Josua 14

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1 Und dies ist es, was die Kinder Israel als Erbe im Lande Kanaan erhielten, was Eleasar, der Priester, und Josua, der Sohn Nuns, und die Häupter der Väter der Stämme der Kinder Israel ihnen als Erbe austeilten,

2 durch das Los ihres Erbteils; so wie Jehova durch Mose geboten hatte betreffs der neun Stämme und des halben Stammes.

3 Denn das Erbteil der zwei Stämme und des halben Stammes hatte Mose jenseit des Jordan gegeben; den Leviten aber hatte er kein Erbteil in ihrer Mitte gegeben.

4 Denn die Söhne Josephs bildeten zwei Stämme, Manasse und Ephraim; und man gab den Leviten kein Teil im Lande, außer Städten zum Wohnen und deren Bezirken für ihr Vieh und für ihre Habe.

5 So wie Jehova dem Mose geboten hatte, also taten die Kinder Israel, und sie teilten das Land.

6 Und die Kinder Juda traten in Gilgal zu Josua; und Kaleb, der Sohn Jephunnes, der Kenisiter, sprach zu ihm: Du kennst das Wort, welches Jehova zu Mose, dem Manne Gottes, meinet-und deinetwegen in Kades-Barnea geredet hat.

7 Vierzig Jahre war ich alt, als Mose, der Knecht Jehovas, mich von Kades-Barnea aussandte, um das Land auszukundschaften; und ich brachte ihm Antwort, wie es mir ums Herz war.

8 Und meine Brüder, die mit mir hinaufgezogen waren, machten das Herz des Volkes verzagt; ich aber bin Jehova, meinem Gott, völlig nachgefolgt.

9 Da schwur Mose an selbigem Tage und sprach: Wenn nicht das Land, auf welches dein Fuß getreten ist, dir und deinen Söhnen zum Erbteil wird ewiglich! Denn du bist Jehova, meinem Gott, völlig nachgefolgt.

10 Und nun siehe, Jehova hat mich am Leben erhalten, so wie er geredet hat, diese fünfundvierzig Jahre, seitdem Jehova dieses Wort zu Mose geredet hat, als Israel in der Wüste umherwanderte; und nun siehe, ich bin heute fünfundachtzig Jahre alt.

11 Ich bin heute noch so stark wie an dem Tage, da Mose mich aussandte; wie meine Kraft damals, so ist meine Kraft jetzt zum Streite und um aus-und einzuziehen.

12 Und nun gib mir dieses Gebirge, von welchem Jehova an jenem Tage geredet hat; denn du hast an jenem Tage gehört, daß die Enakim daselbst sind und große, feste Städte. Vielleicht ist Jehova mit mir, daß ich sie austreibe, so wie Jehova geredet hat.

13 Und Josua segnete ihn und gab dem Kaleb, dem Sohne Jephunnes, Hebron zum Erbteil.

14 Daher ward Hebron dem Kaleb, dem Sohne Jephunnes, dem Kenisiter, zum Erbteil bis auf diesen Tag, weil er Jehova, dem Gott Israels, völlig nachgefolgt war.

15 Der Name Hebrons war aber vordem: Stadt Arbas; er war der größte Mann unter den Enakim. Und das Land hatte Ruhe vom Kriege.

Exploring the Meaning of Josua 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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