Josh 12.1-24 gives an account of all the victories made by Israel in the time of Moses and Joshua. This conquest took seven years and this alludes to the seven year Chevlai Shell Mashiach, or Birth-pains of the Messiah. We know from these verses that the Lord will always fight for those who are his people and that the kingdoms of this world will be given into the hand of his Messiah during the Birth-pains.
Israel possessed the land beyond the Jordan toward the west, from the valley of the Arnon (“shout for joy” alluding to being in Messiah) and the Arabah to the east, signifying the world (12.1). Remember, west is the direction towards God, the east is away from God. South is the direction of faith and north is the direction of reason and the intellect. Israel on the east side is a picture of believers in the world. To possess the west side pictures believers who enter the spiritual realm in the world. They had to leave their families, flocks and comforts to go to war for seven years. God’s affairs came first and they also show the Messiah who “crossed over” the Jordan (death) to secure the promises. They had to cross over the Jordan a second time to go back home, a type of second resurrection.
They defeated Sihon, king of the Ammorites. His name means “sweeping away” and this alludes to the sweeping away of false doctrines. The first enemy a new believer faces is false doctrine. He lived in Heshbon meaning “reason” but this is a false reason. He ruled from Aroer (ruins) which is on the edge of the Arnon (“I shall shout for joy” in Messiah), both the middle of the valley and half of Gilead (heap of witness). Satan rules over some spiritual territory and this alludes to Sihon being close to the Messiah (Arnon) but in ruins because he is not in Messiah (Aroer).
They also took the land as far as the Sea of Chinneroth toward the east and as far as the Arabah even the Salt Sea eastward, toward Beth-jeshimoth (house of desolation) and on the south at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah (ravines, cleft). Chinneroth means “harps” and this alludes to the fact that Satan influences worship away from God (the east) towards death and desolation (Jordan). Moses saw the land there. The harlot is a spoiler with false doctrine and it is impossible for a believer to fully see the Messiah and the promises fully when involved with her.
The territory of Og the king of Bashan was also taken. Og means “oven cake” and alludes to the earth. It has been hardened by the fire of the Ruach Ha Kodesh and has been seared. He was a remnant of the Rephaim who lived in Ashtaroth (mind readers) and Edrei (good pasture). Being a giant didn’t save him. He also ruled over Mount Hermon which means “devoted to destruction or banned by God” (worldly wisdom and “mind readers” are banned by God) and Salecah (walk) and all of Bashan (fertile) as far as the border of the Geshurites (bridge) and the Maacathites (castration).
Moses gave this land to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh as a possession. Josh 12.7-24 then gives a list of all the kings that were defeated by the Joshua. Let’s look at what these names mean and see how they relate to the victory Yeshua has purchased for us. We have the king of Jericho (city of the moon = the moon is a type of the believer and alludes to the Olam Haba); the king of Ai (heap = the world); the king of Jerusalem (he sees peace); the king of Hebron (communion/fellowship); the king of Jarmuth (death cast down); the king of Lachish (man’s walk); the king of Eglon (bull/calf); the king of Gezer (cut off); the king of Debir (word); the king of Geder (wall); the king of Hormath (destruction); the king of Arad (wild ass, fugitive); the king of Libnah (white); the king of Adullam (testimony); the king of Makkedah (crookedness, worshiping); the king of Bethel (house of God); the king of Tappuah (apple); the king of Hepher (pit); the king of Aphek (riverbed, fortress); the king of Lasharon (plain, level); the king of Madon (place of judgment); the king of Hazor (trumpet); the king of Shimron-meron (place of watching); the king of Achshaph (sorcery); the king of Taanach (who humbles you); the king of Megiddo (invading); the king of Kedesh (holy, set apart); the king of Jokneam (possessing, building up the people) in Carmel (garden); the king of Dor (habitation); the king of Goyim (nations) in Gilgal (roll away) and the king of Tirzah (she is my delight).
In Josh 13.1-33 we have the rest of the remaining land to be conquered and the allotments on the east side of the Jordan to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh. These tribes are a type of the believer still on earth (east side) and the tribes on the west side are believers who have entered the promises in the spiritual realm on earth. Joshua is old and the Lord tells him that much of the land still needed to be possessed (v 2-7). This alludes to Yeshua at the end of the Birth-pains who will still have much to do when the False Messiah and the nations are defeated and all is accomplished at the end of the Atid Lavo (The Future Age; Day of the Lord). The Lord gives us more insight as to why there was still nations to be defeated in Judges 3.1-2 which says, “Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan; only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war) those who had not experienced it formerly.”
This is what is called “Morehet Karav” or the “heritage of war.” This is spiritual warfare (look up the word “service” in Num 4.3). Warfare doesn’t build character, it reveals it. Yeshua has defeated all enemies but they are not destroyed because the Lord wants to teach us warfare. In Josh 13.22 we learn that the sons of Israel also killed Balaam (“destruction of the people”) the son of Beor (a burning), the diviner, with the sword. He did not go back home after his dealings with Balak but returned to Midian to receive his payment after hearing that his counsel to trap Israel had worked in Num 25. He received the same judgment the Midianites did.
The Levites did not receive an inheritance in the land, but Yehovah is their inheritance. They were set apart to lead the people in worship, to teach the Torah and bring true worship to God. Torah-based believers in Yeshua can closely identify with the Levites as opposed to the other tribes because the Lord is our inheritance (Eph 1.11; Col 1.12; 1 Pet 1.4) and Israel (and believers) as a nation were called priests in Exo 19.6 and 1 Pet 2.5 because they were set apart from the other nations. They are also called “holy” (has a kedusha on them) because they had a commission to lead the world to an understanding of the Lord, the Messiah, the redemption and true worship. Torah-based believers have the same calling (Deut 4.6-9).
We will pick up here in Part 6.