Joshua 21

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1 Then the heads of the families of the Levites came to Eleazar the priest and Joshua, the son of Nun, and to the heads of families of the tribes of the children of Israel;

2 And said to them in Shiloh in the land of Canaan, The Lord gave orders by Moses that we were to have towns for living in, with their grass-lands for our cattle.

3 And the children of Israel out of their heritage gave to the Levites these towns with their grass-lands, by the order of the Lord.

4 And the heritage came out for the families of the Kohathites: the children of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, were given thirteen towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

5 The rest of the children of Kohath by their families were given ten towns from the tribes of Ephraim and Dan and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

6 The children of Gershon by their families were given thirteen towns from the tribes of Issachar and Asher and Naphtali and the half-tribe of Manasseh which was in Bashan.

7 The children of Merari by their families were given twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben and Gad and Zebulun.

8 All these towns with their grass-lands the children of Israel gave by the decision of the Lord to the Levites, as the Lord had given orders by Moses.

9 From the tribes of the children of Judah and the children of Simeon they gave these towns, listed here by name:

10 These were for the children of Aaron among the families of the Kohathites, of the children of Levi: for they came first in the distribution.

11 They gave them Kiriath-arba, the town of Arba, the father of Anak, (which is Hebron) in the hill-country of Judah, with its grass-lands.

12 But the open country round the town, and its unwalled places, they gave to Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, as his property.

13 And to the children of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron with its grass-lands, the town where the taker of life might be safe, and Libnah with its grass-lands;

14 And Jattir with its grass-lands, and Eshtemoa with its grass-lands;

15 And Holon with its grass-lands, and Debir with its grass-lands;

16 And Ain, and Juttah, and Beth-shemesh, with their grass-lands; nine towns from those two tribes.

17 And from the tribe of Benjamin they gave Gibeon and Geba with their grass-lands;

18 Anathoth and Almon with their grass-lands, four towns.

19 Thirteen towns with their grass-lands were given to the children of Aaron, the priests.

20 The rest of the families of the children of Kohath, the Levites, were given towns from the tribe of Ephraim.

21 And they gave them Shechem with its grass-lands in the hill-country of Ephraim, the town where the taker of life might be safe, and Gezer with its grass-lands;

22 And Kibzaim and Beth-horon with their grass-lands, four towns.

23 And from the tribe of Dan, Elteke and Gibbethon with their grass-lands;

24 Aijalon and Gath-rimmon with their grass-lands, four towns.

25 And from the half-tribe of Manasseh, Taanach and Gath-rimmon with their grass-lands, two towns.

26 All the towns of the rest of the families of the children of Kohath were ten with their grass-lands.

27 And to the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, they gave from the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with its grass-lands, the town where the taker of life might be safe, and Ashtaroth with its grass-lands, two towns.

28 And from the tribe of Issachar, Kishion and Daberath with their grass-lands;

29 Jarmuth and En-gannim with their grass-lands, four towns.

30 And from the tribe of Asher, Mishal and Abdon, with their grass-lands:

31 Helkath and Rehob with their grass-lands, four towns.

32 And from the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its grass-lands, the town where the taker of life might be safe, and Hammoth-dor and Kartan with their grass-lands, three towns.

33 All the towns of the Gershonites with their families were thirteen with their grass-lands.

34 And to the rest of the Levites, that is, the families of the children of Merari, they gave from the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam and Kartah with their grass-lands;

35 Dimnah and Nahalal with their grass-lands, four towns.

36 And from the tribe of Reuben, Bezer and Jahaz with their grass-lands;

37 Kedemoth and Mephaath with their grass-lands, four towns.

38 And from the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead, the town where the taker of life might be safe, and Mahanaim with their grass-lands;

39 Heshbon and Jazer with their grass-lands, four towns.

40 All these towns were given to the children of Merari by their families, that is, the rest of the families of the Levites; and their heritage was twelve towns.

41 All the towns of the Levites, among the heritage of the children of Israel, were forty-eight towns with their grass-lands.

42 Every one of these towns had grass-lands round it.

43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land which he gave by oath to their fathers; so it became their heritage and their living-place.

44 And the Lord gave them peace on every side, as he had said to their fathers: all those who were against them gave way before them, for the Lord gave them all up into their hands.

45 The Lord kept faith with the house of Israel about all the good which he said he would do for them, and all his words came true.

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Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 21      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 21: The cities of the Levite priests and the end of the settlement.

In this chapter, the last remaining part of the settlement was completed: the provision for the Levites, the priests of Israel. This tribe had been appointed priests because only they had answered the call, “Who is on the side of the Lord?” when the Israelites had been worshipping the golden calf in the wilderness (see Exodus 32:26).

Much of the chapter is spent listing the cities given to the three sons of Aaron, who was appointed high priest. Each extended family of Aaron’s sons was given about sixteen cities. It seems very significant that a lot of these cities were the same ones given to the other tribes, and were also the cities of refuge.

Levi’s name means ‘joined’, which is very suitable for the Levite priests, who received cities in every tribal territory. This meant that the presence of priests was everywhere (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 342).

Spiritually speaking, this distribution is a wonderful illustration that our spirit lives throughout our whole body. Every part of us is alive! Every single thing in our body, from one blood cell to our heart and lungs, is maintained by our spirit, which itself is maintained by the influx of the Lord’s life. The function of everything in our body is in a perfect correspondence with the kingdom of heaven.

So, spiritually, the Levites stand for the presence of the Lord everywhere, in everything. This underlines the point that everything in the natural world - even the cities and territories described in this chapter of Joshua - reflect something about God and heaven (see Swedenborg’s Apocalypse Revealed 194). But there is another important meaning for the distribution of the priestly Levites in cities all through the tribal territories: we must keep on acknowledging that everything is a blessing from the Lord, that everything we do is for God, and that the Lord alone does what is truly good (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 91).

After the distribution of cities to the Levites, Israel was fully established in the land of Canaan. The rest of this chapter is a consolidating statement which is worth including in full:

v43. “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.
v44. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that he had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand.
v45. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”

These are words of fulfillment, culmination, assurance and blessing. Everything here traces back to the Lord. The Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, granted them victory over their enemies, and gave them the Land of Canaan; the Lord had spoken in complete truth. “All came to pass.”

This final statement is a promise of our own capacity for regeneration and spiritual progress. We are able to overcome our natural desires and selfish states; we have been established in our life with the ability to understand and do what is good. In devoting ourselves to the Lord, we find strength to see that He will never fail us, and will change us for the better. ‘All came to pass’ is our affirmation that our life is always under God’s care and providence (Arcana Caelestia 977).

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Apocalypse Explained 444


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 1441, 1616, 2909

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Významy biblických slov

heads
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

joshua
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son
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Shiloh
The word "Shiloh" means "peacemaker", or just "peace". Peace on earth was, and is, one of the Lord's main goals in being born into the...

land
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

orders
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

moses
Moses's name appears 814 times in the Bible (KJV), third-most of any one character (Jesus at 961 actually trails David at 991). He himself wrote...

towns
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

Lands
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

heritage
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

families
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

aaron
Aaron was the brother of Moses. He symbolizes two things, one during the first part of the exodus, when he was Moses' spokesperson, and another...

thirteen
'Thirteen,' between twelve and fourteen, denotes the intermediate state. 'Thirteen,' as the sum of ten and three, denotes remains.

judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

and Benjamin
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

Benjamin
Also, Benjamin signifies the Word in its ultimate sense (Deut. 33:12)

the rest
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ten
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tribe
'A tribe' signifies the church with respect to its truths and goods, and in the opposite sense, with respect to its falsities and evils. 'A...

ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

dan
The tribe of Dan (Jer. 8:16) signifies truth in its own ultimate degree of order, here truth in the church, which is contained in the...

half
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manasseh
'Manasseh' signifies the will of the spiritual church.

Issachar
Issachar,' in the highest sense, signifies the divine good of truth, and truth of good. In a spiritual sense, he signifies celestial conjugial love, which...

naphtali
'Naphtali' in a supreme sense, signifies the proper power of the Lord’s divine human. In a spiritual sense, he signifies temptation and victory and a...

reuben
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gad
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given
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levi
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first
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father
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hebron
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hill
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open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

town
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

caleb
Caleb, In Numbers 14:24, represents those who are introduced into the church, and, accordingly, his seed signifies the truth of the doctrine of the church.

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

safe
'A place of refuge' denotes the state when a person is guiltless of evil.

Holon
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nine
'Nine' signifies conjunction.

two
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tribes
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gibeon
sun standing still upon Gibeon signifies total vastation of the church.

four
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priests
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aijalon
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three
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mahanaim
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heshbon
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jazer
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forty
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eight
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The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

oath
'To sware' is a binding.

fathers
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side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

way
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before
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house
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good
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words
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came
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