Joshua 3
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1  Early next morning, Yehoshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and marched to the Yarden. They did not cross immediately, but spent the night there.

א  וַיַּשְׁכֵּם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בַּבֹּקֶר וַיִּסְעוּ מֵהַשִּׁטִּים וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד־הַיַּרְדֵּן הוּא וְכָל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיָּלִנוּ שָׁם טֶרֶם יַעֲבֹרוּ׃

2  Three days later, the officials went through the camp

ב  וַיְהִי מִקְצֵה שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים וַיַּעַבְרוּ הַשֹּׁטְרִים בְּקֶרֶב הַמַּחֲנֶה׃

3  and charged the people as follows: “When you see the Aron Brit Hashem your God being borne by the levitical Kohanim, you shall move forward. Follow it

ג  וַיְצַוּוּ אֶת־הָעָם לֵאמֹר כִּרְאוֹתְכֶם אֵת אֲרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְהַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם נֹשְׂאִים אֹתוֹ וְאַתֶּם תִּסְעוּ מִמְּקוֹמְכֶם וַהֲלַכְתֶּם אַחֲרָיו׃

4  but keep a distance of some two thousand amot from it, never coming any closer to it—so that you may know by what route to march, since it is a road you have not traveled before.”

ד  אַךְ רָחוֹק יִהְיֶה בֵּינֵיכֶם ובינו [וּבֵינָיו] כְּאַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה בַּמִּדָּה אַל־תִּקְרְבוּ אֵלָיו לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר־תֵּדְעוּ אֶת־הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכוּ־בָהּ כִּי לֹא עֲבַרְתֶּם בַּדֶּרֶךְ מִתְּמוֹל שִׁלְשׁוֹם׃

5  And Yehoshua said to the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow Hashem will perform wonders in your midst.”

va-YO-mer y’-ho-SHU-a el ha-AM hit-ka-DA-shu KEE ma-KHAR ya-a-SEH a-do-NAI b’-kir-b’-KHEM nif-la-OT

ה  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל־הָעָם הִתְקַדָּשׁוּ כִּי מָחָר יַעֲשֶׂה יְהֹוָה בְּקִרְבְּכֶם נִפְלָאוֹת׃

3:5   Tomorrow Hashem will perform wonders

Yehoshua instructs the people to sanctify themselves, as Hashem will perform miracles for them. Typically, miracles require a partnership between God and man. Though ultimately Hashem performs the miracle, He expects us to do our part to merit His acting on our behalf. Hence, the Children of Israel need to prepare themselves spiritually and physically, in order to merit the miracles of the parting of the Yarden and the victories in the conquest of the Promised Land. In our own era as well, the partnership between man and Hashem has resulted in the rebirth and flourishing of the State of Israel. As a result of God’s blessings, together with man’s hard work, the desert literally blooms, the economy grows, the army defends and the nation continues to absorb countless immigrants from the four corners of the earth. As in the days of Yehoshua, the fulfillment of these miracles has demanded both spiritual and physical effort by human beings.1 comment

6  Then Yehoshua ordered the Kohanim, “Take up the Aron HaBrit and advance to the head of the people.” And they took up the Aron HaBrit and marched at the head of the people.

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים לֵאמֹר שְׂאוּ אֶת־אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית וְעִבְרוּ לִפְנֵי הָעָם וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת־אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית וַיֵּלְכוּ לִפְנֵי הָעָם׃

7  Hashem said to Yehoshua, “This day, for the first time, I will exalt you in the sight of all Yisrael, so that they shall know that I will be with you as I was with Moshe.

ז  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה אָחֵל גַּדֶּלְךָ בְּעֵינֵי כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יֵדְעוּן כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר הָיִיתִי עִם־מֹשֶׁה אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ׃

8  For your part, command the Kohanim who carry the Aron HaBrit as follows: When you reach the edge of the waters of the Yarden, make a halt in the Yarden.”

ח  וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה אֶת־הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי אֲרוֹן־הַבְּרִית לֵאמֹר כְּבֹאֲכֶם עַד־קְצֵה מֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן בַּיַּרְדֵּן תַּעֲמֹדוּ׃

9  And Yehoshua said to the Israelites, “Come closer and listen to the words of Hashem your God.

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל גֹּשׁוּ הֵנָּה וְשִׁמְעוּ אֶת־דִּבְרֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם׃

10  By this,” Yehoshua continued, “you shall know that a living Hashem is among you, and that He will dispossess for you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites:

י  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בְּזֹאת תֵּדְעוּן כִּי אֵל חַי בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וְהוֹרֵשׁ יוֹרִישׁ מִפְּנֵיכֶם אֶת־הַכְּנַעֲנִי וְאֶת־הַחִתִּי וְאֶת־הַחִוִּי וְאֶת־הַפְּרִזִּי וְאֶת־הַגִּרְגָּשִׁי וְהָאֱמֹרִי וְהַיְבוּסִי׃

11  the Aron Brit the Sovereign of all the earth is advancing before you into the Yarden.

יא  הִנֵּה אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית אֲדוֹן כָּל־הָאָרֶץ עֹבֵר לִפְנֵיכֶם בַּיַּרְדֵּן׃

12  Now select twelve men from the tribes of Yisrael, one man from each tribe.

יב  וְעַתָּה קְחוּ לָכֶם שְׁנֵי עָשָׂר אִישׁ מִשִּׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ־אֶחָד אִישׁ־אֶחָד לַשָּׁבֶט׃

13  When the feet of the Kohanim bearing the Aron of Hashem, the Sovereign of all the earth, come to rest in the waters of the Yarden, the waters of the Yarden—the water coming from upstream—will be cut off and will stand in a single heap.”

יג  וְהָיָה כְּנוֹחַ כַּפּוֹת רַגְלֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה אֲדוֹן כָּל־הָאָרֶץ בְּמֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן מֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן יִכָּרֵתוּן הַמַּיִם הַיֹּרְדִים מִלְמָעְלָה וְיַעַמְדוּ נֵד אֶחָד׃

14  When the people set out from their encampment to cross the Yarden, the Kohanim bearing the Aron HaBrit were at the head of the people.

יד  וַיְהִי בִּנְסֹעַ הָעָם מֵאָהֳלֵיהֶם לַעֲבֹר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וְהַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי הָאָרוֹן הַבְּרִית לִפְנֵי הָעָם׃

15  Now the Yarden keeps flowing over its entire bed throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the bearers of the Aron reached the Yarden, and the feet of the Kohanim bearing the Aron dipped into the water at its edge,

טו  וּכְבוֹא נֹשְׂאֵי הָאָרוֹן עַד־הַיַּרְדֵּן וְרַגְלֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי הָאָרוֹן נִטְבְּלוּ בִּקְצֵה הַמָּיִם וְהַיַּרְדֵּן מָלֵא עַל־כָּל־גְּדוֹתָיו כֹּל יְמֵי קָצִיר׃

16  the waters coming down from upstream piled up in a single heap a great way off, at Adam, the town next to Zarethan; and those flowing away downstream to the Sea of the Arabah (the Dead Sea) ran out completely. So the people crossed near Yericho.

טז  וַיַּעַמְדוּ הַמַּיִם הַיֹּרְדִים מִלְמַעְלָה קָמוּ נֵד־אֶחָד הַרְחֵק מְאֹד באדם [מֵאָדָם] הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר מִצַּד צָרְתָן וְהַיֹּרְדִים עַל יָם הָעֲרָבָה יָם־הַמֶּלַח תַּמּוּ נִכְרָתוּ וְהָעָם עָבְרוּ נֶגֶד יְרִיחוֹ׃

17  The Kohanim who bore the Aron Brit Hashem stood on dry land exactly in the middle of the Yarden, while all Yisrael crossed over on dry land, until the entire nation had finished crossing the Yarden.

יז  וַיַּעַמְדוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי הָאָרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהֹוָה בֶּחָרָבָה בְּתוֹךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן הָכֵן וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל עֹבְרִים בֶּחָרָבָה עַד אֲשֶׁר־תַּמּוּ כָּל־הַגּוֹי לַעֲבֹר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן׃

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Joshua 3

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