they actually quit their idols, as demanded in :14. We expect and hope to read that they offered up their idols to Joshua and he destroyed them. But nothing like that happens; there is just an intellectual assent to being Yahweh worshippers, and an acceptance of His power in history. But they failed to translate that into present reality. And so it can easily be, as week by week God's people sing words and assent to such statements; and yet keep their idols. 


Jos 24:18 Yahweh drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve Yahweh; for He is our God-
See on :18. They insist that Yahweh "is our God"; not "will be". They are arguing that Yahweh has always been their God and still is, and by implication, they have not wickedly departed from him, and are all set to continue with Him. They seem to be saying that they believe in His existence and in His historical actions for His people, but we expect to read a heartfelt repentance in response to the demand in :14 that they quit their idols. But that is not forthcoming. They refuse to engage with Joshua's accusation against them. What they say is disappointing for what it doesn't say. Their words therefore become nothing but a cultural and historical acceptance of "Yahweh", whilst refusing to engage with His demands upon His people. It was mere religion, and not spirituality. 


Jos 24:19 Joshua said to the people, You can’t serve Yahweh-
The Lord Jesus alludes to this in Mt. 5:24, warning His followers that they "cannot serve" God and mammon. He thereby interprets idols as "mammon", wealth and the good life. We will read in :31 that they did "serve Yahweh", but Joshua here says that they could not do so acceptably, unless they ditched their idols. Which they didn't. The people understood serving Yahweh as doing the rituals of His religion, whereas Joshua understood it as serving Him exclusively with no place in their hearts for any idolatry.

For He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your disobedience nor your sins-
As in :15, Joshua almost seems to be encouraging them to devote themselves to their idols, and to stop claiming to be Yahweh's servants. This presumably was because he understood the principle that knowledge brings responsibility. They would be terribly punished if they continued to claim to serve Him and yet served idols; it were better for them in the long term to accept how they were, and to leave Him. Joshua seems to imply in :15 that God's purpose with His people can continue through him and his family, as God had once offered to do with Moses.

Joshua alludes to the words of warning to Israel in Ex. 23:21. The jealousy of God is a natural result of the depth of His love and unique commitment to His people, as the prophets often state. Israel's adultery was going to provoke His jealousy and anger with them. And yet although the things stated here about God are absolutely true on one level, the passages which speak of God as the betrayed lover (Jer. 2, Ez. 16,23 and all Hosea) reveal that despite this, He so loves Israel that He wants to save them and love them all the same. This is the inexplicable paradox of God's love for His people.


Jos 24:20 If you forsake Yahweh and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you evil and consume you, after He has done you good-
As discussed on :19, this was true, and yet God's love was such that He ever sought their return, and in wrath He remembered amazing mercy. Joshua also states things in rather too simple terms here, as if they would be consumed if they were to serve other gods. The reality was that they were serving foreign gods then at that time, just as they had in Egypt and throughout the wilderness journeys (:14). And still God had given them the Kingdom, and amazing victories against their enemies. He did eventually turn and consume them (Is. 63:10). "After He has done you good" was a reminder that no matter how much blessing they had received at that point, it is never a case of 'once saved always saved'. Despite all that, He could still destroy them.


Jos 24:21 The people said to Joshua, No, but we will serve Yahweh-
We expect to read a heartfelt repentance in response to the demand in :14 that they quit their idols. But that is not forthcoming; there is no word of repentance or regret, no admission of wrongdoing. They refuse to engage with Joshua's accusation against them. What they say is disappointing for what it doesn't say. Their words therefore become nothing but a cultural and historical acceptance of "Yahweh", whilst refusing to engage with His demands upon His people. It was mere religion, and not spirituality. 


Jos 24:22 Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that you yourselves have chosen Yahweh, to serve Him. They said, We are witnesses-
"You have chosen Yahweh" in the context means that out of the range of gods in their possession, they had chosen Yahweh. This is why Joshua goes on :23 to beg them therefore to put away their idols. "Witnesses against yourselves" suggests Joshua was confident, perhaps by Divine revelation, that they would not be uniquely loyal to Yahweh, and would suffer for it. There would be a future day of judgment, and they would be the witnesses called up to testify against them. 


Jos 24:23 Now therefore put away the foreign gods which are among you-
See on :22. This is specific that there was idolatry going on amongst the western tribes at this time, so their attempt to exterminate the eastern tribes for unproven accusations of idolatry is to be seen as hypocritical (Josh. 22).

And incline your heart to Yahweh, the God of Israel-
This shows that the essence of idolatry, as well as service of God, is the heart. They were asked to make a conscious mental effort to incline their hearts to God, but Solomon prays that God will do this to His people (1 Kings 8:58 s.w.). God is capable of working directly on the human heart and we can ask for His Holy Spirit to effect this; to give us a heart for Him, to incline our hearts to Him. And yet the same phrase is used of how Solomon's wives inclined his heart to idols (1 Kings 11:2,4,9). Although God will work upon our hearts and deepest psychology, He will not force us, and will allow us to allow others to also incline our hearts away from Him.   


Jos 24:24 The people said to Joshua, We will serve Yahweh our God, and we will listen to His voice-
Again, we are disappointed by their lack of engagement with the call to put away their gods (:14,23). We expect to read their words of repentance, and pulling out their idols and burning them. But they instead just state that they will serve Yahweh and respect His word. This can be what His people say today, in the words of songs sung, liturgies recited, and loyalty to the church proclaimed. Whilst we are totally refusing to engage with the call to quit our idolatry.


Jos 24:25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem-
The covenant on Sinai (Ex. 19:20) was reaffirmed in the plains of Moab (Dt. 29:1) and on Joshua's death (Josh. 24:25), and was to be reaffirmed every seven years (Dt. 31:9-11,25,26). It is this reaffirmation of covenant relationship which we make in the breaking of bread service.  


Jos 24:26 Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of Yahweh-
The oak in Shechem (:1) was that of Gen. 35:4, at which the sons of Jacob / Israel had reaffirmed their covenant with God and had buried their idols. We eagerly hope to read that Israel likewise buried their idols there. But there is no word of that. They reaffirm the covenant, but don't ditch their idols. And this has poignant warning for we who regularly reaffirm the covenant through the breaking of bread service. The question is, have we buried our idols, or are we just reaffirming a covenant in words only?


Jos 24:27 Joshua said to all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of Yahweh which He spoke to us. It shall be therefore a witness against you, lest you deny your God-
Some of the Bible’s language refers to pagan superstitions which are evidently untrue; thus stones listen (Josh. 24:27), trees talk (Jud. 9:8-15), corpses speak (Is. 14:9-11). These ideas are clearly nonsense. And yet they are picked up and used by the Spirit in order to express God’s word to people in contemporary terms. The language of demons is used likewise in the New Testament.


Jos 24:28 So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance-
The law of Moses reasons as if each family of Israel had a specific inheritance which was not to be sold or moved outside the family. Hence the sin of Ahab in obtaining Naboth's vineyard. It would seem that there was some unrecorded list made of each family and which land they were to be given. This looks forward to our very personal and unique inheritance in God's Kingdom, possibly based around spiritual family units.

Jos 24:29 It happened that, after these things, Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yahweh, died, being one hundred and ten years old-
Numbers and ages in Hebrew literature are not necessarily to be taken literally. This was the age at which Joseph is recorded as reaching (Gen. 50:26), and we will read in :32 of the burial of Joseph's bones at Shechem, at the same time as Joshua is buried. We are clearly invited to see a connection between the two men, both of them maintaining spirituality and hope in the Kingdom whilst surrounded by unspirituality and terrible failure by God's people to realize their potential.


Jos 24:30 They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash-
"In the border" may mean that they believed even then that one day he would be resurrected, and then immediately enter into his eternal inheritance. LXX adds: "There they put with him into the tomb in which they buried him, the knives of stone with which he circumcised the children of Israel in Galgala, when he brought them out of Egypt, as the Lord appointed them; and there they are to this day".


Jos 24:31 Israel served Yahweh all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work of Yahweh that He had worked for Israel-
This serving of Yahweh is not to say that they served Him exclusively. The idea may be that they did His "service" as required by the law of Moses in the sanctuary. Joshua in :19 had said that they could not 'serve Yahweh' acceptably, unless they ditched their idols. Which they didn't. The people understood serving Yahweh as doing the rituals of His religion, whereas Joshua understood it as serving Him exclusively with no place in their hearts for any idolatry. 


Jos 24:32 They buried the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. They became the inheritance of the children of Joseph-
See on :29. Like Jacob, Joseph's heart was in the land of promise. Joseph's bones  were 'carried up' with them when Israel left Egypt. The New Testament emphasizes the paradox: that the patriarchs bought land in the land which was their eternal inheritance. They couldn't bury their dead nor pitch their tent without having to realize that the land wasn't theirs. The same paradox was taught in Jacob having to call Esau his "lord", the younger serving the elder; but in faith that things would not eternally be that way. Joseph's bones were buried here later (Josh. 24:32), which suggests that Jacob bought it with a view of it becoming a burial place and Israelite sanctuary. Yet Acts 7:16 says that Abraham bought this land as a burial place; perhaps the paradox deepens in that they were deceived out of their "own" land and had to pay for it twice, even though it was eternally theirs.


Jos 24:33 Eleazar the son of Aaron died. They buried him in the hill of Phinehas his son, which was given him in the hill country of Ephraim-
LXX adds: "In that day the children of Israel took the ark of God, and carried it about among them; and Phinees exercised the priest's office in the room of Eleazar his father till he died, and he was buried in his own place Gabaar: but the children of Israel departed every one to their place, and to their own city: and the children of Israel worshipped Astarte, and Astaroth, and the gods of the nations round about them; and the Lord delivered them into the hands of Eglom king of Moab and he ruled over them eighteen years".