: Old Testament Stories

Having wandered for forty years in the wilderness, the Israelites drew

near to the river Jordan, at a place opposite Jericho. Moses was dead,

and Joshua was now the leader of the host. God told him that the time

had come when the people of Israel were to enter Canaan; to which land

they had all this long time been travelling, but which previously they

had not been permitted to enter on account of their sin. A description

> of this sin is given in the Bible, in the fourteenth chapter of


But the people were now to cross the Jordan and enter Canaan. They

were a very great multitude, and the river lay before them. How were

they to cross? God told them! He commanded Joshua that the priests

were to take the ark of the covenant and to go before the people; who

were to follow a short distance behind. Could the priests and the

people walk across the deep water? No. But as soon as the priests

reached the river, and their feet were dipped in the water, God

divided the Jordan into two, leaving dry ground for the Israelites to

cross upon.

The priests carried the ark into the middle of the bed of the river

and then stood still, and all the people passed on before them. When

all were over, the priests carrying the ark moved forward also, and

the waters returned to their proper place again. But before they did

so, Joshua commanded twelve men, one from each tribe, each to take a

stone from the river's bed; and these stones were set up as a memorial

of the marvellous manner in which God had brought the Israelites

across the Jordan into Canaan.