Joshua Chapter 3 |
1Early next morning, Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and marched to the Jordan. They did not cross immediately, but spent the night there. 2Three days later, the officials went through the camp 3and charged the people as follows: “When you see the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God being borne by the levitical priests, you shall move forward. Follow it— 4but keep a distance of some two thousand cubits from it, never coming any closer to it—so that you may know by what route to march, since it is a road you have not traveled before.” 5And Joshua said to the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will perform wonders in your midst.”
6Then Joshua ordered the priests, “Take up the Ark of the Covenant and advance to the head of the people.” And they took up the Ark of the Covenant and marched at the head of the people.
7The Lord said to Joshua, “This day, for the first time, I will exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they shall know that I will be with you as I was with Moses. 8For your part, command the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant as follows: When you reach the edge of the waters of the Jordan, make a halt in the Jordan.”
9And Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come closer and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10By this,” Joshua continued, “you shall know that a living God is among you, and that He will dispossess for you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites: 11the Ark of the Covenant of the Sovereign of all the earth is advancing before you into the Jordan. 12Now select twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from each tribe. 13When the feet of the priests bearing the Ark of the Lord, the Sovereign of all the earth, come to rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan—the water coming from upstream—will be cut off and will stand in a single heap.”
14When the people set out from their encampment to cross the Jordan, the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant were at the head of the people. 15Now the Jordan keeps flowing over its entire bed throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the bearers of the Ark reached the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the Ark dipped into the water at its edge, 16the waters coming down from upstream piled up in a single heap a great way off, at Adam, the town next to Zarethan; and those flowing away downstream to the Sea of the Arabah (the Dead Sea) ran out completely. So the people crossed near Jericho. 17The priests who bore the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry land exactly in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed over on dry land, until the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan.