Josua 12



1 Dies sind die Könige des Landes, die die Kinder Israel schlugen und nahmen ihr Land ein jenseit des Jordans gegen der Sonne Aufgang von dem Bach Arnon an bis an den Berg Hermon und das ganze Gefilde gegen Morgen:

2 Sihon, der König der Amoriter, der zu Hesbon wohnte und herrschte von Aroer an, das am Ufer liegt des Bachs Arnon, und von der Mitte des Tals an und über das halbe Gilead bis an den Bach Jabbok, der die Grenze ist der Kinder Ammon,

3 und über das Gefilde bis an das Meer Kinneroth gegen Morgen und bis an das Meer im Gefilde, nämlich das Salzmeer, gegen Morgen, des Weges gen Beth-Jesimoth, und gegen Mittag unten an den Abhängen des Gebirges Pisga.

4 Dazu das Gebiet des Königs Og von Basan, der noch von den Riesen übrig war und wohnte zu Astharoth und Edrei

5 und herrschte über den Berg Hermon, über Salcha und über ganz Basan bis an die Grenze der Gessuriter und Maachathiter und über das halbe Gilead, da die Grenze war Sihons, des Königs zu Hesbon.

6 Mose, der Knecht des HERRN, und die Kinder Israel schlugen sie. Und Mose, der Knecht des HERRN, gab ihr Land einzunehmen den Rubenitern, Gaditer und dem halben Stamm Manasse.

7 Dies sind die Könige des Landes, die Josua schlug und die Kinder Israel, diesseit des Jordans gegen Abend, von Baal-Gad an auf der Ebene beim Berge Libanon bis an das kahle Gebirge, das aufsteigt gen Seir (und Josua gab das Land den Stämmen Israels einzunehmen, einem jeglichen sein Teil,

8 was auf den Gebirgen, in den Gründen, Gefilden, an den Abhängen, in der Wüste und gegen Mittag war: die Hethiter, Amoriter, Kanaaniter, Pheresiter, Heviter und Jebusiter):

9 der König zu Jericho, der König zu Ai, das zur Seite an Beth-el liegt,

10 der König zu Jerusalem, der König zu Hebron,

11 der König zu Jarmuth, der König zu Lachis,

12 der König zu Eglon, der König zu Geser,

13 der König zu Debir, der König zu Geder,

14 der König zu Horma, der König zu Arad,

15 der König zu Libna, der König zu Adullam,

16 der König zu Makkeda, der König zu Beth-El,

17 der König zu Thappuah, der König zu Hepher,

18 der König zu Aphek, der König zu Lasaron,

19 der König zu Madon, der König zu Hazor,

20 der König zu Simron-Meron, der König zu Achsaph,

21 der König zu Thaanach, der König zu Megiddo,

22 der König zu Kedes, der König zu Jokneam am Karmel,

23 der König zu Naphoth-Dor, der König der Heiden zu Gilgal,

24 der König zu Thirza. Das sind einunddreißig Könige.


Exploring the Meaning of Josua 12      

Joshua 12: The kings who were defeated by Joshua.

This chapter lists the kings who were defeated by Moses on the other side of the river Jordan, and those defeated by Joshua in the land of Canaan. Moses defeated Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan. Joshua defeated 31 kings, and this chapter names their cities one by one.

We might well wonder: what is the use of such a chapter for us? But here it is, included in the Word of God. We will suggest two ways in which this chapter gives us a spiritual message to work with:

First, the sheer number of kings who opposed Israel represent, in a general way, the many things that prevent us from dedicating ourselves to the Lord’s teachings.

Secondly, the many names of the towns that the Israelites defeated are all significant in identifying the various situations we encounter in our spiritual lives (See Swedenborg’s Arcana Caelestia 2009[9]). For example “Joshua” means ‘God is victory’, something we can come to understand as we choose to turn against evil. We can do that because the Lord fights for and with us; we cannot do that alone.

For every heaven there is a corresponding hell (See Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell 588). If mercy is something of heaven, hell is to do with cruelty and all that goes with it. If innocence is of heaven, hell is to do with intended harm and all that goes with that. Evil is unspeakably precise.

Joshua defeated thirty-one kings. The number thirty stands for combat and also for ‘remnants’, which are deep-seated feelings of good and truth given the Lord gives us during our childhood, to help us combat evil in adult regeneration. Thirty-one would seem to suggest combat going on even past thirty (Arcana Caelestia 5335).

The names of the cities of these kings are given, and each name represents a quality. ‘Israel’ was the name given to Jacob by the Lord, after he had wrestled all night with the angel of God and had prevailed (see Genesis 32:24-28). “Israel” means ‘striving with God’ and also ‘a prince with God’, and it became the name of the people of Israel.

As examples, we will look at three Canaanite cities which fought Israel, and explore the spiritual meaning of their names.

1. The king of Jarmuth, means ‘being downcast by death’. Viewing life only in terms of its inevitable end does terrible things to our sense of purpose, hope and trust. Defeating Jarmuth helps us see that death is a transition into eternal life, and our means of passing from this life into our fullest life.

2. The king of Aphek, means ‘tenacious fortress’. We can quite readily see that evil can be exactly like a tenacious fortress. Evil will hang on like grim death and refuse to let us go. Evil will attempt any number of devious tactics to break us down or undermine our faith. The last thing it will do is to see that we’re resolved, and then finally give up.

3. The king of Taanach, which means ‘sandy, hard to cross’. This might remind us of dangerous quicksands, or the way in which we stumble trying to walk through sand. Again, sometimes evil can appear to give us safer passage on solid ground, before we realize that it is the hells ensnaring us.

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