Joshua 4
Berean Study Bible Par ▾ 

Twelve Stones from the Jordan

1When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, 2“Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3and command them: ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan where the priests were standing, carry them with you, and set them down in the place where you spend the night.’”

4So Joshua summoned the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5and said to them, “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of Israel, 6to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7you are to tell them, ‘The waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, its waters were cut off.’ Therefore these stones will be a memorial to the Israelites forever.”

8Thus the Israelites did as Joshua had commanded them. They took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each tribe of Israel, just as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them to the camp, where they set them down.

9Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan,a in the place where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing. And the stones are there to this day.

10Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until the people had completed everything the LORD had commanded Joshua to tell them, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried across, 11and after everyone had finished crossing, the priests with the ark of the LORD crossed in the sight of the people. 12The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over before the Israelites, armed for battle as Moses had instructed them. 13About 40,000 troops armed for battle crossed over before the LORD into the plains of Jericho.

14On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses.

15Then the LORD said to Joshua, 16“Command the priests who carry the ark of the Testimony to come up from the Jordan.”

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

18When the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD came up out of the Jordan and their feet touched the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their course and overflowed all the banks as before.

The Camp at Gilgal

19On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20And there at Gilgal Joshua set up the twelve stones they had taken from the Jordan.

21Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of these stones?’ 22you are to tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, just as He did to the Red Sea,b which He dried up before us until we had crossed over. 24He did this so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, and so that you may always fear the LORD your God.”

Footnotes:

9 a Or And Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan
23 b Or the Sea of Reeds

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