1Joshua and all the other Israelis got up early the next morning. They left their camp at Acacia and went down to the Jordan River. They camped there for two nights.
2Then the leaders went throughout the camp,
3telling the people, “You will see some of the priests, who are descendants of Levi, carrying the chest that contains the Ten Commandments that Yahweh our God gave us. When you see them, leave the places where you are camped and follow them.
4You have not been ◄here/along this road► before, so you must follow the priests. But do not walk close to the chest. Stay ◄1,000 yards/900 meters► from the chest. The chest is sacred, so ◄God will punish you/you will be punished► if you come close to it.”
5Then Joshua told the people, “Perform the ceremonies needed to make yourselves acceptable to Yahweh, because tomorrow he is going to do things for you that will amaze you!”
6Then Joshua said to the priests, “Carry the chest and go in front of the rest of the people.” So they lifted up the chest and went ahead.
7Then Yahweh said to Joshua, “This is the day that I will begin to show all the Israeli people that you are a great leader. Then they will honor you, and know that I am with/helping you as I ◄was with/helped► Moses.
8Tell the priests who are carrying the chest that contains the Ten Commandments, ‘When you come to the edge of the Jordan River, stand in the water.’”
9Then Joshua said to the Israeli people, “Come close to me in order that you can listen to what Yahweh, your God, is saying.”
10When they came near, he said to them, “This is how you will know that God, who is all-powerful, is among you, and that he will expel for you the descendants of Canaan, Heth, Hiv, Periz, Girgash, Amor, and Jebus who are now living in that land.
11Keep in mind that Yahweh is the one who rules over all the earth. The chest belongs to him, and it will be carried into the Jordan River ahead of you.
12So choose twelve men, one from each of the tribes of Israel, and I will tell you later what I want them to do.
13As for the priests who are carrying the chest, as soon as they put their feet into the Jordan River, the water will stop flowing. It will pile up because I will cause it to be blocked upstream.”
14So when the Israeli people packed up their tents in order to cross the river, the priests who were carrying the chest containing the Ten Commandments went in front of them.
15It was springtime, when people harvest their crops, and at that time the river floods over its banks. But as soon as the priests reached the edge of the river and stepped into the water,
16the water stopped flowing. The water piled up far upstream, at a town named Adam, near Zarethan. The water stopped flowing down to the Dead Sea. So the people were able to cross the river near Jericho.
17The priests who were carrying the chest containing the Ten Commandments that Yahweh had given them stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan riverbed, while the rest of the Israeli people crossed the river as though they were crossing dry ground.