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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yehoshua - Joshua - Chapter 3

Yehoshua - Joshua - Chapter 3

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 3

1. And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and they moved from Shittim and came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel; and they lodged before they crossed over.   א. וַיַּשְׁכֵּם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בַּבֹּקֶר וַיִּסְעוּ מֵהַשִּׁטִּים וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד הַיַּרְדֵּן הוּא וְכָל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיָּלִנוּ שָׁם טֶרֶם יַעֲבֹרוּ:
2. And it was at the end of three days, that the officers went through the midst of the camp.   ב. וַיְהִי מִקְצֵה שְׁלשֶׁת יָמִים וַיַּעַבְרוּ הַשֹּׁטְרִים בְּקֶרֶב הַמַּחֲנֶה:
3. And they commanded the people, saying: When you see the Ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall move from your place and go after it.   ג. וַיְצַוּוּ אֶת הָעָם לֵאמֹר כִּרְאוֹתְכֶם אֵת אֲרוֹן בְּרִית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְהַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם נֹשְׂאִים אֹתוֹ וְאַתֶּם תִּסְעוּ מִמְּקוֹמְכֶם וַהֲלַכְתֶּם אַחֲרָיו:
and go after it: This journey differs from other journeys, for whereas previously, in the days of Moses, the pillar of cloud would lead the way, the Ark following in the very middle of the camp after two divisions, [comprising the first six tribes, had passed], now the Ark would travel ahead.  
and the priests the Levites: [This is explained in inverted order.] Since they are all descended from Levi, Amram’s grandfather, they are called Levites, as our Sages explain in Gen. Rabbah.: in forty-eight places, the priests were called Levites, this being the reason for it.  
4. But there shall be a distance between you and it, just two thousand cubits by measure; do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you will go; for you have not passed this way before.   ד. אַךְ | רָחוֹק יִהְיֶה בֵּינֵיכֶם וּבֵינָיו כְּאַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה בַּמִּדָּה אַל תִּקְרְבוּ אֵלָיו לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר תֵּדְעוּ אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכוּ בָהּ כִּי לֹא עֲבַרְתֶּם בַּדֶּרֶךְ מִתְּמוֹל שִׁלְשׁוֹם:
But there shall be a distance: This is respect for the Omnipresent.  
between (you and) it: The same as ובינו and between it, and similar to this: “Let Israel rejoice in his Maker” (בעשיו). Another explanation is: And between them, referring to the Holy Ark and the ark of Joseph’s remains, which were traveling together.  
just two thousand cubits: so that you be permitted to go and pray before it on the Sabbath. Thus it is explained in M.T. for he knew that they would besiege Jericho on the Sabbath.  
that you may know: This is connected with, “And go after it.”  
for you have not passed this way before: You have not gone in this manner until now.  
5. And Joshua said to the people; Prepare yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.   ה. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל הָעָם הִתְקַדָּשׁוּ כִּי מָחָר יַעֲשֶֹה יְהֹוָה בְּקִרְבְּכֶם נִפְלָאוֹת:
And Joshua said: On the third day. And the thirtieth day of Moses’ mourning period was the first of the three days.  
Prepare yourselves: Prepare yourselves.  
for tomorrow: when you cross the Jordan.  
wonders: Jonathan renders: wonders.  
6. And Joshua said to the priests, saying: Carry the Ark of the covenant, and pass before the people. And they carried the Ark of the covenant, and went before the people.   ו. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל הַכֹּהֲנִים לֵאמֹר שְׂאוּ אֶת אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית וְעִבְרוּ לִפְנֵי הָעָם וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית וַיֵּלְכוּ לִפְנֵי הָעָם:
And Joshua said to the priests: on the morrow.  
Carry the Ark of the Covenant: Until now the Levites carried it, but today the Priests.  
7. And the Lord said to Joshua: This day I will begin to make you great in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, so will I be with you.   ז. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה אָחֵל גַּדֶּלְךָ בְּעֵינֵי כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יֵדְעוּן כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר הָיִיתִי עִם מֹשֶׁה אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ:
8. And you shall command the priests that bear the Ark of the covenant, saying, When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.   ח. וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה אֶת הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית לֵאמֹר כְּבֹאֲכֶם עַד קְצֵה מֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן בַּיַּרְדֵּן תַּעֲמֹדוּ:
When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan: when you enter within its edge.  
you shall stand still in the Jordan: until all the people cross to the other side.  
9. And Joshua said to the children of Israel, Come here, and hear the words of the Lord your God.   ט. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל גּשׁוּ הֵנָּה וְשִׁמְעוּ אֶת דִּבְרֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:
Come here: He confined them all between the two staves of the Holy Ark. This is one of the instances wherein a small space contained a large quantity.  
10. And Joshua said, By this you shall know that the living God is in your midst, and He will certainly drive out the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites from before you.   י. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בְּזֹאת תֵּדְעוּן כִּי אֵל חַי בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וְהוֹרֵשׁ יוֹרִישׁ מִפְּנֵיכֶם אֶת הַכְּנַעֲנִי וְאֶת הַחִתִּי וְאֶת הַחִוִּי וְאֶת הַפְּרִזִּי וְאֶת הַגִּרְגָּשִׁי וְהָאֱמֹרִי וְהַיְבוּסִי:
By this you shall know: Since you see that all of you are confined here.  
11. Behold, the Ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing ahead of you in the Jordan.   יא. הִנֵּה אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית אֲדוֹן כָּל הָאָרֶץ עֹבֵר לִפְנֵיכֶם בַּיַּרְדֵּן:
the covenant of the Lord of all the earth: The covenant of the Holy One, Blessed be He, Who is the Lord of all the earth. Now, do not wonder about the ‘he’ of הברית [the covenant which should read ארון ברית] for many Scriptural passages are worded in this manner, such as המסגרות המכונות the borders of the bases, and העמק הפגרים the valley of the corpses.  
is crossing ahead of you: [עובר is interpreted in the sense of] preceding you to enter into the Jordan.  
12. And now take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, a man for every tribe.   יב. וְעַתָּה קְחוּ לָכֶם שְׁנֵי עָשָֹר אִישׁ מִשִּׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ אֶחָד אִישׁ אֶחָד לַשָּׁבֶט:
take for yourselves twelve men: Prepare them to be ready for that which I shall command them when you will cross the Jordan.  
13. And it shall be, when the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the Ark of the Lord, Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from above, shall stand in one heap.   יג. וְהָיָה כְּנוֹחַ כַּפּוֹת רַגְלֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה אֲדוֹן כָּל הָאָרֶץ בְּמֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן מֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן יִכָּרֵתוּן הַמַּיִם הַיֹּרְדִים מִלְמָעְלָה וְיַעַמְדוּ נֵד אֶחָד:
the waters that come down from above: downstream, as is the manner of all flowing rivers.  
shall stand in one heap: When the water flows downstream to the place where it will be cut off, it will not flow down farther, but will be gathered and heaped and will ascend to form stacks upon stacks.  
heap: נד, Like: He gathers like a heap (כנד), A heap of harvest (נד), an expression of height. In this manner Menahem (the grammarian) joined them together.  
14. And it was, when the people moved from their tents, to cross the Jordan, and the priests bearing the Ark of the covenant were before the people.   יד. וַיְהִי בִּנְסֹעַ הָעָם מֵאָהֳלֵיהֶם לַעֲבֹר אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן וְהַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי הָאָרוֹן הַבְּרִית לִפְנֵי הָעָם:
15. And when the bearers of the Ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bore the Ark were dipped in the edge of the water, and the Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of harvest.   טו. וּכְבוֹא נֹשְׂאֵי הָאָרוֹן עַד הַיַּרְדֵּן וְרַגְלֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי הָאָרוֹן נִטְבְּלוּ בִּקְצֵה הַמָּיִם וְהַיַּרְדֵּן מָלֵא עַל כָּל גְּדוֹתָיו כֹּל יְמֵי קָצִיר:
its banks: גדותיו, an expression of a high bank.  
all the time of harvest: for the days of Nissan are the harvest season.  
16. And the waters which came down from above stood and rose up in one column, very far from Adam, the city which is beside Zarethan; and those that descended to the sea of the plain, the Salt Sea (Dead Sea), were completely cut off, and the people passed over opposite Jericho.   טז. וַיַּעַמְדוּ הַמַּיִם הַיֹּרְדִים מִלְמַעְלָה קָמוּ נֵד אֶחָד הַרְחֵק מְאֹד מֵאָדָם הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר מִצַּד צָרְתָן וְהַיֹּרְדִים עַל יָם הָעֲרָבָה יָם הַמֶּלַח תַּמּוּ נִכְרָתוּ וְהָעָם עָבְרוּ נֶגֶד יְרִיחוֹ:
very far: From the place where they [the Israelites] stood, they [the waters] were cut off.  
from Adam the city: So was its name.  
and those that descended: Those that had previonsly flowed downstream from there.  
were completely cut off: They flowed on their course like all streams that flow into the sea, until they were completed.  
17. And the priests that bore the Ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm arranged on the dry land in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel passed over on dry ground, until the whole nation had completely passed over the Jordan.   יז. וַיַּעַמְדוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאֵי הָאָרוֹן בְּרִית יְהֹוָה בֶּחָרָבָה בְּתוֹךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן הָכֵן וְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל עֹבְרִים בֶּחָרָבָה עַד אֲשֶׁר תַּמּוּ כָּל הַגּוֹי לַעֲבֹר אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן:
and the priests: stood by the bank of the Jordan.  
in the midst of the Jordan: and as long as they stood, the upper waters did not flow downstream, and during this time, all the people were crossing on the dry ground.  
firm arranged: standing precisely opposite one another.  
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