Mga hukom 8

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1 At sinabi ng mga lalake ng Ephraim sa kaniya, Bakit ginawa mo sa amin ang ganyan, na hindi mo kami tinawag nang ikaw ay yumaong makipaglaban sa Madian? At siya'y pinagwikaan nilang mainam.

2 At sinabi niya sa kanila, Ano ang aking ginawa ngayon na paris ng inyo? Di ba mainam ang pagsimot ng ubas ng Ephraim kay sa pagaani ng sa Abiezer?

3 Ibinigay ng Dios sa inyong kamay ang mga prinsipe sa Madian, si Oreb, at si Zeeb, at ano ang aking magagawa na paris ng inyo? Nang magkagayo'y ang kanilang galit sa kaniya ay lumamig, nang kaniyang sabihin yaon.

4 At si Gedeon ay dumating sa Jordan, at siya'y tumawid, siya, at ang tatlong daang lalake na mga kasama niya, mga pagod na, ay humahabol pa.

5 At sinabi niya sa mga lalake sa Succoth, Isinasamo ko sa inyo na bigyan ninyo ng mga tinapay ang bayan na sumusunod sa akin; sapagka't sila'y mga pagod, at aking hinahabol si Zeba at si Zalmunna, na mga hari sa Madian.

6 At sinabi ng mga prinsipe sa Succoth, Nasa iyo na bang kamay ngayon ang mga kamay ni Zeba at ni Zalmunna, upang bigyan namin ng tinapay ang iyong hukbo?

7 At sinabi ni Gedeon, Kaya, pagka ibinigay ng Panginoon, si Zeba at si Zalmunna sa aking kamay, ay akin ngang gagalusan ang inyong laman ng mga tinik sa ilang at ng mga dawag.

8 At inahon niya mula roon ang Penuel, at siya'y nagsalita sa kanila ng gayon din: at sinagot siya ng mga lalake sa Penuel na gaya ng isinagot ng mga lalake sa Succoth.

9 At sinalita niya naman sa mga lalake sa Penuel, na sinasabi, Pagbabalik kong payapa, ay aking ilalagpak ang moog na ito.

10 Ngayo'y si Zeba at si Zalmunna ay nasa Carcor, at ang kanilang mga hukbo na kasama nila, na may labing limang libong lalake, yaong lahat na nalabi sa buong hukbo ng mga anak sa silanganan: sapagka't nabuwal ang isang daan at dalawang pung libong lalake na humahawak ng tabak.

11 At si Gedeon ay umahon sa daan ng mga tumatahan sa mga tolda sa silanganan ng Noba at Jogbea, at sinaktan ang hukbo; sapagka't ang hukbo ay tiwasay.

12 At si Zeba at si Zalmunna ay tumakas; at kaniyang hinabol sila: at kaniyang hinuli ang dalawang hari sa Madian, na si Zeba at si Zalmunna, at nalito ang buong hukbo.

13 At tinalikdan ni Gedeon na anak ni Joas ang pagbabaka, mula sa sampahan sa Heres.

14 At hinuli niya ang isang may kabataan sa mga lalake sa Succoth, at nagusisa siya sa kaniya: at ipinaalam sa kaniya ang mga prinsipe sa Succoth, at ang mga matanda niyaon na pitong pu't pitong lalake.

15 At sila'y naparoon sa mga lalake sa Succoth, at sinabi, Narito si Zeba at si Zalmunna, na tungkol sa kanila, ay inyo akong tinuya na inyong sinasabi, Nasa iyo na bang kamay ngayon ang mga kamay ni Zeba at ni Zalmunna, upang bigyan namin ng tinapay ang iyong mga lalake na mga pagod?

16 At kaniyang kinuha ang mga matanda sa bayan, at mga tinik sa ilang at mga dawag, at sa pamamagitan ng mga yaon ay kaniyang tinuruan ang mga lalake sa Succoth.

17 At kaniyang inilagpak ang moog ng Penuel, at pinatay ang mga lalake sa bayan.

18 Nang magkagayo'y kaniyang sinabi kay Zeba at kay Zalmunna. Anong mga lalake yaong inyong pinatay sa Tabor? At sila'y sumagot, Kung ano ikaw ay gayon sila; bawa't isa'y nahuhuwad sa mga anak ng isang hari.

19 At kaniyang sinabi, Sila'y aking mga kapatid, na mga anak ng aking ina: buhay ang Panginoon, kung inyong iniligtas sana silang buhay, disin hindi ko kayo papatayin.

20 At sinabi niya kay Jether na kaniyang panganay, Bangon, at patayin mo sila. Nguni't ang bata'y hindi humawak ng tabak: sapagka't siya'y natakot, dahil sa siya'y bata pa.

21 Nang magkagayo'y sinabi ni Zeba at ni Zalmunna, Bumangon ka, at daluhungin mo kami: sapagka't kung paano ang pagkalalake ay gayon ang kaniyang lakas. At Bumangon si Gedeon, at pinatay si Zeba at si Zalmunna, at kinuha ang mga pahiyas na may anyong kalahating buwan na nasa mga leeg ng kanilang mga kamelyo.

22 Nang magkagayo'y sinabi ng mga lalake ng Israel kay Gedeon, Magpuno ka sa amin ngayon, ikaw at ang iyong anak, sapagka't iniligtas mo kami sa kamay ng Madian.

23 At sinabi ni Gedeon sa kanila, Hindi ako magpupuno sa inyo, o magpupuno man ang aking anak sa inyo: ang Panginoon ang magpupuno sa inyo.

24 At sinabi ni Gedeon sa kanila, Hangad ko ang isang kahilingan sa inyo, na bigyan ako ng bawa't isa sa inyo ng mga hikaw na kaniyang samsam. (Sapagka't sila'y may mga gintong hikaw, dahil sa sila'y mga Ismaelita.)

25 At sumagot sila, Ibibigay namin ng buong pagibig. At sila'y naglatag ng isang balabal, at inilagay roon ng bawa't isa ang mga hikaw na kaniyang samsam.

26 At ang timbang ng mga gintong hikaw na kaniyang hiniling, ay isang libo at pitong daang siklong ginto; bukod pa ang mga pahiyas na may anyong kalahating buwan, at ang mga hikaw at ang mga damit na morado na suot ng mga hari sa Madian, at bukod pa ang mga tanikala na nangasa leeg ng mga kamelyo.

27 At ginawang epod ni Gedeon at inilagay sa kaniyang bayan, sa makatuwid baga'y sa Ophra: at ang buong Israel ay naparoroon na sumasamba sa kaniya roon: at siyang naging ikinasilo ni Gedeon at ng kaniyang sangbahayan.

28 Gayon napasuko ang Madian sa harap ng mga anak ni Israel, at hindi na nila itinaas pa ang kanilang ulo. At ang lupain ay nagpahingang apat na pung taon sa mga araw ni Gedeon.

29 At si Jerobaal na anak ni Joas ay yumaon at tumahan sa kaniyang sariling bahay.

30 At nagkaroon si Gedeon ng pitong pung anak na lumabas sa kaniyang mga balakang: sapagka't siya'y mayroong maraming asawa.

31 At ang kaniyang babae na nasa Sichem ay nagkaanak naman sa kaniya ng isang lalake, at kaniyang tinawag ang pangalan na Abimelech.

32 At namatay si Gedeon na anak ni Joas na may mabuting katandaan at inilibing sa libingan ni Joas na kaniyang ama, sa Ophra ng mga Abiezerita.

33 At nangyari, pagkamatay ni Gedeon, na ang mga anak ni Israel ay bumalik at sumamba sa mga Baal, at ginawang kanilang dios ang Baal-berith.

34 At hindi naalaala ng mga anak ni Israel ang Panginoon nilang Dios, na siyang nagpapaging laya sa kanila sa kamay ng lahat nilang mga kaaway sa buong palibot:

35 O gumanti man lamang ng kagandahang loob sa sangbahayan ni Jerobaal, na siyang Gedeon ayon sa lahat ng kabutihan na kaniyang ipinakita sa 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 Coelestia 3021, 3242, 3246, 3263, 8301

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 Gideon, the Lord Shall Reign Over You
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