And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto
Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and
stricken in age.
And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their
heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I
am old and stricken in age:
And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these
nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for
Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an
inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have
cut off, even unto the great sea westward.
(23:1-16) Joshua's final speech is pretty simple. Obey God and everything will be good with you. God will
continue to fight for you, and you will easily destroy all your enemies. (One of your soldiers will
defeat a thousand enemy soldiers.)
But if you disobey God by marrying or having sex with non-Israelites, for example, then your enemies will be
"thorns in your eyes" until you die. God will "bring upon you all evil things" until he destroys you.
(See Lev 26:14-39 and Dt 28:15-68
for the many curses that God will bring upon you for disobeying him.)
And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them
from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your
God hath promised unto you.
Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in
the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right
hand or to the left;
That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you;
neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither
serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them:
But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.
For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but
as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.
One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is
that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these
nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with
them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of
these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you,
and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from
off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in
all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all
the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come
to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon
you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you
all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which
the LORD your God hath given you.
When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he
commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to
them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall
perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.