9 May. Joshua 24:29-33

9 May. Joshua dies and Joseph’s bones are buried at Shechem

“Then Joshua sent the people [of Israel] back to their land. After that, Joshua son of Nun died at the age of 110. They buried him in his own land at Timnath Serah, in the mountains of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.”

“The Israelites served the LORD during the lifetime of Joshua and during the lifetimes of the elders who lived after Joshua who had seen what the LORD had done for Israel.”

“When the Israelites left Egypt [forty years earlier], they carried the bones of Joseph with them. They buried them at Shechem, in the land Jacob had bought for 100 pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor (Hamor was the father of Shechem). This land now belonged to Joseph’s children.”

“And Eleazar son of Aaron died and was buried at Gibeah in the mountains of Ephraim, which had been given to Eleazar’s son Phinehas.”

          (Joshua 24:29-33)



Joshua died at a ripe old age in c.1404BC and was buried at Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim (the town he had been given by the Israelites as a personal reward after the conquest of Canaan) (see Joshua 19:49-50).

Joseph's bones, which had been brought from Egypt at the time of the ‘Exodus’ at his own personal request (see Genesis 50:24-25), were buried at Shechem in the field that his father Jacob [or ‘Israel’] had bought from the sons of Hamor (see Genesis 33:19) – in land that now belonged to the tribe of Manasseh (Joseph’s eldest son’s descendants) (see Genesis 48:1-20).

Finally, it’s recorded that Eleazar, the high priest and son of Aaron, died and was buried at Gibeah in Ephraim. And so, as in the Book of Genesis (see Genesis 50:26 for details of Joseph’s death) and the Book of Deuteronomy (see Deuteronomy 34:1-12 for the account of Moses’ death), the Book of Joshua ends with the death of its main character and ‘hero’, Joshua.

From this point on, the Old Testament account of the Israelites’ relationship with the LORD, the God of Israel goes steadily downhill. The Israelites stray into the worship of foreign gods and idols, and become incapable of keeping their side of the Covenant Agreement made by God with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), Isaac (Genesis 26:1-4) and Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15), and renewed by Moses (Exodus 3:1-8) and Joshua (Joshua 1:1-5).

The story of the Israelites’ steady downhill slide into idolatry and eventual exile in Babylonia starts in the Book of Judges - which we’ll begin to study tomorrow.

The photo shows the hill country of Ephraim where Joshua’s body was buried at Timnath Serah.

You can read the whole story of Joshua’s leadership of the people of Israel beginning at https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/27-the-israelites-move-into-canaan/the-israelites-cross-the-river-jordan/

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