Joshua 4

Twelve stones in the Jordan River
4:1-24

4:1 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,

4:2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,

4:3 And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

After the people had crossed the Jordan, God said to Joshua,
Take twelve men, one out of every tribe, and say to them,
Remove twelve stones from the bottom of the Jordan, where the priests' feet stood.

Carry them to the other side where you will sleep tonight.

4:4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:

4:5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:

So Joshua called the twelve men and said to them,
Go into the Jordan and put a stone on your shoulder.

4:6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?

4:7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

This will be a sign for you.

Many years from now, when children ask their fathers, saying,

What's up with the stones?
You will say to them,
The Jordan River was stopped when the ark of the covenant passed over the river.

4:8 And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.

And the Israelites did as Joshua commanded and took twelve stones from the bottom of the Jordan.

They carried the stones to the other side and set them down there.

4:9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.

Joshua set up the twelve stones in the place where the priests' feet stood.

They are still there today. [1]

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

4:11 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.

4:12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:

The priests who carried the ark stood in the middle of the Jordan until the stones were in place.

Then God commanded Joshua to speak to the people, telling them all that Moses commanded Joshua.

After Joshua finished speaking, the people crossed over.

Then the priests crossed over.

4:13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.

About 40,000 soldiers passed over to fight on the plains of Jericho.

4:14 On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.

That day God made Joshua look good to the Israelites.

From that day on, they feared him like they did Moses.

4:15 And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,

4:16 Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.

God said to Joshua,
Command the priests to carry the ark of the testimony to come out of the Jordan.

4:17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan.

So Joshua commanded the priests,
Come up out of the Jordan.

4:18 And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.

When the priests came out of the Jordan and the soles of their feet were lifted up on dry land, the waters of the Jordan began to flow again.

4:19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

The people came out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month.

4:20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.

Joshua took the twelve stones from the Jordan River and set them up in Gilgal. [1]

4:21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?

4:22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.

4:23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

4:24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

Joshua said to the Israelites,

Many years from now, when children ask their fathers, saying,

What's up with the stones?
You'll say,
Israel came over the Jordan on dry land.

Because God dried up the Jordan until you passed over, just as he did the Red Sea until we had gone over.

So that all the people on earth will know God's hand, and fear him forever. [2]