Verse 20: And (Josh. 4:3) those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
[The twelve stones also] These were placed in the Ark, says Tertullian, Against Marcion 4; before the Ark, says Rabbi Levi (Masius). Which is false; for they were deposited and fixed in Gilgal (Lapide), as in a place most famous and near to the river. They were set in a visible place, in which manner it is customary to erect statues (Masius). Of these an Altar was constructed for a monument (Josephus in Bonfrerius). This does not satisfy; for these stones were designed to refer to the twelve Tribes, and their passage through Jordan, which they, compacted into one mass of an altar, were able not so agreeably to fulfill (Bonfrerius). We readily suppose that those stones, and what was placed upon their foundation, were erected as posts, or pillars, or columns, in an eminent place. Some also not incongruously think that they were placed as a sort of solemn contract of their newly occupied possession (Malvenda).
Those twelve stones…did Joshua pitch: Which most probably were placed severally and in order, like so many little pillars, which was most proper to keep remembrance of this miraculous benefit vouchsafed to this people.
[What do they mean?] He correctly supplies, according to the usage of the tongue (Piscator, Vatablus). Hebrew: what those, that is, what do those signify? No stone monument was set before the Red Sea, because those places were only stations, while also the name of Egypt ought to seem sad and detestable to the Israelites; still less that they might often return that way (Masius).
 Hebrew: וְאֵת֩ שְׁתֵּ֙ים עֶשְׂרֵ֤ה הָֽאֲבָנִים֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֥ר לָקְח֖וּ מִן־הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן הֵקִ֥ים יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ בַּגִּלְגָּֽל׃
 Hebrew: וַיֹּ֛אמֶר אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר אֲשֶׁר֩ יִשְׁאָל֙וּן בְּנֵיכֶ֤ם מָחָר֙ אֶת־אֲבוֹתָ֣ם לֵאמֹ֔ר מָ֖ה הָאֲבָנִ֥ים הָאֵֽלֶּה׃
 Hebrew: מָחָר.
 Hebrew: מָ֖ה הָאֲבָנִ֥ים הָאֵֽלֶּה׃, woodenly, what these stones?
 See Deuteronomy 17:16.
 Hebrew: וְהוֹדַעְתֶּ֖ם אֶת־בְּנֵיכֶ֣ם לֵאמֹ֑ר בַּיַּבָּשָׁה֙ עָבַ֣ר יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן הַזֶּֽה׃