Joshua 3:1-3 reads, in part: “And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. And it came to pass AFTER THREE DAYS, that the officers went through the host; and they commanded the people, saying …”
The “chronology” of the Book of Joshua is intriguing! Puzzling to some scholars, in fact.
Remember Joshua 1:10-11 please. “Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for WITHIN THREE DAYS ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth you to possess it.”
(The three days involved with the spies, all of Joshua chapter 2, could have been enveloped into the “three days” of chapter 1, verse 11 … just shown above.)
Still, it looks like (to me anyway) that we have two three-day periods of time! The first three days, getting the people ready (supplies, “victuals,” food, etc.) to enter Canaan. Then the second three days subsequently transpired, after which Israel’s leaders (“officers”) informed the population of precise marching instructions as they entered the Land!
A total of six days, mind you.
Then … on the seventh day … the crossing of the Jordan River, miraculously so! “And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for TOMORROW the LORD will do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5
Get this now, a “pattern” may be forming.
Six days … then a miracle! “And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) that the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” Joshua 3:15-17, yes a clear suspension of the laws of nature! A supernatural event!
Then, sequentially, the book of Joshua tells us the story of the “Fall of Jericho!”
But what preceded the Fall of Jericho?
Six days, a literal six-day block of time!
“And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.” Joshua 6:3 … six days of marching around the “doomed” city.
Then after that six day period … another miracle!
The Walls of Jericho … came tumbling down!!!
See the pattern?
Six days … then crossing the Jordan, involving an obvious Act of God! (Actually two “three-day” units of time, totaling six days!)
Then immediately … six more days … followed by a seventh … when Jericho imploded, its walls!
What poetic symmetry!
Sounds like an Editor, a Master Writer, is composing this marvelous history of Israel, this Book of Joshua. Indeed, there is! And He is God the Holy Spirit!
The Bible is beautiful, even numerically!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell