Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 248

The Blessings and the Curses

This chapter is based on Joshua 8.

After the execution of the sentence on Achan, Joshua was commanded to gather all the men of war and again advance against Ai. The power of God was with His people, and they quickly captured the city.

The people were eager to settle in Canaan, but they had no homes or lands yet for their families, and to get these they must drive out the Canaanites. But a higher duty demanded their first attention—they must renew their covenant of loyalty to God.

Moses’ last instructions had included directions to hold a special service on Mounts Ebal and Gerizim at Shechem, to recognize the law of God. So, in obedience, the men, “the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were living among them” left Gilgal and marched through the country of their enemies to the valley of Shechem, near the center of the land. Although they were surrounded by unconquered enemies, “the terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them” (Genesis 35:5), and the Hebrews were not attacked or threatened.

Both Abraham and Jacob had pitched their tents in Shechem, and it was here that Jacob had bought the field in which the tribes were to bury the body of Joseph. Here also was the well that Jacob had dug.

The spot chosen was well fit to be the theater to enact this impressive scene. The lovely valley, its green fields dotted with olive groves, watered with brooks from living fountains, and bordered with wild flowers, spread out invitingly between the barren hills. Ebal and Gerizim, on opposite sides of the valley, almost come together, their lower spurs seeming to form a natural pulpit. Every word spoken on one was distinctly heard on the other. The receding mountainsides, gave enough space for a huge assembly.

A monument of very large stones was set up on Mount Ebal. On these stones, previously prepared by a covering of plaster, Joshua inscribed the law—not only the ten commandments spoken from Mt. Sinai and engraved on tables of stone, but the law communicated to Moses and written in a book. Beside this monument he

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