The end of the Jordan River crossing (Josh 4:10-4:18)

“The priests who bore the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan, until everything was finished that Yahweh commanded Joshua to tell the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people crossed over in haste. As soon as all the people had finished crossing over, the ark of Yahweh, and the priests, crossed over in front of the people. The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed before the Israelites, as Moses had ordered them. About forty thousand armed for war crossed over before Yahweh to the plains of Jericho.”

There were about 40,000 armed men crossing the Jordan, considerably less than at the Red Sea, where 600,000 men had crossed the Sea. Nevertheless, this was a strong fighting force with the Ark of the Covenant leading them. The east Jordan contingent led the way for the Israelites.

“On that day Yahweh exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel. They stood in awe of him, as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life. Yahweh said to Joshua. ‘Command the priests who bear the Ark of the Covenant to come up out of the Jordan.’ Joshua therefore commanded the priests. ‘Come up out of the Jordan.’ When the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh came up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet touched dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks, as before.”  

Joshua as the new Moses is recognized as such. The Jordan River is the new Red Sea. The only new additions are Levitical priests with the Ark of the Covenant. There is no destruction of an army following them. This time the Israelites are the aggressors. Once the Levitical priests and the ark had reached dry land, the Jordan River waters began to flow normally again.

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