Joshua 3

1Early the next morning, Joshua and all the people of Israel got up and left Acacia. They traveled to the Jordan River and camped there before they went across. 2After three days, the leaders went through the camp. 3The leaders gave orders to the people. They said, “You will see the priests and Levites carrying the Box of the Agreement of the Lord your God. At that time, you must follow them. 4But do not follow too closely. Stay about 1,000 yards behind them. You have not been here before. But if you follow them, then you will know where to go.” 5Then Joshua told the people, “Make yourselves pure. Tomorrow the Lord will use you to do amazing things.” 6Then Joshua said to the priests, “Take the Box of the Agreement and go across the river in front of the people.” So the priests lifted the Box and carried it in front of the people. 7Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great man for all the people of Israel to see. Then the people will know that I am with you the same as I was with Moses. 8The priests will carry the Box of the Agreement. Tell the priests this, 'Walk to the shore of the Jordan River and stop just before you step into the water.’” 9Then Joshua said to the people of Israel, “Come and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10Here is proof that the living God is truly with you. Here is proof that he will truly defeat your enemies. He will defeat the Canaanite people, the Hittite people, the Hivite people, the Perizzite people, the Girgashite people, the Amorite people, and the Jebusite people, he will force them to leave that land. 11Here is the proof. The Box of the Agreement of the Master of the whole world will go before you as you cross the Jordan River. 12Now, choose twelve men. Choose one man from each of the twelve family groups of Israel. 13The priests will carry the Box of the Lord. The Lord is the Master of the whole world. They will carry that Box in front of you into the Jordan River. When they enter the water, the water of the Jordan River will stop flowing. The water will stop and fill behind that place like a dam.” 14The priests carried the Box of the Agreement and the people left the place they had camped. The people started going across the Jordan River. 15(During harvest time the Jordan River overflows its banks. So the river was at its fullest.) The priests who were carrying the Box came to the shore of the river. They stepped into the water. 16And immediately, the water stopped flowing. ˻The water filled behind that place like a dam.˼ The water piled high a long way up the river—all the way to Adam (a town near Zarethan). The people crossed the river near Jericho. 17The ground at that place became dry, and the priests carried the Box of the Agreement of the Lord to the middle of the river and stopped. The priests waited there while all the people of Israel walked across the Jordan River on dry land.

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