Shmuel A 5

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1 וּפְלִשְׁתִּים לָקְחוּ אֵת אֲרֹון הָאֱלֹהִים וַיְבִאֻהוּ מֵאֶבֶן הָעֵזֶר אַשְׁדֹּודָה׃

2 וַיִּקְחוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים אֶת־אֲרֹון הָאֱלֹהִים וַיָּבִיאוּ אֹתֹו בֵּית דָּגֹון וַיַּצִּיגוּ אֹתֹו אֵצֶל דָּגֹון׃

3 וַיַּשְׁכִּמוּ אַשְׁדֹּודִים מִמָּחֳרָת וְהִנֵּה דָגֹון נֹפֵל לְפָנָיו אַרְצָה לִפְנֵי אֲרֹון יְהוָה וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־דָּגֹון וַיָּשִׁבוּ אֹתֹו לִמְקֹומֹו׃

4 וַיַּשְׁכִּמוּ בַבֹּקֶר מִמָּחֳרָת וְהִנֵּה דָגֹון נֹפֵל לְפָנָיו אַרְצָה לִפְנֵי אֲרֹון יְהוָה וְרֹאשׁ דָּגֹון וּשְׁתֵּי כַּפֹּות יָדָיו כְּרֻתֹות אֶל־הַמִּפְתָּן רַק דָּגֹון נִשְׁאַר עָלָיו׃

5 עַל־כֵּן לֹא־יִדְרְכוּ כֹהֲנֵי דָגֹון וְכָל־הַבָּאִים בֵּית־דָּגֹון עַל־מִפְתַּן דָּגֹון בְּאַשְׁדֹּוד עַד הַיֹּום הַזֶּה׃ ס

6 וַתִּכְבַּד יַד־יְהוָה אֶל־הָאַשְׁדֹּודִים וַיְשִׁםֵּם וַיַּךְ אֹתָם [כ= בָּעֳפָלִים] [ק= בַּטְּחֹרִים] אֶת־אַשְׁדֹּוד וְאֶת־גְּבוּלֶיהָ׃

7 וַיִּרְאוּ אַנְשֵׁי־אַשְׁדֹּוד כִּי־כֵן וְאָמְרוּ לֹא־יֵשֵׁב אֲרֹון אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עִמָּנוּ כִּי־קָשְׁתָה יָדֹו עָלֵינוּ וְעַל דָּגֹון אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃

8 וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ וַיַּאַסְפוּ אֶת־כָּל־סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים אֲלֵיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ מַה־נַּעֲשֶׂה לַאֲרֹון אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ גַּת יִסֹּב אֲרֹון אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּסֵּבּוּ אֶת־אֲרֹון אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃ ס

9 וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי הֵסַבּוּ אֹתֹו וַתְּהִי יַד־יְהוָה בָּעִיר מְהוּמָה גְּדֹולָה מְאֹד וַיַּךְ אֶת־אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר מִקָּטֹן וְעַד־גָּדֹול וַיִּשָּׂתְרוּ לָהֶם [כ= עֳפָלִים] [ק= טְחֹרִים]׃

10 וַיְשַׁלְּחוּ אֶת־אֲרֹון הָאֱלֹהִים עֶקְרֹון וַיְהִי כְּבֹוא אֲרֹון הָאֱלֹהִים עֶקְרֹון וַיִּזְעֲקוּ הָעֶקְרֹנִים לֵאמֹר הֵסַבּוּ אֵלַי אֶת־אֲרֹון אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַהֲמִיתֵנִי וְאֶת־עַמִּי׃

11 וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ וַיַּאַסְפוּ אֶת־כָּל־סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיֹּאמְרוּ שַׁלְּחוּ אֶת־אֲרֹון אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיָשֹׁב לִמְקֹמֹו וְלֹא־יָמִית אֹתִי וְאֶת־עַמִּי כִּי־הָיְתָה מְהוּמַת־מָוֶת בְּכָל־הָעִיר כָּבְדָה מְאֹד יַד הָאֱלֹהִים שָׁם׃

12 וְהָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר לֹא־מֵתוּ הֻכּוּ [כ= בָּעֳפָלִים] [ק= בַּטְּחֹרִים] וַתַּעַל שַׁוְעַת הָעִיר הַשָּׁמָיִם׃

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Exploring the Meaning of 1_Samuel 5      

The Philistines took the captured Ark of the Covenant deep into their own territory to a temple dedicated to their god Dagon in the city of Ashdod. Dagon has popularly been depicted as half man-half fish, and Swedenborgian teachings support this description. Early the next morning, the people of Ashdod found that the statue of Dagon had fallen on its face before the Ark. They set it back up, only to find it fallen again the next morning. This second time the head and hands were broken off the torso.

Modern translations often describe the people of Ashdod and surrounding territories as being struck down by “tumors.” A more accurate reading is that they suffered severe hemorrhoids- to be precise, “swellings of their private parts.” These afflictions were so serious that many people died. Swedenborg writes that these hemorrhoids represent earthly loves, “which are unclean when they are separated from spiritual loves.” The next chapter describes how the people were also afflicted with rodents- and this represents the “destruction of the church by distortions of the truth” (see Divine Providence 326).

These both indicate a separation of faith and charity, two important parts of spiritual life. Swedenborg talks about how the Philistines represent people with whom faith has been separated from charity (see Arcana Coelestia 1197 and Doctrine of Faith 49). Note here as elsewhere, that we should not directly connect any group of people to the positive or negative things that they spiritually represent. This means that we should not assume that the Philistines were any more guilty of separating faith from charity than any other group of people. We should instead think about how in this particular story, they are a symbolic representation of a particular type of human challenge.

The statue of Dagon fell on its face and was destroyed in front of the Ark of the Covenant, which held the Ten Commandments. This is an illustration of the power of the Lord’s Divine Word. A person’s faith cannot only be a belief in the Lord’s Word, or just an intellectual acknowledgement of His Commandments. It is a function of a life led based on these commandments. Belief without a good life, faith without charity, is destructive- on an individual level and a collective level. We see this symbolically represented in the destruction of the statue of Dagon.

The ways in which the statue was destroyed are symbolic, and speak to this message of faith separate from charity. For example, hands generally symbolize power, and the ability to put things into action, whether they be good or bad (see Arcana Coelestia 878). The hands were cut off of the statue of Dagon, perhaps representing that this false idol represents faith without action, or charity.

This further drives home the message that faith and charity must go together, to preserve an individual’s covenant with the Lord.


Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Apocalypse Explained 700

Apocalypse Revealed 529

Divine Providence 326

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 23

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Doctrine of Life 59

Doctrine of Faith 52

True Christian Religion 71, 284, 614, 630, 691

Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Spiritual Experiences 2472

Marriage 71

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