Joshua 17

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1 Og Loddet faldt for Manasses Stamme: thi han var Josefs førstefødte. Makir, Manasses førstefødte, Gileads Fader - han var nemlig Kriger - fik Gilead og Basan.

2 Og de øvrige Manassiter fik Land efter deres Slægter, Abiezers, Heleks, Asriels, Sjekems, Hefers og Sjemidas Sønner; det er Josef's Søn Manasses mandlige Efterkommere efter deres Slægter.

3 Men Zelofhad, en Søn af Hefer, en Søn af Gilead, en Søn af Makir, en Søn af Manasse, havde ingen Sønner, kun Døtre; og hans Døtre hed Mala, Noa, Hogla, Milka og Tirza.

4 De trådte frem for Præsten Eleazar og Josua, Nuns Søn, og Øversterne og sagde: "HE EN bød Moses give os Arvelod iblandt vore Brødre!" Da gav han dem efter HE ENs Bud en Arvelod iblandt deres Faders Brødre.

5 Således faldt ti Parter på Manasse foruden Landet Gilead og Basan hinsides Jordan.

6 Thi Manasses døtre fik Arvelod blandt hans Sønner. Men Landet Gilead tilfaldt Manasses øvrige Efterkommere.

7 Og Manasses Grænse går fra Aser til Mikmetat, som ligger østen for Sikem; derpå går Grænsen mod Syd til Befolkningen i En-Tappua.

8 Manasse fik Landskabet Tappua; men Byen Tappua ved Manasses Grænse tilfaldt Efraimiterne.

9 Derpå strækker Grænsen sig ned til Kanabækken, sønden om Bækken; Byerne der tilfaldt Efraim, midt iblandt Manasses Byer; Manasses Landområde ligger norden for Bækken. Grænsen ender derpå ved Havet.

10 Sydsiden tilhører Efraim og Nordsiden Manasse. Havet danner Grænse; mod Nord støder de op til Aser, mod Øst til Issakar.

11 I Issakar og Aser tilfaldt følgende Byer Manasse: Bet-Sjean med Småbyer, Jibleam med Småbyer, Befolkningen i Dor med Småbyer, Befolkningen i En-Dor med Småbyer, Befolkningen i Ta'anak med Småbyer og Befolkningen i Megiddo med Småbyer, de tre Højdedrag.

12 Men Manassiterne kunde ikke drive disse Byers Indbyggere bort, det lykkedes Kana'anæerne at holde sig i disse Egne.

13 Da Israeliterne blev de stærkeste, gjorde de Kana'anæerne til Hoveriarbejdere, men drev dem ikke bort.

14 Da talte Josefs Sønner til Josua og sagde: "Hvorfor har du kun givet mig een Lod og een Part til Arvelod, skønt jeg er et talrigt Folk, eftersom HE EN hidtil har velsignet mig?"

15 Josua svarede dem: "Når du er et talrigt Folk, så drag op i Skovlandet og ryd dig Jord der i Perizziternes og efaiternes Land, siden Efraims Bjergland er dig for trangt!"

16 "Da sagde Josefs Sønner: "Bjerglandet er os ikke nok, og alle Kana'anærerne, som bor på Slettelandet, både de i Bet-Sjean med Småbyer og de på Jizre'elsletten, har jernbeslagne Vogne!"

17 Da sagde Josua til Josefs Slægt, til Efraim og Manasse: "Du er et talrigt Folk og har stor Kraft; du skal ikke komme til at nøjes med een Lod,

18 men et Bjergland skal tilfalde dig, thi det er skovbevokset. og når du rydder det, skal det tilfalde dig med Udløberne derfra; thi du skal drive Kana'anæerne bort, selv om de har jernbeslagne Vogne; du er nemlig stærkere end de."


Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 17      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 17: The tribe of Manasseh receives the western half of its territory.

The previous chapter (Joshua 16) dealt with the territory given to Ephraim, Manasseh’s younger brother; this one covers the western half of Manasseh (the other half tribe of Manasseh was bound to live across the Jordan).

Interestingly, this chapter mentions many people by name, instead of only describing locations as we’ve seen before. Verses 1 and 2 list all seven of Manasseh’s sons and their families. Then verse 3 mentions Zelophehad, the great-grandson of Manasseh, who had had five daughters, but no sons. When Zelophehad died on the journey through the wilderness, his daughters came to Joshua to claim the inheritance Moses had promised them (see Numbers 27). So, both the sons and daughters of Manasseh’s family received land.

After the area given to Manasseh was outlined, the people of Ephraim and Manasseh came to Joshua and complained that they deserved more land, because of their important standing among the tribes of Israel (verse 14). They claimed that they had been specially blessed, and should receive much more.

Joshua told them that if they were such a great people, they should go to the forest country and seize land from the Perrizites and the giants living there. The people were not pleased, and told Joshua that the Canaanites who still roamed there were strong, and had chariots of iron. Even so, Joshua told them again to cut down the wood and use it, because they would eventually be able to drive out the Canaanites.

The spiritual meaning of this story is all about the relationship between good and truth. Again, there are many names to indicate the geography of the area of “West Manasseh”, and the meaning of these names very often links in with the spiritual meaning of the tribe. Beyond that, the specific area in Canaan given to a tribe is spiritually important. Ephraim and Manasseh are right in the middle of the land because they stand for truth and good, for truth leading to good, for good coming from truth.

The story about Zelophehad’s five daughters also relates to the place of truth and good. This is because sons stand for truths, often for truths which fight for us during our temptations, while daughters stand for the good in our spiritual life which bears ‘children’ (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 8993 [3,4]).

Verses 5 and 6 describe this union of good and truth very beautifully: “Ten portions were given to Manasseh because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among his sons; and the rest of Manasseh’s sons had the land of Gilead.” It is worth noting here that the spiritual meaning of the number ‘ten’ has to do with wholeness, and also ‘remains,’ or memories, which the Lord imparts to us when we are very young (Arcana Caelestia 4638).

When the people of Ephraim and Manasseh complained to Joshua, it is much like us wanting our spiritual life to be easy. We want it to be something given to us, and not something which we will need to work on and even fight for in ourselves.

Finally, the meaning of using wooden chariots to fight the Canaanites means to fight from our love of what is good. This is because wood corresponds to good, since it is alive and has grown. ‘Iron’ here stands for the harshness of truth without any good, which appears invincible, but in reality is weaker than the power of goodness and love (Arcana Caelestia 426[3]).

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