Judges 8

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1 And the men* of Ephraim said to him, What is this thing which thou hast done to us, that thou calledst not for us, when thou wentest to fight·​·against Midian? And they strove with him firmly.

2 And he said to them, What have I done now as you have done? Is not the gleaning of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?

3 God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and what was· I ·able to do as you have done? Then their spirit slackened from upon him when he spoke this word.

4 And Gideon came to Jordan, crossing·​·over it, he and the three hundred men that were with him, faint but pursuing.

5 And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow at my feet, for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebach and Tsalmunna, the kings of Midian.

6 And the princes of Succoth said, are the palms of Zebach and Tsalmunna now in thy hand, that we should give bread to thine army?

7 And Gideon said, Therefore when Jehovah has given Zebach and Tsalmunna into my hand, I will thresh your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.

8 And he went·​·up thence to Penuel and spoke to them according·​·to this, and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered.

9 And he said also to the men of Penuel, saying, When I return in peace, I will tear·​·down this tower.

10 And Zebach and Tsalmunna were in Karkor and their camp with them, about fifteen thousand, all that remained from all the camp of the sons of the east; and those that had fallen were a hundred and twenty thousand men who drew sword.

11 And Gideon went·​·up by the way of the inhabitants of the tents from the east to Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the camp; but the camp was secure*.

12 And Zebach and Tsalmunna fled, and he pursued after them and captured the two kings of Midian, Zebach and Tsalmunna, and caused all the camp to be·​·frightened.

13 And Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle before the going·​·up of the sun.

14 And he captured a lad of the men of Succoth, and asked him; and he described to him the princes of Succoth and her elders, seventy and seven men.

15 And he came unto the men of Succoth and said, Behold Zebach and Tsalmunna, with whom you reproached me, saying, Are the palms of the hands of Zebach and Tsalmunna now in thy hand, that we should give bread to thy men that are faint?

16 And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he made the men of Succoth know.

17 And he tore·​·down the tower of Penuel, and killed the men of the city.

18 And he said unto Zebach and unto Tsalmunna, How were the men whom you killed at Tabor? And they said, As thou, as they, each one according·​·to the form of the sons of a king.

19 And he said, They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As Jehovah lives, if you had let· them ·live, I would not kill you.

20 And he said to Jether his firstborn, Arise, kill them. And the boy drew not his sword, for he feared, for he was yet a boy.

21 And Zebach and Tsalmunna said, Arise thou and fall·​·upon us, for as the man is, so his might. And Gideon arose and killed Zebach and Tsalmunna, and he took the crescents which were on the necks of their camels.

22 And the men of Israel said to Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and the son of thy son; for thou hast saved us from the hand of Midian.

23 And Gideon said, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you; Jehovah shall rule over you.

24 And Gideon said to them, I would ask an asking from you, that you would give to me, each man the earring of his spoil. For they had gold earrings, for they were Ishmaelites.

25 And they said, Giving, we will give them. And they spread raiment and did cast in it each·​·man the earring of his spoil.

26 And the weight of the earrings of gold that he asked was a thousand and seven hundred* of gold; besides the crescents and the pendants and the crimson garments, which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the anaqs* that were on the necks of their camels.

27 And Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, in Ophrah; and all Israel went thither committing·​·harlotry after it, and it was for a snare to Gideon and to his house.

28 And Midian was humbled before the sons of Israel, and they lifted not their heads again. And the land was·​·quiet forty years in the days of Gideon.

29 And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his house.

30 And Gideon had seventy sons who went·​·out from his thigh; for he had many wives.

31 And his concubine, who was in Shechem, gave·​·birth to a son for him, and he set his name as Abimelech.

32 And Gideon the son of Joash died with good gray·​·hairs, and was buried in the burying·​·place of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 And it was, when Gideon was dead, that the sons of Israel turned·​·back and committed·​·harlotry after Baalim, and made Baal-berith their god.

34 And the sons of Israel remembered not Jehovah their God, who had rescued them out of the hand of all their enemies all around.

35 And they did not do mercy with the house of Jerubbaal, Gideon, according·​·to all the goodness which he had done with Israel.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 8      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 8: Gideon subdues the Midianites.

In this chapter, Gideon continued to dismantle Midian’s oppression over Israel, facing opposition from some of his fellow Israelites in the process. First, the men of Ephraim complained that he did not call them to war. Gideon replied by praising them for their vineyards, and for capturing the two Midianite princes. So, Ephraim’s indignation subsided.

Then Gideon went to the city of Succoth, and asked for bread to feed his army. But the men of Succoth refused, instead taunting him because he had not yet captured the kings of Midian. Gideon told them them he would punish them with thorns and briars, after he had killed the two kings. The people of Penuel were equally dismissive when Gideon asked them for help, and he swore to tear down their tower.

In due course, Gideon captured the two Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna. Gideon told his oldest son to kill them, but he was young, and too afraid to do it. So Gideon killed the two kings, and punished the people of Succoth and Penuel.

When he returned from battle, the people of Israel asked Gideon to rule over them. However, he refused, saying that the Lord would rule Israel. He then collected gold from people’s earrings, used it to make an ephod (a priest’s garment), and set it up in his own city, Ophrah. The people began to worship it, and it became a snare for Gideon.

And Israel had peace for forty years under Gideon. Gideon had seventy sons, and died at an old age. As soon as he passed away, the Israelites forgot all the goodness that the Lord had shown them, and turned to worship other gods.

*****

The message of Gideon’s exchange with the Ephraimites is that sincerity and openness are the most powerful response to confrontation. Gideon, led by his trust in the Lord, could see the reason for Ephraim’s outburst, so he dealt with it by praising their strengths. This encounter shows how our faith in the Lord gives us a broader perspective, granting us the ability to respond rather than react (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 8159[3]).

When Gideon lashes out at the people of Succoth and Penuel, it may appear that he is acting purely from anger, and a wish to retaliate. In reality, he is filled with zeal to drive out the Midianites and free Israel. It is unthinkable to him that his own people would refuse to give his soldiers food. In our own lives, we can at times be astounded by our own resistance to serving the Lord’s purpose. We are constantly torn between two forces: heaven and hell (Arcana Caelestia 3839[3]).

The killing of the two Midianite kings reflects the need for justice in spiritual matters. If we fail to heed the truths we know and believe, we will suffer the consequences of fear and guilt. These are not inflicted by the Lord, but follow on from our own choices (Arcana Caelestia 2447). Gideon’s son’s inability to kill the kings means that behind spiritual justice, there must be an understanding of the essential value of all life (Arcana Caelestia 5826[2]).

Gideon’s ephod is a symbol showing how easily we can deviate from obeying the Lord. The text does not tell us the reason for Gideon’s actions, but perhaps he felt it was better for the people to worship something superficially related to worshiping the Lord, rather than following a foreign god. Seeing a priest’s garment reminds us that a priest serves the Lord. But we can so easily focus on the majesty of the ephod itself, and think no more about the priest’s duty nor about the Lord. We sometimes drift further from the Lord without even realizing it (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 327).

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 3021, 3242, 3246, 3263, 8301

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Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Genesis 25:8, 12, 32:32, 33:17

Exodus 32:4, 8, 34:16

Numbers 26:30, 32:35, 42, 35:19

Deuteronomy 7:25

Joshua 10:26

Judges 2:2, 3, 17, 19, 3:7, 11, 4:6, 12, 5:23, 6:11, 24, 7:12, 13, 24, 25, 8:27, 32, 9:1, 2, 4, 16, 46, 10:6, 12:1, 17:5

1 Samuel 7:13, 8:5, 12:12, 25:11, 30:8, 10, 16

2 Samuel 19:42

2 Chronicles 24:17, 18, 22

Psalms 83:12, 106:21, 35

Proverbs 15:1

Isaiah 3:18, 9:3

Jeremiah 2:32

Ezekiel 7:20

Hosea 2:15, 3:4, 13:1

1 Thessalonians 5:3

Významy biblických slov

ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

word
'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...

jordan
The river Jordan separates the land of Canaan from the lands to the east. This separation represents the division of the human mind into an internal...

three
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...

Three hundred
'Three hundred' signifies fullness, because the number comes from three and a hundred multiplied. Both 'three' and 'a hundred' signifies fullness. The significance of products...

follow
To go after or to follow, as in Genesis 24:8, signifies to be separated from the natural, and conjoined to the rational principle.

feet
Our feet are the lowest and most utilitarian parts of our bodies, and in the Bible they represent the lowest and most utilitarian part of...

pursuing
'To pursue,' as in Genesis 14:16, signifies a state of purification, because 'to pursue enemies' is the expulsion of evils and falsities which were with...

army
A host and an army come from the same Hebrew word and mean the same thing in Bible; when the Children of Israel were numbered...

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

thresh
'To thresh,' as in Micah 4:13, signifies dissipating evils among people of the church.

flesh
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...

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

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

return
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

fifteen
Fifteen, as in Genesis 7:20, signifies so few as to be scarce anything.

remained
In Leviticus 6:16, 'Aaron and his sons eating the remainder' signifies a person’s reciprocation and making something one's own. This represents conjunction by means of...

sons of the east
'Sons of the east' generally signify people of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom.

sons of the
The sons of the Javanites,' as in Joel 3:6, signify worship in externals, separate from the internal.

fallen
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

twenty
'Twenty,' when referring to a quantity, signifies everything, or fullness, because it is ten twice. In Genesis 18:31, 'twenty', like all numbers occurring in the...

way
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....

Tents
'Tent' is used in the Word to signify the celestial and holy aspects of love, because in ancient time they performed holy worship in their...

smote
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

fled
Flight, as in Matthew 14:20, signifies removal from a state of the good of love and innocence. Flight, as in Mark 8:18, signifies the last...

pursued
'To pursue,' as in Genesis 14:16, signifies a state of purification, because 'to pursue enemies' is the expulsion of evils and falsities which were with...

two
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...

camp
Camps in the Bible represent spiritual order – a person’s (or a church community’s) whole collection of desires for good and true ideas on how...

returned
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

battle
War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

captured
"Catching" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible, both positive and negative. Thieves get caught; the Egyptians caught up with the Children...

lad
"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...

princes
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Palms
'To hold palms in the hands' signifies confession from divine truths. 'Palms' signify a holy celebration which is from good, as in John 12:12, 13...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

bread
The word “bread” is used two ways in the Bible. In some cases it means actual bread; in others it stands for food in general....

elders
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

wilderness
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

Succoth
'Succoth,' as in Genesis 33:17, and Psalms 60:6-7 and 108:7-8, signifies the quality of the holy state of truth from good, because 'Succoth' signifies tents,...

know
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

tower
'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...

penuel
'Penuel,' as in Genesis 32, signifies a state of truth in good.

one
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...

brothers
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...

mother
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...

Lives
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

firstborn
When the Bible talks about generations or birth order, the internal meaning has to do with the progression of spiritual states and their relative importance....

kill
'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...

boy
"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...

sword
The three words, sword, famine and pestilence, appear in a group in 26 different Bible verses. That's not an accident. Sword, famine and pestilence describe...

feared
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

arise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

killed
'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...

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

us
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,...

saved
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

Ishmaelites
'Ishmaelites' represent people who are in simple good of life, and thence in natural truth regarding doctrine.

said
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...

giving
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

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

spoil
'To spoil,' as in Genesis 34:27, signifies destruction. 'Spoil,' as in Deuteronomy 13:16, signifies the falsification of truth.

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

thousand
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...

seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

garments
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

the kings of
The kings of Media and Persia' represent people who are in faith separate from charity.

kings
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...

necks
'The neck' signifies influx and the communication of interior and exterior levels and the following conjunction. The inmost or third heaven has reference to the...

camels
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

midian
'Midian' signifies people who are in falsity.

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

heads
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....

land
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

quiet
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...

forty
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

dwelt
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

thigh
In Revelation 19:16, 'the Lord’s thigh' signifies the Word regarding its divine good. 'The thigh and loins' signify conjugial love, and because this is the...

many
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...

wives
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

concubine
'Sons of concubines' signify the spiritual degree.

Shechem
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...

birth
To beget or to be begotten is very similar in meaning to birth: It represents one spiritual state leading to the next spiritual state. "Beget,"...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

Abimelech
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...

son
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....

died
'The soul going forth' and 'dying,' as in Genesis 35:18, signifies the extreme of temptation, which is when the old self dies and the new...

good
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...

buried
'Being buried' or 'put into monuments' signifies resurrection and continuation of life.

father
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...

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

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

after
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

Baalim
Baalim and her lovers (Hosea 2:13) signify those things which belong to the natural man, and are loved; such as the lusts and falsities thence...

baal
Baalim and her lovers (Hosea 2:13) signify those things which belong to the natural man, and are loved; such as the lusts and falsities thence...

Sons of Israel
'The camp of the sons of Israel' represents the church.

remembered
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

mercy
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

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

israel
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

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 Gideon, the Lord Shall Reign Over You
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14


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


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