Question: Standing Stones
Answer: If you are speaking of the “Standing Stones” in the Bible, one example is found in Joshua chapter 4. Again, I would ask that you phrase your question in a sentence so that we can tell for sure what you mean, thanks for your cooperation in this.
Israel had been wandering around in the wilderness for forty years until the older generation died off, and that was because they did not believe God could take them into the Promised Land. After all the miracles God had done through Moses, like the parting of the Red Sea, Manna from heaven, pillar of cloud by day, and pillar of fire by night, etc. still many did not believe God could give them the Promise Land.
They had even sent 12 spies in to spy out the land, which turned out to be wonderful; it was called a land flowing with milk and honey. They had grapes that took two men to carry between them, they were so large. Ten out of the twelve spies said God could not do the job; the people were too big, evidently breeding themselves into warrior giants like they had done before the flood. (For more on this look at Part Four of Christian World View.) Two, Caleb and Joshua said in effect, nothing is too hard for God, He said we could do it with His help, so lets go! But the majority won, and they wandered in the desert for forty years as a result of their disobedience and lack of faith!
Now after this time, Caleb and Joshua were the only two allowed to go into the Promise Land with the younger generation. As they got to the Jordan, which is not all that wide in spots, but it was the rainy or flood season, so it was wider than usual. God did a miracle for them and allowed the water to open a path way for the people to pass over on dry land, and this is where we take up the story about the “Standing Stones.”
Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe: and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the LORD had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst 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.
So the priests who bore the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the LORD had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua; and the people hurried and crossed over. Then it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over, that the ark of the LORD and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people. And the men of Reuben, the men of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses had spoken to them. About forty thousand prepared for war crossed over before the LORD for battle, to the plains of Jericho. On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they had feared Moses, all the days of his life.
Then the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, “Command the priest who bear the ark of the Testimony to come up from the Jordan.” Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, “Come up from the Jordan.” And it came to pass, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD had come from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet touched the dry land, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before.
Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones? Then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over,
“that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” (Joshua 4:4-24)
Gary T. Panell
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