Bible Commentaries

Joshua 3

Verses 1-17

The first movement in the actual advance of the people into the land was of such a nature as to impress them with e truth of their positive relation to God. There was nothing in this first advance calculated to give them any cause for personal glorying. They came on to the actual soil of Canaan not by deflecting the course of the intervening river nor by bridging it, but by direct divine intervention. Divine power arrested the rushing river and made a highway for them to the other side.

The method of the divine procedure was intended to magnify Joshua in the sight of Israel by demonstrating to them that God was indeed with him as He had been with Moses.

While the act was wholly God's, was performed on the fulfillment of certain conditions by the people. Charged so to do by Joshua, they sanctified themselves and thus made possible the action of God. Moreover, they moved in obedience to His command, setting themselves in array, with the priests leading before the parting of the waters.

The crossing of the Jordan was connected with the center of their life, the divine Presence, which was made evident by the pause of the priests and the Ark in the midst of the river bed while the hosts marched past them into possession.