God’s Orders to Joshua
1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ [a]servant, saying, 2 “Moses My servant is dead; so now arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. 3 Every place on which the sole of your foot steps, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. 5 No one will be able to oppose you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not desert you nor abandon you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; [b]be careful to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may [c]achieve success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may [d]be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will [e]achieve success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua Assumes Command
10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are going to cross this Jordan, to go in to take possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving you, to possess it.’”
12 But to the Reubenites, to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua [f]said, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is giving you rest, and will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross ahead of your brothers in battle formation, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them, 15 until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He is giving you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God is giving them. Then you may return to [g]your own land, and take possession of [h]that which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 They answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you; only may the Lord your God be with you as He was with Moses. 18 Anyone who rebels against your [i]command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.”
Rahab Shelters Spies
2 Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and rested there. 2 But it was told to the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men from the sons of Israel have come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3 And the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to spy out all the land.” 4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them, and she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. 5 It came about, when it was time to shut the gate at dark, that the men went out; I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” 6 But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them in the stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof. 7 So the men pursued them on the road to the Jordan, to the crossing places; and as soon as those who were pursuing them had gone out, they shut the gate.
8 Now before [j]the spies lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have despaired because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the [k]Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you [l]utterly destroyed. 11 When we heard these reports, our hearts melted and no [m]courage remained in anyone any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth below. 12 Now then, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of [n]truth, 13 and [o]spare my father and my mother, and my brothers and my sisters, and all who belong to them, and save our [p]lives from death.” 14 So the men said to her, “Our [q]life [r]for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the Lord gives us the land that we will deal kindly and [s]faithfully with you.”
The Promise to Rahab
15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall. 16 And she said to them, “Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not encounter you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.” 17 And the men said to her, “We shall be exempt from this oath [t]to you which you have made us swear, 18 [u]unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather into your house your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. 19 And it shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house outside will have [v]his blood on his own head, and we will be innocent; but anyone who is with you in the house, his blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on him. 20 But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be exempt from the oath which you have made us swear.” 21 She then said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
22 So they departed and came to the hill country, and remained there for three days, until the pursuers returned. Now the pursuers had searched for them [w]all along the road, but had not found them. 23 Then the two men returned and came down from the hill country, and they crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun. Then they reported to him all that had happened to them. 24 And they said to Joshua, “The Lord has indeed handed over to us all the land; furthermore, all the inhabitants of the land have despaired because of us.”