士师记 10

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1 陀拉

2 陀拉治理以色列人二十三年,就死了,埋葬在沙密。

3 睚珥在他之,有基列人睚珥兴起治理以色列人二十年。

4 他有三十儿子三十驹;他们有三十座城,作哈倭特.睚珥,直到今日都是在基列地。

5 睚珥死了以后,就埋葬在加们。

6 以色列人违背的恶果以色列人又行了耶和华看为恶的事,服事众巴力和亚斯他录,以及亚兰的、西顿的摩押、亚扪人的非利士人;他们离弃了耶和华,不再服事他。

7 耶和华的怒气向以色列人发作,就把他们交在非利士人中和亚扪人的中。

8 从那一年起,他们就迫害欺压以色列人,就是所有在约旦河东边,住在亚摩利人之地的以色列人,共十年。

9 亚扪人又渡过约旦河去攻打犹大、便雅悯和以法莲家,以色列人就非常困苦。

10 以色列人耶和华哀求,:“我们得罪了你,因为我们离弃了我们的,服事众巴力。”

11 耶和华以色列人:“我不是曾经拯你们脱离埃及人、亚摩利人、亚扪人和非利士人吗?

12 西顿人、亚玛力人、马云人也都压迫你们;你们向我哀求,我也拯你们脱离他们的

13 你们竟离弃了我,服事别的,因此我不再拯你们了。

14 你们去向你们拣选的呼求吧!让他们在你们遭遇患难的时候拯你们吧。”

15 以色列人耶和华:“我们犯了罪了,你任意对待我们吧;只求你今日拯救我们。”

16 以色列人就从他们中间除去外族人的,事奉耶和华耶和华的心因以色列人所受的患难,就很着急。

17 当时亚扪人聚集起来,在基列安营;以色列人聚集,在米斯巴安营。

18 基列的众领袖彼此:“谁先去攻打亚扪,谁就可以作基列所有居民的首领。”


Exploring the Meaning of 士师记 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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