Modern English Version
Twelve Memorial Stones
4 When the entire people had completed crossing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Take twelve men from among the people, one man per tribe. 3 Command them: ‘Pick up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the feet of the priests are standing; bring them over with you, and set them in the place you will camp tonight.’ ”
4 So Joshua summoned the twelve men he had appointed from among the children of Israel, one man per tribe. 5 Then Joshua said to them, “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you lift up a stone upon your shoulder, one for each of the tribes of the children of Israel, 6 so that this will be a sign among you. When your children ask, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 you will answer them that the 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. These stones will be a memorial for the children of Israel continually.”
8 Then the children of Israel did as Joshua commanded and picked up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each of the tribes of the children of Israel, as the Lord had spoken to Joshua. They crossed over with them to the settlement and set them there. 9 Joshua also set twelve 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. The stones are there to this day.
10 The priests who were carrying the ark stood in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the Lord had commanded Joshua to say to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people quickly crossed over. 11 When all the people had finished crossing over, the ark of the Lord and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people. 12 The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle formation in front of the children of Israel, according to what Moses had said to them. 13 About forty thousand battle-ready men crossed over before the Lord for battle on the plains of Jericho.
14 On that day, the Lord honored Joshua in the sight of all Israel. They feared him as they had feared Moses, all the days of his life.
15 The Lord spoke to Joshua, 16 “Command the priests carrying the ark of the testimony: ‘Come up out of the Jordan!’ ”
17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan!”
18 Then when the priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord came up from the middle of the Jordan and the soles of the priests’ feet touched the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before.
19 Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped at Gilgal, on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 Joshua set up in Gilgal those twelve stones that they took from the Jordan. 21 He said to the children of Israel, “When your children someday ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 then you shall explain to your children, ‘Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground!’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea when He dried it up before us until we crossed over, 24 so that all the peoples of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, and you would fear the Lord your God always.”