Sudije 18

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1 U to vreme ne beše cara u Izrailju, i u to vreme pleme Danovo tražaše sebi nasledstvo gde bi nastavalo, jer mu dotada ne beše dopalo nasledstvo među plemenima Izrailjevim.

2 Zato poslaše sinovi Danovi iz porodice svoje pet ljudi između sebe, hrabre ljude od Saraje i Estaola, da uhode zemlju i dobro razmotre, i rekoše im: Idite, razmotrite zemlju. I oni otidoše u goru Jefremovu u kuću Mišinu i zanoćiše onde.

3 I kad behu kod kuće Mišine, poznaše glas onog mladića Levita, i svrativši se onamo rekoše mu: Ko te dovede ovamo? I šta radiš tu? I šta ćeš tu?

4 A on im reče: Tako i tako učini mi Miha, i najmi me da mu budem sveštenik.

5 A oni mu rekoše: Upitaj Boga da znamo hoće li nam biti srećan put na koji pođosmo.

6 A sveštenik im reče: Idite s mirom; po volji je Gospodu put kojim idete.

7 I tako pošavši onih pet ljudi dođoše u Lais, i videše tamošnji narod gde živi bez straha po običaju sidonskom, mirno i bez straha, i da nema nikoga u zemlji ko bi im čim god dosađivao ili otimao vlast, i da su daleko od Sidonjana niti imaju šta s kim.

8 Pa kad se vratiše k braći svojoj u Saraju i Estaol, rekoše im braća: Šta je?

9 A oni rekoše: Ustajte da idemo na njih; jer videsmo zemlju, i vrlo je dobra. I vi ne marite? Nemojte se leniti, nego pohitajte da uzmete zemlju.

10 Kad dođete, doći ćete k narodu bezbrižnom i u zemlju prostranu; jer je predade Bog u naše ruke; to je mesto gde nema nedostataka ni u čem što ima na zemlji.

11 Tada pođoše odande iz Saraje i Estaola šest stotina ljudi od porodice Danove naoružanih.

12 I otišavši stadoše u logor kod Kirijat-Jarima u Judi; zato se prozva ono mesto Mahane-Dan do danas, i jeste iza Kirijat-Jarima.

13 A odande pošavši u goru Jefremovu dođoše u kuću Mišinu.

14 Tada progovoriše petorica što behu išli da uhode zemlju laisku, i rekoše braći svojoj: Znate li da u ovim kućama ima oplećak i likovi, i lik rezan i lik liven? Sada dakle gledajte šta ćete raditi.

15 A oni svrativši se onamo uđoše u kuću gde beše mladićLevit, u kuću Mišinu, i upitaše ga za zdravlje.

16 A šest stotina ljudi naoružanih od sinova Danovih stadoše pred vratima.

17 A pet ljudi što behu išli da uhode zemlju otišavši uđoše i uzeše lik rezan i oplećak i likove i lik liven; a sveštenik stajaše na vratima sa šest stotina ljudi naoružanih.

18 I oni što uđoše u kuću Mišinu kad uzeše lik rezani, oplećak, likove i lik liveni, sveštenik im reče: Šta radite?

19 A oni mu rekoše: Ćuti, metni ruku na usta, pa hajde s nama, i budi nam otac i sveštenik. Šta ti je bolje, biti sveštenik kući jednog čoveka ili biti sveštenik plemenu i porodici u Izrailju?

20 I sveštenik se obradova u srcu, i uze oplećak i likove i lik rezani, i uđe među narod.

21 I okrenuvši se pođoše pustivši decu i stoku i zaklade napred.

22 A kad behu daleko od kuće Mišine, onda ljudi koji življahu u kućama blizu kuće Mišine skupiše se i pođoše u poteru za sinovima Danovim.

23 I vikaše za sinovima Danovim, a oni obazrevši se rekoše Miši: Šta ti je, te si skupio tolike ljude?

24 A on reče: Uzeli ste moje bogove koje sam načinio, i sveštenika, pa otidoste. Šta još imam? Pa još kažete: Šta ti je?

25 A sinovi Danovi rekoše mu: Nemoj da ti se čuje glas za nama, da ne bi udarili na vas ljudi gnevni, te ćeš izgubiti dušu svoju i dušu doma svog.

26 I sinovi Danovi otidoše svojim putem, a Miha, videći da su jači od njega vrati se i otide kući svojoj.

27 I oni uzevši šta beše načinio Miha, i sveštenika, kog imaše, dođoše u Lais k narodu mirnom i bezbrižnom; pa ih isekoše oštrim mačem, a grad upališe ognjem.

28 I ne beše nikoga da ih izbavi; jer behu daleko od Sidona i ne imahu ništa ni s kim; a grad beše u dolini koja je kod Vet-Reova. Posle sazidaše grad i naseliše se u njemu.

29 I nazvaše grad Dan po imenu Dana oca svog, koji se rodi Izrailju; a pre se grad zvaše Lais.

30 I sinovi Danovi namestiše sebi onaj lik rezani; a Jonatan sin Girsona Manasijinog i sinovi njegovi behu sveštenici plemenu Danovom dokle se god ne iseli iz zemlje.

31 I namešten im stajaše onaj lik rezani, koji načini Miha, za sve vreme dokle dom Božji beše u Silomu.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Sudije 18      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

The Tribe of Dan Adopts Micah’s Idolatry

This chapter shows the way in which one person’s distortion of truth, turning it into a falsity, can have severe consequences on a larger scale.

The tribe of Dan – one of the twelve tribes of Israel – was given land to the west, by the coast, but they found it hard to hold on to. The name of the tribe of Dan means ‘to judge’, but if judgment isn't based on the Word there will be chaos. (Arcana Caelestia 842)

Faced with competition for their homeland, the tribal leaders of Dan went looking for a place for themselves elsewhere. They sent five men of valour to spy out the land. These men came to Micah’s house, and they recognised the voice of the young Levite there. They questioned him about his situation, and he told them that Micah had hired him to be a priest to his household. The men of Dan asked the Levite to ask the Lord if their search would be prosperous, and he told them that it would be.

The spiritual meaning of this part of the chapter is to do with an intensifying wrongness. At the textual level, there is reference to the Lord, and an apparent normality in what takes place. But underlying it, there's a wrongness, which will become apparent later in the chapter. The pointers to it here are the five men from Dan, them coming straight to Micah’s house, and the hiring of a priest.

The number ‘five’ has a good meaning in many parts of the Word, but it can also have a bad meaning, as it does here. In this context, it stands for only a little, for disunion and the destruction of the Word (Apocalypse Revealed 738).

Coming directly to Micah’s house and recognising the Levite brings together two evil intentions: Micah’s idol and the men of Dan’s search to take a home for themselves. An example for us could be where two people plot to seek the harm of a third person. (Arcana Caelestia 4724)

The hiring of a priest is something disallowed, for priests are there to serve the Lord and they are provided for by the people, not to be hired. Hiring, spiritually, stands for seeking reward for what you do, whereas the true reward is heaven for those who serve without expecting a reward. (Arcana Caelestia 8002)

The five men leave Micah's house, and go on to Laish in the far north, where there are people who dwell securely in peace and without rulers, far from others and with no ties. Laish means ‘fearless and kneaded together’. It is a picture of perfection, of heaven. (Divine Love and Wisdom 200)

The five men then return to their tribe of Dan and report about Laish. They say that it is ideal for the taking because it has plenty of land and its people are secure. They say that “God has given it into your hands”.

Six hundred men of the tribe of Dan set out and they too, come to the house of Micah. The five spies tell them about the idols and they meet and greet the young Levite. Then the five spies go in and take all the idols in the house. The Levite joins up with the men from Dan and they go on together.

One spiritual meaning in the story is that evil (Dan, gone bad) loves to destroy peace and innocence (Laish).

The complete loss to Micah of all his idols and his hired priest, shows, too, that in fully turning to evil, there is the final loss of everything that might bring a person back. (Arcana Caelestia 9039)

People living near Micah go and accost the men of Dan about what they have taken -- but Micah is told to stop complaining or his household will be killed.

The Danites leave, and go and capture Laish, killing and burning, and re-naming the city Dan. There they set up the images and appoint priests. These images remain in Dan all the time that the house of God is in Shiloh.

The spiritual meaning of one evil or falsity becoming greater or more numerous is in the way that we might hold a negative emotion or a distorted view in our mind where it then spreads to other emotions and views we have and brings them into greater evil and falsity. This is the intention of evil and also of hell’s influence, to extend it to be as widespread as possible.

This is the outcome of everything that has developed through this and the previous chapter. It describes the spread of evil to become a terrible force for destruction and spiritually, for an individual person, for self-destruction. In the context of the decline of Israel to where ‘everyone did what was right in their own eyes’ this progression presents the pathway and process of that spiritual loss. (Divine Providence 19)

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