Which Water In The Bible Was Crossed Multiple Times On Dry Ground?

March 16, 2016Mar 16, 2016

The Red Sea crossing of Exodus 14 may have been the most dramatic of dry land water crossings in the Bible, but it was certainly not the only time God used that particular miracle to preserve the children of Israel.


In Joshua 3, as the Israelites finally entered the Promise Land after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, they can upon another seemingly impassable body of water: the Jordan River. Verse 15 notes that the river was at flood stage, so crossing it would have been no simple feat.

God commanded the priests carrying the ark of the covenant to enter the river first, and it wasn't until the priests showed enough faith to step into the floodwaters that God held back the waters. In fact, God caused the waters of the Jordan River to "stand as a heap" far upstream. The waters flowing downstream to the Dead Sea drained away, allowing the children of Israel to safely cross the river bottom. But it wasn't mud they were trudging through, but rather "the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground."

This miracle was repeated in 2 Kings 2 when the prophet Elijah, Elisha, and "fifty men of the sons of the prophets" approached the Jordan River. Elijah took his cloak, "rolled it up, and struck the water." Incredible, the waters were "divided this way and that," perhaps in the fashion of the Red Sea crossing, allowing Elijah and Elisha to cross on dry ground.

The end of Elijah's ministry on this earth was rapidly approaching, and he asked Elisha what he could give him before he left. Elisha asked for "a double portion of your spirit be upon me." A short time later, Elijah was taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire. And when his cloak slipped off as he ascended, Elisha grabbed it.

He walked back to the river and struck it with the cloak, again parting the waters. He crossed back over the Jordan, thus beginning his miraculous new ministry as witnessed by the sons of the prophets.