Joshua’s Farewell

This week in our Joshua, Judges and Ruth class was a time of transition from Joshua to the Judges. There is a little bit of overlap between the two books as the second chapter of Judges talks about the death of Joshua.

In the 22nd chapter of Joshua we read about the return of the Eastern tribes to their land beyond the Jordan. When they are in the region of the Jordan River, they set up a large altar. Jordan River Valley - Jericho - Dead Sea - Flood stage

The rest of the tribes were up in arms as they misunderstood the meaning behind the large altar. It was meant to be an altar of remembrance or witness. The tribes worked out their differences and the altar remained.

The people of Reuben and the people of Gad called the altar Witness, “For,” they said, “it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.” (Joshua 22:34, ESV)

When I read this same verse in the KJV it always brings a smile to my face đŸ™‚

And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed: for it shall be a witness between us that the Lord is God. (Joshua 22:34, KJV)

It is interesting that the name of the altar was Ed. I have a friend named Ed who I always think of when I read this verse. Witness is the meaning of the Hebrew word Ed. It is interesting that they did not translate the word in the KJV.

There is some question as to where exactly this altar was built, but it was most likely built somewhere near Gilgal as this is where the fighting men of the Eastern tribes would have crossed back over to join their families.

In chapter 23 Joshua charges the leaders of the people to remain faithful to God and then in chapter 24 all the tribes are gathered together at Shechem to renew the covenant.

Shechem - City of Refuge - Joshua - Tell Balata - Nablus - Archaeology

Joshua again reminds the people what God has done and will do for them. This leads up to the most quoted phrase from the book of Joshua. I deliberately did not say verse here as it is only the last part of this verse that we normally hear or see. We should also remember the rest of the verse.

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15, ESV)

We actually see three choices here, but Joshua and his house make the right choice. Whenever I hear the last sentence of this verse I always think of this plaque that always hung in our house while I was growing up.

As for Me and My House we willl Serve the Lord - Joshua 24:15 - Joshua Plaque - Home Blessing I had meant to ask my Mom where this plaque came from when I talked to her today. I will have to remember to find out.

Joshua continues his farewell address to the people and reminds them that they are witness to each other of their decision and that if they follow the Lord, they must also put away other gods. He also sets up a large stone that is a witness to all the words spoken by God.

Then we find that after these things Joshua dies. He only had to keep his promise for a very short time. We also find in the closing verses that the bones of Joseph finally come to rest in Shechem after their long journey from Egypt.

The book of Judges starts out with a recap of the state of the conquest and then again reminds us of the death of Joshua. A generation has passed away and a new generation has risen that will fall away from God.

There are a lot of interesting accounts in the book of Judges and Ruth and I look forward to discussing them in class.


If you want to catch up with the class, here are the previous posts:

Walls of Jericho

Hills of Jericho

Crossing Jordan

Achor and Ai

The Gibeonite Deception

Conquest and Division

A Place of Refuge

To view links to the entire class series click on Walls of Jericho.

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8 Responses to Joshua’s Farewell

  1. What resonates for me are the words, ” The blessing of home is contentment.” But are we really practicing this? There seems to be too much of judgement and ” My way or highway” attitude that I find in homes.


  2. Glenda McDougal says:

    Joshua is one of my heroes. Thanks for letting us share your study.

  3. Pingback: Judges 3 Judges | Braman's Wanderings

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  6. Cha says:

    Saw you posted that plaque just wonderin same thing that I kept until now , when I was a kid that was hanging by the wall in our house , my dad had that way back 1950’s tried to fixed it by re painting and the one you posted Home Blessing is the same color that I have it now , I fully totally honestly and sincerely believed on what it says. God Bless..

  7. Pingback: Walking with Joshua | Braman's Wanderings

  8. Pamela says:

    Did you ever find out the origins of the plaque?? Please post.

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