Judges 3

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1 καὶ ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἃ ἀφῆκεν κύριος αὐτὰ ὥστε πειράσαι ἐν αὐτοῖς τὸν ισραηλ πάντας τοὺς μὴ ἐγνωκότας τοὺς πολέμους χανααν

2 πλὴν διὰ τὰς γενεὰς υἱῶν ισραηλ τοῦ διδάξαι αὐτοὺς πόλεμον πλὴν οἱ ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν οὐκ ἔγνωσαν αὐτά

3 τὰς πέντε σατραπείας τῶν ἀλλοφύλων καὶ πάντα τὸν χαναναῖον καὶ τὸν σιδώνιον καὶ τὸν ευαῖον τὸν κατοικοῦντα τὸν λίβανον ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους τοῦ αερμων ἕως λαβωεμαθ

4 καὶ ἐγένετο ὥστε πειράσαι ἐν αὐτοῖς τὸν ισραηλ γνῶναι εἰ ἀκούσονται τὰς ἐντολὰς κυρίου ἃς ἐνετείλατο τοῖς πατράσιν αὐτῶν ἐν χειρὶ μωυσῆ

5 καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ ισραηλ κατῴκησαν ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ χαναναίου καὶ τοῦ χετταίου καὶ τοῦ αμορραίου καὶ τοῦ φερεζαίου καὶ τοῦ ευαίου καὶ τοῦ ιεβουσαίου

6 καὶ ἔλαβον τὰς θυγατέρας αὐτῶν ἑαυτοῖς εἰς γυναῖκας καὶ τὰς θυγατέρας αὐτῶν ἔδωκαν τοῖς υἱοῖς αὐτῶν καὶ ἐλάτρευσαν τοῖς θεοῖς αὐτῶν

7 καὶ ἐποίησαν οἱ υἱοὶ ισραηλ τὸ πονηρὸν ἐναντίον κυρίου καὶ ἐπελάθοντο κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ αὐτῶν καὶ ἐλάτρευσαν τοῖς βααλιμ καὶ τοῖς ἄλσεσιν

8 καὶ ὠργίσθη θυμῷ κύριος ἐν τῷ ισραηλ καὶ ἀπέδοτο αὐτοὺς ἐν χειρὶ χουσαρσαθαιμ βασιλέως συρίας ποταμῶν καὶ ἐδούλευσαν οἱ υἱοὶ ισραηλ τῷ χουσαρσαθαιμ ἔτη ὀκτώ

9 καὶ ἐκέκραξαν οἱ υἱοὶ ισραηλ πρὸς κύριον καὶ ἤγειρεν κύριος σωτῆρα τῷ ισραηλ καὶ ἔσωσεν αὐτούς τὸν γοθονιηλ υἱὸν κενεζ ἀδελφοῦ χαλεβ τὸν νεώτερον ὑπὲρ αὐτόν

10 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐπ' αὐτὸν πνεῦμα κυρίου καὶ ἔκρινεν τὸν ισραηλ καὶ ἐξῆλθεν εἰς πόλεμον πρὸς χουσαρσαθαιμ καὶ παρέδωκεν κύριος ἐν χειρὶ αὐτοῦ τὸν χουσαρσαθαιμ βασιλέα συρίας ποταμῶν καὶ ἐκραταιώθη ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὸν χουσαρσαθαιμ

11 καὶ ἡσύχασεν ἡ γῆ τεσσαράκοντα ἔτη καὶ ἀπέθανεν γοθονιηλ υἱὸς κενεζ

12 καὶ προσέθεντο οἱ υἱοὶ ισραηλ ποιῆσαι τὸ πονηρὸν ἐνώπιον κυρίου καὶ ἐνίσχυσεν κύριος τὸν εγλωμ βασιλέα μωαβ ἐπὶ τὸν ισραηλ διὰ τὸ πεποιηκέναι αὐτοὺς τὸ πονηρὸν ἔναντι κυρίου

13 καὶ συνήγαγεν πρὸς ἑαυτὸν πάντας τοὺς υἱοὺς αμμων καὶ αμαληκ καὶ ἐπορεύθη καὶ ἐπάταξεν τὸν ισραηλ καὶ ἐκληρονόμησεν τὴν πόλιν τῶν φοινίκων

14 καὶ ἐδούλευσαν οἱ υἱοὶ ισραηλ τῷ εγλωμ βασιλεῖ μωαβ ἔτη δέκα ὀκτώ

15 καὶ ἐκέκραξαν οἱ υἱοὶ ισραηλ πρὸς κύριον καὶ ἤγειρεν αὐτοῖς σωτῆρα τὸν αωδ υἱὸν γηρα υἱὸν τοῦ ιεμενι ἄνδρα ἀμφοτεροδέξιον καὶ ἐξαπέστειλαν οἱ υἱοὶ ισραηλ δῶρα ἐν χειρὶ αὐτοῦ τῷ εγλωμ βασιλεῖ μωαβ

16 καὶ ἐποίησεν ἑαυτῷ αωδ μάχαιραν δίστομον σπιθαμῆς τὸ μῆκος αὐτῆς καὶ περιεζώσατο αὐτὴν ὑπὸ τὸν μανδύαν ἐπὶ τὸν μηρὸν τὸν δεξιὸν αὐτοῦ

17 καὶ ἐπορεύθη καὶ προσήνεγκεν τὰ δῶρα τῷ εγλωμ βασιλεῖ μωαβ καὶ εγλωμ ἀνὴρ ἀστεῖος σφόδρα

18 καὶ ἐγένετο ἡνίκα συνετέλεσεν αωδ προσφέρων τὰ δῶρα καὶ ἐξαπέστειλεν τοὺς φέροντας τὰ δῶρα

19 καὶ αὐτὸς ὑπέστρεψεν ἀπὸ τῶν γλυπτῶν τῶν μετὰ τῆς γαλγαλ καὶ εἶπεν αωδ λόγος μοι κρύφιος πρὸς σέ βασιλεῦ καὶ εἶπεν εγλωμ πρὸς αὐτόν σιώπα καὶ ἐξαπέστειλεν ἀφ' ἑαυτοῦ πάντας τοὺς ἐφεστῶτας ἐπ' αὐτόν

20 καὶ αωδ εἰσῆλθεν πρὸς αὐτόν καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκάθητο ἐν τῷ ὑπερῴῳ τῷ θερινῷ τῷ ἑαυτοῦ μονώτατος καὶ εἶπεν αωδ λόγος θεοῦ μοι πρὸς σέ βασιλεῦ καὶ ἐξανέστη ἀπὸ τοῦ θρόνου εγλωμ ἐγγὺς αὐτοῦ

21 καὶ ἐγένετο ἅμα τῷ ἀναστῆναι αὐτὸν καὶ ἐξέτεινεν αωδ τὴν χεῖρα τὴν ἀριστερὰν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔλαβεν τὴν μάχαιραν ἐπάνωθεν τοῦ μηροῦ αὐτοῦ τοῦ δεξιοῦ καὶ ἐνέπηξεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτοῦ

22 καὶ ἐπεισήνεγκεν καί γε τὴν λαβὴν ὀπίσω τῆς φλογός καὶ ἀπέκλεισεν τὸ στέαρ κατὰ τῆς φλογός ὅτι οὐκ ἐξέσπασεν τὴν μάχαιραν ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐξῆλθεν αωδ τὴν προστάδα

23 καὶ ἐξῆλθεν τοὺς διατεταγμένους καὶ ἀπέκλεισεν τὰς θύρας τοῦ ὑπερῴου κατ' αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐσφήνωσεν

24 καὶ αὐτὸς ἐξῆλθεν καὶ οἱ παῖδες αὐτοῦ εἰσῆλθον καὶ εἶδον καὶ ἰδοὺ αἱ θύραι τοῦ ὑπερῴου ἐσφηνωμέναι καὶ εἶπαν μήποτε ἀποκενοῖ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ ταμιείῳ τῷ θερινῷ

25 καὶ ὑπέμειναν ἕως ᾐσχύνοντο καὶ ἰδοὺ οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ ἀνοίγων τὰς θύρας τοῦ ὑπερῴου καὶ ἔλαβον τὴν κλεῖδα καὶ ἤνοιξαν καὶ ἰδοὺ ὁ κύριος αὐτῶν πεπτωκὼς ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τεθνηκώς

26 καὶ αωδ διεσώθη ἕως ἐθορυβοῦντο καὶ οὐκ ἦν ὁ προσνοῶν αὐτῷ καὶ αὐτὸς παρῆλθεν τὰ γλυπτὰ καὶ διεσώθη εἰς σετιρωθα

27 καὶ ἐγένετο ἡνίκα ἦλθεν αωδ εἰς γῆν ισραηλ καὶ ἐσάλπισεν ἐν κερατίνῃ ἐν τῷ ὄρει εφραιμ καὶ κατέβησαν σὺν αὐτῷ οἱ υἱοὶ ισραηλ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους καὶ αὐτὸς ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν

28 καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς κατάβητε ὀπίσω μου ὅτι παρέδωκεν κύριος ὁ θεὸς τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἡμῶν τὴν μωαβ ἐν χειρὶ ἡμῶν καὶ κατέβησαν ὀπίσω αὐτοῦ καὶ προκατελάβοντο τὰς διαβάσεις τοῦ ιορδάνου τῆς μωαβ καὶ οὐκ ἀφῆκεν ἄνδρα διαβῆναι

29 καὶ ἐπάταξαν τὴν μωαβ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ὡσεὶ δέκα χιλιάδας ἀνδρῶν πᾶν λιπαρὸν καὶ πάντα ἄνδρα δυνάμεως καὶ οὐ διεσώθη ἀνήρ

30 καὶ ἐνετράπη μωαβ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ὑπὸ χεῖρα ισραηλ καὶ ἡσύχασεν ἡ γῆ ὀγδοήκοντα ἔτη καὶ ἔκρινεν αὐτοὺς αωδ ἕως οὗ ἀπέθανεν

31 καὶ μετ' αὐτὸν ἀνέστη σαμεγαρ υἱὸς διναχ καὶ ἐπάταξεν τοὺς ἀλλοφύλους εἰς ἑξακοσίους ἄνδρας ἐν τῷ ἀροτρόποδι τῶν βοῶν καὶ ἔσωσεν καί γε αὐτὸς τὸν ισραηλ

  

Exploring the Meaning of Judges 3      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 3: In which we hear about the nations who remain in the land; and about the judges Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar.

This chapter begins with a very important set of statements about the nations still undefeated in the land. First, it says that the Lord would test Israel by means of these nations; secondly, that this test would “teach [the new generations] war”; and finally, that this would reveal whether or not Israel would obey the Lord. The text goes on to say that Israel now took the daughters of other nations to be wives, and also gave their own daughters to the sons of other nations.

Being ‘tested’ by the Lord refers to the temptations and spiritual conflicts we must experience during regeneration. The Lord does not test in order to make us falter, or to see how much we can endure. Rather, the testing is to make us stronger and more steadfast in our intention to follow the Lord (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 126).

The new generations who would not have known war stand for those future states, in which we might begin to let go, and forget what the Lord has done for us. While all external wars should cease, we will always need to quell the spiritual wars within us. The key to victory is in our willingness to obey the Lord’s commandments. This wish to obey the Lord must be imprinted in our hearts and minds (see Swedenborg’s work, Doctrine of Faith 50).

‘Taking the daughters of other nations as wives’ describes the ways in which the spiritual marriage of good and truth in us becomes perverted. When our evil desires harm truths, and false ideas harm genuine loves, our sense of what is right becomes so distorted that we have no principles left to follow.

Because Israel kept forgetting the Lord and worshipping other gods, the Lord raised judges to deliver Israel. This chapter tells the stories of three judges, and we will examine the spiritual meaning of each.

The first judge discussed in this chapter was Othniel (see Judges 1). Israel was taken by Chushan-Rishathaim, the king of Mesopotamia, for eight years. His name means ‘the blackness of injustice”. Othniel delivered Israel from captivity, and there was peace for forty years. Spiritually, this describes our power, given to us by the Lord, to break free from evil wishes and thoughts. The number ‘forty’ describes the temptations we must overcome in doing this (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 8098).

The next judge, Ehud, ruled at the time when Eglon, a Moabite king, took Israel captive for eighteen years. Ehud made a long, double-edged dagger and went to the king to pay tribute. When those with him were leaving, he stayed and said to King Eglon, “I have a gift for you from God”, and plunged the dagger into the king’s belly so that his fat covered the blade. Then he left, locking the doors behind him, and Eglon’s servants eventually found their king dead. Ehud then attacked, and freed Israel from the Moabites.

The meaning of this graphic event is to show the power of the truth when it is used to combat evil. Eglon was fat, representing the seemingly large and imposing nature of evils. The double-edged dagger stands for the power of the Word. It went straight into the king’s fat belly, which stands for the absolute power of the Word to tear down evils and falsities. This then allows us to reassert our leading intentions, and return to our service for the Lord (see Apocalypse Revealed 52).

The third and final judge mentioned in this chapter was Shamgar, who killed six hundred Philistines with an ox goad and delivered Israel. The Philistines – who later became a major enemy of Israel – stand for the belief that faith alone will save us, without any need for good actions in life. This can have an insidious influence on us and needs constant attention, represented by the number six hundred. The ox goad (prodder) indicates that we need to keep pushing ourselves to do good, just as an ox is prodded to work strenuously (Arcana Caelestia 1198).

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