Giudici 9

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1 Or Abimelec, figliuolo di Ierubbaal, andò a Sichem dai fratelli di sua madre e parlò loro e a tutta la famiglia del padre di sua madre, dicendo:

2 "Deh, dite ai Sichemiti, in modo che tutti odano: Qual cosa e migliore per voi, che settanta uomini, tutti figliuoli di Ierubbaal, regnino su voi, oppure che regni su voi uno solo? E ricordatevi ancora che io sono vostre ossa e vostra carne".

3 I fratelli di sua madre parlarono di lui ripetendo a tutti i Sichemiti tutte quelle parole; e il cuor loro s’inchinò a favore di Abimelec, perché dissero: "E’ nostro fratello".

4 E gli diedero settanta sicli d’argento, che tolsero dal tempio di Baal-Berith, coi quali Abimelec assoldò degli uomini da nulla e audaci che lo seguirono.

5 Ed egli venne alla casa di suo padre, a Ofra, e uccise sopra un stessa pietra i suoi fratelli, figliuoli di Ierubbaal, settanta uomini; ma Jotham, figliuolo minore di Ierubbaal, scampò, perché s’era nascosto.

6 Poi tutti i Sichemiti e tutta la casa di Millo si radunarono e andarono a proclamar re Abimelec, presso la quercia del monumento che si trova a Sichem.

7 E Jotham, essendo stato informato della cosa, andò a porsi sulla sommità del monte Garizim, e alzando la voce gridò: "Ascoltatemi, Sichemiti, e vi ascolti Iddio!

8 Un giorno, gli alberi si misero in cammino per ungere un re che regnasse su loro; e dissero all’ulivo: Regna tu su noi.

9 Ma l’ulivo rispose loro: Rinunzierei io al mio olio che Dio e gli uomini onorano in me, per andare ad agitarmi al disopra degli alberi?

10 Allora gli alberi dissero al fico: Vieni tu a regnare su noi.

11 Ma il fico rispose loro: Rinunzierei io alla mia dolcezza e al mio frutto squisito per andare ad agitarmi al disopra degli alberi?

12 Poi gli alberi dissero alla vite: Vieni tu a regnare su noi.

13 Ma la vite rispose loro: Rinunzierei io al mio vino che rallegra Dio e gli uomini, per andare ad agitarmi al disopra degli alberi?

14 Allora tutti gli alberi dissero al pruno: Vieni tu a regnare su noi.

15 E il pruno rispose agli alberi: Se è proprio in buona fede che volete ungermi re per regnare su voi, venite a rifugiarvi sotto l’ombra mia; se no, esca un fuoco dal pruno e divori i cedri del Libano!

16 E ora, se vi siete condotti con fedeltà e con integrità proclamando re Abimelec, se avete agito bene verso Ierubbaal e la sua casa, se avete ricompensato lui, mio padre, di quel che ha fatto per voi

17 quando ha combattuto per voi, quando ha messo a repentaglio la sua vita e vi ha liberati dalle mani di Madian,

18 mentre voi, oggi, siete insorti contro la casa di mio padre, avete ucciso i suoi figliuoli, settanta uomini, sopra una stessa pietra, e avete proclamato re dei Sichemiti Abimelec, figliuolo della sua serva, perché è vostro fratello,

19 se, dico, avete oggi agito con fedeltà e con integrità verso Ierubbaal e la sua casa, godetevi Abimelec, e Abimelec si goda di voi!

20 Se no, esca da Abimelec un fuoco, che divori i Sichemiti e la casa di Millo, ed esca dai Sichemiti e dalla casa di Millo un fuoco, che divori Abimelec!"

21 Poi Jotham corse via, fuggì e andò a stare a Beer, per paura di Abimelec, suo fratello.

22 E Abimelec signoreggiò sopra Israele tre anni.

23 Poi Iddio mandò un cattivo spirito fra Abimelec e i Sichemiti, e i Sichemiti ruppero fede ad Abimelec,

24 affinché la violenza fatta ai settanta figliuoli di Ierubbaal ricevesse il suo castigo, e il loro sangue ricadesse sopra Abimelec, loro fratello, che li aveva uccisi, e sopra i Sichemiti che gli avean prestato mano a uccidere i suoi fratelli.

25 I Sichemiti posero in agguato contro di lui, sulla cima de’ monti, della gente che svaligiava sulla strada chiunque le passasse vicino. E Abimelec fu informato della cosa.

26 Poi Gaal, figliuolo di Ebed, e i suoi fratelli vennero e si stabilirono a Sichem, e i Sichemiti riposero in lui la loro fiducia.

27 E, usciti alla campagna, vendemmiarono le loro vigne, pestarono le uve, e fecero festa. Poi entrarono nella casa del loro dio, mangiarono, bevvero, e maledissero Abimelec.

28 E Gaal, figliuolo di Ebed, disse: "Chi è Abimelec, e che cos’è Sichem, che abbiamo a servire ad Abimelec? non è egli figliuolo di Ierubbaal? e Zebul non è egli suo commissario? Servite agli uomini di Hamor, padre di Sichem! Ma noi perché serviremmo a costui?

29 Ah, se avessi in poter mio questo popolo, io caccerei Abimelec!" Poi disse ad Abimelec: "Rinforza il tuo esercito e fatti avanti!"

30 Or Zebul, governatore della città, avendo udito le parole di Gaal, figliuolo di Ebed, s’accese d’ira,

31 e mandò segretamente de’ messi ad Abimelec per dirgli: "Ecco, Gaal, figliuolo di Ebed, e i suoi fratelli son venuti a Sichem, e sollevano la città contro di te.

32 Or dunque, lèvati di notte con la gente che è teco, e fa, un’imboscata nella campagna;

33 e domattina, non appena spunterà il sole, ti leverai e piomberai sulla città. E quando Gaal con la gente che è con lui uscirà contro a te, tu gli farai quel che sarà necessario".

34 Abimelec e tutta la gente ch’era con lui si levaron di notte, e fecero un’imboscata contro a Sichem, divisi in quattro schiere.

35 Intanto Gaal, figliuolo di Ebed, uscì, e si fermò all’ingresso della porta della città; e Abimelec uscì dall’imboscata con la gente ch’era con lui.

36 Gaal, veduta quella gente, disse a Zebul: "Ecco gente che scende dall’alto de’ monti". E Zebul gli rispose: "Tu vedi l’ombra de’ monti e la prendi per uomini".

37 E Gaal riprese a dire: "Guarda, c’è gente che scende dalle alture del paese, e una schiera che giunge per la via della quercia degl’indovini".

38 Allora Zebul gli disse: "Dov’è ora la tua millanteria di quando dicevi: Chi è Abimelec, che abbiamo a servirgli? Non è questo il popolo che disprezzavi? Orsù, fatti avanti e combatti contro di lui!"

39 Allora Gaal uscì alla testa dei Sichemiti, e diè battaglia ad Abimelec.

40 Ma Abimelec gli diè la caccia, ed egli fuggì d’innanzi a lui, e molti uomini caddero morti fino all’ingresso della porta.

41 E Abimelec si fermò ad Aruma, e Zebul cacciò Gaal e i suoi fratelli, che non poteron più rimanere a Sichem.

42 Il giorno seguente, il popolo di Sichem uscì alla campagna; e Abimelec ne fu informato.

43 Egli prese allora la sua gente, la divise in tre schiere, e fece un’imboscata ne’ campi; e quando vide che il popolo usciva dalla città, gli si levò contro e ne fece strage.

44 Poi Abimelec e la gente che avea seco si slanciarono e vennero a porsi all’ingresso della porta della città, mentre le altre due schiere si gettarono su tutti quelli che erano nella campagna, e ne fecero strage.

45 E Abimelec attaccò la città tutto quel giorno, la prese e uccise il popolo che vi si trovava; poi spianò la città e vi seminò del sale.

46 Tutti gli abitanti della torre di Sichem, all’udir questo, si ritirarono nel torrione del tempio di El-Berith.

47 E fu riferito ad Abimelec che tutti gli abitanti della torre di Sichem s’erano adunati quivi.

48 Allora Abimelec salì sul monte Tsalmon con tutta la gente ch’era con lui; diè di piglio ad una scure, tagliò un ramo d’albero, lo sollevò e se lo mise sulla spalla; poi disse alla gente ch’era con lui: "Quel che m’avete veduto fare fatelo presto anche voi!"

49 Tutti tagliaron quindi anch’essi de’ rami, ognuno il suo, e seguitarono Abimelec; posero i rami contro al torrione, e arsero il torrione con quelli che v’eran dentro. Così perì tutta la gente della torre di Sichem, circa mille persone, fra uomini e donne.

50 Poi Abimelec andò a Thebets, la cinse d’assedio e la prese.

51 Or in mezzo alla città c’era una forte torre, dove si rifugiarono tutti gli abitanti della città, uomini e donne; vi si rinchiusero dentro, e salirono sul tetto della torre.

52 Abimelec, giunto alla torre, l’attaccò, e si accostò alla porta della torre per appiccarvi il fuoco.

53 Ma una donna gettò giù un pezzo di macina sulla testa di Abimelec e gli spezzò il cranio.

54 Ed egli chiamò tosto il giovane che gli portava le armi, e gli disse: "Tira fuori la spada e uccidimi, affinché non si dica: L’ha ammazzato una donna!" Il suo giovane allora lo trafisse, ed egli morì.

55 E quando gl’Israeliti ebbero veduto che Abimelec era morto, se ne andarono, ognuno a casa sua.

56 Così Dio fece ricadere sopra Abimelec il male ch’egli avea fatto contro suo padre, uccidendo settanta suoi fratelli.

57 Iddio fece anche ricadere sul capo della gente di Sichem tutto il male ch’essa avea fatto; e su loro si compié la maledizione di Jotham, figliuolo di Ierubbaal.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 9      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 9: Abimelech’s conspiracy, the parable of the trees, Abimelech’s downfall.

This chapter follows the story of Gideon’s many sons; he had seventy sons by his many wives, and also one other son, Abimelech, by a concubine. After Gideon’s death, Abimelech went to the men of Shechem, where his mother’s family lived, and asked them if they would rather be ruled by seventy sons, or by him. The men of Shechem agreed it would be better to have one king, so they gave him seventy pieces of silver from the temple of Baal. Using the silver, Abimelech hired men to come with him, and they killed the seventy sons of Gideon except the youngest, Jotham, who hid. Then they anointed Abimelech king.

When Jotham heard the news, he stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and taunted the men of Shechem with a parable. In his parable, the trees were searching for a king to lead them; they ask the olive, then the fig, then the vine to rule over them. Each refuses, because they do not want to give up their special purpose. Finally, the bramble agrees to lead them, but gives them the choice of either sheltering in its non-existent shade or being consumed by its own fire.

Jotham explained the parable, warning that Abimelech and the men of Shechem would more than likely tear each other down in the end. Then he fled to Beer to escape his brother’s vengeance.

After Abimelech had ruled Israel for three years, the Lord sent an evil spirit to spark ill-will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. This evil spirit was meant to avenge the killing of Gideon’s seventy sons.

The rest of this chapter describes the city’s descent into chaos, illustrating the various manifestations of evil and falsity through many examples. Robbers were sent to ambush travellers in the mountains, the people of Shechem drunkenly cursed Abimelech in the temple of their god, and the tower of Shechem was burned, killing a thousand hiding in it. Finally, Abimelech lay siege to Thebez, and the people took shelter on the top of a tower there. When he tried to burn that tower, a woman hurled down a millstone to break Abimelech’s skull. In his final moments, Abimelech commanded his armourbearer to kill him with his sword, so that people would not say he was killed by a woman. All of these incidents depict the absolute corruption under Abimelech’s rule.

*****

The key to understanding this story is that Gideon’s son, Abimelech, is the son of a concubine, not a lawful wife. Spiritually speaking, a concubine stands for a love that has become distorted. A genuine love for someone is a love for sake of that other person, while a distorted love means loving someone for what we can get from them (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Love and Wisdom 271[2], on the love of dominating for the sake of self-love).

The references to Gideon’s seventy sons stand for the enormity of Abimelech’s wrongdoing. The number ‘seven’ stands for something fully worked through, and seventy even more so.

Jotham’s parable presents three levels of pure love: the love of the Lord (the olive with its fragrant oil), the love of truth (the vine with its rich wine), and the love of use (the fig with its abundant seeds). The bramble, with its painful grip, stands for a love of evil and falsity (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 273).

The evil spirit sent by the Lord seems to show that God was punishing his own people, but that is only how things appear (Arcana Caelestia 1838). When we look deeper, we will realize that we are punished by our own evil actions, for evil breeds more evil and there is no rest for the wicked (see Isaiah 48:22). In regeneration, the process of breaking down the power of evil and false states in ourselves is called “vastation”. Once we have done the grueling work to minimize these influences over us, we can fully appreciate the joys of spiritual life (Arcana Caelestia 2694[2]).

Spiritually, an ambush depicts the way hell attacks our minds: without warning. Drunkenness and cursing a former ally stands for the abandonment of all values and integrity. The tower represents the pride which rises up in self-love and love of dominance, and beyond that, Abimelech’s aversion to being killed by a woman stands for the rejection of all that is good and true. Her millstone grinds corn to make it edible, in the same way that we must process truths to put them to use (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Explained 1182).

This powerful chapter shows the descent of evil into greater evils, until they become so consuming they have no vestige of good left, and no recognition of truth remaining. The final two verses state: “Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father by killing his seventy brothers. And all the evil of the men of Shechem God returned on their own heads, and on them came the curse of Jotham the son of Gideon.”

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 157, 1666, 2455, 4430, 9207, 9277, 9905, ...


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 638

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Významy biblických slov

abimelec
Abimelech, his companion Ahusath, and Phicol, the chief captain of his army (Genesis 26:26), represent the doctrinals of faith as grounded in the literal sense...

figliuolo
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

sichem
In Genesis 12:6, 'Abram’s passing through the land unto the place Shechem' signifies a new state of the Lord when the celestial aspects of love...

fratelli
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

madre
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

parlò
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

famiglia
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

padre
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

sichemiti
In Genesis 12:6, 'Abram’s passing through the land unto the place Shechem' signifies a new state of the Lord when the celestial aspects of love...

uomini
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

figliuoli
Swedenborg tells us that space and time in the physical world correspond to states of life in the spiritual world. So when the Bible talks...

uno
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

ossa
Le ossa sono forti e solidali, forniscono un quadro di riferimento per il nostro corpo e rendono possibili il movimento e l'azione. Sono anche la...

carne
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

parole
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

fratello
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

argento
'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...

casa
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

pietra
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

minore
In general, birth order in the Bible reflects the progression of spiritual states, but the specifics of those states depends greatly on context: who the...

re
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

voce
When the Lord speaks through the heaven, it descends into the lower spheres and is heard as thunder. As He speaks through the whole of...

Iddio
Il Signore è l'amore stesso, espresso sotto forma di saggezza. L'amore, quindi, è la sua essenza, il suo intimo. La saggezza - la comprensione amorosa...

alberi
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

ungere
L'olio nella Bibbia rappresenta l'amore del Signore, quindi ungere qualcuno (o qualcosa) con l'olio era un modo per rendere quella persona (o quell'oggetto) un rappresentante...

regna
To reign,' as in Revelation 5, signifies being in truths and goods, and so in power, from the Lord, to resist evils and falsities which...

noi
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

Dio
Il Signore è l'amore stesso, espresso sotto forma di saggezza. L'amore, quindi, è la sua essenza, il suo intimo. La saggezza - la comprensione amorosa...

fico
The Writings tell us that the fig tree represents the "natural human," which is our outward life in the world, and the thoughts and feelings...

ombra
In Psalm 121:6, 'be a shade on the right hand' means being a defense against the evil and falsity.

fuoco
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...

libano
'Lebanon' signifies spiritual good. 'Lebanon' signifies the church regarding the perception of truth from the rational self.

bene
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

mani
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

madian
'Midian' signifies people who are in falsity.

oggi
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ucciso
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serva
'Maids' denote external affections serving the internal.

israele
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

tre
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

violenza
'Violence' signifies the outrage done to charity and the destruction of charity and faith. 'Violence,' as in Jeremiah 15:21, signifies falsities which assault the good...

sangue
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

mano
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

uccidere
'To slay a man to his wounding,' means extinguishing faith, and 'to slay a young man to his hurt,' signifies extinguishing charity, as in Genesis...

monti
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

strada
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

vigne
'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...

disse
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

servire
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

esercito
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città
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udito
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

ira
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

notte
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

domattina
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

sole
The 'sun' signifies celestial and spiritual love. The 'sun' in the Word, when referring to the Lord, signifies His divine love and wisdom. Because the...

quattro
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Ingresso
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

porta
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

dire
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

molti
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

due
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

giorno
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...

sale
'Salt' is the desire of conjunction of truth with good, which is why only salt will conjoin water, which corresponds to truth, and oil, which...

Torre
'Towers,' as in Psalms 48:12, signify the interior truths which defend the aspects of love and charity. In the opposite sense, they denote the interiors...

albero
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

presto
'To hasten' or 'hastiness' in the internal sense, does not denote what is quick, but what is certain, and also what is full, thus every...

mille
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

donne
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

mezzo
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

forte
Strength' relates truth and falsity. Strength,' as in Luke 10:27, signifies the will and understanding extended to extremes. Strength,' as in Revelation 1:6, signifies divine...

tetto
'A house-top,' as mentioned in Matthew 24:13, signifies the superior state of a person, and consequently, his state as to good.

donna
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

testa
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

giovane
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

spada
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

Israeliti
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

morto
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

il male
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

male
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

maledizione
The Lord is love itself, and his love for us never wavers and never changes. What does waver and change is the degree to which...

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Zde uvedené položky jsou poskytnuty se svolením našich přátel z General Church of the New Jerusalem. Můžete prohledávat/procházet celou knihovnu kliknutím na odkaz this link.


 Abimelech’s Death
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Jotham Tells the Parable of the Trees
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Sequence the Story of Abimelech
Cut out sentence strips to sequence the story of Abimelech.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

 The Parable of the Trees
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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