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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Joshua

(Return to Old Testament 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 4: Establishing a Memorial

 

v.1-3 The Lord instructs twelve stones to be taken

v.4-7 Joshua instructs men to take the stones as a sign

v.8,9 So the stones are collected and set up

v.10-13 The men pass over while the ark remains on the river bed

v.14-18 The Priests come out and the river flows again

v.19-24 The Memorial Stones are set up at Gilgal

 

 

v.1-3 The Lord instructs twelve stones to be taken

 

v.1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua,

v.2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe,

v.3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

 

[Notes: There had been preparation for this in 3:12 with a representative from each tribe being ready and the Lord instructs that they are now each to go back and collect a large stone from the now-dry river bed and take it with them to the other side.]

 

 

v.4-7 Joshua instructs men to take the stones as a sign

 

v.4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe,

v.5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites,

v.6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?'

v.7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

 

[Notes: Joshua conveys this to them which they do to create a memorial to remind future generations what happened here.]

 

 

v.8,9 So the stones are collected and set up

 

v.8 So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down.

v.9 Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

 

[Notes: On the other side, when they make camp, Joshua sets up these twelve stones as a memorial.]

 

 

v.10-13 The men pass over while the ark remains on the river bed

 

v.10 Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over,

v.11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched.

v.12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them.

v.13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.

 

[Notes: Joshua takes his army across the river, the men collect the stones [as above] and then the priests and the ark follow the people out. From v.13 it would appear that of all the armed men available, Joshua only took a limited number while presumably the rest stayed on the eastern side of the Jordan until; the land was taken.]

 

 

v.14-18 The Priests come out and the river flows again

 

v.14 That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.

v.15 Then the Lord said to Joshua,

v.16 “Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant law to come up out of the Jordan.”

v.17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”

v.18 And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.

 

[Notes: This miracle puts Joshua in good stead with the people for when the priests come out of the river bed, the river starts flowing again.]

 

 

v.19-24 The Memorial Stones are set up at Gilgal

 

v.19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho.

v.20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan.

v.21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?'

v.22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.'

v.23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.

v.24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”

 

[Notes: The twelve stones, mentioned before are set up near Gilgal to the north-east of Jericho.]

   

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 5