Judges 11

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1 καὶ ιεφθαε ὁ γαλααδίτης ἐπηρμένος δυνάμει καὶ αὐτὸς υἱὸς γυναικὸς πόρνης ἣ ἐγέννησεν τῷ γαλααδ τὸν ιεφθαε

2 καὶ ἔτεκεν ἡ γυνὴ γαλααδ αὐτῷ υἱούς καὶ ἡδρύνθησαν οἱ υἱοὶ τῆς γυναικὸς καὶ ἐξέβαλον τὸν ιεφθαε καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ οὐ κληρονομήσεις ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν ὅτι υἱὸς γυναικὸς ἑταίρας σύ

3 καὶ ἔφυγεν ιεφθαε ἀπὸ προσώπου ἀδελφῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ ὤ|κησεν ἐν γῇ τωβ καὶ συνεστράφησαν πρὸς ιεφθαε ἄνδρες κενοὶ καὶ ἐξῆλθον μετ' αὐτοῦ

5 καὶ ἐγένετο ἡνίκα παρετάξαντο οἱ υἱοὶ αμμων μετὰ ισραηλ καὶ ἐπορεύθησαν οἱ πρεσβύτεροι γαλααδ λαβεῖν τὸν ιεφθαε ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς τωβ

6 καὶ εἶπαν τῷ ιεφθαε δεῦρο καὶ ἔσῃ ἡμῖν εἰς ἀρχηγόν καὶ παραταξώμεθα πρὸς υἱοὺς αμμων

7 καὶ εἶπεν ιεφθαε τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις γαλααδ οὐχὶ ὑμεῖς ἐμισήσατέ με καὶ ἐξεβάλετέ με ἐκ τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ πατρός μου καὶ ἐξαπεστείλατέ με ἀφ' ὑμῶν καὶ διὰ τί ἤλθατε πρός με νῦν ἡνίκα χρῄζετε

8 καὶ εἶπαν οἱ πρεσβύτεροι γαλααδ πρὸς ιεφθαε διὰ τοῦτο νῦν ἐπεστρέψαμεν πρὸς σέ καὶ πορεύσῃ μεθ' ἡμῶν καὶ παρατάξῃ πρὸς υἱοὺς αμμων καὶ ἔσῃ ἡμῖν εἰς ἄρχοντα πᾶσιν τοῖς οἰκοῦσιν γαλααδ

9 καὶ εἶπεν ιεφθαε πρὸς τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους γαλααδ εἰ ἐπιστρέφετέ με ὑμεῖς παρατάξασθαι ἐν υἱοῖς αμμων καὶ παραδῷ κύριος αὐτοὺς ἐνώπιον ἐμοῦ καὶ ἐγὼ ἔσομαι ὑμῖν εἰς ἄρχοντα

10 καὶ εἶπαν οἱ πρεσβύτεροι γαλααδ πρὸς ιεφθαε κύριος ἔστω ἀκούων ἀνὰ μέσον ἡμῶν εἰ μὴ κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου οὕτως ποιήσομεν

11 καὶ ἐπορεύθη ιεφθαε μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων γαλααδ καὶ ἔθηκαν αὐτὸν ὁ λαὸς ἐπ' αὐτοὺς εἰς κεφαλὴν καὶ εἰς ἀρχηγόν καὶ ἐλάλησεν ιεφθαε τοὺς λόγους αὐτοῦ πάντας ἐνώπιον κυρίου ἐν μασσηφα

12 καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ιεφθαε ἀγγέλους πρὸς βασιλέα υἱῶν αμμων λέγων τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί ὅτι ἦλθες πρός με τοῦ παρατάξασθαι ἐν τῇ γῇ μου

13 καὶ εἶπεν βασιλεὺς υἱῶν αμμων πρὸς τοὺς ἀγγέλους ιεφθαε ὅτι ἔλαβεν ισραηλ τὴν γῆν μου ἐν τῷ ἀναβαίνειν αὐτὸν ἐξ αἰγύπτου ἀπὸ αρνων καὶ ἕως ιαβοκ καὶ ἕως τοῦ ιορδάνου καὶ νῦν ἐπίστρεψον αὐτὰς ἐν εἰρήνῃ καὶ πορεύσομαι

14 καὶ προσέθηκεν ἔτι ιεφθαε καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ἀγγέλους πρὸς βασιλέα υἱῶν αμμων

15 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ οὕτω λέγει ιεφθαε οὐκ ἔλαβεν ισραηλ τὴν γῆν μωαβ καὶ τὴν γῆν υἱῶν αμμων

16 ὅτι ἐν τῷ ἀναβαίνειν αὐτοὺς ἐξ αἰγύπτου ἐπορεύθη ισραηλ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ἕως θαλάσσης σιφ καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς καδης

17 καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ισραηλ ἀγγέλους πρὸς βασιλέα εδωμ λέγων παρελεύσομαι δὴ ἐν τῇ γῇ σου καὶ οὐκ ἤκουσεν βασιλεὺς εδωμ καὶ πρὸς βασιλέα μωαβ ἀπέστειλεν καὶ οὐκ εὐδόκησεν καὶ ἐκάθισεν ισραηλ ἐν καδης

18 καὶ ἐπορεύθη ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ καὶ ἐκύκλωσεν τὴν γῆν εδωμ καὶ τὴν γῆν μωαβ καὶ ἦλθεν ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν ἡλίου τῇ γῇ μωαβ καὶ παρενέβαλον ἐν πέραν αρνων καὶ οὐκ εἰσῆλθεν ἐν ὁρίοις μωαβ ὅτι αρνων ὅριον μωαβ

19 καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ισραηλ ἀγγέλους πρὸς σηων βασιλέα τοῦ αμορραίου βασιλέα εσεβων καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ισραηλ παρέλθωμεν δὴ ἐν τῇ γῇ σου ἕως τοῦ τόπου ἡμῶν

20 καὶ οὐκ ἐνεπίστευσεν σηων τῷ ισραηλ παρελθεῖν ἐν ὁρίῳ αὐτοῦ καὶ συνῆξεν σηων τὸν πάντα λαὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ παρενέβαλον εἰς ιασα καὶ παρετάξατο πρὸς ισραηλ

21 καὶ παρέδωκεν κύριος ὁ θεὸς ισραηλ τὸν σηων καὶ πάντα τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν χειρὶ ισραηλ καὶ ἐπάταξεν αὐτόν καὶ ἐκληρονόμησεν ισραηλ τὴν πᾶσαν γῆν τοῦ αμορραίου τοῦ κατοικοῦντος τὴν γῆν ἐκείνην

22 ἀπὸ αρνων καὶ ἕως τοῦ ιαβοκ καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ἐρήμου ἕως τοῦ ιορδάνου

23 καὶ νῦν κύριος ὁ θεὸς ισραηλ ἐξῆρεν τὸν αμορραῖον ἀπὸ προσώπου λαοῦ αὐτοῦ ισραηλ καὶ σὺ κληρονομήσεις αὐτόν

24 οὐχὶ ἃ ἐὰν κληρονομήσει σε χαμως ὁ θεός σου αὐτὰ κληρονομήσεις καὶ τοὺς πάντας οὓς ἐξῆρεν κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν ἀπὸ προσώπου ἡμῶν αὐτοὺς κληρονομήσομεν

25 καὶ νῦν μὴ ἐν ἀγαθῷ ἀγαθώτερος σὺ ὑπὲρ βαλακ υἱὸν σεπφωρ βασιλέα μωαβ μὴ μαχόμενος ἐμαχέσατο μετὰ ισραηλ ἢ πολεμῶν ἐπολέμησεν αὐτόν

26 ἐν τῷ οἰκῆσαι ἐν εσεβων καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὁρίοις αὐτῆς καὶ ἐν γῇ αροηρ καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὁρίοις αὐτῆς καὶ ἐν πάσαις ταῖς πόλεσιν ταῖς παρὰ τὸν ιορδάνην τριακόσια ἔτη καὶ διὰ τί οὐκ ἐρρύσω αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ

27 καὶ νῦν ἐγώ εἰμι οὐχ ἥμαρτόν σοι καὶ σὺ ποιεῖς μετ' ἐμοῦ πονηρίαν τοῦ παρατάξασθαι ἐν ἐμοί κρίναι κύριος κρίνων σήμερον ἀνὰ μέσον υἱῶν ισραηλ καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον υἱῶν αμμων

28 καὶ οὐκ ἤκουσεν βασιλεὺς υἱῶν αμμων τῶν λόγων ιεφθαε ὧν ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτόν

29 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐπὶ ιεφθαε πνεῦμα κυρίου καὶ παρῆλθεν τὸν γαλααδ καὶ τὸν μανασση καὶ παρῆλθεν τὴν σκοπιὰν γαλααδ εἰς τὸ πέραν υἱῶν αμμων

30 καὶ ηὔξατο ιεφθαε εὐχὴν τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ εἶπεν ἐὰν διδοὺς δῷς τοὺς υἱοὺς αμμων ἐν τῇ χειρί μου

31 καὶ ἔσται ὁ ἐκπορευόμενος ὃς ἐὰν ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τῆς θύρας τοῦ οἴκου μου εἰς συνάντησίν μου ἐν τῷ ἐπιστρέφειν με ἐν εἰρήνῃ ἀπὸ υἱῶν αμμων καὶ ἔσται τῷ κυρίῳ ἀνοίσω αὐτὸν ὁλοκαύτωμα

32 καὶ παρῆλθεν ιεφθαε πρὸς υἱοὺς αμμων παρατάξασθαι πρὸς αὐτούς καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς κύριος ἐν χειρὶ αὐτοῦ

33 καὶ ἐπάταξεν αὐτοὺς ἀπὸ αροηρ ἕως ἐλθεῖν ἄχρις αρνων ἐν ἀριθμῷ εἴκοσι πόλεις καὶ ἕως εβελχαρμιν πληγὴν μεγάλην σφόδρα καὶ συνεστάλησαν οἱ υἱοὶ αμμων ἀπὸ προσώπου υἱῶν ισραηλ

34 καὶ ἦλθεν ιεφθαε εἰς μασσηφα εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἰδοὺ ἡ θυγάτηρ αὐτοῦ ἐξεπορεύετο εἰς ὑπάντησιν ἐν τυμπάνοις καὶ χοροῖς καὶ ἦν αὕτη μονογενής οὐκ ἦν αὐτῷ ἕτερος υἱὸς ἢ θυγάτηρ

35 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς εἶδεν αὐτὴν αὐτός διέρρηξεν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶπεν ἆ ἆ θυγάτηρ μου ταραχῇ ἐτάραξάς με καὶ σὺ ἦς ἐν τῷ ταράχῳ μου καὶ ἐγώ εἰμι ἤνοιξα κατὰ σοῦ τὸ στόμα μου πρὸς κύριον καὶ οὐ δυνήσομαι ἐπιστρέψαι

36 ἡ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν πάτερ ἤνοιξας τὸ στόμα σου πρὸς κύριον ποίησόν μοι ὃν τρόπον ἐξῆλθεν ἐκ στόματός σου ἐν τῷ ποιῆσαί σοι κύριον ἐκδίκησιν ἀπὸ τῶν ἐχθρῶν σου ἀπὸ υἱῶν αμμων

37 καὶ ἥδε εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα αὐτῆς ποιησάτω δὴ ὁ πατήρ μου τὸν λόγον τοῦτον ἔασόν με δύο μῆνας καὶ πορεύσομαι καὶ καταβήσομαι ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη καὶ κλαύσομαι ἐπὶ τὰ παρθένιά μου ἐγώ εἰμι καὶ αἱ συνεταιρίδες μου

38 καὶ εἶπεν πορεύου καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτὴν δύο μῆνας καὶ ἐπορεύθη αὐτὴ καὶ αἱ συνεταιρίδες αὐτῆς καὶ ἔκλαυσεν ἐπὶ τὰ παρθένια αὐτῆς ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη

39 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τέλει τῶν δύο μηνῶν καὶ ἐπέστρεψεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα αὐτῆς καὶ ἐποίησεν ἐν αὐτῇ τὴν εὐχὴν αὐτοῦ ἣν ηὔξατο καὶ αὐτὴ οὐκ ἔγνω ἄνδρα καὶ ἐγένετο εἰς πρόσταγμα ἐν ισραηλ

40 ἀπὸ ἡμερῶν εἰς ἡμέρας ἐπορεύοντο θυγατέρες ισραηλ θρηνεῖν τὴν θυγατέρα ιεφθαε γαλααδ ἐπὶ τέσσαρας ἡμέρας ἐν τῷ ἐνιαυτῷ

  

Exploring the Meaning of Judges 11      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 11: Jephthah’s victory.

This chapter and most of the next are about the judge Jephthah. He was Gilead’s son by a prostitute, so Gilead’s other sons despised him, and drove him out from his homeland. He fled to the land of Tob, where he lived amongst reckless men. When the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to the land of Tob to ask if Jephthah would lead their army. At first, Jephthah challenged them, and asked why they would come to him for help after expelling him from their county. However, the elders swore by the Lord that they would accept him as their leader, so he agreed to go with them.

Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of Ammon, to ask why his people were attacking Gilead. The king said that Israel had taken away their land, but Jephthah recounted to them the history of Israel’s time in the wilderness, specifically pointing out that they not made war with the nations of Canaan. The only exception was the Amorite king Sihon’s attack on Israel, in which the Israelites defended themselves and defeated the Amorites. So, Jephthah explained that Israel had not taken land from the Ammonites. But the people of Ammon did not listen, and prepared for war.

While preparing his army against the people of Ammon, Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: if He would grant Gilead victory, Jephthah would make a burnt offering of the first thing which came out from his house upon his return home. Battle ensued, and the army of Jephthah utterly defeated Ammon.

When Jephthah returned home, his daughter – his only child – came out of the house to greet him with music and dancing. He tore his clothes in despair, and told her about his vow to the Lord. His daughter told him to keep his word, and asked to be left alone for two months to lament her virginity. Then, when the time came, Jephthah carried out his vow to the Lord.

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Jephthah’s dealings with both the Ammonites and his own family show that serving the Lord leads us to seek peace, not conflict or war. His account of the Israelites’ struggles showed that his people had only defended themselves against other nations, but had not fanned the flames of war. We are to do the work of making peace in our lives, while upholding and defending what is true (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 1683).

The people of Ammon stand for knowing what is true, but then corrupting that truth to live a life based in falsities. For example, if we know the Lord regenerates us, and then tell ourselves that we no longer hold any responsibility for our eternal state, we have falsified the truth. This view completely distorts the truth: the Lord regenerates us as we work to live righteously (see Swedenborg’s work, Sacred Scripture 18[3]).

The spiritual meaning of a ‘daughter’ is an affection for spiritual truths and the life they offer. Affection is the offspring of feeling delight in truths; as we develop these affections, we learn to recognize that they come from the Lord, for he is the source of all good things (Arcana Caelestia 3336[2]).

Jephthah’s daughter was his deepest love, his greatest affection. She was a virgin, representing the spiritual qualities of purity and innocence. Her request for two months of solitude can be understood as our need to reflect during any giving to the Lord, to be sure that our intentions are pure, without any selfish expectations (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 121).

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