士師記 15

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1 過了些日子,到割麥子的時候,參孫著一隻山羊羔去看他的妻,:我要進內室見我的妻。他岳父不容他進去,

2 :我估定你是極其恨他,因此我將他了你的陪伴。他的妹子不是比他還美麗麼?你可以娶來代替他罷!

3 參孫:這回我加害於非利士人不算有罪。

4 於是參孫去捉了狐狸(或譯:野狗),將狐狸尾巴對地捆上,將火把捆在兩條尾巴中間

5 點著把,就放狐狸進入非利士人站著的禾稼,將堆集的禾捆和未割的禾稼,並橄欖園盡都燒了。

6 非利士人:這事是誰做的呢?有人:是亭拿人的女婿參孫,因為他岳父將他的妻了他的陪伴。於是非利士人上去,用燒了婦人和他的父親

7 參孫對非利士人:你們既然這樣行,我必向你們報仇才肯罷休。

8 參孫就擊殺他們,連帶腰都砍斷了。他便去,在以坦磐的穴內。

9 非利士人上去安營在猶大,布散在利希。

10 猶大:你們為何上來攻擊我們呢?他們我們上來是要捆綁參孫;他向我們怎樣行,我們也要向他怎樣行。

11 於是有猶大到以坦磐的穴內,對參孫非利士人轄制我們,你不知道麼?你向我們行的是甚麼事呢?他回答:他們向我怎樣行,我也要向他們怎樣行。

12 猶大人對他:我們來是要捆綁你,將你交在非利士人中。參孫:你們要向我起誓,應承你們自己不害死我。

13 他們:我們斷不殺你,只要將你捆綁交在非利士人中。於是用兩條新繩捆綁參孫,將他從以坦磐帶上去。

14 參孫到了利希,非利士人都迎著喧嚷。耶和華的靈大大感動參孫,他上的繩就像燒的麻一樣,他的綁繩都從他上脫落下

15 他見一塊未乾的腮骨,就伸拾起來,用以擊殺一

16 參孫:我用恉骨殺成堆,用腮骨殺了一

17 完這話,就把那恉骨從裡拋出去了。那地便拉末利希。

18 參孫甚覺口渴,就求告耶和華:你既藉僕人的施行這麼的拯救,豈可任我、落在未受割禮的人中呢?

19 就使利希的窪處裂開,有從其中湧出來。參孫了,精復原;因此那泉名隱哈歌利,那泉直到今日還在利希。

20 非利士人轄制以色列人的時候,參孫作以色列的士師二十年。


Exploring the Meaning of 士師記 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.

*****

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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