Suci 15

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1 Poslije nekog vremena, o žetvi pšenice, Samson dođe da pohodi svoju ženu, donijevši joj kozle i reče: "Želim ući k svojoj ženi u ložnicu." Ali mu tast ne dopusti.

2 "Mislio sam," reče mu on, "da si je zamrzio, pa sam je dao tvome drugu. Ali zar njezina mlađa sestra nije ljepša od nje? Uzmi je namjesto one!"

3 Samson mu odgovori: "Ovaj put neću biti krivac Filistejcima kad im učinim zlo."

4 I ode Samson, ulovi tri stotine lisica, uze luči i, okrenuvši rep prema repu, stavi jednu luč među dva repa.

5 Tad zapali luči, pusti lisice u filistejska polja i popali im snopove, i nepokošeno žito, i vinograde, i maslinike.

6 Filistejci zapitaše: "Tko je to učinio?" Odgovoriše im: "Samson, Timnjaninov zet, zato što mu tast oduze ženu i dade je njegovu drugu." Tad Filistejci odoše i spališe onu ženu i njenu obitelj.

7 "Kad ste to učinili", reče im Samson, "neću mirovati dok vam se ne osvetim."

8 I sve ih izudara uzduž i poprijeko i žestoko ih porazi. Poslije toga ode u spilju Etamske stijene i ondje se nastani.

9 Tad Filistejci krenuše, utaboriše se u Judi i raširiše do Lehija.

10 "Zašto ste pošli na nas?" - upitaše ih Judejci. A oni im odgovoriše: "Pošli smo da svežemo Samsona i da mu učinimo kako je on učinio nama."

11 Tri tisuće Judejaca odoše tada k spilji Etamske stijene i rekoše Samsonu: "Zar ne znaš da Filistejci nama gospodare? Zašto si nam onda to učinio?" On im odgovori: "Kako oni meni, tako ja njima!" A oni mu rekoše:

12 "Dođosmo da te svežemo i predamo u ruke Filistejaca." "Zakunite mi se", reče im, "da me nećete ubiti."

13 "Ne", odgovoriše mu, "mi ćemo te samo svezati i predati u njihove ruke, ali te zacijelo ne želimo pogubiti." Onda ga svezaše sa dva nova užeta i odvedoše iz spilje.

14 Kad ga dovedoše u Lehi i kad Filistejci, vičući od radosti, pojuriše na nj, duh Jahvin zahvati ga i užeta na njegovim rukama postadoše kao laneni konci, spaljeni ognjem, i spadoše mu s ruku.

15 Spazivši još sirovu magareću čeljust, pruži on ruku, uze onu čeljust i pobi njome tisuću ljudi.

16 Tad reče Samson: "Magarećom čeljusti gomile prebih, Magarećom čeljusti tisuću pobih."

17 Rekavši to, baci čeljust iz ruke. Zato odonda ono mjesto zovu Ramat Lehi.

18 Kako bijaše jako ožednio, zavapi Jahvi govoreći: "Ti si izvojštio ovu veliku pobjedu rukama svoga sluge, a zar sada moram umrijeti od žeđi i pasti u ruke neobrezanima?"

19 Tad Jahve rasiječe udubinu što je kod Lehija i voda poteče iz nje. Samson se napi i vrati mu se snaga, oživje mu duh. Zato su onom izvoru dali ime En Hakore, a postoji još i danas u Lehiju.

20 Samson bijaše sudac u Izraelu za vrijeme filistejske vladavine dvadeset godina.


Exploring the Meaning of Suci 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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