Judges 7

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1 Then Jerubbaal (who is Gideon) and all the people that were with him, rose early, and encamped beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

2 And the LORD said to Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, My own hand hath saved me.

3 Now therefore, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

4 And the LORD said to Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down to the water, and I will try them for thee there; and it shall be, that of whom I say to thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say to thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

5 So he brought down the people to the water: and the LORD said to Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise Every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.

6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

7 And the LORD said to Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thy hand: and let all the other people go every man to his place.

8 So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent of all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, and retained those three hundred men. And the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

9 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said to him, Arise, go down to the host; for I have delivered it into thy hand.

10 But if thou fearest to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:

11 And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thy hands be strengthened to go down to the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant to the outside of the armed men that were in the host.

12 And the Midianites, and the Amalekites, and all the children of the east, lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.

13 And when Gideon had come, behold, there was a man that told a dream to his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and lo, a cake of barley-bread rolled into the host of Midian, and came to a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it that the tent lay along.

14 And his fellow answered, and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.

15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and its interpretation, that he worshiped, and returned to the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.

16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.

17 And he said to them, Look on me, and do likewise: and behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that as I do, so shall ye do.

18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came to the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers that were in their hands.

20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow with: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

21 And they stood every man in his place around the camp; and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.

22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Beth-shittah in Zereroth, and to the border of Abel-meholah, to Tabbath.

23 And the men of Israel assembled out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued the Midianites.

24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters to Beth-barah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim assembled, and took the waters to Beth-barah and Jordan.

25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the wine-press of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of Jordan.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 7      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 7: Gideon’s valiant three hundred men.

Gideon and all his men camped by the well of Harod, which can mean “eager”, and also “trembling.” The Lord told Gideon that his army was too large, which could lead Israel to boast that they won by their own efforts (rather than the Lord’s power). Gideon was instructed to send away anyone who was afraid; 22,000 went home, leaving 10,000.

Even still, the Lord said the army was too large, so Gideon tested the men by taking them down to the water to drink. The Lord directed Gideon to call out those who lapped water from out of their hands rather than kneeling down to drink with their mouths. Three hundred men were chosen by this method of selection.

The Lord then commanded Gideon to go down to the Midianite camp, and if he was afraid, to take his servant, Phurah. There, Gideon overheard one of the soldiers telling his companion that he’d had a dream, in which a loaf of bread came tumbling into the camp and struck one of the tents so that it collapsed. The other soldier said that this meant the Lord would give victory to Gideon.

Gideon gave each of his men a trumpet, and a pitcher containing a lit torch. They surrounded the Midianite camp, and at the command of Gideon, they blew their trumpets, broke their pitchers to show the torches, and shouted, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” This caused panic in the camp, and every Midianite drew his sword against another, and many fled. Then Gideon ordered the capture and killing of the two Midianite princes, whose heads were brought to him.

*****

We must give glory to the Lord for successes that we seem to earn, as He alone does what is good. The Lord told Gideon to reduce the size of his army, to avoid the dangers of growing too proud. Since we live our lives as if we do everything ourselves, this is a constant threat. The fact that about two-thirds of Gideon’s army were afraid and went home shows the reality of our nature (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 442).

Lapping water from the hand reflects our need to see and examine what we take into our minds. Water stands for truth, but it can also stand for false ideas. If we drink directly from the water, we accept indiscriminately and examine nothing. Cupping and holding the water in our hands means that we can see how to apply this truth through our attitudes and actions (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 6047[2]).

Gideon’s army of only three hundred men was all it took to defeat the Midianites. The number ‘three’ stands for something which is complete or full in itself. Some spiritual examples include mind, body and soul, as well as celestial, spiritual and natural (see Swedenborg’s Apocalypse Explained 435[3] and 532[2]).

The dream Gideon overheard stands for the power of good (the bread) to break down the apparent power of what is evil and false (the tent) (Arcana Caelestia 4247[3]). The name of Gideon’s servant, Phurah, means “fruitfulness”, or “a winepress”, which is where Gideon was first called by the angel of the Lord.

The trumpet and the torch both stand for the power of truth to overcome evil and false ideas, the trumpet by its penetrating sound, and the torch by its illuminating light. There is no mention of swords for the army of Israel.

Finally, the oppression by the Midianites represents knowing what is true, but living a life governed by our own desires. This leads us increasingly further away from obeying the Lord. Of course, this must be addressed. The Midianites destroyed each other in their panic, meaning what is disorderly and against the Lord holds no validity, and eventually destroys itself (Arcana Caelestia 9320).

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 8815


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 3242, 5955, 7602, 7643, 9397

Apocalypse Revealed 397


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 455, 502, 543

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Genesis 24:26, 46:2

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Deuteronomy 8:17, 20:8

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1 Kings 4:12, 20:20, 27

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2 Chronicles 20:15, 17, 23

Psalms 33:16, 83:10, 12

Proverbs 16:2

Isaiah 9:3, 10:13, 26

Zechariah 14:13

Acts of the Apostles 18:9

1 Corinthians 1:29

Významy biblických slov

rose
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

early
Since the sun represents the Lord, the early morning and sunrise represent a state of enlightenment, with a new and clear understanding coming after a...

encamped
'Pitch,' as in Genesis 14:10, denotes lusts. 'Burning pitch,' as in Isaiah 34:9, signifies direful fantasies.

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

midianites
'Midianites' signify people who are in the truth of simple good.

north
'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

Moreh
'Moreh' signifies the earliest moment of the Lord's perception.

valley
Mountains in the Bible represent people's highest points, where we are closest to the Lord - our love of the Lord and the state of...

the Lord
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...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

many
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

give
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...

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

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...

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

saved
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

proclaim
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

return
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

Mount Gilead
Mount Gilead, as in Genesis 31:21, 23, as a boundary, in a spiritual sense, signifies the first good, which is that of things pertaining to...

mount
Mount Gilead, as in Genesis 31:21, 23, as a boundary, in a spiritual sense, signifies the first good, which is that of things pertaining to...

Gilead
Mount Gilead, as in Genesis 31:21, 23, as a boundary, in a spiritual sense, signifies the first good, which is that of things pertaining to...

returned
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

twenty
'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...

two
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...

thousand
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...

ten
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

tongue
In Psalms 5:9, 'the throat an open sepulcher,' relates to evil, 'the tongue speaking smooth things,' to falsity.

dog
A dog, as in Exodus 11 (Exod. 11:7: seven, ignifies the lowest or meanest of all in the church, also those who are without the...

knees
A knee,' as in Genesis 30:5, signifies conjugial love. The king,' as in Isaiah 66:12, signifies celestial love. A knee,' as in Ezekiel 7:17, signifies...

drink
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

three
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Three hundred
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hundred
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...

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

people
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save
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man
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place
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trumpets
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sent
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tent
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midian
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beneath
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night
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arise
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go down
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hear
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strengthened
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amalekites
Amalek, or the Amalekites, signifies those who are in false principles.

children
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grasshoppers
Grasshoppers signify the same as locusts: the false which vastates the extremes of the natural part of the mind.

camels
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

without number
In Joel 1:6, 'strong' relates to the power of evil, and 'without number,' of the power of falsity.

sand
'Sand,' as in Matthew 7:27, signifies faith separate from charity.

sea
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come
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dream
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fell
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barley
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bread
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came
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a tent
'To pitch a tent,' as in Genesis 12:8, denotes conjunction.

smote
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overturned
'Overturned' signifies punishing.

answered
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sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

son
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

look
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

camp
Camps in the Bible represent spiritual order – a person’s (or a church community’s) whole collection of desires for good and true ideas on how...

stood
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fled
Flight, as in Matthew 14:20, signifies removal from a state of the good of love and innocence. Flight, as in Mark 8:18, signifies the last...

naphtali
'Naphtali' in a supreme sense, signifies the proper power of the Lord’s divine human. In a spiritual sense, he signifies temptation and victory and a...

manasseh
'Manasseh' signifies the will of the spiritual church.

pursued
'To pursue,' as in Genesis 14:16, signifies a state of purification, because 'to pursue enemies' is the expulsion of evils and falsities which were with...

messengers
'A messenger' signifies communication.

ephraim
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...

Come down
To come down (Gen. 11:5), is predicated of Jehovah, by reason of his being called the Highest. This is spoken according to appearance.

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...

princes
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

slew
'To slay a man to his wounding,' means extinguishing faith, and 'to slay a young man to his hurt,' signifies extinguishing charity, as in Genesis...

rock
'A rock' signifies the Lord regarding the divine truth of the Word.

press
These verbs in the Bible indicate a conflict between two spiritual states, and the effort it takes to attain the higher state. It's easy to...

heads
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

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Draw pictures of the weapons Gideon was to use to fight the Midianites--a trumpet, pitcher and torch.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

 Gideon Blows the Trumpet
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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Review Gideon's victory over the Midianites by completing a crossword puzzle.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

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Activity | Ages over 18

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Questions for an oral review of the story of Gideon, Judges chapters 6 and 7.
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Color and cut out pictures of a torch, pitcher and trumpet. Reenact the story of Gideon's victory over the Midianites.
Project | Ages 7 - 13

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A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Torch and Trumpet
Project | Ages 4 - 10


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