Shoftim 13

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1 ויספו בני ישראל לעשות הרע בעיני יהוה ויתנם יהוה ביד־פלשתים ארבעים שנה׃ ף

2 ויהי איש אחד מצרעה ממשפחת הדני ושמו מנוח ואשתו עקרה ולא ילדה׃

3 וירא מלאך־יהוה אל־האשה ויאמר אליה הנה־נא את־עקרה ולא ילדת והרית וילדת בן׃

4 ועתה השמרי נא ואל־תשתי יין ושכר ואל־תאכלי כל־טמא׃

5 כי הנך הרה וילדת בן ומורה לא־יעלה על־ראשו כי־נזיר אלהים יהיה הנער מן־הבטן והוא יחל להושיע את־ישראל מיד פלשתים׃

6 ותבא האשה ותאמר לאישה לאמר איש האלהים בא אלי ומראהו כמראה מלאך האלהים נורא מאד ולא שאלתיהו אי־מזה הוא ואת־שמו לא־הגיד לי׃

7 ויאמר לי הנך הרה וילדת בן ועתה אל־תשתי יין ושכר ואל־תאכלי כל־טמאה כי־נזיר אלהים יהיה הנער מן־הבטן עד־יום מותו׃ ף

8 ויעתר מנוח אל־יהוה ויאמר בי אדוני איש האלהים אשר שלחת יבוא־נא עוד אלינו ויורנו מה־נעשה לנער היולד׃

9 וישמע האלהים בקול מנוח ויבא מלאך האלהים עוד אל־האשה והיא יושבת בשדה ומנוח אישה אין עמה׃

10 ותמהר האשה ותרץ ותגד לאישה ותאמר אליו הנה נראה אלי האיש אשר־בא ביום אלי׃

11 ויקם וילך מנוח אחרי אשתו ויבא אל־האיש ויאמר לו האתה האיש אשר־דברת אל־האשה ויאמר אני׃

12 ויאמר מנוח עתה יבא דבריך מה־יהיה משפט־הנער ומעשהו׃

13 ויאמר מלאך יהוה אל־מנוח מכל אשר־אמרתי אל־האשה תשמר׃

14 מכל אשר־יצא מגפן היין לא תאכל ויין ושכר אל־תשת וכל־טמאה אל־תאכל כל אשר־צויתיה תשמר׃

15 ויאמר מנוח אל־מלאך יהוה נעצרה־נא אותך ונעשה לפניך גדי עזים׃

16 ויאמר מלאך יהוה אל־מנוח אם־תעצרני לא־אכל בלחמך ואם־תעשה עלה ליהוה תעלנה כי לא־ידע מנוח כי־מלאך יהוה הוא׃

17 ויאמר מנוח אל־מלאך יהוה מי שמך כי־יבא [כ= דבריך] [ק= דברך] וכבדנוך׃

18 ויאמר לו מלאך יהוה למה זה תשאל לשמי והוא־פלאי׃ ס

19 ויקח מנוח את־גדי העזים ואת־המנחה ויעל על־הצור ליהוה ומפלא לעשות ומנוח ואשתו ראים׃

20 ויהי בעלות הלהב מעל המזבח השמימה ויעל מלאך־יהוה בלהב המזבח ומנוח ואשתו ראים ויפלו על־פניהם ארצה׃

21 ולא־יסף עוד מלאך יהוה להראה אל־מנוח ואל־אשתו אז ידע מנוח כי־מלאך יהוה הוא׃

22 ויאמר מנוח אל־אשתו מות נמות כי אלהים ראינו׃

23 ותאמר לו אשתו לו חפץ יהוה להמיתנו לא־לקח מידנו עלה ומנחה ולא הראנו את־כל־אלה וכעת לא השמיענו כזאת׃

24 ותלד האשה בן ותקרא את־שמו שמשון ויגדל הנער ויברכהו יהוה׃

25 ותחל רוח יהוה לפעמו במחנה־דן בין צרעה ובין אשתאל׃ ף

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 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).

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 2165, 2332, 3301, 3519, 4299, 5113, 6437, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 54, 939

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 218


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 66, 78, 412, 817

Spiritual Experiences 6017

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Make a picture of Samson using a variety of materials. Give Samson a good head of hair using yarn or synthetic hair. 
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Match ten questions with ten answers about the story of Samson.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

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Arrange the picture cards in the order these events happened in Samson’s life. 
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