The Book of Joshua, chapter 24. Joshua warns the People. A Covenant is made and a raised stone is the witness.
[Joshua 24:1] AND JOSHUA GATHERED ALL THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL TO SHECHEM, AND CALLED FOR THE ELDERS OF ISRAEL, AND FOR THEIR HEADS, AND FOR THEIR JUDGES, AND FOR THEIR OFFICERS; AND THEY PRESENTED THEMSELVES BEFORE GOD.
When the people of Israel come together for a good purpose the Presence of the Almighty is with them.
[Joshua 24:2] AND JOSHUA SAID UNTO ALL THE PEOPLE, THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, YOUR FATHERS DWELT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FLOOD IN OLD TIME, EVEN TERAH, THE FATHER OF ABRAHAM, AND THE FATHER OF NACHOR: AND THEY SERVED OTHER GODS.
The forefathers of the Israelite people worshipped idols. Other peoples who worshipped idols may join unto us if they put away their idolatry.
[Joshua 24:3] AND I TOOK YOUR FATHER ABRAHAM FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FLOOD, AND LED HIM THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND OF CANAAN, AND MULTIPLIED HIS SEED, AND GAVE HIM ISAAC.
Abraham was an individual and the forefather of the Israelite people. He also a kind of prototype for his descendants as were all the forefathers. What happened to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel also happened in some way to their descendants.
[Joshua 24:4] AND I GAVE UNTO ISAAC JACOB AND ESAU: AND I GAVE UNTO ESAU MOUNT SEIR, TO POSSESS IT; BUT JACOB AND HIS CHILDREN WENT DOWN INTO EGYPT.
<<MOUNT SEIR>>: This was to the southeast of Israel but there was a another place by the same name that was also intended in southern Russia.
[Joshua 24:5] I SENT MOSES ALSO AND AARON, AND I PLAGUED EGYPT, ACCORDING TO THAT WHICH I DID AMONG THEM: AND AFTERWARD I BROUGHT YOU OUT.
[Joshua 24:6] AND I BROUGHT YOUR FATHERS OUT OF EGYPT: AND YE CAME UNTO THE SEA; AND THE EGYPTIANS PURSUED AFTER YOUR FATHERS WITH CHARIOTS AND HORSEMEN UNTO THE RED SEA.
We passed through the sea; mountains of water on each side like walls stood still and we passed through. Thomas Jefferson wanted to put the passage through the Red Sea on one side of the Great Sea of the USA.
[Joshua 24:7] AND WHEN THEY CRIED UNTO THE LORD, HE PUT DARKNESS BETWEEN YOU AND THE EGYPTIANS, AND BROUGHT THE SEA UPON THEM, AND COVERED THEM; AND YOUR EYES HAVE SEEN WHAT I HAVE DONE IN EGYPT: AND YE DWELT IN THE WILDERNESS A LONG SEASON.
[Joshua 24:8] AND I BROUGHT YOU INTO THE LAND OF THE AMORITES, WHICH DWELT ON THE OTHER SIDE JORDAN; AND THEY FOUGHT WITH YOU: AND I GAVE THEM INTO YOUR HAND, THAT YE MIGHT POSSESS THEIR LAND; AND I DESTROYED THEM FROM BEFORE YOU.
We defeated the Amorites who were mighty well developed fearsome people of great stature.
[Joshua 24:9] THEN BALAK THE SON OF ZIPPOR, KING OF MOAB, AROSE AND WARRED AGAINST ISRAEL, AND SENT AND CALLED BALAAM THE SON OF BEOR TO CURSE YOU:
[Joshua 24:10] BUT I WOULD NOT HEARKEN UNTO BALAAM; THEREFORE HE BLESSED YOU STILL: SO I DELIVERED YOU OUT OF HIS HAND.
[Joshua 24:11] AND YOU WENT OVER JORDAN, AND CAME UNTO JERICHO: AND THE MEN OF JERICHO FOUGHT AGAINST YOU, THE AMORITES, AND THE PERIZZITES, AND THE CANAANITES, AND THE HITTITES, AND THE GIRGASHITES, THE HIVITES, AND THE JEBUSITES; AND I DELIVERED THEM INTO YOUR HAND.
[Joshua 24:12] AND I SENT THE HORNET BEFORE YOU, WHICH DRAVE THEM OUT FROM BEFORE YOU, EVEN THE TWO KINGS OF THE AMORITES; BUT NOT WITH THY SWORD, NOR WITH THY BOW.
HORNET in Hebrew is Tzirah. It could also be related to the word for leprosy, Tsaarah. The great commentator Iben Ezra suggested that the hornetin this case was some kind of insect that spread disease. Then enemy was miraculously weakened before the Israelites joined battle with them.
[Joshua 24:13] AND I HAVE GIVEN YOU A LAND FOR WHICH YE DID NOT LABOUR, AND CITIES WHICH YE BUILT NOT, AND YE DWELL IN THEM; OF THE VINEYARDS AND OLIVEYARDS WHICH YE PLANTED NOT DO YE EATThey took over what the previous inhabitants had left readymade for them.
[Joshua 24:14] NOW THEREFORE FEAR THE LORD, AND SERVE HIM IN SINCERITY AND IN TRUTH: AND PUT AWAY THE GODS WHICH YOUR FATHERS SERVED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FLOOD, AND IN EGYPT; AND SERVE YE THE LORD.
[Joshua 24:15] AND IF IT SEEM EVIL UNTO YOU TO SERVE THE LORD, CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE; WHETHER THE GODS WHICH YOUR FATHERS SERVED THAT WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FLOOD, OR THE GODS OF THE AMORITES, IN WHOSE LAND YE DWELL: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.
In other words you have a choice: You may go back to the filth you emerged from or sink into the mire of your neighbors around you or you may serve the Almighty. More than that, if you choose NOT to serve the Almighty one of the first two choices will overcome you or your children whether you like it or not. Reality can be harsh and we must face up to it.
[Joshua 24:16] AND THE PEOPLE ANSWERED AND SAID, GOD FORBID THAT WE SHOULD FORSAKE THE LORD, TO SERVE OTHER GODS;
If you forsake the Almighty, sooner or later you will serve other gods.
[Joshua 24:17] FOR THE LORD OUR GOD, HE IT IS THAT BROUGHT US UP AND OUR FATHERS OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, FROM THE HOUSE OF BONDAGE, AND WHICH DID THOSE GREAT SIGNS IN OUR SIGHT, AND PRESERVED US IN ALL THE WAY WHEREIN WE WENT, AND AMONG ALL THE PEOPLE THROUGH WHOM WE PASSED:
[Joshua 24:18] AND THE LORD DRAVE OUT FROM BEFORE US ALL THE PEOPLE, EVEN THE AMORITES WHICH DWELT IN THE LAND: THEREFORE WILL WE ALSO SERVE THE LORD; FOR HE IS OUR GOD.
[Joshua 24:19] AND JOSHUA SAID UNTO THE PEOPLE, YE CANNOT SERVE THE LORD: FOR HE IS AN HOLY GOD; HE IS A JEALOUS GOD; HE WILL NOT FORGIVE YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS NOR YOUR SINS.
[Joshua 24:20] IF YE FORSAKE THE LORD, AND SERVE STRANGE GODS, THEN HE WILL TURN AND DO YOU HURT, AND CONSUME YOU, AFTER THAT HE HATH DONE YOU GOOD.
According to the Malbim Joshua was saying that if you obey God good will come upon you and if you disobey Him it will be bad BUT God is Holy and if you worship Him only in order to receive reward it will not go well and you may not be able to keep going upward BUT again once you have begun there is no going back.
[Joshua 24:21] AND THE PEOPLE SAID UNTO JOSHUA, NAY; BUT WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.
The people knew what was entailed and they knew also that they were capable as a group of doing what needed to be done. Many of the messages of the Bible to the Lost Ten Tribes are directed to them as a group. If you are reading these Brit-Am messages that means that you wish to help the Israelite nation and feel yourself part of it and obligated along with it. The salvation of both Judah and Joseph is part of your own private destiny and responsibility. By doing better each day even in small things you are helping the Israelite nation.
[Joshua 24:22] AND JOSHUA SAID UNTO THE PEOPLE, YE ARE WITNESSES AGAINST YOURSELVES THAT YE HAVE CHOSEN YOU THE LORD, TO SERVE HIM. AND THEY SAID, WE ARE WITNESSES.
The people bore witness to themselves. We are the best witnesses of ourselves and in our hearts know what is required.
[Joshua 24:23] NOW THEREFORE PUT AWAY, SAID HE, THE STRANGE GODS WHICH ARE AMONG YOU, AND INCLINE YOUR HEART UNTO THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL.
[Joshua 24:24] AND THE PEOPLE SAID UNTO JOSHUA, THE LORD OUR GOD WILL WE SERVE, AND HIS VOICE WILL WE OBEY.
[Joshua 24:25] SO JOSHUA MADE A COVENANT WITH THE PEOPLE THAT DAY, AND SET THEM A STATUTE AND AN ORDINANCE IN SHECHEM.
<<SO JOSHUA MADE A COVENANT>>: The people renewed the covenant. Such events took place several times in the era of Moses and the prophets. Renewing of the covenant is parallel to conversion. In the Last days Judah and Israel(the Ten Tribes) will each in their own way renew the covenant. Judah needs the Ten Tribes to realize its own potential and the Ten Tribes need Judah whether they like it or not.
[Joshua 24:26] AND JOSHUA WROTE THESE WORDS IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW OF GOD, AND TOOK A GREAT STONE, AND SET IT UP THERE UNDER AN OAK, THAT WAS BY THE SANCTUARY OF THE LORD.
<<OAK>>: There was something significant about oak trees. Later the Druids in Britain considered the oak a sacred tree.
[Joshua 24:27] AND JOSHUA SAID UNTO ALL THE PEOPLE, BEHOLD, THIS STONE SHALL BE A WITNESS UNTO US; FOR IT HATH HEARD ALL THE WORDS OF THE LORD WHICH HE SPAKE UNTO US: IT SHALL BE THEREFORE A WITNESS UNTO YOU, LEST YE DENY YOUR GOD.
<<THIS STONE SHALL BE A WITNESS UNTO US>>: It was a megalithicmonument. One of the characteristics of the Ancient Israelites was the frequent erection of megalithic monuments. Jeremiah (31:21) commanded us to use the trail of megalithic monuments from the Land of Israel to the west as a proof of Israelite ancestry and migratory paths concerning the Lost Ten Tribes.
[Joshua 24:28] SO JOSHUA LET THE PEOPLE DEPART, EVERY MAN UNTO HIS INHERITANCE.[Joshua 24:29] AND IT CAME TO PASS AFTER THESE THINGS, THAT JOSHUA THE SON OF NUN, THE SERVANT OF THE LORD, DIED, BEING AN HUNDRED AND TEN YEARS OLD.
He lived to a 110. My grandfather lived to 106. He was schoolmaster and ran his own school in Wales. None of us know how long we will live. We may have only a short time. We should all do as well as we can while we can. Even small things can be important as long as they are in a positive direction. Brit-Am is positive. By Improving yourself you help Brit-Am. By helping the world you fulfill something of your own task.
[Joshua 24:30] AND THEY BURIED HIM IN THE BORDER OF HIS INHERITANCE IN TIMNATH-SERAH, WHICH IS IN MOUNT EPHRAIM, ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE HILL OF GAASH.
[Joshua 24:31] AND ISRAEL SERVED THE LORD ALL THE DAYS OF JOSHUA, AND ALL THE DAYS OF THE ELDERS THAT OVERLIVED JOSHUA, AND WHICH HAD KNOWN ALL THE WORKS OF THE LORD, THAT HE HAD DONE FOR ISRAEL.
[Joshua 24:32] AND THE BONES OF JOSEPH, WHICH THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL BROUGHT UP OUT OF EGYPT, BURIED THEY IN SHECHEM, IN A PARCEL OF GROUND WHICH JACOB BOUGHT OF THE SONS OF HAMOR THE FATHER OF SHECHEM FOR AN HUNDRED PIECES OF SILVER: AND IT BECAME THE INHERITANCE OF THE CHILDREN OF JOSEPH.
There is still a site considered the burial place of Joseph in Schechem. The Arabs attacked it and it was temporarily evacuated and now the IDF is back in charge.I was in Schechem a long time ago during my service with the Israeli Army. I would not be sure that the site in question really is the burial spot of Joseph but Joseph is definitely buried somewhere in the region and the area should not only belong to Israel but also be populated by Israelites.
[Joshua 24:33] AND ELEAZAR THE SON OF AARON DIED; AND THEY BURIED HIM IN A HILL THAT PERTAINED TO PHINEHAS HIS SON, WHICH WAS GIVEN HIM IN MOUNT EPHRAIM.