Sudije 9

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1 I Avimeleh sin Jerovalov otide u Sihem k braći matere svoje i reče njima i svemu rodu otačkoga doma matere svoje govoreći:

2 Kažite svim Sihemljanima: Šta vam je bolje, da su vam gospodari sedamdeset ljudi, svi sinovi Jerovalovi, ili da vam je gospodar jedan čovek? I opominjite se da sam ja kost vaša i telo vaše.

3 Tada rekoše braća matere njegove za nj svim Sihemljanima sve te reči, i srce njihovo privi se k Avimelehu, jer rekoše: Naš je brat.

4 I dadoše mu sedamdeset sikala srebra iz doma Val-Veritovog, za koje najmi Avimeleh ljudi praznova i skitnica, te iđahu za njim.

5 I dođe u kuću oca svog u Ofru, i pobi braću svoju, sinove Jerovalove, sedamdeset ljudi, na jednom kamenu; ali osta Jotam najmlađi sin Jerovalov, jer se sakri.

6 Tada se skupiše svi Sihemljani i sav dom Milov, i otidoše i postaviše Avimeleha carem kod hrasta koji stoji u Sihemu.

7 A kad to javiše Jotamu, otide i stade navrh gore Garizina, i podigavši glas svoj povika i reče im: Čujte me, Sihemljani, tako vas Bog čuo!

8 Išla drveta da pomažu sebi cara, pa rekoše maslini: Budi nam car.

9 A maslina im reče: Zar ja da ostavim pretilinu svoju, kojom se čast čini Bogu i ljudima, pa da idem da tumaram za druga drveta?

10 Potom rekoše drveta smokvi: Hodi ti, budi nam car.

11 A smokva im reče: Zar ja da ostavim slast svoju i krasni rod svoj, pa da idem da tumaram za druga drveta?

12 Tada rekoše drveta vinovoj lozi: Hodi ti, budi nam car.

13 A loza im reče: Zar ja da ostavim vino svoje, koje veseli Boga i ljude, pa da idem da tumaram za druga drveta?

14 Tada sva drveta rekoše trnu: Hodi ti, budi nam car.

15 A trn odgovori drvetima: Ako doista hoćete mene da pomažete sebi za cara, hodite sklonite se u hlad moj; ako li nećete, neka iziđe oganj iz trna i spali kedre livanske.

16 Tako sada, jeste li pravo i pošteno radili postavivši Avimeleha carem? I jeste li dobro učinili Jerovalu i domu njegovom? I jeste li mu učinili kako vas je zadužio?

17 Jer je otac moj vojevao za vas i nije mario za život svoj, i izbavio vas je iz ruku madijanskih.

18 A vi danas ustaste na dom oca mog, i pobiste sinove njegove, sedamdeset ljudi, na jednom kamenu, i postaviste carem Avimeleha, sina sluškinje njegove, nad Sihemljanima zato što je brat vaš.

19 Ako ste pravo i pošteno radili danas prema Jerovalu i njegovom domu, veselite se s Avimeleha i on neka se veseli s vas.

20 Ako li niste, neka iziđe oganj od Avimeleha i spali Sihemljane i dom Milov, i neka iziđe oganj od Sihemljana i od doma Milovog i spali Avimeleha.

21 Tada pobeže Jotam, i pobegav dođe u Vir, i onde osta bojeći se Avimeleha brata svog.

22 I vlada Avimeleh Izrailjem tri godine.

23 Ali Bog pusti zlu volju među Avimeleha i među Sihemljane; i Sihemljani izneveriše Avimeleha.

24 Da bi se osvetila nepravda učinjena na sedamdeset sinova Jerovalovih, i krv njihova da bi došla na Avimeleha brata njihovog, koji ih ubi, i na Sihemljane, koji ukrepiše ruku njegovu da ubije braću svoju.

25 I Sihemljani pometaše mu zasede po vrhovima gorskim, pa plenjahu sve koji prolažahu mimo njih onim putem. I bi javljeno Avimelehu.

26 Potom dođe Gal sin Evedov sa svojom braćom, i uđoše u Sihem, i Sihemljani se pouzdaše u nj.

27 I izišavši u polje braše vinograde svoje i gaziše grožđe, i veseliše se; i uđoše u kuću boga svog; i jedoše i piše, i psovaše Avimeleha.

28 I Gal sin Evedov reče: Ko je Avimeleh i šta je Sihem, da mu služimo? Nije li sin Jerovalov? A Zevul nije li njegov pristav? Služite sinovima Emora oca Sihemovog. A što bismo služili tome?

29 O kad bi taj narod bio pod mojom rukom, da smetnem Avimeleha! I reče Avimelehu: Prikupi vojsku svoju, i iziđi.

30 A kad ču Zevul, upravitelj gradski, reči Gala sina Evedovog, razgnevi se vrlo.

31 I posla tajno poslanike k Avimelehu i poruči mu: Evo Gal sin Evedov i braća mu dođoše u Sihem, i evo pobuniše grad na te.

32 Nego ustani noću ti i narod što je s tobom, i zasedi u polju.

33 A ujutro kad sunce ograne, digni se i udari na grad; i evo on i narod koji je s njim izići će preda te, pa učini s njim šta ti može ruka.

34 I Avimeleh usta noću i sav narod što beše sa njim; i zasedoše Sihemu u četiri čete.

35 A Gal sin Evedov iziđe i stade pred vratima gradskim; a Avimeleh i narod što beše sa njim iziđe iz zasede.

36 A Gal videvši narod reče Zevulu: Eno narod silazi svrh gore. A Zevul mu odgovori: Od sena gorskog čine ti se ljudi.

37 Opet progovori Gal i reče: Eno narod silazi s visa, i četa jedna ide putem k šumi meonenimskoj.

38 A Zevul mu reče: Gde su ti sada usta, kojima si govorio: Ko je Avimeleh da mu služimo? Nije li to onaj narod koji si prezirao? Iziđi sada, i bij se s njim.

39 I iziđe Gal pred Sihemljanima, i pobi se s Avimelehom.

40 Ali Avimeleh ga potera, i on pobeže od njega; i padoše mnogi pobijeni do samih vrata gradskih.

41 I Avimeleh osta u Arumi; a Zevul istera Gala i braću njegovu, te ne mogahu sedeti u Sihemu.

42 A sutradan iziđe narod u polje i bi javljeno Avimelehu.

43 A on uze narod svoj i razdeli ga u tri čete, i namesti ih u zasedu u polju; i kad vide gde narod izlazi iz grada, skoči na nj ih i pobi ih.

44 Jer Avimeleh i četa koja beše s njim udariše i stadoše kod vrata gradskih; a druge dve čete udariše na sve one koji behu u polju, i pobiše ih.

45 I Avimeleh bijaše grad ceo onaj dan, i uze ga, i pobi narod koji beše u njemu, i raskopa grad, i poseja so po njemu.

46 A kad to čuše koji behu u kuli sihemskoj, uđoše u kulu kuće boga Verita.

47 I bi javljeno Avimelehu da su se onde skupili svi koji behu u kuli sihemskoj.

48 Tada Avimeleh iziđe na goru Salmon, on i sav narod što behu sa njim; i uzevši Avimeleh sekiru u ruku odseče granu od drveta i metnu je na rame, i reče narodu koji beše s njim: Šta videste da sam ja učinio, brzo činite kao ja.

49 I svaki iz naroda odseče sebi granu, i pođoše za Avimelehom i pometaše grane oko kule, i zapališe njima grad; i izgiboše svi koji behu u kuli sihemskoj, oko hiljadu ljudi i žena.

50 Potom otide Avimeleh na Teves, i stade u logor kod Tevesa, i uze ga.

51 A beše tvrda kula usred grada, i u nju pobegoše svi ljudi i žene i svi građani, i zatvorivši se popeše se na krov od kule.

52 A Avimeleh dođe do kule i udari na nju, i dođe do vrata od kule da je zapali ognjem.

53 Ali jedna žena baci komad žrvnja na glavu Avimelehu i razbi mu glavu.

54 A on brže viknu momka koji mu nošaše oružje, i reče mu: Izvadi mač svoj i ubi me, da ne kažu za me: Žena ga je ubila. I probode ga sluga njegov, te umre.

55 A kad videše Izrailjci gde pogibe Avimeleh, otidoše svaki u svoje mesto.

56 Tako plati Bog Avimelehu za zlo koje je učinio ocu svom ubivši sedamdeset braće svoje.

57 I sve zlo ljudi Sihemljana povrati Bog na njihove glave, i steče im se kletva Jotama sina Jerovalovog.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Sudije 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.

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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.”

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