Sudije 4

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1 A po smrti Aodovoj opet sinovi Izrailjevi činiše što je zlo pred Gospodom.

2 I Gospod ih dade u ruke Javinu caru hananskom, koji vladaše u Asoru, a vojsci njegovoj beše vojvoda Sisara, koji življaše u Arosetu neznabožačkom.

3 I sinovi Izrailjevi vapiše ka Gospodu; jer on imaše devet stotina gvozdenih kola, i veoma pritešnjavaše sinove Izrailjeve dvadeset godina.

4 U to vreme Devora proročica, žena Lafidotova, suđaše Izrailju.

5 I Devora stanovaše pod palmom između Rame i Vetilja u gori Jefremovoj, i dolažahu k njoj sinovi Izrailjevi na sud.

6 A ona poslavši dozva Varaka sina Avinejemova iz Kedesa Neftalimovog, i reče mu: Nije li zapovedio Gospod Bog Izrailjev: Idi, skupi narod na gori Tavor, i uzmi sa sobom deset hiljada ljudi između sinova Neftalimovih i sinova Zavulonovih?

7 Jer ću dovesti k tebi na potok Kison Sisaru vojvodu Javinovog i kola njegova i ljudstvo njegovo, i predaću ga tebi u ruke.

8 A Varak joj reče: Ako ćeš ti ići sa mnom, ići ću; ako li nećeš ići sa mnom, neću ići.

9 A ona reče: Ja ću ići s tobom, ali nećeš imati slave na putu kojim ćeš ići; jer će ženi u ruku dati Gospod Sisaru. I ustavši Devora otide s Varakom u Kedes.

10 I Varak sazvavši sinove Zavulonove i Neftalimove u Kedes, povede sa sobom deset hiljada ljudi; i Devora iđaše s njim.

11 A Ever Kenejin beše se odvojio od Keneja, od sinova Ovava tasta Mojsijevog, i beše razapeo svoj šator kod hrastova zanajimskih, a to je kod Kedesa.

12 I javiše Sisari da je izašao Varak sin Avinejemov na goru Tavor.

13 I Sisara skupi sva kola svoja, devet stotina kola gvozdenih, i sav narod koji beše s njim od Aroseta neznabožačkoga do potoka Kisona.

14 Tada reče Devora Varaku: Ustani, jer je ovo dan, u koji ti dade Gospod Sisaru u ruke. Ne ide li Gospod pred tobom? I Varak siđe s gore Tavora, i deset hiljada ljudi za njim.

15 I Gospod smete Sisaru i sva kola njegova i svu vojsku oštrim mačem pred Varakom; i Sisara siđe s kola svojih i pobeže pešice.

16 A Varak potera kola i vojsku do Aroseta neznabožačkoga; i pade sva vojska Sisarina od oštrog mača, ne osta nijedan.

17 A Sisara uteče pešice do šatora Jailje žene Evera Kenejina; jer beše mir među Javinom carem asorskim i domom Evera Kenejina.

18 I iziđe Jailja na susret Sisari, i reče mu: Skloni se, gospodaru, skloni se kod mene; ne boj se. I on se skloni kod nje u šator, i ona ga pokri pokrivačem.

19 A on joj reče: Daj mi malo vode da se napijem, jer sam žedan. A ona otvori meh mleka i napoji ga, pa ga pokri.

20 A on joj reče: Stoj na vratima od šatora, i ako ko dođe i zapita te i reče: Ima li tu ko? Reci: Nema.

21 Tada Jailja žena Everova uze kolac od šatora, i uze malj u ruku, i pristupi k njemu polako, i satera mu kolac kroz slepe oči, te prođe u zemlju, kad spavaše tvrdo umoran, i umre.

22 I gle, Varak teraše Sisaru, i Jailja mu iziđe na susret, i reče mu: Hodi da ti pokažem čoveka kog tražiš. I uđe k njoj, i gle Sisara ležaše mrtav, i kolac mu u slepim očima.

23 Tako pokori Bog u onaj dan Javina cara hananskog pred sinovima Izrailjevim.

24 I ruka sinova Izrailjevih bivaše sve teža Javinu caru hananskom, dokle ne istrebiše Javina cara hananskog.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Sudije 4      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 4: Deborah

Yet again, the children of Israel had disobeyed the Lord. At this point in time, they had been under the yoke of Jabin, a Canaanite king, for twenty years. He had nine hundred chariots of iron, and was apparently very powerful.

The Lord raised up Deborah, a prophetess, to free the Israelites from oppression under Jabin. The text says that she would pass judgements for the children of Israel while she sat under the palm tree of Deborah.

Deborah summoned Barak, an army officer, and told him to go with ten thousand men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun to fight King Jabin’s armies. Barak said he would only go if Deborah went as well, so she agreed to join him. Deborah then prophesied that Sisera, the enemy commander, would be defeated by a woman.

The two armies clashed at by the River Kishon, and all of Sisera’s men were killed. Sisera then fled to the tent of Heber, an Israelite who was on peaceful terms with King Jabin. Jael, Heber’s wife, invited Sisera to come in with the comforting words, “fear not”. She covered him with a blanket, gave him milk to drink, and let him sleep there.

Then Jael quietly took a tent peg and drove it into Sisera’s temple using a hammer, so that the peg stuck in the earth. When Barak came to the tent, pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to tell him, “come, and I will show you the man you seek.” And she showed him Sisera, dead, with a peg through his temple.

So Jabin’s army was defeated that day, and Israel grew stronger until their oppression under Jabin came to an end.

*****

Deborah is an especially significant character in the Bible, because she was the only female judge of Israel. It was very unusual for a woman in those times to rise to power, yet she truly earned the respect of her people. Deborah, as a woman, stands for the nurturing power of the Word to strengthen us during regeneration. Her name means ‘a bee’, but this comes from a word meaning ‘to speak’ – here, to speak the Word. Bees make honey; honey is nutritious; God’s word is our nourishment (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 3424[2]).

The fact that Deborah judged from under a palm tree may seem like a passing detail, but even this contributes to the spiritual meaning of the story. Palm trees stand for the divine truths of the Word, which means that Deborah was judging the people from her understanding of the Lord’s truths.

King Jabin’s nine hundred iron chariots represent the apparent power of false beliefs, thoughts and persuasions over us. The number ‘nine’ stands for something which is complete, and ‘iron’ here stands for either natural truths or falsities. A ‘chariot’, being pulled by a horse, always stands for a set of teachings or doctrine. These three symbols add to the picture of a very powerful enemy: false ideas and views that can weaken and overwhelm us (Arcana Caelestia 4720[2]).

The spiritual meaning of the complex arrangement between Barak and Deborah is that we can only deal with our spiritual conflicts if we take the Word’s power (Deborah) with us. Barak, a man, represents the power of truth, but Deborah says a woman will gain victory over Sisera. The feminine stands for the power of love: our charity, our affection for good, and our wish to be useful. These qualities are always essential in our spiritual life (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Explained 1120[2]).

The story about Jael and Sisera is really about actively resisting the temptations of evil in our lives. Jael, a woman, stands for the power of good to overcome what is false in our mind. Driving the tent peg through Sisera’s head stands for the complete destruction of what is false. Driving it right through and into the ground stands for the power of good in our life and in our regeneration, because the ground represents our actions (Arcana Caelestia 268).

When Barak and Jael meet, it stands for the unity between good (Jael, a woman) and truth (Barak, a man). This unity of good and truth appears again at the start of the next chapter, in which Deborah and Barak sing of Israel’s victory.

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