Joshua Chapter 4  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Josh 4
 
Twelve Memorial Stones

1Now when all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan, Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying,
  2“Take for yourselves 12 men from the people, one man from each tribe,
  3and command them, saying, ‘Take up from here, from the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the feet of the priests are standing firm, 12 stones, and make them cross over with you, and put them down in the camp where you will camp tonight.’”
 

4Then Joshua called the 12 men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from each tribe.
  5And Joshua said to them, “Cross over in front of the ark of Yahweh your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone onto your shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,
  6so that this will be a sign among you; for your children will ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do you mean by these stones?’
  7Then you are to tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in the presence of the ark of the covenant of Yahweh; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones will be for a lasting reminder for the children of Israel.’”
 

8And the children of Israel did that, just as Joshua commanded; and they took up 12 stones from the midst of the Jordan just as Yahweh spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel; and they made them cross over with them to the camp and put them down there.
  9And Joshua also set up 12 stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant stood, and they are there to this day.
 

10For the priests—those carrying the ark—continued standing in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that Yahweh commanded Joshua to say to the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua; and the people hurried and crossed over.
  11And it came to pass when all the people had completely crossed over that the ark of Yahweh crossed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.
  12And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, armed, before the children of Israel, as Moses had spoken to them,
  13about 40,000 ready and armed for war crossed over in the presence of Yahweh, to battle, to the plains of Jericho.
 

14On that day Yahweh made Joshua great in the eyes of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him just as they stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life.
  15Then Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying,
  16“Command the priests who are carrying the ark of the testimony to come up out of the Jordan.”
 

17So Joshua commanded the priests, saying, “Come up out of the Jordan!”
  18It came to pass when the priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant of Yahweh had come up out of the midst of the Jordan—when the soles of the priests’ feet were separated from the ground that had been made dry—that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and they flowed over all their banks, as it was before.
 

19And the people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and encamped in Gilgal, on the east side of Jericho.
  20And those 12 stones that they had taken out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.
  21And he spoke to the children of Israel, saying, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean?’
  22Then you are to make known to your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land.’
  23For Yahweh your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you until you had crossed over, just as Yahweh your God did to the Red Sea that he dried up from before us until we had crossed over,
  24in order that all the peoples of the earth might know the hand of Yahweh, that it is mighty, and so that you would fear Yahweh your God forever.’”
 


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