Judges 20

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Basic English Bible         

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1 Then all the children of Israel took up arms, and the people came together like one man, from Dan to Beer-sheba, and the land of Gilead, before the Lord at Mizpah.

2 And the chiefs of the people, out of all the tribes of Israel, took their places in the meeting of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen armed with swords.

3 (Now the children of Benjamin had word that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) And the children of Israel said, Make clear how this evil thing took place.

4 Then the Levite, the husband of the dead woman, said in answer, I came to Gibeah in the land of Benjamin, I and my servant-wife, for the purpose of stopping there for the night.

5 And the townsmen of Gibeah came together against me, going round the house on all sides by night; it was their purpose to put me to death, and my servant-wife was violently used by them and is dead.

6 So I took her, cutting her into parts which I sent through all the country of the heritage of Israel: for they have done an act of shame in Israel.

7 Here you all are, you children of Israel; give now your suggestions about what is to be done.

8 Then all the people got up as one man and said, Not one of us will go to his tent or go back to his house:

9 But this is what we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by the decision of the Lord;

10 And we will take ten men out of every hundred, through all the tribes of Israel, a hundred out of every thousand, a thousand out of every ten thousand, to get food for the people, so that they may give to Gibeah of Benjamin the right punishment for the act of shame they have done in Israel.

11 So all the men of Israel were banded together against the town, united like one man.

12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin saying, What is this evil which has been done among you?

13 Now give up those good-for-nothing persons in Gibeah so that we may put them to death, clearing away the evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not give ear to the voice of their brothers, the children of Israel.

14 And the children of Benjamin came together from all their towns to Gibeah, to go to war with the children of Israel.

15 And the children of Benjamin who came that day from the towns were twenty-six thousand men armed with swords, in addition to the people of Gibeah, numbering seven hundred of the best fighting-men,

16 Who were left-handed, able to send a stone at a hair without error.

17 And the men of Israel, other than Benjamin, were four hundred thousand in number, all armed with swords; they were all men of war.

18 And they got up and went up to Beth-el to get directions from God, and the children of Israel said, Who is to be the first to go up to the fight against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Judah is to go up first.

19 So the children of Israel got up in the morning and put themselves in position against Gibeah.

20 And the men of Israel went out to war against Benjamin (and the men of Israel put their forces in fighting order against them at Gibeah).

21 Then the children of Benjamin came out from Gibeah, cutting down twenty-two thousand of the Israelites that day.

22 But the people, the men of Israel, taking heart again, put their forces in order and took up the same position as on the first day.

23 Now the children of Israel went up, weeping before the Lord till evening, requesting the Lord and saying, Am I to go forward again to the fight against the children of Benjamin my brother? And the Lord said, Go up against him.

24 So the children of Israel went forward against the children of Benjamin the second day.

25 And the second day Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah, cutting down eighteen thousand men of the children of Israel, all swordsmen.

26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up to Beth-el, weeping and waiting there before the Lord, going without food all day till evening, and offering burned offerings and peace-offerings before the Lord.

27 And the children of Israel made request to the Lord, (for the ark of the agreement of the Lord was there in those days,

28 And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, was in his place before it,) and said, Am I still to go on with the fight against the children of Benjamin my brother, or am I to give it up? And the Lord said, Go on; for tomorrow I will give him into your hands.

29 So Israel put men secretly all round Gibeah to make a surprise attack on it.

30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in fighting order against Gibeah as before.

31 And the children of Benjamin went out against the people, moving away from the town; and as before, at their first attack, they put to death about thirty men of Israel on the highways, of which one goes up to Beth-el and the other to Gibeah, and in the open country.

32 And the children of Benjamin said, They are giving way before us as at first. But the children of Israel said, Let us go in flight and get them away from the town, into the highways.

33 So all the men of Israel got up and put themselves in fighting order at Baal-tamar: and those who had been waiting secretly to make a surprise attack came rushing out of their place on the west of Geba.

34 And they came in front of Gibeah, ten thousand of the best men in all Israel, and the fighting became more violent; but the children of Benjamin were not conscious that evil was coming on them.

35 Then the Lord sent sudden fear on Benjamin before Israel; and that day the children of Israel put to death twenty-five thousand, one hundred men of Benjamin, all of them swordsmen.

36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were overcome: and the men of Israel had given way before Benjamin, putting their faith in the watchers who were to make the surprise attack on Gibeah.

37 And the watchers, rushing on Gibeah and overrunning it, put all the town to the sword without mercy.

38 Now the sign fixed between the men of Israel and those making the surprise attack was that when they made a pillar of smoke go up from the town,

39 The men of Israel were to make a turn about in the fight. And Benjamin had overcome and put to death about thirty of the men of Israel, and were saying, Certainly they are falling back before us as in the first fight.

40 Then the sign went up out of the town in the pillar of smoke, and the Benjamites, turning back, saw all the town going up in smoke to heaven.

41 And the men of Israel had made a turn about, and the men of Benjamin were overcome with fear, for they saw that evil had overtaken them.

42 So turning their backs on the men of Israel, they went in the direction of the waste land; but the fight overtook them; and those who came out of the town were heading them off and putting them to the sword.

43 And crushing Benjamin down, they went after them, driving them from Nohah as far as the east side of Gibeah.

44 Eighteen thousand men of Benjamin came to their death, all strong men of war.

45 And turning, they went in flight to the rock of Rimmon in the waste land: and on the highways five thousand of them were cut off by the men of Israel, who, pushing on hard after them to Geba, put to death two thousand more.

46 So twenty-five thousand of the swordsmen of Benjamin came to their end that day, all strong men of war.

47 But six hundred men, turning back, went in flight to the rock of Rimmon in the waste land, and were living on the rock of Rimmon for four months.

48 And the men of Israel, turning again against the children of Benjamin, put to the sword without mercy all the towns and the cattle and everything there was, burning every town which came into their hands.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 20      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Israel’s war with the tribe of Benjamin

The events of the previous chapter carry over into the last two chapters of the book of Judges, this one and the final one. The overall content of this chapter is about the division between Israel and the tribe of Benjamin (where the town of Gibeah was situated) and the eventual long war in which thousands on both sides died.

All Israel gathered together at Mizpah, four hundred thousand foot soldiers with swords, from every tribe, except the tribe of Benjamin who heard about the gathering. The reason for coming together, prompted by the dismembered parts of the concubine, was to decide what to do. The Levite told the story of the events. The men of Israel heard and decided that they would all immediately go up against the tribe of Benjamin, for them to hand over the perverted men of Gibeah for justice to be done and for Israel to be redeemed. They agreed to take one man out of every ten to go and, if necessary, to fight.

The spiritual meaning in this opening and gathering of Israel at Mizpah is mostly about its incompleteness. The tribe of Benjamin was not present even though Mizpah was in Benjamin’s territory. Spiritual incompleteness in us is to leave something out of our love and faithfulness to the Lord which makes each one of us a whole being. The twelve tribes of Israel stand for all the qualities which come together to form our spiritual life and purpose. (True Christian Religion 38)

The men of Israel go up and ask the Lord who should go to fight first. The reply is that Judah go first. The men of Benjamin refuse to hand the men of Gibeah over and they form an army to fight Israel. In the fighting, the men of Benjamin cut down twenty-two thousand men of Israel. Israel goes and weeps to the Lord and asks if they should go up again against their brother Benjamin. The Lord says they are to go up again.

The spiritual meaning of the tribe of Benjamin is that it stands for the ‘medium’ or the vital connection between what is internal or celestial and what is external or natural. If this connection is absent there is no passage or mutual link between these two and they are separated. This removes the completeness of our spiritual life as a whole. (See Arcana Caelestia 5822.)

Israel goes up against Benjamin on the second day and eighteen thousand men of Israel are cut down by the army of Benjamin. Israel goes to the house of the Lord and weeps, and asks if they should yet go out to fight their brother Benjamin. The Lord says that they are to fight a third time, and the He will deliver them into their hand.

Israel weeps. Weeping or crying stands for mourning the loss of something which is no longer present. In a good sense ‘weeping’ can be for the sense of loss of what is loved and what is part of us, here represented by ‘to battle the children of my brother Benjamin’.
The Lord wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44). (Arcana Caelestia 4293.3)

Israel fights on three consecutive day, and on the third day they defeat the tribe of Benjamin. ‘On the third day’ (see verse 30) stands for the need for conflict and personal states in our spiritual temptations and battles to be worked through until they are brought to an end and we can be brought out of temptation, into a new state. (Arcana Caelestia 5159)

The men of Israel laid an ambush and then went as before to fight the men of Benjamin. They moved away from them and Benjamin followed them and killed some men of Israel. The men in ambush arose and went to Gibeah and by arrangement made a great column of smoke after killing the men of the city. (Arcana Caelestia 9144) The men of Benjamin saw this and panicked, and twenty three thousand of them were slain. Six hundred men escaped and hid, and Israel went all around and destroyed men of Benjamin wherever they were found.

The spiritual meaning of this final battle is in the extent of the numbers killed and the aftermath of the victory with further killing. To ‘kill’ (or destroy) when it is used in the Word is to work completely towards the full expulsion of states, thoughts and intentions in us which are in opposition to the way of the Word and its wholeness and healing. (Arcana Caelestia 9320) This is the meaning of the term ‘vastation’ in which things which are opposed to the Lord need to be worked through and brought to an end so that a new state can come.

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1453, 2723, 2799, 6804, 9396, 9416, 9422

Apocalypse Revealed 342


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 417, 687

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Významy biblických slov

children
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israel
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people
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one
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man
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dan
The tribe of Dan (Jer. 8:16) signifies truth in its own ultimate degree of order, here truth in the church, which is contained in the...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

Gilead
Mount Gilead, as in Genesis 31:21, 23, as a boundary, in a spiritual sense, signifies the first good, which is that of things pertaining to...

the Lord
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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...

mizpah
'Mizpah,' as in Genesis 31:49, signifies the quality of the Lord’s presence with people who are principled in the goods of works, or with the...

Chiefs of the people
Chiefs of the people (Numbers 21:18) signify inferior truths, such as are contained in the literal sense of the Word.

tribes
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meeting
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God
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four
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

Four hundred
Four hundred signifies vastation, temptations, and the duration thereof.

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...

thousand
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swords
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

Benjamin
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

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...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

husband
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...

Woman
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

answer
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

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...

gibeah
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wife
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house
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sides
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

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

dead
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

sent
'To send' signifies revealing.

heritage
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go
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us
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tent
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ten
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punishment
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men
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town
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give
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voice
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brothers
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towns
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war
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day
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twenty
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seven
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stone
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beth-el
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go up
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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.

morning
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two
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israelites
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the first
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first
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before
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evening
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brother
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food
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Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

peace
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ark
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days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

son
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aaron
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tomorrow
'Tomorrow' signifies eternity.

hands
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Third day
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third
'Three' denotes fullness, and 'a third,' not full.

thirty
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goes
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...

open
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way
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

flight
To flee signifies to escape, and be rescued. To flee signifies to be overcome.

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

coming
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five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

One hundred
'One hundred' signifies a full state of uniting.

saw
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given
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sword
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smoke
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turn
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and Benjamin
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pillar
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benjamites
Also, Benjamin signifies the Word in its ultimate sense (Deut. 33:12)

heaven
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turning
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side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

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

after
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

six
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months
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burning
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...


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