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Sunday, May 19 2019

A Bible Journey, 191: The Jordan Passover

"The people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho"

The Exodus from Egypt happened, not only at the time of the first Passover (see also The Beams And Posts Of The First Passover and The Messiah's Beam And Pale), but as the first Passover.

Forty years later (see A Bible Journey, 154: How The Rebellion Changed History), the second and third generations of Exodus Israelites (see Hometowns: Campsites Of The Sinai) crossed the Jordan River at the time of Passover (see also A Bible Journey, 158: God's Law To The Children). The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) had a specific reason for those events to happen at Passover (see the Fact Finder question below).

The crossing of the Jordan River, as with the crossing of the sea at the time of the first Passover, was accomplished under the command and direction of the LORD. It was a fulfillment of a promise that the LORD made to Abraham, centuries before the Israelites themselves existed (see A Bible Journey, 15: The Exodus Prophecies).

"4:1 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, 4:2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man, 4:3 And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night." (Joshua 4:1-3 KJV)

The Ark Crossing The Jordan

Stones were set as memorials of the crossing and the landing of the Israelites, led by those who carried the Tables of Stone in the Ark of the Covenant (see A Bible Journey, 122: The Salvation Training Manual; see also Turning The Tables).

"4:4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: 4:5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: 4:6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 4:7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

4:8 And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.

4:9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day." (Joshua 4:4-9 KJV)

Israel From Space

The eastern tribes (Reuben, Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh) accompanied the other tribes across the Jordan to assist them in claiming the land of Canaan, just as the other tribes had helped them to obtain their inheritance east of the Jordan (see A Bible Journey, 149: The Eastside Israelites) - where, as it happened, Moses died and was buried (see A Bible Journey, 187: The Place Where Moses Sleeps).

"4:10 For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.

4:11 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.

4:12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them: 4:13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho." (Joshua 4:10-13 KJV)

The crossing of the Jordan River established Joshua as the Prime Minister of Israel and as the human commander-in-chief of Israel's army. Notice the definitive separation of Joshua's responsibilities from those of the Levite priesthood (to understand why, see Numbers 18: The Inheritance Of The Levites).

"4:14 On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.

4:15 And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, 4:16 Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.

4:17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan.

4:18 And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before." (Joshua 4:14-18 KJV)

So it was then that Israel made its first encampment in the Promised Land - just a few days before Passover that year i.e. "the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month."

"4:19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. 4:20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. 4:21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? 4:22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 4:23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, 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: 4:24 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 ever." (Joshua 4:19-24 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is "Passover"? Why is "Passover"?
See The Beginning Of The Passover Prophecy and A Bible Journey, 62: Why Is It Called Passover?


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This Day In History

This Day In History, May 19

241 BC: Agis IV, king of Sparta (the major city of the Peloponnesus in Greece), died. He was the 25th king of the Eurypontid dynasty of Sparta.


1445: John I of Castile defeated the Infantes of Aragon at the First Battle of Olmedo.

1499: Catherine of Aragon (a region of Spain; see the map below) as married by proxy to Arthur Tudor, the Prince of Wales (later King Henry VIII). Catherine was 13, Arthur was 12.

Catherine of Aragon


1534: Jacques Cartier left on his second voyage to Canada with 3 ships. They arrived at the Gulf of St. Lawrence after a 50-day crossing.



1536: Anne Boleyn (see the portrait above), second wife of King Henry VIII, mother of Queen Elizabeth I, was beheaded at age 29 on charges of adultery. Henry married Jane Seymour the next day.

1568: After being defeated by the Protestants, Mary, Queen of Scots, fled to England where she was imprisoned, and later beheaded, by Queen Elizabeth I.

1588: King Philip II's "Spanish Armada" left Lisbon on its ill-fated attempt to conquer England and restore Roman Catholicism there (see also Send In The Marines).

Spanish Armada

1608: The Protestant states formed the Evangelical Union of Lutherans and Calvinists under the direction of the elector of Brandenburg.

1635: During the Thirty Years War, French Cardinal Richelieu declared that France was at war with the Hapsburgs in Spain.

1662: King Charles II approved a bill requiring all ministers to assent publicly to the Anglican "Book of Common Prayer."

1749: King George II granted the English pioneers of the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.

1780: At 2:00 p.m. near-total darkness covered much of New England and eastern Canada. The cause remained unknown until 2007 when forestry scientists discovered conclusive evidence of a massive forest fire that occurred in eastern Ontario at the time of the "Dark Day of 1780."

1845: Captain John Franklin set sail from Greenhithe, England on his ill-fated Arctic expedition.

1897: The writer and poet Oscar Wilde was released from Reading Gaol Prison after serving a two year sentence for sodomy.

1911: Parks Canada, the first national park service in the world, was established as the Dominion Parks Branch under the Department of the Interior.

1935: Colonel T.E. Lawrence (popularly-known as "Lawrence of Arabia") died from a motorcycle accident in England. Lawrence assisted the Arabian nations to become independent from centuries of rule by the Ottoman Empire.

1958: The USA and Canada formally established the North American Air Defense Command.

1961: The Russian Venera 1 became the first spacecraft to complete a fly-by of another planet i.e. Venus.


1971: The Russian Mars 2 was launched. It became the first man-made object to land on the surface of Mars.

1991: The people of Croatia voted to become independent of Yugoslavia.




Copyright © Wayne Blank