Joshua 3

The people cross the Jordan

1 Early the next morning, Joshua and all the Israelites left Shittim. They put up their tents beside the Jordan River. They waited to cross the river.

2 Three days later, the Israelite leaders went to every tent. 3 They commanded the people, ‘The Levite priests will carry the Covenant Box of the Lord your God. When you see them, you must leave here and you must follow them. 4 They will show you the way to go because you have never been here before. But do not go too near to the Covenant Box. Stay about 1,000 metres behind it.’

5 Joshua said to the people, ‘Make yourselves ready to serve the Lord as his holy people. Tomorrow, the Lord will do great miracles among you.’

6 He said to the priests, ‘Pick up the Covenant Box, and carry it in front of the people.’ So they picked it up, and they went on in front of the people.

7 Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I will begin to make all the Israelite people respect you. They will know that I am with you, in the same way that I was with Moses. 8 The priests that are carrying the Covenant Box must go to the shore of the Jordan River. Tell them to go into the water and to stand there.’

9 Joshua said to the Israelites, ‘Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10 The God who lives for ever is with you. He will certainly chase the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites out from this land. Then you will have their land. The Lord will show you that he will certainly do this. 11 Look now! The Covenant Box of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan River in front of you. 12 Now choose 12 men, one from each tribe of Israel's family. 13 Watch the priests who are carrying the Covenant Box. As soon as their feet touch the water of the river, you will see that the water stops running. It will rise up like a wall.’

3:10Many different tribes lived in the land of Canaan.

14 So the Israelite people prepared to leave their tents. The priests carried the Covenant Box towards the Jordan River. The people followed them. 15 It was the time of the harvest and there was a lot of water coming down the river. But when the priests reached the shore of the river with the Covenant Box and their feet touched the water, 16 the water stopped. It stopped a long way up the river, at a town called Adam. That is near Zarethan. The water going down to the Salt Sea stopped completely. So the people crossed the river near Jericho city. 17 The priests stood in the middle of the river on dry ground, with the Lord's Covenant Box. While they stood there, all the Israelite people walked across the river on dry ground. In that way, the whole nation arrived on the other side of the river.