Monday, June 3, 2013

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: Joshua 16-18 and Origen's De Principiis: Book Three 6

Joshua 16 – The other Josephite tribe, Ephraim, receives land around Bethel, Beth-horon and out to Gezer.  “They did not drive the Canaanites out of Gezer, however, so the people of Gezer live as slaves among the people of Ephraim to this day” (16:10).
Joshua 17 – Another allotment is made to a son of Joseph, Manasseh—other than the one to his son Machir, on the east side of the Jordan.

One of the sons of Manasseh had no male heirs, so the girls come to Joshua to claim a share they say was promised by Moses (17:4). They get an additional ten portions.  Some of the towns given to Manasseh are in the portions given to Issachar, and Asher but some of these were really in the control of the Canaanites (17:12) whom they could not drive out. The tribes of Joseph get more than one allotment because they are numerous (17:17), but they have the Canaanites to deal with and their chariots of iron.

Joshua 18 – The people of Israel gather at Shiloh; as the conquest progressed, the center of worship shifted from Gilgal to Shiloh, and set up the Tent of Meeting.

Seven tribes have still not received their inheritance. Joshua sends three men from each tribe out to describe the land and return.  They do this and set down their observations in a book: so the portion of Benjamin is described in great detail, around Jericho and Ai, squeezed between Judah and Ephraim.

Origen (185-254 AD)
De Principiis (First Principles)
Chapter III – On the Holy Spirit
6 – “That the working of the Father and the Son operates both in saints and in sinners, is manifest from this, that all who are rational beings are partakers of the Word, i.e., of reason, and by this means bear certain seeds, implanted within them, of wisdom and justice, which is Christ. Now, in Him who truly exists, and who said by Moses, ‘I Am Who I Am,’ all things, whatever they are, participate; which participation in God the Father is shared both by just men and sinners, by rational and irrational beings, and by all things universally which exist.”

He cites Paul’s words concerning not having to ascend to heaven or descend into the deep to access Christ. “Christ is in the heart of all, in respect of His being the Word or reason, by participating in which they are rational beings.”

When man begins through use of his reason to understand the difference between good and evil, and therefore become liable for the wrong decisions they make, “they ought to avoid and guard against that which is wicked: ‘For to him who knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’”

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