Joshua 4
Rocks to Remind the People
1All the people finished crossing the Jordan. Then the Lord said to Joshua, 2“Choose 12 men from among the people. Choose 1 from each tribe. 3Tell the men to get 12 large rocks from the middle of the river. Take them from where the priests stood. Carry the rocks and put them down where you stay tonight.”
4So Joshua chose 1 man from each tribe. Then he called the 12 men together. 5He said to them, “Go out into the river where the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God is. Each of you should find 1 large rock. There will be 1 rock for each tribe of Israel. Carry the rock on your shoulder. 6They will be a sign among you. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these rocks mean?’ 7Tell them the Lord stopped the water from flowing in the Jordan. When the Ark of the Covenant with the Lord crossed the river, the water was stopped. These rocks will help the Israelites remember this forever.”
8So the Israelites obeyed Joshua. They carried 12 rocks from the middle of the Jordan River. There was 1 rock for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. They did this the way the Lord had commanded Joshua. They carried the rocks with them. And they put them down where they made their camp. 9Joshua also put 12 rocks in the middle of the Jordan River. He put them where the priests had stood while carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. These rocks are still there today.
10The Lord had commanded Joshua to tell the people what to do. It was what Moses had said Joshua must do. So the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant continued standing in the middle of the river until everything was done. And the people hurried across the river. 11The people finished crossing the river. Then the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to the other side. As they carried it, the people watched. 12The men from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the eastern half-tribe of Manasseh obeyed what Moses had told them. They were prepared for war. So they crossed the river ahead of the other people. 13About 40,000 soldiers were prepared for war. They passed before the Lord as they marched across the river. Then they went toward the plains of Jericho to go to war.
14That day the Lord made Joshua a great man to all the Israelites. They respected Joshua all his life, just as they had respected Moses.
15Then the Lord spoke to Joshua. 16He said, “Command the priests to bring the Ark of the Covenant out of the river.”
17So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”
18So the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant with the Lord out of the river. As soon as their feet touched dry land, the water began flowing again. The river again overflowed its banks. It was just as it had been before they crossed.
19The people crossed the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. They camped at Gilgal, east of Jericho. 20They carried with them the 12 rocks taken from the Jordan. And Joshua set them up at Gilgal. 21Then he spoke to the Israelites. He said, “In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these rocks mean?’ 22Tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry land. 23The Lord your God caused the water to stop flowing. The river was dry until the people finished crossing it. The Lord did the same thing for us at the Jordan that he did for the people at the Red Sea. Remember that he stopped the water at the Red Sea so we could cross. 24The Lord did this so all people would know he has great power. Then they will always respect the Lord your God.’”
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