Suci 7

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1 Urani Jerubaal, to jest Gideon, i sav narod bijaše s njim i utabori se kod En-Haroda; a tabor Midjanaca nalazio se na sjeveru od njegova, podno brijega More, u dolini.

2 Tada Jahve reče Gideonu: "Previše je naroda s tobom a da bih predao Midjance u njegove ruke. Izrael bi se mogao pohvaliti i reći: 'Vlastita me ruka izbavila.'

3 Zato oglasi da narod čuje: 'Tko se boji i strahuje, neka se vrati.'" Gideon ih iskuša. Dvadeset i dvije tisuće ljudi iz naroda vrati se, a ostade ih deset tisuća.

4 Jahve reče Gideonu: "Još je previše naroda. Povedi ih na vodu i ondje ću ih iskušati. Za koga ti kažem: 'Neka ide s tobom', taj će s tobom ići. A za koga ti kažem: 'Neka ne ide s tobom', taj neće ići."

5 Gideon povede narod na vodu i Jahve mu reče: "Koji bude laptao vodu jezikom kao što lapće pas, stavi ga na stranu. Koji klekne da pije, odvoji ga na drugu stranu."

6 Onih koji su laptali vodu jezikom - prinoseći vodu rukom k ustima - bijaše tri stotine, a sav je ostali narod kleknuo da pije.

7 Tad Jahve reče Gideonu: "Sa one tri stotine ljudi koji su laptali vodu ja ću vas izbaviti i predat ću Midjance u vaše ruke. Svi drugi neka se vrate svaki svojoj kući."

8 Gideon tad naloži narodu da mu preda opskrbu i rogove, a onda otpusti Izraelce da ide svaki svome šatoru; zadrža samo one tri stotine. A midjanski se tabor prostirao niže njega u dolini.

9 One noći reče mu Jahve: "Ustani, navali na tabor, jer ti ga predajem u ruke.

10 Ako se bojiš napasti, siđi najprije u tabor s Purom, momkom svojim;

11 slušaj što govore; ohrabrit ćeš se i napast ćeš na tabor." On siđe sa svojim momkom Purom do prvih taborskih straža.

12 Midjanci, Amalečani i svi sinovi Istoka pali po dolini, brojni kao skakavci; njihovim devama ne bijaše broja, kao pijesku na obali mora.

13 Kad je Gideon došao, a to jedan baš pripovijedaše svome drugu što je sanjao: "Usnuo sam kako se pogača ječmenog kruha kotrlja u midjanski tabor: dokotrlja se do jednog šatora i pogodi, a šator pade, prevrnu se."

14 A drug mu odgovori: "Nije to drugo nego mač Gideona, Joaševa sina, Izraelca. Bog mu je predao u ruke Midjance i sav tabor."

15 Kada je Gideon čuo kako je onaj pripovjedio san i kako ga je drugi protumačio, baci se ničice, vrati se onda u tabor Izraelov i povika: "Ustajte, jer vam je Jahve predao u ruke tabor midjanski!"

16 Gideon tad podijeli svoje tri stotine ljudi u tri čete. Svakome čovjeku dade u ruke rog, prazan vrč i luč u vrču:

17 "Gledajte mene", reče im, "i činite što i ja! Kada dođem na rub tabora, činite što budem i ja činio!

18 Kad zatrubim u rog ja i svi koji su sa mnom, tada i vi zasvirajte u rog oko sveg tabora i vičite: 'Za Jahvu i Gideona!'"

19 Gideon i stotina ljudi što ga je pratila dođoše na rub tabora pri početku ponoćne straže; tek što su postavili straže, oni zatrubiše u rogove i razbiše vrčeve koje su imali u ruci.

20 Tako tri čete zasviraše u rogove i razbiše vrčeve; lijevom rukom držahu luči, a desnom rogove da trube i udariše vikati: "Za Jahvu i Gideona!"

21 I svaki stajaše nepomično na svome mjestu uokrug tabora. Tada se probudi sav tabor i Midjanci vičući nagoše u bijeg.

22 Dok su one tri stotine trubile u rogove, učini Jahve te oni u taboru okrenuše mač jedan na drugoga. I sva se vojska razbježa do Bet-Hašita, prema Sartanu, do Abel-Meholske obale kod Tabata.

23 A Izraelci iz plemena Naftalijeva, Ašerova i iz svega plemena Manašeova sabraše se i pognaše Midjance.

24 Gideon posla glasnike po svoj Efrajimovoj gori da govore: "Siđite pred Midjance i zauzmite prije njih sve gazove do Bet-Bara i Jordana." Svi se ljudi od plemena Efrajimova odazvaše i zauzeše gazove voda do Bet-Bara i Jordana.

25 I uhvatiše dva midjanska kneza, Oreba i Zeeba; Oreba ubiše na Orebovoj stijeni, a Zeeba kod Zeebova tijeska. Progonili su Midjance i donijeli Gideonu preko Jordana glavu Orebovu i Zeebovu.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Suci 7      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 7: Gideon’s valiant three hundred men.

Gideon and all his men camped by the well of Harod, which can mean “eager”, and also “trembling.” The Lord told Gideon that his army was too large, which could lead Israel to boast that they won by their own efforts (rather than the Lord’s power). Gideon was instructed to send away anyone who was afraid; 22,000 went home, leaving 10,000.

Even still, the Lord said the army was too large, so Gideon tested the men by taking them down to the water to drink. The Lord directed Gideon to call out those who lapped water from out of their hands rather than kneeling down to drink with their mouths. Three hundred men were chosen by this method of selection.

The Lord then commanded Gideon to go down to the Midianite camp, and if he was afraid, to take his servant, Phurah. There, Gideon overheard one of the soldiers telling his companion that he’d had a dream, in which a loaf of bread came tumbling into the camp and struck one of the tents so that it collapsed. The other soldier said that this meant the Lord would give victory to Gideon.

Gideon gave each of his men a trumpet, and a pitcher containing a lit torch. They surrounded the Midianite camp, and at the command of Gideon, they blew their trumpets, broke their pitchers to show the torches, and shouted, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” This caused panic in the camp, and every Midianite drew his sword against another, and many fled. Then Gideon ordered the capture and killing of the two Midianite princes, whose heads were brought to him.

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We must give glory to the Lord for successes that we seem to earn, as He alone does what is good. The Lord told Gideon to reduce the size of his army, to avoid the dangers of growing too proud. Since we live our lives as if we do everything ourselves, this is a constant threat. The fact that about two-thirds of Gideon’s army were afraid and went home shows the reality of our nature (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 442).

Lapping water from the hand reflects our need to see and examine what we take into our minds. Water stands for truth, but it can also stand for false ideas. If we drink directly from the water, we accept indiscriminately and examine nothing. Cupping and holding the water in our hands means that we can see how to apply this truth through our attitudes and actions (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 6047[2]).

Gideon’s army of only three hundred men was all it took to defeat the Midianites. The number ‘three’ stands for something which is complete or full in itself. Some spiritual examples include mind, body and soul, as well as celestial, spiritual and natural (see Swedenborg’s Apocalypse Explained 435[3] and 532[2]).

The dream Gideon overheard stands for the power of good (the bread) to break down the apparent power of what is evil and false (the tent) (Arcana Caelestia 4247[3]). The name of Gideon’s servant, Phurah, means “fruitfulness”, or “a winepress”, which is where Gideon was first called by the angel of the Lord.

The trumpet and the torch both stand for the power of truth to overcome evil and false ideas, the trumpet by its penetrating sound, and the torch by its illuminating light. There is no mention of swords for the army of Israel.

Finally, the oppression by the Midianites represents knowing what is true, but living a life governed by our own desires. This leads us increasingly further away from obeying the Lord. Of course, this must be addressed. The Midianites destroyed each other in their panic, meaning what is disorderly and against the Lord holds no validity, and eventually destroys itself (Arcana Caelestia 9320).

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