Joshua 12

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1 Or questi sono i re del paese battuti dai figliuoli d’Israele, i quali presero possesso del loro territorio di là dal Giordano, verso levante, dalla valle dell’Arnon fino al monte Hermon, con tutta la pianura orientale:

2 Sihon, re degli Amorei, che abitava a Heshbon e dominava da Aroer, che è sull’orlo della valle dell’Arnon, e dalla metà della valle e dalla metà di Galaad, fino al torrente di Iabbok, confine de’ figliuoli di Ammon;

3 sulla pianura fino al mare di Kinnereth, verso oriente, e fino al mare della pianura ch’è il mar Salato, a oriente verso Beth-Iescimoth; e dal lato di mezzogiorno fino appiè delle pendici del Pisga.

4 Poi il territorio di Og re di Basan, uno dei superstiti dei Refaim, che abitava ad Astaroth e a Edrei,

5 e dominava sul monte Hermon, su Salca, su tutto Basan sino ai confini dei Ghesuriti e dei Maacatiti, e sulla metà di Galaad, confine di Sihon re di Heshbon.

6 Mosè, servo dell’Eterno, e i figliuoli d’Israele li batterono; e Mosè, servo dell’Eterno, diede il loro paese come possesso ai Rubeniti, ai Gaditi e a mezza la tribù di Manasse.

7 Ed ecco i re del paese che Giosuè e i figliuoli d’Israele batterono di qua dal Giordano, a occidente, da Baal-Gad nella valle del Libano fino alla montagna brulla che si eleva verso Seir, paese che Giosuè diede in possesso alle tribù d’Israele, secondo la parte che ne toccava a ciascuna,

8 nella contrada montuosa, nella regione bassa, nella pianura, sulle pendici, nel deserto e nel mezzogiorno; il paese degli Hittei, degli Amorei, dei Cananei, dei Ferezei, degli Hivvei e dei Gebusei:

9 Il re di Gerico, il re di Ai, vicino a Bethel,

10 il re di Gerusalemme, il re di Hebron,

11 il re di Iarmuth, il re di Lakis,

12 il re di Eglon, il re di Ghezer,

13 il re di Debir, il re di Gheder,

14 il re di Horma, il re di Arad,

15 il re di Libna, il re di Adullam,

16 il re di Makkeda, il re di Bethel,

17 il re di Tappuah, il re di Hefer,

18 il re di Afek, il re di Sharon,

19 il re di Madon, il re di Hatsor,

20 il re di Scimron-Meron, il re di Acsaf,

21 il re di Taanac, il re di Meghiddo,

22 il re di Kedes, il re di Iokneam al Carmelo,

23 il re di Dor, sulle alture di Dor, il re di Goim nel Ghilgal,

24 il re di Tirtsa. In tutto trentun re.

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Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 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.


Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 2913, 3527, 4270

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