Δικαστές 13

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1 Και επραξαν παλιν οι υιοι Ισραηλ πονηρα ενωπιον του Κυριου· και παρεδωκεν αυτους ο Κυριος εις την χειρα των Φιλισταιων τεσσαρακοντα ετη.

2 Ητο δε ανθρωπος τις απο Σαραα, εκ της συγγενειας Δαν, και το ονομα αυτου Μανωε· η δε γυνη αυτου ητο στειρα, και δεν εγεννα.

3 Και εφανη αγγελος Κυριου εις την γυναικα και ειπε προς αυτην, Ιδου, τωρα εισαι στειρα και δεν γεννας· πλην θελεις συλλαβει και θελεις γεννησει υιον·

4 και τωρα λοιπον προσεχε μη πιης οινον η σικερα και μη φαγης μηδεν ακαθαρτον·

5 διοτι, ιδου, θελεις συλλαβει και θελεις γεννησει υιον· και ξυραφιον δεν θελει αναβη επι την κεφαλην αυτου, διοτι το παιδιον θελει εισθαι Ναζηραιος εις τον Θεον εκ κοιλιας μητρος αυτου· και αυτος θελει αρχισει να ελευθερονη τον Ισραηλ εκ της χειρος των Φιλισταιων.

6 Και υπηγεν η γυνη και ειπε προς τον ανδρα αυτης, λεγουσα, Ανθρωπος Θεου ηλθε προς εμε, και το ειδος αυτου ητο ως ειδος αγγελου Θεου, φοβερον σφοδρα· αλλα δεν ηρωτησα αυτον ποθεν ειναι, ουδε το ονομα αυτου εφανερωσεν εις εμε·

7 και ειπε προς εμε, Ιδου, θελεις συλλαβει και θελεις γεννησει υιον· τωρα λοιπον μη πιης οινον μηδε σικερα και μη φαγης μηδεν ακαθαρτον· διοτι το παιδιον θελει εισθαι Ναζηραιος εις τον Θεον, εκ κοιλιας μητρος αυτου εως της ημερας του θανατου αυτου.

8 Τοτε προσευχηθη ο Μανωε προς τον Κυριον, και ειπε, Δεομαι, Κυριε μου, ο ανθρωπος του Θεου, τον οποιον απεστειλας, ας ελθη παλιν προς ημας και ας διδαξη ημας τι να καμωμεν εις το παιδιον, το οποιον μελλει να γεννηθη.

9 Και εισηκουσεν ο Θεος την φωνην του Μανωε· και ηλθε παλιν ο αγγελος του Θεου προς την γυναικα, ενω αυτη εκαθητο εν τω αγρω· ο δε Μανωε ο ανηρ αυτης δεν ητο μετ' αυτης.

10 Και ετρεξεν η γυνη μετα σπουδης και ανηγγειλε προς τον ανδρα αυτης, λεγουσα προς αυτον, Ιδου, εφανη εις εμε ο ανθρωπος, οστις ηλθε προς εμε την ημεραν εκεινην.

11 Και εσηκωθη ο Μανωε και ηκολουθησε την γυναικα αυτου και ηλθε προς τον ανθρωπον και ειπε προς αυτον, Συ εισαι ο ανθρωπος οστις ελαλησας προς την γυναικα; Ο δε ειπεν, Εγω.

12 Και ειπεν ο Μανωε, Τωρα γενηθητω ο λογος σου· τι πρεπει να καμωμεν εις το παιδιον και τι να γεινη εις αυτο;

13 Και ειπεν ο αγγελος του Κυριου προς τον Μανωε, Απο παντων οσα ειπα προς την γυναικα, ας φυλαχθη·

14 απο παντος ο, τι εξερχεται εξ αμπελου ας μη φαγη και οινον και σικερα ας μη πιη· και μηδεν ακαθαρτον ας μη φαγη· παντα οσα παρηγγειλα εις αυτην, ας φυλαξη.

15 Και ειπεν ο Μανωε προς τον αγγελον του Κυριου, να σε κρατησωμεν, παρακαλω, και να ετοιμασωμεν εις σε εριφιον εξ αιγων.

16 Και ειπεν ο αγγελος του Κυριου προς τον Μανωε, Και αν με κρατησης, δεν θελω φαγει απο του αρτου σου· και εαν καμης ολοκαυτωμα, προς τον Κυριον προσφερε αυτο· διοτι δεν εγνωρισεν ο Μανωε οτι ητο αγγελος Κυριου.

17 Και ειπεν ο Μανωε προς τον αγγελον του Κυριου, Τι ειναι το ονομα σου, δια να σε δοξασωμεν, αφου εκπληρωθη ο λογος σου;

18 Ο δε αγγελος του Κυριου ειπε προς αυτον, Δια τι ερωτας περι του ονοματος μου; διοτι ειναι θαυμαστον.

19 Τοτε ελαβεν ο Μανωε το εριφιον το εξ αιγων και την εξ αλφιτων προσφοραν και προσεφερεν εις τον Κυριον επι της πετρας· και εθαυματουργησεν· ο δε Μανωε και η γυνη αυτου εβλεπον.

20 Διοτι, ενω η φλοξ ανεβαινεν επανωθεν του θυσιαστηριου προς τον ουρανον, ανεβη και ο αγγελος του Κυριου εν τη φλογι του θυσιαστηριου· ο δε Μανωε και η γυνη αυτου εβλεπον· και επεσαν κατα προσωπον επι την γην.

21 Και δεν εφανη πλεον ο αγγελος του Κυριου εις τον Μανωε και εις την γυναικα αυτου. Τοτε εγνωρισεν ο Μανωε οτι ητο αγγελος Κυριου.

22 Και ειπεν ο Μανωε προς την γυναικα αυτου, Βεβαιως θελομεν αποθανει, διοτι ειδομεν τον Θεον.

23 Αλλ' η γυνη αυτου ειπε προς αυτον, Εαν ο Κυριος ηθελε να θανατωση ημας, δεν ηθελε δεχθη ολοκαυτωμα και προσφοραν εκ της χειρος ημων, ουδε ηθελε δειξει εις ημας παντα ταυτα, ουδε αναγγειλει προς ημας τοιαυτα εν τοιουτω καιρω.

24 Και εγεννησεν η γυνη υιον και εκαλεσε το ονομα αυτου Σαμψων· και ηυξηνθη το παιδιον, και ευλογησεν αυτο ο Κυριος.

25 Και πνευμα Κυριου ηρχισε να διεγειρη αυτο εν τω στρατοπεδω του Δαν, μεταξυ Σαραα και Εσθαολ.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Δικαστές 13      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 13: The birth of Samson.

Chapters 13-16 of Judges tell the story of Samson, one of the greatest judges of Israel. At the time of Samson’s birth, Israel had been under Philistine oppression for forty years, because they had once again sinned against the Lord. As we have seen in previous chapters, the Lord appears to have punished them, but this is not the case; it is really our own waywardness that brings about these negative consequences.

This story begins with Samson’s parents, Manoah and his wife. Manoah’s wife was barren, but the angel of the Lord appeared to her, with news that she would have a son. The angel said that she was forbidden to drink alcohol or eat anything unclean, and that her son was never to have his hair cut, for he would be a Nazirite. And finally, the angel prophesied that her son would deliver Israel from the Philistines.

When Manoah’s wife told him what had happened, he prayed to the Lord for the man to return. The angel reappeared to Manoah’s wife, so she brought her husband to speak with the angel directly. Manoah asked what they should do for their child, but the angel only told Manoah that his wife must follow the instructions she had received.

Manoah offered a meal to the angel of the Lord, but the angel declined, saying that the burnt offering must be made to the Lord. Manoah brought out the meat of a young goat, placed it upon a rock, and gave it as a burnt offering to the Lord. The angel of the Lord ascended in the flames toward heaven, and the couple knew that they had seen God.

In time, Samson was born, and the Lord blessed him.

*****

Samson’s name literally means “sun-like”. He was a mighty warrior, a womaniser, and a powerful character prone to sudden outbursts and rage, but his intention was to defend Israel and defeat the Philistines. He was strong in his acknowledgement of his people and his God.

Samson represents the Lord in His divine human, and also the power of the Word in its literal sense. This is why Samson had strength in the abundance of his hair (see Swedenbrog’s works, Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 49[2], and Arcana Caelestia 9836[2]).

Spiritually, barrenness stands for a lack of personal doctrine or a spiritual path, representing how life can feel before regeneration begins. The angel of the Lord appeared to just the woman at first, because the purpose of regeneration is primarily to make us love what is good (represented by a woman). We do this by knowing and obeying truth (represented by a man).

The Nazarites, who vowed not to drink or cut their hair, represented the Lord as the Word in its ultimate and fullest sense (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Revealed 47). These customs are the marks of a natural and genuine life, as wine can lead us astray, and focusing on appearances can lead to vanity. Above all, Samson’s uncut hair represented this greatness of divine truths from the Word (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 214).

The angel was reluctant to tell Manoah and his wife details about their son’s future, except that he would be a Nazarite, and would deliver Israel. He intentionally kept them from knowing what would take place, because if they knew the future, they would no longer be able to act in freedom. Divine Providence - the Lord’s plan for our world - cannot be disclosed to us, or we would no longer live in freedom to make our own decisions (Arcana Caelestia 2493).

Manoah asked the angel what his name was, so he could be honored. However, the angel declined to tell them, as his name was wonderful. A name describes a person’s spiritual qualities, and we are unable to fathom the extent of heavenly qualities because they are of God.

The spiritual meaning of Manoah’s sacrifice comes from the correspondence of a young goat (innocence within the human soul) and the rock (truth). The young goat, placed on the rock as a sacrifice, represents worshipping from our hearts in faith to the Lord. This is the Lord’s requirement of us (Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 18[3] and Arcana Caelestia 9393).

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