约书亚记 7

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1 亚干犯罪

2 以色列人战败那时,约书亚从耶利哥派人到伯特利东边,靠近伯.亚文的艾城去,吩咐他们:“你们上去窥探那地。”那些人就上去,窥探艾城。

3 他们回来,对约书亚:“不需要全体民都上去;只要大约二就可以上去攻打艾城了;不必劳动全体民都上那里去,因为那里的很少。”

4 于是民中约有上那里去,但他们竟在艾城的面前逃跑了。

5 艾城的击杀了他们约三十;从城前追赶他们,一直追到示巴琳;在山坡上把他们击溃;民的心就极其惊怕。

6 约书亚长老的求问约书亚就撕裂自己的衣服,以色列人长老,在耶和华的约柜前,一同俯伏在地,直到晚上,也把尘土撒在上。

7 约书亚:“唉!耶和华啊,你为什么领这人民过约旦河,为要把我们交在亚摩利人的中,使我们灭亡呢?我们宁愿约旦河那边倒好。

8 主啊!以色列人既然在仇敌面前转身逃跑,我还有什么可的呢?

9 迦南人和这地所有的居民见了,就必围困我们,把我们名字从这世上剪除,那时你为你的名要怎样行呢?”

10 耶和华的回答耶和华对约书亚:“你起来,为什么这样脸伏在地呢?

11 以色列人犯了罪,违背了我吩咐他们的约定,因为他们取了那当毁灭的物,他们窃,并且说谎,又把那当毁灭的物放在自己的物件中。

12 所以,以色列人在他们的仇敌面前站立不住,在他们的仇敌面前转身逃跑,因为他们成了当毁灭的。如果你们不把那当毁灭的物从你们中间除掉,我就必不再与你们同在了。

13 起来,要人民自洁,对他们:‘你们要自洁,预备明天;因为耶和华以色列的这样以色列啊!你们中间有那当毁灭的物;除非你们把那当毁灭的物从你们中间除去,你们在仇敌的面前就不能站立得住。

14 到了早晨,你们要按着支派前来,耶和华抽签抽中的支派,要按着宗族前来;耶和华抽签抽中的宗族,要按着家庭前来;耶和华抽签抽中的家庭,男丁要一个一个前来。

15 如果那藏有当毁灭的物的人被抽签抽中了,他和他所有的一切都要用焚烧;因为他违背了耶和华的约,又因为他在以色列中作了愚昧的事。’”

16 抽签抽中亚干约书亚清起来,要以色列人按着支派前来;结果,犹大支派被抽签抽中了;

17 他要犹大宗族前来,结果,谢拉的家族被抽签抽中了;他要谢拉家族的男丁一个一个前来,结果,撒底被抽签抽中了;

18 他要撒底家中的男丁一个一个前来,结果,亚干被抽签抽中了,亚干是迦米的儿子、撒底的孙子、谢拉的曾孙,是属于犹大支派的。

19 约书亚对亚干:“我儿,我劝你把荣耀归耶和华以色列的,向他认罪,告诉我你作了什么事,不可向我隐瞒。”

20 亚干认罪与受罚亚干回答约书亚,:“我实在得罪了耶和华以色列的;我作过的事是这样的。

21 我在战利品中,见了件美丽的示拿衣服、二千二八十克子,和条重五七十克的条;我因贪爱这些物件,就把它们拿去了;现在埋藏在我帐棚的地里,子在底。”

22 约书亚就派人跑到亚干的帐棚里,果然见到东西埋藏在那里,子在底

23 他们就把东西从帐棚中拿出到约书亚和以色列人那里,摆在耶和华面前。

24 约书亚和全体以色列人一起把谢拉的曾孙亚干和那子、那件衣服、那条,以及亚干的儿女、牛、、帐棚和他所有的一切,都带上亚割去。

25 约书亚:“你为什么给我们招惹灾祸呢?今天耶和华必使你遭受灾祸。”于是全体以色列人石头把他打死。他们用石头打死他们以后,就把一切用烧了。

26 众人又在亚干身上起了一石头,这石头一直存到今日;于是耶和华就回心意,不发烈怒。因此那地方亚割,直到今日。

  

Exploring the Meaning of 约书亚记 7      

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

Joshua 7: The defeat at Ai, and the sin of Achan.

This chapter opens with the statement that Israel had sinned at Jericho, because an Israelite named Achan had kept something for himself, against the Lord's commandment. (But Joshua doesn't know this yet.)

The great victory at Jericho was quickly followed by an embarrassing defeat at Ai. The Israelites hadn't expected much difficulty in taking Ai, and sent just a few thousand men to attack it. They were routed.

Spiritually, we might say that pride goes before a fall, but more specifically, in the work of our regeneration we are never to rest on our laurels, but to always stay alert to each situation and how we are internally handling it. (Apocalypse Revealed 158)

Understandably, Joshua pours out his heart to the Lord, wondering why they have even crossed over the Jordan to simply be destroyed. The Lord tells him that their defeat at Ai was because Israel sinned by taking some of the forbidden things of Jericho. The Lord explains how to put this right, by identifying the wrongdoer and destroying him and his family.

Note the weakness of Joshua (as earlier also with Moses at times) when things go wrong and he feels confused, full of doubt, hurt and afraid. When things go well, we go well; when things go badly, we tend to go to pieces. And we ask, “Why? Why this, why me, why now?”

The Lord’s answer is a command, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face?” This is a pretty plain meaning: The Lord wants us to use such setbacks to be able to go forward, seeing the problem as a challenge and an opportunity and learning point.

Joshua is told to find the source of the wrong and the defeat. From all the tribes, one tribe will be selected by the Lord. From all its families, one family will be chosen. From all its households, one household will be chosen, and from that household, one man will be chosen. And Achan was the man and he is brought out. (Arcana Caelestia 5135)

This drawing-by-lot is a remarkable picture of our spiritual self-examination. We’re told that to make our general confession of ‘having done what we should not have done’ is almost worthless because we are likely to just carry on the same afterwards. (Arcana Caelestia 8390) Our personal inventory must be specific. What kind of thoughts have I been allowing myself recently? What did that make me feel in my heart? Did I welcome it or want nothing to do with it? It’s a kind of pinpointing, and it leads us to Achan, whose name in Hebrew means ‘trouble’ and ‘troubler’. (The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 164)

Achan, discovered, doesn't hide or deny his wrongdoing but openly admits that he has sinned against the Lord. He'd seen a beautiful garment, much silver, and a chunk of gold, and took them, and hid them in the earth in the middle of his tent. He confesses and indeed, his confession is transparent. So must our confession be when we see things in ourselves that go against the Lord’s truths and ways. They bring forth his stolen goods from his tent.

Then, in a comprehensive way, Joshua took everything Achan owned in its entirety, including the stolen goods, to the Valley of Achor (a name again meaning ‘trouble’) and stoned him and all his family and burned them with fire and raised a heap of stones over it all. This, to us, might well sound like a brutal and an unwarranted punishment.

Spiritually, the Lord does not punish us, ever. Rather, he commands that we turn from our evils, and suffer the consequences if we don't. The Lord does this to help and encourage us to stop following our own way and to commit ourselves to following and living His way. We can only conquer Canaan, representing heaven, when we do this. (Arcana Caelestia 8622)

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