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Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - Joshua 4:12-13

Ver. 12, 13. And the children of Reuben, &c.— In conformity to their engagement, (Numbers 32:20; Num 21:27 and chap. Joshua 1:13.) these two tribes and a half supplied a body which passed over the Jordan, marching into the enemy's country at the head of all the people. This was evidently a chosen troop; for in the numbering, which had been made a year before, of the soldiers which each tribe could furnish, 43,730 were found in the single tribe of Reuben, 40,500 in that of Gad, and 26,350 in... read more

Robert Jamieson; A. R. Fausset; David Brown

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Joshua 4:13

13. to the plains of Jericho—That part of the Arabah or Ghor, on the west, is about seven miles broad from the Jordan to the mountain entrance at Wady-Kelt. Though now desert, this valley was in ancient times richly covered with wood. An immense palm forest, seven miles long, surrounded Jericho. :-. GOD MAGNIFIES JOSHUA. read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Joshua 4:1-14

Piling up stones was often a covenant ritual in the ancient Near East. [Note: G. Herbert Livingston, The Pentateuch in its Cultural Environment, p. 157.] It was a common method of preserving the memory of important events (cf. Genesis 8:20; Genesis 12:7; Genesis 35:7; et al.).There were apparently two piles of 12 stones each, one at Gilgal (Joshua 4:3-8; Joshua 4:20) and one in the Jordan River bed (Joshua 4:9). Some scholars believe there was only one pile of stones, which the NIV translation... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Joshua 4:1-24

The memorial of the crossing ch. 4The main point in the story of the crossing recorded in this chapter is the removal of the stones from the riverbed. They served as a memorial of this event for generations to come (Joshua 4:6-7). [Note: For a discussion of the supposed contradictions in chapters 3 and 4 and a solution based on literary analysis, see Brian Peckham, "The Composition of Joshua 3-4," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 46:3 (July 1984):413-31.] read more

John Dummelow

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible - Joshua 4:1-24

The Double Memorial of the Passage of JordanThe main subject of the chapter is the memorial cairn set up at Gilgal, which is described in two sections, Joshua 4:1-8 and Joshua 4:20-24, separated by the record in a single v. (Joshua 4:9) of another cairn set up in the midst of Jordan, and by a long parenthesis (Joshua 4:10-19) describing in an expanded form the crossing already narrated in Joshua 3:14-17. The repetitions are most satisfactorily explained on the hypothesis that the narrator has... read more

Charles John Ellicott

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers - Joshua 4:13

(13) About forty thousand.—The totals of these three tribes at the last census (Numbers 26:0) were:—Reuben (Numbers 26:7), 43,730; Gad (Numbers 26:18), 40,500; Manasseh (Numbers 26:34), 52,700, or for the exact half, 26, 350. Thus the entire force of the two and a half tribes might amount to 110,580. They therefore left more than half their number to protect their families and their dwellings. This does not seem inconsistent with the spirit of their agreement with Moses, or with the... read more

William Nicoll

Expositor's Bible Commentary - Joshua 4:1-24

CHAPTER IX.JORDAN DIVIDED.Joshua Ch. 3-4.AT Joshua’s command the priests carrying the ark are again in motion. Bearing the sacred vessel on their shoulders, they make straight for the bank of the river. "The exact spot is unknown; it certainly cannot be that which the Greek tradition has fixed, where the eastern banks are sheer precipices of ten or fifteen feet high. Probably it was either immediately above or below, where the cliffs break away; above at the fords, or below where the river... read more

Arno Clemens Gaebelein

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible - Joshua 4:1-24

4. The Memorial Stones CHAPTER 4 1. The first memorial (Joshua 4:1-8 ) 2. The second memorial (Joshua 4:9 ) 3. The return of the priests with the ark (Joshua 4:10-18 ) 4. The encampment at Gilgal (Joshua 4:19-24 ) Jehovah commanded that the great event should be remembered by a memorial. From the river-bed, where the priest’s feet stood firm, twelve men, one from each tribe, were to carry twelve stones and leave them at the first lodging place in the land, that is, at Gilgal. These... read more

John Calvin

Geneva Study Bible - Joshua 4:13

4:13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the {f} LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.(f) That is, before the Ark. read more

L.M. Grant

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible - Joshua 4:1-24

STONES OF MEMORIAL (vs.1-24) Only when all were passed over did Joshua, at God's command, instruct that each of the twelve chosen men should carry a stone out of the midst of Jordan, from the place where the priests had stood, and take them to the place where they would encamp that night (vs.4-5). This was to be a sign for Israel when their children would ask the meaning of the stones set as they were (v.6). The spiritual significance is quite simple. The stones taken out of the water (the... read more

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