Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 3:11

Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Miracles;   Scofield Reference Index - Israel;   Miracles;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Jordan, the River;   Miracles Wrought through Servants of God;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Miracle;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ark;   Joshua the son of nun;   Miracles;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Law;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jericho;   Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jordan ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Ark;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Lachish;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Tabernacle;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ark of the Covenant;   Sar Shalom ben Boaz;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth,.... Some both Jewish and Christian interpreters, because there is a distinguishing accent on the word "covenant", read the words "the ark of the covenant, even the Lord of all the earth"; so in some copies of our English Bible, as if the ark was called the Lord of all the earth, because of his presence and dwelling there; but, as Kimchi observes, either the word "ark" is wanting, or the word "covenant", and may be supplied either thus,"the ark of the covenant, the ark (I say) of the Lord of all the earth;'or thus,"the ark of the covenant, which is the covenant of the Lord of all the earth:'the true meaning is what Abarbinel gives,"the ark of the covenant of the Lord, who is the Lord of the whole earth;'the Maker and possessor of the whole earth, the whole terraqueous globe; and can do what he pleases in the earth, or in the water; and can control the powers of nature, and do what is beyond them, things miraculous and astonishing:

passeth before you into Jordan; not only unto it, but into it, into the river itself; and, by the power of him whose presence was with it, the waters of Jordan were to be divided, to give them a passage through it as on dry land, and so it came to pass.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 3:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-3.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 3:11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.

Ver. 11. Behold the ark of the covenant, even the Lord of heaven and earth.] Where the ark is, and where the ordinances are, there God is: hence the ark is called God’s face, [Psalms 105:4] yea, God’s self. [Psalms 132:5]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 3:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-3.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Into part of the river.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 3:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-3.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Behold, the Ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth, passes over before you into Jordan.”

Joshua now added to ‘the Ark of the covenant’ the phrase ‘the Lord of all the earth’. He was probably remembering the words of Abraham ‘the Judge of all the earth’ (Genesis 18:25) and Melchizedek’s words to Abraham, ‘God Most High, Maker of heaven and earth (Genesis 14:19) and applying the idea to the present situation. Here He would be revealed as Lord of all the earth, not Judge (although the ideas merged in ancient times). It was as Lord of all the earth, and thus its controller, that He would be able to control the waters of the Jordan. The same phrase occurs in Joshua 3:13, and nowhere else in Joshua, demonstrating its particular applicability to that ‘wonder’.

Comparison can be made with the Baal epic from Ugarit where it was said of Baal, ‘Baal the mighty is alive, the Prince, Lord of the earth, exists.’ If the Canaanites could think of Baal as ‘Lord of the earth’ how much more could Israel see YHWH as such. The difference was that Baal had died and come back to life in the round of the seasons while YHWH ever lives, as the Living God, but it does evidence that the title ‘Lord of the earth’ was contemporary with, and even prior to, Moses and Joshua.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 3:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-3.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.The ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth — Here are four words grammatically dependent on one another, though slightly separated by the disjunctive accent. But this Hebrew accent by no means requires so strange a translation as that adopted by some scholars, which makes Lord of all the earth in apposition with ark of the covenant. {This would be to make the ark of Jehovah identical with Jehovah.} This claim of universal dominion for Jehovah, in contrast with the limited sway of the local gods of the pagans, not only enthrones Jehovah over all nations, but also over the forces of the material world. Perhaps no miracle of Jesus inspired such overwhelming awe in his disciples as his control of the winds and the waves.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 3:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-3.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

the Lord of all the earth. Hebrew the Adon. of all the earth. A title connected with sovereignty in the earth. Compare Joshua 3:11, Joshua 3:13. Zechariah 6:5, the only three occurrences of this full title. See App-4.; and compare Psalms 97:5. Micah 4:3. Zechariah 4:14.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 3:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-3.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) The ark of the covenant.—The ten commandments are presented throughout this narrative as a covenant. So Exodus 34:28, “the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” It must be remembered that a promise precedes all the commandments. “I am Jehovah thy God.” The “ten words” that follow are the testimony to His character who commanded the covenant. (See Silver Sockets, p. 28.) The thing signified by the dividing of Jordan does indeed exhibit the law as a covenant in a way that those who followed Joshua can hardly have conceived. But history must come before prophecy, if prophecy is to be understood.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 3:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.
the Lord
13; Psalms 24:1; Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 10:7; Micah 4:13; Zephaniah 2:11; Zechariah 4:14; 6:5; Zechariah 14:9
passeth
3-6; Isaiah 3:12
Reciprocal: Numbers 10:33 - went before;  Deuteronomy 9:3 - goeth over;  Acts 7:45 - Which

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 3:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-3.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

11.Behold the ark of the covenant, etc First he says that the ark of God will go before; and secondly, he explains for what purpose, namely, that Jordan may retire from its place, trembling, so to speak, at the presence of the Lord, as is said in the Psalms. (Psalms 114:0.) The narrative introduced concerning the twelve men is parenthetical, as it only briefly alludes to what it will afterwards deliver more fully and clearly. At present let us merely understand, that while the ark went before, God displayed his power in guiding the people. And in this way there was a confirmation of the sanctity of the worship appointed by the Law, when the Israelites perceived that it was no empty symbol of his presence that God had deposited with them. For Jordan was compelled to yield obedience to God just as if it had beheld his majesty.

Let us however remember, that the only reason which induced the Lord to display his grace in the ark was because he had placed the tables of his covenant within it. Moreover, as the thing could not be easily credited, Joshua directs the mind of the people to the contemplation of the divine power, which surmounts all difficulties. The title of Ruler of the whole earth here applied to God is not insignificant, but extols his power above all the elements of nature, in order that the Israelites, considering how seas and rivers are subject to his dominion, might have no doubt that the waters, though naturally liquid, would become stable in obedience to his word.

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 3:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-3.html. 1840-57.