THE BOOK OF JUDGES
This Book is called JUDGES, because it contains the history
of what passed under the government of the judges, who
ruled Israel before they had kings. The writer of it,
according to the more general opinion, was the prophet
Judges Chapter 1
The expedition and victory of Juda against the Chanaanites:
who are tolerated in many places.
1:1. After the death of Josue, the children of Israel
consulted the Lord, saying: Who shall go up before us
against the Chanaanite, and shall be the leader of the war?
1:2. And the Lord said: Juda shall go up: behold I have
delivered the land into his hands.
1:3. And Juda said to Simeon, his brother: Come up with me
into my lot, and fight against the Chanaanite, that I also
may go along with thee into thy lot. And Simeon went with
1:4. And Juda went up, and the Lord delivered the
Chanaanite, and the Pherezite into their hands: and they
slew of them in Bezec ten thousand men.
1:5. And they found Adonibezec in Bezec, and fought against
him, and they defeated the Chanaanite, and the Pherezite.
1:6. And Adonibezec fled: and they pursued after him and
took him, and cut off his fingers and toes.
1:7. And Adonibezec said: Seventy kings, having their
fingers and toes cut off, gathered up the leavings of the
meat under my table: as I have done, so hath God requited
me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.
1:8. And the children of Juda besieging Jerusalem, took it,
and put it to the sword, and set the whole city on fire.
Jerusalem... This city was divided into two; one part was
called Jebus, the other Salem: the one was in the tribe of
Juda, the other in the tribe of Benjamin. After it was
taken and burnt by the men of Juda, it was quickly rebuilt
again by the Jebusites, as we may gather from ver. 21; and
continued in their possession till it was taken by king
1:9. And afterwards they went down and fought against the
Chanaanite, who dwelt in the mountains, and in the south,
and in the plains.
1:1O. And Juda going forward against the Chanaanite, that
dwelt in Hebron, (the name whereof was in former times
Cariath-Arbe) slew Sesai, and Ahiman, and Tholmai:
Hebron... This expedition against Hebron, etc. is the same
as is related, Jos. 15.24. It is here repeated, to give the
reader at once a short sketch of all the achievements of
the tribe of Juda against the Chanaanites.
1:11. And departing from thence, he went to the inhabitants
of Dabir, the ancient name of which was Cariath-Sepher,
that is, the city of letters.
The city of letters... Perhaps so called from some famous
school, or library, kept there.
1:12. And Caleb said: He that shall take Cariath-Sepher,
and lay it waste, to him will I give my daughter Axa to
1:13. And Othoniel, the son of Cenez, the younger brother
of Caleb, having taken it, he gave him Axa his daughter to
1:14. And as she was going on her way, her husband
admonished her to ask a field of her father. And as she
sighed sitting on her ass, Caleb said to her: What aileth
1:15. But she answered: Give me a blessing, for thou hast
given me a dry land: give me also a watery land So Caleb
gave her the upper and the nether watery ground.
1:16. And the children of the Cinite, the kinsman of Moses,
went up from the city of palms, with the children of Juda,
into the wilderness of his lot, which is at the south side
of Arad, and they dwelt with him.
The Cinite... Jethro the father in law of Moses was called
Cinoeus, or the Cinite; and his children who came along
with the children of Israel settled themselves among them
in the land of Chanaan, embracing their worship and
religion. From these the Rechabites sprung, of whom see
Jer. 35.-Ibid. The city of palms... Jericho, so called from
the abundance of palm trees.
1:17. And Juda went with Simeon, his brother, and they
together defeated the Chanaanites that dwelt in Sephaath,
and slew them. And the name of the city was called Horma,
that is, Anathema.
1:18. And Juda took Gaza, with its confines, and Ascalon,
and Accaron, with their confines.
Gaza, etc... These were three of the principal cities of
the Philistines, famous both in sacred and profane
history. They were taken at this time by the Israelites:
but as they took no care to put garrisons in them, the
Philistines soon recovered them.
1:19. And the Lord was with Juda, and he possessed the hill
country: but was not able to destroy the inhabitants of the
valley, because they had many chariots armed with scythes.
Was not able, etc... Through a cowardly fear of their
chariots armed with hooks and scythes, and for want of
confidence in God.
1:20. And they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had said, who
destroyed out of it the three sons of Enac.
1:21. But the sons of Benjamin did not destroy the
Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem: and the Jebusite hath
dwelt with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem until this
1:22. The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel, and
the Lord was with them.
1:23. For when they were besieging the city, which before
was called Luza,
1:24. They saw a man coming out of the city, and they said
to him: Shew us the entrance into the city, and we will
shew thee mercy.
1:25. And when he had shewed them, they smote the city with
the edge of the sword: but that man, and all his kindred,
they let go:
1:26. Who being sent away, went into the land of Hetthim,
and built there a city, and called it Luza: which is so
called until this day.
1:27. Manasses also did not destroy Bethsan, and Thanac,
with their villages; nor the inhabitants of Dor, and
Jeblaam, and Mageddo, with their villages. And the
Chanaanite began to dwell with them.
1:28. But after Israel was grown strong, he made them
tributaries, and would not destroy them.
1:29. Ephraim also did not slay the Chanaanite that dwelt
in Gazer, bnt dwelt with him.
1:30. Zabulon destroyed not the inhabitants of Cetron, and
Naalol: but the Chanaanite dwelt among them, and became
1:31. Aser also destroyed not the inhabitants of Accho, and
of Sidon, of Ahalab, and of Achazib, and of Helba, and of
Aphec, and of Rohob:
1:32. And he dwelt in the midst of the Chanaanites, the
inhabitants of that land, and did not slay them.
1:33. Nephthali also destroyed not the inhabitants of
Bethsames, and of Bethanath: and he dwelt in the midst of
the Chanaanites, the inhabitants of the land, and the
Bethsamites and Bethanites were tributaries to him.
1:34. And the Amorrhite straitened the children of Dan in
the mountain, and gave them not a place to go down to the
1:35. And he dwelt in the mountain Hares, that is, of
potsherds, in Aialon and Salebim. And the hand of the house
of Joseph was heavy upon him, and he became tributary to
He dwelt... That is, the Amorrhite.
1:36. And the border of the Amorrhite was from the ascent
of the scorpion, the rock, and the higher places.
Judges Chapter 2
An angel reproveth Israel. They weep for their sins. After
the death of Josue, they often fall, and repenting are
delivered from their afflictions, but still fall worse and
2:1. And an angel of the Lord went up from Galgal to the
place of weepers, and said: I made you go out of Egypt, and
have brought you into the land for which I swore to your
fathers: and I promised that I would not make void my
covenant with you for ever:
An angel... Taking the shape of a man.
2:2. On condition that you should not make a league with
the inhabitants of this land, but should throw down their
altars: and you would not hear my voice: why have you done
2:3. Wherefore I would not destroy them from before your
face; that you may have enemies, and their gods may be your
2:4. And when the angel of the Lord spoke these words to
all the children of Israel: they lifted up their voice, and
2:5. And the name of that place was called, The place of
weepers, or of tears: and there they offered sacrifices to
2:6. And Josue sent away the people, and the children of
Israel went every one to his own possession to hold it:
And Josue, etc... This is here inserted out of Jos. 24, by
way of recapitulation of what had happened before, and by
way of an introduction to that which follows.
2:7. And they served the Lord all his days, and the days of
the ancients, that lived a long time after him, and who
knew all the works of the Lord, which he had done for
2:8. And Josue, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord,
died, being a hundred and ten years old;
2:9. And they buried him in the borders of his possession
in Thamnathsare, in Mount Ephraim, on the north side of
2:10. And all that generation was gathered to their
fathers: and there arose others that knew not the Lord and
the works which he had done for Israel.
2:11. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of
the Lord, and they served Baalim
2:12. And they left the Lord, the God of their fathers, who
had brought them out of the land of Egypt: and they
followed strange gods, and the gods of the people that
dwelt round about them, and they adored them: and they
provoked the Lord to anger,
They followed strange gods... What is here said of the
children of Israel, as to their falling so often into
idolatry, is to be understood of a great part of them; but
not so universally, as if the true worship of God was ever
quite abolished among them: for the succession of the true
church and religion was kept up all this time by the
priests and Levites, at least in the house of God in Silo.
2:13. Forsaking him, and serving Baal and Astaroth
2:14. And the Lord being angry against Israel, delivered
them into the hands of plunderers: who took them and sold
them to their enemies, that dwelt round about: neither
could they stand against their enemies:
2:15. But whithersoever they meant to go, the hand of the
Lord was upon them, as he had said, and as he had sworn to
them: and they were greatly distressed.
2:16. And the Lord raised up judges, to deliver them from
the hands of those that oppressed them: but they would not
hearken to them,
2:17. Committing fornication with strange gods, and adoring
them. They quickly forsook the way, in which their fathers
had walked: and hearing the commandments of the Lord, they
did all things contrary.
2:18. And when the Lord raised them up judges, in their
days, he was moved to mercy, and heard the groanings of the
afflicted, and delivered them from the slaughter of the
2:19. But after the judge was dead, they returned, and did
much worse things than their fathers had done, following
strange gods, serving them, and adoring them. They left
not their own inventions, and the stubborn way, by which
they were accustomed to walk.
2:20. And the wrath of the Lord was kindled against Israel,
and he said: Behold this nation hath made void my covenant,
which I had made with their fathers, and hath despised to
hearken to my voice:
2:21. I also will not destroy the nations which Josue left
when he died:
2:22. That through them I may try Israel, whether they will
keep the way of the Lord, and walk in it, as their fathers
kept it, or not.
2:23. The Lord therefore left all these nations, and would
not quickly destroy them, neither did he deliver them into
the hands of Josue.
Judges Chapter 3
The people falling into idolatry are oppressed by their
enemies; but repenting are delivered by Othoniel, Aod, and
3:1. These are the nations which the Lord left, that by
them he might instruct Israel, and all that had not known
the wars of the Chanaanites:
3:2. That afterwards their children might learn to fight
with their enemies, and to be trained up to war:
3:3. The five princes of the Philistines, and all the
Chanaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hevites that dwelt
in Mount Libanus, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entering
3:4. And he left them, that he might try Israel by them,
whether they would hear the commandments of the Lord, which
he had commanded their fathers, by the hand of Moses, or
3:5. So the children of Israel dwelt in the midst of the
Chanaanite, and the Hethite, and the Amorrhite, and the
Pherezite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite:
3:6. And they took their daughters to wives, and they gave
their own daughters to their sons, and they served their
3:7. And they did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they
forgot their God, and served Baalim and Astaroth.
3:8. And the Lord being angry with Israel, delivered them
into the hands of Chusan Rasathaim, king of Mesopotamia,
and they served him eight years.
Mesopotamia... In Hebrew Aramnaharim. Syria of the two
rivers: so called because it lies between the Euphrates and
the Tigris. It is absolutely called Syria, ver. 10.
3:9. And they cried to the Lord, who raised them up a
saviour, and delivered them; to wit, Othoniel, the son of
Cenez, the younger brother of Caleb:
3:10. And the spirit of the Lord was in him, and he judged
Israel. And he went out to fight, and the Lord delivered
Chusan Rasathaim, king of Syria, and he overthrew him:
3:11. And the land rested forty years, and Othoniel, the
son of Cenez, died.
3:12. And the children of Israel did evil again in the
sight of the Lord: who strengthened against them Eglon,
king of Moab: because they did evil in his sight.
3:13. And he joined to him the children of Ammon, and
Amalec: and he went and overthrew Israel, and possessed the
city of palm trees.
3:14. And the children of Israel served Eglon, king of
Moab, eighteen years.
3:15. And afterwards they cried to the Lord, who raised
them up a saviour, called Aod, the son of Cera, the son of
Jemini, who used the left hand as well as the right. And
the children of Israel sent presents to Eglon, king of
Moab, by him.
3:16. And he made himself a two-edged sword, with a haft in
the midst of the length of the palm of the hand, and was
girded therewith, under his garment, on the right thigh.
3:17. And he presented the gifts to Eglon, king of Moab Now
Eglon was exceeding fat.
3:18. And when he had presented the gifts unto him he
followed his companions that came along with him.
3:19. Then returning from Galgal, where the idols were, he
said to the king: I have a secret message to thee, O king.
And he commanded silence: and all being gone out that were
3:20. Aod went in to him: now he was sitting in a summer
parlour alone, and he said: I have a word from God to thee.
And he forthwith rose up from his throne.
A word from God, etc... What Aod, who was judge and chief
magistrate of Israel, did on this occasion, was by a
special inspiration of God: but such things are not to be
imitated by private men.
3:21. And Aod put forth his left hand, and took the dagger
from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly,
3:22. With such force that the haft went in after the blade
into the wound, and was closed up with the abundance of
fat. So that he did not draw out the dagger, but left it in
the body as he had struck it in: and forthwith, by the
secret parts of nature, the excrements of the belly came
3:23. And Aod carefully shutting the doors of the parlour,
and locking them,
3:24. Went out by a postern door. And the king's servants
going in, saw the doors of the parlour shut, and they said:
Perhaps he is easing nature in his summer parlour.
3:25. And waiting a long time, till they were ashamed, and
seeing that no man opened the door, they took a key: and
opening, they found their lord lying dead on the ground.
3:26. But Aod, while they were in confusion, escaped, and
passed by the place of the idols from whence he had
returned. And he came to Seirath:
3:27. And forthwith he sounded the trumpet in Mount
Ephraim: and the children of Israel went down with him, he
himself going in the front.
3:28. And he said to them: Follow me: for the Lord hath
delivered our enemies, the Moabites, into our hands. And
they went down after him, and seized upon the fords of the
Jordan, which are in the way to Moab: and they suffered no
man to pass over:
3:29. But they slew of the Moabites at that time, about ten
thousand, all strong and valiant men: none of them could
3:30. And Moab was humbled that day under the hand of
Israel: and the land rested eighty years.
3:31. After him was Samgar, the son of Anath, who slew of
the Philistines six hundred men with a ploughshare: and he
also defended Israel.
Judges Chapter 4
Debbora and Barac deliver Israel from Jabin and Sisara,
Jahal killeth Sisara.
4:1. And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight
of the Lord after the death of Aod:
4:2. And the Lord delivered them up into the hands of
Jabin, king of Chanaan, who reigned in Asor: and he had a
general of his army named Sisara, and he dwelt in Haroseth
of the Gentiles.
4:3. And the children of Israel cried to the Lord: for he
had nine hundred chariots set with scythes and for twenty
years had grievously oppressed them.
4:4. And there was at that time Debbora, a prophetess, the
wife of Lapidoth, who judged the people.
4:5. And she sat under a palm tree, which was called by her
name, between Rama and Bethel, in Mount Ephraim: and the
children of Israel came up to her for all judgment.
4:6. And she sent and called Barac, the Son of Abinoem, out
of Cedes, in Nephthali: and she said to him: The Lord God
of Israel hath commanded thee: Go, and lead an army to
Mount Thabor, and thou shalt take with thee ten thousand
fighting men of the children of Nephthali, and of the
children of Zabulon:
4:7. And I will bring unto thee in the place of the torrent
Cison, Sisara, the general of Jabin's army, and his
chariots, and all his multitude, and will deliver them into
4:8. And Barac said to her: If thou wilt come with me, I
will go: if thou wilt not come with me, I will not go.
4:9. She said to him: I will go, indeed, with thee, but at
this time the victory shall not be attributed to thee,
because Sisara shall be delivered into the hand of a woman.
Debbora therefore arose, and went with Barac to Cedes.
4:10. And he called unto him Zabulon and Nephthali, and
went up with ten thousand fighting men, having Debbora in
4:11. Now Haber, the Cinite, had some time before departed
from the rest of the Cinites, his brethren, the sons of
Hobab, the kinsman of Moses: and had pitched his tents unto
the valley, which is called Sennim, and was near Cedes.
4:12. And it was told Sisara, that Barac, the son of
Abinoem, was gone up to Mount Thabor:
4:13. And he gathered together his nine hundred chariots
armed with scythes, and all his army, from Haroseth of the
Gentiles, to the torrent Cison.
4:14. And Debbora said to Barac: Arise, for this is the day
wherein the Lord hath delivered Sisara into thy hands:
behold, he is thy leader. And Barac went down from Mount
Thabor, and ten thousand fighting men with him.
4:15. And the Lord struck a terror into Sisara, and all his
chariots, and all his multitude, with the edge of the
sword, at the sight of Barac; insomuch, that Sisara leaping
down from off his chariot, fled away on foot,
4:16. And Barac pursued after the fleeing chariots, and the
army, unto Haroseth of the Gentiles; and all the multitude
of the enemies was utterly destroyed.
4:17. But Sisara fleeing, came to the tent of Jahel, the
wife of Haber, the Cinite, for there was peace between
Jabin, the king of Asor, and the house of Haber, the
4:18. And Jahel went forth to meet Sisara, and said to him:
Come in to me, my lord; come in, fear not. He went into her
tent, and being covered by her with a cloak,
4:19. Said to her: Give me, I beseech thee, a little water,
for I am very thirsty. She opened a bottle of milk, and
gave him to drink, and covered him.
4:20. And Sisara said to her: Stand before the door of the
tent, and when any shall come and inquire of thee, saying:
Is there any man here? thou shalt say: There is none.
4:21. So Jahel, Haber's wife, took a nail of the tent, and
taking also a hammer: and going in softly, and with
silence, she put the nail upon the temples of his head, and
striking it with the hammer, drove it through his brain
fast into the ground: and so passing from deep sleep to
death, he fainted away and died.
4:22. And behold, Barac came pursuing after Sisara: and
Jahel went out to meet him, and said to him: Come, and I
will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came
into her tent, he saw Sisara lying dead, and the nail
fastened in his temples.
4:23. So God that day humbled Jabin, the king of Chanaan,
before the children of Israel:
4:24. Who grew daily stronger, and with a mighty hand
overpowered Jabin, king of Chanaan, till they quite
Judges Chapter 5
The canticle of Debbora and Barac after their victory.
5:1. In that day Debbora and Barac, son of Abinoem, sung,
5:2. O you of Israel, that have willingly offered your
lives to danger, bless the Lord.
5:3. Hear, O ye kings, give ear, O ye princes: It is I, it
is I, that will sing to the Lord, I will sing to the Lord,
the God of Israel.
5:4. O Lord, when thou wentest out of Seir, and passedst by
the regions of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens
and clouds dropped water.
5:5. The mountains melted before the face of the Lord, and
Sinai before the face of the Lord the God of Israel.
5:6. In the days of Samgar, the son of Anath, in the days
of Jahel, the paths rested: and they that went by them,
walked through bye-ways.
The paths rested... The ways to the sanctuary of God were
unfrequented: and men walked in the by-ways of error and
5:7. The valiant men ceased, and rested in Israel: until
Debbora arose, a mother arose in Israel.
5:8. The Lord chose new wars, and he himself overthrew the
gates of the enemies: a shield and spear was not seen among
forty thousand of Israel.
5:9. My heart loveth the princes of Israel: O you, that of
your own good will offered yourselves to danger, bless the
5:1O. Speak, you that ride upon fair asses, and you that
sit in judgment, and walk in the way.
5:11. Where the chariots were dashed together, and the army
of the enemies was choked, there let the justices of the
Lord be rehearsed, and his clemency towards the brave men
of Israel: then the people of the Lord went down to the
gates, and obtained the sovereignty.
5:12. Arise, arise, O Debbora, arise, arise, and utter a
canticle. Arise, Barac, and take hold of thy captives, O
son of Abinoem.
5:13. The remnants of the people are saved, the Lord hath
fought among the valiant ones.
5:14. Out of Ephraim he destroyed them into Amalec, and
after him out of Benjamin into thy people, O Amalec: Out of
Machir there came down princes, and out of Zabulon they
that led the army to fight.
Out of Ephraim, etc... The enemies straggling in their
flight were destroyed, as they were running through the
land of Ephraim, and of Benjamin, which lies after, that is
beyond Ephraim: and so on to the very confines of Amalec.
Or, it alludes to former victories of the people of God,
particularly that which was freshest in memory, when the
men of Ephraim and Benjamin, with Aod at their head,
overthrew their enemies the Moabites with the Amalecites
their allies. See chap. 3.-Ibid. Machir... The tribe of
Manasses, whose eldest son was Machir.
5:15. The captains of Issachar were with Debbora, and
followed the steps of Barac, who exposed himself to danger,
as one going headlong, and into a pit. Ruben being divided
against himself, there was found a strife of courageous
Divided against himself, etc... By this it seems that the
valient men of the tribe of Ruben were divided in their
sentiments, with relation to this war; which division kept
them at home within their own borders, to hear the bleating
of their flocks.
5:16. Why dwellest thou between two borders, that thou
mayst hear the bleatings of the flocks? Ruben being divided
against himself, there was found a strife of courageous
5:17. Galaad rested beyond the Jordan, and Dan applied
himself to ships: Aser dwelt on the sea shore, and abode in
5:18. But Zabulon and Nephthali offered their lives to
death in the region of Merome.
5:19. The kings came and fought, the kings of Chanaan
fought in Thanac, by the waters of Mageddo and yet they
took no spoils.
5:20. There was war made against them from heaven: the
stars, remaining in their order and courses, fought against
5:21. The torrent of Cison dragged their carcasses, the
torrent of Cadumim, the torrent of Cison: tread thou, my
soul, upon the strong ones.
5:22. The hoofs of the horses were broken whilst the
stoutest of the enemies fled amain, and fell headlong down.
5:23. Curse ye the land of Meroz, said the angel of the
Lord: curse the inhabitants thereof, because they came not
to the help of the Lord, to help his most valiant men.
Meroz... Where this land of Meroz was, which is here laid
under a curse, we cannot find: nor is there mention of it
anywhere else in holy writ. In the spiritual sense, they are
cursed who refuse to assist the people of God in their
warfare against their spiritual enemies.
5:24. Blessed among women be Jahel, the wife of Haber the
Cinite, and blessed be she in her tent.
5:25. He asked her water, and she gave him milk, and
offered him butter in a dish fit for princes.
5:26. She put her left hand to the nail, and her right hand
to the workman's hammer, and she struck Sisara, seeking in
his head a place for the wound, and strongly piercing
through his temples.
5:27. Between her feet he fell: he fainted, and he died: he
rolled before her feet, and there he lay lifeless and
5:28. His mother looked out at a window, and howled: and
she spoke from the dining room: Why is his chariot so long
in coming back? Why are the feet of his horses so slow?
5:29. One that was wiser than the rest of his wives,
returned this answer to her mother in law:
5:30. Perhaps he is now dividing the spoils, and the
fairest of the women is chosen out for him: garments of
divers colours are given to Sisara for his prey, and
furniture of different kinds is heaped together to adorn
5:31. So let all thy enemies perish, O Lord: but let them
that love thee shine, as the sun shineth in his rising.
5:32. And the land rested for forty years.
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
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 asses.
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
6:6. And Israel was humbled exceedingly in the sight of
6:7. And he cried to the Lord, desiring help against the
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 of Madian.
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
The meanest in Manasses, etc... Mark how the Lord chooseth
the humble (who are mean and little in their own eyes) for
the greatest enterprises.
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 coming.
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 him.
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 altar:
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 grove.
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
Judges Chapter 7
Gedeon, with three hundred men, by stratagem defeateth the
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 themselves.
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 remained.
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
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 disposition.
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
7:9. The same night the Lord said to him: Arise, and go
down into the camp: because I have delivered them into thy
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
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 pitchers.
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 to Gedeon.
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
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 trurmpets 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
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
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 idolatry.
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
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
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 slain.
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 seventy-seven men.
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 faint.
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 Soccoth.
8:17. And he demolished the tower of Phanuel, and slew the
men of the city.
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:l9. 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
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 golden earlets.
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
8:30. And he had seventy sons, who came out of his thigh,
for he had many wives.
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
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
8:34. And they remembered not the Lord their God, who
delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies round
8:35. Neither did they shew mercy to the house of Jerobaal
Gedeon, according to all the good things he had done to
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
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
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
9:12. And the trees said to the vine: Come thou and reign
9:13. And it answered them: Can I forsake my wine, that
cheereth God and men, and be promoted among the other
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 us.
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 Madian,
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 Abimelech.
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
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 him.
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 oak.
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
9:44. With his own company, assaulting and besieging the
city: whilst the two other companies chased the enemies
that were scattered about the field.
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
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 gathered together,
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
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
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
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
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 mount Ephraim:
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 Galaad.
Havoth Jair... This name was now confirmed to these towns,
which they had formerly received from another Jair. Num.
10:5. And Jair died, and was buried in the place which is
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
10:7. And the Lord being angry with them, delivered them
into the hands of the Philistines, and of the children of
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 exceedingly.
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 Baalim.
10:11. And the Lord said to them: Did not the Egyptians,
and the Amorrhites, and the children of Ammon, and the
10:12. The Sidonians also, and Amalec, and Chanaan, oppress
you, and you cried to me, and I delivered you out of their
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
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 Galaad.
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
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
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 necessity?
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
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 land?
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 against him,
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
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
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
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 of Israel.
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 children.
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
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 days.
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 do it.
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 me?
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 and Manasses.
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 not:
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 years:
12:12. And he died, and was buried in Zabulon.
12:13. After him, Abdon, the son of Illel, a Pharathonite,
12:14. And he had forty sons, and of them thirty grandsons,
mounted upon seventy ass colts, and he judged Israel eight
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 years.
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
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
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
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
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
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
13:21. And the angel of the Lord appeared to them no more.
And forthwith Manue understood that it was an angel of the
13:22. And he said to his wife: We shall certainly die,
because we have seen God.
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 bescech 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
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 eyes.
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 lion.
14:1O. 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
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
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 us?
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
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
14:20. But his wife took one of his friends and bridal
companions for her husband.
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
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
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
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 rock Etam.
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
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
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 the uncircumcised.
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 present day.
15:20. And he judged Israel, in the days of the
Philistines, twenty years.
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 out.
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 towards Hebron.
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
sald: 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 men.
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 be bound.
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
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 be weak.
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
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
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
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.
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
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 Michas.
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 to thee.
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 priest.
Filled the hand... That is, appointed and consecrated him
to the priestly office.
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
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
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
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
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 effect.
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 men.
18:8. And they returned to their brethren in Saraa and
Esthaol, who asked them what they had done: to whom they
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
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
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 their arms.
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
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
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 thee?
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
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 fire,
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 therein,
18:29. Calling the name of the city Dan, after the name of
their father, who was the son of Israel, which before was
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
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 fact.
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
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 Gabaa:
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 Benjamin:
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 to lodge.
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 street.
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 feast.
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
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
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 in Maspha:
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 committed,
20:4. Answered: I came into Gabaa, of Benjamin, with my
wife, and there I lodged:
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
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 to do.
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 deserveth.
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
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 side.
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 fight.
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
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
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
20:29. And the children of Israel set ambushes round about
the city of Gabaa:
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
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
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
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 to meet them.
20:43. And so it was, that they were slain on both sides by
the enemies, and there was no rest of their men dying. They
fell and were beaten down on the east side of the city of
20:44. And they that were slain in the same place, were
eighteen thousand men, all most valiant soldiers.
20:45. And when they that remained of Benjamin saw this,
they fled into the wilderness, and made towards the rock
that is called Remmon. In that flight also, as they were
straggling, and going different ways; they slew of them
five thousand men. And as they went farther, they still
pursued them, and slew also other two thousand.
20:46. And so it came to pass, that all that were slain of
Benjamin, in divers places, were five and twenty thousand
fighting men, most valiant for war.
20:47. And there remained of all the number of Benjamin
only six hundred men that were able to escape, and flee to
the wilderness: and they abode in the rock Remmon four
20:48. But the children of Israel returning, put all the
remains of the city to the sword, both men and beasts, and
all the cities and villages of Benjamin were consumed with
Judges Chapter 21
The tribe of Benjamin is saved from being utterly extinct,
by providing wives for the six hundred that remained.
21:1. Now the children of Israel had also sworn in Maspha,
saying: None of us shall give of his daughters to the
children of Benjamin to wife.
21:2. And they all came to the house of God in Silo, and
sitting before him till the evening, lifted up their
voices, and began to lament and weep, saying:
21:3. O Lord God of Israel, why is so great an evil come to
pass in thy people, that this day one tribe should be taken
away from among us?
21:4. And rising early the next day, they built an altar:
and offered there holocausts, and victims of peace, and
21:5. Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came
not up with the army of the Lord? for they had bound
themselves with a great oath, when they were in Maspha,
that whosoever were wanting should be slain.
21:6. And the children of Israel being moved with
repentance for their brother Benjamin, began to say: One
tribe is taken away from Israel.
21:7. Whence shall they take wives? For we have all in
general sworn, not to give our daughters to them.
21:8. Therefore they said: Who is there of all the tribes
of Israel, that came not up to the Lord to Maspha? And,
behold, the inhabitants of Jabes Galaad were found not to
have been in that army.
21:9. (At that time also when they were in Silo, no one of
them was found there,)
21:10. So they sent ten thousand of the most valiant men,
and commanded them, saying: Go and put the inhabitants of
Jabes Galaad to the sword, with their wives and their
21:11. And this is what you shall observe: Every male, and
all women that have known men, you shall kill, but the
virgins you shall save.
21:12. And there were found of Jabes Galaad four hundred
virgins, that had not known the bed of a man, and they
brought them to the camp in Silo, into the land of Chanaan.
21:13. And they sent messengers to the children of
Benjamin, that were in the rock Remmon, and commanded them
to receive them in peace.
21:14. And the children of Benjamin came at that time, and
wives were given them of Jabes Galaad: but they found no
others, whom they might give in like manner.
21:15. And all Israel was very sorry, and repented for the
destroying of one tribe out of Israel.
21:16. And the ancients said: What shall we do with the
rest, that have not received wives? for all the women in
Benjamin are dead.
21:17. And we must use all care, and provide with great
diligence, that one tribe be not destroyed out of Israel.
21:18. For as to our own daughters we cannot give them,
being bound with an oath and a curse, whereby we said:
Cursed be he that shall give Benjamin any of his daughters
21:19. So they took counsel, and said: Behold, there is a
yearly solemnity of the Lord in Silo, which is situate on
the north of the city of Bethel, and on the east side of
the way, that goeth from Bethel to Sichem, and on the south
of the town of Lebona.
21:20. And they commanded the children of Benjamin and
said: Go, and lie hid in the vineyards,
21:21. And when you shall see the daughters of Silo come
out, as the custom is, to dance, come ye on a sudden out of
the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife among them,
and go into the land of Benjamin.
21:22. And when their fathers and their brethren shall
come, and shall begin to complain against you, and to
chide, we will say to them: Have pity on them: for they
took them not away as by the right of war or conquest, but
when they asked to have them, you gave them not, and the
fault was committed on your part.
21:23. And the children of Benjamin did as they had been
commanded: and, according to their number, they carried off
for themselves every man his wife of them that were
dancing: and they went into their possession, and built up
their cities, and dwelt in them.
21:24. The children of Israel also returned by their
tribes, and families, to their dwellings. In those days
there was no king in Israel: but every one did that which
seemed right to himself.
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