Abagwebi 20

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1 Baphuma ke bonke oonyana bakaSirayeli, labizelwa ndawonye lonke ibandla njengandoda-nye, lathabathela kwaDan lesa eBher-shebha, nelizwe laseGiliyadi, laya kuYehova eMizpa.

2 Zema izibonda zabantu bonke, zezizwe zonke zakwaSirayeli, ebandleni labantu bakaThixo, abangamawaka angamakhulu amane amadoda angumqikela arhola ikrele.

3 Beva oonyana bakaBhenjamin, ukuba oonyana bakaSirayeli benyukile beza eMizpa. Bathi oonyana bakaSirayeli, Thethani; itheni na ukubakho le nto inje ukuba mbi?

4 Yaphendula indoda leyo, ingumLevi, indoda yaloo nkazana incinithiweyo, yathi, Ndafika eGibheha ekwaBhenjamin, mna neshweshwe lam, salalisa khona.

5 Abemi baseGibheha bandivunukela, bayirhawula indlu ngenxa yam ebusuku; bagqiba kwelokundibulala; balidlwengula ishweshwe lam, lafa.

6 Ndalibamba ishweshwe lam, ndalityatya, ndalithumela kwilizwe lonke lelifa lakwaSirayeli; ngokuba benze amanyala nobudenge kwaSirayeli.

7 Nanko ke nina nonke, nyana bakaSirayeli; khuphani ilizwi necebo apha.

8 Besuka bonke abantu njengandoda-nye, bathi, Asiyi kuya elowo ententeni yakhe, asiyi kuphambukela elowo endlwini yakhe;

9 ke ngoko, nantsi into esiya kwenza yona kwiGibheha; siya kwenza kuyo ngokweqashiso,

10 sithabathe ishumi lamadoda ekhulwini ezizweni zonke zakwaSirayeli, ikhulu ewakeni, iwaka emawakeni alishumi, ukuya kuthabathela abantu umphako; ukuze ekufikeni kwabo eGibheha yakwaBhenjamin, bohlwaywe njengokobudenge bonke ababenzileyo kwaSirayeli.

11 Ahlanganisana ke onke amadoda akwaSirayeli kuloo mzi, ebandakanyiwe njengandoda-nye.

12 Izizwe zakwaSirayeli zathuma amadoda kwimizalwane yonke yakwaBhenjamin, zisithi, Bububi buni na obu, benziweyo phakathi kwenu?

13 Sinikeleni kalokunje loo madoda angamatshijolo aseGibheha, siwabulale, sibutshayele ububi bungabikho kwaSirayeli. Abavuma ke oonyana bakaBhenjamin ukuliphulaphula izwi labazalwana babo, oonyana bakaSirayeli.

14 Oonyana bakaBhenjamin bahlanganisana eGibheha, bephuma emizini besiya kulwa noonyana bakaSirayeli.

15 Babalwa oonyana bakaBhenjamin ngaloo mhla, bephuma emizini; baba ngamadoda angamashumi amabini anamathandathu amawaka arhola ikrele, ngaphandle kwabemi baseGibheha, ababalwayo baba ngamadoda ahleliweyo angamakhulu asixhenxe.

16 Kwaba bantu bonke bekukho amakhulu asixhenxe amadoda ahleliweyo angamanxele, onke enokusawula ngelitye, achane angaphosi.

17 Ke amadoda akwaSirayeli, ngaphandle kwamaBhenjamin, abebalwe aba ngamawaka angamakhulu amane amadoda arhola ikrele; onke lawo ingamadoda okulwa.

18 Besuka, benyuka baya eBheteli, babuza kuThixo. Bathi oonyana bakaSirayeli, Makunyuke bani na kuthi, aqale ukulwa noonyana bakaBhenjamin? Wathi uYehova, Makuqale uYuda.

19 Besuka oonyana bakaSirayeli kusasa, bayingqinga iGibheha.

20 Aphuma amadoda akwaSirayeli, aya kulwa namaBhenjamin. amadoda akwaSirayeli akha uluhlu lokulwa nawo ngaseGibheha.

21 Baphuma oonyana bakaBhenjamin eGibheha, bavunela phantsi ngaloo mini kumaSirayeli amashumi amabini anamabini amawaka amadoda.

22 Bazomeleza abantu, amadoda akwaSirayeli, baphinda bakha uluhlu lokulwa, kwasendaweni ababakhe uluhlu kuyo ngomhla wokuqala.

23 Benyuka oonyana bakaSirayeli, balila phambi koYehova, kwada kwahlwa. Babuza kuYehova, bathi, Ndiphinde na ndisondele ekulweni noonyana bakaBhenjamin, umzalwana wam? Wathi uYehova, Nyukani niye kubo.

24 Basondela oonyana bakaSirayeli koonyana bakaBhenjamin ngomhla wesibini.

25 Aphuma amaBhenjamin eGibheha, aya kubahlangabeza ngomhla wesibini, abuya avunela phantsi koonyana bakaSirayeli ishumi elinesibhozo lamawaka amadoda; onke lawo arhola ikrele.

26 Benyuka bonke oonyana bakaSirayeli, bonke abantu, baya eBheteli, balila, bahlala khona phambi koYehova, bazila ukudla loo mini kwada kwahlwa, banyusa amadini anyukayo nemibingelelo yoxolo phambi koYehova.

27 Babuza oonyana bakaSirayeli kuYehova (yayikhona ityeya yomnqophiso kaYehova ngaloo mihla;

28 uPinehasi unyana kaElazare, unyana ka-Aron, emi phambi kwayo ngaloo mihla), besithi, Ndibuye ndiphinde, ndiphume ndiye kulwa noonyana bakaBhenjamin umzalwana wethu, ndiyeke, kusini na? Wathi uYehova, Nyukani, ngokuba ngomso ndiya kumnikela esandleni senu.

29 AmaSirayeli abeka abalaleli eGibheha ngeenxa zonke.

30 Benyuka oonyana bakaSirayeli baya koonyana bakaBhenjamin ngomhla wesithathu, bakha uluhlu lokulwa eGibheha, njengokweminye imihla.

31 Baphuma oonyana bakaBhenjamin, baya kubahlangabeza abantu, beqhawukene nomzi. Baqala ukubulala ebantwini njengokweminye imihla, emendweni, othi omnye unyuke uye eBheteli, uthi omnye uya eGibheha emaphandleni, bahlaba amadoda kwaSirayeli, akumashumi amathathu.

32 Bathi oonyana bakaBhenjamin, Babulewe phambi kwethu, njengasekuqaleni; ke oonyana bakaSirayeli babesithi, Masirhole sibaqhawule kuwo umzi, beze emendweni.

33 Asuka onke amadoda akwaSirayeli endaweni yawo, akha uluhlu eBhahali-tamare; abalaleli bamaSirayeli bathi chithithi endaweni yabo ethafeni laseGebha.

34 Kwavela malungana neGibheha ishumi lamawaka amadoda ahleliweyo kumaSirayeli onke; ukulwa kwashushu; babengazi bona ukuba ububi bubafikele.

35 UYehova wawabulala amaBhenjamin phambi kwamaSirayeli. Oonyana bakaSirayeli batshabalalisa kwaBhenjamin ngaloo mini amashumi amabini anesihlanu amawaka anekhulu lamadoda; lawo onke ngarhola ikrele.

36 Ke kaloku oonyana bakaBhenjamin babona ukuba boyisiwe, ukuba amadoda akwaSirayeli ayehlehla phambi kwamaBhenjamin, ngokuba abekholose ngabalaleli ababebabeke eGibheha.

37 Abalaleli bakhawuleza, bagaleleka eGibheha, batsalela kuyo abalaleli, bawubulala wonke umzi ngohlangothi lwekrele.

38 Ke kaloku ibhunga lamadoda akwaSirayeli nabalaleli laye libe lelokuthi, Qhumisani kakhulu umsi, unyuke kuloo mzi.

39 Ajika ke amadoda akwaSirayeli ekulweni, akuba ebeqalile amaBhenjamin ukubulala iingxwelerha phakathi kwamadoda akwaSirayeli, amodada akumashumi amathathu; ngokuba abesithi, Abethiwe ngenene wona phambi kwethu, njengokulwa kokuqala.

40 Wakuba umsi uqalile ukunyuka emzini, ungumqulu womsi, amaBhenjamin abheka emva kwawo, nango umzi wonke unyuka usiya ezulwini ungumsi.

41 Aphethula amadoda akwaSirayeli, akhwankqiswa amadoda akwaBhenjamin; ngokuba abona ukuba afikelwe bububi.

42 Ajika ke phambi kwamadoda akwaSirayeli, abheka endleleni yentlango. Ukulwa kwathana mbende nawo, besuka nabemi bemizi bawatshabalalisa kuyo.

43 Bawarhawula amaBhenjamin, bawasukela, bawanyathelela phantsi endaweni yokuphumla, besa malunga neGibheha ngecala eliphuma ilanga.

44 Kwawa kumaBhenjamin ishumi elinesibhozo lamawaka amadoda; onke ke lawo ingamadoda anobukroti.

45 Ajika ke, asabela entlango, engxondorheni yeRimon. Bacholachola ke kuwo emendweni amawaka amahlanu amadoda; bathana mbende nawo bada besa eGidiyom, babulala kuwo amawaka amabini amadoda.

46 Athi ke onke awawayo kumaBhenjamin ngaloo mini aba ngamashumi amabini anesihlanu amawaka, ingamadoda arhola ikrele; onke ke lawo ayengamadoda anobukroti.

47 Ke ajika asabela entlango engxondorheni eRimon engamakhulu amathandathu amadoda, ahlala engxondorheni yeRimon apho iinyanga zane.

48 Amadoda akwaSirayeli abuyela koonyana bakaBhenjamin, abulala ngohlangothi lwekrele, ethabathela kumzi, kumadoda ke kwaneenkomo esa kwinto yonke efumanekayo naphi. Kananjalo imizi yonke efunyenweyo ayifaka umlilo.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Abagwebi 20      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Israel’s war with the tribe of Benjamin

The events of the previous chapter carry over into the last two chapters of the book of Judges, this one and the final one. The overall content of this chapter is about the division between Israel and the tribe of Benjamin (where the town of Gibeah was situated) and the eventual long war in which thousands on both sides died.

All Israel gathered together at Mizpah, four hundred thousand foot soldiers with swords, from every tribe, except the tribe of Benjamin who heard about the gathering. The reason for coming together, prompted by the dismembered parts of the concubine, was to decide what to do. The Levite told the story of the events. The men of Israel heard and decided that they would all immediately go up against the tribe of Benjamin, for them to hand over the perverted men of Gibeah for justice to be done and for Israel to be redeemed. They agreed to take one man out of every ten to go and, if necessary, to fight.

The spiritual meaning in this opening and gathering of Israel at Mizpah is mostly about its incompleteness. The tribe of Benjamin was not present even though Mizpah was in Benjamin’s territory. Spiritual incompleteness in us is to leave something out of our love and faithfulness to the Lord which makes each one of us a whole being. The twelve tribes of Israel stand for all the qualities which come together to form our spiritual life and purpose. (True Christian Religion 38)

The men of Israel go up and ask the Lord who should go to fight first. The reply is that Judah go first. The men of Benjamin refuse to hand the men of Gibeah over and they form an army to fight Israel. In the fighting, the men of Benjamin cut down twenty-two thousand men of Israel. Israel goes and weeps to the Lord and asks if they should go up again against their brother Benjamin. The Lord says they are to go up again.

The spiritual meaning of the tribe of Benjamin is that it stands for the ‘medium’ or the vital connection between what is internal or celestial and what is external or natural. If this connection is absent there is no passage or mutual link between these two and they are separated. This removes the completeness of our spiritual life as a whole. (See Arcana Caelestia 5822.)

Israel goes up against Benjamin on the second day and eighteen thousand men of Israel are cut down by the army of Benjamin. Israel goes to the house of the Lord and weeps, and asks if they should yet go out to fight their brother Benjamin. The Lord says that they are to fight a third time, and the He will deliver them into their hand.

Israel weeps. Weeping or crying stands for mourning the loss of something which is no longer present. In a good sense ‘weeping’ can be for the sense of loss of what is loved and what is part of us, here represented by ‘to battle the children of my brother Benjamin’.
The Lord wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44). (Arcana Caelestia 4293.3)

Israel fights on three consecutive day, and on the third day they defeat the tribe of Benjamin. ‘On the third day’ (see verse 30) stands for the need for conflict and personal states in our spiritual temptations and battles to be worked through until they are brought to an end and we can be brought out of temptation, into a new state. (Arcana Caelestia 5159)

The men of Israel laid an ambush and then went as before to fight the men of Benjamin. They moved away from them and Benjamin followed them and killed some men of Israel. The men in ambush arose and went to Gibeah and by arrangement made a great column of smoke after killing the men of the city. (Arcana Caelestia 9144) The men of Benjamin saw this and panicked, and twenty three thousand of them were slain. Six hundred men escaped and hid, and Israel went all around and destroyed men of Benjamin wherever they were found.

The spiritual meaning of this final battle is in the extent of the numbers killed and the aftermath of the victory with further killing. To ‘kill’ (or destroy) when it is used in the Word is to work completely towards the full expulsion of states, thoughts and intentions in us which are in opposition to the way of the Word and its wholeness and healing. (Arcana Caelestia 9320) This is the meaning of the term ‘vastation’ in which things which are opposed to the Lord need to be worked through and brought to an end so that a new state can come.

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