Shoftim 15

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Hebrew OT: BHS (Consonants Only)     

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1 ויהי מימים בימי קציר־חטים ויפקד שמשון את־אשתו בגדי עזים ויאמר אבאה אל־אשתי החדרה ולא־נתנו אביה לבוא׃

2 ויאמר אביה אמר אמרתי כי־שנא שנאתה ואתננה למרעך הלא אחתה הקטנה טובה ממנה תהי־נא לך תחתיה׃

3 ויאמר להם שמשון נקיתי הפעם מפלשתים כי־עשה אני עםם רעה׃

4 וילך שמשון וילכד שלש־מאות שועלים ויקח לפדים ויפן זנב אל־זנב וישם לפיד אחד בין־שני הזנבות בתוך׃

5 ויבער־אש בלפידים וישלח בקמות פלשתים ויבער מגדיש ועד־קמה ועד־כרם זית׃

6 ויאמרו פלשתים מי עשה זאת ויאמרו שמשון חתן התמני כי לקח את־אשתו ויתנה למרעהו ויעלו פלשתים וישרפו אותה ואת־אביה באש׃

7 ויאמר להם שמשון אם־תעשון כזאת כי אם־נקמתי בכם ואחר אחדל׃

8 ויך אותם שוק על־ירך מכה גדולה וירד וישב בסעיף סלע עיטם׃ ס

9 ויעלו פלשתים ויחנו ביהודה וינטשו בלחי׃

10 ויאמרו איש יהודה למה עליתם עלינו ויאמרו לאסור את־שמשון עלינו לעשות לו כאשר עשה לנו׃

11 וירדו שלשת אלפים איש מיהודה אל־סעיף סלע עיטם ויאמרו לשמשון הלא ידעת כי־משלים בנו פלשתים ומה־זאת עשית לנו ויאמר להם כאשר עשו לי כן עשיתי להם׃

12 ויאמרו לו לאסרך ירדנו לתתך ביד־פלשתים ויאמר להם שמשון השבעו לי פן־תפגעון בי אתם׃

13 ויאמרו לו לאמר לא כי־אסר נאסרך ונתנוך בידם והמת לא נמיתך ויאסרהו בשנים עבתים חדשים ויעלוהו מן־הסלע׃

14 הוא־בא עד־לחי ופלשתים הריעו לקראתו ותצלח עליו רוח יהוה ותהיינה העבתים אשר על־זרועותיו כפשתים אשר בערו באש וימסו אסוריו מעל ידיו׃

15 וימצא לחי־חמור טריה וישלח ידו ויקחה ויך־בה אלף איש׃

16 ויאמר שמשון בלחי החמור חמור חמרתים בלחי החמור הכיתי אלף איש׃

17 ויהי ככלתו לדבר וישלך הלחי מידו ויקרא למקום ההוא רמת לחי׃

18 ויצמא מאד ויקרא אל־יהוה ויאמר אתה נתת ביד־עבדך את־התשועה הגדלה הזאת ועתה אמות בצמא ונפלתי ביד הערלים׃

19 ויבקע אלהים את־המכתש אשר־בלחי ויצאו ממנו מים וישת ותשב רוחו ויחי על־כן קרא שמה עין הקורא אשר בלחי עד היום הזה׃

20 וישפט את־ישראל בימי פלשתים עשרים שנה׃ ף

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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]).

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 3519, 4871, 9836

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שמשון
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לבוא
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אמר
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שנא
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מאות
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שועלים
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זנב
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אחד
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בתוך
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אש
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

פלשתים
The Philistines play a large role in the Bible as one of the longest-standing and most bitter rivals of the people of Israel, clashing with...

כרם
'A vine' signifies spiritual good and truth. 'A vine' or 'vineyard' signifies the church where the Word, and the Lord in it, is known, or...

זית
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חתן
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ירך
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מכה
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...

סלע
'Rocks' signify the good and truth of faith.

איש
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יהודה
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

לנו
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אלפים
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בא
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רוח
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יהוה
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לחי
Jaws,' in Isaiah 30:28, signify thoughts from the sensory bodily principle, and so: thoughts from fallacies.

חמור
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

אלף
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מים
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היום
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

ישראל
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עשרים
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