士师记 1

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1 犹大和西缅俘掳比色王

2 耶和华回答:“犹大要先上去,看哪,我已经把那地交在他中。”

3 犹大对自己的兄弟西缅:“请你与我一同上我抽签所得的地业去,我们好与迦南人交战;以后我也与你一同到你抽签所得的地业去。”于是西缅与他一同去了。

4 犹大上去了;耶和华就把迦南和比利洗交在他们中;他们在比色击杀了一万

5 他们在那里遇见了比色王,就与他交战,击杀了迦南人和比利洗人。

6 比色王逃跑;他们追赶他,把他捉住,砍去了他的大拇指。

7 比色:“从前有七十个的大拇指都被我砍去,在我的桌子拾取食物;现在照着我所行的,报应我了。”于是他们把他耶路撒冷,后他就在那里。

8 犹大支派的胜利犹大人攻打耶路撒冷,把城占领,用刀击杀了城中的居民,又放烧城。

9 来,犹大去,与地、地和高原的迦人交战。

10 犹大人又去攻击在希伯仑的迦南人,杀了示筛、亚希幔和挞买;希伯仑从前名叫基列.亚巴。

11 俄陀聂攻取底璧(书15:13-19)他们从那里又去攻击底璧的居民;底璧从前名叫基列.西弗。

12 迦勒:“谁能攻打基列.西弗,把城攻取,我就把我的女儿押撒他作妻子。”

13 迦勒的弟弟基纳斯的儿子俄陀聂攻取了那城,迦勒就把自己的女儿押撒他作妻子

14 押撒出嫁的时候,她劝俄陀聂向她父亲求一块田;押撒一下,迦勒就对她:“你要什么?”

15 她回答:“请你我一份礼物;你既然把我安置在地,求你也把泉赐我。”迦勒就把上泉和下泉都了她。

16 犹大和便雅悯支派的战况摩西岳父的子孙基尼人,和犹大人一同离开棕树城,上到亚拉得以犹大旷野去,在那里的人民中。

17 犹大与他的兄弟西缅同去,击杀了在洗法的迦南人,把那城完全毁灭。那城的名字何珥玛。

18 犹大又攻取了迦萨和迦萨的四境,亚实基伦和亚实基伦的四境,以革伦和以革伦的四境。

19 耶和华犹大同在,犹大就占领了地;但不能赶走平原的居民,因为他们有车。

20 犹大照着摩西的吩咐,把希伯仑了迦勒;迦勒就从那里赶走亚衲子孙的族。

21 便雅悯人没有赶走耶路撒冷的耶布斯人,所以耶布斯人与便雅悯人一同耶路撒冷,直到今日。

22 约瑟家的胜利约瑟家也上去攻打伯特利耶和华与他们同在。

23 约瑟家派人去窥探伯特利。那城从前的名字叫路斯。

24 窥探的见一个从城里出来,就对他:“请你把进城的指示我们我们必恩待你。”

25 把进城的指示了他们,他们就用刀击杀了那城的居民,却把那和他的全家都放走。

26 到赫之地去了,筑了一座城,给它起名路斯;直到今日那城还这名。

27 以色列人没有赶出的居民玛拿西没有赶走伯.善和属于伯.善的乡村的居民,他纳和属于他纳的乡村的居民,多珥和属于多珥的乡村的居民,以伯莲和属于以伯莲的乡村的居民,米吉多和属于米吉多的乡村的居民;迦南人决意在那地。

28 以色列强盛了,就迫使迦南人作苦工,但没有把他们完全赶走。

29 以法莲也没有把在基色的迦南人赶走,于是迦南人还在基色,在以法莲中间。

30 西布伦没有把基伦的居民和拿哈拉的居民赶走;于是迦南人还在西布伦中间,成了作苦工的人。

31 亚设没有把亚柯的居民和西顿的居民赶走,也没有把亚黑拉、亚革悉、黑巴、亚弗革和利合的居民赶走。

32 于是亚设人在当地的居民迦南人中间,因为他们没有把他们赶走。

33 拿弗他利没有把伯.示麦的居民和伯.亚纳的居民赶走;于是他们就在当地的居民迦南人中间;伯.示麦和伯.亚纳的居民成了给他们作苦工的人。

34 亚摩利人强迫但人退回地上,不容他们到平原来。

35 亚摩利人决意在希烈、亚雅伦和沙宾;但约瑟的势力强大以后,他们就成了作苦工的人。

36 亚摩利人的境界,是从亚克拉滨山坡,从西拉直上。

  

Exploring the Meaning of 士师记 1      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 1: The continuing conquest of Canaan.

The book of Judges follows on almost seamlessly from Joshua. It is called ‘Judges’ because a number of regional leaders arose and made judgments for the people, often actively defending Israel from outside oppression. A pattern emerges in Judges: Israel disobeys the Lord – an enemy oppresses Israel – the Lord raises a leader – the leader is victorious against the enemy – there is peace for a time – Israel disobeys the Lord again.

There were twelve judges in all, about whom we either hear very much or next to nothing. The number twelve (as with the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve disciples, and other examples in the Word), stands for all the various aspects of spirituality that we need to understand, develop, and put to use. A clue is often found in the meaning of their names, because biblical names are nearly always linked to spiritual qualities, such as ‘courage’, or ‘one who walks with God’ (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 10216).

The theme of this first chapter is the further conquest of the land. The Israelites asked the Lord, “Who shall go up and fight for us?” And the Lord said that the tribe of Judah would go, because the Lord had delivered the land into their hand. Judah then called on the tribe of Simeon to join them, and they won many battles against the Canaanites still in the land.

One Canaanite king, Adoni-bezek, fled and was captured by the Israelites, who then cut off his thumbs and big toes. Adoni-bezek said that God had dealt justice by punishing him, as he had previously cut off seventy kings’ thumbs and big toes, and they had to gather scraps of food under his table.

Then Caleb, a leader of Israel during the journey through the wilderness, said that the man who took Kirjath-sepher (Caleb’s inheritance city) from the Canaanites would marry his daughter, Achsah. Caleb’s nephew, Othniel, took the city and Achsah was given to him. Achsah asked her father for the blessing of springs of water, and Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

Next, spies were sent to Bethel. They met a man there, and said that if he directed them the entrance to the city, they would show him mercy. He helped them, and they took the city but showed mercy on the man and all his family. After all of this, the man built a new city called Luz in the land of the Hittites.

The chapter ends by listing the twelve tribes, as well as the Canaanite peoples who remained unsubdued in each of their territories.

*****

The overarching spiritual theme of Judges is the process of our regeneration. As the opening of Judges reminds us, there were still parts of the land and various tribes that Israel needed to conquer. In fact, the Israelites never finished driving enemies out of their land. In the same way, we need to control our inherited human nature, but it is never completely wiped out (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Love and Wisdom 238).

During regeneration, we will discover deeper and subtler self-centered states in ourselves, which need to be mitigated. Each judge raised by the Lord stands for our determination to deal with these states, using the Word as a guide. This brings us a period of peace, followed by the start of another personal discovery.

When the Israelites chose which tribes would fight for them, it was no coincidence that they selected Judah and Simeon. Judah (who was a prominent tribe of Israel) and Simeon (who usually acts with another tribe) stand for the highest things in our spiritual life: our love for the Lord, and our obedience to the Lord’s Word. Choosing Judah and Simeon as our strength will always bring victory in our regeneration (see Arcana Caelestia 3654 and Apocalypse Explained 443).

The spiritual meaning in the story of Adoni-bezek is about taking away the power of our self-love, as cutting off thumbs and big toes makes hands and feet virtually useless. When we work on our lower nature, we are to minimize its control over us. It is the same with any influences from hell; their power must end. Adoni-bezek’s comment about doing the same to seventy kings vividly describes how self-love can only lead to our downfall (Arcana Caelestia 10062[4]).

The delightful story of Caleb, Achsah and Othniel illustrates that after battle, there is rest and reward. In the same way, we strengthen the ‘marriage’ of good and truth in us after overcoming spiritual struggles (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Love and Wisdom 409). The springs of water given to Achsah stand for the truths which flow into our mind, both about the ‘upper’ things of the Lord and heaven, and those ‘lower’ ones about spiritual life and responsibility.

The episode about the man from Bethel means that when we open up our life to the Lord to allow Him to guide us, we become blessed (Arcana Caelestia 3928). Then our life can be re-built in very practical and good ways, represented by the Hittites.

The final mention of the Canaanites still in the land points to the continuing presence of our unregenerate qualities. Although we may progress through the work of regeneration, we are still human, and we will always have flaws left to improve on.

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