Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign
that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death."
"Our lives for your lives!" the men assured her. "If you don't tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land."
So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall.
Now she had said to them, "Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way."
The men said to her, "This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us
unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house.
If anyone goes outside your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head; we will not be responsible. As for anyone who is in the house with you, his blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on him.
But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear."
"Agreed," she replied. "Let it be as you say." So she sent them away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had searched all along the road and returned without finding them.
Then the two men started back. They went down out of the hills, forded the river and came to Joshua son of Nun and told him everything that had happened to them.
They said to Joshua, "The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us."
Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over.
After three days the officers went throughout the camp,
giving orders to the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.
Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it."
Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."
Joshua said to the priests, "Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people." So they took it up and went ahead of them.
And the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.
Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: 'When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river.' "
Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God.
This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites.
See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you.
Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe.
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."
So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.
Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge,
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 (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua,
"Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe,
and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight."
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe,
and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites,
to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?'
tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."