Joshua Takes Moses’s Place
1Then Moses continued to speak these31:1 Some Hb mss, DSS, LXX, Syr, Vg read all these words to all Israel,
2saying, “I am now 120 years old;31:2 Jos 14:10 I can no longer act as your leader.31:2 Lit no longer go out or come in The Lord has told me, ‘You will not cross the Jordan.’31:2 Dt 3:27
3The Lord your God is the one who will cross ahead of you.31:3 Ex 23:31; Dt 9:3 He will destroy these nations before you, and you will drive them out. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, as the Lord has said.31:3 Dt 3:28
4The Lord will deal with them as he did Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and their land when he destroyed them.31:4 Nm 21:21–35; Dt 29:6; Jos 2:10
5The Lord will deliver them over to you, and you must do to them exactly as I have commanded you.
6Be strong and courageous;31:6 Dt 31:23; Jos 1:6–7,9,18; 10:25 don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you;31:6 Dt 1:29; 7:21; 20:3 he will not leave you or abandon you.”31:6 Heb 13:5
7Moses then summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will go with31:7 Some Hb mss, Sam, Syr, Vg read you will bring this people into the land the Lord swore to give to their ancestors.31:7 Dt 1:8,35; 8:1; 11:9,21; 31:20; Ezk 20:42 You will enable them to take possession of it.
8The Lord is the one who will go before you.31:8 Ex 23:23; 32:34; Dt 1:30; Jdg 4:14; Is 52:12 He will be with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.31:8 Jos 1:5; 1Ch 28:20; Heb 13:5 Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
9Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, and to all the elders of Israel.
10Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of debt cancellation,31:10 Dt 15:1–2 during the Festival of Shelters,31:10 Lv 23:34; Dt 16:3
11when all Israel assembles in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he chooses,31:11 Dt 12:14; 14:23; 15:20; 16:2; 23:16 you are to read this law aloud before all Israel.31:10–11 Jos 8:34; 2Kg 22:8; Neh 8:3,8,18; 9:3; Jr 2:8; Mal 2:1–9
12Gather the people — men, women, dependents, and the resident aliens within your city gates — so that they may listen and learn to fear31:12 Dt 14:23; 17:19 the Lord your God and be careful to follow all the words of this law.
13Then their children31:13 Dt 4:9–10 who do not know the law will listen and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
14The Lord said to Moses, “The time of your death is now approaching. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the tent of meeting so that I may commission him.” When Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting,
15the Lord appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud,31:15 Ex 13:21–22; 33:9–10; Ps 99:7 and the cloud stood at the entrance to the tent.31:15 Nm 12:5
16The Lord said to Moses, “You are about to rest with your ancestors,31:16 Gn 47:30; 2Sm 7:12; 1Kg 2:10; 11:43; 14:20,31 and these people will soon prostitute themselves with the foreign gods31:16 Jr 5:7; 7:9; Hs 3:1 of the land they are entering. They will abandon me31:16 Dt 28:20; Jdg 10:13; 1Sm 8:8; 1Kg 11:33; 2Kg 22:17; Jr 1:16; 2:13; 5:7,19; 16:11; 19:4 and break the covenant31:16 Dt 4:13,23; 5:2–3; 17:2; 29:1,9–14,21,25 I have made with them.
17My anger will burn against them on that day;31:17 Nm 32:10; Is 13:9,13; Lm 1:12 I will abandon them and hide my face from them so that they will become easy prey.31:17 Ps 63:10; Jr 2:14; Ezk 34:8 Many troubles and afflictions will come to them. On that day they will say, ‘Haven’t these troubles come to us because our God is no longer with us?’
18I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all the evil they have done by turning to other gods.
19Therefore write down this song31:19 Dt 32:1–43 for yourselves and teach it to the Israelites; have them sing it,31:19 Lit Israelites; put it in their mouths so that this song may be a witness for me against the Israelites.
20When I bring them into the land I swore to give their ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey,31:20 Dt 11:9 they will eat their fill31:20 Dt 11:15 and prosper.31:20 Lit be fat They will turn to other gods and worship them, despising me31:20 Nm 14:11,23; 1Sm 2:29–30; 2Sm 12:10; Jr 23:17; Mal 1:6 and breaking my covenant.31:20 Lv 26:15,44; Dt 4:31; Jos 23:16
21And when many troubles and afflictions come to them, this song will testify against them, because31:21 Lit because the mouths of their descendants will not have forgotten it. For I know what they are prone to do,31:21 Or know the plans they are devising even before I bring them into the land I swore to give them.”
22So Moses wrote down this song on that day and taught it to the Israelites.
23The Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I swore to them, and I will be with you.”31:23 Jos 1:1–9
Moses Warns the People
24When Moses had finished writing down on a scroll every single word of this law,
25he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant,
26“Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God so that it may remain there as a witness against you.
27For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you are rebelling against the Lord now, while I am still alive, how much more will you rebel after I am dead!
28Assemble all your tribal elders and officers before me so that I may speak these words directly to them and call heaven and earth as witnesses against them.31:28 Dt 4:26; 30:19
29For I know that after my death you will become completely corrupt and turn from the path I have commanded you. Disaster will come to you in the future, because you will do what is evil in the Lord’s sight, angering him with what your hands have made.”31:27–29 Dt 4:25; Jdg 2:6–13
30Then Moses recited aloud every single word of this song to the entire assembly of Israel: