Juges 15

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1 Or il arriva quelques jours après, au temps de la moisson des bleds, que Samson alla visiter sa femme, [lui] portant un chevreau de lait, et il dit : J'entrerai vers ma femme en sa chambre ; mais son père ne lui permit point d'y entrer;

2 Car il lui dit : J'ai cru que tu avais certainement de l'aversion pour elle, c'est pourquoi je l'ai donnée à ton compagnon. Sa sœur puînée n'est-elle pas plus belle qu'elle? je te prie donc qu'elle soit ta [femme] au lieu d'elle.

3 Et Samson leur dit : A présent je serai innocent à l'égard des Philistins quand je leur ferai du mal.

4 Samson donc s'en alla, et prit trois cents renards; il prit aussi des flambeaux, et il tourna les renards queue contre queue, et mit un flambeau entre les deux queues, tout au milieu.

5 Puis il mit le feu aux flambeaux, et lâcha les [renards] aux bleds des Philistins qui étaient sur le pied; et il brûla tant le bled qui était en gerbes, que celui qui était sur le pied, même jusqu'aux vignes et aux oliviers.

6 Et les Philistins dirent : Qui a fait cela? Et on répondit : Samson, le beau-fils du Timnien, parce qu'il lui a pris sa femme, et qu'il l'a donnée à son compagnon. Les Philistins donc montèrent, et la brûlèrent au feu, avec son père.

7 Alors Samson leur dit : Est-ce donc ainsi que vous faites? Cependant je me vengerai de vous avant que je cesse.

8 Et il les battit entièrement, et en fit un grand carnage; puis il descendit, et s'arrêta dans un quartier du rocher de Hétam.

9 Alors les Philistins montèrent, et se campèrent en Juda, et se répandirent en Léhi.

10 Et les hommes de Juda dirent : Pourquoi êtes-vous montés contre nous? Ils répondirent : nous sommes montés pour lier Samson, afin que nous lui fassions comme il nous a fait.

11 Alors trois mille hommes de Juda descendirent vers le quartier du rocher de Hétam, et dirent à Samson : Ne sais-tu pas que les Philistins dominent sur nous; pourquoi donc nous as-tu fait ceci? Il leur répondit : Je leur ai fait comme ils m'ont fait.

12 Ils lui dirent encore : Nous sommes descendus pour te lier, afin de te livrer entre les mains des Philistins. Et Samson leur dit : Jurez-moi que vous ne vous jetterez point sur moi.

13 Et ils répondirent, et dirent : Non, mais nous te lierons très-bien, afin de te livrer entre leurs mains; mais nous ne te tuerons point. Ils le lièrent donc de deux cordes neuves, et le firent monter hors du rocher.

14 Or quand il fut venu jusqu'à Léhi, les Philistins jetèrent des cris de joie à sa rencontre, et l'esprit de l'Eternel le saisit, et les cordes qui étaient sur ses bras, devinrent comme du lin où l'on a mis le feu, et ses liens s'écoulèrent de dessus ses mains.

15 Et ayant trouvé une mâchoire d'âne qui n'était pas encore desséchée, il avança sa main, la prit, et il en tua mille hommes.

16 Puis Samson dit : Avec une mâchoire d'âne, un monceau, deux monceaux; avec une mâchoire d'âne j'ai tué mille hommes.

17 Et quand il eut achevé de parler, il jeta de sa main la mâchoire, et nomma ce lieu-là Ramath-léhi.

18 Et il eut une fort grande soif, et il cria à l'Eternel en disant : Tu as mis en la main de ton serviteur cette grande délivrance, et maintenant mourrais-je de soif, et tomberais-je entre les mains des incirconcis?

19 Alors Dieu fendit une des grosses dents de cette mâchoire d'âne, et il en sortit de l'eau; et quand [Samson] eut bu, l'esprit lui revint, et il reprit ses forces;: c'est pourquoi ce lieu-là a été appelé jusqu'à ce jour Hen-hakkoré, qui est à Léhi.

20 Or [Samson] jugea Israël au temps des Philistins, vingt ans.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 15      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 15: Samson defeats the Philistines.

At the beginning of this chapter, we learn that the one who gave Samson’s wife to another man was his father-in-law, who thought that Samson truly hated her. He then offered Samson her younger sister instead, saying, “Is she not better? Take her.”

Samson, enraged, took three-hundred foxes and tied them tail-to-tail in pairs, with a lit torch between them. He then released them in the Philistines’ standing grain, vineyards and olive groves to burn up their crops, as revenge for the loss of his wife. In retaliation, the Philistines went and burned her and her father. In a final act of vengeance, Samson killed very many of the Philistines, then went to dwell in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

The Philistines went to Judah, stating their intent to arrest Samson, and the men of Judah passed on the message to him. Samson made the Judeans promise not to kill him themselves, but only to bind him with two new ropes before giving him to the Philistines as a prisoner.

When the Philistines came, Samson broke apart the ropes, and killed a thousand of them with the jawbone of a donkey. Then he threw the jawbone away, and complained to the Lord that he was thirsty. The Lord answered his cry for help by splitting the ground where the jawbone fell, so that Samson could drink the water that flowed from it.

The final verse of this chapter tells us that Samson judged Israel twenty years.


Samson’s marriage to a Philistine woman speaks to the appealing, or even enticing, nature of ‘faith alone’ spirituality, represented by the Philistines. We must stay on our guard, to ensure that we are not caught up in thinking that faith alone will save us. The father offers Samson his wife’s younger sister, saying she is even better, but Samson had already learned to be wary by that point.

The foxes, tied together with their tails lit on fire, vividly describes the twisted and destructive nature of faith alone, and the way it consumes our potential to lead a fruitful life. The Word often depicts the state of a nation or religion through a story illustrating its true nature (True Christian Religion 130)

The cycle of revenge between Samson and the Philistines represents our personal struggles during temptation and our wish to regenerate. Our whole effort during regeneration is to resist sins that might lure us in, and to maintain our intention to live the Word (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 83[6]). The men of Judah who bind Samson represent our love for the Lord and for everything of the Lord, although this seems contradictory on a surface level. In this case, being ‘bound up’ means to be bound in our commitment to the Lord, so that we are restrained from doing evil (see Swedenborg’s work, Heaven and Hell 577[4]).

Samson stands for the power of the Word acting in our lives to assert what is true, to protect what must be upheld, and to defend against evils. He uses the jawbone of a donkey because a jawbone allows us to eat food (spiritually, nourishment from the Word), and also to proclaim the Lord’s truths. This gives us the power to expose and reject the belief that spirituality consists of faith alone (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 9049[6]).


Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 3519, 4871, 9836

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