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CHAPTER 23 Jun. 5 
Joshua’s Parting Speech to Israel
It happened after many days, when Yahweh had given rest to Israel from their enemies all around and Joshua was old and well advanced in years, 2that Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, their heads, their judges and for their officers and said to them, I am old and well advanced in years. 3You have seen all that Yahweh your God has done to all these nations because of you; for it is Yahweh your God who has fought for you. 4Behold, I have allotted to you these nations that remain to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even to the great sea toward the going down of the sun. 5Yahweh your God will thrust them out from before you, and drive them from out of your sight. You shall possess their land, as Yahweh your God spoke to you. 6Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that you not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left; 7that you not mingle with these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow down yourselves to them; 8but hold fast to Yahweh your God, as you have done to this day. 9For Yahweh has driven great and strong nations out from before you. But as for you, no man has stood before you to this day. 10One man of you shall chase a thousand; for it is Yahweh your God who fights for you, as He spoke to you. 11Take good heed therefore to yourselves, that you love Yahweh your God. 12But if you do at all mix with and hold fast to the remnant of these nations, even these who remain among you, and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you; 13know for a certainty that Yahweh your God will no longer drive these nations from out of your sight; but they shall be a snare and a trap to you, a scourge in your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which Yahweh your God has given you. 14Behold, today I am going the way of all the earth. You know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which Yahweh your God spoke concerning you. All have happened to you, not one thing has failed of it. 15It shall happen that as all the good things have come on you of which Yahweh your God spoke to you, so Yahweh will bring on you all the evil things until He has destroyed you from off this good land which Yahweh your God has given you, 16if you disobey the covenant of Yahweh your God which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down yourselves to them. Then the anger of Yahweh will be kindled against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which He has given to you.


23:6 As God had charged him to be courageous and obedient to the book of the Law (1:7,8), so Joshua on his deathbed charged his people. In spiritual maturity, our concern will be for the things of God’s people rather than ourselves. We will encourage others from our own experience and example. See on 14:8.
23:7 This command not to make mention of other gods is alluded to in Eph. 5:3; the various ways of the flesh equate with the idols of Joshua’s time. 
23:9,14 Was Joshua being too positive, seeing things as achieved that hadn’t been (cp. Jud. 1:1)? He seems to have tried to perceive the promises, which were conditional upon obedience, as having been fulfilled fully when they hadn’t been. Solomon made the same mistake. See on 24:14.
23:12,13 To marry back into Egypt or Canaan, the non-Kingdom people, is to despise the covenant, to reverse the redemptive work which God has wrought with us, to not love God (:11). In the context of marriage out of the Faith, we read that God will destroy ‘him thathates Him’, and repay him to his face (Dt. 7:2-11). On the other hand, not marrying Gentiles was part of loving God. Wilful marriage out of the faith is a very wrong and sad thing, although God will seek to work through it as He does with all human failure.