03-Book of Joshua: The First Passover In The Land


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The 2 spies are now back across the river and in the camp. Joshua has been encouraged that Israel will, indeed, be handed all the victories YHVH promised. It is time to move forward.

Joshua 3:1  Joshua got up early in the morning (after the 2 spies returned); and they moved from Shittim, and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel. They camped there before they crossed over. 

The journey was only about 9 kilometers, 5.5 miles. A population of this size would have taken all day to break camp at Shittim to get to the east side of the Jordan river and get set up again.

Joshua 3:2  After three days, the officers went through the middle of the camp; 
Joshua 3:3  and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of Yahweh your God’s covenant, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then leave your place, and follow it. 
Joshua 3:4  Yet there shall be a space between you and it of about two thousand cubits by measure—don’t come closer to it—that you may know the way by which you must go; for you have not passed this way before.” 

The space between the people and the ark was about 3000 feet using a 1.5 foot cubit. What is not clear is whether the people streamed around the ark on both sides or if the ark was off to one side while the people went around it only on one side. If the stream of people was on both sides, the width of the people streaming across the Jordan river was wider than a mile. Three thousand feet on one side and 3,000 feet on the other.

Joshua 3:5  Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow Yahweh will do wonders among you.” 

A mile wide stream of people crossing the dried up river bed of the Jordan is a repeat of the Red Sea dry bed crossing. The first was a great miracle and the second was another.

Both crossings are archetypal baptisms. The mikvah, baptism, is a trial by water, in which the unclean person of the sinner throws him or herself into the water, thus admitting the uncleanness and/or the sin, and then coming up out of the water. In ancient times, water trials determined the guilt or innocence of a person. The Nile was the water trials for the Hebrew baby boys, but even during the witch trials of 1600s made use of water trials.

The Hebrew male babies could not swim. They were too young but the Egyptians deemed this to be proof of the guilt of the Hebrews in the treachery they were accused of by Pharoah. The witch trials, likewise, were unjust because the women and men accused of witchcraft were tied at the wrists and ankles. Again, that was deemed proof of their sin, according to the Catholic Church.

That kind of trial is unjust because the accused cannot defend themself. At the Red Sea, God had already deemed Israel sinless because of the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. Likewise at the Jordan river. After they purified themselves for the crossing, their water trial deemed them to be properly purified.

Joshua 3:6  Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and cross over before the people.” They took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people. 
Joshua 3:7  Yahweh said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 

The people needed a firm understanding that Joshua is their leader now that Moses is gone. YHVH wanted to make sure there would be no defiance to his authority as their was with Korah to Aaron and Moses. During war time is not the time for people to rise up against their commander.

Thus, it will be Joshua who now commands the priests carrying the ark, not Moses. You don’t get any higher in rank on the earth than Joshua at that moment. Total respect and compliance is needed to succeed in battle and the people needed to see that it was YHVH who Joshua obeyed; that Joshua was commanding them as Moses had by the voice of YHVH.

Joshua 3:8  You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” 
Joshua 3:9  Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of Yahweh your God.” 
Joshua 3:10  Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Hivite, and the Perizzite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Jebusite out from before you. 
Joshua 3:11  Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passes over before you into the Jordan. 

The confidence of the Israelites will soar to the heavens when they see the waters part in the Jordan river the same way they have heard it told by their parents how the Red Sea was parted. By this they will know their conquest is assured.

Joshua 3:12  Now therefore take twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, for every tribe a man. 
Joshua 3:13  It shall be that when the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of Yahweh, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan will be cut off. The waters that come down from above shall stand in one heap.” 
Joshua 3:14  When the people moved from their tents to pass over the Jordan, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant being before the people, 
Joshua 3:15  and when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark had dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of harvest), 
Joshua 3:16  the waters which came down from above stood, and rose up in one heap, a great way off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those that went down toward the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people passed over near Jericho. 

This crossing happened in the Spring when the Jordan river swells and overflows its banks. The swollen Jordan river stood at attention while the ark of the covenant was in the midst of the waters.

Moses’s instrument to part the Red Sea was his staff. Joshua’s instrument was the ark of the covenant. The ark’s destiny was Israel. Once inside Israel’s border, the ark will never leave until YHVH takes it away to put it in His Temple.

There are many who believe the ark is under Temple Mount, hidden in Qumran, under guard in Ethiopia. John saw the ark of the covenant in YHVH’s Temple in heaven.

Revelation 11:19  God’s temple that is in heaven was opened, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant was seen in his temple. Lightnings, sounds, thunders, an earthquake, and great hail followed.

Revelation 11 is the chapter of the 2 witnesses.

Our ark, Yeshua, will be seen by the world just as the Canaanites saw the ark that split the Jordan river to make way for Israel’s wholesale invasion of the Promised Land. It would be silly of us to think the Canaanites from all over Canaan were not watching what was happening. In our time, the world will be watching but will do nothing just as the Canaanites did in Joshua’s time.

Yeshua, like Joshua, will lead us across the Jordan river from the ingathering place in the wilderness, exactly where these ancient Israelites are now in Joshua 3. There is one difference, however. We will cross in the Fall, not Spring.

Joshua 3:17  The priests who bore the ark of Yahweh’s covenant stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the nation had passed completely over the Jordan. 
Joshua 4:1  When all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan, Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying, 
Joshua 4:2  “Take twelve men out of the people, a man out of every tribe, 
Joshua 4:3  and command them, saying, ‘Take from out of the middle of the Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you’ll camp tonight.’” 
Joshua 4:4  Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, a man out of every tribe. 
Joshua 4:5  Joshua said to them, “Cross before the ark of Yahweh your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you pick up a stone and put it on your shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel; 
Joshua 4:6  that this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask in the future, saying, ‘What do you mean by these stones?’ 
Joshua 4:7  then you shall tell them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of Yahweh’s covenant. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.’” 

The 12 stones is a repeat of the 12 stones set up by Moses in the wilderness (Exodus 24:4). In ancient times, pillars were erected in memorial to the god of the nation. The pillars of the Canaanite nations were to be destroyed but YHVH’s pillar was to remain as the only God of the Promised Land.

Joshua 4:8  The children of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, as Yahweh spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel. They carried them over with them to the place where they camped, and laid them down there. 
Joshua 4:9  Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day. 
Joshua 4:10  For the priests who bore the ark stood in the middle of the Jordan, until everything was finished that Yahweh commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua; and the people hurried and passed over. 
Joshua 4:11  When all the people had completely crossed over, Yahweh’s ark crossed over, with the priests, in the presence of the people. 

This seems like not such an important piece of information but it really is. The ark was covered, of course, but the people would have associated the miracle crossing with the power derived from the ark of the covenant. The ark represented their King, YHVH, going before them into battle which was something YHVH wanted to withdraw from the Israelites for their golden calf treachery. The people were able to see their King was going before them, opening the way.

Joshua 4:12  The children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, crossed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spoke to them. 
Joshua 4:13  About forty thousand men, ready and armed for war passed over before Yahweh to battle, to the plains of Jericho. 
Joshua 4:14  On that day, Yahweh magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life. 
Joshua 4:15  Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying, 
Joshua 4:16  “Command the priests who bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of the Jordan.” 
Joshua 4:17  Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, “Come up out of the Jordan!” 

It is an important thing, as I said earlier, that Joshua had the authority of YHVH vested in him to command the priests carrying YHVH’s ark. There could have been nothing more impressive than being there to see the ark as it stayed the waters and then crossed into Israel after everyone was out of the riverbed.

Joshua 4:18  When the priests who bore the ark of Yahweh’s covenant had come up out of the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet had been lifted up to the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks, as before. 
Joshua 4:19  The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, on the east border of Jericho. 
Joshua 4:20  Joshua set up those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, in Gilgal. 
Joshua 4:21  He spoke to the children of Israel, saying, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 
Joshua 4:22  Then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 
Joshua 4:23  For Yahweh your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you, until you had crossed over, as Yahweh your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up from before us, until we had crossed over; 
Joshua 4:24  that all the peoples of the earth may know that Yahweh’s hand is mighty; that you may fear Yahweh your God forever.’” 

I have not read a Passover Haggadah that has this story in it. Maybe you have, but I have not. Yet, here we are commanded to tell this story because it is every bit as important and impressive as the Red Sea crossing. The generation that crossed the Red Sea did not make it to the Promised Land. The waters parted again for the second generation that did enter the land. And, by the way, they were not attacked by the Canaanites on their way in, either.

The Israelites crossing into Canaan, the Promised Land, more closely aligns with our own future than does the Exodus from Egypt. Jeremiah said a time would come when the first Exodus would not be remembered. We are close to that being the case given how close we are to the end of days.

Jeremiah 16:14  “Therefore behold, the days come,” says Yahweh, “that it will no more be said, ‘As Yahweh lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;’ 
Jeremiah 16:15  but, ‘As Yahweh lives, who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries where he had driven them.’ I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers. 

Here is why the Canaanites did not attack Israel as they crossed the river.

Joshua 5:1  When all the kings of the Amorites…

See? They WERE watching!

…who were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, who were by the sea, heard how Yahweh had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we had crossed over, their heart melted, and there was no more spirit in them, because of the children of Israel. 

They “heard” that the Jordan river had been dried up for the crossing of about 2 to 3 million people. How did these kings hear of this unless there were Canaanite scouts on the west side of the river watching it happen?

Rahab had said their hearts melted over the Red Sea miracle. You can just guess their reaction when the same miracle happened on their own border! She had said the Canaanites’ hearts melted away because of Israel. Just think what the 40 year wait would have done to them. The anticipation of something coming that is really bad wears people out. We are experiencing it on earth right now. People all over the globe are in anticipation of a huge change for the worse. And I imagine all of the Canaanite kings had consulted with their magicians as to the timing of Israel’s invasion and the result it would have.

The Canaanites’ hearts melting away? Yeah! You bet! Watching a stream of people over 1 mile wide entering your land? You bet it would be unnerving.

Let’s talk about this very unique invasion again and think how smart it was to invade Canaan with all of the people in tow and not only the warriors at first. This was the most unique invasion in all of earth’s history. No other nation has ever invaded another nation this same way. It’s just not done. Militaries battle militaries and after the battle they go after the civilians who are left. But no military ever invaded with whole families coming along.

Also consider that after Israel crosses the river, they’re going to stop for circumcising the uncircumcised males for 4 days and having Passover and Unleavened Bread for seven days. That’s a really strange invasion! That all by itself would have the Canaanites scratching their heads and wondering what secret weapon Israel had to use against them. YHVH… His name is YHVH.

Also, the Canaanites would not have known how many warriors were among the invading Israelite nation. They would have seen all these 2 or 3 million people crossing the Jordan river in a dried gap of over 1 mile wide made by the priests carrying the ark and they would have been terrified!

Joshua 5:2  At that time, Yahweh said to Joshua, “Make flint knives, and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time.” 
Joshua 5:3  Joshua made himself flint knives, and circumcised the sons of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. 
Joshua 5:4  This is the reason Joshua circumcised them: all the people who came out of Egypt, who were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness along the way, after they came out of Egypt. 
Joshua 5:5  For all the people who came out were circumcised; but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised. 
Joshua 5:6  For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, even the men of war who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they didn’t listen to Yahweh’s voice. Yahweh swore to them that he wouldn’t let them see the land which Yahweh swore to their fathers that he would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 
Joshua 5:7  Their children, whom he raised up in their place, were circumcised by Joshua; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them on the way. 

Interestingly, this second generation was not prepared for Passover. In fact, as a generation, they had not kept Passover because it is unlawful for a man to keep Passover uncircumcised. Their first generation parents, as an act of rebellion to YHVH for His deliverance from Egypt, had not memorialized Passover after the first one in Numbers 9 or they would have circumcised their sons. Now that’s gratitude! “Yeah and thanks! But we’ll do it our way from now on!” They were so wicked they wouldn’t even give the sign of the Abrahamic covenant to their sons. Yet, YHVH honored their offspring. He is a covenant keeping God. Even when we don’t or won’t, He will and He does!

But let’s take a moment and consider something about this second generation. It’s one thing to say “my dad and mom did not circumcise”. It’s another thing to never think of being circumcised so you can obey God’s commandments and keep the Passover. A circumcised heart would want to follow up with circumcision of the flesh like Abraham did. His heart was circumcised first, his flesh circumcision came decades later.  

We can’t blame the uncircumcised male babies only on their first generation parents. Once a man reaches the age of majority, if his heart is circumcised, he will want to get his flesh circumcised. It’s a matter of the heart. I have known several grown men who wanted to be circumcised in compliance with the scripture. This second generation, however, doesn’t seem to have circumcised hearts even though they are cooperative. I believe Moses, Joshua and Caleb had been keeping Passover along with Aaron’s line of priests and their Levite servants, so some of this generation could have approached them to ask for circumcision in order to obey YHVH, but apparently, they did not.

This is important because perhaps some of our people may be in the same situation. Like our own people, some of the men with Joshua were approaching 60 years old when Joshua got himself some flint stones.

So, before they can do battle, they have to be circumcised so they can do their very first Passover at the very first Passover that will ever take place in the land.

The second generation looks as if it is righteous and circumcised in the heart but, folks, maybe they are so cooperative because they are simply tired of the wilderness. This won’t fly in our future. We WILL be circumcised in the heart and in the flesh before we cross over. We are going to find out that there are still rebels among this generation who want to cross into the Promised Land.

In this upcoming escape from Babylon and getting to the ingathering place in the wilderness, you better have your heart set toward YHVH and being a law-abiding citizen of Israel or you will be separated out from the righteous for being a rebel. This will happen in the wilderness before crossing the Jordan river. You won’t get to cross over.

Ezekiel 20:33  As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be king over you. 
Ezekiel 20:34  I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 
Ezekiel 20:35  I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 
Ezekiel 20:36  Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,” says the Lord Yahweh. 
Ezekiel 20:37  “I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 
Ezekiel 20:38  I will purge out from among you the rebels and those who disobey me. I will bring them out of the land where they live, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.” 

Joshua 5:8  When they were done circumcising the whole nation, they stayed in their places in the camp until they were healed. 
Joshua 5:9  Yahweh said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” Therefore the name of that place was called Gilgal, to this day. 

What was the reproach of Egypt? It was the Egyptian golden calf, the son of the cow named Hathor – Hapi – who was a god resurrected by the Israelites, a god who was killed by YHVH. They returned, as it were, to Egypt. Actually, they never came out with their hearts. Their bodies came out but their hearts remained.

The reason for this series of teachings is to turn our hearts to the fathers.

Malachi4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes. 
Malachi4:6  He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” 

We are turning our hearts back to Israel because one of fathers is “Israel” whose given name at birth was Jacob. We have to turn our hearts, folks. We don’t belong to any other nation but Israel, the nation of our King, Yeshua! If Yeshua is your King, you are an Israelite and are subject to and liable for every word, every commandment, every Law from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Be an Israelite!


Joshua 5:10  The children of Israel encamped in Gilgal. They kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. 
Joshua 5:11  They ate unleavened cakes and parched grain of the produce of the land on the next day after the Passover, in the same day. 
Joshua 5:12  The manna ceased on the next day, after they had eaten of the produce of the land. The children of Israel didn’t have manna anymore; but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. 

I can’t wait for us to eat the fruit of the land when Yeshua crosses over the river ahead of us!

This concludes this week’s teaching and history lesson. May it be edifying to you and help you in your walk with YHVH.

Be Blessed!
Kimberly Rogers-Brown

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Kimberly Rogers-Brown has been teaching Torah and special Bible topics since 2008. She is also the author and publisher of Beast Watch News dot com and is heard internationally via two radio programs on Hebrew Nation Radio. Kimberly now lives in Aqaba, Jordan close to the Exodus wilderness area where the Bride (i.e. "the woman" of Revelation 12:6) will flee for 1260 days of the Great Tribulation.