Twelve Stones of Gilgal…Waiting To Be Found

As the Israelites are crossing the Jordan, along with the ark of the covenant being carried by the priests, an interesting thing happens.

“When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

“So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

“So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down.  Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.”Joshua 4:1-9

I read this and thought, “Hey I wonder if those twelve stones are still there?”  Then, when I re-read the passage, I pondered the words in verse 7, “These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever“.  You know what – I think those stones are still there, somewhere on the west side of the Jordan River, somewhere near the ancient city of Jericho, just waiting to be found!  That would be just like the God I read about – to hide those twelve stones forever, right under our noses.  Imagine the wonder to be had in finding them!

31 Responses to “Twelve Stones of Gilgal…Waiting To Be Found”

  1. 1 Karen
    April 11, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I stumbled on your blog after I read about the stones in my daily reading….I was wondering if the stones were ever found later, also the the stones that Joshua built up in the middle of the Jordan river…so I started googling…although I felt dumb for a second and was chiding myself for somehow looking for proof of Gods existance…when its all around me. But from a historical stand I found it intiguing…I would also like to see Noah’s ark found!..I do believe that some day many things will be revealed, and all people will be simply astounded!!
    Thanks for your blog, your thoughts, I am a little behind you in my reading but will check back with your blog.

    • April 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks very much, Karen. I appreciate your kind words. I’m always amazed at how the Bible seems “new” each and every time that I read it. I don’t think that is an accident, so I decided to start a daily blog with my notes on the striking stories and examples that I find. Hope to hear more from you!

      • 3 Bill
        January 4, 2014 at 9:20 am

        I googled after reading joshua 4 to see if the stones are indeed still there. You comment regarding the bible seemin “new” is understandable if you ponder hebrews 4:12. The bible is living and active. Anything that is living and active is new with each encounter. God bless!

    • 4 Lynda
      February 8, 2016 at 3:28 am

      I feel exactly the same and I too googled and found this blog…

  2. 6 Alisha
    December 29, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Have been going through a hard trial in my life and would like to just share, my life has been hard to live I was brought up to love Jesus with all my heart and this I practice the trials we face today seem harder then ever I asked God why do you leave me it seems like your gone my beliefs where being tested and suddlenly I open the bible to Gods words they breathe on us there it was the twelve stones That God instructed them to do I love it they too were going through trials God the God of Abraham Isiac Jacob spoke God delelivered in the Red Sea and by setting these stones he delivered again and by so that all the people of the EARTH might know that the hand of the LORD is POWERFUL and so that you might always FEAR the LORD your GOD ….. I was so amazed at our FATHER GOD whom I to this day will serve and trust the words and not question all the days of my life and I pray the people on earth shall humble themselfs under the hand of the LORD your God of Abraham ,Isiac , Jacob so that you to can be delivered by the hand of the all mighty powerful LORD …….

    • 7 JC
      July 20, 2012 at 9:19 am

      I can now read Liturgy of Hours on my Android, and came up this passage today, and had the same question; are the stones there? Not douting God, but from the historical point of view, are they there. Also, when I read that the priests picked up twelve stones, I pictured small smooth river stones, this picture shows BIG stones, rocks! Thanks for this blog. God bless…In Christ, John

    • March 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      Very nice – and we have been delivered and saved by God’s son Jesus – who taught us how to live – with love, kindness, self-control – loving one another, – for those who believe in God and HIs Son our Savior, we have been delivered and will see Jesus face to face one day.

      • 11 Robert Kirkland
        October 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

        Amen that is the important thing I was just trying to find out if the stones were rare or not indigenous to the area something that would set them apart part of the miraculous crossing.

  3. 12 Gwen
    October 26, 2012 at 4:51 am

    I, too, googled after reading Joshua as part of the “Our Daily Bread” lesson. I know the stones are still there, because the Word says so; I just wanted to see how big they are. In due time God will show them! Amen!

  4. December 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I want somebody to find them. However, if the water flooded back they should have been washed away. And I hear that the river has changed course… Some body should look for them😛

  5. 14 Casey Thomas
    January 13, 2013 at 2:21 am

    I just googled it after reading this same passage. One thing to note about the size of the stones is that they packed them on their shoulders I do believe (referring to large stones). Joshua 4:5

    • 15 Curtis
      November 15, 2014 at 4:06 am

      Are these the same stones that was ( transferred ) to Gilgal . Joshua 4:20 and it also states that the stones at the original crossing camp are there to this day. my question is . How can these stones be at the camp and Gilgal at the same time?

      • 16 Joshua
        January 25, 2016 at 10:06 am

        I think that Gilgal was that camp. Joshua 4:13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the LORD to the plains of Jericho for war. Then in Joshua 4:19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho.

        Looks like Jericho is where they camped so Gilgal could possibly be that original camp.

        Also in Joshua 4:20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan.

        I’ve not read anything about a transfer. Have a blessed day!

  6. 17 Jeff
    March 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    If you like Biblical Archeology…check out Jebal Al Lawz in Saudi Arabia (formerly known as Midian).

  7. 18 Allisia
    August 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    i also do believe that the stones are there somewhere, just wondered if they were ever found.

  8. 19 Robert Kirkland
    October 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    They have found the ark on Mt. Arimat in Turkey the stones not only mark the crossing but the distance they traveled that day so if you knew the amount of land they could travel in a day and which direction which is towards
    Gilgal you could come close to finding them. also the width of the crossing would have to be significant and it would also have to be dry as the road they crossed over through the Red Sea. The thing that comes to my mind is God makes promises to us and when we come to the Jordan which is our problems that we face God will part the river so that we too can enter into the promise the size of the problem God can make away for us to enter into the promises of God that were not just for a few.

  9. 20 Robert Kirkland
    October 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    on google earth you can see the outline of the Ark on Mt. Aramat in Turkey Im not sure I spelled that right

  10. 21 E. N.
    March 30, 2015 at 2:36 am

    This blog is lovely. But knowing Human nature I believe God is helping us by keeping them hidden. Because once found, first they will be moved to some random museum which will nullify the Scripture which said they are there to this day. Then there will be some many obnoxious theories of how they are ordinary stones. Our God is alive and glorious. Blessed are those who did not see, yet believe. I don’t need to see them. I know they are there because if God said they are there to this day: then they are! God is not a man that he should lie. I believe the same applies to Noah’s ark, lot’s salt statue wife and Moses’ body. God bless you. Lovely blog!

  11. 22 Sara
    July 7, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    I wonder the same thing… And I also wonder if the stones placed in the middle of the river, where the priests were holding the Ark, are still there as well… Someone needs to look under that water in the river!

  12. 23 Tim
    March 20, 2016 at 5:30 am

    The literal translation of this passage says they will remain “to the age”, not forever. This is a common translational error. The stones may or may not be there, depending on what age is referred to there.

  13. 24 Veronica
    May 28, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Ok…it’s 2016 … Have these stones been found yet? I read somewhere they were ruined, not sure.

  14. June 29, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    It is great to always meditate before our God, our mighty God. Early morning before 5 am this june 30, 2016 i was awaken with the text message sound of my cellphone i got my cp and read the meassage praying for my family that happiness may be found it. With this i got up decided to read the bible and i was directed to read joshua chaptr 1 until chapter 4. I was struck with the words of chapter 4:7. Does this stones where found out and it is one of the areas in israel were being visited? I search through the google and found the latest uploading feb 2016 by professor adam of the univ of haifa that it is true. It is being visited by now a days. And also came to read your blog. 12 stones at GILGAL waiting to be found. I too prayed to God that some how I will be given the chance to see israel, this place where the 12 stones are. Wherein the greatness of God must be known through out the earth. Amen.

  15. July 9, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I googled too! Currently reading the book of joshus

  16. 27 Rose
    July 19, 2016 at 12:44 am

    This is so exciting, as I was just rereading those verses today in Joshua and had never realized before how big the stones were. So because they are that big, I wondered if they were still there and jumped online and found this site and to read that other people are thinking like me has really made my day. I hope that one day soon they are found. I don’t need proof about God but when something from Bible times is discovered it just thrills the heart.

  17. July 24, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I know the stones are there because GOD said they’re there. When he wants us
    To find them someone will but until then I know they’re there because GOD SAID THEYRE

    • 31 andywlls
      September 4, 2016 at 4:01 am

      I too decided to Google if the stones were ever found. It’s not because of lack of faith but it’s something I want to relate to especially when sharing the word. I saw a documentary years ago which proved the crossing of the red sea and I know these stones too will be found. God asked Joshua to have them collected there because he knew we’d have the technology today to find them. God is truly awesome.

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