16 These were the ones who crossed the Yarden in the first month, when it was at its crest, and they put to flight all the lowlanders to the east and west.
AY-leh HAYM a-SHER a-v’-RU et ha-yar-DAYN ba-KHO-desh ha-ri-SHON v’-HU m’-ma-LAY al kol g’-do-TAV va-yav-REE-khu et kol HA-a-ma-KEEM la-miz-RAKH v’-la-ma-a-RAV
טז אֵלֶּה הֵם אֲשֶׁר עָבְרוּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן וְהוּא מְמַלֵּא עַל־כָּל־גדיתיו [גְּדוֹתָיו] וַיַּבְרִיחוּ אֶת־כָּל־הָעֲמָקִים לַמִּזְרָח וְלַמַּעֲרָב׃
12:16 They put to flight all the lowlanders to the east and west
The simple meaning of this verse is that the warriors who crossed the Jordan river routed all enemies from the nearby valleys. However, Rashi offers an alternative interpretation of this phrase. He suggests that the soldiers used their shields to push the water away, so that they could cross on dry land. This is reminiscent of two similar crossings recorded in the Tanakh: Moshe split the Sea of Reeds, rendering the area dry for the children of Israel to pass through (Exodus 14:21), and the waters of the Jordan river were also stopped so that the Children of Israel could cross on dry land into the Land of Israel under the leadership of Yehoshua (Joshua 3:16). By stating that David’s warriors did something similar, Rashi is telling us that David was the next link in a chain of great leaders which stretched back to Moshe and Yehoshua.