Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background
First Reading: Joshua Chapter 3 and 4
3:1 Israel Crosses the Jordan
Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and
came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before
they crossed over. 2 So it was, after three days, that the officers went through
the camp; 3 and they commanded the people, saying,"When you see the ark
of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing
it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4 Yet there shall
be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not
come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not
passed this way before."
5 And Joshua said to the people,"Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you." 6 Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying,"Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people."
So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.
7 And the LORD said to Joshua, "This day I will begin to exalt 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 have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.'"
9 So Joshua said to the children of Israel, "Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God." 10 And Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites: 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. 12 Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe. 13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap."
14 So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), 16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.
4:1 The Memorial Stones
And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan,
that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying: 2 "Take for yourselves twelve men
from the people, one man from every tribe, 3 and command them, saying, 'Take
for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from
the place where the priests' feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with
you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.'"
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; 5 and Joshua said to them: "Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, 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?' 7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever."
8 And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the LORD had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst 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 So the priests who bore the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the LORD had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua; and the people hurried and crossed over. 11 Then it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over, that the ark of the LORD and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people. 12 And the men of Reuben, the men of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses had spoken to them. 13 About forty thousand prepared for war crossed over before the LORD for battle, to the plains of Jericho. 14 On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they had feared Moses, all the days of his life.
15 Then the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, 16 "Command the priests who bear the ark of the Testimony to come up from the Jordan." 17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, "Come up from the Jordan." 18 And it came to pass, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD had come from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet touched the dry land, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before.
19 Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. 20 And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. 21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying:"When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, 'What are these stones?' 22 then you shall let your children know, saying,'Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land'; 23 for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever."
40:1 Faith Persevering in Trial
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
I waited patiently for the LORD;And He inclined to me,And heard my cry. 2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,Out of the miry clay,And set my feet upon a rock,And established my steps. 3 He has put a new song in my mouth Praise to our God;Many will see it and fear,And will trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust,And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 5 Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done;And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order;If I would declare and speak of them,They are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;My ears You have opened.Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. 7 Then I said, "Behold, I come;In the scroll of the book it is written of me. 8 I delight to do Your will, O my God,And Your law is within my heart."
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly;Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,O LORD, You Yourself know. 10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD;Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. 12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me;My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;They are more than the hairs of my head;Therefore my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me;O LORD, make haste to help me! 14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion Who seek to destroy my life;Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor Who wish me evil. 15 Let them be confounded because of their shame,Who say to me, "Aha, aha!"
16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;Let such as love Your salvation say continually,"The LORD be magnified!" 17 But I am poor and needy;Yet the LORD thinks upon me.You are my help and my deliverer;Do not delay, O my God.
41:1 The Blessing and Suffering of the Godly
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
Blessed is he who considers the poor;The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. 2 The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive,And he will be blessed on the earth;You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. 3 The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness;You will sustain him on his sickbed.
4 I said, "LORD, be merciful to me;Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You." 5 My enemies speak evil of me:"When will he die, and his name perish?" 6 And if he comes to see me, he speaks lies;His heart gathers iniquity to itself;When he goes out, he tells it.
7 All who hate me whisper together against me;Against me they devise my hurt. 8 "An evil disease," they say, "clings to him.And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more." 9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,Who ate my bread,Has lifted up his heel against me.
10 But You, O LORD, be merciful to me, and raise me up,That I may repay them. 11 By this I know that You are well pleased with me,Because my enemy does not triumph over me. 12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,And set me before Your face forever.
13 Blessed be the LORD God of IsraelFrom everlasting to everlasting!Amen and Amen.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 2 of 2
The book of Joshua can be outlined as follows:
Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background