Joshua 7

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1 And the sons of Israel commit a trespass in the devoted thing, and Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, taketh of the devoted thing, and the anger of Jehovah burneth against the sons of Israel.

2 And Joshua sendeth men from Jericho to Ai, which [is] near Beth-Aven, on the east of Bethel, and speaketh unto them, saying, `Go up and spy the land;' and the men Go up and spy Ai,

3 and they turn back unto Joshua, and say unto him, `Let not all the people go up; let about two thousand men, or about three thousand men, go up, and they smite Ai; cause not all the people to labour thither; for they [are] few.'

4 And there go up of the people thither about three thousand men, and they flee before the men of Ai,

5 and the men of Ai smite of them about thirty and six men, and pursue them before the gate unto Shebarim, and they smite them in Morad; and the heart of the people is melted, and becometh water.

6 And Joshua rendeth his garments, and falleth on his face to the earth before the ark of Jehovah till the evening, he and the elders of Israel, and they cause dust to go up on their head.

7 And Joshua saith, `Ah, Lord Jehovah, why hast Thou at all caused this people to pass over the Jordan, to give us into the hand of the Amorite to destroy us? -- and oh that we had been willing -- and we dwell beyond the Jordan!

8 Oh, Lord, what do I say, after that Israel hath turned the neck before its enemies?

9 and the Canaanite and all the inhabitants of the land do hear, and have come round against us, and cut off our name out of the earth; and what dost Thou do for Thy great name?'

10 And Jehovah saith unto Joshua, `Rise for thee, why [is] this? -- thou [art] falling on thy face?

11 Israel hath sinned, and also they have transgressed My covenant which I commanded them, and also taken of the devoted thing, and also stolen, and also deceived, and also put [it] among their vessels,

12 and the sons of Israel have not been able to stand before their enemies; the neck they turn before their enemies, for they have become a devoted thing; I add not to be with you -- if ye destroy not the devoted thing out of your midst.

13 `Rise, sanctify the people, and thou hast said, sanctify yourselves for to-morrow; for thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, A devoted thing [is] in thy midst, O Israel, thou art not able to stand before thine enemies till your turning aside of the devoted thing out of your midst;

14 and ye have been brought near in the morning by your tribes, and it hath been, the tribe which Jehovah doth capture doth draw near by families, and the family which Jehovah doth capture doth draw near by households, and the household which Jehovah doth capture doth draw near by men;

15 and it hath been, he who is captured with the devoted thing is burnt with fire, he and all that he hath, because he hath transgressed the covenant of Jehovah, and because he hath done folly in Israel.'

16 And Joshua riseth early in the morning, and bringeth Israel near by its tribes, and the tribe of Judah is captured;

17 and he bringeth near the family of Judah, and he captureth the family of the Zarhite; and he bringeth near the family of the Zarhite by men, and Zabdi is captured;

18 and he bringeth near his household by men, and Achan -- son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah -- is captured.

19 And Joshua saith unto Achan, `My son, put, I pray thee, honour on Jehovah, God of Israel, and give to Him thanks, and declare, I pray thee, to me, what thou hast done -- hide not from me.'

20 And Achan answereth Joshua, and saith, `Truly I have sinned against Jehovah, God of Israel, and thus and thus I have done;

21 and I see among the spoil a goodly robe of Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and one wedge of gold, whose weight [is] fifty shekels, and I desire them, and take them; and lo, they [are] hid in the earth, in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.'

22 And Joshua sendeth messengers, and they run unto the tent, and lo, it is hidden in his tent, and the silver under it;

23 and they take them out of the midst of the tent, and bring them in unto Joshua, and unto all the sons of Israel, and pour them out before Jehovah.

24 And Joshua taketh Achan son of Zerah, and the silver, and the robe, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his ox, and his ass, and his flock, and his tent, and all that he hath, and all Israel with him, and they cause them to go up the valley of Achor.

25 And Joshua saith, `What! thou hast troubled us! -- Jehovah doth trouble thee this day;' and all Israel cast stones at him, and they burn them with fire, and they stone them with stones,

26 and they raise up over him a great heap of stones unto this day, and Jehovah turneth back from the heat of His anger, therefore hath [one] called the name of that place `Valley of Achor' till this day.

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Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 7      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth and New Christian Bible Study Staff

Joshua 7: The defeat at Ai, and the sin of Achan.

This chapter opens with the statement that Israel had sinned at Jericho, because an Israelite named Achan had kept something for himself, against the Lord's commandment. (But Joshua doesn't know this yet.)

The great victory at Jericho was quickly followed by an embarrassing defeat at Ai. The Israelites hadn't expected much difficulty in taking Ai, and sent just a few thousand men to attack it. They were routed.

Spiritually, we might say that pride goes before a fall, but more specifically, in the work of our regeneration we are never to rest on our laurels, but to always stay alert to each situation and how we are internally handling it. (Apocalypse Revealed 158)

Understandably, Joshua pours out his heart to the Lord, wondering why they have even crossed over the Jordan to simply be destroyed. The Lord tells him that their defeat at Ai was because Israel sinned by taking some of the forbidden things of Jericho. The Lord explains how to put this right, by identifying the wrongdoer and destroying him and his family.

Note the weakness of Joshua (as earlier also with Moses at times) when things go wrong and he feels confused, full of doubt, hurt and afraid. When things go well, we go well; when things go badly, we tend to go to pieces. And we ask, “Why? Why this, why me, why now?”

The Lord’s answer is a command, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face?” This is a pretty plain meaning: The Lord wants us to use such setbacks to be able to go forward, seeing the problem as a challenge and an opportunity and learning point.

Joshua is told to find the source of the wrong and the defeat. From all the tribes, one tribe will be selected by the Lord. From all its families, one family will be chosen. From all its households, one household will be chosen, and from that household, one man will be chosen. And Achan was the man and he is brought out. (Arcana Caelestia 5135)

This drawing-by-lot is a remarkable picture of our spiritual self-examination. We’re told that to make our general confession of ‘having done what we should not have done’ is almost worthless because we are likely to just carry on the same afterwards. (Arcana Caelestia 8390) Our personal inventory must be specific. What kind of thoughts have I been allowing myself recently? What did that make me feel in my heart? Did I welcome it or want nothing to do with it? It’s a kind of pinpointing, and it leads us to Achan, whose name in Hebrew means ‘trouble’ and ‘troubler’. (The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 164)

Achan, discovered, doesn't hide or deny his wrongdoing but openly admits that he has sinned against the Lord. He'd seen a beautiful garment, much silver, and a chunk of gold, and took them, and hid them in the earth in the middle of his tent. He confesses and indeed, his confession is transparent. So must our confession be when we see things in ourselves that go against the Lord’s truths and ways. They bring forth his stolen goods from his tent.

Then, in a comprehensive way, Joshua took everything Achan owned in its entirety, including the stolen goods, to the Valley of Achor (a name again meaning ‘trouble’) and stoned him and all his family and burned them with fire and raised a heap of stones over it all. This, to us, might well sound like a brutal and an unwarranted punishment.

Spiritually, the Lord does not punish us, ever. Rather, he commands that we turn from our evils, and suffer the consequences if we don't. The Lord does this to help and encourage us to stop following our own way and to commit ourselves to following and living His way. We can only conquer Canaan, representing heaven, when we do this. (Arcana Caelestia 8622)

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1453, 2327, 2576, 2838, 4539, 5135

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Významy biblických slov

son
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

Sons of Israel
'The camp of the sons of Israel' represents the church.

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

zerah
'Zarah,' as in Genesis 38:30, signifies the quality of good as actually being firstborn, and truth only seems to be. 'Zarah' in the original tongue...

tribe
'A tribe' signifies the church with respect to its truths and goods, and in the opposite sense, with respect to its falsities and evils. 'A...

judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

anger
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

joshua
Joshua is first mentioned in Exodus 17, where he is told to select men to fight for the children of Israel against the Amalekites in...

jericho
Jericho' signifies instruction and also the good of life because no one can be instructed in the truths of doctrine but he who is in...

ai
Hai, or Ai, signifies light derived from worldly things.

bethel
When Jacob had his famous dream, of a staircase leading to heaven, he named the place "Bethel," which is Hebrew for "the house of God."...

speaketh
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

go up
When we talk about "going up" in the modern world, we usually mean either that we're going north – which is toward the top of...

spy
'Spies,' as in Genesis 42:9, denote people who learn the church's truth only for gain.

land
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

people
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

thousand
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

men
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

smite
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

flee
Flight, as in Matthew 14:20, signifies removal from a state of the good of love and innocence. Flight, as in Mark 8:18, signifies the last...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

thirty
'Thirty' has a twofold significance because it is is the product of five and six, and also three and ten. From five multiplied by six,...

pursue
'To pursue,' as in Genesis 14:16, signifies a state of purification, because 'to pursue enemies' is the expulsion of evils and falsities which were with...

gate
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

melted
'To melt' denotes vanishing before the heat of lust.

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

garments
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

falleth
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

ark
There are three arks mentioned in the Word, the ark of Noah, the ark of bulrushes for the baby Moses, and the ark of the...

evening
Since the light and warmth of the sun represent the Lord’s wisdom and love, it makes sense that evening, a time when the light and...

elders
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

Elders of Israel
The elders of Israel (Deut. 1:13, 15) represent celestial men.

dust
Dust, in Ezekiel 26:12, signifies the lowest things which are of the sensual principle of man. In Isaiah 40:12, the dust signifies exterior or natural...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

saith
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

jordan
The land of Jordan,' as in Psalm 42:6, signifies what is lowly, consequently, what is distant from the celestial, as the external parts of a...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

after
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

hear
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

Cut off
To be cut off, as in Genesis 41:36, signifies to perish.

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

rise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

falling
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

commanded
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

stolen
In a natural sense, the commandment 'Thou shalt not steal,' in Exodus 20:15, means, according to the letter, not stealing, robbing, or committing piracy in...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

vessels
'Vessels,' in the internal sense, signify things serving as a receptacle, as scientific ideas and knowledges are to truths, and as truths themselves are to...

stand
'To sit before Jehovah' is to be with Him, and so, it also means willing and acting from Him. 'To stand before Him,' is to...

turn
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

sanctify
'To sanctify' denotes being led by the Lord. 'To sanctify' denotes being incapable of being violated.

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

morrow
'Tomorrow' signifies eternity.

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

tribes
In general, 'the twelve tribes' signify every aspect of the doctrine of truth and good, or of faith and love. Truth and good, or faith...

capture
"Catching" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible, both positive and negative. Thieves get caught; the Egyptians caught up with the Children...

draw
"Drawing" is used a number of different ways in the Bible, generally in the sense of pulling, leading or moving: People most commonly draw water,...

families
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

family
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

household
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

captured
"Catching" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible, both positive and negative. Thieves get caught; the Egyptians caught up with the Children...

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

Folly
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 32:6: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

riseth
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

early
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

captureth
"Catching" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible, both positive and negative. Thieves get caught; the Egyptians caught up with the Children...

declare
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

answereth
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

truly
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

spoil
'Spoil of gold, and silver, and cattle' signifies falsified truths.

Shinar
'The land of Shinar,' as in Genesis 10:10, signifies external worship, which has profane internal.

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

shekels
'A shekel' signifies the price or estimation of good and truth, and 'half a shekel' signifies the determination of the quantity thereof.

silver
'Money' relates to truth.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

fifty
God rested on the seventh day of creation. That represents a state of holiness and tranquility that was preserved in the form of the sabbath....

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

tent
'The tabernacle' has almost the same meaning as 'temple,' that is, in the highest sense, the Lord’s divine humanity, and in a relative sense, heaven...

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

messengers
'A messenger' signifies communication.

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

daughters
"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

ass
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

flock
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

valley of
'The valley of Siddim' signifies the uncleanness of lust, and the falsities derived from them.

valley
Mountains in the Bible represent people's highest points, where we are closest to the Lord - our love of the Lord and the state of...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

stone
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

stones
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

heap
'A heap,' as mentioned in Genesis 31:40, signifies good, because in the past, before they built altars, the ancients made heaps and ate together upon...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

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 Achan’s Sin
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Achan's Sin Review Questions
Choose words from a word bank to complete sentences about Achan's sin after the battle of Jericho. Cloze activity.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

 The Capture of Ai
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Capture of Ai
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Who Obeyed or Disobeyed the Lord?
Use names from a word bank to identify people in the Word who obeyed or who disobeyed the Lord. Story references are provided to help you.
Activity | All Ages


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