Joshua 22

Study

           

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.

  

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]).

    Studovat vnitřní smysl

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


Přeložit: