约书亚记 21

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1 利未人所得的城镇

2 迦南地的示罗对他们:“耶和华曾经借着摩西吩咐要我们城市居住,和城的郊野可以牧放我们的牲畜。”

3 于是以色列人照着耶和华所吩咐的,从自己的产业中,把以下这些城市和城的郊野,了利未人。

4 首先为哥辖家族抽出签来:利未支派亚伦祭司的子孙,从犹大支派、西缅支派和便雅悯支派,抽签得了十三座城。

5 哥辖其的子孙,从以法莲支派的家族、但支派和玛拿西个支派,抽签得了座城。

6 革顺的子孙,从以萨迦支派的家族、亚设支派、拿弗他利支派和在巴珊的玛拿西个支派,抽签得了十三座城。

7 米拉利的子孙,按着家族,从流本支派、迦得支派和西布伦支派,得了十座城。

8 以色列人照着耶和华吩咐摩西的,借着抽签,把这些城市和城的郊野分利未人。

9 他们从犹大支派和西缅支派中,把以下这些有提名的城分了

10 给利未支派、哥辖家族中亚伦的子孙,因为第一签是他们的。

11 以色列人把犹大地的基列.亚巴,和它四围的郊野,了他们;亚巴是亚衲族的祖宗,基列.亚巴就是希伯仑。

12 属于那城的田地和村庄,他们却了耶孚尼的儿子迦勒作产业。

13 以色列人把误杀人者的避难城希伯仑,和希伯仑的郊野,又把立拿和立拿的郊野亚伦祭司的子孙,

14 还有雅提珥和雅提珥的郊野,以实提莫和以实提莫的郊野,

15 何仑和何仑的郊野,底璧和底璧的郊野,

16 亚因和亚因的郊野,淤他和淤他的郊野,伯.示麦和伯.示麦的郊野,共座城,是从这两个支派分出来的。

17 又从便雅悯支派中,分给他们基遍基遍的郊野,迦巴和迦巴的郊野,

18 亚拿突和亚拿突的郊野,亚勒们和亚勒们的郊野,共座城。

19 亚伦子孙众祭司所有的城,共十三座,还有这些城的郊野。

20 利未支派哥辖子孙的家族,就是哥辖其的子孙,抽签所得的城是从以法莲支派中分出来的。

21 以色列人把误杀人者的避难城,就是在以法莲地的示剑示剑的郊野,了他们;又把基色和基色的郊野,了他们;

22 又有基伯先和基伯先的郊野,伯.和仑和伯.和仑的郊野,共座城。

23 又从但支派中,给了他们伊利提基和伊利提基的郊野,基比顿和基比顿的郊野,

24 亚雅仑和亚雅仑的郊野,迦特.临门和迦特.临门的郊野,共座城。

25 又从玛拿西半个支派中,给了他们他纳和他纳的郊野,迦特.临门和迦特.临门的郊野,共两座城。

26 哥辖子孙其的家族所有的城共座,还有这些城的郊野。

27 以色列人又从玛拿西个支派中,把误杀人者的避难城,就是在巴珊的哥兰,和哥兰的郊野,给了利未人的家族中革顺的子孙;又给了他们比.施提拉和比.施提拉的郊野,共两座城。

28 又从以萨迦支派中,给了他们基善和基善的郊野,大比拉和大比拉的郊野,

29 耶末和耶末的郊野,隐.干宁和隐.干宁的郊野,共座城。

30 又从亚设支派中,给了他们米沙勒和米沙勒的郊野,押顿和押顿的郊野,

31 黑甲和黑甲的郊野,利合和利合的郊野,共座城。

32 以色列人又从拿弗他利支派中,把误杀人者的避难城,就是在加利利的基低斯和基低斯的郊野,给了他们;又给他们哈末.多珥和哈末.多珥的郊野,加珥但和加珥但的郊野,共座城。

33 革顺人按着家族所有的城共十三座,还有这些城的郊野。

34 的利未人,米拉利的子孙的家族,从西布伦支派中分得约念和约念的郊野,加珥他和加珥他的郊野,

35 丁拿和丁拿的郊野,拿哈拉和拿哈拉的郊野,共座城。

36 又从流本支派中,给了他们比悉和比悉的郊野,雅杂和雅杂的郊野,

37 基底莫和基底莫的郊野,米法押和米法押的郊野,共座城。

38 以色列人又从迦得支派中,把误杀人者的避难城,就是在基列的拉末和拉末的郊野,给了他们;又给他们玛哈念和玛哈念的郊野,

39 希实本和希实本的郊野,雅谢和雅谢的郊野,共座城。

40 利未人其的家族,就是米拉利的子孙,按着家族抽签所得的城,共有十座。

41 以色列人的地业中,利未人所得的城共四十座,还有这些城的郊野。

42 这些城周围都有自己的郊野,每一座都是这样。

43 神的应许实现这样,耶和华就把他从前起誓要赐他们列祖的全地以色列人以色列人占领了那地,就定居下来。

44 耶和华照着他向他们列祖起誓所的一切话,使他们四境平静;他们所有的仇敌,没有一能在他们面前站立得住;耶和华把他们所有的仇敌都交在他们里。

45 耶和华以色列家应许赐福的,没有一句落空,都应验了。

  

Exploring the Meaning of 约书亚记 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).

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