Joshua 3:1
And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.
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THE PASSAGE OF JORDAN (Joshua 3:1 to Joshua 4:18, inclusive).

Joshua 3:1-6, preliminaries; 3:7- 4:14, the passage of the people and Joshua 4:15-18, the passage of the ark itself.

(1) They removed from Shittim.—See Note on Joshua 2:1. Shittim may be called the last stage of the Exodus of Israel, “their journeyings according to their goings out” (Numbers 33:2). The march from Shittim to Jordan is their first march under Joshua—the first stage of their Eisodus or coming in.

Joshua 3:1. Joshua rose early in the morning — Not after the return of the spies, as may seem at first view, but after the three days mentioned Joshua 1:11, when orders were given to the army to make all necessary provision for invading the enemies’ country. They came to Jordan — and lodged there — That night, that they might go over in the day-time, that the miracle might be more evident and unquestionable, and might strike the greater terror into their enemies.3:1-6 The Israelites came to Jordan in faith, having been told that they should pass it. In the way of duty, let us proceed as far as we can, and depend on the Lord. Joshua led them. Particular notice is taken of his early rising, as afterwards upon other occasions, which shows how little he sought his own ease. Those who would bring great things to pass, must rise early. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty. All in public stations should always attend to the duty of their place. The people were to follow the ark. Thus must we walk after the rule of the word, and the direction of the Spirit, in everything; so shall peace be upon us as upon the Israel of God; but we must follow our ministers only as they follow Christ. All their way through the wilderness was an untrodden path, but most so this through Jordan. While we are here, we must expect and prepare to pass ways that we have not passed before; but in the path of duty we may proceed with boldness and cheerfulness. Whether we are called to suffer poverty, pain, labour, persecution, reproach, or death, we are following the Author and Finisher of our faith; nor can we set our feet in any dangerous or difficult spot, through our whole journey, but faith will there see the prints of the Redeemer's feet, who trod that very path to glory above, and bids us follow him, that where he is, we may be also. They were to sanctify themselves. Would we experience the effects of God's love and power, we must put away sin, and be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God."The acacia groves" (Exodus 25:5 note) of Shittim on both sides of Jordan line the upper terraces of the valley (compare 2 Kings 6:4). They would be in this part at some six miles distance from the river itself. CHAPTER 3

Jos 3:1-6. Joshua Comes to Jordan.

1. Joshua rose early in the morning—On the day following that on which the spies had returned with their encouraging report. The camp was broken up in "Shittim" (the acacia groves), and removed to the eastern bank of the Jordan. The duration of their stay is indicated (Jos 3:2), being, according to Hebrew reckoning, only one entire day, including the evening of arrival and the morning of the passage; and such a time would be absolutely necessary for so motley an assemblage of men, women, and children, with all their gear and cattle to make ready for going into an enemy's country.Joshua comes with the Israelites to Jordan, Joshua 3:1. The officers instruct the people and priests for the passage, Joshua 3:2-6. God encourages Joshua, and he encourageth the people, giving therefore a sign the dividing the waters of Jordan till the ark and people should pass over, Joshua 3:7-13. The people pass over, the priests standing all the time in the midst of Jordan, Joshua 3:14-17.

In the morning; not after the return of the spies, as may seem at first view; but after the three days, as it follows, Joshua 3:2.

Lodged there that night, that they might go over in the day time; partly that the miracle might be more evident and unquestionable; and partly to strike the greater terror into their enemies.

And Joshua rose early in the morning,.... The morning after the spies had returned and made their report; which, as Kimchi rightly observes, was the ninth of Nisan; for on the morrow, which was the tenth, the people passed over Jordan, see Joshua 3:5. Moses, according to the Jewish writers, died on the seventh of Adar or February; the thirty days of his mourning ended the seventh of Nisan or March; two days before they were ended the spies were sent, who returned on the eighth day of the month; and the morning following Joshua rose early, which shows his readiness and alacrity to proceed in the expedition he was directed and encouraged to:

and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan; from Shittim in the plains of Moab, to the river Jordan:

he and all the children of Israel; he as their general, and they an army of six hundred thousand fighting men under him, besides women and children, and others that came along with them:

and lodged there before they passed over; lay there encamped a night before they passed over the river Jordan.

And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to {a} Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.

(a) Which according to the Hebrews was in March, about 40 days after Moses' death.

Ch. Joshua 3:1-13. The Preparation for the Passage of Jordan

1. they removed from Shittim] They descended from the upper terraces of the valley of Jordan, from “the Grove of Acacias,” to the level of the river.

to Jordan] Speaking strictly, Jordan has a threefold bank:—

(a)  The lowest, at the edge of the river, which in spring is frequently inundated, owing to the melting of the snow on Hermon;

(b)  The middle bank, which is covered with a rich vegetation;

(c)  An upper bank, which overhangs the river.Verse 1. - And Joshua rose up early in the morning, i.e., after the return of the spies, and most likely (see Joshua 1:10, 11) on the morning on which the announcement was made to the children of Israel that they were to cross the Jordan. "This newes is brought but overnight, Joshua is on his way by morning, and prevents the sunne for haste. Delays, whether in the business of God or our owne, are hatefull and prejudiciall. Many a one loses the land of promise by lingering; if we neglect God's time, it is just with Him to crosse us in ours" (Bp. Hall). And they removed from Shittim. Literally, from the acacias (see note on Joshua 2:1). To do this completely, and to be quite ready for the crossing, would, as Rosenmuller thinks, require the greater part of three days. But it adds that "they lodged (לִין) there before they passed over." But this need be no difficulty. The great mass of the people could easily leave the acacia meadows on the higher ground, and encamp on the brink of the Jordan, while the remaining two days might be spent in making the necessary arrangements for the crossing. For we must remember (as Keil observes) that, not only a body of armed men, but their women and children, and all their possessions, had to be led safely across. "Though they were not told how they should pass the river, yet they went forward in faith, having been told (Joshua 1:11), that they should pass it" (Matthew Henry). Whoever went outside the door, his blood should be upon his own head; i.e., if he was slain outside by the Israelitish soldiers, he should bear his death as his own fault. But every one who was with her in the house, his blood should fall upon their (the spies') head, if any hand was against them, i.e., touched them or did them harm (vid., Exodus 9:3). The formula, "his blood be upon his head," is synonymous with the legal formula, "his blood be upon him" (Leviticus 20:9). The third condition (Joshua 2:20) is simply a repetition of the principal condition laid down at the very outset (Joshua 2:14).
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