Crossing the Jordan
1Early the next morning Joshua and all the Israelites left Acacia. They traveled to the Jordan River and camped there before crossing it. 2After three days the officers went through the camp 3and gave orders to the people: “When you see the priests and Levites carrying the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord your God, leave where you are and follow it. 4That way you will know which way to go since you have never been here before. But do not follow too closely. Stay about a thousand yards behind the Ark.”
5Then Joshua told the people, “Make yourselves holy, because tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
6Joshua said to the priests, “Take the Ark of the Agreement and go ahead of the people.” So the priests lifted the Ark and carried it ahead of the people.
7Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you great in the opinion of all the Israelites so the people will know I am with you just as I was with Moses. 8Tell the priests who carry the Ark of the Agreement to go to the edge of the Jordan River and stand in the water.”
9Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10Here is proof that the living God is with you and that he will force out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites. 11The Ark of the Agreement with the Lord of the whole world will go ahead of you into the Jordan River. 12Now choose twelve men from among you, one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Master of the whole world, into the Jordan ahead of you. When they step into the water, it will stop. The river will stop flowing and will stand up in a heap.”
14So the people left the place where they had camped, and they followed the priests who carried the Ark of the Agreement across the Jordan River. 15During harvest the Jordan overflows its banks. When the priests carrying the Ark came to the edge of the river and stepped into the water, 16the water upstream stopped flowing. It stood up in a heap a great distance away at Adam, 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 priests carried the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord to the middle of the river and stood there on dry ground. They waited there while all the people of Israel walked across the Jordan River on dry land.