The Holy Bible
Part 14 out of 30
Judges Chapter 6
The people for their sins, are oppressed by the Madianites. Gedeon is
called to deliver them.
6:1. And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the
Lord: and he delivered them into the hand of Madian seven years,
6:2. And they were grievously oppressed by them. And they made
themselves dens and caves in the mountains, and strong holds to resist.
6:3. And when Israel had sown, Madian and Amalec, and the rest of the
eastern nations, came up:
6:4. And pitching their tents among them, wasted all things as they
were in the blade, even to the entrance of Gaza: and they left nothing
at all in Israel for sustenance of life, nor sheep, nor oxen, nor
6:5. For they and all their flocks came with their tents, and like
locusts filled all places, an innumerable multitude of men, and of
camels, wasting whatsoever they touched.
6:6. And Israel was humbled exceedingly in the sight of Madian.
6:7. And he cried to the Lord, desiring help against the Madianites.
6:8. And he sent unto them a prophet, and he spoke: Thus saith the
Lord, the God of Israel: I made you to come up out of Egypt, and
brought you out of the house of bondage,
6:9. And delivered you out of the hands of the Egyptians, and of all
the enemies that afflicted you: and I cast them out at your coming in,
and gave you their land.
6:10. And I said: I am the Lord your God, fear not the gods of the
Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell. And you would not hear my voice.
6:11. And an angel of the Lord came, and sat under an oak that was in
Ephra, and belonged to Joas, the father of the family of Ezri. And when
Gedeon, his son, was threshing and cleansing wheat by the winepress, to
flee from Madian,
6:12. The angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said: The Lord is with
thee, O most valiant of men.
6:13. And Gedeon said to him: I beseech thee, my lord, if the Lord be
with us, why have these evils fallen upon us? Where are his miracles,
which our fathers have told us of, saying: The Lord brought us out of
Egypt but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hand
6:14. And the Lord looked upon him, and said: Go, in this thy strength,
and thou shalt deliver Israel out of the hand of Madian: know that I
have sent thee.
6:15. He answered, and said: I beseech thee, my lord wherewith shall I
deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the meanest in Manasses, and I am
the least in my father's house.
The meanest in Manasses, etc. . .Mark how the Lord chooseth the humble
(who are mean and little in their own eyes) for the greatest
6:16. And the Lord said to him: I will be with thee: and thou shalt cut
off Madian as one man.
6:17. And he said: If I have found grace before thee, give me a sign
that it is thou that speakest to me:
6:18. And depart not hence, till I return to thee, and bring a
sacrifice, and offer it to thee. And he answered: I will wait thy
6:19. So Gedeon went in, and boiled a kid, and made unleavened loaves
of a measure of flour: and putting the flesh in a basket, and the broth
of the flesh into a pot, he carried all under the oak, and presented to
6:20. And the angel of the Lord said to him: Take the flesh and the
unleavened loaves, and lay them upon that rock, and pour out the broth
thereon. And when he had done so,
6:21. The angel of the Lord put forth the tip of the rod, which he held
in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened loaves: and there
arose a fire from the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened
loaves: and the angel of the Lord vanished out of his sight.
6:22. And Gedeon seeing that it was the angel of the Lord, said: Alas,
my Lord God: for I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.
6:23. And the Lord said to him: Peace be with thee: fear not, thou
shalt not die.
6:24. And Gedeon built there an altar to the Lord, and called it the
Lord's peace, until this present day. And when he was yet in Ephra,
which is of the family of Ezri,
6:25. That night the Lord said to him: Take a bullock of thy father's,
and another bullock of seven years, and thou shalt destroy the altar of
Baal, which is thy father's: and cut down the grove that is about the
6:26. And thou shalt build un altar to the Lord thy God, in the top of
this rock, whereupon thou didst lay the sacrifice before: and thou
shalt take the second bullock, and shalt offer a holocaust upon a pile
of the wood, which thou shalt cut down out of the grove.
6:27. Then Gedeon, taking ten men of his servants, did as the Lord had
commanded him. But fearing his father's house, and the men of that
city, he would not do it by day, but did all by night.
6:28. And when the men of that town were risen in the morning, they saw
the altar of Baal destroyed, and the grove cut down, and the second
bullock laid upon the altar, which then was built.
6:29. And they said one to another: Who hath done this? And when they
inquired for the author of the fact, it was said: Gedeon, the son of
Joas, did all this.
6:30. And they said to Joas: Bring out thy son hither, that he may die:
because he hath destroyed the altar of Baal, and hath cut down his
6:31. He answered them: Are you the avengers of Baal, that you fight
for him? he that is his adversary, let him die before to morrow light
appear: if he be a god, let him revenge himself on him that hath cast
down his altar.
6:32. From that day Gedeon was called Jerobaal, because Joas had said:
Let Baal revenge himself on him that hath cast down his altar.
6:33. Now all Madian, and Amalec, and the eastern people, were gathered
together, and passing over the Jordan, camped in the valley of Jezrael.
6:34. But the spirit of the Lord came upon Gedeon, and he sounded the
trumpet, and called together the house of Abiezer, to follow him.
6:35. And he sent messengers into all Manasses, and they also followed
him : and other messengers into Aser and Zabulon, and Nephthali, and
they came to meet him.
6:36. And Gedeon said to God: If thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as
thou hast said,
6:37. I will put this fleece of wool on the floor: if there be dew in
the fleece only, and it be dry on all the ground beside, I shall know
that by my hand, as thou hast said, thou wilt deliver Israel.
6:38. And it was so. And rising before day, wringing the fleece, he
filled a vessel with the dew.
6:39. And he said again to God: Let not thy wrath be kindled against
me, if I try once more, seeking a sign in the fleece. I pray that the
fleece only may be dry, and all the ground wet with dew.
6:40. And God did that night as he had requested: and it was dry on the
fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Judges Chapter 7
Gedeon, with three hundred men, by stratagem defeateth the Madianites.
7:1. Then Jerobaal, who is the same as Gedeon, rising up early, and all
the people with him, came to the fountain that is called Harad. Now the
camp of Madian was in the valley, on the north side of the high hill.
7:2. And the Lord said to Gedeon: The people that are with thee are
many, and Madian shall not be delivered into their hands: lest Israel
should glory against me, and say: I was delivered by my own strength.
Lest Israel, etc. . .By this we see that God will not choose for his
instruments in great achievements, which depend purely on his grace,
such as, through pride and self conceit, will take the glory to
7:3. Speak to the people, and proclaim in the hearing of all: Whosoever
is fearful and timorous, let him return. So two and twenty thousand men
went away from Mount Galaad and returned home, and only ten thousand
7:4. And the Lord said to Gedeon: The people are still too many, bring
them to the waters, and there I will try them: and of whom I shall say
to thee, This shall go with thee, let him go: whom I shall forbid to
go, let him return.
7:5. And when the people were come down to the waters, the Lord said to
Gedeon: They that shall lap the water with their tongues, as dogs are
wont to lap, thou shalt set apart by themselves: but they that shall
drink bowing down their knees, shall be on the other side.
7:6. And the number of them that had lapped water; casting it with the
hand to their mouth, was three hundred men: and all the rest of the
multitude had drunk kneeling.
7:7. And the Lord said to Gedeon: By the three hundred men, that lapped
water, I will save you, and deliver Madian into thy hand: but let all
the rest of the people return to their place.
That lapped water. . .These were preferred that took the water up in
their hands, and so lapped it, before them who laid themselves quite
down to the waters to drink: which argued a more eager and sensual
7:8. So taking victuals and trumpets according to their number, he
ordered all the rest of the multitude to depart to their tents: and he
with the three hundred gave himself to the battle. Now the camp of
Madia was beneath him in the valley.
7:9. The same night the Lord said to him: Arise, and go down into the
camp: because I have delivered them into thy hand.
7:10. But if thou be afraid to go alone, let Phara, thy servant, go
down with thee.
7:11. And when thou shalt hear what they are saying, then shall thy
hands be strengthened, and thou shalt go down more secure to the
enemies' camp. And he went down with Phara his servant, into part of
the camp, where was the watch of men in arms.
7:12. But Madian and Amalec, and all the eastern people, lay scattered
in the valley, as a multitude of locusts: their camels also were
innumerable, as the sand that lieth on the sea shore.
7:13. And when Gedeon was come, one told his neighbour a dream: and in
this manner related what he had seen: I dreamt a dream, and it seemed
to me as if a hearth cake of barley bread rolled and came down into the
camp of Madian: and when it was come to a tent, it struck it, and beat
it down flat to the ground.
A dream. . .Observation of dreams is commonly superstitious, and as such
is condemned in the word of God: but in some extraordinary cases, as we
here see, God is pleased by dreams to foretell what he is about to do.
7:14. He to whom he spoke, answered: This is nothing else but the sword
of Gedeon, the son of Joas, a man of Israel. For the Lord hath
delivered Madian, and all their camp into his hand.
7:15. And when Gedeon had heard the dream, and the interpretation
thereof, he adored: and returned to the camp of Israel, and said:
Arise, for the Lord hath delivered the camp of Madian into our hands.
7:16. And he divided the three hundred men into three parts, and gave
them trumpets in their hands, and empty pitchers, and lamps within the
7:17. And he said to them: What you shall see me do, do you the same: I
will go into one part of the camp, and do you as I shall do.
7:18. When the trumpet shall sound in my hand, do you also blow the
trumpets on every side of the camp, and shout together to the Lord and
7:19. And Gedeon, and the three hundred men that were with him, went
into part of the camp, at the beginning of the midnight watch, and the
watchmen being alarmed, they began to sound their trumpets, and to clap
the pitchers one against another.
Their trumpets, etc. . .In a mystical sense, the preachers of the
gospel, in order to spiritual conquests, must not only sound with the
trumpet of the word of God, but must also break their earthen pitchers,
by the mortification of the flesh and its passions, and carry lamps in
their hands by the light of their virtues.
7:20. And when they sounded their trumpets in three places round about
the camp, and had broken their pitchers, they held their lamps in their
left hands, and with their right hands the trumpets which they blew,
and they cried out: The sword of the Lord and of Gedeon:
7:21. Standing every man in his place round about the enemies' camp. So
all the camp was troubled, and crying out and howling, they fled away:
7:22. And the three hundred men nevertheless persisted sounding the
trumpets. And the Lord sent the sword into all the camp, and they
killed one another,
7:23. Fleeing as far as Bethsetta, and the border of Abelmahula, in
Tebbath. But the men of Israel, shouting from Nephthali, and Aser, and
from all Manasses, pursued after Madian.
7:24. And Gedeon sent messengers into all Mount Ephraim, saying: Come
down to meet Madian, and take the waters before them to Bethbera and
the Jordan. And all Ephraim shouted, and took the waters before them
and the Jordan as far as Bethbera.
7:25. And having taken two men of Madian, Oreb and Zeb: Oreb they slew
in the rock of Oreb, and Zeb in the winepress of Zeb. And they pursued
Madian, carrying the heads of Oreb and Zeb to Gedeon, beyond the waters
of the Jordan.
Two men. . .That is, two of their chiefs.
Judges Chapter 8
Gedeon appeaseth the Ephraimites. Taketh Zebee and Salmana. Destroyeth
Soccoth and Phanuel. Refuseth to be king. Maketh an ephod of the gold
of the prey, and dieth in a good old age. The people return to
8:1. And the men of Ephraim said to him: What is this that thou meanest
to do, that thou wouldst not call us, when thou wentest to fight
against Madian? And they chid him sharply, and almost offered violence.
8:2. And he answered them: What could I have done like to that which
you have done? Is not one bunch of grapes of Ephraim better than the
vintages of Abiezer?
What could I, etc. . .A meek and humble answer appeased them; who
otherwise might have come to extremities. So great is the power of
humility both with God and man.
8:3. The Lord hath delivered into your hands the princes of Madian,
Oreb and Zeb: what could I have done like to what you have done? And
when he had said this, their spirit was appeased, with which they
swelled against him.
8:4. And when Gedeon was come to the Jordan, he passed over it with the
three hundred men that were with him: who were so weary that they could
not pursue after them that fled.
8:5. And he said to the men of Soccoth: Give, I beseech you, bread to
the people that is with me, for they are faint: that we may pursue
Zebee, and Salmana, the kings of Madian.
8:6. The princes of Soccoth answered: Peradventure the palms of the
hands of Zebee and Salmana are in thy hand, and therefore thou
demandest that we should give bread to thy army.
8:7. And he said to them: When the Lord therefore shall have delivered
Zebee and Salmana into my hands, I will thresh your flesh with the
thorns and briers of the desert.
8:8. And going up from thence, he came to Phanuel: and he spoke the
like things to the men of that place. And they also answered him, as
the men of Soccoth had answered.
8:9. He said, therefore, to them also: When I shall return a conqueror
in peace, I will destroy this tower.
8:10. But Zebee and Salmana were resting with all their army. For
fifteen thousand men were left of all the troops of the eastern people,
and one hundred and twenty thousand warriors that drew the sword were
8:11. And Gedeon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents, on the
east of Nobe and Jegbaa, and smote the camp of the enemies, who were
secure, and suspected no hurt.
8:12. And Zebee and Salmana fled, and Gedeon pursued and took them, all
their host being put in confusion.
8:13. And returning from the battle before the sun rising,
8:14. He took a boy of the men of Soccoth: and he asked him the names
of the princes and ancients of Soccoth, and he described unto him
8:15. And he came to Soccoth, and said to them: Behold Zebee, and
Salmana, concerning whom you upbraided me, saying: Peradventure the
hands of Zebee and Salmana are in thy hands, and therefore thou
demandest that we should give bread to the men that are weary and
8:16. So he took the ancients of the city, and thorns and briers of the
desert, and tore them with the same, and cut in pieces the men of
8:17. And he demolished the tower of Phanuel, and slew the men of the
8:18. And he said to Zebee and Salmana: What manner of men were they,
whom you slew in Thabor? They answered: They were like thee, and one of
them as the son of a king.
8:19. He answered them: They were my brethren, the sons of my mother.
As the Lord liveth, if you had saved them, I would not kill you.
8:20. And he said to Jether, his eldest son: Arise, and slay them. But
he drew not his sword: for he was afraid, being but yet a boy.
8:21. And Zebee and Salmana said: Do thou rise and run upon us: because
the strength of a man is according to his age: Gedeon rose up, and slew
Zebee and Salmana: and he took the ornaments and bosses, with which the
necks of the camels of kings are wont to be adorned.
8:22. And all the men of Israel said to Gedeon: Rule thou over us, and
thy son, and thy son's son: because thou hast delivered us from the
hand of Madian.
8:23. And he said to them: I will not rule over you, neither shall my
son rule over you, but the Lord shall rule over you.
8:24. And he said to them: I desire one request of you: Give me the
earlets of your spoils. For the Ismaelites were accustomed to wear
8:25. They answered: We will give them most willingly. And spreading a
mantle on the ground, they cast upon it the earlets of the spoils.
8:26. And the weight of the earlets that he requested, was a thousand
seven hundred sicles of gold, besides the ornaments, and jewels, and
purple raiment, which the kings of Madian were wont to use, and besides
the golden chains that were about the camels necks.
8:27. And Gedeon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city Ephra.
And all Israel committed fornication with it, and it became a ruin to
Gedeon, and to all his house.
An ephod. . .A priestly garment which Gedeon made with a good design;
but the Israelites, after his death, abused it by making it an
instrument of their idolatrous worship.
8:28. But Madian was humbled before the children of Israel, neither
could they any more lift up their heads: but the land rested for forty
years, while Gedeon presided.
8:29. So Jerobaal, the son of Joas, went and dwelt in his own house:
8:30. And he had seventy sons, who came out of his thigh, for he had
8:31. And his concubine, that he had in Sichem, bore him a son, whose
name was Abimelech.
His concubine. . .She was his servant, but not his harlot: and is called
his concubine, as wives of an inferior degree are commonly called in
the Old Testament, though otherwise lawfully married.
8:32. And Gedeon, the son of Joas died in a good old age, and was
buried in the sepulchre of his father, in Ephra, of the family of Ezri.
8:33. But after Gedeon was dead, the children of Israel turned again,
and committed fornication with Baalim. And they made a covenant with
Baal, that he should be their god:
8:34. And they remembered not the Lord their God, who delivered them
out of the hands of all their enemies round about:
8:35. Neither did they shew mercy to the house of Jerobaal Gedeon,
according to all the good things he had done to Israel.
Judges Chapter 9
Abimelech killeth his brethren. Joatham's parable. Gaal conspireth with
the Sichemites against Abimelech, but is overcome. Abimelech destroyeth
Sichem: but is killed at Thebes.
9:1. And Abimelech, the son of Jerobaal, went to Sichem, to his
mother's brethren, and spoke to them, and to all the kindred of his
mother's father, saying:
9:2. Speak to all the men of Sichem: whether is better for you that
seventy men, all the sons of Jerobaal, should rule over you, or that
one man should rule over you? And withal, consider that I am your bone,
and your flesh.
9:3. And his mother's brethren spoke of him to all the men of Sichem,
all these words, and they inclined their hearts after Abimelech,
saying: He is our brother:
9:4. And they gave him seventy weight of silver out of the temple of
Baalberith: wherewith he hired to himself men that were needy, and
vagabonds, and they followed him.
Baalberith. . .That is, Baal of the covenant, so called from the
covenant they had made with Baal, chap. 8.33.
9:5. And he came to his father's house in Ephra, and slew his brethren,
the sons of Jerobaal, seventy men, upon one stone: and there remained
only Joatham, the youngest son of Jerobaal, who was hidden.
9:6. And all the men of Sichem were gathered together, and all the
families of the city of Mello: and they went and made Abimelech king,
by the oak that stood in Sichem.
9:7. This being told to Joatham, he went, and stood on the top of Mount
Garizim: and lifting up his voice, he cried, and said: Hear me, ye men
of Sichem, so may God hear you.
9:8. The trees went to anoint a king over them: and they said to the
olive tree: Reign thou over us.
9:9. And it answered: Can I leave my fatness, which both gods and men
make use of, to come to be promoted among the trees?
Both gods and men make use of. . .The olive tree is introduced, speaking
in this manner, because oil was used both in the worship of the true
God, and in that of the false gods, whom the Sichemites served.
9:10. And the trees said to the fig tree: Come thou and reign over us.
9:11. And it answered them: Can I leave my sweetness, and my delicious
fruits, and go to be promoted among the other trees?
9:12. And the trees said to the vine: Come thou and reign over us.
9:13. And it answered them: Can I forsake my wine, that cheereth God
and men, and be promoted among the other trees?
Cheereth God and men. . .Wine is here represented as agreeable to God,
because he had appointed it to be offered up with his sacrifices. But
we are not obliged to take these words, spoken by the trees, in
Joatham's parable, according to the strict literal sense: but only in a
sense accomodated to the design of the parable expressed in the
conclusion of it.
9:14. And all the trees said to the bramble: Come thou and reign over
9:15. And it answered them: If, indeed, you mean to make me king, come
ye, and rest under my shadow: but if you mean it not, let fire come out
from the bramble, and devour the cedars of Libanus.
9:16. Now, therefore, if you have done well, and without sin, in
appointing Abimelech king over you, and have dealt well with Jerobaal,
and with his house, and have made a suitable return for the benefits of
him who fought for you,
9:17. And exposed his life to dangers, to deliver you from the hand of
9:18. And you are now risen up against my father's house, and have
killed his sons, seventy men, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech,
the son of his handmaid, king over the inhabitants of Sichem, because
he is your brother:
9:19. If therefore you have dealt well, and without fault, with
Jerobaal and his house, rejoice ye, this day, in Abimelech, and may he
rejoice in you.
9:20. But if unjustly: let fire come out from him, and consume the
inhabitants of Sichem, and the town of Mello: and let fire come out
from the men of Sichem and from the town of Mello, and devour
9:21. And when he had said thus, he fled, and went into Bera: and dwelt
there for fear of Abimelech, his brother.
9:22. So Abimelech reigned over Israel three years.
9:23. And the Lord sent a very evil spirit between Abimelech and the
inhabitants of Sichem; who began to detest him,
9:24. And to lay the crime of the murder of the seventy sons of
Jerobaal, and the shedding of their blood, upon Abimelech, their
brother, and upon the rest of the princes of the Sichemites, who aided
9:25. And they set an ambush against him on the top of the mountains:
and while they waited for his coming, they committed robberies, taking
spoils of all that passed by: and it was told Abimelech.
9:26. And Gaal, the son of Obed, came with his brethren, and went over
to Sichem. And the inhabitants of Sichem, taking courage at his coming,
9:27. Went out into the fields, wasting the vineyards, and treading
down the grapes: and singing and dancing, they went into the temple of
their god, and in their banquets and cups they cursed Abimelech.
9:28. And Gaal, the son of Obed, cried: Who is Abimelech, and what is
Sichem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerobaal, and
hath made Zebul, his servant, ruler over the men of Emor, the father of
Sichem? Why then shall we serve him?
9:29. Would to God that some man would put this people under my hand,
that I might remove Abimelech out of the way. And it was said to
Abimelech: Gather together the multitude of an army, and come.
9:30. For Zebul, the ruler of the city, hearing the words of Gaal, the
son of Obed, was very angry,
9:31. And sent messengers privately to Abimelech, saying: Behold, Gaal,
the son of Obed, is come into Sichem with his brethren, and
endeavoureth to set the city against thee.
9:32. Arise, therefore, in the night, with the people that is with
thee, and lie hid in the field:
9:33. And betimes in the morning, at sun rising, set upon the city, and
when he shall come out against thee, with his people, do to him what
thou shalt be able.
9:34. Abimelech, therefore, arose with all his army, by night, and laid
ambushes near Sichem in four places.
9:35. And Gaal, the son of Obed, went out, and stood in the entrance of
the gate of the city. And Abimelech rose up, and all his army with him,
from the places of the ambushes.
9:36. And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul: Behold, a
multitude cometh down from the mountains. And he answered him: Thou
seest the shadows of the mountains as if they were the heads of men,
and this is thy mistake.
9:37. Again Gaal said: Behold, there cometh people down from the midst
of the land, and one troop cometh by the way that looketh towards the
9:38. And Zebul said to him: Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou
saidst: Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? Is not this the
people which thou didst despise? Go out, and fight against him.
9:39. So Gaal went out, in the sight of the people of Sichem, and
fought against Abimelech,
9:40. Who chased and put him to flight, and drove him to the city: and
many were slain of his people, even to the gate of the city:
9:41. And Abimelech sat down in Ruma: but Zebul drove Gaal, and his
companions, out of the city, and would not suffer them to abide in it.
9:42. So the day following the people went out into the field. And it
was told to Abimelech,
9:43. And he took his army, and divided it into three companies, and
laid ambushes in the fields. And seeing that the people came out of the
city, he arose, and set upon them,
9:44. With his own company, assaulting and besieging the city: whilst
the two other companies chased the enemies that were scattered about
9:45. And Abimelech assaulted the city all that day: and took it, and
killed the inhabitants thereof, and demolished it, so that he sowed
salt in it.
Sowed salt. . .To make the ground barren, and fit for nothing.
9:46. And when they who dwelt in the tower of Sichem, had heard this,
they went into the temple of their god Berith, where they had made a
covenant with him, and from thence the place had taken its name, and it
was exceeding strong.
9:47. Abimelech also hearing that the men of the tower of Sichem were
9:48. Went up into mount Selmon, he and all his people with him: and
taking an axe, he cut down the bough of a tree, and laying it on his
shoulder, and carrying it, he said to his companions: What you see me
do, do ye out of hand.
9:49. So they cut down boughs from the trees, every man as fast as he
could, and followed their leader. And surrounding the fort, they set it
on fire: and so it came to pass, that with the smoke and with the fire
a thousand persons were killed, men and women together, of the
inhabitants of the town of Sichem.
9:50. Then Abimelech, departing from thence, came to the town of
Thebes, which he surrounded and besieged with his army.
9:51. And there was in the midst of the city a high tower, to which
both the men and the women were fled together, and all the princes of
the city, and having shut and strongly barred the gate, they stood upon
the battlements of the tower to defend themselves.
9:52. And Abimelech, coming near the tower, fought stoutly: and,
approaching to the gate, endeavoured to set fire to it:
9:53. And behold, a certain woman casting a piece of a millstone from
above, dashed it against the head of Abimelech, and broke his skull.
9:54. And he called hastily to his armourbearer, and said to him: Draw
thy sword, and kill me: lest it should be said that I was slain by a
woman. He did as he was commanded, and slew him.
9:55. And when he was dead all the men of Israel that were with him,
returned to their homes.
9:56. And God repaid the evil that Abimelech had done against his
father, killing his seventy brethren.
9:57. The Sichemites also were rewarded for what they had done, and the
curse of Joatham, the son of Jerobaal, came upon them.
Judges Chapter 10
Thola ruleth Israel twenty-three years; and Jair twenty-two. The people
fall again into idolatry, and are afflicted again by the Philistines
and Ammonites. They cry to God for help, who upon their repentance hath
compassion on them.
10:1. After Abimelech, there arose a ruler in Israel, Thola, son of
Phua, the uncle of Abimelech, a man of Issachar, who dwelt in Samir of
Uncle of Abimelech. . .i. e., half brother to Gedeon, as being born of
the same mother, but by a different father, and of a different tribe.
10:2. And he judged Israel three and twenty years, and he died, and was
buried in Samir.
10:3. To him succeeded Jair, the Galaadite, who judged Israel for two
and twenty years,
10:4. Having thirty sons, that rode on thirty ass colts, and were
princes of thirty cities, which from his name were called Havoth Jair,
that is, the towns of Jair, until this present day, in the land of
Havoth Jair. . .This name was now confirmed to these towns, which they
had formerly received from another Jair. Num. 32.41.
10:5. And Jair died, and was buried in the place which is called Camon.
10:6. But the children of Israel, adding new sins to their old ones,
did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served idols, Baalim and
Astaroth, and the gods of Syria, and of Sidon, and of Moab, and of the
children of Ammon, and of the Philistines: and they left the Lord, and
did not serve him.
10:7. And the Lord being angry with them, delivered them into the hands
of the Philistines, and of the children of Ammon.
10:8. And they were afflicted, and grievously oppressed for eighteen
years, all they that dwelt beyond the Jordan in the land of the
Amorrhite, who is in Galaad:
10:9. Insomuch that the children of Ammon, passing over the Jordan,
wasted Juda, and Benjamin, and Ephraim: and Israel was distressed
10:10. And they cried to the Lord, and said, We have sinned against
thee, because we have forsaken the Lord our God, and have served
10:11. And the Lord said to them: Did not the Egyptians, and the
Amorrhites, and the children of Ammon, and the Philistines,
10:12. The Sidonians also, and Amalec, and Chanaan, oppress you, and
you cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand?
10:13. And yet you have forsaken me, and have worshipped strange gods:
therefore I will deliver you no more:
10:14. Go, and call upon the gods which you have chosen: let them
deliver you in the time of distress.
10:15. And the children of Israel said to the Lord: We have sinned, do
thou unto us whatsoever pleaseth thee: only deliver us this time.
10:16. And saying these things, they cast away out of their coasts all
the idols of strange gods, and served the Lord their God: and he was
touched with their miseries.
10:17. And the children of Ammon shouting together, pitched their tents
in Galaad: against whom the children of Israel assembled themselves
together, and camped in Maspha.
10:18. And the princes of Galaad said one to another: Whosoever of us
shall first begin to fight against the children of Ammon, he shall be
the leader of the people of Galaad.
Judges Chapter 11
Jephte is made ruler of the people of Galaad: he first pleads their
cause against the Ammonites; then making a vow obtains a signal
victory; he performs his vow.
11:1. There was at that time Jephte, the Galaadite, a most valiant man,
and a warrior, the son of a woman that was a harlot, and his father was
11:2. Now Galaad had a wife of whom he had sons: who, after they were
grown up, thrust out Jephte, saying: Thou canst not inherit in the
house of our father, because thou art born of another mother.
11:3. Then he fled and avoided them, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and
there were gathered to him needy men and robbers, and they followed him
as their prince.
11:4. In those days the children of Ammon made war against Israel.
11:5. And as they pressed hard upon them, the ancients of Galaad went
to fetch Jephte out of the land of Tob to help them:
11:6. And they said to him: Come thou, and be our prince, and fight
against the children of Ammon.
11:7. And he answered them: Are not you the men that hated me, and cast
me out of my father's house, and now you are come to me, constrained by
11:8. And the princes of Galaad said to Jephte: For this cause we are
now come to thee, that thou mayst go with us, and fight against the
children of Ammon, and be head over all the inhabitants of Galaad.
11:9. Jephte also said to them: If you be come to me sincerely, that I
should fight for you against the children of Ammon, and the Lord shall
deliver them into my hand, shall I be your prince?
11:10. They answered him: The Lord, who heareth these things, he
himself is mediator and witness that we will do as we have promised.
11:11. Jephte therefore went with the princes of Galaad, and all the
people made him their prince. And Jephte spoke all his words before the
Lord in Maspha.
11:12. And he sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon, to
say in his name: What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come
against me, to waste my land?
11:13. And he answered them: Because Israel took away my land, when he
came up out of Egypt, from the confines of the Arnon unto the Jaboc and
the Jordan: now, therefore, restore the same peaceably to me.
11:14. And Jephte again sent word by them, and commanded them to say to
the king of Ammon:
11:15. Thus saith Jephte: Israel did not take away the land of Moab,
nor the land of the children of Ammon:
11:16. But when they came up out of Egypt, he walked through the desert
to the Red Sea, and came into Cades.
11:17. And he sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying: Suffer me to
pass through thy land. But he would not condescend to his request. He
sent also to the king of Moab, who, likewise, refused to give him
passage. He abode, therefore, in Cades,
11:18. And went round the land of Edom at the side, and the land of
Moab: and came over against the east coast of the land of Moab, and
camped on the other side of the Arnon: and he would not enter the
bounds of Moab.
11:19. So Israel sent messengers to Sehon, king of the Amorrhites, who
dwelt in Hesebon, and they said to him: Suffer me to pass through thy
land to the river.
11:20. But he, also despising the words of Israel, suffered him not to
pass through his borders: but gathering an infinite multitude, went out
against him to Jasa, and made strong opposition.
11:21. And the Lord delivered him, with all his army, into the hands of
Israel, and he slew him, and possessed all the land of the Amorrhite,
the inhabitant of that country,
11:22. And all the coasts thereof from the Arnon to the Jaboc, and from
the wilderness to the Jordan.
11:23. So the Lord, the God of Israel, destroyed the Amorrhite, his
people of Israel fighting against him, and wilt thou now possess his
11:24. Are not those things which thy god Chamos possesseth, due to
thee by right? But what the Lord our God hath obtained by conquest,
shall be our possession:
Chamos. . .The idol of the Moabites and Ammonites. He argues from their
opinion, who thought they had a just title to the countries which they
imagined they had conquered by the help of their gods: how much more
then had Israel in indisputable title to the countries which God, by
visible miracles, had conquered for them.
11:25. Unless, perhaps, thou art better than Balac, the son of Sephor,
king of Moab: or canst shew that he strove against Israel, and fought
11:26. Whereas he hath dwelt in Hesebon, and the villages thereof, and
in Aroer, and its villages, and in all the cities near the Jordan, for
three hundred years. Why have you for so long a time attempted nothing
about this claim?
11:27. Therefore I do not trespass against thee, but thou wrongest me
by declaring an unjust war against me. The Lord be judge, and decide
this day, between Israel and the children of Ammon.
11:28. And the king of the children of Ammon would not hearken to the
words of Jephte, which he sent him by the messengers.
11:29. Therefore the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephte, and going
round Galaad, and Manasses, and Maspha of Galaad, and passing over from
thence to the children of Ammon,
11:30. He made a vow to the Lord, saying: If thou wilt deliver the
children of Ammon into my hands,
11:31. Whosoever shall first come forth out of the doors of my house,
and shall meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon,
the same will I offer a holocaust to the Lord.
Whosoever, etc. . .Some are of opinion, that the meaning of this vow of
Jephte, was to consecrate to God whatsoever should first meet him,
according to the condition of the thing; so as to offer it up as a
holocaust, if it were such a thing as might be offered by the law; or
to devote it otherwise to God, if it were not such as the law allowed
to be offered in sacrifice. And therefore they think the daughter of
Jephte was not slain by her father, but only consecrated to perpetual
virginity. But the common opinion followed by the generality of the
holy fathers and divines is, that she was offered as a holocaust, in
consequence of her father's vow: and that Jephte did not sin, at least
not mortally, neither in making, nor in keeping, his vow: since he is
no ways blamed for it in scripture; and was even inspired by God
himself to make the vow (as appears from ver. 29, 30) in consequence of
which he obtained the victory; and therefore he reasonably concluded
that God, who is the master of life and death, was pleased on this
occasion to dispense with his own law; and that it was the divine will
he should fulfil his vow.
11:32. And Jephte passed over to the children of Ammon to fight against
them: and the Lord delivered them into his hands.
11:33. And he smote them from Aroer till you come to Mennith, twenty
cities, and as far as Abel, which is set with vineyards, with a very
great slaughter: and the children of Ammon were humbled by the children
11:34. And when Jephte returned into Maspha, to his house, his only
daughter met him with timbrels and with dances: for he had no other
11:35. And when he saw her, he rent his garments, and said: Alas! my
daughter, thou hast deceived me, and thou thyself art deceived: for I
have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I can do no other thing.
11:36. And she answered him: My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth
to the Lord, do unto me whatsoever thou hast promised, since the
victory hath been granted to thee, and revenge of thy enemies.
11:37. And she said to her father: Grant me only this, which I desire:
Let me go, that I may go about the mountains for two months, and may
bewail my virginity with my companions.
Bewail my virginity. . .The bearing of children was much coveted under
the Old Testament, when women might hope that from some child of
theirs, the Saviour of the world might one day spring. But under the
New Testament virginity is preferred. 1 Cor. 7.35.
11:38. And he answered her: Go. And he sent her away for two months.
And when she was gone with her comrades and companions, she mourned her
virginity in the mountains.
11:39. And the two months being expired, she returned to her father,
and he did to her as he had vowed, and she knew no man. From thence
came a fashion in Israel, and a custom has been kept:
11:40. That, from year to year, the daughters of Israel assemble
together, and lament the daughter of Jephte the Galaadite, for four
Judges Chapter 12
The Ephraimites quarrel with Jephte: forty-two thousand of them are
slain: Abeson, Ahialon, and Abdon, are judges.
12:1. But behold there arose a sedition in Ephraim. And passing towards
the north, they said to Jephte: When thou wentest to fight against the
children of Ammon, why wouldst thou not call us, that we might go with
thee? Therefore we will burn thy house.
12:2. And he answered them: I and my people were at great strife with
the children of Ammon: and I called you to assist me, and you would not
12:3. And when I saw this, I put my life in my own hands, and passed
over against the children of Ammon and the Lord delivered them into my
hands. What have I deserved, that you should rise up to fight against
12:4. Then calling to him all the men of Galaad, he fought against
Ephraim: and the men of Galaad defeated Ephraim, because he had said:
Galaad is a fugitive of Ephraim, and dwelleth in the midst of Ephraim
12:5. And the Galaadites secured the fords of the Jordan, by which
Ephraim was to return. And when any one of the number of Ephraim came
thither in the flight, and said: I beseech you let me pass: the
Galaadites said to him: Art thou not an Ephraimite? If he said: I am
12:6. They asked him: Say then, Scibboleth, which is interpreted, An
ear of corn. But he answered, Sibboleth, not being able to express an
ear of corn by the same letter. Then presently they took him and killed
him in the very passage of the Jordan. And there fell at that time of
Ephraim, two and forty thousand.
12:7. And Jephte, the Galaadite, judged Israel six years: and he died,
and was buried in his city of Galaad.
12:8. After him Abesan of Bethlehem judged Israel:
12:9. He had thirty sons, and as many daughters, whom he sent abroad,
and gave to husbands, and took wives for his sons, of the same number,
bringing them into his house. And he judged Israel seven years:
12:10. And he died, and was buried in Bethlehem.
12:11. To him succeeded Ahialon, a Zabulonite: and he judged Israel ten
12:12. And he died, and was buried in Zabulon.
12:13. After him, Abdon, the son of Illel, a Pharathonite, judged
12:14. And he had forty sons, and of them thirty grandsons, mounted
upon seventy ass colts, and he judged Israel eight years:
12:15. And he died, and was buried in Pharathon, in the land of
Ephraim, in the mount of Amalech.
Judges Chapter 13
The people fall again into idolatry and are afflicted by the
Philistines. An angel foretelleth the birth of Samson.
13:1. And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the
Lord: and he delivered them into the hands of the Philistines forty
13:2. Now there was a certain man of Saraa, and of the race of Dan,
whose name was Manue, and his wife was barren.
13:3. And an angel of the Lord appeared to her, and said: Thou art
barren and without children: but thou shalt conceive and bear a son.
13:4. Now therefore beware, and drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat
not any unclean thing.
13:6. Because thou shalt conceive, and bear a son, and no razor shall
touch his head: for he shall be a Nazarite of God, from his infancy,
and from his mother's womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel from
the hands of the Philistines.
13:6. And when she was come to her husband, she said to him: A man of
God came to me, having the countenance of an angel, very awful. And
when I asked him whence he came, and by what name he was called, he
would not tell me:
13:7. But he answered thus: Behold thou shalt conceive and bear a son:
beware thou drink no wine, nor strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing:
for the child shall be a Nazarite of God from his infancy, from his
mother's womb until the day of his death.
13:8. Then Manue prayed to the Lord, and said: I beseech thee, O Lord,
that the man of God, whom thou didst send, may come again, and teach us
what we ought to do concerning the child, that shall be born.
13:9. And the Lord heard the prayer of Manue, and the angel of the Lord
appeared again to his wife, as she was sitting in the field. But Manue
her husband was not with her. And when she saw the angel,
13:10. She made haste, and ran to her husband: and told him, saying:
Behold the man hath appeared to me, whom I saw before.
13:11. He rose up, and followed his wife: and coming to the man, said
to him: Art thou he that spoke to the woman? And he answered: I am.
13:12. And Manue said to him: When thy word shall come to pass, what
wilt thou that the child should do? or from what shall he keep himself?
13:13. And the angel of the Lord said to Manue: From all the things I
have spoken of to thy wife, let her refrain herself:
Let her refrain, etc. . .By the Latin text it is not clear whether this
abstinence was prescribed to the mother, or to the child; but the
Hebrew (in which the verbs relating thereto are of the feminine gender)
determineth it to the mother. But then the child also was to refrain
from the like things, because he was to be from his infancy a Nazarite
of God, ver. 5, that is, one set aside, in a particular manner, and
consecrated to God: now the Nazarites by the law were to abstain from
all these things.
13:14. And let her eat nothing that cometh of the vine, neither let her
drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: and whatsoever I
have commanded her, let her fulfil and observe.
13:15. And Manue said to the angel of the Lord: I beseech thee to
consent to my request, and let us dress a kid for thee.
13:16. And the angel answered him: If thou press me I will not eat of
thy bread: but if thou wilt offer a holocaust, offer it to the Lord.
And Manue knew not it was the angel of the Lord.
13:17. And he said to him: What is thy name, that, if thy word shall
come to pass, we may honour thee?
13:18. And he answered him: Why askest thou my name, which is
13:19. Then Manue took a kid of the flocks, and the libations, and put
them upon a rock, offering to the Lord, who doth wonderful things: and
he and his wife looked on.
13:20. And when the flame from the altar went up towards heaven, the
angel of the Lord ascended also in the same. And when Manue and his
wife saw this, they fell flat on the ground;
13:21. And the angel of the Lord appeared to them no more. And
forthwith Manue understood that it was an angel of the Lord,
13:22. And he said to his wife: We shall certainly die, because we have
Seen God. . .Not in his own person, but in the person of his messenger.
The Israelites, in those days, imagined they should die if they saw an
angel, taking occasion perhaps from those words spoken by the Lord to
Moses, Ex. 33.20, No man shall see me and live. But the event
demonstrated that it was but a groundless imagination.
13:23. And his wife answered him: If the Lord had a mind to kill us, he
would not have received a holocaust and libations at our hands; neither
would he have shewed us all these things, nor have told us the things
that are to come.
13:24. And she bore a son, and called his name Samson. And the child
grew, and the Lord blessed him.
13:25. And the Spirit of the Lord began to be with him in the camp of
Dan, between Saraa and Esthaol.
Judges Chapter 14
Samson desireth a wife of the Philistines. He killeth a lion: in whose
mouth he afterwards findeth honey. His marriage feast, and riddle,
which is discovered by his wife. He killeth, and strippeth thirty
Philistines. His wife taketh another man.
14:1. Then Samson went down to Thamnatha, and seeing there a woman of
the daughters of the Philistines,
14:2. He came up, and told his father and his mother, saying: I saw a
woman in Thamnatha of the daughters of the Philistines: I beseech you,
take her for me to wife.
14:3. And his father and mother said to him: Is there no woman among
the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou wilt
take a wife of the Philistines, who are uncircumcised? And Samson said
to his father: Take this woman for me; for she hath pleased my eyes.
Is there no woman among the daughters of thy brethren. . .This shews his
parents were at first against his marriage with a Gentile, it being
prohibited, Deut. 7.3; but afterwards they consented, knowing it to be
by the dispensation of God; which otherwise would have been sinful in
acting contrary to the law.
14:4. Now his parents knew not that the thing was done by the Lord, and
that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time
the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
14:5. Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Thamnatha.
And when they were come to the vineyards of the town, behold a young
lion met him, raging and roaring.
14:6. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson, and he tore the lion
as he would have torn a kid in pieces, having nothing at all in his
hand: and he would not tell this to his father and mother.
14:7. And he went down, and spoke to the woman that had pleased his
14:8. And after some days, returning to take her, he went aside to see
the carcass of the lion, and behold there was a swarm of bees in the
mouth of the lion, and a honey-comb.
14:9. And when he had taken it in his hands, he went on eating: and
coming to his father and mother, he gave them of it, and they ate: but
he would not tell them that he had taken the honey from the body of the
14:10. So his father went down to the woman, and made a feast for his
son Samson: for so the young men used to do.
14:11. And when the citizens of that place saw him, they brought him
thirty companions to be with him.
14:12. And Samson said to them: I will propose to you a riddle, which
if you declare unto me within the seven days of the feast, I will give
you thirty shirts, and as many coats:
14:13. But if you shall not be able to declare it, you shall give me
thirty shirts and the same number of coats. They answered him: Put
forth the riddle, that we may hear it.
14:14. And he said to them: Out of the eater came forth meat, and out
of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not for three days
expound the riddle.
14:15. And when the seventh day came, they said to the wife of Samson:
Sooth thy husband, and persuade him to tell thee what the riddle
meaneth. But if thou wilt not do it, we will burn thee, and thy
father's house. Have you called us to the wedding on purpose to strip
14:16. So she wept before Samson and complained, saying: Thou hatest
me, and dost not love me: therefore thou wilt not expound to me the
riddle, which thou hast proposed to the sons of my people. But he
answered: I would not tell it to my father and mother: and how can I
tell it to thee?
14:17. So she wept before him the seven days of the feast: and, at
length, on the seventh day, as she was troublesome to him, he expounded
it. And she immediately told her countrymen.
14:18. And they, on the seventh day before the sun went down, said to
him: What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And
he said to them: If you had not ploughed with my heifer, you had not
found out my riddle.
14:19. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to
Ascalon, and slew there thirty men whose garments he took away, and
gave to them that had declared the riddle. And being exceeding angry,
he went up to his father's house:
14:20. But his wife took one of his friends and bridal companions for
Judges Chapter 15
Samson is denied his wife. He burns the corn of the Philistines, and
kills many of them.
15:1. And a while after, when the days of the wheat harvest were at
hand, Samson came, meaning to visit his wife, and he brought her a kid
of the flock. And when he would have gone into her chamber, as usual,
her father would not suffer him, saying:
15:2. I thought thou hadst hated her, and therefore I gave her to thy
friend: but she hath a sister, who is younger and fairer than she, take
her to wife instead of her.
15:3. And Samson answered him: From this day I shall be blameless in
what I do against the Philistines: for I will do you evils.
15:4. And he went and caught three hundred foxes, and coupled them tail
to tail, and fastened torches between the tails:
Foxes. . .Being judge of the people he might have many to assist him to
catch with nets or otherwise a number of these animals; of which there
were great numbers in that country.
15:6. And setting them on fire he let the foxes go, that they might run
about hither and thither. And they presently went into the standing
corn of the Philistines. Which being set on fire, both the corn that
was already carried together, and that which was yet standing, was all
burnt, insomuch that the flame consumed also the vineyards and the
15:6. Then the Philistines said: Who hath done this thing? And it was
answered: Samson, the son in law of the Thamnathite, because he took
away his wife, and gave her to another, hath done these things. And the
Philistines went up and burnt both the woman and her father.
15:7. But Samson said to them: Although you have done this, yet will I
be revenged of you, and then I will be quiet.
15:8. And he made a great slaughter of them, so that in astonishment
they laid the calf of the leg upon the thigh. And going down he dwelt
in a cavern of the rock Etam.
15:9. Then the Philistines going up into the land of Juda, camped in
the place which afterwards was called Lechi, that is, the Jawbone,
where their army was spread abroad.
15:10. And the men of the tribe of Juda said to them: Why are you come
up against us? They answered: We are come to bind Samson, and to pay
him for what he hath done against us.
15:11. Wherefore three thousand men of Juda went down to the cave of
the rock Etam, and said to Samson: Knowest thou not that the
Philistines rule over us? Why wouldst thou do thus? And he said to
them: As they did to me, so have I done to them.
15:12. And they said to him: We are come to bind thee, and to deliver
thee into the hands of the Philistines. And Samson said to them: Swear
to me, and promise me that you will not kill me.
15:13. They said: We will not kill thee: but we will deliver thee up
bound. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him from the
15:14. Now when he was come to the place of the Jawbone, and the
Philistines shouting went to meet him, the Spirit of the Lord came
strongly upon him: and as flax is wont to be consumed at the approach
of fire, so the bands with which he was bound were broken and loosed.
15:15. And finding a jawbone, even the jawbone of an ass, which lay
there, catching it up, he slew therewith a thousand men.
15:16. And he said: With the jawbone of an ass, with the jaw of the
colt of asses, I have destroyed them, and have slain a thousand men.
15:17. And when he had ended these words, singing, he threw the jawbone
out of his hand, and called the name of that place Ramathlechi, which
is interpreted the lifting up of the jawbone.
15:18. And being very thirsty, he cried to the Lord, and said: Thou
hast given this very great deliverance and victory into the hand of thy
servant: and behold I die for thirst, and shall fall into the hands of
15:19. Then the Lord opened a great tooth in the jaw of the ass and
waters issued out of it. And when he had drunk them, he refreshed his
spirit, and recovered his strength. Therefore the name of that place
was called The Spring of him that invoked from the jawbone, until this
15:20. And he judged Israel, in the days of the Philistines, twenty
Judges Chapter 16
Samson is deluded by Dalila: and falls into the hands of the
Philistines. His death.
16:1. He went also into Gaza, and saw there a woman, a harlot, and went
in unto her.
16:2. And when the Philistines had heard this, and it was noised about
among them, that Samson was come into the city, they surrounded him,
setting guards at the gate of the city, and watching there all the
night in silence, that in the morning they might kill him as he went
16:3. But Samson slept till midnight, and then rising, he took both the
doors of the gate, with the posts thereof and the bolt, and laying them
on his shoulders, carried them up to the top of the hill, which looketh
16:4. After this he loved a woman, who dwelt in the valley of Sorec,
and she was called Dalila.
Dalila. . .Some are of opinion she was married to Samson; others that
she was his harlot. If the latter opinion be true, we cannot wonder
that, in punishment of his lust, the Lord delivered him up, by her
means, into the hands of his enemies. However if he was guilty, it is
not to be doubted but that under his afflictions he heartily repented
and returned to God, and so obtained forgiveness of his sins.
16:5. And the princes of the Philistines came to her, and said: Deceive
him, and learn of him wherein his great strength lieth, and how we may
be able to overcome him, to bind and afflict him: which if thou shalt
do, we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
16:6. And Dalila said to Samson: Tell me, I beseech thee, wherein thy
greatest strength lieth, and what it is, wherewith if thou wert bound,
thou couldst not break loose.
16:7. And Samson answered her: If I shall be bound with seven cords,
made of sinews not yet dry, but still moist, I shall be weak like other
16:8. And the princes of the Philistines brought unto her seven cords,
such as he spoke of, with which she bound him;
16:9. Men lying privately in wait with her, and in the chamber,
expecting the event of the thing, and she cried out to him: The
Philistines are upon thee, Samson. And he broke the bands, as a man
would break a thread of tow twined with spittle, when it smelleth the
fire: so it was not known wherein his strength lay.
16:10. And Dalila said to him: Behold thou hast mocked me, and hast
told me a false thing: but now at least tell me wherewith thou mayest
16:11. And he answered her: If I shall be bound with new ropes, that
were never in work, I shall be weak and like other men.
16:12. Dalila bound him again with these, and cried out: The
Philistines are upon thee, Samson, there being an ambush prepared for
him in the chamber. But he broke the bands like threads of webs.
16:13. And Dalila said to him again: How long dost thou deceive me, and
tell me lies? Shew me wherewith thou mayest be bound. And Samson
answered her: If thou plattest the seven locks of my head with a lace,
and tying them round about a nail, fastenest it in the ground, I shall
16:14. And when Dalila had done this, she said to him: The Philistines
are upon thee, Samson. And awaking out of his sleep, he drew out the
nail with the hairs and the lace.
16:15. And Dalila said to him: How dost thou say thou lovest me, when
thy mind is not with me? Thou hast told me lies these three times, and
wouldst not tell me wherein thy greatest strength lieth.
16:16. And when she pressed him much, and continually hung upon him for
many days, giving him no time to rest, his soul fainted away, and was
wearied even unto death.
16:17. Then opening the truth of the thing, he said to her: The razor
hath never come upon my head, for I am a Nazarite, that is to say,
consecrated to God from my mother's womb: If my head be shaven, my
strength shall depart from me, and I shall become weak, and shall be
like other men.
16:18. Then seeing that he had discovered to her all his mind, she sent
to the princes of the Philistines, saying: Come up this once more, for
now he hath opened his heart to me. And they went up, taking with them
the money which they had promised.
16:19. But she made him sleep upon her knees, and lay his head in her
bosom. And she called a barber and shaved his seven locks, and began to
drive him away, and thrust him from her: for immediately his strength
departed from him.
16:20. And she said: The Philistines are upon thee, Samson. And awaking
from sleep, he said in his mind: I will go out as I did before, and
shake myself, not knowing that the Lord was departed from him.
16:21. Then the Philistines seized upon him, and forthwith pulled out
his eyes, and led him bound in chains to Gaza, and shutting him up in
prison made him grind.
16:22. And now his hair began to grow again,
16:23. And the princes of the Philistines assembled together, to offer
great sacrifices to Dagon their god, and to make merry, saying: Our god
hath delivered our enemy Samson into our hands.
16:24. And the people also seeing this, praised their god, and said the
same: Our god hath delivered our adversary into our hands, him that
destroyed our country, and killed very many.
16:25. And rejoicing in their feasts, when they had now taken their
good cheer, they commanded that Samson should be called, and should
play before them. And being brought out of prison, he played before
them; and they made him stand between two pillars.
16:26. And he said to the lad that guided his steps: Suffer me to touch
the pillars which support the whole house, and let me lean upon them,
and rest a little.
16:27. Now the house was full of men and women, and all the princes of
the Philistines were there. Moreover about three thousand persons of
both sexes, from the roof and the higher part of the house, were
beholding Samson's play.
16:28. But he called upon the Lord, saying: O Lord God remember me, and
restore to me now my former strength, O my God, that I may revenge
myself on my enemies, and for the loss of my two eyes I may take one
Revenge myself. . .This desire of revenge was out of zeal for justice
against the enemies of God and his people; and not out of private
rancour and malice of heart.
16:29. And laying hold on both the pillars on which the house rested,
and holding the one with his right hand, and the other with his left,
16:30. He said: Let me die with the Philistines. And when he had
strongly shook the pillars, the house fell upon all the princes, and
the rest of the multitude, that was there: and he killed many more at
his death, than he had killed before in his life.
Let me die. . .Literally, let my soul die. Samson did not sin on this
occasion, though he was indirectly the cause of his own death. Because
he was moved to what he did, by a particular inspiration of God, who
also concurred with him by a miracle, in restoring his strength upon
the spot, in consequence of his prayer. Samson, by dying in this
manner, was a figure of Christ, who by his death overcame all his
16:31. And his brethren and all his kindred, going down took his body,
and buried it between Saraa and Esthaol, in the buryingplace of his
father Manue: and he judged Israel twenty years.
Judges Chapter 17
The history of the idol of Michas, and the young Levite.
17:1. There was at that time a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was
17:2. Who said to his mother: The eleven hundred pieces of silver,
which thou hadst put aside for thyself, and concerning which thou didst
swear in my hearing, behold I have, and they are with me. And she said
to him. Blessed be my son by the Lord.
17:3. So he restored them to his mother, who said to him: I have
consecrated and vowed this silver to the Lord, that my son may receive
it at my hand, and make a graven and a molten god; so now I deliver it
17:4. And he restored them to his mother: and she took two hundred
pieces of silver and gave them to the silversmith, to make of them a
graven and a molten God, which was in the house of Michas.
17:5. And he separated also therein a little temple for the god, and
made an ephod, and theraphim, that is to say, a priestly garment, and
idols: and he filled the hand of one of his sons, and he became his
Filled the hand. . .That is, appointed and consecrated him to the
17:6. In those days there was no king in Israel, but every one did that
which seemed right to himself.
17:7. There was also another young man of Bethlehem Juda, of the
kindred thereof: and he was a Levite, and dwelt there.
17:8. Now he went out from the city of Bethlehem, and desired to
sojourn wheresoever he should find it convenient for him. And when he
was come to mount Ephraim, as he was on his journey, and had turned
aside a little into the house of Michas,
17:9. He was asked by him whence he came. And he answered: I am a
Levite of Bethlehem Juda, and I am going to dwell where I can, and
where I shall find a place to my advantage.
17:10. And Michas said: Stay with me, and be unto me a father and a
priest, and I will give thee every year ten pieces of silver, and a
double suit of apparel, and thy victuals.
17:11. He was content, and abode with the man, and was unto him as one
of his sons.
17:12. And Michas filled his hand, and had the young man with him for
his priest, saying:
17:13. Now I know God will do me good, since I have a priest of the
race of the Levites.
Judges Chapter 18
The expedition of the men of Dan against Lais: in their way they rob
Michas of his priest and his gods.
18:1. In those days there was no king in Israel, and the tribe of Dan
sought them an inheritance to dwell in: for unto that day they had not
received their lot among the other tribes.
Not received, etc. . .They had their portions assigned them, Jos. 19.40.
But, through their own sloth, possessed as yet but a small part of it.
See Judges 1.34.
18:2. So the children of Dan sent five most valiant men, of their stock
and family, from Saraa and Esthaol, to spy out the land, and to view it
diligently: and they said to them: Go, and view the land. They went on
their way, and when they came to mount Ephraim, they went into the
house of Michas, and rested there:
18:3. And knowing the voice of the young man the Levite, and lodging
with him, they said to him: Who brought thee hither? what dost thou
here? why wouldst thou come hither?
18:4. He answered them: Michas hath done such and such things for me,
and hath hired me to be his priest.
18:5. Then they desired him to consult the Lord, that they might know
whether their journey should be prosperous, and the thing should have
18:6. He answered them: Go in peace: the Lord looketh on your way, and
the journey that you go.
18:7. So the five men going on came to Lais: and they saw how the
people dwelt therein without any fear, according to the custom of the
Sidonians, secure and easy, having no man at all to oppose them, being
very rich, and living separated, at a distance from Sidon and from all
18:8. And they returned to their brethren in Saraa and Esthaol, who
asked them what they had done: to whom they answered:
18:9. Arise, and let us go up to them: for we have seen the land which
is exceeding rich and fruitful: neglect not, lose no time: let us go
and possess it, there will be no difficulty.
18:10. We shall come to a people that is secure, into a spacious
country, and the Lord will deliver the place to us, in which there is
no want of any thing that groweth on the earth.
18:11. There went therefore of the kindred of Dan, to wit, from Saraa
and Esthaol, six hundred men, furnished with arms for war.
18:12. And going up they lodged in Cariathiarim of Juda: which place
from that time is called the camp of Dan, and is behind Cariathiarim.
18:13. From thence they passed into mount Ephraim. And when they were
come to the house of Michas,
18:14. The five men, that before had been sent to view the land of
Lais, said to the rest of their brethren: You know that in these houses
there is an ephod and theraphim, and a graven and a molten god: see
what you are pleased to do.
18:15. And when they had turned a little aside, they went into the
house of the young man the Levite, who was in the house of Michas: and
they saluted him with words of peace.
18:16. And the six hundred men stood before the door, appointed with
18:17. But they that were gone into the house of the young man, went
about to take away the graven god, and the ephod, and the theraphim,
and the molten god, and the priest stood before the door, the six
hundred valiant men waiting not far off.
18:18. So they that were gone in took away the graven thing, the ephod,
and the idols, and the molten god, And the priest said to them: What
are you doing?
18:19. And they said to him: Hold thy peace, and put thy finger on thy
mouth, and come with us, that we may have thee for a father, and a
priest. Whether is better for thee, to be a priest in the house of one
man, or in a tribe and family in Israel?
18:20. When he heard this, he agreed to their words, and took the
ephod, and the idols, and the graven god, and departed with them.
18:21. And when they were going forward, and had put before them the
children and the cattle, and all that was valuable,
18:22. And were now at a distance from the house of Michas, the men
that dwelt in the houses of Michas gathering together followed them,
18:23. And began to shout out after them. They looked back, and said to
Michas: What aileth thee? Why dost thou cry?
18:24. And he answered: You have taken away my gods which I have made
me, and the priest, and all that I have, and do you say: What aileth
18:25. And the children of Dan said to him: See thou say no more to us,
lest men enraged come upon thee, and thou perish with all thy house.
18:26. And so they went on the journey they had begun. But Michas
seeing that they were stronger than he, returned to his house.
18:27. And the six hundred men took the priest, and the things we spoke
of before, and came to Lais, to a people that was quiet and secure, and
smote them with the edge of the sword: and the city they burnt with
18:28. There being no man at all who brought them any succour, because
they dwelt far from Sidon, and had no society or business with any man.
And the city was in the land of Rohob: and they rebuilt it, and dwelt
18:29. Calling the name of the city Dan, after the name of their
father, who was the son of Israel, which before was called Lais.
18:30. And they set up to themselves the graven idol, and Jonathan the
son of Gersam, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests in the
tribe of Dan, until the day of their captivity.
18:31. And the idol of Michas remained with them all the time that the
house of God was in Silo. In those days there was no king in Israel.
Judges Chapter 19
A Levite bringing home his wife, is lodged by an old man at Gabaa in
the tribe of Benjamin. His wife is there abused by wicked men, and in
the morning found dead. Her husband cutteth her body in pieces, and
sendeth to every tribe of Israel, requiring them to revenge the wicked
19:1. There was a certain Levite, who dwelt on the side of mount
Ephraim, who took a wife of Bethlehem Juda:
19:2. And she left him, and returned to her father's house in
Bethlehem, and abode with him four months.
19:3. And her husband followed her, willing to be reconciled with her,
and to speak kindly to her, and to bring her back with him, having with
him a servant and two asses: and she received him, and brought him into
her father's house. And when his father in law had heard this, and had
seen him, he met him with joy,
19:4. And embraced the man. And the son in law tarried in the house of
his father in law three days, eating with him and drinking familiarly.
19:5. But on the fourth day, arising early in the morning, he desired
to depart. But his father in law kept him, and said to him: Taste first
a little bread, and strengthen thy stomach, and so thou shalt depart.
19:6. And they sat down together, and ate and drank. And the father of
the young woman said to his son in law: I beseech thee to stay here to
day, and let us make merry together.
19:7. But he rising up, began to be for departing. And nevertheless his
father in law earnestly pressed him, and made him stay with him.
19:8. But when morning was come, the Levite prepared to go on his
journey. And his father in law said to him again: I beseech thee to
take a little meat, and strengthening thyself, till the day be farther
advanced, afterwards thou mayest depart. And they ate together.
19:9. And the young man arose to set forward with his wife and servant.
And his father in law spoke to him again: Consider that the day is
declining, and draweth toward evening: tarry with me to day also, and
spend the day in mirth, and to morrow thou shalt depart, that thou
mayest go into thy house.
19:10. His son in law would not consent to his words: but forthwith
went forward, and came over against Jebus, which by another name is
called Jerusalem, leading with him two asses loaden, and his concubine.
Concubine. She was his lawful wife, but even lawful wives are
frequently in scripture called concubines. See above, chap. 8. ver.
31.-ver. 16. Jemini. . .That is, Benjamin.
19:11. And now they were come near Jebus, and the day was far spent:
and the servant said to his master: Come, I beseech thee, let us turn
into the city of the Jebusites, and lodge there.
19:12. His master answered him: I will not go into the town of another
nation, who are not of the children of Israel, but I will pass over to
19:13. And when I shall come thither, we will lodge there, or at least
in the city of Rama.
19:14. So they passed by Jebus, and went on their journey, and the sun
went down upon them when they were by Gabaa, which is in the tribe of
19:15. And they turned into it to lodge there. And when they were come
in, they sat in the street of the city, for no man would receive them
19:16. And behold they saw an old man, returning out of the field and
from his work in the evening, and he also was of mount Ephraim, and
dwelt as a stranger in Gabaa; but the men of that country were the
children of Jemini.
19:17. And the old man lifting up his eyes, saw the man sitting with
his bundles in the street of the city, and said to him: Whence comest
thou? and whither goest thou?
19:18. He answered him: We came out from Bethlehem Juda, and we are
going to our home, which is on the side of mount Ephraim, from whence
we went to Bethlehem: and now we go to the house of God, and none will
receive us under his roof:
19:19. We have straw and hay for provender of the asses, and bread and
wine for the use of myself and of thy handmaid, and of the servant that
is with me: we want nothing but lodging.
19:20. And the old man answered him: Peace be with thee: I will furnish
all things that are necessary: only I beseech thee, stay not in the
19:21. And he brought him into his house, and gave provender to his
asses: and after they had washed their feet, he entertained them with a
19:22. While they were making merry, and refreshing their bodies with
meat and drink, after the labour of the journey, the men of that city,
sons of Belial (that is, without yoke), came and beset the old man's
house, and began to knock at the door, calling to the master of the
house, and saying: Bring forth the man that came into thy house, that
we may abuse him:
19:23. And the old man went out to them, and said: Do not so, my
brethren, do not so wickedly: because this man is come into my lodging,
and cease I pray you from this folly.
19:24. I have a maiden daughter, and this man hath a concubine, I will
bring them out to you, and you may humble them, and satisfy your lust:
only, I beseech you, commit not this crime against nature on the man.
19:25. They would not be satisfied with his words; which the man
seeing, brought out his concubine to them, and abandoned her to their
wickedness: and when they had abused her all the night, they let her go
in the morning.
19:26. But the woman, at the dawning of the day, came to the door of
the house, where her lord lodged, and there fell down.
19:27. And in the morning the man arose, and opened the door, that he
might end the journey he had begun: and behold his concubine lay before
the door with her hands spread on the threshold.
19:28. He thinking she was taking her rest, said to her: Arise, and let
us be going. But as she made no answer, perceiving she was dead, he
took her up, and laid her upon his ass, and returned to his house.
19:29. And when he was come home, he took a sword, and divided the dead
body of his wife with her bones into twelve parts, and sent the pieces
into all the borders of Israel.
19:30. And when every one had seen this, they all cried out: There was
never such a thing done in Israel, from the day that our fathers came
up out of Egypt, until this day: give sentence, and decree in common
what ought to be done.
Judges Chapter 20
The Israelites warring against Benjamin are twice defeated; but in the
third battle the Benjamites are all slain, saving six hundred men.
20:1. Then all the children of Israel went out, and gathered together
as one man, from Dan to Bersabee, with the land of Galaad, to the Lord
20:2. And all the chiefs of the people, and all the tribes of Israel,
met together in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred
thousand footmen fit for war.
20:3. (Nor were the children of Benjamin ignorant that the children of
Israel were come up to Maspha.) And the Levite, the husband of the
woman that was killed being asked, how so great a wickedness had been
20:4. Answered: I came into Gabaa, of Benjamin, with my wife, and there
20:5. And behold the men of that city, in the night beset the house
wherein I was, intending to kill me, and abused my wife with an
incredible fury of lust, so that at last she died.
20:6. And I took her and cut her in pieces, and sent the parts into all
the borders of your possession: because there never was so heinous a
crime, and so great an abomination committed in Israel.
20:7. You are all here, O children of Israel, determine what you ought
20:8. And all the people standing, answered as by the voice of one man:
We will not return to our tents, neither shall any one of us go into
his own house:
20:9. But this we will do in common against Gabaa:
20:10. We will take ten men of a hundred out of all the tribes of
Israel, and a hundred out of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten
thousand, to bring victuals for the army, that we may fight against
Gabaa of Benjamin, and render to it for its wickedness, what it
20:11. And all Israel were gathered together against the city, as one
man, with one mind, and one counsel:
20:12. And they sent messengers to all the tribe of Benjamin, to say to
them: Why hath so great an abomination been found among you?
20:13. Deliver up the men of Gabaa, that have committed this heinous
crime, that they may die, and the evil may be taken away out of Israel.
But they would not hearken to the proposition of their brethren the
children of Israel:
20:14. But out of all the cities which were of their lot, they gathered
themselves together into Gabaa, to aid them, and to fight against the
whole people of Israel.
20:15. And there were found of Benjamin five and twenty thousand men
that drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gabaa,
20:16. Who were seven hundred most valiant men, fighting with the left
hand as well as with the right: and slinging stones so sure that they
could hit even a hair, and not miss by the stone's going on either
20:17. Of the men of Israel also, beside the children of Benjamin, were
found four hundred thousand that drew swords and were prepared to
20:18. And they arose and came to the house of God, that is, to Silo:
and they consulted God, and said: Who shall be in our army the first to
go to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord
answered them: Let Juda be your leader.
20:19. And forthwith the children of Israel rising in the morning,
camped by Gabaa:
20:20. And going out from thence to fight against Benjamin, began to
assault the city.
20:21. And the children of Benjamin coming out of Gabaa slew of the
children of Israel that day two and twenty thousand men.
20:22. Again Israel, trusting in their strength and their number, set
their army in array in the same place, where they had fought before:
Trusting in their strength. . .The Lord suffered them to be overthrown
and many of them to be slain, though their cause was just; partly in
punishment of the idolatry which they exercised or tolerated in the
tribe of Dan, and elsewhere; and partly because they trusted in their
own strength; and therefore, though he bid them fight, he would not
give them the victory, till they were thoroughly humbled and had
learned to trust in him alone.
20:23. Yet so that they first went up and wept before the Lord until
night: and consulted him and said: Shall I go out any more to fight
against the children of Benjamin my brethren or not? And he answered
them: Go up against them, and join battle.
20:24. And when the children of Israel went out the next day to fight
against the children of Benjamin,
20:25. The children of Benjamin sallied forth out of the gates of
Gabaa: and meeting them, made so great a slaughter of them, as to kill
eighteen thousand men that drew the sword.
20:26. Wherefore all the children of Israel came to the house of God,
and sat and wept before the Lord: and they fasted that day till the
evening, and offered to him holocausts, and victims of peace offerings,
20:27. And inquired of him concerning their state. At that time the ark
of the covenant of the Lord was there,
20:28. And Phinees, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, was over the
house. So they consulted the Lord, and said: Shall we go out any more
to fight against the children of Benjamin, our brethren, or shall we
cease? And the Lord said to them: Go up, for to morrow I will deliver
them into your hands.
20:29. And the children of Israel set ambushes round about the city of
20:30. And they drew up their army against Benjamin the third time, as
they had done the first and second.
20:31. And the children of Benjamin boldly issued out of the city, and
seeing their enemies flee, pursued them a long way, so as to wound and
kill some of them, as they had done the first and second day, whilst
they fled by two highways, whereof one goeth up to Bethel and the other
to Gabaa, and they slew about thirty men:
20:32. For they thought to cut them off as they did before. But they
artfully feigning a flight, designed to draw them away from the city,
and by their seeming to flee, to bring them to the highways aforesaid.
20:33. Then all the children of Israel rising up out of the places
where they were, set their army in battle array, in the place which is
called Baalthamar. The ambushes also, which were about the city, began
by little and little to come forth,
20:34. And to march from the west side of the city. And other ten
thousand men chosen out of all Israel, attacked the inhabitants of the
city. And the battle grew hot against the children of Benjamin: and
they understood not that present death threatened them on every side.
20:35. And the Lord defeated them before the children of Israel, and
they slew of them in that day five and twenty thousand, and one
hundred, all fighting men, and that drew the sword.
20:36. But the children of Benjamin, when they saw themselves to be too
weak, began to flee. Which the children of Israel seeing, gave them
place to flee, that they might come to the ambushes that were prepared,
which they had set near the city.
20:37. And they that were in ambush arose on a sudden out of their
coverts, and whilst Benjamin turned their backs to the slayers, went
into the city, and smote it with the edge of the sword.
20:38. Now the children of Israel had given a sign to them, whom they
had laid in ambushes, that after they had taken the city, they should
make a fire: that by the smoke rising on high, they might shew that the
city was taken.
20:39. And when the children of Israel saw this in the battle, (for the
children of Benjamin thought they fled, and pursued them vigorously,
killing thirty men of their army)
20:40. And perceived, as it were, a pillar of smoke rise up from the
city; and Benjamin looking back, saw that the city was taken, and that
the flames ascended on high:
20:41. They that before had made as if they fled, turning their faces,
stood bravely against them. Which the children of Benjamin seeing,
turned their backs,
20:42. And began to go towards the way of the desert, the enemy
pursuing them thither also. And they that fired the city came also out
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