約書亞記 14

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1 九個半支派在河西的分地以下這些地方是以色列人迦南地分得的產業,就是以利亞撒祭司嫩的兒子約書亞,以及以色列人各支派的族長分給他們的,

2 是照著耶和華藉著摩西所吩咐的,以抽籤的方法把產業分給支派。

3 因為摩西約旦河東已經把產業分了那兩個支派;卻沒有把產業分他們中間的利未人。

4 因為約瑟的子孫成了兩個支派,就是瑪拿西以法蓮,因此以色列人沒有把地業分在那地的利未人,只他們一些城市居住,還有城市的郊野,可以牧放他們的牲畜,安置他們的財產

5 耶和華怎樣吩咐摩西以色列人就照樣行,把地分配了。

6 迦勒的分地猶大來到吉甲約書亞那裡,基尼洗耶孚尼的兒子迦勒對約書亞:“耶和華在加低斯.巴尼亞對摩西關於你和我的,你是知道的。

7 耶和華的僕人摩西從加低斯.巴尼亞派我去窺探這地的時候,我正四十歲;我照著我心裡所想的向他報告。

8 可是,與我一同上去的眾兄弟卻使人民的驚懼,我卻完全順從耶和華我的

9 摩西起誓說:‘你的踏過的地都必歸你和你的子孫作產業,直到永遠,因為你完全順從耶和華我的。’

10 現在你看,自從耶和華摩西了這以後,耶和華照著所應許的,使我活了這四十五年,就是以色列人在曠野行走的時期;現在你看,我今日已經是八十歲了。

11 今日我還是強壯,像摩西派我去的那一樣;無論是作戰,或是出入,那時我的力量怎樣,現在我的力量還是怎樣。

12 現在求你把耶和華那日所應許的這地賜我;因為那你也曾見那裡有亞衲人,又有寬堅固的城;但耶和華與我同在,我就可以把他們趕出去,正如耶和華所應許的。”

13 於是約書亞迦勒祝福,把希伯崙賜了耶孚尼的兒子迦勒作產業。

14 因此,希伯崙成了基尼洗人耶孚尼的兒子迦勒的產業,直到今日;因為他完全順從耶和華以色列的

15 希伯崙從前名叫基列.亞巴;亞巴是亞衲人中最偉大的人。全地也就止息了戰爭


Exploring the Meaning of 約書亞記 14      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 14: The territories west of the Jordan, and Caleb’s inheritance.

This chapter tells how the land of Canaan would be distributed among the remaining nine-and-a-half tribes, which would be determined by drawing lots. The tribe of Levi, the priests of Israel, would not receive their own territory, but would be given cities to live in across the land. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, were each recognized as a tribe of Israel to make the number of tribes receiving land equal twelve. Caleb and his people received Mount Hebron as a special inheritance, because he had fully and whole-heartedly followed the Lord God of Israel many years ago.

Casting lots was used in those days to decide many things, because people believed that the outcome showed the will of God. Lots were often sticks or stones, each marked with a symbol, which would be cast much like rolling dice. Then the result would be examined to make a decision. The spiritual meaning of casting lots is that we should allow the Lord to show us what is required, and believe that His providence extends over everything in our lives (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 10773). “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33).

The tribe of Levi, the third of the twelve sons of Jacob, had been set apart from the other tribes during their time in the wilderness; when the war cry “Who is on the Lord’s side?” was given before a battle, it was only the tribe of Levi who had responded. They were appointed as the priests of Israel for this dedication to God. Here, now, we are told that they are to live throughout the land (Arcana Caelestia 6998).

On a spiritual level, the Levites stand for the Lord’s presence throughout the whole of our life. Another way of putting this is that our spirit (and our life) is there throughout the whole of our body. And a third way of seeing this is that every part of our life should be guided by our love for the Lord. Other references to the Levites mention that all the people of Israel are to provide food and gifts for the Levites, reinforcing this same idea.

Caleb gets special treatment; he is given Mount Hebron as a new home for his people. Caleb and Joshua had been sent with 10 other men to spy out the land of Canaan 40 years earlier. They had given it a good report, and had - unsuccessfully - urged the Children of Israel to follow the Lord's leading and conquer the land at that time. Now, Caleb reminds Joshua about the Lord’s words to Moses regarding them, and Moses’ promise to give Caleb an inheritance. At the age of eighty-five, Caleb was still as strong as when spied out the land. He tells Joshua: “Now therefore, give me this mountain and the Lord will be with me to drive out the enemy” (Joshua 14:12). And it is given to him with a blessing from Joshua.

Mount Hebron is in the territory of Judah, west of the Dead Sea and south of what is now Jerusalem. Its name means ‘bound by a common bond’ or ‘accord’. Its spiritual meaning is that it brings diversity into unity, many into one, and for us, harmony in our spiritual life (Arcana Caelestia 3241[2]).

Caleb’s name means ‘bold, fearless, ferocious to enemies’. For us, Caleb is a picture of sureness and determination that to follow the Lord will always lead to success. Caleb never led Israel, but he acts as a right-hand-man to Joshua. Even though Joshua was the one to lead the children of Israel, there is still the need in each of us for Caleb’s enthusiasm, conviction and assurance to move forward with full confidence. His strength never left him, because he felt and lived the strength which the Lord gave him (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 137[5]).

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