Joshua 3:14-17

14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.
15 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,
16 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.
17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

Joshua 3:14-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 3

Joshua removed from Shittim to Jordan, where he stayed three days, Jos 3:1,2; the people are directed to move when they saw the ark bore by the priests, and what distance they should keep from it, Jos 3:3,4; are bid to sanctify themselves against the morrow, when wonders would be wrought, Jos 3:5; and the priests are ordered to take up the ark, Jos 3:6; Joshua is encouraged by the Lord, and instructed to command the priests when they come to Jordan to stand still in it, Jos 3:7,8; and he declares to all the people, as a token that God would drive the Canaanites from before them, that as soon as the feet of the priests bearing the ark should rest in the waters of Jordan, they should be parted, and make way for them to pass through, Jos 3:9-13; which accordingly came to pass, so that all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, Jos 3:14-17.

Joshua 3:14-17 In-Context

12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe.
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.”
14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.
15 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,
16 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.
17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

Cross References 16

  • 1. Psalms 132:8
  • 2. Acts 7:44-45
  • 3. 2 Kings 2:6
  • 4. Joshua 4:18; 1 Chronicles 12:15; Isaiah 8:7
  • 5. S Genesis 8:22
  • 6. Psalms 66:6; Psalms 74:15; Psalms 114:3
  • 7. Job 38:37; Psalms 33:7
  • 8. 1 Kings 4:12; 1 Kings 7:46
  • 9. ver 13
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 1:1
  • 11. S Genesis 14:3
  • 12. S Genesis 8:1; S Exodus 14:22
  • 13. 2 Kings 2:4
  • 14. S ver 3
  • 15. Jos 4:3,5,8,9,10
  • 16. S Exodus 14:22; S Joshua 2:10; Exodus 14:22,29