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Joshua Chapter 4

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Viewing the Standard King James Version (Pure Cambridge). Click to switch to 1611 King James Version of Joshua Chapter 4

1 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,

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

3 And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

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

5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto 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 mean ye by these stones?

7 Then ye shall 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 unto the children of Israel for ever.

8 And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, 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 which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.

10 For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.

11 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and 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 spake unto them:

13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto 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 spake unto Joshua, saying,

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

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

18 And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto 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, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.

21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?

22 Then ye 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 Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.


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Matthew Henry's Joshua Chapter 4 Bible commentary...

Stones taken out of Jordan. (1-9) The people pass through Jordan. (10-19) The twelve stones placed in Gilgal. (20-24)1-9 The works of the Lord are so worthy of rememberance, and the heart of man is so prone to forget them, that various methods are needful to refresh our memories, for the glory of God, our advantage, and that of our children. God gave orders for preparing this memorial.

10-19 The priests with the ark did not stir till ordered to move. Let none be weary of waiting, while they have the tokens of God's presence with them, even the ark of the covenant, though it be in the depths of adversity. Notice is taken of the honour put upon Joshua. Those are feared in the best manner, and to the best purpose, who make it appear that God is with them, and that they set him before them.

20-24 It is the duty of parents to tell their children betimes of the words and works of God, that they may be trained up in the way they should go. In all the instruction parents give their children, they should teach them to fear God. Serious godliness is the best learning. Are we not called, as much as the Israelites, to praise the loving-kindness of our God? Shall we not raise a pillar to our God, who has brought us through dangers and distresses in so wonderful a way? For hitherto the Lord hath helped us, as much as he did his saints of old. How great the stupidity and ingratitude of men, who perceive not His hand, and will not acknowledge his goodness, in their frequent deliverances!


Recent Comments for Joshua Chapter 4...


JIM BEAN's Joshua Chapter 4 comment on 12/12/2012, 4:24pm...

Proverbs 22:28 ôRemove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." Proverbs 23:10 ôRemove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:" THEY SET THE STANDARD BY GOD's COMMAND WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO REMOVE IT. TRUTH WILL STAND JUST AS A ROCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIVER.


Tim's Joshua Chapter 4 comment on 3/18/2012, 5:00pm...

Here's a concept...What if the stones represent sin. The Jordan will cover the stones (sin). Crossing the Jordan also represents a new beginning. What are your thoughts???


Mariah's Joshua Chapter 4 comment about verse 9 on 11/08/2011, 2:26am...

The NIV has a footnote g, that says "Or Joshua also set up 12 stones"


Donna's Joshua Chapter 4 comment on 4/08/2011, 8:55am...

Trust in the lord with all of your heart lean on him he will set a path for you.Have faith no matter what you are going through he is right next to you.I love my lord,Jesus thank him for letting you see another day.Amen


Barry's Joshua Chapter 4 comment about verse 9 on 3/19/2011, 9:40pm...

Why does the NIV say that "joshua set up 12 stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan..."?
This is different from virtually all other translations which say he "set up 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan".


Hugandkisses's Joshua Chapter 4 comment on 3/12/2011, 10:52am...

No Julia,this does not sound crazy,it sounds like a woman who trust in her Lord and Savior. Many people don't have time for the Lord Jesus and when bad times arrive they do not know how to call on Him. Trust in the Lord with all thy might and lean not unto your own understanding...that is surly what you did.


Julia's Joshua Chapter 4 comment on 9/28/2010, 3:56pm...

Joshua 4: Is so dear to me! This is my deliverance scripture. (Briefly Speaking) GOD led me to this scripture when I was in the lowest point in my life. A decision to leave a place where I feared for my life and my sons. Where I found out that my husband at the time and his daughter had forged my name on a life ins. policy. That decision was made on the "10th DAY OF THE FIRST MONTH" And today I carry my 12 stones, I know it sound crazy; I dont worship the stones, they are in rememberence of my GOD delivering me. To GOD Be the Glory!!!


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Test Your Knowledge of Joshua Chapter 4

1.  In the book of Joshua, twelve men were told to take stones from the middle of the Jordan River, what did that signify?

To represent the 12 tribes of Israel
One stone for each victory they would have as they traveled to the Promised Land
To be a permanent memorial of how the flow of the Jordan River stopped as the Ark of the Covenant pa
One stone for each priest who first entered the Jordan River


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