Joshua's Charge to Israel's Leaders
23 A long time afterward, when the Lord had given erest to Israel from all their surrounding enemies, and Joshua fwas old and well advanced in years, 2 Joshua gsummoned all Israel, its elders and heads, its judges and officers, and said to them, “I am now old and well advanced in years. 3 And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake, hfor it is the Lord your God who has fought for you. 4 Behold, iI have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. 5 The Lord your God jwill push them back before you and drive them out of your sight. And you shall possess their land, kjust as the Lord your God promised you. 6 Therefore, lbe very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, mturning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, 7 nthat you may not mix with these nations remaining among you oor make mention of the names of their gods por swear by them or serve them or bow down to them, 8 qbut you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day. 9 rFor the Lord has driven out before you great and strong nations. And as for you, sno man has been able to stand before you to this day. 10 tOne man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord your God uwho fights for you, just as he promised you. 11 vBe very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God. 12 For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you wand make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, 13 know for certain that xthe Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, ybut they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the Lord your God has given you.
14 “And now zI am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that anot one word has failed of all the good things1 that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed. 15 But just as all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the Lord will bring upon you ball the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land that the Lord your God has given you, 16 if you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them. Then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land that he has given to you.”
James Killed and Peter Imprisoned
12 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed fJames the brother of John gwith the sword, 3 and when he saw hthat it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during ithe days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him jin prison, delivering him over to four ksquads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest lprayer for him was made to God by the church.
Peter Is Rescued
6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, mbound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, nan angel of the Lord ostood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. pHe struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And qthe chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and rput on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but sthought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. tIt opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter ucame to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that vthe Lord has sent his angel and wrescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of xJohn whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and ywere praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, za servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter's voice, ain her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is bhis angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But cmotioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to dJames and to ethe brothers.”1 Then he departed and went to another place.
18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and fordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.
The Death of Herod
20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and ghaving persuaded Blastus, the king's chamberlain,2 they asked for peace, because htheir country depended on the king's country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately ian angel of the Lord struck him down, because jhe did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
24 But kthe word of God increased and multiplied.