Yehoshua 7

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1 וַיִּמְעֲלוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מַעַל בַּחֵרֶם וַיִּקַּח עָכָן בֶּן־כַּרְמִי בֶן־זַבְדִּי בֶן־זֶרַח לְמַטֵּה יְהוּדָה מִן־הַחֵרֶם וַיִּחַר־אַף יְהוָה בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

2 וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהֹושֻׁעַ אֲנָשִׁים מִירִיחֹו הָעַי אֲשֶׁר עִם־בֵּית אָוֶן מִקֶּדֶם לְבֵית־אֵל וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר עֲלוּ וְרַגְּלוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וַיַּעֲלוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים וַיְרַגְּלוּ אֶת־הָעָי׃

3 וַיָּשֻׁבוּ אֶל־יְהֹושֻׁעַ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו אַל־יַעַל כָּל־הָעָם כְּאַלְפַּיִם אִישׁ אֹו כִּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים אִישׁ יַעֲלוּ וְיַכּוּ אֶת־הָעָי אַל־תְּיַגַּע־שָׁמָּה אֶת־כָּל־הָעָם כִּי מְעַט הֵמָּה׃

4 וַיַּעֲלוּ מִן־הָעָם שָׁמָּה כִּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים אִישׁ וַיָּנֻסוּ לִפְנֵי אַנְשֵׁי הָעָי׃

5 וַיַּכּוּ מֵהֶם אַנְשֵׁי הָעַי כִּשְׁלֹשִׁים וְשִׁשָּׁה אִישׁ וַיִּרְדְּפוּם לִפְנֵי הַשַּׁעַר עַד־הַשְּׁבָרִים וַיַּכּוּם בַּמֹּורָד וַיִּמַּס לְבַב־הָעָם וַיְהִי לְמָיִם׃

6 וַיִּקְרַע יְהֹושֻׁעַ שִׂמְלֹתָיו וַיִּפֹּל עַל־פָּנָיו אַרְצָה לִפְנֵי אֲרֹון יְהוָה עַד־הָעֶרֶב הוּא וְזִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּעֲלוּ עָפָר עַל־רֹאשָׁם׃

7 וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹושֻׁעַ אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה לָמָה הֵעֲבַרְתָּ הַעֲבִיר אֶת־הָעָם הַזֶּה אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן לָתֵת אֹתָנוּ בְּיַד הָאֱמֹרִי לְהַאֲבִידֵנוּ וְלוּ הֹואַלְנוּ וַנֵּשֶׁב בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן׃

8 בִּי אֲדֹנָי מָה אֹמַר אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר הָפַךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל עֹרֶף לִפְנֵי אֹיְבָיו׃

9 וְיִשְׁמְעוּ הַכְּנַעֲנִי וְכֹל יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ וְנָסַבּוּ עָלֵינוּ וְהִכְרִיתוּ אֶת־שְׁמֵנוּ מִן־הָאָרֶץ וּמַה־תַּעֲשֵׂה לְשִׁמְךָ הַגָּדֹול׃ ס

10 וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־יְהֹושֻׁעַ קֻם לָךְ לָמָּה זֶּה אַתָּה נֹפֵל עַל־פָּנֶיךָ׃

11 חָטָא יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגַם עָבְרוּ אֶת־בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֹותָם וְגַם לָקְחוּ מִן־הַחֵרֶם וְגַם גָּנְבוּ וְגַם כִּחֲשׁוּ וְגַם שָׂמוּ בִכְלֵיהֶם׃

12 וְלֹא יֻכְלוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לָקוּם לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיהֶם עֹרֶף יִפְנוּ לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיהֶם כִּי הָיוּ לְחֵרֶם לֹא אֹוסִיף לִהְיֹות עִםָּכֶם אִם־לֹא תַשְׁמִידוּ הַחֵרֶם מִקִּרְבְּכֶם׃

13 קֻם קַדֵּשׁ אֶת־הָעָם וְאָמַרְתָּ הִתְקַדְּשׁוּ לְמָחָר כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֵרֶם בְּקִרְבְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא תוּכַל לָקוּם לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֶיךָ עַד־הֲסִירְכֶם הַחֵרֶם מִקִּרְבְּכֶם׃

14 וְנִקְרַבְתֶּם בַּבֹּקֶר לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶם וְהָיָה הַשֵּׁבֶט אֲשֶׁר־יִלְכְּדֶנּוּ יְהוָה יִקְרַב לַמִּשְׁפָּחֹות וְהַמִּשְׁפָּחָה אֲשֶׁר־יִלְכְּדֶנָּה יְהוָה תִּקְרַב לַבָּתִּים וְהַבַּיִת אֲשֶׁר יִלְכְּדֶנּוּ יְהוָה יִקְרַב לַגְּבָרִים׃

15 וְהָיָה הַנִּלְכָּד בַּחֵרֶם יִשָּׂרֵף בָּאֵשׁ אֹתֹו וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לֹו כִּי עָבַר אֶת־בְּרִית יְהוָה וְכִי־עָשָׂה נְבָלָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל׃

16 וַיַּשְׁכֵּם יְהֹושֻׁעַ בַּבֹּקֶר וַיַּקְרֵב אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל לִשְׁבָטָיו וַיִּלָּכֵד שֵׁבֶט יְהוּדָה׃

17 וַיַּקְרֵב אֶת־מִשְׁפַּחַת יְהוּדָה וַיִּלְכֹּד אֵת מִשְׁפַּחַת הַזַּרְחִי וַיַּקְרֵב אֶת־מִשְׁפַּחַת הַזַּרְחִי לַגְּבָרִים וַיִּלָּכֵד זַבְדִּי׃

18 וַיַּקְרֵב אֶת־בֵּיתֹו לַגְּבָרִים וַיִּלָּכֵד עָכָן בֶּן־כַּרְמִי בֶן־זַבְדִּי בֶּן־זֶרַח לְמַטֵּה יְהוּדָה׃

19 וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹושֻׁעַ אֶל־עָכָן בְּנִי שִׂים־נָא כָבֹוד לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְתֶן־לֹו תֹודָה וְהַגֶּד־נָא לִי מֶה עָשִׂיתָ אַל־תְּכַחֵד מִמֶּנִּי׃

20 וַיַּעַן עָכָן אֶת־יְהֹושֻׁעַ וַיֹּאמַר אָמְנָה אָנֹכִי חָטָאתִי לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכָזֹאת וְכָזֹאת עָשִׂיתִי׃

21 [כ= וָאֶרְאֶה] [ק= וָאֵרֶא] בַשָּׁלָל אַדֶּרֶת שִׁנְעָר אַחַת טֹובָה וּמָאתַיִם שְׁקָלִים כֶּסֶף וּלְשֹׁון זָהָב אֶחָד חֲמִשִּׁים שְׁקָלִים מִשְׁקָלֹו וָאֶחְמְדֵם וָאֶקָּחֵם וְהִנָּם טְמוּנִים בָּאָרֶץ בְּתֹוךְ הָאָהֳלִי וְהַכֶּסֶף תַּחְתֶּיהָ׃

22 וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהֹושֻׁעַ מַלְאָכִים וַיָּרֻצוּ הָאֹהֱלָה וְהִנֵּה טְמוּנָה בְּאָהֳלֹו וְהַכֶּסֶף תַּחְתֶּיהָ׃

23 וַיִּקָּחוּם מִתֹּוךְ הָאֹהֶל וַיְבִאוּם אֶל־יְהֹושֻׁעַ וְאֶל כָּל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּצִּקֻם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה׃

24 וַיִּקַּח יְהֹושֻׁעַ אֶת־עָכָן בֶּן־זֶרַח וְאֶת־הַכֶּסֶף וְאֶת־הָאַדֶּרֶת וְאֶת־לְשֹׁון הַזָּהָב וְאֶת־בָּנָיו וְאֶת־בְּנֹתָיו וְאֶת־שֹׁורֹו וְאֶת־חֲמֹרֹו וְאֶת־צֹאנֹו וְאֶת־אָהֳלֹו וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לֹו וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל עִמֹּו וַיַּעֲלוּ אֹתָם עֵמֶק עָכֹור׃

25 וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹושֻׁעַ מֶה עֲכַרְתָּנוּ יַעְכֳּרְךָ יְהוָה בַּיֹּום הַזֶּה וַיִּרְגְּמוּ אֹתֹו כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶבֶן וַיִּשְׂרְפוּ אֹתָם בָּאֵשׁ וַיִּסְקְלוּ אֹתָם בָּאֲבָנִים׃

26 וַיָּקִימוּ עָלָיו גַּל־אֲבָנִים גָּדֹול עַד הַיֹּום הַזֶּה וַיָּשָׁב יְהוָה מֵחֲרֹון אַפֹּו עַל־כֵּן קָרָא שֵׁם הַמָּקֹום הַהוּא עֵמֶק עָכֹור עַד הַיֹּום הַזֶּה׃ ף

  

Exploring the Meaning of Yehoshua 7      

Napsal(a) New Christian Bible Study Staff and Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 7: The defeat at Ai, and the sin of Achan.

This chapter opens with the statement that Israel had sinned at Jericho, because an Israelite named Achan had kept something for himself, against the Lord's commandment. (But Joshua doesn't know this yet.)

The great victory at Jericho was quickly followed by an embarrassing defeat at Ai. The Israelites hadn't expected much difficulty in taking Ai, and sent just a few thousand men to attack it. They were routed.

Spiritually, we might say that pride goes before a fall, but more specifically, in the work of our regeneration we are never to rest on our laurels, but to always stay alert to each situation and how we are internally handling it. (Apocalypse Revealed 158)

Understandably, Joshua pours out his heart to the Lord, wondering why they have even crossed over the Jordan to simply be destroyed. The Lord tells him that their defeat at Ai was because Israel sinned by taking some of the forbidden things of Jericho. The Lord explains how to put this right, by identifying the wrongdoer and destroying him and his family.

Note the weakness of Joshua (as earlier also with Moses at times) when things go wrong and he feels confused, full of doubt, hurt and afraid. When things go well, we go well; when things go badly, we tend to go to pieces. And we ask, “Why? Why this, why me, why now?”

The Lord’s answer is a command, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face?” This is a pretty plain meaning: The Lord wants us to use such setbacks to be able to go forward, seeing the problem as a challenge and an opportunity and learning point.

Joshua is told to find the source of the wrong and the defeat. From all the tribes, one tribe will be selected by the Lord. From all its families, one family will be chosen. From all its households, one household will be chosen, and from that household, one man will be chosen. And Achan was the man and he is brought out. (Arcana Caelestia 5135)

This drawing-by-lot is a remarkable picture of our spiritual self-examination. We’re told that to make our general confession of ‘having done what we should not have done’ is almost worthless because we are likely to just carry on the same afterwards. (Arcana Caelestia 8390) Our personal inventory must be specific. What kind of thoughts have I been allowing myself recently? What did that make me feel in my heart? Did I welcome it or want nothing to do with it? It’s a kind of pinpointing, and it leads us to Achan, whose name in Hebrew means ‘trouble’ and ‘troubler’. (The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 164)

Achan, discovered, doesn't hide or deny his wrongdoing but openly admits that he has sinned against the Lord. He'd seen a beautiful garment, much silver, and a chunk of gold, and took them, and hid them in the earth in the middle of his tent. He confesses and indeed, his confession is transparent. So must our confession be when we see things in ourselves that go against the Lord’s truths and ways. They bring forth his stolen goods from his tent.

Then, in a comprehensive way, Joshua took everything Achan owned in its entirety, including the stolen goods, to the Valley of Achor (a name again meaning ‘trouble’) and stoned him and all his family and burned them with fire and raised a heap of stones over it all. This, to us, might well sound like a brutal and an unwarranted punishment.

Spiritually, the Lord does not punish us, ever. Rather, he commands that we turn from our evils, and suffer the consequences if we don't. The Lord does this to help and encourage us to stop following our own way and to commit ourselves to following and living His way. We can only conquer Canaan, representing heaven, when we do this. (Arcana Caelestia 8622)

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