THE BOOK OF THE JUDGES

The 1st Chapter

After the death of Josua the children of Israel asked the Lord saying: Who shall go up first unto the Cananites to fight against them? And the Lord said: Juda shall go up: behold I have delivered the land into his hands. Then Juda said unto Simeon his brother: come with me into my lot, and let us fight against the Cananites: And I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. And so Simeon went with him.

And Juda went up, and the Lord delivered the Cananites and Pheresites into their hands. And they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men. And they found Adonibezek in Bezek. And they fought against him, and slew the Cananites and Pherisites. But Adonibezek fled, and they followed after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. Then Adonibezek said: three score and ten kings having their thumbs and great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table wherefore as I have done so God hath done to me again. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.

The children of Juda fought against Jerusalem and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. And after that the children of Juda went even to fight against the Cananites that dwelt in the mountain, in the south, and in the low country. And Juda went unto the Cananites that dwelt in Hebron, which before time was called Kariath Arbe. And slew Sesai, Ahiman and Thalmai. And from thence they went to the inhabiters of Dabir, whose name in old time was called Kariathsepher.

And Caleb said: he that smiteth Kariathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Acsah my daughter to wife. And Othoniel the son of Kenez Calebs younger brother took it: to whom he gave Acsah his daughter to wife, and as they went she counseled him to ask of her father a field. And then she lighted I off her ass: and Caleb said unto her: What aileth thee? She said unto him: give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a Southward and a dry land, give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her springs both above and beneath. And the children of the Kenite, Moses father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees, with the children of Juda, into the wilderness of Juda that lieth in the South of Arad, and dwelt among the people.

And Juda went and Simeon with him, and they slew the Cananites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it, and called the name of the city Hormah. And Juda took Azah with the coasts thereof, and Askalon with the coasts thereof, and Akaron with the coasts thereof. And the Lord was with Juda that he conquered the mountains, but they could not drive out the inhabiters of the valleys, because they had chariots of iron. And they gave Hebron unto Caleb as Moses said. And he expelled thence the three sons of Enack.

And the children of BenJamin did not cast out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem, but the Jebusites dwell with the children of BenJamin in Jerusalem unto this day.

And in like manner the house of Joseph went up to Bethel and the Lord with them, and the house of Joseph searched out Bethel which before time was called Lus. And the spies saw a man come out of the city and they said unto him shew us the way into the city. And we will shew thee mercy. And he showed them the way into the city, and they smote it with the edge of the sword, but let the man and all his household go free. And the man went into the land of the Hethites, and built a city and called the name thereof Lus which is the name thereof unto this day.

Neither did Manasses expel Bethsean with her towns, neither Thaanach with her towns, neither the inhabiters of Dor with her towns, neither the inhabiters of Jeblaam with her towns, neither the inhabiters of Magedo with her towns, and so the Cananites went to and dwelt in the said land. But as soon as Israel was waxed mighty, they put the Cananites to tribute: but expelled them not.

In like manner Ephraim expelled not the Cananites that dwelt in Gazer, but the Cananites dwelt still in Gazer among them.

Neither did Zabulon expel the inhabiters of Ketron, neither the inhabiters of Nahalol: but the Cananites dwelt among them and became tributaries.

Neither did Aser cast out the inhabiters of Acho, neither the inhabiters of Zidon, of Ahalab, Aczib, Halbah, Aphek, nor of Rohob, but the Aserites dwelt among the Cananites the inhabiters of the land, and drove them not out.

Neither did Nephthalim drive out the enhabitors of Bethsames, nor the inhabiters of Bethanath, but dwelt amongst the Cananites the inhabiters of the land. Nevertheless the inhabiters of Bethsames, and of Bethanath became tributaries unto them.

And the Amorites kept the children of Dan in the mountains, and suffered them not the come down to the valleys. And so the Amorites went and dwelled in mount Heres in Hailon and in Galabim. Neverthelater the hand of Joseph waxed heavy upon them, so that they became tributaries. And the coasts of the Amorites was from the going up to Acrabim, and from the rock upward.

The 2nd Chapter

And the angel of the Lord came up from Galgal to Bocim, and said, I brought you out of Egypt and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers. And I said that I would never break my appointment with you, but ye should have made no covenant with the inhabiters of this land, ye should have broken down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye this done? Wherefore I have likewise determined that I will not cast them out before you: abut they shall be in the sides of you, and their Gods shall be snares unto you. And when the angel of the Lord had spoken these words unto all the children of Israel, the people cried out and wept. And called the name of the said place, Bocim, and offered there unto the Lord.

And when Jonua had sent the people away, the children of Israel went every man into his inheritance to possess the land. And the people served the Lord all the days of Josua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Josua, and had seen all the great works of the Lord that he did to Israel. And Josua the son of Nun the servant of the Lord died when he was an hundred and ten years old: whom they buried in the coasts of his inheritance: even in Thamnath hares in mount Ephraim on the north side of the hill Gaas. And even so all that generation were put unto their fathers, and there arose another generation after them which neither knew the Lord, nor yet the works which he did unto Israel.

And then the children of Israel did wickedly in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed strange Gods, even of the Gods of the nations that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and angered the Lord. And so they forsook the Lord and served Baal and Astharoth. Wherefore the Lord waxed angry with Israel, and delivered them unto the hands of raveners to spoil them and sold them into the hands of their enemies round about them, so that they had no power any longer to stand before their enemies. But unto whatsoever thing they went, the hand of the Lord was upon them with evil luck, even as the Lord promised them, and as he sware unto them. And they were sore vexed.

Nevertheless the Lord raised up Judges, which delivered them out of the hands of their oppressors, and yet for all that they would not hearken unto their Judges: But went a whoring after strange Gods and bowed themselves unto them, and turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord, and did not so.

And when the Lord raised them up Judges, he was with the Judge, and delivered them out of the hands of their enemies all the days of the Judge: for the Lord had compassion over their sorrowings which they had by the reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them: yet for all that as soon as the judge was dead they turned and did worse than their fathers in following strange Gods, and in serving them, and ceased not from their inventions nor from their malicious ways.

Wherefore the Lord was angry with Israel and said: because this people hath transgressed mine appointment which I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice, therefore henceforth I will not cast out one man before them of the nations which Josua left when he died, and that to prove Israel through them whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk therein as their fathers did or not. And so the Lord left those nations alone, and drove them not out immediately, neither delivered them into the hands of Josua.

The 3rd Chapter

These are the nations which the Lord left to tempt Israel: even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan: Only for the learning of the generation of the children of Israel: which before knew nothing of war, he left the five Lords of the Philistines, and all the Cananites, the Sidonites, the Hevites that dwelt in mount Libanon: even from mount Baal Hermon unto Hemath. Those remained to prove Israel by, to wete whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. And as the children of Israel dwell among the Cananites, hethites, Amorites, Pheresites, Hevites, and Jebusites, they took the daughters of them to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their Gods. And so the children of Israel did wickedly in the sight of the Lord and forgot the Lord their God and served Baalim and Aseroth. Therefore the Lord was angry with Israel and delivered them into the hands of Chusan Rasathaim King of Mesopotamia. So that the children of Israel served Chusan Rasathaim eight years.

And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord. And the Lord stirred them up a saver and saved them: one Othoniel the son of Kenes, Calebs younger brother. And the spirit of the Lord came upon him. And he judged Israel, and went out to war. And the Lord sold Chusan Rasathaim King of Mesopotamia into his hand. So that his hand was mighty over Chusan Rasathaim. And the land had rest forty years. And Othoniel the son of Kenes died. And then the children of Israel went to again, and committed wickedness in the sight of the Lord. And then the Lord hardened Eglon the King of the Moabites, against the children of Israel, because they had committed wickedness before the Lord. And this Eglon gathered unto him the children of Ammon, and the Amalekites, and went and smote the children of Israel, and conquered the city of Palm trees. And the children of Israel served Eglon the King of the Moabites eighteen years. And then they cried unto the Lord. And the Lord stirred them up a saver, Ahud the son of Gera, the son of Jemini, a man that could do nothing handsomely with his right hand.

By whom the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of the Moabites which Ahud made him a dagger with two edges, of a cubit length, and he did gird it under his coat upon his right thigh and carried the present unto Eglon the King of the Moabites, which Eglon was a very fat man. And when he had presented the present, he sent the people that bare it away, but he himself turned again from the Idols by Galgal, and said: I have a secret unto thee O King: and the King commanded him to hold his peace until all that stood about him, were gone out from him.

And Ahud came in unto him in a summer parlor, which he had several unto himself alone, and said: I have a message unto thee from God. And he arose out of his seat. And Ahud put forth his left hand and took the dagger from his right thigh and thrust it into his belly, so that the haft went in after the blade. And the haft stopped in the fat, for he drew not the dagger out of his belly. And the dirt came out. But Ahud gat him out at a postern (back) door and shut the doors of the parlor upon him and locked them.

When he was gone out, his servants came and looked. And behold, the doors of the parlor were locked. And they said, Ah, he is doing of his easement in his summer chamber. And when they had tarried till they were ashamed, for no man did the doors of the parlor open: then they took a key and opened them. And behold their Lord was fallen down dead, unto the earth. But Ahud escaped while they tarried and was gone beyond the Idols and escaped into Seirath. And when he was come he blew a trumpet in mount Ephraim. And the children of Israel went down with him off the hill and he before them. And he said unto them, follow me: for the Lord hath delivered your enemies, the Moabites into your hands. And they descended after him and took the passages of Jordan from the Moabites, and suffered not a man to pass over. And they slew of the Moabites, the same time upon a ten thousand men, all fat, and men of might: that there escaped not a man, and so the Moabites were subdued that day, under the hands of Israel: and the land had rest eighty years.

And after him came Samgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox *goad, and delivered Israel also. *goad: pointed stick used to prod animals

The 4th Chapter

And the children of Israel began again to do wickedly in the sight of the Lord, when Ahud was dead. And the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin King of Canaan, that reigned in Hazer, whose captain of war was Sisara, which dwelt in Haroseth of the gentiles. And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron, he oppressed the children of Israel with power twenty years.

And Debora a Prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth judged Israel the same time, and dwelt under the palm tree of Debora, between Ramath and Bethell, in mount Ephraim.

And the children of Israel came to her for judgement. And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam, out of Kedes Nephthalim, and said unto him.

The Lord God of Israel commandeth thee, that thou go and draw to mount Thabor and take with thee ten thousand men, of the children of Nephthalim and of the children of Zabulon. And I will bring unto the river Kison Sisara, the Captain of war unto Jabin, with his chariots, and his people, and will deliver them into thine hands. And Barak said unto her, if thou wilt go with me, I will go: But and if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she answered, I will surely go with thee, but then the praise shall not be thine in the way which thou goest, for the Lord shall deliver Sisara into the hands of a woman. And she arose and went with Barak to Kedes. And Barak called Zabulon and Nephthalim to Kedes. And he went up afoot with ten thousand men: and Debora went with him.

But Heber the kenite was removed out of Kin, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, and pitched his tent until he was come unto the Oak of Zaanaim, by Kedes.

And then it was showed unto Sisara how that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Thabor. And Sisara called for all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and for all the people that he had, from Haroseth of the gentiles unto the river of Kison. Then said Debora unto Barak: up, for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisara into thine hands: for the Lord is gone out before thee. And so Barak went down from mount Thabor, and ten thousand men after him.

But the Lord trounced Sisara and all his chariots and all his host with the edge of the sword, before Barak. And Sisara lighted down off his chariot and fled afoot. But Barak followed after the chariots and after the host, even unto Haroseth of the gentiles. And all the host of Sisara fell upon the edge of the sword, that there was not a man left. Howbeit, Sisara fled afoot to the tent of Jael the wife of Haber the kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor, and the household of Haber the Kenite.

And Jael went out against Sisara and said unto him: turn in my lord, turn into me and fear not. And he turned into her tent: and she covered him with a mantle. And he said unto her, give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk and gave him drink and covered him. And he said unto her, stand in the door of thy tent, and if any man come and ask thee, or enquire of thee whether there be any man here, say nay.

Then Jael Habers wife took a nail of the tent, and an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail through the temples of his head into the ground, as he slumbered being weary: And so he died.

And behold as Barak followed after Sisara, Jael came out against him, and said unto him: come and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent: Behold, Sisara lay dead, and the nail through his temples. And so God brought Jabin the king of Canaan into subjection that day, before the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel prospered and was sore upon Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had brought him to nought.





The 5th Chapter

Then debora and Barak the son of Abinoam sang the same day: saying Praise the Lord in them that were willing while other sat still in Israel. Hear kings and hearken Lords, I will sing, and give praise unto the Lord God, of Israel.

Lord when thou departed out of Seir and camest from the fields of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heaven rained, and the clouds dropped water: the mountains melted before the Lord, even mount Sinai before the Lord God of Israel.

In the days of Samgar the son of Anath and in the days of Jael, the high ways were unoccupied. And they that walked by paths, went by ways that set compasses about. The villages were uninhabited in Israel, were uninhabited: until I Debora arose until I arose a mother in Israel.

God chose new fashions of war, for when they had war at their gates: there was not seen among forty thousand, either shield or spear in Israel. Mine heart loveth the maintainers of the law in Israel, that are willing among the people. Bless the Lord ye that ride on goodly Asses and sit in judgment. And ye that walk by the ways make *ditties. *simple song

Now the archers did cry, where men draw water, there shall they tell of the justice of the Lord, and of the justice of his uplandish folk in Israel. And then the people of the Lord went down unto the gates.

Up up Debora, up up and sing a song, up Barak, and take thy prey, thou son of Abinoam. Then they that had escaped, reigned over the proudest of the people. The Lord reigneth over the strong.

Ephraim was the first against Amalek, and after them BenJamin, among the people.

Of Machir came learned men in the law, and of Zabulon that well could draw with the pen of a scribe.

The lords of Isacar were with Debora. And as Barak, even so was Isacar sent into the valley afoot. But in the divisions of Ruben, were great imaginations of heart.

Wherefore abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks. In the divisions of Ruben, great were the imaginations of heart. Galaad abode on the other side Jordan, and why tarried Dan in ships. And Aser sat in the havens of the sea, and abode still in his own coasts. Zabulon is a people that put their lives in jeopardy of death, and Nephthalim in like manner, even unto the top of the fields. Kings came and fought. Then fought the King of Canaan at Thanach, upon the water of Magedo. But the silver that they coveted, they carried not away.

From heaven came battle: for the stars being in their course, fought against Sisara. The river of Kison caught them away: that ancient river the river Kison.

My soul: tread thou the mighty underfoot. Then they mauled the horses legs, that their mighty coursers left prancing.

Curse Meres bade the angel of the Lord, Curse, Curse the inhabiters thereof because they came not forth to help the Lord, to help the Lord among the mighty.

Blessed be Jael the wife of Haber the Kenite, above other women: above other women blessed be she in the tent.

He asked water, but she gave him milk, and brought butter in a goodly dish. She caught a nail in her left hand, and a working hammer in her right, and nailed Sisara and wounded his head and pierced and went through his temples. Between her feet he bowed himself, fell down and lay still: Between her feet he bowed himself and fell. And whither he bowed himself, thither he fell brought to nought.

Through a window looked Sisaras mother and howled through a lattice, why abideth his chariot so long, that it cometh not, why tarry the wheels of his wagons? The wisest of her ladies answered her: yea and she answered her own words herself, haply, they have found, and divide the spoil. A maid, yea two maids for a piece: a spoil of divers colors for Sisara, a spoil of divers colors with broidered works, divers colored broidered works for the neck for a prey. So, perish all thine enemies Lord: but they that love thee, let them be as the sun rising in his might.

And the land had rest forty years.

The 6th Chapter

And the children of Israel committed wickedness in the sight of the Lord. And the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Madianites seven years. And when the hand of the Madianites was sore upon Israel, the children of Israel made them dens in the mountains and caves and strong holds. For when Israel had sown then came the Madianites the Amalekites and they of the East country upon them and pitched their tents against them and destroyed the increase of the earth even unto Azah, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, ox or ass, for they came with their cattle and households even as grasshoppers in multitude: so that both they and also their camels were without number. And they entered the land to destroy it. And so was Israel exceedingly impoverished by the Madianites and cried unto the Lord. And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord because of the Madianites, the Lord sent a prophet unto them, and said unto them: Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: I fetched you from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage and I rid you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hands of all that oppressed you, and cast them out before you, and gave you their lands. And I said unto you, I am the Lord your God, and therefore fear not the Gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But you have not obeyed my voice. And the Angel of the Lord came and sat under an Oak in Ephrah, that pertained unto Joas the father of the Eserits. And his son Gedeon pressed out wheat out of the ears in a press, for to flee from the Madianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said: the Lord is with thee, thou man of might. And Gedeon answered him: O' my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why is all this come upon us: yea and where be his miracles which our fathers told us of and said, the Lord brought us out of Egypt. But now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Madianites. And the Lord looked upon him and said: Go hence in this thy might and deliver Israel out of the hands of the Madianites: Behold I have sent thee: And he answered him: O' Lord wherewith should I save Israel? Behold my kindred is the poorest in Manasses, and I am the least in my fathers house. But then the Lord said unto him: I will be with thee: and thou shalt smite the Madianites, as they were but one man. And he answered him, if I have found grace in thy sight, then show me a sign, that thou art the Lord that talked with me. Depart not hence until I come again unto thee and bring mine offering, and have set it before thee.

And he said I will tarry until thou come again. And Gedeon went and made ready a kid, and sweet cakes of an Epha of flour, and put the flesh in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the Oak and presented it. And the angel of God said unto him: take the flesh and the sweet cakes and put them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the flesh and the cakes. And there arose up fire out of the rock and consumed the flesh and the cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished out of his sight. And when Gedeon perceived that it was an angel, he said: Alas my Lord Jehovah, that I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face. And the Lord said unto him, peace be with thee and fear not, for thou shalt not die. Then Gedeon made an altar there unto the Lord and called it Jehovah Salom, which unto this day is yet in Ephrah that pertaineth unto the father of the Eserites. And the same night the Lord said unto him, take an ox of thy fathers and another of seven years old, and destroy the altar of Baal that belongeth unto thy father, and cut down the grove that is about it, and make an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock and furnish it. And take the second ox and offer burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt have cut down. Then Gedeon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord bade him. But because he durst not do it by day for fear of his fathers household and of the men of the city, he did it by night.

When the men of the city were up early in the morning: Behold the altar of Baal was broken, and the grove that stood about it cut down. And the second ox offered upon the altar that was made. And they said one to another, who hath done this thing, and they enquired and asked. And it was told them that Gedeon the son of Joas had done it. Then the men of the city said unto Joas, bring out thy son that he may die, because he hath broken the altar of Baal, and cut down the grove that was about it. And Joas said unto all that stood by him, will ye fight for Baal, or will ye be his defenders: he that striveth for him shall die this morning. If he be a God let him strive with him that cast down his altar. And he called Gedeon Jerobaal the same time saying: let Baal strive with him because he hath broken down his altar.

When all the Madianites, the Amalekites and they of the East, were gathered together and had gone and pitched in the valley of Jerael: the spirit of the Lord entered into Gedeon. And he blew a trumpet and called Abiezer to follow him, and sent messengers throughout all Manasses and called them up to follow him also. And he sent messengers unto Aser, Zabulon and Nephthalim, which came also to meet him.

And Gedeon said unto God: if thou wilt save Israel by my hand as thou hast said. Behold I will put a fleece of wool in the threshing place. And if the dew be on the fleece only, and dry upon all the earth beside: then I shall be sure that thou wilt save Israel by my hand as thou saidest. And it came to pass. And he rose up early on the morrow, and he thrust the fleece together and wrung the dew thereout and filled a bowl of water. And Gedeon said unto God, be not angry with me, that I speak once more, let me prove only once again with the fleece. Let it be dry only upon the fleece, and dew upon all the ground about. And God did so that same night: so that it was dry upon the fleece only, and on all the ground about, dew.



The 7th Chapter

Then Jerobaal otherwise called Gedeon rose early and all the people that were with him, and pitched beside the well of Harad, so that the host of the Madianites were in a valley on the north side of the hill Hamoreh. And the Lord said unto Gedeon, the people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Madianites into their hands, lest Israel make her vaunt (boast, brag) to my dishonor and say, our own hand hath saved us. Now therefore make a proclamation in the Ears of the people and say: if any man dread or be afraid, let him return and get him soon from mount Galaad. And there departed and returned of the people twenty two thousand, and there abode ten thousand.

And the Lord said unto Gedeon: the people are yet too many, bring them down unto the water, and I will try them unto thee there. And of whom I say unto thee, this shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee. And whosoever I say unto thee, this shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. And when he had brought down the people unto the water, the Lord said unto Gedeon: As many as lap the water with their tongues, as dogs do, them put by themselves, and so do them that kneel down upon their knees to drink. And the number of them that put their hands to their mouths and lapped, were three hundred men. And all the remnant of the people knelt down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gedeon, with the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Madianites into thine hand. And all the other people shall go every man unto his own home.

And they took victuals with them for the folk, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel, every man unto his tent, and kept the three hundred with him. And the host of Madian was beneath him in a valley. And the same night the Lord said unto him, up and go down unto the host, for I have delivered it into thine hand. But if thou fear to go down, then go thou down unto the host, and Pharah thy lad, and hearken what they say, and so shall thine hands be strong, and then thou shalt go down unto the host.

Then he went down with Pharah his lad, even hard unto the men of arms that were in the host. And the Madianites, the Amalekites, and all they of the East, lay along in the valley, like unto grasshoppers in multitude, and their camels were without number, even as the sand by the sea side in multitude. And when Gedeon was come: behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow and said: Behold I dreamed a dream and me thought that a broiled loaf of barley bread tumbled into the host of Madian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, this is nothing else save the sword of Gedeon the son of Joas a man of Israel, into whose hand the Lord hath delivered Madian and all the host.

When Gedeon heard the telling of the dream and the interpretation of the same, he bowed himself to the earth and returned unto the host of Israel, and said: up for the Lord hath delivered into your hands the host of the Madianites. And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and gave every man a trumpet in his hand, with an empty pitcher and lamps therein, and said unto them look on me and do likewise: and behold, when I come to the side of the host, even as I do, so do you. And when I blow with a trumpet and all that are with me, blow ye with trumpets also on every side the host and say, here be the Lord and Gedeon.

And so Gedeon and the three hundred men that were with him, came unto the side of the host in the beginning of the middle watch, and raised up the watch men. And they blew with their trumpets and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And all three companies blew with trumpets and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right, to blow with all. And they cried the sword of the Lord and of Gedeon. And they stood still, every man in his place round about the host. And all the host ran and cried and fled. And as the three hundred blew with trumpets, the Lord set every mans sword upon his neighbor, throughout all the host. And the host fled until they came to Bethsitah, to Zererath, and to the edge of Abelmeholah beside Tabath. And the men of Israel gathered together of the tribe of Naphthalim, of Aser, and of all Manasses, and followed after the Madianites. For Gedeon had sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim saying: come down against the Madianites and take from them the waters both Bethbarath and also of Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered together and came down and took the waters, both of Bethbarath and also of Jordan. And they took two captains of the Madianites, Oreb and Zeb, and slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeb at the press Zeb and followed after Madian. And brought the heads of Oreb and Zeb to Gedeon on the other side Jordan.

The 8th Chapter

And the men of Ephraim said unto him. Why hast thou served us thus, that thou called us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Madianites. And they chode(scold) with him a good. And he said unto them: What deed have I done like unto yours: are not the clusters of Ephraim better than the wine harvest of Abiezer? God hath delivered into your hands the Lords of Madian, Oreb and Zeb. And what was I able to do like as you have done. And then their spirits abated from off him, when he had said that. And then Gedeon came to Jordan and passed over, both he and the three hundred men that were with him very faint and yet followed the chase. And he said unto the men of Socoth: give I pray you cakes of bread unto the people that follow me: for they be fainty, that I may follow after Zebah and Zalmona kings of Madian. And the Lords of Socoth said: are the hands of Zebah and Zalmona now in thine hands that we should give bread unto thy company. And Gedeon said, therefore when the Lord hath delivered Zebah and Zalmona into mine hand, I will tear the flesh of you with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. And he went thence to Phanuel, and spake unto them likewise. And the men of Phanuel answered him, as did the men of Socoth. And he said also unto the men of Phanuel, when I come again in peace, I will break down this tower. Zebah and Zalmona were in Arkar and their hosts with them, upon a fifteen thousand, which were all that were left of all the hosts of them of the East. And they that were slain were a hundred and twenty thousand men that drew swords.

And Gedeon went through them that dwell in tabernacles on the east side of Nobah and Jebahah, and smote the host: for the host did cast no perils. Zebah and Zalmona fled. But he followed after them, and took the two kings of the Madianites, Zebah and Zalmona and discomfited all the host.

And Gedeon the son of Joas returned from battle, the *son being yet up, and caught a lad of the men of Socoth, and enquired of him. And he wrote him of the Lords and Elders of Socoth seventy seven men. Then he came unto the men of Socoth and said: Behold Zebah and Zalmona, with which ye cast me in the teeth saying: are the hands of Zebah and Zalmona already in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy fainty men. And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and all to tear them therewith. And he brake down the tower of Phanuel and slew the men of the city. *son as written; sonne, elsewhere see that sun was written sunne.

And then said unto Zebah and Zalmona, what manner men were they which ye slew at Thabor? and they answered, the likeness of thee and them is all one, even after the fashion of the children of a king. And he said, they were my brethren, even my mothers children, and as truly as the Lord liveth, if ye had saved their lives, I would not slay you. And he said unto Jether his eldest son, up and slay them: But the lad drew not his sword, for he feared, because he was yet young. Then Zebah and Zalmona said: Rise thou and fall upon us, for as the man is so is his strength. And Gedeon arose and slew them: and he took away the chains that were on their camels necks.

Then the men of Israel said unto Gedeon, Reign over us, both thou, thy son and thy sons son, for thou hast delivered us out of the hands of the Madianites. And Gedeon said unto them, I will not reign over you, neither shall my children reign over you, but the Lord shall reign over you.

Neverthelater Gedeon said unto them: I would desire a certain request of you, even that you would give me every man the earrings of his prey. For they had golden earrings, because they were Ismaelites. And they said, we will do it. And they spread a mantle and did cast thereinto every man the earrings of his prey. And the weight of the golden earrings was a thousand and seven hundred sickles of gold, beside brooches, ouches and garments of scarlet that were of the kings of Madian, and beside the chains, that were about their camels necks. And Gedeon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city Ephrah. And all Israel went a whoring after him there, which thing was the ruin of Gedeons house. Thus were the Madianites brought low before the children of Israel, so that they lift up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gedeon.

And Jerobaal the son of Joas went and dwelt in his own house. And Gedeon had seventy sons of his body begotten, for he had many wives. And his concubine that dwelt in Sichem bare him a son also, whose name he called Abimelech. And Gedeon the son of Joas died, when he was of a good age, and was buried in the burial of Joas his father, even in Ephrah that pertained unto the father of the Ezrites.

But as soon as Gedeon was dead, the children of Israel turned away and went a whoring after Baal, and made Baal berith their God, and thought not on the Lord their God which had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side. Neither showed they mercy on the house of Jerobaal, otherwise called Gedeon, according to all the goodness which he showed

them.

The 9th Chapter

For Abimelech the son of Jerobaal went to Sichem, unto his mothers brethren, and communed with them and with all his mothers fathers kindred saying: say I pray you, in the ears of all the inhabiters of Sichem: whether is better for you that all the sons of Jerobaal which are seventy persons reign over you, either that one reign over you. And remember thereto, that I am your bones and your flesh. And his mothers brethren rehearsed of him in the audience of all the Citizens of Sichem, all these words, and moved their hearts to follow Abimelech, in that they said how he was their brother. And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal Berith, with which Abimelech hired Jehel and *light persons which went with him. And they went unto his fathers house at Ephrah, and slew all his brethren, the sons of Jerobaal, even seventy persons with one stone. Notwithstanding yet Joatham the youngest son of Jerobaal escaped, for he hid himself. And all the citizens of Sichem gathered together with all the house of Mello, and went and made Abimelech King at a certain oak that was by Sichem. *light persons: from the Hebrew "pachaz" to be wanton and reckless.

And when it was told Joatham, he went and stood in the top of mount Garizim, and lift up his voice and called, and said unto them: Hearken unto me you citizens of Sichem, that God may hearken unto you. The trees went to anoint a King over them, and said unto the olive tree, reign over us. But the olive tree said unto them: should I leave my fatness which both God and man praiseth in me, and go to be promoted over the trees. Then said the trees to the fig tree, come thou and be king over us. And the fig tree answered them, should I forsake my sweetness and my good fruit, and should go to be promoted over the trees. Then said the trees unto the vine, come thou and be King over us. And the vine answered, should I leave my wine that cheereth both God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees. Then said all the trees unto the fiery bush come thou and reign over us. And the fiery bush said unto the trees: if it will be true that ye will anoint me king over you, then come and rest under my shadow, and ye shall see that a fire shall come out of the fiery bush and waste the cypress trees of Libanon.

And even so now, if ye have done truly and uncorruptly to make Abimelech king. And if ye have dealt well with Jerobaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands, forasmuch as my father fought for you and adventured his life, and rid you out of the hands of the Madianites. And ye are risen up against my fathers house this day. And have slain his children, even seventy persons with one stone and have made Abimelech the son of his maidservant King over the citizens of Sichem, because he is your brother, if then ye have dealt purely and truly with Jerobaal and with his house this day: then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. But if ye have not dealt truly, then I pray God a fire may come out of Abimelech and consume the citizens of Sichem and the house of Mello. And that there come a fire out of the citizens of Sichem, and out of the house Mello and consume Abimelech. And Joatham ran away and fled and went to Beer and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother. When Abimelech had reigned three years God sent an hate between Abimelech and the citizens of Sichem. And the citizens of Sichem railed upon Abimelech, and wished that the wickedness done to the seventy sons of Jerobaal might come on him, and laid the blood of them unto Abimelech their brother which slew them, and unto the other citizens of Sichem which aided him in the killing of his brethren. And the citizens of Sichem set men to lay await for him in the top of the mountains, which men robbed all that came along the way by them. And it was told Abimelech.

And Gaal the son of Abed and his brethren went and gat them to Sichem. And the men of Sichem put their confidence in him. And they went out into the fields and gathered in their grapes and trod them and made merry: and went into the house of their God, and did eat and drink and cursed Abimelech. And Gaal the son of Abed said: what is Abimelech? and what is Sichem? that we should serve him, is he not the son of Jerobaal? and Zebul is his officer? serve such as come of Hemor the father of Sichem, for what reason is it that we should serve him? would God this people were under my hand, then I would take Abimelech out of the way. And one said unto Abimelech, make thine host greater and go out. And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Abed, he was wroth and sent messengers unto Abimelech privily saying: Behold Gaal the son of Abed and his brethren be come to Sichem: and behold they set the city against thee. Now therefore up by night, both thou and all the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the fields. And rise early in the morning as soon as the *son is up and come upon the city. And when he and the people that is with him come out against thee, do to him what thine hands shall be able. And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night. And they laid await to the city in four companies. And Gaal the son of Abed went out and stood in the entering of the gate of the city. And Abimelech rose up and the folk that were with him, from lying await. And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul: Behold there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him: the shadow of the hills seem men unto thee. And Gaal answered again and said: see there come folk down by the middle of the land and another company come along by the charmers Oak. Then said Zebul unto him: where is now thy mouth that said, what fellow is Abimelech, that we should serve him. These are the people that thou so despisest. Go out now a fellowship and fight with them. And Gaal went out before the citizens of Sichem, and fought with Abimelech. And Abimelech chased him that he fled before him and many were overthrown and slain, even until they came unto the entering of the gate. And then Abimelech went and dwelt at Arumah. And then Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, and would not suffer them to dwell in Sichem. And on the morrow the people went out into the field. And it was told Abimelech. And he took his people and divided them into three companies and lay await in the fields. And when he saw that the people were come out of the city, he ran upon them and laid upon them.

And Abimelech and the companies that were with him, ran and stood in the entering of the gate of the city. And the two other companies ran upon all the people that were in the fields and slew them. And then Abimelech fought against the city all that day, and took it, and slew the people that were therein, and destroyed the city and sowed salt in the place. And when all the men of the town of Sichem heard that, they entered into a stronghold of the house of their god Baal Berith. And when it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Sichem were gathered together, he gat him to mount Zelmon, both he and all that were with him, and took axes with him and cut down an arm of a tree, and took it up, and put it on his shoulder, and said unto the folk that were with him, whatsoever ye see me do: speed yourselves and do likewise. And all the people cut down also every man a bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them into the hold, and set the hold a fire upon them: so that all the men of the tower of Sichem were slain, upon a thousand persons what of men and women together.

Then went Abimelech to Thebes and besieged it and took it. But there was a strong tower in the midst of the city, and thither ran all the men and women and all the citizens of the city and shut it to them, and got them up upon the top of the tower. Then came Abimelech unto the tower and fought against it, and went hard unto the entering of the gate, to set it on fire. But a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon his head and all to brake his brain pan.

Then Abimelech called hastily unto the young man that bare his harness, and said unto him: draw thy sword and slay me, that men say not of me, a woman slew him. And his lad thrust him through and he died.

And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed, every man unto his own house. And thus all the wickedness of Abimelech which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren, and thereto all the wickedness of the men of Sichem, God did bring upon their heads: And upon them came the curse of Joatham the son of Jerobaal.

The 10th Chapter

After Abimelech there arose, to defend Israel, one Thola, the son of Phuah, the son of Dodo, a man of Isacar, which dwelt in Samir in mount Ephraim. And he judged Israel twenty three years, and then died and was buried in Samir. And after him arose Jair a Galaadite, which judged Israel twenty two years. And he had thirty sons that rode on thirty Ass colts, and had thirty cities for them, which are called the towns of Jair unto this day, and are in the land of Galaad. And Jair died, and was buried in Kamon.

And the children of Israel wrought wickedness yet again, in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim and Astharoth, and the Gods of Siria, and the Gods of Sidon, the Gods of Moab, the Gods of the children of Ammon, and the Gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord and served him not. And the Lord was wroth with Israel, and sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon: which *pilled (charged excessively for things: extortion) and oppressed the children of Israel in those days eighteen years, all that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites in Galaad. Moreover the children of Ammon went over Jordan to fight against Juda, Benjamin, and the house of Ephraim: so that Israel was sore cumbered. Then the children of Israel cried unto the Lord saying: we have sinned against thee: for we have forsaken our own God, and have served Baalim. And the Lord said unto the children of Israel: did not the Egyptians, the Amorites, the children of Ammon, the Philistines, the Sidonites, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppress you? And ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hands. And for all that ye have forsaken me, and serve strange Gods, wherefore I will help you no more. But go and cry unto the Gods which ye have chosen, and let them save you in the time of your tribulation.

But the children of Israel said unto the Lord we have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever please thee, and deliver us only at this time. And they put away the strange Gods from them and served the Lord. And the misery of Israel grieved his soul.

Then the children of Ammon gathered together and pitched in Galaad. And the children of Israel gathered them together and pitched in Mazphah. And the company of the Lords of Galaad said each to other, whosoever will begin the battle against the children of Ammon, the same shall be head over all the inhabiters of Galaad.

The 11th Chapter

And there was one Jephthah a Galaadite, a strong man, which was the son of an harlot: How be it Galaad begat Jephthah. But Galaads wife bare him sons, which when they were come to age, thrust out of Jephthah, and said unto him: thou shalt not inherit in our fathers house, for thou art the son of a strange woman. Then Jephthah fled from his brethren and dwelt in the land of Tob. And there gathered *Idle people to Jephthah, and went out with him. But it chanced in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel, then the elders of Galaad went and fetched Jephthah out of the land of Tob, and said unto him: come and be our captain, and let us fight with the children of Ammon. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Galaad: Did not ye hate me and expel me out of my fathers house? how happeneth it then that you come unto me now in time of your tribulation? And the elders of Galaad answered Jephthah: Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabiters of Galaad. And Jepthah said unto the elders of Galaad: If ye bring me home again, to fight with the children of Ammon, then if the Lord deliver them before me, I shall be your head. And the elders of Galaad said to Jephthah, the Lord be witness between us if we do not according to thy words. Then Jephthah went with the elders of Galaad. And the people made him head and ruler over them. And Jephthah rehearsed all his words in Mazphah. *Idle: from the Hebrew; "ramiyah": deceitful, deceived or "raphah":weak feeble, dishearten

Then Jephthah sent messengers unto the King of the children of Ammon, saying: what aileth thee with me that thou comest upon me to fight against my land? And the King of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, because Israel took away my land, when they came out of Egypt: even from Arnon unto Jabok, and from thence unto Jordan. Now therefore restore those lands again with fair means. And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the children of Ammon, and said unto him: thus saith Jephthah: Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon. But when Israel came out of Egypt, they walked through the wilderness, even unto the red sea, and came to Cades, and sent messengers unto the king of Edom saying: let us we pray thee go through thy land. But the King of Edom would not agree thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the King of Moab, but he would not consent. And so Israel abode still in Cades. And then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came along by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of the river of Arnon, and came not within the coasts of the Moabites: for Amen was their utmost border. And then Israel sent messengers unto Sehon, King of the Amorites, and King of Hesbon, and said unto him: Let us pass through thy land unto our own country. But Sehon trusted not Israel, to go through his coasts: but gathered all his people together and pitched in Jazah, and fought with Israel. But the Lord God of Israel delivered Sehon and all his folk into the hands of Israel. And so Israel smote them and conquered all the land of the Amorites, the inhabiters of the said country. And they conquered all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon unto Jabok, and from the wilderness unto Jordan. So now seeing the Lord God of Israel hath cast out the Amorites before his people shouldest thou possess the land? Nay, but what people Camos thy god driveth out, that land possess thou. But whatsoever nations the Lord our God expelleth, that land ought we to enjoy. And thereto art thou better than Balack the son of Zephor King of Moab? did he strive with Israel or fight against thee? all the while Israel dwelt in Hesbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why didst thou not recover them in all that space, wherefore I have not sinned against thee. But thou doest me wrong, to war against me. The Lord therefore be judge this day, between the children of Israel, and the children of Ammon. Howbeit the King of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.

Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah. And he passed over Galaad and Manasses, and came to Mazphah that lieth in Galaad, and from thence unto the children of Ammon. And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord and said: If thou shalt deliver the children of Ammon into my hands, then that thing that cometh out of the doors of my house against me, when I come home in peace, from the children of Ammon, shall be the Lords, and I will offer it up a burntoffering. And so Jephthah went unto the children of Ammon to fight with them. And the Lord delivered them into his hands. And he smote them from Aroer unto Menith, twenty cities. And so forth to the plain of the vineyards, and made an exceeding great slaughter. And thus the children of Ammon were brought under, before the children of Israel.

Then Jephthah came to Mazphah unto his house. And see, his daughter came out against him, with timbrels and dances, which was his only child: so that beside her he had neither son nor daughter. And when he saw her, he rent his clothes and said: Alas my daughter, thou hast made me stoop, and art one of them that trouble me. For I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and cannot go back. And she said unto him: my father, if thou have opened thy mouth unto the Lord, then do with me according to that proceeded out of thy mouth, forasmuch as the Lord hath avenged thee of thine enemies the children of Ammon. And she said unto her father, do this much for me: let me alone two months that I may go down to the mountains and bewail my virginity with my fellows. And he said: go, and so he sent her away two months. And she went with her companions and lamented her maidenhead upon the mountains. And after the two months she turned again unto her father which did with her according to his vow which he had vowed, and so she knew no man. And it became an ordinance in Israel year by year, that the daughters of Israel should go and lament the daughter of Jephthah the Galaadite, four days in a year.

The 12th Chapter

And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah: Wherefore wentest thou to fight with the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will therefore burn thine house upon thee, with fire. And Jephthah said unto them: I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon. And I called you. But ye delivered me not out of their hands. And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands and went upon the children of Ammon. And the Lord delivered them into my hands. Wherefore then are ye come upon me to fight with me.

And Jephthah gathered together all the men of Galaad, and fought with the Ephraites. And the men of Galaad smote the Ephraites, because they said: Ye Galaadites are but renegades of Ephraim among the Ephraites and the Manassites. Moreover the men of Galaad took the passages of Jordan from the Ephraites. And when those Ephraites that were escaped, said let us go over. Then the men of Galaad said unto them: Ye are Ephraites, and they said nay. Then the other answered: then say: Sciboleth. And they said Siboleth, and could not so pronounce, whereupon the other took them and slew them at the passages of Jordan. And there were overthrown at that time of the Ephraites forty two thousand. And when Jephthah had judged Israel six years he died, and was buried in one of the cities of Galaad. After this man judged Israel one Abezan of Bethlehem, and he had thirty sons and thirty daughters, and sent also his thirty daughters out, and took thirty other in, for his sons. And when Abezan had judged Israel seven years he died, and was buried at Bethlehem.

And after him Elon a Zabulonite judged Israel ten years, and he died and was buried in Aialon, in the country of Zabulon.

And after him, Abdon the son of Hellel a Pharathonite judged Israel. And he had forty sons, and thirty nephews, that rode on thirty ass colts. And when Abdon the son of Hellel the Pharathonite had judged Israel eight years, he died, and was buried in Pharthon, the land of Ephraim in the mount of the Amalekites.

The 13th Chapter

And the children of Israel began again to commit wickedness in the sight of the Lord. And the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines forty years. And there was a man in Zaraah of the kindred of the Dannites, named Manoah, whose wife was barren and bare not. And the Angel of the Lord appeared unto his wife and said unto her: Behold, thou art barren and bearest not: But thou shalt conceive and bear a son. And now beware, and drink no wine, nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for see, thou shalt conceive and bear a son. And there may no razor or shearers come on his head: for the lad shall be an abstainer unto God, even from the time of his birth. And he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines.

Then the wife went and told her husband saying: a man of God came unto me, and the fashion of him was like the fashion of an Angel of God exceeding fearful. But I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name. And he said unto me: behold thou shalt be with child and bear a son, and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the lad shall be an abstainer to God even from his birth to the day of his death.

Then Manoah made intercession to the Lord, and said: I pray thee my Lord let the man of God which thou sendest come once more unto us and teach us what we shall do unto the lad when he is born. And God heard the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again unto the wife, as she sat in the fields: But Manoah her husband was not with her. Then the wife made haste and ran and showed her husband and said to him: Behold the man appeared unto me that came the other day unto me.

And Manoah arose and went after his wife and came to the man and said unto him: art thou the man that spakest unto my wife? And he said, yee. Then Manoah said, now when thy saying is come to pass: what shall be the manner of the child, and what shall he do? And the Angel of the Lord said unto Manoah: thy wife must abstain from all that I said unto her: she may eat of nothing that cometh of the vine tree, nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: But must observe all that I bade her. Then said Manoah unto the Angel of the Lord, grant us to tarry until we have made ready a kid and have set it before thee. And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah: though thou make me abide, I will not eat of thy meat. And moreover, if thou wilt prepare a burntoffering, that thou must offer unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that it was an angel of the Lord. And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord: what is thy name, that when thy saying is come to pass, we may do thee some worship? And the angel of the Lord said unto him: why askest thou after my name? when it is marvelous.

And Manoah took a Kid with a meat offering and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord. And the angel did wonderfully, Manoah and his wife looking upon. For when the flame came up out of the altar, the angel of the Lord ascended up in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked upon and fell flat on their faces unto the ground: But the angel of the Lord did no more appear unto Manoah and his wife. And then Manoah knew that it was an angel of the Lord: and said unto his wife: we shall surely die, because we have seen God. But his wife said unto him: If the Lord would kill us, he would not have received a burntoffering and a meatoffering of our hands, neither would he have showed us all these things, nor would have told us as he hath of things to come. And the wife bare a son, and called his name Samson. And the lad grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the spirit of the Lord began first to be with the house of Dan, between Zaraah and Esthaol.



The 14th Chapter

Samson went down to Thamnath, and saw a woman in Thamnath of the daughters of the Philistines, and came up and told his father and his mother, and said: I have seen a woman in Thamnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And now give her me to wife. Then his father and mother said unto him, is there never a woman of the daughters of thy brethren, among all my people: but that thou must go and fetch a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, give me this woman for she pleaseth me well. But his father and mother knew not that it was the Lords doing, and that he sought an occasion of the Philistines, which at that time reigned over Israel.

Then went Samson and his father and his mother down to Thamnath. And when they came to the vineyards of Thamnath: behold a young lion roared upon him. And the spirit of the Lord came upon him. And he tare him, as a man would rent a Kid, and yet had nothing in his hand. Nevertheless he told not his father and mother what he had done. And he went down and talked with the woman, which seemed well favoured in the sight of Samson.

And within a short space after, as he went thither again to take her to wife, he turned out of the way, to see the carcase of the *Lion. And behold there was a swarm of bees in the carcase of the *Lion and honey. And he took of the honey in his hands and went eating, and came to his father and mother, and gave them also. And they did eat. But he told not them, that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the *Lion. *L all are capitals as recorded

And when his father was come unto the woman, Samson made there a feast, for so used the young men to do. And when her friends saw him, they brought thirty companions to bear fellowship. And Samson said unto them: I will put forth a riddle unto you. And if you can declare it within seven days of the feast and find it out, I will give you thirty shirts and thirty changes of garments: But and if you cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty shirts and thirty changes of garments. And they answered him, put forth thy riddle and let us hear it. And he said unto them: Out of the eater came meat: and out of the strong came sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle. And when the seventh day was come, they said unto Samsons wife, Flatter with thine husband, that he may declare us thy riddle, or else we will burn thee and thy fathers house with fire: have ye called us to make us beggars or not? Then Samsons wife wept unto him and said, it cannot be but that thou hatest me and lovest me not: for thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my folk and wilt not tell me what it meaneth. And he said: Behold, I have not told it my father, nor my mother, and should I tell it thee?

And she wept unto him seven days, while the feast lasted. And the seventh day he told her, because she lay so sore upon him. And she told it the children of her folk. And the men of the city said unto him the seventh day before the *son went down, What is sweeter than honey, and what is stronger or than a Lion. Then said he unto them: If ye had not ploughed with my calf, ye had not found out my riddle. Then the spirit of the Lord came upon him. And he went down to Askalon, and slew thirty men of them and spoiled them, and gave their garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And he was wroth and went up to his fathers house. But Samsons wife was given to one of his companions that bare him company.

The 15th Chapter

But it chanced within a while after, even in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a Kid. And when he supposed to have gone in unto his wife into the chamber, her father would not suffer him to go in: But said: I thought that thou hadst hated her, and therefore gave I her unto one of thy companions. Howbeit her younger sister is fairer than she. Take her instead of the other. Then said Samson unto them: Now I am blameless concerning the Philistines though I do them evil.

And Samson went out and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and fastened tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails. And he set the firebrands on fire, and put them into the corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the reaped corn and also the standing, with vine and olives. Then the Philistines asked, who had done that? And it was told them that Samson the son in law of the Thamnite, because he had taken his wife and given her to one of his companions. And the Philistines came and burnt her and her father with fire.

And Samson said unto them: should ye do so? for I will surely be avenged of you, and then I will cease. And he smote them leg and thigh with a mighty plague. And then he went and dwelt in the cave of the rock Etam.

Then the Philistines came up and pitched against Juda, and lay in Lehi. And the men of Juda said, Why are ye come against us? And they answered to bind Samson are we come, even to do him as he hath done to us. Then three thousand men of Juda went down to the cave of the rock Etam, and said to Samson: wettest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? Wherefore then hast thou served us thus? And he answered them, as they served me, so have I served them.

And they said unto him, we are come to bind thee and to deliver thee into the hands of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them: sware unto me, that ye shall not hurt me yourselves. And they said, we will not hurt thee, save only bind thee and deliver thee unto their hands: But we will not kill thee. And so they bound him with two new cords and brought him up from the rock. And when he come to Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him. And the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire and the bands loosed from his hands. And he found a *Jaw bone of a ratten(rotten) ass, and put forth his hand and caught it, and slew a thousand men therewith. *J capital J as recorded

And Samson said: with the Jaw of an ass, have I made heaps: with the Jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. And when he had left speaking he cast away the Jaw out of his hand and called the place Ramath Lehi. And he was sore a thirst, and called on the Lord and said. Thou Lord hath given this great victory, through the hand of thy servant. And now I must die for thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised. But God brake a great tooth that was in the Jaw, and there came water thereout. And when he had drunk his spirit came again, and he was refreshed, wherefore the name thereof was called the well of the caller on, which is in Lehi unto this day. And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

The 16th Chapter

Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an whore, and went in unto her. And it was told the Gazites, that Samson was come thither. And they went about and laid await for him all night in the gate of the city, but were still all the night saying: Tarry till the morning that it be day, and then let us kill him. And Samson took his rest till midnight, and arose at midnight took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two side posts, and rent them off, bars and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that lieth before Hebron.

And after that he loved a woman, upon the river of Sorek, called Dalilah unto whom came the Lords of the Philistines, and said unto her: Flatter with him and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may have power over him, that we may bind him, to bring him under, and we will give every man eleven hundred silverlings.

And Dalilah said to Samson. Oh, tell me where thy great strength lieth, and if thou were bound wherewith men might constrain thee. And Samson said unto her: If men bound me with seven green withies (willow like branches) that were never dried, I should be weak and as another man. And then the Lords of the Philistines brought her seven withies that were yet green and never dried and she bound him therewith. Notwithstanding she had men lying in wait with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, the Philistines be upon thee Samson. And he brake the cords as a string of tow breaketh, when it feeleth fire. And so his strength was not known.

Then said Dalilah to Samson: See thou hast mocked me and told me lies. Now yet tell me I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said: If I were bound with new ropes that never were occupied, then should I be weak, and as another man. And Dalilah took new ropes and bound him therewith, and said unto him, the Philistines be upon thee Samson. And there were layers of wait in the chamber, and he brake them from off his arms, as they had been but a thread. And Dalilah said unto Samson, hitherto thou hast beguiled me and told me lies: I pray thee yet tell me wherewith men may bind thee. And he said unto her: If thou plaitedest the seven locks of my head with an hair lace and fasten them with a nail. And she said unto him, the Philistines be upon thee Samson. And awaked out of his sleep, and plucked and went away with the nail that was in the plaiting and with the hair lace. Then she said unto him: How canst thou say that thou lovest me, when thine heart is not with me: for thou hast mocked me this three times, and hast not told wherein thy great strength lieth. And as she lay upon him with her words continually vexing of him, his soul was encumbered even unto the death. And he told her all his heart, and said unto her: there never came razor nor shears upon mine head, for I have been an abstainer to God even from my mothers womb. If mine hair were cut off, my strength would go from me, and I should wax and be like all other men. And when Dalilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent for the Philistines saying, come up yet this once, for he hath showed me all his heart.

Then the Lords of the Philistines came and brought the money in their hands. And she made him sleep upon her lap, and sent for a man, and cut off the seven locks of his head and began to vex him. But his strength was gone from him. And she said the Philistines be upon thee Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep and thought to go out as at other times before and shake himself, and knew not that the Lord was departed from him. But the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters. And he was made to grind in the prison house, how be it the hair of his head began to grow again after that he was shorn.

Then the Lords of the Philistines gathered them together, for to offer a solemn offering unto Dagon their God, and to rejoice: for they said, our God hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hands. And when the people saw him, they praised their God: for they said our God hath delivered into our hands our enemy, that destroyed our country and slew many of us. And when their hearts were merry, they said: send for Samson and let him play before us. And they fetched Samson out of the prison house, and he played before them, and they set him between the pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that led him by the hand: set me that I may touch the pillars that the house stands upon, and that I may lean to them. And the house was full of men and women. And there was all the lords of the Philistines. And there were upon the roof a three thousand men and women, that beheld how Samson played.

And Samson called unto the Lord, and said: my Lord Jehovah think upon me, and strengthen me, at this time only O' God, that I may be avenged of the Philstines for my two eyes. And Samson caught the two middle pillars on which the house stood and on which it was borne up, the one in his right hand, and the other in his left, and said: my soul die with the Philistines, and bowed them with might. And the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people that were therein. And so the dead which he slew at his death, were more than they which he slew in his life. And then his brethren and all the house of his father; came down and took him up, and brought him and buried him between Zaraah and Esthaol, in the burying place of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.

The 17th Chapter

There was a man in mount Ephraim, named Micah which said unto his mother: the eleven hundred silverlings that were taken from thee, about which thou cursed and saidst in mine ears: Behold the silver is with me for I took it away. Then said his mother, blessed be thou my son, in the Lord. And so he restored the eleven hundred silverlings to his mother again. And his mother said: I vowed the silver unto the Lord of mine hand for my son: to make a graven image and an image of metal. Now therefore I give it thee again. And he restored the money again unto his mother. Then his mother took two hundred silverlings and put them to a goldsmith, to make thereof a graven image and a image of metal, which remained in the house of Micah. And the man Micah had a chapel of Gods, and made an Ephod and images, and filled the hand of one of his sons which became his priest. For in those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did what thought him best.

And there was a young man out of Bethlehem Juda, and out of the kindreds of Juda: which young man was a Levite and sojourned there. And the man departed out of the city of Bethlehem Juda, to go dwell where he could find a place. And he came to mount Ephraim, and to the house of Micah as he journeyed. And Micah said unto him, whence comest thou? and the Levite answered him: I am of Bethlehem Juda, and go to dwell where I may find a place. And Micah said unto him: dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest. And I will give thee ten silverlings by year and raiment of all sorts, and thy meat and drink.

And the Levite went and began to dwell with the man, and was unto him as dear as one of his own sons. And Micah filled the hand of the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and continued in the house of Micah. Then said Micah, now I am sure that the Lord will be good unto me, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.



The 18th Chapter

In those days there was no King in Israel. And in those days the tribe of Dan sought them an inheritance to dwell in, for unto that time there fell none inheritance unto them among the tribe of Israel. And the children of Dan sent of their kindreds five men of activity, out of their coasts, even out of Zaraah and Esthaol, to view the land and search it out, and said unto them: go and search out the land. And they came to mount Ephraim, even to the house of Micah and lodged there. And when they were come unto the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite, and turned in thither, and said unto him: who brought thee hither? and what makest thou in this place? And what hast thou here. And he said unto them, thus and thus dealeth Micah with me and hath hired me to be his priest. And they said unto him: Ask of God I pray thee, that we may know whether the way which we go, shall be prosperous or no. And the priest said unto them: go in peace, for the way which ye go is before the Lord.

Then the five men departed and came to Lais, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, and after the manner of the Sidons: still, and without casting of perils, and that no man made any trouble in the land or usurped any dominion, and how they were far from the Sidons and had no business with any nation. And they came unto their brethren, to Zaraah, and Esthaol. And their brethren said unto them: what tidings bring you?

And they said up and let us go unto them, for we have seen the land, that it is very good. Haste therefore and be not slothful to depart and go and conquer the land. When ye be come, ye shall come unto a people that casteth no perils, and unto a large country: for God hath given into your hands a place wherein is no lack of anything that is in the world.

And there departed thence of the kindred of the Danites, out of Zaraah and Esthaol six hundred men appointed with instruments of war. And they went and pitched in Kariath Jarim in Juda. Wherefore the place is called Mahanah Dan unto this day, which is on the back side of Kariath Jarim. And they went thence unto mount Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah. Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Lais, and said unto their brethren: know ye not that there is in these houses and Ephod and Images, and a graven Image and an Image of metal? Now therefore consider what ye have to do.

And they turned thitherward and came to the house of the young man the Levite in the house of Micah, and saluted him peaceably. And the six hundred men girded with weapons of war which were of the children of Dan stood in the entering of the gate. And the five men that went to spy out the land, went in thither and took the carved Image, and the Ephod, the carved Image, and the Image of metal. And the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were armed unto battle, while the other went to Micahs house, and fetched the carved Image, the Ephod, the carved Image and the Image of metal. Then said the priest unto them: what do ye? and they answered him, hold thy peace and put thine hand upon thy mouth, and come with us, and be unto us a father and a priest, whether is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or to be priest unto a tribe or a kindred in Israel? And the priest was glad and took the Ephod and the Images, and the graven Image, and went with the people. And they turned and departed, and put the children, the cattle and their costly things before them.

When they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses that were by Micahs house, made an outcry, and followed after the children of Dan and called unto them. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, what aileth thee, that thou makest an outcry: And he said, ye have taken away my Gods which I made and also the priest, and go your ways with them: And what have I more, how then say ye unto me, what aileth thee? And the children of Dan said unto him, let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of all thine household too. And so the children of Dan went their ways. And when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house again.

And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and went unto Lais, even unto a people that were at rest and without mistrust, and smote them with the edge of the sword and burnt the city with fire. And there was no man to help, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no meddling with any other nation. And the city stood in the valley that lieth by Bethrehob. And they built the city and dwelt therein. And called it Dan, after the name of Dan their father which was born unto Israel. Howbeit in very deed the name of the city was Lais at the beginning.

And the children of Dan set them up the graven Image. And Jonathan the son of Gerson, the son of Manasses and his sons were the priests unto the tribe of the Danites, until they were carried away out of the land captive. And they set them up the carved Image which Micah made, all the while that the house of God was in Siloh.

The 19th Chapter

It chanced in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that a certain Levite dwelling on the side of mount Ephraim, took to wife a concubine out of Bethlehem Juda: which concubine played the whore in his house, and went away from him, unto her fathers house to Bethlehem Juda, and there continued four months. And her husband arose and went after her, to speak friendly, unto her, and to bring her home again, and his lad with him and a couple of *Asses. And she brought him unto her fathers house, and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced of his coming. And his father in law the damsels father kept him that he abode with him three days and so they ate and drank and lodged there.*A as recorded

The fourth day they arose early in the morning, and the man stood up to depart. But the damsels father said unto his son in law, comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread and then go your way. And they sat down and did eat and drink both of them together. Then said the damsels father unto the man, go to I pray thee and tarry all night and let thine heart be merry. How be it the man stood up to depart: but his father in law compelled him to turn again and to tarry all night there. And he rose up early the fifth day to depart. Then said the damsels father comfort thine heart: and so made him tarry until after midday. And they did eat both of them together.

And then the man arose to depart with his concubine and his lad. But his father in law the damsels father said unto him behold the day goeth fast away and draweth toward even, tarry all night: at the least way tarry this day here and let thine heart be merry. And tomorrow get you early upon your way and get thee to thy tent. Neverthelater the man would not tarry, but arose and departed and came as far as Jebus, which is Jerusalem, and his two asses laden, and his concubine, and his lad with him. And when they were fast by Jebus, the day was sore spent and the young man said unto his master, come I pray thee and let us turn in, into this city of the Jebusites and lodge all night there. But his master said unto him, we will not turn in to a strange city that are not of the children of Israel: we will go forth to Gabaah. And he said unto his lad, go forward, and we shall come to one place or other and shall lodge all night in Gabaah or in Ramah. And they went forward upon their way, and the *son went down upon them when they were fast by Gabaah which is in Benjamin. And they turned thitherward to go and lodge all night in Gabaah. And when they came in, they sat them down in a street of the city, for there was no man took them in to lodge. But behold there came an old man from his work, out of the fields at even which was also of mount Ephraim, and but a stranger in Gabaah, for the men of the place were of the children of Jemini. And when he had lifted up his eyes, and saw a wayfaring man in the streets of the city he said: whither goest thou? And whence comest thou? And the other answered him, we come from Bethlehem Juda toward the side of mount Ephraim: from thence am I, and went to Bethlehem Juda and go now to the house of the Lord. But there is no man that receiveth me to house: and yet I have straw and provender for our Asses, and bread and wine for me and thy handmaid, and thy lad that are with thy servant, and lack nothing. *son as recorded

The old man said, peace be with thee, all that thou lackest shalt thou find with me: only abide not in the streets all night, and he brought him into his house, and gave fodder unto his Asses. And they washed their feet, and did eat and drink. And as they were making their hearts merry, the men of the city which were wicked, set the house round about, and thrust at the door, and spake to the man of the house, the old man saying: bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

But the man of the house went out to them and said unto them, Oh, nay my brethren, do not so wickedly seeing that this man is come into mine house: do not this folly. Behold my daughter a maiden and this mans concubine, them I will bring out unto you, and humble them, and do with them what seemeth you good: but unto this man, do not this folly. But the men would not hearken to him. Nevertheless the man took his concubine and brought her out unto them, and they had to do with her, and entreated her shamefully, all the night even unto the morning. And when the day began to spring, they let her go.

And then came the woman in the dawning of the day and fell down at the door of the mans house, where her Lord was, and there she lay till day. And her Lord arose up in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to go his way. And behold, his concubine lay along before the door of the house, and her hand upon the threshold. And he said unto her: up and let us be going. But she answered not. Then he took her up upon an ass and stood up and gat him unto his own home. And when he was come unto his house, he took a dressing knife, and caught his concubine and divided her through the bones into twelve pieces, and sent her into all quarters of Israel. And all that saw it said: there was no such deed done or seen since the children of Israel came out of Egypt unto this day, consider the matter, give counsel and say your minds.

The 20th Chapter

Then all the children of Israel went out: and there gathered a congregation together as it had been but one man, even from Dan to Berseba and out of the land of Galaad, unto the land Mazphah and there stood folk out of all quarters of all the tribes of Israel, in the congregation of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew swords. And the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mazphah.

Then said the children of Israel, tell us how this wickedness happened. And the Levite the womans husband that was slain, answered and said: I came into Gabaah that is in Benjamin with my concubine to lodge all night. And the citizens of Gabaah rose against me, and set the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: and caught my concubine and forced her, that she died. And I took my concubine and cut her in pieces and sent her throughout all the lands of the inheritance of Israel. For they have committed abomination and folly in Israel. Behold ye are all children of Israel. See therefore and give your advice in the case.

Then all the people arose, as it had been one man saying: there shall not a man of us go to his tent, neither turn into his house. And now this is it that we shall do to Gabaah and cast lots against it. And we will take ten men of the hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of the thousand, and a thousand out of the ten thousand, to fetch victuals for the people to make that they may go against Gabaah Benjamin, according to all the folly, that they have wrought in Israel. And so all the men of Israel gathered together, unto Gabaah, knit together as it had been but one man. And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin saying: what wickedness is this that is happened among you. Now therefore deliver us the men, those wicked wretches of Gabaah that we may slay them, and put away evil from Israel.

Neverthelater the children of Benjamin would not hearken unto the voice of their brethren the children of Israel: but gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gabaah, to come out in battle against the children of Israel. And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time, out of the cities twenty six thousand men that drew swords beside the inhabiters of Gabaah which were numbered seven hundred chosen men. And among all these folk were seven hundred left handed men, which every one could fling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss. And the children of Israel beside the children of Benjamin were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew swords, and all men of war.

And the children of Israel arose and went up to Bethel, and asked of God, who should begin the battle against the children of Benjamin, and the Lord said Juda shall begin. And the children of Israel stood up early and besieged Gabaah. And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin, and put themselves in array against them, to fight against Gabaah. And the children of Benjamin came out of Gabaah and destroyed in Israel that day twenty two thousand men, and brought them to the earth.

And the folk of the children of Israel plucked up their hearts, and went to again and made battle in the same place where they did the first day: but they went first up and wept before the Lord unto evening, and asked of the Lord saying: shall we go again to battle against the children of Benjamin our brethren? And the Lord said: go up unto them and when the children of Israel were come to the children of Benjamin the second day, the children of Beniamin went against them out of Gabaah, the second day, and destroyed to the earth of the children of Israel once again eighteen thousand men that drew swords every man of them.

Then the children of Israel and all the people went up and came unto Bethel, and wept and sat there before the Lord, and fasted the same day unto evening, and offered burntofferings and peaceofferings before the Lord. And they asked the Lord: for there was the ark of the appointment of God, in those days. And Phinehes the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron waiting upon it at that time: and they said shall we go out any more to battle against the children of Benjamin our brethren, or shall we cease? And the Lord said go: for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hands. And Israel set layers await against Gabaah round about. And the children of Israel went against the children of Beniamin the third time, and put themselves in array against Gabaah, as twice before. Then came the children of Benjamin against the people, till they were drawn a great way from the city. And they began to smite of the people dead ( as twice before, by two high ways of which one goeth up to Bethel and the other to Gabaah through the field ) upon a thirty men of Israel. For the children of Benjamin thought that the other had been beaten before them, as at the first time. But the children of Israel said, let us flee and pluck them away from the city, unto the high ways.

And then all the men of Israel rose up out of their standing, and put themselves in array at Baal Thamar. And likewise the layers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gabaah, and came before Gabaah: ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and there was sore battle. But the other knew not that evil was so nigh them. And the Lord plagued Benjamin before Israel, so that the children of Israel destroyed in Benjamin the same day twenty five thousand and a hundred men, that drew swords every one of them. It seemed the children of Benjamin, that the other had been put to the worse. For the men of Israel gave *Rome (room) to Benjamin, because they trusted unto the layers in wait which they had laid against Gabaah. And the layers in wait hasted and ran upon Gabaah, and went and smote all the city with the edge of the sword. And the appointment of the men of Israel with the layers in wait to run upon Benjamin with the sword, was when they should make the smoke rise up out of the city. And the men of Israel fled in the battle. And Benjamin began to smite dead of the children of Israel, about a thirty persons, for they supposed that the other had been put to the worse before them, as in the first battle. Then began to arise out of the city, a pillar of smoke. And the Benjamites looked back: and behold the wasting of the whole city began to ascend up to heaven. *Rome: exactly as recorded; (room is given as it is commonly used)

When the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were abashed: for they saw that evil approached them. And they turned before the men of Israel into the way that leadeth to the wilderness, the other following them at the hard heels. And beside that they of the city destroyed them in the middle of them. And they compassed Benjamin about, and chased them to Menuah, and overran them before Gabaah on the east side: and there were slain of Benjamin eighteen thousand, and all men of might. And they turned and fled to the wilderness ward and unto the rock of pomegranates. And the other slew by the way of the rest of them, five thousand men, and sticked unto them until they came to Gadaam, and slew two thousand more of them. So that all that were slain that same day of Benjamin were twenty five thousand men that drew swords, and all men of might: only six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness, unto the *Rock of pomegranates and abode there four months. And then the men of Israel turned back again unto the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword in the cities both man and beast and all that came to hand, and moreover set all the cities they could come by on fire. *Rock: exactly as recorded

The 21st Chapter

And the men of Israel sware in Mazphah saying: there shall none of us give his daughter unto any of Benjamin to wife. And the people came to Bethel and abode there till evening, before God and lifted up their voices and wept sore and said: O' Lord God of Israel, why is this chanced in Israel, that there should be this day one tribe lacking in Israel? And on the morrow the people rose up be time and made there an altar and offered burntofferings and peaceofferings.

And the children of Israel asked, who are they among all the tribes of Israel that came not with the congregation unto the Lord? for they had made a great oath concerning them that came not up to the Lord to Mazphah saying that they should surely die. And the children of Israel had pity on Benjamin their brethren, and said: there is one tribe cut off from Israel this day: what shall we do unto the remnant of them, for to get them wives, forasmuch as we have sworn by the Lord that we will not give them of our daughters to wives. Then they said, what are they of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mazphah to the Lord. And behold there came none of the inhabiters of Jabes Galaad unto the congregation. And when the people were viewed: behold there were none of the inhabiters of Jabes Galaad there. And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the strongest of them, and commanded them saying: go and smite the inhabiters of Jabes Galaad with the edge of the sword both women and children. And this is that ye shall do: utterly destroy all the males and the women that have lien by men. And they found among the inhabiters of Jabes Galaad four hundred damsels virgins that had known no man by lying with any male. And they brought them unto the host to Siloh which is in the land of Canaan.

And the whole congregation sent and spake with the children of Benjamin that were in the Rock of pomegranates, and called peaceably unto them, and Benjamin came again at that time, and they gave them the women which they had saved alive of the women of Jabes Galaad. But they so sufficed them not. And the people had compassion on Benjamin, because that God had made a gap in the tribes of Israel. And then the elders of the congregation said: what shall we do to the remnant of them, to get them wives seeing all the wives of Benjamin are destroyed? And they said there must be an inheritance for them that be escaped of Benjamin that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel: how be it we may not give them wives of our daughters. For the children of Israel had made an adjuration saying: acursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin.

Then they said: behold, there is a feast of the Lord yearly in Siloh which is on the north side of Bethel, and on the east side of the way that goeth from Bethel to Sichem and south from Libanon. And they commanded the children of Benjamin saying: go and lie in wait in the vineyards. And when ye see that the daughters of Siloh come out to dance in a row, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man a wife of the daughters of Siloh, and get you unto the land of Benjamin. And if their fathers or brethren come to us to complain, we will say unto them, have pity on them, because we reserved not to each man his wife in time of war, and thereto because that ye gave them none in due time, ye were to blame.

And the children of Benjamin did even so: and took them wives according to the number of them of the dancers which they caught. And then they went and returned unto their inheritance, and built there cities and dwelt in them.

And the children of Israel departed thence at that time and went every man to his tribe, and to his kindred, and went out from thence every man to his inheritance. In those days there was no king in Israel: but every man did what seemed him right.

The end of the book of Judges.