- Josh. 1:1-9; 3:1; 2:1-24; 1:10-18; 3:2-17; 4:1-24; 5:1-15
After the mourning of Moses had ended, GOD spoke to Joshua and told him that He would be with him and bless him as He had Moses. Then Joshua sent two spies into the city of Jericho which was across the Jordan River from where the Israelites were camped. While the spies were in Jericho, a woman named Rahab risked her life to hide the spies from the soldiers of Jericho who had heard that they were staying with her. Rahab made the spies promise to spare her and her family when they came to take the city. She let the spies down the city wall with a scarlet cord and told them to hide in the hills for three days and then return to their people.
On the third day following the spies’ return, GOD said to Joshua:
This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.’
So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.” And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites: Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.”
So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.
(Josh. 3:7-17 NKJV)
Once the people had crossed Joshua had a man from each of the tribes take a stone from the place where the priests were standing in the dry riverbed. They piled those stones up where the Israelites made camp on the western side of the Jordan River. GOD had once again given the people proof that He was with them and that they would be successful in their mission to conquer the nations in this new land that would soon be their home.