Kohtunikud 8

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1 Aga Efraimi mehed küsisid temalt: 'Miks sa tegid meile seda, et ei kutsunud meid, kui läksid sõdima Midjani vastu?' Ja nad riidlesid temaga kangesti.

2 Ja tema vastas neile: 'Mida ma siis nüüd teiega võrreldes olen teinud? Eks ole Efraimi järelnoppimine parem kui Abieseri viinamarjalõikus?

3 Teie kätte andis Jumal Midjani vürstid Oorebi ja Seebi. Aga mida olen mina teiega võrreldes suutnud teha?' Kui ta nõnda rääkis, siis nende pahameel tema vastu andis järele.

4 Ja Gideon tuli Jordani äärde ning läks sellest üle, tema ja need kolmsada tagaajamisest väsinud meest, kes olid koos temaga.

5 Siis ta ütles Sukkoti meestele: 'Andke ometi leivakakukesi rahvale, kes mu kannul käib, sest nad on väsinud; mina ajan taga Midjani kuningaid Sebahit ja Salmunat.'

6 Aga Sukkoti vürstid küsisid: 'Kas on Sebahi ja Salmuna rusikas sul juba pihus, et peame su väele leiba andma?'

7 Ja Gideon vastas: 'Tõesti, kui Issand annab mu kätte Sebahi ja Salmuna, siis ma peksan teie ihu kõrbekibuvitste ja ohakatega!'

8 Siis ta läks sealt üles Penueli ja rääkis neile sedasama; ja Penueli mehed vastasid temale nõnda, nagu Sukkoti mehed olid vastanud.

9 Ta tõotas siis ka Penueli meestele, öeldes: 'Kui ma rahuga tagasi tulen, siis ma kisun selle torni maha!'

10 Aga Sebah ja Salmuna olid Karkoris ja koos nendega nende väed, ligi viisteist tuhat, kõik, kes olid üle jäänud kogu hommikumaalaste väest; aga langenuid oli sada kakskümmend tuhat mõõgameest.

11 Ja Gideon läks üles mööda telgielanike teed ida pool Nobahit ja Jogbehat ja lõi väge, sest vägi oli muretu.

12 Sebah ja Salmuna põgenesid, aga Gideon ajas neid taga ja võttis vangi mõlemad Midjani kuningad, Sebahi ja Salmuna, ja peletas minema kogu leeri.

13 Kui Gideon, Joase poeg, tuli tagasi taplusest Heresi tõusutee juures,

14 siis ta sai kätte ühe noore mehe Sukkoti meestest ja küsitles teda; ja see kirjutas temale üles Sukkoti vürstid ja vanemad, seitsekümmend seitse meest.

15 Siis ta tuli Sukkoti meeste juurde ja ütles: 'Vaata, siin on Sebah ja Salmuna, kelle pärast te pilkasite mind, öeldes: Kas on Sebah ja Salmuna sul juba käes, et peame su väsinud meestele leiba andma?'

16 Ja ta võttis linna vanemad, ja kõrbekibuvitsu ja ohakaid ja andis neid tunda Sukkoti meestele.

17 Ja ta kiskus maha Penueli torni ning tappis linna mehed.

18 Ja ta küsis Sebahilt ja Salmunalt: 'Missugused olid need mehed, kelle te Taaboril tapsite?' Ja nad vastasid: 'Need olid niisugused nagu sina. Igaüks välimuselt nagu kuningapoeg.'

19 Ja tema ütles: 'Need olid mu vennad, mu ema pojad. Nii tõesti kui Issand elab: kui oleksite jätnud nad elama, ma ei tapaks teid!'

20 Ja ta ütles Jeterile, oma esmasündinule: 'Võta kätte, tapa nad!' Aga poiss ei tõmmanud oma mõõka, sellepärast et ta kartis, kuna ta oli alles noor.

21 Siis ütlesid Sebah ja Salmuna: 'Võta ise kätte ja tule meile kallale, sest nagu mees, nõnda on ta ramm!' Ja Gideon tõusis ning tappis Sebahi ja Salmuna; ja ta võttis ehted nende kaamelite kaelast.

22 Ja Iisraeli mehed ütlesid Gideonile: 'Valitse meie üle, niihästi sina kui su poeg ja su pojapoeg, sest sa oled meid päästnud Midjani käest!'

23 Aga Gideon vastas neile: 'Ei valitse mina teie üle ega valitse mu poeg teie üle - Issand valitseb teie üle!'

24 Ja Gideon ütles neile: 'Ühte ma palun teilt: igamees andku mulle oma saagiks saadud ninarõngas!' Neil olid ju olnud kuldninarõngad, sest nad olid ismaeliidid.

25 Nad vastasid: 'Me anname hea meelega!' Ja nad laotasid laiali ühe mantli ning igaüks viskas sinna ninarõnga oma saagist.

26 Kuldninarõngad, mis Gideon oli palunud, vaagisid tuhat seitsesada kuldseeklit, peale nende kaelaehete ja kõrvarõngaste ja purpurriiete, mida Midjani kuningad olid kandnud, ja peale kettide, mis olid olnud nende kaamelitel kaelas.

27 Ja Gideon valmistas neist õlarüü ning asetas selle oma linna Ofrasse, ja kogu Iisrael käis seal hoora viisil selle järel; aga see sai Gideonile ja tema soole püüdepaelaks.

28 Nõnda alandati Midjan Iisraeli laste ees ja ta ei tõstnud enam oma pead; ja maal oli Gideoni päevil rahu nelikümmend aastat.

29 Ja Jerubbaal, Joase poeg, läks ning elas oma kojas.

30 Gideonil oli seitsekümmend poega, tema niudeist lähtunuid, sest tal oli palju naisi.

31 Ja tema Sekemis olev liignaine tõi temale ka poja ilmale, kellele ta pani nimeks Abimelek.

32 Ja Gideon, Joase poeg, suri küpses vanuses ja ta maeti oma isa Joase hauda abieserlaste Ofrasse.

33 Aga kui Gideon oli surnud, pöördusid Iisraeli lapsed taas ja käisid hoora viisil baalide järel ning seadsid endile jumalaks Baal-Beriti.

34 Ja Iisraeli lapsed ei mõelnud enam Issandale, oma Jumalale, kes oli nad päästnud kõigi nende ümberkaudsete vaenlaste käest.

35 Ja nad ei teinud head Jerubbaali, Gideoni perele, tasuks kõige hea eest, mida tema oli teinud Iisraelile.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 8      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 8: Gideon subdues the Midianites.

In this chapter, Gideon continued to dismantle Midian’s oppression over Israel, facing opposition from some of his fellow Israelites in the process. First, the men of Ephraim complained that he did not call them to war. Gideon replied by praising them for their vineyards, and for capturing the two Midianite princes. So, Ephraim’s indignation subsided.

Then Gideon went to the city of Succoth, and asked for bread to feed his army. But the men of Succoth refused, instead taunting him because he had not yet captured the kings of Midian. Gideon told them them he would punish them with thorns and briars, after he had killed the two kings. The people of Penuel were equally dismissive when Gideon asked them for help, and he swore to tear down their tower.

In due course, Gideon captured the two Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna. Gideon told his oldest son to kill them, but he was young, and too afraid to do it. So Gideon killed the two kings, and punished the people of Succoth and Penuel.

When he returned from battle, the people of Israel asked Gideon to rule over them. However, he refused, saying that the Lord would rule Israel. He then collected gold from people’s earrings, used it to make an ephod (a priest’s garment), and set it up in his own city, Ophrah. The people began to worship it, and it became a snare for Gideon.

And Israel had peace for forty years under Gideon. Gideon had seventy sons, and died at an old age. As soon as he passed away, the Israelites forgot all the goodness that the Lord had shown them, and turned to worship other gods.

*****

The message of Gideon’s exchange with the Ephraimites is that sincerity and openness are the most powerful response to confrontation. Gideon, led by his trust in the Lord, could see the reason for Ephraim’s outburst, so he dealt with it by praising their strengths. This encounter shows how our faith in the Lord gives us a broader perspective, granting us the ability to respond rather than react (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 8159[3]).

When Gideon lashes out at the people of Succoth and Penuel, it may appear that he is acting purely from anger, and a wish to retaliate. In reality, he is filled with zeal to drive out the Midianites and free Israel. It is unthinkable to him that his own people would refuse to give his soldiers food. In our own lives, we can at times be astounded by our own resistance to serving the Lord’s purpose. We are constantly torn between two forces: heaven and hell (Arcana Caelestia 3839[3]).

The killing of the two Midianite kings reflects the need for justice in spiritual matters. If we fail to heed the truths we know and believe, we will suffer the consequences of fear and guilt. These are not inflicted by the Lord, but follow on from our own choices (Arcana Caelestia 2447). Gideon’s son’s inability to kill the kings means that behind spiritual justice, there must be an understanding of the essential value of all life (Arcana Caelestia 5826[2]).

Gideon’s ephod is a symbol showing how easily we can deviate from obeying the Lord. The text does not tell us the reason for Gideon’s actions, but perhaps he felt it was better for the people to worship something superficially related to worshiping the Lord, rather than following a foreign god. Seeing a priest’s garment reminds us that a priest serves the Lord. But we can so easily focus on the majesty of the ephod itself, and think no more about the priest’s duty nor about the Lord. We sometimes drift further from the Lord without even realizing it (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 327).

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 3021, 3242, 3246, 3263, 8301

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 Gideon, the Lord Shall Reign Over You
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