Judges 1

Study

           

1 And it was, after the death of Joshua, that the sons of Israel asked Jehovah, saying, Who shall go·​·up for us in the beginning against the Canaanite to fight·​·against him?

2 And Jehovah said, Judah shall go·​·up; behold, I have given the land into his hand.

3 And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Go·​·up with me into my lot, and we will fight·​·against the Canaanite; and I also will Go with thee into thy lot. And Simeon went with him.

4 And Judah went·​·up; and Jehovah gave the Canaanite and the Perizzite into their hand; and they smote of them in Bezek ten thousand men.

5 And they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek; and they fought·​·against him, and they smote the Canaanite and the Perizzite.

6 And Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and they seized him and clipped·​·off the thumbs of his hands and the big toes of his feet.

7 And Adoni-bezek said, Seventy kings, having the thumbs of their hands and the big toes of their feet clipped·​·off, collected food under my table; as I have done, so God has repaid me. And they brought· him ·into Jerusalem and he died there.

8 And the sons of Judah fought·​·against Jerusalem, and captured it, and they smote it with the mouth of the sword, and the city they set on fire.

9 And afterwards the sons of Judah went·​·down to fight against the Canaanite dwelling in the mountain and in the south and in the lowland.

10 And Judah went against the Canaanite that dwelt in Hebron; and the name of Hebron before was Kiriath-arba: and they smote Sheshai and Ahiman, and Talmai.

11 And from there he went to those who dwelt in Debir; and the name of Debir before was Kiriath-sepher.

12 And Caleb said, He who smites Kiriath-sepher and captures her, then to him I will give Achsah my daughter for a wife.

13 And Othniel, the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb who was younger than he, captured her; and he gave him Achsah his daughter for a wife.

14 And it was, when she came, that she incited him to ask from her father the field; and she got·​·down from upon the donkey, and Caleb said to her, What wilt thou have?

15 And she said to him, Give me a blessing, for thou hast given me the land of the south; Give me also wellsprings of waters; and Caleb gave to her the upper wellsprings and the lower wellsprings.

16 And the sons of the Kenite, the father-in-law of Moses, went·​·up from the city of palm·​·trees* with the sons of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which is in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt with the people.

17 And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they smote the Canaanite that dwelt in Zephath and doomed it; and the name of the city was called Hormah.

18 And Judah captured Gaza with her border, and Ashkelon with her border, and Ekron with her border.

19 And Jehovah was with Judah, and he dispossessed those of the mountain; but he could not dispossess those who dwelt·​·in the valley, for they had chariots of iron.

20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said; and he dispossessed thence the three sons of Anak.

21 And the sons of Benjamin did not dispossess the Jebusite dwelling·​·in Jerusalem, but the Jebusite dwells with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem even·​·to this day.

22 And the house of Joseph went·​·up, they also, to Bethel; and Jehovah was with them.

23 And the house of Joseph explored Bethel; and the name of the city before was Luz.

24 And they who kept·​·watch saw a man go·​·out from the city, and they said to him, Show us, we pray thee, the going·​·in of the city, and we will do mercy with thee.

25 And he showed them the going·​·in of the city, and they smote the city with the mouth of the sword; but the man and all his family they sent·​·away.

26 And the man went to the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called her name Luz; this is her name even·​·to this day.

27 And Manasseh did not dispossess Beth-shean and her daughter towns, and Taanach and her daughter towns, and the dwellers of Dor and her daughter towns, and the dwellers of Ibleam and her daughter towns, and the dwellers of Megiddo and her daughter towns; but the Canaanite would dwell in this land.

28 And it was, when Israel was·​·firm, that he set the Canaanite to tribute, but dispossessing did not dispossess him.

29 And Ephraim did not dispossess the Canaanite that dwelt in Gezer; and the Canaanite dwelt in the midst of them in Gezer.

30 Zebulun did not dispossess those dwelling in Kitron, nor those dwelling in Nahalol; but the Canaanite dwelt in among them, and they were under tribute.

31 Asher did not dispossess those dwelling in Accho, nor those dwelling in Zidon, nor in Ahlab, nor in Achzib, nor in Helbah, nor in Aphik, nor in Rehob;

32 and the Asherite dwelt in among the Canaanite dwelling·​·in the land; for they did not dispossess them.

33 Naphtali did not dispossess those dwelling in Beth-shemesh, nor those dwelling in Beth-anath, but he dwelt in among the Canaanite dwelling in the land; but those dwelling in Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath were under tribute unto them.

34 And the Amorite pressed· the sons of Dan ·against the mountain, for they would not allow him to go·​·down to the valley.

35 And the Amorite would dwell in Mount Heres, in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim; but the hand of the house of Joseph became·​·heavy and they* were under tribute.

36 And the border of the Amorite was from the ascent of Akrabbim, from the rock and upward.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Judges 1      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 1: The continuing conquest of Canaan.

The book of Judges follows on almost seamlessly from Joshua. It is called ‘Judges’ because a number of regional leaders arose and made judgments for the people, often actively defending Israel from outside oppression. A pattern emerges in Judges: Israel disobeys the Lord – an enemy oppresses Israel – the Lord raises a leader – the leader is victorious against the enemy – there is peace for a time – Israel disobeys the Lord again.

There were twelve judges in all, about whom we either hear very much or next to nothing. The number twelve (as with the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve disciples, and other examples in the Word), stands for all the various aspects of spirituality that we need to understand, develop, and put to use. A clue is often found in the meaning of their names, because biblical names are nearly always linked to spiritual qualities, such as ‘courage’, or ‘one who walks with God’ (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 10216).

The theme of this first chapter is the further conquest of the land. The Israelites asked the Lord, “Who shall go up and fight for us?” And the Lord said that the tribe of Judah would go, because the Lord had delivered the land into their hand. Judah then called on the tribe of Simeon to join them, and they won many battles against the Canaanites still in the land.

One Canaanite king, Adoni-bezek, fled and was captured by the Israelites, who then cut off his thumbs and big toes. Adoni-bezek said that God had dealt justice by punishing him, as he had previously cut off seventy kings’ thumbs and big toes, and they had to gather scraps of food under his table.

Then Caleb, a leader of Israel during the journey through the wilderness, said that the man who took Kirjath-sepher (Caleb’s inheritance city) from the Canaanites would marry his daughter, Achsah. Caleb’s nephew, Othniel, took the city and Achsah was given to him. Achsah asked her father for the blessing of springs of water, and Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

Next, spies were sent to Bethel. They met a man there, and said that if he directed them the entrance to the city, they would show him mercy. He helped them, and they took the city but showed mercy on the man and all his family. After all of this, the man built a new city called Luz in the land of the Hittites.

The chapter ends by listing the twelve tribes, as well as the Canaanite peoples who remained unsubdued in each of their territories.

*****

The overarching spiritual theme of Judges is the process of our regeneration. As the opening of Judges reminds us, there were still parts of the land and various tribes that Israel needed to conquer. In fact, the Israelites never finished driving enemies out of their land. In the same way, we need to control our inherited human nature, but it is never completely wiped out (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Love and Wisdom 238).

During regeneration, we will discover deeper and subtler self-centered states in ourselves, which need to be mitigated. Each judge raised by the Lord stands for our determination to deal with these states, using the Word as a guide. This brings us a period of peace, followed by the start of another personal discovery.

When the Israelites chose which tribes would fight for them, it was no coincidence that they selected Judah and Simeon. Judah (who was a prominent tribe of Israel) and Simeon (who usually acts with another tribe) stand for the highest things in our spiritual life: our love for the Lord, and our obedience to the Lord’s Word. Choosing Judah and Simeon as our strength will always bring victory in our regeneration (see Arcana Caelestia 3654 and Apocalypse Explained 443).

The spiritual meaning in the story of Adoni-bezek is about taking away the power of our self-love, as cutting off thumbs and big toes makes hands and feet virtually useless. When we work on our lower nature, we are to minimize its control over us. It is the same with any influences from hell; their power must end. Adoni-bezek’s comment about doing the same to seventy kings vividly describes how self-love can only lead to our downfall (Arcana Caelestia 10062[4]).

The delightful story of Caleb, Achsah and Othniel illustrates that after battle, there is rest and reward. In the same way, we strengthen the ‘marriage’ of good and truth in us after overcoming spiritual struggles (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Love and Wisdom 409). The springs of water given to Achsah stand for the truths which flow into our mind, both about the ‘upper’ things of the Lord and heaven, and those ‘lower’ ones about spiritual life and responsibility.

The episode about the man from Bethel means that when we open up our life to the Lord to allow Him to guide us, we become blessed (Arcana Caelestia 3928). Then our life can be re-built in very practical and good ways, represented by the Hittites.

The final mention of the Canaanites still in the land points to the continuing presence of our unregenerate qualities. Although we may progress through the work of regeneration, we are still human, and we will always have flaws left to improve on.

    Studovat vnitřní smysl

Thanks to the Kempton Project for the permission to use this New Church translation of the Word.


Přeložit: