Sudije 21

Study

           

1 A sinovi Izrailjevi behu se zakleli u Mispi rekavši: Nijedan između nas da ne da kćeri svoje za ženu sinu Venijaminovom.

2 Zato otide narod k domu Božjem, i ostaše onde do večeri pred Bogom, i podigavši glas svoj plakaše vrlo,

3 I rekoše: Zašto se, Gospode Bože Izrailjev, dogodi ovo u Izrailju, danas da nestane jednog plemena iz Izrailja?

4 I sutra dan urani narod, i načini onde oltar, i prinesoše žrtve paljenice i žrtve zahvalne.

5 Tada rekoše sinovi Izrailjevi: Ima li ko da nije došao na zbor iz svih plemena Izrailjevih ka Gospodu? Jer se behu teško zakleli za onog ko ne dođe u Mispu ka Gospodu rekavši: Da se pogubi.

6 Jer se sinovima Izrailjevim sažali za Venijaminom bratom njihovim, i rekoše: Danas se istrebi jedno pleme iz Izrailja.

7 Šta ćemo činiti s onima što su ostali da bi imali žene, kad se zaklesmo Gospodom da im ne damo kćeri svojih za žene?

8 Pa rekoše: Ima li ko iz plemena Izrailjevih da nije došao u Mispu ka Gospodu? I gle, ne beše došao na vojsku, na zbor, niko iz Javisa Galadovog.

9 Jer kad se narod prebroja, gle, ne beše onde nijednog od onih koji žive u Javisu Galadovom.

10 Zato posla zbor onamo dvanaest hiljada hrabrih ljudi, i zapovedi im govoreći: Idite i pobijte stanovnike u Javisu Galadovom oštrim mačem i žene i decu.

11 Ovo ćete dakle učiniti: sve muškinje i sve ženskinje što je poznalo čoveka pobijte.

12 I nađoše među stanovnicima Javisa Galadovog četiri stotine devojaka, koje ne behu poznale čoveka, i dovedoše ih u logor u Silom, koji je u zemlji hananskoj.

13 Tada posla sav zbor, te govoriše sinovima Venijaminovim koji behu u steni Rimonu, i objaviše im mir.

14 Tako se vratiše sinovi Venijaminovi u to vreme, i dadoše im žene koje ostaviše u životu između žena iz Javisa Galadovog; ali ih ne beše dosta za njih.

15 A narodu beše žao Venijamina što Gospod okrnji plemena Izrailjeva.

16 Pa rekoše starešine od zbora: Šta ćemo činiti s ovima što su ostali da bi imali žene? Jer su izginule žene u plemenu Venijaminovom.

17 Potom rekoše: Nasledstvo Venijaminovo pripada onima što su ostali, da se ne bi zatrlo pleme iz Izrailja.

18 A mi im ne možemo dati žena između kćeri svojih; jer su se zakleli sinovi Izrailjevi rekavši: Da je proklet ko da ženu sinovima Venijaminovim.

19 Potom rekoše: Evo, godišnji je praznik Gospodnji u Silomu, koji je sa severa Vetilju, k istoku, na putu koji ide od Vetilja u Sihem, i s juga Levoni.

20 I zapovediše sinovima Venijaminovim govoreći: Idite, i zasedite po vinogradima.

21 I pazite: Pa kad iziđu kćeri silomske da igraju, iziđite iz vinograda i otmite svaki sebi ženu između kćeri silomskih; i idite u zemlju Venijaminovu.

22 A kad dođu oci njihovi ili braća njihova k nama da se sude, mi ćemo im kazati: Smilujte im se nas radi, jer u ovom ratu nismo zarobili žene za svakog njih; a vi im niste dali, i tako nećete biti krivi.

23 Tada sinovi Venijaminovi učiniše tako, i dovedoše žene prema broju svom između igračica koje oteše, i otišavši vratiše se na nasledstvo svoje, i sazidaše opet gradove i naseliše se u njima.

24 I tako raziđoše se sinovi Izrailjevi odande u ono vreme svaki u svoje pleme i u porodicu svoju, i otidoše odande svaki na svoje nasledstvo.

25 U ono vreme ne beše cara u Izrailju; svaki činjaše šta mu beše drago.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Sudije 21      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Wives Provided for the Men of Benjamin

This final chapter of the book of Judges deals with the wish of Israel to provide the remaining men of Benjamin with wives so that the tribe would not die out, since it was one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Yet the men of Israel had made a vow at Mizpah not to give their daughters to any men of Benjamin.

Providing wives means to add either truth or good to a situation. “In the Word, when ‘husband’ is mentioned, then ‘wife’ stands for truth. But when the husband is called ‘the man’, then ‘wife’ stands for good. This is the way it gets continually used in the Word.” (Arcana Caelestia 1468) In this chapter the men are called ‘the men of Benjamin’ or the Benjamites, so wives stand for good being joined to truth.

The men of Israel wondered who had not come to the gathering at Mizpah and recalled that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come. This meant that they were not under the obligation of the vow. The men of Israel told men to go and kill every man in that city and also any woman who was not a virgin. They found four hundred young virgins and brought them up to the camp at Shiloh.

The name Jabesh-Gilead means ‘arid’ and its spiritual meaning is in this city’s non-participation in dealing with the problem of the tribe of Benjamin. It stands for our refusal and disinclination to act to progress the spiritual life of the Word and our obedience to it.
But in it are four hundred young virgins who are not part of this non-participation and they can be taken to be wives for the men of Benjamin, to provide a future and an offspring.

“Virgins stand for the Lord’s kingdom, for everyone who is a kingdom of the Lord or a ‘church’, those who love the Lord, those who are in the affection for good, in charity to their neighbour, and those who love what is true. All of this is from the conjugial love which is there in chaste virgins.” (Arcana Caelestia 3081)

But even so, this is not enough to provide sufficient wives for the men of Benjamin. They recall that there is a yearly feast at Shiloh at which the young daughters of Shiloh dance. They tell the men of Benjamin to go there at the time of the feast and when the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance, to each seize a girl and take her away to Benjamin. And if anyone complains about breaking the vow made at Mizpah, it will be told them that this does not apply to the men of Benjamin and to be kind to this taking of wives.

The spiritual meaning of this is that it is essential that the tribe of Benjamin who stand for the link or connection between internal and external states, should have a full complement of wives so that truth and good can be together in producing and preserving this connection for our spiritual wholeness and its life. (Arcana Caelestia 5411)

The final verse of the book of Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in their own eyes”, very much describes the sequence of the stories in Judges to the point where good and truth, love for the Lord and obedience to the Word, are marginalised, and replaced by one wrong action after another, through to the very end.

The spiritual meaning in these wrong doings can be seen to show their purpose in terms of our spiritual life and regeneration. This is the purpose of them being included in the Word, and while the text is at times harrowing, it contains the basis for giving us the truths which lead to eternal life and the Lord.

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