The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Josue
And when they had crossed over, the Lord bade Josue
choose out twelve men, one from each tribe;
each was to pick out a solid stone from the river-bed, where the feet of the priests had stood, and these must be set up to mark the place where they encamped that night.
So Josue summoned twelve men, whom he had chosen out to represent the twelve tribes of Israel;
Go half-way across Jordan, he told them, to where the ark of the Lord your God stands, and bring me thence on your shoulders one stone each of you, one for each of the tribes of Israel.
They are to serve you for a monument; your children, before long, will be asking you, What is the meaning of these stones?
And you will be able to answer, When the ark that bears record of the Lord’s covenant went across the Jordan, the waters dried up at its coming; that is why these stones have been set up here, to remind Israel of that crossing for all time.
The Israelites did as Josue bade them; carried the twelve stones from the river-bed, one for each tribe, as the Lord had commanded, and set them down in the camp.
Josue also marked the place, full in the bed of Jordan, where the priests and the ark had halted; here, too, he set up twelve stones, which are there to this day.
Meanwhile, such was the divine command Josue had received through Moses, the priests must stand there in the river-bed till all was over.✻ So the people marched on speedily enough;
not till all had reached the other side could the ark of the Lord cross, and the priests take their place at the head of the people.
Ruben and Gad and half Manasses must send their warriors in the van of Israel, as Moses bade them;
company after company, file after file, these in their turn went past, forty thousand fighting men, into the level plain that lies before the city of Jericho.
That day, the Lord would win renown for Josue for all Israel to see; he was to be feared as Moses was feared in life.
And now the Lord had a fresh command for him,
Bid the priests that are carrying the ark come out of the Jordan.
The word was given, and they came up, carrying the ark with them;
and no sooner had they set foot on dry ground than the stream filled its bed again, flowing past as before.
On the tenth day of the first month the people left Jordan behind them, and encamped at Galgal, east of the city of Jericho.
Here, at Galgal, Josue set up the twelve stones they had taken out of the river-bed.
And he said to the Israelites, It will not be long before sons are asking their fathers the question, What is the meaning of these stones?
And you will hand on the lesson to them: Israel once crossed over Jordan yonder dry-shod.
The Lord your God dried up its waters in full view of Israel, to let them pass over,
just as in earlier times he dried up the Red Sea, when it lay in our path.
So all the nations of the world were to learn how strong the power of the Lord is, and you too should fear the Lord your God continually.
The Holy Bible