Joshua 19

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1 The second lot came out for Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. Their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Judah.

2 They had for their inheritance Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah,

3 Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem,

4 Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah,

5 Ziklag, Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susah,

6 Beth Lebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities with their villages;

7 Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan; four cities with their villages;

8 and all the villages that were around these cities to Baalath Beer, Ramah of the South. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.

9 Out of the part of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon; for the portion of the children of Judah was too much for them. Therefore the children of Simeon had inheritance in the midst of their inheritance.

10 The third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families. The border of their inheritance was to Sarid.

11 Their border went up westward, even to Maralah, and reached to Dabbesheth. It reached to the brook that is before Jokneam.

12 It turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrise to the border of Chisloth Tabor. It went out to Daberath, and went up to Japhia.

13 From there it passed along eastward to Gath Hepher, to Ethkazin; and it went out at Rimmon which stretches to Neah.

14 The border turned around it on the north to Hannathon; and it ended at the valley of Iphtah El;

15 Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.

16 This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.

17 The fourth lot came out for Issachar, even for the children of Issachar according to their families.

18 Their border was to Jezreel, Chesulloth, Shunem,

19 Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath,

20 Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez,

21 Remeth, Engannim, En Haddah, and Beth Pazzez.

22 The border reached to Tabor, Shahazumah, and Beth Shemesh. Their border ended at the Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages.

23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities with their villages.

24 The fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.

25 Their border was Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph,

26 Allammelech, Amad, Mishal. It reached to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath.

27 It turned toward the sunrise to Beth Dagon, and reached to Zebulun, and to the valley of Iphtah El northward to Beth Emek and Neiel. It went out to Cabul on the left hand,

28 and Ebron, Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, even to great Sidon.

29 The border turned to Ramah, to the fortified city of Tyre; and the border turned to Hosah. It ended at the sea by the region of Achzib;

30 Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty-two cities with their villages.

31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.

32 The sixth lot came out for the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families.

33 Their border was from Heleph, from the oak in Zaanannim, Adaminekeb, and Jabneel, to Lakkum. It ended at the Jordan.

34 The border turned westward to Aznoth Tabor, and went out from there to Hukkok. It reached to Zebulun on the south, and reached to Asher on the west, and to Judah at the Jordan toward the sunrise.

35 The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Chinnereth,

36 Adamah, Ramah, Hazor,

37 Kedesh, Edrei, En Hazor,

38 Iron, Migdal El, Horem, Beth Anath, and Beth Shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.

39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities with their villages.

40 The seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.

41 The border of their inheritance was Zorah, Eshtaol, Irshemesh,

42 Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah,

43 Elon, Timnah, Ekron,

44 Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath,

45 Jehud, Bene Berak, Gath Rimmon,

46 Me Jarkon, and Rakkon, with the border over against Joppa.

47 The border of the children of Dan went out beyond them; for the children of Dan went up and fought against Leshem, and took it, and struck it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and lived therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.

48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.

49 So they made an end of distributing the land for inheritance by its borders. The children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun in the midst of them.

50 According to the commandment of Yahweh, they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in the hill country of Ephraim; and he built the city, and lived there.

51 These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers' houses of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance by lot in Shiloh before Yahweh, at the door of the Tent of Meeting. So they made an end of dividing the land.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 19      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 19: The last six tribes receive their territories, and Joshua his inheritance.

This chapter is the last of seven chapters detailing the division of the land of Canaan among the tribes. In this chapter, the remaining six tribes receive their portions.

Simeon received land very much in the south, below that of Judah, and Simeon’s territory was made a part of Judah. Simeon means ‘to hear’. To hear the Lord, and to hear the truth, means wanting to live in obedience with what the Lord teaches. Simeon was important in earlier biblical events, but is rarely mentioned later on; obeying the Lord can and should be a quiet affair (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Revealed 87).

The area given to Zebulun was modest and towards the north, between the Sea of Galilee and the coast. Zebulun’s name means ‘place of exaltation and honor’, and its spiritual meaning is just as glorious: it refers to honoring the Lord through the way we live our lives, both inwardly and outwardly (see Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell 390).

Issachar’s territory was a small, fertile area in the north, next to the Jordan. The name “Issachar” means ‘a man of hire’ or ‘a hired man’. Spiritually, this is about wanting to serve the Lord, and dedicating our lives to this. Then we are ‘employed’ as servants of the Lord, and we are rewarded with spiritual strength, joy, and blessings (see Swedenborg’s Arcana Caelestia 6388).

Asher means ‘happy’ - a delightful name - and its territory was along the northern coastline, extending inland. It included Mount Carmel and the Plain of Sharon, which were both beautiful places. Spiritual happiness is quite deep, and is really a feeling of joy, contentment, and well-being. When we are spiritually happy, we feel glad to be alive, to know the Lord, and to do what is good because of God (Arcana Caelestia 6408).

Naphtali had territory going up from the Sea of Galilee to the northern border. Naphtali means ‘crafty and cunning’, which does not sound very heavenly. However, the idea is that we use our intelligence to bring heavenly results from the countless decisions we make each and every day. Earlier in the Bible, Naphtali is blessed and called ‘a deer let loose’, which would then be free to bound away (see Genesis 49:21, Arcana Caelestia 3928).

Dan had two small territories: one in the centre on the coast, and one in the far north near the source of the River Jordan. Dan means ‘to judge well’, and it stands for our need to treat people fairly because of our relationship with the Lord. Perhaps there are two territories because one is our mind (north), and the other is in life (center) (Arcana Caelestia 3923).

Finally, Joshua himself is given his inheritance, a place in Ephraim called Timnath Serah. The name means ‘an extra portion’, and this suggests that beyond everything Joshua has done, he is to be given something further. Spiritually, this could be the unexpected delight we get when we devote ourselves to serving the Lord (Arcana Caelestia 995[3]).

The spiritual meaning of receiving a portion of land is that we are able to experience blessings and goodness from the Lord, but only after we have ‘conquered the land’. This means working through our temptations and overcoming weaknesses during our natural life.

Since the land of Canaan stands for heaven – and also for the growth of heaven in us – each of the twelve tribes represent a part of heavenly life that needs to be active in us. We must learn hear the word of the Lord, judge well in our daily actions, and honor His name by the way we live.

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