God’s Orders to Joshua

Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ [a]servant, saying, “Moses (A)My servant is dead; so now arise, (B)cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. (C)Every place on which the sole of your foot steps, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. (D)From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. (E)No one will be able to oppose you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; (F)I will not desert you nor abandon you. (G)Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; [b](H)be careful to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may [c]achieve success wherever you go. (I)This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may [d]be careful to do according to all that is written in it; (J)for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will [e]achieve success. Have I not commanded you? (K)Be strong and courageous! (L)Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua Assumes Command

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within (M)three days you are going to cross this Jordan, to go in to take possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving you, to possess it.’”

12 But (N)to the Reubenites, to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua [f]said, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘(O)The Lord your God is giving you rest, and will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross ahead of your brothers in battle formation, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them, 15 until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He is giving you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God is giving them. (P)Then you may return to [g]your own land, and take possession of [h]that which Moses (Q)the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

16 They answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you; only (R)may the Lord your God be with you as He was with Moses. 18 Anyone who rebels against your [i]command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.”

Rahab Shelters Spies

Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from (S)Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of (T)a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and rested there. But it was told to the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men from the sons of Israel have come here tonight to spy out the land.” And the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to spy out all the land.” But the (U)woman had taken the two men and hidden them, and she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. It came about, when it was time to shut the gate at dark, that the men went out; I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” But (V)she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them in the stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued them on the road to the Jordan, to the crossing places; and as soon as those who were pursuing them had gone out, they shut the gate.

Now before [j]the spies lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men, “(W)I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the (X)terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have despaired because of you. 10 (Y)For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the [k]Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and (Z)what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you [l]utterly destroyed. 11 When we heard these reports, (AA)our hearts melted and no [m]courage remained in anyone any longer because of you; for the (AB)Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth below. 12 Now then, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a (AC)pledge of [n]truth, 13 and [o]spare my father and my mother, and my brothers and my sisters, and all who belong to them, and save our [p]lives from death.” 14 So the men said to her, “Our [q]life [r]for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the Lord gives us the land that we will (AD)deal kindly and [s]faithfully with you.”

The Promise to Rahab

15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall. 16 And she said to them, “(AE)Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not encounter you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.” 17 And the men said to her, “(AF)We shall be exempt from this oath [t]to you which you have made us swear, 18 [u]unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and (AG)gather into your house your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. 19 And it shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house outside will have [v]his blood on his own head, and we will be innocent; but anyone who is with you in the house, (AH)his blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on him. 20 But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be exempt from the oath which you have made us swear.” 21 She then said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

22 So they departed and came to the hill country, and remained there for three days, until the pursuers returned. Now the pursuers had searched for them [w]all along the road, but had not found them. 23 Then the two men returned and came down from the hill country, and they crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun. Then they reported to him all that had happened to them. 24 And they said to Joshua, “The Lord has indeed handed over to us all the land; furthermore, (AI)all the inhabitants of the land have despaired because of us.”

Israel Crosses the Jordan

Then Joshua got up early in the morning; and he and all the sons of Israel set out from (AJ)Shittim and came to the Jordan, and they spent the night there before they crossed. Then (AK)at the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the (AL)ark of the covenant of the Lord your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. However, there shall be a distance between you and it of about [x]two thousand cubits by measurement. Do not come near it, so that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”

Then Joshua said to the people, “(AM)Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do miracles among you.” And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people.

Now the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to (AN)exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they will know that just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you. So you shall command the priests who are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” Then Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the Lord your God.” 10 And Joshua said, “By this you will know that (AO)the living God is among you, and that He will assuredly (AP)drive out from you the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Perizzite, the Girgashite, the Amorite, and the Jebusite. 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of (AQ)the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan. 12 Now then, (AR)take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. 13 And it will come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, that is, the waters which are [y]flowing down from above; and they will (AS)stand in one heap.”

14 So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan, with the priests carrying (AT)the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and when those who were carrying the ark came up to the Jordan and the feet of the priests carrying the ark [z]stepped down into the edge of the water (for the (AU)Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), 16 then (AV)the waters which were [aa]flowing down from above stood and rose up in (AW)one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were [ab]flowing down toward the sea of the (AX)Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. 17 And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm (AY)on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.

Memorial Stones from the Jordan

Now when the entire nation had finished crossing the (AZ)Jordan, the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, (BA)Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firmly, and carry them over with you and lay them down in (BB)the encampment where you will spend the night.’” So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe; and Joshua said to them, “[ac]Cross again to the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel. [ad]This shall be a sign among you; (BC)when your children ask [ae]later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘That the (BD)waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a (BE)memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”

So the sons of Israel did exactly as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, just as the Lord spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel; and they carried them over with them to (BF)the encampment and put them down there. Then Joshua set up twelve (BG)stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day. 10 For the priests who carried the ark were standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the Lord had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hurried and crossed; 11 and when all the people had finished crossing, then the ark of the Lord and the priests crossed in front of the people. 12 (BH)The sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle formation before the sons of Israel, just as Moses had spoken to them; 13 about forty thousand equipped for war, crossed for battle before the Lord to the desert plains of Jericho.

14 (BI)On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, so that they [af]revered him, just as they had [ag]revered Moses all the days of his life.

15 Now the Lord said to [ah]Joshua, 16 “Command the priests who carry (BJ)the ark of the testimony that they come up from the Jordan.” 17 So Joshua commanded the priests, saying, “Come up from the Jordan.” 18 It came about when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord had come up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were [ai]lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks as before.

19 Now the people came up from the Jordan on the (BK)tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal, on the eastern edge of Jericho. 20 As for [aj](BL)those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set them up (BM)at Gilgal. 21 And he said to the sons of [ak]Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22 then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on (BN)dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the [al]Red Sea, (BO)which He dried up before us until we had crossed; 24 so that (BP)all the peoples of the earth may know that the (BQ)hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may [am](BR)fear the Lord your God [an]forever.”


  1. Joshua 1:1 Or minister
  2. Joshua 1:7 Lit to observe
  3. Joshua 1:7 Or have insight
  4. Joshua 1:8 Lit observe
  5. Joshua 1:8 Or have insight
  6. Joshua 1:12 Lit said, saying
  7. Joshua 1:15 Lit the land of your possession
  8. Joshua 1:15 Lit it
  9. Joshua 1:18 Lit mouth
  10. Joshua 2:8 Lit they lay
  11. Joshua 2:10 Lit Sea of Reeds
  12. Joshua 2:10 Or put under the ban
  13. Joshua 2:11 Lit spirit arose
  14. Joshua 2:12 Or faithfulness
  15. Joshua 2:13 Lit let live
  16. Joshua 2:13 Lit souls
  17. Joshua 2:14 Lit soul
  18. Joshua 2:14 Lit instead of you to die
  19. Joshua 2:14 Or truly
  20. Joshua 2:17 Lit of yours
  21. Joshua 2:18 Lit behold
  22. Joshua 2:19 I.e., responsibility for his death
  23. Joshua 2:22 Lit through all the road
  24. Joshua 3:4 About 3,000 ft. or 914 m
  25. Joshua 3:13 Lit going
  26. Joshua 3:15 Lit were dipped in
  27. Joshua 3:16 Lit going
  28. Joshua 3:16 Lit going
  29. Joshua 4:5 Lit Cross before the ark
  30. Joshua 4:6 Lit So that this may be
  31. Joshua 4:6 Lit tomorrow
  32. Joshua 4:14 Or feared
  33. Joshua 4:14 Or feared
  34. Joshua 4:15 Lit Joshua, saying
  35. Joshua 4:18 Lit drawn out
  36. Joshua 4:20 Lit these
  37. Joshua 4:21 Lit Israel, saying,
  38. Joshua 4:23 Lit Sea of Reeds
  39. Joshua 4:24 Or revere
  40. Joshua 4:24 Lit all the days

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