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Significance of Joshua’s Farewell Message to the Israelites at Shechem

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Joshua’s farewell message to the Israelites at Shechem was one of the key moments in the history and religion of Israel.

I am about to show you two aspects of Joshua’s farewell message at Shechem.

  1. Contents of the message
  2. The significance of the message


When the Israelites arrived at Canaan, they conquered many nations, incorporated some into their fold and established a covenant with others.

Strangers like Rahab and Jethro’s family became part of the Israelite Nation.

Joshua’s message was necessitated by three main factors:
i. He himself was very old and needed to retire
ii. The other leaders had either become too old or were dead. The younger generation knew very little about Israel’s relationship with Yahweh.
iii. The new entrants (strangers) needed to be initiated into the proper worship of the Lord.

Joshua’s Farewell Message

Here are the highlights of the speech Joshua delivered to the Israelites at Shechem.

1. Joshua began his speech at Shechem with the words “Thus says the Lord.”
2. He recounted the mighty works of God
3. He reminded Israel of the goodness and kindness shown to them by God.
4. He called on Israel to serve Yahweh – sincerely and faithfully.
5. Joshua then challenged Israel to choose between the Lord and the Amorite gods saying he and his household would serve the Lord.

How the Israelites responded to Joshua’s message

1. They pledged to serve Yahweh.
2. Joshua then made a covenant between Israel and Yahweh.
3. He used a stone as a witness and deposited it at the Oak of Moreh.
4. He then wrote everything in “the Book of the Law of God.”

The significance of Joshua’s farewell message

1. Joshua’s farewell message at Shechem renewed the relationship between God and Israel.
2. New converts such as the Gibeonites were introduced at this time and officially accepted.
3. The address enlightened the younger generation on the history of Israel.
4. The event was a moment for the renewal of faith in God.
5. It showed the importance of covenants in Israel’s worship of God
6. It also underlined the importance of leadership change and sets a good example for selfless leadership in the life of a nation.

What other lessons have you learned from Joshua’s Farewell Message at Shechem?

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