约书亚记 6

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1 围绕耶利哥耶利哥的城门因以色列人的缘故,就紧紧地关闭,没有人出入。

2 耶和华对约书亚:“,我已经把耶利哥耶利哥,以及英勇的战士,都交在你的中了。

3 你们所有能作战的男丁要围绕这城,一天围绕次,都要这样行;

4 并派祭司拿着个羊角,走在约柜的前面;到第七,你们要绕城次,祭司也要吹角。

5 当羊角吹起号,你们见角声的时候,全体民要声呼,那时城墙就必塌陷;你们各要向前直冲。”

6 于是嫩的儿子约书亚把祭司召了来,对他们:“你们要抬起约柜;并派祭司拿着个羊角,走在耶和华约柜的前面。”

7 他又对人民:“你们前去绕城吧,拿武器的人要走在耶和华约柜的前面。”

8 约书亚吩咐人民以祭司拿着个羊角,走在耶和华的前面,并且吹角,耶和华的约柜在他们面跟着走。

9 拿武器的人走在吹角的祭司前面,在约柜面也有防卫的队伍跟着走,祭司一面走,一面吹角。

10 约书亚吩咐人民:“你们不可呼,不可让人见你们的声音,连一句也不可出,等到我吩咐你们‘呼’的那,你们才可以呼。”

11 这样,耶和华的约柜绕城而行,围绕了次,众人就回到中,在里住宿。

12 约书亚清起来祭司又抬起耶和华的约柜。

13 拿着个羊角的祭司,走在耶和华的约柜前面;一面走,一面吹角;拿武器的人走在他们前面,在耶和华的约柜面也有防卫的队伍跟着走;祭司一面走,一面吹角。

14 第二日,众人又绕城一次,然后回到里去;日他们都是这样行。

15 城墙塌陷到了第七日,清黎明的时候,他们起来,以同样的方式绕城次;只有这一日,他们绕城次。

16 到了第七次,祭司吹角的时候,约书亚就对人民:“你们呼吧,因为耶和华已经把这城赐你们了。

17 这城要完全毁灭,城和城中的一切都归耶和华;只有妓女喇合,和所有与她在家中的都可以存活,因为她收藏了我们派去的使者。

18 不过你们要谨慎,不可取那当毁灭的物,恐怕你们贪心,取了那当毁灭的物,就使以色列成为当毁灭的,使以色列遭遇灾祸。

19 可是,所有的和铜的器皿,都要归耶和华,存入耶和华的房中。”

20 于是民呼,祭司也吹角。见角声的时候,就声呼城墙就塌陷了;于是,民冲入城中,向前,把城攻取。

21 他们把城中的一切,无论女老幼、牛羊和,都用刀杀尽。

22 喇合全家蒙救约书亚对窥探那地的两个人:“你们进那妓女的家里去,照着你们向她所起的誓,把那女人和她所有的一切,从家里。”

23 那两个年轻密探就进去,把喇合和她的父母、兄弟、她所有的一切,以及她所有的亲属,都领出,安置在以色列的外。

24 众人把城和城中的一切都用烧了;只有和铜的器皿都放入耶和华圣所的房里。

25 约书亚却放过妓女喇合和她的父,以及她所有的一切;她以色列中,直到今日,因为她收藏了约书亚派去窥探耶利哥的使者。

26 凡重建耶利哥城的必受咒诅那时,约书亚要民起誓,说:“起来重建这耶利哥城的,那耶和华面前是可咒可诅的;他立地基的时候必丧长子;他安城的时候必失幼子。”

27 耶和华与约书亚同在;约书亚的名声传遍全地。

  

Exploring the Meaning of 约书亚记 6      

Napsal(a) New Christian Bible Study Staff and Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 6: The Fall of Jericho

Here, the first conflict for Israel in Canaan presents itself: the taking of the city of Jericho, which stands directly and obstinately in the path of the Israelites, preventing them from moving forward. This conflict embodies the whole essence and scope of all the rest of the conquests in the Joshua story, which in the inner meaning is to overcome and rule the things in our lives which oppose what God wants for us.

Jericho is to be taken with a siege, and God gives Joshua a procedure to follow: You shall march round the city once a day for six days in absolute silence. Seven priests shall carry seven rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march round the city seven times, and then the priests shall blow their trumpets. All the people are to shout with a huge shout, and then the walls of the city will fall down flat. And all the people are to go up and take the city.

This is quite unlike any other siege, where walls have to be scaled and fire catapulted in to burn things, but... this is a spiritual siege. The siege of Jericho represents how we are to lay siege to, or deal effectively with, our own evils and tendencies. It is the description blueprint for the battle between good and evil, which is our battle too. (See Doctrine of Faith 50).

In the Bible, Jericho is sometimes called the ‘city of palm trees’, giving a lovely idea of it. Its name means “a place of fragrance”, or, “his (the Lord’s) sweet breath”. It sounds perfect, but this has been usurped by invaders and takers who are now in complete possession of this sweet city and who will hold on for all they're worth (Apocalypse Explained 502[11]). This is really an account of the influence of hell in human life, and especially our unregenerate lives, when we are open to whatever feels self-gratifying.

Jericho, we hear, is shut up tight. It is not going to be an easy matter – because the work of regeneration never is – but this also describes hell’s fear; it is shut up tight because of the Israelites (Heaven and Hell 543). In us, when we become aware of a better way to live and we want to follow the Lord - whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light - hell will soon hit back in some devious imperceptible way to hold on to what it has got. It is scared of losing us.

This takes us to the siege and its tactics. The march once a day around the city for six days, carrying the ark, is to see every part of our situation from every angle, and it is also to parade our worship and adoration of the Lord (by parading the ark). The time period, six days, is always to do with the work involved in our regeneration as we see evil and shun it, pray to God, stand back and determine. (Arcana Caelestia 10373)

The seventh day involves seven marches round the city, then the trumpets and the shouts. This is the culmination, the Sabbath. For us, it is the avowal that we know the Lord is now ruling our will and our life and there will be no turning back or weakness of giving in. Jericho is now taken! The command is that every living thing in the city is to be completely destroyed because we must be unrelenting against all the things in our lives that go against God.

The gold, the silver, and the vessels of brass and iron, were put into the treasury of the house of Jehovah. The "gold and silver" represent the knowledges of spiritual truth and good, and "the vessels of brass and iron" represent knowledges of natural truth and good. In the profane hands of the idolaters of Jericho, those knowledges could be tools to serve dire falsities and evils. In the house of Jehovah, they could be serviceable knowledges, applied to good ends - hence their being salvaged. (See Heaven and Hell 487)

The prostitute Rahab (who had hidden Israel’s spies and confessed the Lord’s power) and all her family are brought out and given safekeeping. For us, this is the acknowledgement of the truth that we are sinful (as she was) and that if it were not for the Lord we would plunge into who knows what. But now we know and confess the power and truth of God. And then, the Israelites burn the city with fire and Joshua pronounces a curse on anyone who ever rebuilds this city. We are to abhor evil for what it is and be faithful to the Lord our God.

The story of the destruction of Jericho is then the pattern for all our resistance and resolve in seeing and overcoming evil, while confessing, as we do this, that the battle is the Lord’s. (Charity 166)

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