Giudici 10

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1 ORA, dopo Abimelec, surse, per liberare Israele, Tola, figliuolo di Pua, figliuolo di Dodo, uomo d’Issacar, il quale dimorava in Samir, nel monte di Efraim.

2 Ed egli giudicò Israele ventitrè anni; poi morì, e fu seppellito in Samir.

3 E, dopo lui, surse Iair, Galaadita, il quale giudicò Israele ventidue anni.

4 Ed esso ebbe trenta figliuoli, i quali cavalcavano trent’asinelli, e aveano trenta città, che si chiamano fino ad oggi le Villate di Iair,

5 le quali sono nel paese di Galaad. Poi Iair morì, e fu seppellito in Camon.

6 E I figliuoli d’Israele continuarono a far ciò che dispiace al Signore, e servirono a’ Baali, e ad Astarot, e agli iddii di Siria, e agl’iddii di Sidon, e agl’iddii di Moab, e agl’iddii de’ figliuoli di Ammon, e agl’iddii de’ Filistei; e abbandonarono il Signore, e non gli servivano più.

7 Laonde l’ira del Signore si accese contro ad Israele; ed egli lo vendè nelle mani de’ Filistei, e nelle mani dei figliuoli di Ammon.

8 E in quell’anno, ch’era il diciottesimo, quelli afflissero ed oppressarono i figliuoli d’Israele, cioè tutti i figliuoli d’Israele ch’erano di là dal Giordano, nel paese degli Amorrei, ch’è in Galaad.

9 E i figliuoli di Ammon passarono il Giordano, per combattere eziandio contro a Giuda, e contro a Beniamino, e contro alla casa di Efraim; onde Israele fu grandemente distretto.

10 Allora i figliuoli d’Israele gridarono al Signore, dicendo: Noi abbiamo peccato contro a te; conciossiachè abbiamo abbandonato il nostro Dio, e abbiamo servito a’ Baali.

11 E il Signore disse a’ figliuoli d’Israele: Quando voi avete gridato a me, non vi ho io salvati dalle mani degli Egizi, e degli Amorrei, e de’ figliuoli di Ammon, e de’ Filistei,

12 e de’ Sidonii, e degli Amalechiti, e dei Maoniti, i quali vi oppressavano?

13 Ma voi mi avete abbandonato, ed avete servito ad altri dii; perciò, io non vi libererò più.

14 Andate, e gridate agl’iddii che avete scelti; salvinvi essi al tempo della vostra angoscia.

15 Ma i figliuoli d’Israele dissero al Signore: Noi abbiamo peccato; facci tu tutto quello che ti piacerà; sol ti preghiamo che tu ci liberi oggi.

16 Allora tolsero gl’iddii degli stranieri del mezzo di loro, e servirono al Signore; ed egli si accorò l’animo per lo travaglio d’Israele.

17 Or i figliuoli di Ammon si adunarono a grida, e si accamparono in Galaad. I figliuoli d’Israele si adunarono anch’essi, e si accamparono in Mispa.

18 E il popolo, cioè i principali di Galaad, dissero gli uni agli altri: Chi sarà l’uomo che comincerà a combattere contro a’ figliuoli di Ammon? esso sarà capo a tutti gli abitanti di Galaad.


Exploring the Meaning of Giudici 10      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 10: Tola, Jair; Israel oppressed again.

This chapter opens by mentioning the judges Tola and Jair, who judged for twenty-three years and twenty-two years, respectively. The text gives us very little information about them, except that Jair had thirty sons, who rode on thirty donkeys and had thirty cities in the land of Gilead.

After Jair died, the people soon disobeyed the Lord, and worshipped the gods of Syria, Sidon, Moab, Philistia, and Ammon. This provoked the Lord’s anger, so He caused the Philistines and Ammonites to oppress Israel. The Ammonites first attacked the two-and-a-half tribes living on the eastern side of the Jordan, then crossed the river to attack Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim.

The people cried out to the Lord, saying that they had forsaken Him, but He told them to go to the other gods they had chosen. However, the people asked again for forgiveness, stopped worshipping foreign gods, and turned back to the Lord, so His anger toward them subsided.

*****

This chapter describes another episode in Israel’s cycle of disobedience and punishment, in which the people repeatedly turn away from the Lord when there is no leader. No matter how often we affirm our faith in the Lord, we, too, will default to our natural desires and false thinking. As we come to recognize and accept this fact of life, we can find comfort in the Lord. He understands this completely, and does not blame or punish us.

The first judge mentioned is Tola. His name means “a worm-like grub”, suggesting the idea of metamorphosis and regeneration (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 106[2]). Tola’s father was Puah (meaning “shining”), his grandfather was Dodo (meaning “amorous, loving”), and their city was Shamir (which means “keeping the commandment”). These names bring to mind the spiritual qualities of truth, love and life in the Lord (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 977).

The next judge is Jair, whose name means ”he whom God enlightens”. The number thirty (used in reference to his thirty sons and their thirty towns) means fullness or readiness. This readiness refers to our spiritual ‘remains’, or states of innocence and charity that the Lord imparts to us during childhood. These remains are essential during regeneration (Arcana Caelestia 1050).

The Philistines, soon to be a major enemy of Israel, stand for the belief in “faith alone” salvation. This way of thinking instills the idea that we will be saved if we “believe in the Lord”, regardless of our actions. “Faith alone” doctrine is present in many religious practices (see Swedenborg’s work, Doctrine of Life 4).

The people of Ammon stand for profaning what is true, by turning the truths of the Word into false ideas. We profane the truth when we claim to know what the Word teaches, but live in a way that is contrary to the Lord’s commandments (Arcana Caelestia 6348[3]).

This chapter, like many others in the book of Judges, shows Israel’s decline into chaos and evil. The two judges, Tola and Jair, provide a picture of spiritual integrity, in contrast with Israel’s oppression by the very evils they have turned to. In our regeneration, with its highs and lows, we must avoid the temptation of shallow faith by acting according to our values.

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To many Protestant and Evangelical Italians, the Bibles translated by Giovanni Diodati are an important part of their history. Diodati’s first Italian Bible edition was printed in 1607, and his second in 1641. He died in 1649. Throughout the 1800s two editions of Diodati’s text were printed by the British Foreign Bible Society. This is the more recent 1894 edition, translated by Claudiana.


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