Joshua 4–6

4 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan,k the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve menl from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stonesm from the middle of the Jordan,n from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.o

So Joshua called together the twelve menp he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan.q Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a signr among you. In the future, when your childrens ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’t tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut offu before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorialv to the people of Israel forever.”

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stonesw from the middle of the Jordan,x according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua;y and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stonesz that had beena in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.a

10 Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, 11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched. 12 The men of Reuben,b Gadc and the half-tribe of Manassehd crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites,e as Moses had directed them.f 13 About forty thousand armed for battleg crossed overh before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.

14 That day the Lord exaltedi Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.

15 Then the Lord said to Joshua, 16 “Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant lawj to come up out of the Jordan.”

17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”

18 And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their placek and ran at flood stagel as before.

19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgalm on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stonesn they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’o 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’p 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Seab when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.q 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might knowr that the hand of the Lord is powerfuls and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.t

5 Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coastu heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until theya had crossed over, their hearts melted in fearv and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.

Circumcision and Passover at Gilgal

At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knivesw and circumcisex the Israelites again.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth.b

Now this is why he did so: All those who came out of Egypt—all the men of military agey—died in the wilderness on the way after leaving Egypt.z All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not. The Israelites had moved about in the wildernessa forty yearsb until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the Lord. For the Lord had sworn to them that they would not see the land he had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us,c a land flowing with milk and honey.d So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way. And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.e

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgalc f to this day.

10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month,g while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover.h 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land:i unleavened breadj and roasted grain.k 12 The manna stopped the day afterd they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.l

The Fall of Jericho

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a manm standing in front of him with a drawn swordn in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedowno to the groundp in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lorde have for his servant?”

15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”q And Joshua did so.

6 Now the gates of Jerichor were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivereds Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ hornst in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.u When you hear them sound a long blastv on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout;w then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.”x And he ordered the army, “Advancey! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the arkz of the Lord.”

When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guarda followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. 10 But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!b11 So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there.

12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding. 14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.c 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!d 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoteda e to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitutef and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hidg the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things,h so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destructioni and bring troublej on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and ironk are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”

20 When the trumpets sounded,l the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout,m the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.n 21 They devotedo the city to the Lord and destroyedp with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

22 Joshua said to the two menq who had spied outr the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.s23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her.t They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.

24 Then they burned the whole cityu and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and ironv into the treasury of the Lord’s house.w 25 But Joshua sparedx Rahab the prostitute,y with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jerichoz—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

26 At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath:a “Cursedb before the Lord is the one who undertakes

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