For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst
Though on dry ground, the waters being divided:
until everything was finished that the Lord commanded
Joshua to speak
unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua;
that is, until all the people had passed over Jordan, as the Lord had ordered Joshua, to encourage them unto, and go over with them, ( Joshua 1:2 ) ; and which Moses, by divine direction, had given Joshua in charge to do, ( Deuteronomy 31:7 ) ; Kimchi interprets this of the setting up of the stones in Jordan, and the removal of the other to Gilgal, of which Moses said nothing to Joshua; and though it may be true of the former, that the priests stood in Jordan till that was done, which is not certain, yet not of the latter; for it is plain, and it is most reasonable to conclude, that the priests were come up from the midst of Jordan before Israel marched to Gilgal, or even began their march, see ( Joshua 4:18 Joshua 4:20 ) ; and much less is this to be understood of the stones at Ebal, as others, and so referred to ( Deuteronomy 27:2 ) ; which was not done until after Ai was taken, ( Joshua 8:24 ) . And it is not reasonable to imagine that the priests should continue in Jordan to that time; Abarbinel thinks it refers to the words in ( Joshua 1:3 ) ; which had been spoken by the Lord to Joshua, and had been expressed by Moses, ( Deuteronomy 11:24 Deuteronomy 11:25 ) ; and which he supposes were now repeated by Joshua, and the priests continued in their station until he had made an end of rehearsing them; the last clause relating to Moses is left out in the Septuagint version:
and the people hasted and passed over;
not stood in fear of the waters of the river returning upon them; rather through an eager desire of setting their feet on the land of Canaan, and it may be to relieve the priests from their station as soon as might be.