Joshua 4

1After all the people had crossed the Jordan River the Lord said to Joshua, 2“Choose twelve men. Choose one man from each family group. 3Tell them to look in the river where the priests were standing. Tell them to find twelve rocks in that place. Carry those twelve rocks with you. Put the twelve rocks in the place where you stay tonight.” 4So Joshua chose one man from each family group. Then he called the twelve men together. 5Joshua said to the men, “Go out into the river where the Holy Box of the Lord your God is. Each of you must find one rock. There will be one rock for each of the twelve family groups of Israel. Carry that rock on your shoulder. 6These rocks will be a sign for you. In the future, your children will ask you, 'What do these rocks mean?’ 7You will tell the children that the Lord stopped the water from flowing in the Jordan River. When the Holy Box of the Lord’s Agreement crossed the river, the water stopped flowing. Those rocks will help the people of Israel remember this thing forever.” 8So the people of Israel obeyed Joshua. They carried twelve rocks from the middle of the Jordan River. There was one rock for each of the twelve family groups of Israel. They did this the way the Lord commanded Joshua. The men carried the rocks with them. Then they put the rocks at the place where they made their camp. 9(Joshua also put twelve rocks in the middle of the Jordan River. He put them at the place where the priests stood while carrying the Lord’s Holy Box. Those rocks are still at that place today.) 10The Lord had commanded Joshua to tell the people what to do. Those were the things Moses had said Joshua must do. So the priests carrying the Holy Box continued standing in the middle of the river until all those things were done. The people hurried across the river. 11The people finished crossing the river. After that, the priests carried the Box of the Lord to the front of the people. 12The men from the family groups of Reuben, Gad, and half of the family group of Manasseh obeyed Moses. These men crossed the river in front of the other people. These men were prepared for war. They were going to help the rest of the people of Israel ˻take the land God had promised to give them˼. 13About 40,000 soldiers, prepared for war, passed before the Lord. They were marching toward the plains of Jericho. 14That day the Lord made Joshua a great man to all the people of Israel. The people respected Joshua from that time on. They respected Joshua all his life, the same as they respected Moses. 15While the priests carrying the Box were still standing in the river, the Lord said to Joshua, 16“Command the priests to come out of the river.” 17So Joshua commanded the priests. He said, “Come out of the Jordan River.” 18The priests obeyed Joshua. They carried the Box with them and came out of the river. When the priests’ feet touched the land on the other side of the river, the water in the river began flowing again. The water again overflowed its banks as it had before the people crossed. 19The people crossed the Jordan River on the tenth day of the first month. The people camped at Gilgal, east of Jericho. 20The people carried with them the twelve rocks that they had taken from the Jordan River. And Joshua set up those rocks at Gilgal. 21Then Joshua told the people, “In the future, your children will ask their parents, 'What do these rocks mean?’ 22You will tell the children, 'Those rocks help us remember the way the people of Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry land.’ 23The Lord your God caused the water in the Jordan River to stop flowing so you could cross it on dry land—just like the time the Lord stopped the water at the Red Sea so that we could cross it on dry land. 24The Lord did this so that all the people in this country would know that the Lord is very powerful. Then those people will always be afraid of the Lord your God.”

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