The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 98 of 190
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The twelve stones for a Memorial (3:, 4:).
pp. 171 - 175
It may be remembered that the structure of Josh. 3: and 4: threw into prominence
four main subjects. We have already considered the first of these, the ark, and with it the
third, the reference to the priests. The second subject, the magnifying of Joshua, speaks
for itself. At that same river God began to magnify the Lord Jesus, saying: "This is My
beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." The magnifying of the Son of God was
completed at the resurrection when He was declared "Son of God with power"
(Rom. 1: 4). The word archomai that is used in the LXX of Josh. 3: 7: "I will begin to
magnify thee", is also used by Luke in the passage that should be translated:--
"Jesus was about thirty years of age when He was beginning" (Luke 3: 23).
We take up for our present study the fourth subdivision of the structure:--
"Testimony to Canaanites and to Israel" (D | 3: 10 - 4: 9 and D | 4: 18 - 5: 1).
The miracle of Jordan had two opposite effects on the people concerned. In the
Canaanite it produced terror; in the Israelite assurance:--
"And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither and hear the words of the
Lord your God. And Joshua said, Hereby ye 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 Gircashites, and the Amorites, and
the Jebusites" (Josh. 3: 9, 10).
"And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of
Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that
the Lord had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we
were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more,
because of the children of Israel" (Josh. 5: 1).
Something of the same effect upon the spiritual Amorites and Canaanites is revealed
in Col. 2: 15:--
"And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly,
triumphing over them in it."
The testimony to Israel in this miracle of the crossing of Jordan is contained in the
twelve memorial stones that were set up in Gilgal and in the midst of Jordan itself. We
naturally associate the number twelve with Israel, and we are right in doing so here:--
"Now, therefore, take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a
man" (Josh. 3: 12).
"Take you twelve men out of the people, and of every tribe a man" (Josh. 4: 2).