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Saturday, February 15 2014
Joshua 19: The Israel Lottery
"These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD"
The English word "lot" has a variety of meanings. From The WordWeb Dictionary by Princeton University:
"Lot" (the root word for lottery) was used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced go-rawl, which literally means rough, but was used to refer to a small, hand-held stone, or pebble. "Casting lots" was sometimes used by the people of the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) to determine the will of the LORD, as a matter of fairness, based on equal opportunity (if, all other things being equal) random selection.
The tribal lands distribution, as described below, was one of a number of occasions when a lottery was used for official purposes. It wasn't however something that the Israelites invented for themselves; the LORD Himself told them to do it, for certain things. Another of the most well-known is the casting of lots for the two goats for the Day of Atonement (see Why Do Christians Observe The Messiah's Day Of Atonement?).
"16:7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation [see Exodus 40: The Glory Of The LORD In His Tabernacle]. 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat [see Sending Away The Escapades Goat].
Following those already done (see Joshua 15: Judah's Homeland, Joshua 16: Ephraim's Inheritance, Joshua 17: West Manasseh and Joshua 18: The Land Of Benjamin; see also Numbers 18: The Inheritance Of The Levites), the remainder of the tribes of Israel received their homeland according to lot.
"19:1 And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah [see Joshua 15: Judah's Homeland]. 19:2 And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and Moladah, 19:3 And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem, 19:4 And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah, 19:5 And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah, 19:6 And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages: 19:7 Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages: 19:8 And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. 19:9 Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.
As had been done with Caleb, Joshua was given his own lands, within the territory of his tribe of Ephraim (see Joshua 16: Ephraim's Inheritance).
"19:49 When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them: 19:50 According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.
Fact Finder: How were "lots" involved in Purim, an observance unique to the people of Judah during their exile?
This Day In History, February 15
1763: The Treaty of Hubertusburg was signed. It ended the conflict between Austria and Prussia (not to be confused with Russia - Prussia is in Germany) in the Seven Years' War.
1764: St. Louis was founded as a French trading post in New France - which extended from what is today eastern Canada in the north to Louisiana in the south (Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643 to 1715). St. Louis was named after French King Louis IX. Although many regard the loo-ee pronunciation to be slang, it's actually much closer to the original French-accent name than the later English loo-iss. "Missouri" was named after a tribe of Sioux people, the Missouris, who lived in the region.
1898: The Spanish-U.S. War began after the U.S. battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor. There was no sign of attack upon the ship; many believe that the ship's own 5 tons of gunpowder stores were accidentally detonated (as happened to other such warships where gunpowder was stored in bulk).
1922: The Permanent Court of International Justice, at The Hague in the Netherlands, held its first session. Established to address "crimes against humanity," the court has remained ineffective for war crimes committed by war-mongering nations because many of the greatest war criminals have refuge in their militarily-powerful nations that refuse to deliver them to "foreign" justice - while they themselves have subjected other nations to their "foreign" courts and tribunals during their rampage of invasions. There will however be no escape, for anyone, from God's Justice in due time - all are going to answer to the LORD for all of the evil that they have done, including those who have done their evil in God's Name (see So, You Think You Got Away With It?).
1928: Herbert Asquith died at age 76. Mr. Asquith served as the Prime Minister of Britain from 1908 to 1916, and as such was the leader of Britain during the first 2 years of the First World War (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1940: During the Second World War (which began in September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland), Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) ordered that all British merchant ships would be considered warships.
1942: After having their supplies of ammunition and food cut off, British and allied forces surrendered to the Japanese in Singapore - the single most catastrophic (but temporary) defeat in British military history; over 130,000 British, Canadian, Australian, and Indian troops were taken prisoner.
1944: U.S. warplanes bombed the Abbey of Monte Cassino in an effort to neutralize it as a German observation post in central Italy.
1950: Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung signed a Russian-Chinese mutual defense treaty in Moscow.
1954: Canada and the U.S. began construction of the Distant Early Warning Line ("the DEW Line"), a network of radar stations in the Arctic of Canada and Alaska to detect incoming Russian nuclear bombers. The system soon became obsolete upon the invention, just a few years later, of intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as short-range nuclear missiles that can be fired from submarines a few miles off the east and west coasts of the entire continent of North America).
1965: Canada adopted the "Maple Leaf" as its new national flag (the Maple Leaf had already been a national symbol of Canada long before that time).
1971: Britain converted to decimal currency from pounds, shillings and pence.
1989: The Soviet Union ended its invasion of Afghanistan after over 9 years of occupation. The invasion was condemned and protested by the U.S., until the U.S. invaded Afghanistan itself a few years later.
1990: Britain and Argentina restored full diplomatic ties, affirming reconciliation after their 1982 war for the Falkland Islands.
2003: An estimated 30 million people, in 600 cities all around the world, protested (the largest peace demonstration in history) the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the war that followed. A few years later, it was proven that the protestors were correct, and that George W. Bush's justification for the war was totally false - no "weapons of mass destruction" were ever found in Iraq, and Iraq had nothing at all to do with the 9-11 terrorist attacks that were committed by men from Saudi Arabia (Osama bin-Laden was a Saudi-Arabian) and Pakistan - ironically, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, from which the 9-11 terrorists originated, were not invaded and are proclaimed as "allies in the war against terror," while Iraq and Afghanistan were invaded and devastated. Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that, while there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a murderer of his own people, captured documents prove that Saddam Hussein not only did not aid the al-Qaeda terrorist group, he actually regarded them as a threat to Iraq.
2013: A meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere and exploded over Russia, injuring 1,500 people when a shock wave blew out windows and damaged buildings.