Joshua 1–3

1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses: 2 “Moses My servant is dead, so now get up and cross over the Jordan—you and all this people—to the land that I am giving to the children of Israel. 3 I have given you every place that the sole of your foot shall tread, 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 Mediterranean Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. 5 No man will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, I will be with you. I will not abandon you. I will not leave you.

6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall provide the land that I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance for this people. 7 Be strong and very courageous, in order to act carefully in accordance with all the law that My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn aside from it to the right or the left, so that you may succeed wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night so that you may act carefully according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way successful, and you will be wise. 9 Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare food, for in three days you will cross the Jordan to go to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’”

12 To the Reubenites, the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 13 “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you: ‘The Lord your God has given you a place for rest and will give this land.’ 14 Your wives, your children, and your livestock may live in the land that Moses gave you on the east side of the Jordan. But you must cross over with your brothers fully armed, your mighty men of valor, and help them, 15 until the Lord has given your brothers rest, as He has given you, and they also have possessed the land that the Lord your God is giving to them. Then you may return to your own land and possess what Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the east side of the Jordan where the sun rises.”

16 They answered Joshua, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, we will obey you. May the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses! 18 Whoever rebels against your command and disobeys your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”

Chapter 2

1 Then Joshua son of Nun sent two men out from Shittim to spy, saying, “Go see the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and they came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab. They spent the night there.

2 The king of Jericho was told, “Israelite men came here tonight to spy out the land.” 3 So the king of Jericho sent orders to Rahab, “Bring out the men who came to you, who have entered your house, for they came to spy out the whole land.”

4 Now the woman had taken the two men and had hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. 5 The men went out when it was time to shut the gate at dark. I do not know where the men went. Chase after them quickly, for you can overtake them.” 6 Yet she had brought them up to the roof. She hid them in the stalks of flax that she had spread out on the roof. 7 So the men chased after them on the road to the Jordan as far as the fords. They shut the gate as soon as the pursuers went out after them.

8 Before the spies went to sleep, Rahab went up to them on the roof. 9 She said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, for dread from you has fallen upon us, and all the inhabitants of the land melt in terror before you. 10 For we heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 Our hearts melted when we heard these things, and no man had any breath in him because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.

12 “So now, since I have acted faithfully toward you, please swear to me by the Lord that you will also act faithfully toward my father’s house. Please give me a firm pledge 13 that you will spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all whom they own, and that you will deliver our lives from death.”

14 The men said to her, “Our lives for yours; if you do not report us, then when the Lord gives us the land, we will act faithfully and kindly with you.”

15 Then Rahab lowered them by a rope through the window, for her home was set into the wall where she lived. 16 She said to them, “Go to the hill country so that the pursuers do not find you. Hide there three days until the pursuers return. After that, you can go on your way.”

17 The men said to her, “We will be free from this oath that you have made us swear, 18 unless, when we come into the land, you tie this red cord to the window through which you let us down. You must bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all who belong to your father’s household into your home. 19 Anyone who comes out of the doors of your house into the street is responsible for his own blood, and we will be innocent. Yet for anyone who stays with you inside the house, we are responsible for his blood if someone should lay a hand on him. 20 But if you tell about this business of ours, then we will be released from the oath that you have made us swear.”

21 She said, “Let it be so, according to your words.”

Then she sent them off, and they departed. Then she tied the red cord in the window.

22 They went and came to the hill country. They stayed there three days, until the pursuers returned. The pursuers had sought them all along the way but had not found them. 23 So the two men returned. They descended from the hill country. They crossed the river, came to Joshua son of Nun, and told him all that they had discovered. 24 They said to Joshua, “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands! Indeed, all the inhabitants of the land melt in terror before us.”

Chapter 3

1 In the morning Joshua got up early; then he and all the children of Israel set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan. They stayed there before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went through the camp. 3 They commanded the people, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God and the Levite priests carrying it, then you shall set out from where you are and go behind it. 4 There must be a distance of two thousand cubits between you and it. Do not draw closer to it, in order that you may know the way you should go. For you have not passed this way before.”

5 Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will perform wondrous deeds among you.”

6 Joshua said to the priests, “Pick up the ark of the covenant, and proceed ahead of the people.” So they picked up the ark of the covenant and went in front of the people.

7 The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to honor you in the sight of all Israel, so that they may know that just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8 You shall command the priests who carry the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the bank of the Jordan, stand still in the river.’”

9 So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Draw near and hear the words of the Lord your God.” 10 And Joshua said, “By this you will know that the living God is among you, and that He will thoroughly drive out the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites from before you. 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing before you into the Jordan. 12 Now select twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man per tribe. 13 When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, touch the water of the Jordan, the water of the Jordan that flows from upstream will be cut off and pile up.”

14 When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests were carrying the ark of the covenant before the people. 15 When the carriers of the ark came to the Jordan, the feet of the priests carrying the ark dipped into the edge of the water. (Now the Jordan overflows its banks all the days of the harvest.) 16 Then the water that flows down from upstream stood still and rose up in a heap very far away at Adam, the city beside Zarethan. The water that flows down toward the Sea of Arabah (the Dead Sea) stopped and was cut off. The people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, and all Israel crossed over on dry ground until the entire people completed crossing over the Jordan.

Mark 16

1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb at the rising of the sun. 3 They said among themselves, “Who will roll the stone away from the door of the tomb for us?”

4 But when they looked, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. For it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white robe. And they were frightened.

6 He said to them, “Do not be frightened. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen. He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see Him, as He told you.”

8 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 Now when Jesus 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 When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it.

12 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 Afterward He appeared to the eleven as they sat at supper, and He reprimanded them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

15 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 These signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

19 After the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.