Joshua Chapter 4 |
1When the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2“Select twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3and instruct them as follows: Pick up twelve stones from the spot exactly in the middle of the Jordan, where the priests’ feet are standing; take them along with you and deposit them in the place where you will spend the night.”
4Joshua summoned the twelve men whom he had designated among the Israelites, one from each tribe; 5and Joshua said to them, “Walk up to the Ark of the Lord your God, in the middle of the Jordan, and each of you lift a stone onto his shoulder—corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel. 6This shall serve as a symbol among you: in time to come, when your children ask, ‘What is the meaning of these stones for you?’ 7you shall tell them, ‘The waters of the Jordan were cut off because of the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant; when it passed through the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ And so these stones shall serve the people of Israel as a memorial for all time.”
8The Israelites did as Joshua ordered. They picked up twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel, from the middle of the Jordan—as the Lord had charged Joshua—and they took them along with them to their night encampment and deposited them there.
9Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the spot where the feet of the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant had stood; and they have remained there to this day.
10The priests who bore the Ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until all the instructions that the Lord had ordered Joshua to convey to the people had been carried out. And so the people speedily crossed over, just as Moses had assured Joshua in his charge to him. 11And when all the people finished crossing, the Ark of the Lord and the priests advanced to the head of the people.
12The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh went across armed in the van of the Israelites, as Moses had charged them. 13About forty thousand shock troops went across, at the instance of the Lord, to the steppes of Jericho for battle.
14On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, so that they revered him all his days as they had revered Moses.
15The Lord said to Joshua, 16“Command the priests who bear the Ark of the Pact to come up out of the Jordan.” 17So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.” 18As soon as the priests who bore the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant came up out of the Jordan, and the feet of the priests stepped onto the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan resumed their course, flowing over its entire bed as before.
19The people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20And Joshua set up in Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken from the Jordan. 21He charged the Israelites as follows: “In time to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of those stones?’ 22tell your children: ‘Here the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry land.’ 23For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you crossed, just as the Lord your God did to the Sea of Reeds, which He dried up before us until we crossed. 24Thus all the peoples of the earth shall know how mighty is the hand of the Lord, and you shall fear the Lord your God always.”