Joshua 3:3
New International Version
giving orders to the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.

New Living Translation
giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, move out from your positions and follow them.

English Standard Version
and commanded the people, “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it.

Berean Study Bible
and 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.

New American Standard Bible
and they commanded the people, saying, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.

King James Bible
And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

Christian Standard Bible
and commanded the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God carried by the Levitical priests, you are to break camp and follow it.

Good News Translation
and told the people, "When you see the priests carrying the Covenant Box of the LORD your God, break camp and follow them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
and commanded the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God carried by the Levitical priests, you must break camp and follow it.

International Standard Version
giving orders to the people. They said, "When you see the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then get up, leave where you are, and follow it.

NET Bible
and commanded the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, you must leave here and walk behind it.

New Heart English Bible
and they commanded the people, saying, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall move from your place, and follow it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They told the people, "As soon as you see the ark of the promise of the LORD your God and the Levitical priests who carry it, break camp and follow them.

JPS Tanakh 1917
and they commanded the people, saying: 'When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

New American Standard 1977
and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place and go after it.

King James 2000 Bible
And they commanded the people, saying, When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall set out from your place, and go after it.

American King James Version
And they commanded the people, saying, When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall remove from your place, and go after it.

American Standard Version
and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
and they charged the people, saying, When ye shall see the ark of the covenant of the Lord our God, and our priests and the Levites bearing it, ye shall depart from your places, and ye shall go after it.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And began to proclaim: When you shall see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests of the race of Levi carrying it, rise you up also, and follow them as they go before:

Darby Bible Translation
and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then remove from your place, and go after it;

English Revised Version
and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

World English Bible
and they commanded the people, saying, "When you see the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall move from your place, and follow it.

Young's Literal Translation
and command the people, saying, 'When ye see the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then ye journey from your place, and have gone after it;
Study Bible
Crossing the Jordan
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 cubits 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.”…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 31:9
So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel.

Joshua 3:4
But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits 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."

1 Samuel 6:15
And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD and the box containing the gold objects, and they placed them on the large rock. That day the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the LORD.

2 Samuel 6:13
When those carrying the ark of the LORD had advanced six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf.

1 Kings 8:3
When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark,

Jeremiah 33:18
nor will the priests who are Levites ever fail to have a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to present sacrifices."

Treasury of Scripture

And they commanded the people, saying, When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall remove from your place, and go after it.

When ye see

Joshua 3:11
Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.

Numbers 10:33
And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

the priests

Joshua 3:6,8,14-17
And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people…

Joshua 4:10
For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing 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.

Joshua 6:6
And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.

ye shall remove

Exodus 13:21,22
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: …

Matthew 8:19
And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

Matthew 16:24
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.







Lexicon
and commanded
וַיְצַוּוּ֮ (way·ṣaw·wū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6680: To lay charge (upon), give charge (to), command, order

the people:
הָעָ֣ם (hā·‘ām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

“When you see
כִּרְאֽוֹתְכֶ֗ם (kir·’ō·wṯ·ḵem)
Preposition-k | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct | second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

the ark
אֲר֤וֹן (’ă·rō·wn)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 727: A chest, ark

of the covenant
בְּרִית־ (bə·rîṯ-)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1285: A covenant

of the LORD
יְהוָה֙ (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

your God
אֱלֹ֣הֵיכֶ֔ם (’ĕ·lō·hê·ḵem)
Noun - masculine plural construct | second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

being carried
נֹשְׂאִ֖ים (nō·śə·’îm)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5375: To lift, carry, take

by the Levitical
הַלְוִיִּ֔ם (hal·wî·yim)
Article | Noun - proper - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3881: Levites -- descendant of Levi

priests,
וְהַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ (wə·hak·kō·hă·nîm)
Conjunctive waw, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3548: Priest

you
וְאַתֶּ֗ם (wə·’at·tem)
Conjunctive waw | Pronoun - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 859: Thou and thee, ye and you

are to set out
תִּסְעוּ֙ (tis·‘ū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5265: To pull up, the tent-pins, start on a, journey

from your positions
מִמְּק֣וֹמְכֶ֔ם (mim·mə·qō·wm·ḵem)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular construct | second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4725: A standing, a spot, a condition

and follow
וַהֲלַכְתֶּ֖ם (wa·hă·laḵ·tem)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

it.
אַחֲרָֽיו׃ (’a·ḥă·rāw)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 310: The hind or following part
Verse 3. - And they commanded the people, saying. These words are interesting as showing that all was orderly in the Israel-irish camp. Everything was carried on according to the strictest rules of military discipline. The removal of the ark was to be the signal for the advance of the whole host. The ark of the covenant. We may with advantage compare the religious use of the ark here and in ch. 6, with its superstitious use in 1 Samuel 4:3, 4. We do not read that when the Israelites were defeated at Ai, Joshua took the ark with him in a march to repair the disaster. Such a misuse of the symbol of God's Presence was only possible in days when faith had grown cold. When the Israelites had need of supernatural guidance, when they were placed in circumstances where no use of their own unaided powers could guide them, then they must repair to the ark of God. There they must seek counsel, this they must set before them to guide their ways. But to regard it as a charm which could possibly atone for their want of faith and their lack of obedience, was to profane it. Such temptations as these Jesus Christ resisted in the wilderness; such temptations Christians must resist now. We have no right to seek for supernatural aids where natural ones will suffice us - no right to invoke the special intervention of God till we have exhausted all the means He has placed at our disposal. Above all, we have no right to expect Him to save us from the consequences of our own sin and disobedience except on His own condition, that we shall truly repent. We may further remark that the Pillar of the Cloud and the fire, like the manna, had ceased, and even the ark of the covenant only preceded the Israelites on special occasions. The priests the Levites. This phrase has given rise to some discussion. Some editions of the LXX., as well as some Hebrew MSS., read, "the priests and the Levites." The Chaldee and Syriac versions have the same reading. The Vulgate - more correctly, as it would seem - renders "sacerdotes stirpis Levitiae," i.e., "the priests who are of the tribe of Levi" (see Joshua 8:33, Numbers 4:18, and Deuteronomy 31:9). Keil's explanation that this expression must be taken in opposition to non-Levitical and, therefore, unlawful priests, seems hardly satisfactory. It is not till much later - in fact, till the time of Jeroboam - that we hear of unlawful priests. It is more probable that it is intended to emphasise the position of Levi as the sacerdotal tribe, the one tribe which had no share in the operations of the war. So Rabbi Solomon Jarchi explains it, citing the B'reshith Babbah, which states that the phrase is found in forty-five places in the Bible, with the meaning that the priests are of the tribe of Levi. 3:1-6 The Israelites came to Jordan in faith, having been told that they should pass it. In the way of duty, let us proceed as far as we can, and depend on the Lord. Joshua led them. Particular notice is taken of his early rising, as afterwards upon other occasions, which shows how little he sought his own ease. Those who would bring great things to pass, must rise early. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty. All in public stations should always attend to the duty of their place. The people were to follow the ark. Thus must we walk after the rule of the word, and the direction of the Spirit, in everything; so shall peace be upon us as upon the Israel of God; but we must follow our ministers only as they follow Christ. All their way through the wilderness was an untrodden path, but most so this through Jordan. While we are here, we must expect and prepare to pass ways that we have not passed before; but in the path of duty we may proceed with boldness and cheerfulness. Whether we are called to suffer poverty, pain, labour, persecution, reproach, or death, we are following the Author and Finisher of our faith; nor can we set our feet in any dangerous or difficult spot, through our whole journey, but faith will there see the prints of the Redeemer's feet, who trod that very path to glory above, and bids us follow him, that where he is, we may be also. They were to sanctify themselves. Would we experience the effects of God's love and power, we must put away sin, and be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
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