Regters 10

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1 En ná Abiméleg het Tola, die seun van Pua, die seun van Dodo, 'n man uit Issaskar, opgetree om Israel te verlos; en hy het gewoon in Samir op die gebergte van Efraim.

2 En hy het Israel drie en twintig jaar lank gerig; en hy het gesterwe en is in Samir begrawe.

3 En ná hom het Jaïr, die Gileadiet, opgetree, en hy het Israel twee en twintig jaar lank gerig.

4 En hy het dertig seuns gehad, wat op dertig jong esels gery en dertig stede gehad het; dié word tot vandag toe die Jaïrsdorpe genoem wat in die land Gílead lê.

5 En Jaïr het gesterwe en is in Kamon begrawe.

6 En die kinders van Israel het weer gedoen wat verkeerd was in die van die HERE, en hulle het die Baäls en die Astartes gedien, en die gode van Aram en die gode van Sidon en die gode van Moab en die gode van die kinders van Ammon en die gode van die Filistyne, en hulle het die HERE verlaat en Hom nie gedien nie.

7 Daarom het die toorn van die HERE ontvlam teen Israel, en Hy het hulle verkoop in die hand van die Filistyne en in die hand van die kinders van Ammon.

8 En hulle het die kinders van Israel verpletter en verdruk in daardie jaar, agttien jaar lank, al die kinders van Israel wat oorkant die Jordaan gewoon het in die land van die Amoriete, wat in Gílead was.

9 Daarby het die kinders van Ammon die Jordaan oorgetrek om ook teen Juda en Benjamin en die huis van Efraim te veg, sodat Israel dit baie benoud gehad het.

10 Toe roep die kinders van Israel die HERE aan en : Ons het teen U gesondig, want ons het onse God verlaat en die Baäls gedien.

11 Maar die HERE het aan die kinders van Israel gesê: Het Ek julle nie van die Egiptenaars en van die Amoriete, van die kinders van Ammon en van die Filistyne--

12 en toe die Sidoniërs en Amalekiete en Maoniete julle verdruk en julle My aangeroep het--julle uit hulle hand verlos nie?

13 Maar julle het My verlaat en ander gode gedien; daarom sal Ek julle nie meer verlos nie.

14 Gaan heen en roep die gode aan wat julle verkies het; laat dié julle verlos in die tyd van julle benoudheid.

15 Toe die kinders van Israel aan die HERE: Ons het gesondig; maak met Ons net soos dit goed is in u ; verlos Ons tog net vandag.

16 En hulle het die vreemde gode uit hulle midde verwyder en die HERE gedien; toe het Hy ongeduldig geword oor die moeite van Israel.

17 En die kinders van Ammon is byeengeroep en het laer opgeslaan in Gílead; maar die kinders van Israel het bymekaargekom en laer opgeslaan by Mispa.

18 Toe die manskappe, die vorste van Gílead, die een aan die ander: Wie is die man wat sal begin om te veg teen die kinders van Ammon? Hy sal hoof wees oor al die inwoners van Gílead.


Exploring the Meaning of Regters 10      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 10: Tola, Jair; Israel oppressed again.

This chapter opens by mentioning the judges Tola and Jair, who judged for twenty-three years and twenty-two years, respectively. The text gives us very little information about them, except that Jair had thirty sons, who rode on thirty donkeys and had thirty cities in the land of Gilead.

After Jair died, the people soon disobeyed the Lord, and worshipped the gods of Syria, Sidon, Moab, Philistia, and Ammon. This provoked the Lord’s anger, so He caused the Philistines and Ammonites to oppress Israel. The Ammonites first attacked the two-and-a-half tribes living on the eastern side of the Jordan, then crossed the river to attack Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim.

The people cried out to the Lord, saying that they had forsaken Him, but He told them to go to the other gods they had chosen. However, the people asked again for forgiveness, stopped worshipping foreign gods, and turned back to the Lord, so His anger toward them subsided.

*****

This chapter describes another episode in Israel’s cycle of disobedience and punishment, in which the people repeatedly turn away from the Lord when there is no leader. No matter how often we affirm our faith in the Lord, we, too, will default to our natural desires and false thinking. As we come to recognize and accept this fact of life, we can find comfort in the Lord. He understands this completely, and does not blame or punish us.

The first judge mentioned is Tola. His name means “a worm-like grub”, suggesting the idea of metamorphosis and regeneration (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 106[2]). Tola’s father was Puah (meaning “shining”), his grandfather was Dodo (meaning “amorous, loving”), and their city was Shamir (which means “keeping the commandment”). These names bring to mind the spiritual qualities of truth, love and life in the Lord (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 977).

The next judge is Jair, whose name means ”he whom God enlightens”. The number thirty (used in reference to his thirty sons and their thirty towns) means fullness or readiness. This readiness refers to our spiritual ‘remains’, or states of innocence and charity that the Lord imparts to us during childhood. These remains are essential during regeneration (Arcana Caelestia 1050).

The Philistines, soon to be a major enemy of Israel, stand for the belief in “faith alone” salvation. This way of thinking instills the idea that we will be saved if we “believe in the Lord”, regardless of our actions. “Faith alone” doctrine is present in many religious practices (see Swedenborg’s work, Doctrine of Life 4).

The people of Ammon stand for profaning what is true, by turning the truths of the Word into false ideas. We profane the truth when we claim to know what the Word teaches, but live in a way that is contrary to the Lord’s commandments (Arcana Caelestia 6348[3]).

This chapter, like many others in the book of Judges, shows Israel’s decline into chaos and evil. The two judges, Tola and Jair, provide a picture of spiritual integrity, in contrast with Israel’s oppression by the very evils they have turned to. In our regeneration, with its highs and lows, we must avoid the temptation of shallow faith by acting according to our values.

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