Joshua 3:4
New International Version
Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it."

New Living Translation
Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about half a mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.”

English Standard Version
Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”

Berean Study Bible
But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between yourselves and the ark. Do not go near it, so that you can see the way to go, since you have never traveled this way before.”

New American Standard Bible
"However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before."

King James Bible
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

Christian Standard Bible
But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between yourselves and the ark. Don't go near it, so that you can see the way to go, for you haven't traveled this way before."

Good News Translation
You have never been here before, so they will show you the way to go. But do not get near the Covenant Box; stay about half a mile behind it."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But keep a distance of about 1,000 yards between yourselves and the ark. Don't go near it, so that you can see the way to go, for you haven't traveled this way before."

International Standard Version
Be sure to keep a distance of about 2,000 cubits between you and it. Don't come near it, so you can be certain where you're going, since you haven't passed this way before."

NET Bible
But stay about three thousand feet behind it. Keep your distance so you can see which way you should go, for you have not traveled this way before."

New Heart English Bible
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near to it, that you may know the way by which you must go; for you have not passed this way before."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
However, stay about half a mile behind them. Don't come any closer to them so that you will know which way to go because you have not gone this way before."

JPS Tanakh 1917
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure; come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go; for ye have not passed this way heretofore.'

New American Standard 1977
“However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure; do not come near unto it that ye may know the way by which ye must go; for ye have not passed this way before now.

King James 2000 Bible
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that you may know the way by which you must go: for you have not passed this way before.

American King James Version
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near to it, that you may know the way by which you must go: for you have not passed this way heretofore.

American Standard Version
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go; for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
But let there be a distance between you and it; ye shall stand as much as two thousand cubits from it. Do not draw nigh to it, that ye may know the way which ye are to go; for ye have not gone the way before.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And let there be between you and the ark the space of two thousand cubits: that you may see it afar off, and know which way you must go: for you have not gone this way before: and take care you come not near the ark.

Darby Bible Translation
yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Ye shall not come near it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go; for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

English Revised Version
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go; for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

Webster's Bible Translation
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near to it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

World English Bible
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Don't come near to it, that you may know the way by which you must go; for you have not passed this way before."

Young's Literal Translation
only, a distance is between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure; ye do not come near unto it, so that ye know the way in which ye go, for ye have not passed over in the way heretofore.'
Study Bible
Crossing the Jordan
3and commanded the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, you are to set out from your positions and follow it. 4But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between yourselves and the ark. Do not go near it, so that you can see the way to go, since you have never traveled this way before.” 5Then Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”…
Cross References
Joshua 3:3
and commanded the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, you are to set out from your positions and follow it.

Joshua 3:5
Then Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you."

Treasury of Scripture

Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near to it, that you may know the way by which you must go: for you have not passed this way heretofore.

a space

Exodus 3:5
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Exodus 19:12
And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:

Psalm 89:7
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

Genesis 31:2
And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.

Exodus 4:10
And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

1 Chronicles 11:2
And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.







Lexicon
But
אַ֣ךְ ׀ (’aḵ)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 389: A particle of affirmation, surely

keep a distance
רָח֣וֹק (rā·ḥō·wq)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7350: Remote, of place, time, precious

of about two thousand
כְּאַלְפַּ֥יִם (kə·’al·pa·yim)
Preposition-k | Number - md
Strong's Hebrew 505: A thousand

cubits
אַמָּ֖ה (’am·māh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 520: A mother, a cubit, a door-base

between yourselves
בֵּֽינֵיכֶם֙ (bê·nê·ḵem)
Preposition | second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 996: An interval, space between

and the ark.
ובינו (ū·ḇê·nōw)
Conjunctive waw | Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew

Do not
אַֽל־ (’al-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 408: Not

go near it,
תִּקְרְב֣וּ (tiq·rə·ḇū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7126: To come near, approach

so that
לְמַ֤עַן (lə·ma·‘an)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 4616: Purpose -- intent

you can see
תֵּֽדְעוּ֙ (tê·ḏə·‘ū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3045: To know

the way
הַדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ (had·de·reḵ)
Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's Hebrew 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

to go,
תֵּֽלְכוּ־ (tê·lə·ḵū-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

since
כִּ֣י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

you have never
לֹ֧א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

traveled
עֲבַרְתֶּ֛ם (‘ă·ḇar·tem)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5674: To pass over, through, or by, pass on

this way
בַּדֶּ֖רֶךְ (bad·de·reḵ)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's Hebrew 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

before.”
מִתְּמ֥וֹל (mit·tə·mō·wl)
Preposition-m | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 8543: Ago, a, time since, yesterday, day before yesterday
Verse 4. - There shall be a space between you and it. Perhaps in order that they might keep it in view. This agrees best with the remainder of the verse, "that ye may know the way by which ye must go." Keil remarks that, had the Israelites pressed close on the heels of the priests who bore the ark, this would have defeated the very object with which the ark was carried before the people, namely, to point them out the way that they should go. But Cornelius Lapide among the earlier commentators and Knobel among the moderns hold that it was the sacredness of the ark which rendered it necessary that there should be a space of more than half a mile between it and the Israelites. Jarchi says the space was "in honour of God." We may learn hence that irreverent familiarity with sacred things is not the best way to obtain guidance in the way in which God would have us walk. "What awfull respects doth God require to be given unto the testimony of His presence? Uzzah paid deare for touching it; the men of Bethshemesh for looking into it. It is a dangerous thing to bee too bold with the ordinances of God" (Bp. Hall). "Neither was it onely for reverence that the arke must be wayted on afarre, but for convenience" (Ibid.). "The work of ministers is to hold forth the word of life, and to take care of the administration of those ordinances which are the tokens of God's presence and the instruments of His power and grace, and herein they must go before the people of God in their way to heaven" (Matthew Henry in loc.). (Cf. Numbers 4:19, 20; 1 Samuel 6:19; 2 Samuel 6:6, 7; also Exodus 19:21.) The original here is more emphatic than the translation. "Only there shall be a distance (LXX. μακρὰν ἔστω) between you and it." Ye have not passed this way heretofore. Literally, ye have not crossed since yesterday, the third day. Paulus would translate this "lately," and thus get rid of the miracle, regarding it as an intimation that they were crossing at one of the fords. But they had not crossed the Jordan at all before. Consequently the translation lately is inadmissible. And even if they had been crossing Jordan by one of the fords, there is, as we have seen, a wide difference between crossing at the ford in ordinary times and crossing it when Jordan had overflowed its banks. This is a fair sample of the criticism which seeks to explain away miracles, as well as finds discrepancies where there are none. 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.
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OT History: Joshua 3:4 Yet there shall be a space between (Josh. Jos) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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