1Early the following morning Joshua and the Israelites set out from Shittim and arrived at the banks of the Jordan. There they all spent the night before crossing over.
2Three days later those in charge of the people went through the camp
3telling the people, “When you see the Ark of the Agreement of the Lord your God carried by the priests, the Levites, you must leave the place where you are and follow it.
4That way you'll know which way to go, since you haven't been here before. Leave about 3,000 feet between you and the Ark. Don't go near it!”
5Then Joshua said to the people, “Make sure you are pure, because tomorrow the Lord is going to do amazing things among you.”
6Joshua spoke to the priests, “Pick up the Ark of the Agreement and go before the people.” So they picked up the Ark of the Agreement and went ahead of the people.
7The Lord said to Joshua, “What I do today will confirm you as great leader in the sight of all the Israelites, so that they'll realize that just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
8Tell the priests carrying the Ark of the Agreement, ‘When you get to the edge of the Jordan, take a few steps into the water and then stop.’”
9So Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to what the Lord your God has to say to you.
10This is how you will know that the living God is right here with you,” he told them. “You can be sure that he will drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites.
11Just watch—the Ark of the Agreement of the Lord of all the earth will cross in front of you through the Jordan.
12Choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one per tribe.
13The moment the priests carrying the Ark step into the water the river will stop flowing and the water will pile up.”
14So the people broke camp and set out to cross the Jordan, with the priests carrying the Ark ahead of them.
15As it was harvest season, the Jordan was full of water, overflowing its banks. But at the very moment the priests carrying the Ark stepped into the water, the river stopped flowing.
16The water piled up a long way upstream, at the town of Adam, near Zarethan, while downstream no more water flowed into the Dead Sea. So the people crossed over, opposite Jericho.
17The priests carrying the Ark stood on the dried-up riverbed of the Jordan as all the people went by, staying there until everyone had crossed over on dry ground.