约书亚记 6

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1 耶利哥的城门因以色列人得严紧,无人出入。

2 耶和华晓谕约书亚哪,我已经把耶利哥耶利哥,并大能的勇士,都交在你中。

3 你们的切兵丁要围绕这城,日围绕次,日都要这样行。

4 祭司要拿个羊角走在约柜前。到第七日,你们要绕城次,祭司也要吹角。

5 他们吹的角声拖,你们见角声,众百姓要声呼城墙就必塌陷,各都要往前直上。

6 嫩的儿子约书亚召了祭司来,吩咐他们:你们抬起约柜来,要有祭司个羊角走在耶和华的约柜前;

7 又对百姓:你们前去绕城,带兵器的要走在耶和华的约柜前。

8 约书亚对百姓完了话,祭司个羊角走在耶和华面前吹角;耶和华的约柜在他们跟随

9 带兵器的走在吹角的祭司前面,队随着约柜行。祭司一面走一面吹。

10 约书亚吩咐百姓:你们不可呼,不可出声,连一句也不可出你们的,等到我吩咐你们呼的日子,那时才可以呼

11 这样,他使耶和华的约柜绕城,把城绕了次;众人回到里,就在里住宿。

12 约书亚清起来祭司又抬起耶和华的约柜。

13 祭司个羊角在耶和华的约柜前,时常行走吹角;带兵器的在他们前面走,队随着耶和华的约柜行。祭司一面走一面吹。

14 第二日,众人把城绕了一次,就回里去。日都是这样行。

15 第七日清黎明的时候,他们起来,照样绕城次;惟独这日把城绕了次。

16 到了第七次,祭司吹角的时候,约书亚吩咐百姓:呼罢,因为耶和华已经把城交你们了!

17 这城和其中所有的都要在耶和华面前毁灭;只有妓女喇合与他家中所有的可以存活,因为他隐藏了我们所打发的使者。

18 至於你们,务要谨慎,不可取那当灭的物,恐怕你们取了那当灭的物就连累以色列的,使全受咒诅。

19 惟有子、子,和铜的器皿都要归耶和华,必入耶和华的中。

20 於是百姓呼,祭司也吹角。百姓见角声,便声呼城墙就塌陷,百姓便上去进城,各往前直上,将城夺取。

21 又将城中所有的,不拘女老少,牛羊和,都用刀杀尽。

22 约书亚吩咐窥探地的两个人:你们进那妓女的家,照着你们向他所起的誓,将那女人和他所有的从那里

23 当探子的两个少年人就进去,将喇合与他的父母、弟兄,和他所有的,并他一切的亲眷,都,安置在以色列的外。

24 众人就用将城和其中所有的焚烧了;惟有子、子,和铜的器皿都放在耶和华殿的中。

25 约书亚却把妓女喇合与他父,并他所有的,都活了;因为他隐藏了约书亚所打发窥探耶利哥的使者,他就以色列中,直到今日。

26 当时,约书亚叫众起誓说:有兴起重修这耶利哥城的,当在耶和华面前受咒诅。他立根基的时候,必丧长子,安的时候,必丧幼子。

27 耶和华与约书亚同在,约书亚的声名传扬遍地。

  

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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