Domarboken 17

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1917 års bibelöversättning         

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1 I Efraims bergsbygd levde en man som hette Mika.

2 Denne sade till sin moder: »De ett tusen ett hundra silversiklar som blevo dig fråntagna, och för vilkas skull du uttalade en förbannelse, som jag själv hörde, se, de penningarna finnas hos mig. Det var jag som tog dem.» Då sade hans moder: »Välsignad vare du, min son, av HERREN

3 Så gav han de ett tusen ett hundra silversiklarna tillbaka åt sin moder. Men hans moder sade: »Härmed helgar jag dessa penningar åt HERREN och lämnar dem åt min son, för att han må låta göra en skuren och en gjuten gudabild. Här lämnar jag dem nu tillbaka åt dig.»

4 Men han gav penningarna tillbaka åt sin moder. Då tog hans moder två hundra siklar silver och gav dem åt en guldsmed, och denne gjorde därav en skuren och en gjuten gudabild, vilka sedan ställdes in i Mikas hus.

5 Mannen Mika hade så ett gudahus; han lät ock göra en efod och husgudar och insatte genom handfyllning en av sina söner till präst åt sig.

6 På den tiden fanns ingen konung i Israel; var och en gjorde vad honom behagade.

7 I Bet-Lehem i Juda levde då en ung man av Juda släkt; han var levit och bodde där såsom främling.

8 Denne man vandrade bort ifrån sin stad, Bet-Lehem i Juda, för att se om han funne någon annan ort där han kunde bo; och under sin färd kom han till Efraims bergsbygd, fram till Mikas hus.

9 Då frågade Mika honom: »Varifrån kommer du?» Han svarade honom: »Jag är en levit från Bet-Lehem i Juda, och jag är nu stadd på vandring, för att se om jag finner någon annan ort där jag kan bo.»

10 Mika sade till honom: »Stanna kvar hos mig, och bliv fader och präst åt mig, så skall jag årligen giva dig tio siklar silver och vad kläder du behöver, och därtill din föda.» Då följde leviten med honom.

11 Och leviten gick in på att stanna hos mannen, och denne behandlade den unge mannen såsom sin son.

12 Och Mika insatte leviten genom handfyllning, så att den unge mannen blev präst åt honom; och han var sedan kvar i Mikas hus.

13 Och Mika sade: »Nu vet jag att HERREN skall göra mig gott, eftersom jag har fått leviten till präst.»

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 17      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

The Story of Micah’s Idols

In this chapter, the story moves from the various judges of Israel to an anecdote that illustrates the overall worsening spiritual situation in the land. The people turn from the Lord and do more and more wrong among themselves. The last verse of the book of Judges is very telling, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” The same words come in the present chapter, in Judges 17:6.

In this story, a man named Micah (not to be confused with the prophet Micah) took a lot of silver money from his mother. He confesses that he did this, and returns the money to her. She says, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my son!” She finds a silversmith to melt down the silver money to make an idol which gets set up in their house. One of Micah’s sons is then appointed as the priest to serve this idol.

The spiritual meaning of this is that an idol of any kind is a falsifying of our own worship and sense of the Lord. An idol is a ‘thing’ in a ‘place’, vested with power, whereas our worship and sense of the Lord is that he is fully everywhere and in everything. (Arcana Caelestia 3479, 3732) The essence of idolatry is that it emphasises external forms with no attention to the place and purpose of internal forms and realities. Our ‘idols’ can be whatever we love or desire or feel is important to us, over and above the Lord.

The story then shifts to a wandering Levite, a priest of Israel, who came from Bethlehem in Judah, and is looking for any place to stay. Israel had appointed six cities for Levites to live in, but this Levite is a wanderer. He eventually meets Micah, who takes him into his house and makes him a paid priest. Micah feels important because of this development.

This part of the story depicts the decline of Israel from its worship of the Lord to a state of allowing anything to be done if it seems right in someone’s eyes. The Levite is a trained priest, trained in the law of Moses, someone who should know the commandments of the Lord and also their prohibitions. This Levite is ‘looking for a place to go to’ which describes his apparent falling away from true priesthood. (See the description in Apocalypse Explained 444, about the Levites, and in Doctrine of Life 39 about priests.)

As well as indicating the extent of the spiritual fall of Israel into idolatry and wrong practices, this chapter representatively describes our own scope for moving away from a genuine worship of the Lord into a worship of ourselves and of the world, and the change that comes within us in doing this. It often changes very gradually and inexorably so that it is imperceptible even to ourselves. This is a danger, and the reason for our self-examination and vigilant care.

The name Micah means, “Who is like Jehovah God?” which is an ironical name for someone who turns away from God to substitute an idol made from silver money, in a completely false worship. In genuine repentance, we may ask, “Who is like Jehovah God?” implying that no one is like God, including ourselves, because we are all involved in wrong feelings, thinking and actions, and we know our need of and dependence on the Lord. (Apocalypse Revealed 531)

It is important to note the mother’s first words, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my son!” saying this for his confession and return of the money. She begins her part in the story with the truest of statements, i.e. that the Lord wants to bless us, even while she may just be glad to have all her money back.

“Silver” in the Word can mean truths, truths of faith and truth of good, but in an opposite sense, when used dishonestly, it means falsities. (Arcana Caelestia 1551)


Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Caelestia 2598

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Caelestia 3704, 4111

Heaven and Hell 324

Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Spiritual Experiences 2411

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 Dividing the Land of Canaan Review Questions
Choose words from a word bank to complete sentences about the division of the land of Canaan.
Activity | All Ages

 Micah’s Idols
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14