Suci 18

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1 U ono vrijeme ne bijaše kralja u Izraelu. Tada je Danovo pleme tražilo zemljište gdje da se naseli, jer mu do toga dana nije dopalo zemljište među Izraelovim plemenima.

2 Zato poslaše Danovci petoricu ljudi iz svoga plemena, ljude osobito hrabre iz Sore i Eštaola, da izvide i upoznaju zemlju. I rekoše im: "Idite, istražite zemlju." I oni dođoše u Efrajimovu goru, do Mikine kuće, i ondje zanoćiše.

3 Kako bijahu blizu Mikine kuće, poznaše glas mladog levita; svratiše se onamo te ga upitaše: "Tko te doveo ovamo? Što tu radiš? I što ćeš tu?"

4 A on im odgovori: "Mika je učinio sa mnom tako i tako. On me najmio, a ja mu služim kao svećenik."

5 "Upitaj Boga", kazaše mu, "da znamo hoće li nam uspjeti put koji smo poduzeli."

6 "Idite u miru", odgovori im svećenik, "put na koji ste pošli po volji je Jahvi."

7 Tada odoše ona petorica i stigoše u Lajiš. I vidješe da narod koji prebiva u njemu živi bez straha - po običaju Sidonaca - bezbrižno i mirno; imaju svega što rodi zemlja, daleko su od Sidonaca i nemaju nikakvih odnosa s Aramejcima.

8 Kad se vratiše svojoj braći u Sori i Eštaolu, braća ih upitaše: "Što ste doznali?"

9 Oni odgovoriše: "Na noge! Navalimo na njih! Zemlja koju smo vidjeli vrlo je dobra. O vi, lijenčine! Ne oklijevajte navaliti da osvojite tu zemlju.

10 Kada dođete, naći ćete ondje bezbrižan narod. Zemlja je prostrana. Bog je predao u vaše ruke mjesto koje ne oskudijeva ni u čemu što rodi Zemlja!"

11 Tako je odande krenulo šest stotina naoružanih ljudi iz Danova plemena iz Sore i Eštaola.

12 Krenuli su i utaborili se u Kirjat Jearimu u Judi. Zato se to mjesto naziva do današnjeg dana Danovim taborom, a nalazi se na zapadu od Kirjat Jearima.

13 Odatle se zaputiše u Efrajimovu goru i dođoše do Mikine kuće.

14 A ona petorica što bijahu išla izviđati zemlju rekoše svojoj braći: "Znate li da u ovim kućama imaju efod, terafe i ljeveni idol? Sada pazite što ćete raditi."

15 Skrenuvši, oni uđoše u kuću mladog levita, u Mikinu kuću, i pozdraviše ga.

16 I dok je šest stotina naoružanih ljudi od Danovih sinova stajalo pred vratima,

17 ona petorica što su išla izviđati zemlju uđoše, uzeše efod, terafe i ljeveni idol, a svećenik stajaše na pragu pokraj šest stotina naoružanih ljudi.

18 Kad su ušli u Mikinu kuću i uzeli efod, terafe, rezani i ljeveni idol, svećenik im reče: "Što to radite?"

19 "Šuti", odgovoriše mu. "Stavi ruku na usta i hajde s nama. Bit ćeš nam otac i svećenik. Zar ti je bolje biti svećenikom u kući jednog čovjeka nego da budeš svećenikom jednog plemena i roda u Izraelu?"

20 Svećenik se obradova; uze on efod, terafe i rezani i ljeveni idol te ode s ljudima.

21 Vrativši se na put kojim su krenuli, odoše pustivši naprijed žene i djecu, stoku i dragocjenosti.

22 Bijahu već daleko od Mikine kuće, kad gle - ljudi što življahu u susjednim kućama, blizu Mikine, uzbunili se i krenuli u potjeru za Danovcima.

23 Kada počeše vikati za Danovim sinovima, oni se obazreše i rekoše Miki: "Što ti je? Što ste se skupili?"

24 On odgovori: "Uzeli ste moga boga koga sam sebi načinio i svećenika te odlazite. A što ostaje meni? I još mi kažete: 'Što ti je?'"

25 Danovci mu odgovore: "Da te više nismo čuli! Jer bi gnjevni ljudi mogli udariti na vas te bi upropastio sebe i svoju kuću!"

26 Danovci odoše dalje, a Mika, videći da su jači od njega, okrenu se i vrati kući.

27 I tako, uzevši boga što ga je načinio Mika i svećenika koga je najmio da mu služi, Danovci navališe na Lajiš, na mirne i spokojne ljude, te ih posjekoše oštrim mačem i spališe grad.

28 Nikoga ne bijaše da pomogne Lajišanima, jer bijahu daleko od Sidona i ne imahu nikakvih odnosa s Aramejcima, a osim toga grad bijaše u dolini koja se pruža prema Bet-Rehobu. Potom su opet sagradili grad i nastanili se u njemu.

29 I nazvaše ga Dan, po imenu svoga pretka Dana, koji se rodio Izraelu. A prije se grad zvao Lajiš.

30 I Danovci namjestiše sebi rezani i ljeveni idol. A Jonatan, sin Geršona, sina Mojsijeva, a zatim njegovi sinovi, bijahu svećenici Danova plemena do dana kada je narod bio odveden u izgnanstvo.

31 I stajaše im onaj rezani i ljeveni idol što ga je Mika načinio, i ostade ondje za sve vrijeme dokle Dom Božji bijaše u Šilu.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Suci 18      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

The Tribe of Dan Adopts Micah’s Idolatry

This chapter shows the way in which one person’s distortion of truth, turning it into a falsity, can have severe consequences on a larger scale.

The tribe of Dan – one of the twelve tribes of Israel – was given land to the west, by the coast, but they found it hard to hold on to. The name of the tribe of Dan means ‘to judge’, but if judgment isn't based on the Word there will be chaos. (Arcana Caelestia 842)

Faced with competition for their homeland, the tribal leaders of Dan went looking for a place for themselves elsewhere. They sent five men of valour to spy out the land. These men came to Micah’s house, and they recognised the voice of the young Levite there. They questioned him about his situation, and he told them that Micah had hired him to be a priest to his household. The men of Dan asked the Levite to ask the Lord if their search would be prosperous, and he told them that it would be.

The spiritual meaning of this part of the chapter is to do with an intensifying wrongness. At the textual level, there is reference to the Lord, and an apparent normality in what takes place. But underlying it, there's a wrongness, which will become apparent later in the chapter. The pointers to it here are the five men from Dan, them coming straight to Micah’s house, and the hiring of a priest.

The number ‘five’ has a good meaning in many parts of the Word, but it can also have a bad meaning, as it does here. In this context, it stands for only a little, for disunion and the destruction of the Word (Apocalypse Revealed 738).

Coming directly to Micah’s house and recognising the Levite brings together two evil intentions: Micah’s idol and the men of Dan’s search to take a home for themselves. An example for us could be where two people plot to seek the harm of a third person. (Arcana Caelestia 4724)

The hiring of a priest is something disallowed, for priests are there to serve the Lord and they are provided for by the people, not to be hired. Hiring, spiritually, stands for seeking reward for what you do, whereas the true reward is heaven for those who serve without expecting a reward. (Arcana Caelestia 8002)

The five men leave Micah's house, and go on to Laish in the far north, where there are people who dwell securely in peace and without rulers, far from others and with no ties. Laish means ‘fearless and kneaded together’. It is a picture of perfection, of heaven. (Divine Love and Wisdom 200)

The five men then return to their tribe of Dan and report about Laish. They say that it is ideal for the taking because it has plenty of land and its people are secure. They say that “God has given it into your hands”.

Six hundred men of the tribe of Dan set out and they too, come to the house of Micah. The five spies tell them about the idols and they meet and greet the young Levite. Then the five spies go in and take all the idols in the house. The Levite joins up with the men from Dan and they go on together.

One spiritual meaning in the story is that evil (Dan, gone bad) loves to destroy peace and innocence (Laish).

The complete loss to Micah of all his idols and his hired priest, shows, too, that in fully turning to evil, there is the final loss of everything that might bring a person back. (Arcana Caelestia 9039)

People living near Micah go and accost the men of Dan about what they have taken -- but Micah is told to stop complaining or his household will be killed.

The Danites leave, and go and capture Laish, killing and burning, and re-naming the city Dan. There they set up the images and appoint priests. These images remain in Dan all the time that the house of God is in Shiloh.

The spiritual meaning of one evil or falsity becoming greater or more numerous is in the way that we might hold a negative emotion or a distorted view in our mind where it then spreads to other emotions and views we have and brings them into greater evil and falsity. This is the intention of evil and also of hell’s influence, to extend it to be as widespread as possible.

This is the outcome of everything that has developed through this and the previous chapter. It describes the spread of evil to become a terrible force for destruction and spiritually, for an individual person, for self-destruction. In the context of the decline of Israel to where ‘everyone did what was right in their own eyes’ this progression presents the pathway and process of that spiritual loss. (Divine Providence 19)

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