Twelve Memorial Stones
1Now when all the nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, Adonai spoke to Joshua saying:
2“Take for yourself twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe,
3and command them saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the feet of the kohanim are standing firm, and carry them over with you, and deposit them at the place where you will lodge tonight.”
4Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from Bnei-Yisrael, one man from each tribe.
5Joshua said to them, “Cross over before the ark of Adonai your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you, lift up a stone on his shoulder, for the number of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael.
6Let this be a sign among you. When your children ask later saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’
7then you will say to them: ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Adonai—when it crossed the Jordan—the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones will be a reminder to Bnei-Yisrael forever.”
8So Bnei-Yisrael did so, as Joshua commanded. They lifted twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, just as Adonai had said to Joshua, for the number of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael. Then they carried them over with them to the lodging place and put them down there.
9Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the spot where the feet of the kohanim carrying the ark of the covenant were standing—they are there to this day.
10The kohanim who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything that Adonai had commanded Joshua to speak to the people was completed, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people hurried across,
11and when all the people had finished crossing over, the ark of Adonai and the kohanim crossed over in the presence of the people.
12Also the children of Reuben, the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed ahead of Bnei-Yisrael, just as Moses had said to them—
13about 40,000 equipped for war crossed over before Adonai for battle to the plains of Jericho.
14On that day Adonai exalted Joshua in the eyes of all Israel. So they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.
15Then Adonai spoke to Joshua saying:
16“Command the kohanim who are carrying the ark of the testimony to come up from the Jordan.”
17Joshua therefore commanded the kohanim saying, “Come up from the Jordan!”
18As soon as the kohanim who were carrying the ark of the covenant of Adonai came up from the middle of the Jordan and the soles of the feet of the kohanim were drawn up to the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before.
19Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho.
20Those twelve stones, which they had taken out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.
21Then he said to Bnei-Yisrael saying, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come saying: ‘What are these stones?’
22then you will inform your children saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’
23For Adonai your God dried up the waters of Jordan before you until you crossed—just as Adonai your God did to the Sea of Reeds, which He dried up before us until we crossed over—
24so that all the peoples of the earth may know Adonai’s hand is mighty, and so that you may fear Adonai your God forever.”