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The Covenant at Shechem

24 Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to aShechem and bcalled for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they cpresented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: d‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of 1the River in old times; and ethey served other gods. fThen I took your father Abraham from the other side of 2the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his 3descendants and ggave him Isaac. To Isaac I gave hJacob and Esau. To iEsau I gave the mountains of Seir to possess, jbut Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. kAlso I sent Moses and Aaron, and lI plagued Egypt, according to what I did among them. Afterward I brought you out.

‘Then I mbrought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. So they cried out to the Lord; and He put ndarkness between you and the Egyptians, brought the sea upon them, and covered them. And oyour eyes saw what I did in Egypt. Then you dwelt in the wilderness pa long time. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, who dwelt on the other side of the Jordan, qand they fought with you. But I gave them into your hand, that you might possess their land, and I destroyed them from before you. Then rBalak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose to make war against Israel, and ssent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you. 10 tBut I would not listen to Balaam; utherefore he continued to bless you. So I delivered you out of his hand. 11 Then vyou went over the Jordan and came to Jericho. And wthe men of Jericho fought against you—also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. But I delivered them into your hand. 12 xI sent the hornet before you which drove them out from before you, also the two kings of the Amorites, but ynot with your sword or with your bow. 13 I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and zcities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’

14 a“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in bsincerity and in truth, and cput away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of 4the River and din Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, echoose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether fthe gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of 5the River, or gthe gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. hBut as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

16 So the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17 for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. 18 And the Lord drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. iWe also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.”

19 But Joshua said to the people, j“You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a kholy God. He is la jealous God; mHe will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20 nIf you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, othen He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.”

21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord!”

22 So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that pyou have chosen the Lord for yourselves, to serve Him.”

And they said, “We are witnesses!”

23 “Now therefore,” he said, q“put away the foreign gods which are among you, and rincline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.”

24 And the people ssaid to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!”

25 So Joshua tmade 6a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance uin Shechem.

26 Then Joshua vwrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took wa large stone, and xset it up there yunder the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be za witness to us, for ait has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.” 28 So bJoshua let the people depart, each to his own inheritance.


About The New King James Version

The New King James Version is a total update of the 1611 King James Version, also known as the "Authorized Version." Every attempt has been made to maintain the beauty of the original version while updating the English grammar to contemporary style and usage. The result is much better "readability." It is noteworthy that the NKJV is one of the few modern translations still based on the "Western" or "Byzantine" manuscript tradition. This makes the New King James Version an invaluable aid to comparative English Bible study.


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Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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