Some Last-Minute Arrangements

Deuteronomy 31:1-13

As Moses prepares for his own death, he reminds the people that he will not be leading them into the Promised Land; rather, God will go before them and Joshua will be His representative. Moses tells them God will wipe out their enemies, just as he did with Sihon and Og.


He then addresses Joshua in front of all the people, telling him to be strong and courageous, for God will be with him as He leads the nation. God will not forsake him or the people, and He will give them the land to inherit.


Moses records the Torah and gives it to the care of the priests, instructing them to read it before the Children of Israel when they assemble once every seven years. This is meant to keep the word of God fresh for all future generations, so that they might learn to fear Him.


These words are as relevant today as when they were spoken. As the Israel Bible notes, the people of Israel today draw strength and courage to face adversity and danger from the knowledge that God is with them. The soldiers of the Israel Defense Force are the spiritual heirs of Joshua, fighting to defend Israel with that strength and courage.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think Moses chose to address Joshua in front of the entire nation?

Comments ( 12 )

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  • Damian Sco

    The people were already planing wickedness prior to entering the Promised Land. At least Moses is passing on the Authority Of Leadership in a way that none of the people could question that the line of succession was God-through Moses_and then God Through Joshua. If this was done in secret, how more easily could the People question Joshua;s role when wickedness was already in their hearts. AT least this way they could not say to Joshua "Oh yeah, say s who?" when he claimed the mantle.

  • Nadejda

    I think Moses have some good reason to do that:
    1) we know that Joshua was with Moses everywhere :on the mount Sinai,in the courtyard of the tabernacle- and everybody saw it. He decided to delegate his authority to Joshua ,the disciple in front of assembly.
    2)Moses was a prophet and all the people knew that. So he prophesied what God tell him to say:Joshua will lead the people in the promise land and God will destroy enemy before him and will not abandon the nation.

  • Norah Wells

    I agree. In the modern world today, we hear of transparency, I must say I am reminded that God does not do things in secret as shown through this arrangement. He knows best whom He has prepared for particular tasks and purposes, and when we allow Him to speak, in front of the people also, through His representatives, we can have the peace and assurance, we will make it through.

  • I think that in addressing Joshua in ftont of the entire nation Moshe would show G-d’s choise of this leader and also his own contentment with this choise. He is showing his approval of this choise of G-d. He is encouraging Joshua in his authority. . In acting this way he is is preventing dissension about the choise. They couldn’t do anything else but accepting.

  • What a great discussion! I think two very important points have come up so far: establishing Joshua’s authority in Moses’s absence and calling Israel as witness to make them accountable, as well. Moses may have also wanted to avoid any possible arguments over succession (think back to the rebellion of Korah!). This way, it is clear to everyone that Moses and God both intend for Joshua to lead the people after Moses dies. What do you think?

    • Herman

      Yes I think that has been exactly HaShem’s intention burt the people had to be convinced that it was also HaShem’s purpose.

      • I agree. This thread of comments has been very helpful to me. This is my first year of reading through the Torah daily. Thank you.

        • I agree – approve Joshua and avoid insubordination.

  • Herman

    Yes, Sheila, that’s also my opinion and also to emphasize personally the continuation of leadership called by HaShem.

  • Linda

    Moses give authority to Joshua, Deut. 1: 38 ” ,, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. in ver. 14 of chap. 31 God,” inaugurate him’ God want to show the people, to listen to the instruction of Joshua.

  • Sheila

    Moses was reinforcing and establishing Joshua’s authority as the new leader and his successor before the people. Joshua respected and honoured Moses as God’s representative so when Moses summoned Joshua inthe sight of the people he was honouring him as the strong and courageous leader who would take his place and lead the people into the promised land. The people could trust Joshua because He trusted the Lord who would be with him. Moses also wanted the people to come to the realisation that Joshua was now the upcoming leader as his death was imminent.

    • Magda

      I Agree and also to call the people of Israel as witnesses to all that he (Moses) is saying to Joshua and for a reminder of their future accountability to these words and to this new leader and above all to the Torah of God according to which Joshua will lead them.

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