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Joshua 4:1-9

Context
Israel Commemorates the Crossing

4:1 When the entire nation was on the other side, 1  the Lord told Joshua, 4:2 “Select for yourselves twelve men from the people, one per tribe. 4:3 Instruct them, ‘Pick up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests 2  stand firmly, and carry them over with you and put them in the place where you camp tonight.’”

4:4 Joshua summoned the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one per tribe. 4:5 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. 4:6 The stones 3  will be a reminder to you. 4  When your children ask someday, ‘Why are these stones important to you?’ 4:7 tell them how the water of the Jordan stopped flowing 5  before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the water of the Jordan stopped flowing. 6  These stones will be a lasting memorial for the Israelites.”

4:8 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. 4:9 Joshua also set up twelve stones 7  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.

1 tn Heb “And when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.”

2 tn Heb “the feet of the priests.”

3 tn Heb “that this may be”; the referent of “this” (the twelve stones) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Heb “in order that this might be a sign among you.”

5 tn Heb “were cut off from before.”

6 tn Heb “how the waters descending from above stood still.”

7 tn Here “also” has been supplied in the translation to make it clear (as indicated by v. 20) that these are not the same stones the men took from the river bed.



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