Josué 12

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1 Estes, pois, são os reis da terra, aos quais os filhos de Israel feriram e cujas terras possuíram, do Jordão para o nascente do sol, desde o vale do Arnom até o monte Hermom, e toda a Arabá para o oriente:

2 Siom, rei dos amorreus, que habitava em Hesbom e que dominava desde Aroer, que está a borda do vale do Arnom, e desde o meio do vale, e a metade de Gileade, até o ribeiro Jaboque, termo dos amonitas;

3 e a Arabá até o mar de Quinerote para o oriente, e até o mar da Arabá, o mar Salgado, para o oriente, pelo caminho de Bete-Jesimote, e no sul abaixo das faldas de Pisga;

4 como também o termo de Ogue, rei de Basã, que era do restante dos refains, o qual habitava em Astarote, e em Edrei,

5 e dominava no monte Hermom, e em Salca, e em toda a Basã, até o termo dos gesureus e dos maacateus, e metade de Gileade, termo de siom, rei de Hesbom.

6 Moisés, servo do Senhor, e os filhos de Israel os feriram; e Moisés, servo do Senhor, deu essa terra em possessão aos rubenitas, e aos gaditas, e à meia tribo de Manassés:

7 E estes são os reis da terra, aos quais Josué e os filhos de Israel feriram, do Jordão para o ocidente, desde Baal-Gade, no vale do Líbano, até o monte Halaque, que sobe a Seir (e Josué deu as suas terras às tribos de Israel em possessão, segundo as suas divisoes,

8 isto é, o que havia na região montanhosa, na baixada, na Arabá, nas faldas das montanhas, no deserto e no Negebe: o heteu, o amorreu, e o cananeu, o perizeu, o heveu, e o jebuseu);

9 o rei de Jericó, o rei de Ai, que está ao lado de Betel,

10 o rei de Jerusalém, o rei de Hebrom,

11 o rei de Jarmute, o rei de Laquis,

12 o rei de Eglom, o rei de Gezer,

13 o rei de Debir, o rei de Geder,

14 o rei de Horma, o rei de Arade,

15 o rei de Libna, o rei de Adulão,

16 o rei de Maqueda, o rei de Betel,

17 o rei de Tapua, o rei de Hefer,

18 o rei de Afeque, o rei de Lassarom,

19 o rei de Madom, o rei de Hazor,

20 o rei de Sinrom-Merom, o rei de Acsafe,

21 o rei de Taanaque, o rei de Megido,

22 o rei de Quedes, o rei de Jocneão do Carmelo,

23 o rei de Dor no outeiro de Dor, o rei de Goiim em Gilgal,

24 o rei de Tirza: trinta e um reis ao todo.


Exploring the Meaning of Josué 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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