Joshua 15

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1 And the lot for the tribe of the sons of Judah, for their families, is unto the border of Edom; the wilderness of Zin southward, at the extremity of the south;

2 and to them the south border is at the extremity of the salt sea, from the bay which is looking southward;

3 and it hath gone out unto the south to Maaleh-Akrabbim, and passed over to Zin, and gone up on the south to Kadesh-Barnea, and passed over [to] Hezron, and gone up to Adar, and turned round to Karkaa,

4 and passed over [to] Azmon, and gone out [at] the brook of Egypt, and the outgoings of the border have been at the sea; this is to you the south border.

5 And the east border [is] the salt sea, unto the extremity of the Jordan, and the border at the north quarter [is] from the bay of the sea, at the extremity of the Jordan;

6 and the border hath gone up [to] Beth-Hoglah, and passed over on the north of Beth-Arabah, and the border hath gone up [to] the stone of Bohan son of Reuben:

7 and the border hath gone up towards Debir from the valley of Achor, and northward looking unto Gilgal, which [is] over-against the ascent of Adummim, which [is] on the south of the brook, and the border hath passed over unto the waters of En-Shemesh, and its outgoings have been unto En-Rogel;

8 and the border hath gone up the valley of the son of Hinnom, unto the side of the Jebusite on the south (it [is] Jerusalem), and the border hath gone up unto the top of the hill-country which [is] on the front of the valley of Hinnom westward, which [is] in the extremity of the valley of the Rephaim northward;

9 and the border hath been marked out, from the top of the hill-country unto the fountain of the waters of Nephtoah, and hath gone out unto the cities of mount Ephron, and the border hath been marked out [to] Baalah, (it [is] Kirjath-Jearim);

10 and the border hath gone round from Baalah westward, unto mount Seir, and passed over unto the side of mount Jearim (it [is] Chesalon), on the north, and gone down [to] Beth-Shemesh, and passed over to Timnah;

11 and the border hath gone out unto the side of Ekron northward, and the border hath been marked out [to] Shicron, and hath passed over to mount Baalah, and gone out [to] Jabneel; and the outgoings of the border have been at the sea.

12 And the west border [is] to the great sea, and [its] border; this [is] the border of the sons of Judah round about for their families.

13 And to Caleb son of Jephunneh hath he given a portion in the midst of the sons of Judah, according to the command of Jehovah to Joshua, [even] the city of Arba, father of Anak -- it [is] Hebron.

14 And Caleb is dispossessing thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, children of Anak,

15 and he goeth up thence unto the inhabitants of Debir; and the name of Debir formerly is Kirjath-Sepher.

16 And Caleb saith, `He who smiteth Kirjath-Sephar, and hath captured it -- I have given to him Achsah my daughter for a wife.'

17 And Othniel son of Kenaz, brother of Caleb, doth capture it, and he giveth to him Achsah his daughter for a wife.

18 And it cometh to pass, in her coming in, that she persuadeth him to ask from her father a field, and she lighteth from off the ass, and Caleb saith to her, `What -- to thee?'

19 And she saith, `Give to me a blessing; when the land of the south thou hast given me, then thou hast given to me springs of waters;' and he giveth to her the upper springs and the lower springs.

20 This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Judah, for their families.

21 And the cities at the extremity of the tribe of the sons of Judah are unto the border of Edom in the south, Kabzeel, and Eder, and Jagur,

22 and Kinah, and Dimonah, and Adadah,

23 and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Ithnan,

24 Ziph, and Telem, and Bealoth,

25 and Hazor, Hadattah, and Kerioth, Hezron, (it [is] Hazor,)

26 Amam, and Shema, and Moladah,

27 and Hazar-Gaddah, and Heshmon, and Beth-Palet,

28 and Hazar-Shual, and Beer-Sheba, and Bizjothjah,

29 Baalah, and Iim, and Azem,

30 And Eltolad, and Chesil, and Hormah,

31 and Ziklag, and Madmannah, and Sansannah,

32 and Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Rimmon; all the cities [are] twenty and nine, and their villages.

33 In the low country: Eshtaol, and Zoreah, and Ashnah,

34 and Zanoah, and En-Gannim, Tappuah, and Enam,

35 Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah,

36 and Sharaim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim; fourteen cities and their villages.

37 Zenan, and Hadashah, and Migdal-Gad,

38 and Dilean, and Mizpeh, and Joktheel,

39 Lachish, and Bozkath, and Eglon,

40 and Cabbon, and Lahmam, and Kithlish,

41 and Gederoth, Beth-Dagon, and Naamah, and Makkedah; sixteen cities and their villages.

42 Libnah, and Ether, and Ashan,

43 and Jiphtah, and Ashnah, and Nezib,

44 and Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities and their villages.

45 Ekron and its towns and its villages,

46 from Ekron and westward, all that [are] by the side of Ashdod, and their villages.

47 Ashdod, its towns and its villages, Gaza, its towns and its villages, unto the brook of Egypt, and the great sea, and [its] border.

48 And in the hill-country: Shamir, and Jattir, and Socoh,

49 and Dannah, and Kirjath-Sannah (it [is] Debir)

50 and Anab, and Eshtemoh, and Anim,

51 and Goshen, and Holon, and Giloh; eleven cities and their villages.

52 Arab, and Dumah, and Eshean,

53 and Janum, and Beth-Tappuah, and Aphekah,

54 and Humtah, and Kirjath-Arba (it [is] Hebron), and Zior; nine cities and their villages.

55 Maon, Carmel, and Ziph, and Juttah,

56 and Jezreel, and Jokdeam, and Zanoah,

57 Cain, Gibeah, and Timnah; ten cities and their villages.

58 Halhul, Beth-Zur, and Gedor,

59 and Maarath, and Beth-Anoth, and Eltekon; six cities and their villages.

60 Kirjath-Baal (it [is] Kirjath-Jearim), and Rabbah; two cities and their villages.

61 In the wilderness: Beth-Arabah, Middin, and Secacah,

62 and Nibshan, and the city of Salt, and En-Gedi; six cities and their villages.

63 As to the Jebusites, inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah have not been able to dispossess them, and the Jebusite dwelleth with the sons of Judah in Jerusalem unto this day.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 15      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 15: Judah’s territory and more about Caleb.

This chapter describes the territory given to the tribe of Judah, and lists many of its cities and borders. Judah received a major portion of the land of Canaan; its eastern border was the Salt Sea (the Dead Sea), and the western border was the Great Sea (the Mediterranean).

Although Judah was the fourth son of Jacob, he played a more significant role in many of the Old Testament stories than his older brothers did. So, it is not surprising that the tribe of Judah received extensive territory in the south of Canaan, which in later time became the nation of Judah, along with the tribe of Benjamin’s small territory. The name ‘Judah’ also eventually led to the name ‘Jewish’, coming from the Roman province of Judaea. The name ‘Judah’ also means “praise”, specifically praise of God (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 456).

Praise itself is a commendation of a person’s good qualities. To give praise is part of our love for our neighbour; to receive praise underscores our sense of our own value. To praise the Lord is to give thanks to Him, and to affirm the difference that the Lord makes in our life. Ultimately, praise is part of our faith in the Lord to lead us through this life and for eternity.

This uplifting, positive spiritual meaning of Judah does not mean that Judah (the man in the Old Testament) was without faults. He had his flaws, as everyone does, but at times Judah changed the course of events for a better outcome. It was Judah who persuaded his brothers to sell Joseph rather than kill him, and he also offered himself as a hostage for the sake of his brothers (Arcana Caelestia 4815[2]).

Chapter 15 lists very many locations in Judah’s territory. Here are just a few of the places listed, along with their meaning and spiritual significance:

Judah = “praise”
Spiritually = our worship of God

Which includes these, and many more aspects…

Zin = “flat, level ground”
Spiritually = life under God’s guidance

Kadesh Barnea = “holy wanderings”
Spiritually = becoming purified

Beth Hoglah = “house of the partridge”
Spiritually = bringing to birth

En Rogel = “water spring of the foot”
Spiritually = life in everyday activities

Jerusalem = “dwelling place of peace; wholeness”
Spiritually = our highest spiritual state

Nephtoah = “to be open”
Spiritually = to be part of all life

Timnah = “allotted portion”
Spiritually = what the Lord has created me for

Mount Hebron, which was in the territory of Judah, was given to Caleb as an inheritance because of his faithfulness to God. We read in this chapter that he conquers the giants living there, and drives them away from Mount Hebron. Caleb makes a promise that whoever takes the nearby city of Kirjath-sepher will have his daughter, Achsah, for a wife. Caleb’s brother’s son, Othniel, captures the city and marries Achsah. Caleb blesses Achsah and gives her springs of water upon her request, and he also gives Othniel a field.

The spiritual meaning of this touching story is that our spiritual life is intended to come together to be like a family (Arcana Caelestia 3020), just as Caleb, Achsah and Othniel are all close members of a family. Spiritual life is about bringing together our beliefs, our loves and affections, our intentions, and our actions. These different aspects of spiritual life become like one family where everyone – or everything – is interwoven together.

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