Giudici 19

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1 Or in quel tempo non v’era re in Israele; ed avvenne che un Levita, il quale dimorava nella parte più remota della contrada montuosa di Efraim, si prese per concubina una donna di Bethlehem di Giuda.

2 Questa sua concubina gli fu infedele, e lo lasciò per andarsene a casa di suo padre a Bethlehem di Giuda, ove stette per lo spazio di quattro mesi.

3 E suo marito si levò e andò da lei per parlare al suo cuore e ricondurla seco. Egli avea preso con se il suo servo e due asini. Essa lo menò in casa di suo padre; e come il padre della giovane lo vide, gli si fece incontro festosamente.

4 Il suo suocero, il padre della giovane, lo trattenne, ed egli rimase con lui tre giorni; e mangiarono e bevvero e pernottarono quivi.

5 Il quarto giorno si levarono di buon’ora, e il Levita si disponeva a partire; e il padre della giovane disse al suo genero: "Prendi un boccon di pane per fortificarti il cuore; poi ve ne andrete".

6 E si posero ambedue a sedere e mangiarono e bevvero assieme. Poi il padre della giovane disse al marito: "Ti prego, acconsenti a passar qui la notte, e il cuor tuo si rallegri".

7 Ma quell’uomo si alzò per andarsene; nondimeno, per le istanze del suocero, pernottò quivi di nuovo.

8 Il quinto giorno egli si levò di buon’ora per andarsene; e il padre della giovane gli disse: "Ti prego, fortìficati il cuore, e aspettate finché declini il giorno". E si misero a mangiare assieme.

9 E quando quell’uomo si levò per andarsene con la sua concubina e col suo servo, il suocero, il padre della giovane, gli disse: "Ecco, il giorno volge ora a sera; ti prego, trattienti qui questa notte; vedi, il giorno sta per finire; pernotta qui, e il cuor tuo si rallegri; e domani vi metterete di buon’ora in cammino e te ne andrai a casa".

10 Ma il marito non volle passar quivi la notte; si levò, partì, e giunse dirimpetto a Jebus, che è Gerusalemme, coi suoi due asini sellati e con la sua concubina.

11 Quando furono vicini a Jebus, il giorno era molto calato; e il servo disse al suo padrone: "Vieni, ti prego, e dirigiamo il cammino verso questa città de’ Gebusei, e pernottiamo quivi".

12 Il padrone gli rispose: "No, non dirigeremo il cammino verso una città di stranieri i cui abitanti non sono figliuoli d’Israele, ma andremo fino a Ghibea".

13 E disse ancora al suo servo: "Andiamo, cerchiamo d’arrivare a uno di que’ luoghi, e pernotteremo a Ghibea o a Rama".

14 Così passarono oltre, e continuarono il viaggio; e il sole tramontò loro com’eran presso a Ghibea, che appartiene a Beniamino. E volsero il cammino in quella direzione, per andare a pernottare a Ghibea.

15 Il Levita entrò e si fermò sulla piazza della città; ma nessuno li accolse in casa per passar la notte.

16 Quand’ecco un vecchio, che tornava la sera dai campi, dal suo lavoro; era un uomo della contrada montuosa d’Efraim, che abitava come forestiero in Ghibea, la gente del luogo essendo Beniaminita.

17 Alzati gli occhi, vide quel viandante sulla piazza della città. E il vecchio gli disse: "Dove vai, e donde vieni?"

18 E quello gli rispose: "Siam partiti da Bethlehem di Giuda, e andiamo nella parte più remota della contrada montuosa d’Efraim. Io sono di là, ed ero andato a Bethlehem di Giuda; ora mi reco alla casa dell’Eterno, e non v’è alcuno che m’accolga in casa sua.

19 Eppure abbiamo della paglia e del foraggio per i nostri asini, e anche del pane e del vino per me, per la tua serva e per il garzone che è coi tuoi servi; a noi non manca nulla".

20 Il vecchio gli disse: "La pace sia teco! Io m’incarico d’ogni tuo bisogno; ma non devi passar la notte sulla piazza".

21 Così lo menò in casa sua, e diè del foraggio agli asini; i viandanti si lavarono i piedi, e mangiarono e bevvero.

22 Mentre stavano rallegrandosi, ecco gli uomini della città, gente perversa, circondare la casa, picchiare alla porta, e dire al vecchio, padron di casa: "Mena fuori quell’uomo ch’è entrato in casa tua ché lo vogliam conoscere!"

23 Ma il padron di casa, uscito fuori disse loro: "No, fratelli miei, vi prego, non fate una mala azione; giacché quest’uomo e venuto in casa mia, non commettete questa infamia!

24 Ecco qua la mia figliuola ch’è vergine, e la concubina di quell’uomo; io ve le menerò fuori, e voi servitevene, e fatene quel che vi pare; ma non commettete contro quell’uomo una simile infamia!"

25 Ma quegli uomini non vollero dargli ascolto. Allora l’uomo prese la sua concubina e la menò fuori a loro; ed essi la conobbero, e abusarono di lei tutta la notte fino al mattino, poi, allo spuntar dell’alba, la lasciaron andare.

26 E quella donna, sul far del giorno, venne a cadere alla porta di casa dell’uomo presso il quale stava il suo marito, e quivi rimase finché fu giorno chiaro.

27 Il suo marito, la mattina, si levò, aprì la porta di casa e uscì per continuare il suo viaggio, quand’ecco la donna, la sua concubina, giacer distesa alla porta di casa, con le mani sulla soglia.

28 Egli le disse: "Lèvati, andiamocene!" Ma non ebbe risposta. Allora il marito la caricò sull’asino, e partì per tornare alla sua dimora.

29 E come fu giunto a casa, si munì d’un coltello, prese la sua concubina e la divise, membro per membro, in dodici pezzi, che mandò per tutto il territorio d’Israele.

30 Di guisa che chiunque vide ciò, disse: "Una cosa simile non è mai accaduta né s’è mai vista, da quando i figliuoli d’Israele salirono dal paese d’Egitto, fino al dì d’oggi! Prendete il fatto a cuore, consigliatevi e parlate".

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 19      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

The Levite’s Concubine and the Crime of Gibeah

In many ways the events in this chapter show the further deterioration of the spiritual condition of the people of Israel. It's a terrible story, much like the story of Sodom, much earlier in the Book of Genesis. It ends with some men of Gibeah – a town of Israel – seeking to have sex with a man who is a guest of one of the men of the city. This does not happen; they are instead diverted into an all-night rape of the man’s concubine, so that she is lifeless when he retrieves her body in the morning. He then cuts her up into twelve pieces and sends these throughout the whole territory of Israel.

As we have been saying, these last few chapters of the Book of Judges show clearly that once evil takes hold of a person – even a community or a country – and goes unchecked, and there is no indication of any desire to stop it or to turn from it, it will expand and poison the whole ‘body’. Then there is no distinction between what is good and evil, or between what is true and what is false, and there is no longer any active conscience left to check thoughts, desires and actions. (Arcana Caelestia 977)

The story begins… A Levite, a priest of Israel, takes a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah, but she takes part in prostitution and leaves the priest and goes to her father’s house in Bethlehem. The Levite goes to talk kindly with her, and she takes him into her father’s house where he is made welcome by her father.

The spiritual meaning of this is about a fairly mild situation of disorder and wrong which will form the beginning of all that is to happen. The Levite has a concubine. The concubine takes part in prostitution. The father’s fault seems to be that he keeps delaying the Levite’s departure. Every person lives with their own natures which produce mild disorders which can in fact become useful to us during regeneration. But allowed or left to stay unchecked, these disorders can begin to take hold. (Arcana Caelestia 8407)

The Levite keeps intending to leave, but several times the father of the concubine begs him to stay another night and detains him. Three days there becomes four, another night is spent, and on the fifth day the father urges the Levite to stay and eat and spend another night and go away early the next day. This time the Levite refuses and they leave and get to the town of Jebus, a Canaanite town which will eventually become Jerusalem.

The spiritual meaning of these delays before leaving lies in the danger of not turning away from something which is beginning to hold us and become our new normality. The father is very persuasive, but he is the father of a concubine who prostitutes herself. The Levite senses something is not right, and he insists he will leave. (Divine Providence 329)

The Levite’s servant asks for them to stay in Jebus, but the Levite refuses to stay in a foreign city and says they will go on to Gibeah or Ramah. They come to Gibeah and stay in the square as no one will take them in. An old man passes by and offers to take them into his house, and they go with him.

The spiritual point of this refusal to stay in the foreign city of Jebus but to go on to Gibeah, a city in Israel, is to bring out for us a sense of the abhorrence of what is about to happen there, and the extent of the wrong in Israel. (Apocalypse Revealed 158)

Some men of Gibeah beat on the door demanding that the man staying there come out so that they can sexually abuse him. The old man refuses but offers them his virgin daughter and the visitor’s concubine, but the men refuse. The Levite takes the concubine out of the house to the men and they rape her all night until morning.

The spiritual meaning for us of this story of the men of Gibeah and the concubine stems from the fact that no one in the entire story is blameless, apart from the virgin daughter of the old man. Everyone else is culpable. Spiritually, this reminds us that we are potentially capable of thinking about and even wanting to commit every evil and that regeneration – shunning all evils as sins against God and living in careful obedience to the Word – is the guard against this. (Divine Providence 296)

Abused and left, the concubine falls at the door of the house. In the morning the Levite sees her, bids her get ready to leave, then realises she is dead. He puts her on his donkey and goes to his house. He takes a knife and cuts the concubine into twelve pieces and sends these throughout the whole of Israel. And all who see say that no such thing has been seen since Israel came out of Egypt and end saying, ‘Consider it. Confer. Speak up!’

The spiritual meaning for us in dividing the concubine’s body in twelve parts and distributing them throughout all Israel is to do with our need to examine ourselves and see where our evils lie within us, often hidden and unknown. This is to be done in view of our actions, words, thoughts, intentions and what we might do if there were no penalty. (Divine Providence 149, 152, 278)

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 3148, 4592

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Choose words from a word bank to complete sentences about the story of Deborah and Barak.
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Choose words from a word bank to complete sentences about the division of the land of Canaan.
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