Judges 18

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1 In those days there was no king in Israel, and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought for themselves an inheritance to dwell in; for to that day [their lot] had not fallen to them for inheritance among the tribes of Israel.

2 And the children of Dan sent of their family five men of their whole number, men of valour, from Zoreah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to examine it; and they said to them, Go, examine the land. And they came to the hill-country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there.

3 When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man, the Levite; and they turned in thither, and said to him, Who brought thee hither? and what doest thou in this [place]? and what hast thou here?

4 And he said to them, Thus and thus has Micah done to me; and he has hired me, and I am his priest.

5 And they said to him, Inquire, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way on which we go shall be prosperous.

6 And the priest said to them, Go in peace: before Jehovah is your way on which ye Go.

7 And the five men departed, and came to Laish; and they saw the people that were therein, dwelling securely, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and no one was in the land who possessed authority, that might put [them] to shame in anything; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had nothing to do with [any] man.

8 -- And they came to their brethren at Zoreah and Eshtaol. And their brethren said to them, What [say] ye?

9 And they said, Arise, and let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good; and ye are still! Be not slothful to go, to enter to take possession of the land.

10 When ye go in, ye shall come to a people secure, and the land is spacious in every direction; for God has given it into your hands; [it is] a place where there is no want of anything that is on the earth.

11 And there went from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zoreah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men girded with weapons of war.

12 And they went up and encamped in Kirjath-jearim, in Judah; therefore they call that place Mahaneh-Dan to this day: behold, it is behind Kirjath-jearim.

13 And they passed thence to mount Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.

14 Then the five men that had gone to spy out the country of Laish spoke and said to their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? And now ye know what to do.

15 And they turned thither, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, the house of Micah, and inquired after his welfare.

16 And the six hundred men of the children of Dan, girded with their weapons of war, stood at the entrance of the gate.

17 And the five men that had gone to spy out the land went up, entered in thither, [and] took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image; and the priest stood at the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men that were girded with weapons of war.

18 And these came into Micah's house, and took the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. And the priest said to them, What do ye?

19 And they said to him, Hold thy peace, lay thy hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for thee to be a priest for the house of one man, or to be priest for a tribe and a family in Israel?

20 Then the priest's heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.

21 And they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the baggage before them.

22 They were already far from the house of Micah, when the men that were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan.

23 And they cried to the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said to Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company?

24 And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away; and what have I more? and what is this that ye say to me, What aileth thee?

25 And the children of Dan said to him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest men of exasperated spirit run upon you, and thou lose thy life and the lives of thy household.

26 And the children of Dan went their way; and Micah saw that they were too strong for him, and he turned and went back to his house.

27 And they took that which Micah had made, and the priest that he had had, and came upon Laish, upon a people quiet and secure; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burned the city with fire.

28 And there was no deliverer, for it was far from Zidon, and they had nothing to do with [any] man; and it [lay] in the valley that is by Beth-rehob. And they built the city and dwelt therein.

29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel; howbeit Laish was the name of the city at the first.

30 And the children of Dan set up the graven image; and Jehonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses; he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.

31 And they set up for themselves Micah's graven image, which he had made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 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)

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 2598, 6396


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 2799, 3704, 3923, 4111, 8301

Heaven and Hell 324


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Spiritual Experiences 2411

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Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Genesis 14:14, 31:30, 34

Exodus 4:18

Leviticus 26:1

Numbers 13:21, 14:7

Deuteronomy 8:7, 9, 33:22, 34:1

Joshua 2:2, 23, 24, 15:9, 18:1, 3, 19:28, 47

Judges 1:34, 13:25, 17:1, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 18:7, 29

1 Samuel 6:21, 9:9, 17:18, 22

2 Samuel 10:6

1 Kings 12:29, 15:20, 22:3

2 Kings 15:29, 17:18, 20, 22, 23

1 Chronicles 4:40

2 Chronicles 25:15

Isaiah 56:11

Hosea 4:12

Romans 16:18

Významy biblických slov

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

israel
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

inheritance
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

fallen
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

tribes
In general, 'the twelve tribes' signify every aspect of the doctrine of truth and good, or of faith and love. Truth and good, or faith...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

dan
The tribe of Dan (Jer. 8:16) signifies truth in its own ultimate degree of order, here truth in the church, which is contained in the...

sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

family
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

spy
'Spies,' as in Genesis 42:9, denote people who learn the church's truth only for gain.

land
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

hill
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

country
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

voice
'Voice' signifies what is announced from the Word. 'Voice' often refers and is applied to things that cannot have a voice, as in Exodus 4,...

young
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

know
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

way
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

prosperous
'To be made to prosper' signifies being provided for. Which is why 'Jehovah made it prosper in his hand' means Divine Providence. 

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

dwelling
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

quiet
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

shame
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

brethren
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

arise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

go up
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

To
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

hands
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

want
'Want of spiritual nourishment,' denotes a lack of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

earth
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

six
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

men
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

girded
To gird one’s self, as in John. 21:18, signifies to know and perceive truths in the light from good.

war
War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

encamped
'Pitch,' as in Genesis 14:10, denotes lusts. 'Burning pitch,' as in Isaiah 34:9, signifies direful fantasies.

judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

call
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

behind
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

passed
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

mount
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

houses
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

teraphim
There are three universal kinds of idolatry; the first is grounded in self-love, the second in the love of the world, and the third in...

Graven image
A graven image, as in Exodus 20:4, which we are commanded not to make, signifies those things in us which are not from the Lord,...

image
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

Molten image
'A molten image' signifies the evil which belongs to one's sense of ownership (proprium).

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

entrance
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

gate
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

entered
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

man
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

priest's
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

cattle
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

cried
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

faces
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

gods
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

household
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

smote
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

Edge of the sword
The edge of the sword (Gen. 34:26) signifies what is false and evil in a state of combat.

sword
The three words, sword, famine and pestilence, appear in a group in 26 different Bible verses. That's not an accident. Sword, famine and pestilence describe...

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

valley
Mountains in the Bible represent people's highest points, where we are closest to the Lord - our love of the Lord and the state of...

built
To build something generally means to put together a variety of simpler pieces to make a useful and more complex structure, as to build a...

dwelt
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

born
In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...

the first
'Resurrection' signifies salvation and eternal life. 'The first,' mentioned in Revelation 20:5, 6, does not mean a first resurrection, but the essence and primary part...

first
Why would it be insulting for a man to refer to his married partner as his “first wife”? Because it implies there will be a...

son
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

Gershom
Gershom, as in Exodus 18:3, denotes the quality of the good of truth among those who are without the church.

priests
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

Shiloh
The fourscore men who came from Schechem, Shiloh, and Samaria, as in Jeremiah 41:5, represented the profanations of good and truth.

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