And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the middle of Jordan, as the LORD spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)According to the number of the tribes. . . .—Every tribe was represented by a stone on either side Jordan. The two cairns represent a complete Israel in the wilderness, and a complete Israel in the promised land. “Thou shalt remember all the way that the Lord thy God led thee.” “By the grace of God I am what I am.”Joshua 4:20. Spoken of as the doers of this, because it was done by the twelve who acted for them.
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; they took the exact number, and out of the very place Joshua was ordered to direct them to do:
and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged: which, as Josephus says (i), was fifty furlongs from Jordan, which was above six miles; so far they carried these stones on their shoulders:
and laid them down there; which afterwards were put in proper order by Joshua, or at least by his direction.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. unto the place] “On the upper terrace of the plain of the Jordan, which became the centre of the first sanctuary of the Holy Land—the first place pronounced ‘holy,’ the sacred place of the Jordan valley (Joshua 5:10-15), where the Tabernacle remained till it was fixed at Shiloh” (Joshua 18:1).
(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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