In the ancient prophetic text, we find a fascinating account in which a JAVELIN or spear is used by the leader of the nation of Israel as an instrument of judgment. Do you know why Joshua used this? Is there any information hidden in the Hebrew word JAVELIN that would help us understand more? If you’re hoping the answer is yes, you would be right.
The book of Joshua records the account of God’s people taking possession of a portion of the land promised to them by God to their father Abraham. Their army was led into battle against the fortified city of Ai by Joshua who carried this weapon previously not mentioned in the ancient text.
Joshua received instructions from the Lord about what to do in Chapter 8 of this ancient prophetic text. When the warriors of Ai came out to do battle against the army of Israel, Joshua stretched out the JAVELIN and used it to signal an attack by men he had waiting in ambush. The ambushers entered the city and set fire to it. They then turned back to catch the enemy in a trap and totally destroyed them as well as all who were left inside the burning walls.
The Hebrew word JAVELIN is spelled kaf yood dalet vav noon.
Kaf is a picture of the hand and means to cover or to open or allow.
Yood is a picture of the arm and hand and means a mighty deed or purpose accomplished.
Dalet is the picture of the door and means a path or a doorway or an entrance to life or death.
Vav is the picture of the nail or hook and means to join together or to connect two things that are separated from each other.
Noon is the picture of the fish and means activity or life.
So the first mystery we discover about the JAVELIN in these letters is two-fold. As Joshua extends the JAVELIN by a mighty deed he is covering the entrance that connects to life. His enemies are going to die. At the same time by a mighty deed, he is opening the entrance that leads to life for his people. Through the JAVELIN of Joshua, God, Himself, is saying there will not be room for both His people and their enemies in this new land.
There is more to this mystery. The vav connects what is on the left side of the word to what is on the right side of the word. We can see life is on one side but what is on the other? The letters kaf yood dalet form the word translated destruction that is only found one time in the Biblical narrative and it’s in the book of Job Chapter 21 verse 20:
His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
In the Hebrew letters of the JAVELIN of Joshua, we see there will be life on one side and destruction on the other. Joshua extends the JAVELIN to bring the wrath of the Almighty onto His enemies and pulls it back to end destruction and preserve life for God’s people.
But is there any connection to Messiah in this? Let’s begin with the name Joshua. His name was originally Hoshea, but he was renamed Yehoshua by Moses while he was his servant. Yehoshua means Yahweh is Salvation and is most often written Yeshua. Yes, that is the name of our Messiah. In the ancient prophetic text, we see that Joshua is a type of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach.
If Joshua is a type, can we discover a place in the Biblical narrative where we can see Yeshua Ha-Mashiach stretching out a JAVELIN in judgment? In the last book of our ancient text is a revelation of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach given to His beloved bond-servant John. In it, John records many wonderful and fearful events that will take place at the end of the age. In Chapter 19 verse 15 of this revelation, John writes that Yeshua will again return:
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
This word for sword in this text is probably a long Thracian JAVELIN which is much like a broad short sword on the end of a pole. Here we see Yeshua stretching the JAVELIN in judgment and destroying the enemies of Almighty God just as we saw Joshua doing. There is judgment for God’s enemies but life for His beloved people.
The numbers the letters represent complete the last of this mystery. Kaf, the number 20, stands for redemption. Yood, the number 10, stands for something perfect ordained in heaven. Dalet, the number 4, represents creation. Vav, the number 6, represents man’s enmity with God. Noon, the number 50, is used of the Holy Spirit.
So here in the JAVELIN of Joshua we see a picture of the work of Yeshua redeeming His creation according to the plan ordained in heaven ending the enmity with man by the work of the Holy Spirit in man’s heart.
In this same revelation given to John, we read in Chapter 3 verse 20:
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
The conquest we saw in Joshua where God’s people enter and possess their homeland is only a crude picture of the heavenly home prepared for those who love Him. There will be no room for enemies of any kind. Yeshua has always been at the door that is at the entrance to life waiting for each of us to invite Him into our lives. His javelin of judgment is coming; don’t hesitate, choose Yeshua and He will withdraw it from you and give you LIFE!
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