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had seen and heard, and how afraid all the people were of the children of Israel, because God had delivered the land of Canaan into their hand.
Then Joshua moved his camp with all the children of Israel to the banks of the river Jordan, and he bade the people "sanctify themselves, for to-morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” It was now summer time, when the river always overflowed its banks, and as usual it was very full, so that without special help the people could not cross. But God said to Joshua, “This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee."
Then Joshua did as the LORD told him, and bade the priests who bore the ark of the covenant to take it up, and to go before the people unto the river's brink, and there to stand still before them all. When the priests had done this, Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.” Then he told them how the LORD would show that He was among them, by driving out all their foes from before them; and the sign of God's Presence
and of victory was to be seen when the ark of the covenant passed over Jordan. " It shall come to pass,” Joshua told them, “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 from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.”
The people all knew how God had led their fathers through the Red Sea, making those waters to part asunder, and now that great LORD, the Ruler and Guide of His chosen people, was going to work a like miracle in their behalf. So the people made ready, taking up their tents, and then the priests bearing the ark of the covenant went first. And it came to pass that the moment their feet were dipped in the brim of the water, the mighty river's waters were divided, rising up on one side into a great heap, and on the other falling away unto the sea, so that there was dry land in the midst. There the priests stood with the ark, while all the people went over on dry land. When the people had passed safely, Joshua called twelve men, one for every tribe of the people, and bade them each one take a stone and set them up in the midst of the river where the priests stood, to mark the spot. He also bade them take twelve stones out of the Jordan, and carry them to the place where they lodged on the other side, which was called Gilgal, and there to pitch them for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. Then last of all, the priests that bare the ark of the covenant came up out of the river, and so soon as the soles of their feet rested upon dry land, the waters of Jordan flowed back into their channel, and ran over its banks as before. And Joshua told the people why he had set up those twelve stones, saying, “ When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land, for the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before
until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up from before us, until we were gone over: that all the people of the earth might know the Hand of the LORD, that It is mighty : that ye might fear the LORD your God for.
THE TAKING OF JERICHO.
The kings of this Land of Canaan were very much afraid when they heard of the wonders God had wrought for His people; they were afraid before, but now that they saw such great things done in behalf of the children of Israel, as the mighty river Jordan being dried up to let them pass through, “their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.'
Meanwhile the Israelites kept the Feast of the Passover, as their first act after they had entered the Promised Land; and from this time they had no more Manna sent from heaven, but henceforth they ate of the corn of the land.
All their trials were not over yet, however; wars and fightings were before them ; but what need had they to fear, so long as they had full faith in their LORD God, Who had promised to sustain and lead them ; to be the Captain of their Salvation, their Hope, and their Strong Rock? The first place they had to take was Jericho, the city where Rahab lived, and where she had saved the life of Joshua's two spies. Now it came to pass that while Joshua was
standing apart, making ready to attack Jericho, suddenly he lifted up his eyes, and saw a war
, rior with a drawn sword in his hand standing over against him. Joshua did not know who it was, but he looked like some very great and noble prince. So Joshua went to the stranger, and asked him, “ Art thou for us, or for our adversaries ?
Then the glorious stranger told Joshua that he was one of God's holy Angels sent to help His people, “ As Captain of the Host of the LORD am I now come.”
Then Joshua fell on his face to the earth and did worship, and asked what commands the angel had to lay upon his servant ? Holy Scripture only tells us that the Captain of the LORD's Host bade Joshua, “ Loose thy shoe from off thy foot, for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” We are not told what the angel said to Joshua, or what instructions he gave as to the perils that awaited the people, but we can imagine with what fresh courage and strength Joshua must have returned to his charge, knowing that the Host of the Lord and His Captain were fighting with the Israelites. May it not also be possible that He who appeared to Joshua,
1 See Dan. x. 5, 6, 13.