Joshua 3

Study

           

1 Then Joshua got up early in the morning, and, moving on from Shittim, he and all the children of Israel came to Jordan and were there for the night before going over.

2 And at the end of three days, the men in authority over the people went through the tents,

3 Giving the people their orders, and saying, When you see the ark of the agreement of the Lord your God lifted up by the priests, the Levites, then get up from your places and go after it;

4 But let there be a space between you and it of about two thousand cubits: come no nearer to it, so that you may see the way you have to go, for you have not been over this way before.

5 And Joshua said to the people, Make yourselves holy, for tomorrow the Lord will do works of wonder among you.

6 Then Joshua said to the priests, Take up the ark of the agreement and go over in front of the people. So they took up the ark of the agreement and went in front of the people.

7 And the Lord said to Joshua, From now on I will give you glory in the eyes of all Israel, so that they may see that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.

8 And you are to give orders to the priests who take up the ark of the agreement, and say, When you come to the edge of the waters of Jordan, go no further.

9 And Joshua said to the children of Israel, Come to me here: and give ear to the words of the Lord your God.

10 And Joshua said, By this you will see that the living God is among you, and that he will certainly send out from before you the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Hivite and the Perizzite and the Girgashite and the Amorite and the Jebusite.

11 See, the ark of the agreement of the Lord of all the earth is going over before you into Jordan.

12 So take twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, a man from every tribe.

13 And when the feet of the priests who take up the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the waters of Jordan, the waters of Jordan will be cut off, all the waters flowing down from higher up, and will come together in a mass.

14 So when the people went out from their tents to go over Jordan, the priests who took up the ark of the agreement were in front of the people;

15 And when those who took up the ark came to Jordan, and the feet of the priests who took up the ark were touching the edge of the water (for the waters of Jordan are overflowing all through the time of the grain-cutting),

16 Then the waters flowing down from higher up were stopped and came together in a mass a long way back at Adam, a town near Zarethan; and the waters flowing down to the sea of the Arabah, the Salt sea, were cut off: and the people went across opposite Jericho.

17 And the priests who took up the ark of the agreement of the Lord kept their places, with their feet on dry land in the middle of Jordan, while all Israel went over on dry land, till all the nation had gone over Jordan.


Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 3      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 3: The Israelites cross the river Jordan

In this chapter, the Israelites cross the river Jordan by means of a miracle: the waters of the river get held back to create dry ground to walk on. This miracle happens a number of times in the Old Testament beginning with the crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus. And, as we will see, it means things for us too.

All the people of Israel move to the edge of the river Jordan and camp (see Arcana Caelestia 6537). Then a number of commands are given: to move only when they see the priests carrying the ark move first; to keep well away from the ark; to consecrate themselves; to choose twelve men, one from each tribe. The priests are told to carry the ark ahead of the people and to step into the waters of the river.

These detailed instructions are important for us, in the work of regeneration. At the end of verse Joshua 3:4 it says something very telling, that “you have not passed this way before.” In truth, we haven’t; the work of regeneration is new to us and takes us into things we haven’t yet experienced. Seeing the ark going ahead pictures our own need to keep the commands and truths of the Lord in our vision and goals.

Keeping well away from the ark is also important because we must not mix together our view of what we do, with the Lord’s view of what we must do – the ark contains the ten commandments and must always be seen (Arcana Caelestia 6724).

The text says, “Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go.” (Joshua 3:4) The people are also told to consecrate themselves, to make themselves holy. This would have included washing, which stands for cleansing our mind and actions of anything which goes against God.

The last command the people are given is to choose twelve men, one from each tribe. This will become important in the next chapter when twelve memorial stones are taken out of the river Jordan.

The priests carrying the ark are told to step in and get wet. For us this means that our dedication to God and our highest intentions (the ‘priest’ in us) must come into touch with the flowing water of the river Jordan (the first spiritual truths, first because the Jordan is a boundary).

When the priests do this, the waters immediately stop far upstream, making dry ground for everybody to safely cross while the priests stand still (see Arcana Caelestia 1664[7]). When our dedication to God dovetails with God’s truths for our life and become united, we have the heavenly ideal and we will now go forward. (Doctrine of Life 55[3]).

In verses 9 to 13 Joshua reminds the people of what it is they are now doing. They are crossing into Canaan, “and the living God is among you and he will without fail drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites”, who, for us, stand for the wrongs, weaknesses, delusions, tricks and deceits of our human nature such as it is before we belong to God. “Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan.”

This chapter is our first action and resolve at the start of our regeneration or new birth. It will take us from here to there, never to go back. It is a transition from one side of our life to the other (Arcana Caelestia 7779[3]). And all Israel crossed over on dry ground. Each of us is ‘all Israel’ because there are many parts to us; we love, think, believe, value, act, do useful things, share, work and play, and all these and many others will be part of our spiritual life that lies ahead.

    Studovat vnitřní smysl

Přeložit: