Suci 2

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1 Anđeo Jahvin dođe iz Gilgala u Bokim i reče: "Izveo sam vas iz Egipta i doveo vas u zemlju koju sam vam obećao zaklevši se ocima vašim. Rekao sam: 'Neću raskinuti Saveza svog s vama dovijeka.

2 A vi ne sklapajte saveza sa stanovnicima ove zemlje; nego rušite njihove žrtvenike!' Ali vi niste poslušali moga glasa. Što ste učinili?

3 Zato vam kažem: neću ih odagnati pred vama. Nego, oni će vas tlačiti i bogovi njihovi bit će vam zamkom."

4 Kad Anđeo Jahvin izreče te riječi svim Izraelcima, narod zakuka i zaplaka.

5 I tako prozvaše ono mjesto Bokim i ondje prinesoše žrtve Jahvi.

6 Tada Jošua otpusti narod i raziđoše se Izraelci svaki na svoju baštinu da zaposjednu zemlju.

7 Narod je služio Jahvi svega vijeka Jošuina i svega vijeka starješina koje su nadživjele Jošuu i vidjele sva velika djela što ih je Jahve učinio Izraelu.

8 Jošua, sin Nunov, sluga Jahvin, umrije u dobi od sto deset godina.

9 Sahraniše ga u kraju što ga je baštinio u Timnat Heresu, u Efrajimovoj gori, sjeverno od planine Gaaša.

10 A kada se sav onaj naraštaj pridružio svojim ocima, naslijedi ga drugi naraštaj koji nije mario za Jahvu ni za djela što ih je učinio Izraelu.

11 Tada su sinovi Izraelovi počeli činiti ono što Jahvi nije po volji i služili su baalima.

12 Ostaviše Jahvu, Boga otaca svojih, koji ih je izveo iz zemlje egipatske, i pođoše za drugim bogovima između bogova okolnih naroda. Klanjahu im se, razgnjeviše Jahvu.

13 Otpali su od Jahve da bi služili Baalu i Aštarti.

14 Zato Jahve izli gnjev svoj na Izraela: prepusti ih pljačkašima da ih plijene, izruči ih neprijateljima uokolo, tako te se ne mogoše oduprijeti.

15 Što bi god počeli, ruka se Jahvina okretala protiv njih na njihovu nesreću, kao što im je Jahve rekao i kao što im se zakleo. I tako zapadoše u veliku nevolju.

16 Tada im Jahve stade podizati suce da ih izbavljaju iz ruku onih koji su ih pljačkali.

17 Ali oni ni svojih sudaca nisu slušali, nego se iznevjeriše s drugim bogovima te im se klanjahu. Brzo su zašli s puta kojim su išli oci njihovi slušajući Jahvine zapovijedi; oni nisu činili tako.

18 Kada im je podizao suce, Jahve bijaše sa svakim sucem te ih izbavljaše iz ruku njihovih neprijatelja za svega vijeka sučeva, jer se sažalilo Jahvi koliko su uzdisali pod jarmom onih koji su ih ugnjetavali.

19 A kada bi sudac umro, oni bi opet zapadali u veću pokvarenost nego njihovi oci. Išli su za drugim bogovima, služili im i klanjali im se, ne odustajući od svojih opakih djela i postupaka.

20 Tada Jahve planu gnjevom na Izraela i reče: "Kad je taj narod pogazio Savez kojim sam obvezao njihove očeve i nije poslušao glasa moga,

21 ni ja odsad neću pred njim potjerati ni jednoga između naroda što ih je Jošua po svojoj smrti ostavio",

22 da bi njima stavio na kušnju Izraela: hoće li se ili neće držati Jahvinih putova kao što ih se držahu oci njihovi.

23 Zato Jahve bijaše ostavio te narode i nije ih odmah izagnao ni predao Jošui u ruke.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Suci 2      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 2: Israel’s disobedience and Joshua’s death.

This chapter opens with a reprimand from the Angel of the Lord. The Israelites had been commanded not to make any treaties with the people of Canaan, and to tear down their altars. The Angel warned that Israel had broken their covenant to the Lord, so the Lord would not drive out the other inhabitants of the land; they would be thorns in Israel’s side, and their gods would be a snare. Israel wept, and sacrificed to the Lord.

After the Israelites had gone to their assigned territories, it mentions Joshua’s death and burial (yet Joshua had died at the end of the book of Joshua!). All Israel had followed the Lord during Joshua’s time, and understood what the Lord had done for Israel. But the older generation died away, and a new generation arose who did not know the Lord, nor what He had done for Israel.

The chapter then spells out the terrible plight in which the people of Israel had entangled themselves. They had begun to worship Baal and Ashtaroth, the gods of the Canaanites, and they turned away from the Lord who had done so much for them. So, the Lord allowed their enemies to attack them, and Israel could not stand against them. This theme of straying from the Lord, and in turn being punished, will return through the next few chapters.

In the midst of this, the text says that the Lord raised up judges who delivered Israel. However, when each judge died, the people reverted to worshipping other gods. This seems to anticipate the events ahead in Judges.

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This chapter really marks the first of many transgressions committed by the Israelites in the book of Judges. The first three verses of this chapter feature the Angel of the Lord, who appears many times throughout the Word, and for many reasons: sometimes to bless, but in this case, to admonish the children of Israel for their disobedience. The Angel of the Lord stands firm and resolute, and represents truths from the Lord revealed in our hearts and minds (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 96[6]).

The spiritual meaning of ‘weeping’ can mean various things, depending on the context. Here, the people wept because of the Angel’s warning, in momentary recognition of their wrongdoing. This is not real repentance (a ‘change of heart’), but fear along with a sense of our own self-love, which may lead us into more disobedience (see Swedenborg’s work, Heaven and Hell 153).

The death of the older generation and rise of a new one represents a change of state in us. The older generation - Joshua and the elders - served as a connection between the people and the Lord, since they had seen the Lord’s blessings on Israel in their own time. However, when we lose that connection, both our love of obedience and understanding of why we must obey the Lord fall away.

Our changes of state usually happen quickly; we suddenly get angry, feel fear, become selfish. When we turn to the Lord for help during these times, we quickly enter a state of humility in which the Lord can reach us (see Swedenborg’s Doctrine of Life 21).

After Joshua’s death, the children of Israel began to worship other gods, and the Lord punished them. In our lives, this would be like turning back on our devotion to the Lord to instead focus on worldly things, and do just as we please. There is no punishment from the Lord, only the consequences of our actions. We become weak, easy prey for doubts and anxieties, completely at the mercy of the hells (see Arcana Caelestia 7373).

Although the Lord raised judges to lead the people, the Israelites would would return to their old ways once the judge had passed away. This gives us a valuable spiritual truth that even in our sorry state of self-interest, we are still, at times, able to see the mess we are in. We may feel alarmed for a while, but this subsides and we grow complacent once again. The Lord raises up judges so that we can hold ourselves accountable.

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