Josvas 14

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1 Og dette er de arvelodder som Israels barn fikk i Kana'ans land, og som Eleasar, presten, og Josva, Nuns sønn, og overhodene for familiene i Israels barns stammer delte ut iblandt dem

2 ved loddkasting, så de fikk hver sin arv, således som Herren hadde befalt ved Moses. Det var de ni og en halv stamme som dengang fikk arv;

3 for de to og en halv stamme hadde Moses gitt arv på hin side* Jordan; men levittene hadde han ikke gitt arv iblandt dem. / {* østenfor.}

4 For Josefs barn utgjorde to stammer, Manasse og Efra'im; og levittene fikk ikke nogen del i landet, men bare nogen byer til å bo i med tilhørende jorder for deres buskap og fe.

5 Som Herren hadde befalt Moses, således gjorde Israels barn og skiftet landet.

6 Da trådte Judas barn frem for Josva i Gilgal, og Kaleb, Jefunnes sønn, kenisitten, sa til ham: Du vet hvad Herren sa til Moses, den Guds mann, om mig og om dig i Kades-Barnea.

7 Jeg var firti år gammel da Moses, Herrens tjener, sendte mig fra Kades-Barnea for å utspeide landet; og jeg kom tilbake til ham med svar, efter mitt beste skjønn.

8 Mine brødre, som hadde draget op med mig, gjorde folket motløst; men jeg holdt mig trolig til Herren min Gud.

9 Den dag svor Moses og sa: Sannelig, det land som din fot trådte på, skal være din og dine barns arv til evig tid, fordi du trolig holdt dig til Herren min Gud.

10 Og nu ser du at Herren har gjort med mig som han sa, og latt mig leve i fem og firti år fra den tid Herren talte disse ord til Moses - all den tid Israel vandret i ørkenen; og idag er jeg fem og åtti år gammel.

11 Jeg er ennu like sterk som jeg var den dag Moses sendte mig ut; min styrke er den samme nu som den var dengang, både i strid og til å gå ut og inn.

12 gi mig nu denne fjellbygd som Herren den dag talte om; for du hørte selv dengang at anakittene bor der, og at der er store, faste byer; kanskje Herren er med mig, så jeg får drevet dem bort, således som Herren har sagt.

13 Da velsignet Josva ham, og han gav Kaleb, Jefunnes sønn, Hebron til arv.

14 Således fikk Kaleb, Jefunnes sønn, kenisitten, Hebron til arv, som det er den dag idag, fordi han trolig holdt sig til Herren, Israels Gud.

15 Men Hebrons navn var før Kirjat-Arba*; Arba var den største mann blandt anakittene. Og landet hadde nu ro for krig. / {* Arbas by.}


Exploring the Meaning of Josvas 14      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 14: The territories west of the Jordan, and Caleb’s inheritance.

This chapter tells how the land of Canaan would be distributed among the remaining nine-and-a-half tribes, which would be determined by drawing lots. The tribe of Levi, the priests of Israel, would not receive their own territory, but would be given cities to live in across the land. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, were each recognized as a tribe of Israel to make the number of tribes receiving land equal twelve. Caleb and his people received Mount Hebron as a special inheritance, because he had fully and whole-heartedly followed the Lord God of Israel many years ago.

Casting lots was used in those days to decide many things, because people believed that the outcome showed the will of God. Lots were often sticks or stones, each marked with a symbol, which would be cast much like rolling dice. Then the result would be examined to make a decision. The spiritual meaning of casting lots is that we should allow the Lord to show us what is required, and believe that His providence extends over everything in our lives (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 10773). “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33).

The tribe of Levi, the third of the twelve sons of Jacob, had been set apart from the other tribes during their time in the wilderness; when the war cry “Who is on the Lord’s side?” was given before a battle, it was only the tribe of Levi who had responded. They were appointed as the priests of Israel for this dedication to God. Here, now, we are told that they are to live throughout the land (Arcana Caelestia 6998).

On a spiritual level, the Levites stand for the Lord’s presence throughout the whole of our life. Another way of putting this is that our spirit (and our life) is there throughout the whole of our body. And a third way of seeing this is that every part of our life should be guided by our love for the Lord. Other references to the Levites mention that all the people of Israel are to provide food and gifts for the Levites, reinforcing this same idea.

Caleb gets special treatment; he is given Mount Hebron as a new home for his people. Caleb and Joshua had been sent with 10 other men to spy out the land of Canaan 40 years earlier. They had given it a good report, and had - unsuccessfully - urged the Children of Israel to follow the Lord's leading and conquer the land at that time. Now, Caleb reminds Joshua about the Lord’s words to Moses regarding them, and Moses’ promise to give Caleb an inheritance. At the age of eighty-five, Caleb was still as strong as when spied out the land. He tells Joshua: “Now therefore, give me this mountain and the Lord will be with me to drive out the enemy” (Joshua 14:12). And it is given to him with a blessing from Joshua.

Mount Hebron is in the territory of Judah, west of the Dead Sea and south of what is now Jerusalem. Its name means ‘bound by a common bond’ or ‘accord’. Its spiritual meaning is that it brings diversity into unity, many into one, and for us, harmony in our spiritual life (Arcana Caelestia 3241[2]).

Caleb’s name means ‘bold, fearless, ferocious to enemies’. For us, Caleb is a picture of sureness and determination that to follow the Lord will always lead to success. Caleb never led Israel, but he acts as a right-hand-man to Joshua. Even though Joshua was the one to lead the children of Israel, there is still the need in each of us for Caleb’s enthusiasm, conviction and assurance to move forward with full confidence. His strength never left him, because he felt and lived the strength which the Lord gave him (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 137[5]).

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