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First Reading: Joshua Chapter 1 and 2
1:1 God's Commission to Joshua
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the
LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying: 2 "Moses
My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this
people, to the land which I am giving to them the children of Israel.
3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as
I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great
river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea
toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be
able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so
I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of
good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land
which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous,
that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded
you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper
wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but
you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according
to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and
then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of
good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with
you wherever you go."
10 The Order to Cross the Jordan
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 "Pass through
the camp and command the people, saying, 'Prepare provisions for yourselves,
for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the
land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.'"
12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying, 13 "Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, 'The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.' 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, 15 until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD's servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise."
16 So they answered Joshua, saying, "All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage."
2:1 Rahab Hides the Spies
Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, "Go, view the land, especially Jericho."
So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. 2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, "Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country."
3 So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, "Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country."
4 Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. 5 And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them." 6(But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.) 7 Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.
8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the men:"I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father's house, and give me a true token, 13 and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death."
14 So the men answered her, "Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the LORD has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you."
15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall. 16 And she said to them, "Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way."
17 So the men said to her: "We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, 18 unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father's household to your own home. 19 So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. 20 And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath which you made us swear."
21 Then she said, "According to your words, so be it." And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.
22 They departed and went to the mountain, and stayed there three days until the pursuers returned. The pursuers sought them all along the way, but did not find them. 23 So the two men returned, descended from the mountain, and crossed over; and they came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all that had befallen them. 24 And they said to Joshua, "Truly the LORD has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us."
16:1 He Is Risen
(Matt 28:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10)
Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?" 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."
8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
9 Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord
(Matt 28:9,10; John 20:11-18)
Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
12 Jesus Appears to Two Disciples
After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
14 The Great Commission
(Matt 28:16-20; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:6-8)
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
19 Christ Ascends to God's Right Hand
So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 1 of 2
Joshua is the author of the book of Joshua. It was written around 1460-1420 B.C. Joshua was selected by God to succeed Moses and lead the nation into the Promised land. The book outlines the conquest and occupation by Israel under his military leadership. God explicitly states that all the inhabitants of the land were to be utterly driven out or destroyed.
The book of Joshua opens with the death of Moses and with Joshua becoming the new leader. The Israelites are ready to cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land. God promises Joshua that He will be with him as he was with Moses. The Israelites promise to fully obey Joshua.
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