Joshua Chapter 1

I will be with you

1 After the death of Moses, Yahweh spoke to Joshua, the son of Nun and the minister of Moses, and said to him:

2 ¡°My servant Moses is dead; therefore, the hour has come for you to cross the Jordan River, and all the people shall go with you to the land which I give to the sons of Israel.

3 I give you all the places where you set your feet, as I promised Moses.

4 Your frontiers will extend from the mountain of Lebanon in the north, to the desert in the south, as far as the great Eu phrates in the east and the Great Sea in the west.

5 As long as you live, no one will be able to stand against you. I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you.

6 Be valiant and have courage for I will give this people the land I swore to their fathers I would give them.

7 There fore, be brave and faithfully fulfill the whole Law which Moses, my servant, gave you. Do not turn aside from it either to the right or to the left, and you shall succeed wherever you go.

8 Constantly read the book of this Law and meditate on it day and night that you may truly do what it says. So shall your plans be fulfilled and you shall succeed in everything.

9 It is I who command you; be strong, then, and be valiant. Do not tremble or be afraid, because Yahweh, your God, is with you wherever you go.¡±

10 Joshua ordered the secretaries of the peo ple:

11 ¡°Pass through the camp and give this command: ¡®Store up enough food for, in three days¡¯ time, you shall cross the Jordan and enter the land which Yahweh, your God, will give you¡¯.¡±

12 To the people of the tribes of Reuben and Gad and to half of the tribe of Manas seh, Joshua said,

13 ¡°Re member the command of Moses, the servant of Yahweh; Yahweh has provided you with a place of rest and has given you all this region.

14 The women and children, as well as the livestock, shall remain on this side of the Jordan, in the region which Moses gave you; but you who are valiant shall cross over, armed, ahead of your brothers and shall help them

15 until Yahweh gives them rest, as he has given you, that they may also conquer the land which Yah weh, our God, gives them. So you shall return to the region which Moses gave us and take possession of that land at the east of the Jordan.¡±

16 They answered Joshua: ¡°We will do all you have commanded us and go wherever you send us. Just as we have obeyed Moses, so shall we obey you in the same way.

17 May Yahweh, your God, be with you as he was with Moses.

18 He who contradicts your words and disobeys your orders shall die. But be valiant and courageous.¡±


Comments Joshua, Chapter 1

• 1.1 The hero of the book is Joshua, son of Nun, who succeeded Moses (Dt 34:9). The conquest of the Promised Land is narrated here as if Joshua had directed everything. In this way the image of a savior is enhanced (¡°Joshua,¡± like ¡°Jesus,¡± means Yahweh-saves) who leads the people of God into their land and to their rest. Joshua pre figures Jesus, as we are told in the Letter to the Hebrews (4:8). The phrase ¡°Yahweh said to Joshua¡± should not be taken literally. This merely means that, in taking such an initiative, Joshua fulfilled Yahweh¡¯s plan. Like all the prophets seen later in Israel, Joshua appears here as the ¡°servant of Yahweh¡± who day and night ponders his word (Ps 1:2). The first biblical image that will come to the mind of the primitive Christian community when speaking of Jesus will be that of the ¡°holy servant of God¡± (Acts 3:13; 3:26; 4:27; 4:30).

I give you all the places where you set your feet. In this way we ought to expect God¡¯s benefits. He does not do the work for us; instead, he sees to it that we make the necessary effort. The land which Yahweh gives to the Israelites will belong to them once they conquer it.

Sometimes, religious people have the reputation of being unconcerned about social problems, and of not committing themselves to tasks involving the common good. It is true that the Gospel does not speak of earthly conquests, but biblical history shows that the Gospel could not have been understood deeply except by people who had fought to conquer their land and to forge their own identity, so as later to create their own culture. The Church knows by experience that evangelization cannot be divorced from human development.