For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough

12:1.  “Now these are the kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the other side Jordan towards the rising of the sun, from the river Arnon unto mount Hermon, and all the plain on the east:”

Those who see any spiritual significance in these chapters are in virtual agreement that the two and a-half tribes which inherited east of Jordan represent carnal believers, and the other nine and a-half, spiritual believers.  There are, however, some very good reasons to believe, on the contrary, that it is these two and a-half tribes who represent the spiritual amongst God’s people today.

All of the land between the river of Egypt (not the Nile) and the Euphrates was promised to Abraham, Ge 15:18.  The promise was reiterated through Moses, Dt 1:7; 2:24-37; and in Dt 11:24 Israel’s inheritance was declared to be all the land between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates.  This was confirmed also to Joshua, Jsh 1:4.  Their taking possession east of Jordan therefore was an act of faith and obedience to appropriate what God had promised them.

Turning now to Nu 32 we read of the promise of the two and a-half tribes, not only to go over Jordan to help their brethren take possession there, but it is explicitly stated, verse 17, that in the conflict they would form the vanguard; and in response to this promise Moses declared that they should inherit east of Jordan.  Their crossing Jordan along with their brethren speaks symbolically of living as those who are dead to the world, as described in Gal 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”  There is no clearer illustration of this truth than that provided by the fighting men of the two and a-half tribes, as they crossed Jordan to spend seven years in conflict with literal foes who represent the spiritual antagonists against whom the believer wars.  Jos 22:1-6 records his commendation of their faithfulness that had required  seven years of fighting, of separation from their families, and neglect of their own inheritance.  When they did finally return to enjoy that inheritance it was with his  blessing, “So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their tents,” v.6.

In view of all this, and in the absence of even a hint of Divine disapproval, the interpretation that makes them the representatives of carnal believers, appears to be incorrect.  It seems in fact that they represent, not carnal, but spiritual believers.

It remains necessary, however, to explain the spiritual significance of this appropriation of land east of Jordan by the two and a-half tribes under Moses; and that by the other tribes west of Jordan, under Joshua.  The clue to a correct exegesis lies, I believe, in the fact that the appropriation was under two different leaders.  Moses represents the Lord Jesus Christ in connection with an earthly experience that included death, leading believers out of spiritual bondage; but Joshua represents Him in resurrection, the Captain of our salvation, leading believers in to the enjoyment of spiritual blessings.  Does it not seem better therefore to view the two and a-half tribes who had their inheritance east of Jordan, as being representative of spiritual believers in the midst of earthly experience?  They are in the world, but not of it; they live as those who are dead to the world (their citizenship is in heaven), the world having been crucified unto them, and they unto the world, through the cross, Gal 6:14?  The enemy on the eastern side represents what affects us physically, mentally, and emotionally as a result of that contact with the world, whereas the enemy on the western side represents what affects us spiritually as a result of that contact.

For seven years they left their families and flocks to the care of those too young or too old to go to war.  They exchanged the comforts of home for the rigors of battle in which they were in the forefront - and that not to benefit themselves, but their brethren.  Surely this is a picture of the spiritual believer.  The seven years represent the whole of the believer’s life.  Consignment of their families and flocks to the care of the young and the aged, is the symbolic declaration of the truth that with them God’s affairs came first.  Their willingness to engage in a conflict that was for the benefit of others is the symbolic revelation of the heart attitude of every spiritual believer.

Since, however, the walk of the spiritual man is but a reflection of Christ, the eye of faith will not fail to see in the conduct of the two and a-half tribes a symbolic picture of the Lord’s great work.  As they crossed Jordan to secure blessings for others, so did He “cross Jordan” (He died) to secure eternal blessings for sinners.  And as they eventually returned - having been in the forefront of the war that subdued Canaan - to enjoy their own inheritance, so will He return as the Conqueror, to establish His millennial kingdom after having subdued the world.

Another question now presents itself.  If the two and a-half tribes represent spiritual believers in the context of earthly experience, what do the tribes west of Jordan represent?  Since it was Joshua, and not Moses, who led them into Canaan, they represent spiritual Israel, the Church, but with the emphasis on the fact that faith in a risen Savior transports us into a spiritual realm completely severed from all things earthly, that separation being effected by the cross of Christ, through which, as we have noted already, “the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”  We must not forget that all of the tribes were engaged in the warfare on both sides of the Jordan.  The conflict on the eastern side is designed to instruct us in regard to opposition, with emphasis upon that aspect which is literal, e.g., beating, imprisonment, seizure of goods, ostracism, etc., while that on the western side of the river is designed to instruct us in regard to opposition that is more mental and spiritual, e.g., the fear of ridicule that often silences our testimony; distractions that keep us from prayer, study, service, etc.  Experience teaches that the faithful believer often experiences both.

There is another lesson to be learnt from the fact that for the seven years of the conquest of the land, the only Israelite presence east of Jordan was that constituted by the women and children, and those too young or too old for war (all the men of war had crossed Jordan to fight).  God would have us see the relative value of temporal things as compared with those which are spiritual.  Earthly affairs should receive no more of our time, ability or money than is needful to keep us from becoming a charge upon others.  By far the greater part of the believer’s life is to be lived “west of Jordan,” i.e., in the realm of the spirit, for it is there that the greatest power of the enemy is concentrated.  Sihon and Og are the only enemy kings mentioned on the east side of the river, while those in Canaan are multitudinous.

There is a further lesson to be learnt from the fact that the fighting men of the two and a-half tribes crossed Jordan twice - once to enter Canaan to engage in a seven-year war, and then a return crossing to enjoy their inheritance when the war was won.  First, we will enjoy our temporal blessings more if God’s business is given priority.  Second, it will be in resurrection that we will enter into the full enjoyment of our inheritance.  Our present business is to be mighty men of valor in the service of “Joshua,” a resurrected Christ.  (Since crossing Jordan once represents death, the return crossing represents resurrection).

But before they went over Jordan to fight in Canaan they had to overcome the foes east of the river.  If therefore the Canaanites represent the flesh in the believer, and the evil powers of the air, these foes east of Jordan represent the world in its opposition to all that is of God.  The southern boundary of this territory was the river Arnon, meaning Lion of perpetuity: I shall shout for joy, while the northern limit was “mount Hermon and all the plain on the east.”

In determining the spiritual meaning of the river Arnon, we note that Christ and Satan are both presented under the figure of a lion, but with Christ alone can the thought of perpetuity be associated: He alone is eternal.  And as for the second meaning I shall shout for joy, this too can relate only to Christ.  Arnon, then, appears to speak of Christ as the mighty Lion of Judah, Whose reign will have no end; and as the One through Whom the believer is made to shout for joy.  As the boundary separating the portion of the two and a-half tribes from the Moabites to the south, it declares symbolically that it is He Who is the boundary between the portion of the redeemed and the evil world in which they live.  Since, however, water is a symbol of the written Word ministered by the Holy Spirit, the truth being taught is that separation from evil is dependent on our obedience to Him as revealed in the written Word.  To have crossed the Arnon to enter Moab would have been disobedience, just as it is disobedience to go beyond what is authorized by the written Word.

Since the east is associated with evil and departure from God, this “plain on the east” seems to justify our viewing this territory as being symbolic of this world, for “plain” is literally desert, an apt symbol of a world departed from God, living in sin, and inimical to everything spiritual.  And in our study of Jos 11:17 we noted that Hermon, meaning devoted: banned, is associated with the self-effort which, because it belittles the work of Christ, is repugnant to God.

12:2.  “Sihon sweeping away: scraping away king of the Amorites sayers, who dwelt in Heshbon device: reason, and ruled from Aroer destitute, which is upon the bank of the river Arnon lion of perpetuity: I shall shout for joy, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead heap of witness: rolling for ever, even unto the river Jabbok he will empty out, which is the border of the children of Ammon tribal (peoplish: inbred).

The first foe to be vanquished was Sihon, king of the Amorites.  He is a type of Satan who is king of the empty professors represented by the Amorites.  We have noted already, however, that it was God Himself Who had given Sihon and his land into the hand of Israel, Dt 2:24.  The spiritual picture is easily discerned.  Experience reveals that almost invariably the first foe the new believer encounters is the false church with its empty profession, Satan’s counterfeit of the true Church.  As Sihon and his Amorite subjects occupied what God intended for Israel, so do Satan and the spiritual Amorites (talkers, those having a mere empty profession) occupy today the world that God, through Christ, has given to spiritual Israel, the Church.  As this Amorite foe was expelled, and his land appropriated by Israel, so will it yet be in regard to the world; but in the meantime believers are to engage in that warfare that will culminate in the victorious return of Christ, first to rapture His Church home to heaven, and then to return with her to establish His millennial kingdom, i.e., take possession of “Sihon’s kingdom.”

Sihon’s dwelling in Heshbon device: reason  declares symbolically that the evil system represented by Sihon and the Amorites is governed by the world’s false “wisdom” rather than the Word of God, while Aroer destitute assures us that the whole Satanic system is destitute of life because it lacks the knowledge of God.

Since the Arnon represents Christ, Aroer on its bank represents someone or something close to Christ, but not close enough (destitute of spiritual life).  One must be in Christ, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature.”  Close “on the bank” isn’t good enough.  Judas was “on the bank,” - he was close to Christ, but he was His enemy.  The foe represented by Aroer therefore is someone or something that seems to be close to Christ, but which is in reality His enemy.  The unconverted professor is such, and so is the great false church.  God would remind us that since they are His enemies, in spite of outward appearances, they are our enemies also.  There is no more dangerous foe than the false professor, and the harlot church, for they can do more to damage the cause of Christ than practically any other.

The two rivers were the southern and northern borders respectively of Sihon’s kingdom, and in their meanings lion of perpetuity: I shall shout for joy and he will empty out, remind us that the rulers of this world exercise their authority only within the boundaries of God’s permissive will, but in a soon coming day the Lion of perpetuity, the Lord Jesus Christ, will return in power and glory, banish every unbeliever from the earth, and rule the world for His Father’s glory, causing His own to “shout for joy.”  Everything which offends will be “emptied out” of His kingdom.

Sihon’s territory included much of Gilead heap of witness: rolling for ever, and this is in harmony with what we have been considering already, for the only “heap of witness” having perpetual significance is Calvary.  Satan and the empty professors who constitute the false church rule over much of that spiritual territory represented by Gilead, and which rightly belongs to faith.  But as God assured Israel of victory, so does He also assure us, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” 1 Jn 4:4.  Calvary is lightly esteemed by the world today, but in the Millennium, and in the new earth which will follow it, its true worth will be universally acknowledged.

“And from half Gilead” isn’t very precise geographically, but spiritually it couldn’t be more explicit.  It is today as it was in the days of Elijah.  Then it seemed as though the prophets of Baal, under the patronage of Jezebel (type of the false church), ruled the land, but they didn’t: God was in control -  there were seven thousand who hadn’t bowed the knee to Baal, and today God also has His faithful remnant in the midst of the general apostasy.

Israel, settled in the land formerly held by Sihon, had on the south enemies who were their own blood relatives: the Ammonites and the Moabites.  While we can’t ignore the fact that “a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” Mt 10:36, it is just as likely that the application may be to those who are our spiritual “relatives,” i.e., other believers.  Experience testifies loudly to the bitterness of the enmity among true believers, that has all too often ravaged the Church.  It is significant that Israel was forbidden to meddle with these two peoples.

The Ammonite is a type of the flesh within the believer, working ceaselessly, particularly in the realm of the intellect (as his brother Moab is a type of the flesh in the believer, but working through fleshly lusts), to regain the control that was taken from it at the moment of the believer’s conversion.  It is by appeal to mere human reason that the flesh represented by the Ammonite all too often succeeds in luring the believer into disobedience of God.

Aroer destitute ought to remind us that a man may be a king or a billionaire, but unless he knows Christ as his Savior he is destitute, as it is written, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mk 8:36.  Someone has very aptly commented that if a man has everything except Christ, he has nothing; and if a man has nothing except Christ, he has everything!

Mount Hermon devoted: banned was one of the most northerly boundaries of Israel’s inheritance, reminding us that everything outside the spiritual realm into which faith introduces us, is under the ban or curse of God, and is devoted to eternal destruction.

12:3.  “And from the plain to the sea of Chinneroth harps on the east, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east, the way to Beth-jeshimoth house of the wastes; and from the south under Ashdoth-pisgah spoilers of the survey:”    

Since harps are associated with the joy of God’s people, and with the worship of the redeemed in heaven, Re 5:8, the lesson is that the influence of the great false church extends even to the believer’s worship.  It is scarcely necessary to mention the unremitting pressure upon believers to exchange the Biblical simplicity of spiritual worship for the trappings of the “worship” of the harlot church; and it is painfully evident that many a local company of believers has succumbed to that pressure.

“... the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east” is the Dead Sea, and clearly it speaks of death, which is in keeping with its being on the east, for in Scripture the east is always associated with sin and departure from God.  Since this is the description of the territory as it was when occupied by the enemy, we are being reminded that death terminates every expectation of the unbeliever.

Since Beth-jeshimoth didn’t lie on any boundary, the mention of it, out of many others that might just as well have been chosen, is obviously intended to focus particular attention upon the spiritual lesson connected with the meaning of its name house of the wastes, a meaning which is also related to the idea of desolation.  It describes the condition of all that lies within the domain of Satan, of whom Sihon is a type: it is a spiritual waste.  The possessions of the unbeliever are in the spiritual desert or desolation which is this present evil world, that desolate state, however, being unperceived by the sspiritually blind eyes of those who have never been born again.

“... and from the south under Ashdoth-pisgah ravines: clefts.”  It was from the top of Pisgah that Moses was allowed to survey Canaan; but since that land represents the spiritual inheritance to be enjoyed by the believer even while he is here on earth, the lesson connected with Ashdoth-pisgah isn’t hard to read.  The harlot church is the great spoiler, for her wrong doctrine makes it impossible for any believers who may be in her midst (and there are some) to comprehend the extent of their inheritance in Christ.  And for those believers outside the harlot church, the world is the great spoiler, for it would use the things of earth to blind them to the true value of the things that are eternal.

The south is the Biblical direction which speaks of faith, and for the believer it is a place of green pastures and still waters; but the unbeliever cannot dwell there, because to unbelief it is spiritually a dreadful place of “ravines and clefts.”

Inasmuch as this was the first enemy territory to be taken by Israel, the truth being taught is that since all of us prior to conversion were under the spiritual tyranny of Satan working through the things of the world, and its false religious systems, our first spiritual battle is to throw off that yoke, and take possession of all that God has given us in Christ.  The way to accomplish that victory is to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  The spiritual growth that comes from studying and obeying the Word equips us to recognize and refute all the worthless wisdom of a godless world, and the false doctrines of that world’s religious systems

In Israel’s victory over Sihon, God would have us find encouragement; and in the details of the conflict He would equip us for the fight by showing us in symbol the wiles of the enemy, and the Divine strategy that produces victory.  As men forewarned and instructed by God Himself, we are therefore without excuse if we leave the enemy in undisputed possession of what God has given us.

12:4.  “And the coast of Og hearth-cake king of Bashan the shame of them: the fertile: the one in sleep, which was of the remnant of the giants, that dwelt at Ashtaroth thought searching and at Edrei goodly pasture.”

The meaning of Og at first glance appears to yield no spiritual message, but something may be learned from considering the nature of a hearth cake.  It is a cake baked on the ground; but since meal is a Biblical symbol, not only of the Word, but also of humanity (the Meal offering represents the humanity of Christ); and since fire is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, this cake represents one who has been dealt with by the Holy Spirit.  But in his being still an enemy of God, the portrait is of one, who having hardened his heart against the striving of the Holy Spirit, has been given up by God to continue in evil with a seared conscience.

Og’s being a giant didn’t save him from the Israelites.  When we’re tempted to be intimidated by the enemy, we should remember the assurance given us in Scripture, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Ro 8:31.

While Sihon, as the enemy of God and His people, represents the world of intellectualism and false religion, Og on the other hand appears to represent that same world, but in its pursuit of the gratification of every fleshly lust.  There could be no clearer picture of the twentieth century world.

His being described as the remnant of the giants indicates a rule or power less than it had been once.  Since he, in common with every other evil ruler, is a type of Satan, we are being reminded that Satan is a fallen prince, whose power is less than it was once.  He who is now the prince of darkness was once the anointed cherub, Lucifer, the shining one; and since Calvary, his dominion over the realm of darkness has been still further reduced, for when Christ arose from the dead, it was with the keys of death and of hell, spheres once under Satan’s control.  The day is not far off when that control will be restricted still further, for at the mid point of the tribulation he will be expelled from heaven, and his dominion confined to the earth.

The two places where Og dwelt, Ashtaroth mind readers and Edrei goodly pasture, add yet more details to the spiritual picture, for clearly the thought connected with Ashtaroth has to do with the intellect, or earthly wisdom; and in our study of Sihon as king of Heshbon devise or reason we found exactly the same thought.  There, however, it was intellect in association with worldly religion; but here the lesson being taught is that intellect or worldly wisdom is no less the associate of lust.  Inasmuch as Og dwelt at both Ashtaroth and Edrei, we learn that as the Scriptures are the “goodly pasture” for the mind of the renewed man, worldly wisdom is the “goodly pasture” for the mind of the natural man, who in spite of that wisdom, often makes himself lower than the beast in the gratification of his lust.  It is significant, for example, that some of the world’s most prominent intellectuals are homosexual, a sin which is a perversion of nature, and which is one of the most abhorrent to God.

The first meaning of Bashan describes the life of those whom God has given up: it is shameful, see e.g., Romans chapter 1, which describes the life style of those whom God has given up.  “Shame” could be written over the evil activities recorded there; and we must not forget that it is largely the description of the world we live in.

The second meaning “fertile” points to fertility in the production of evil, and few will fail to see the aptness of the description in its application to the world today.  And the third meaning “the one in sleep” is equally apt, for a godless world, with a conscience for the most part seared against the Holy Spirit’s condemnation of its sin, and fertile in evil, is spiritually asleep.  It neither knows nor cares about the eternal consequences of its self-chosen life style.    

Edrei means goodly pasture, and Og’s dwelling there reminds us that the world’s wisdom leads the unconverted to see many things of the world as being the equivalent of “goodly pasture,” e.g., wealth, position, power, etc., but all of them end at death.  Only the believer enjoys the “goodly pasture” of God’s Word here on earth through the Holy Spirit, and will enjoy the even better “pastures” of heaven eternally.

12:5.  “And reigned in mount Hermon, and in Salcah, and in all Bashan, unto the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.”

The spiritual lesson connected with his reigning in mount Hermon is the same as in verse one: the realm of worldly wisdom is under the ban of God, and is devoted to destruction.

He reigned also in Salcah to walk: walking, with he lifted up the blind: straitened basket as also possible meanings.  The world’s wisdom governs the “walk” (lifestyle) of many today, but it is a walk that ends in hell.  Relative to the second meaning, that same wisdom “lifts up” the spiritually blind, but it lifts them up in pride; and since a basket is a receptacle for goods or food, this “straitened (narrow, confined)” basket reminds us that the world’s wisdom is indeed “straitened” - it has no worth beyond the boundary of earth and time, and even on earth it is of little value.

In its being repeated the second time that he reigned in all Bashan, we see the finger of God pointing in emphasis to the fact that the world of earthly wisdom opposed to everything spiritual, is a realm marked by shame, proliferation of evil, and ignorance of eternal realities.

For comments on Hermon see 11:3,17; on Bashan, 9:10; on Gilead, v.2 above; and on Sihon and Heshbon, 9:10.

Geshurite means proud beholder, with to join or bridge suggested by some as also a possible meaning in which I can find no spiritual instruction; but proud beholder is a very fitting description of the man of the world, governed by worldly wisdom, looking with proud disdain on the believer, and on faith in Christ as a way to heaven.

Maachathite means pressed, particularly as a method of castrating animals by pressing or bruising the testicles, thus rendering reproduction impossible.  The spiritual lesson is clear.  As a man’s life is perpetuated in the lives of his children, absence of children speaks symbolically of lack of spiritual life associated with the earthy, and therefore false doctrine which Og represents.  The doctrine propounded by the world’s wisdom cannot give life.  It is in fact the equivalent of spiritual castration, that is, it makes spiritual life impossible.

12:6.  “Them did Moses the servant of the Lord and the children of Israel smite: and Moses the servant of the Lord gave it for a possession unto the Ruebenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.”

For the spiritual significance of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, see comments on 4:12.

As has been noted already, Moses leading Israel out of Egyptian bondage, is a type of Christ leading believers out of spiritual bondage; and Joshua, leading Israel into Canaan, a type of Christ in resurrection, the Captain of our salvation, leading us into the enjoyment of spiritual blessings even while we are here on earth.  The fact that it was Moses, and not Joshua, who led the two and a half tribes into their inheritance on the eastern side of the Jordan, is to emphasize that the same Christ Who died to deliver us from bondage, is the same One Who also now lives, and leads us into the enjoyment of an eternal inheritance.  Of further significance is the fact that two and a half is half of five, which is the number of responsibility, and the lesson God would have us learn is that as Israel was responsible to take possession of what He had provided for them, so are we responsible to take possession of (enter into the enjoyment of) the eternal inheritance made available to us through Christ’s death and resurrection.  The fact that the two and a half is half of five is to remind us also that here on earth our obedience is far from complete, our responsibility is only half fulfilled, our enjoyment of that inheritance being at best partial, and our knowledge imperfect.

“Them did Moses ... and the children of Israel smite.”  Its being emphasized that both of them smote the enemy, is to teach us that as Christ has smitten the enemy at Calvary so are we to continue “smiting” everything that is in opposition to God.

12:7.  “And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baal-gad Lord of Gad in the valley of Lebanon whiteness even unto the mount Halak smooth, that goeth up to Seir shaggy: hairy: goat-like; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions:”

Its being said that Joshua and the children of Israel smote the enemy, is to emphasize the truth that as Christ has smitten the enemy at Calvary, so are we to continue the warfare against everything that is opposed to God.

“... on this side Jordan on the west represents the sphere of the heavenlies into which faith has brought us.  As already noted, the west is the Biblical direction that speaks of approach to God.  The spiritual foes encountered there are far more powerful than the men of the world whom Satan uses as his instruments, and apart from Christ we are helpless against the evil powers of the air.  It is therefore imperative that we keep close to Him, that is, walk in obedience.

Since Gad, meaning an invader: a troop: fortune, is the name of one of the tribes of Israel, Baal-Gad means Lord of these things; but keeping in mind that each tribe represents an attribute that should mark us as Christians, the meaning an invader points to the fact that it is our responsibility to “invade” Satan’s kingdom with the Gospel, which alone has the power to deliver men from Satan’s bondage.  Troop assures us that while we may work as individuals - our appointed place often being one of obscurity - that work is the work of a “troop,” i.e., a great multitude of believers busy in God’s service. 

“Fortune” was the name of a goddess worshipped by the Babylonians; but the God we serve is the true God Whose power is available to us as long as we are obedient.  Baal-Gad reminds us that Satan also has his “troops” opposing God and His people, “invading” our lives, not just in the physical realm, but particularly in the spiritual.  He seeks control of our minds.

“In the valley of Lebanon whiteness.”  The valley is the Biblical symbol of the sphere of service and fruitbearing; and since whiteness represents righteousness, this warns us that Satan will make everey effort to entice us to sin and thus dishonor God, spoil our service, and mar our fruitfulness.  The enemy is to be smitten “in the valley of Lebanon.”

“... even unto mount Halak.”  Smooth, the meaning of Halak is connected with the idea of smooth speech or flattery.  The realm of flattery lies within the boundaries of Satan’s kingdom, and is one of his most effective weapons.  The world’s flattery has lured many a believer out of the path of obedience.  The world’s flattery is to be permitted no place in our lives.

“... that goeth up to Seir shaggy: hairy: goat-like.  These meanings reveal that Seir is associated with sin, as is confirmed by the fact that it was Esau’s territory, he himself being a type of the flesh.  Sin is to be cut off from the life of the believer who would serve God effectively and walk in the enjoyment of His peace.

“... which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession.”  The Lord Jesus Christ has fulfilled the type: He has vanquished Satan and given to us all that the evil prince of this world once ruled.  What folly it is to permit Satan to exercise again any control over us!

“... according to their divisions.”  Division refers to the different sections or portions of Canaan allotted to the twelve tribes.  It reminds us that it is God Who has assigned each one of us his individual place here on earth; and as each tribe of Israel was to occupy its allotted territory for God’s glory, so are we to occupy also for His glory the place He in His perfect wisdom has assigned us.

12:8.  “In the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and in the south country; the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites:”

Since a mountain is the Biblical symbol of a king and\or a kingdom, Joshua’s giving the mountains to Israel is the symbolic announcement of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ, by His death and resurrection, has delivered into our hand the kings and kindoms of this world.  That deliverance has not yet been made good literally, but it will be on that quickly approaching day when the Lord returns in power and glory to end the Tribulation, banish unbelievers from the earth, and establish His millennial kingdom.  On that day when He rules the world for God’s glory, we too will reign with him as promised in 2 Tim 2:12, “If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him.”

Because the day of Christ’s visible reign has not yet come, we, as He did while on earth, are to be subject to earthly kings and rulers, as commanded in Ro 13:1, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”  Read also Ro 13:2-7.  The enjoined obedience, however, stops at the point where it requires disobedience of God.  Relative to the unseen principalities and powers of the air, the actual powers behind the earthly rulers, we have been delivered from their dominion, and are to make good in practice what is ours by God’s imputation: we are not to obey them, but rather to resist them.

“... and in the valleys.”  Since the valley portrays the sphere of service and fruit-bearing, the deliverance of the valleys to Israelite control assures us that the counterpart of the valley has been placed under our control.  With the removal of all hinderance except that of our own will, there is nothing to prevent our rendering whole-hearted service to the Lord, or to being spiritually fruitful for His glory.

In this, as in all things, He is our perfect Example.  At the age of twelve He was already engaged in His Father’s business.  Belivers who have no service to render the Lord are in that state because they have chosen not to engage in His service!  Such disobedience will bear its own fruit.  There will be no commendation, no reward at the Bema (judgment seat of Christ).

“... and in the plains.”  Plain us literally “a desert,” and as such it is a fitting symbol of this world which is a spiritual desert.  It is in that same “desert,” however, that we are to live, serve, and bear spiritual fruit, but inasmuch as these things are impossible in a literal desert apart from the miraculous power of God, so are we to remember that it is only by His power that we can live, serve, and bear fruit here on earth.  Israel in the wilderness is the OT example.  Because God gave them bread from heaven, and water from the smitten rock (both types of Christ), they lived (often disobediently), and served (often very imperfectly), and were fruitful (their sons and daughters, a new generation begotten in the desert, entered Canaan).  We too have the spiritual equivalents of the bread and water - Christ the true Bread from heaven and also the living Water of life, presented in the Scriptures which God has provided for the sustenance of our new spiritual life.  The spiritual malnutrition so evident among Christians today is not because God hasn’t provided food and water, but because professed believers refuse to eat and drink what God has given them.  Their refusal to read, study, and meditate on Scripture is because their heart attitute is the same as that of disobedient Israel in the desert when they declared, “Our soul loatheth this light bread” Nu 21:5.  They yearned instead for the food of Egypt (the world), “... the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick” Nu 11:5.  Since the written Word is nothing less than the revelation of Him Who is the Living Word, a dislike of Scripture is nothing less than dislike of the Lord Himself.

In passing we should note that in the dying off of the first generation in the desert, and the growing up of the second to enter Canaan, the typological picture is of the dying of these natural bodies, and the maturing of the new spiritual men and women inhabiting them.  The new generation entering Canaan is the symbolic presentation of the truth that these bodies of flesh and blood will not enter heaven: we will dwell there in new spiritual bodies.  But that symbolic picture may be viewed from another perspective.  Those children begotten in the desert also portray the “children” we have begotten here on earth through the Gospel.  The men and women we lead to Christ are our spiritual children who will enter heaven with us.

“... and in the springs.”  A spring is one of the Biblical symbols of the written Word, so that God’s giving Israel the springs is the typological announcement of the truth that He has also given us the equivalent of the springs, i.e., the books, chapters, and verses of the Bible.  He is a wise believer who drinks often and deeply of those “springs.”

“... and in the wilderness.”  Wilderness as used here is never descriptive of a desert, but rather of a pasture for feeding flocks.  It is also related to the idea of speech, and while literally there is no affinity between pasture and speech, spiritually there is a very close connection, for every Biblical mention of pasture is pointing to the Scriptures which are the Word or speech of God, and that Word is the “pasture” He has provided for His sheep (believers).  Since it cost the Lord Jesus Christ His life to make those “pastures” available to us, the frequency with which we are found in them becomes the measure of the value we set upon His death.

“... and in the south country.”  Since the south is the Biblical direction which is the equivalent of the realm of faith, God’s giving Israel the south country translates into the truth that the death and resurrection of Christ has made it possible for us to dwell in “the south country” while we are here on earth, and then to dwell for ever in heaven.

Having been told of six places given into the hand of Israel: mountains, valleys, plains, springs, wilderness, and the south country, we are now told also of six nations delivered into their hand: Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and the Jebusites, and before considering the spiritual significance of these nations, we should note the spiritual significance of the number six.  It is the number of man, sin, failure, weakness, imperfection,  and incompleteness.  The truth being taught is that here on earth everything is tainted by the imperfection associated with the number six.  There won’t be the perfection associated with the number seven until we are home in heaven.  This is not to say, however, that we should ever cease to strive for the ideal.

Hittite means terror, and as an enemy of Israel, is meant to warn us that fear is one of the Christian’s most powerful foes.  It is fear of man’s mockery or persecution that has kept many a sinner from trusting Christ, and many a believer from being a witness for Him.  The deliverance of this enemy into the hand of Israel is to encourage us to conquer fear, and live fearlessly and victoriously in the knowledge that the worst which man can do is to kill the body, but that is simply to transport the soul to heaven.

Amorite means a sayer.  He represents those who profess to be believers, but who have never been born again.  The great apostate system which calls itself the true church, and which rules Christendom today, is comprised for the most part of spiritual Amorites, and history bears eloquent testimony to the murderous hatred with which that iniquitous system has shed the blood of God’s people down through the ages.  The OT counterpart of that evil system was the apostate mass of the nation Israel at whose hand the small believing remnant suffered bitter persecution, and the Lord crucifixion.  Behind its religious mask that system remains the bitter foe of God and His people; but again, we are to wage war with that system, knowing that Christ has already vanquished it, as is evidenced by His resurrection.  It too can do no more than kill the body, but the believer lays down his life knowing that he will rise again triumphant, as did the Lord Himself.

Canaanite, meaning a trafficker, represents those who traffick in spiritual things for an ulterior purpose, and Christendom abounds with spiritual Canaanites today.  They occupy the pulpits of countless so-called churches, simply to earn a salary, while others pose as consultants, advisors, counsellors, musicians, etc., for the same reason - money.  The activity of the “Canaanite” in fact has caused Christianity to be held in such disapprobation, that the comment of the average man is, “All the church wants is money.”

Money, however, isn’t the only thing sought by the spiritual Canaanite.  The true believer, gifted as an evangelist, may gradually become so proud of the number of converts, that concern for men’s souls may begin to take second place to keeping up his own reputation for numbers.  The genuine believer, gifted as a teacher, may become so proud of his knowledge of Scripture, that the edification of God’s people may gradually give place to the subtle display of the man’s knowledge.  The genuine believer, gifted as an elder, may become so obsessed with the power of his position, that he gradually ceases to be a shepherd leading God’s sheep by example, and becomes instead a tyrant over them.

The very fact that Canaanite was not only the name of a particular tribe ( as it seems to have been), but also the name used to designate all the occupants of the land, should surely alert us to the pervasiveness of the evil which he represents.  That knowledge ought to impel greater zeal in seeking out and destroying the evil represented by the Canaanite.

Perizzite means rustic, with squatter as a possible second meaning.  Since a rustic is one having virtually no ability except to cultivate the soil, the Perizzite portrays the unconverted, the mere man of the earth, ignorant of spiritual realities, but as a spiritual “squatter” taking his place amongst God’s people without having had the new birth which alone qualifies a man to occupy such a place.  The churches of Christendom today are filled with “Perizzites,” but they go undetected because many of them are educated, successful, wealthy, prominent, gracious, kind, generous, moral - in a word, they are “nice” people.  Without the new birth, however, they have no place in a company of God’s people, and to accord them such a place without examination of their spiritual credentials, Are you saved? is to be guilty of ignoring God’s order for reception into the local church, and of lulling the individual into the belief that he is on his way to heaven, when, in fact, he is on the road to hell.  The Perizzite is not to be permitted to dwell amongst God’s people, but is, rather, to be shown his need of a Savior.

Hivite, meaning shower of life: liver, represents one, who though an unbeliever, undertakes to show others how to live so as to get to heaven, his own belief being that men fit themselves for heaven by good works.  The spiritual Hivites comprise a very large segment of Christendom, and in spite of much outward morality, they are to be recognized as another very powerful enemy of God and His people.  The spiritual Hivite has no more place in a local church than do the other Canaanites already discussed.  His deadly doctrine makes him also an enemy of the cause of Christ.

Jebusite means he will be trodden down.  They occupied Jerusalem until David expelled them, but since Jerusalem is a figure or type of the human heart, the Jebusite represents anyone or anything which is allowed to occupy the place in the believer’s life that belongs only to Christ.  The lesson conveyed in the meaning of the name is that if I don’t tread down what the Jebusite represents, that person or thing will tread down my spiritual life to God’s dishonor, and my eternal loss.

12:9.  “The king of Jericho, one, the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;”

This begins the list of thirty-one kings of Canaan smitten by Joshua and Israel, and since most of them have already been discussed in earlier chapters, we will deal with them only briefly here.

Jericho, meaning let him smell it: place of fragrance: his fragrance, represents the world as man sees it; but what is fragrant to man is a stench to God.  The things of the world should hold no attraction for God’s people.  Our citizenship is in heaven.  We are to pass through this world as pilgrims and strangers on our way home to heaven.

Ai means the heap of ruins, and as such it is a fitting type of this evil world which is a spiritual ruin, and will become also a literal physical ruin in the coming Great Tribulation.  Man may see the world as a place of fragrance, but God sees it as Ai - the heap of ruins.  We are to see it from God’s perspective, and are to value it accordingly.  Its being beside Bethel house of God reminds us that even though we are called upon to live literally in “Ai,” we nevertheless enjoy the inestimable privilege of dwelling spiritually in “Bethel.”  Significantly, Bethel lay west of Ai, and west is the Biblical direction that speaks of approach to God.

12:10.  “The king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one;”

Jerusalem, meaning dual peace shall be taught: lay (set) ye double peace, is a figure of the human heart, and as there will be no peace in the world until the Prince of peace reigns in Jerusalem, neither can there be peace in the life until Christ reigns in the heart.  The description of the peace as being dual reminds us that faith in Christ brings peace with God, and also with men.  Its being taught declares that this peace made available to us through faith in Christ, is something that has to be learned.  Unless we learn to live in complete trust in God and His Word we shall know little of His peace; and the injunction to lay or set this dual peace teaches the further lesson that we ourselves lay the foundation for that peace, first by trusting in Christ as Savior, and then by walking in obedience to His Word.

“... the king of Hebron, one;”  Hebron means communion, and Israel’s destroying its king, and taking possession of the city, reminds us that the spiritual counterpart occurs when we refuse Satan control of any part of our lives, and maintain our communion with God through prayer and the study of Scripture, for it is from the pages of the Bible that He speaks to us, and it is through prayer that we speak with Him.

12:11.  “The king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one;”

Jarmuth means he will be lifted up: elevation.  As a Canaanite city it speaks of man’s lifting himself up in proud defiance of God, but in the death of its king and, its passing into Israelite control, a very different truth is set before us.  The attitude of the renewed heart is to exalt Christ and abase self.....

Lachish means walk of a man: obstinate, and under Canaanite control it speaks of that self-willed obstinacy which rejects God’s control.  The death of its king and the capture of the city, however, point to the breaking of Satan’s control at Calvary, and the placing of the life under Christ’s control, so that he who once walked merely as a man, now walks as becomes a man of God, as we are exhorted by Paul in Eph 4:1, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.”

12:12.  “The king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one;”

Eglon means a bull calf: circular, and as noted in our study of 10:3, it speaks of that energetic activity impelled by mere human wisdom, which simply goes round in circles, and leads nowhere.  The death of its king, and the passing of the city into Israelite control, however, declares a very different truth.  That energetic activity impelled by the Holy Spirit and kept within the circle of God’s directive will, will bring glory to God, and richness of soul to the believer.

Gezer means a piece: a portion (as cut off), and as noted in our study of 10:33, it seems to speak of Satan’s kingdom, for it is but a piece or cut off portion of what it had been prior to his fall when he was Lucifer, the anointed cherub.  Since Calvary his dominion has been still further reduced, for he now has no control whatsoever over the believer, except as we may be so foolish as to permit.  This is the truth being symbolically declared in the death of Gezer’s king, and in the passing of the city into Israelite control.

12:13.  “The king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one;”

Debir means an oracle, i.e., the voice of a god, and under Canaanite control the voice could have been that of any of the false gods worshipped by the Canaanites.  The death of its king, and the passing of the city into Israelite hands, however, declare that the voice directing the believer’s life is that of the living God presented to us on the pages of Scripture, and directing our path in the way of peace and blessing.

Geder means a wall, and since a wall speaks of separation, the spiritual lesson being taught in the death of its king, and in Israel’s taking possession of the city is that the believer is to exercise control over his life in regard to those things where he is commanded to live in separation from the world.  Failure to maintain that wall of separation will have disastrous results both personally and corporately.  It will bring the world into his life and lead him away from God; and corporately it will bring the world into the local church, which is exactly what Satan wants.  Failure to control that wall makes it easy for Satan to sow his tares amongst God’s wheat; to introduce his wolves amongst God’s sheep.

12:14.  “The king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one;”

Hormah means destruction, reminding us that as the king of Hormah was destroyed, and his city given to Israel, so has Satan received his death wound at Calvary, and this world over which he has misruled for so long will soon be delivered into the hand of those he has so cruelly oppressed down through the ages simply because they belonged to Christ.  This present world system, which Hormah represents, is already tottering on its foundations, its complete destruction coming in the impending Tribulation era.  As John assures us, “Whosoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 Jn 5:4-5.  This doomed world and its ways are to have no part in the lives of those who belong to Christ.

Arad, meaning a wild ass, represents the old nature without any moral restraint.  The death of its king represents Christ’s defeat of Satan at Calvary, and the taking of the city by Israel portrays the believer’s control over the old nature.  It is not to be permitted any activity in the lives of those who belong to Christ.

12:15.  “The king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one;”

Libnah means whiteness, the color of righteousness, but as a Canaanite city it represents righteousness according to man’s standard, not God’s.  In the death of its king, and in its passing into the possession of Israel, however, the lesson being presented is that as men and women clothed in the righteousness of Christ, we are to reflect that same righteousness in our lives.

Adullam means a testimony to them.  The fact that its king had been slain, and the city delivered into the hand of Israel, declares all too clearly that the deeds of the Adullamites testified to their wickedness, and to the righteousness of God’s judgment against them.  Continuous care is needed to ensure that our deeds are a fitting testimony to God’s saving and keeping grace.  Where the flesh is allowed to control the life the resultant deeds will become a testimony against us, a dishonor to God, and the witness that we are worthy of His chastisement.

12:16.  “The king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one;”

Makkedah means branding (spotting) place, and is connected with the idea of branding cattle, or “spotting” (piercing) them (probably their ears).  Prior to conversion we belonged to Satan, our evil deeds branding us as his; but now through faith, we belong to Christ, and as Makkedah under Israelite rule ceased to be Canaanite, so are we to manifest in our lives that we are now under the rule of Christ rather than Satan.  The lifestyle is to reveal the difference.

Bethel, house of God, under enemy control bore testimony to its worship of which ever so-called god was enshrined there.  Under Israelite dominion it was responsible to demonstrate in the conduct of its people that it was indeed the house of the only true God, Jehovah.  We are to demonstrate not only that Christ lives in our hearts, but that he also rules our lives.

12:17.  “The king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one;”

Tappuah means thou wilt cause to breathe, and breathing - the movement of air in and out of the lungs - is associated with life, for example, Adam became a living soul only after God had breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, Ge 2:7.  The wind (air in motion), however, is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit, Jn 3:8, and a man doesn’t really live until he has been born again through faith in Christ, at which time the Holy Spirit takes up residence in his body, remaining there, and sealing him as one who belongs to Christ, until his earthly life ends.  Apart from the indwelling Holy Spirit a man cannot worship, though unconverted men engage in a ritual which they call worship.

Under Canaanite control there may have been much religious activity called worship as the inhabitants of Tappuah bowed down to one of their Baals.  There is much in Christendom today called worship, but it bears little resemblance to the Scriptural reality, and many of us in our unconverted days engaged in it, sincerely believing it to be true worship.  Now, born again through faith in Christ, we enjoy the privilege of worshipping God “in spirit and in truth” Jn 4:24.  That change is typologically portrayed in the slaying of Tappuah’s king, and the passing of the city from Canaanite to Israelite control.

Hepher means a pit: shame,” and there is an obvious link between it and Tappuah, for it is the Gospel believed that lifts men out of the spiritual pit, out of the shame of sin.  Israel’s conquest of Hepher is the symbolic demonstration of that transformation, and the believer is never to forget that he has been lifted out of that pit, delivered from that shame.  That knowledge should express itself in an eager willingness to share the Gospel with others so that they too may be delivered from the pit and shame in which they lie as Satan’s bondslaves.

12:18.  “The king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one;”

Aphek, meaning restrained, in the context of its being a Canaanite city, speaks of the restraint under which Satan’s bondslaves exist.  It is a bondage which precludes the production of anything good, for man in his natural state is incapable of anything except sin.  The death of the Canaanite king, and the deliverance of the city into the hand of Israel, corresponds to conversion, which breaks the former bondage, and sets the convert free to produce works of righteousness, while at the same time enduing him with the power to restrain the activity of his old nature.  In his unsaved state he was under the control of his old nature; but conversion reverses the power, and places the old nature under the convert’s control, so that sin in the believer’s life is the result of having failed to restrain the old nature.

Lasharon has four meanings, rectitude: observation: plain: level, but the principle meaning is plain or straight as in a consistent life.  In relation to Lasharon as a Canaanite city the meaning is obviously connected with evil, and speaks of the tenor of the unconverted man’s life.  It is consistently sinful.  Following the death of its king, and the transfer of sovereignty to Israel, however, the spiritual lesson is that the believer’s life is to be marked by consistent godliness.  The picture of such a path is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in the ideal described in Php 3:13-14, “Brethren, I (Paul) count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  Paul walked such a path because he walked in the footsteps of Christ, see his exhortation in 1 Co 11:1, “Be followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

As for the other two meanings, “observation”  suggests the thought that since we are under the observation of both God and men, we should be careful how we live; and one lesson connected with “rectitude” is obvious: the life must support the testimony of the lip.

12:19.  “The king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one;”

Madon means strife.  As a Canaanite city it speaks of the strife in which the natural man lives because of his opposition to God; but as a city under Israelite control it presents a very different picture.  It speaks of the continuous strife existing between the new nature, and the old which continues to exist within the believer even after his conversion.  Sadly, with many professed believers, there is little evidence of any such strife in their lives.  They live in such subjection to the old nature that there is no need for it to strive against the new.  How different it was with Paul!  The strife between his two natures was so intense that he was impelled to cry out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death (this body of death)?”  It wasn’t a cry of despair, however, for he concluded exultantly, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin,” see Ro 7:15-25 and Ro chapter 8.

Where there is no consciousness of such strife in the life, it may be that “Madon” has never passed from Canaanite to Israelite control. i.e., there has never been a conversion!

Hazor means to trumpet: enclosure, and as was noted in our study of chapter 11, it portrays that exclusive realm of worldly wisdom which loudly proclaims its superiority over faith which it despises, and seeks at every opportunity to stamp out.  The death of its king, and the passing of the city into Israelite control, speaks of what occurs at conversion.  The convicted and enlightened man sees the worthless of the world’s wisdom, and the value of that true wisdom which begets fear of God, and leads to faith in Christ as Savior.  It is to be noted also, in spite of what the new easy “gospel” proclaims to the contrary, that there can be no genuine conversion until fear of God impels the same cry as was uttered by the Phillipian jailor, What must I do to be saved? Ac 16:30.

12:20.  “The king of Shimron-meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one;”

Shimron-meron means guardian of arrogance, and speaks of the arrogance with which the men of the world view faith; but it speaks also of the arrogance that can very quickly develop in the heart of the believer, particularly when his knowledge of Scripture begins to increase.  The Scribes and Pharisees of Christ’s day are the outstanding examples of just such religious arrogance.  It is impossible to overstress the need on the part of the believer to guard against the development of a similar evil attitude.

Achshaph means I shall be bewitched, and as a Canaanite city it reminds us that the men of the world are bewitched by Satan to reject the Gospel, while they continue on the road to hell though oblivious of their eternal destination.  But believers too may be bewitched, as is evidenced by Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians in which he asks, “O Foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?” Ga 3:1.  The warning conveyed in the meaning of Achshaph is reinforced also by Paul, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (demons)” 1 Tim 4:1.

12:21.  “The king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one;”

Taanach means she will afflict thee, and understanding of the spiritual lesson hinges on the identity of the one referred to as “she.”  If, as seems likely, the believer is the one in danger of being afflicted, the antagonist can scarcely be anyone except the great false church, and history confirms that God’s people have suffered affliction, of longer duration, and more venomous character, at her hand than from any other source.  The believer, however, is to remain the master, overcoming by being willing to die rather than submit to her false claims.

Megiddo has three meanings invading: his cutting place: gathering for cutting (self).  The plain of Megiddo is the place in which the armies of the Gentiles will be gathered for the final great conflict at the end of the Tribulation.  That gathering will be for their intended destruction of Israel; but, unknown to them, it will be the place in which they will be gathered for the “cutting” of themselves, for it is God’s “cutting place” appointed of old for the cutting off of the nations that have lived so long in defiance of Him.  It is the place where the power of man, manipulated by Satan, will be cut off.  In Christ, the believer has already overcome the world, “I (Christ) have overcome the world” Jn 16:33.  “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” Ro 8:37.  In the death of Megiddo’s king, and the passing of the city into Israelite control, we learn the lesson that we are to make good in our daily lives what is true according to God’s reckoning.  Since the Lord Jesus Christ has overcome Satan and the world, we who are in Him, should live in such fashion as will announce that we are overcomers living in anticipation of that day when all His foes will be cut off, and He will rule the world for God’s glory, and man’s blessing.

12:22.  “The king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam of Carmel, one;”

Kedesh means a sanctuary, the dictionary definition of which is, “a holy place.”  Scripturally it is associated with the most Holy place in the Tabernacle where God dwelt symbolically in the midst of His redeemed people Israel.  Israel’s smiting the king of Kedesh, and making the city their own, declares the need for the believer to deprive Satan of any control over the time spent in the “sanctuary,” i.e., the time when the believer draws aside from the things of the world to pray and read or study.  It is scarcely necessary to comment on the need for the believer to be master of “Kedesh.”  It seems that Satan has endless devices to rob us of that control, and keep us out of the sanctuary, e.g., the telephone, unexpected visitors, wandering thoughts, drowsiness, to name but a few.  You can’t do much about the visitors, but the telephone can be unhooked; wandering thoughts can be controlled; selection of a different hour may solve the sleep problem, as may standing up to pray.  Each must find his own solution, but nothing must be allowed to leave “Kedesh” in the possession of the enemy, for that time in the sanctuary is essential to spiritual life.

Jokneam means the people will be purchased: the people will be lamented; and Carmel fruitful field.  Since the Lord Himself declared the “field” to be a type of the world, Mt 13:38, the truth connected with Carmel is that it is here in the world that we are to produce fruit for God, for as Joshua took Carmel from the Canaanites and gave it to Israel, so has Christ taken this world from Satan’s control, and given it to us, first as the place where we are to produce fruit for His glory, and then as the place over which we will yet reign with Him.  As has been noted already, this world in which our lot is cast is to be a virtual “Carmel,” a fruitful field, where we produce not only the fruits of the Spirit, Ga 5:22-23, but also the place where we beget spiritual sons and daughters: men and women led to Christ through our faithful preaching of the Gospel.

Since Jokneam is linked with what speaks of fruitfulness, and of people either purchased or lamented, it may be to remind us that no small part of spiritual fruitfulness is related to the work of spreading the gospel, rejoicing with those, who through faith, become Christ’s purchased ones; and lamenting the folly of those who, through unbelief, will themselves lament eternally in the lake of fire.

The two meanings of Jokneam need little comment.  It too portrays this world, the population of which is divided into two classes: those who by trusting Christ as Savior take their places amongst God’s purchased; and those who by rejecting Him take their places amongst those whose folly God laments, and who themselves will lament eternally that same folly.

12:23.  “The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one;”

Since Dor has been discussed in some detail in the notes on 11:2, the reader is invited to review that section.

Gilgal means rolling: a wheel, and as noted in our study of 4:19; 5:9; 9:6; 10:6, is a type of Calvary.  The “nations” refers specifically to the Gentiles or heathen, and in the context of its being a Canaanite city, the king, like all the other Canaanite kings, is a type of Satan.  In the death of this king, God bids us see Christ’s destruction of Satan at Calvary; and in Joshua’s subjugation of “the nations of Gilgal,” Christ’s reclaiming His rightful dominion over the nations of earth, the manifestation of that dominion to be revealed in that soon coming day when He returns in power and glory to end the Tribulation and inaugurate His millennial kingdom.  The control of those vanquished nations of Gilgal by Israel foreshadows the truth that in that day when Christ reigns as King of kings we too shall reign with Him.

12:24.  “The king of Tirzah one: all the kings thirty and one.”

Tirzah means she will delight.  Since Taanach represents a woman who is a figure or type of the great false church which afflicts, then clearly Tirzah is a figure or type of a woman who delights, that is, the true Church.  God would remind us that we are members of that mystical body which is the Bride of Christ, and as Israel took Tirzah from Canaanite control, so are we who constitute the Church, to take out from the control of Satan every part of our lives.  “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s,” 1 Co 6:19-20. “Ye are bought with a price; be ye not the servants of men,” 1 Co 7:23.

In the slaying of these 31 Canaanite kings, and the conquering of their cities by Joshua and Israel, God is presenting us with a typological picture of what occurred at Calvary.  There Satan, of whom each Canaanite king is but a type, was Slain; and the dominion of the world as portrayed by their cities, was taken by Christ; but as Joshua assigned each Israelite his portion of the vanquished Canaan, so in the Millennium will each Israelite and each believing Gentile be assigned His portion by Christ.  We of this Church age, however, are assured of even richer blessings, for from the heavenly Jerusalem, we with Christ will reign over that millennial earth.

Since it seems that the meaning of prime numbers greater than seven is obtained by separating one (the number of God), and then factorizing the remainder, the thirty-one, as we should expect, becomes also invested with spiritual instruction.  After separating the one (the number of God), we then factorize the remaining thirty, which gives us two (number or witness or testimony); three (number of resurrection); and five (number of responsibility), so that the message being taught in the thirty-one slain kings and their vanquished cities, is that this section is the typological witness (two) to the truth that in resurrection (three), those who have fulfilled their responsibility (five) to God by trusting Christ as Savior, will enjoy eternal blessings, of which those secured for Israel by Joshua, are but types.

[Joshua 13]



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough