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Its Symbolic Meaning to Us
Just before the end of Israel's 40 year wandering through the wilderness of Zin we read in Num. 20:1- 13 that, because of a shortage of water, Yahweh told Moses, in the presence of Aaron, to speak to the rock in front of the congregation, and they would get all the water that was needed. But Moses smote the rock with his rod. Because of his smiting the rock, and not just speaking to it, water was still given to the Israelites, but both Moses and Aaron lost their privilege of entering into the promised land.
Historical Perspective
In Genesis, chapter 12, we find that Canaan was the land promised to Abram and his seed. When Abram entered into Canaan it was the first time the people of Yahweh entered into the promised land.
    With the passage of time there was famine in the land and Abram, his wife, Sarai, and his brother, Lot, took all their belongings and traveled into Egypt. This is the first time Yahweh's people enter into the land of Egypt, which typifies sin.
    And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee, Gen 12:11-13.
    Fearing for his life, Abram told the pharaoh that Sarai was his sister, thus giving the pharaoh the illusion that he could take her as his wife if he desired.
    Yahweh intervenes with plagues so that the pharaoh tells Abram to leave Egypt and go home. This is the first occurrence of plagues being used to release Yahweh's people and the 2nd occurrence of Yahweh's people entering into the land promised to Abram and his seed.
The Time of Joseph
In the ensuing chapters of Genesis we remember how the promise given to Abram(Abraham) was passed unto Isaac and Jacob, along with the story of Joseph, being sold into slavery and going to Egypt.
    While Joseph was in Egypt, the pharaoh had a dream of 7 fat cows and 7 lean cows, where the 7 lean cows did eat up the 7 fat cows. His dream continued where 7 fat ears of corn were followed by 7 thin ears of corn and the 7 thin ears devoured the 7 fat ears of corn. This dream was interpreted by Joseph to mean 7 years of plenty to be followed by 7 years of famine. This famine also included the land of Canaan, where Jacob lived.
    Because of the interpretation of the dream, Egypt prepared for this famine with Joseph being set in charge of storing grain during the seven years of plenty and for dispensing the grain during the seven years of famine.
    When the seven years of famine began Jacob sent 10 of his remaining sons to Egypt for corn, leaving the youngest, Benjamin, at home, for Jacob didn't want anything to happen to him, which would cause his lineage to be broken.
    When Joseph's brethren arrived in Egypt, Joseph recognized his brothers but his brothers did not recognize Joseph. Desirous to see his youngest brother, Benjamin, Joseph accused his brothers of being spies. Because of this he placed them in jail, telling them to select one to return to Jacob and bring back Benjamin.
    After three days in jail Joseph released all but Simeon, telling the other nine to return to Jacob and bring back Benjamin. Returning home the nine brothers told Jacob everything and when they opened their sacks of corn they also found the money they had taken to buy the corn. This made all of them afraid.
    When the second year of the famine began in Canaan and they had consumed the corn they brought back from Egypt, Jacob agreed to allow Benjamin to accompany his other nine sons back to Egypt to buy more food. He reluctantly did this even though he not only feared for Benjamin's life but also he remembered that the money used to buy the corn on the previous trip had been restored and he didn't know what might happen upon their return to Egypt. To help relieve Jacob's mind, Judah promised Jacob that he would be a surety for Benjamin.
    Upon arriving in Egypt, Joseph had his men fill their sacks with corn while instructing them to restore the money and to place the wine serving cup into Benjamin's sack. After this was completed Joseph's eleven brothers began their journey back to the land of Canaan.
    Shortly after leaving Egypt they were overtaken by Joseph's men in search of the wine serving cup. When the cup was found in Benjamin's sack Joseph's brothers were forced to return to Egypt.
    When Joseph confronted his brothers he told them that Benjamin will have to remain in Egypt because the cup was found in his sack. Judah pleaded with Joseph to allow him to remain in Egypt and allow Benjamin to return to Jacob because Judah had promised Jacob that he would be a surety for Benjamin. Joseph could not retain himself about his true identity and he professed to his brothers who he was. He told his brothers to return to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and tell him not only that Joseph was alive in Egypt but that Joseph wanted Jacob, along with his family, to return to Egypt because there was yet 5 years of famine ahead.
Israel Returns to Egypt
In Gen. 46 we read that Jacob is instructed by Yahweh to go to Egypt, along with all of his descendants. While there Yahweh promises to make a great nation and to bring them out again. Jacob, along with his household, which totaled 66 people, travels to Egypt to live in the land of Goshen. This was the 2nd occurrence that Yahweh's people went into Egypt because of famine in the land of Canaan.
    In the last 4 chapters of Genesis we read that Israel grows in number and possessions, Gen 47:27. Jacob dies in Egypt, Gen 49:33, and Joseph takes his father's body back to the land of Canaan to be buried with his forefathers, Gen 50:13. Israel continues to grow, even till the time when Joseph died, Gen. 50:26.
The Exodus
Exodus 1 tells us of the time when a new pharaoh reigns in Egypt who did not know of Joseph and who placed the Israelites in great subjection.
    We should remember in Exodus that Yahweh sent plagues upon the Egyptians in order that Yahweh's people could be released from the hold the Egyptians had on them. This is the 2nd time that Yahweh used plagues to cause His people to be released.
    This brings us back to the beginning where Moses would not be allowed to enter Canaan because he smote the rock with his rod. What is the significance of this rock from which came water to quench the thirst of the Israelites and their animals? I Cor. 10:4 says that Yahshua was that rock from which the Israelites drank the spiritual drink.
    In the remaining chapters of Numbers and all of Deuteronomy we read of the traveling of the Israelites before they finally came to rest by the river Jordan, in the land of Moab, near Jericho.
    Knowing that the inheritance of the faithful shall be the entire earth, the wandering of the Israelites before they crossed over the river Jordan can be equated to the wandering people do on this earth now before they come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Entering into Canaan
In Deut. 34:1-7 Yahweh shows Moses the land of Canaan but will not allow Moses to enter because he smote the rock with his rod. Under Joshua's leadership Yahweh's people now enter the land of Canaan, physically, for the 3rd time. Joshua 1:1, 2 and 11. Acceptance of the truth and being immersed into the Name of Yahshua is an illustration of the Israelites crossing the river Jordan and entering into the physical land promised to Abraham and his seed.
Overcoming the Land
Upon entering the land of Canaan, the Israelites encountered warlike people who resisted them at every corner. The Israelites, under Yahweh's guidance and protection, first conquered the central region, Joshua 6 - 9. Chapter 10 tells us of Israel's conquest of the southern region and chapter 11 tells us that the northern region of Canaan is overcome.
    In Joshua 11:23 we read how Israel finally overcame the entire land of Canaan: "So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that Yahweh said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes."
    Just as the Israelites had to overcome and endure the hardships the land and the people dwelling there gave them, we, also, have to overcome the hardships that life presents us with and endure until the end. See I John 5:4, 5.
Occupying the Land
The last half of Joshua tells us of the Israelites occupying the physical land promised to the Israelites. The occupation of the earth as it is meant to be occupied is yet to come for those who are chosen to reign with Yahshua.
    The book of Revelation is full of instances where plagues will be used during the end times against the evil forces of mankind. This is the third time plagues will be used to free Yahweh's people from the influences of Satan and his followers.
    To the Israelites, Canaan, the land promised to Abraham and his seed, represented three things: a rest from over 40 years of wandering; a place of plenty where they would not have to worry about their needs; and a place of triumph over the evil forces of the inhabitants of the land.
    To us, Canaan represents the earthly inheritance promised to Abraham and his seed. But we should look at Canaan on a global scale, representing the entire earth, for the earth will be the inheritance of mankind when Yahweh's kingdom is established.
    Until we accepted Yahshua's shed blood we most certainly did wander. Now we must rely on Yahweh El Shaddai as the one who will supply all of our needs today, including protection from Satan's influence.
    When the time comes when death and the grave are cast into the lake of fire, it will surely be a time of rest, a time when there are no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow - for these things will have passed away. It will also be a time when Yahweh will provide us with all of our needs. It will also be a time when Yahweh's people will live in freedom, knowing that Yahweh has prevailed and triumphed over Satan and released us from the curse placed upon mankind when man was first placed on this earth and decided not to follow Yahweh's instructions.
-Elder Roger G. Meyer

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