Crossing the Jordan
1 Early in the morning, Joshua rose and set out from Shittim with all the people of Israel and came to the Jordan River. There they encamped while waiting to cross the river.
2 After three days, the officers went around the camp 3 and ordered the Israelites: “When you see the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh go by, carried by the priests from the tribe of Levi, then you shall set out from your camp and follow it, 4 that you may know the way you shall go. Because you have never been that way before. But you shall follow it at a distance of a thousand meters. Do not go near it.”
5 Joshua said to the Israelites: “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow Yah weh will be in your midst doing wonders.” 6 And Joshua ordered the priests: “Take the Ark of the Cove nant and cross the river at the head of the people.”
7 Then Yahweh said to Joshua: “Today I will begin to make you great in the eyes of Israel and they shall know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Give this order to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: As soon as you come to the banks of the Jordan, stand still in the river.” 9 And Joshua said to the Israel ites: “Come nearer and listen to the words of Yahweh, our God. 10 Do you want a sign that Yahweh, the living God, is in your midst, he who drives away before you the Canaa nites, Hittites, Hivites, Periz zites, as well as the Girgashites, Jebusites and Amorites? 11 See, the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth is going to cross the Jordan before you. 12 Now, choose twelve men from the twelve tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 When the priests who carry the Ark of the Lord of all the earth put their feet into the water of the Jordan, the water coming from upstream shall stop flowing and stand in one single mass.”
14 When the people set out from their camp to cross the Jordan, the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant went before them. 15 There was much water in the Jordan, for it was overflowing its banks at this time of the barley harvest. Neverthe less, when those who carried the Ark went down to the river and their feet touched the edge of the water, the water from upstream stopped flowing.
16 The water stood still, forming some thing like a dam very far from that place, near Adam, the neighboring city of Zarethan. The water flowing down to the Dead Sea was completely cut off, and so the peo ple could cross opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant remained in the middle of the river which dried up, until all the Israelites had crossed the Jordan.