And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan
Twelve other stones, as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, and so Jarchi; which he set one upon another, so that they might be seen above the water; or however the water of Jordan being clear, they might easily be discerned by those who either passed over the river, or walked by the side of it, where they were; and perhaps may be the very stones John the Baptist pointed at in ( Matthew 3:9 ) ; since it was at Bethabara he was baptizing, supposed to be the very place of the passage of the children of Israel over Jordan, and had its name from thence, ( John 1:28 ) ;
in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the
and which was done in commemoration of it: the words will bear to be read "under the station" of the feet of the priests: hence Jarchi fancies these were set, that their feet might not sink in the mud at the bottom of the river; but this, though here recorded, might be done by Joshua immediately after the priests were come out of Jordan, or as they were coming up: hence some think Joshua was the last that came up from it; but Abarbinel observes, that the word signifies "in the room" or "stead of", (See Gill on Exodus 21:24); so that these stones were placed in the room and stead of the station of the priests, in the midst of the river, and in memory of it:
and they are there unto this day;
to the time of the writing of this book, which is no objection to Joshua being the writer of it, though it is by some made one; since it might be wrote by him, as doubtless it was, when such an observation could not be impertinent; and if what has been before observed is true, these stones were in the same place in the times of John the Baptist; and that they were in the order in which they were first set; for that they were in the waters of Jordan, there could scarce be any question of it. This was done to perpetuate the memory of this remarkable event: so Alexander the great set up twelve altars on the borders of India, by the river Oraxes, in commemoration of his exploits F11.
F11 Arrian. Expedit. Alex. l. 5. Curtius, l. 9. sect. 3.