Abagwebi 10

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1 Emva koAbhimeleki kwavela uTola, unyana kaPuwa, unyana kaDodo, umIsakare, ohleli eShamire ezintabeni zakwaEfrayim; wawasindisa amaSirayeli.

2 Wawalawula amaSirayeli iminyaka emashumi mabini anamithathu; wafa, wangcwatyelwa eShamire.

3 Emva kwakhe kwavela uYahire umGiliyadi, wawalawula amaSirayeli iminyaka emashumi mabini anamibini.

4 Wayenoonyana abamashumi mathathu, abakhwela emaesileni amatsha amashumi mathathu, benemizi emashumi mathathu, ekuthiwa yiHavoti-yahire yona unanamhla, esezweni laseGiliyadi.

5 Wafa uYahire, wangcwatyelwa eKamon.

6 Baphinda oonyana bakaSirayeli benza ububi emehlweni kaYehova bakhonza ooBhahali, nooAshtaroti, noothixo bakwa-Aram, noothixo baseTsidon, noothixo bakwaMowabhi, noothixo boonyana baka-Amon, noothixo bamaFilisti. Bamlahla uYehova, abamkhonza.

7 Wavutha umsindo kaYehova kumaSirayeli, wathengisa ngawo, wawanikela esandleni samaFilisti, nasesandleni soonyana baka-Amon.

8 Babaguba babacola oonyana bakaSirayeli kwangaloo mnyaka; babacola iminyaka elishumi elinesibhozo bonke oonyana bakaSirayeli, ababephesheya kweYordan ezweni lama-Amori eliseGiliyadi.

9 Oonyana baka-Amon bayiwela iYordan, ukuze balwe namaYuda, namaBhenjamin, nendlu yakwaEfrayim; amaSirayeli abandezeleka kunene.

10 Bakhala oonyana bakaSirayeli kuYehova, bathi, Sikonile, ngokuba simlahlile uThixo wethu, sakhonza ooBhahali.

11 Wathi uYehova koonyana bakaSirayeli, Ndibe ndinganisindisanga na kumaYiputa, nakuma-Amori, nakoonyana baka-Amon, nakumaFilisti,

12 nakumaTsidon, nakuma-Amaleki, nakumaMahon, abenixina; nakhala kum, ndanisindisa esandleni sawo?

13 Nindilahlile nina, nakhonza thixo bambi; ngako oko andiyi kuphinda ndinisindise.

14 Hambani niye kukhala koothixo enibanyulileyo; mabanisindise bona ngexesha lokubandezelwa kwenu.

15 Bathi oonyana bakaSirayeli kuYehova, Sonile; yenza wena kuthi ngokubona kwakho; kodwa khawusihlangule okwanamhla.

16 Babasusa oothixo bolunye uhlanga phakathi kwabo, bakhonza uYehova. Wakhathazeka umphefumlo wakhe ngokwaphuka kwamaSirayeli.

17 Babizeleka ndawonye oonyana baka-Amon, bamisa eGiliyadi. Bahlanganisana oonyana bakaSirayeli, bamisa eMizpa.

18 Bathi abantu, abathetheli baseGiliyadi, omnye komnye, Ngubani na indoda eya kuqala ukulwa noonyana baka-Amon? Yoba yintloko yabemi bonke baseGiliyadi.


Exploring the Meaning of Abagwebi 10      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 10: Tola, Jair; Israel oppressed again.

This chapter opens by mentioning the judges Tola and Jair, who judged for twenty-three years and twenty-two years, respectively. The text gives us very little information about them, except that Jair had thirty sons, who rode on thirty donkeys and had thirty cities in the land of Gilead.

After Jair died, the people soon disobeyed the Lord, and worshipped the gods of Syria, Sidon, Moab, Philistia, and Ammon. This provoked the Lord’s anger, so He caused the Philistines and Ammonites to oppress Israel. The Ammonites first attacked the two-and-a-half tribes living on the eastern side of the Jordan, then crossed the river to attack Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim.

The people cried out to the Lord, saying that they had forsaken Him, but He told them to go to the other gods they had chosen. However, the people asked again for forgiveness, stopped worshipping foreign gods, and turned back to the Lord, so His anger toward them subsided.

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This chapter describes another episode in Israel’s cycle of disobedience and punishment, in which the people repeatedly turn away from the Lord when there is no leader. No matter how often we affirm our faith in the Lord, we, too, will default to our natural desires and false thinking. As we come to recognize and accept this fact of life, we can find comfort in the Lord. He understands this completely, and does not blame or punish us.

The first judge mentioned is Tola. His name means “a worm-like grub”, suggesting the idea of metamorphosis and regeneration (see Swedenborg’s work, True Christian Religion 106[2]). Tola’s father was Puah (meaning “shining”), his grandfather was Dodo (meaning “amorous, loving”), and their city was Shamir (which means “keeping the commandment”). These names bring to mind the spiritual qualities of truth, love and life in the Lord (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 977).

The next judge is Jair, whose name means ”he whom God enlightens”. The number thirty (used in reference to his thirty sons and their thirty towns) means fullness or readiness. This readiness refers to our spiritual ‘remains’, or states of innocence and charity that the Lord imparts to us during childhood. These remains are essential during regeneration (Arcana Caelestia 1050).

The Philistines, soon to be a major enemy of Israel, stand for the belief in “faith alone” salvation. This way of thinking instills the idea that we will be saved if we “believe in the Lord”, regardless of our actions. “Faith alone” doctrine is present in many religious practices (see Swedenborg’s work, Doctrine of Life 4).

The people of Ammon stand for profaning what is true, by turning the truths of the Word into false ideas. We profane the truth when we claim to know what the Word teaches, but live in a way that is contrary to the Lord’s commandments (Arcana Caelestia 6348[3]).

This chapter, like many others in the book of Judges, shows Israel’s decline into chaos and evil. The two judges, Tola and Jair, provide a picture of spiritual integrity, in contrast with Israel’s oppression by the very evils they have turned to. In our regeneration, with its highs and lows, we must avoid the temptation of shallow faith by acting according to our values.

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