Joshue 13

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1 Josue senex provectæque ætatis erat, et dixit Dominus ad eum : Senuisti, et longævus es, terraque latissima derelicta est, quæ necdum sorte divisa est :

2 omnis videlicet Galilæa, Philisthiim, et universa Gessuri.

3 A fluvio turbido, qui irrigat Ægyptum, usque ad terminos Accaron contra aquilonem : terra Chanaan, quæ in quinque regulos Philisthiim dividitur, Gazæos, et Azotios, Ascalonitas, Gethæos, et Accaronitas.

4 Ad meridiem vero sunt Hevæi, omnis terra Chanaan, et Maara Sidoniorum, usque Apheca et terminos Amorrhæi,

5 ejusque confinia. Libani quoque regio contra orientem, a Baalgad sub monte Hermon, donec ingrediaris Emath.

6 Omnium qui habitant in monte a Libano usque ad aquas Maserephoth, universique Sidonii. Ego sum qui delebo eos a facie filiorum Israël. Veniat ergo in partem hæreditatis Israël, sicut præcepi tibi.

7 Et nunc divide terram in possessionem novem tribubus, et dimidiæ tribui Manasse,

8 cum qua Ruben et Gad possederunt terram, quam tradidit eis Moyses famulus Domini trans fluenta Jordanis, ad orientalem plagam.

9 Ab Aroër, quæ sita est in ripa torrentis Arnon, et in vallis medio, universaque campestria Medaba, usque Dibon,

10 et cunctas civitates Sehon regis Amorrhæi, qui regnavit in Hesebon, usque ad terminos filiorum Ammon,

11 et Galaad, ac terminum Gessuri et Machati, et omnem montem Hermon, et universam Basan, usque ad Salecha,

12 omne regnum Og in Basan, qui regnavit in Astaroth et Edrai, ipse fuit de reliquiis Raphaim : percussitque eos Moyses, atque delevit.

13 Nolueruntque disperdere filii Israël Gessuri et Machati : et habitaverunt in medio Israël usque in præsentem diem.

14 Tribui autem Levi non dedit possessionem : sed sacrificia et victimæ Domini Dei Israël, ipsa est ejus hæreditas, sicut locutus est illi.

15 Dedit ergo Moyses possessionem tribui filiorum Ruben juxta cognationes suas.

16 Fuitque terminus eorum ab Aroër, quæ sita est in ripa torrentis Arnon, et in valle ejusdem torrentis media : universam planitiem, quæ ducit Medaba,

17 et Hesebon, cunctosque viculos earum, qui sunt in campestribus : Dibon quoque et Bamothbaal, et oppidum Baalmaon,

18 et Jassa, et Cedimoth, et Mephaath,

19 et Cariathaim, et Sabama, et Sarathasar in monte convallis.

20 Bethphogor et Asedoth, Phasga et Bethiesimoth,

21 et omnes urbes campestres, universaque regna Sehon regis Amorrhæi, qui regnavit in Hesebon, quem percussit Moyses cum principibus Madian : Hevæum, et Recem, et Sur, et Hur, et Rebe duces Sehon habitatores terræ.

22 Et Balaam filium Beor ariolum occiderunt filii Israël gladio cum ceteris interfectis.

23 Factusque est terminus filiorum Ruben Jordanis fluvius. Hæc est possessio Rubenitarum per cognationes suas urbium et viculorum.

24 Deditque Moyses tribui Gad et filiis ejus per cognationes suas possessionem, cujus hæc divisio est.

25 Terminus Jaser, et omnes civitates Galaad, et dimidiam partem terræ filiorum Ammon, usque ad Aroër, quæ est contra Rabba,

26 et ab Hesebon usque Ramoth, Masphe et Betonim : et a Manaim usque ad terminos Dabir.

27 In valle quoque Betharan, et Bethnemra, et Socoth, et Saphon reliquam partem regni Sehon regis Hesebon : hujus quoque finis, Jordanis est, usque ad extremam partem maris Cenereth trans Jordanem ad orientalem plagam.

28 Hæc est possessio filiorum Gad per familias suas, civitates et villæ earum.

29 Dedit et dimidiæ tribui Manasse, filiisque ejus juxta cognationes suas possessionem,

30 cujus hoc principium est : a Manaim universam Basan, et cuncta regna Og regis Basan, omnesque vicos Jair, qui sunt in Basan, sexaginta oppida :

31 et dimidiam partem Galaad, et Astaroth, et Edrai, urbes regni Og in Basan : filiis Machir, filii Manasse, dimidiæ parti filiorum Machir juxta cognationes suas.

32 Hanc possessionem divisit Moyses in campestribus Moab trans Jordanem contra Jericho ad orientalem plagam.

33 Tribui autem Levi non dedit possessionem : quoniam Dominus Deus Israël ipse est possessio ejus, ut locutus est illi.


Exploring the Meaning of Joshue 13      

Joshua 13: The start of the tribal territory allocations.

Now that Israel had conquered the land of Canaan, the Lord commanded Joshua to divide the land between the twelve tribes. The next seven chapters tell how the the land of Canaan was divided (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 1413, to read more about the spiritual meaning).

Chapter 13 deals with the territories given to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and one half of Manasseh, all of which are on the other side of the river Jordan. Reuben was given the southern lands; Gad was given the extensive middle region, much of which is an area called Gilead; and half the tribe of Manasseh received the northern land which is on the other side of the Jordan.

It is also worth noting that the first few verses say much of the land remained to be conquered. However, at the end of chapter 11, we read that Joshua took the whole land as the Lord had commanded Moses.

This may seem contradictory, but spiritually it fits very well. In our regeneration, we aim to conquer our self-centred nature, and allow the Lord to rule us with his truth. This is spiritually ‘conquering the whole land’. But even so, our natural thoughts and desires sometimes rise up to trouble us, and these times are like the parts of the land that remain to be conquered. This is why we must recognize our complete dependence on the Lord (Arcana Caelestia 8326).

The Lord giving land as inheritance to each of the twelve tribes represents the way that He gives us our spiritual life. As we do the work of spiritual ‘conquering’ - living by our purpose to serve the Lord - we feel more and more that we can use our understanding of God and His Word in our actions every day.

The twelve tribes stand for the whole spectrum of what spiritual life involves, and each tribe relates to a specific quality of our spiritual living (Arcana Caelestia 3858). For example, we need to be discerning, positive, respectful of others, and so on. Each tribe has a sizeable area of the land, and is part of the integrity of the whole nation.

The territories given to Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh are not part of Canaan, but they are linked to it. These areas represent our outward life: the way we work, live, rest, and relate with other people. This is the ‘casing’ of our spiritual life, and it is essential.

The tribe of Reuben – the eldest son of Jacob – stands for our initial need to see the truths from the Lord in the Word. By ‘seeing’ we mean meeting them, looking carefully, being attentive, coming to understand what they ask of us, and realising how important they are. It is not a vague impression that the Lord’s teachings are important, but a real first step for us (Arcana Caelestia 3866).

The tribe of Gad stands for our ability to see that knowledge and truth need to be used to perform good works. Gad’s name means ‘a troop,’ calling to mind soldiers marching in formation to go and sort things out properly. This is something we can apply to ourselves and to the world around us. We just need to watch that it doesn’t get too heavy-handed (See Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Explained 435[7]).

The tribe of Manasseh represents the spiritual good which supports our will to live a life which is just, fair and honourable because it is based on God. In fact, Manasseh – which means ‘forgetfulness’ – stands for our need to remember that ‘my will’ is really ‘the Lord’s will for me’. Our will needs to be focused on outward life and also inwardly open to the Lord, which is why half of Manasseh has land beyond the Jordan and half has land within Canaan (Arcana Caelestia 5353).

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