Joshua 19



1 And the second lot goeth out for Simeon, for the tribe of the sons of Simeon, for their families; and their inheritance is in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Judah,

2 and they have in their inheritance Beer-Sheba, and Sheba, and Moladah,

3 and Hazar-Shual, and Balah, and Azem,

4 and Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah,

5 and Ziklag, and Beth-Marcaboth, and Hazar-Susah,

6 and Beth-Lebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages.

7 Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages;

8 also all the villages which [are] round about these cities, unto Baalath-Beer, Ramoth of the south. This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Simeon, for their families;

9 out of the portion of the sons of Judah [is] the inheritance of the sons of Simeon, for the portion of the sons of Judah hath been too much for them, and the sons of Simeon inherit in the midst of their inheritance.

10 And the third lot goeth up for the sons of Zebulun, for their families; and the border of their inheritance is unto Sarid,

11 and their border hath gone up towards the sea, and Maralah, and come against Dabbasheth, and come unto the brook which [is] on the front of Jokneam,

12 and turned back from Sarid eastward, at the sun-rising, by the border of Chisloth-Tabor, and gone out unto Daberath, and gone up to Japhia,

13 and thence it hath passed over eastward, to the east, to Gittah-Hepher, [to] Ittah-Kazin, and gone out [to] Rimmon-Methoar to Neah;

14 and the border hath gone round about it, from the north to Hannathon; and its outgoings have been [in] the valley of Jiphthah-El,

15 and Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Beth-Lehem; twelve cities and their villages.

16 This [is] the inheritance of the sons of Zebulun, for their families, these cities and their villages.

17 For Issachar hath the fourth lot gone out, for the sons of Issachar, for their families;

18 and their border is [at] Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem,

19 and Haphraim, and Shihon, and Anaharath,

20 and Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,

21 and Remeth, and En-Gannim, and En-Haddah, and Beth-Pazzez;

22 and the border hath touched against Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Beth-Shemesh, and the outgoings of their border have been [at] the Jordan; sixteen cities and their villages.

23 This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Issachar, for their families, the cities and their villages.

24 And the fifth lot goeth out for the tribe of the sons of Asher, for their families;

25 and their border is Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph,

26 and Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and it toucheth against Carmel westward, and against Shihor-Libnath;

27 and hath turned back, at the sun-rising, [to] Beth-Dagon, and come against Zebulun, and against the valley of Jiphthah-El toward the north of Beth-Emek, and Neiel, and hath gone out unto Cabul on the left,

28 and Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, unto great Zidon;

29 and the border hath turned back to Ramah, and unto the fenced city Tyre; and the border hath turned back to Hosah, and its outgoings are at the sea, from the coast to Achzib,

30 and Ummah, and Aphek, and Rehob; twenty and two cities and their villages.

31 This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Asher, for their families, these cities and their villages.

32 For the sons of Naphtali hath the sixth lot gone out, for the sons of Naphtali, for their families;

33 and their border is from Heleph, from Allon in Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakkum, and its outgoings are [at] the Jordan;

34 and the border hath turned back westward [to] Aznoth-Tabor, and gone out thence to Hukkok, and touched against Zebulun on the south, and against Asher it hath touched on the west, and against Judah [at] the Jordan, at the sun-rising;

35 and the cities of defence [are] Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,

36 and Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor,

37 and Kedesh, and Edrei, and En-Hazor,

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

39 This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali, for their families, the cities and their villages.

40 For the tribe of the sons of Dan, for their families, hath the seventh lot gone out;

41 and the border of their inheritance is Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Ir-Shemesh,

42 and Shalabbin, and Aijalon, and Jethlah,

43 and Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron,

44 and Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,

45 and Jehud, and Bene-Barak, and Gath-Rimmon,

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

47 And the border of the sons of Dan goeth out from them, and the sons of Dan go up and fight with Leshem, and capture it, and smite it by the mouth of the sword, and possess it, and dwell in it, and call Leshem, Dan, according to the name of Dan their father.

48 This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Dan, for their families, these cities and their villages.

49 And they finish to give the land in inheritance, by its borders, and the sons of Israel give an inheritance to Joshua son of Nun in their midst;

50 by the command of Jehovah they have given to him the city which he asked, Timnath-Serah, in the hill-country of Ephraim, and he buildeth the city and dwelleth in it.

51 These [are] the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the sons of Israel, have caused to inherit by lot, in Shiloh, before Jehovah, at the opening of the tent of meeting; and they finish to apportion 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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