Daily Tanach Wednesday: Yehoshua Chapter 4


Chapter 4: The stone monuments and the crossing of the Kohanim

1.      Twelve stone are hewed from the Jordon and established as a monument:

  • Hashem instructs Yehoshua to establish 12 monuments of stone:[1] After the entire nation passed through the Jordon, Hashem said to Yehoshua: Take [the] 12 people [who have been already designated] from the nation, one per tribe, and instruct them to carry 12 stones from the Jordon, from under the area that the Kohanim are standing. These stones are to be brought with you to your place of encampment, where you will settle for the night, and are to be set up there.
  • Yehoshua instructs the 12 men: Yehoshua summoned the 12 designated men from the tribes of Israel and instructed them to go back into the Jordon, towards the Aron of Hashem, and for each one to lift up a single rock and carry it on their shoulder. Yehoshua said as follows: “The purpose of doing so is in order to establish a monument as a sign of that which G-d has done for us today. In the future, when your children ask you as to the meaning of the monument, you will answer them that the Jordon river split upon the approach of the Aron Habris and these rocks [which were taken from beneath the Jordon, from under the area of the Aron Habris] are a reminder of that miracle.”
  • The stones are established: The Jewish people did as they were instructed by Yehoshua, and they carried 12 stones from the Jordon, and they brought them to their area of encampment that night.

2.      Yehoshua establishes another set of 12 stones:[2]

  • Yehoshua established [another[3]] set of 12 stones within the actual Jordon, under the feet of the Kohanim who were carrying the Aron Habris. These stones have remained there until this very day [to serve a as an additional sign of the miracle].


[1] See Parshas Ki Savo 27:1 where Moshe already instructed this command of building a stone monument after passing the Jordon and write on it the entire Torah and plaster it with lime. See Rashi Ki Seitzei 27:2 that Hashem commanded for two sets of stones to be established, one in the Jordon, and one in Har Eival

[2] See previous footnote in Rashi on Ki Seitzei that this was already commanded by Moshe.

[3] Rashi 4:7; Rashi Ki Seitzei 27:2

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