Isaiah 45–God’s Installation of Leaders

Isaiah prophecies the coming and taking of the Babylonian empire by Cyress, the King of the Medes and Persians. Interestingly, this is well prior to the Israel exile to Babylon.  The important take away is the reminder that God has a plan and that He is the one executing the plan.  Israel’s fate was sealed. They had abandoned the Lord and were destined to be exiled. In that pain, God had already planned for their release and return to Jerusalem.  

Cyress was no preist or prophet from God, He did neither honor God nor worship Him.  Still, God knew He would be the king that released the exiled Jews to return and rebuild Jerusalem.  God has said all along that he installed and removed leaders.  We simply must trust that God’s plan is being completed.  We can neither outthink nor outguess God. Solomon said it best in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. Acknowledge God in all your ways, and , He will make your paths straight.”

America is in a singularly difficult period in its history.  So much division and so much distrust.  The Church is being called upon to pray ceaselessly for God to work His plan and heal our Land.  We cannot be timid, nor can we expect anyone else to intercede for this nation and its people.  Join in prayer for the revival of this nation and for peace in our land.  We cannot give up on meeting together and seeking God with all our hearts.  If we will, we can echo the words of Jonathan, Saul’s son, in I Samuel 14:6, when he told his armor bearer, “Let’s go to battle, perhaps the Lord will work for us.”

God Bless You


“This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
    to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
    and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
    so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you
    and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant,
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
    let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
    let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
    I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
    those who are nothing but potsherds
    among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
    ‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
    ‘The potter has no hands’?
10 Woe to the one who says to a father,
    ‘What have you begotten?’
or to a mother,
    ‘What have you brought to birth?’

11 “This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
    do you question me about my children,
    or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 It is I who made the earth
    and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
    I marshaled their starry hosts.
13 I will raise up Cyrus[b] in my righteousness:
    I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
    and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah 42 Part 1–The Character of God’s Chosen and of God

God made it clear to Isaiah that his chosen are people with character.  They do not whine or complain.  They are people of integrity that represent God well and represent themselves as separate and different.  They are selfless, content with God’s plan and leadership.  They will seek God with their heart.  They do not compromise or put their needs ahead of those of the Father.

As such, God takes them by the hand and leads them.  He protects, provides, and brings them to a place that they walk and act like the God that leads them.  Unlike the world, they are humble, honest and consider others needs as important as their own.  So as any good Father Adonai meet5s and exceeds the meeting of their needs.  He will never be outdone.  He answers prayers with such specificity and meets needs so completely that his power and authority is not an issue.

In our world, so many voices seek to undermine and minimize God’s hand in the world.  They would have one believe that either things happen by coincidence or at the expertise from their own hands. We must not be fooled by such a ridiculous lie.  One need only look up and see the stars to understand how insignificant our impact on the world.  We need to trust and follow God and allow him to complete his plan in our lives and in the lives of those we pass each day. Ours is not to try to figure it out God’s plan, but to simply allow Him to lead us along the path of this amazing journey.

God Bless You


Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights.
I have put my Spirit upon him.
    he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street.
a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench.
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be discouraged[a]
    till he has established justice in the earth.
    and the coastlands wait for his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,
    who created the heavens and stretched them out?
    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it?
    and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the Lord; I have called you[b] in righteousness.
    I will take you by the hand and keep you.
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
    a light for the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name.
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
    and new things I now declare.
before they spring forth
    I tell you of them.”

Isaiah 14 Part 2–Pride, the Common Denominator

In this passage, Isaiah is describing the fall of the king of Babylon.  In his description, Isaiah parallels the fall to the fall of Satan. Ezekiel does a similar description in his prophecy about the king of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:12-17). The common theme is very simple, the pride and arrogance of these “great ones” are the very things that brings them down.  It is no secret that God establishes and destroys kingdoms, empires, and leaders.  In Daniel 2, John 19, Romans 13, I Timothy 2, and 1 Peter 2 God makes clear that He is the one that establishes governments.

In this passage, Isaiah reminds the king of Babylon that his pride and arrogance will be his demise–just as it was for the morning star–Satan.  There is a common axiom that states, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  That was why God always sought to lead Israel–He knew men would fall into pride and arrogance as they obtained power. Since Lucifer, God watched leaders let their personal arrogance seduce them into forgetting their place was established by God and once that occurred, chaos and destruction followed. 1/3 of the angels were cast out of heaven with the morning star.  The handwriting was on the wall for the king of Babylon.  Throughout time, leaders have risen and fallen simply by chasing the intoxicating feeling of power and control. It never lasts.  It is simply an illusion, a mirage sparkling in the distance that ends up being a desert.

Solomon, the wisest king, said it best in Proverbs 3, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways–and He will make your path straight.”  God sets the path and trajectory–we can choose to follow it or refuse and strike out on our own.  The former brings life and peace, and the latter brings chaos and destruction. Please pray for our country and its leaders; pray that they will realize this truth.

God Bless You


The realm of the dead below is all astir
    to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
    all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones—
    all those who were kings over the nations.
10 They will all respond,
    they will say to you,
“You also have become weak, as we are;
    you have become like us.”
11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,
    along with the noise of your harps;
maggots are spread out beneath you
    and worms cover you.

12 How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.[b]
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
    to the depths of the pit.

Isaiah 11–Jesus, The Game Changer

In his delivery of the difficult message to God’s chosen people, Isaiah never seems to give a tough decree without the follow of great hope.  Isaiah had just finished describing the enslavement of the people to Assyria and to Egypt he also talked of the return of the remnant anf the destruction of Israel’s captors.  Then, from that, Isaiah stops and begins a description of the shoot from the branch of Jesse that restores and brings peace.  

In Isaiah’s description, The one that will restore will do so with peace, wisdom, and understanding. There will be no need to raise a sword because he will unify and protect His own.  He will bring peace accross all nations and will rule with wisdom and not with might. Sadly, the description is not the description of most rulers.  The Messiah was not sent to be a mighty tyrant or warrior king, He was sent to seek and to save that which was lost.

Looking back at the coming of the Lord, He truly divided time and taught peace and unity.  He changed the world by reminding us that to be first–one must get to the back of the line.  The great should act with the most humility, and the leaders should be the most selfless servants. 

Then and now, His people are to be the ones to lead the nations to a right knowledge of God and draw them to God not push them away.  Make no mistake, God is all knowing and all powerful. He brings up nations and then takes them down.  He allows men the ability to destroy themselves–but desires most to restore and unify them.  Jesus, the shoot of Jesse, waits to be the change agent; if we will simply trust and follow Him.  Let’s Pray for revival for ourselves, our families, and our nation.

God Bless You


A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 

Isaiah 3 Part 1 They Did This to Themselves

The recurring message of Isaiah was and is God is pulling away His hand of Protection and allowing those that are his own to face the consequence of their actions.  As any father would say, “If you think you are so independent, GO FOR IT! In Isaiah’s prophecy what does that look like, it is a matter of support and supply.

Israel and specifically Judah had grown to expect God to meet their every wish and desire.  Protection, provision and prominence were the expectation for the folks in Israel.  So, the word was Given to Isaiah–I am pulling my support and supply.  All food and water, all military and civil protection and all wisdom and leadership will now be up to you.  You are going to be run by punks.  You are going to be led by immature and inexperienced children.  They will crumble and fall–naked and ashamed. They will be unable to recover because they are too busy bickering and blaming.

They will turn on each other–siblings, parents, friends.  They will be led away–cities in ruin and spirit broken they will become slaves and sycophants to their masters.Isaiah called them out–You have become militantly sinful praising your rebellion as a show of pride and courage. 

So be it! For you, there is a reckoning awaiting.  The righteous will be spared but the rest of you will have nothing left to hope for because the judgement is real. What an incredibly sad message. 

 In our lives, we have to understand that God’s judgement is not a beating he brings on us; it is so much worse.  It is Him simply removing His protection and His support. 

When that happens, those under his care become immediately vulnerable to the outcome of their pitiful choices.  They simply reap all that has grown from what they have sewn.  Please, Lord, do not remove your protection from those whom you have loved.  Help us to stand in your shadow and follow you closely and humbly.

God Bless You


For behold, the Lord God of hosts
    is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and supply,[a]
    all support of bread,
    and all support of water;
the mighty man and the soldier,
    the judge and the prophet,
    the diviner and the elder,
the captain of fifty
    and the man of rank,
the counselor and the skillful magician
    and the expert in charms.
And I will make boys their princes,
    and infants[b] shall rule over them.
And the people will oppress one another,
    every one his fellow
    and every one his neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
    and the despised to the honorable.

Joshua 14–A Long Time In Coming

Joshua and Caleb sat across the table from each other.  As they looked into each other’s eyes, there was a sense of accomplishment.  These two men had initially scouted the Promised Land and they were the spies that begged Israel to move forward. Now, Caleb approached his old friend and simply asked to be granted the land that God personally promised him in the presence of Joshua.

For Joshua it was a joyful day.  He was thrilled to grant to his friend the land God promised.  What’s more, as Philistine lands, He knew Caleb and His folks would clear it.  Joshua had grown old from the journey, but, Caleb had not! He was as fit as he had been 45 years before–another kind gift from God.  It had to be a great moment in the leadership journey for Joshua, clearly one so significant, that God wanted it in His word. 

Remaining faithful is much harder than simply being faithful. Life takes its toll on us. Years of following, battling, and facing the world wears folks down. We begin to doubt whether God is going to come through in the end. This story in the life of Joshua reminds us that God always keeps His word.  He prepares us individually for the journey He has laid out. The Lord knows the journey’s ending as clearly as He knows its beginning. 

While it can be a long time in coming, we must wait on the Lord to complete His work and keep His promises. Isaiah said it best, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  They will mount up with wings–like eagles! they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Here’s to You Caleb! Go clear your mountain tops!!!

God Bless You


Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’[a]

10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”

13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)

Then the land had rest from war.

Joshua 13–Don’t Worry, I’ve Got This

Reality Stinks…Joshua had simply grown old and there was still lands to take. Amid all the victories and the clear obedience of the people, God sits Joshua down and speaks of next steps.  The Philistines were left. God said to Joshua–don’t worry, you focus on getting the land distributed and I will drive out the mountain people, Myself.

In God’s mind, a covenant is a covenant.  He told the people He would give them all the land, and He intended to do so. 

For Joshua, it had to be a hard message.  He had done all that had been told to him to do and now he was at the end and could no longer lead campaigns.  But God was not threatening or disciplining Joshua; instead, God was comforting the strong and courageous leader that he could do the next part of the mission, distribution, and God would take care of clearing the land.

As in Joshua’s life, we have reality checks in our lives as well.  We are bustling along attacking our missions; when life throws curve balls.  All at once, we are faced with hard realities and fear the mission will not be completed.  In those times, our heavenly Father pulls us aside and through His word says, “I got this!”

It is often hard to hear, it takes a great deal of faith, but, if we will trust God; He will complete what He has started in our lives.  To God, it is not an act of discipline–instead, it is a simple act of love and faithfulness.

God Bless You


When Joshua had grown old, the Lord said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.

“This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and Geshurites, from the Shihor River on the east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the north, all of it counted as Canaanite though held by the five Philistine rulers in Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron; the territory of the Avvites on the south; all the land of the Canaanites, from Arah of the Sidonians as far as Aphek and the border of the Amorites; the area of Byblos; and all Lebanon to the east, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo Hamath.

“As for all the inhabitants of the mountain regions from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim, that is, all the Sidonians, I myself will drive them out before the Israelites. Be sure to allocate this land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have instructed you, and divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.”

Joshua 10 Part 2–Obedience and Victory

God knew what He was doing.  As Israel continued to seek Him, He was able to lead them to victory after victory.  What could have taken months to complete God was able to finish in a very short time.  The five kings that reigned in the south decided to show Israel who was boss–and they did.  They made clear, as they sat hiding in a cave while their armies were being destroyed, that God was boss, and Israel was the nation that God had raised them to be.Israel simply honored God’s commands and did what God told them to do.  The result was victory after victory.

Make no mistake, to achieve those victories, Israel was in battle after battle.  Men died; cities were wiped out–it was a difficult journey.  The claiming of their inheritance came to Israel at a great price. But the comfort comes from the truth that they fought those battles with God leading Joshua, God protecting the nation, and God providing victory.

Such is our journey. If we allow God to lead, He will do so with a glad heart.  We will see amazing victories.  But we cannot forget that our journey is still war. Our victory will also come at a great price, and we will see that it is God’s leadership and grace that will carry us through.  We cannot be afraid to face the battle.  We cannot be afraid to honor God in all that we do.  If we will do so, then God will lead us to a victory that we can be proud of.

God Bless You


20 So Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely, but a few survivors managed to reach their fortified cities. 21 The whole army then returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah, and no one uttered a word against the Israelites.

22 Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.” 23 So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. 24 When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks.

25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” 26 Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening.

27 At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the poles and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day…

40 So, Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills, and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon. 42 All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.

43 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.

Joshua 9 Part 1–Don’t Worry God, We Got This?!?

Why did the leaders of Israel make a treaty with the Gibeonites? Every other major decision that happened was preceded by Joshua entering the tent of meeting and consulting the Lord.  God led them through forty years of travel and finally into Israel. Now as they had begun the campaign to clear the land, all the kings decided to unite and go to war–all but the king of Gibeon.  These descendants of Ham (Noah’s son) created a very thoughtful deception and came to the people of God and asked for a treaty.  

It was at this point, where we expect to read, “Then Joshua sought the Lord and …” Sadly, that did not happen that day.  Israel was winning and Joshua was leading by faith.  So, when these travelers from a distant land came to make a treaty, Joshua and his elders felt like they could handle this small task. They did not want to bother God with such a small thing…

In truth, no matter how much we try, as God’s chosen, all of us figure we should help God out from time to time. We seek Him and follow, and He protects, provides, and prepares us for the daily journey.  Then, on any given day, we are faced with an opportunity to make a small decision or take matters into our own hands. Like Joshua, we are either too busy or too distracted to stop and seek the Lord. Then we blunder ahead and make a choice that has very long-term implications.

These people were never wiped out; and remnants of their place can still be found in Ethiopia. They were always servants, but they were never destroyed. They remained attendants to the tabernacle and the temple–Ironic.  God remained true to His people’s covenant–even though it was one He had no part of negotiating.  Jesus said it best, “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and, all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

God Bless You


However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded[a] with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.”

The Israelites said to the Hivites, “But perhaps you live near us, so how can we make a treaty with you?”

“We are your servants,” they said to Joshua.

But Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from?”

They answered: “Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports of him: all that he did in Egypt, 10 and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan—Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth. 11 And our elders and all those living in our country said to us, ‘Take provisions for your journey; go and meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But now see how dry and moldy it is. 13 And these wineskins that we filled were new, but see how cracked they are. And our clothes and sandals are worn out by the very long journey.”

14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.

16 Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.

Joshua 8 Part 2–The Victory Party

The people of Israel obeyed.  They wiped out Ai. They were able to take the plunder from the victory without fear, and the campaign to claim their inheritance had begun in earnest. The post battle victory party looked a bit different than one would think.  The Israelite people gathered in front of two mountains, they built an altar, they made sacrifices and then Joshua read to the people all the words of the law.

It was not an option to miss the reading.  whether native or foreign born, if one was to be a part of Israel, they would listen and know God’s law.

It was apparent to Joshua as the new leader and shepherd of this people, that they needed to remember the importance of trusting and following God. Moses had instructed the people to build the alter here and they made that a priority. 

It is quite possible that after the extreme circumstance of the recent days, that spending a day listening to the law and making sacrifices did not seem like great fun.  Yet, these people did so without grumbling or complaint.

God must be the priority. In victory or defeat, we must continue to seek God and follow Him.  If we will, God promises us, as His people to meet our needs and direct our path.  Joshua knew this better than any of the people. He had been watching the results of failing to follow God his entire adult life.

So now as the leader, Joshua was careful to listen to God, follow Him closely and lead His people toward the Lord and not away from Him.

We also must live a life that leads people toward God and not away.  We must listen to the word and seek God in prayer and fellowship.  It is not always convenient; it is certainly not always fun–but it will help us to face our battles with confidence and it will help us to prepare for our eternal inheritance. 

Paul said it best in Colossians 3:1-4, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

God Bless You


Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, 31 as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings. 32 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on stones a copy of the law of Moses. 33 All the Israelites, with their elders, officials, and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the Lord, facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Both the foreigners living among them and the native-born were there. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel.

34 Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—just as it is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the foreigners who lived among them.