1 Samuelis 5

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1 Philisthiim autem tulerunt arcam Dei, et asportaverunt eam a lapide Adjutorii in Azotum.

2 Tuleruntque Philisthiim arcam Dei, et intulerunt eam in templum Dagon, et statuerunt eam juxta Dagon.

3 Cumque surrexissent diluculo Azotii altera die, ecce Dagon jacebat pronus in terra ante arcam Domini : et tulerunt Dagon, et restituerunt eum in locum suum.

4 Rursumque mane die altera consurgentes, invenerunt Dagon jacentem super faciem suam in terra coram arca Domini : caput autem Dagon, et duæ palmæ manuum ejus abscissæ erant super limen :

5 porro Dagon solus truncus remanserat in loco suo. Propter hanc causam non calcant sacerdotes Dagon, et omnes qui ingrediuntur templum ejus, super limen Dagon in Azoto, usque in hodiernum diem.

6 Aggravata est autem manus Domini super Azotios, et demolitus est eos : et percussit in secretiori parte natium Azotum, et fines ejus. Et ebullierunt villæ et agri in medio regionis illius, et nati sunt mures et facta est confusio mortis magnæ in civitate.

7 Videntes autem viri Azotii hujuscemodi plagam, dixerunt : Non maneat arca Dei Israël apud nos : quoniam dura est manus ejus super nos, et super Dagon deum nostrum.

8 Et mittentes congregaverunt omnes satrapas Philisthinorum ad se, et dixerunt : Quid faciemus de arca Dei Israël ? Responderuntque Gethæi : Circumducatur arca Dei Israël. Et circumduxerunt arcam Dei Israël.

9 Illis autem circumducentibus eam, fiebat manus Domini per singulas civitates interfectionis magnæ nimis : et percutiebat viros uniuscujusque urbis, a parvo usque ad majorem, et computrescebant prominentes extales eorum. Inieruntque Gethæi consilium, et fecerunt sibi sedes pelliceas.

10 Miserunt ergo arcam Dei in Accaron. Cumque venisset arca Dei in Accaron, exclamaverunt Accaronitæ, dicentes : Adduxerunt ad nos arcam Dei Israël, ut interficiat nos et populum nostrum.

11 Miserunt itaque et congregaverunt omnes satrapas Philisthinorum : qui dixerunt : Dimittite arcam Dei Israël, et revertatur in locum suum, et non interficiat nos cum populo nostro.

12 Fiebat enim pavor mortis in singulis urbibus, et gravissima valde manus Dei. Viri quoque, qui mortui non fuerant, percutiebantur in secretiori parte natium : et ascendebat ululatus uniuscujusque civitatis in cælum.

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Exploring the Meaning of 1_Samuel 5      

The Philistines took the captured Ark of the Covenant deep into their own territory to a temple dedicated to their god Dagon in the city of Ashdod. Dagon has popularly been depicted as half man-half fish, and Swedenborgian teachings support this description. Early the next morning, the people of Ashdod found that the statue of Dagon had fallen on its face before the Ark. They set it back up, only to find it fallen again the next morning. This second time the head and hands were broken off the torso.

Modern translations often describe the people of Ashdod and surrounding territories as being struck down by “tumors.” A more accurate reading is that they suffered severe hemorrhoids- to be precise, “swellings of their private parts.” These afflictions were so serious that many people died. Swedenborg writes that these hemorrhoids represent earthly loves, “which are unclean when they are separated from spiritual loves.” The next chapter describes how the people were also afflicted with rodents- and this represents the “destruction of the church by distortions of the truth” (see Divine Providence 326).

These both indicate a separation of faith and charity, two important parts of spiritual life. Swedenborg talks about how the Philistines represent people with whom faith has been separated from charity (see Arcana Coelestia 1197 and Doctrine of Faith 49). Note here as elsewhere, that we should not directly connect any group of people to the positive or negative things that they spiritually represent. This means that we should not assume that the Philistines were any more guilty of separating faith from charity than any other group of people. We should instead think about how in this particular story, they are a symbolic representation of a particular type of human challenge.

The statue of Dagon fell on its face and was destroyed in front of the Ark of the Covenant, which held the Ten Commandments. This is an illustration of the power of the Lord’s Divine Word. A person’s faith cannot only be a belief in the Lord’s Word, or just an intellectual acknowledgement of His Commandments. It is a function of a life led based on these commandments. Belief without a good life, faith without charity, is destructive- on an individual level and a collective level. We see this symbolically represented in the destruction of the statue of Dagon.

The ways in which the statue was destroyed are symbolic, and speak to this message of faith separate from charity. For example, hands generally symbolize power, and the ability to put things into action, whether they be good or bad (see Arcana Coelestia 878). The hands were cut off of the statue of Dagon, perhaps representing that this false idol represents faith without action, or charity.

This further drives home the message that faith and charity must go together, to preserve an individual’s covenant with the Lord.


Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Apocalypse Explained 700

Apocalypse Revealed 529

Divine Providence 326

Doctrina Novae Hierosolymae de Scriptura Sacra 23

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Doctrine of Life 59

Doctrine of Faith 52

Vera Christiana Religio 71, 284, 614, 630, 691

Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Spiritual Experiences 2472

De Conjugio 71

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