4When the entire nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua: 2Select twelve men from the people, one from each tribe, 3and command them, Take twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests feet stood, carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you camp tonight. 4Then Joshua summoned the twelve men from the Israelites, whom he had appointed, one from each tribe. 5Joshua said to them, Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, one for each of the tribes of the Israelites, 6so that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, What do those stones mean to you? 7then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial for ever.
8 The Israelites did as Joshua commanded. They took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord told Joshua, carried them over with them to the place where they camped, and laid them down there. 9(Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.)
10 The priests who bore the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan, until everything was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to tell the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people crossed over in haste. 11As soon as all the people had finished crossing over, the ark of the Lord, and the priests, crossed over in front of the people. 12The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed before the Israelites, as Moses had ordered them. 13About forty thousand armed for war crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for battle.
14 On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him, as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life.
15 The Lord said to Joshua, 16Command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant* to come up out of the Jordan. 17Joshua therefore commanded the priests, Come up out of the Jordan. 18When the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord came up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests feet touched dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks, as before.
19 The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20Those twelve stones, which they had taken out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal, 21saying to the Israelites, When your children ask their parents in time to come, What do these stones mean? 22then you shall let your children know, Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground. 23For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea,* which he dried up for us until we crossed over, 24so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, and so that you may fear the Lord your God for ever.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011