Shoftim 8

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Hebrew OT: BHS (Consonants Only)     

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1 ויאמרו אליו איש אפרים מה־הדבר הזה עשית לנו לבלתי קראות לנו כי הלכת להלחם במדין ויריבון אתו בחזקה׃

2 ויאמר אליהם מה־עשיתי עתה ככם הלוא טוב עללות אפרים מבציר אביעזר׃

3 בידכם נתן אלהים את־שרי מדין את־ערב ואת־זאב ומה־יכלתי עשות ככם אז רפתה רוחם מעליו בדברו הדבר הזה׃

4 ויבא גדעון הירדנה עבר הוא ושלש־מאות האיש אשר אתו עיפים ורדפים׃

5 ויאמר לאנשי סכות תנו־נא ככרות לחם לעם אשר ברגלי כי־עיפים הם ואנכי רדף אחרי זבח וצלמנע מלכי מדין׃

6 ויאמר שרי סכות הכף זבח וצלמנע עתה בידך כי־נתן לצבאך לחם׃

7 ויאמר גדעון לכן בתת יהוה את־זבח ואת־צלמנע בידי ודשתי את־בשרכם את־קוצי המדבר ואת־הברקנים׃

8 ויעל משם פנואל וידבר אליהם כזאת ויענו אותו אנשי פנואל כאשר ענו אנשי סכות׃

9 ויאמר גם־לאנשי פנואל לאמר בשובי בשלום אתץ את־המגדל הזה׃ ף

10 וזבח וצלמנע בקרקר ומחניהם עםם כחמשת עשר אלף כל הנותרים מכל מחנה בני־קדם והנפלים מאה ועשרים אלף איש שלף חרב׃

11 ויעל גדעון דרך השכוני באהלים מקדם לנבח ויגבהה ויך את־המחנה והמחנה היה בטח׃

12 וינוסו זבח וצלמנע וירדף אחריהם וילכד את־שני מלכי מדין את־זבח ואת־צלמנע וכל־המחנה החריד׃

13 וישב גדעון בן־יואש מן־המלחמה מלמעלה החרס׃

14 וילכד־נער מאנשי סכות וישאלהו ויכתב אליו את־שרי סכות ואת־זקניה שבעים ושבעה איש׃

15 ויבא אל־אנשי סכות ויאמר הנה זבח וצלמנע אשר חרפתם אותי לאמר הכף זבח וצלמנע עתה בידך כי נתן לאנשיך היעפים לחם׃

16 ויקח את־זקני העיר ואת־קוצי המדבר ואת־הברקנים וידע בהם את אנשי סכות׃

17 ואת־מגדל פנואל נתץ ויהרג את־אנשי העיר׃

18 ויאמר אל־זבח ואל־צלמנע איפה האנשים אשר הרגתם בתבור ויאמרו כמוך כמוהם אחד כתאר בני המלך׃

19 ויאמר אחי בני־אמי הם חי־יהוה לו החיתם אותם לא הרגתי אתכם׃

20 ויאמר ליתר בכורו קום הרג אותם ולא־שלף הנער חרבו כי ירא כי עודנו נער׃

21 ויאמר זבח וצלמנע קום אתה ופגע־בנו כי כאיש גבורתו ויקם גדעון ויהרג את־זבח ואת־צלמנע ויקח את־השהרנים אשר בצוארי גמליהם׃

22 ויאמרו איש־ישראל אל־גדעון משל־בנו גם־אתה גם־בנך גם בן־בנך כי הושעתנו מיד מדין׃

23 ויאמר אלהם גדעון לא־אמשל אני בכם ולא־ימשל בני בכם יהוה ימשל בכם׃

24 ויאמר אלהם גדעון אשאלה םכם שאלה ותנו־לי איש נזם שללו כי־נזמי זהב להם כי ישמעאלים הם׃

25 ויאמרו נתון נתן ויפרשו את־השמלה וישליכו שמה איש נזם שללו׃

26 ויהי משקל נזמי הזהב אשר שאל אלף ושבע־מאות זהב לבד מן־השהרנים והנטפות ובגדי הארגמן שעל מלכי מדין ולבד מן־הענקות אשר בצוארי גמליהם׃

27 ויעש אותו גדעון לאפוד ויצג אותו בעירו בעפרה ויזנו כל־ישראל אחריו שם ויהי לגדעון ולביתו למוקש׃

28 ויכנע מדין לפני בני ישראל ולא יספו לשאת ראשם ותשקט הארץ ארבעים שנה בימי גדעון׃ ף

29 וילך ירבעל בן־יואש וישב בביתו׃

30 ולגדעון היו שבעים בנים יצאי ירכו כי־נשים רבות היו לו׃

31 ופילגשו אשר בשכם ילדה־לו גם־היא בן וישם את־שמו אבימלך׃

32 וימת גדעון בן־יואש בשיבה טובה ויקבר בקבר יואש אביו בעפרה אבי העזרי׃ ף

33 ויהי כאשר מת גדעון וישובו בני ישראל ויזנו אחרי הבעלים וישימו להם בעל ברית לאלהים׃

34 ולא זכרו בני ישראל את־יהוה אלהיהם המציל אותם מיד כל־איביהם מסביב׃

35 ולא־עשו חסד עם־בית ירבעל גדעון ככל־הטובה אשר עשה עם־ישראל׃ ף

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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:

Arcana Coelestia 3021, 3242, 3246, 3263, 8301

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 Gideon, the Lord Shall Reign Over You
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14


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