How Moses Made Joshua the Leader of the Israelites

When the Israelites had wondered in the desert for 40 years, God told Moses to count the fighting men again. Moses counted them and found that there were over 600,000 fighting men, but only two of them were over 60 years old, Joshua and Caleb, the two spies who 31 years before had said that the could take the land of Canaan then with God's help. The others had died in the desert because they did not trust God to help them.

God told Moses, "Climb this mountain, and look at the land where I am leading the people. After you have seen it, you too must die, because you sinned against me in the desert." And Moses said, "Please appoint a leader for this people to take my place." And God told him, "Take Joshua, lay your hands on him, and then present him to Eleazar the high priest in front of all the people." So Moses did as God said, and Joshua was chosen to lead the people when Moses died.

Then the people from the tribes of Reuben came to Moses and said, "This land on this side of the river is good for raising animals, and we have lots of animals let us have our land on this side of the river. "And Moses said, "Do you want to stay here while your brothers cross the river to fight? You will discourage the rest of the people from taking the land God has given them." Then they said, "We will build places for our animals, wives, and children to stay here and then we will cross the river ready to fight with our brothers. We will not come home until they have taken their land." Moses agreed to this, but told them, "Make sure you go to help the rest of the people fight their enemies." So the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the people from the tribe of Manasseh settled in that land on the east side of the Jordan River.

Then Moses gathered all the people together and told them once again all the laws that God had commanded them to obey. His speech is written down in the book called Deuteronomy, which means "second law" He also told the people, "God will raise up another prophet for you, like me, from among yourselves. Listen to him!" he was talking about Jesus, who would lead the people out of slavery to sin. Then Moses blessed the people and climbed mount Nebo, up to the peak called Pisgah. There from the top of the mountain, God showed him all the land on the other side of the river. Then Moses died, and God buried him in the valley, but no one knew where his grave was. For thirty days the Israelite people mourned after the death of Moses.

Then God told Joshua, "Moses is dead; get the people ready to cross the Jordan River. Be strong, for I am with you."

Then Joshua sent two men to cross the river and spy out the city of Jericho. At the city of Jericho, they went inside the city walls and stopped at the house of a woman named Rahab. Then the King was told, "Some Israelite men have come here to spy out the land." He sent his men to Rahab's house to capture the spies, but she said, "They left before dark, just before the city gates were to be closed. "Now she had taken the men up to the flat roof of her house and hidden them under stalks of flax. So the king's men had the city gates opened and went toward the Jordan River looking for them.

Then Rahab went up to the men on the roof. She told them, "I know that God has given you this land. We are all afraid of you, since we have heard about how you crossed the Red Sea and how you destroyed the Amorites on the other side of the river. Since I have been kind to you, promise me this: that you will save the life of my father and my mother and all their family when you capture this city. The men said, "If you don't tell anyone what we have been doing, we will keep you alive."

Now Rahab's house was built on the city wall so she let them down by a rope out her window over the wall. They told her, "Tie this red cord out your window and gather your family here in your house. We will let you live when we take the city, but if anyone goes outside during the fighting he will be killed." So she agreed and sent them away and then tied the red cord in her window.

The spies went to the hills and hid until the kings men had returned to the city of Jericho. Then they came down and crossed the river and went to Joshua. They told him, "God has given us the whole land. All the people there are afraid of us."

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