Dommere 2

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1 HE ENs Engel drog fra Gilgal op til Betel. Og han sagde: "Jeg førte eder op fra Ægypten og bragte eder ind i det Land, jeg tilsvor eders Fædre. Og jeg sagde: Jeg vil i Evighed ikke bryde min Pagt med eder!

2 Men I må ikke slutte Pagt med dette Lands Indbyggere; deres Altre skal I bryde ned! Men t adlød ikke min øst! Hvad har I dog gjort!

3 Derfor siger jeg nu: Jeg vil ikke drive dem bort foran eder, men de skal blive Brodde i eders Sider, og deres Guder skal blive eder en Snare!"

4 Da HE ENs Engel talede disse Ord til alle Israelitterne, brast Folket i Gråd.

5 Derfor kaldte man Stedet Bokim. Og de ofrede til HE EN der.

6 Da Josua havde ladet Folket fare, drog Israelitterne hver til sin Arvelod for at tage Landet i Besiddelse.

7 Og Folket dyrkede HE EN, så længe Josua levede, og så længe de Ældste var i Live, som overlevede Josua og havde set hele det Storværk, HE EN havde øvet for Israel.

8 Og Josua, Nuns Søn, HE ENs Tjener, døde, 110 År gammel;

9 og de jordede ham på hans Arvelod i Timnat-Heres i Efraims Bjerge norden for Bjerget Ga'asj.

10 Men også hele hin Slægt samledes til sine Fædre, og efter dem kom en anden Slægt, som hverken kendte HE EN eller det Værk, han havde øvet for Israel.

11 Da gjorde Israelitterne, hvad der var ondt i HE ENs Øjne, og dyrkede Ba'alerne;

12 de forlod HE EN, deres Fædres Gud, som havde ført dem ud af Ægypten, og holdt sig til andre Guder, de omboende Folks Guder, og tilbad dem og krænkede HE EN.

13 De forlod HE EN og dyrkede Ba'al og Astarte.

14 Da blussede HE ENs Vrede op imod Israel, og han gav dem i øveres Hånd, så de udplyndrede dem. Han gav dem til Pris for de omboende Fjender, så de ikke længer kunde holde Stand mod deres Fjender.

15 Hvor som helst de rykkede frem, var HE ENs Hånd imod dem og voldte dem Ulykke, som HE EN havde sagt og tilsvoret dem. Således bragte han dem i stor Vånde. Men når de så råbte til HE EN,

16 lod han Dommere fremstå, og de frelste dem fra deres Hånd, som udplyndrede dem.

17 Dog heller ikke deres Dommere adlød de, men bolede med andre Guder og tilbad dem. Hurtig veg de bort fra den Vej, deres Fædre havde vandret på i Lydighed mod HE ENs Bud; de slægtede dem ikke på.

18 Men hver Gang HE EN lod Dommere fremstå iblandt dem, var HE EN med Dommeren og frelste dem fra deres Fjenders Hånd, så længe Dommeren levede; thi HE EN ynkedes, når de jamrede sig over dem, som trængte og undertrykte dem.

19 Men så snart Dommeren var død, handlede de atter ilde, ja endnu værre end deres Fædre, idet de holdt sig til andre Guder og dyrkede og tilbad dem. De holdt ikke op med deres onde Gerninger og genstridige Færd.

20 Da blussede HE ENs Vrede op mod Israel, og han sagde: "Efterdi dette Folk har overtrådt min Pagt, som jeg pålagde deres Fædre, og ikke adlydt min øst,

21 vil jeg heller ikke mere bortdrive foran dem et eneste af de Folk, som Josua lod tilbage ved sin Død,

22 for at jeg ved dem kan sætte Israel på Prøve, om de omhyggeligt vil følge HE ENs Veje, som deres Fædre gjorde, eller ej."

23 HE EN lod da disse Folkeslag blive og hastede ikke med at drive dem bort; han gav dem ikke i Josuas Hånd.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Dommere 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.

*****

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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