Jošua 24

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1 Jošua potom sabra sva plemena Izraelova u Šekem; i sazva starješine Izraelove, glavare, suce i upravitelje njihove i oni stadoše pred Bogom.

2 Tada reče Jošua svemu narodu: "Ovako veli Jahve, Bog Izraelov: 'Nekoć su oci vaši, Terah, otac Abrahamov i Nahorov, živjeli s onu stranu Rijeke i služili drugim bogovima.

3 Ali sam ja uzeo oca vašega Abrahama s one strane Rijeke i proveo ga kroza svu zemlju kanaansku, umnožio mu potomstvo i dao mu Izaka.

4 Izaku dadoh Jakova i Ezava. Ezavu sam dao goru Seir u posjed. Jakov i sinovi njegovi otišli su u Egipat.

5 Tada sam poslao Mojsija i Arona i udario sam Egipat kaznama koje sam učinio u njemu i tada sam vas izveo.

6 Izveo sam oce vaše iz Egipta i stigli su na more; Egipćani su progonili vaše oce bojnim kolima i konjanicima sve do Mora crvenoga.

7 Zavapili su tada Jahvi i on je razvukao gustu maglu između njih i Egipćana i naveo ih u more koje ih je prekrilo. Vidjeli ste svojim očima što sam učinio Egipćanima; zatim ste ostali dugo vremena u pustinji.

8 Nato sam vas uveo u zemlju Amorejaca, koji žive s onu stranu Jordana. Zaratiše s vama i ja ih dadoh u vaše ruke; uzeli ste u baštinu zemlju njihovu jer sam ih ja ispred vas uništio.

9 Tada se digao moapski kralj Balak, sin Siporov, da ratuje s Izraelom i on pozva Bileama, sina Beorova, da vas prokune.

10 Ali ja ne htjedoh poslušati Bileama: morade vas on i blagosloviti, i spasih vas iz njegove ruke.

11 Onda ste prešli preko Jordana i došli u Jerihon, ali su glavari Jerihona poveli rat protiv vas - kao i Amorejci, Perižani, Kanaanci, Hetiti, Girgašani, Hivijci i Jebusejci - ali sam ih ja predao u vaše ruke.

12 Pred vama sam poslao stršljene koji su ispred vas tjerali dva kralja amorejska: nemaš što zahvaliti svome maču ni svome luku.

13 Dao sam vam zemlju za koju se niste trudili i gradove koje niste gradili i u njima se nastaniste; i vinograde vam dadoh i maslinike koje niste sadili, a danas vas hrane.'

14 I zato se sada bojte Jahve i služite mu savršeno i vjerno! Uklonite bogove kojima su služili oci vaši s onu stranu Rijeke i u Egiptu i služite Jahvi!

15 Međutim, ako vam se ne sviđa služiti Jahvi, onda danas izaberite kome ćete služiti: možda bogovima kojima su služili vaši oci s onu stranu Rijeke ili bogovima Amorejaca u čijoj zemlji sada prebivate. Ja i moj dom služit ćemo Jahvi."

16 Narod odgovori: "Daleko neka je od nas da ostavimo Jahvu a služimo drugim bogovima.

17 Jahve, Bog naš, izveo je nas i naše oce iz Egipta, iz doma robovanja, i on je pred našim očima učinio velika čudesa i čuvao nas cijelim putem kojim smo išli i među svim narodima kroz koje smo prolazili.

18 Još više: Jahve je ispred nas protjerao sve narode i Amorejce, koji su živjeli u ovoj zemlji. I mi ćemo služiti Jahvi jer je on Bog naš."

19 Tada reče Jošua narodu: "Vi ne možete služiti Jahvi, jer je on Bog sveti, Bog ljubomorni, koji ne može podnijeti vaših prijestupa ni vaših grijeha.

20 Ako ostavite Jahvu da biste služili tuđim bogovima, okrenut će se protiv vas i uništit će vas, pošto vam je bio dobro činio."

21 A narod odgovori Jošui: "Ne, mi ćemo služiti Jahvi!"

22 Na to će Jošua narodu: "Sami ste protiv sebe svjedoci da ste izabrali Jahvu da mu služite." Odgovoriše mu: "svjedoci smo."

23 "Maknite, dakle, tuđe bogove koji su među vama i priklonite svoja srca Jahvi, Bogu Izraelovu."

24 Odgovori narod Jošui: "Služit ćemo Jahvi, Bogu svojemu, i glas ćemo njegov slušati."

25 Tako sklopi Jošua toga dana Savez s narodom i utvrdi mu uredbu i zakon. Bilo je to u Šekemu.

26 Jošua upisa te riječi u Knjigu zakona Božjega. Zatim uze velik kamen i stavi ga ondje pod hrast koji bijaše u svetištu Jahvinu.

27 Zatim reče Jošua svemu narodu: "Gle, ovaj kamen neka nam bude svjedokom jer je čuo riječi što ih je govorio Jahve; on će biti svjedok da ne zatajite Boga svoga."

28 Tada Jošua otpusti narod, svakoga na njegovu baštinu.

29 Poslije ovih događaja umrije Jošua, sin Nunov, sluga Jahvin, u dobi od sto deset godina.

30 Sahraniše ga u kraju što ga je baštinio u Timnat Serahu, u Efrajimovoj gori, sjeverno od gore Gaaša.

31 Izrael je služio Jahvi svega vijeka Jošuina i svega vijeka starješina koje su Jošuu nadživjele i vidjele sva djela što ih je Jahve učinio Izraelu.

32 Kosti Josipove, koje su sinovi Izraelovi sa sobom donijeli iz Egipta, pokopali su u Šekemu, na zemljištu koje Jakov bijaše kupio od sinova Hamora, oca Šekemova, za stotinu srebrnjaka i koje je pripalo u baštinu sinova Josipovih.

33 Umrije i Eleazar, sin Aronov, i pokopaše ga u Gibei, koja je pripadala njegovu sinu Pinhasu a nalazila se u Efrajimovoj gori.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Jošua 24      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 24: The covenant at Shechem and the death of Joshua.

In the beginning of this final chapter, Joshua recounts God’s work for Israel in great detail, spanning the time before Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, the Israelites’ time as slaves in Egypt, and the exodus through the wilderness for many years, culminating with crossing the Jordan and taking Jericho.

Joshua then told the people of Israel that they were to choose whom they would serve: the gods of their fathers, or the Lord God of Israel. The people strongly affirmed that they would follow the Lord and be faithful to Him. They repeated this several times. Then Joshua told them that they were witnesses of their choice, and he renewed the covenant with them there, at Shechem. To mark the covenant, Joshua took a large stone and set it up as a witness to remind the Israelites of what they had sworn that day.

And after all of this, Joshua died, and was buried within his inheritance at Timnath Serah. Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and continued to serve the Lord for some time after. And also Eleazar, the chief priest of Israel, died.

The bones of Joseph, which had been carried by Israel since they left slavery in Egypt, were then given their final resting place at Shechem in a plot of land originally bought by the family of Joseph.

The spiritual meaning of this chapter is all about commitment and devotion in our relationship with the Lord. Joshua’s review of events at the beginning is a reminder that the Lord leads us through life, with all its trials and blessings (see Swedenborg’s work, Heaven and Hell 18). In the work of regeneration, a high state of peace and of the Lord’s presence in us is followed by a state where we are in temptation and under attack from hell. In contrast, a state of temptation in which we stand firm and depend on the Lord leads to a state of trust, confidence, and the return of the Lord’s peace (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 933[2]).

Our spiritual life involves many repeated choices. This is why it is significant that the Israelites repeated their promise to serve the Lord so many times. We may feel that our decision to follow the Lord is a final one, but the reality is that we uphold (or refute) this decision in our actions each and every day. We will need to choose time and time again, even though we believe we would always choose the Lord (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 321[5]).

A covenant is a formal agreement. Biblical covenants are between people and the Lord. The Lord will always honor his part in the covenant, and we are to ensure that we will honor our part. Spiritually, the covenant is about the empowerment in declaring our commitment to the Lord. ‘This I will do.’ There is no longer any uncertainty or vagueness about our commitment to God. It has been sealed (Arcana Caelestia 1038).

The fact that Joshua commemorates the covenant with a stone also has important spiritual significance for us. A stone represents the strength and durability of truth when it becomes a permanent factor in our life. Committing to follow the Lord’s truths gives us a sturdy foundation in life.

When a story in the Bible mentions death, it always reflects the changing of some state in us. When Joshua and Eleazar the priest die, it is like moving on from a state which has served us well into a new and different state. In our regeneration, the Lord wants us to keep exploring new thoughts and decisions, so that we are always progressing and never complacent (Arcana Caelestia 1382).

The mention of Joseph’s bones at the very end of the chapter is also very significant. These bones of Joseph stand for the continuity of the Lord’s truth, wisdom and providence with us and for us. They also stand for the preservation of all that happens in a person’s life. All of these events make us the people we are, and will always keep shaping our spirit (Arcana Caelestia 6592).

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