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Joshua 4Amplified Bible (AMP)

Memorial Stones from Jordan

So it was when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take for yourselves the twelve men [chosen] from among the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, ‘Pick up for yourselves twelve stones [one each] from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm; carry them over with you and lay them down at the place where you will spend the night tonight.’” Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe; and Joshua said to them, “Cross over again to the ark of the Lord your God into the midst 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, so that this may be a sign among you; when your children ask later, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to 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. So these stones shall become a memorial for Israel forever.”

So the [twelve men chosen from the] sons of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel, just as the Lord had spoken to Joshua; and they carried them over with them to the place where they were spending the night and put them down there. Then Joshua set up [a second monument of] twelve stones in the midst 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 midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the Lord had commanded Joshua to tell the people, in accordance with everything that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people hurried and crossed [the dry riverbed]; 11 and when all the people had finished crossing, the ark of the Lord and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people. 12 The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed for battle before the [other] sons of Israel, just as Moses had spoken to them; 13 about 40,000 [men] armed and equipped for war crossed for battle before the Lord to the desert plains of Jericho.

14 On that day the Lord magnified and exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so they feared him [with profound awe and reverence], just as they had feared Moses all the days of his life.

15 Now the Lord said to Joshua, 16 “Order the priests carrying the ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.” 17 So Joshua commanded the priests, saying, “Come up out of the Jordan.” 18 When the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord had come up from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of their feet were raised up to the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and flowed over all its banks as before.

19 Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth [day] of the first month and encamped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. 21 He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; 24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that the hand of the Lord is mighty and extraordinarily powerful, so that you will fear the Lord your God [and obey and worship Him with profound awe and reverence] forever.”

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Joshua 4King James Version (KJV)

And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the Lord spake unto Joshua, saying,

Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,

And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:

And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?

Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the Lord spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.

And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.

10 For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until everything was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.

11 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the Lord passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.

12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:

13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the Lord unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.

14 On that day the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.

15 And the Lord spake unto Joshua, saying,

16 Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.

17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan.

18 And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.

19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.

21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?

22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.

23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever.

Joshua 4Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Memorial Stones

After the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord spoke to Joshua: “Choose 12 men from the people, one man for each tribe, and command them: Take 12 stones from this place in the middle of the Jordan where the priests[a] are standing, carry them with you, and set them down at the place where you spend the night.”

So Joshua summoned the 12 men he had selected from the Israelites, one man for each tribe, and said to them, “Go across to the ark of the Lord your God in the middle of the Jordan. Each of you lift a stone onto his shoulder, one for each[b] of the Israelite tribes, so that this will be a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ you should tell them, ‘The waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the Lord’s covenant. When it crossed the Jordan, the Jordan’s waters were cut off.’ Therefore these stones will always be a memorial for the Israelites.”

The Israelites did just as Joshua had commanded them. The 12 men took stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each[c] of the Israelite tribes, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the camp and set them down there. Joshua also set up 12 stones in the middle[d] of the Jordan where the priests[e] who carried the ark of the covenant were standing. The stones are there to this day.

10 The priests carrying the ark continued standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the Lord had commanded Joshua to tell the people, in keeping with all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people hurried across, 11 and after everyone had finished crossing, the priests with the ark of the Lord crossed in the sight of the people. 12 The Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh went in battle formation in front of the Israelites, as Moses had instructed them. 13 About 40,000 equipped for war crossed to the plains of Jericho in the Lord’s presence.

14 On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him throughout his life, as they had revered Moses. 15 The Lord told Joshua, 16 “Command the priests who carry the ark of the testimony[f] to come up from the Jordan.”

17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up from the Jordan.” 18 When the priests carrying the ark of the Lord’s covenant came up from the middle of the Jordan, and their feet[g] stepped out on solid ground, the waters of the Jordan resumed their course, flowing over all the banks as before.

19 The people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month,[h] and camped at Gilgal on the eastern limits of Jericho. 20 Then Joshua set up in Gilgal the 12 stones they had taken from the Jordan, 21 and he said to the Israelites, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of these stones?’ 22 you should tell your children, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over. 24 This is so that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord’s hand is mighty, and so that you may always fear the Lord your God.”

Footnotes:

  1. Joshua 4:3 Lit feet of the priests
  2. Joshua 4:5 Lit shoulder according to the number
  3. Joshua 4:8 Lit Jordan according to the number
  4. Joshua 4:9 Or Now Joshua set up the 12 stones [that had been] in the middle
  5. Joshua 4:9 Lit feet of the priests
  6. Joshua 4:16 = the ark of the covenant
  7. Joshua 4:18 Lit and the soles of the feet of the priests
  8. Joshua 4:19 = Nisan (March–April)

Joshua 4New International Version (NIV)

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was 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 are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been[a] in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

10 Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, 11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched. 12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them. 13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.

14 That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.

15 Then the Lord said to Joshua, 16 “Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant law to come up out of the Jordan.”

17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”

18 And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.

19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea[b] when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.

Footnotes:

  1. Joshua 4:9 Or Joshua also set up twelve stones
  2. Joshua 4:23 Or the Sea of Reeds
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Joshua 4The Message (MSG)

1-3 When the whole nation was finally across, God spoke to Joshua: “Select twelve men from the people, a man from each tribe, and tell them, ‘From right here, the middle of the Jordan where the feet of the priests are standing firm, take twelve stones. Carry them across with you and set them down in the place where you camp tonight.’”

4-7 Joshua called out the twelve men whom he selected from the People of Israel, one man from each tribe. Joshua directed them, “Cross to the middle of the Jordan and take your place in front of the Chest of God, your God. Each of you heft a stone to your shoulder, a stone for each of the tribes of the People of Israel, so you’ll have something later to mark the occasion. When your children ask you, ‘What are these stones to you?’ you’ll say, ‘The flow of the Jordan was stopped in front of the Chest of the Covenant of God as it crossed the Jordan—stopped in its tracks. These stones are a permanent memorial for the People of Israel.’”

8-9 The People of Israel did exactly as Joshua commanded: They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan—a stone for each of the twelve tribes, just as God had instructed Joshua—carried them across with them to the camp, and set them down there. Joshua set up the twelve stones taken from the middle of the Jordan that had marked the place where the priests who carried the Chest of the Covenant had stood. They are still there today.

10-11 The priests carrying the Chest continued standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything God had instructed Joshua to tell the people to do was done (confirming what Moses had instructed Joshua). The people crossed; no one dawdled. When the crossing of all the people was complete, they watched as the Chest of the Covenant and the priests crossed over.

12-13 The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had crossed over in battle formation in front of the People of Israel, obedient to Moses’ instructions. All told, about forty thousand armed soldiers crossed over before God to the plains of Jericho, ready for battle.

14 God made Joshua great that day in the sight of all Israel. They were in awe of him just as they had been in awe of Moses all his life.

15-16 God told Joshua, “Command the priests carrying the Chest of The Testimony to come up from the Jordan.”

17 Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”

18 They did it. The priests carrying God’s Chest of the Covenant came up from the middle of the Jordan. As soon as the soles of the priests’ feet touched dry land, the Jordan’s waters resumed their flow within the banks, just as before.

19-22 The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. They set up camp at The Gilgal (The Circle) to the east of Jericho. Joshua erected a monument at The Gilgal, using the twelve stones that they had taken from the Jordan. And then he told the People of Israel, “In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’

23-24 “Yes, God, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as God, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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