Darby's Bible Synopsis
And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
But if we are introduced into a life which is on the other side of death, by the power of the Spirit of God, as being dead and risen in Christ, there must be the remembrance of that death, by which we have been delivered from that which is on this side of it, of the ruin of man as he now is, and of the fallen creation to which he belongs. Twelve men, one out of each tribe, were to bring stones from the midst of Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm with the ark, while all Israel passed over on dry ground. The Holy Ghost brings with Him, so to speak, the touching memorial of the death of Jesus, by the mighty power of which He has turned all the effect of the enemy's strength into life, and deliverance from what could not enter into heavenly things, and has laid the basis for our having part in them. Death comes with us from the grave of Jesus: no longer now as death, it is become life unto us, and, subjectively for faith, the absence of that which cannot have part in what is heavenly. This memorial was to be set up at Gilgal. The meaning of this circumstance will be considered in the next chapter. We will only dwell here on the memorial itself. The twelve stones, for the twelve tribes, represented the tribes of God as a whole. This number is the symbol of perfection in human agency, in connection here, as elsewhere, with Christ, as in the case of the shewbread.
Here also the Spirit sets us-Christians-in a more advanced position. There were twelve loaves of the shewbread, and we form but one in our life of union by the Holy Ghost with Christ our Head, which is the life we speak of here. Now it is His death that is recalled to us in the memorial left us by the loving-kindness of our Lord, who condescends to value our remembrance of His love. I only speak here of this memorial as the sign of that which should always be a reality. We eat His flesh, we drink His life given for us. Being one now in the power of our union with Christ risen and glorified, for here I speak of our whole place, dead to the world and to sin, it is from the bottom of the river into which He went down to make it the way of life-heavenly life-for us, that we bring back the precious memorial of His love, and of the place in which He fulfilled His work. It is a body whose life by blood is closed [See Note #1] which we eat, a poured out blood which we drink; and this is the reason why blood was entirely prohibited, to Israel after the flesh; for how can death be drunk by those who are mortal? But we drink it because, alive with Him, through the death of Christ we live, and it is in realising the death of that which is mortal that we live with Him. The remembrance of Jordan, of death when Christ was in it, is the remembrance of that power which secured our salvation in the last stronghold of him who had the power of death. It is the remembrance of that love which went down into death, in order that, as to us, it should lose all its power, except that of doing us good, and being a witness unto us of infinite and unchangeable love.
The word "broken" is wrongly introduced in the common text. It was after He had given up His spirit to the Father, in full strength, that the blood was shed through the soldier's spear. He laid down His life of Himself.
Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.
Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.
And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.
For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.
And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.
And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:
About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto 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 feared Moses, all the days of his life.
And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.
Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan.
And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.
And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.
And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?
Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.
For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:
That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.