The Meaning of Joshua 24:2 Explained

Joshua 24:2

KJV: And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

YLT: And Joshua saith unto all the people, 'Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, Beyond the River have your fathers dwelt of old -- Terah father of Abraham and father of Nachor -- and they serve other gods;

Darby: And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel: Your fathers dwelt of old on the other side of the river, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.

ASV: And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt of old time beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor: and they served other gods.

What does Joshua 24:2 Mean?

Context Summary

Joshua 24:1-15 - The Lesson Of Israel's History
The previous chapter contains Joshua's own last words of warning to Israel; here he is God's mouthpiece: "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel."
There is, first, the recapitulation of past mercy. From time to time we should definitely recall, for our children's sake, the divine interpositions in our national and domestic life.
It is interesting in the opening words to learn that Abraham was called out of an idolatrous family. This was the pit whence he had been digged, Isaiah 51:1. He was a Gentile before he became a Jew; and was familiar with all the seductions of a lower religious type before he definitely stood for the only true God. It took long to eradicate this evil strain from Israel. During their sojourn in Egypt they had yielded to the fascinations of idolatry, Joshua 24:14. Joshua at least had made his choice! What a blessed thing for a family, when the parents make the avowal of Joshua 24:15. Why not from henceforth? [source]

Chapter Summary: Joshua 24

1  Joshua assembles the tribes at Shechem
2  A brief history of God's benefits from Terah
14  He renews the covenant between them and God
26  A stone the witness of the covenant
29  Joshua's age, death, and burial
32  Joseph's bones are buried
33  Eleazar dies

What do the individual words in Joshua 24:2 mean?

And said Joshua to all the people thus says Yahweh God of Israel on the other side of the River dwelt Your fathers in old times [including] Terah the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor and they served gods other
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֶל־ כָּל־ הָעָ֗ם כֹּֽה־ אָמַ֣ר יְהוָה֮ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ בְּעֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֗ר יָשְׁב֤וּ אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶם֙ מֵֽעוֹלָ֔ם תֶּ֛רַח אֲבִ֥י אַבְרָהָ֖ם וַאֲבִ֣י נָח֑וֹר וַיַּעַבְד֖וּ אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִֽים

וַיֹּ֨אמֶר  And  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ  Joshua 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יְהֹושֻׁעַ  
Sense: son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim and successor to Moses as the leader of the children of Israel; led the conquest of Canaan.
הָעָ֗ם  the  people 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עַם 
Sense: nation, people.
כֹּֽה־  thus 
Parse: Adverb
Root: כֹּה  
Sense: thus, here, in this manner.
אָמַ֣ר  says 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
יְהוָה֮  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֱלֹהֵ֣י  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
יִשְׂרָאֵל֒  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
בְּעֵ֣בֶר  on  the  other  side 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: עֵבֶר  
Sense: region beyond or across, side.
הַנָּהָ֗ר  of  the  River 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: נָהָר  
Sense: stream, river.
יָשְׁב֤וּ  dwelt 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: יָשַׁב 
Sense: to dwell, remain, sit, abide.
אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶם֙  Your  fathers 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, second person masculine plural
Root: אָב  
Sense: father of an individual.
מֵֽעוֹלָ֔ם  in  old  times 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עֹולָם  
Sense: long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world.
תֶּ֛רַח  [including]  Terah 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: תֶּרַח 
Sense: the father of Abraham Tarah = “delay”.
אֲבִ֥י  the  father 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: אָב  
Sense: father of an individual.
אַבְרָהָ֖ם  of  Abraham 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אַבְרָהָם  
Sense: friend of God and founder of Hebrew nation via God’s elective covenant.
וַאֲבִ֣י  and  the  father 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: אָב  
Sense: father of an individual.
נָח֑וֹר  of  Nahor 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: נָחֹור  
Sense: son of Serug, father of Terah, and grandfather of Abraham.
וַיַּעַבְד֖וּ  and  they  served 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: עָבַד  
Sense: to work, serve.
אֱלֹהִ֥ים  gods 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
אֲחֵרִֽים  other 
Parse: Adjective, masculine plural
Root: אַחֵר  
Sense: another, other, following.