3:3 and commanded the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God 1 being carried by the Levitical priests, you must leave here 2 and walk 3 behind it. 3:4 But stay about three thousand feet behind it. 4 Keep your distance 5 so you can see 6 which way you should go, for you have not traveled this way before.”
3:5 Joshua told the people, “Ritually consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will perform miraculous deeds among you.” 3:6 Joshua told the priests, “Pick up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they picked up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people.
1 sn The ark of the covenant refers to the wooden chest that symbolized God’s presence among his covenant people.
2 tn Heb “set out from your place.”
3 tn Or “march.”
4 tn Heb “But there should be a distance between you and it, about two thousand cubits in measurement.”
sn The precise distance is uncertain, but the measurement designated אַמָּה (’ammah, “cubit”) was probably equivalent to approximately eighteen inches (one and one-half feet, or 45 cm) in length.
5 tn Heb “do not approach it.”
6 tn Heb “know.”