And it came to pass, when the priests that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the middle of Jordan…
The passage of Jordan as the necessary way of entrance into the land of promise has always been regarded as symbolic of the death of the Christian. The same causes which allowed the children of Israel to cross the stream without being buried in its waters, operate in the case of the believing soul, to enable him also to pass through the deep water floods without being overflowed by them. These causes may be described as threefold.
I. THE PASSAGE OF THE JORDAN WAS EFFECTED AT THE TIME APPOINTED BY GOD. It was in obedience to the command of God that Israel crossed the river, so is it also with our death. It is determined by God. To Him belong the times and seasons. Hence we can in all confidence commit our way to Him and our spirit into His hands.
II. GOD GRANTED SPECIAL AID TO HIS PEOPLE IN THIS HOUR OF TRIAL. This He promises to us also when we are called to pass through the deep waters. "When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee." And David, full of this confidence, exclaims, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me" (Psalm 23:4).
III. ISRAEL SEES AT ITS HEAD A GUIDE CHOSEN OF GOD, WHO GOES BEFORE IT IN THIS DANGEROUS PASSAGE. We also have our Divine Joshua, who has passed through the river of death before us; that mighty Saviour, who "died for our sins and rose again for our justification" (1 Corinthians 1:1). He will bring us safely to Himself on that blessed shore, whither He is gone before. How heartening is the sweet song of Vinet:
"Quand le bruit des riots, l'aspect et le rivage,
Nous diront, O Jourdain, nos travaux vont cesser;
Jesus nous recevra triomphants et lasses
Pres de ces compagnons d'exil et d'heritage,
Qui ne sont pas perdus, mais nous ont devances."
"When the rush of Jordan's waters breaking on the shore
Tells the struggling, fainting pilgrim toil is nearly o'er;
Jesus ready to receive him, brothers gone before,
Welcome him with songs of triumph, 'Home forevermore!'" - E. DE. P.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.
WEB: It happened, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh had come up out of the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks, as before.