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Историко-культурный контекст Ветхого Завета

В.Сорокин

Еврейское завоевание Палестины

Теме завоевания евреями Палестины посвящена Книга Иисуса Навина. По-видимому, изначально она входила в тот окончательный вариант Торы, который был создан во время Вавилонского плена. Это было бы вполне естественно, если учесть, что композиционно она образует единое целое с Пятикнижием: сюжет Книги Иисуса Навина посвящён не просто завоеванию евреями Палестины, но, прежде всего, теме исполнения обещаний, данных Богом Аврааму во время заключённого с ним союза (Быт 15:18-21). Конечно, исполнились они не сами собой: еврейскому народу пришлось приложить немало усилий, чтобы получить обещанное, но возможность захватить с боями ту землю, на которой впоследствии будет создано первое еврейское государство, он получил.

Таким образом, в формате Шестикнижия Тора представляла собой законченный вариант священной истории, охватывающий древнейший период истории народа Божия. В дальнейшем же, когда Тора была дополнена сборником пророческих текстов, логика её построения стала иной, и тогда Книга Иисуса Навина была переведена из состава Торы в состав раннепророческих книг, которые в христианской традиции носят название исторических. Но священная история — не просто история, здесь на первый план выходят не исторические события собственно, а их духовный и, как говорят иногда теологи, провиденциальный смысл, то есть тот смысл, который эти события приобретают в контексте общего плана Божия относительно Своего народа и всего человечества, насколько он открывался библейским авторам.

В основе Книги Иисуса Навина, несомненно, лежат тексты, отражающие реальные исторические события. Прежде всего, это относится к описанию границ расселения по Палестине еврейских кланов, которое появляется в контексте рассказа об обновлении союза с Богом в конце жизни Иисуса Навина (гл. 13-24). Надо заметить, что вопрос о племенных границах в родоплеменном социуме был одним из важнейших, а нарушение их могло повлечь за собой очень серьёзные последствия, вплоть до межплеменных войн, длящихся иногда столетиями. Такие границы определялись обычно или на основе обычая, или решением авторитетных лидеров, а затем оформлялись особым договором и освящались. По-видимому, во время торжественного ритуала обновления союза с Богом (гл. 24) были освящены в том числе и вновь установленные межплеменные границы, что и было тогда же зафиксировано. Не исключено, что изначальная фиксация была устной, в форме торжественного обещания соблюдать установленные границы, данного при свидетелях, а впоследствии, с появлением и развитием еврейской письменности, установленные устно договорённости были записаны. Записи такого типа имеются у всех древних народов, и они обычно вполне надёжны как исторический источник.

Несколько иной характер носит первая часть Книги Иисуса Навина. По-видимому, наиболее ранним из всех находящихся здесь текстов является список побеждённых правителей палестинских городов и вождей населявших Палестину племён, приведённый в главе 12 (так называемый «список царей»). Аналогичные списки побеждённых во время войны правителей враждебных государств известны по египетским, ассирийским, вавилонским, хеттским источникам, и составляются они обычно по горячим следам, непосредственно или вскоре после завершения военных действий. Обычно таким спискам можно доверять, так как они составляются еще при жизни непосредственных участников событий, что делает бессмысленным искажение для всех очевидных фактов, то есть перед нами вполне надёжный исторический источник, свидетельствующий о военных успехах евреев в Палестине.

Однако при этом приходится учитывать, что на основании подобного рода списков весьма сложно установить хронологию событий: ведь, если о времени жизни побеждённых правителей нам ничего неизвестно, говорить о хронологии вообще не приходится. Между тем, в случае «списка царей» мы оказываемся именно в такой ситуации: об упоминаемых в нём правителях городов и вождях племён мы не знаем ничего, кроме того, что узнаём о них из самого списка, так как ни в каких других древних текстах их имена не упоминаются.

Что касается остальных свидетельств первой части Книги Иисуса Навина, то здесь перед нами, очевидно, изначально иной, менее опирающийся на историческую конкретику жанр, а именно героический эпос. Впрочем, сама книга, несомненно, представляет собой не эпические предания в их изначальной форме, а скорее обработку последних, сделанную в рамках вполне определённых теологических и историософских концепций, притом достаточно поздних. При этом, однако, следует учитывать и факт влияния на формировавшиеся эпические циклы раннепророческой традиции, своими корнями связанной с моисеевой общиной, для которой главными героями событий, связанных с Исходом и завоеванием Палестины, были, прежде всего, Моисей и Иисус Навин. Надо заметить, что в ветхозаветных книгах упоминаются такие не дошедшие до нас источники, как «Книга Праведного» (евр. ספר הישר сефер ха-йашар; другой возможный перевод — «Книга праведности») (Ис Нав 10:13, 2 Цар 1:18) и «Книга войн Яхве» (Числ 21:14; евр. ספר מלחמת יהוה сефер милхамот яхве; в Синодальном переводе — «Книга браней Господних»). Судя по приводимым цитатам, обе они представляли собой не что иное, как древнюю (во всяком случае, допленную) письменную обработку древнееврейского героического эпоса. По-видимому, в процессе создания этих текстов участвовали и представители пророческого движения, привнесшие в них характерные идеи и колорит, и уже на основе упомянутых текстов была написана в период вавилонского плена Книга Иисуса Навина.

Особый интерес вызывают главы 1–5 Книги Иисуса Навина, представляющие собой своего рода введение ко всей книге в целом. Начинается оно с наставления, данного Богом Иисусу Навину, как новому вождю (гл. 1), а завершается описанием обряда обрезания, совершённого сразу же после перехода через Иордан (5:1-9) и торжественного празднования первой Пасхи на данной Богом земле (5:10-15). Такое событие вполне могло иметь место в действительности, но не раннее того момента, когда, перейдя на западный, палестинский берег реки, евреи могли чувствовать там себя в безопасности. Первые же набеги на палестинские города могли иметь место намного раньше, и не исключено, что воспоминания о них вошли в эпические циклы, посвящённые еврейскому завоеванию Палестины, наряду с преданиями о более поздних победах, позволивших евреям окончательно закрепиться на западном берегу. Такое введение должно было придать всем описываемым в книге событиям провиденциальный смысл, и, вполне возможно, в окончательном своём виде оно появилось уже в заключительной (пленной) её редакции. Впрочем, предание о первой Пасхе в Палестине вполне могло и даже должно было сохраниться со времён Иисуса Навина, и использовать его могли разные авторы в различные эпохи.

То же самое можно сказать и об описанном во введении торжественном переходе через Иордан (гл. 3–4). Собственно, перед нами типичное этиологическое предание, то есть предание, посвящённое объяснению происхождения того или иного памятника или обычая. Речь идёт, по-видимому, о святилище, сооружённом на том месте, с которого началось вторжение в Палестину (4:20–24), решившее исход завоевательной кампании. Такие мемориальные святилища в древнем мире не редки, и с ними всегда связывается то или иное предание о чуде, ставшем предзнаменованием будущих побед. В данном случае таким чудом стал чудесный переход через Иордан, описанный в главе 3. Надо заметить, что колебания уровня воды в Иордане действительно могут иметь место практически в любое время года, причём во время низкой воды река в некоторых местах (между прочим, и неподалёку от Иерихона, где и вообще-то не очень глубоко, настолько, что там можно было даже перейти реку вброд (2:7), где упоминается находящаяся неподалёку переправа, причём, судя по евр. מעברות маэврот , речь должна идти именно о броде) совершенно мелела. Интереснее же всего с точки зрения общей композиции книги то, что этот рассказ, очевидно, был написан таким образом, чтобы вызывать ассоциации, связанные с чудесным переходом народа через Тростниковое море. Перед нами, в сущности, описание завершения Исхода, которое началось при Моисее и завершилось при Иисусе Навине, который довёл до конца дело своего учителя.

Когда же могли происходить все эти события? Можно думать, что в Трансиорданию евреи пришли ещё при жизни Моисея, как о том и говорит предание, отражённое в Пятикнижии. Если предположить, что Исход имел место во второй половине или в конце XV века, то появление евреев в Трансиордании можно датировать первой половиной XIV века. В таком случае приходится предполагать, что на восточном берегу Иордана они оставались на протяжении более чем полувека. Собственно, за это время и успело вырасти то поколение, которое уже не боялось войны и не думало о Египте. По-видимому, основная масса евреев обитала в среднем течении Иордана, в долине на левом (восточном) берегу реки, где их ближайшими соседями были аммонитяне и моавитяне — родственные народы семитского происхождения, отношения с которыми не всегда были враждебными. Иногда слишком тесные отношения евреев с иноплеменниками начинали негативно сказываться на религиозном состоянии народа, что заставляло порой религиозных вождей идти на весьма решительные меры по отношению к отступникам (Числ 25:1-5). Вожди же некоторых еврейских кланов и вовсе склонялись к тому, чтобы остаться в Трансиордании навсегда (Числ 32).

В такой ситуации выходом из положения могли быть только решительные действия. Вообще, идея священной войны может стать популярной в народе, воодушевлённом религиозными лозунгами, но образующаяся при этом социальная энергия требует обычно немедленного выхода. Всякое затягивание с переходом к решительным действиям в такой ситуации обычно снижает религиозный накал общества, особенно если к тому же на протяжении одного-двух поколений меняется и самый уклад жизни, как это имело место в Трансиордании, где создались условия для постепенного перехода евреев к оседлости. Но, впрочем, время работало не только против религиозных вождей, но в определённом отношении и на них: на достаточно ограниченной территории обитания евреев неизбежно развивалась перенаселённость. В итоге ситуация для начала войны под религиозными лозунгами сложилась весьма благоприятная: молодёжь, которой буквально не было места в Трансиордании, воспитанная религиозными вождями народа на идее священной войны за алтари своих предков, была вполне готова к решительным действиям. Скорее всего, это были уже не дети, а внуки тех, кто вышел из Египта, жившие в конце XIV — начале XIII веков. В это же время или, может быть, несколько ранее Египет, занятый внутренними проблемами, окончательно оставил Палестину на произвол судьбы, сделав решительное еврейское вторжение лишь вопросом собственной готовности вождей и народа.

Между тем, началом XIII века с большой степенью вероятности можно датировать лишь последнее, решительное вторжение евреев в Палестину. По-видимому, первые набеги на палестинские города начались значительно раньше. В Книге Иисуса Навина завоевание Палестины описано как серия военных походов, причём композиционно каждое описание одного из таких походов представляет собой законченный рассказ. По-видимому, данный факт связан с тем, что эти описания основаны на допленных источниках, представлявших собой, вероятно, сборники отдельных героических песен-преданий, которые, в свою очередь, восходили к устным эпическим циклам, состоявшим из отдельных эпизодов, посвящённых конкретным военным походам. Можно думать, что в древнем Израиле не сложилось героических поэм, которые объединили бы отдельные предания или циклы преданий в единое композиционное целое, связанное сквозным сюжетом и сквозными героями, подобных «Илиаде» или «Одиссее». Впрочем, сегодня невозможно точно сказать, чем были упомянутые выше «Книга войн Яхве» и «Книга праведного», так как от этих произведений до нас дошло всего три цитаты. Во всяком случае, судя по данным археологии и тель-эль-амарнского архива, набеги кочевников на Палестину начинаются уже во второй четверти XIV века.

Одним из таких преданий было предание о взятии Иерихона, описанное в главе 6 Книги Иисуса Навина. Оно, по-видимому, должно было иметь место в начале или в середине XIV века и было, возможно, одной из первых серьёзных военных вылазок евреев на палестинскую территорию. Иерихон, находящийся неподалёку от бродов через Иордан, на большой торговой дороге, был лёгкой добычей кочевников, которым ничего не стоило, перейдя Иордан и совершив набег на город, в тот же день уйти обратно за реку с награбленной добычей. Однако Иерихон, располагавшийся на холме, был всё же защищён достаточно хорошо, и взять его было не просто, хотя на протяжении многотысячелетней истории города такое случалось много раз. Надо заметить, что, судя по археологическим данным, город был разрушен почти до основания во время штурма, имевшего место около середины XIV века и вновь возродился лишь приблизительно столетие спустя. Возможно, именно это и отражено в рассматриваемой нами главе. Судя по имеющимся на сегодня данным, во время этого штурма стены города обрушились не внутрь, как бывает обычно во время штурма, а наружу — они как бы сползли по склону холма, на котором находились. Такое могло произойти вследствие оползня, а оползень вполне могла спровоцировать процессия, организованная осаждающими у стен города (Ис Нав 6:6–20).

Другим преданием, отражённым в книге Иисуса Навина, стало предание о взятии Ая (Гая), которое мы находим в гл. 7–8 книги. Здесь, так же, как и в рассказе о переходе через Иордан во введении, присутствуют элементы этиологического предания, объясняющие происхождение святилища на горе Гевал (8:30-35). Интересно отметить, что в рассматриваемом описании присутствуют элементы ритуала обновления союза с Богом, такие, как воссоздание священного текста (ст. 32), которым, скорее всего, был текст Декалога, и торжественное произнесение благословения соблюдающим закон и проклятия нарушающим его (ст. 33–34). Однако, не исключено, что святилище было сооружено как благодарственный дар Богу, даровавшему победу в очередном сражении, а также в знак покаяния за совершённое ранее нарушение наложенного табу («заклятия») (7:1). При этом совершенно невозможно определить, сколько времени прошло между набегом на Иерихон и взятием Ая (Гая). Изначально, по-видимому, перед нами два разных рассказа, лишь впоследствии сюжетно соединённых между собой эпизодом нарушения табу, и сегодня уже невозможно сказать точно, была ли такая связь в каких-либо ранних (допленных) сборниках, или она принадлежит автору Торы.

В остальном же еврейское завоевание Палестины описано в Книге Иисуса Навина достаточно обобщённо, как два военных похода против двух коалиций, одну из которых возглавил правитель Иерусалима, а другую — правитель Хацора (Асора) (гл. 10 и 11 книги, соответственно). Здесь перед нами, похоже, не столько обработка древних преданий или сделанных на их основе литературных произведений, сколько краткое изложение событий, созданное, очевидно, на основе этих не дошедших до нас источников. В главе 9 книги изложено этиологическое предание, объясняющее происхождение традиционного занятия жителей одного из городов Иудейского нагорья. На основе таких данных достаточно сложно восстановить подробную картину событий. Очевидно лишь, что у правителей палестинских городов не хватило сил для противостояния еврейскому вторжению в Палестину. Возможно, это было связано с недостаточно чёткой координацией их действий, но нельзя исключать и того, что еврейским вождям удалось обратить себе на пользу никогда не стихавшую взаимную вражду между правителями палестинских городов. Так же очевидно и другое: в год смерти Иисуса Навина завоевание Палестины ещё далеко не было завершено (13:1–5). Но смерть Иисуса Навина, бывшего общенациональным еврейским религиозным лидером, стало концом первого, активного периода еврейского завоевания Палестины. Теперь предстояло учиться жить на данной Богом земле и осваивать её.

Отрывки к тексту:
Gen 15
Jos 24
Sa2 1
Jos 1-5
Jos 12
Num 25
Num 32
Jos 6
Jos 7
Jos 8
Jos 13
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After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.”
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Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”
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And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.”
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Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.”
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And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
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Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
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And He said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.”
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He said, “O Lord GOD, how may I know that I will possess it?”
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So He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
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Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.
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The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
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Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him.
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God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.
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But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions.
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As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age.
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Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”
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It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.
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On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
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the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite
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and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim
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and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”
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Now Joshua was old and advanced in years when the LORD said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed.
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This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and all those of the Geshurites;
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from the Shihor which is east of Egypt, even as far as the border of Ekron to the north (it is counted as Canaanite); the five lords of the Philistines: the Gazite, the Ashdodite, the Ashkelonite, the Gittite, the Ekronite; and the Avvite
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to the south, all the land of the Canaanite, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, as far as Aphek, to the border of the Amorite;
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and the land of the Gebalite, and all of Lebanon, toward the east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon as far as Lebo-hamath.
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All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon as far as Misrephoth-maim, all the Sidonians, I will drive them out from before the sons of Israel; only allot it to Israel for an inheritance as I have commanded you.
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Now therefore, apportion this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”
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With the other half-tribe, the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance which Moses gave them beyond the Jordan to the east, just as Moses the servant of the LORD gave to them;
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from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain of Medeba, as far as Dibon;
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and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, as far as the border of the sons of Ammon;
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and Gilead, and the territory of the Geshurites and Maacathites, and all Mount Hermon, and all Bashan as far as Salecah;
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all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei (he alone was left of the remnant of the Rephaim); for Moses struck them and dispossessed them.
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But the sons of Israel did not dispossess the Geshurites or the Maacathites; for Geshur and Maacath live among Israel until this day.
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Only to the tribe of Levi he did not give an inheritance; the offerings by fire to the LORD, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as He spoke to him.
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So Moses gave an inheritance to the tribe of the sons of Reuben according to their families.
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Their territory was from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley and all the plain by Medeba;
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Heshbon, and all its cities which are on the plain: Dibon and Bamoth-baal and Beth-baal-meon,
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and Jahaz and Kedemoth and Mephaath,
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and Kiriathaim and Sibmah and Zereth-shahar on the hill of the valley,
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and Beth-peor and the slopes of Pisgah and Beth-jeshimoth,
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even all the cities of the plain and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites who reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses struck with the chiefs of Midian, Evi and Rekem and Zur and Hur and Reba, the princes of Sihon, who lived in the land.
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The sons of Israel also killed Balaam the son of Beor, the diviner, with the sword among the rest of their slain.
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The border of the sons of Reuben was the Jordan. This was the inheritance of the sons of Reuben according to their families, the cities and their villages.
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Moses also gave an inheritance to the tribe of Gad, to the sons of Gad, according to their families.
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Their territory was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the sons of Ammon, as far as Aroer which is before Rabbah;
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and from Heshbon as far as Ramath-mizpeh and Betonim, and from Mahanaim as far as the border of Debir;
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and in the valley, Beth-haram and Beth-nimrah and Succoth and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, with the Jordan as a border, as far as the lower end of the Sea of Chinnereth beyond the Jordan to the east.
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This is the inheritance of the sons of Gad according to their families, the cities and their villages.
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Moses also gave an inheritance to the half-tribe of Manasseh; and it was for the half-tribe of the sons of Manasseh according to their families.
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Their territory was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, sixty cities;
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also half of Gilead, with Ashtaroth and Edrei, the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were for the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh, for half of the sons of Machir according to their families.
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These are the territories which Moses apportioned for an inheritance in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan at Jericho to the east.
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But to the tribe of Levi, Moses did not give an inheritance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as He had promised to them.
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Now it came about after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, that David remained two days in Ziklag.
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On the third day, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul, with his clothes torn and dust on his head. And it came about when he came to David that he fell to the ground and prostrated himself.
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Then David said to him, “From where do you come?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.”
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David said to him, “How did things go? Please tell me.” And he said, “The people have fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.”
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So David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”
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The young man who told him said, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and behold, Saul was leaning on his spear. And behold, the chariots and the horsemen pursued him closely.
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When he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I said, ‘Here I am.’
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He said to me, ‘Who are you?’ And I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’
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Then he said to me, ‘Please stand beside me and kill me, for agony has seized me because my life still lingers in me.’
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So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown which was on his head and the bracelet which was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”
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Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so also did all the men who were with him.
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They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan and for the people of the LORD and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
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David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?” And he answered, “I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite.”
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Then David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy the LORD’S anointed?”
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And David called one of the young men and said, “Go, cut him down.” So he struck him and he died.
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David said to him, “Your blood is on your head, for your mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the LORD’S anointed.’”
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Then David chanted with this lament over Saul and Jonathan his son,
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and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the song of the bow; behold, it is written in the book of Jashar.
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“Your beauty, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How have the mighty fallen!
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“Tell it not in Gath, Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice, The daughters of the uncircumcised will exult.
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“O mountains of Gilboa, Let not dew or rain be on you, nor fields of offerings; For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.
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“From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, The bow of Jonathan did not turn back, And the sword of Saul did not return empty.
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“Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life, And in their death they were not parted; They were swifter than eagles, They were stronger than lions.
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“O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, Who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet, Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
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“How have the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan is slain on your high places.
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“I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful Than the love of women.
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“How have the mighty fallen, And the weapons of war perished!”
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Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying,
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“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.
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Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.
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From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.
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No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.
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Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
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Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.
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This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
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Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
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“Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it.’”
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To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said,
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“Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’
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Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross before your brothers in battle array, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them,
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until the LORD gives your brothers rest, as He gives you, and they also possess the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to your own land, and possess that which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
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They answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.
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Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you; only may the LORD your God be with you as He was with Moses.
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Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.”
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Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there.
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It was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men from the sons of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.”
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And the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.”
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But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them, and she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.
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It came about when it was time to shut the gate at dark, that the men went out; I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.”
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But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them in the stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof.
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So the men pursued them on the road to the Jordan to the fords; and as soon as those who were pursuing them had gone out, they shut the gate.
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Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof,
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and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you.
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For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
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When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
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Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth,
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and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”
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So the men said to her, “Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the LORD gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”
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Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall.
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She said to them, “Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.”
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The men said to her, “We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear,
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unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household.
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It shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be free; but anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him.
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But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be free from the oath which you have made us swear.”
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She said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
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They departed and came to the hill country, and remained there for three days until the pursuers returned. Now the pursuers had sought them all along the road, but had not found them.
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Then the two men returned and came down from the hill country and crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they related to him all that had happened to them.
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They said to Joshua, “Surely the LORD has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us.”
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Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and he and all the sons of Israel set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan, and they lodged there before they crossed.
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At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp;
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and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.
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However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”
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Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
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And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people.
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Now the LORD said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you.
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You shall, moreover, command the priests who are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’”
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Then Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.”
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Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will assuredly dispossess from before you the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Perizzite, the Girgashite, the Amorite, and the Jebusite.
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Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan.
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Now then, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe.
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It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap.”
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So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people,
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and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest),
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the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho.
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And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.
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Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying,
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“Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe,
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and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’”
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So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe;
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and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel.
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Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’
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then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”
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Thus the sons of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, just as the LORD spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel; and they carried them over with them to the lodging place and put them down there.
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Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day.
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For the priests who carried the ark were standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the LORD had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hurried and crossed;
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and when all the people had finished crossing, the ark of the LORD and the priests crossed before the people.
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The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle array before the sons of Israel, just as Moses had spoken to them;
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about 40,000 equipped for war, crossed for battle before the LORD to the desert plains of Jericho.
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On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.
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Now the LORD said to Joshua,
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“Command the priests who carry the ark of the testimony that they come up from the Jordan.”
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So Joshua commanded the priests, saying, “Come up from the Jordan.”
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It came about when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD had come up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks as before.
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Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho.
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Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.
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He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’
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then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’
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For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the LORD your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed;
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that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.”
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Now it came about when all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard how the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the sons of Israel until they had crossed, that their hearts melted, and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the sons of Israel.
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At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make for yourself flint knives and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time.”
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So Joshua made himself flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.
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This is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness along the way after they came out of Egypt.
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For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.
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For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished because they did not listen to the voice of the LORD, to whom the LORD had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
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Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way.
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Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed.
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Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.
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While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho.
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On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.
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The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year.
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Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?”
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He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?”
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The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
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Now these are the kings of the land whom the sons of Israel defeated, and whose land they possessed beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise, from the valley of the Arnon as far as Mount Hermon, and all the Arabah to the east:
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Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, both the middle of the valley and half of Gilead, even as far as the brook Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon;
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and the Arabah as far as the Sea of Chinneroth toward the east, and as far as the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, eastward toward Beth-jeshimoth, and on the south, at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah;
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and the territory of Og king of Bashan, one of the remnant of Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei,
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and ruled over Mount Hermon and Salecah and all Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and half of Gilead, as far as the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.
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Moses the servant of the LORD and the sons of Israel defeated them; and Moses the servant of the LORD gave it to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh as a possession.
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Now these are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the sons of Israel defeated beyond the Jordan toward the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even as far as Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir; and Joshua gave it to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions,
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in the hill country, in the lowland, in the Arabah, on the slopes, and in the wilderness, and in the Negev; the Hittite, the Amorite and the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite:
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the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;
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the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one;
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the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one;
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the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one;
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the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one;
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the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one;
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the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one;
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the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one;
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the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one;
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the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one;
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the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one;
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the king of Shimron-meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one;
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the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one;
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the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one;
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the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one; the king of Goiim in Gilgal, one;
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the king of Tirzah, one: in all, thirty-one kings.
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While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab.
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For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.
3
So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the LORD was angry against Israel.
4
The LORD said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.”
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So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you slay his men who have joined themselves to Baal of Peor.”
6
Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, while they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
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When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand,
8
and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked.
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Those who died by the plague were 24,000.
10
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
11
“Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy.
12
Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace;
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and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.’”
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Now the name of the slain man of Israel who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of a father’s household among the Simeonites.
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The name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was head of the people of a father’s household in Midian.
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Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
17
“Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them;
18
for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor.”
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Now the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad had an exceedingly large number of livestock. So when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that it was indeed a place suitable for livestock,
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the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben came and spoke to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the congregation, saying,
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“Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon,
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the land which the LORD conquered before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.”
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They said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession; do not take us across the Jordan.”
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But Moses said to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to war while you yourselves sit here?
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Now why are you discouraging the sons of Israel from crossing over into the land which the LORD has given them?
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This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land.
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For when they went up to the valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the sons of Israel so that they did not go into the land which the LORD had given them.
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So the LORD’S anger burned in that day, and He swore, saying,
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‘None of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; for they did not follow Me fully,
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except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have followed the LORD fully.’
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So the LORD’S anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the LORD was destroyed.
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Now behold, you have risen up in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinful men, to add still more to the burning anger of the LORD against Israel.
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For if you turn away from following Him, He will once more abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.”
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Then they came near to him and said, “We will build here sheepfolds for our livestock and cities for our little ones;
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but we ourselves will be armed ready to go before the sons of Israel, until we have brought them to their place, while our little ones live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land.
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We will not return to our homes until every one of the sons of Israel has possessed his inheritance.
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For we will not have an inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has fallen to us on this side of the Jordan toward the east.”
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So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will arm yourselves before the LORD for the war,
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and all of you armed men cross over the Jordan before the LORD until He has driven His enemies out from before Him,
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and the land is subdued before the LORD, then afterward you shall return and be free of obligation toward the LORD and toward Israel, and this land shall be yours for a possession before the LORD.
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But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.
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Build yourselves cities for your little ones, and sheepfolds for your sheep, and do what you have promised.”
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The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben spoke to Moses, saying, “Your servants will do just as my lord commands.
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Our little ones, our wives, our livestock and all our cattle shall remain there in the cities of Gilead;
27
while your servants, everyone who is armed for war, will cross over in the presence of the LORD to battle, just as my lord says.”
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So Moses gave command concerning them to Eleazar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the heads of the fathers’ households of the tribes of the sons of Israel.
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Moses said to them, “If the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, everyone who is armed for battle, will cross with you over the Jordan in the presence of the LORD, and the land is subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession;
30
but if they will not cross over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.”
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The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben answered, saying, “As the LORD has said to your servants, so we will do.
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We ourselves will cross over armed in the presence of the LORD into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us across the Jordan.”
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So Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Joseph’s son Manasseh, the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og, the king of Bashan, the land with its cities with their territories, the cities of the surrounding land.
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The sons of Gad built Dibon and Ataroth and Aroer,
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and Atroth-shophan and Jazer and Jogbehah,
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and Beth-nimrah and Beth-haran as fortified cities, and sheepfolds for sheep.
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The sons of Reuben built Heshbon and Elealeh and Kiriathaim,
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and Nebo and Baal-meon—their names being changed—and Sibmah, and they gave other names to the cities which they built.
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The sons of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it.
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So Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he lived in it.
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Jair the son of Manasseh went and took its towns, and called them Havvoth-jair.
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Nobah went and took Kenath and its villages, and called it Nobah after his own name.
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Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in.
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The LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.
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You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days.
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Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
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It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”
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So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD.”
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Then he said to the people, “Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the LORD.”
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And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the LORD went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
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The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets.
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But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!”
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So he had the ark of the LORD taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.
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Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
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The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, while they continued to blow the trumpets.
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Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days.
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Then on the seventh day they rose early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same manner seven times; only on that day they marched around the city seven times.
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At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city.
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The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the LORD; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.
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But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it.
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But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD.”
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So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city.
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They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.
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Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her.”
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So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel.
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They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
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However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
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Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, “Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates.”
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So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.
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But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel.
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Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.
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They returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not let all the people go up; only about two or three thousand men need go up to Ai; do not make all the people toil up there, for they are few.”
4
So about three thousand men from the people went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai.
5
The men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of their men, and pursued them from the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them down on the descent, so the hearts of the people melted and became as water.
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Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.
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Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord GOD, why did You ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan!
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O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies?
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For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?”
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So the LORD said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face?
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Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things.
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Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.
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Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the LORD, the God of Israel, has said, “There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.”
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In the morning then you shall come near by your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which the LORD takes by lot shall come near by families, and the family which the LORD takes shall come near by households, and the household which the LORD takes shall come near man by man.
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It shall be that the one who is taken with the things under the ban shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has committed a disgraceful thing in Israel.’”
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So Joshua arose early in the morning and brought Israel near by tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken.
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He brought the family of Judah near, and he took the family of the Zerahites; and he brought the family of the Zerahites near man by man, and Zabdi was taken.
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He brought his household near man by man; and Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, was taken.
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Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I implore you, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him; and tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me.”
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So Achan answered Joshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel, and this is what I did:
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when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I coveted them and took them; and behold, they are concealed in the earth inside my tent with the silver underneath it.”
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So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was concealed in his tent with the silver underneath it.
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They took them from inside the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the sons of Israel, and they poured them out before the LORD.
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Then Joshua and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the mantle, the bar of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent and all that belonged to him; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor.
25
Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day.” And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
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They raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day, and the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the valley of Achor to this day.
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Now the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.
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You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king; you shall take only its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it.”
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So Joshua rose with all the people of war to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose 30,000 men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night.
4
He commanded them, saying, “See, you are going to ambush the city from behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.
5
Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out to meet us as at the first, we will flee before them.
6
They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us as at the first.’ So we will flee before them.
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And you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.
8
Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you.”
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So Joshua sent them away, and they went to the place of ambush and remained between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua spent that night among the people.
10
Now Joshua rose early in the morning and mustered the people, and he went up with the elders of Israel before the people to Ai.
11
Then all the people of war who were with him went up and drew near and arrived in front of the city, and camped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai.
12
And he took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.
13
So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the north side of the city, and its rear guard on the west side of the city, and Joshua spent that night in the midst of the valley.
14
It came about when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city.
15
Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.
16
And all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city.
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So not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who had not gone out after Israel, and they left the city unguarded and pursued Israel.
18
Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” So Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city.
19
The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire.
20
When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers.
21
When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and slew the men of Ai.
22
The others came out from the city to encounter them, so that they were trapped in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side; and they slew them until no one was left of those who survived or escaped.
23
But they took alive the king of Ai and brought him to Joshua.
24
Now when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field in the wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them were fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword.
25
All who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000—all the people of Ai.
26
For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
27
Israel took only the cattle and the spoil of that city as plunder for themselves, according to the word of the LORD which He had commanded Joshua.
28
So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation until this day.
29
He hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening; and at sunset Joshua gave command and they took his body down from the tree and threw it at the entrance of the city gate, and raised over it a great heap of stones that stands to this day.
30
Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal,
31
just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.
32
He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel.
33
All Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had given command at first to bless the people of Israel.
34
Then afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law.
35
There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.
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Now Joshua was old and advanced in years when the LORD said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed.
2
This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and all those of the Geshurites;
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from the Shihor which is east of Egypt, even as far as the border of Ekron to the north (it is counted as Canaanite); the five lords of the Philistines: the Gazite, the Ashdodite, the Ashkelonite, the Gittite, the Ekronite; and the Avvite
4
to the south, all the land of the Canaanite, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, as far as Aphek, to the border of the Amorite;
5
and the land of the Gebalite, and all of Lebanon, toward the east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon as far as Lebo-hamath.
6
All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon as far as Misrephoth-maim, all the Sidonians, I will drive them out from before the sons of Israel; only allot it to Israel for an inheritance as I have commanded you.
7
Now therefore, apportion this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”
8
With the other half-tribe, the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance which Moses gave them beyond the Jordan to the east, just as Moses the servant of the LORD gave to them;
9
from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain of Medeba, as far as Dibon;
10
and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, as far as the border of the sons of Ammon;
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and Gilead, and the territory of the Geshurites and Maacathites, and all Mount Hermon, and all Bashan as far as Salecah;
12
all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei (he alone was left of the remnant of the Rephaim); for Moses struck them and dispossessed them.
13
But the sons of Israel did not dispossess the Geshurites or the Maacathites; for Geshur and Maacath live among Israel until this day.
14
Only to the tribe of Levi he did not give an inheritance; the offerings by fire to the LORD, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as He spoke to him.
15
So Moses gave an inheritance to the tribe of the sons of Reuben according to their families.
16
Their territory was from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley and all the plain by Medeba;
17
Heshbon, and all its cities which are on the plain: Dibon and Bamoth-baal and Beth-baal-meon,
18
and Jahaz and Kedemoth and Mephaath,
19
and Kiriathaim and Sibmah and Zereth-shahar on the hill of the valley,
20
and Beth-peor and the slopes of Pisgah and Beth-jeshimoth,
21
even all the cities of the plain and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites who reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses struck with the chiefs of Midian, Evi and Rekem and Zur and Hur and Reba, the princes of Sihon, who lived in the land.
22
The sons of Israel also killed Balaam the son of Beor, the diviner, with the sword among the rest of their slain.
23
The border of the sons of Reuben was the Jordan. This was the inheritance of the sons of Reuben according to their families, the cities and their villages.
24
Moses also gave an inheritance to the tribe of Gad, to the sons of Gad, according to their families.
25
Their territory was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the sons of Ammon, as far as Aroer which is before Rabbah;
26
and from Heshbon as far as Ramath-mizpeh and Betonim, and from Mahanaim as far as the border of Debir;
27
and in the valley, Beth-haram and Beth-nimrah and Succoth and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, with the Jordan as a border, as far as the lower end of the Sea of Chinnereth beyond the Jordan to the east.
28
This is the inheritance of the sons of Gad according to their families, the cities and their villages.
29
Moses also gave an inheritance to the half-tribe of Manasseh; and it was for the half-tribe of the sons of Manasseh according to their families.
30
Their territory was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, sixty cities;
31
also half of Gilead, with Ashtaroth and Edrei, the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were for the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh, for half of the sons of Machir according to their families.
32
These are the territories which Moses apportioned for an inheritance in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan at Jericho to the east.
33
But to the tribe of Levi, Moses did not give an inheritance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as He had promised to them.
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