Joshua 3:17—Did Israel cross the Jordan here or not?
Solution: In 3:17, Joshua records that the priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant stood in the middle of the river while the people crossed over on dry ground. Chapter 4 begins with the statement, “And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua.” The passage then goes on to describe how Joshua, according to the command of the Lord, directed twelve men, one from each tribe, to go back to the spot where the priests were still standing with the ark in order to dig up twelve stones from the midst of the river bed. Verses 10 and 11 describe how the priests, who were carrying the ark of the covenant, finally left their spot in the middle of the river bed after everything had been completed which the Lord had commanded Joshua.
See All Problems
This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.