Verse 14: (Deut. 10:12; 1 Sam. 12:24) Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in (Gen. 17:1; 20:5; Deut. 18:13; Ps. 119:1; 2 Cor. 1:12; Eph. 6:24) sincerity and in truth: and (Josh. 24:2, 23; Lev. 17:7; Ezek. 20:18) put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and (Ezek. 20:7, 8; 23:3) in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
[Serve ye Him with a perfect and altogether genuine heart, בְּתָמִ֣ים וּבֶֽאֱמֶ֑ת] In perfection (integrity [Junius, Vatablus], sincerity [Syriac], rectitude [Septuagint]) and in truth (Montanus) (with righteousness [Septuagint], in faith [Junius]). Integrity is opposed to feigned piety; Truth has regard to constancy, or, if you prefer, to the probity of the worship/service (Masius). In an unusual manner he set down תָּמִים/whole in the place of תּוֹם/wholeness: But certain terms are sometimes concrete, sometimes abstract. Thus עֵד is a witness and a testimony; thus צָר is an adversary and adversity. Hence תָּמִים elsewhere is taken for integrity; as in Judges 9:16; Amos 5:10; Psalm 26:1; 101:2 (Drusius).
In sincerity and in truth; either these two expressions note the same thing; or sincerity is opposed to the mixture of false gods with the true, as it here follows, or of a false and corrupt worship of God with that which God appointeth; and truth is opposed to dissimulation and falseness, and instability of heart.
[And put away the gods that your fathers served…in Egypt] Hence it is evident, what was hitherto nowhere else recorded, that not a few Israelites worshipped idols in Egypt also. Nevertheless, Ezekiel clearly indicates this very thing in Ezekiel 23:3, 8, 19, 21, 27 (Bonfrerius, Estius). It is asked whether there were at that time among them those that were worshipping idols. Augustine denies this. 1. Because the obedience and constancy of the Israelites had been commended above, Joshua 22:3; 23:8. 2. God would not have allowed much of such wickedness. 3. The idols would have been cast out at that time, as it was done in Genesis 35:2, 4; 1 Samuel 7:3. And, indeed, these things evince that no such sin was committed publicly; but that it was done privately they do not demonstrate (Bonfrerius). Others affirm (thus Tirinus, Bonfrerius, Lyra), from this verse, and from verse 23 (Bonfrerius), and from Amos 5 compared with Acts 7 (Lyra).
Put away the gods; whereby it appears, that although Joshua had doubtless prevented and purged out all public and manifest idolatry, yet there were some of them who practised it in their private houses and retirements. See Joshua 24:23; Amos 5:25, 26; Acts 7:42, 43. Your fathers: Terah, and Nahor, and Abraham, as Joshua 24:2, and others of your ancestors. On the other side of the flood, and in Egypt: see Ezekiel 23:3, 8, 19, 21, 27. Under these particulars no doubt he comprehends all other false gods, which were served by the nations amongst whom they were, as appears from Joshua 24:15, but only mentions these, as the idols which they were in more danger of worshipping than those in Canaan; partly because those of Canaan had been now lately and palpably disgraced by their inability to preserve their worshippers from total ruin; and partly because the other idols came recommended unto them by the venerable name of antiquity, and the custom of their forefathers. See Jeremiah 44:17; Ezekiel 20:18.
Verse 15: And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, (see Ruth 1:15; 1 Kings 18:21; Ezek. 20:39; John 6:67) choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether (Josh. 24:14) the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or (Ex. 23:24, 32, 33; 34:15; Deut. 13:7; 29:18; Judg. 6:10) the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: (Gen. 18:19) but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
If it seem evil; unjust, unreasonable, or inconvenient.
[The choice is given to you] What things we, being compelled, undertake, we violate with no shame; not so those things to which we have voluntarily obligated ourselves. And so with two religions proposed, he now in a certain manner loosens them from both, and sets them at liberty, as it were (Masius). But an actual choice of choosing God Joshua does not here concede, who in the preceding chapter compelled them unto the worship of the true God (Lapide); and neither would he have left one unpunished, if he, with God abandoned, had passed over unto idols (Bonfrerius): but he makes use of Rhetorical artifice (Lapide), and leads them whither he wills by the highest art of eloquence, inasmuch as the comparison is made between things so unequal (Bonfrerius). The worship of the true God brings so many advantages, but the worship of idols so many disadvantages, that only a mad man would prefer idols to the true God (Lapide). Thus we speak, One or the other is to be chosen by you, O mortals, either eternal punishment, or perpetual blessedness; choose ye what ye will. Elijah makes us of this manner of exhortation, 1 Kings 18:21; Ecclesiasticus 15:17 (Menochius out of Serarius). He does not loose them from the bond of worshipping God, to which they were previously bound; but, by setting forth these things, he searches their hearts. See a similar thing in Ruth 1:15; John 6:67 (Malvenda out of Junius).
Choose you this day whom ye will serve: not that he leaves them to their liberty, whether they would serve God or idols; for Joshua had no such power or liberty himself, nor could give it to any other; and both he and they were obliged by the law of Moses to give their worship to God only, and to forbear all idolatry in themselves, and severely to punish it in others; but it is a rhetorical and powerful insinuation, whereby he both implies that the worship of God is so highly reasonable, so necessary and beneficial, and the service of idols is so absurd, and vain, and pernicious, that if it were left free to all men to make their choice, every man in his right wits must needs choose the service of God before that of idols; and provokes them to bind themselves faster to God by their own choice. See such manner of speeches in Ruth 1:8, 15; 1 Kings 18:21.
[I and my house] The example of the Commander-in-Chief was the most effective argument, especially one so prudent, holy, and blessed. An example is set forth here for governing our families (Masius).
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord; but know this, if you should all be so base and brutish, as to prefer senseless and impotent idols before the true and living God, it is my firm purpose, that I will, and my children and servants (as far as I can influence them) shall, be constant and faithful to the Lord.
 Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֞ה יְר֧אוּ אֶת־יְהוָ֛ה וְעִבְד֥וּ אֹת֖וֹ בְּתָמִ֣ים וּבֶֽאֱמֶ֑ת וְהָסִ֣ירוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהִ֗ים אֲשֶׁר֩ עָבְד֙וּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶ֜ם בְּעֵ֤בֶר הַנָּהָר֙ וּבְמִצְרַ֔יִם וְעִבְד֖וּ אֶת־יְהוָֽה׃
 Judges 9:16a: “Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely (בֶּאֱמֶ֤ת וּבְתָמִים֙), in that ye have made Abimelech king…”
 Amos 5:10: “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly (תָּמִים).”
 Psalm 26:1a: “Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity (בְּתֻמִּי)…”
 Psalm 101:2: “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way (בְּדֶ֬רֶךְ תָּמִ֗ים). O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart (בְּתָם־לְבָבִי).”
 Hebrew: וְאִם֩ רַ֙ע בְּֽעֵינֵיכֶ֜ם לַעֲבֹ֣ד אֶת־יְהוָ֗ה בַּחֲר֙וּ לָכֶ֣ם הַיּוֹם֮ אֶת־מִ֣י תַעֲבֹדוּן֒ אִ֣ם אֶת־אֱלֹהִ֞ים אֲשֶׁר־עָבְד֣וּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶ֗ם אֲשֶׁר֙ בְּעֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֔ר וְאִם֙ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָאֱמֹרִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַתֶּ֖ם יֹשְׁבִ֣ים בְּאַרְצָ֑ם וְאָנֹכִ֣י וּבֵיתִ֔י נַעֲבֹ֖ד אֶת־יְהוָֽה׃
 Ecclesiasticus 15:17: “Before man is life and death; and whether him liketh shall be given him.”