Joshua’s word of warning
23 A long time passed. The Lord had given rest to Israel from all their surrounding enemies, and Joshua had grown very old. 2 Joshua summoned all Israel, their elders, their heads, their judges, and their officers. He said to them, “I’ve grown very old. 3 You’ve seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you. It is the Lord your God who fights for you. 4 Look. I’ve allotted to you these remaining nations as a legacy for your tribes, along with all the nations I have destroyed. They stretch from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. 5 The Lord your God will force them out before you and remove them from you. Then you will take over their land, exactly as the Lord your God has promised you. 6 Be very strong. Carefully obey everything written in the Instruction scroll from Moses. Don’t deviate a bit from it either to the right or to the left. 7 Don’t have anything to do with these nations that remain with you. Don’t invoke the names of their gods or take oaths by them. Don’t serve them or worship them. 8 Hold on to the Lord your God instead, exactly as you’ve done right up to today.
9 “The Lord has removed great and powerful nations before you. To this day, no one has stood up to you. 10 A single one of you puts a thousand to flight. This is because the Lord your God fights for you, exactly as he promised you. 11 For your own sake, be very careful to love the Lord your God. 12 But if you should turn away and join the rest of these nations that remain with you, intermarry with them, and associate with each other, 13 then know for certain that the Lord your God won’t keep on removing these nations before you. Instead, they will be a snare and a trap for you. They will be a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you vanish from this fertile land that the Lord your God has given you.
14 “Look. I’m now walking on the road to death that all the earth must take. You know with all your heart and being that not a single one of all the good things that the Lord your God promised about you has failed. They were all fulfilled for you. Not a single one of them has failed. 15 But in the same way that every good thing that the Lord your God promised about you has been fulfilled, so the Lord could bring against you every bad thing as well. He could wipe you out from this fertile land that the Lord your God has given you. 16 If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you to keep, and go on to serve other gods and worship them, then the Lord will be furious with you. You will quickly vanish from the fertile land that he has given you.”