Joshua 3:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

King James Bible
That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.

Darby Bible Translation
the waters which flowed down from above stood [and] rose up in a heap, very far, by Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan; and those that flowed down towards the sea of the plain, the salt sea, were completely cut off. And the people went over opposite to Jericho.

World English Bible
that the waters which came down from above stood, and rose up in one heap, a great way off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those that went down toward the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people passed over right against Jericho.

Young's Literal Translation
that the waters stand; those coming down from above have risen -- one heap, very far above Adam the city, which is at the side of Zaretan; and those going down by the sea of the plain, the Salt Sea, have been completely cut off; and the people have passed through over-against Jericho;

Joshua 3:16 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Rose up upon a heap - That is, they continued to accumulate, filling up the whole of the channel toward the source, and the adjacent ground over which they were now spread, to a much greater depth, the power of God giving a contrary direction to the current. We need not suppose them to be gathered up like a mountain, instar montis, as the Vulgate expresses it, but that they continued to flow back in the course of the channel; and ere they could have reached the lake of Gennesareth, where they might have been easily accumulated, the whole Israelitish army would have all got safely to the opposite side.

Very far from the city Adam - beside Zaretan - Where these places were it is difficult to say. The city Adam is wholly unknown. From 1 Kings 4:12 we learn that Zartanah was below Jezreel near Bethshean, or Scythopolis, and not far from Succoth, 1 Kings 7:46. And it appears from Genesis 33:17, Joshua 13:27, that Succoth lay on the east side of Jordan, not far from the lake of Gennesareth; and probably Adam was on the same side to the north of Succoth. It is probable that the Israelites crossed the Jordan near Bethabara, where John baptized, John 1:28, and which probably had its name, the house of passage, from this very circumstance. After all, it is extremely difficult to ascertain the exact situation of these places, as in the lapse of upwards of 3,000 years the face of the country must have been materially changed. Seas, rivers, and mountains, change not; and though we cannot ascertain the spot, it is sufficiently evident that we can come near to the place. It has been considered a lame objection against the truth of the Iliad that the situation of Troy cannot now be exactly ascertained. There are even many ancient cities and considerable towns in Europe, that, though they still bear their former names, do not occupy the same spot. There are not a few of those even in England; among such Norwich, Salisbury, etc., may be ranked, neither of which is in its primitive situation.

Right against Jericho - It would be impossible for the whole camp to pass over in the space opposite to Jericho, as they must have taken up some miles in breadth, besides the 2,000 cubits which were left on the right between them and the ark; but the river was divided opposite to Jericho, and there the camp began to pass over.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

rose up

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...

Psalm 29:10 The LORD sits on the flood; yes, the LORD sits King for ever.

Psalm 77:19 Your way is in the sea, and your path in the great waters, and your footsteps are not known.

Psalm 114:3 The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.

Matthew 8:26,27 And he said to them, Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea...

Matthew 14:24-33 But the ship was now in the middle of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary...


1 Kings 4:12 Baana the son of Ahilud; to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Bethshean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel...


1 Kings 7:46 In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan.

the Salt Sea

Joshua 15:2 And their south border was from the shore of the salt sea, from the bay that looks southward:

Genesis 14:3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.

Numbers 34:3 Then your south quarter shall be from the wilderness of Zin along by the coast of Edom...

Deuteronomy 3:17 The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even to the sea of the plain, even the salt sea...

The passage through the Red Sea took place in the night, when the Israelites were fleeing from the Egyptians with great trepidation: but they passed Jordan in the day-time, with previous warning, leisurely, directly opposite to Jericho, and with a triumphant defiance of the Canaanites; this passage into the promised land evidently typifying the believer's passage through death to heaven.

'The Waters Saw Thee; they were Afraid'
'And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you. 6. And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people. 7. And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. 8 And thou shalt command the priests that bear
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The New Leaders Commission
'Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 2. Moses My servant is dead: now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
Genesis 14:3
All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley).

Exodus 14:21
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided,

Deuteronomy 1:1
These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan--that is, in the Arabah--opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab.

Deuteronomy 3:17
Its western border was the Jordan in the Arabah, from Kinnereth to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea), below the slopes of Pisgah.

Joshua 3:13
And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD--the Lord of all the earth--set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap."

1 Kings 4:12
Baana son of Ahilud--in Taanach and Megiddo, and in all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah across to Jokmeam;

1 Kings 7:46
The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Sukkoth and Zarethan.

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