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Joshua



The book of Joshua, chapter 4, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 4

New English Translation


   Israel Commemorates the Crossing
   1 When the entire nation was on the other side, the LORD told Joshua, 2 "Select for yourselves twelve men from the people, one per tribe. 3 Instruct them, 'Pick up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests stand firmly, and carry them over with you and put them in the place where you camp tonight.'"
   4 Joshua summoned the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one per tribe. 5 Joshua told them, "Go in front of the ark of the LORD your God to the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to put a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the Israelite tribes. 6 The stones will be a reminder to you. When your children ask someday, 'Why are these stones important to you?' 7 tell them how the water of the Jordan stopped flowing before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the water of the Jordan stopped flowing. These stones will be a lasting memorial for the Israelites."
   8 The Israelites did just as Joshua commanded. They picked up twelve stones, according to the number of the Israelite tribes, from the middle of the Jordan as the LORD had instructed Joshua. They carried them over with them to the camp and put them there. 9 Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan in the very place where the priests carrying the ark of the covenant stood. They remain there to this very day.
   10 Now the priests carrying the ark of the covenant were standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the LORD had commanded Joshua to tell the people was accomplished, in accordance with all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people went across quickly, 11 and when all the people had finished crossing, the ark of the LORD and the priests crossed as the people looked on. 12 The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed for battle ahead of the Israelites, just as Moses had instructed them. 13 About forty thousand battle-ready troops marched past the LORD to fight on the plains of Jericho. 14 That day the LORD brought honor to Joshua before all Israel. They respected him all his life, just as they had respected Moses.
   15 The LORD told Joshua, 16 "Instruct the priests carrying the ark of the covenantal laws to come up from the Jordan." 17 So Joshua instructed the priests, "Come up from the Jordan!" 18 The priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD came up from the middle of the Jordan, and as soon as they set foot on dry land, the water of the Jordan flowed again and returned to flood stage.
   19 The people went up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and camped in Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 Now Joshua set up in Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken from the Jordan. 21 He told the Israelites, "When your children someday ask their fathers, 'What do these stones represent?' 22 explain to your children, 'Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground.' 23 For the LORD your God dried up the water of the Jordan before you while you crossed over. It was just like when the LORD your God dried up the Red Sea before us while we crossed it. 24 He has done this so all the nations of the earth might recognize the LORD's power and so you might always obey the LORD your God."

King James Version


   1 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
   2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
   3 And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.
   4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
   5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
   6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
   7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
   8 And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.
   9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.
   10 ¶ For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.
   11 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.
   12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:
   13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.
   14 ¶ On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.
   15 And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
   16 Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.
   17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan.
   18 And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.
   19 ¶ And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.
   20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
   21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?
   22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.
   23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:
   24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.
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