4:24. However, besides serving as a visual aid for parental instruction of children, the memorial stones had a broader purpose: that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful. As the families of Israel spent their first night in the land, their hearts may well have been filled with uncertainty and fear. The mountains rising steeply to the west looked foreboding. But then the people looked at the 12 stones taken out of the Jordan and were reminded that God had done something great for them that day. Surely they could trust Him for the days ahead.
4:24 — “ … that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
What happens to God’s people has ramifications far beyond their own lives. The Lord wants the whole world to know Him, and He “advertises” His activity through us.
4:24 The dramatic manner in which the Lord brought Israel into the land was intended to alert the peoples of the earth to the fact that the hand of the Lord is mighty and to engender true devotion—which is what fear of the Lord connotes—in the hearts of God’s people forever, that is, through all the generations that would hear of the river passage.
4:24 the hand of Yahweh is strong The people will be intimidated in the manner described by Rahab (see 2:10–11; 5:1).
4:23, 24 The pronoun “you” in vv. 23, 24 identifies the later generations with the earlier great acts of God, as Moses did in Deut. 4:9–24; 5:2–5, and as Joshua will do in Josh. 24:5–10 (24:7 note).
4:24 all the peoples of the earth. The wonders of chs. 3 and 4 will have effects far beyond the immediate generation and far beyond the Israelite people (2:10; 5:1; cf. Gen. 12:3). The wonderful works of God in the Bible are expected to affect those who hear about them as powerfully as those who see them (Ex. 10:2; and supremely John 20:30, 31). See notes 2:9, 10.
know. The knowledge of God and His purposes has been the objective of these wonders (3:7, 10 notes). This goal is now shown to apply to all peoples. This knowledge does not necessarily imply salvation (Ex. 14:18).
fear the Lord. A common Old Testament expression for true faith (Ps. 128:1). See 24:14 note.
4:24 All the events since the plagues in Egypt had been intended to glorify the Lord to all the peoples of the earth. The emphasis in the O.T. is on Israel, but the Lord never loses sight of His purpose to bless “all the peoples of the earth” (Gen. 1:28; 12:3; Ex. 9:14–16; 14:31).
4:24 The purpose of this miracle is to declare God’s might to all the peoples of the earth and to encourage Israel to always fear the Lord. Faith and commitment to God is the goal, just as with the miracles of Jesus (Jn 20:30–31).
 Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Jos 4:24). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.
 Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 304). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.
 Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Jos 4:24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.