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Joshua 3:14 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over the Jordan, the priests that bare the ark of the covenant being before the people;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass when the people removed from their tents, to pass over the Jordan, that the priests bearing the ark of the covenant were before the people;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And it came to pass, when the people set out from their tents, to cross the Jordan,—with the priests, bearing the ark of the covenant before the people,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass, in the journeying of the people from their tents to pass over the Jordan, and of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— So the people went out of their tents, to pass over the Jordan: and the priests that carried the ark of the covenant, went on before them.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And it came to passe when the people remooued from their tents, to passe ouer Iordan, and the Priests bearing the Arke of the Couenant before the people;
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the people removed from their tents to cross over Jordan, and the priests bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord before the people.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Yarden, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And it came to pass, x1961
(1961) Complement
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
when the people 5971
{5971} Prime
From H6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock.
removed 5265
{5265} Prime
A primitive root; properly to pull up, especially the tent pins, that is, start on a journey.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
from their tents, 168
{0168} Prime
From H0166; a tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance).
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
to pass over 5674
{5674} Prime
A primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literally or figuratively; transitively, intransitively, intensively or causatively); specifically to cover (in copulation).
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
Yardėn יַרדֵּן, 3383
{3383} Prime
From H3381; a descender; Jarden, the principal river of Palestine.
and the priests 3548
{3548} Prime
Active participle of H3547; literally one officiating, a priest; also (by courtesy) an acting priest (although a layman).
bearing 5375
{5375} Prime
A primitive root; to lift, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, absolutely and relatively.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
the ark 727
{0727} Prime
From H0717 (in the sense of gathering); a box.
of the covenant 1285
{1285} Prime
From H1262 (in the sense of cutting (like H1254)); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh).
before 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
the people; 5971
{5971} Prime
From H6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Joshua 3:14-16

_ _ Joshua 3:14-17. The waters of Jordan are divided.

_ _ And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, etc. — To understand the scene described we must imagine the band of priests with the ark on their shoulders, standing on the depressed edge of the river, while the mass of the people were at a mile’s distance. Suddenly the whole bed of the river was dried up; a spectacle the more extraordinary in that it took place in the time of harvest, corresponding to our April or May — when “the Jordan overfloweth all its banks.” The original words may be more properly rendered “fills all its banks.” Its channel, snow-fed from Lebanon, was at its greatest height — brimful; a translation which gives the only true description of the state of Jordan in harvest as observed by modern travelers. The river about Jericho is, in ordinary appearance, about fifty or sixty yards in breadth. But as seen in harvest, it is twice as broad; and in ancient times, when the hills on the right and left were much more drenched with rain and snow than since the forests have disappeared, the river must, from a greater accession of water, have been broader still than at harvest-time in the present day.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Joshua 3:14-17

_ _ Here we have a short and plain account of the dividing of the river Jordan, and the passage of the children of Israel through it. The story is not garnished with the flowers of rhetoric (gold needs not to be painted), but it tell us, in short, matter of fact.

_ _ I. That this river was now broader and deeper than usually it was at other times of the year, Joshua 3:15. The melting of the snow on the mountains of Lebanon, near which this river had its rise, was the occasion that at the time of harvest, barley-harvest, which was the spring of the year, Jordan overflowed all his banks. This great flood, just at that time (which Providence might have restrained for once, of which he might have ordered them to cross at another time of the year) very much magnified the power of God and his kindness to Israel. Note, Though the opposition given to the salvation of God's people have all imaginable advantages, yet god can and will conquer it. Let the banks of Jordan be filled to the brink, filled till they run over, it is as easy to Omnipotence to divide them, and dry them up, as if they were ever so narrow, ever so shallow; it is all one with the Lord.

_ _ II. That as soon as ever the feet of the priests dipped in the brim of the water the stream stopped immediately, as if a sluice had been led down to dam it up, Joshua 3:15, Joshua 3:16. So that the waters above swelled, stood on a heap, and ran back, and yet, as it should seem did not spread, but congealed, which unaccountable rising of the river was observed with amazement by those that live upward upon it many miles off, and the remembrance of it remained among them long after: the waters on the other side this invisible dam ran down of course, and left the bottom of the river dry as far downward, it is likely, as they swelled upward. When they passed through the red Sea, the waters were a wall on either hand, here only on the right-hand. Note, The God of nature can, when he pleases, change the course of nature, and alter its properties, can turn fluids into solids, waters into standing rocks, as, on the contrary, rocks into standing waters, to serve his own purposes. See Psalms 114:5, Psalms 114:8. What cannot God do? What will he not do for the perfecting of his peoples, salvation? Sometimes he cleaves the earth with rivers (Habakkuk 3:9), and sometimes, as here, cleaves the rivers without earth. It is easy to imagine how, when the course of this strong rapid stream was arrested on a sudden, the waters roared and were troubled, so that the mountains seemed to shake with the swelling thereof (Psalms 46:3), how the floods lifted up their voice, the floods lifted up their waves, while the Lord on high showed himself mightier than the noise of these many waters, Psalms 93:3, Psalms 93:4. With reference to this the prophet asks, Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? Habakkuk 3:8. No, Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, Joshua 3:13. In allusion to this, it is foretold, among the great things God will do for the gospel church in the latter days, that the great river Euphrates shall be dried up, that the way of the kings of the east may be prepared, Revelation 16:12. When the time has come for Israel's entrance into the land of promise all difficulties shall be conquered, mountains shall become plains (Zechariah 4:7) and rivers become dry, for the ransomed of the Lord to pass over. When we have finished our pilgrimage through this wilderness, death will be like this Jordan between us and the heavenly Canaan, but the ark of the covenant has prepare us a way through it; it is the last enemy that shall be destroyed.

_ _ III. That the people passed over right against Jericho, which was, 1. An instance of their boldness, and a noble defiance of their enemies. Jericho was one of the strongest cities, and yet they dared to face it at their first entrance. 2. It was an encouragement to them to venture through Jordan, for Jericho was a goodly city and the country about it extremely pleasant; and, having that in view as their own, what difficulties could discourage them from taking possession? 3. It would increase the confusion and terror of their enemies, who no doubt strictly observed their motions, and were the amazed spectators of this work of wonders.

_ _ IV. That the priests stood still in the midst of Jordan while all the people passed over, Joshua 3:17. There the ark was appointed to be, to show that the same power that parted the waters kept them parted as long as there was occasion; and had not the divine presence, of which the ark was a token, been their security, the waters would have returned upon them and buried them. there the priests were appointed to stand still, 1. To try their faith, whether they could venture to take their post, when god assigned it to them, with mountains of water over their heads. As they made a bold step when they set the first foot into Jordan, so now they made a bold stand when they tarried longest in Jordan; but they knew they carried their own protection with them. Note, Ministers in times of peril should be examples of courage and confidence in the divine goodness. 2. It was to encourage the faith of the people, that they might go triumphantly into Canaan, and fear no evil, no, not in this valley of the shadow of death (for so the divided river was), being assured of God's presence, which interposed between them and the greatest danger, between them and the proud waters, which otherwise had gone over their souls. Thus in the greatest dangers the saints are comforted with his rod and his staff, Psalms 23:4.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
bearing the ark:

Joshua 3:3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
Joshua 3:6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
Joshua 6:6 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.
Deuteronomy 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
Jeremiah 3:16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit [it]; neither shall [that] be done any more.
Acts 7:44-45 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. ... Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;
1 Corinthians 1:24-25 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. ... Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Hebrews 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein [was] the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
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Dt 31:26. Jsh 3:3, 6; 6:6. Jr 3:16. Ac 7:44. 1Co 1:24. He 9:4.

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