The people set up a monument
1After Israel had crossed the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua:
2-3Tell#4.1–3 Joshua … Tell: Or “Joshua, you and the other leaders must tell”. one man from each of the twelve tribes to pick up a large rock from where the priests are standing. Then tell the men to set up those rocks as a monument at the place where you camp tonight.
4Joshua chose twelve men; he called them together, 5and told them:
Go to the middle of the river bed where the sacred chest is, and pick up a large rock. Carry it on your shoulder to our camp. There are twelve of you, so there will be one rock for each tribe. 6-7Some day your children will ask, “Why are these rocks here?” Then you can tell them how the water stopped flowing when the chest was being carried across the river. These rocks will always remind our people of what happened here today.
8The men followed the instructions that the LORD had given Joshua. They picked up twelve rocks, one for each tribe, and carried them to the camp, where they put them down.
9Joshua told some other men to set up a monument next to the place where the priests were standing. This monument was also made of twelve large rocks, and it is still there in the middle of the river.
The people of Israel set up camp at Gilgal
10-13The army got ready for battle and crossed the Jordan. They marched quickly past the sacred chest#4.10–13 the sacred chest: The Hebrew text has “the LORD”. The army was marching past the sacred chest, which was a symbol of God's throne on earth (see 1 Samuel 4.4 and Exodus 25.10–22; 37.1–9). and into the desert near Jericho. Forty thousand soldiers from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh#4.10–13 Forty thousand soldiers from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh: Or “There were forty thousand soldiers altogether, and those from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh”. led the way, as Moses had ordered.#4.10–13 Moses … ordered: See Numbers 32.16–32; Joshua 1.12–16.
The priests stayed where they were until the army had followed the orders that the LORD had given Moses and Joshua. Then the army watched as the priests carried the chest the rest of the way across.
14-18“Joshua,” the LORD said, “tell the priests to come up from the Jordan and bring the chest with them.” So Joshua went over to the priests and told them what the LORD had said. And as soon as the priests carried the chest past the highest place that the flood waters of the Jordan had reached, the river flooded its banks again.
That's how the LORD showed the Israelites that Joshua was their leader.#4.14–18 leader: See 3.7. For the rest of Joshua's life, they respected him as they had respected Moses.
19It was the tenth day of the first month#4.19 first month: Abib (also called Nisan), the first month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-March to mid-April. of the year when Israel crossed the River Jordan. They set up camp at Gilgal, which was east of the land controlled by Jericho. 20The men who had carried the twelve rocks from the Jordan brought them to Joshua, and they made them into a monument. 21Then Joshua told the people:
Years from now your children will ask you why these rocks are here. 22-23Tell them, “The LORD our God dried up the River Jordan so we could walk across. He did the same thing here for us that he did for our people at the Red Sea,#4.22,23 Red Sea: See the note at 2.10. 24because he wants everyone on earth to know how powerful he is. And he wants us to worship only him.”