Josua 14

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1 Dies ist es aber, was die Kinder Israel eingenommen haben im Lande Kanaan, das unter sie ausgeteilt haben der Priester Eleasar und Josua, der Sohn Nuns, und die obersten Väter unter den Stämmen der Kinder Israel.

2 Sie teilten es aber durchs Los unter sie, wie der HERR durch Mose geboten hatte, zu geben den zehnthalb Stämmen.

3 Denn den zwei Stämmen und dem halben Stamm hatte Mose Erbteil gegeben jenseit des Jordans; den Leviten aber hatte er kein Erbteil unter ihnen gegeben.

4 Denn die Kinder Josephs wurden zwei Stämme, Manasse und Ephraim; den Leviten aber gaben sie kein Teil im Lande, sondern Städte, darin zu wohnen, und Vorstädte für ihr Vieh und ihre Habe.

5 Wie der HERR dem Mose geboten hatte, so taten die Kinder Israel und teilten das Land.

6 Da traten herzu die Kinder Juda zu Josua zu Gilgal, und Kaleb, der Sohn Jephunnes, der Kenisiter, sprach zu ihm: Du weißt, was der Herr zu Mose, dem Manne Gottes, sagte meinet-und deinetwegen in Kades-Barnea.

7 Ich war vierzig Jahre alt, da mich Mose, der Knecht des HERRN, aussandte von Kades-Barnea, das Land zu erkunden, und ich ihm Bericht gab nach meinem Gewissen.

8 Aber meine Brüder, die mit mir hinaufgegangen waren, machten dem Volk das Herz verzagt; ich aber folgte dem HERRN, meinem Gott, treulich.

9 Da schwur Mose desselben Tages und sprach: Das Land, darauf du mit deinem Fuß getreten hast, soll dein und deiner Kinder Erbteil sein ewiglich, darum daß du dem HERRN, meinem Gott, treulich gefolgt bist.

10 Und nun siehe, der HERR hat mich leben lassen, wie er geredet hat. Es sind nun fünfundvierzig Jahre, daß der HERR solches zu Mose sagte, die Israel in der Wüste gewandelt ist. Und nun siehe, ich bin heut fünfundachtzig Jahre alt

11 und bin noch heutigestages so stark, als ich war des Tages, da mich Mose aussandte; wie meine Kraft war dazumal, also ist sie auch jetzt, zu streiten und aus und ein zu gehen.

12 So gib mir nun dies Gebirge, davon der HERR geredet hat an jenem Tage; denn du hast's gehört am selben Tage. Denn es wohnen die Enakiter droben, und sind große feste Städte. Ob der HERR mit mir sein wollte, daß ich sie vertriebe, wie der HERR geredet hat.

13 Da segnete ihn Josua und gab also Hebron Kaleb, dem Sohn Jephunnes, zum Erbteil.

14 Daher ward Hebron Kalebs, des Sohnes Jephunnes, des Kenisiters, Erbteil bis auf diesen Tag, darum daß er dem HERRN, dem Gott Israels, treulich gefolgt war.

15 Aber Hebron hieß vorzeiten Stadt des Arba, der ein großer Mensch war unter den Enakiter. Und der Krieg hatte aufgehört im Lande.


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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