Joshua 14

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1 OR queste son le terre che i figliuoli d’Israele ebbero per eredità nel paese di Canaan, le quali il Sacerdote Eleazaro, e Giosuè, figliuolo di Nun, e i Capi delle nazioni paterne delle tribù de’ figliuoli d’Israele, diedero loro a possedere.

2 La loro eredità scadde loro a sorte, come il Signore avea comandato per Mosè, cioè: a nove tribù, e ad una mezza tribù.

3 Perciocchè Mosè avea data a due tribù, e ad una mezza tribù, eredità di là dal Giordano; e non avea data alcuna eredità a Levi per mezzo essi.

4 Ma i figliuoli di Giuseppe facevano due tribù, Manasse ed Efraim; e non fu data a’ Leviti alcuna parte nel paese, se non delle città per abitare, insieme co’ lor contorni, per i lor bestiami, e per gli altri lor beni.

5 Come il Signore avea comandato a Mosè, così fecero i figliuoli d’Israele, e spartirono il paese.

6 Ora, i figliuoli di Giuda vennero a Giosuè in Ghilgal; e Caleb, figliuolo di Gefunne, Chenizzeo, gli disse: Tu sai ciò che il Signore disse a Mosè, uomo di Dio, intorno a me, e intorno a te, in Cades-barnea.

7 Io era d’età di quarant’anni, quando Mosè, servitor del Signore, mi mandò da Cades-barnea, per ispiare il paese; ed io gli rapportai la cosa, come io l’avea nell’animo.

8 Ora i miei fratelli, ch’erano andati meco, facevano venir meno il cuore al popolo; ma io seguitai appieno il Signore Iddio mio.

9 Laonde Mosè in quel giorno giurò, dicendo: Se la terra, sopra la quale il tuo piede è camminato, non è tua, e dei tuoi figliuoli, per eredità in perpetuo; perciocchè tu hai appieno seguitato il Signore Iddio mio.

10 E ora, ecco, il Signore mi ha conservato in vita, come egli ne avea parlato. Già son quarantacinque anni, da che il Signore disse quello a Mosè, quando Israele andò nel deserto; e ora, ecco, io sono oggi d’età d’ottantacinque anni.

11 Io sono infino ad oggi ancora forte, come io era al giorno che Mosè mi mandò; le mie forze, per la guerra, e per andare e per venire, sono oggi le medesime ch’erano allora.

12 Ora dunque dammi questo monte, del quale il Signore parlò in quel giorno; perciocchè tu udisti in quel giorno che gli Anachiti sono là, e che vi sono delle città grandi e forti; forse il Signore sarà meco, e io li scaccerò, come il Signore ne ha parlato.

13 E Giosuè benedisse Caleb, figliuolo di Gefunne, e gli diede Hebron per eredità.

14 Perciò Caleb, figliuolo di Gefunne, Chenizzeo, ha avuto Hebron per eredità, fino al dì d’oggi; perchè egli avea appieno seguitato il Signore Iddio d’Israele.

15 Ora il nome di Hebron era stato per addietro Chiriat-Arba; il quale Arba era stato un grand’uomo fra gli Anachiti. E il paese ebbe riposo della guerra.

Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 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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To many Protestant and Evangelical Italians, the Bibles translated by Giovanni Diodati are an important part of their history. Diodati’s first Italian Bible edition was printed in 1607, and his second in 1641. He died in 1649. Throughout the 1800s two editions of Diodati’s text were printed by the British Foreign Bible Society. This is the more recent 1894 edition, translated by Claudiana.