Joshua 14

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1 En dit is wat die kinders van Israel as erfdeel in die land Kanaän ontvang het, wat Eleásar, die priester, en Josua, die seun van Nun, en die familiehoofde van die stamme van die kinders van Israel aan hulle as erfenis uitgedeel het

2 deur verloting van hulle erfdeel, soos die HERE deur die diens van Moses beveel het, met betrekking tot die nege en 'n halwe stam.

3 Want Moses het die erfdeel van die twee en 'n halwe stam oos van die Jordaan gegee, maar aan die Leviete het hy geen erfdeel onder hulle gegee nie.

4 Want die kinders van Josef was twee stamme: Manasse en Efraim; maar aan die Leviete het hulle geen aandeel in die land gegee nie, behalwe stede om in te woon, met hulle weiveld vir hulle vee en hulle goed.

5 Soos die HERE Moses beveel het, so het die kinders van Israel gedoen en die land verdeel.

6 Toe het die kinders van Juda nader gekom na Josua in Gilgal, en Kaleb, die seun van Jefúnne, die Kenissiet, het vir hom gesê: U weet die woord wat die HERE met Moses, die man van God in Kades-Barnéa gespreek het met betrekking tot my en met betrekking tot u.

7 Veertig jaar was ek oud toe Moses, die kneg van die HERE, my uitgestuur het van Kades-Barnéa af om die land te verken, en ek het hom berig gebring soos dit in my hart was;

8 maar my broers wat saam met my opgetrek het, het die hart van die volk laat versmelt, terwyl ek volgehou het om die HERE my God te volg.

9 En dié dag het Moses gesweer en gesê: Waarlik, die land wat jou voet betree het, sal aan jou en aan jou kinders in ewigheid as 'n erfdeel behoort, omdat jy volgehou het om die HERE my God te volg.

10 En nou, kyk, die HERE het my laat lewe, soos Hy gespreek het, nou al vyf en veertig jaar sedert die HERE hierdie woord met Moses gespreek het toe Israel in die woestyn getrek het; en kyk nou, ek is vandag vyf en tagtig jaar oud;

11 ek is vandag nog so sterk soos die dag toe Moses my uitgestuur het; soos my krag toe was, so is my krag nou nog, om te veg en om uit te gaan en in te gaan.

12 Gee my dan nou hierdie bergland waarvan die HERE daardie dag gespreek het; want u self het dié dag gehoor dat dáár Enakiete is en groot versterkte stede; miskien sal die HERE met my wees, sodat ek hulle kan verdrywe, soos die HERE gespreek het.

13 Toe het Josua hom geseën en aan Kaleb, die seun van Jefúnne, Hebron as erfdeel gegee.

14 Daarom het Hebron die erfdeel geword van Kaleb, die seun van Jefúnne, die Kenissiet, tot vandag toe, omdat hy volgehou het om die HERE, die God van Israel, te volg.

15 En die naam van Hebron was tevore stad van Arba; hy was die grootste man onder die Enakiete. En die land het gerus van oorlog.

Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 14      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 14: The territories west of the Jordan, and Caleb’s inheritance.

This chapter tells how the land of Canaan would be distributed among the remaining nine-and-a-half tribes, which would be determined by drawing lots. The tribe of Levi, the priests of Israel, would not receive their own territory, but would be given cities to live in across the land. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, were each recognized as a tribe of Israel to make the number of tribes receiving land equal twelve. Caleb and his people received Mount Hebron as a special inheritance, because he had fully and whole-heartedly followed the Lord God of Israel many years ago.

Casting lots was used in those days to decide many things, because people believed that the outcome showed the will of God. Lots were often sticks or stones, each marked with a symbol, which would be cast much like rolling dice. Then the result would be examined to make a decision. The spiritual meaning of casting lots is that we should allow the Lord to show us what is required, and believe that His providence extends over everything in our lives (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 10773). “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33).

The tribe of Levi, the third of the twelve sons of Jacob, had been set apart from the other tribes during their time in the wilderness; when the war cry “Who is on the Lord’s side?” was given before a battle, it was only the tribe of Levi who had responded. They were appointed as the priests of Israel for this dedication to God. Here, now, we are told that they are to live throughout the land (Arcana Caelestia 6998).

On a spiritual level, the Levites stand for the Lord’s presence throughout the whole of our life. Another way of putting this is that our spirit (and our life) is there throughout the whole of our body. And a third way of seeing this is that every part of our life should be guided by our love for the Lord. Other references to the Levites mention that all the people of Israel are to provide food and gifts for the Levites, reinforcing this same idea.

Caleb gets special treatment; he is given Mount Hebron as a new home for his people. Caleb and Joshua had been sent with 10 other men to spy out the land of Canaan 40 years earlier. They had given it a good report, and had - unsuccessfully - urged the Children of Israel to follow the Lord's leading and conquer the land at that time. Now, Caleb reminds Joshua about the Lord’s words to Moses regarding them, and Moses’ promise to give Caleb an inheritance. At the age of eighty-five, Caleb was still as strong as when spied out the land. He tells Joshua: “Now therefore, give me this mountain and the Lord will be with me to drive out the enemy” (Joshua 14:12). And it is given to him with a blessing from Joshua.

Mount Hebron is in the territory of Judah, west of the Dead Sea and south of what is now Jerusalem. Its name means ‘bound by a common bond’ or ‘accord’. Its spiritual meaning is that it brings diversity into unity, many into one, and for us, harmony in our spiritual life (Arcana Caelestia 3241[2]).

Caleb’s name means ‘bold, fearless, ferocious to enemies’. For us, Caleb is a picture of sureness and determination that to follow the Lord will always lead to success. Caleb never led Israel, but he acts as a right-hand-man to Joshua. Even though Joshua was the one to lead the children of Israel, there is still the need in each of us for Caleb’s enthusiasm, conviction and assurance to move forward with full confidence. His strength never left him, because he felt and lived the strength which the Lord gave him (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 137[5]).

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