What is the story of dividing the Jordan (Joshua)?


By BibleAsk Team

The Story of Dividing the Jordan

The story of dividing and crossing the river Jordan in Joshua 3 and 4 shows God’s power to deliver. The Lord instructed Joshua that He was going to do a miracle. The miracle God had planned would necessitate that the priests carrying the ark to walk into the waters of the Jordan and stand there. Joshua then called the people and described the miracle that God was about to perform. He said that it would affirm to the people that God would keep His promise to give them the land.

Joshua said that the priests would carry the ark before them and would cross the Jordan. But when the feet of the priests carrying the ark stood in the river, God would cause the water to be stopped upstream from them. The river would be blocked, so the water would rise up as a wall and would stop to flow downstream.

As Joshua commanded, the people started to march as led by the priests. When the priests carrying the ark stepped into the river, the waters rose as a wall upstream at a town named Adam, near Zaretan. The water flowing toward the Dead Sea was stopped, and the Israelites crossed the river on dry ground facing Jericho. The priests then stood with the ark in the middle of the river until all the people have crossed. As long as the priests remained in the river, the water continued to stand as a wall so the people could cross. Joshua’s obedience to God’s command was blessed for the Lord honored him in the eyes of all Israel when they crossed the River Jordan on dry ground as He did for them at the Red sea.

When all the people had crossed the river Jordan safely, God gave Joshua instructions about the memorials they were to make. Twelve men were chosen, one from each tribe. These men were to go to the location in the river where the feet of the priests stood. There each man was to take a stone from the bed and carry it to the place where Israel would stay that night. The stones would be a memorial to the coming generations to remember this great miracle of crossing the river Jordan.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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