قضاة 4

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1 وعاد بنو اسرائيل يعملون الشر في عيني الرب بعد موت اهود.

2 فباعهم الرب بيد يابين ملك كنعان الذي ملك في حاصور. ورئيس جيشه سيسرا وهو ساكن في حروشة الامم.

3 فصرخ بنو اسرائيل الى الرب لانه كان له تسع مئة مركبة من حديد وهو ضايق بني اسرائيل بشدة عشرين سنة

4 ودبورة امرأة نبية زوجة لفيدوت هي قاضية اسرائيل في ذلك الوقت.

5 وهي جالسة تحت نخلة دبورة بين الرامة وبيت ايل في جبل افرايم. وكان بنو اسرائيل يصعدون اليها للقضاء.

6 فارسلت ودعت باراق بن ابينوعم من قادش نفتالي وقالت له ألم يامر الرب اله اسرائيل. اذهب وازحف الى جبل تابور وخذ معك عشرة آلاف رجل من بني نفتالي ومن بني زبولون.

7 فأجذب اليك الى نهر قيشون سيسرا رئيس جيش يابين بمركباته وجمهوره وأدفعه ليدك.

8 فقال لها باراق ان ذهبت معي اذهب. وان لم تذهبي معي فلا اذهب.

9 فقالت اني اذهب معك غير انه لا يكون لك فخر في الطريق التي انت سائر فيها. لان الرب يبيع سيسرا بيد امرأة. فقامت دبورة وذهبت مع باراق الى قادش

10 ودعا باراق زبولون ونفتالي الى قادش وصعد ومعه عشرة آلاف رجل. وصعدت دبورة معه.

11 وحابر القيني انفرد من قاين من بني حوباب حمي موسى وخيّم حتى الى بلوطة في صعنايم التي عند قادش.

12 واخبروا سيسرا بانه قد صعد باراق بن ابينوعم الى جبل تابور.

13 فدعا سيسرا جميع مركباته تسع مئة مركبة من حديد وجميع الشعب الذين معه من حروشة الامم الى نهر قيشون.

14 فقالت دبورة لباراق قم. لان هذا هو اليوم الذي دفع فيه الرب سيسرا ليدك. ألم يخرج الرب قدامك. فنزل باراق من جبل تابور ووراءه عشرة آلاف رجل.

15 فازعج الرب سيسرا وكل المركبات وكل الجيش بحد السيف امام باراق. فنزل سيسرا عن المركبة وهرب على رجليه.

16 وتبع باراق المركبات والجيش الى حروشة الامم. وسقط كل جيش سيسرا بحد السيف لم يبق ولا واحد.

17 واما سيسرا فهرب على رجليه الى خيمة ياعيل امرأة حابر القيني. لانه كان صلح بين يابين ملك حاصور وبيت حابر القيني.

18 فخرجت ياعيل لاستقبال سيسرا وقالت له مل يا سيدي مل اليّ. لا تخف. فمال اليها الى الخيمة وغطته باللحاف.

19 فقال لها اسقيني قليل ماء لاني قد عطشت. ففتحت وطب اللبن واسقته ثم غطته.

20 فقال لها قفي بباب الخيمة ويكون اذا جاء احد وسألك أهنا رجل انك تقولين لا.

21 فأخذت ياعيل امرأة حابر وتد الخيمة وجعلت الميتدة في يدها وقارت اليه وضربت الوتد في صدغه فنفذ الى الارض وهو متثقل في النوم ومتعب فمات.

22 واذا بباراق يطارد سيسرا فخرجت ياعيل لاستقباله وقالت له تعال فاريك الرجل الذي انت طالبه. فجاء اليها واذا سيسرا ساقط ميتا والوتد في صدغه.

23 فاذل الله في ذلك اليوم يابين ملك كنعان امام بني اسرائيل.

24 واخذت يد بني اسرائيل تتزايد وتقسو على يابين ملك كنعان حتى قرضوا يابين ملك كنعان

  

Exploring the Meaning of قضاة 4      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 4: Deborah

Yet again, the children of Israel had disobeyed the Lord. At this point in time, they had been under the yoke of Jabin, a Canaanite king, for twenty years. He had nine hundred chariots of iron, and was apparently very powerful.

The Lord raised up Deborah, a prophetess, to free the Israelites from oppression under Jabin. The text says that she would pass judgements for the children of Israel while she sat under the palm tree of Deborah.

Deborah summoned Barak, an army officer, and told him to go with ten thousand men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun to fight King Jabin’s armies. Barak said he would only go if Deborah went as well, so she agreed to join him. Deborah then prophesied that Sisera, the enemy commander, would be defeated by a woman.

The two armies clashed at by the River Kishon, and all of Sisera’s men were killed. Sisera then fled to the tent of Heber, an Israelite who was on peaceful terms with King Jabin. Jael, Heber’s wife, invited Sisera to come in with the comforting words, “fear not”. She covered him with a blanket, gave him milk to drink, and let him sleep there.

Then Jael quietly took a tent peg and drove it into Sisera’s temple using a hammer, so that the peg stuck in the earth. When Barak came to the tent, pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to tell him, “come, and I will show you the man you seek.” And she showed him Sisera, dead, with a peg through his temple.

So Jabin’s army was defeated that day, and Israel grew stronger until their oppression under Jabin came to an end.

*****

Deborah is an especially significant character in the Bible, because she was the only female judge of Israel. It was very unusual for a woman in those times to rise to power, yet she truly earned the respect of her people. Deborah, as a woman, stands for the nurturing power of the Word to strengthen us during regeneration. Her name means ‘a bee’, but this comes from a word meaning ‘to speak’ – here, to speak the Word. Bees make honey; honey is nutritious; God’s word is our nourishment (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 3424[2]).

The fact that Deborah judged from under a palm tree may seem like a passing detail, but even this contributes to the spiritual meaning of the story. Palm trees stand for the divine truths of the Word, which means that Deborah was judging the people from her understanding of the Lord’s truths.

King Jabin’s nine hundred iron chariots represent the apparent power of false beliefs, thoughts and persuasions over us. The number ‘nine’ stands for something which is complete, and ‘iron’ here stands for either natural truths or falsities. A ‘chariot’, being pulled by a horse, always stands for a set of teachings or doctrine. These three symbols add to the picture of a very powerful enemy: false ideas and views that can weaken and overwhelm us (Arcana Caelestia 4720[2]).

The spiritual meaning of the complex arrangement between Barak and Deborah is that we can only deal with our spiritual conflicts if we take the Word’s power (Deborah) with us. Barak, a man, represents the power of truth, but Deborah says a woman will gain victory over Sisera. The feminine stands for the power of love: our charity, our affection for good, and our wish to be useful. These qualities are always essential in our spiritual life (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Explained 1120[2]).

The story about Jael and Sisera is really about actively resisting the temptations of evil in our lives. Jael, a woman, stands for the power of good to overcome what is false in our mind. Driving the tent peg through Sisera’s head stands for the complete destruction of what is false. Driving it right through and into the ground stands for the power of good in our life and in our regeneration, because the ground represents our actions (Arcana Caelestia 268).

When Barak and Jael meet, it stands for the unity between good (Jael, a woman) and truth (Barak, a man). This unity of good and truth appears again at the start of the next chapter, in which Deborah and Barak sing of Israel’s victory.

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