Israel Crosses the Jordan

Then Joshua got up early in the morning; and he and all the sons of Israel set out from (A)Shittim and came to the Jordan, and they spent the night there before they crossed. Then (B)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 (C)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 [a]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, “(D)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 (E)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 (F)the living God is among you, and that He will assuredly (G)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 (H)the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan. 12 Now then, (I)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 [b]flowing down from above; and they will (J)stand in one heap.”

14 So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan, with the priests carrying (K)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 [c]stepped down into the edge of the water (for the (L)Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), 16 then (M)the waters which were [d]flowing down from above stood and rose up in (N)one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were [e]flowing down toward the sea of the (O)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 (P)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 (Q)Jordan, the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, (R)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 (S)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, “[f]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. [g]This shall be a sign among you; (T)when your children ask [h]later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘That the (U)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 (V)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 (W)the encampment and put them down there. Then Joshua set up twelve (X)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 (Y)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 (Z)On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, so that they [i]revered him, just as they had [j]revered Moses all the days of his life.

15 Now the Lord said to [k]Joshua, 16 “Command the priests who carry (AA)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 [l]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 (AB)tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal, on the eastern edge of Jericho. 20 As for [m](AC)those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set them up (AD)at Gilgal. 21 And he said to the sons of [n]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 (AE)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 [o]Red Sea, (AF)which He dried up before us until we had crossed; 24 so that (AG)all the peoples of the earth may know that the (AH)hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may [p](AI)fear the Lord your God [q]forever.”

Footnotes

  1. Joshua 3:4 About 3,000 ft. or 914 m
  2. Joshua 3:13 Lit going
  3. Joshua 3:15 Lit were dipped in
  4. Joshua 3:16 Lit going
  5. Joshua 3:16 Lit going
  6. Joshua 4:5 Lit Cross before the ark
  7. Joshua 4:6 Lit So that this may be
  8. Joshua 4:6 Lit tomorrow
  9. Joshua 4:14 Or feared
  10. Joshua 4:14 Or feared
  11. Joshua 4:15 Lit Joshua, saying
  12. Joshua 4:18 Lit drawn out
  13. Joshua 4:20 Lit these
  14. Joshua 4:21 Lit Israel, saying,
  15. Joshua 4:23 Lit Sea of Reeds
  16. Joshua 4:24 Or revere
  17. Joshua 4:24 Lit all the days