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Joshua - Chapter 4

Joshua Chapters

1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, Yahweh spoke to Joshua and said,

2 'Choose twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and give them this order,

3 "Here, from mid-Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet were standing, take twelve stones; carry them with you and set them down in the camp where you pass the night." '

4 Joshua called the twelve men whom he had selected from the Israelites, one man from each tribe,

5 and Joshua said to them, 'Go on ahead of the ark of Yahweh your God into mid-Jordan, and each of you take one stone on his shoulder, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel,

6 to make this a sign among you; and when, in the future, your children ask you, "What do these stones mean for you?"

7 you will then tell them, "The waters of the Jordan separated before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the river separated. These stones are an everlasting reminder of this to the Israelites."

8 The Israelites did as Joshua ordered; they took twelve stones from mid-Jordan corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel, as Yahweh had told Joshua; they carried them over to the camp and set them down there.

9 Joshua then erected twelve stones in mid-Jordan, on the spot where the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are still there today.

10 The priests carrying the ark stood still in mid-Jordan, until everything had been done that Yahweh had ordered Joshua to tell the people (in accordance with everything that Moses had ordered Joshua); and the people hurried across.

11 When the people had finished crossing, the ark of Yahweh then crossed, with the priests, to the head of the people.

12 The sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed in battle formation at the head of the Israelites, as Moses had told them.

13 Some forty thousand warriors in arms, they crossed in Yahweh's presence, ready for battle, towards the plain of Jericho.

14 That day, Yahweh made Joshua great in the eyes of all Israel, who respected him as they had respected Moses, as long as he lived.

15 Yahweh said to Joshua,

16 'Order the priests carrying the ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.'

17 And Joshua gave the order to the priests, 'Come up, out of the Jordan!'

18 Now, when the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came up out of mid-Jordan, no sooner had the soles of the priests' feet touched solid ground, than the waters of the Jordan returned to their bed and ran on, in spate as before.

19 It was the tenth day of the first month when the people came up from the Jordan and made their camp at Gilgal, on the eastern border of Jericho.

20 As regards those twelve stones, which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set them up at Gilgal.

21 He then said to the Israelites, 'When, in the future, your children ask their fathers, "What are these stones?"

22 you will explain to your children, "Israel crossed this Jordan dry-shod.

23 For Yahweh your God dried up the waters of the Jordan in front of you until you had crossed, just as Yahweh your God did to the Sea of Reeds, which he dried up before us until we had crossed it;

24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know how mighty the hand of Yahweh is, and always stand in awe of Yahweh your God." '


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