Domarboken 8

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1917 års bibelöversättning         

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1 Men Efraims män sade till honom: »Huru har du kunnat handla så mot oss? Varför bådade du icke upp oss, när du drog ut till strid mot Midjan?» Och de foro häftigt ut mot honom.

2 Han svarade dem: »Vad har jag då uträttat i jämförelse med eder? Är icke Efraims efterskörd bättre än Abiesers vinbärgning?

3 I eder hand var det som Gud gav de midjanitiska hövdingarna Oreb och Seeb. Vad har jag kunnat uträtta i jämförelse med eder?» Då han så talade, stillades deras vrede mot honom.

4 När sedan Gideon kom till Jordan, gick han över jämte de tre hundra män som han hade med sig; och de voro trötta av förföljandet.

5 Han sade därför till männen i Suckot: »Given några kakor bröd åt folket som följer mig, ty de äro trötta; se, jag är nu i färd med att förfölja Seba och Salmunna, de midjanitiska konungarna.»

6 Men de överste i Suckot svarade: »Har du då redan Seba och Salmunna i ditt våld, eftersom du fordrar att vi skola giva bröd åt din här?»

7 Gideon sade »Nåväl; när HERREN, giver Seba och Salmunna i min hand, skall jag söndertröska edert kött med ökentörnen och tistlar.»

8 Så drog han vidare därifrån upp till Penuel och talade på samma sätt till dem som voro där; och männen i Penuel gåvo honom samma svar som männen i Suckot hade givit.

9 Då sade han ock till männen i Penuel: »När jag kommer välbehållen tillbaka, skall jag riva ned detta torn

10 Men Seba och Salmunna befunno sig i Karkor och hade sin här hos sig, vid pass femton tusen man, allt som var kvar av österlänningarnas hela här; ty de stupade utgjorde ett hundra tjugu tusen svärdbeväpnade män.

11 Och Gideon drog upp på karavanvägen, öster om Noba och Jogbeha, och överföll hären, där den låg sorglös i sitt läger.

12 Och Seba och Salmunna flydde, men han satte efter dem; och han tog de två midjanitiska konungarna Seba och Salmunna till fånga och skingrade hela hären.

13 När därefter Gideon, Joas' son, vände tillbaka från striden, ned från Hereshöjden,

14 fick han fatt på en ung man, en av invånarna i Suckot, och utfrågade denne, och han måste skriva upp åt honom de överste i Suckot och de äldste där, sjuttiosju män.

15 När han sedan kom till männen i Suckot, sade han: »Se här äro nu Seba och Salmunna, om vilka I hånfullt saden till mig: 'Har du redan Seba och Salmunna i ditt våld, eftersom du fordrar att vi skola giva bröd åt dina trötta män?'»

16 Därefter lät han gripa de äldste i staden och tog ökentörnen och tistlar och lät männen i Suckot få känna dem.

17 Och tornet i Penuel rev han ned och dräpte männen i staden.

18 Och till Seba och Salmunna sade han: »Hurudana voro de män som I dräpten på Tabor?» De svarade: »De voro lika dig; var och en såg ut såsom en konungason.»

19 Han sade: »Då var det mina bröder, min moders söner. Så sant HERREN lever: om I haden låtit dem leva, skulle jag icke hava dräpt eder.»

20 Sedan sade han till Jeter, sin förstfödde: »Stå upp och dräp dem.» Men gossen drog icke ut sitt svärd, ty han var försagd, eftersom han ännu var allenast en gosse.

21 Då sade Seba och Salmunna: »Stå upp, du själv, och stöt ned oss; ty sådan mannen är, sådan är ock hans styrka.» Så stod då Gideon upp och dräpte Seba och Salmunna. Och han tog för sin räkning de prydnader som sutto på deras kamelers halsar.

22 Och israeliterna sade till Gideon: »Råd du över oss, och såsom du så ock sedan din son och din sonson; ty du har frälst oss ur Midjans hand

23 Men Gideon svarade dem: »Jag vill icke råda över eder, och min son skall icke heller råda över eder, utan HERREN skall råda över eder.»

24 Och Gideon sade ytterligare till dem: »Ett vill jag dock begära av eder: var och en av eder må giva mig den näsring han har fått såsom byte.» Ty midjaniterna buro näsringar av guld, eftersom de voro ismaeliter.

25 De svarade: »Ja, vi vilja giva dig dem.» Och de bredde ut ett kläde, och var och en kastade på detta den näsring han hade fått såsom byte.

26 Och guldringarna, som han hade begärt, befunnos väga ett tusen sju hundra siklar i guld -- detta förutom de halsprydnader, de örhängen och de purpurröda kläder som de midjanitiska konungarna hade burit, och förutom de kedjor som hade suttit på deras kamelers halsar.

27 Och Gideon lät därav göra en efod och satte upp den i sin stad, Ofra; och hela Israel lopp där i trolös avfällighet efter den. Och den blev för Gideon och hans hus till en snara.

28 Så blev nu Midjan kuvat under Israels barn och upplyfte icke mer sitt huvud. Och landet hade ro i fyrtio år, så länge Gideon levde.

29 Men Jerubbaal, Joas' son, gick hem och stannade sedan i sitt hus.

30 Och Gideon hade sjuttio söner, som hade utgått från hans länd, ty han ägde många hustrur.

31 En bihustru som han hade i Sikem födde honom ock en son; denne gav han namnet Abimelek.

32 Och Gideon, Joas' son, dog i en god ålder och blev begraven i sin fader Joas' grav i det abiesritiska Ofra

33 Men när Gideon var död, begynte Israels barn åter i trolös avfällighet löpa efter Baalerna; och de gjorde Baal-Berit till gud åt sig.

34 Israels barn tänkte icke på HERREN, sin Gud, som hade räddat dem från alla deras fienders hand runt omkring.

35 Ej heller visade de Jerubbaals, Gideons, hus någon kärlek, till gengäld för allt det goda som han hade gjort mot Israel.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 8      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 8: Gideon subdues the Midianites.

In this chapter, Gideon continued to dismantle Midian’s oppression over Israel, facing opposition from some of his fellow Israelites in the process. First, the men of Ephraim complained that he did not call them to war. Gideon replied by praising them for their vineyards, and for capturing the two Midianite princes. So, Ephraim’s indignation subsided.

Then Gideon went to the city of Succoth, and asked for bread to feed his army. But the men of Succoth refused, instead taunting him because he had not yet captured the kings of Midian. Gideon told them them he would punish them with thorns and briars, after he had killed the two kings. The people of Penuel were equally dismissive when Gideon asked them for help, and he swore to tear down their tower.

In due course, Gideon captured the two Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna. Gideon told his oldest son to kill them, but he was young, and too afraid to do it. So Gideon killed the two kings, and punished the people of Succoth and Penuel.

When he returned from battle, the people of Israel asked Gideon to rule over them. However, he refused, saying that the Lord would rule Israel. He then collected gold from people’s earrings, used it to make an ephod (a priest’s garment), and set it up in his own city, Ophrah. The people began to worship it, and it became a snare for Gideon.

And Israel had peace for forty years under Gideon. Gideon had seventy sons, and died at an old age. As soon as he passed away, the Israelites forgot all the goodness that the Lord had shown them, and turned to worship other gods.

*****

The message of Gideon’s exchange with the Ephraimites is that sincerity and openness are the most powerful response to confrontation. Gideon, led by his trust in the Lord, could see the reason for Ephraim’s outburst, so he dealt with it by praising their strengths. This encounter shows how our faith in the Lord gives us a broader perspective, granting us the ability to respond rather than react (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 8159[3]).

When Gideon lashes out at the people of Succoth and Penuel, it may appear that he is acting purely from anger, and a wish to retaliate. In reality, he is filled with zeal to drive out the Midianites and free Israel. It is unthinkable to him that his own people would refuse to give his soldiers food. In our own lives, we can at times be astounded by our own resistance to serving the Lord’s purpose. We are constantly torn between two forces: heaven and hell (Arcana Caelestia 3839[3]).

The killing of the two Midianite kings reflects the need for justice in spiritual matters. If we fail to heed the truths we know and believe, we will suffer the consequences of fear and guilt. These are not inflicted by the Lord, but follow on from our own choices (Arcana Caelestia 2447). Gideon’s son’s inability to kill the kings means that behind spiritual justice, there must be an understanding of the essential value of all life (Arcana Caelestia 5826[2]).

Gideon’s ephod is a symbol showing how easily we can deviate from obeying the Lord. The text does not tell us the reason for Gideon’s actions, but perhaps he felt it was better for the people to worship something superficially related to worshiping the Lord, rather than following a foreign god. Seeing a priest’s garment reminds us that a priest serves the Lord. But we can so easily focus on the majesty of the ephod itself, and think no more about the priest’s duty nor about the Lord. We sometimes drift further from the Lord without even realizing it (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 327).

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Caelestia 3021, 3242, 3246, 3263, 8301

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Významy biblických slov

Efraims
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

män
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

oss
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

Midjan
'Midian' signifies people who are in falsity.

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

Gud
Herren är själv kärlek, uttryckt i form av visdom i sig. Kärlek är alltså Hans väsen, Hans inre. Vishet - den kärleksfulla förståelsen för hur...

kom
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Jordan
The river Jordan separates the land of Canaan from the lands to the east. This separation represents the division of the human mind into an internal...

tre
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

hundra
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

Suckot
'Succoth,' as in Genesis 33:17, and Psalms 60:6-7 and 108:7-8, signifies the quality of the holy state of truth from good, because 'Succoth' signifies tents,...

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

bröd
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

följer
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

HERREN
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

giver
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

kött
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

Penuel
'Penuel,' as in Genesis 32, signifies a state of truth in good.

talade
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

sätt
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

svar
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tillbaka
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torn
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Femton
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tusen
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

tjugu
'Twenty,' when referring to a quantity, signifies everything, or fullness, because it is ten twice. In Genesis 18:31, 'twenty', like all numbers occurring in the...

läger
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efter
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två
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

fånga
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Son
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striden
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ung
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skriva
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äldste
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trötta
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staden
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

tornet
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dräpte
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bröder
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moders
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söner
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förstfödde
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svärd
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halsar
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Midjans
'Midian' signifies people who are in falsity.

guld
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

ismaeliter
'Ishmaelites' represent people who are in simple good of life, and thence in natural truth regarding doctrine.

sju
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Kläder
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Stad
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

Israel
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hus
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Israels
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barn
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

huvud
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

landet
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fyrtio
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Hem
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många
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Sikem
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födde
I allmän mening representerar det att vara "född" i Bibeln ett andligt tillstånd som producerar ett annat, vanligtvis någon form av kärlek eller tillgivenhet som...

Abimelek
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dog
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Grav
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fader
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Död
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

Baalerna
Baalim and her lovers (Hosea 2:13) signify those things which belong to the natural man, and are loved; such as the lusts and falsities thence...

Baal
Baalim and her lovers (Hosea 2:13) signify those things which belong to the natural man, and are loved; such as the lusts and falsities thence...

fienders
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

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 Gideon, the Lord Shall Reign Over You
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