Joshua 4 – “The Stones from the Jordan”

flowing water riverHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Twelve stones from the Jordan are set up at Gilgal as a remembrance for the miraculous crossing of the Jordan. Joshua also sets up twelve stones within the Jordan itself.

 

II. Photo

The Jordan returns to normal: “As soon as the priests who bore the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant came up out of the Jordan, and the feet of the priests stepped onto the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan resumed their course, flowing over its entire bed as before.” (v. 18)

 

III. Select Verses

4-7:  Joshua summoned the twelve men whom he had designated among the Israelites, one from each tribe; and Joshua said to them, “Walk up to the Ark of the LORD your God, in the middle of the Jordan, and each of you lift a stone onto his shoulder — corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel.  This shall serve as a symbol among you: in time to come, when your children ask, ‘What is the meaning of these stones for you?’  you shall tell them, ‘The waters of the Jordan were cut off because of the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant; when it passed through the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ And so these stones shall serve the people of Israel as a memorial for all time.”

9: Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the spot where the feet of the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant had stood; and they have remained there to this day.

14:  On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, so that they revered him all his days as they had revered Moses.

18: As soon as the priests who bore the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant came up out of the Jordan, and the feet of the priests stepped onto the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan resumed their course, flowing over its entire bed as before.

 

IV. Outline

1-3. Yahweh’s command to gather twelve stones from the Jordan

4-5. Joshua relates the command to the tribal leaders

6-7. Joshua’s rationale

8. The tribal leaders act out the command

9. Joshua sets up stones within the Jordan

10-11. The people and ark complete the crossing

12-13. Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh crossed first

14. Joshua’s veneration equals Moses’

15-16. Yahweh’s command for the priests to leave the Jordan

17. Joshua relates the command

18. The waters return after the priests leave

19. Calendrical statement; Encampment at Gilgal

20. Joshua sets up the twelve stones at Gilgal

21-24. Joshua’s rationale

 

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

 

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

Photo copied from  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7051/6809998570_dd1f59403d_z.jpg

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