Joshua 8:30-35 – Covenant Renewal


Joshua 8:30-35


Joshua assembles the Israelites at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal and reads to them from the book of the law of Moses. The covenant between Israel and the Lord is renewed.


The first of two covenant renewal ceremonies in Joshua (the other is in Joshua 24), this passage in chapter 8 tells of an assembly at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, near the city of Shechem (though Shechem is not mentioned explicitly). Joshua builds an altar where sacrifices are offered; he writes down the law of Moses on the stones, then reads the words of the law–both blessings and curses–to the people. This ceremony fulfills to the letter the command of the Lord in Deuteronomy 27 to hold such a ceremony (see also Deuteronomy 11:29-30). In this passage, as in the rest of the book, Joshua is depicted as an exemplary leader: “As the LORD had commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses” (Joshua 11:15).