Joshua 12



1 και ουτοι οι βασιλεις της γης ους ανειλον οι υιοι ισραηλ και κατεκληρονομησαν την γην αυτων περαν του ιορδανου αφ' ηλιου ανατολων απο φαραγγος αρνων εως του ορους αερμων και πασαν την γην αραβα απ' ανατολων

2 σηων τον βασιλεα των αμορραιων ος κατωκει εν εσεβων κυριευων απο αροηρ η εστιν εν τη φαραγγι κατα μερος της φαραγγος και το ημισυ της γαλααδ εως ιαβοκ ορια υιων αμμων

3 και αραβα εως της θαλασσης χενερεθ κατ' ανατολας και εως της θαλασσης αραβα θαλασσαν των αλων απο ανατολων οδον την κατα ασιμωθ απο θαιμαν την υπο ασηδωθ φασγα

4 και ωγ βασιλευς βασαν υπελειφθη εκ των γιγαντων ο κατοικων εν ασταρωθ και εν εδραιν

5 αρχων απο ορους αερμων και απο σελχα και πασαν την βασαν εως οριων γεσουρι και την μαχατι και το ημισυ γαλααδ οριων σηων βασιλεως εσεβων

6 μωυσης ο παις κυριου και οι υιοι ισραηλ επαταξαν αυτους και εδωκεν αυτην μωυσης εν κληρονομια ρουβην και γαδ και τω ημισει φυλης μανασση

7 και ουτοι οι βασιλεις των αμορραιων ους ανειλεν ιησους και οι υιοι ισραηλ εν τω περαν του ιορδανου παρα θαλασσαν βααλγαδ εν τω πεδιω του λιβανου και εως του ορους χελχα αναβαινοντων εις σηιρ και εδωκεν αυτην ιησους ταις φυλαις ισραηλ κληρονομειν κατα κληρον αυτων

8 εν τω ορει και εν τω πεδιω και εν αραβα και εν ασηδωθ και εν τη ερημω και εν ναγεβ τον χετταιον και τον αμορραιον και τον χαναναιον και τον φερεζαιον και τον ευαιον και τον ιεβουσαιον

9 τον βασιλεα ιεριχω και τον βασιλεα της γαι η εστιν πλησιον βαιθηλ

10 βασιλεα ιερουσαλημ βασιλεα χεβρων

11 βασιλεα ιεριμουθ βασιλεα λαχις

12 βασιλεα αιλαμ βασιλεα γαζερ

13 βασιλεα δαβιρ βασιλεα γαδερ

14 βασιλεα ερμαθ βασιλεα αραθ

15 βασιλεα λεβνα βασιλεα οδολλαμ

16 βασιλεα μακηδα

17 βασιλεα ταφουγ βασιλεα οφερ

18 βασιλεα αφεκ της σαρων

19 βασιλεα ασωρ

20 βασιλεα συμοων βασιλεα μαρρων βασιλεα αζιφ

21 βασιλεα καδης βασιλεα ταναχ

22 βασιλεα μαγεδων βασιλεα ιεκοναμ του χερμελ

23 βασιλεα δωρ του ναφεδδωρ βασιλεα γωιμ της γαλιλαιας

24 βασιλεα θαρσα παντες ουτοι βασιλεις εικοσι εννεα


Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 12      

Joshua 12: The kings who were defeated by Joshua.

This chapter lists the kings who were defeated by Moses on the other side of the river Jordan, and those defeated by Joshua in the land of Canaan. Moses defeated Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan. Joshua defeated 31 kings, and this chapter names their cities one by one.

We might well wonder: what is the use of such a chapter for us? But here it is, included in the Word of God. We will suggest two ways in which this chapter gives us a spiritual message to work with:

First, the sheer number of kings who opposed Israel represent, in a general way, the many things that prevent us from dedicating ourselves to the Lord’s teachings.

Secondly, the many names of the towns that the Israelites defeated are all significant in identifying the various situations we encounter in our spiritual lives (See Swedenborg’s Arcana Caelestia 2009[9]). For example “Joshua” means ‘God is victory’, something we can come to understand as we choose to turn against evil. We can do that because the Lord fights for and with us; we cannot do that alone.

For every heaven there is a corresponding hell (See Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell 588). If mercy is something of heaven, hell is to do with cruelty and all that goes with it. If innocence is of heaven, hell is to do with intended harm and all that goes with that. Evil is unspeakably precise.

Joshua defeated thirty-one kings. The number thirty stands for combat and also for ‘remnants’, which are deep-seated feelings of good and truth given the Lord gives us during our childhood, to help us combat evil in adult regeneration. Thirty-one would seem to suggest combat going on even past thirty (Arcana Caelestia 5335).

The names of the cities of these kings are given, and each name represents a quality. ‘Israel’ was the name given to Jacob by the Lord, after he had wrestled all night with the angel of God and had prevailed (see Genesis 32:24-28). “Israel” means ‘striving with God’ and also ‘a prince with God’, and it became the name of the people of Israel.

As examples, we will look at three Canaanite cities which fought Israel, and explore the spiritual meaning of their names.

1. The king of Jarmuth, means ‘being downcast by death’. Viewing life only in terms of its inevitable end does terrible things to our sense of purpose, hope and trust. Defeating Jarmuth helps us see that death is a transition into eternal life, and our means of passing from this life into our fullest life.

2. The king of Aphek, means ‘tenacious fortress’. We can quite readily see that evil can be exactly like a tenacious fortress. Evil will hang on like grim death and refuse to let us go. Evil will attempt any number of devious tactics to break us down or undermine our faith. The last thing it will do is to see that we’re resolved, and then finally give up.

3. The king of Taanach, which means ‘sandy, hard to cross’. This might remind us of dangerous quicksands, or the way in which we stumble trying to walk through sand. Again, sometimes evil can appear to give us safer passage on solid ground, before we realize that it is the hells ensnaring us.

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