士师记 14

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1 参孙到亭拿,在那里见一个女子,是非利士人女儿

2 参孙上来禀告他父母:我在亭拿见一个女子,是非利士人女儿,愿你们给我娶来为妻。

3 他父母:在你弟兄的女儿中,或在本国的民中,岂没有一个女子,何至你去在未受割礼的非利士人中娶妻呢?参孙对他父亲:愿你给我娶那女子,因我喜悦他。

4 他的父母却不知道这事是出於耶和华,因为他找机会攻击非利士人。那时,非利士人辖制以色列人

5 参孙跟他父母亭拿去,到了亭拿的葡萄园,见有一只少壮狮子向他吼叫。

6 耶和华的灵大大感动参孙,他虽然无器械,却将狮子撕裂,如同撕裂山羊羔一样。他行这事并没有告诉父母。

7 参孙去与女子说话,就喜悦他;

8 过了些日子,再下去要娶那女子,向道旁要死狮,见有一群蜂子和蜜在死狮之内,

9 就用手取蜜,且且走;到了父母那里,他父母,他们也吃了;只是没有告诉这蜜是从死狮之内取来的。

10 父亲去见女子。参孙在那里设摆筵宴,因为向来少年人都有这个规矩。

11 众人见参孙,就请了三十个人陪伴他。

12 参孙对他们:我你们出一个谜语,你们在日筵宴之内,若能猜出意思告诉我,我就你们三十件里衣,三十套衣裳;

13 你们若不能猜出意思告诉我,你们就三十件里衣,三十套衣裳。他们:请将谜语我们

14 参孙对他们的从者出来;甜的从强者出来。他们日不能猜出谜语的意思。

15 到第七,他们对参孙的妻:你诓哄你丈夫,探出谜语的意思告诉我们,免得我们烧你和你父家。你们请了我们来,是要夺我们所有的麽?

16 参孙的妻在丈夫面前啼哭:你是恨我,不是我,你给我本国的人出谜语,却没有将意思告诉我。参孙回答:连我父母我都没有告诉,岂可告诉你呢?

17 日筵宴之内,他在丈夫面前啼哭,到第七逼着他,他才将谜语的意思告诉他妻,他妻就告诉本国的人。

18 到第七,日头未落以前,那城里的人对参孙:有甚麽比蜜还甜呢?有甚麽比狮子还强呢?参孙对他们:你们若非用我的母牛犊耕地,就猜不出我谜语的意思

19 耶和华的灵大大感动参孙,他就到亚实基伦,击杀了三十,夺了他们的衣裳,将衣裳了猜出谜语的。参孙发怒,就上父家去了。

20 参孙的妻便归了参孙的陪伴,就是作过他朋友的。


Exploring the Meaning of 士师记 14      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 14: Samson’s Philistine wife.

At the time of Samson, the Philistines were fiercely oppressing Israel. The Philistines lived on the coast, and they may well have come from overseas. They lived in the region for about 600 years, and the Old Testament refers to many later conflicts with the Philistines.

One day, Samson saw a young Philistine woman in Timnath, and he asked his parents to get her for his wife. They asked why he did not choose an Israelite woman, but he insisted on marrying the woman he saw in Timnath, so they all went to meet her. On the way, Samson was attacked by a lion, and he tore it apart with his bare hands. After some time, when he passed by the same place, there was a swarm of bees and honey inside the lion’s carcass. He ate some of the honey, and even brought some of it to his parents, but he did not tell them where it came from.

The woman pleased Samson, and he arranged a feast to which thirty companions were invited. At the feast, Samson told them a riddle: “Out of the eater came something to eat, out of the strong came something sweet.” He said that if they solved the riddle in the seven days of the feast, he would give them thirty linen sheets and thirty changes of clothing. If not, they were to give him the same. They could not solve the riddle for three days, so they convinced Samson’s wife to beg him for the answer. At the end of seven days, the men answered Samson’s riddle, and he was furious.

Then the Lord’s spirit came upon Samson, and he killed thirty Philistine men from Ashkelon, took their garments, and gave these to the thirty men at the feast. His wife was given to his companion.

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The spiritual meaning of the powerful Philistines is believing faith is all-important, and does not require charity or good works in life — a fundamental spiritual error. This way of thinking is called ‘faith alone’ spirituality, and it can take many forms. The proximity of the Philistines to Israel is also significant, as it suggests that the temptation to prefer faith without considering charity is never far away (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 200[3]).

The pursuit of a Philistine wife reflects the alluring nature of faith without charity, an easy, complacent spirituality. The young lion represents the force of faith alone to hold us in its grip. The honey stands for the spiritual sweetness following regeneration, as we use our faith to expand our hearts and minds (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 5620[1]).

Samson’s riddle stands for the puzzling nature of the Word’s teachings to those living by faith alone. The number thirty stands for what is whole, in this instance, the completely opposing nature of faith alone and true spiritual living. The linen sheets and changes of clothing mean taking up a genuine spiritual life which involves repentance, living the by the Word, and acknowledging the Lord. Linen is the material of a priest’s robes, and stands for the highest spiritual truths (Arcana Caelestia 5319[7]).

This end of this story shows us that faith alone doubles back on itself, and leads to a completely external understanding of the Lord. This is seen in taking garments from the thirty dead Philistines and giving them to the Philistines from the feast. Samson’s wife, who was given to his Philistine companion, stands for the complete divide between faith alone and love for the Lord. Samson’s apparent anger is really the zeal of protecting the nature of true spiritual life, which comes from the Lord (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Revealed 365).

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