Joshua 22

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1 Then Joshua called the Reubenite and the Gadite and the half tribe of Manasseh,

2 and he said to them, You have kept all that Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, and you have obeyed my voice as to all that I commanded you.

3 You have not forsaken your brothers these many days, even·​·to this day, and have kept the charge of the commandment of Jehovah your God.

4 And now Jehovah your God has given rest to your brothers, as He spoke to them, and now turn· your ·face and go to your tents, to the land of your possession which Moses the servant of Jehovah gave you across the Jordan.

5 Only take·​·heed exceedingly to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, to love Jehovah your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and to stick to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

6 And Joshua blessed them, and sent them away; and they went to their tents.

7 And to the half tribe of Manasseh Moses had given an inheritance in Bashan; but to its other half Joshua gave an inheritance with their brothers from across the Jordan toward the sea. And when Joshua also sent· them ·away to their tents, then he blessed them.

8 And he said to them, saying, Return with many stores to your tents, and with very much livestock, with silver, and with gold, and with bronze and with iron, and with very much raiment; part the spoil of your enemies with your brothers.

9 And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh returned and went from being with the sons of Israel from Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession, of which they had·​·possession, by the mouth of Jehovah by the hand of Moses.

10 And they came to the boundaries of the Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, and the sons of Reuben, and the sons of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, a great altar in appearance.

11 And the sons of Israel heard of it, saying, Behold, the sons of Reuben, and the sons of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar next·​·to the land of Canaan, on the boundaries of the Jordan, at the crossing of the sons of Israel.

12 And the sons of Israel heard, and all the congregation of Israel assembled at Shiloh, to go·​·up against them with an army.

13 And the sons of Israel sent to the sons of Reuben, and to the sons of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest,

14 and ten chiefs with him, one chief, one chief* for the house of a father for all the tribes of Israel; and each·​·man the head of the house of their fathers were they, for the thousands of Israel.

15 And they came to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying,

16 Thus says all the congregation of Jehovah: What trespass is this that you have trespassed against the God of Israel, to turn·​·back this day from after Jehovah, in your building an altar for yourselves, that you might revolt this day against Jehovah?

17 Is the iniquity of Peor too·​·little for us, from which we are· not ·clean until this day, and there was the plague which struck in the congregation of Jehovah,

18 and you have turned·​·back today from after Jehovah? And it will be that you will revolt today against Jehovah, and tomorrow He will be·​·enraged toward all the congregation of Israel.

19 Only, if the land of your possession be unclean, cross· ye ·over to the land of the possession of Jehovah, which the Habitation of Jehovah inhabits, and take·​·possession in our midst; and revolt not against Jehovah, and revolt not against us, in your building for yourselves an altar besides the altar of Jehovah our God.

20 Did not Achan the son of Zeraḥ trespass a trespass in the devoted·​·thing*, and there was a rage against all the congregation of Israel? And not only this one man expired in his iniquity.

21 And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh answered and spoke with the heads of the thousands of Israel:

22 The God of gods is Jehovah. The God of gods is Jehovah, He knows, and Israel, he shall know, if in revolt and if in trespass against Jehovah, you will save us not this day,

23 for building an altar for ourselves to turn·​·back from after Jehovah. And if to offer·​·up on it a burnt·​·offering and a gift·​·offering, and if to make on it sacrifices of peace·​·offerings, Jehovah Himself will seek it out.

24 And if we have not out of anxiety about this thing done this, saying, Tomorrow your sons might say to our sons, saying, What have you with Jehovah God of Israel?

25 And Jehovah has given the Jordan as a border between us and you, ye sons of Reuben and sons of Gad; you have no part in Jehovah; and your sons shall make our sons cease from fearing Jehovah.

26 And we said, Let us now do this thing for us, so as to build an altar, not for burnt·​·offering, nor for sacrifice:

27 but it shall be a witness between us and you and our generations after us, to serve the service of Jehovah before Him, with our burnt·​·offerings and with our sacrifices and with our peace-offerings; that your sons may not say to our sons tomorrow, You have no part in Jehovah.

28 And we said, Then it shall be, when they say so to us or to our generations tomorrow, that we may say, See the shape of the altar of Jehovah which our fathers made, not for burnt·​·offering, nor for sacrifice; but it is a witness between us and you.

29 Far·​·be·​·it from us that we should revolt against Jehovah, and turn·​·back this day from after Jehovah to build an altar for burnt·​·offering, for gift·​·offering, and for sacrifice, besides the altar of Jehovah our God that is before the Habitation.

30 And Phinehas the priest, and the chiefs of the congregation, and the heads of the thousands of Israel who were with him, heard the words which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the sons of Manasseh spoke, and it was·​·good in their eyes.

31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben, and to the sons of Gad, and to the sons of Manasseh, Today we know that Jehovah is in our midst, that you have not trespassed this trespass against Jehovah; at·​·this·​·time you have rescued the sons of Israel from the hand of Jehovah.

32 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the chiefs, returned from the sons of Reuben, and from the sons of Gad, out of the land of Gilead, unto the land of Canaan, to the sons of Israel, and brought them word again.

33 And the word was·​·good in the eyes of the sons of Israel; and the sons of Israel blessed God and said that they would not go·​·up against them with the army to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad dwelt.

34 And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called the altar, It is a witness between us that Jehovah is God.

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Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 22      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 22: The tribes of Reuben, Gad and half Manasseh return.

With the land of Canaan now settled by Israel, the time had come for the men of Reuben, Gad, and one half of Manasseh to return to the other side of the Jordan, where their wives, children, cattle and sheep were left. The men of these two and a half tribes had been ordered to fight alongside the other tribes of Israel, and only then to return home.

They left, and when they came to the banks of the River Jordan, they built a large altar to the Lord. When the rest of Israel caught word of this, they wanted to go to war with these tribes, because they felt the altar was a sacrilege - Israel had the tabernacle for its worship of the Lord. They sent Phineas the priest to ask why they had built the altar. These tribes across the Jordan replied that in the future, the people of Israel may move against them, and reject them. They said the altar would serve as a witness to their worship of the Lord, just as the Israelites in Canaan worshiped. This answer pleased the priest, and when he told the leaders of Israel, it pleased them too.

The spiritual meaning of this episode is a very important one for us. The tribes living on the other side of the River Jordan stand for the worldly activities of our outward life, which in themselves are a very important part of our spiritual life. These actions make up the external part of spiritual life, in which we are able to do good (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 9824[2]).

The tribes building an altar to God portrays our understanding that all the good we do, and all the use we provide, is possible because of the Lord. He is the giver of all good, which is why we must serve the Lord. Without use, spiritual thoughts and beliefs do not have a foundation (Arcana Caelestia 9473[3]).

Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh said that the people of Israel might cut them off in the future. In spiritual terms, this would be to separate spiritual life and external life in daily living. This would result in such things as hypocrisy, and faith without charity, both of which are a threat to our spiritual well-being (see Swedenborg’s work, Doctrine of Life 4).

The altar, which was built on Canaan’s side of the Jordan before these tribes crossed over, was to stand as a witness to the union between the tribes within Canaan and the tribes across the Jordan, as one nation before the Lord (Arcana Caelestia 9714).

This unity means that we must be equally present in three areas of life: in the depths of our heart, in our worship and adoration of the Lord; in our mind, in our understanding and delight in the Lord’s Word with all its truth; and in our outward actions, where our acknowledgement of the Lord as our God leads us to be sincere, just, moral, fair, compassionate and dedicated to the service of God.

The answer from the three tribes pleased the priest and, in turn, the leaders of Israel. This reception represents our affirmation that ‘being spiritual’ does not take the place of helping others, but really demands that we serve the Lord in our daily actions (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Explained 325[4]).

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1298, 3875, 4192, 4197, 8301, 8623


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 434

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Genesis 12:7, 8, 31:48, 52

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Deuteronomy 3:18, 20, 4:3, 6:5, 10:17, 12:11, 13, 14, 18:19, 34:1

Joshua 1:12, 13, 15, 3:10, 7:1, 24, 12:6, 17:5, 6, 18:1, 21:44, 23:8, 24:16, 27, 28

Judges 20:1, 2

1 Samuel 2:3, 10:25, 13:2, 20:16, 25:32

2 Samuel 6:18, 19

1 Kings 8:39, 66

1 Chronicles 5:9, 9:20, 22:18

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Job 31:5, 8

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Isaiah 19:19

Daniel 2:47

Luke 24:50

John 21:17

Acts of the Apostles 11:23

2 Corinthians 7:11

Philippians 2:12

Hebrews 4:8

Významy biblických slov

tribe
'A tribe' signifies the church with respect to its truths and goods, and in the opposite sense, with respect to its falsities and evils. 'A...

voice
'Voice' signifies what is announced from the Word. 'Voice' often refers and is applied to things that cannot have a voice, as in Exodus 4,...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

kept
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

commandment
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

law
All laws, even civil and judicial laws, which are in the Word, correspond to the laws of good and truth, which are in heaven.

servant
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

commanded
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

love
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...

walk
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

ways
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

commandments
In Deuteronomy 11:1, 'statutes' signify the external parts of the Word, such as rituals, and representations of the internal sense. 'Judgments' signify the internal parts...

stick
On a natural level, "clinging" to someone clearly indicates a desire to be close to them and conjoined with them. It often has a negative...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

joshua
Joshua, the son of Josedech the high-priest,' as in Zechariah 3:1, signifies the law, or the Word.

sea
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

return
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

many
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

Tents
'The tabernacle' has almost the same meaning as 'temple,' that is, in the highest sense, the Lord’s divine humanity, and in a relative sense, heaven...

much
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

livestock
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

silver
'Money' relates to truth.

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

bronze
Brass and iron as in Isaiah 48:4 and Daniel 7:19 signify what is hard.

iron
'Iron,' in Deuteronomy 8:9, signifies natural or rational truth. Iron' signifies natural truth, and consequently, the natural sense of the Word. At the same time,...

raiment
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

spoil
'To spoil,' as in Genesis 34:27, signifies destruction. 'Spoil,' as in Deuteronomy 13:16, signifies the falsification of truth.

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

brothers
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

moses
Moses's name appears 814 times in the Bible (KJV), third-most of any one character (Jesus at 961 actually trails David at 991). He himself wrote...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

built
There are really two meanings for "build" in the Bible. When something is being built for the first time, or built in the most typical...

boundaries
Often translated as “edge,” “border,” “boundary,” “outskirts,” “far places” and other ways, this term is used in the Bible for the farthest reaches of an...

Shiloh
The word "Shiloh" means "peacemaker", or just "peace". Peace on earth was, and is, one of the Lord's main goals in being born into the...

sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

ten
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

says
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

tomorrow
'Tomorrow' signifies eternity.

unclean
'Pollution' denotes the truth of faith defiled.

zera
'Zarah,' as in Genesis 38:30, signifies the quality of good as actually being firstborn, and truth only seems to be. 'Zarah' in the original tongue...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

man
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

iniquity
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 32:6: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

half
Half and double in reference to numbers in the world have a similar signification as the numbers themselves.

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

gods
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

knows
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

save
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

building
There are really two meanings for "build" in the Bible. When something is being built for the first time, or built in the most typical...

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

jehovah god
Many different names for the Lord appear in the Bible, and they all have different shades of meaning. “Jehovah” is the actual name of God,...

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

jordan
The land of Jordan,' as in Psalm 42:6, signifies what is lowly, consequently, what is distant from the celestial, as the external parts of a...

border
Often translated as “edge,” “border,” “boundary,” “outskirts,” “far places” and other ways, this term is used in the Bible for the farthest reaches of an...

fearing
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

serve
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

service
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

generations
To “generate” something is to create it, and that idea underpins the meaning of a “generation” of people – it is a group that was...

see
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

fathers
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

turn
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

back
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

after
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

build
To build something generally means to put together a variety of simpler pieces to make a useful and more complex structure, as to build a...

offering
It was customary in the representative Ancient Church, and later in the Jewish Church, when people went to the judges, and at a later time,...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

congregation
A company, congregation, and a multitude, in the Word, are predicated of truths.

heads
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

thousands
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

words
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

spoke
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

manasseh
'Manasseh' signifies the will of the spiritual church.

today
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

midst
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

son
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

returned
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

Gilead
Mount Gilead, as in Genesis 31:21, 23, as a boundary, in a spiritual sense, signifies the first good, which is that of things pertaining to...

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Sons of Israel
'The camp of the sons of Israel' represents the church.

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

blessed
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

army
A host and an army come from the same Hebrew word and mean the same thing in Bible; when the Children of Israel were numbered...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

dwelt
'Inhabit' refers to good.

reuben
'Reuben,' in the highest sense, signifies omniscience. In a spiritual sense, he signifies wisdom, intelligence, science, and faith. In a natural sense, he signifies sight....

gad
Gad, in a supreme sense, signifies omnipotence; in a spiritual sense, the good of life, or use; and in a natural sense, works. Gad, in...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

altar
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

witness
In court, a witness is someone who saw a crime being committed, or observed something that could help determine the guilt or innocence of the...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

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 The Eastern Tribes Return Home Review Questions
Read Joshua 22 to answer questions about the eastern tribes returning home across the Jordan river.
Activity | All Ages


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


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