Judges 18

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Young's Literal Translation         

← Judges 17   Judges 19 →

1 In those days there is no king in Israel, and in those days the tribe of the Danite is seeking for itself an inheritance to inhabit, for [that] hath not fallen to it unto that day in the midst of the tribes of Israel by inheritance.

2 And the sons of Dan send, out of their family, five men of them, men, sons of valour, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to traverse the land, and to search it, and they say unto them, `Go, search the land;' and they come into the hill-country of Ephraim, unto the house of Micah, and lodge there.

3 They [are] with the household of Micah, and they have discerned the voice of the young man, the Levite, and turn aside there, and say to him, `Who hath brought thee hither? and what art thou doing in this [place?] and what to thee here?'

4 And he saith unto them, `Thus and thus hath Micah done to me; and he hireth me, and I am to him for a priest.'

5 And they say to him, `Ask, we pray thee, at God, and we know whether our way is prosperous on which we are going.'

6 And the priest saith to them, `Go in peace; over-against Jehovah [is] your way in which ye Go.'

7 And the five men go, and come in to Laish, and see the people which [is] in its midst, dwelling confidently, according to the custom of Zidonians, quiet and confident; and there is none putting to shame in the land in [any] thing, possessing restraint, and they [are] far off from the Zidonians, and have no word with [any] man.

8 And they come in unto their brethren, at Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brethren say to them, `What -- ye?'

9 And they say, `Rise, and we go up against them, for we have seen the land, and lo, very good; and ye are keeping silent! be not slothful to go -- to enter to possess the land.

10 When ye go, ye come in unto a people confident, and the land [is] large on both hands, for God hath given it into your hand, a place where there is no lack of anything which [is] in the land.'

11 And there journey thence, of the family of the Danite, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, six hundred men girded with weapons of war.

12 And they go up and encamp in Kirjath-Jearim, in Judah, therefore they have called that place, `Camp of Dan,' till this day; lo, behind Kirjath-Jearim.

13 And they pass over thence [to] the hill-country of Ephraim, and come in unto the house of Micah.

14 And the five men, those going to traverse the land of Laish, answer and say unto their brethren, `Have ye known that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and graven image, and molten image? and now, know what ye do.'

15 And they turn aside thither, and come in unto the house of the young man the Levite, the house of Micah, and ask of him of welfare, --

16 (and the six hundred men girded with their weapons of war, who [are] of the sons of Dan, are standing at the opening of the gate), --

17 yea, the five men, those going to traverse the land, go up -- they have come in thither -- they have taken the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image -- and the priest is standing at the opening of the gate, and the six hundred men who are girded with weapons of war --

18 yea, these have entered the house of Micah, and take the graven image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image; and the priest saith unto them, `What are ye doing?'

19 and they say to him, `Keep silent, lay thy hand on thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us for a father and for a priest: is it better thy being a priest to the house of one man, or thy being priest to a tribe and to a family in Israel?'

20 And the heart of the priest is glad, and he taketh the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and goeth into the midst of the people,

21 and they turn and go, and put the infants, and the cattle, and the baggage, before them.

22 They have been far off from the house of Micah -- and the men who [are] in the houses which [are] near the house of Micah have been called together, and overtake the sons of Dan,

23 and call unto the sons of Dan, and they turn round their faces, and say to Micah, `What -- to thee that thou hast been called together?'

24 And he saith, `My gods which I made ye have taken, and the priest, and ye go; and what to me more? and what [is] this ye say unto me, What -- to thee!'

25 And the sons of Dan say unto him, `Let not thy voice be heard with us, lest men bitter in soul fall upon you, and thou hast gathered thy life, and the life of thy household;'

26 and the sons of Dan go on their way, and Micah seeth that they are stronger than he, and turneth, and goeth back unto his house.

27 And they have taken that which Micah had made, and the priest whom he had, and come in against Laish, against a people quiet and confident, and smite them by the mouth of the sword, and the city have burnt with fire,

28 and there is no deliverer, for it [is] far off from Zidon, and they have no word with [any] man, and it [is] in the valley which [is] by Beth-Rehob; and they build the city, and dwell in it,

29 and call the name of the city Dan, by the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel; and yet Laish [is] the name of the city at the first.

30 And the sons of Dan raise up for themselves the graven image, and Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Manasseh, he and his sons have been priests to the tribe of the Danite, till the day of the removal of [the people] of the land.

31 And they appoint for them the graven image of Micah, which he had made, all the days of the house of God being in Shiloh.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 18      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

The Tribe of Dan Adopts Micah’s Idolatry

This chapter shows the way in which one person’s distortion of truth, turning it into a falsity, can have severe consequences on a larger scale.

The tribe of Dan – one of the twelve tribes of Israel – was given land to the west, by the coast, but they found it hard to hold on to. The name of the tribe of Dan means ‘to judge’, but if judgment isn't based on the Word there will be chaos. (Arcana Caelestia 842)

Faced with competition for their homeland, the tribal leaders of Dan went looking for a place for themselves elsewhere. They sent five men of valour to spy out the land. These men came to Micah’s house, and they recognised the voice of the young Levite there. They questioned him about his situation, and he told them that Micah had hired him to be a priest to his household. The men of Dan asked the Levite to ask the Lord if their search would be prosperous, and he told them that it would be.

The spiritual meaning of this part of the chapter is to do with an intensifying wrongness. At the textual level, there is reference to the Lord, and an apparent normality in what takes place. But underlying it, there's a wrongness, which will become apparent later in the chapter. The pointers to it here are the five men from Dan, them coming straight to Micah’s house, and the hiring of a priest.

The number ‘five’ has a good meaning in many parts of the Word, but it can also have a bad meaning, as it does here. In this context, it stands for only a little, for disunion and the destruction of the Word (Apocalypse Revealed 738).

Coming directly to Micah’s house and recognising the Levite brings together two evil intentions: Micah’s idol and the men of Dan’s search to take a home for themselves. An example for us could be where two people plot to seek the harm of a third person. (Arcana Caelestia 4724)

The hiring of a priest is something disallowed, for priests are there to serve the Lord and they are provided for by the people, not to be hired. Hiring, spiritually, stands for seeking reward for what you do, whereas the true reward is heaven for those who serve without expecting a reward. (Arcana Caelestia 8002)

The five men leave Micah's house, and go on to Laish in the far north, where there are people who dwell securely in peace and without rulers, far from others and with no ties. Laish means ‘fearless and kneaded together’. It is a picture of perfection, of heaven. (Divine Love and Wisdom 200)

The five men then return to their tribe of Dan and report about Laish. They say that it is ideal for the taking because it has plenty of land and its people are secure. They say that “God has given it into your hands”.

Six hundred men of the tribe of Dan set out and they too, come to the house of Micah. The five spies tell them about the idols and they meet and greet the young Levite. Then the five spies go in and take all the idols in the house. The Levite joins up with the men from Dan and they go on together.

One spiritual meaning in the story is that evil (Dan, gone bad) loves to destroy peace and innocence (Laish).

The complete loss to Micah of all his idols and his hired priest, shows, too, that in fully turning to evil, there is the final loss of everything that might bring a person back. (Arcana Caelestia 9039)

People living near Micah go and accost the men of Dan about what they have taken -- but Micah is told to stop complaining or his household will be killed.

The Danites leave, and go and capture Laish, killing and burning, and re-naming the city Dan. There they set up the images and appoint priests. These images remain in Dan all the time that the house of God is in Shiloh.

The spiritual meaning of one evil or falsity becoming greater or more numerous is in the way that we might hold a negative emotion or a distorted view in our mind where it then spreads to other emotions and views we have and brings them into greater evil and falsity. This is the intention of evil and also of hell’s influence, to extend it to be as widespread as possible.

This is the outcome of everything that has developed through this and the previous chapter. It describes the spread of evil to become a terrible force for destruction and spiritually, for an individual person, for self-destruction. In the context of the decline of Israel to where ‘everyone did what was right in their own eyes’ this progression presents the pathway and process of that spiritual loss. (Divine Providence 19)

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 2598, 6396


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 2799, 3704, 3923, 4111, 8301

Heaven and Hell 324


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Spiritual Experiences 2411

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Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Genesis 14:14, 31:30, 34

Exodus 4:18

Leviticus 26:1

Numbers 13:21, 14:7

Deuteronomy 8:7, 9, 33:22, 34:1

Joshua 2:2, 23, 24, 15:9, 18:1, 3, 19:28, 47

Judges 1:34, 13:25, 17:1, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 18:7, 29

1 Samuel 6:21, 9:9, 17:18, 22

2 Samuel 10:6

1 Kings 12:29, 15:20, 22:3

2 Kings 15:29, 17:18, 20, 22, 23

1 Chronicles 4:40

2 Chronicles 25:15

Isaiah 56:11

Hosea 4:12

Romans 16:18

Významy biblických slov

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...

days
"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...

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...

inheritance
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

Inhabit
'Inhabit' refers to good.

fallen
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...

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

tribes
In general, 'the twelve tribes' signify every aspect of the doctrine of truth and good, or of faith and love. Truth and good, or faith...

dan
The tribe of Dan (Jer. 8:16) signifies truth in its own ultimate degree of order, here truth in the church, which is contained in the...

send
'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...

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)

five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

land
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

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...

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

hill
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

country
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...

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...

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...

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

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

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...

turn
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

saith
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...

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...

know
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

way
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

prosperous
'To be made to prosper' signifies being provided for. Which is why 'Jehovah made it prosper in his hand' means Divine Providence. 

going
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...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

jehovah
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...

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...

dwelling
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...

quiet
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...

shame
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

word
'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...

brethren
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...

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...

go up
When we talk about "going up" in the modern world, we usually mean either that we're going north – which is toward the top of...

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...

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...

enter
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...

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

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...

given
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...

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...

lack
'Want of spiritual nourishment,' denotes a lack of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

journey
'To journey' signifies the institutes and order of life.

six
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

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
"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...

girded
To gird one’s self, as in John. 21:18, signifies to know and perceive truths in the light from good.

war
War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

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

behind
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

answer
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

known
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

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

teraphim
There are three universal kinds of idolatry; the first is grounded in self-love, the second in the love of the world, and the third in...

image
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

Molten image
'A molten image' signifies the evil which belongs to one's sense of ownership (proprium).

opening
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

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...

Graven image
A graven image, as in Exodus 20:4, which we are commanded not to make, signifies those things in us which are not from the Lord,...

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...

silent
'Silence' has various significations. In general it means everything which causes it, which includes astonishment, which is a special cause, as in Revelation 8:1.

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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

heart
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...

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

cattle
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

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...

Overtake
'To overtake' denotes communication and influx.

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

faces
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

gods
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

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...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

gathered
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

seeth
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...

back
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...

smite
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

sword
The three words, sword, famine and pestilence, appear in a group in 26 different Bible verses. That's not an accident. Sword, famine and pestilence describe...

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

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...

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...

build
There are really two meanings for "build" in the Bible. When something is being built for the first time, or built in the most typical...

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...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

born
In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...

the first
'Resurrection' signifies salvation and eternal life. 'The first,' mentioned in Revelation 20:5, 6, does not mean a first resurrection, but the essence and primary part...

first
'The first and the last' signifies that the Lord is the only God.

son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

jonathan
There is little direct teaching about Jonathan in Swedenborg. He is the son of Saul, the first king of Israel (I Samuel: 9-10) and the...

Gershom
Gershom, as in Exodus 18:3, denotes the quality of the good of truth among those who are without the church.

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

priests
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

removal
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...

Shiloh
The word "Shiloh" means "peacemaker", or just "peace". Peace on earth was, and is, one of the Lord's main goals in being born into the...

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