Joshua 19



1 And the second lot came·​·out to Simeon, for the tribe of the sons of Simeon, for their families. And their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Judah.

2 And they had in their inheritance Beer-sheba and Sheba, and Moladah,

3 and Chazar-shual, and Balah, and Atsem,

4 and Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah,

5 and Ziklag, and Beth-marcaboth, and Chazar-susah,

6 and Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages;

7 Ain, Rimmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages.

8 And all the villages that were all around these cities to Baalath-beer, Ramah of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families.

9 From the region of the sons of Judah was the inheritance of the sons of Simeon; for the part of the sons of Judah was too much for them: and the sons of Simeon had· their inheritance in the midst of the inheritance of them.

10 And the third lot came·​·up for the sons of Zebulun according to their families; And the border of their inheritance was to Sarid:

11 and their border went·​·up toward the sea, and to Maralah, and came·​·upon Dabbasheth, and came·​·upon the brook that is before Jokneam;

12 and it turned·​·back about from Sarid eastward toward the rising of the sun unto the border of Kisloth-tabor; and it went·​·out to Daberath, and went·​·up to Japhia;

13 and from there it crossed·​·over eastward toward the sunrise to Gath-chepher, to Ittah-kazin; and it goes·​·out to Rimmon-methoar unto Neah.

14 And the border turned·​·around it from the north to Hannathon, and its outgoings are in the ravine of Jiphthah-el.

15 And Kattath, and Nahalal, Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem; twelve cities and their villages.

16 This is the inheritance of the sons of Zebulun according to their families, these cities and their villages.

17 To Issachar came·​·out the fourth lot, for the sons of Issachar according to their families.

18 And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem,

19 and Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath,

20 and Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,

21 and Remeth, and En-gannim, and En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez.

22 And the border comes·​·upon Tabor and to Shahazimah, and Beth-shemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at the Jordan; sixteen cities and their villages.

23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.

24 And the fifth lot came·​·out for the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families.

25 And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph,

26 and Alammelech, and Amad, and Mishal; and it reaches to Carmel toward the sea, and to Shichor-libnath;

27 and it turns·​·back to the rising of the sun to Beth-dagon, and comes·​·upon Zebulun, and to the ravine of Jiphthah-el northward to Beth-emek, and Neiel, and goes·​·out to Cabul on the left.

28 And Ebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even·​·to great Zidon;

29 and the border turns·​·back to Ramah, and to the fortified city Tyre; and the border turns·​·back to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof were at the sea, from the region to Achzib;

30 and Ummah, and Aphek, and Rehob; twenty and two cities and their villages.

31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families, these cities and their villages.

32 To the sons of Naphtali came·​·out the sixth lot, to the sons of Naphtali according to their families.

33 And their border was from Heleph, from the oak that was in Zaanannim and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, to Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan.

34 And the border turned·​·back toward the sea to Aznoth-tabor; and went·​·out from thence toward Hukok, and came·​·upon Zebulun from the south; and it came·​·upon Asher from the sea, and upon Judah at the Jordan toward the rising of the sun.

35 And the fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath and Chinnereth,

36 and Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor,

37 and Kedesh, and Edrei, and En-hazor,

38 and Iron, and Migdal-el, Chorem, and Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities and their villages.

39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages.

40 For the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families came the seventh lot.

41 And the border of their inheritance was Zorah and Eshtaol, and Ir-shemesh,

42 and Shaalbin, and Aijalon, and Jethlah,

43 and Elon, and Timnath, and Ekron,

44 and Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,

45 and Jehud, and Bene-berak, and Gath-rimmon,

46 and Me-jarkon, and Rakkon, with the border next·​·to Joppah.

47 And the border of the sons of Dan went·​·out beyond them; and the sons of Dan went·​·up and fought with Leshem, and captured it, and smote it with the mouth of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, as the name of Dan their father.

48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families, these cities and their villages.

49 And they completed giving· the land ·by·​·inheritance according to its borders, and the sons of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun in their midst.

50 According to the mouth of Jehovah they gave him the city he asked, Timnath-serach in Mount Ephraim; and he built the city, and dwelt therein.

51 These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the sons of Israel gave·​·for·​·an·​·inheritance by lot in Shiloh, before Jehovah, at the entrance of the Tabernacle of the congregation. And they completed the parting of the land.


Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 19      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 19: The last six tribes receive their territories, and Joshua his inheritance.

This chapter is the last of seven chapters detailing the division of the land of Canaan among the tribes. In this chapter, the remaining six tribes receive their portions.

Simeon received land very much in the south, below that of Judah, and Simeon’s territory was made a part of Judah. Simeon means ‘to hear’. To hear the Lord, and to hear the truth, means wanting to live in obedience with what the Lord teaches. Simeon was important in earlier biblical events, but is rarely mentioned later on; obeying the Lord can and should be a quiet affair (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Revealed 87).

The area given to Zebulun was modest and towards the north, between the Sea of Galilee and the coast. Zebulun’s name means ‘place of exaltation and honor’, and its spiritual meaning is just as glorious: it refers to honoring the Lord through the way we live our lives, both inwardly and outwardly (see Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell 390).

Issachar’s territory was a small, fertile area in the north, next to the Jordan. The name “Issachar” means ‘a man of hire’ or ‘a hired man’. Spiritually, this is about wanting to serve the Lord, and dedicating our lives to this. Then we are ‘employed’ as servants of the Lord, and we are rewarded with spiritual strength, joy, and blessings (see Swedenborg’s Arcana Caelestia 6388).

Asher means ‘happy’ - a delightful name - and its territory was along the northern coastline, extending inland. It included Mount Carmel and the Plain of Sharon, which were both beautiful places. Spiritual happiness is quite deep, and is really a feeling of joy, contentment, and well-being. When we are spiritually happy, we feel glad to be alive, to know the Lord, and to do what is good because of God (Arcana Caelestia 6408).

Naphtali had territory going up from the Sea of Galilee to the northern border. Naphtali means ‘crafty and cunning’, which does not sound very heavenly. However, the idea is that we use our intelligence to bring heavenly results from the countless decisions we make each and every day. Earlier in the Bible, Naphtali is blessed and called ‘a deer let loose’, which would then be free to bound away (see Genesis 49:21, Arcana Caelestia 3928).

Dan had two small territories: one in the centre on the coast, and one in the far north near the source of the River Jordan. Dan means ‘to judge well’, and it stands for our need to treat people fairly because of our relationship with the Lord. Perhaps there are two territories because one is our mind (north), and the other is in life (center) (Arcana Caelestia 3923).

Finally, Joshua himself is given his inheritance, a place in Ephraim called Timnath Serah. The name means ‘an extra portion’, and this suggests that beyond everything Joshua has done, he is to be given something further. Spiritually, this could be the unexpected delight we get when we devote ourselves to serving the Lord (Arcana Caelestia 995[3]).

The spiritual meaning of receiving a portion of land is that we are able to experience blessings and goodness from the Lord, but only after we have ‘conquered the land’. This means working through our temptations and overcoming weaknesses during our natural life.

Since the land of Canaan stands for heaven – and also for the growth of heaven in us – each of the twelve tribes represent a part of heavenly life that needs to be active in us. We must learn hear the word of the Lord, judge well in our daily actions, and honor His name by the way we live.

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