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《以斯拉记》 - 被掳、归回、重建(一)

第二十六课 - 文士以斯拉到达耶路撒冷(五)

经文:拉八:1 - 20

主旨:

正如有人辞官归故里,有人漏夜赶科场,在被掳之地的犹太人,有人放弃在地上积攒财宝,也要携男挈女,成为上帝保存的遗民(remnant)一份子,归回耶路撒冷,重建圣殿,修筑城墙,积攒财宝在天上;但也有人选择留在他乡,可以发挥他们犹太人经商的智慧,有富贵荣华等着他们,已经“心不在蜀”。

1。拉八:1 - 20  “1当亚达薛西王(Artaxerxes I,公元前465-前425年)年间,同我从巴比伦上来的人,他们的族长和他们的家谱记在下面:2属非尼哈(Phinehas)的子孙有革顺 (Gershom);属以他玛(Ithamar)的子孙有但以理(Daniel);属大卫(David)的子孙有哈突(Hattush);3属巴录(Pharosh)的后裔,就是示迦尼 (Shechaniah)的子孙有撒加利亚(Zechariah),同着他,按家谱计算,男丁一百五十人;4属巴哈摩押(Pahath-moab)的子孙有西拉希雅(Zerahiah)的儿子以利约乃 (Elihoenai),同着他有男丁二百;5属示迦尼(Shechaniah)的子孙有雅哈悉(Jahaziel)的儿子,同着他有男丁三百;6属亚丁(Adin)的子孙有约拿单 (Jonathan)的儿子以别(Ebed),同着他有男丁五十;7属以拦(Elam)的子孙有亚他利雅(Athaliah)的儿子耶筛亚(Jeshaiah),同着他有男丁七十;8属示法提雅 (Shephatiah)的子孙有米迦勒(Michael)的儿子西巴第雅(Zebadiah),同着他有男丁八十;9属约押(Joab)的子孙有耶歇(Jehiel)的儿子俄巴底亚 (Obadiah),同着他有男丁二百一十八;10属示罗密(Shelomith)的子孙有约细斐(Josiphiah)的儿子,同着他有男丁一百六十;11属比拜(Bebai)的子孙有比拜 (Bebai)的儿子撒迦利亚(Zechariah),同着他有男丁二十八;12属押甲(Azgad)的子孙,有哈加坦(Johanan)的儿子约哈难(Hakkatan),同着他有男丁一百一十;13属亚多尼干 (Adonikam)的子孙,就是末尾的,他们的名字是以利法列(Eliphelet)、耶利(Jeiel)、示玛雅(Shemaiah),同着他们有男丁六十;14属比革瓦伊 (Bigvai)的子孙,有乌太(Uthai)和撒布(Zabbud),同着他们有男丁七十。15我招聚这些人在流入亚哈瓦(Ahava)的河边,我们在那里住了三日。我查看百姓和祭司,见没有利未人在那里,16就召首领以利以谢 (Eliezer)、亚列(Ariel)、示玛雅(Shemaiah)、以利拿单(Elnathan)、雅立(Jarib)、以利拿单(Elnathan)、拿单 (Nathan)、撒迦利亚(Zechariah)、米书兰(Meshullam),又召教习约雅立(Joiarib)和以利拿单(Elnathan)。17我打发他们往迦西斐雅 (Casiphia)地方去,见那里的首领易多(Iddo),又告诉他们当向易多(Iddo)和他的弟兄尼提宁(Nethinims)说什么话,叫他们为我们上帝的殿带使用的人来。18蒙我们 上帝施恩的手帮助我们,他们在以色列的曾孙、利未(Levi)的孙子、抹利(Mahli)的后裔中带一个通达人来;还有示利比(Sherebiah)和他的众子与弟兄共一十八人;19又有哈沙比雅 (Hashabiah),同着他有米拉利(Merari)的子孙耶筛亚(Jeshaiah),并他的众子和弟兄共二十人。20从前大卫和众首领派尼提宁(Nethinims)服事利未人 (Levites),现在从这尼提宁(Nethinims)中也带了二百二十人来,都是按名指定的。”

《新译本》:1“亚达薛西王在位的时候,与我从巴比伦一同上来的人,他们的族长和他们的族谱记载如下:2属非尼哈的子孙有革顺,属以他玛的子孙有但以理,属大卫的子孙有哈突,3属示迦尼的子孙,就是属巴录的子孙有撒迦利亚,与他一起登记在族谱里的男丁有一百五十人。4属巴哈.摩押的子孙有西拉希雅的儿子以利约乃,与他在一起的男丁有二百人。5属示迦尼的子孙有雅哈悉的儿子(《七十士译本》作“属萨土的子孙有雅哈悉的儿子示迦尼”),与他在一起的男丁有三百人。6属亚丁的子孙有约拿单的儿子以别,与他在一起的男丁有五十人。7属以拦的子孙有亚他利雅的儿子耶筛亚,与他在一起的男丁有七十人。8属示法提雅的子孙有米迦勒的儿子西巴第雅,与他在一起的男丁有八十人。9属约押的子孙有耶歇的儿子俄巴底亚,与他在一起的男丁有二百一十八人。10属示罗密的子孙有约细斐的儿子(《七十士译本》作“属巴尼的子孙有约细斐的儿子示罗密”),与他在一起的男丁有一百六十人。11属比拜的子孙有比拜的儿子撒迦利亚,与他在一起的男丁有二十八人。12属押甲的子孙有哈加坦的儿子约哈难,与他在一起的男丁有一百一十人。13属亚多尼干的子孙,就是最后的,他们的名字是:以利法列、耶利和示玛雅,与他们在一起的男丁有六十人。14属比革瓦伊的子孙有乌太和撒布,与他们在一起的男丁有七十人。15“我召集他们到那条流往亚哈瓦的河边;我们在那里安营住了三天。当我视察民众和祭司的时候,发现没有利未人在那里。16于是我把首领以利以谢、亚列、示玛雅、以利拿单、雅立、以利拿单、拿单、撒迦利亚和米书兰召来,也把有学问的教师约雅立和以利拿单召来,17差派他们到迦西斐雅的地方那里去见首领易多,又把他们在迦西斐雅的地方,对易多和他作殿役的亲族所当说的话都告诉他们,请他们为我们 上帝的殿打发仆人到我们这里来。18因为我们上帝施恩的手帮助我们,他们就从以色列的曾孙、利未的孙子、抹利的子孙中带一个敏悟的人到我们这里来;还有示利比和他的儿子,以及他们的兄弟,共十八人。19又有哈沙比雅和与他在一起的米拉利的子孙耶筛亚,以及他的兄弟和他们的儿子共二十人。20还有从前大卫和众领袖分派去服事利未人的殿役中,带来了二百二十人,全都是按名呼召的。

KJV:1 These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king. 2 Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: of the sons of David; Hattush. 3 Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty. 4 Of the sons of Pahath-moab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males. 5 Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males. 6 Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males. 7 And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males. 8 And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males. 9 Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males. 10 And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and with him an hundred and threescore males. 11 And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males. 12 And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males. 13 And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males. 14 Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males. 15 And I gathered them together to the river than runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi. 16 Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding. 17 And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God. 18 And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen; 19 And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty; 20 Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name.

ESV:1These are the heads of their fathers' houses, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylonia, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king: 2 Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom. Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. Of the sons of David, Hattush. 3 Of the sons of Shecaniah, who was of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah, with whom were registered 150 men. 4 Of the sons of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him 200 men. 5 Of the sons of Zattu, Shecaniah the son of Jahaziel, and with him 300 men. 6 Of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him 50 men. 7 Of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him 70 men. 8 Of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him 80 men. 9 Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him 218 men. 10 Of the sons of Bani, Shelomith the son of Josiphiah, and with him 160 men. 11 Of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah, the son of Bebai, and with him 28 men. 12 Of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him 110 men. 13 Of the sons of Adonikam, those who came later, their names being Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah, and with them 60 men. 14 Of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zaccur, and with them 70 men. 15 I gathered them to the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped three days. As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found there none of the sons of Levi. 16 Then I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, leading men, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of insight, 17 and sent them to Iddo, the leading man at the place Casiphia, telling them what to say to Iddo and his brothers and the temple servants at the place Casiphia, namely, to send us ministers for the house of our God. 18 And by the good hand of our God on us, they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli the son of Levi, son of Israel, namely Sherebiah with his sons and kinsmen, 18; 19 also Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, with his kinsmen and their sons, 20; 20 besides 220 of the temple servants, whom David and his officials had set apart to attend the Levites. These were all mentioned by name.


我在第二十四课查考拉七:7 “亚达薛西王((Artaxerxes I,公元前465-前425年))第七年,以色列人、祭司、利未人、歌唱的、守门的、尼提宁(Nethinims),有上耶路撒冷的。”的时候,已经把归回的名单列成以下这个表:

 
经文 名字 备注

拉八:2

属非尼哈(Phinehas)的子孙有革顺(Gershom);
属以他玛(Ithamar)的子孙有但以理(Daniel);
属大卫(David)的子孙有哈突(Hattush);

拉八:3

属巴录(Pharosh)的后裔,就是示迦尼(Shechaniah)的子孙有撒加利亚 (Zechariah),同着他,按家谱计算,男丁一百五十人;  

拉八:4

属巴哈摩押(Pahath-moab)的子孙有西拉希雅(Zerahiah)的儿子以利约乃 (Elihoenai),同着他有男丁二百;

拉八:5

属示迦尼(Shechaniah)的子孙有雅哈悉(Jahaziel)的儿子,同着他有男丁三百;

拉八:6

属亚丁(Adin)的子孙有约拿单(Jonathan)的儿子以别(Ebed),同着他有男丁五十;

拉八:7

属以拦(Elam)的子孙有亚他利雅(Athaliah)的儿子耶筛亚(Jeshaiah),同着他有男丁七十;

拉八:8

属示法提雅(Shephatiah)的子孙有米迦勒(Michael)的儿子西巴第雅 (Zebadiah),同着他有男丁八十;

拉八:9

属约押(Joab)的子孙有耶歇(Jehiel)的儿子俄巴底亚(Obadiah),同着他有男丁二百一十八;

拉八:10

属示罗密(Shelomith)的子孙有约细斐(Josiphiah)的儿子,同着他有男丁一百六十;

拉八:11

属比拜的(Bebai)子孙有比拜 (Bebai)的儿子撒迦利亚(Zechariah),同着他有男丁二十八;

拉八:12

属押甲(Azgad)的子孙,有哈加坦 (Hakkatan)的儿子约哈难(Johanan),同着他有男丁一百一十;

 拉八:13

属亚多尼干(Adonikam)的子孙,就是末尾的,他们的名字是以利法列 (Eliphelet)、耶利(Jeiel)、示玛雅(Shemaiah),同着他们有男丁六十;

拉八:14

属比革瓦伊(Bigvai)的子孙,有乌太(Uthai)和撒布(Zabbud),同着他们有男丁七十。

总数约 1496人
利未人

 拉八:15-17  15我招聚这些人在流入亚哈瓦(Ahava)的河边,我们在那里住了三日。我查看百姓和祭司,见没有利未人在那里,
16就召首领以利以谢(Eliezer)、亚列(Ariel)、示玛雅 (Shemaiah)、以利拿单(Elnathan)、雅立 (Jarib)、以利拿单(Elnathan)、拿单 (Nathan)、撒迦利亚(Zechariah)、米书兰 (Meshullam),又召教习约雅立(Joiarib)和以利拿单 (Elnathan)。
17我打发他们往迦西斐雅(Casiphia)地方去,见那里的首领易多(Iddo),又告诉他们当向易多 (Iddo)和他的弟兄尼提宁(Nethinims)说什么话,叫他们为我们上帝的殿带使用的人来。

拉八:18

蒙我们上帝施恩的手帮助我们,他们在以色列的曾孙、利未的孙子、抹利(Mahli)的后裔中带一个通达人来;还有示利比 (Sherebiah)和他的众子与弟兄共一十八人;

拉八:19

又有哈沙比雅(Hashabiah),同着他有米拉利 (Merari)的子孙耶筛亚(Jeshaiah),并他的众子和弟兄共二十人。

拉八:20

从前大卫和众首领派尼提宁(Nethinims)服事利未人,现在从这尼提宁中也带了二百二十人来,都是按名指定的。


我在那一课还解释了何以以斯拉特别查看有没有利未人在回归人的当中(拉八:15):

。。在第二次跟随以斯拉归回的会众中,以斯拉特别提到他“查看百姓和祭司,见没有利未人在那里。。”(拉八:15)这是很不寻常的。在第一次回归的会众当中,提到的利未人有“何达威雅的后裔,就是耶书亚和甲篾的子孙(the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah)”(拉二:40),人数共 74人。现在以斯拉特别吩咐人去寻找利未人,因为圣殿已经重建,需要更多这些人在圣殿里服事。以斯拉说“蒙我们上帝施恩的手帮助我们”,他一共找到 18+20 = 38人(拉八:18-19)。 利未人除了在圣殿里服事,以斯拉也知道他自己一个人不能承担所有的教导以色列人律例典章的工作,他需要更多的利未人来分担和分工,他做了很明智的决定。

。。我请大家参考上一课有关被掳后利未人的职责,这样就明白何以以斯拉如此看重利未人在回归后所扮演的角色。 (完)


我在这里要抄录一段区应旈博士著《以斯拉记》(天道圣经注释,2002年),他正确地提到名单中将大卫隐藏于暗流底下成为伏笔:

拉八:2  “属大卫(David)的子孙有哈突(Hattush)” -- 

。。此处《和合本》的翻译与希伯来文很多出入,和合本将示迦尼(Shechaniah)列入为巴录(Pharosh)的后裔,但依希伯来文圣经的次序来看,哈突(Hattush)是示迦尼 (Shechaniah)的子孙比较合理。

希伯来文圣经 拉八:2-3

 

再者,历代志上第三章二十二节指出「示迦尼(Shechaniah)的儿子是示玛雅(Shemaiah),示玛雅的儿子是哈突(Hattush)」。哈突应该是示迦尼的孙子,也是所罗巴伯的第四代子孙(代上三17 )。

19毘大雅的儿子是所罗巴伯、示每。所罗巴伯(Zerubbabel)的儿子是米书兰、哈拿尼雅(Hananiah),他们的妹子名叫示罗密。
20米书兰的儿子是哈舒巴、阿黑、比利家、哈撒底、于沙希悉,共五人。
21拿哈尼雅(Hananiah)的儿子是毘拉提、耶筛亚,还有利法雅的众子、亚珥难的众子、俄巴底亚的众子、示迦尼(Shechaniah)的众子;
22示迦尼(Shechaniah)的儿子是示玛雅(Shemaiah),示玛雅的儿子是哈突(Hattush)、以甲、巴利亚、尼利雅、沙法,共六人。

整本以斯拉记都将大卫隐藏于暗流底下成为伏笔,所罗巴伯的家谱只提到撒拉铁(拉三:2),大卫的名字只于奠基礼时,提到祭司等「照以色列王大卫所定的例」(拉三:10),及 此处大卫的家系中出现(拉八:2)。以前曾提及过,作者可能为了避免波斯王的猜 忌,而将犹大王隐藏起来(所罗门也只是说「多年前所建造的殿,就是以色列的一位大君王建造修成的」,拉五:11);但是并非因此就忽略了大卫家对回归者的影响,即弥赛亚的观念之重要。尤其是先知撒迦利亚更直接地指出所罗巴伯就是两个受膏者之一(亚四:14)。由此可见,弥赛亚(即受膏者)的观念在被掳及归回的时期十分盛行。当然,于缄默时期(即没有先知晓谕,主前400年至施洗约翰止)的犹太经典,更显著地发展出弥赛亚的神学观念。 (完)


我过去也在这个课程引用一些学者的著作,谈到犹太人在被掳之地的生活情况,以及信仰的问题。至于考古学家又能从实物提供什么资料呢?考古学家 Edwin M Yamauchi 在《Persia and the Bible》说:

来自阿契美尼德王朝 (或阿黑门尼德,Achaemenid dynasty 539BC-312BC)后期最重要的楔形泥板文书是 Murashu 文本;它是在 1893年发现在苏美尔(Sumer,现在的南伊拉克)的尼普尔(Nippur)遗址。

 

(Sumer,现在的南伊拉克)的尼普尔(Nippur)

古代 Nippur 神庙的废墟,据说是苏美尔人神的会议地点,以及人被造的地方。 (废墟上的建筑是美国考古学家在1900年建造的)


从这些文本里,Murashu 和 他的儿子们是富有的银行家和经纪人,只要人愿意付出合理的价钱,就可以向他们借贷任何东西。我们可以称他们的“公司”为“农业信贷机构”。在文本中提到的两千多人中,大约 70人(3%)可以被认为是犹太人。这些人的名字有各种 Yahweh (Yah, Yeho, Yahu, la, lama) 的希伯来人名字形式。根据学者 Ran Zadok , “36 out of 70 or 51.4% bore Yahwistic names, lower than Elephantine, but about the same as in Judea。”(51.4% 拥有 Yahwistic 名字,略比埃勒分蒂尼(Elephantine)蒲草纸上的名字少,但与犹大地的名字大致相同。在尼普尔(Nippur)周围地区的 200个定居点中,有28个发现犹太人。


730 clay tablets written in Aramaic and cuneiform syllabic script, they were part of a file belonging to the Murashu family, inhabitants of Nippur in the 5th century before our era. (H.V. Helprecht, “The Babylonia Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania”. Series A: “Cuneiform Texts”, 9th vol. 1898, page 13)

In the three tablets that we here show, is written “Yahuh is God”, and this is another example that in that period, the name of the God of Israel was commonly used.


犹太人似乎是缔约方,代理人,证人,税收征收者和皇家官员。一个名叫“哈拿尼”(Hanani)的人负责所谓“国王的鸟”(over the birds of the King),指的是大流士二世(Darius II, 公元前423年-前404年)。这些文本中有两百名官员是犹太人,显然在犹太人和巴比伦人之间并没有社会或商业上的歧视,看来他们可以融洽相处。犹太人的相对繁荣也许解释了何以有许多人选择留在美索不达米亚(Mesopotamia),不愿意回归耶路撒冷。

除了 Murashu 文本,大约只有两百份经济和法律方面的楔形泥板文书 (cuneiform texts) 是来自阿契美尼德王朝 (或阿黑门尼德,Achaemenid dynasty 539BC-312BC)时期的巴比伦。


在互联网上的 encyclopedia.com ,也有一段类似上文考古学家 Edwin M Yamauchi 在《Persia and the Bible》对 MURASHU'S SONS 的解释。我把它抄录在这里供大家参考(是英文,没有翻译):


MURASHU'S SONS , prominent banking and commercial family in the Babylonian city of Nippur, active during the reigns of Artaxerxes I and Darius II. In 1893 an expedition from the University of Pennsylvania uncovered 730 clay tablets from the family archive dating from 455 to 403 b.c.e. The texts deal with diverse undertakings such as payment of taxes on behalf of others, land management, and the granting of loans to be repaid at a high rate of interest. Some 50 of the 730 tablets contain names which were thought to be Jewish, and this led some to deduce that the Murashu family itself was Jewish. However, the conclusion is unfounded. Apart from the purely indigenous name of the firm (muraššû – means "wildcat" in Akkadian), caution must be exercised in deciding which of the names of the clients or witnesses are characteristically Jewish and which are merely of West Semitic origin. The fact that names like Hanana (חנן, Hanan), Minahhimmu (מנחם, Menahem), Miniamini (מנימין, Minyamin), or names compounded with īlī (אֵל, El) are attested elsewhere in Jewish contexts does not necessarily mean that their bearers at Nippur were Jews. They may have been Arameans or members of some other West Semitic group living in Babylonia. Undisputed evidence for the presence of Jews is furnished by such names as Aḫiyama (אחיה, Ahijah, Aiyyah), Yaḫulakim (יהולכם, Yeholakhem), Yaḫulunu (יהולינו, Yeholanu), and Yaḫunatanu (יהונתן, Jonathan, Yehonatan), which are compounded with the Tetragrammaton or some combining form of it and by such names as Shabbetai son of Haggai. The picture of the Jewish exiles in Mesopotamia which emerges after an examination of these names is one of a people engaged in a wide range of activities: they act as witnesses in documents dealing with taxes, as tenants cultivating the land of others, and as landowners on whose behalf taxes are paid. Some seem to be highly placed royal officials.


bibliography:

G. Cardascia, Les archives des Murašû (1951), incl. bibl.

[David B. Weisberg]


下一课,我们要查考以斯拉在回归旅程上所发生的事。


默想:

安歇之树


拉九:5 - 9

5献晚祭的时候,我起来,心中愁苦,穿着撕裂的衣袍,双膝跪下向耶和华我的上帝举手,
6说:“我的上帝啊,我抱愧蒙羞,不敢向我神仰面,因为我们的罪孽灭顶,我们的罪恶滔天。
7从我们列祖直到今日,我们的罪恶甚重。因我们的罪孽,我们和君王、祭司都交在外邦列王的手中,杀害、掳掠、抢夺、脸上蒙羞,正如今日的光景。
8现在耶和华我们的上帝暂且施恩与我们,给我们留些逃脱的人,使我们安稳如钉子,钉在他的圣所,我们的上帝好光照我们的眼目,使我们在受辖制之中稍微复兴。
9我们是奴仆,然而在受辖制之中,我们的上帝仍没有丢弃我们,在波斯王眼前向我们施恩,叫我们复兴,能重建我们上帝的殿,修其毁坏之处,使我们在犹大和耶路撒冷有墙垣。


在我办公室对面的农田里,有一棵树孤伶伶地矗立在那儿,这一直使我感到很困惑。农夫为了种玉米,砍下了好几公顷的树,唯独保留这棵高大、繁茂的树。后来,谜团终于解开,我知道留下这棵树的原因。原来长久以来,农夫都有留下孤树的传统,好使他们自己和牲畜在炎夏烈日中,有个阴凉的栖息处。

有时候,我们会发现唯独自己在艰难中幸存,而又不明白为何如此。战场上大难不死的士兵,与顽疾抗战后痊癒的病人,都百思不解,为何自己能存留下来,而其他人却没有这个机会。

旧约提到以色列民被掳期间,上帝保存了一批以色列的遗民。这些遗留下来的子民,保存了上帝的律法,后来更重建圣殿(以斯拉记9章9节)。使徒保罗也称自己为上帝存留的子民(罗马书11章1、5节)。他之所以能够留下来,是要向外邦人传达上帝的信息(13节)。


如果其他人跌倒了,而我们仍然站立,就当发出感谢和赞美,同时伸出臂膀,为困乏者提供庇荫。上帝让我们仍能站立,是要成为别人的安歇之树。

感谢天父作我安歇处,

感谢你带我走过的路,

以我经历去鼓励他人,

借着我使赞美归于主。


小如星点的鼓励,就可以燃起盼望。


(取自《灵命日粮》2014年5月2日,作者:林茱莉)


正如有人辞官归故里,有人漏夜赶科场,在被掳之地的犹太人,有人放弃在地上积攒财宝,也要携男挈女,成为上帝保存的遗民(remnant)一份子,归回耶路撒冷,重建圣殿,修筑城墙,积攒财宝在天上;但也有人选择留在他乡,可以发挥他们犹太人经商的智慧,有富贵荣华等着他们,已经“心不在蜀”。


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pcchong@singnet.com.sg