Ban giám khảo 12

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Vietnamese Bible (1934)     

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1 Người Ép-ra-im nhóm hiệp đến tại Xa-phôn, và nói cùng Giép-thê rằng: Vì sao ngươi đi đánh dân Am-môn không gọi chúng ta đi với? chúng ta sẽ đốt nhà ngươi luôn với ngươi.

2 Giép-thê đáp rằng: Ta và dân sự ta có cuộc tranh cạnh rất lớn với dân Am-môn; và khi ta kêu các ngươi, thì các ngươi không có giải cứu ta khỏi tay chúng nó.

3 Thấy rằng các ngươi không đến tiếp cứu ta, thì ta đã liều mình đi đánh dân Am-môn, và Ðức Giê-hô-va đã phó chúng nó vào tay ta. Vậy, sao ngày nay các ngươi lên đến ta đặng tranh chiến cùng ta?

4 Kế ấy, Giép-thê hiệp lại hết thảy dân Ga-la-át, giao chiến cùng Ép-ra-im. Người Ga-la-át đánh bại người Ép-ra-im, vì họ nói rằng: Ớ dân Ga-la-át, giữa Ép-ra-im và Ma-na-se, các ngươi chỉ là là kẻ trốn tránh của Ép-ra-im đó thôi!

5 Ðoạn, người Ga-la-át xâm chiếm những chỗ cạn sông Giô-đanh, trước khi người Ép-ra-im đến đó. Và khi một người trốn nào của Ép-ra-im nói rằng: Xin để cho tôi đi qua, thì người Ga-la-át nói rằng: Ngươi có phải người Ép-ra-im chăng? Người đáp: Không.

6 Chúng bèn nói cùng người rằng: Thế thì, hãy nói: Si-bô-lết; người nói Si-bô-lết, không thế nói cho rõ được; chúng bèn bắt họ và giết đi tại chỗ cạn của sông Giô-đanh. Trong lúc đó có bốn mươi hai ngàn người Ép-ra-im bị chết.

7 Giép-thê, người Ga-la-át làm quan xét trong Y-sơ-ra-ên được sáu năm. Ðoạn, người qua đời, và được chôn trong một thành ở xứ Ga-la-át.

8 Sau người, có Iếp-san ở Bết-lê-hem làm quan xét trong Y-sơ-ra-ên.

9 Người có ba mươi con traiba mươi con gái. Người gả các con gái ra ngoài nhà mình, và cưới ba mươi con gái ở ngoài làm vợ cho con trai mình. Người làm quan xét trong Y-sơ-ra-ên được bảy năm.

10 Ðoạn, Iếp-san qua đời, được chôn ở Bết-lê-hem.

11 Sau Iếp-san, có Ê-lôn người Sa-bu-lôn, làm quan xét trong Y-sơ-ra-ên, phán xét Y-sơ-ra-ên trong mười năm.

12 Ðoạn, Ê-lôn, người Sa-bu-lôn, qua đời, được chôn tại A-gia-lôn, trong đất chi phái Sa-bu-lôn.

13 Sau Ê-lôn, có Áp-đôn, con trai Hi-lên, người Phi-ra-thôn, làm quan xét trong Y-sơ-ra-ên.

14 Người có bốn mươi con traiba mươi cháu trai; chúng nó đều cỡi bảy mươi lừa con; người phán xét Y-sơ-ra-ên tám năm.

15 Ðoạn, Áp-đôn, con trai Hi-lên, người Phi-ra-thôn, qua đời và được chôn tại Phi-ra-thôn, ở xứ Ép-ra-im, trên núi dân A-ma-léc.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 12      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 12: Jephthah’s conflict with Ephraim; Ibzan, Elon and Abdon.

After Jephthah’s victory over the Ammonites, the men of Ephraim came to Jephthah, demanding to know why he hadn’t asked them to join the battle. Jephthah answered that when his people had struggled against Ammon in the past, Ephraim had not answered their calls for help.

Jephthah and Ephraim went to war over this dispute, and Ephraim was defeated. Jephthah’s men, the men of Gilead, stood by the fords of the Jordan to catch fleeing Ephraimites. When a man asked to cross, they would tell him to say “Shibboleth”. The men who pronounced the word as “Sibboleth” were from Ephraim, and were put to death. In total, forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed in the war.

Jephthah died after judging Israel for six years, and was buried in Gilead.


The spiritual meaning of Ephraim is to understand the truths of the Word. Wherever Ephraim is referenced in a negative sense, as in this chapter, the spiritual meaning becomes an understanding of the Word which has been destroyed. The Word commands us to live by what we understand and believe; in this story, Ephraim did not heed Jephthah’s words (see Swedenborg’s work, Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 79[3]).

The escaping Ephraimites were exposed by their accent, as they could not pronounce the ‘sh’ sound of “Shibboleth”. The letter ‘h’ stands for the genuine truth of the Word, which is the love of the Lord and for the neighbour. A purely intellectual understanding of the Word fails to comprehend this living heart that makes the Word what it is, and consequently, can only say “Sibboleth” (see Swdenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 4280).

The Word tells us that forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed - that seems an colossal number of casualties! But the Word does not report facts from a historical standpoint; it presents living truths, even in numbers. Forty-two is six multiplied by seven, so its spiritual meaning can be understood as a combination of both numbers. In the creation story, the Lord worked for six days and rested on the seventh. This idea relates to our regeneration, which involves our struggles during temptation, as well as the peace that comes from spiritual growth. The fact that the number of casualties was in the thousands emphasizes the significance of the spiritual meaning (Arcana Caelestia 8539[2]).

Jephthah judged Israel six years. The number six here carries the same meaning of conflict and work during temptation. The temptation in this chapter would be to understand the Word purely in an intellectual or dead way (Ephraim in a bad sense), rather than living by the truths it teaches.


After Jephthah, there were three minor judges of Israel. The first was Ibzan, who gave away thirty daughters to marry abroad, and brought in thirty foreign daughters for his thirty sons. The Bible does not tell us any more about Ibzan, except the curious fact that he came from Bethlehem. It’s uncertain whether this is the same town where the Lord would be born, or another town of the same name.

Ibzan, whose name means ‘illustrious’, stands for a generous and willing spirit, able to take in new perspectives and to share his blessings with others. This concept is called mutual love, which is a key quality of heaven (Arcana Caelestia 2738).

The next judge, Elon, came from Zebulun, and led Israel for ten years. Even these few details that we learn about him present a sense of integrity in their spiritual meanings: his name means an ‘oak’, a tree which is associated with nobility, strength, and longevity, each of which are fitting qualities of a leader; he came from Zebulun, which represents the unity of good and truth (Arcana Caelestia 4592[13]); and the number ten (the number of years that he judged Israel) symbolizes completeness, and also our spiritual ‘remains’ (see Sweenborg’s work, Doctrine of Life 56).

The third and final judge, Abdon, had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy young donkeys. Abdon’s name means “to serve”, which is the third spiritual principle after love and truth. To serve is to offer our life to God through charity toward others. A young donkey represents the untamed level of our lives before regeneration, which needs spiritual care (Arcana Caelestia 5084[8]).

These last three ‘minor’ judges remind us of the qualities which guard against the next major opponent of Israel: the Philistines, who represent faith without regard to charity or good works.


Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 2781, 9212

Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 31

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