Δικαστές 12

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1 Και συνηχθησαν οι ανδρες Εφραιμ, και επερασαν προς βορραν και ειπαν προς τον Ιεφθαε, Δια τι επερασας να πολεμησης εναντιον των υιων Αμμων, και δεν εκαλεσας ημας να ελθωμεν μετα σου; τον οικον σου θελομεν καυσει επανω σου εν πυρι.

2 Και ειπεν ο Ιεφθαε προς αυτους, Εγω και ο λαος μου ηλθομεν εις μεγαλην φιλονεικιαν μετα των υιων Αμμων· και σας εκραξα και δεν με εσωσατε εκ της χειρος αυτων·

3 και ιδων οτι δεν με εσωσατε, ερριψοκινδυνευσα την ζωην μου και επερασα εναντιον των υιων Αμμων, και ο Κυριος παρεδωκεν αυτους εις την χειρα μου· δια τι λοιπον ανεβητε προς εμε σημερον δια να με πολεμησητε;

4 Τοτε συνηθροισεν ο Ιεφθαε παντας τους ανδρας της Γαλααδ και επολεμησε τον Εφραιμ· και επαταξαν οι ανδρες της Γαλααδ τους Εφραιμιτας, διοτι ειπαν, Φυγαδες του Εφραιμ εισθε σεις οι Γαλααδιται, μεταξυ του Εφραιμ και μεταξυ του Μανασση.

5 Και επιασαν αι Γαλααδιται διαβασεις του Ιορδανου προ των Εφραιμιτων· και οποτε τις εκ των Εφραιμιτων φυγαδων ελεγε, Θελω να περασω, τοτε οι ανδρες της Γαλααδ ελεγον προς αυτον, Μηπως εισαι Εφραιμιτης; Εαν εκεινος ελεγεν, Ουχι,

6 τοτε ελεγον προς αυτον, Ειπε λοιπον Σχιββωλεθ· και εκεινος ελεγε Σιββωλεθ· διοτι δεν ηδυνατο να προφερη ουτω. Τοτε επιανον αυτον και εφονευον αυτον εις τας διαβασεις του Ιορδανου. Και επεσον κατ' εκεινον τον καιρον τεσσαρακοντα δυο χιλιαδες Εφραιμιται.

7 Και εκρινεν ο Ιεφθαε τον Ισραηλ εξ ετη. Και απεθανεν ο Ιεφθαε ο Γαλααδιτης και εταφη εν πολει τινι της Γαλααδ.

8 Και μετ' αυτον εκρινε τον Ισραηλ Αβαισαν ο εκ Βηθλεεμ.

9 Και ειχε τριακοντα υιους και τριακοντα θυγατερας, τας οποιας υπανδρευσεν· ελαβε δε εξωθεν τριακοντα νεας δια τους υιους αυτου. Και εκρινε τον Ισραηλ επτα ετη.

10 Και απεθανεν ο Αβαισαν και εταφη εν Βηθλεεμ.

11 Και μετ' αυτον εκρινε τον Ισραηλ Αιλων ο Ζαβουλωνιτης· και εκρινε τον Ισραηλ δεκα ετη.

12 Και απεθανεν Αιλων ο Ζαβουλωνιτης και εταφη εις Αιαλων εν τη γη Ζαβουλων.

13 Και μετ' αυτον εκρινε τον Ισραηλ Αβδων, ο υιος του Ελληλ, ο Πιραθωνιτης.

14 Και ειχε τεσσαρακοντα υιους και τριακοντα εγγονους, επιβαινοντας επι εβδομηκοντα πωλαρια· και εκρινε τον Ισραηλ οκτω ετη.

15 Και απεθανεν Αβδων ο υιος του Ελληλ ο Πιραθωνιτης· και εταφη εν Πιραθων εν γη Εφραιμ, επι το ορος Αμαληκ.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 12      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 12: Jephthah’s conflict with Ephraim; Ibzan, Elon and Abdon.

After Jephthah’s victory over the Ammonites, the men of Ephraim came to Jephthah, demanding to know why he hadn’t asked them to join the battle. Jephthah answered that when his people had struggled against Ammon in the past, Ephraim had not answered their calls for help.

Jephthah and Ephraim went to war over this dispute, and Ephraim was defeated. Jephthah’s men, the men of Gilead, stood by the fords of the Jordan to catch fleeing Ephraimites. When a man asked to cross, they would tell him to say “Shibboleth”. The men who pronounced the word as “Sibboleth” were from Ephraim, and were put to death. In total, forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed in the war.

Jephthah died after judging Israel for six years, and was buried in Gilead.

*****

The spiritual meaning of Ephraim is to understand the truths of the Word. Wherever Ephraim is referenced in a negative sense, as in this chapter, the spiritual meaning becomes an understanding of the Word which has been destroyed. The Word commands us to live by what we understand and believe; in this story, Ephraim did not heed Jephthah’s words (see Swedenborg’s work, Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 79[3]).

The escaping Ephraimites were exposed by their accent, as they could not pronounce the ‘sh’ sound of “Shibboleth”. The letter ‘h’ stands for the genuine truth of the Word, which is the love of the Lord and for the neighbour. A purely intellectual understanding of the Word fails to comprehend this living heart that makes the Word what it is, and consequently, can only say “Sibboleth” (see Swdenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 4280).

The Word tells us that forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed - that seems an colossal number of casualties! But the Word does not report facts from a historical standpoint; it presents living truths, even in numbers. Forty-two is six multiplied by seven, so its spiritual meaning can be understood as a combination of both numbers. In the creation story, the Lord worked for six days and rested on the seventh. This idea relates to our regeneration, which involves our struggles during temptation, as well as the peace that comes from spiritual growth. The fact that the number of casualties was in the thousands emphasizes the significance of the spiritual meaning (Arcana Caelestia 8539[2]).

Jephthah judged Israel six years. The number six here carries the same meaning of conflict and work during temptation. The temptation in this chapter would be to understand the Word purely in an intellectual or dead way (Ephraim in a bad sense), rather than living by the truths it teaches.

*****

After Jephthah, there were three minor judges of Israel. The first was Ibzan, who gave away thirty daughters to marry abroad, and brought in thirty foreign daughters for his thirty sons. The Bible does not tell us any more about Ibzan, except the curious fact that he came from Bethlehem. It’s uncertain whether this is the same town where the Lord would be born, or another town of the same name.

Ibzan, whose name means ‘illustrious’, stands for a generous and willing spirit, able to take in new perspectives and to share his blessings with others. This concept is called mutual love, which is a key quality of heaven (Arcana Caelestia 2738).

The next judge, Elon, came from Zebulun, and led Israel for ten years. Even these few details that we learn about him present a sense of integrity in their spiritual meanings: his name means an ‘oak’, a tree which is associated with nobility, strength, and longevity, each of which are fitting qualities of a leader; he came from Zebulun, which represents the unity of good and truth (Arcana Caelestia 4592[13]); and the number ten (the number of years that he judged Israel) symbolizes completeness, and also our spiritual ‘remains’ (see Sweenborg’s work, Doctrine of Life 56).

The third and final judge, Abdon, had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy young donkeys. Abdon’s name means “to serve”, which is the third spiritual principle after love and truth. To serve is to offer our life to God through charity toward others. A young donkey represents the untamed level of our lives before regeneration, which needs spiritual care (Arcana Caelestia 5084[8]).

These last three ‘minor’ judges remind us of the qualities which guard against the next major opponent of Israel: the Philistines, who represent faith without regard to charity or good works.

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 2781, 9212


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 31

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