Juízes 10

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1 Depois de Abimeleque levantou-se, para livrar a Israel, Tola, filho de Puva, filho de Dodó, homem de Issacar, que habitava em Samir, na região montanhosa de Efraim.

2 Ele julgou a Israel vinte e três anos; e morreu, e foi sepultado em Samir.

3 Depois dele levantou-se Jair, gileadita, que julgou a Israel vinte e dois anos.

4 Ele tinha trinta filhos, que cavalgavam sobre trinta jumentos; e tinham estes trinta cidades, que se chamam Havote-Jair, até a dia de hoje, as quais estão na terra de Gileade.

5 Morreu Jair, e foi sepultado em Camom.

6 Então tornaram os filhos de Israel a fazer e que era mau aos olhos do Senhor, e serviram aos baalins, e às astarotes, e aos deuses da Síria, e aos de Sidom, e de Moabe, e dos amonitas, e dos filisteus; e abandonaram o Senhor, e não o serviram.

7 Pelo que a ira do Senhor se acendeu contra Israel, e ele os vendeu na mão dos filisteus e na mão dos amonitas,

8 os quais naquele mesmo ano começaram a vexá-los e oprimi-los. Por dezoito anos oprimiram a todos os filhos de Israel que estavam dalém do Jordão, na terra dos amorreus, que é em Gileade.

9 E os amonitas passaram o Jordão, para pelejar também contra Judá e Benjamim, e contra a casa de Efraim, de maneira que Israel se viu muito angustiado.

10 Então os filhos de Israel clamaram ao Senhor, dizendo: Pecamos contra ti, pois abandonamos o nosso Deus, e servimos aos baalins.

11 O Senhor, porém, respondeu aos filhos de Israel: Porventura não vos livrei eu dos egipcios, dos amorreus, dos amonitas e dos filisteus?

12 Também os sidônios, os amalequitas e os maonitas vos oprimiram; e, quando clamastes a mim, não vos livrei da sua mão?

13 Contudo vós me deixastes a mim e servistes a outros deuses, pelo que não vos livrarei mais.

14 Ide e clamai aos deuses que escolhestes; que eles vos livrem no tempo da vossa angústia.

15 Mas os filhos de Israel disseram ao Senhor: Pecamos; fazes-nos conforme tudo quanto te parecer bem; tão-somente te rogamos que nos livres hoje.

16 E tiraram os deuses alheios do meio de si, e serviram ao Senhor, que se moveu de compaixão por causa da desgraça de Israel.

17 Depois os amonitas se reuniram e acamparam em Gileade; também os filhos de Israel, reunindo-se, acamparam em Mizpá.

18 Então o povo, isto é, os príncipes de Gileade disseram uns aos outros: Quem será o varão que começará a peleja contra os amonitas? esse será o chefe de todos os habitantes de Gileade.


Exploring the Meaning of Juízes 10      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 10: Tola, Jair; Israel oppressed again.

This chapter opens by mentioning the judges Tola and Jair, who judged for twenty-three years and twenty-two years, respectively. The text gives us very little information about them, except that Jair had thirty sons, who rode on thirty donkeys and had thirty cities in the land of Gilead.

After Jair died, the people soon disobeyed the Lord, and worshipped the gods of Syria, Sidon, Moab, Philistia, and Ammon. This provoked the Lord’s anger, so He caused the Philistines and Ammonites to oppress Israel. The Ammonites first attacked the two-and-a-half tribes living on the eastern side of the Jordan, then crossed the river to attack Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim.

The people cried out to the Lord, saying that they had forsaken Him, but He told them to go to the other gods they had chosen. However, the people asked again for forgiveness, stopped worshipping foreign gods, and turned back to the Lord, so His anger toward them subsided.

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This chapter describes another episode in Israel’s cycle of disobedience and punishment, in which the people repeatedly turn away from the Lord when there is no leader. No matter how often we affirm our faith in the Lord, we, too, will default to our natural desires and false thinking. As we come to recognize and accept this fact of life, we can find comfort in the Lord. He understands this completely, and does not blame or punish us.

The first judge mentioned is Tola. His name means “a worm-like grub”, suggesting the idea of metamorphosis and regeneration (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 106[2]). Tola’s father was Puah (meaning “shining”), his grandfather was Dodo (meaning “amorous, loving”), and their city was Shamir (which means “keeping the commandment”). These names bring to mind the spiritual qualities of truth, love and life in the Lord (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 977).

The next judge is Jair, whose name means ”he whom God enlightens”. The number thirty (used in reference to his thirty sons and their thirty towns) means fullness or readiness. This readiness refers to our spiritual ‘remains’, or states of innocence and charity that the Lord imparts to us during childhood. These remains are essential during regeneration (Arcana Caelestia 1050).

The Philistines, soon to be a major enemy of Israel, stand for the belief in “faith alone” salvation. This way of thinking instills the idea that we will be saved if we “believe in the Lord”, regardless of our actions. “Faith alone” doctrine is present in many religious practices (see Swedenborg’s work, Doctrine of Life 4).

The people of Ammon stand for profaning what is true, by turning the truths of the Word into false ideas. We profane the truth when we claim to know what the Word teaches, but live in a way that is contrary to the Lord’s commandments (Arcana Caelestia 6348[3]).

This chapter, like many others in the book of Judges, shows Israel’s decline into chaos and evil. The two judges, Tola and Jair, provide a picture of spiritual integrity, in contrast with Israel’s oppression by the very evils they have turned to. In our regeneration, with its highs and lows, we must avoid the temptation of shallow faith by acting according to our values.

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