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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Joshua 4

Verses 1-24

The Double Memorial of the Passage of Jordan

The main subject of the chapter is the memorial cairn set up at Gilgal, which is described in two sections, Joshua 4:1-8 and Joshua 4:20-24, separated by the record in a single v. (Joshua 4:9) of another cairn set up in the midst of Jordan, and by a long parenthesis (Joshua 4:10-19) describing in an expanded form the crossing already narrated in Joshua 3:14-17. The repetitions are most satisfactorily explained on the hypothesis that the narrator has incorporated extracts from more ancient sources in his narrative.

5. Pass over before the ark] Apparently the twelve, who with the rest of the host have already crossed to the W. bank, are bidden to return to where the priests are still standing with the Ark in the midst of Jordan, to set up a cairn of twelve stones (Joshua 4:9) on the spot in the river bed and to take up a stone each in addition and return with it to the bank again.

12. As Moses spake] see Numbers 32:20.

19. The tenth day of the first month] i.e. Abib or Nisan (March-April). They would reach their camp at Gilgal just in time to select the Paschal Lamb (Exodus 12:8) to be slain on the fourteenth day: see Joshua 5:10.

24. That ye might fear] RV ’that they may fear.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Joshua 4". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.