士师记 15

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1 参孙火烧非利士人的禾稼

2 父亲:“我以为你非常恨她,所以我把她了你的一个同伴;她的妹妹不是比她更美丽吗?你可以娶来代替她啊。”

3 参孙对他们:“这次如果我加害非利士人,就可以不必负责了。”

4 于是参孙去捉了狐狸,又拿了火把来,把狐狸尾巴尾巴缚在起,又把枝火把插在两条尾巴中间

5 他点着了把,就放狐狸进入非利士人的禾田里,把堆积的禾捆,和未割的禾稼,以及橄榄园都烧了。

6 非利士人问:“这是谁作的呢?”有人回答:“是亭拿人的女婿参孙作的,因为他岳父把他的妻子了他的同伴。”于是非利士人上去,放烧了那女子和她的父亲

7 参孙对他们:“你们既然这样行,我必在你们身上报仇,然才肯罢休。”

8 参孙击打他们,连带腰都砍断了,那是一场极的杀戮;然后他去,在以坦磐石的穴中。

9 参孙用驴腮骨击杀千人非利士人上去,在犹大安营,在利希散开。

10 犹大:“你们为什么上来攻打我们呢?”他们:“我们上来是要捆绑参孙,要报复他向我们所行的。”

11 于是有犹大到以坦磐石的穴中去,对参孙:“非利士人统治我们,你不知道吗?你为什么向我们行这事呢?”参孙对他们:“他们怎样待我,我也怎样待他们。”

12 犹大人对他:“我们来要捆绑你,把你交在非利士人里。”参孙对他们:“你们要向我发誓,你们不亲自杀害我。”

13 他们告诉他:“我们不会杀害你,我们只要把你捆绑住,交在非利士人里,我们决不杀你。”于是他们用两条新绳子把参孙捆绑起来,从磐石的穴里把他带上来。

14 参孙到利希,非利士人就吶着出迎接他,耶和华的灵大大临到参孙身上,他上的绳子就像被烧的麻一样,他的捆绑都从他的上落下

15 着一块新鲜的腮骨,就伸拾起来,击杀了一

16 参孙:“我用腮骨杀成堆;我用腮骨击杀了一。”

17 完了,就把那腮骨从里拋出去,因此那地方拉末.利希(“拉末.利希”意即“腮骨的山”)。

18 参孙非常口渴,就呼求耶和华:“你既然借着你仆人的施行这么的拯救,现在我怎可以,落在未受割礼的人中呢?”

19 于是在利希使一洼地裂开,就有从那里涌出来;参孙了,就恢复,活力充足;因此那泉名隐.哈歌利(“隐.哈歌利”意即“呼求者之泉”),那泉直到今日还在利希。

20 非利士人统治的日子,参孙治理以色列人二十年。


Exploring the Meaning of 士师记 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.

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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]).

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