Joshua 3:1-17 Crossing Jordan into Canaan Land The Promised Land

Acacia Grove to Jordan River

1 Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over.

 

Order of following the Ark of the Covenant over Jordan River

2 So it was, after three days, that the officers went through the camp; 3 and they commanded the people, saying, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before."

 

Sanctify Yourselves

5 And Joshua said to the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you."

 

Command given to the Priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant

6 Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, "Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people." So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.

 

Command of Yehowah to Joshua

7 And the LORD 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. 8 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.' "

 

Command of Joshua to the Children of Israel

9 So Joshua said to the children of Israel, "Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God." 10 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: 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. 12 Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe. 13 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."

 

Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground

14 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, 15 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), 16 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. 17 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. NKJV

 

Facts Revealed:

In chronological order, Chapter 2 of Joshua sending out the spies occurred before chapter 1, chapters 1 and 3 occurred after the two spies had returned and reported back to Joshua at the Acacia Grove camp site. Thus the three days of 1:10 is the same three days as of 3:2.

Acacia Grove to Jordan River

Y   Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over. [Joshua 3:1]

   They camped by the Jordan River before they crossed over.

Order of following the Ark of the Covenant over Jordan River

Y   So it was, after three days, that the officers went through the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before." [Joshua 3:2-4]

   The camps of the Children of Israel are to follow the Ark of the Covenant at a distance of 2,000 cubits (3,000 ft. a little over half a mile).

   The Ark of the Lord will lead the way, because you have not passed this way before.

   When going into unknown territory it is best that God lead the way.

Sanctify Yourselves

Y   5 And Joshua said to the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you." [Joshua 3:5]

   For God to lead the way, the people must be sanctified (set apart as holy) fully for the Lord God.

Command given to the Priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant

Y   Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, "Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people." So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. [Joshua 3:6]

Command of Yehowah to Joshua

Y   And the LORD 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.' " [Joshua 3:7-8]

   The Lord sometimes waits until we are in motion doing what we know is His Will, before He speaks and gives us specific instructions.

   After this day, Joshua will be fully exalted before the Children of Israel as they see demonstrated the truth that Yehowah is with Joshua just as He had been with Moses.

   God said. "That they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you."

   God is still demonstrating that the leader of Israel is following God's commandments and God is with him all the way

   God's command is that the Priests carrying the Ark are to stand in the Jordan River.

Command of Joshua to the Children of Israel

Y   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." [Joshua 3:9-13]

   Joshua caught the significance of God's words. By this you shall know:

   The living God is among you.

   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.

   Though the Jordan River was at flood stage, when the feet of the Priests carrying the ark stand in the water of the river, the river will be cut off up stream and pile up in a heap so Israel may cross over on dry ground.

   The names of the seven nations to be cut off is specifically repeated so the world will know the extent of the national destruction God intended for Israel to perform. These are the same names God had spoken to Abraham and Moses. [Genesis 15:17-21, 17:1-8, 21, 21:12, 26:2-5, 28:13-15, 35:9-12, 48:4, Exodus 3:7-10, 16-17, 6:3-4, 13:3-5, 15:14-17, 23:20-28, 33:1-2, 34:11, Leviticus 25:38, Numbers 33:50-54, 34:2, Deuteronomy 7:1-2, 20:16-18]

Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground

Y   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. [Joshua 3:14-17]

   God responds favorably to the faith demonstrated by people who believe His Word and obey His command.

   When we do the Will of God, He provides the enablement.