Mga hukom 13

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1 At ang mga anak ni Israel ay gumawa uli ng kasamaan sa paningin ng Panginoon; at ibinigay ng Panginoon sila na apat na pung taon sa kamay ng mga Filisteo.

2 At may isang lalake sa Sora sa angkan ng mga Danita, na ang pangala'y Manoa; at ang kaniyang asawa ay baog, at hindi nagkaanak.

3 At napakita ang anghel ng Panginoon sa babae, at nagsabi sa kaniya, Narito ngayon, ikaw ay baog at hindi ka nagkakaanak: nguni't ikaw ay maglilihi at manganganak ng isang lalake.

4 Ngayon nga'y magingat ka, isinasamo ko sa iyo, at huwag kang uminom ng alak o ng inuming nakalalasing, at huwag kang kumain ng anomang maruming bagay:

5 Sapagka't, narito, ikaw ay maglilihi at manganganak ng isang lalake; at walang pangahit na daraan sa kaniyang ulo: sapagka't ang bata ay magiging Nazareo sa Dios, mula sa tiyan: at kaniyang pasisimulang iligtas ang Israel sa kamay ng mga Filisteo.

6 Nang magkagayo'y ang babae'y yumaon at isinaysay sa kaniyang asawa, na sinasabi, Isang lalake ng Dios ay naparito sa akin, at ang kaniyang anyo ay gaya ng anyo ng anghel ng Dios, na kakilakilabot: at hindi ko natanong siya kung siya'y taga saan, ni kaya'y sinaysay niya sa akin ang kaniyang pangalan:

7 Nguni't sinabi niya sa akin, Narito, ikaw ay maglilihi, at manganganak ng isang lalake; at ngayo'y huwag kang uminom ng alak o ng inuming nakalalasing man, at huwag kang kumain ng anomang maruming bagay: sapagka't ang bata'y magiging Nazareo sa Dios mula sa tiyan hanggang sa araw ng kaniyang kamatayan.

8 Nang magkagayo'y nanalangin si Manoa sa Panginoon, at sinabi niya, Isinasamo ko sa iyo, Oh Panginoon, na pabalikin mo uli ang lalake ng Dios na iyong sinugo sa amin, at ituro sa amin kung ano ang aming gagawin sa bata na ipanganganak.

9 At dininig ng Dios ang tinig ni Manoa; at nagbalik ang anghel ng Dios sa babae habang siya'y nakaupo sa bukid: nguni't si Manoa na kaniyang asawa ay hindi niya kasama.

10 At nagmadali ang babae, at tumakbo, at isinaysay sa kaniyang asawa, at sinabi sa kaniya, Narito, ang lalake ay napakita sa akin, yaong naparito sa akin ng ibang araw.

11 At bumangon si Manoa, at sumunod sa kaniyang asawa, at naparoon sa lalake, at sinabi sa kaniya, Ikaw ba ang lalake na nagsalita sa babaing ito? At kaniyang sinabi, Ako nga.

12 At sinabi ni Manoa, Mano nawa'y mangyari ang iyong mga salita: ano ang ipagpapagawa sa bata, at paanong aming gagawin sa kaniya?

13 At sinabi ng anghel ng Panginoon kay Manoa, Sa lahat ng aking sinabi sa babae ay magingat siya.

14 Siya'y hindi makakakain ng anomang bagay na nanggagaling sa ubasan, ni uminom man lamang ng alak ni ng inuming nakalalasing, ni kumain man ng anomang maruming bagay; lahat ng iniutos ko sa kaniya ay sundin niya.

15 At sinabi ni Manoa sa anghel ng Panginoon, Isinasamo ko sa iyo na ikaw ay aming mapigil, upang maipagluto ka namin ng isang anak ng kambing.

16 At sinabi ng anghel ng Panginoon kay Manoa, Bagaman ako'y iyong pigilin, hindi ako kakain ng iyong pagkain: at kung ikaw ay maghahanda ng handog na susunugin, ay iyong nararapat ihandog sa Panginoon. Sapagka't hindi naalaman ni Manoa na siya'y anghel ng Panginoon.

17 At sinabi ni Manoa sa anghel ng Panginoon, Ano ang iyong pangalan, upang pangyayari ng iyong mga salita ay mabigyan ka namin ng karangalan?

18 At sinabi ng anghel ng Panginoon sa kaniya, Bakit mo itinatanong ang aking pangalan, dangang kagilagilalas?

19 Sa gayo'y kumuha si Manoa ng isang anak ng kambing pati ng handog na harina, at inihandog sa Panginoon sa ibabaw ng bato: at gumawa ng kamanghamangha ang anghel, at minasdan ni Manoa at ng kaniyang asawa.

20 Sapagka't nangyari, nang umilanglang sa langit ang alab mula sa dambana, na ang anghel ng Panginoon ay napailanglang sa alab ng dambana: at minasdan ni Manoa at ng kaniyang asawa; at sila'y nangapasubasob sa lupa.

21 Nguni't hindi na napakita ang anghel ng Panginoon kay Manoa o sa kaniyang asawa. Nang magkagayo'y naalaman ni Manoa na siya'y anghel ng Panginoon.

22 At sinabi ni Manoa sa kaniyang asawa, Walang pagsalang tayo'y mamamatay, sapagka't ating nakita ang Dios.

23 Nguni't sinabi ng asawa niya sa kaniya, Kung nalulugod ang Panginoon na patayin tayo, hindi sana niya tinanggap ang handog na sinunog at ang handog na harina sa ating kamay, ni ipinakita man sa atin ang lahat ng mga bagay na ito ni nasaysay man sa panahong ito, ang mga bagay na gaya nito.

24 At nanganak ang babae ng isang lalake, at tinawag ang kaniyang pangalan na Samson. At ang bata'y lumaki, at pinagpala ng Panginoon.

25 At pinasimulang kinilos siya ng Espiritu ng Panginoon sa Mahanedan, sa pagitan ng Sora At Esthaol.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Mga hukom 13      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 13: The birth of Samson.

Chapters 13-16 of Judges tell the story of Samson, one of the greatest judges of Israel. At the time of Samson’s birth, Israel had been under Philistine oppression for forty years, because they had once again sinned against the Lord. As we have seen in previous chapters, the Lord appears to have punished them, but this is not the case; it is really our own waywardness that brings about these negative consequences.

This story begins with Samson’s parents, Manoah and his wife. Manoah’s wife was barren, but the angel of the Lord appeared to her, with news that she would have a son. The angel said that she was forbidden to drink alcohol or eat anything unclean, and that her son was never to have his hair cut, for he would be a Nazirite. And finally, the angel prophesied that her son would deliver Israel from the Philistines.

When Manoah’s wife told him what had happened, he prayed to the Lord for the man to return. The angel reappeared to Manoah’s wife, so she brought her husband to speak with the angel directly. Manoah asked what they should do for their child, but the angel only told Manoah that his wife must follow the instructions she had received.

Manoah offered a meal to the angel of the Lord, but the angel declined, saying that the burnt offering must be made to the Lord. Manoah brought out the meat of a young goat, placed it upon a rock, and gave it as a burnt offering to the Lord. The angel of the Lord ascended in the flames toward heaven, and the couple knew that they had seen God.

In time, Samson was born, and the Lord blessed him.

*****

Samson’s name literally means “sun-like”. He was a mighty warrior, a womaniser, and a powerful character prone to sudden outbursts and rage, but his intention was to defend Israel and defeat the Philistines. He was strong in his acknowledgement of his people and his God.

Samson represents the Lord in His divine human, and also the power of the Word in its literal sense. This is why Samson had strength in the abundance of his hair (see Swedenbrog’s works, Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 49[2], and Arcana Caelestia 9836[2]).

Spiritually, barrenness stands for a lack of personal doctrine or a spiritual path, representing how life can feel before regeneration begins. The angel of the Lord appeared to just the woman at first, because the purpose of regeneration is primarily to make us love what is good (represented by a woman). We do this by knowing and obeying truth (represented by a man).

The Nazarites, who vowed not to drink or cut their hair, represented the Lord as the Word in its ultimate and fullest sense (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Revealed 47). These customs are the marks of a natural and genuine life, as wine can lead us astray, and focusing on appearances can lead to vanity. Above all, Samson’s uncut hair represented this greatness of divine truths from the Word (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 214).

The angel was reluctant to tell Manoah and his wife details about their son’s future, except that he would be a Nazarite, and would deliver Israel. He intentionally kept them from knowing what would take place, because if they knew the future, they would no longer be able to act in freedom. Divine Providence - the Lord’s plan for our world - cannot be disclosed to us, or we would no longer live in freedom to make our own decisions (Arcana Caelestia 2493).

Manoah asked the angel what his name was, so he could be honored. However, the angel declined to tell them, as his name was wonderful. A name describes a person’s spiritual qualities, and we are unable to fathom the extent of heavenly qualities because they are of God.

The spiritual meaning of Manoah’s sacrifice comes from the correspondence of a young goat (innocence within the human soul) and the rock (truth). The young goat, placed on the rock as a sacrifice, represents worshipping from our hearts in faith to the Lord. This is the Lord’s requirement of us (Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 18[3] and Arcana Caelestia 9393).

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