Joshua 8:30-35

Talks for Growing Christians

The Covenant is Renewed at Shechem

Joshua 8:30-35

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Lesson Number 14

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The old covenant was established with animal sacrifices and writing on stones.
  2. The new covenant is established with the sacrifice of Christ and writing on hearts.

Practical Application

  1. Let's take time out for worship.
  2. Let's take time out for covenant renewal.


  1. After the victory at Ai, why did Israel take time out temporarily from further battles?
  2. Where did this event take place?
  3. Which mountains were central in this event, and what took place on each of these mountains?
  4. List the other two significant events that took place during this time.
  5. Who were the strangers of Joshua 8:33-35?


  1. To renew the covenant in obedience to God's command. See Deuteronomy 17:1-8.
  2. In Shechem, in the heart of the land.
  3. Mt. Ebal, where the blessings were read, and Mt. Gerizim, where the cursings were read.
  4. a. Joshua built an altar of natural stones on the slopes of Mt. Ebal, and the people offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. b. Joshua wrote on the stones the words of the law.
  5. A number of Egyptians came out of Egypt with the children of Israel, and likely during their forty-year wanderings in the wilderness, a number of wilderness Bedouins joined the covenant community.


  1. The Mosaic Law given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai is the renewed and ratified covenant in Joshua 8. It was a conditional covenant and Israel broke the condition. Put yourself in the place of the children of Israel as they broke the covenant and failed to bring the required sacrifices for sin. Does this not take on new meaning for you as you embrace the new covenant?
  2. Christ is the end of the law to everyone who believes (Romans 10:4). The old covenant pointed toward a better covenant. Read Hebrews 8:10, a quotation from Jeremiah 31. Read Matthew 26:28, and thank God for the celebration of the Lord's Supper. Is God's law written on your heart?


  1. Do you find that you become so busy, even in serving the Lord and fighting the good fight that you fail to give proper place to worship? Joshua 8 is an example of "time out." Take time out to worship.
  2. In a day of little commitment and broken covenants, renewal is important. In what ways can you renew your covenants?

Key Verses

  • "Joshua built an altar to the Lord God of Israel in Mount Ebal...and they offered on it burnt offerings to the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. There, in the presence of the children of Israel, he wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses." (Joshua 8:30-32)
  • "Half of the tribes were in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal. Afterward, he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings." (Joshua 8:33-34)

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