Sunday, June 2, 2013

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: Joshua 13-14 and Origen's De Principiis: Book Three 4-5

Joshua 13 – Joshua is now old.  And contradicting the chapters that we just finished, the Lord says to Joshua that “much of the land still remains to be possessed” (12:1) – the lands of the Philistines (the Jerusalem Bible note says they originated in Crete or Asia Minor.  They established a settlement in Palestine around 1200, on the maritime plain—a district they always kept control of), the Geshurites (east of Egypt), the Canaanites, the Sidonians, the Gebalites and all of Lebanon. 

Still they go ahead with the division of the land among the tribes of Israel. See the map for how this was done:

Description: Map-Canaan-Twelve-Tribes

In going over the division, the writer mentions in passing that Balaam, “who practiced divination” is killed.  The lands covered in this chapter include those given to the tribes east of the Jordan: Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh (people of Machir, son of Manasseh).
Joshua 14 – The lands west of the Jordan are distributed by lot at Gilgal (near Jericho) where the stones were set up. Caleb (now 85) claims the hill country where the Anakim dwelled (near Hebron), and Joshua grants it to him “because he whole-heartedly followed the Lord. Caleb was a Kenizzite, not an Israelite.  His clan came from the south, the Negev.  The land had previously been called Kiriath-arba (Arba being the greatest of the Anakim (14:15).

Joshua 15 – Judah receives land to the south bordering on Edom and the Wilderness of Zin, east along the Dead Sea, north from the mouth of the Jordan along a boundary that is hard to trace but is shown on the map roughly.  It is a very large territory.  Caleb’s portion compromises Judah’s.  Many towns and cities are listed that are found in the land of Judah.  The Jebusites, however, of Jerusalem are not driven out.

Origen (185-254 AD)
De Principiis (First Principles)
Chapter III – On the Holy Spirit
4 – Origen points out that references to the Holy Spirit – the SAME Holy Spirit – can be found in both the New and Old Testaments. “For all knowledge of the Father is obtained by revelation of the Son through the Holy Spirit, so that both of these beings ‘lives,’ exist as the ground of the knowledge of God the Father. For as it is said of the Son, that ‘no one knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him,’ the same also is said by the apostle of the Holy Spirit, when He declares, ‘God hath revealed them to us by His Holy Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God;’ and again in the Gospel, when the Savor, speaking of the divine and profounder parts of His teaching, which His disciples were not yet able to receive, thus addresses them: ‘I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now; but when the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, is come, He will teach you all things, and will bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’”

The Holy Spirit “searches the deep things of God” and “reveals God to whom He will.” And these words on the “disconnect” that always exists between the spiritual realm and the world of time in which we live are so good: “When we use . . . such terms as ‘always’ or ‘was,’ or any other designation of time, they are not to be taken absolutely, but with due allowance; for while the significations of these words relate to time, and those subjects of which we speak are spoken of by a stretch of language as existing in time, they nevertheless surpass in their real nature all conception of the finite understanding.”

5 – So why is the “Trinity” as a whole necessary for those “regenerated by God unto salvation”?

“I am of [the] opinion, . . . that the working of the Father and of the Son takes place as well in saints as in sinners, in rational beings and in dumb animals; nay, even in those things which are without life, and in all things universally which exist; but that the operation of the Holy Spirit does not take place at all in those things which are without life, or in those which, although living, are yet dumb; nay, is not found even in those who are endured . . . with reason, but are engaged in evil courses, and not at all converted to a better life. In those persons alone do I think that the operation of the Holy Spirit takes place, who are already turning to a better life, and walking along the way which leads to Jesus Christ, i.e., who are engaged in the performance of good actions, and who abide in God.”

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