Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 4:6

Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?'
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Instruction;   Pillar;   Stones;   Token;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Jordan, the River;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Ark;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Jordan;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Miracles, Signs, Wonders;   Sign;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - God;   Jericho;   Joshua;   Quarry;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jordan ;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Gourd;   Stone;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Catechist;   Images;   Joshua (2);   Joshua, Book of;   Sign;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

This may be a sign - Stand as a continual memorial of this miraculous passage, and consequently a proof of their lasting obligation to God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-4.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

That this may be a sign among you,.... A commemorative one:

that when your children ask their fathers in time to come; or "tomorrow"F7מחר αυριον, Sept. "eras", Pagninus, Montanus. and so in all time, or any time hereafter:

saying, what mean you by these stones? what is the reason of setting them up, and in this place, and being just of such a number?

Copyright Statement
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 4:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-4.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

That this may be a sign among you, [that] when your c children ask [their fathers] in time to come, saying, What [mean] ye by these stones?

(c) God commands that not only we ourselves profit by this wonderful work, but that our posterity may know the cause of it, and glorify his Name.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-4.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?

A sign — A monument or memorial of this day's work.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-4.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 4:6 That this may be a sign among you, [that] when your children ask [their fathers] in time to come, saying, What [mean] ye by these stones?

Ver. 6. That this may be a sign.] We stand in need of all helps. The Israelites had their fringes and phylacteries to immind them; and of all things, God cannot abide to be forgotten. [Psalms 9:16-17]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-4.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

A sign; a monument or memorial of this day’s work.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-4.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6.That this may be a sign among you — By this simple device two grand purposes are subserved: (1.) The preservation of national history and religious knowledge; (2.) The religious education of the young. The inquisitiveness of the children is not to be repressed, but rather stimulated by impressive monuments of historical events, and by symbols of religious truths. “Object teaching,” which has recently been brought forward in the art of education, is here introduced as a method of instruction by God himself. By the presentation of visible objects to the eye, divine truth may be most vividly photographed upon the soul. Hence the value of travel in historic lands as an educator. Renan says: “Seeing Palestine is the fifth gospel.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-4.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 4:6. That this may be a sign among you — A monument or memorial of this day’s work. Had Joshua given orders to prepare for erecting this memorial of himself, it might have looked like a design to perpetuate his own name and honour; but as it was done by the divine direction, it could be viewed in no other light than as a monument raised to the honour and glory of God, who hath “so done his marvellous works, that they ought to be had in everlasting remembrance,” and means devised to preserve among men the memory of them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-4.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

their fathers. These words are read in some codices, with four early printed editions, as in Joshua 4:21.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-4.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?

That this may be a sign among you. The erection of cairns, or huge piles of stones, as monuments of remarkable incidents, has been common among all people, especially in the early and rude periods of their history; and it is practiced by the Arabs still ('Researches and Missionary Labours,' by Joseph Wolff p. 492). They are the established means of perpetuating the memory of important transactions especially amount the nomadic people of the East; and although there be no inscription engraven on them, the history and object of such simple monuments are traditionally preserved from age to age. Similar was the purpose contemplated by the conveyance of the twelve stones to Gilgal: it was that these might be a standing record to posterity of the miraculous passage of the Jordan.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-4.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
a sign
22:27; Exodus 12:14; 13:9; 31:13; Numbers 16:38; Isaiah 55:13; Ezekiel 20:12,20
when your
21; Exodus 12:26,27; 13:14; Deuteronomy 6:20,21; 11:19; Psalms 44:1; 71:18; 78:3-8; Isaiah 38:19; Acts 2:39
in time to come
Heb. to-morrow.
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 4:9 - teach them;  Joshua 4:7 - memorial;  Joshua 22:24 - In time to come;  Psalm 78:4 - showing;  Psalm 111:4 - He hath;  Psalm 119:27 - so shall I talk;  Ezekiel 17:12 - Know;  Joel 1:3 - GeneralEphesians 6:4 - but

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 4:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-4.html.