Joshua 15

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1 And the lot for the tribe of the sons of Judah was according to their families; to the border of Edom, the wilderness of Zin, toward the south at the edge of the south·​·side.

2 And their south border was from the end of the Sea of Salt, from the bay* that faces southward.

3 And it went·​·out southward to the ascent of Akrabbim and crossed·​·over to Zin, and went·​·up from the south of Kadesh-barnea, and crossed·​·over to Hezron, and went·​·up to Addar, and turned·​·around to Karkaa.

4 And it crossed·​·over to Azmon, and went·​·out unto the brook of Egypt; and the goings out of the border were at the sea; this shall be the south border for you.

5 And the east border was the Salt Sea, to the end of the Jordan; and the border on the north quarter from the bay of the Sea at the end of Jordan.

6 And the border went·​·up to Beth-choglah, and crossed·​·over to the north of Beth-arabah; and the border went·​·up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben.

7 And the border went·​·up toward Debir from the valley of Achor, and toward the north facing to Gilgal, which is opposite the going·​·up of Adummim, which is from the south of the brook, and the border crosses·​·over to the waters of En-shemesh, and its outgoings were to En-rogel.

8 And the border went·​·up the ravine of the son of Hinnom, unto the shoulder of the Jebusite from the south, it is Jerusalem; and the border went·​·up to the head of the mountain that is before the ravine of Hinnom toward the sea, which is at the end of the valley of the Rephaim northward.

9 And the border was marked·​·out from the head of the mountain to the fountain of the waters of Nephtoah, and went·​·out to the cities of Mount Ephron; and the border was marked·​·out toward Baalah, this is Kiriath-jearim.

10 And the border turned·​·around from Baalah toward the sea unto Mount Seir, and crossed·​·over to the shoulder of Mount Jearim, on the north, which is Chesalon, and went·​·down·​·to Beth-shemesh, and crossed·​·over to Timnah;

11 and the border went·​·out to the shoulder of Ekron northward; and the border was marked·​·out to Shicron, and crossed·​·over to Mount Baalah, and went·​·out unto Jabneel; and the goings out of the border were toward the sea.

12 And the sea border was toward the great sea and its border; this is the border of the sons of Judah all around according to their families.

13 And to Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part in the midst of the sons of Judah, according to the mouth of Jehovah to Joshua, the walled·​·city of Arba* the father of the Anak; it is Hebron.

14 And Caleb dispossessed thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the children of Anak.

15 And he went·​·up thence to those who dwelt in Debir; and the name of Debir before was Kiriath-sepher.

16 And Caleb said; He that smites Kiriath-sepher and captures her, then to him will I give Achsah my daughter for a wife.

17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it; and he gave him Achsah his daughter for a wife.

18 And it was when she came, that she incited him to ask from her father a field; and she got·​·down from upon the donkey, and Caleb said to her, What wilt thou have?

19 And she said, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a land of the south; Give me also wellsprings of waters. And he gave to her the upper wellsprings and the lower wellsprings.

20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Judah, according to their families.

21 And the cities at the edge of the tribe of the sons of Judah, to the border of Edom southward, were Kabzeel, and Eder, and Jagur,

22 and Kinah, and Dimonah, and Adadah,

23 and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Ithnan,

24 Ziph, and Telem, and Bealoth,

25 and Chazor-hadattah, and Kerioth; Chezron which is Chazor,

26 Amam, and Shema, and Moladah,

27 and Chazar-gaddah, and Heshmon, and Beth-palet,

28 and Chazar-shual, and Beer-sheba, and Bizjothjah,

29 Baalah, and Iyim, and Atsem,

30 and Eltolad, and Chesil, and Hormah,

31 and Ziklag, and Madmannah, and Sansannah,

32 and Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Rimmon; all the cities twenty and nine, and their villages.

33 In the lowland: Eshtaol, and Zorah, and Ashnah,

34 and Zanoah, and En-gannim, Tappuah, and Enam,

35 Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah,

36 and Sharaim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim: fourteen cities and their villages;

37 Zenan, and Chadashah, and Migdal-gad,

38 and Dilean, and Mizpeh, and Joktheel,

39 Lachish, and Bozkath, and Eglon,

40 and Cabbon, and Lahmas, and Kithlish,

41 and Gederoth, Beth-dagon, and Naamah, and Makkedah: sixteen cities and their villages;

42 Libnah, and Ether, and Ashan,

43 and Jephthah, and Ashnah, and Nezib,

44 and Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah: nine cities and their villages;

45 Ekron and her towns* and her villages;

46 from Ekron and unto the sea, all that were by the side* of Ashdod, and their villages;

47 Ashdod and her towns and her villages; Gaza, her towns and her villages, even·​·to the brook of Egypt, and the great sea, and the border thereof.

48 And in the mountain: Shamir, and Jattir, and Socoh,

49 and Dannah, and Kiriath-sannah, that is Debir,

50 and Anab, and Eshtemoh, and Anim,

51 and Goshen, and Holon, and Giloh: eleven cities and their villages;

52 Arab, and Dumah, and Eshean,

53 and Janum, and Beth-tappuah, and Aphekah,

54 and Humtah, and Kiriath-arba, that is Hebron, and Zior: nine cities and their villages;

55 Maon, Carmel, and Ziph, and Juttah,

56 and Jezreel, and Jokdeam, and Zanoah,

57 Cain, Gibeah, and Timnath: ten cities and their villages;

58 Halhul, Bethzur, and Gedor,

59 and Maarath, and Beth-anoth, and Eltekon: six cities and their villages;

60 Kiriath-baal, that is Kiriath-jearim, and Rabbah: two cities and their villages.

61 In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin, and Secacah,

62 and Nibshan, and the city of Salt, and En-gedi: six cities and their villages.

63 And the Jebusite dwelling·​·in Jerusalem, the sons of Judah were· not ·able to dispossess; and the Jebusite dwells with the sons of Judah in Jerusalem even·​·to this day.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 15      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 15: Judah’s territory and more about Caleb.

This chapter describes the territory given to the tribe of Judah, and lists many of its cities and borders. Judah received a major portion of the land of Canaan; its eastern border was the Salt Sea (the Dead Sea), and the western border was the Great Sea (the Mediterranean).

Although Judah was the fourth son of Jacob, he played a more significant role in many of the Old Testament stories than his older brothers did. So, it is not surprising that the tribe of Judah received extensive territory in the south of Canaan, which in later time became the nation of Judah, along with the tribe of Benjamin’s small territory. The name ‘Judah’ also eventually led to the name ‘Jewish’, coming from the Roman province of Judaea. The name ‘Judah’ also means “praise”, specifically praise of God (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 456).

Praise itself is a commendation of a person’s good qualities. To give praise is part of our love for our neighbour; to receive praise underscores our sense of our own value. To praise the Lord is to give thanks to Him, and to affirm the difference that the Lord makes in our life. Ultimately, praise is part of our faith in the Lord to lead us through this life and for eternity.

This uplifting, positive spiritual meaning of Judah does not mean that Judah (the man in the Old Testament) was without faults. He had his flaws, as everyone does, but at times Judah changed the course of events for a better outcome. It was Judah who persuaded his brothers to sell Joseph rather than kill him, and he also offered himself as a hostage for the sake of his brothers (Arcana Caelestia 4815[2]).

Chapter 15 lists very many locations in Judah’s territory. Here are just a few of the places listed, along with their meaning and spiritual significance:

Judah = “praise”
Spiritually = our worship of God

Which includes these, and many more aspects…

Zin = “flat, level ground”
Spiritually = life under God’s guidance

Kadesh Barnea = “holy wanderings”
Spiritually = becoming purified

Beth Hoglah = “house of the partridge”
Spiritually = bringing to birth

En Rogel = “water spring of the foot”
Spiritually = life in everyday activities

Jerusalem = “dwelling place of peace; wholeness”
Spiritually = our highest spiritual state

Nephtoah = “to be open”
Spiritually = to be part of all life

Timnah = “allotted portion”
Spiritually = what the Lord has created me for

Mount Hebron, which was in the territory of Judah, was given to Caleb as an inheritance because of his faithfulness to God. We read in this chapter that he conquers the giants living there, and drives them away from Mount Hebron. Caleb makes a promise that whoever takes the nearby city of Kirjath-sepher will have his daughter, Achsah, for a wife. Caleb’s brother’s son, Othniel, captures the city and marries Achsah. Caleb blesses Achsah and gives her springs of water upon her request, and he also gives Othniel a field.

The spiritual meaning of this touching story is that our spiritual life is intended to come together to be like a family (Arcana Caelestia 3020), just as Caleb, Achsah and Othniel are all close members of a family. Spiritual life is about bringing together our beliefs, our loves and affections, our intentions, and our actions. These different aspects of spiritual life become like one family where everyone – or everything – is interwoven together.

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Thanks to the Kempton Project for the permission to use this New Church translation of the Word.


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