Joshua 4
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

The Jordan River Memorial

1As soon as the entire nation had completed its crossing of the Jordan, the LORD spoke to Joshua. He said, 2“Gather together twelve men from the people—one man from each tribe— 3and tell them, ‘Pick up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan where the priests’ feet were standing, bring them along with you, and put them down where you camp tonight.’”

4So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had chosen from the people of Israel, one man from each tribe. 5Joshua told them, “Cross over again in front of the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan River. Then each of you pick up a stone on his shoulder with which to build a memorial,a one for each of the tribes of Israel. 6Let this serve asb a sign among you, so that when your children ask in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean to you,’ 7then you’ll say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan River were cut off in front of the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan River, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones will become a memorial to the Israelis forever.”

8The Israelis did just as Joshua commanded. They took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River—just as the LORD had spoken to Joshua—according to the number of the tribes of the Israelis, and they carried them over to where they would be pitching camp, and they put them down there. 9Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan River at the location where the feet of the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant had been standing, and they remain there to this day.

Crossing the Jordan River

10The priests who were carrying the ark stood in the middle of the Jordan River until everything had been done in accordance with what the LORD had commanded Joshua to speak to the people and with everything that Moses had commanded Joshua. So the people hurried and crossed over. 11When all of the people had completed their crossing, the ark of the LORD and the priests crossed over in full view of the people. 12Just as Moses had directed, the descendants of Reuben, the descendants of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, dressed in battle regalia, in full view of the otherc Israelis. 13About 40,000 soldiers equipped to do battle in the LORD’s presence crossed over to the desert plains of Jericho.

14That day, the LORD exalted Joshua in the presence of all Israel so that they revered him just as they had revered Moses throughout his life.

15Now the LORD had told Joshua, 16“Command the priests who carry the Ark of the Testimony to come up from the Jordan River.”

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

18As soon as the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD had come up from the middle of the Jordan River, and the soles of the priests’ feet came up to dry ground, the water of the Jordan River returned to normal,d covering its banks as it had done so before.

Why Joshua Set up the Memorial

19The people came up from the Jordan River on the tenth daye of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern outskirts of Jericho. 20Joshua set up the twelve stones that they had removed from the Jordan River at Gilgal. 21Then he told the Israelis, “When your descendants ask their parents in years to come, ‘What is the meaning of these stones?’ 22you are to tell your descendants: ‘Israel crossed this Jordan River on dry ground 23because the LORD your God dried up the water of the Jordan River right in front of you, until you had crossed over, just as the LORD your God had done to the Reedf Sea—which he had dried up in front of us until we had crossed it also.’ 24Do thisg so that all of the people of the earth may know how strong the powerh of the LORD is, and so that you may fear the LORD your God every day.”

a 4:5 The Heb. lacks with which to build a memorial
b 4:6 Lit. this be
c 4:12 The Heb. lacks other
d 4:18 Lit. to its place
e 4:19 The Heb. lacks day
f 4:23 So MT; LXX reads Red
g 4:24 The Heb. lacks Do this
h 4:24 Lit. hand

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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