Dommernes 9

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1 Og Abimelek, Jerubba'als sønn, drog til Sikem, til sin mors brødre; og han talte til dem og til hele sin morfars slekt og sa:

2 Tal til alle Sikems menn og si: Hvad er best for eder, at sytti menn, alle Jerubba'als sønner, hersker over eder, eller at én mann hersker over eder? Og kom i hu at jeg er av samme kjød og blod som I!

3 Da sa hans mors brødre alt dette om ham til alle Sikems menn; og deres hu vendte sig til Abimelek, for de tenkte: Han er jo vår bror.

4 Så gav de ham sytti sekel sølv fra Ba'al-Berits tempel; for dem leide Abimelek nogen løse og frekke menn, og de fulgte ham.

5 Og han kom til sin fars hus i Ofra og slo ihjel sine brødre, Jerubba'als sønner, sytti mann på én sten; men Jotam, Jerubba'als yngste sønn, blev igjen, for han hadde skjult sig.

6 Da samlet alle Sikems menn sig og alle de som bodde i Millo*, og de gikk avsted og gjorde Abimelek til konge ved minnesmerkets ek i Sikem**. / {* Sikems borg, DM 9, 46.} / {** JOS 24, 25. 26.}

7 Da Jotam fikk vite dette, gikk han op på toppen av Gerisim-fjellet; der stod han og ropte høit og sa til dem: Hør på mig, I Sikems menn! Så skal Gud høre på eder.

8 Det hendte engang at trærne vilde salve sig en konge, og de sa til oljetreet: Vær konge over oss!

9 Men oljetreet sa til dem: Skulde jeg gi avkall på min fedme, som Gud og mennesker ærer mig for, og gi mig til å svaie over trærne?

10 Da sa trærne til fikentreet: Kom du og vær konge over oss!

11 Men fikentreet sa til dem: Skulde jeg gi avkall på min sødme og min gode frukt og gi mig til å svaie over trærne?

12 Da sa trærne til vintreet: Kom du og vær konge over oss!

13 Men vintreet sa til dem: Skulde jeg gi avkall på min most, som gleder Gud og mennesker, og gi mig til å svaie over trærne?

14 Da sa alle trærne til tornebusken: Kom du og vær konge over oss!

15 Og tornebusken sa til trærne: Dersom det er eders opriktige mening at I vil salve mig til konge over eder, da kom og søk ly i min skygge! Men hvis ikke, da skal det utgå ild fra tornebusken og fortære Libanons sedertrær.

16 Så hør nu: Dersom I har gått opriktig og ærlig frem ved å gjøre Abimelek til konge, og dersom I har gjort vel imot Jerubba'al og hans hus, og dersom I har gjengjeldt ham det han gjorde

17 dengang min far stred for eder og vågde sitt liv og frelste eder av midianittenes hånd

18 - men I har idag reist eder imot min fars hus og slått ihjel hans sønner, sytti mann på én sten, og gjort hans trælkvinnes sønn, Abimelek, til konge over Sikems menn, fordi han er eders bror -

19 dersom I nu idag har gått opriktig og ærlig frem imot Jerubba'al og hans hus, da gled eder over Abimelek, og da glede også han sig over eder!

20 Men hvis ikke, da gå det ut ild fra Abimelek og fortære Sikems borgere og dem som bor i Millo, og ild fra Sikems menn og fra dem som bor i Millo, og fortære Abimelek.

21 Så tok Jotam flukten, og han undkom og drog til Be'er; der slo han sig ned, så han kunde være i sikkerhet for sin bror Abimelek.

22 Abimelek regjerte over Israel i tre år.

23 Da sendte Gud en ond ånd, som satte splid mellem Abimelek og Sikems menn, og Sikems menn falt fra Abimelek.

24 Dette skjedde forat voldsgjerningen mot Jerubba'als sytti sønner skulde komme over Abimelek og deres blod hevnes på ham, deres bror, som hadde slått dem ihjel, og på Sikems menn, som hadde støttet ham, så han kunde slå sine brødre ihjel.

25 Og Sikems menn la folk på lur mot ham øverst oppe på fjellene, og de plyndret enhver som drog forbi dem på veien; dette blev sagt Abimelek.

26 kom Ga'al, Ebeds sønn, og hans brødre og drog inn i Sikem; og Sikems menn satte lit til ham.

27 De gikk ut på marken og høstet sine vingårder og perset druene og holdt gledesfest; så gikk de inn i sin guds hus og åt og drakk og bante Abimelek.

28 Og Ga'al, Ebeds sønn, sa: Hvem er Abimelek, og hvad er Sikem, at vi skulde tjene ham? Er han ikke Jerubba'als sønn, og Sebul hans foged? Tjen de menn som stammer fra Hemor*, Sikems far! Men hvorfor skulde vi tjene denne? / {* 1MO 34, 2.}

29 Hadde jeg bare dette folk i min hånd, så skulde jeg nok få Abimelek bort. Og han sa: Øk din hær, Abimelek, og dra ut!

30 Da Sebul, byens høvedsmann, hørte hvad Ga'al, Ebeds sønn, hadde sagt, optendtes hans vrede,

31 og han sendte hemmelig bud til Abimelek og lot si: Ga'al, Ebeds sønn, og hans brødre er kommet til Sikem, og de egger byen op imot dig.

32 Bryt nu op ved nattetid med de folk du har hos dig, og legg dig i bakhold på marken,

33 og tidlig imorgen, så snart solen står op, bryt da frem og overfall byen! Da vil han og de folk han har hos sig, dra ut mot dig, og du kan gjøre med ham som du får leilighet til.

34 Så brøt Abimelek op om natten med alle de folk han hadde hos sig, og de la sig i bakhold mot Sikem i fire hoper.

35 Nu kom Ga'al, Ebeds sønn, ut og stilte sig i byporten, og Abimelek og de folk han hadde hos sig, brøt frem fra bakholdet.

36 Da Ga'al så folkene, sa han til Sebul: Se, det kommer folk ned fra fjelltoppene! Men Sebul sa til ham: Det er skyggen av fjellene du tar for folk.

37 Men Ga'al sa atter: Jo, det kommer folk ned fra midtfjellet, og én hop kommer på veien som fører til trollmanns-eken.

38 Da sa Sebul til ham: Hvor er nu dine store ord, du som sa: Hvem er Abimelek, at vi skulde tjene ham? Der er jo de folk du foraktet! Gå nu ut og strid imot dem!

39 Da drog Ga'al ut, og Sikems menn fulgte ham, og de stred imot Abimelek.

40 Men Abimelek slo ham på flukt og forfulgte ham, og det blev et stort mannefall helt bort til byporten.

41 Og Abimelek gav sig til i Aruma, og Sebul drev Ga'al og hans brødre bort, så de ikke blev boende lenger i Sikem.

42 Den næste dag gikk folket ut på marken; det fikk Abimelek vite.

43 Da tok han og delte sine folk i tre hoper og la sig i bakhold på marken; og da han så at folket kom ut av byen, rykket han imot dem og slo dem.

44 Abimelek og de hoper som var med ham, overfalt byen og stilte sig i porten, og de to hoper overfalt alle dem som var på marken, og slo dem.

45 Og Abimelek stred imot byen hele den dag og inntok byen, og folket som var der, slo han ihjel; og han rev byen ned og strødde salt over den.

46 Da mennene i Sikems borg hørte det, gikk de alle inn i tårnet som hørte til El-Berits* tempel. / {* d.s.s. Ba'al-Berit; se DM 9, 4.}

47 Så snart det blev meldt Abimelek at alle mennene i Sikems borg hadde samlet sig,

48 gikk han op på Salmon-fjellet med alle de folk han hadde hos sig. Han tok en øks i hånden og hugg grener av trærne, tok dem op, la dem på skulderen og sa til de folk som var med ham: Skynd eder og gjør like ens som I så jeg gjorde!

49 Da hugg alle folkene også hver sin bør med grener og gikk efter Abimelek; så la de grenene opefter tårnet og satte med dem ild på tårnet. Således omkom alle innbyggerne i Sikems borg, omkring tusen, menn og kvinner.

50 Derefter drog Abimelek til Tebes, og han kringsatte byen og inntok den.

51 Midt i byen var det et fast tårn; dit flyktet alle menn og kvinner, alle borgerne i byen, og de stengte efter sig og steg op på tårnets tak.

52 kom Abimelek til tårnet og kringsatte det; han gikk nær til tårnets inngang for å sette ild på det.

53 Da var det en kvinne som kastet en kvernsten ned på hans hode og knuste hans hjerneskall.

54 Abimelek ropte i hast på svennen som bar hans våben, og sa til ham: Dra ditt sverd og drep mig, så de ikke skal si om mig: En kvinne slo ham ihjel! Så stakk svennen sverdet igjennem ham og han døde.

55 Da nu Israels menn sa at Abimelek var død, gikk de hver hjem til sitt.

56 Således gjengjeldte Gud all den ondskap som Abimelek gjorde mot sin far dengang han slo sine sytti brødre ihjel.

57 Og all den ondskap som Sikems menn hadde gjort, lot Gud komme tilbake over deres hode, og Jotams, Jerubba'als sønns forbannelse rammet dem.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 9      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 9: Abimelech’s conspiracy, the parable of the trees, Abimelech’s downfall.

This chapter follows the story of Gideon’s many sons; he had seventy sons by his many wives, and also one other son, Abimelech, by a concubine. After Gideon’s death, Abimelech went to the men of Shechem, where his mother’s family lived, and asked them if they would rather be ruled by seventy sons, or by him. The men of Shechem agreed it would be better to have one king, so they gave him seventy pieces of silver from the temple of Baal. Using the silver, Abimelech hired men to come with him, and they killed the seventy sons of Gideon except the youngest, Jotham, who hid. Then they anointed Abimelech king.

When Jotham heard the news, he stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and taunted the men of Shechem with a parable. In his parable, the trees were searching for a king to lead them; they ask the olive, then the fig, then the vine to rule over them. Each refuses, because they do not want to give up their special purpose. Finally, the bramble agrees to lead them, but gives them the choice of either sheltering in its non-existent shade or being consumed by its own fire.

Jotham explained the parable, warning that Abimelech and the men of Shechem would more than likely tear each other down in the end. Then he fled to Beer to escape his brother’s vengeance.

After Abimelech had ruled Israel for three years, the Lord sent an evil spirit to spark ill-will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. This evil spirit was meant to avenge the killing of Gideon’s seventy sons.

The rest of this chapter describes the city’s descent into chaos, illustrating the various manifestations of evil and falsity through many examples. Robbers were sent to ambush travellers in the mountains, the people of Shechem drunkenly cursed Abimelech in the temple of their god, and the tower of Shechem was burned, killing a thousand hiding in it. Finally, Abimelech lay siege to Thebez, and the people took shelter on the top of a tower there. When he tried to burn that tower, a woman hurled down a millstone to break Abimelech’s skull. In his final moments, Abimelech commanded his armourbearer to kill him with his sword, so that people would not say he was killed by a woman. All of these incidents depict the absolute corruption under Abimelech’s rule.

*****

The key to understanding this story is that Gideon’s son, Abimelech, is the son of a concubine, not a lawful wife. Spiritually speaking, a concubine stands for a love that has become distorted. A genuine love for someone is a love for sake of that other person, while a distorted love means loving someone for what we can get from them (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Love and Wisdom 271[2], on the love of dominating for the sake of self-love).

The references to Gideon’s seventy sons stand for the enormity of Abimelech’s wrongdoing. The number ‘seven’ stands for something fully worked through, and seventy even more so.

Jotham’s parable presents three levels of pure love: the love of the Lord (the olive with its fragrant oil), the love of truth (the vine with its rich wine), and the love of use (the fig with its abundant seeds). The bramble, with its painful grip, stands for a love of evil and falsity (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 273).

The evil spirit sent by the Lord seems to show that God was punishing his own people, but that is only how things appear (Arcana Caelestia 1838). When we look deeper, we will realize that we are punished by our own evil actions, for evil breeds more evil and there is no rest for the wicked (see Isaiah 48:22). In regeneration, the process of breaking down the power of evil and false states in ourselves is called “vastation”. Once we have done the grueling work to minimize these influences over us, we can fully appreciate the joys of spiritual life (Arcana Caelestia 2694[2]).

Spiritually, an ambush depicts the way hell attacks our minds: without warning. Drunkenness and cursing a former ally stands for the abandonment of all values and integrity. The tower represents the pride which rises up in self-love and love of dominance, and beyond that, Abimelech’s aversion to being killed by a woman stands for the rejection of all that is good and true. Her millstone grinds corn to make it edible, in the same way that we must process truths to put them to use (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Explained 1182).

This powerful chapter shows the descent of evil into greater evils, until they become so consuming they have no vestige of good left, and no recognition of truth remaining. The final two verses state: “Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father by killing his seventy brothers. And all the evil of the men of Shechem God returned on their own heads, and on them came the curse of Jotham the son of Gideon.”

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 157, 1666, 2455, 4430, 9207, 9277, 9905, ...


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 638

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Významy biblických slov

abimelek
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...

sønn
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....

Sikem
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...

mors
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...

brødre
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

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

sa
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...

sikems
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...

si
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...

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

sønner
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....

mann
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...

hu
'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...

bror
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...

sølv
'Money' relates to truth.

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

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

slo ihjel
'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...

yngste
In general, birth order in the Bible reflects the progression of spiritual states, but the specifics of those states depends greatly on context: who the...

samlet
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

konge
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...

hør
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

gud
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

høre
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

salve
Oil in the Bible represents the Lord’s love, so anointing someone (or something) with oil was a way to make that person (or object) a...

oss
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,...

fedme
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

ærer
'Honor' signifies the good of love. 'To honor,' as mentioned in Isaiah 24:15, signifies worship and adoration. 'To honor thy father and thy mother,' as...

most
'Must' or 'new wine' denotes evil produced by false.

skygge
In Psalm 121:6, 'be a shade on the right hand' means being a defense against the evil and falsity.

far
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...

hånd
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

glede
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

tre
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...

ond
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

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

blod
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

fjellene
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

vingårder
'A vine' signifies spiritual good and truth. 'A vine' or 'vineyard' signifies the church where the Word, and the Lord in it, is known, or...

Guds
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

drakk
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

tjene
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

hær
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...

vrede
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

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

tidlig
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

natten
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

fire
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

se
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

ned
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

skyggen
'The shadow is good' of the oak, poplar and elm means complacence.

kommer
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

foraktet
We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...

slo
'The smitten' signify people who are oppressed by the falsities of ignorance.

to
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...

dag
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

salt
'Salt' is the desire of conjunction of truth with good, which is why only salt will conjoin water, which corresponds to truth, and oil, which...

tusen
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...

kvinner
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

tårn
'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...

flyktet
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...

tak
The roof of a house is its highest point, and the part most exposed to the sun. So it makes sense that in the Bible,...

nær
'Nigh' denotes truth in affinity with good.

inngang
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

en
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...

kvinne
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

hode
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....

sverd
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

sverdet
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

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

Israels
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

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

ondskap
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

komme tilbake
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...

tilbake
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...

sønns
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

forbannelse
The Lord is love itself, and his love for us never wavers and never changes. What does waver and change is the degree to which...

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 Abimelech’s Death
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Jotham Tells the Parable of the Trees
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Sequence the Story of Abimelech
Cut out sentence strips to sequence the story of Abimelech.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

 The Parable of the Trees
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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