Abagwebi 7

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1 Wavuka kusasa uYerubhahali (nguGidiyon ke lowo), nabantu bonke naye, bamisa emantloko omthombo weHarodi; ke umkhosi wamaMidiyan wawungakuye, ngasentla kwenduli yakwaMore, entilini.

2 Wathi uYehova kuGidiyon, Baninzi abantu abanawe, kunokuba ndiwanikele amaMidiyan esandleni sabo; hleze amaSirayeli aqhayise, athi, Sisindiswe sisandla sethu.

3 Khawudanduluke ke ngoko ezindlebeni zabantu, uthi, Owoyikayo nogubhayo makabuye, makanyebeleze emke ezintabeni zeGiliyadi. Kwabuya ke kubo abantu abangamawaka angamashumi omabini anamabini; kwasala amawaka alishumi.

4 Wathi uYehova kuGidiyon, Abantu basebaninzi. Yihla nabo, uye emanzini, ndikukhethele bona apho; kothi, endithe kuwe, Lo uya kuhamba nawe, maze ahambe nawe yena; bonke endisukuba ndithi kuwe, Lo akayi kuhamba nawe, ize angabambi nawe yena.

5 Wehla nabantu waya emanzini; wathi uYehova kuGidiyon, Bonke abasukuba bekramncela amanzi ngolwimi lwabo, njengoko ixhaphayo inja, uze ubamise bodwa; bonke abasukuba beguqa ngamadolo abo ukuba basele, uze ubamise bodwa.

6 Inani labaselayo ngesandla salo emlonyeni laba ngamadoda amakhulu mathathu; bonke abanye abantu baguqa ngamadolo abo ukuba basele amanzi.

7 Wathi uYehova kuGidiyon, Ndiya kunisindisa ngala madoda amakhulu mathathu akramnceleyo, ndiwanikele amaMidiyan esandleni sakho. Bonke abanye abantu mabagoduke, elowo aye endaweni yakhe.

8 Bawuphatha abantu abo umphako ngesandla sabo, nezigodlo zabo. Wawandulula onke amadoda akwaSirayeli, ukuba ileyo iye ententeni yayo; wagcina amadoda lawo amakhulu mathathu. Umkhosi wamaMidiyan waba ngezantsi kwakhe entilini.

9 Kwathi ngobo busuku, uYehova wathi kuye, Vuka, uhle uye empini; ngokuba ndiyinikele esandleni sakho.

10 Ukuba uyoyika ukuhla, yihla nomfana wakwakho uFura,

11 uye empini, uve into abayithethayo; emveni koko siya komelela isandla sakho. Yihla ke uye empini. Wehla ke yena noFura, umfana wakwakhe, baya ekupheleni kwabaxhobileyo abasempini.

12 AmaMidiyan nama-Amaleki nabasempumalanga bonke babelele entilini benjengeenkumbi ukuba baninzi; neenkamela zawo zibe zingenakubalwa, njengentlabathi yonxweme lolwandle ukuba zininzi.

13 Wafika uGidiyon; nantso indoda ixelela ummelwane wayo iphupha, isithi, Yabona, ndiphuphe iphupha; ndibone kuqengqeleka isonka serhasi sisiza emkhosini wamaMidiyan, sifike ententeni, sibethe iwe, ithi bhukuqu intente, ithi bhuma.

14 Waphendula ummelwane wayo wathi, Loo nto kunje likrele likaGidiyon, unyana kaYowashe, indoda yakwaSirayeli; uThixo uwanikele amaMidiyan nomkhosi wonke esandleni sakhe.

15 Kwathi, akukuva uGidiyon ukuxelwa kwephupha nokutyhilwa kwalo, wanqula, wabuyela emkhosini wamaSirayeli, wathi, Vukani, ngokuba uYehova uyinikele impi yamaMidiyan esandleni senu.

16 Wawahlula aba ngamaqela omathathu amadoda lawo amakhulu mathathu; wabeka izigodlo esandleni sawo onke, nemiphanda engenanto, nezikhuni ezivuthayo ngaphakathi kwemiphanda leyo.

17 Wathi kuwo, Khangelani kum, nenjenje: yabonani, ndakufika ekupheleni kwempi, nothi njengoko ndenza ngako mna, nenjenjalo nina.

18 Ndovuthela ngezigodlo mna, nabo bonke abanam, nivuthele ke ngezigodlo nani ngeenxa zonke emkhosini, nithi, Ha! Ha! Ikrele likaYehova, likaGidiyon!

19 Wafika ke uGidiyon, nekhulu lamadoda elinaye, ekupheleni kwempi, ekuqalekeni komlindo ophakathi kobusuku, bakuth’ ukuthi ukumiswa abalindi. Lavuthela ngezigodlo, liyiqhekeza imiphanda esezandleni zalo.

20 Avuthela ke ngezigodlo amaqela omathathu, ayiqhekeza imiphanda; aziphatha izibane ezivuthayo ngezandla zawo zokhohlo, awaphatha amaxilongo ngezandla zawo zokunene, ukuba avuthele; adanduluka esithi, Ha! Ha! Ikrele likaYehova, likaGidiyon!

21 Ema onke ezindaweni zawo ngeenxa zonke empini. Yasaba yonke impi, yakhala, yasabisa.

22 Amakhulu omathathu avuthela ngezigodlo. UYehova walibhekisa ikrele lendoda kummelwane wayo, nakwimpi yonke; yasaba impi, yasinga eBhete-shita ngaseTserera, yasinga emdeni weAbhele-mehola ngaphaya kweTabhata.

23 Wahlatyelwa umkhosi, weza umntu wakwaSirayeli ephuma kwaNafetali, nakwa-Ashere, nakuManase wonke, wawasukela amaMidiyan.

24 UGidiyon wathuma abathunywa kweleentaba lonke lakwaEfrayim, esithi, Yihlani niwahlangabeze amaMidiyan, niwaphangele ukuthabatha amanzi, nise eBhete-bhara neYordan. Wahlatywa umkhosi, beza abantu bonke bakwaEfrayim, baphangela ukuwathabatha amanzi lawo, besa eBhete-bhara neYordan.

25 Bababamba abathetheli ababini bamaMidiyan, uOrebhe noZebhe; bambulalela uOrebhe eweni likaOrebhe, uZebhe bambulalela esixovulelweni sikaZebhe, bawasukela amaMidiyan. Beza nentloko kaOrebhe nekaZebhe kuGidiyon phesheya kweYordan.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Abagwebi 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.

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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).

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