Ban giám khảo 15

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1 Sau ít lâu, nhằm mùa gặt lúa mì, Sam-sôn đi thăm vợ mình, đem cho nàng một con dê con, và nói rằng: Tôi muốn đi đến cùng vợ tôi trong phòng nàng. Nhưng cha nàng không cho phép người vào,

2 bèn nói rằng: Ta ngờ ngươi ghét nó, nên ta đã gả nó cho bạn của ngươi. Em gái nó há chẳng lịch sự hơn nó sao? Vậy, hay lấy em nó thế cho.

3 Sam-sôn đáp rằng: Nếu lần nầy ta làm hại cho dân Phi-li-tin, thì ta cũng vô tội.

4 Vậy, Sam-sôn đi bắt ba trăm con chó rừng, cũng lấy những đuốc, rồi cột đuôi mỗi hai con lại, và cột đuốc giữa hai đuôi.

5 Người đốt đuốc, thả chó rừng vào trong lúa mì của dân Phi-li-tin. Như vậy, người đốt lúa mì đã bó cùng lúa mì chưa gặt, và các vườn ô-li-ve.

6 Dân Phi-li-tin hỏi: Ai làm điều đó? Người ta đáp: Sam-sôn, rể của người Thim-na, bởi vì người Thim-na bắt vợ hắn mà gả cho một người bạn của hắn. Dân Phi-li-tin bèn đi lên, thiêu nàng luôn với cha nàng trong lửa.

7 Sam-sôn nói: Nếu các ngươi làm như vậy, thì ta quyết hẳn báo thù các ngươi rồi mới chịu an nghỉ.

8 Người đánh chúng nó bị thua bệ cả thể. Ðoạn, người đi xuống và ở tại hang đá Ê-tam.

9 Bấy giờ, dân Phi-li-tin đi lên, đóng trại tại Giu-đa, và tràn ra đến Lê-chi.

10 Người Giu-đa nói cùng chúng rằng: Cớ sao các ngươi lên đánh chúng ta? Chúng đáp: chúng ta lên đây, ấy đặng trói Sam-sôn: chúng ta sẽ đãi hắn y như hắn đã đãi chúng ta!

11 Ba ngàn người Giu-đa bèn xuống hang đá Ê-tam mà nói cùng Sam-sôn rằng: Ngươi há chẳng biết dân Phi-li-tin là chủ chúng ta ư? Vậy, sao ngươi đã làm điều đó cho chúng ta? Người đáp: Ta đãi chúng nó như chính chúng nó đãi ta.

12 Chúng lại nói rằng: Chúng ta xuống đặng trói ngươi, để nộp ngươi vào tay dân Phi-li-tin. Sam-sôn tiếp: Hãy thề cùng ta rằng các ngươi chẳng giết ta.

13 Chúng đáp rằng: Không, chúng ta chỉ muốn trói ngươi, nộp vào tay dân Phi-li-tin, chớ chẳng muốn giết ngươi đâu. Vậy, chúng bèn trói người bằng hai sợi dây mới, và dắc ra khỏi hang đá.

14 Khi đến Lê-chi, dân Phi-li-tin ra đón người và la tiếng reo mừng. Song Thần của Ðức Giê-hô-va cảm động Sam-sôn, những dây cột cánh tay người trở thành như chỉ gai bị lửa đốt, tàn rớt khỏi tay người.

15 Gặp được một cái hàm lừa con mới tinh, người bèn giơ tay lượm lấy, và dùng nó đánh một ngàn người.

16 Bấy giờ, Sam-sôn nói rằng: Với một hàm lừa, giết chất thây từng đống! Với một hàm lừa, ta đánh một ngàn người!

17 Khi người đã nói xong, bèn ném cái hàm lừa khỏi tay mình, và đặt tên chổ đó là a-mát-Lê-chi.

18 Bởi người bị khát nước quá đỗi, bèn cầu khẩn Ðức Giê-hô-va, mà rằng: Chúa đã ban cho tôi tớ Chúa sự giải cứu lớn lao nầy; hồ dễ nào bây giờ tôi phải chết khát, và sa vào tay những kẻ không chịu cắt bì sao?

19 Ðức Chúa Trời liền chẻ hòn đá bộng ở tại Lê-chi, có nước chảy ra; Sam-sôn uống, thì tâm thần người hồi tỉnh, và lòng mạnh mẽ lại. Bởi đó cho nên người ta đặt tên cái suối nầy là Eân-Ha-cô-rê cho đến ngày nay. Suối ấy ở tại Lê-chi.

20 Nhằm thời kỳ dân Phi-li-tin quản hạt Y-sơ-ra-ên, thì Sam-sôn làm quan xét nơi Y-sơ-ra-ên trọn hai mươi năm.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 15      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 15: Samson defeats the Philistines.

At the beginning of this chapter, we learn that the one who gave Samson’s wife to another man was his father-in-law, who thought that Samson truly hated her. He then offered Samson her younger sister instead, saying, “Is she not better? Take her.”

Samson, enraged, took three-hundred foxes and tied them tail-to-tail in pairs, with a lit torch between them. He then released them in the Philistines’ standing grain, vineyards and olive groves to burn up their crops, as revenge for the loss of his wife. In retaliation, the Philistines went and burned her and her father. In a final act of vengeance, Samson killed very many of the Philistines, then went to dwell in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

The Philistines went to Judah, stating their intent to arrest Samson, and the men of Judah passed on the message to him. Samson made the Judeans promise not to kill him themselves, but only to bind him with two new ropes before giving him to the Philistines as a prisoner.

When the Philistines came, Samson broke apart the ropes, and killed a thousand of them with the jawbone of a donkey. Then he threw the jawbone away, and complained to the Lord that he was thirsty. The Lord answered his cry for help by splitting the ground where the jawbone fell, so that Samson could drink the water that flowed from it.

The final verse of this chapter tells us that Samson judged Israel twenty years.

*****

Samson’s marriage to a Philistine woman speaks to the appealing, or even enticing, nature of ‘faith alone’ spirituality, represented by the Philistines. We must stay on our guard, to ensure that we are not caught up in thinking that faith alone will save us. The father offers Samson his wife’s younger sister, saying she is even better, but Samson had already learned to be wary by that point.

The foxes, tied together with their tails lit on fire, vividly describes the twisted and destructive nature of faith alone, and the way it consumes our potential to lead a fruitful life. The Word often depicts the state of a nation or religion through a story illustrating its true nature (True Christian Religion 130)

The cycle of revenge between Samson and the Philistines represents our personal struggles during temptation and our wish to regenerate. Our whole effort during regeneration is to resist sins that might lure us in, and to maintain our intention to live the Word (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 83[6]). The men of Judah who bind Samson represent our love for the Lord and for everything of the Lord, although this seems contradictory on a surface level. In this case, being ‘bound up’ means to be bound in our commitment to the Lord, so that we are restrained from doing evil (see Swedenborg’s work, Heaven and Hell 577[4]).

Samson stands for the power of the Word acting in our lives to assert what is true, to protect what must be upheld, and to defend against evils. He uses the jawbone of a donkey because a jawbone allows us to eat food (spiritually, nourishment from the Word), and also to proclaim the Lord’s truths. This gives us the power to expose and reject the belief that spirituality consists of faith alone (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 9049[6]).

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 3519, 4871, 9836

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