Judges 15

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Basic English Bible         

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1 Now a short time after, at the time of the grain-cutting, Samson, taking with him a young goat, went to see his wife; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the bride's room. But her father would not let him go in.

2 And her father said, It seemed to me that you had only hate for her; so I gave her to your friend: but is not her younger sister fairer than she? so please take her in place of the other.

3 Then Samson said to them, This time I will give payment in full to the Philistines, for I am going to do them great evil.

4 So Samson went and got three hundred foxes and some sticks of fire-wood; and he put the foxes tail to tail with a stick between every two tails;

5 Then firing the sticks, he let the foxes loose among the uncut grain of the Philistines, and all the corded stems as well as the living grain and the vine-gardens and the olives went up in flames.

6 Then the Philistines said, Who has done this? And they said, Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his friend. So the Philistines came up and had her and her father's house burned.

7 And Samson said to them, If you go on like this, truly I will take my full payment from you; and that will be the end of it.

8 And he made an attack on them, driving them in uncontrolled flight, and causing great destruction; then he went away to his safe place in the crack of the rock at Etam.

9 Then the Philistines went and put up their tents in Judah, all round Lehi.

10 And the men of Judah said, Why have you come up against us? And they said, We have come up to take Samson, and to do to him as he has done to us.

11 Then three thousand of the men of Judah went down to the crack of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, Is it not clear to you that the Philistines are our rulers? What is this you have done to us? And he said to them, I only did to them as they did to me.

12 Then they said to him, We have come down to take you and give you up into the hands of the Philistines. And Samson said to them, give me your oath that you will not make an attack on me yourselves.

13 And they said, No; we will take you and give you up into their hands, but truly we will not put you to death. So knotting two new cords round him they took him up from the rock.

14 And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines came out, meeting him with loud cries; then the spirit of the Lord came rushing on him, and the cords on his arms became like grass which has been burned with fire, and the bands came falling off his hands.

15 And taking up the mouth-bone of an ass newly dead, which he saw by chance on the earth, he put to death a thousand men with it.

16 And Samson said, With a red ass's mouth-bone I have made them red with blood, with a red ass's mouth-bone I have sent destruction on a thousand men.

17 And having said these words, he let the mouth-bone go out of his hand; so that place was named Ramath-lehi.

18 After this, he was in great need of water, and crying out to the Lord, he said, You have given this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and now need of water will be my death; and I will be given into the hands of this people who are without circumcision.

19 Then God made a crack in the hollow rock in Lehi and water came out of it; and after drinking, his spirit came back to him and he was strong again; so that place was named En-hakkore; it is in Lehi to this day.

20 And he was judge of Israel in the days of the Philistines for twenty years.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 15      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 15: Samson defeats the Philistines.

At the beginning of this chapter, we learn that the one who gave Samson’s wife to another man was his father-in-law, who thought that Samson truly hated her. He then offered Samson her younger sister instead, saying, “Is she not better? Take her.”

Samson, enraged, took three-hundred foxes and tied them tail-to-tail in pairs, with a lit torch between them. He then released them in the Philistines’ standing grain, vineyards and olive groves to burn up their crops, as revenge for the loss of his wife. In retaliation, the Philistines went and burned her and her father. In a final act of vengeance, Samson killed very many of the Philistines, then went to dwell in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

The Philistines went to Judah, stating their intent to arrest Samson, and the men of Judah passed on the message to him. Samson made the Judeans promise not to kill him themselves, but only to bind him with two new ropes before giving him to the Philistines as a prisoner.

When the Philistines came, Samson broke apart the ropes, and killed a thousand of them with the jawbone of a donkey. Then he threw the jawbone away, and complained to the Lord that he was thirsty. The Lord answered his cry for help by splitting the ground where the jawbone fell, so that Samson could drink the water that flowed from it.

The final verse of this chapter tells us that Samson judged Israel twenty years.

*****

Samson’s marriage to a Philistine woman speaks to the appealing, or even enticing, nature of ‘faith alone’ spirituality, represented by the Philistines. We must stay on our guard, to ensure that we are not caught up in thinking that faith alone will save us. The father offers Samson his wife’s younger sister, saying she is even better, but Samson had already learned to be wary by that point.

The foxes, tied together with their tails lit on fire, vividly describes the twisted and destructive nature of faith alone, and the way it consumes our potential to lead a fruitful life. The Word often depicts the state of a nation or religion through a story illustrating its true nature (True Christian Religion 130)

The cycle of revenge between Samson and the Philistines represents our personal struggles during temptation and our wish to regenerate. Our whole effort during regeneration is to resist sins that might lure us in, and to maintain our intention to live the Word (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 83[6]). The men of Judah who bind Samson represent our love for the Lord and for everything of the Lord, although this seems contradictory on a surface level. In this case, being ‘bound up’ means to be bound in our commitment to the Lord, so that we are restrained from doing evil (see Swedenborg’s work, Heaven and Hell 577[4]).

Samson stands for the power of the Word acting in our lives to assert what is true, to protect what must be upheld, and to defend against evils. He uses the jawbone of a donkey because a jawbone allows us to eat food (spiritually, nourishment from the Word), and also to proclaim the Lord’s truths. This gives us the power to expose and reject the belief that spirituality consists of faith alone (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 9049[6]).

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 3519, 4871, 9836

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Významy biblických slov

grain
As the finest of the grains, wheat fittingly represents the finest of spiritual food, what Swedenborg calls "the good of love and charity" – which...

Samson
'Samson' represents the Lord when He fought against the hells and subdued them because of His natural self regarding truth. This was before He put...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

wife
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

bride
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

hate
If you truly hate someone, that means you would kill them and destroy their reputation if you could do so without repercussion – not a...

younger
In general, birth order in the Bible reflects the progression of spiritual states, but the specifics of those states depends greatly on context: who the...

sister
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

philistines
The Philistines play a large role in the Bible as one of the longest-standing and most bitter rivals of the people of Israel, clashing with...

evil
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

Three hundred
'Three hundred' signifies fullness, because the number comes from three and a hundred multiplied. Both 'three' and 'a hundred' signifies fullness. The significance of products...

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

foxes
If man closes up the middle natural degree, which corresponds to the middle spiritual, he becomes, with respect to love, like a fox, and with...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

tail
'Tail' signifies the opposite extreme of the head, because the brain is continued to the tail through the spine, This is why the head and...

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

tails
'Tail' signifies the opposite extreme of the head, because the brain is continued to the tail through the spine, This is why the head and...

Vine
'A vine' signifies spiritual good and truth. 'A vine' or 'vineyard' signifies the church where the Word, and the Lord in it, is known, or...

gardens
'Olive yards,' as in Amos 4:9, signify the celestial aspects of the church.

olives
'An olive,' as in Isaiah 17:6, signifies celestial remains. 'An olive' signifies love and charity, because 'the olive tree' signifies the celestial church, and so...

flames
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

rock
'Rocks' signify the good and truth of faith.

judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

thousand
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

Come down
To come down (Gen. 11:5), is predicated of Jehovah, by reason of his being called the Highest. This is spoken according to appearance.

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

hands
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

oath
'To sware' is a binding.

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

To
'To jubilate' or 'make a joyful noise' signifies worship from the delight of good.

meeting
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

cries
'To shout from the top of the mountain,' as in Isaiah 42:11, signifies worship from the good of love.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

arms
Arms and feet (Daniel 10:6) signify the exterior things of the Word, which are its literal sense.

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

ass
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

ass's
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

servant
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

drinking
Food in the Bible represents the desire for good, and water and other drinks represent the understanding and true ideas we need to recognize what...

back
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

israel
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

twenty
'Twenty,' when referring to a quantity, signifies everything, or fullness, because it is ten twice. In Genesis 18:31, 'twenty', like all numbers occurring in the...

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