3. Crossing the Jordan River and Being Prepared for Battle
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Hymns:

Scripture Reading: Josh. 3:1—4:24; 5:1-10

Josh. 3:1       Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel; and they stayed there overnight, before they crossed over.

Josh. 3:2       And at the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp,

Josh. 3:3       And they commanded the people, saying, When you see the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah your God and the Levitical priests bearing it, you shall set out from your place and go after it.

Josh. 3:4       But there shall be a space between you and it of about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, so that you may know the way by which you must go; for you have not passed this way before.

Josh. 3:5       And Joshua said to the people, Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow Jehovah will do wondrous things in your midst.

Josh. 3:6       Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and cross over before the people. And they took up the Ark of the Covenant and went before the people.

Josh. 3:7       And Jehovah said to Joshua, On this day I will begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, I will be with you.

Josh. 3:8       And you shall command the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant, saying, When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.

Josh. 3:9       Then Joshua said to the children of Israel, Come here and hear the words of Jehovah your God.

Josh. 3:10     And Joshua said, By this you will know that the living God is in your midst, and that He will most certainly dispossess before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites.

Josh. 3: 11     The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth is now crossing over before you into the Jordan.

Josh. 3:12     Therefore now take twelve men for yourselves out of the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe.

Josh. 3:13     And when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the Ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the waters of the Jordan; the waters of the Jordan, the waters that flow down from upstream, will be cut off, and they will stand in a heap.

Josh. 3:14     And so it happened that when the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were before the people.

Josh. 3:15     And when those who carried the Ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who carried the Ark dipped into the edge of the water (now the Jordan overflowed all its banks throughout all the days of the harvest),

Josh. 3:16     The waters that flowed down from upstream stood and rose up in a heap a great distance away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those that flowed down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people crossed over from opposite Jericho.

Josh. 3:17     And the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel was crossing over on dry ground, until all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan.

Josh. 4:1       And when all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan, Jehovah spoke to Joshua, saying,

Josh. 4:2       Take for yourselves twelve men from among the people, one man from each tribe;

Josh. 4:3       And command them, saying, Take up for yourselves from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones; and bring them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.

Josh. 4:4       So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from among the children of Israel, one man from each tribe.

Josh. 4:5       And Joshua said to them, Pass on before the Ark of Jehovah your God into the middle of the Jordan, and every one of you lift up one stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,

Josh. 4:6       That this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean to you?

Josh. 4:7       You shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. Thus these stones will be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.

Josh. 4:8       And the children of Israel did as Joshua commanded and took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, as Jehovah told Joshua to do, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel. And they brought them over with them to the place where they were to lodge, and they laid them down there.

Josh. 4:9       Then Joshua erected twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.

Josh. 4:10     And the priests who carried the Ark stood in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that Jehovah had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hurried and crossed over.

Josh. 4:11     And when all the people had completely crossed over, the Ark of Jehovah with the priests crossed over before the people.

Josh. 4:12     And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle array before the children of Israel, as Moses had told them to do;

Josh. 4:13     About forty thousand equipped for war crossed over before Jehovah into the plains of Jericho for battle.

Josh. 4:14     On that day Jehovah magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.

Josh. 4:15     Then Jehovah spoke to Joshua, saying,

Josh. 4:16     Command the priests who carry the Ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.

Josh. 4:17     And Joshua commanded the priests, saying, Come up out of the Jordan.

Josh. 4:18     And when the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah came up out from the middle of the Jordan, when the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up onto the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and went over all its banks as before.

Josh. 4:19     And the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal, at the eastern edge of Jericho.

Josh. 4:20     And those twelve stones, which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua erected in Gilgal.

Josh. 4:21     And he spoke to the children of Israel, saying, When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean?

Josh. 4:22     You shall let your children know, saying, On dry ground Israel crossed over this Jordan.

Josh. 4:23     For Jehovah your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you crossed over, as Jehovah your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we crossed over;

Josh. 4:24     That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of Jehovah, that it is mighty; that you may fear Jehovah your God always.

Josh. 5:1       Now when all the kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, who were by the sea, heard that Jehovah had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the children of Israel until they crossed over, their hearts melted, and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the children of Israel.

Josh. 5:2       At that time Jehovah said to Joshua, Make knives of flint, and circumcise again the children of Israel a second time.

Josh. 5:3       And Joshua made knives of flint and circumcised the children of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.

Josh. 5:4       And this is the reason Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness on the way, after they had come out of Egypt.

Josh. 5:5       Although all the people who came out were circumcised, all the people who were born in the wilderness on the way, after the others had come out of Egypt, had not been circumcised.

Josh. 5:6       For the children of Israel went for forty years through the wilderness until all the nation, the men of war who had come out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not listen to the voice of Jehovah, they to whom Jehovah swore that they would not see the land that Jehovah had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Josh. 5:7       And their children, whom He had raised up in place of them, these Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them on the way.

Josh. 5:8       And when they had finished circumcising the whole nation, they remained in their place at the camp until they recovered.

Josh. 5:9       Then Jehovah said to Joshua, Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. So the name of that place has been called Gilgal to this day.

Josh. 5:10     And the children of Israel camped in Gilgal; and they held the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho.

 

I.      Joshua 3:1—4:24 is a record of the people of Israel crossing the Jordan River:

Josh. 3:1—4:24       See the verses listed under Scripture Reading of this message.

A.   When the people of Israel saw the Ark of the Covenant of their God and the Levitical priests bearing the Ark, they set out from their place and followed it—3:3, 6:

Josh. 3:3       And they commanded the people, saying, When you see the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah your God and the Levitical priests bearing it, you shall set out from your place and go after it.

Josh. 3:6       Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and cross over before the people. And they took up the Ark of the Covenant and went before the people.

1. The Ark was a type of Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God—Exo. 25:10-22.

Exo. 25:10    And they shall make an ark of acacia wood: two and a half cubits shall be its length; and one and a half cubits, its width; and one and a half cubits, its height.

Exo. 25:11    And you shall overlay it with pure gold; inside and outside you shall overlay it; and you shall make a rim of gold upon it all around.

Exo. 25:12    And you shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them on its four feet; and two rings shall be on one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it.

Exo. 25:13    And you shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.

Exo. 25:14    And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the Ark to carry the Ark with them.

Exo. 25:15    The poles shall be in the rings of the Ark; they shall not be taken from it.

Exo. 25:16    And you shall put into the Ark the Testimony which I shall give you.

Exo. 25:17    And you shall make an expiation cover of pure gold: two and a half cubits shall be its length, and one and a half cubits, its width.

Exo. 25:18    And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of beaten work you shall make them, at the two ends of the expiation cover.

Exo. 25:19    And make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; of one piece with the expiation cover you shall make the cherubim on its two ends.

Exo. 25:20    And the cherubim shall spread out their wings above the cover, covering the expiation cover with their wings, with their faces toward one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the expiation cover.

Exo. 25:21    And you shall put the expiation cover upon the Ark above it, and into the Ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you.

Exo. 25:22    And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the expiation cover, from between the two cherubim which are upon the Ark of the Testimony, of everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.

2. When the Ark of God went with the children of Israel, the Triune God went with them, taking the lead and thus being the first to step into the water—Josh. 3:8, 11.

Josh. 3:8       And you shall command the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant, saying, When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.

Josh. 3:11     The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth is now crossing over before you into the Jordan.

3. That the Ark was on the shoulders of the priests indicates that, in type, the priests who bore the Ark became one entity with the Triune God—v. 3:

Josh. 3:3       And they commanded the people, saying, When you see the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah your God and the Levitical priests bearing it, you shall set out from your place and go after it.

a. They and God were one corporate person—a corporate God-man.

b. God walked in their walking, and they walked in God’s walking.

B.    The Jordan River typifies the death and resurrection of Christ—Acts 2:23-24; 3:15:

Acts 2:23      This man, delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you, through the hand of lawless men, nailed to a cross and killed;

Acts 2:24      Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pangs of death, since it was not possible for Him to be held by it.

Acts 3:15      And the Author of life you killed, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

1. The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord crossed over before the people into the Jordan—Josh. 3:11.

Josh. 3:11     The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth is now crossing over before you into the Jordan.

2. The Ark’s entering into and coming out of the Jordan indicates Christ’s death and resurrection—v. 15; 4:11.

Josh. 3:15     And when those who carried the Ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who carried the Ark dipped into the edge of the water (now the Jordan overflowed all its banks throughout all the days of the harvest),

Josh. 4:11     And when all the people had completely crossed over, the Ark of Jehovah with the priests crossed over before the people.

C.    Israel’s crossing of the river Jordan typifies not the believers’ physical death but the believers’ experience of the death of Christ, in which the old man is terminated and buried—Rom. 6:3-6; Gal. 2:20:

Rom. 6:3       Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Rom. 6:4       We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.

Rom. 6:5       For if we have grown together with Him in the likeness of His death, indeed we will also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

Rom. 6:6       Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves;

Gal. 2:20       I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

1. According to typology, the Jordan River denotes the death of Christ into which the believers have been baptized—Rom. 6:3-4.

Rom. 6:3       Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Rom. 6:4       We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.

2. The children of Israel passed through the death of Christ to bury their old man and become a new man in Christ—2 Cor. 5:17:

2 Cor. 5:17    So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new.

a. They were ready to enter into the good land, take the land as their possession, and engage in warfare against the Canaanites; however, in their old man they could not gain the victory.

b. In type, they were buried in the death of Christ, and then they were resurrected in the resurrection of Christ to become a new man in Christ for the fighting of the spiritual warfare—Eph. 6:10-20.

Eph. 6:10      Finally, be empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength.

Eph. 6:11      Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil,

Eph. 6:12      For our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies.

Eph. 6:13      Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eph. 6:14      Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness

Eph. 6:15      And having shod your feet with the firm foundation of the gospel of peace;

Eph. 6:16      Besides all these, having taken up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.

Eph. 6:17      And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God,

Eph. 6:18      By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints,

Eph. 6:19      And for me, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known in boldness the mystery of the gospel,

Eph. 6:20      For which I am an ambassador in a chain, that in it I would speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

c. We need to realize that our old man, our natural man, is not qualified to fight the spiritual warfare for the gaining of Christ; in Christ we are no longer the old man but a new man—4:22-24.

Eph. 4:22      That you put off, as regards your former manner of life, the old man, which is being corrupted according to the lusts of the deceit,

Eph. 4:23      And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind

Eph. 4:24      And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.

3. The believers’ baptism into the death of Christ, as the crossing of the Jordan River, leads the believers into the resurrection of Christ—Rom. 6:3-6; Col. 2:12:

Rom. 6:3       Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Rom. 6:4       We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.

Rom. 6:5       For if we have grown together with Him in the likeness of His death, indeed we will also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

Rom. 6:6       Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves;

Col. 2:12       Buried together with Him in baptism, in which also you were raised together with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead.

a. In the aspect of burial, baptism is the termination of our old man.

b. In the aspect of resurrection, baptism is the germination of our spirit so that we may be made alive in Christ with the divine life—John 3:6, 15; Rom. 8:10.

John 3:6        That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:15      That everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life.

Rom. 8:10    But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.

c. In the realm of resurrection we enjoy Christ as the all-inclusive good land in which we walk and even are being rooted and built up for the accomplishment of the economy of God—6:4; Col. 2:7.

Rom. 6:4      We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.

Col. 2:7        Having been rooted and being built up in Him, and being established in the faith even as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

D.   Israel’s crossing the Jordan and entering into the good land are related to Israel’s possessing and enjoying the good land, which typifies the believers’ practical experience of the riches of the blessings in Christ as revealed in the book of Ephesians—Josh. 4:1.

Josh. 4:1       And when all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan, Jehovah spoke to Joshua, saying,

E.    Israel’s entering into the good land after crossing the Jordan typifies the believers’ experience of taking over the heavenlies, where Satan and his power of darkness are—Eph. 2:2; 6:12.

Eph. 2:2        In which you once walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit which is now operating in the sons of disobedience;

Eph. 6:12      For our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies.

II.    Twelve stones were taken out of the Jordan, and another twelve stones were erected in the Jordan—Josh. 4:3-9:

Josh. 4:3       And command them, saying, Take up for yourselves from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones; and bring them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.

Josh. 4:4       So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from among the children of Israel, one man from each tribe.

Josh. 4:5       And Joshua said to them, Pass on before the Ark of Jehovah your God into the middle of the Jordan, and every one of you lift up one stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,

Josh. 4:6       That this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean to you?

Josh. 4:7       You shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. Thus these stones will be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.

Josh. 4:8       And the children of Israel did as Joshua commanded and took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, as Jehovah told Joshua to do, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel. And they brought them over with them to the place where they were to lodge, and they laid them down there.

Josh. 4:9       Then Joshua erected twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.

A.   The twelve stones taken from the Jordan signify the twelve tribes of the new Israel—vv. 3-7.

Josh. 4:3       And command them, saying, Take up for yourselves from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones; and bring them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.

Josh. 4:4       So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from among the children of Israel, one man from each tribe.

Josh. 4:5       And Joshua said to them, Pass on before the Ark of Jehovah your God into the middle of the Jordan, and every one of you lift up one stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,

Josh. 4:6       That this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean to you?

Josh. 4:7       You shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. Thus these stones will be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.

B.    The stones’ being raised up from the waters of the Jordan signifies resurrection from death—v. 7:

Josh. 4:7       You shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. Thus these stones will be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.

1. These twelve stones were a sign, showing that the “resurrected” new Israel would be a testimony of the crossing of the death water—vv. 6-7, 21-24.

Josh. 4:6       That this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean to you?

Josh. 4:7       You shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. Thus these stones will be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.

Josh. 4:21     And he spoke to the children of Israel, saying, When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean?

Josh. 4:22     You shall let your children know, saying, On dry ground Israel crossed over this Jordan.

Josh. 4:23     For Jehovah your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you crossed over, as Jehovah your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we crossed over;

Josh. 4:24     That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of Jehovah, that it is mighty; that you may fear Jehovah your God always.

2. This typifies the believers’ experiencing with Christ the resurrection from death—Rom. 6:3-4.

Rom. 6:3       Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Rom. 6:4       We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.

C.    The other twelve stones erected in the middle of the Jordan signify the twelve tribes of Israel in their old life and in their old nature—Josh. 4:9:

Josh. 4:9       Then Joshua erected twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.

1. Joshua erected these twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan where the Ark was, signifying that the Lord wanted Israel in their old nature to remain under the death water of the Jordan.

2. This typifies that the old man of the believers should remain in the death of Christ—Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:10.

Rom. 6:6       Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves;

Gal. 2:20       I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Phil. 3:10      To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

D.   The two sets of twelve stones signify that our old man has been buried and our resurrected new man is living and working with the Triune God as one; this corresponds with the revelation in Ephesians 2:1, 4-6, 15, and 10.

Eph. 2:1        And you, though dead in your offenses and sins,

Eph. 2:4        But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Eph. 2:5        Even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

Eph. 2:6        And raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,

Eph. 2:15      Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Eph. 2:10      For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand in order that we would walk in them.

III.   The priests carrying the Ark of the Testimony stood firmly on dry ground at the bottom of the river Jordan until all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan—Josh. 3:8, 13-15, 17; 4:10-11, 15-18:

Josh. 3:8       And you shall command the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant, saying, When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.

Josh. 3:13     And when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the Ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the waters of the Jordan; the waters of the Jordan, the waters that flow down from upstream, will be cut off, and they will stand in a heap.

Josh. 3:14     And so it happened that when the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were before the people.

Josh. 3:15     And when those who carried the Ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who carried the Ark dipped into the edge of the water (now the Jordan overflowed all its banks throughout all the days of the harvest),

Josh. 3:17     And the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel was crossing over on dry ground, until all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan.

Josh. 4:10     And the priests who carried the Ark stood in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that Jehovah had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hurried and crossed over.

Josh. 4:11     And when all the people had completely crossed over, the Ark of Jehovah with the priests crossed over before the people.

Josh. 4:15     Then Jehovah spoke to Joshua, saying,

Josh. 4:16     Command the priests who carry the Ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.

Josh. 4:17     And Joshua commanded the priests, saying, Come up out of the Jordan.

Josh. 4:18     And when the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah came up out from the middle of the Jordan, when the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up onto the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and went over all its banks as before.

A.   The priests bearing the Ark were the first ones to go into the water and the last ones to come up out from the water; they waited at the bottom of the river for all of God’s people to cross over—3:17; 4:15-16.

Josh. 3:17     And the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel was crossing over on dry ground, until all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan.

Josh. 4:15     Then Jehovah spoke to Joshua, saying,

Josh. 4:16     Command the priests who carry the Ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.

B.    God put the priests in the place of death so that the Israelites would have a way to the land of life—v. 10:

Josh. 4:10     And the priests who carried the Ark stood in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that Jehovah had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hurried and crossed over.

1. The bottom of the river is the position of death; it is not comfortable or attractive.

2. To bear the Ark of the Testimony at the bottom of the river is a great suffering.

3. The Lord is seeking for a group of people who, like the priests in Joshua 3 and 4, step into the water, that is, walk into death first—3:8, 17:

Josh. 3:1       Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel; and they stayed there overnight, before they crossed over.

Josh. 3:2       And at the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp,

Josh. 3:3       And they commanded the people, saying, When you see the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah your God and the Levitical priests bearing it, you shall set out from your place and go after it.

Josh. 3:4       But there shall be a space between you and it of about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, so that you may know the way by which you must go; for you have not passed this way before.

Josh. 3:5       And Joshua said to the people, Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow Jehovah will do wondrous things in your midst.

Josh. 3:6       Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and cross over before the people. And they took up the Ark of the Covenant and went before the people.

Josh. 3:7       And Jehovah said to Joshua, On this day I will begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, I will be with you.

Josh. 3:8       And you shall command the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant, saying, When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.

Josh. 3:9       Then Joshua said to the children of Israel, Come here and hear the words of Jehovah your God.

Josh. 3:10     And Joshua said, By this you will know that the living God is in your midst, and that He will most certainly dispossess before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites.

Josh. 3: 11     The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth is now crossing over before you into the Jordan.

Josh. 3:12     Therefore now take twelve men for yourselves out of the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe.

Josh. 3:13     And when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the Ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the waters of the Jordan; the waters of the Jordan, the waters that flow down from upstream, will be cut off, and they will stand in a heap.

Josh. 3:14     And so it happened that when the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were before the people.

Josh. 3:15     And when those who carried the Ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who carried the Ark dipped into the edge of the water (now the Jordan overflowed all its banks throughout all the days of the harvest),

Josh. 3:16     The waters that flowed down from upstream stood and rose up in a heap a great distance away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those that flowed down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people crossed over from opposite Jericho.

Josh. 3:17     And the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel was crossing over on dry ground, until all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan.

Josh. 4:1       And when all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan, Jehovah spoke to Joshua, saying,

Josh. 4:2       Take for yourselves twelve men from among the people, one man from each tribe;

Josh. 4:3       And command them, saying, Take up for yourselves from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones; and bring them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.

Josh. 4:4       So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from among the children of Israel, one man from each tribe.

Josh. 4:5       And Joshua said to them, Pass on before the Ark of Jehovah your God into the middle of the Jordan, and every one of you lift up one stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,

Josh. 4:6       That this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean to you?

Josh. 4:7       You shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. Thus these stones will be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.

Josh. 4:8       And the children of Israel did as Joshua commanded and took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, as Jehovah told Joshua to do, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel. And they brought them over with them to the place where they were to lodge, and they laid them down there.

Josh. 4:9       Then Joshua erected twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.

Josh. 4:10     And the priests who carried the Ark stood in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that Jehovah had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hurried and crossed over.

Josh. 4:11     And when all the people had completely crossed over, the Ark of Jehovah with the priests crossed over before the people.

Josh. 4:12     And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle array before the children of Israel, as Moses had told them to do;

Josh. 4:13     About forty thousand equipped for war crossed over before Jehovah into the plains of Jericho for battle.

Josh. 4:14     On that day Jehovah magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.

Josh. 4:15     Then Jehovah spoke to Joshua, saying,

Josh. 4:16     Command the priests who carry the Ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.

Josh. 4:17     And Joshua commanded the priests, saying, Come up out of the Jordan.

Josh. 4:18     And when the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah came up out from the middle of the Jordan, when the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up onto the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and went over all its banks as before.

Josh. 4:19     And the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal, at the eastern edge of Jericho.

Josh. 4:20     And those twelve stones, which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua erected in Gilgal.

Josh. 4:21     And he spoke to the children of Israel, saying, When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean?

Josh. 4:22     You shall let your children know, saying, On dry ground Israel crossed over this Jordan.

Josh. 4:23     For Jehovah your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you crossed over, as Jehovah your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we crossed over;

Josh. 4:24     That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of Jehovah, that it is mighty; that you may fear Jehovah your God always.

a. They are willing to be dealt with by the cross first, to stand in the place of death in order that the church will find the way of life—2 Cor. 4:10-12.

2 Cor. 4:10   Always bearing about in the body the putting to death of Jesus that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

2 Cor. 4:11   For we who are alive are always being delivered unto death for Jesus' sake that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

2 Cor. 4:12   So then death operates in us, but life in you.

b. God must first put us in the place of death before others can receive life—John 2:19; 12:24; 1 Cor. 15:36.

John 2:19      Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

John 12:24    Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

1 Cor. 15:36 Foolish man, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies;

C.    Because the apostle Paul ministered life by dying, he could testify, saying, “So then death operates in us, but life in you”—2 Cor. 4:12:

2 Cor. 4:12    So then death operates in us, but life in you.

1. The work of the apostles is the work of death operating in them so that life may operate in the believers—vv. 10-12.

2 Cor. 4:10    Always bearing about in the body the putting to death of Jesus that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

2 Cor. 4:11    For we who are alive are always being delivered unto death for Jesus' sake that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

2 Cor. 4:12    So then death operates in us, but life in you.

2. The issue, the result, of the operation of death in us is wonderful—it is life in others—v. 12.

2 Cor. 4:12    So then death operates in us, but life in you.

3. The real work of the new covenant ministry is not a matter of working; it is a matter of dying—v. 1; 3:8-9; 5:18.

2 Cor. 4:1      Therefore having this ministry as we have been shown mercy, we do not lose heart;

2 Cor. 3:8      How shall the ministry of the Spirit not be more in glory?

2 Cor. 3:9      For if there is glory with the ministry of condemnation, much more the ministry of righteousness abounds with glory.

2 Cor. 5:18    But all things are out from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

4. In the Lord’s recovery we need to die so that life may work in others; hence, our dying is our working—4:12.

2 Cor. 4:12    So then death operates in us, but life in you.

5. “The Lord does not need you to accomplish a work for Him. He needs you to die. If you die, life will work in others. You will minister life to others by dying. Therefore, our work is to be put to death”—Life-study of 2 Corinthians, p. 295.

IV.   Although the Israelites had been disciplined, trained, and qualified, after crossing the Jordan they still needed further preparation before the attack—Josh. 5:1-10:

Josh. 5:1       Now when all the kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, who were by the sea, heard that Jehovah had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the children of Israel until they crossed over, their hearts melted, and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the children of Israel.

Josh. 5:2       At that time Jehovah said to Joshua, Make knives of flint, and circumcise again the children of Israel a second time.

Josh. 5:3       And Joshua made knives of flint and circumcised the children of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.

Josh. 5:4       And this is the reason Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness on the way, after they had come out of Egypt.

Josh. 5:5       Although all the people who came out were circumcised, all the people who were born in the wilderness on the way, after the others had come out of Egypt, had not been circumcised.

Josh. 5:6       For the children of Israel went for forty years through the wilderness until all the nation, the men of war who had come out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not listen to the voice of Jehovah, they to whom Jehovah swore that they would not see the land that Jehovah had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Josh. 5:7       And their children, whom He had raised up in place of them, these Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them on the way.

Josh. 5:8       And when they had finished circumcising the whole nation, they remained in their place at the camp until they recovered.

Josh. 5:9       Then Jehovah said to Joshua, Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. So the name of that place has been called Gilgal to this day.

Josh. 5:10     And the children of Israel camped in Gilgal; and they held the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho.

A.   The crossing of the river Jordan was for war against the seven tribes in Canaan—4:12-13.

Josh. 4:12     And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle array before the children of Israel, as Moses had told them to do;

Josh. 4:13     About forty thousand equipped for war crossed over before Jehovah into the plains of Jericho for battle.

B.    As Joshua was participating in the miracle of crossing the Jordan, he was strengthened to take the lead to war against the demonic Canaanites—3:6-7, 10; 4:14.

Josh. 3:6       Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and cross over before the people. And they took up the Ark of the Covenant and went before the people.

Josh. 3:7       And Jehovah said to Joshua, On this day I will begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, I will be with you.

Josh. 3:10     And Joshua said, By this you will know that the living God is in your midst, and that He will most certainly dispossess before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites.

Josh. 4:14     On that day Jehovah magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.

C.    Jehovah charged Joshua to “circumcise again the children of Israel a second time”—5:2:

Josh. 5:2       At that time Jehovah said to Joshua, Make knives of flint, and circumcise again the children of Israel a second time.

1. The purpose of circumcision was to make God’s chosen people a new people for the inheriting of God’s promised land—cf. Gen. 17:7-12.

Gen. 17:7      And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your seed after you.

Gen. 17:8      And I will give to you and to your seed after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Gen. 17:9      And God said to Abraham, And as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations.

Gen. 17:10    This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

Gen. 17:11    And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a sign of a covenant between Me and you.

Gen. 17:12    And he who is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he who is born in the house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not of your seed.

2. The circumcising of the new Israel typifies the circumcision of Christ, by His death, applied to the believers in the putting off of the body of the flesh that they may inherit Christ in resurrection as the portion allotted to them by God—Col. 2:11-12; 1:12.

Col. 2:11       In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ,

Col. 2:12       Buried together with Him in baptism, in which also you were raised together with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Col. 1:12       Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you for a share of the allotted portion of the saints in the light;

3. Spiritual circumcision is a continuation of the burial in the death of Christ—Rom. 6:3-4:

Rom. 6:3       Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Rom. 6:4       We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.

a. Through the crossing of the river Jordan, the old Israel was buried and a new Israel came forth; this was an objective work done by God.

b. The children of Israel’s being circumcised was their practical application of what God had done in the crossing of the river Jordan—Josh. 5:2-9.

Josh. 5:2       At that time Jehovah said to Joshua, Make knives of flint, and circumcise again the children of Israel a second time.

Josh. 5:3       And Joshua made knives of flint and circumcised the children of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.

Josh. 5:4       And this is the reason Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness on the way, after they had come out of Egypt.

Josh. 5:5       Although all the people who came out were circumcised, all the people who were born in the wilderness on the way, after the others had come out of Egypt, had not been circumcised.

Josh. 5:6       For the children of Israel went for forty years through the wilderness until all the nation, the men of war who had come out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not listen to the voice of Jehovah, they to whom Jehovah swore that they would not see the land that Jehovah had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Josh. 5:7       And their children, whom He had raised up in place of them, these Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them on the way.

Josh. 5:8       And when they had finished circumcising the whole nation, they remained in their place at the camp until they recovered.

Josh. 5:9       Then Jehovah said to Joshua, Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. So the name of that place has been called Gilgal to this day.

4. In the New Testament spiritual circumcision is the constant application of Christ’s death to our flesh—Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11:

Phil. 3:3        For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh,

Col. 2:11       In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ,

a. Although in fact we have been baptized into the death of Christ and have been buried and raised with Him, in practicality we still must apply the circumcision of the cross to our flesh by the Spirit day by day—Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:24.

Rom. 8:13    For if you live according to the flesh, you must die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live.

Gal. 5:24      But they who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and its lusts.

b. This is the reality and practicality of remaining in the death and burial of Christ.

D.   The children of Israel camped in Gilgal and held the Passover on the plains of Jericho—Josh. 5:10:

Josh. 5:10     And the children of Israel camped in Gilgal; and they held the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho.

1. The Feast of the Passover was held to remember Jehovah’s redeeming of Israel from the death-judgment on their firstborn sons and also Jehovah’s saving of Israel from Egypt and from the tyranny of Pharaoh—Exo. 12:3-7, 11-14; 14:13-30.

Exo. 12:3      Speak to all the assembly of Israel, saying, On the tenth of this month each man shall take a lamb according to his fathers' house, a lamb for a household.

Exo. 12:4      And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor next to his house shall take one according to the number of the persons in the houses; according to each man's eating you shall make your count for the lamb.

Exo. 12:5      Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

Exo. 12:6      And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole congregation of the assembly of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

Exo. 12:7      And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.

Exo. 12:11    And this is how you shall eat it: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste. It is Jehovah's passover.

Exo. 12:12    For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast. Also against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments. I am Jehovah.

Exo. 12:13    And the blood shall be a sign for you upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there will be no plague upon you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Exo. 12:14    And this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall keep it as a feast to Jehovah; throughout your generations as a perpetual statute you shall keep it as a feast.

Exo. 14:13    But Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid; stand firm, and see the salvation of Jehovah, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will see no more again forever.

Exo. 14:14    Jehovah will fight for you, and you will be still.

Exo. 14:15    And Jehovah said to Moses, Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the children of Israel to move forward.

Exo. 14:16    And you, lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go into the midst of the sea on dry ground.

Exo. 14:17    And I will now harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will go in after them; and I will glorify Myself through Pharaoh and through all his army, through his chariots and through his horsemen.

Exo. 14:18    Then the Egyptians will know that I am Jehovah when I glorify Myself through Pharaoh, through his chariots and through his horsemen.

Exo. 14:19    And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them.

Exo. 14:20    And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. And the cloud was there with the darkness, yet it gave light by night to them. Thus one did not come near the other all night.

Exo. 14:21    And when Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, Jehovah caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night and made the sea dry land; and the waters were divided.

Exo. 14:22    And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Exo. 14:23    Then the Egyptians pursued; and all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea.

Exo. 14:24    And at the morning watch Jehovah looked down upon the camp of the Egyptians from within the pillar of fire and of cloud and threw the camp of the Egyptians into confusion.

Exo. 14:25    And He caused their chariot wheels to swerve and made them drive with difficulty, so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from Israel, for Jehovah is fighting for them against the Egyptians.

Exo. 14:26    And Jehovah said to Moses, Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and over their horsemen.

Exo. 14:27    And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its level when the morning appeared. And the Egyptians fled against it, and Jehovah cast the Egyptians off into the midst of the sea.

Exo. 14:28    And as the waters returned, they covered the chariots and the horsemen, even all the army of Pharaoh that went in after them into the sea; not even one of them was left.

Exo. 14:29    But the children of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Exo. 14:30    Thus Jehovah saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore.

2. The keeping of the Passover indicated that just as Jehovah had saved Israel from Pharaoh and Egypt, so He would destroy the tribes of Canaan and deliver Israel from them—Josh. 5:10.

Josh. 5:10     And the children of Israel camped in Gilgal; and they held the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho.

3. Israel’s keeping of the Passover typifies the believers’ keeping of the Lord’s table to remember the Lord as their Redeemer and Savior—Matt. 26:26-28.

Matt. 26:26   And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat; this is My body.

Matt. 26:27   And He took a cup and gave thanks, and He gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you,

Matt. 26:28   For this is My blood of the covenant, which is being poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

 

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