Joshua 3:13
And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the LORD of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand on an heap.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) The soles of the feet of the priests.—Observe that the priests, the ark-bearers, did not stand in the middle of the bed of the river, but at the edge of the flood. They had no need to advance further. As soon as their feet “rested” in the overflow, “Jordan was driven back.” The waters descending from the north as it were recoiled and shrank away, and stood up in “one heap.”

3:7-13 The waters of Jordan shall be cut off. This must be done in such a way as never was done, but in the dividing of the Red sea. That miracle is here repeated; God has the same power to finish the salvation of his people, as to begin it; the WORD of the Lord was as truly with Joshua as with Moses. God's appearances for his people ought to encourage faith and hope. God's work is perfect, he will keep his people. Jordan's flood cannot keep out Israel, Canaan's force cannot turn them out again.The living God - Compare the marginal reference. The gods of the pagan are "dead idols." On the names of the seven nations, see Genesis 10:16, etc., note. Jos 3:9-13. Joshua Encourages the People.

9-13. Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord—It seems that the Israelites had no intimation how they were to cross the river till shortly before the event. The premonitory address of Joshua, taken in connection with the miraculous result exactly as he had described it, would tend to increase and confirm their faith in the God of their fathers as not a dull, senseless, inanimate thing like the idols of the nations, but a Being of life, power, and activity to defend them and work for them.

As soon as the soles of the feet of the priests shall rest in the waters of Jordan; that so it may appear that this is the Lord’s doing, and that in pursuance and for the accomplishment of his covenant made with Israel.

The Lord of all the earth; the Lord of all this terrestial globe made of earth and water, who therefore can dispose of this river and the adjoining land as he pleaseth.

The waters which now are united shall be divided, and part shall flow down the channel towards the Dead Sea, and the other part, that is nearer the spring or rise of the river, and flows down from it, shall stand still. They shall stand upon an heap, being as it were congealed, as the Red Sea was, Exodus 15:8, and so kept from overflowing all the country. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord,.... Which they were bid to take up and carry, Joshua 3:6,

the Lord of all the earth; this shows that not the ark, but the Lord, is called "the Lord of all the earth"; see Gill on Joshua 3:11,

shall rest in the waters of Jordan; the meaning is, as soon as their feet should touch them, or they should set their feet in them, when they came to the brink of them:

that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; from above the place where the priests came, and the children of Israel after passed over:

and they shall stand upon an heap; or one heap; stop and rise up high, as if piled up one upon another, and stand unmoved. This had been made known to Joshua by divine revelation, and is what he hints at, Joshua 3:5; and now plainly speaks out, and foretells before it came to pass; and which must serve to magnify Joshua, as in Joshua 3:7; and give him great credit and honour among the people.

And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the LORD of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. shall be cut off] See below, Joshua 3:16.Verse 13. - The Lord, the Lord of all the earth. The original is, Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth. That the waters of Jordan shall be cut off. The construction here seems to have perplexed the LXX., Vulgate, and English translators. The former have given the sense, but have changed the construction. The second have supposed יִכָּרֵתוּן to mean fail, and to refer to the waters below the place of crossing. The third have interpolated the word "from." The words "the waters descending from above" are in apposition to, and explanatory of, the words "the waters" above. If for "from" in our version we substitute "namely," we shall express the meaning of the original. The Masorites point thus, dividing the verb from what follows by Zakeph Katon. A heap (cf. Psalm 38:7). The original is picturesque, "and they shall stand, one heap." Commencement of the Crossing. - First of all (in Joshua 3:7 and Joshua 3:8), the revelation made by God to Joshua, that He would begin this day to make him great, i.e., to glorify him before the Israelites, and the command to the priests who bore the ark of the covenant to stand still in the river, when they came to the water of the Jordan; then (Joshua 3:9-13) the publication of this promise and command to the people; and lastly (Joshua 3:14-17), the carrying out of the command. אחל, I will begin to make thee great. The miraculous guidance of the people through the Jordan was only the beginning of the whole series of miracles by which the Lord put His people in possession of the promised land, and glorifies Joshua in the sight of Israel in the fulfilment of his office, as He had glorified Moses before. Just as Moses was accredited in the sight of the people, as the servant of the Lord in whom they could trust, by the miraculous division of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:31), so Joshua was accredited as the leader of Israel, whom the Almighty God acknowledged as He had His servant Moses, by the similar miracle, the division of the waters of Jordan. Only the most important points in the command of God to the priests are given in v. 8. The command itself is communicated more fully afterwards in the address to the people, in v. 13. When they came with the ark to the end of the waters of Jordan-i.e., not to the opposite side, but to the nearest bank; that is to say, as soon as they reached the water in the bed of the river-they were to stand still (vid., v. 15, and Joshua 4:11), in order, as we see from what follows, to form a dam as it were against the force of the water, which was miraculously arrested in its course, and piled up in a heap. Moses divided the waters of the Red Sea with his rod; Joshua was to do the same to the Jordan with the ark of the covenant, the appointed symbol and vehicle of the presence of the Almighty God since the conclusion of the covenant. Wherever the ordinary means of grace are at hand, God attaches the operations of His grace to them; for He is a God of order, who does not act in an arbitrary manner in the selection of His means.
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