Crossing the Jordan
1Early the next morning Joshua and all the people of Israel left Acacia. They traveled to the Jordan River and camped there before crossing it. 2After three days the officers went through the camp. 3They gave orders to the people. They said, “You will see the priests and Levites carrying the Ark of the Covenant with the Lord your God. Then you should leave where you are and follow it. 4That way you will know which way to go. You have never traveled this way before. But do not follow too closely. Stay about a thousand yards behind the Ark of the Covenant.”
5Then Joshua told the people, “Make yourselves holy for the Lord. Tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
6Joshua said to the priests, “Take the Ark of the Covenant. Cross over the river ahead of the people.” So the priests lifted the Ark of the Covenant and carried it ahead of the people.
7Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great man to all the Israelites. So the people will know I am with you just as I was with Moses. 8The priests will carry the Ark of the Covenant. Tell them this: ‘Go to the edge of the Jordan River and stand in the water.’”
9Then Joshua said to the people of Israel, “Come here. Listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10Here is proof that the living God is with you. Here is proof that he will drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and the Jebusites. 11This is the proof: The Ark of the Covenant will go ahead of you into the Jordan River. It is the Agreement with the Lord of the whole world. 12Now choose 12 men from among you. Choose 1 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. 13The priests will carry the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, the Master of the whole world. They will carry it into the Jordan ahead of you. When they enter the water, the river will stop flowing. The water will be stopped. It will stand up in a heap as if a dam were there.”
14So the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant. And the people left the place where they had camped. Then they started across the Jordan River. 15During harvest the Jordan is flooded. So the river was at its fullest. The priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant came to the edge of the river. And they stepped into the water. 16Just at that moment, the water stopped flowing. It stood up in a heap a great distance away at Adam. This is a town near Zarethan. The water flowing down to the Sea of Arabah (the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed the river near Jericho. 17The ground there became dry. The priests carried the Ark of the Covenant with the Lord to the middle of the river and stopped. They waited there while all the people of Israel walked across. They crossed the Jordan River on dry land.