Judges 9

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1 Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's brothers, and spoke with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,

2 "Please speak in the ears of all the men of Shechem, 'Is it better for you that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are seventy persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you?' Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh."

3 His mother's brothers spoke of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, "He is our brother."

4 They gave him seventy [pieces] of silver out of the house of Baal Berith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light fellows, who followed him.

5 He went to his father's house at Ophrah, and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, being seventy persons, on one stone: but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself.

6 All the men of Shechem assembled themselves together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem.

7 When they told it to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said to them, "Listen to me, you men of Shechem, that God may Listen to you.

8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us.'

9 "But the olive tree said to them, 'Should I leave my fatness, with which by me they honor God and man, and go to wave back and forth over the trees?'

10 "The trees said to the fig tree, 'Come and reign over us.'

11 "But the fig tree said to them, 'Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to wave back and forth over the trees?'

12 "The trees said to the vine, 'Come and reign over us.'

13 "The vine said to them, 'Should I leave my new wine, which cheers God and man, and go to wave back and forth over the trees?'

14 "Then all the trees said to the bramble, 'Come and reign over us.'

15 "The bramble said to the trees, 'If in truth you anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'

16 "Now therefore, if you have dealt truly and righteously, in that you have made Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done to him according to the deserving of his hands

17 (for my father fought for you, and risked his life, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian:

18 and you have risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, seventy persons, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his female servant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother);

19 if you then have dealt truly and righteously with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:

20 but if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech."

21 Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and lived there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

22 Abimelech was prince over Israel three years.

23 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:

24 that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.

25 The men of Shechem set an ambush for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.

26 Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brothers, and went over to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him.

27 They went out into the field, and gathered their vineyards, and trod [the grapes], and held festival, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech.

28 Gaal the son of Ebed said, "Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Isn't he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: but why should we serve him?

29 Would that this people were under my hand! Then I would remove Abimelech." He said to Abimelech, "Increase your army, and come out!"

30 When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled.

31 He sent messengers to Abimelech craftily, saying, "Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brothers are come to Shechem; and behold, they constrain the city [to take part] against you.

32 Now therefore, go up by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field:

33 and it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early, and rush on the city; and behold, when he and the people who are with him come out against you, then may you do to them as you shall find occasion."

34 Abimelech rose up, and all the people who were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.

35 Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people who were with him, from the ambush.

36 When Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, "Behold, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains." Zebul said to him, "You see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men."

37 Gaal spoke again and said, "Behold, people are coming down by the middle of the land, and one company comes by the way of the oak of Meonenim."

38 Then Zebul said to him, "Now where is your mouth, that you said, 'Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him?' Isn't this the people that you have despised? Please go out now and fight with them."

39 Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.

40 Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many fell wounded, even to the entrance of the gate.

41 Abimelech lived at Arumah: and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers, that they should not dwell in Shechem.

42 It happened on the next day, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.

43 He took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field; and he looked, and behold, the people came forth out of the city; He rose up against them, and struck them.

44 Abimelech, and the companies that were with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two companies rushed on all who were in the field, and struck them.

45 Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and killed the people who were therein: and he beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.

46 When all the men of the tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered into the stronghold of the house of Elberith.

47 It was told Abimelech that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.

48 Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his shoulder: and he said to the people who were with him, "What you have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done!"

49 All the people likewise each cut down his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them at the base of the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire on them; so that all the people of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.

51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and there fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut themselves in, and went up to the roof of the tower.

52 Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and drew near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire.

53 A certain woman cast an upper millstone on Abimelech's head, and broke his skull.

54 Then he called hastily to the young man his armor bearer, and said to him, "Draw your sword, and kill me, that men not say of me, 'A woman killed him.' His young man thrust him through, and he died."

55 When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man to his place.

56 Thus God requited the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did to his father, in killing his seventy brothers;

57 and all the wickedness of the men of Shechem did God requite on their heads: and on them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 9      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 9: Abimelech’s conspiracy, the parable of the trees, Abimelech’s downfall.

This chapter follows the story of Gideon’s many sons; he had seventy sons by his many wives, and also one other son, Abimelech, by a concubine. After Gideon’s death, Abimelech went to the men of Shechem, where his mother’s family lived, and asked them if they would rather be ruled by seventy sons, or by him. The men of Shechem agreed it would be better to have one king, so they gave him seventy pieces of silver from the temple of Baal. Using the silver, Abimelech hired men to come with him, and they killed the seventy sons of Gideon except the youngest, Jotham, who hid. Then they anointed Abimelech king.

When Jotham heard the news, he stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and taunted the men of Shechem with a parable. In his parable, the trees were searching for a king to lead them; they ask the olive, then the fig, then the vine to rule over them. Each refuses, because they do not want to give up their special purpose. Finally, the bramble agrees to lead them, but gives them the choice of either sheltering in its non-existent shade or being consumed by its own fire.

Jotham explained the parable, warning that Abimelech and the men of Shechem would more than likely tear each other down in the end. Then he fled to Beer to escape his brother’s vengeance.

After Abimelech had ruled Israel for three years, the Lord sent an evil spirit to spark ill-will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. This evil spirit was meant to avenge the killing of Gideon’s seventy sons.

The rest of this chapter describes the city’s descent into chaos, illustrating the various manifestations of evil and falsity through many examples. Robbers were sent to ambush travellers in the mountains, the people of Shechem drunkenly cursed Abimelech in the temple of their god, and the tower of Shechem was burned, killing a thousand hiding in it. Finally, Abimelech lay siege to Thebez, and the people took shelter on the top of a tower there. When he tried to burn that tower, a woman hurled down a millstone to break Abimelech’s skull. In his final moments, Abimelech commanded his armourbearer to kill him with his sword, so that people would not say he was killed by a woman. All of these incidents depict the absolute corruption under Abimelech’s rule.

*****

The key to understanding this story is that Gideon’s son, Abimelech, is the son of a concubine, not a lawful wife. Spiritually speaking, a concubine stands for a love that has become distorted. A genuine love for someone is a love for sake of that other person, while a distorted love means loving someone for what we can get from them (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Love and Wisdom 271[2], on the love of dominating for the sake of self-love).

The references to Gideon’s seventy sons stand for the enormity of Abimelech’s wrongdoing. The number ‘seven’ stands for something fully worked through, and seventy even more so.

Jotham’s parable presents three levels of pure love: the love of the Lord (the olive with its fragrant oil), the love of truth (the vine with its rich wine), and the love of use (the fig with its abundant seeds). The bramble, with its painful grip, stands for a love of evil and falsity (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 273).

The evil spirit sent by the Lord seems to show that God was punishing his own people, but that is only how things appear (Arcana Caelestia 1838). When we look deeper, we will realize that we are punished by our own evil actions, for evil breeds more evil and there is no rest for the wicked (see Isaiah 48:22). In regeneration, the process of breaking down the power of evil and false states in ourselves is called “vastation”. Once we have done the grueling work to minimize these influences over us, we can fully appreciate the joys of spiritual life (Arcana Caelestia 2694[2]).

Spiritually, an ambush depicts the way hell attacks our minds: without warning. Drunkenness and cursing a former ally stands for the abandonment of all values and integrity. The tower represents the pride which rises up in self-love and love of dominance, and beyond that, Abimelech’s aversion to being killed by a woman stands for the rejection of all that is good and true. Her millstone grinds corn to make it edible, in the same way that we must process truths to put them to use (see Swedenborg’s work, Apocalypse Explained 1182).

This powerful chapter shows the descent of evil into greater evils, until they become so consuming they have no vestige of good left, and no recognition of truth remaining. The final two verses state: “Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father by killing his seventy brothers. And all the evil of the men of Shechem God returned on their own heads, and on them came the curse of Jotham the son of Gideon.”

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 157, 1666, 2455, 4430, 9207, 9277, 9905, ...


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 638

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Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Genesis 29:14, 33:19

Numbers 21:16, 28

Deuteronomy 27:12

Joshua 8:3, 4, 20:7, 24:26

Judges 1:7, 4:9, 6:11, 8:30, 33, 35, 9:4, 15, 20, 27, 57, 11:3, 12:3

1 Samuel 2:3, 16:14, 15, 25:10, 31:4

2 Samuel 1:9, 3:39, 5:9, 11:21, 15:4, 13

1 Kings 1:21, 2:32, 33, 12:16, 22:23

2 Kings 3:25, 11:3, 14:8, 9

2 Chronicles 13:7, 21:4

Job 31:3

Psalms 7:17, 10:8, 68:15, 94:23, 104:15

Proverbs 5:22

Isaiah 3:11

Lamentations 4:20

Ezekiel 19:14

Acts of the Apostles 17:5

James 4:16

Významy biblických slov

Abimelech
Abimelech, his companion Ahusath, and Phicol, the chief captain of his army (Genesis 26:26), represent the doctrinals of faith as grounded in the literal sense...

son
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

Shechem
In Genesis 12:6, 'Abram’s passing through the land unto the place Shechem' signifies a new state of the Lord when the celestial aspects of love...

mother's
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

brothers
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

spoke
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

family
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

men
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

remember
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

bone
Bones are strong and supportive, providing a framework for our bodies and making motion and action possible. They are also the least "alive" part of...

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

brother
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

words
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

hearts
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

To
‘To grieve at heart’ is in reference to love, and ‘to repent,’ to wisdom, as in Genesis 6:6.

follow
To go after or to follow, as in Genesis 24:8, signifies to be separated from the natural, and conjoined to the rational principle.

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...

silver
'Money' relates to truth.

killed
'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...

stone
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

youngest
In general, birth order in the Bible reflects the progression of spiritual states, but the specifics of those states depends greatly on context: who the...

stood
'To stand,' and 'come forth' as in Daniel 7:10, refers to truth. In Genesis 24:13, it signifies a state of conjunction of divine truth with...

mount
'Mount Olivet' signifies the celestial church, or celestial good, which comes from love towards the Lord, and divine love.

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

voice
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

listen
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

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...

trees
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

anoint
Oil in the Bible represents the Lord’s love, so anointing someone (or something) with oil was a way to make that person (or object) a...

olive tree
Shaking of an olive tree,' as in Isaiah 24:13, signifies the vastation of the church of its good. 'The olive tree' signifies the perception of...

olive
'An olive,' as in Isaiah 17:6, signifies celestial remains. 'An olive' signifies love and charity, because 'the olive tree' signifies the celestial church, and so...

reign
To reign,' as in Revelation 5, signifies being in truths and goods, and so in power, from the Lord, to resist evils and falsities which...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

fatness
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

honor
'Honor' signifies the good of love. 'To honor,' as mentioned in Isaiah 24:15, signifies worship and adoration. 'To honor thy father and thy mother,' as...

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...

wave
'A wave' denotes life flowing in.

fig tree
The Writings tell us that the fig tree represents the "natural human," which is our outward life in the world, and the thoughts and feelings...

fig
The Writings tell us that the fig tree represents the "natural human," which is our outward life in the world, and the thoughts and feelings...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

new wine
'Must' or 'new wine' denotes evil produced by false.

bramble
A bramble (Exod. 3:2) signifies scientific truth, because all small shrubs of every kind signify scientifics, but the greater shrubs themselves signify perceptions and knowledges....

in truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

shade
In Psalm 121:6, 'be a shade on the right hand' means being a defense against the evil and falsity.

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

devour
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

cedars
'Libanus' signifies the spiritual church. The glory of Libanus,' as in Isaiah 9:13, signifies the celestial spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom and church.

lebanon
'Lebanon' signifies spiritual good. 'Lebanon' signifies the church regarding the perception of truth from the rational self.

truly
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

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...

midian
'Midian' signifies people who are in falsity.

risen
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...

risen up
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...

day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

slain
'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...

rejoice
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

fled
To flee signifies to escape, and be rescued. To flee signifies to be overcome.

israel
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

evil
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

violence
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

blood
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

kill
'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...

strengthened
To 'be strengthened,' as in Genesis 21:18, signifies being supported.

Tops of the mountains
'On the first of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen,' as in Genesis 8:5, signifies the truths of faith, which begin to...

mountains
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

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

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

vineyards
A vineyard signifies the church where the Word is, by which the Lord is known. (Apocalypse Revealed 650)

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

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...

serve
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

officer
'Officer' denotes doctrines or principles of interpretation.

Hamor
'Hamor, the father of Schechem,' represents the truth of the church among the ancients. 'Hamor, the father of Schechem,' signifies the good of the church...

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

remove
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

increase
'Produce' denotes fruit derived from the good of charity, and truth of faith.

army
A host and an army come from the same Hebrew word and mean the same thing in Bible; when the Children of Israel were numbered...

ruler
'A ruler' or 'governor' signifies goods of the church, and in the opposite sense, falsities.

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

heard
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

anger
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

messengers
'A messenger' signifies communication.

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

sun
The 'sun' signifies celestial and spiritual love. The 'sun' in the Word, when referring to the Lord, signifies His divine love and wisdom. Because the...

rise
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
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

find
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

rose up
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...

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...

four
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

entrance
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

gate
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

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,"...

see
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...

shadow
Since the sun’s light represents the Lord’s Divine Truth, “shade” represents a spiritual state in which that light is blocked. The Writings often use the...

coming
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

land
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

comes
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

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...

despised
We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...

Go out
To go out to meet, as in Genesis 14:17, signifies to submit themselves. To go out, as in Genesis 28:10, signifies to live more remotely....

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

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...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

struck
'To smite' signifies condemnation. 'To smite,' as in Genesis 14:15, signifies vindication. 'To smite,' as in Genesis 32:8, signifies destruction. 'To smite the earth with...

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...

salt
'Salt' is the desire of conjunction of truth with good, which is why only salt will conjoin water, which corresponds to truth, and oil, which...

tower
'Towers,' as in Psalms 48:12, signify the interior truths which defend the aspects of love and charity. In the opposite sense, they denote the interiors...

entered
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

seen
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...

haste
'To hasten' or 'hastiness' in the internal sense, does not denote what is quick, but what is certain, and also what is full, thus every...

people
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

died
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

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...

women
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

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

strong
Strength' relates truth and falsity. Strength,' as in Luke 10:27, signifies the will and understanding extended to extremes. Strength,' as in Revelation 1:6, signifies divine...

shut
There are only a couple of references in the Writings to "close" used as a verb, and both stem from Amos 9:11, which talks about...

roof
'A house-top,' as mentioned in Matthew 24:13, signifies the superior state of a person, and consequently, his state as to good.

near
'Nigh' denotes truth in affinity with good.

door
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

Woman
'Virgin' and 'woman,' in the Word, signify the affection of good.

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

young
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

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...

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...

dead
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

man
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

wickedness
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

heads
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

curse
The Lord is love itself, and his love for us never wavers and never changes. What does waver and change is the degree to which...

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 Abimelech’s Death
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Jotham Tells the Parable of the Trees
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Sequence the Story of Abimelech
Cut out sentence strips to sequence the story of Abimelech.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

 The Parable of the Trees
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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