Preparations for the Conquest of Canaan
11 Now it happened after the death of Moses the servant of Yahweh, that Yahweh spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, 2 “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, to the land which I give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 I have given you every place that the sole of your foot will tread on, as I told Moses. 4 From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border. 5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you nor forsake you. 6 “Be strong and of good courage; for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you. Don’t turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success. 9 Haven’t I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed: for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go.”
10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp, and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare food; for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which Yahweh your God gives you to possess it.’” 12 Joshua spoke to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, saying, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, saying, ‘Yahweh your God gives you rest, and will give you this land. 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock, shall live in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan; but you shall pass over before your brothers armed, all the mighty men of valor, and shall help them 15 until Yahweh has given your brothers rest, as he has given you, and they have also possessed the land which Yahweh your God gives them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession, and possess it, which Moses the servant of Yahweh gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.’”
16 They answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we listened to Moses in all things, so will we listen to you. Only may Yahweh your God be with you, as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your commandment, and doesn’t listen to your words in all that you command him, he shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”
The Spies Sent to Jericho
21 Joshua the son of Nun secretly sent two men out of Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, including Jericho.” They went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and slept there. 2 The king of Jericho was told, “Behold, men of the children of Israel came in here tonight to spy out the land.” 3 The king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered into your house; for they have come to spy out all the land.” 4 The woman took the two men and hid them. Then she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I didn’t know where they came from. 5 It happened about the time of the shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went, I don’t know. Pursue them quickly; for you will overtake them.” 6 But she had brought them up to the roof, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof. 7 The men pursued them the way to the Jordan to the fords: and as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.
8 Before they had laid down, she came up to them on the roof; 9 and she said to the men, “I know that Yahweh has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 10 For we have heard how Yahweh dried up the water of the Red Sea before you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and to Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 As soon as we had heard it, our hearts melted, neither did there remain any more spirit in any man, because of you: for Yahweh your God, he is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, please swear to me by Yahweh, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a true token; 13 and that you will save alive my father, my mother, my brothers, and my sisters, and all that they have, and will deliver our lives from death.” 14 The men said to her, “Our life for yours, if you don’t talk about this business of ours; and it shall be, when Yahweh gives us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.” 15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window; for her house was on the side of the wall, and she lived on the wall. 16 She said to them, “Go to the mountain, lest the pursuers find you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward, you may go your way.” 17 The men said to her, “We will be guiltless of this your oath which you have made us to swear. 18 Behold, when we come into the land, you shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which you did let us down by. You shall gather to yourself into the house your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. 19 It shall be that whoever goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be on his head, and we will be guiltless. Whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand is on him. 20 But if you talk about this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless of your oath which you have made us to swear.” 21 She said, “According to your words, so be it.” She sent them away, and they departed. She tied the scarlet line in the window.
22 They went, and came to the mountain, and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had returned. The pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but didn’t find them. 23 Then the two men returned, descended from the mountain, passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun; and they told him all that had happened to them. 24 They said to Joshua, “Truly Yahweh has delivered into our hands all the land. Moreover, all the inhabitants of the land melt away before us.”
Israel Passes over the Jordan
31 Joshua rose up early in the morning; and they moved from Shittim, and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel. They lodged there before they passed over. 2 It happened after three days, that the officers went through the midst of the camp; 3 and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall move from your place, and follow it. 4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Don’t come near to it, that you may know the way by which you must go; for you have not passed this way before.” 5 Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow Yahweh will do wonders among you.” 6 Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people.” They took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
7 Yahweh said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8 You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” 9 Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of Yahweh your God.” 10 Joshua said, “Hereby you shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Hivite, and the Perizzite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Jebusite out from before you. 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passes over before you into the Jordan. 12 Now therefore take twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, for every tribe a man. 13 It shall come to pass, when the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of Yahweh, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, even the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand in one heap.”
14 It happened, when the people moved from their tents to pass over the Jordan, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant being before the people, 15 and when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark had dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of harvest), 16 that the waters which came down from above stood, and rose up in one heap, a great way off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those that went down toward the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people passed over right against Jericho. 17 The priests who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan; and all Israel passed over on dry ground, until all the nation had passed completely over the Jordan.
The Twelve Stones Taken from the Jordan
41 It happened, when all the nation had completely passed over the Jordan, that Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying, 2 “Take twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take from out of the middle of the Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the lodging place, where you will lodge tonight.’” 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man. 5 Joshua said to them, “Pass over before the ark of Yahweh your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you pick up a stone and put it on your shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel; 6 that this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do you mean by these stones?’ 7 then you shall tell them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.’” 8 The children of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, as Yahweh spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel; and they carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9 Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.
10 For the priests who bore the ark stood in the middle of the Jordan, until everything was finished that Yahweh commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua; and the people hurried and passed over. 11 It happened, when all the people had completely passed over, that the ark of Yahweh passed over, with the priests, in the presence of the people. 12 The children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spoke to them. 13 About forty thousand men, ready and armed for war passed over before Yahweh to battle, to the plains of Jericho. 14 On that day, Yahweh magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life. 15 Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying, 16 “Command the priests who bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of the Jordan.” 17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, “Come up out of the Jordan!” 18 It happened, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh had come up out of the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks, as before. 19 The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, on the east border of Jericho.
20 Joshua set up those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, in Gilgal. 21 He spoke to the children of Israel, saying, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 Then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 23 For Yahweh your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you, until you had passed over, as Yahweh your God did to the Red Sea , which he dried up from before us, until we had passed over; 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of Yahweh, that it is mighty; that you may fear Yahweh your God forever.’”