TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
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Joshua 4

1When the entire nation had finished crossing the Yarden, Hashem said to Yehoshua,

אוַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר־תַּמּוּ כָל־הַגּוֹי לַעֲבוֹר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לֵאמֹר׃

2“Select twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe,

בקְחוּ לָכֶם מִן־הָעָם שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר אֲנָשִׁים אִישׁ־אֶחָד אִישׁ־אֶחָד מִשָּׁבֶט׃

3and instruct them as follows: Pick up twelve stones from the spot exactly in the middle of the Yarden, where the Kohanim' feet are standing; take them along with you and deposit them in the place where you will spend the night.”

גוְצַוּוּ אוֹתָם לֵאמֹר שְׂאוּ־לָכֶם מִזֶּה מִתּוֹךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן מִמַּצַּב רַגְלֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים הָכִין שְׁתֵּים־עֶשְׂרֵה אֲבָנִים וְהַעֲבַרְתֶּם אוֹתָם עִמָּכֶם וְהִנַּחְתֶּם אוֹתָם בַּמָּלוֹן אֲשֶׁר־תָּלִינוּ בוֹ הַלָּיְלָה׃

4Yehoshua summoned the twelve men whom he had designated among the Israelites, one from each tribe;

דוַיִּקְרָא יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל־שְׁנֵים הֶעָשָׂר אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הֵכִין מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ־אֶחָד אִישׁ־אֶחָד מִשָּׁבֶט׃

5and Yehoshua said to them, “Walk up to the Aron of Hashem your God, in the middle of the Yarden, and each of you lift a stone onto his shoulder—corresponding to the number of the tribes of Yisrael.

הוַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ עִבְרוּ לִפְנֵי אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֶל־תּוֹךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן וְהָרִימוּ לָכֶם אִישׁ אֶבֶן אַחַת עַל־שִׁכְמוֹ לְמִסְפַּר שִׁבְטֵי בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

6This shall serve as a symbol among you: in time to come, when your children ask, ‘What is the meaning of these stones for you?'

ולְמַעַן תִּהְיֶה זֹאת אוֹת בְּקִרְבְּכֶם כִּי־יִשְׁאָלוּן בְּנֵיכֶם מָחָר לֵאמֹר מָה הָאֲבָנִים הָאֵלֶּה לָכֶם׃

7you shall tell them, ‘The waters of the Yarden were cut off because of the Aron Brit Hashem; when it passed through the Yarden, the waters of the Yarden were cut off.' And so these stones shall serve the people of Yisrael as a memorial for all time.”

זוַאֲמַרְתֶּם לָהֶם אֲשֶׁר נִכְרְתוּ מֵימֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן מִפְּנֵי אֲרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהֹוָה בְּעָבְרוֹ בַּיַּרְדֵּן נִכְרְתוּ מֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן וְהָיוּ הָאֲבָנִים הָאֵלֶּה לְזִכָּרוֹן לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד־עוֹלָם׃

8The Israelites did as Yehoshua ordered. They picked up twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Yisrael, from the middle of the Yarden—as Hashem had charged Yehoshua—and they took them along with them to their night encampment and deposited them there.

חוַיַּעֲשׂוּ־כֵן בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וַיִּשְׂאוּ שְׁתֵּי־עֶשְׂרֵה אֲבָנִים מִתּוֹךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לְמִסְפַּר שִׁבְטֵי בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּעֲבִרוּם עִמָּם אֶל־הַמָּלוֹן וַיַּנִּחוּם שָׁם׃

9Yehoshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Yarden, at the spot where the feet of the Kohanim bearing the Aron HaBrit had stood; and they have remained there to this day.

טוּשְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה אֲבָנִים הֵקִים יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בְּתוֹךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן תַּחַת מַצַּב רַגְלֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית וַיִּהְיוּ שָׁם עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃

10The Kohanim who bore the Aron remained standing in the middle of the Yarden until all the instructions that Hashem had ordered Yehoshua to convey to the people had been carried out. And so the people speedily crossed over, just as Moshe had assured Yehoshua in his charge to him.

יוְהַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי הָאָרוֹן עֹמְדִים בְּתוֹךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן עַד תֹּם כָּל־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לְדַבֵּר אֶל־הָעָם כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה מֹשֶׁה אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וַיְמַהֲרוּ הָעָם וַיַּעֲבֹרוּ׃

11And when all the people finished crossing, the Aron of Hashem and the Kohanim advanced to the head of the people.

יאוַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר־תַּם כָּל־הָעָם לַעֲבוֹר וַיַּעֲבֹר אֲרוֹן־יְהֹוָה וְהַכֹּהֲנִים לִפְנֵי הָעָם׃

12The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Menashe went across armed in the van of the Israelites, as Moshe had charged them.

יבוַיַּעַבְרוּ בְּנֵי־רְאוּבֵן וּבְנֵי־גָד וַחֲצִי שֵׁבֶט הַמְנַשֶּׁה חֲמֻשִׁים לִפְנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֲלֵיהֶם מֹשֶׁה׃

13About forty thousand shock troops went across, at the instance of Hashem, to the steppes of Yericho for battle.

יגכְּאַרְבָּעִים אֶלֶף חֲלוּצֵי הַצָּבָא עָבְרוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה לַמִּלְחָמָה אֶל עַרְבוֹת יְרִיחוֹ׃

14On that day Hashem exalted Yehoshua in the sight of all Yisrael, so that they revered him all his days as they had revered Moshe.

ידבַּיּוֹם הַהוּא גִּדַּל יְהֹוָה אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בְּעֵינֵי כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּרְאוּ אֹתוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר יָרְאוּ אֶת־מֹשֶׁה כָּל־יְמֵי חַיָּיו׃

15Hashem said to Yehoshua,

טווַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לֵאמֹר׃

16“Command the Kohanim who bear the Aron HaBrit to come up out of the Yarden.”

טזצַוֵּה אֶת־הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי אֲרוֹן הָעֵדוּת וְיַעֲלוּ מִן־הַיַּרְדֵּן׃

17So Yehoshua commanded the Kohanim, “Come up out of the Yarden.”

יזוַיְצַו יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶת־הַכֹּהֲנִים לֵאמֹר עֲלוּ מִן־הַיַּרְדֵּן׃

18As soon as the Kohanim who bore the Aron Brit Hashem came up out of the Yarden, and the feet of the Kohanim stepped onto the dry ground, the waters of the Yarden resumed their course, flowing over its entire bed as before.

יחוַיְהִי בעלות [כַּעֲלוֹת] הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי אֲרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהֹוָה מִתּוֹךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן נִתְּקוּ כַּפּוֹת רַגְלֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים אֶל הֶחָרָבָה וַיָּשֻׁבוּ מֵי־הַיַּרְדֵּן לִמְקוֹמָם וַיֵּלְכוּ כִתְמוֹל־שִׁלְשׁוֹם עַל־כָּל־גְּדוֹתָיו׃

19The people came up from the Yarden on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Yericho.

יטוְהָעָם עָלוּ מִן־הַיַּרְדֵּן בֶּעָשׂוֹר לַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן וַיַּחֲנוּ בַּגִּלְגָּל בִּקְצֵה מִזְרַח יְרִיחוֹ׃

20And Yehoshua set up in Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken from the Yarden.

v'-AYT sh'-TAYM es-RAY ha-a-va-NEEM ha-AY-leh a-SHER la-k'-KHU min ha-yar-DAYN hay-KEEM y'-ho-SHU-a ba-gil-GAL

כוְאֵת שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה הָאֲבָנִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר לָקְחוּ מִן־הַיַּרְדֵּן הֵקִים יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בַּגִּלְגָּל׃

 4:20   And Yehoshua set up in Gilgal the twelve stones

Gilgal Argaman, proposed location of biblical Gilgal

Yehoshua establishes a monument from twelve stones taken from the Yarden, each representing one tribe. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner notes that this monument represents the “unity but not uniformity” of the Jewish people. There are twelve individual stones, which symbolize the diversity of the tribes. But the stones are not scattered. Together, they form a unified monument. This “unity but not uniformity” is one of the keys to Israel’s success. Israel is an extremely diverse country. Yet her people have unified to create a society that is truly a “light unto the nations.”

21He charged the Israelites as follows: “In time to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of those stones?'

כאוַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁאָלוּן בְּנֵיכֶם מָחָר אֶת־אֲבוֹתָם לֵאמֹר מָה הָאֲבָנִים הָאֵלֶּה׃

22tell your children: ‘Here the Israelites crossed the Yarden on dry land.'

כבוְהוֹדַעְתֶּם אֶת־בְּנֵיכֶם לֵאמֹר בַּיַּבָּשָׁה עָבַר יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן הַזֶּה׃

23For Hashem your God dried up the waters of the Yarden before you until you crossed, just as Hashem your God did to the Sea of Reeds, which He dried up before us until we crossed.

כגאֲשֶׁר־הוֹבִישׁ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֶת־מֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן מִפְּנֵיכֶם עַד־עָבְרְכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם לְיַם־סוּף אֲשֶׁר־הוֹבִישׁ מִפָּנֵינוּ עַד־עָבְרֵנוּ׃

24Thus all the peoples of the earth shall know how mighty is the hand of Hashem, and you shall fear Hashem your God always.”

כדלְמַעַן דַּעַת כָּל־עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ אֶת־יַד יְהֹוָה כִּי חֲזָקָה הִיא לְמַעַן יְרָאתֶם אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃