Joshua, Chapter 3

- ס י ט -

Crossing the Jordan River Into the Promised Land

The Israelites approach the acacia trees on the banks of the Jordan River and prepare to cross the river. The priests, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, are the first to cross, followed by the rest of the people. The Jordan River usually rises and gushes vigorously at this time of the year, the season of the barley harvest. However, as the Israelites approach, the water stops flowing close to the upstream city of Adam and the people are able to cross safely. 

The purpose of this miracle is to strengthen the Israelites’ faith and confidence in the difficult conquest that lies ahead. The miracle marks the end of the Israelites’ wanderings in the desert, a journey that began with the crossing of the Red Sea. A new chapter begins in the annals of the nation. The crossing of the Jordan River is not just a solution for crossing the water, but a testament of faith. God sends a message to the Israelites that miracles are always possible, but they depend on human initiative and effort. The Israelites must work hard in order to merit the miracles that will help them in their conquests. 

“And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel” (Joshua 3:1)

“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 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” (Joshua 3:13) 

“And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan” (Joshua 3:17)

Diligence is the consistent series of choices we make to engage in spiritual work – to act, do, learn, and achieve more.