Saturday, November 28, 2015

Seven Nations and Seven Purgings to Spiritual Perfection

This article relies very heavily on my personal edit of a work by Thomas Bromley (1629-1691), entitled “The Seven Nations of Canaan, which Joshua cast out, Prefiguring the Works of Jesus, casting out the Evil Properties they Signify, out of our Souls.”  Though I am not a fan of abridging original writings, it seemed necessary in this case to make it flow better inside the modern mind.  I simply edited it only for the sake of clarity, and then added some of my own thoughts on the matter to more fully address the importance of purging ourselves of evil in these last and perilous days.  Additionally, I addressed each of these seven nations as per their first mention in Scripture, because there is a concept called “the rule of first mention.”  The first time a word or phrase is mentioned in Scripture is the seedbed of every other time it is used thereafter.  Its initial usage says the most about its meaning or significance (within its initial context) and therefore it casts the mold for understanding its subsequent usage throughout the rest of Scripture.

“When the Lord your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the HITTITES and the GIRGASHITES and the AMORITES and the CANAANITES and the PERIZZITES and the HIVITES and the JEBUSITES, seven nations greater and stronger than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.  Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons.  For they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you.  But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim [symbols pf the goddess Asherah] and burn their graven images with fire.  FOR YOU ARE A HOLY PEOPLE TO THE LORD YOUR GOD; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:1-6).

In the seven nations “greater and stronger” than us, we see analogous aspects of soul sicknesses that must be cleansed away (purged out of us) to be genuinely spiritual and heavenly minded.  And just as the Promised Land had to literally remove these nations to properly enjoy its riches, so we too must “literally” remove these aspects of soul sicknesses to properly enjoy the riches of Christ in us.  The fact that these seven nations allude to the meaning behind the number seven, and God’s intent in utterly destroying and removing them from the Promised Land (the purview of our soul’s domain), we must first understand what seven means.  Seven means completeness, and more specifically, spiritual completeness or spiritual maturity/perfection.  For the human soul to fully orb—to enlarge into its full purpose—we must, with God’s help, remove everything related to what these seven nations represent.

Moreover, separation to God is compulsory if we are not to destroy ourselves by mixture and compromise.  The history lesson of the Israelite nation is one of grievous failure, and too often, the history of the church as well.  The violent, which take the kingdom of God by force, are “utter” people, those who violently destroy every vestige of evil in themselves and thereby cause themselves to wholeheartedly and with complete vigor serve the Lord exclusively.  We can no longer be slack in our pursuit to inherit the kingdom—which is clearly defined for us as “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17)—because the peril and darkness of this late hour in human history requires more resolve, endurance, and anointing than ever before—and that—just to survive the few days of our mortal life-span intact in Him.  I hear the Lord asking, as Joshua asked the Israelites, “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?” (Joshua 18:3).

Furthermore, it behooves us to completely understand that “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.  IF A MAN THEREFORE PURGE HIMSELF from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:19-21).

Additionally, “Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many”; “Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure”; “Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand” (Daniel 11:33 & 35; 12:10).

As the few verse fragments above from the book of Daniel intimates, the idea of insight is very important, and just as out-sight needs a clear line of sight to understand external realities, so in-sight needs a clear line of sight to understand internal realities.  But whereas external realities are navigated by natural eyes, internal realities are navigated by the spiritual eye; our internal lens, therefore, must be clean and our line of sight purged of impediments if we are to adequately—though undoubtedly still partially—discern the infinite magnitude of the eternal horizon of Christ within us.  Removing these seven nations of confederate sanctions against us, these seven aspects of soul-force-still-in-charge, allows for this deeply purged clarity of sight and therefore promotes the maturation of the knowledge of God in us.  Let us now look closely at these seven soulish detriments to our spirituality in order of their listing sequence in Deuteronomy 7:1.

1. The HITTITES.

“This nation signifies the Spirits of Fear and Discouragement.  These spirits discourage the soul continually with false fears, affrighting and terrifying it from its work, sometimes raising up infidelity, sometimes false reasoning through earthly wisdom, disputing against faith and the power of God.  They tell us that none can come to perfection; that none can conquer the temptations and assaults of the devil; that none can overcome sin, self, and the passions and distempers of the old man.  Sometimes they discourage from without with many rumors of wars and calamities, persecutions and tribulations, arguing from the opinions of learned ministers or others, against our practice, and from the divided contrary judgments of such, from their books and writings.  Also from the example of multitudes that believe and walk otherwise, and yet hope to be saved.   All this, these discouraging spirits of fear, cast before the soul, to stop its wheels in going to perfection; and this they do from first to last, even till the work is ended, and perfection attained.   But the spirit of faith, in the name Jesus, does at last conquer, and overcome these Hittites”—Bromley’s words, edited.

James Strong defines the Hittites as “terror,” and derives that idea from a root meaning “to prostrate; hence to break down, either [literally] by violence, or [figuratively] by confusion and fear.”  Alfred Jones defined them as “dread”; this of course comports well with both Strong’s and Bromley’s definitions.  The Hittite is first mentioned in a covenant made by God with Abram; the Hittite is the fourth of ten peoples God used to outline the parameters of that covenant.  Ten is the number of law and responsibility, and is the number most closely associated with a constraint upon flesh.  In this particular application, the Hittites are one of ten peoples defining the Promised Land; its name is referenced as one of ten parts comprising the whole of Israel.  It is therefore one of ten parts with specific limits, even to the outer portion of things, even to the fence that stables flesh and defines the furthest extent of its reach.  Additionally, this fence also protects flesh from being tormented and devoured by the predatorial spirit outside trying to get inside.  Eventually, Christians must learn they have the mind of Christ; also, that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

And indeed, these heinous spirits of fear and discouragement will torment our souls unmercifully—as long as we invite them in and/or remain immature in the things of God.  The law is for the lawless, and also for those of His children which remain too near the fence at the outer limits of His will.  We delay the maturation of our souls as long as we test the limits of God’s grace.  Also, because we live too close to the edge, we affright ourselves with all that lives across that edge in the kingdom of darkness.  When we linger too long on the edge under the oppressive weight of fear, we become discouraged and lose heart and perspective.  Bromley attributed “the spirit of faith, in the name of Jesus” as the victorious means by which to conquer fear, and he is assuredly correct if he also meant “faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6).  Love does, indeed, conquer all!  And in no uncertain terms, fear is particularly eradicated by love.  “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]” (1 John 4:18).  Staying in the center of His will is like staying in the eye of a storm; get off that center of peaceful stillness and suffer warring agitation.  The spirits of fear and discouragement live in the outer bands of the cyclone; victory is already ours so long as we remain in the stronghold—inside the parameters of Christ in us—and away from external disturbances.
                 
2. The GIRGASHITES.

“This nation signifies the Spirits of Earthliness and Dirtiness.  These spirits tempt and draw us to the earthly life and its vanities, to bestial lusts, to excesses in all things, and against the law of moderation, purity, and temperance”—Bromley’s words edited.

J. Strong had nothing to say about the Girgashites as pertaining to the word’s etymology, but Alfred Jones derives “dwellers in a clayey soil.”  Though Bromley said less about this nation than all the other nations, we can see his sympathy with Jones’ definition.  The Girgashites, also according to Jones, “were so denominated from the clayey nature of the land where they dwelt, which was near the lake of Tiberias.”  There are exalted and high and mighty sins, like pride and indifference, and there are debased and low and weak sins, like drunkenness and gluttony and debauchery.  This nation represents the latter.  The first mention of Girgashite is in the Generations of Noah as outlined in Genesis chapter ten.  But its first significant mention is found in that same ten nation listing that the Hittites are found in, and as I already explained, ten is the number of law and responsibility and relates to the idea of restraining flesh.  And restraint of flesh is particularly needed in regard to the Girgashite and his spirits of earthiness and dirtiness.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).  Though it could be argued that earthiness and dirtiness is found in all the different expressions of the “works of the flesh” herein listed, those expressions which particularly typify the Girgashite spirit are (1) the sexual sins: adultery [cheating on spouse], fornication [all sex outside of wedlock], uncleanness [impurity, usually of a sexual nature], and lasciviousness [filthy wantonness]—pornography (2) drunkenness [intoxication], and (3) revelings [a carousal (as if a letting loose)—rioting].  In another list (1 Peter 4:3), we see a repeat of these excesses with one addition: banquetings or gluttony—excesses in both food and drink.  The baser appetites of our animal part of us is not sinful except as it dominates us.  The Girgashite spirits of earthiness and dirtiness rule us when we live only or predominantly in our base nature.  We must, via the Holy Spirit, mortify our flesh; that is, we must keep carnal appetite penned, tamed and subserviently moderate.
           
3. The AMORITES.

“This nation signifies the Spirits of Bitter Fierce-Talking and Judging.  These spirits judge this or that, and all from the root of bitterness.  Additionally, these bitter spirits do much hinder the sweet Lilly of the Valley, from springing up in the soul, even the soft, meek, gentle nature of the Lamb, from acting out its virtue to ourselves, or to others, either friends or enemies.   These perverse spirits, rather incite us to require eye for eye; they only practice revenge.  They despise forgiving mercifulness, and in their fierceness, rage against meekness, and the law of love and tender-heartedness, and gentle soft behavior.  In a word, the spirits of envy, enmity, jealousy, and rash judging, are Amoritish spirits, which Joshua, that is Jesus, comes to cast out”—Bromley’s words edited.

Strong defines the Amorites as “to say...with great latitude, in the sense of publicity, i.e. prominence; thus a mountaineer.”  Jones agrees with Strong, but with this minor addition: “to speak, to bring to light.”  Additionally, they were a strong people that dwelt in rugged mountainous regions.  The bitter judgmental attitude of the Amorites, as specified by Bromley, is indeed very specific, because in general, the Amorite personified pride.  Of course, to bitterly judge others—to speak expansively and fiercely dogmatic about “this and that”—is grounded in high-minded or high-browed pride.  Their rugged lifestyle and consequential strength is something the world admires and approves of, but speaking loud and wide in high thin air from a mountaintop only magnifies foolishness in the eyes of God.  Assuredly, “Man, with all his [self] honor and pomp, will not endure...This is the fate of those who are FOOLISHLY CONFIDENT, and of those after them who approve [and are influenced by] their words” (Psalm 49:12-13).  “The heart of [over-confident] fools proclaims foolishness” (Proverbs 12:23) everywhere they go, and always in presumptuous and misinterpreted ways that ultimately leads to false judgments about all things they assess and articulate.  Ultimately, “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind” (Proverbs 18:2).  Bitter judgmental people are those myopic souls that are either unwilling or unable to see themselves as they really are.  Perhaps more than most, those who judge others and things incorrectly, and in bitter tones at that, are those identified in Scripture as “lovers of self.”  And self-love, in Scripture, is attached to a litany of grievous sins—and by implication—sharing their characteristics (especially in the last days).  “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be LOVERS OF SELF, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
 
Jude identified the Amorite spirit when he spoke of ungodly dreamers that “Reject [legitimate] authority, and revile and mock angelic majesties.  But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil (Satan), and arguing about the body of Moses, did not dare bring an abusive condemnation against him, but [simply] said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’  But these men sneer at anything which they do not understand; and whatever they do know by [mere] instinct, like unreasoning and irrational beasts—by these things they are destroyed”; also, “these men are hidden reefs [elements of great danger to others] in your love feasts when they feast together with you without fear, looking after [only] themselves” (Jude 8-10, 12).  All of us have endured bitter and judgmental people, sad people whose expansive opinion about everyone and everything has to be explicitly and thoroughly articulated as though they were the final arbiter of every matter under the sun.  Of course, they are insufferable, and insofar as the spirit of the Amorite influences us, we too are insufferable, and we too are in danger of hindering “the sweet Lily of the Valley” from wafting its soul saving aroma up into and out of us to a dying world.
               
4. The CANAANITES.

This nation signifies the Spirits of Merchandizing.  These are spirits that traffic in our minds, wills, thoughts, senses, imaginations, and affections; they fetch in buyers and sellers into the temple of the soul, and make it run out beyond due measure in its trafficking with them.  Sometimes, in things we have nothing to do withal, or over-concerning ourselves with a multiplicity of cares—about things of a little moment—we thereby pollute and defile our souls.  We also sometimes oppose the Lamb’s law of holy silence and pure stillness, and departing from the one thing necessary, into the many, we go from unity and harmony, into multiplicity and discord”—Bromley’s words edited.

According to James Strong, Canaan/Canaanite (H3669), means “peddler, merchant, trafficker,” and Alfred Jones says Canaan is derived from the root meaning “to be humble, to be subdued, [and] to be brought low.”  Putting it all together, and in light of Bromley’s interpretation, we get the idea of busy exploitive commercialization of ideas and thoughts and sentiments—that by the sheer number and speed of them coursing our beings—we get humiliated and brought very low.  Ezekiel the prophet spoke of “trafficking” in relationship to the actions of the King of Tyre/Satan/Antichrist (the ultimate expression or matured end of sin personified) when he said, “By the abundance of thy TRAFFIC they filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned” (Ezekiel 28:16).  Trafficking or merchandizing inherently fills the inner sanctum of the human heart with disruption and confusion; human activity rails against “holy silence and pure stillness,” prerequisite conditions needed to partake of Holy Communion.  The many weak and sick spoken of in relationship to “unworthily” partaking of Holy Communion (see 1 Corinthians 11:27-31), might very well be like these here that are slow to learn quietness and stillness (requisite conditions to genuinely knowing God—“Be still and know that I AM God”).
   
If there ever was a generation that fits the profile of information overload, of being occupied “about things of little moment,” we are no doubt that generation.  Television, computers, tablets, iPhones, iPods, Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc., dominates our attention and steals away our affections.  The “multiplicity of cares” that inevitably arises from all these distractions, if not sinful per se, is at least an unnecessary burden.  How can we “run with endurance (or patience) the race that is set before us” if we don’t “LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT,” let alone “the sin which so easily ensnares us”? (Hebrews 12:1).  The Scriptures have much to say about patience, and its value is inestimable, but how can we practice patience in a harried and frenetic world?  We must TRULY separate ourselves from the world, and fasting from electronic devices/technology and multi-media forums is one tangible and definite way of doing that.

In Genesis 9:20-27, Canaan is cursed for his father Ham’s sin; in verse 25, Noah specifically says, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brothers.”  Some suppose that Canaan was present with Ham when Ham exposed his father Noah in an inappropriate and unredemptive way; whether that is true or not, Canaan took the brunt of Noah’s wrath.  Either way, love covers a multitude of sin, while hate maliciously exposes people to make themselves look better by comparison.  To be humbled or brought low is not in itself God’s purpose for man (although it is the place God starts from).  Indeed, before humility comes honor, and Christians are promised that if they humble themselves, God will lift them up in due time.  We begin as servants who know only how to merchandize in order to survive, and are converted into sons who know only how to inherit in order to flourish.  Humility without conviction and servitude without humility is the bane of the merchandizing spirit which never ceases, even to the end of stubborn resolve, to admit the overload of care about nothing important.  It is the scheme of the devil to occupy humanity with much to do about nothing, and by so doing, to keep them from considering eternal reality.

Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the first mention of Canaan in Scripture (in any of its forms) is closely associated with peripheral and derivative importance—and also with the number four.  In the few verses immediately following its first mention, the curse of servitude is its significance, but not normal servitude like as a servant of a master, but abnormal servitude like as a servant of servants (doubly low and twice servile).  This first mention is in Genesis 9:18—“And the sons of Noah that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.”  Note how Canaan is the fourth mentioned and one generation removed from primary significance.  Four is the number of material completeness, the world number (and a world environment that is cursed until the process of redemption is complete).  Canaan also is the nation that represents the other six nations; just as there were twelve tribes of Israel, but only four dominant standards (four divisions of three)—the Canaanite is the dominant standard by which all seven nations obtain their respective standards.  Thus, doubly low and twice servile is the dominant mark of all seven nations, and no doubt, their common taskmaster, that harsh taskmaster that keeps them all that way, is sin.  “Everyone who sins is a slave of sin” (John 8:34).  An aside note: it is suggested by some that this idea of “servant of servants” is like how we would say “Lord of Lords” or “King of Kings.”  But I think that that conclusion misinterprets its obvious association with a definite curse.

I do, however, believe that like as Achan died a tragic death as an accursed man, but later a door of hope opened up over the very spot that Achan met his demise (symbolizing a hope that transcends tragedy), so the cursing of Canaan has behind it a redemptive motive.  See, the “Valley of Achor” is that “door of hope.”  The Valley of Achor was the site of the destruction of Achan (his name meaning “serpent” or “troubling”), his family, and all he possessed.  He “troubled” (the definition of Achor) Israel by stealing what God had cursed in the siege of Jericho.  Jericho (which represents the human heart) was the gateway to the conquest of the entire Promised Land.  Any mistake there is a mistake of extraordinary consequence (out of the heart flow the issues of life).  The serpent and his serpentine family is issued a death sentence for what they did to us in the garden, and our complicity, that ties us to the serpent (and all his wicked children), is only completely destroyed at his destruction.  The Valley of Achor, the valley of our being troubled (“tribulated” or “being narrowed” or “crammed”—definitions of “troubled”—into the kingdom of God), is the narrow door of our escape.  It is there that the serpent is judged to condemnation, whereas we are judged to victory in the same location.   “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:18-19 KJV).

Notwithstanding my lack of understanding on some matters, I do understand that the Lord makes us free indeed.  Furthermore, the new covenant in His blood breaks the curse of forced labor and indentured servitude, but also like Paul the Apostle, we would do well to liken ourselves bond-slaves to Christ as a form of preservation until the full process of redemption is complete in us.  As we mature, we really become the sons we are meant to be, and more and more responsibility is afforded us as we do, but until we can handle freedom responsibly, we are, in some measure, no different than slaves.  Indeed, “As long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave even though he is the [future owner and] master of all [the estate]; but he is under [the authority of] guardians and household administrators or managers until the date set by his father [when he is of legal age].  So also we, when we were children (spiritually immature), were kept like slaves under the elementary [man-made religious or philosophical] teachings of the world.  But when [in God’s plan] the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the [regulations of the] Law, so that He might redeem and liberate those who were under the Law, that we [who believe] might be adopted as sons [as God’s children with all rights as fully grown members of a family].  And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba! Father!’  Therefore you are no longer a slave (bond-servant), but a son; and if a son, then also an heir through [the gracious act of] God [through Christ]” (Galatians 4:1-7).  However, the realization of this wonderful truth as outlined here in Galatians 4:1-7 is not usually made immediately, but rather in steps from faith to faith.  The quicker we realize this truth, however (and apply it)—and the sooner we dispossess the Canaanite spirits of incessant trafficking in our minds and souls—the sooner we mature and become free indeed.
 
5. The PERIZZITES.

“This nation signifies the Spirits of Carelessness and False Security.  These spirits open the door of false liberty, before the crucifying work is done, circumcision past, and regeneration finished.  They labor to take us away from watchfulness and to make us neglect the cross and genuine security; and so they let in all manner of evil spirits to oppress the life of the Lamb in us.  They entice us to forsake the way of the cross and continual circumcision (while we are yet travellers, and not fixed and established in perfection); consequently, sin and self may get in again and bear rule over the life of Christ rising in us”—Bromley’s words edited.

Strong denotes the Perizzite as an “inhabitant of the open country,” or those in “a rustic village” or “town without walls.”  The words “separate” and “decide” are also involved in defining them.  Jones completely agrees with Strong, but adds that they were “A rude people of Canaan, who dwelt in the mountainous regions eventually inhabited by Ephraim and Judah.”
 
It is of particular note that the first mention of the Perizzite is in connection with cramped living space.  The temptation to throw the door open to any and all that the eye can see prematurely and presumptuously—to be careless—is the temptation that Lot eventually succumbed to—regardless of his legitimate need to find more spacious and accommodating land to fit his life and livelihood into.  “Now Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.  And the land could not sustain them while dwelling together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to remain together.  And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. Now the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land” (Genesis 13:5-7).  Later in history, when Joshua led the Israelites in possessing their apportioned lots in the land of Canaan, the tribes of Ephraim and Judah basically complained about their cramped quarters.   “So Joshua answered them, ‘If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants, since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you’” (Joshua 17:15).  Two verses later, Joshua gets more explicit; he goes from saying, “IF YOU ARE GREAT PEOPLE,” to “YOU ARE A GREAT PEOPLE.”  Then he adds, “And [you] have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong” (Joshua 17:17-18).  Perizzites and the giants and the Canaanites block the way to our full inheritance, an inheritance whose lines are pleasant and generous, but ONLY IF we clear the land entirely of all giants and “ites” and forestation.  It takes both war and work to secure and maintain our lot in life, not unlike how Nehemiah—with a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other—secured and maintained order in Jerusalem as he rebuilt her walls in a hostile environment.
           
6. The HIVITES.

“This nation signifies the Spirits of Speculative Thinking and Vain Needless Talking.  These spirits awaken vain thoughts and imaginations, and fill our fantasies with empty romances and scenes; and so through our thoughts and imaginations, they press in, and bring forth a multiplicity of words, and many useless and sinful discourses and disputes which greatly hinder the springing and further growth of the divine life.  These vain frothy spirits come from the starry heaven and their dominion in us.  They love reasonings, talks, and debates: they fill us with notions, and would have us spend our life and strength in talking of high and deep speculations, and in unnecessary disputes, for and against, about all things.  And by these means, they hinder us from being exercised in stable obedience and diligent watchfulness.  Under these Hivites, all the arts and sciences of this world come in; their office is nothing else but to awaken notions and speculations in the fantasy, and thereby to trouble, ensnare, and perplex the pure heavenly life rising up into the soul.

“Furthermore, these spirits have their progeny from the spirit of this world, and they incessantly labor to bring forth a talking notional religion among professors, to delude them, and make them think they live well because they talk well.  But they all belong to the astral heavens and stand under the Fall of Mankind.  In natural things as well as spiritual they are ever filling our heads with notions and new opinions of all sorts.  Thus we too often talk of dispensations beyond our attainments, and that sometimes from visions, sights, and from a reading of the deep mysteries of divine things, and so forget and neglect holy stillness, leading to the perfect death, and daily mortification of the ill habits and customs of the old nature and the world, and pressing into the humility, poverty, innocency, and simplicity that should be in us, and would more beautify us in the sight of God, than all other gifts and knowledge whatsoever”—Bromley’s words edited.

Strong gets “A villager” from its derivation, and then roots it back to “life-giving” or “living-place”—“by implication, an encampment or village”; there is also a nuanced allusion to Eve, and her role as a life-giver.  Jones agrees, but adds that some think that a Chaldean word for “serpent” is how the Hivites got their name, and “because, like serpents, they lived in holes.”  In the idea of being a villager, and adding to that communal life the Eve-aspect of life-giver, I see that the Hivites drew their breath to promote the common good of their unique society.  But breath that is drawn from society and the norms of that society is inherently humanism, and therefore, assuredly, it promotes gossip. And though gossip is not exclusively a female problem (especially today in the confused family dynamics of modern western society), it is a problem that women are more prone to in general.  Paul the Apostle, in his instructions concerning the care of widows, did not allow the younger widows to bother the church for their care, in part, because “they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.  Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Timothy 5:13-14).  The KJV uses “tattlers” rather than gossips in this verse, and defines tattlers as “(to bubble); a garrulous person, i.e. prater.”  Since both garrulous and prater are not common words, here are their definitions.  Garrulous: “excessively talkative, especially on trivial matters”; synonyms: loquacious, voluble, verbose, and chatty.  Prater:  “an obnoxious and foolishly verbose talker”; synonyms: babbler, magpie, and chatterbox.

Wikipedia defines “Gossip as idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others; the act of is also known as dishing or tattling.  Gossip has been researched in terms of its evolutionary psychology origins.  This has found gossip to be an important means by which people can monitor cooperative reputations and so maintain widespread indirect reciprocity.  Indirect reciprocity is defined here as ‘I help you and somebody else helps me.’ Gossip has also been identified by Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary biologist, as aiding social bonding in large groups.  With the advent of the internet, gossip is now widespread on an instant basis, from one place in the world to another what used to take a long time to filter through is now instant.  The term is sometimes used to specifically refer to the spreading of dirt and misinformation, as (for example) through excited discussion of scandals. Some newspapers carry ‘gossip columns’ which detail the social and personal lives of celebrities or of √©lite members of certain communities.”  This explains gossip perhaps, but it doesn’t condemn it like Scripture does.  Ultimately, “Sin is unavoidable when there is much talk, but whoever seals his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).

7. The JEBUSITES.

“This nation signifies the Spirits of Pride and Elevation.  These spirits trample upon and despise everything that is good; they would ever be trampling underfoot the blood and merits of Jesus, in the pride and might of the fire.  They slight and despise the meek and humble way of the cross of Christ, elevating themselves above the heart of Jesus and the power of His love.  They are always tempting us to trample upon the pearl in ourselves, and to undervalue the pure virginity of the eternal wisdom, and the precious things of God, and would draw us into apostasy with themselves, making us to slight the redeeming blood of the Lamb, and by puffing us up in spiritual pride, make us to think ourselves perfect before we really are, and so by degrees, they would draw us to neglect the rising life of Jesus in ourselves”—Bromley’s words edited.

According to Strong—and Jones essentially agrees—Jebusite means “trodden” or “threshing place,” but it roots back to “trample” (literally or figuratively):—loath, tread (down, under [foot]), be polluted.”  The first mention of Jebusite is a seemingly innocuous reference buried in the Table of Nations found in Genesis 10:16, but more compelling references are found in the books of 1 Chronicles and 2 Samuel, references which shed much light on the nature of the Jebusite spirit.

“And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, ‘It is enough; now relax your hand.’ And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of ORNAN THE JEBUSITE” (1 Chronicles 21:15).  Ornan, which means “strong, tree tough, stridulous,” combined with the meaning of Jebusite, suggests man in his full but fallen powers walking about haughtily in the filthiness of sin.  The fact that he is the last Canaanite of his tribe represents the last vestige of indigenous strength; the fact that the Jebusites once taunted David (who represents Christ) that even “the blind and the lame” could defend their supposedly impregnable city from invasion and capture, David (Christ) nonetheless captured the stronghold of Zion, the city of David, by coming into it through the water tunnel (see 2 Samuel 5:6-9).  Christ, via the tear ducts (of repentance) captures the seemingly impregnable heart of man, that stout, prideful, elevated and foolish heart that fights to the end of its strength, all the way out to its full extent, even to the blind and lame extent of that strength.

Indeed, “it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved” (1 Peter 4:18); likewise, it is with difficulty that God “establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:7).  The length to which God goes, however, to establish righteousness in man is in direct correlation to how deeply He explores the abyss of the human heart.  In Ornan the Jebusite, we see that abyss fully explored and completely redeemed.  The ultimate significance of “Jebus, which is Jerusalem” (Judges 19:10), or its inhabitant, the Jebusite, is that God chose Jerusalem to be His habitation forever.  “Then the angel of the Lord commanded...that David should go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite” (1 Chronicles 21:18).  “Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite” (2 Chronicles 3:1).  Continuing to refine the meaning derived from the idea of Ornan the Jebusite, we see the purification process removing chaff from wheat, and by analogous inference, flesh from spirit.  Upon Mount Moriah, where Abraham was first instructed to sacrifice Isaac (but was eventually allowed to sacrifice a ram instead), “it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it [the final offering for sin] will be provided’” (Genesis 22:14).  And indeed, the Lord provided Himself there many years later when Mount Moriah was renamed Golgotha.  Mount Moriah/Golgotha is therefore a spiritual peak or destination achieved only by the true circumcision that kills flesh and livens spirit; it is historically known to be Mount Zion which represents the new covenant and those that worship only in spirit and in truth.

Ultimately, pride always believes itself impenetrable and prompts it to mock those who dare contest its lofty position on the throne of man’s heart.  Jerusalem is the capital of the Promised Land, just as the human spirit is the capital of the soul; but Jerusalem, which means “founded peaceful,” like the human soul, has been toppled off its foundation, and pride is the cause of both of their demises.  Jerusalem and the soul always (until redemption is complete), tends to topple off their respective bases as pride makes them both top-heavy, chaotic, and unwieldy.  Pride is only removed by humility, and humility is only secured by repentance; and repentance is only repentance when there is genuine sorrow accompanied by tears.  To finally be free of the Jebusite spirits of pride and elevation, we would do well to follow this prescription: “He [God] gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but [continuously] gives [the gift of] grace to the humble [who turn away from self-righteousness].’  So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.  Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; and purify your [unfaithful] hearts, you double-minded [people].  Be miserable and grieve and weep [over your sin]. Let your [foolish] laughter be turned to mourning and your [reckless] joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose]” (James 4:6-10).  Finally, “Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself” (Romans 12:16).

IN SUMMATION, it is significant that all seven nations can be traced back to the lineage of Ham.  But before I speak of this significance, it behooves us to understand something of the characteristic nature of each of the sons of Noah, those three sons from whom God repopulated the whole earth in the wake of the Great Flood.  Arthur C. Custance, in his book “Noah’s Three Sons,” says that Noah’s sons, Shem (Semitic), Ham (Hamitic), and Japheth (Japhetic), contributed to civilization in three different ways that corresponds perfectly with our tripartite construction of being.  He stated “that a kind of division of responsibilities to care for the specific needs of man at three fundamental levels—the spiritual, the physical, and the intellectual—was divinely appointed to each of these three branches of Noah’s family.”  Custance contends that the Semitic peoples “tended to lay the emphasis on the search for righteousness, the Japhetic...peoples have laid the emphasis on the search for understanding, and the Hamitic peoples have searched for power.”  Consequently, all the religions, both true and false, come from the Semites, and therefore, their contributions are primarily to the spiritual life of man; from Japheth come all the philosophies, both true and false, and therefore, their contributions are primarily to the soulical life of man; and finally, from Ham come all the technologies and inventions, both good and bad, and therefore, their contributions are primarily to the physical life of man.

This physicality emphases of the Hamitic people is not inherently sinful (especially since it has been placed into them by God), but it does—because it accentuates the needs of the body in particular—tend to carnality.  Mere pragmatism and earthly mindedness is also their tendencies.  John Urquhart, quoted by Custance, said, “The Hamitic race appears to have been more practical, sharp, and wide awake than the others.  It lived with its whole energies in the present and for the present.  The other two races were more reflective, and...had more heart.”  And indeed, though the contributions of the Hamitic race has been predominantly positive, when not positive, their negative impact has been immediate and severe.  Only God knows why and to what degree these seven Hamitic nations deviated from their positive track, but it obviously was enough of a deviation to cause their destruction.  Perhaps the reason for their demise is reflected in the type of gods they set up and worshipped.  Custance said that “The gods of the Hamites were gods of power, in fact—in the absence of the moral component—were gods of ruthlessness, demanding appropriate sacrifices.”  In the edited words of Thomas Bromley, “All these spirits fight in us to their last breath, even till they are quite destroyed by the powerful resurrection of Jesus Christ and His ascension in us, which is our perfection in the life and nature of the Son of God.  Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will eventually cast out the last residue of fallen humanity, and He Himself alone will then reign inside man to all eternity.  Amen and Hallelujah!!”