God’s Commission to Joshua
1 Now it happened after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant (attendant), saying,(A) 2 “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore (a)arise [to take his place], cross over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, to the (b)sons of Israel. 3 I have given you every place on which the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness [of Arabia in the south] and this Lebanon [in the north], even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates [in the east], all the land of the (c)Hittites (Canaan), and as far as the Great [Mediterranean] Sea toward the west shall be your territory. 5 No man will [be able to] stand before you [to oppose you] as long as you live. Just as I was [present] with Moses, so will I be with you; I will not fail you or abandon you. 6 Be strong and confident and courageous, for you will give this people as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers (ancestors) to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do [everything] in accordance with the entire law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may prosper and be successful wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be (d)successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), 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 “Go throughout the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to cross this [river] Jordan, to go in to take possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess [as an inheritance].’”
12 To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is giving you rest (peace) and will give you this land [east of the Jordan].’ 14 Your wives, your (e)children, and your cattle shall [be allowed to] stay in the land which Moses gave you on this [eastern] side of the Jordan, but you shall go across [the river] before your brothers (the other tribes) armed for battle, all your brave warriors, and you shall help them [conquer and take possession of their land], 15 until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He has given you, and they also take possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall [be allowed to] return to your own land, and take possession of that which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 (f)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 will we obey you; only may the Lord your God be with you as He was with Moses. 18 Any man who rebels against your (g)command and does not obey everything that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.”
a. Joshua 1:2: The Hebrew verb “arise” is an instruction to get ready to fulfill a command, somewhat similar to the military command “attention.”
b. Joshua 1:2: In general, sons (children) of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. A tribe of ancient people was identified by the name of its founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
c. Joshua 1:4: These Hittites are believed to be the descendants of Heth, a son of Canaan who was the youngest son of Ham. Canaan was cursed to a life of servitude by his grandfather Noah because of Ham’s act of disrespect for Noah. Gen 9:22-27.
d. Joshua 1:8: God’s formula leading to Joshua’s success is clearly outlined in vv 5-9.
e. Joshua 1:14: Lit little ones and so throughout.
f. Joshua 1:16: I.e. the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.
g. Joshua 1:18: Lit mouth.