And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.
Archbishop Usher supposes, that this was upon Wednesday, the 28th of April, A.M. 2553, the fortieth year of the Exodus from Egypt. From Shittim, where the israelites had been encamped for about two months (De 1:3), to the Jordan, was, according to Josephus, about sixty stadia; that is, between seven and eight English miles.
Jordan, called by the Arabs El Sharia, takes its rise in Anti-Libanus, about twelve miles north of CÊsarea Philippi, now Banias; and, having run about twelve miles southward, it receives a considerable stream, which is now called the Moiet Hasbeia. About 15 miles farther, it forms the waters of Merom or Semechon, now Houle; and, after running about 28 miles more, it passes through the lake of Gennesareth, and thence runs southward till it loses itself in the Dead Sea; its whole course being about 160 miles.
And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
When ye see
ye shall remove
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
Heb. since yesterday and the third day.
And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.
And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
that, as I was
And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.
ye shall stand
And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.
Hear the words
And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
drive out from
Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.
Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.
And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
of the Lord
And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
bearing the ark
And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)
The ordinary current of the Jordan, near where the Israelites crossed, is said by Maundrell, to be about twenty yards across, deeper than a man's height, and so rapid, that there is no swimming against it. It has, however, two banks; the first, or inner one, is that of the river in its natural state, and the second, or outer one, about a furlong distant, is that of its overflowings, which it does when the summer's sun has melted the snow on mount Lebanon and Hermon, in the months of March and April. And this was the time which God chose that the Israelites should pass over it; that a miraculous interposition might be necessary; and that, by the miracle, they might be convinced of his omnipotence.
all the time
That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.
the salt sea.
15:2 Genesis 14:3 Numbers 34:3 Deuteronomy 3:17 The passage through the Red Sea took place in the night, when the Israelites were fleeing from the Egyptians with great trepidation: but they passed Jordan in the day-time, with previous warning, leisurely, directly opposite to Jericho, and with a triumphant defiance of the Canaanites; this passage into the promised land evidently typifying the believer's passage through death to heaven.
And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.