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30. The Entry of the Israelites into the Promised Land.


The Lord helped Joshua lead the Hebrew people into the Promised Land. When they entered this land, the Israelites had to cross the Jordan River. At Godís command, Joshua told the priests to take the Ark of the Covenant into the river.

No sooner had they wet their feet in the water than the river parted. The water that flowed from the upper reaches of the river came to a stop like a wall, and the lower part of the river flowed down to the sea and all the people crossed over the dry river bed.

After crossing the Jordan River, it was necessary to capture the city of Jericho, which had very high and strong walls. Joshua, by Godís command, ordered the people, with the priests in front with the Ark of the venant, to walk around the city for seven days: once a day for six days, and on the seventh day, the ark was to be carried around seven times. After this, the walls of Jericho crumbled to their foundations at the sound of the priestsí trumpets and the loud cries of all the people. In this way the Israelites took the city.

A great battle with the people of the land of Canaan took place by the city of Gabaon. The Israelites defeated their enemies and put them to flight while God rained stones from heaven on those who were fleeing, so that more perished from the stones than from the swords of the Israelites. The day was coming to an end, but the Israelites had not yet routed their enemies. Joshua then prayed to God and cried out aloud before the people, "Sun, stand still, and moon, do not move..." And the sun did stand still, and night did not come until the Israelites had defeated their enemies.

With Godís help, in six years Joshua conquered the entire Promised Land and divided it by lot among the twelve tribes of Israel. The two sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, received the portions of Levi and Joseph. The tribe of Levi served at the tabernacle and was supported by the tithes (ten percent of the income) collected from the people.

Before his death, Joshua commanded in his last testimony that the Israelites firmly preserve the faith in the true God and serve Him in purity and sincerity.

Note: See the Book of Joshua and Deuteronomy, chap. 27.

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