Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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Joshua 4

1 - When all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan, the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying,

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

3 - and command them, saying, 'Take from out of the middle of the Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you'll camp tonight.'"

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

5 - Joshua said to them, "Cross before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you pick up a stone and put it on your 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 in the future, saying, 'What do you mean by these stones?'

7 - then you shall tell them, 'Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of The LORD's covenant. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.'"

8 - The children of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, as the LORD spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel. They 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 who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.

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

11 - When all the people had completely crossed over, The LORD's ark crossed over, with the priests, in the presence of the people.

12 - The children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, crossed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spoke to them.

13 - About forty thousand men, ready and armed 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 - 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 - When the priests who bore the ark of The LORD's covenant had come up out of the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet had been lifted up to the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks, as before.

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

20 - Joshua set up those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, in Gilgal.

21 - He spoke to the children of Israel, saying, "When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, 'What do these stones mean?'

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

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

24 - that all the peoples of the earth may know that The LORD's hand is mighty; that you may fear the LORD your God forever.'"

Joshua Images and Notes

The Book of Joshua

Joshua 5:13 - And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, [Art] thou for us, or for our adversaries?
Joshua 5:14 - And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
Joshua 5:15 - And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy. And Joshua did so.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Joshua
Hebrew Name - Yehoshua "Yahweh is salvation"
Greek Name - Iesous (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Joshua
Date - From 1451 to 1425 BC Approximately
Theme - The Conquest of Canaan
Types and Shadows - In Joshua Jesus is the captain of the LORD's host

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ancient Rallying Horn

Carchemish Relief Horn Blowing

This Carchemish relief reveals how horns were blown.


Summary of The Book of Joshua

The book of Joshua received its name because of the main character of the book which is Joshua, whose name means "Jehovah is salvation". The Greek form of the name of Joshua is actually Jesus and means the same thing as the Hebrew Joshua.  The man Joshua makes his first appearance as the commander of the armies of Israel against the Amalekites in the book of Exodus (Exodus 17:8 ff). Joshua was clearly a leader of Israel, he accompanied Moses to the foot of Mount Sinai when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the 10 Commandments, but Joshua did not go up with him (Exodus 24).

The way that Joshua enters the  book of Joshua is already as an established leader in. Even Moses commissioned Joshua as the man chosen and conquer the land.

When Moses gave his farewell speech in Deuteronomy 34 Joshua accompanied him to the foot of Mount Sinai

This book is named for its chief character, Joshua, whose name means "Jehovah is salvation." The Greek form of this name is Jesus. The first appearance of Joshua is as the leader of the forces of Israel against Amalek (Exodus 17:8ff). The manner in which he is introduced into the story indicates that he was already well established as a leader. Later, he accompanied Moses to the foot of Mt. Sinai, but did not make the ascent with him (Exodus 24). In Exodus 32-33 he is also found in close association with Moses. No doubt, the years which he spent with Moses greatly influenced his spiritual development. The aspect of his life for which Joshua is most often remembered is his having brought back a positive report from the land of Canaan after serving as one of twelve men sent to spy out the land (Numbers 13). From this it can be seen that the experience and spirit which were Joshua's equipped him well for his duties and responsibilities as the leader, of God's people.

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Conquest of Canaan
Map of the Conquest of Canaan (Click to Enlarge)

The book may be regarded as consisting of three parts which may be analyzed as follows :

Outline of the Book of Joshua

1) The Conquest of Canaan (Joshua 1-12). This includes the preparation for and crossing of the Jordan (Joshua 1-4). After the crossing, they camped at Gilgal. Here they circumcised all the males who were born in the wilderness, as circumcision had not been observed since the departure from Egypt. Gilgal was also the scene of the keeping of the Passover and the cessation of the manna. Joshua 5:13-6:27 tells of the miraculous destruction of Jericho and the salvation of Rahab. The crime and punishment of Achan is discussed in Joshua 7. In Joshua 8, the narrative records the avenging of the defeat which Israel had suffered at the hands of Al because of the sin of Achan. The latter portion of this chapter tells of the setting up of the stones on Mount Ebal. The stratagem of the Gibeonites is the topic of Joshua 9. In Joshua 10 is contained the story of the conquest of Southern Canaan, with the aid of Joshua's long day. Joshua 11-12 describes the conquest of Northern Canaan and give a list of the defeated kings.

2) The Distribution of the Territory (Joshua 13-22). This provides a record of the area which was assigned to the various tribes (13-19), the appointment of the six cities of refuge (Joshua 20) and the forty-eight cities of the Levites (Joshua 21), as well as the departure of the Transjordanic tribes to their home.

3) Joshua's farewell addresses (Joshua 23-24). The first of these is a speech of encouragement and warning. The second recalls the history of Israel, with emphasis on divine interventions on their behalf. At the close of this speech, Joshua issued the famous statement, "choose you this day whom you will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).

The book closes with an account of the renewal of the covenant and the death of Joshua and Eleazer.

Quick Reference Maps

The Conquest of Canaan

The City of Jericho

The City of Sidon

Philistia

The Twelve Tribes

The First Day. Light.

Joshua Resources

Joshua and the Promised Land

More About the Book of Joshua
Joshua in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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