Bible Society of South Africa

Day 24 – Crossing the Jordan

Read about how the people of Israel cross the Jordan.

Bible text(s)

The People of Israel Cross the Jordan

1The next morning Joshua and all the people of Israel got up early, left the camp at Acacia, and went to the Jordan, where they camped while waiting to cross it. 2Three days later the leaders went through the camp 3and said to the people, “When you see the priests carrying the Covenant Box of the LORD your God, break camp and follow them. 4You have never been here before, so they will show you the way to go. But do not get near the Covenant Box; stay about a kilometre behind it.”

5Joshua said to the people, “Purify yourselves, because tomorrow the LORD will perform miracles among you.” 6Then he told the priests to take the Covenant Box and go with it ahead of the people. They did as he said.

7The LORD said to Joshua, “What I do today will make all the people of Israel begin to honour you as a great man, and they will realize that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8Tell the priests carrying the Covenant Box that when they reach the river, they must wade in and stand near the bank.”

9Then Joshua said to the people, “Come here and listen to what the LORD your God has to say. 10As you advance, he will surely drive out the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. You will know that the living God is among you 11when the Covenant Box of the Lord of all the earth crosses the Jordan ahead of you. 12Now choose twelve men, one from each of the tribes of Israel. 13When the priests who carry the Covenant Box of the LORD of all the earth put their feet in the water, the Jordan will stop flowing, and the water coming downstream will pile up in one place.”

14-15It was harvest time, and the river was in flood.

When the people left the camp to cross the Jordan, the priests went ahead of them, carrying the Covenant Box. As soon as the priests stepped into the river, 16the water stopped flowing and piled up, far upstream at Adam, the city beside Zarethan. The flow downstream to the Dead Sea was completely cut off, and the people were able to cross over near Jericho. 17While the people walked across on dry ground, the priests carrying the LORD's Covenant Box stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan until all the people had crossed over.

Memorial Stones are Set Up

1When the whole nation had crossed the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, 2“Choose twelve men, one from each tribe, 3and command them to take twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests were standing. Tell them to carry these stones with them and to put them down where you camp tonight.”

4Then Joshua called the twelve men he had chosen, 5and said, “Go into the Jordan ahead of the Covenant Box of the LORD your God. Each one of you take a stone on your shoulder, one for each of the tribes of Israel. 6These stones will remind the people of what the LORD has done. In the future, when your children ask what these stones mean to you, 7you will tell them that the water of the Jordan stopped flowing when the LORD's Covenant Box crossed the river. These stones will always remind the people of Israel of what happened here.”

8The men followed Joshua's orders. As the LORD had commanded Joshua, they took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each of the tribes of Israel, carried them to the camping place, and put them down there. 9Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, where the priests carrying the Covenant Box had stood. (Those stones are still there.) 10The priests stood in the middle of the Jordan until everything had been done that the LORD ordered Joshua to tell the people to do. This is what Moses had commanded.

The people hurried across the river. 11When they were all on the other side, the priests with the LORD's Covenant Box went on ahead of the people. 12The men of the tribes of Reuben and Gad and of half the tribe of Manasseh, ready for battle, crossed ahead of the rest of the people, as Moses had told them to do. 13In the presence of the LORD about 40,000 men ready for war crossed over to the plain near Jericho. 14What the LORD did that day made the people of Israel consider Joshua a great man. They honoured him all his life, just as they had honoured Moses.

15Then the LORD told Joshua 16to command the priests carrying the Covenant Box to come up out of the Jordan. 17Joshua did so, 18and when the priests reached the river bank, the river began flowing once more and flooded its banks again.

19The people crossed the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and made camp at Gilgal, east of Jericho. 20There Joshua set up the twelve stones taken from the Jordan. 21He said to the people of Israel, “In the future, when your children ask you what these stones mean, 22you will tell them about the time when Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground. 23Tell them that the LORD your God dried up the water of the Jordan for you until you had crossed, just as he dried up the Red Sea for us. 24Because of this everyone on earth will know how great the LORD's power is, and you will honour the LORD your God for ever.”

Joshua 3:1-4:24GNBOpen in Bible reader

PRAY before you read, asking God to help you understand.
READ the Bible passage for the day – preferably more than once.
REFLECT on the passage. Write your thoughts in a journal.
APPLY what God teaches you from His Word to your life.
PRAY again, asking God to live out His Word.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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