Dommere 1

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1 Efter Josuas Død adspurgte Israelitterne HE EN og sagde: "Hvem af os skal først drage op til Kamp mod Kana'anæerne?"

2 HE EN svarede: "Det skal Juda; se, jeg giver Landet i hans Hånd!"

3 Juda sagde da til sin Broder Simeon: "Drag op med mig i min Lod og lad os sammen kæmpe med Kana'anæerne, så skal jeg også drage med dig ind i din Lod!" Så gik da Simeon med ham.

4 Juda drog nu op, og HE EN gav Kana'anæerne og Perizziterne i deres Hånd, så de slog dem i Bezek, 10000 Mand.

5 Og da de stødte på Adonibezek i Bezek, angreb de ham og slog Kana'anæerne og Perizziterne.

6 Adonibezek flygtede, men de satte efter ham, og da de havde grebet ham, huggede de Tommelfingrene og Tommeltæerne af ham.

7 Da sagde Adonibezek: "Halvfjerdsindstyve Konger med afhugne Tommelfingre og Tommeltæer havde jeg stadig til at sanke Smuler under mit Bord; hvad jeg har gjort, gengælder Gud mig!" Derpå førte man ham til Jerusalem, og der døde han.

8 Og Judæerne angreb og indtog Jerusalem, huggede Indbyggerne ned og stak Ild på Byen.

9 Senere drog Judæerne ned til Kamp mod Kana'anæerne i Bjergene, i Sydlandet og i Lavlandet.

10 Og Juda drog mod Kana'anæerne i Hebron - Hebron hed fordum Kirjat Arba og slog Sjesjaj,Ahiman og Talmaj.

11 Derfra drog han op mod Indbyggerne i Debir, der fordum hed Kirjaf-Sefer.

12 Da sagde Kaleb: "Den, som slår Kirjat Sefer og indtager det, ham giver jeg min Datter Aksa til Hustru!"

13 Og da Kenizziten Otniel,Kalebs yngre Broder, indtog det, gav han ham sin Datter Aksa til Hustru.

14 Men da hun kom til ham, æggede han hende til at bede sin Fader om Agerland. Hun sprang da ned af Æselet, og Kaleb spurgte hende: "Hvad vil du?"

15 Hun svarede: "Giv mig en Velsignelse! Siden du har bortgiftet mig i det tørre Sydland, må du give mig Vandkilder!" Da gav Kaleb hende de øvre og de nedre Vandkilder.

16 Moses's Svigerfaders, Keniten Kobabs, Sønner, drog sammen med Judæerne op fra Palmestaden til Arads Ørken og bosatte sig hos Amalekiterne.

17 Juda drog derpå ud med sin Broder Simeon, og de slog Kana'anæerne, som boede i Zefat, og lagde Band på Byen; derfor blev den kaldt Horma.

18 Og Juda indtog Gaza med dets Område, Askalon med dets Område og Ekron med dets Område.

19 Og HE EN var med Juda, så han tog Bjerglandet i Besiddelse; Lavlandets Indbyggere kunde han nemlig ikke drive bort, fordi de havde Jernvogne.

20 Haleb gav de Hebron, som Moses havde sagt. Og han drev de tre Anaksønner bort derfra.

21 Men Jebusiterne, som boede i Jerusalem, fik Judæerne ikke drevet bort, og Jebusiterne bor den Dag i Dag i Jerusalem sammen med Judæerne.

22 Men også Josefs Hus drog op og gik mod Betel; og HE EN var med dem.

23 Da Josefs Hus udspejdede Betel Byen hed fordum Luz

24 fik Spejderne Øje på en Mand, der gik ud af Byen; og de sagde til ham: "Vis os, hvor vi kan komme ind i Byen, så vil vi skåne dig!"

25 Da viste han dem, hvor de kunde komme ind i Byen. Derpå huggede de dens Indbyggere ned, men Manden og hele hans. Slægt lod de drage bort,

26 og Manden begav sig til Hetiternes Land og byggede en By, som han kaldte Luz; og det hedder den endnu den Dag i Dag.

27 Men Indbyggerne i Bet-Sjean og dets Småbyer og i Ta'anak og dets Småbyer, Indbyggerne i Dor og dets Småbyer, i Jibleam og dets Småbyer og i Megiddo og dets Småbyer fik Manasse ikke drevet bort; det lykkedes Kana'anæerne at blive boende i disse Egne.

28 Da Israelitterne blev de stærkeste, gjorde de Kana'anæerne til Hoveriarbejdere, men drev dem ikke bort.

29 Efraim fik ikke Kana'anæerne, som boede i Gezer, drevet bort; men Kana'anæerne blev boende midt iblandt dem i Gezer.

30 Zebulon fik ikke Indbyggerne i Kitron og Nahalol drevet bort; men Kana'anæerne blev boende midt iblandt dem og blev Hoveriarbejdere.

31 Aser fik ikke Indbyggerne i Akko drevet bort, ej heller Indbyggerne i Zidon, Mahalab, Akzib, Afik og ehob.

32 Men Aseriterne bosatte sig midt iblandt Kana'anæerne, der boede i Landet, thi de magtede ikke at drive dem bort.

33 Naftali fik ikke Indbyggerne i Bet Sjemesj og Bet-Anat drevet bort, men bosatte sig midt iblandt Kana'anæerne, der boede i Landet: Men Indbyggerne i Bet Sjemesj og Bet Anat blev deres Hoveriarbejdere.

34 Amoriterne trængte Daniterne op i Bjergene og lod dem ikke komme ned i Lavlandet;

35 og det lykkedes Amoriterne at blive boende i Har-Heres, Ajjalon og Sja'albim. Men senere, da Josefs Hus fik Overtaget, blev de Hoveriarbejdere.

36 Edomiternes Landemærke strakte sig fra Akrabbimpasset til Sela og højere op.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Dommere 1      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 1: The continuing conquest of Canaan.

The book of Judges follows on almost seamlessly from Joshua. It is called ‘Judges’ because a number of regional leaders arose and made judgments for the people, often actively defending Israel from outside oppression. A pattern emerges in Judges: Israel disobeys the Lord – an enemy oppresses Israel – the Lord raises a leader – the leader is victorious against the enemy – there is peace for a time – Israel disobeys the Lord again.

There were twelve judges in all, about whom we either hear very much or next to nothing. The number twelve (as with the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve disciples, and other examples in the Word), stands for all the various aspects of spirituality that we need to understand, develop, and put to use. A clue is often found in the meaning of their names, because biblical names are nearly always linked to spiritual qualities, such as ‘courage’, or ‘one who walks with God’ (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 10216).

The theme of this first chapter is the further conquest of the land. The Israelites asked the Lord, “Who shall go up and fight for us?” And the Lord said that the tribe of Judah would go, because the Lord had delivered the land into their hand. Judah then called on the tribe of Simeon to join them, and they won many battles against the Canaanites still in the land.

One Canaanite king, Adoni-bezek, fled and was captured by the Israelites, who then cut off his thumbs and big toes. Adoni-bezek said that God had dealt justice by punishing him, as he had previously cut off seventy kings’ thumbs and big toes, and they had to gather scraps of food under his table.

Then Caleb, a leader of Israel during the journey through the wilderness, said that the man who took Kirjath-sepher (Caleb’s inheritance city) from the Canaanites would marry his daughter, Achsah. Caleb’s nephew, Othniel, took the city and Achsah was given to him. Achsah asked her father for the blessing of springs of water, and Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

Next, spies were sent to Bethel. They met a man there, and said that if he directed them the entrance to the city, they would show him mercy. He helped them, and they took the city but showed mercy on the man and all his family. After all of this, the man built a new city called Luz in the land of the Hittites.

The chapter ends by listing the twelve tribes, as well as the Canaanite peoples who remained unsubdued in each of their territories.

*****

The overarching spiritual theme of Judges is the process of our regeneration. As the opening of Judges reminds us, there were still parts of the land and various tribes that Israel needed to conquer. In fact, the Israelites never finished driving enemies out of their land. In the same way, we need to control our inherited human nature, but it is never completely wiped out (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Love and Wisdom 238).

During regeneration, we will discover deeper and subtler self-centered states in ourselves, which need to be mitigated. Each judge raised by the Lord stands for our determination to deal with these states, using the Word as a guide. This brings us a period of peace, followed by the start of another personal discovery.

When the Israelites chose which tribes would fight for them, it was no coincidence that they selected Judah and Simeon. Judah (who was a prominent tribe of Israel) and Simeon (who usually acts with another tribe) stand for the highest things in our spiritual life: our love for the Lord, and our obedience to the Lord’s Word. Choosing Judah and Simeon as our strength will always bring victory in our regeneration (see Arcana Caelestia 3654 and Apocalypse Explained 443).

The spiritual meaning in the story of Adoni-bezek is about taking away the power of our self-love, as cutting off thumbs and big toes makes hands and feet virtually useless. When we work on our lower nature, we are to minimize its control over us. It is the same with any influences from hell; their power must end. Adoni-bezek’s comment about doing the same to seventy kings vividly describes how self-love can only lead to our downfall (Arcana Caelestia 10062[4]).

The delightful story of Caleb, Achsah and Othniel illustrates that after battle, there is rest and reward. In the same way, we strengthen the ‘marriage’ of good and truth in us after overcoming spiritual struggles (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Love and Wisdom 409). The springs of water given to Achsah stand for the truths which flow into our mind, both about the ‘upper’ things of the Lord and heaven, and those ‘lower’ ones about spiritual life and responsibility.

The episode about the man from Bethel means that when we open up our life to the Lord to allow Him to guide us, we become blessed (Arcana Caelestia 3928). Then our life can be re-built in very practical and good ways, represented by the Hittites.

The final mention of the Canaanites still in the land points to the continuing presence of our unregenerate qualities. Although we may progress through the work of regeneration, we are still human, and we will always have flaws left to improve on.

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The Project Gutenberg Association at Carnegie Mellon University


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