Reading 61/341, Joshua 3-6

[A] The entire story of the 12 stones is a little confusing. It seems like the stones are removed from the riverbed and set up on shore, but then it is said that they were set up in the riverbed. It seems as if there are two slightly different versions of the story that have been put together.
[B] St. Michael the Archangel, the Prince of the Armies of the Lord appears today. I like his response to Joshua, who asks "Are you on our side or theirs?", to which he responds, "No."
[C] We see again the idea of the "devoted" people and things. Jericho is devoted to destruction. Every person and animal must be killed. None of the animal's meat can be eaten. Every metal item that cannot be destroyed is set aside for use in worship, in the tent of meeting. 

...Joshua...
Joshua rose up early in the morning, and they set out from Shittim, and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel. They lodged there before they passed over. It happened, after three days, that the officers went through the midst of the camp, and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levite priests bearing it, then you shall move from your place, and follow it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near to it. By this you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.” Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people.” They took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people. The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to magnify 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 come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’”

Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the Lord your God.” Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Hivite, and the Perizzite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Jebusite from before you. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passes over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore take twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, for every tribe a man. It shall come to pass, when the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, the waters that come down from above, and they shall stand in one heap.” It happened, when the people moved from their tents to pass over the Jordan, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant were in front of the people, and when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark had dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks the entire time of harvest), that the waters which came down from above stood, and rose up in one heap, a far way off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and the waters that went down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people passed over right across from Jericho. The priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, and all Israel passed over on dry ground, until all the nation had passed completely over the Jordan.

It happened, when all the nation had completely passed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, “Take twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take from out of the middle of the Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the lodging place, where you will lodge tonight.’” Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had chosen of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man. Joshua said to them, "Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you pick up a stone and put it on your shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do you mean by these stones?’ then you shall tell them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones shall be a memorial for the children of Israel forever.’” The children of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, as the Lord spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and they carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood, and they are there to this day. For the priests who bore the ark stood in the middle of the Jordan, until everything was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua, and the people hurried and passed over. It happened, when all the people had completely passed over, that the ark of the Lord passed over, with the priests, in the presence of the people.

The children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spoke to them. About forty thousand men, ready and armed for war passed over before the Lord to battle, to the plains of Jericho. On that day, the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they feared him, as they had feared Moses, all the days of his life. The Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, "Command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, that they come up out of the Jordan." Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, "Come up out of the Jordan!" It happened, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord had come up out of the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks, as before. The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, on the east border of Jericho. Joshua set up those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, in Gilgal. He spoke to the children of Israel, saying, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you, until you had passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up from before us, until we had passed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.’” It happened, when all the kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, who were by the sea, heard how that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan in front of the children of Israel, until they had passed over, that their heart melted, nor was there spirit in them anymore, because of the children of Israel.

At that time, the Lord said to Joshua, "Make flint knives, and circumcise the sons of Israel a second time." Joshua made himself flint knives, and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth [the hill of the foreskins]. This is the reason Joshua circumcised: all the men who came out of Egypt, all the men of war, died in the desert by the way, after they came out of Egypt. For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the desert by the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the desert, until all the nation, the men of war who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not listen to the voice of the Lord. The Lord swore to them that he would not let them see the land which the Lord swore to their fathers that he would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Their children, whom he raised up in their place, were circumcised by Joshua, for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them on the way. It happened, when they were done circumcising all the nation, that they stayed in their places in the camp until they were healed. The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you.” Therefore the name of that place was called Gilgal, to this day. The children of Israel encamped in Gilgal.

They kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. They ate unleavened cakes and parched grain of the produce of the land on the next day after the Passover, on that very day. The manna ceased on the next day, after they had eaten of the produce of the land. The children of Israel did not have manna anymore, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. It happened, when Joshua was near Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him, and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?" He said, "No. But I have come now as commander of the Lord's army." Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and worshipped, and said to him, "What does my lord say to his servant?" The prince of the Lord's army said to Joshua, "Take your shoes off of your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy." Joshua did so. Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the children of Israel. No one went out, and no one came in. The Lord said to Joshua, "Behold, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the mighty men of valor. All your men of war shall march around the city, going around the city once. You shall do this six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day, you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall go up, every man straight before him."

Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said to them, "Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord." They said to the people, "Advance! March around the city, and let the armed men pass on before the Lord's ark." It was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the Lord advanced, and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the ark went after them. The trumpets sounded as they went. Joshua commanded the people, saying, "You shall not shout, nor let your voice be heard, nor shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout." So he caused the ark of the Lord to go around the city, going about it once. Then they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp. Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. The seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew the trumpets, and the armed men went before them. The rear guard came after the ark of the Lord. The trumpets sounded as they went. The second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. They did this six days. It happened on the seventh day, that they rose early at the dawning of the day, and marched around the city in the same way seven times. Only on this day did they march around the city seven times. It happened at the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! The city shall be devoted, it and all that is in it, to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. But as for you, only keep yourselves from the devoted thing, lest when you have devoted it, you take of the devoted thing; so would you make the camp of Israel accursed, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord. They shall come into the Lord's treasury." So the people shouted, and the priests blew the trumpets. It happened, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, that the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. They utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, both young and old, and ox, and sheep, and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the prostitute's house, and bring out from there the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her." The young men who were spies went in, and brought out Rahab with her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. They also brought out all her kin, and they set them outside of the camp of Israel. They burnt the city with fire, and all that was in it, but they put the silver, the gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron into the treasury of the Lord's house. But Rahab the prostitute, her father's household, and all that she had, Joshua saved alive. She lived in the midst of Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers, whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. Joshua charged them with an oath at that time, saying, "Cursed be the man before the Lord, who rises up and builds this city Jericho. With the loss of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up its gates." So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.

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