After the death of Moses the LORD's servant, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, who had served Moses:
"Moses My servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites.
I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses.
Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great Euphrates River-- all the land of the Hittites-- and west to the Mediterranean Sea.
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.
"Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance.
Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go.
This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.
Haven't I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people:
"Go through the camp and tell the people, 'Get provisions ready for yourselves, for within three days you will be crossing the Jordan to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you to inherit.'"
Joshua said to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh:
"Remember what Moses the LORD's servant commanded you when he said, 'The LORD your God will give you rest, and He will give you this land.'
Your wives, young children, and livestock may remain in the land Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But your fighting men must cross over in battle formation ahead of your brothers and help them
until the LORD gives our brothers rest, as [He has given] you, and they too possess the land the LORD your God is giving them. You may then return to the land of your inheritance and take possession of what Moses the LORD's servant gave you on the east side of the Jordan."
They answered Joshua, "Everything you have commanded us we will do, and everywhere you send us we will go.
We will obey you, just as we obeyed Moses in everything. And may the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses.
Anyone who rebels against your order and does not obey your words in all that you command him, will be put to death. Above all, be strong and courageous!"
Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men as spies from Acacia Grove, saying, "Go and scout the land, especially Jericho." So they left, and they came to the house of a woman, a prostitute named Rahab, and stayed there.
The king of Jericho was told, "Look, some of the Israelite men have come here tonight to investigate the land."
Then the king of Jericho sent [word] to Rahab and said, "Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, for they came to investigate the entire land."
But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. So she said, "Yes, the men did come to me, but I didn't know where they were from.
At nightfall, when the gate was about to close, the men went out, and I don't know where they were going. Chase after them quickly, and you can catch up with them!"
But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them among the stalks of flax that she had arranged on the roof.
The men pursued them along the road to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as they left to pursue them, the gate was shut.
Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof
and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given you this land and that dread of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you.
For we have heard how the LORD dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan.
When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.
Now please swear to me by the LORD that you will also show kindness to my family, because I showed kindness to you. Give me a sure sign
that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death."
The men answered her, "[We will give] our lives for yours. If you don't report our mission, we will show kindness and faithfulness to you when the LORD gives us the land."
Then she let them down by a rope through the window, since she lived in a house that was [built] into the wall of the city.
"Go to the hill country so that the men pursuing you won't find you," she said to them. "Hide yourselves there for three days until they return; afterwards, go on your way."
The men said to her, "We will be free from this oath you made us swear,
unless, when we enter the land, you tie this scarlet cord to the window through which you let us down. Bring your father, mother, brothers, and all your father's family into your house.
If anyone goes out the doors of your house, his blood will be on his own head, and we will be innocent. But if anyone with you in the house should be harmed, his blood will be on our heads.
And if you report our mission, we are free from the oath you made us swear."
"Let it be as you say," she replied, and she sent them away. After they had gone, she tied the scarlet cord to the window.
So the two men went into the hill country and stayed there three days until the pursuers had returned. They searched all along the way, but did not find them.
Then the men returned, came down from the hill country, and crossed [the Jordan]. They went to Joshua son of Nun and reported everything that had happened to them.
They told Joshua, "The LORD has handed over the entire land to us. Everyone who lives in the land is also panicking because of us."
Joshua started early the next morning and left Acacia Grove with all the Israelites. They went as far as the Jordan and stayed there before crossing.
After three days the officers went through the camp
and commanded the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God carried by the Levitical priests, you must break camp and follow it.
But keep a distance of about 1,000 yards between yourselves and the ark. Don't go near it, so that you can see the way to go, for you haven't traveled this way before."
Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, because the LORD will do wonders among you tomorrow."
Then he said to the priests, "Take the ark of the covenant and go on ahead of the people." So they carried the ark of the covenant and went ahead of them.
The LORD spoke to Joshua: "Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so they will know that I will be with you just as I was with Moses.
Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant: 'When you reach the edge of the waters, stand in the Jordan.'"
Then Joshua told the Israelites, "Come closer and listen to the words of the LORD your God."
He said, "You will know that the living God is among you and that He will certainly dispossess before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites
when the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth goes ahead of you into the Jordan.
Now choose 12 men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe.
When the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the Jordan's waters, its waters will be cut off. The water flowing downstream will stand up [in] a mass."
When the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carried the ark of the covenant ahead of the people.
Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan, their feet touched the water at its edge
and the water flowing downstream stood still, rising up [in] a mass that extended as far as Adam, a city next to Zarethan. The water flowing downstream into the Sea of the Arabah (the Dead Sea) was completely cut off, and the people crossed opposite Jericho.
The priests carrying the ark of the LORD's covenant stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed on dry ground until the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan.