Joshua 4:2
Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
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Joshua 4:2-5. Take you out of every tribe a man — For the greater evidence, and the more effectual spreading the report of this marvellous work among the tribes. Where ye shall lodge this night — That is, in Gilgal, as is expressed, Joshua 4:19-20. Whom he had prepared — That is, appointed for that work, and commanded to be ready for it. Pass over before the ark — Or, Pass back again directly unto the ark. These twelve men, it seems, re- entered the channel of Jordan, and, being dispensed from the prohibition to approach the ark, came near the place where the priests stood, and each loaded himself with a stone as large as he could carry, and such as might afterward attest to each several tribe that he had seen the bed of the river dry, and the miracle prolonged till the entire execution of the commands of God.

4:1-9 The works of the Lord are so worthy of rememberance, and the heart of man is so prone to forget them, that various methods are needful to refresh our memories, for the glory of God, our advantage, and that of our children. God gave orders for preparing this memorial.Take you twelve men - The order is given in the plural, because no doubt the tribes themselves were to choose their own representatives, the choice being approved by Joshua Jos 4:4. These twelve would be left with Joshua on the hither bank of the river, waiting to receive his orders after the rest of the people had made their way across Joshua 3:17; Joshua 4:1. CHAPTER 4

Jos 4:1-8. Twelve Stones Taken for a Memorial Out of Jordan.

1-3. the Lord spake unto Joshua, Take you twelve men—each representing a tribe. They had been previously chosen for this service (Jos 3:12), and the repetition of the command is made here solely to introduce the account of its execution. Though Joshua had been divinely instructed to erect a commemorative pile, the representatives were not apprised of the work they were to do till the time of the passage.

For the greater evidence and certainty, and the more effectual spreading of the report of this marvellous work among all the tribes.

Take you twelve men out of the people,.... Joshua had before this ordered twelve men to be taken from among them, which seems to have been done of himself; and now he has a direction from God for it, and what to employ them in:

out of every tribe a man; so that what they did was in the name of the several tribes, and as representing them.

Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
Verse 2. - Twelve stones. The commemoration of events by the setting up of huge stones was by no means peculiar to the Jews, though it was often used by them, as, for instance, Genesis 28:18, 35:14, 1 Samuel 7:12. Almost every nation has adopted it. The Egyptian obelisks, the stones at Hamath, supposed to be of Hittite origin, the dolmens and other megalithic monuments of the Celts, the Logan or rocking stones, are cases in point. The Scandinavians filled their country with them. Our own Stonehenge and the Avebury stones are supposed by some to be, not temples nor burial places, but memorials of some battle. The command here given to Joshua was regarding what was to be done by the twelve men, who (Joshua 5:4; cf. ch. Joshua 3:12) were already chosen. The form of the command is merely another instance of the common Hebrew practice of repetition. Joshua 4:2When all the people had crossed over Jordan,

(Note: The piska in the middle of Joshua 4:1 is an old pre-Masoretic mark, which the Masorites have left, indicating a space in the midst of the verse, and showing that it was the commencement of a :parashah.)

Joshua issued to the twelve men who had been appointed by the twelve tribes the command given to him by God: "Go before the ark of Jehovah into the midst of Jordan, and take every man a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites," or, as it is expressed in the fuller explanation in the divine command in Joshua 4:3, "from the standing-place of the priests, the setting up of twelve stones (הכין is an infinitive used as a substantive, or else it should be pointed as a substantive), and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place of encampment where ye shall pass the night."

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