Joshua 4:5
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:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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. 4, 5. Joshua called the twelve men—They had probably, from a feeling of reverence, kept back, and were standing on the eastern bank. They were now ordered to advance. Picking up each a stone, probably as large as he could carry, from around the spot "where the priests stood," they pass over before the ark and deposit the stones in the place of next encampment (Jos 4:19, 20), namely, Gilgal. Pass over before the ark, i.e. go back again to the place where the ark stands.

And Joshua said unto them,.... The twelve men:

pass ye over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan; that is, they were to go back to Jordan again, which they had passed over, and go into the midst of it, where were the priests bearing the ark; for it is not to be imagined that the ark went along with them, or followed them, they going before it; but they went where that was, just before it, from whence they were to take the stones, as next directed:

and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder; by which it appears they were large stones they were to take, not what they could carry in their hands, but what they were obliged to take upon their shoulders:

according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel; who had that day passed over Jordan, of which these stones were to be a memorial.

And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Joshua 4:5When 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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