Richter 8

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1 Und die Männer von Ephraim sprachen zu ihm: Warum hast du uns das getan, daß du uns nicht riefst, da du in den Streit zogst wider die Midianiter? Und zankten mit ihm heftig.

2 Er aber sprach zu ihnen: Was habe ich jetzt getan, das eurer Tat gleich sei? Ist nicht die Nachlese Ephraims besser denn die ganze Weinernte Abiesers?

3 Gott hat die Fürsten der Midianiter, Oreb und Seeb, in eure Hände gegeben. Wie hätte ich können das tun, was ihr getan habt? Da er solches redete, ließ ihr Zorn von ihm ab.

4 Da nun Gideon an den Jordan kam, ging er hinüber mit den dreihundert Mann, die bei ihm waren; die waren müde und jagten nach.

5 Und er sprach zu den Leuten von Sukkoth: Gebt doch dem Volk, das unter mir ist, etliche Brote; denn sie sind müde, daß ich nachjagte den Königen der Mididaniter, Sebah und Zalmuna.

6 Aber die Obersten zu Sukkoth sprachen: Sind die Fäuste Sebahs und Zalmunas schon in deinen Händen, daß wir deinem Heer sollen Brot geben?

7 Gideon sprach: Wohlan, wenn der HERR Sebah und Zalmuna in meine Hand gibt, will ich euer Fleisch mit Dornen aus der Wüste und mit Hecken zerdreschen.

8 Und er zog von da hinauf gen Pnuel und redete auch also zu ihnen. Und die Leute zu Pnuel antworteten ihm gleich wie die zu Sukkoth.

9 Und er sprach auch zu den Leuten zu Pnuel: Komme ich mit Frieden wieder, so will ich diesen Turm zerbrechen.

10 Sebah aber und Zalmuna waren zu Karkor und ihr Heer mit ihnen, bei fünfzehntausend, alle, die übriggeblieben waren vom ganzen Heer derer aus Morgenland; denn hundertzwanzigtausend waren gefallen, die das Schwert ausziehen konnten.

11 Und Gideon zog hinauf auf der Straße derer, die in Hütten wohnten, gegen Morgen von Nobah und Jogbeha, und schlug das Heer, denn das Heer war sicher.

12 Und Sebah und Zalmuna flohen; aber er jagte ihnen nach und fing die zwei Könige der Midianiter, Sebah und Zalmuna, und schreckte das ganze Heer.

13 Da nun Gideon, der Sohn Joas, wiederkam vom Streit, ehe die Sonne heraufgekommen war,

14 fing er einen Knaben aus den Leuten zu Sukkoth und fragte ihn; der schrieb ihm auf die Obersten zu Sukkoth und ihre Ältesten, siebenundsiebzig Mann.

15 Und er kam zu den Leuten zu Sukkoth und sprach: Siehe, hier ist Sebah und Zalmuna, über welchen ihr mein spottetet und spracht: Ist denn Sebahs und Zalmunas Faust schon in deinen Händen, daß wir deinen Leuten, die müde sind, Brot geben sollen?

16 Und er nahm die Ältesten der Stadt und Dornen aus der Wüste und Hecken und ließ es die Leute zu Sukkoth fühlen.

17 Und den Turm Pnuels zerbrach er und erwürgte die Leute der Stadt.

18 Und er sprach zu Sebah und Zalmuna: Wie waren die Männer, die ihr erwürgtet zu Thabor? Sie sprachen: Sie waren wie du und ein jeglicher schön wie eines Königs Kinder.

19 Er aber sprach: Es sind meine Brüder, meiner Mutter Söhne, gewesen. So wahr der HERR lebt, wo ihr sie hättet leben lassen, wollte ich euch nicht erwürgen.

20 Und er sprach zu seinem erstgeborenen Sohn, Jether: Stehe auf und erwürge sie! Aber der Knabe zog sein Schwert nicht; denn er fürchtete sich, weil er noch ein Knabe war.

21 Sebah aber und Zalmuna sprachen: Stehe du auf und mache dich an uns; denn darnach der Mann ist, ist auch seine Kraft. Also stand Gideon auf und erwürgte Sebah und Zalmuna und nahm die Spangen, die an ihrer Kamele Hälsen waren.

22 Da sprachen zu Gideon etliche in Israel: Sei Herr über uns, du und dein Sohn und deines Sohnes Sohn, weil du uns von der Midianiter Hand erlöst hast.

23 Aber Gideon sprach zu ihnen: Ich will nicht Herr sein über euch, und auch mein Sohn soll nicht Herr über euch sein, sondern der Herr soll Herr über euch sein.

24 Gideon aber sprach zu Ihnen: Eins begehre ich von euch: ein jeglicher gebe mir die Stirnbänder, die er geraubt hat. (Denn weil es Ismaeliter waren, hatten sie goldene Stirnbänder.)

25 Sie sprachen: Die wollen wir geben; und breiteten ein Kleid aus, und ein jeglicher warf die Stirnbänder darauf, die er geraubt hatte.

26 Und die goldenen Stirnbänder, die er forderte, machten am Gewicht tausendsiebenhundert Lot Gold, ohne die Spangen und Ketten und Purpurkleider, die der Midianiter Könige tragen, und ohne die Halsbänder ihrer Kamele.

27 Und Gideon machte einen Leibrock daraus und setzte ihn in seine Stadt zu Ophra. Und ganz Israel trieb damit Abgötterei daselbst, und er geriet Gideon und seinem Hause zum Fall.

28 Also wurden die Midianiter gedemütigt vor den Kindern Israel und hoben ihren Kopf nicht mehr empor. Und das Land war still vierzig Jahre, solange Gideon lebte.

29 Und Jerubbaal, der Sohn des Joas, ging hin und wohnte in seinem Hause.

30 Und Gideon hatte siebzig Söhne, die aus seiner Hüfte gekommen waren; denn er hatte viele Weiber.

31 Und sein Kebsweib, das er zu Sichem hatte, gebar ihm auch einen Sohn; den nannte er Abimelech.

32 Und Gideon, der Sohn des Joas, starb in gutem Alter und ward begraben in seines Vaters Joas Grab zu Ophra, der Stadt der Abiesriter.

33 Da aber Gideon gestorben war, kehrten sich die Kinder Israel um und liefen dem Baalim nach und machten sich Baal-Berith zum Gott.

34 Und die Kinder Israel gedachten nicht an den HERRN, ihren Gott, der sie errettet hatte von der Hand aller ihrer Feinde umher,

35 und taten nicht Barmherzigkeit an dem Hause des Jerubbaal Gideon, wie er alles Gute an Israel getan hatte.

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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:

Die Himmlischen Geheimnisse 3021, 3242, 3246, 3263, 8301

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Významy biblických slov

Männer
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

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...

uns
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,...

Midianiter
'Midian' signifies people who are in falsity.

sprach
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...

ephraims
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...

gott
Der Herr ist die Liebe selbst, ausgedrückt in der Form der Weisheit selbst. Die Liebe ist also sein Wesen, sein Innerstes. Die Weisheit - das...

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

gegeben
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...

jordan
The river Jordan separates the land of Canaan from the lands to the east. This separation represents the division of the human mind into an internal...

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

Mann
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Sukkoth
'Succoth,' as in Genesis 33:17, and Psalms 60:6-7 and 108:7-8, signifies the quality of the holy state of truth from good, because 'Succoth' signifies tents,...

Heer
A host and an army come from the same Hebrew word and mean the same thing in Bible; when the Children of Israel were numbered...

brot
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

geben
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...

herr
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...

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...

gibt
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...

fleisch
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

wüste
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

pnuel
'Peniel' signifies a state of temptation. 'Jacob called the name of the place Peniel,' in Genesis 32, in the internal historical sense, signifies a state...

redete
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

antworteten
Zu "antworten" deutet im Allgemeinen auf einen Zustand geistiger Empfänglichkeit hin. Letztlich bedeutet dies, für den Herrn empfänglich zu sein, der ständig versucht, wahre Ideen...

Turm
'Towers,' as in Psalms 48:12, signify the interior truths which defend the aspects of love and charity. In the opposite sense, they denote the interiors...

gefallen
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...

schwert
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

Straße
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

hütten
'Tent' is used in the Word to signify the celestial and holy aspects of love, because in ancient time they performed holy worship in their...

schlug
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...

nach
Laut Swedenborg existieren Zeit und Raum nicht in der spirituellen Realität; sie sind rein natürliche Dinge, die nur auf der physischen Ebene existieren. Das bedeutet,...

zwei
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

Könige
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Sohn
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

schrieb
In John 8:2-11, the Lord wrote twice on the ground, when the woman taken in adultery was brought to him, which signifies the condemnation of...

müde
On the surface, it appears that Swedenborg gives two different representations for “weariness.” In discussing Genesis - where Esau and later Jacob are described as...

stadt
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

königs
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Kinder
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....

Brüder
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

mutter
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Söhne
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

Leben
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

kamele
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

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

Vor
In den meisten Fällen ist die Bedeutung von "vorher" ziemlich einfach, sowohl als eine Art der Beurteilung der relativen Zeit, als auch in der Verwendung...

Kopf
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

Land
"Erde" kann in der Bibel eine Person oder eine Gruppe von Gleichgesinnten wie in einer Kirche bedeuten. Aber sie bezieht sich speziell auf das Äußere...

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

viele
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sichem
'Sichem' or 'Shechem' means the celestial aspects of love.

Abimelech
Abimelech, his companion Ahusath, and Phicol, the chief captain of his army (Genesis 26:26), represent the doctrinals of faith as grounded in the literal sense...

Grab
A grave, as in Psalm 88:5, signifies hell. ‘To come forth out of the grave,’ as in John 5:29, signifies to come forth out of...

Baalim
Baalim and her lovers (Hosea 2:13) signify those things which belong to the natural man, and are loved; such as the lusts and falsities thence...

Baal
Baalim and her lovers (Hosea 2:13) signify those things which belong to the natural man, and are loved; such as the lusts and falsities thence...

feinde
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

barmherzigkeit
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

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 Gideon, the Lord Shall Reign Over You
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