Joshua 19

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1 And the second lot came forth for the children of Simeon by their kindreds: and their inheritance was

2 In the midst of the possession of the children of Juda: Bersabee and Sabee and Molada,

3 And Hasersual, Bala and Asem,

4 And Eltholad, Bethul and Harma,

5 And Siceleg and Bethmarchaboth and Hasersusa,

6 And Bethlebaoth and Sarohen: thirteen cities, and their villages.

7 Ain and Remmon and Athor and Asan: four cities, and their villages.

8 And all the villages round about these cities to Baalath Beer Ramath to the south quarter. This is the inheritance of the children of Simeon according to their kindreds,

9 In the possession and lot of the children of Juda: because it was too great, and therefore the children of Simeon had their possession in the midst of their inheritance.

10 And the third lot fell to the children of Zabulon by their kindreds: and the border of their possession was unto Sarid.

11 And it went up from the sea and from Merala, and came to Debbaseth: as far as the torrent, which is over against Jeconam.

12 And it returneth from Sarid eastward to the borders of Ceseleththabor: and it goeth out to Dabereth, and ascendeth towards Japhie.

13 And it passeth along from thence to the east side of Gethhepher and Thacasin: and goeth out to Remmon, Amthar and Noa.

14 And it turneth about to the north of Hanathon: and the outgoings thereof are the valley of Jephtahel,

15 And Cateth and Naalol and Semeron and Jedala and Bethlehem: twelve cities and their villages.

16 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Zabulon by their kindreds, the cities and their villages.

17 The fourth lot came out to Issachar by their kindreds.

18 And his inheritance was Jezrael and Casaloth and Sunem,

19 And Hapharaim and Seen and Anaharath,

20 And Rabboth and Cesion, Abes,

21 And Rameth and Engannim and Enhadda and Bethpheses.

22 And the border thereof cometh to Thabor and Sehesima and Bethsames: and the outgoings thereof shall be at the Jordan: sixteen cities, and their villages.

23 This is the possession of the sons of Issachar by their kindreds, the cities and their villages.

24 And the fifth lot fell to the tribe of the children of Aser by their kindreds:

25 And their border was Halcath and Chali and Beten and Axaph,

26 And Elmelech and Amaad and Messal: and it reacheth to Carmel by the sea and Sihor and Labanath,

27 And it returneth towards the east to Bethdagon: and passeth along to Zabulon and to the valley of Jephthael towards the north to Bethemec and Nehiel. And it goeth out to the left side of Cabul,

28 And to Abaran and Rohob and Hamon and Cana, as far as the great Sidon.

29 And it returneth to Horma to the strong city of Tyre, and to Hosa: and the outgoings thereof shall be at the sea from the portion of Achziba:

30 And Amma and Aphec and Rohob: twenty-two cities, and their villages.

31 This is the possession of the children of Aser by their kindreds, and the cities and their villages.

32 The sixth lot came out to the sons of Nephtali by their families:

33 And the border began from Heleph and Elon to Saananim, and Adami, which is Neceb, and Jebnael even to Lecum: and their outgoings unto the Jordan:

34 And the border returneth westward to Azanotthabor, and goeth out from thence to Hucuca, and passeth along to Zabulon southward, and to Aser westward, and to Juda upon the Jordan towards the rising of the sun.

35 And the strong cities are Assedim, Ser, and Emath, and Reccath and Cenereth,

36 And Edema and Arama, Asor,

37 And Cedes and Edri, Enhasor,

38 And Jeron and Magdalel, Herem, and Bethanath and Bethsames: nineteen cities, and their villages.

39 This is the possession of the tribe of the children of Nephtali by their kindreds, the cities and their villages.

40 The seventh lot came out to the tribe of the children of Dan by their families:

41 And the border of their possession was Saraa and Esthaol, and Hirsemes, that is, the city of the sun.

42 Selebin and Aialon and Jethela,

43 Elon and Themna and Acron,

44 Elthece, Gebbethon and Balaath,

45 And Jud and Bane and Barach and Gethremmon :

46 And Mejarcon and Arecon, with the border that looketh towards Joppe,

47 And is terminated there. And the children of Dan went up and fought against Lesem, and took it: and they put it to the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt in it, calling the name of it Lesem Dan, by the name of Dan their father.

48 This is the possession of the tribe of the sons of Dan, by their kindreds, the cities and their villages.

49 And when he had made an end of dividing the land by lot to each one by their tribes, the children of Israel gave a possession to Josue the son of Nun in the midst of them,

50 According to the commandment of the Lord, the city which he asked for, Thamnath Saraa, in mount Ephraim: and he built up the city, and dwelt in it.

51 These are the possessions which Eleazar the priest, and Josue the son of Nun, and the princes of the families, and of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed by lot in Silo, before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the testimony, and they divided the land.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 19      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 19: The last six tribes receive their territories, and Joshua his inheritance.

This chapter is the last of seven chapters detailing the division of the land of Canaan among the tribes. In this chapter, the remaining six tribes receive their portions.

Simeon received land very much in the south, below that of Judah, and Simeon’s territory was made a part of Judah. Simeon means ‘to hear’. To hear the Lord, and to hear the truth, means wanting to live in obedience with what the Lord teaches. Simeon was important in earlier biblical events, but is rarely mentioned later on; obeying the Lord can and should be a quiet affair (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Revealed 87).

The area given to Zebulun was modest and towards the north, between the Sea of Galilee and the coast. Zebulun’s name means ‘place of exaltation and honor’, and its spiritual meaning is just as glorious: it refers to honoring the Lord through the way we live our lives, both inwardly and outwardly (see Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell 390).

Issachar’s territory was a small, fertile area in the north, next to the Jordan. The name “Issachar” means ‘a man of hire’ or ‘a hired man’. Spiritually, this is about wanting to serve the Lord, and dedicating our lives to this. Then we are ‘employed’ as servants of the Lord, and we are rewarded with spiritual strength, joy, and blessings (see Swedenborg’s Arcana Caelestia 6388).

Asher means ‘happy’ - a delightful name - and its territory was along the northern coastline, extending inland. It included Mount Carmel and the Plain of Sharon, which were both beautiful places. Spiritual happiness is quite deep, and is really a feeling of joy, contentment, and well-being. When we are spiritually happy, we feel glad to be alive, to know the Lord, and to do what is good because of God (Arcana Caelestia 6408).

Naphtali had territory going up from the Sea of Galilee to the northern border. Naphtali means ‘crafty and cunning’, which does not sound very heavenly. However, the idea is that we use our intelligence to bring heavenly results from the countless decisions we make each and every day. Earlier in the Bible, Naphtali is blessed and called ‘a deer let loose’, which would then be free to bound away (see Genesis 49:21, Arcana Caelestia 3928).

Dan had two small territories: one in the centre on the coast, and one in the far north near the source of the River Jordan. Dan means ‘to judge well’, and it stands for our need to treat people fairly because of our relationship with the Lord. Perhaps there are two territories because one is our mind (north), and the other is in life (center) (Arcana Caelestia 3923).

Finally, Joshua himself is given his inheritance, a place in Ephraim called Timnath Serah. The name means ‘an extra portion’, and this suggests that beyond everything Joshua has done, he is to be given something further. Spiritually, this could be the unexpected delight we get when we devote ourselves to serving the Lord (Arcana Caelestia 995[3]).

The spiritual meaning of receiving a portion of land is that we are able to experience blessings and goodness from the Lord, but only after we have ‘conquered the land’. This means working through our temptations and overcoming weaknesses during our natural life.

Since the land of Canaan stands for heaven – and also for the growth of heaven in us – each of the twelve tribes represent a part of heavenly life that needs to be active in us. We must learn hear the word of the Lord, judge well in our daily actions, and honor His name by the way we live.

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