Rocks to Remind the People
1After all the people had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2“Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe. 3Tell them to get twelve rocks from the middle of the river, from where the priests stood. Carry the rocks and put them down where you stay tonight.”
4So Joshua chose one man from each tribe. Then he called the twelve men together 5and said to them, “Go out into the river where the Ark of the Lord your God is. Each of you bring back one rock, one for each tribe of Israel, and carry it 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 water stopped flowing in the Jordan when the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord crossed the river. These rocks will always remind the Israelites of this.”
8So the Israelites obeyed Joshua and carried twelve rocks from the middle of the Jordan River, one rock for each of the twelve tribes of Israel, just as the Lord had commanded Joshua. They carried the rocks with them and put them down where they made their camp. 9Joshua also put twelve rocks in the middle of the Jordan River where the priests had stood while carrying the Ark of the Agreement. These rocks are still there today.
10The priests carrying the Ark continued standing in the middle of the river until everything was done that the Lord had commanded Joshua to tell the people, just as Moses had told Joshua. The people hurried across the river. 11After they finished crossing the river, the priests carried the Ark of the Lord to the other side as the people watched. 12The men from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh obeyed what Moses had told them. They were dressed for war, and they crossed the river ahead of the other people. 13About forty thousand soldiers prepared for war passed before the Lord as they marched across the river, going toward the plains of Jericho.
14That day the Lord made Joshua great in the opinion of all the Israelites. They respected Joshua all his life, just as they had respected Moses.
15Then the Lord said to Joshua, 16“Command the priests to bring the Ark of the Agreement out of the river.”
17So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”
18Then the priests carried the Ark of the Agreement 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, just as it had before they crossed.
19The people crossed the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and camped at Gilgal, east of Jericho. 20They carried with them the twelve rocks taken from the Jordan, and Joshua set them up at Gilgal. 21Then he spoke to the Israelites: “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 until you finished crossing it, just as the Lord did to the Red Sea. He stopped the water until we crossed it. 24The Lord did this so all people would know he has great power and so you would always respect the Lord your God.’ ”