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Commentary On Joshua by Jean Calvin

CHAPTER 4

1 And it was after the whole people made an end of passing the Jordan; because Jehovah had spoken to Joshua, saying,

2 Take for you from the people twelve men, one man from each tribe;

3 And command them, saying, Take for you hence out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the feet of the unencumbered priests stand, twelve stones which you shall carry with you, and deposit in the place where you shall remain this night.

4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed out of the children of Israel, one from each tribe.

5 And Joshua said to them, Pass before the ark of Jehovah your God through the midst of the Jordan, and let every one of you take up one stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel.

6 That it may be among you, (Hebrew, in the midst of you,) when your children shall to-morrow ask their fathers, What are those stones beside you?

7 Then you may answer them, When the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, when, I say, it was crossing the Jordan, and the waters of the Jordan were cut off, then were those stones made to be a memorial to the children of Israel for ever.

8 The children of Israel accordingly did as Joshua had commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, as Jehovah had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and they brought them with them to the place where they passed the night, and laid them down there.

9 Joshua also erected twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan under the station of the feet of the priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant, and they have remained there even to this day.

10 And the priests, bearing the ark, kept standing in the midst of the Jordan, till all the speech which Jehovah had commanded Joshua to speak to the people was finished; exactly as Moses had commanded Joshua himself: but the people made haste in passing.

11 And when the whole people had made an end of passing, the ark of Jehovah passed, and the priests in presence of the people.

12 The children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh also passed over armed before the children of Israel; in like manner as Moses had spoken to them.

13 Forty thousand armed men passed over in presence of Jehovah to battle to the plains of Jericho.

14 On that day Jehovah magnified Joshua in the eyes of all Israel, and they feared him just as they had feared Moses all the days of his life.

15 And Jehovah spoke unto Joshua, saying,

16 Command the priests bearing the ark of the testimony to ascend from the Jordan.

17 And Joshua commanded the priests, saying, Ascend from the Jordan.

18 Moreover, when the priests, bearing the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, had ascended from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the feet of the priests were transferred to the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and they flowed as yesterday and the day before yesterday above all its banks.

19 Now the people ascended from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal in the east district of Jericho.

20 And the twelve stones which they had brought out of the Jordan, Joshua placed in Gilgal.

21 And he spoke to the children of Israel, saying, When your sons shall to-morrow ask their sons, saying, What mean those stones?

22 You shall explain to your sons, saying, Israel passed through the dry land across that Jordan:

23 Since Jehovah your God dried the waters of Jordan from before your face until you passed over; in like manner as Jehovah your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up from before our face till we passed over;

24 That all the nations of the earth may recognize the hand of Jehovah, how mighty he is; that you may, during all days, fear Jehovah your God.

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