Joshua 3
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Crossing the Jordan

1Early the next morning Joshua got up and left Shittima with all the Israelites. They went as far as the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over.

2After three days the officers went through the camp 3and commanded the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, you are to set out from your positions and follow it. 4But keep a distance of about two thousand cubitsb between yourselves and the ark. Do not go near it, so that you can see the way to go, since you have never traveled this way before.”

5Then Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” 6And he said to the priests, “Take the ark of the covenant and go on ahead of the people.” So they carried the ark of the covenant and went ahead of them.

7Now the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. 8Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the waters, stand in the Jordan.’”

9So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God.” 10He continued, “This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that He will surely drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites. 11Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go ahead of you into the Jordan.

12Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13When the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—touch down in the waters of the Jordan, its flowing waters will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

14So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carried the ark of the covenant ahead of them.

15Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16the flowing water stood still. It backed up as far upstream as Adam, a city in the area of Zarethan, while the water flowing toward the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Seac ) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17The priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed over the dry ground, until the entire nation had crossed the Jordan.

Footnotes:

1 a Or Acacia Grove
4 b That is, approximately 3,000 feet or 914.4 meters
16 c That is, the Dead Sea

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Joshua 2
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