Bible Teaching Notes
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Omar C. Garcia

Joshua 3

3:1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came [a journey of about ten miles] to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.


3:2 And it came to pass after three days [on the third day], that the officers went through the host;


3:3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant [symbolized God’s presence among His people; contained the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments had been written, a jar of manna, and Aaron’s staff (symbol of the high priest’s authority)] of the LORD your God, and the priests [only the priests were permitted to carry the ark] the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place [specific locations in the camp and an assigned order in the march], and go after [better to follow God than to try to get ahead of Him] it.


3:4 Yet there shall be a space [because the ark was very holy] between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore [important to follow God, especially when you are venturing to places where you have never been before].


3:5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves [involved bathing, washing one’s clothing, abstinence from sexual activity (Ex. 19:14-15)]: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.


3:6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.


3:7 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee [this miracle would help confirm Joshua’s leadership] in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.


3:8 And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan [the river at this time was overflowing its banks].


3:9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear [a call to listen and obey] the words of [points to the source of Joshua’s message] the LORD your God [Joshua pointed the people to the Lord and His greatness].


3:10 And Joshua said, Hereby [their obedience to God] ye shall know that the living [as opposed to the dead idols of the heathen nations that inhabited the promised land (cf. Ps. 115:3-7)] God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites [lived in the lowlands of the seacoast and the Jordan valley (Num. 13:29)], and the Hittites, and the Hivites [cf. Josh. 11:3], and the Perizzites [lived in the central highlands (Gen. 13:7; 34:30)], and the Girgashites, and the Amorites [lived in the mountainous areas (Num. 13:29) and Jebusites [inhabited Jerusalem (Josh. 15:63)], and the Jebusites.


3:11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the LORD of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.


3:12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.


3:13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the LORD [ruler, owner] of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.


3:14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before [cf. Josh. 3:3-4] the people;


3:15 And as [faith must come first] they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water [faith in action], (for Jordan overfloweth [Jordan normally about a hundred feet wide but as much as a mile wide in flood season (Wiersbe); making a crossing a dangerous, if not an impossible, venture] all his banks all the time of harvest,)


3:16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far [about twenty miles] from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea [the Dead Sea], failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.


3:17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground [no longer covered with water] in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

Source:Omar C. Garcia

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