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Joshua 4

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 1 And it came to pass, when all the people had completely passed over Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying,

 2 "Take the twelve men out of the people, a man out of every tribe,

 3 And command you them, saying, 'Take from here out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and you will carry them over with you, and leave them in the camping place, where you will camp this night.'"

 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, a man out of every tribe.

 5 And Joshua said to them, "Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel.

 6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, 'What is the meaning of these stones?'

 7 Then you will answer them, 'That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off; and these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.'"

 8 And the children of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they camped and laid them down there.

 9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.

 10 For the priests who bore the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until everything was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua; and the people hastened and passed over.

 11 And it came to pass, when all the people had completely passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over with the priests in the presence of the people.

 12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses had ordered them.

 13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD to battle, to the plains of Jericho.

 14 On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.

 15 And the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying,

 16 "Command the priests who bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of the Jordan."

 17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, "Come up out of the Jordan."

 18 And it came to pass, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD had come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet had been lifted up to the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned to their place and flowed over all his banks as they did before.

 19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

 20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, Joshua set in place in Gilgal.

 21 And he spoke to the children of Israel, saying, "When your children will ask their fathers in time to come, saying, 'What is the meaning of these stones?'

 22 Then you will let your children know, saying, 'Israel came over this river Jordan on dry land.

 23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you, until you had passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we had passed over;

 24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty;1 and that you might fear the LORD your God forever.'"


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1 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty; The great miracles of the Old Testament, including the parting of the Red Sea, are an indelible record of the omnipotent power of God; they are recorded for all to remember through the ages, and should be motivation to fear displeasing this mighty God. In addition the Old Testament is an allegory of the personal spiritual journey of a dedicated seeker of God, who can rid a man of sin, who can change a selfish, profane, evil man to become holy and pure.

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