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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Joshua

(Return to Framework Contents)

 

CONTEXT

Part 1: Ch.1-5: Preparation & Entry

Ch.1 – Joshua installed as Leader

Ch.2 – Rahab and the Spies

Ch.3 – Crossing the Jordan

Ch.4 – Establishing a Memorial

Ch.5 – Circumcision & Passover

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: Joshua 3: Crossing the Jordan

 

v.1-4 The nation move to the Jordan and are instructed to follow the ark

v.5,6 Joshua instructs them to prepare

v.7,8 God reassures and instructs Joshua

v.9-13 Joshua tells the people, get ready for a miracle

v.14-17 A Miracle: Israel cross the Jordan on dry ground

 

 

v.1-4 The nation move to the Jordan and are instructed to follow the ark

 

v.1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over.

v.2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp,

v.3 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.

v.4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits (about 3000ft) between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

 

[Notes: The next stage is to leave the Plains of Moab and cross the Jordan river. They are instructed to do this in order, allowing the ark to be carried by the priests out front before them.]

 

 

v.5,6 Joshua instructs them to prepare

 

v.5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

v.6 Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them.

 

[Notes: Recognising this needs to be a work of God, Joshua tells the people to consecrate or ensure they are clean before God as they go. The ark goes ahead.]

 

 

v.7,8 God reassures and instructs Joshua

 

v.7 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.

v.8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river.'”

 

[Notes: The Lord, seeing Joshua's obedience and heart attitude, encourages Joshua and tells him to tell the priests carrying the ark to actually go and stand with it in the river.]

 

 

v.9-13 Joshua tells the people, get ready for a miracle

 

v.9 Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.

v.10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites.

v.11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you.

v.12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe.

v.13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

 

[Notes: Joshua clearly has faith in the Lord, declaring publicly that the Lord will stop the river flowing for them, enabling them to cross.]

 

 

v.14-17 A Miracle: Israel cross the Jordan on dry ground

 

v.14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.

v.15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge,

v.16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

v.17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

 

[Notes: As they obey Joshua, the Lord stops the river flowing and the whole nation are able to walk (not swim!) across.]

   

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 4