Joshua 22-24; Psalm 116; Luke 19
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
At that time Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh,
and said to them, ”You have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you and have obeyed my voice in all that I have commanded you.
You have not forsaken your brothers these many days, down to this day, but have been careful to keep the charge of the LORD your God.
And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brothers, as he promised them. Therefore turn and go to your tents in the land where your possession lies, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan.
Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.
Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the other half Joshua had given a possession beside their brothers in the land west of the Jordan. And when Joshua sent them away to their homes and blessed them,
he said to them, ”Go back to your tents with much wealth and with very much livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, and iron, and with much clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brothers.”
So the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned home, parting from the people of Israel at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, their own land of which they had possessed themselves by command of the LORD through Moses.
And when they came to the region of the Jordan that is in the land of Canaan, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of imposing size.
And the people of Israel heard it said, ”Behold, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built the altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel.”
And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war against them.
Then the people of Israel sent to the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest,
and with him ten chiefs, one from each of the tribal families of Israel, every one of them the head of a family among the clans of Israel.
And they came to the people of Reuben, the people of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, and they said to them,
‘Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, ‘What is this breach of faith that you have committed against the God of Israel in turning away this day from following the LORD by building yourselves an altar this day in rebellion against the LORD?
Have we not had enough of the sin at Peor from which even yet we have not cleansed ourselves, and for which there came a plague upon the congregation of the LORD,
that you too must turn away this day from following the LORD? And if you too rebel against the LORD today then tomorrow he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel.
But now, if the land of your possession is unclean, pass over into the LORD’s land where the LORD’s tabernacle stands, and take for yourselves a possession among us. Only do not rebel against the LORD or make us as rebels by building for yourselves an altar other than the altar of the LORD our God.
Did not Achan the son of Zerah break faith in the matter of the devoted things, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? And he did not perish alone for his iniquity.”’
Then the people of Reuben, the people of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel,
‘The Mighty One, God, the LORD! The Mighty One, God, the LORD! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith against the LORD, do not spare us today
for building an altar to turn away from following the LORD. Or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or grain offerings or peace offerings on it, may the LORD himself take vengeance.
No, but we did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, ‘What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel?
For the LORD has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you people of Reuben and people of Gad. You have no portion in the LORD.’ So your children might make our children cease to worship the LORD.
Therefore we said, ‘Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice,
but to be a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, that we do perform the service of the LORD in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and peace offerings, so your children will not say to our children in time to come, ”You have no portion in the LORD.”’
And we thought, If this should be said to us or to our descendants in time to come, we should say, ‘Behold, the copy of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.’
Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD and turn away this day from following the LORD by building an altar for burnt offering, grain offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the LORD our God that stands before his tabernacle!”
When Phinehas the priest and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the people of Manasseh spoke, it was good in their eyes.
And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the people of Manasseh, ”Today we know that the LORD is in our midst, because you have not committed this breach of faith against the LORD. Now you have delivered the people of Israel from the hand of the LORD.”
Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the chiefs, returned from the people of Reuben and the people of Gad in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the people of Israel, and brought back word to them.
And the report was good in the eyes of the people of Israel. And the people of Israel blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them to destroy the land where the people of Reuben and the people of Gad were settled.
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.”
A long time afterward, when the LORD had given rest to Israel from all their surrounding enemies, and Joshua was old and well advanced in years,
Joshua summoned all Israel, its elders and heads, its judges and officers, and said to them, ”I am now old and well advanced in years.
And you have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the LORD your God who has fought for you.
Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west.
The LORD your God will push them back before you and drive them out of your sight. And you shall possess their land, just as the LORD your God promised you.
Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left,
that you may not mix with these nations remaining among you or make mention of the names of their gods or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them,
but you shall cling to the LORD your God just as you have done to this day.
For the LORD has driven out before you great and strong nations. And as for you, no man has been able to stand before you to this day.
One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD your God who fights for you, just as he promised you.
Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God.
For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you,
know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the LORD your God has given you.
‘And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.
But just as all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the LORD will bring upon you all the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land that the LORD your God has given you,
if you transgress the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them. Then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land that he has given to you.”
Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God.
And Joshua said to all the people, ”Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods.
Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac.
And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.
And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out.
”Then I brought 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.
And when they cried to the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time.
Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you.
Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you,
but I would not listen to Balaam. Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand.
And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And I gave them into your hand.
And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow.
I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.’
‘Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
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.”
Then the people answered, ”Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods,
for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed.
And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”
But Joshua said to the people, ”You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.
If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.”
And the people said to Joshua, ”No, but we will serve the LORD.”
Then Joshua said to the people, ”You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD, to serve him.” And they said, ”We are witnesses.”
He said, ”Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
And the people said to Joshua, ”The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.”
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem.
And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.
And Joshua said to all the people, ”Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.”
So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.
After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being 110 years old.
And they buried him in his own inheritance at Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.
Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel.
As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.
And Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of Phinehas his son, which had been given him in the hill country of Ephraim.
I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the LORD: ”O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!”
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.
The LORD preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I spoke, ”I am greatly afflicted”;
I said in my alarm, ”All mankind are liars.”
What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
He entered Jericho and was passing through.
And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.
And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature.
So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ”Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”
So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.
And when they saw it, they all grumbled, ”He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ”Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
And Jesus said to him, ”Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
He said therefore, ”A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return.
Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’
But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’
When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.
The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’
And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’
And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’
And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’
Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief;
for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’
He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow?
Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’
And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’
I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.”’
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples,
saying, ”Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here.
If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.”’
So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.
And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, ”Why are you untying the colt?”
And they said, ”The Lord has need of it.”
And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.
And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.
As he was drawing near–already on the way down the Mount of Olives–the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen,
saying, ”Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ”Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”
He answered, ”I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
saying, ”Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side
and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold,
saying to them, ”It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him,
but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.