Judges 8

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1 And the men of Ephraim say unto him, `What [is] this thing thou hast done to us -- not to call for us when thou didst go to fight with Midian?' and they strive with him severely;

2 and he saith unto them, `What have I done now like you? are not the gleanings of Ephraim better than the harvest of Abi-Ezer?

3 Into your hand hath God given the heads of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and what have I been able to do like you?' Then their temper desisted from off him in his speaking this thing.

4 And Gideon cometh in unto the Jordan, passing over, he and the three hundred men who [are] with him -- wearied, and pursuing,

5 and he saith to the men of Succoth, `Give, I pray you, cakes of bread to the people who [are] at my feet, for they [are] wearied, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna kings of Midian.'

6 And the heads of Succoth say, `Is the hand of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thy hand, that we give to thy host bread?'

7 And Gideon saith, `Therefore -- in Jehovah's giving Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand -- I have threshed your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness, and with the threshing instruments.'

8 And he goeth up thence [to] Penuel, and speaketh unto them thus; and the men of Penuel answer him as the men of Succoth answered.

9 And he speaketh also to the men of Penuel, saying, `In my turning back in peace, I break down this tower.'

10 And Zebah and Zalmunna [are] in Karkor, and their camps with them, about fifteen thousand, all who are left of all the camp of the sons of the east; and those falling [are] a hundred and twenty thousand men, drawing sword.

11 And Gideon goeth up the way of those who tabernacle in tents, on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smiteth the camp, and the camp was confident;

12 and Zebab and Zalmunna flee, and he pursueth after them, and captureth the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and all the camp he hath caused to tremble.

13 And Gideon son of Joash turneth back from the battle, at the going up of the sun,

14 and captureth a young man of the men of Succoth, and asketh him, and he describeth unto him the heads of Succoth, and its elders -- seventy and seven men.

15 And he cometh in unto the men of Succoth, and saith, `Lo Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye reproached me, saying, Is the hand of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thy hand that we give to thy men who [are] wearied bread?'

16 And he taketh the elders of the city, and the thorns of the wilderness, and the threshing instruments, and teacheth by them the men of Succoth,

17 and the tower of Penuel he hath broken down, and slayeth the men of the city.

18 And he saith unto Zebah and unto Zalmunna, `How -- the men whom ye slew in Tabor?' and they say, `As thou -- so they, one -- as the form of the king's sons.'

19 And he saith, `My brethren -- sons of my mother -- they; Jehovah liveth, if ye had kept them alive -- I had not slain you.'

20 And he saith to Jether his first-born, `Rise, slay them;' and the young man hath not drawn his sword, for he hath been afraid, for he [is] yet a youth.

21 And Zebah saith -- also Zalmunna -- `Rise thou, and fall upon us; for as the man -- his might;' and Gideon riseth, and slayeth Zebah and Zalmunna, and taketh their round ornaments which [are] on the necks of their camels.

22 And the men of Israel say unto Gideon, `Rule over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, for thou hast saved us from the hand of Midian.'

23 And Gideon saith unto them, `I do not rule over you, nor doth my son rule over you; Jehovah doth rule over you.'

24 And Gideon saith unto them, `Let me ask of you a petition, and give ye to me each the ring of his prey, for they have rings of gold, for they [are] Ishmaelites.'

25 And they say, `We certainly give;' and they spread out the garment, and cast thither each the ring of his prey;

26 and the weight of the rings of gold which he asked is a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold, apart from the round ornaments, and the drops, and the purple garments, which [are] on the kings of Midian, and apart from the chains which [are] on the necks of their camels,

27 and Gideon maketh it into an ephod, and setteth it up in his city, in Ophrah, and all Israel go a-whoring after it there, and it is to Gideon and to his house for a snare.

28 And Midian is humbled before the sons of Israel, and have not added to lift up their head; and the land resteth forty years in the days of Gideon.

29 And Jerubbaal son of Joash goeth and dwelleth in his own house,

30 and to Gideon there have been seventy sons, coming out of his loin, for he had many wives;

31 and his concubine, who [is] in Shechem, hath born to him -- even she -- a son, and he appointeth his name Abimelech.

32 And Gideon son of Joash dieth, in a good old age, and is buried in the burying-place of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abi-Ezrite.

33 And it cometh to pass, when Gideon [is] dead, that the sons of Israel turn back and go a-whoring after the Baalim, and set over them Baal-Berith for a god;

34 and the sons of Israel have not remembered Jehovah their God, who is delivering them out of the hand of all their enemies round about,

35 neither have they done kindness with the house of Jerubbaal -- Gideon -- according to all the good which he did with Israel.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 8      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Judges 8: Gideon subdues the Midianites.

In this chapter, Gideon continued to dismantle Midian’s oppression over Israel, facing opposition from some of his fellow Israelites in the process. First, the men of Ephraim complained that he did not call them to war. Gideon replied by praising them for their vineyards, and for capturing the two Midianite princes. So, Ephraim’s indignation subsided.

Then Gideon went to the city of Succoth, and asked for bread to feed his army. But the men of Succoth refused, instead taunting him because he had not yet captured the kings of Midian. Gideon told them them he would punish them with thorns and briars, after he had killed the two kings. The people of Penuel were equally dismissive when Gideon asked them for help, and he swore to tear down their tower.

In due course, Gideon captured the two Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna. Gideon told his oldest son to kill them, but he was young, and too afraid to do it. So Gideon killed the two kings, and punished the people of Succoth and Penuel.

When he returned from battle, the people of Israel asked Gideon to rule over them. However, he refused, saying that the Lord would rule Israel. He then collected gold from people’s earrings, used it to make an ephod (a priest’s garment), and set it up in his own city, Ophrah. The people began to worship it, and it became a snare for Gideon.

And Israel had peace for forty years under Gideon. Gideon had seventy sons, and died at an old age. As soon as he passed away, the Israelites forgot all the goodness that the Lord had shown them, and turned to worship other gods.

*****

The message of Gideon’s exchange with the Ephraimites is that sincerity and openness are the most powerful response to confrontation. Gideon, led by his trust in the Lord, could see the reason for Ephraim’s outburst, so he dealt with it by praising their strengths. This encounter shows how our faith in the Lord gives us a broader perspective, granting us the ability to respond rather than react (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 8159[3]).

When Gideon lashes out at the people of Succoth and Penuel, it may appear that he is acting purely from anger, and a wish to retaliate. In reality, he is filled with zeal to drive out the Midianites and free Israel. It is unthinkable to him that his own people would refuse to give his soldiers food. In our own lives, we can at times be astounded by our own resistance to serving the Lord’s purpose. We are constantly torn between two forces: heaven and hell (Arcana Caelestia 3839[3]).

The killing of the two Midianite kings reflects the need for justice in spiritual matters. If we fail to heed the truths we know and believe, we will suffer the consequences of fear and guilt. These are not inflicted by the Lord, but follow on from our own choices (Arcana Caelestia 2447). Gideon’s son’s inability to kill the kings means that behind spiritual justice, there must be an understanding of the essential value of all life (Arcana Caelestia 5826[2]).

Gideon’s ephod is a symbol showing how easily we can deviate from obeying the Lord. The text does not tell us the reason for Gideon’s actions, but perhaps he felt it was better for the people to worship something superficially related to worshiping the Lord, rather than following a foreign god. Seeing a priest’s garment reminds us that a priest serves the Lord. But we can so easily focus on the majesty of the ephod itself, and think no more about the priest’s duty nor about the Lord. We sometimes drift further from the Lord without even realizing it (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 327).

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 3021, 3242, 3246, 3263, 8301

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Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Genesis 25:8, 12, 32:32, 33:17

Exodus 32:4, 8, 34:16

Numbers 26:30, 32:35, 42, 35:19

Deuteronomy 7:25

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Judges 2:2, 3, 17, 19, 3:7, 11, 4:6, 12, 5:23, 6:11, 24, 7:12, 13, 24, 25, 8:27, 32, 9:1, 2, 4, 16, 46, 10:6, 12:1, 17:5

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2 Samuel 19:42

2 Chronicles 24:17, 18, 22

Psalms 83:12, 106:21, 35

Proverbs 15:1

Isaiah 3:18, 9:3

Jeremiah 2:32

Ezekiel 7:20

Hosea 2:15, 3:4, 13:1

1 Thessalonians 5:3

Významy biblických slov

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

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...

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...

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,...

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

midian
'Midian' signifies people who are in falsity.

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...

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

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...

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...

heads
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

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

jordan
The land of Jordan,' as in Psalm 42:6, signifies what is lowly, consequently, what is distant from the celestial, as the external parts of a...

passing
'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...

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...

Three hundred
'Three hundred' signifies fullness, because the number comes from three and a hundred multiplied. Both 'three' and 'a hundred' signifies fullness. The significance of products...

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...

pursuing
'To pursue,' as in Genesis 14:16, signifies a state of purification, because 'to pursue enemies' is the expulsion of evils and falsities which were with...

Succoth
'Succoth,' as in Genesis 33:17, and Psalms 60:6-7 and 108:7-8, signifies the quality of the holy state of truth from good, because 'Succoth' signifies tents,...

give
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...

bread
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

feet
The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

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

kings
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

host
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...

jehovah's
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...

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...

giving
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...

threshed
'To thresh,' as in Micah 4:13, signifies dissipating evils among people of the church.

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...

wilderness
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

threshing
'To thresh,' as in Micah 4:13, signifies dissipating evils among people of the church.

penuel
'Peniel' signifies a state of temptation. 'Jacob called the name of the place Peniel,' in Genesis 32, in the internal historical sense, signifies a state...

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

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...

answered
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...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

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...

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...

camps
Camps in the Bible represent spiritual order – a person’s (or a church community’s) whole collection of desires for good and true ideas on how...

camp
Camps in the Bible represent spiritual order – a person’s (or a church community’s) whole collection of desires for good and true ideas on how...

fifteen
Fifteen, as in Genesis 7:20, signifies so few as to be scarce anything.

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...

sons of the east
'Sons of the east' generally signify people of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom.

sons of the
The sons of the Javanites,' as in Joel 3:6, signify worship in externals, separate from the internal.

falling
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...

twenty
'Twenty,' when referring to a quantity, signifies everything, or fullness, because it is ten twice. In Genesis 18:31, 'twenty', like all numbers occurring in the...

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...

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...

tabernacle
'The tabernacle' has almost the same meaning as 'temple,' that is, in the highest sense, the Lord’s divine humanity, and in a relative sense, heaven...

Tents
'Tent' is used in the Word to signify the celestial and holy aspects of love, because in ancient time they performed holy worship in their...

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

captureth
"Catching" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible, both positive and negative. Thieves get caught; the Egyptians caught up with the Children...

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...

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...

battle
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...

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...

man of the
'The man of the right hand,' as in Psalm 80:17, signifies the Lord with respect to the Word. He is called 'the man of the...

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

elders
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

wearied
On the surface, it appears that Swedenborg gives two different representations for “weariness.” In discussing Genesis - where Esau and later Jacob are described as...

city
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

slayeth
'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...

slew
'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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

First-born
First-born, in a supreme sense, represents the Lord as to divine celestial love, and also those respectively who were of the celestial church. First-born: Inasmuch...

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...

slay
'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...

afraid
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

youth
"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...

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

riseth
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...

necks
'The neck' signifies influx and the communication of interior and exterior levels and the following conjunction. The inmost or third heaven has reference to the...

camels
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

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...

son's
'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...

saved
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

rings of gold
Rings of gold signify the ability to use good loves to join things together. The gold stands for inner, pure loves for good. Some English...

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

Ishmaelites
'Ishmaelites' represent people who are in simple good of life, and thence in natural truth regarding doctrine.

Spread out
In Genesis 9:27, 'God spreading out Japheth' signifies his enlightenment. In a literal sense 'to spread out' signifies extending the borders, but in a spiritual...

ornaments
Jewels' when applied to the ears, signify good in act.

purple
'Purple' corresponds to divine celestial good. 'Purple' signifies genuine good.

garments
It is said, in Deuteronomy 22:11, "Thou shalt not wear a garment of diverse sorts; as of woolen and linen together…”. This means that the...

the kings of
The kings of Media and Persia' represent people who are in faith separate from charity.

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...

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...

Sons of Israel
'The camp of the sons of Israel' represents the church.

lift
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...

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....

land
Is there any difference in meaning between “earth” and “ground”? At first it doesn’t seem so; both refer to the soil making up the land...

forty
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

dwelleth
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...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

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...

wives
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

concubine
'Sons of concubines' signify the spiritual degree.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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...

old
Swedenborg tells us that space and time in the physical world correspond to states of life in the spiritual world. So when the Bible talks...

buried
'Being buried' or 'put into monuments' signifies resurrection and continuation of life.

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...

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

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...

baal
Baalim and her lovers (Hosea 2:13) signify those things which belong to the natural man, and are loved; such as the lusts and falsities thence...

Baalim
Baalim and her lovers (Hosea 2:13) signify those things which belong to the natural man, and are loved; such as the lusts and falsities thence...

remembered
'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...

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

kindness
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

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