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The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

Part 5 out of 26

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inclinations, and not merely to pursue his own pleasure, while he
hath no regard to what is agreeable to her. But when thirty days
are past, as the time of mourning, for so many are sufficient to
prudent persons for lamenting the dearest friends, then let them
proceed to the marriage; but in case when he hath satisfied his
lust, he be too proud to retain her for his wife, let him not
have it in his power to make her a slave, but let her go away
whither she pleases, and have that privilege of a free woman.

24. As to those young men that despise their parents, and do not
pay them honor, but offer them affronts, either because they are
ashamed of them or think themselves wiser than they, - in the
first place, let their parents admonish them in words, (for they
are by nature of authority sufficient for becoming their judges,)
and let them say thus to them: - That they cohabited together,
not for the sake of pleasure, nor for the augmentation of their
riches, by joining both their stocks together, but that they
might have children to take care of them in their old age, and
might by them have what they then should want. And say further to
him, "That when thou wast born, we took thee up with gladness,
and gave God the greatest thanks for thee, and brought time up
with great care, and spared for nothing that appeared useful for
thy preservation, and for thy instruction in what was most
excellent. And now, since it is reasonable to forgive the sins of
those that are young, let it suffice thee to have given so many
indications Of thy contempt of us; reform thyself, and act more
wisely for the time to come; considering that God is displeased
with those that are insolent towards their parents, because he is
himself the Father of the whole race of mankind, and seems to
bear part of that dishonor which falls upon those that have the
same name, when they do not meet with dire returns from their
children. And on such the law inflicts inexorable punishment; of
which punishment mayst thou never have the experience." Now if
the insolence of young men be thus cured, let them escape the
reproach which their former errors deserved; for by this means
the lawgiver will appear to be good, and parents happy, while
they never behold either a son or a daughter brought to
punishment. But if it happen that these words and instructions,
conveyed by them in order to reclaim the man, appear to be
useless, then the offender renders the laws implacable enemies to
the insolence he has offered his parents; let him therefore be
brought forth (27) by these very parents out of the city, with a
multitude following him, and there let him be stoned; and when he
has continued there for one whole day, that all the people may
see him, let him be buried in the night. And thus it is that we
bury all whom the laws condemn to die, upon any account
whatsoever. Let our enemies that fall in battle be also buried;
nor let any one dead body lie above the ground, or suffer a
punishment beyond what justice requires.

25. Let no one lend to any one of the Hebrews upon usury, neither
usury of what is eaten or what is drunken, for it is not just to
make advantage of the misfortunes of one of thy own countrymen;
but when thou hast been assistant to his necessities, think it
thy gain if thou obtainest their gratitude to thee; and withal
that reward which will come to thee from God, for thy humanity
towards him.

26. Those who have borrowed either silver or any sort of fruits,
whether dry or wet, (I mean this, when the Jewish affairs shall,
by the blessing of God, be to their own mind,) let the borrowers
bring them again, and restore them with pleasure to those who
lent them, laying them up, as it were, in their own treasuries,
and justly expecting to receive them thence, if they shall want
them again. But if they be without shame, and do not restore it,
let not the lender go to the borrower's house, and take a pledge
himself, before judgment be given concerning it; but let him
require the pledge, and let the debtor bring it of himself,
without the least opposition to him that comes upon him under the
protection of the law. And if he that gave the pledge be rich,
let the creditor retain it till what he lent be paid him again;
but if he be poor, let him that takes it return it before the
going down of the sun, especially if the pledge be a garment,
that the debtor may have it for a covering in his sleep, God
himself naturally showing mercy to the poor. It is also not
lawful to take a millstone, nor any utensil thereto belonging,
for a pledge, that the debtor, may not be deprived of instruments
to get their food withal, and lest they be undone by their

27. Let death be the punishment for stealing a man; but he that
hath purloined gold or silver, let him pay double. If any one
kill a man that is stealing something out of his house, let him
be esteemed guiltless, although the man were only breaking in at
the wall. Let him that hath stolen cattle pay fourfold what is
lost, excepting the case of an ox, for which let the thief pay
fivefold. Let him that is so poor that he cannot pay what mulet
is laid upon him, be his servant to whom he was adjudged to pay

28. If any one be sold to one of his own nation, let him serve
him six years, and on the seventh let him go free. But if he have
a son by a woman servant in his purchaser's house, and if, on
account of his good-will to his master, and his natural affection
to his wife and children, he will be his servant still, let him
be set free only at the coming of the year of jubilee, which is
the fiftieth year, and let him then take away with him his
children and wife, and let them be free also.

29. If any one find gold or silver on the road, let him inquire
after him that lost it, and make proclamation of the place where
he found it, and then restore it to him again, as not thinking it
right to make his own profit by the loss of another. And the same
rule is to be observed in cattle found to have wandered away into
a lonely place. If the owner be not presently discovered, let him
that is the finder keep it with himself, and appeal to God that
he has not purloined what belongs to another.

30. It is not lawful to pass by any beast that is in distress,
when in a storm it is fallen down in the mire, but to endeavor to
preserve it, as having a sympathy with it in its pain.

31. It is also a duty to show the roads to those who do not know
them, and not to esteem it a matter for sport, when we hinder
others' advantages, by setting them in a wrong way.

32. In like manner, let no one revile a person blind or dumb.

33. If men strive together, and there be no instrument of iron,
let him that is smitten be avenged immediately, by inflicting the
same punishment on him that smote him: but if when he is carried
home he lie sick many days, and then die, let him that smote him
not escape punishment; but if he that is smitten escape death,
and yet be at great expense for his cure, the smiter shall pay
for all that has been expended during the time of his sickness,
and for all that he has paid the physician. He that kicks a woman
with child, so that the woman miscarry, (28) let him pay a fine
in money, as the judges shall determine, as having diminished the
multitude by the destruction of what was in her womb; and let
money also be given the woman's husband by him that kicked her;
but if she die of the stroke, let him also be put to death, the
law judging it equitable that life should go for life.

34. Let no one of the Israelites keep any poison (29) that may
cause death, or any other harm; but if he be caught with it, let
him be put to death, and suffer the very same mischief that he
would have brought upon them for whom the poison was prepared.

35. He that maimeth any one, let him undergo the like himself,
and be deprived of the same member of which he hath deprived the
other, unless he that is maimed will accept of money instead of
it (30) for the law makes the sufferer the judge of the value of
what he hath suffered, and permits him to estimate it, unless he
will be more severe.

36. Let him that is the owner of an ox which pusheth with his
horn, kill him: but if he pushes and gores any one in the
thrashing-floor, let him be put to death by stoning, and let him
not be thought fit for food: but if his owner be convicted as
having known what his nature was, and hath not kept him up, let
him also be put to death, as being the occasion of the ox's
having killed a man. But if the ox have killed a man-servant, or
a maid-servant, let him be stoned; and let the owner of the ox
pay thirty shekels (31) to the master of him that was slain; but
if it be an ox that is thus smitten and killed, let both the
oxen, that which smote the other and that which was killed, be
sold, and let the owners of them divide their price between them.

37. Let those that dig a well or a pit be careful to lay planks
over them, and so keep them shut up, not in order to hinder any
persons from drawing water, but that there may be no danger of
falling into them. But if any one's beast fall into such a well
or pit thus digged, and not shut up, and perish, let the owner
pay its price to the owner of the beast. Let there be a
battlement round the tops of your houses instead of a wall, that
may prevent any persons from rolling down and perishing.

38. Let him that has received any thing in trust for another,
take care to keep it as a sacred and divine thing; and let no one
invent any contrivance whereby to deprive him that hath intrusted
it with him of the same, and this whether he be a man or a woman;
no, not although he or she were to gain an immense sum of gold,
and this where he cannot be convicted of it by any body; for it
is fit that a man's own conscience, which knows what he hath,
should in all cases oblige him to do well. Let this conscience be
his witness, and make him always act so as may procure him
commendation from others; but let him chiefly have regard to God,
from whom no wicked man can lie concealed: but if he in whom the
trust was reposed, without any deceit of his own, lose what he
was intrusted withal, let him come before the seven judges, and
swear by God that nothing hath been lost willingly, or with a
wicked intention, and that he hath not made use of any part
thereof, and so let him depart without blame; but if he hath made
use of the least part of what was committed to him, and it be
lost, let him be condemned to repay all that he had received.
After the same manner as in these trusts it is to be, if any one
defraud those that undergo bodily labor for him. And let it be
always remembered, that we are not to defraud a poor man of his
wages, as being sensible that God has allotted these wages to him
instead of land and other possessions; nay, this payment is not
at all to be delayed, but to be made that very day, since God is
not willing to deprive the laborer of the immediate use of what
he hath labored for.

39. You are not to punish children for the faults of their
parents, but on account of their own virtue rather to vouchsafe
them commiseration, because they were born of wicked parents,
than hatred, because they were born of bad ones. Nor indeed ought
we to impute the sin of children to their fathers, while young
persons indulge themselves in many practices different from what
they have been instructed in, and this by their proud refusal of
such instruction.

40. Let those that have made themselves eunuchs be had in
detestation; and do you avoid any conversation with them who have
deprived themselves of their manhood, and of that fruit of
generation which God has given to men for the increase of their
kind: let such be driven away, as if they had killed their
children, since they beforehand have lost what should procure
them; for evident it is, that while their soul is become
effeminate, they have withal transfused that effeminacy to their
body also. In like manner do you treat all that is of a monstrous
nature when it is looked on; nor is it lawful to geld men or any
other animals. (32)

41. Let this be the constitution of your political laws in time
of peace, and God will be so merciful as to preserve this
excellent settlement free from disturbance: and may that time
never come which may innovate any thing, and change it for the
contrary. But since it must needs happen that mankind fall into
troubles and dangers, either undesignedly or intentionally, come
let us make a few constitutions concerning them, that so being
apprised beforehand what ought to be done, you may have salutary
counsels ready when you want them, and may not then be obliged to
go to seek what is to be done, and so be unprovided, and fall
into dangerous circumstances. May you be a laborious people, and
exercise your souls in virtuous actions, and thereby possess and
inherit the land without wars; while neither any foreigners make
war upon it, and so afflict you, nor any internal sedition seize
upon it, whereby you may do things that are contrary to your
fathers, and so lose the laws which they have established. And
may you continue in the observation of those laws which God hath
approved of, and hath delivered to you. Let all sort of warlike
operations, whether they befall you now in your own time, or
hereafter in the times of your posterity, be done out of your own
borders: but when you are about to go to war, send embassages and
heralds to those who are your voluntary enemies, for it is a
right thing to make use of words to them before you come to your
weapons of war; and assure them thereby, that although you have a
numerous army, with horses and weapons, and, above these, a God
merciful to you, and ready to assist you, you do however desire
them not to compel you to fight against them, nor to take from
them what they have, which will indeed be our gain, but what they
will have no reason to wish we should take to ourselves. And if
they hearken to you, it will be proper for you to keep peace with
them; but if they trust in their own strength, as superior to
yours, and will not do you justice, lead your army against them,
making use of God as your supreme Commander, but ordaining for a
lieutenant under him one that is of the greatest courage among
you; for these different commanders, besides their being an
obstacle to actions that are to be done on the sudden, are a
disadvantage to those that make use of them. Lead an army pure,
and of chosen men, composed of all such as have extraordinary
strength of body and hardiness of soul; but do you send away the
timorous part, lest they run away in the time of action, and so
afford an advantage to your enemies. Do you also give leave to
those that have lately built them houses, and have not yet lived
in them a year's time; and to those that have planted them
vineyards, and have not yet been partakers of their fruits, - to
continue in their own country; as well as those also who have
betrothed, or lately married them wives, lest they have such an
affection for these things that they he too sparing of their
lives, and, by reserving themselves for these enjoyments, they
become voluntary cowards, on account of their wives.

42. When you have pitched your camp, take care that you do
nothing that is cruel. And when you are engaged in a siege; and
want timber for the making of warlike engines, do not you render
the land naked by cutting down trees that bear fruit, but spare
them, as considering that they were made for the benefit of men;
and that if they could speak, they would have a just plea against
you, because, though they are not occasions of the war, they are
unjustly treated, and suffer in it, and would, if they were able,
remove themselves into another land. When you have beaten your
enemies in battle, slay those that have fought against you; but
preserve the others alive, that they may pay you tribute,
excepting the nation of the Canaanites; for as to that people,
you must entirely destroy them.

43, Take care, especially in your battles, that no woman use the
habit of a man, nor man the garment of a woman.

44. This was the form of political government which was left us
by Moses. Moreover, he had already delivered laws in writing (33)
in the fortieth year [after they came out of Egypt], concerning
which we will discourse in another book. But now on the following
days (for he called them to assemble continually) he delivered
blessings to them, and curses upon those that should not live
according to the laws, but should transgress the duties that were
determined for them to observe. After this, he read to them a
poetic song, which was composed in hexameter verse, and left it
to them in the holy book: it contained a prediction of what was
to come to pass afterward; agreeably whereto all things have
happened all along, and do still happen to us; and wherein he has
not at all deviated from the truth. Accordingly, he delivered
these books to the priest, (34) with the ark; into which he also
put the ten commandments, written on two tables. He delivered to
them the tabernacle also, and exhorted the people, that when they
had conquered the land, and were settled in it, they should not
forget the injuries of the Amalekites, but make war against them,
and inflict punishment upon them for what mischief they did them
when they were in the wilderness; and that when they had got
possession of the land of the Canaanites, and when they had
destroyed the whole multitude of its inhabitants, as they ought
to do, they should erect an altar that should face the rising
sun, not far from the city of Shechem, between the two mountains,
that of Gerizzim, situate on the right hand, and that called
Ebal, on the left; and that the army should be so divided, that
six tribes should stand upon each of the two mountains, and with
them the Levites and the priests. And that first, those that were
upon Mount Gerizzim should pray for the best blessings upon those
who were diligent about the worship of God, and the observation
of his laws, and who did not reject what Moses had said to them;
while the other wished them all manner of happiness also; and
when these last put up the like prayers, the former praised them.
After this, curses were denounced upon those that should
transgress those laws, they ,answering one another alternately,
by way of confirmation of what had been said. Moses also wrote
their blessings and their curses, that they might learn them so
thoroughly, that they might never be forgotten by length of time.
And when he was ready to die, he wrote these blessings and curses
upon the altar, on each side of it; where he says also the people
stood, and then sacrificed and offered burnt-offerings, though
after that day they never offered upon it any other sacrifice,
for it was not lawful so to do. These are the constitutions of
Moses; and the Hebrew nation still live according to them.

45. On the next day, Moses called the people together, with the
women and children, to a congregation, so as the very slaves were
present also, that they might engage themselves to the
observation of these laws by oath; and that, duly considering the
meaning of God in them, they might not, either for favor of their
kindred, or out of fear of any one, or indeed for any motive
whatsoever, think any thing ought to be preferred to these laws,
and so might transgress them. That in case any one of their own
blood, or any city, should attempt to confound or dissolve their
constitution of government, they should take vengeance upon them,
both all in general, and each person in particular; and when they
had conquered them, should overturn their city to the very
foundations, and, if possible, should not leave the least
footsteps of such madness: but that if they were not able to take
such vengeance, they should still demonstrate that what was done
was contrary to their wills. So the multitude bound themselves by
oath so to do.

46. Moses taught them also by what means their sacrifices might
be the most acceptable to God; and how they should go forth to
war, making use of the stones (in the high priest's breastplate)
for their direction, (35) as I have before signified. Joshua also
prophesied while Moses was present. And when Moses had
recapitulated whatsoever he had done for the preservation of the
people, both in their wars and in peace, and had composed them a
body of laws, and procured them an excellent form of government,
he foretold, as God had declared to him "That if they
transgressed that institution for the worship of God, they should
experience the following miseries: - Their land should be full of
weapons of war from their enemies, and their cities should be
overthrown, and their temple should be burnt that they should be
sold for slaves, to such men as would have no pity on them in
their afflictions; that they would then repent, when that
repentance would no way profit them under their sufferings.
"Yet," said he, "will that God who founded your nation, restore
your cities to your citizens, with their temple also; and you
shall lose these advantages not once only, but often."

47. Now when Moses had encouraged Joshua to lead out the army
against the Canaanites, by telling him that God would assist him
in all his undertakings, and had blessed the whole multitude, he
said, "Since I am going to my forefathers, and God has determined
that this should be the day of my departure to them, I return him
thanks while I am still alive and present with you, for that
providence he hath exercised over you, which hath not only
delivered us from the miseries we lay under, but hath bestowed a
state of prosperity upon us; as also, that he hath assisted me in
the pains I took, and in all the contrivances I had in my care
about you, in order to better your condition, and hath on all
occasions showed himself favorable to us; or rather he it was who
first conducted our affairs, and brought them to a happy
conclusion, by making use of me as a vicarious general under him,
and as a minister in those matters wherein he was willing to do
you good: on which account I think it proper to bless that Divine
Power which will take care of you for the time to come, and this
in order to repay that debt which I owe him, and to leave behind
me a memorial that we are obliged to worship and honor him, and
to keep those laws which are the most excellent gift of all those
he hath already bestowed upon us, or which, if he continue
favorable to us, he will bestow upon us hereafter. Certainly a
human legislator is a terrible enemy when his laws are affronted,
and are made to no purpose. And may you never experience that
displeasure of God which will be the consequence of the neglect
of these his laws, which he, who is your Creator, hath given

48. When Moses had spoken thus at the end of his life, and had
foretold what would befall to every one of their tribes (36)
afterward, with the addition of a blessing to them, the multitude
fell into tears, insomuch that even the women, by beating their
breasts, made manifest the deep concern they had when he was
about to die. The children also lamented still more, as not able
to contain their grief; and thereby declared, that even at their
age they were sensible of his virtue and mighty deeds; and truly
there seemed to be a strife betwixt the young and the old who
should most grieve for him. The old grieved because they knew
what a careful protector they were to be deprived of, and so
lamented their future state; but the young grieved, not only for
that, but also because it so happened that they were to be left
by him before they had well tasted of his virtue. Now one may
make a guess at the excess of this sorrow and lamentation of the
multitude, from what happened to the legislator himself; for
although he was always persuaded that he ought not to be cast
down at the approach of death, since the undergoing it was
agreeable to the will of God and the law of nature, yet what the
people did so overbore him, that he wept himself. Now as he went
thence to the place where he was to vanish out of their sight,
they all followed after him weeping; but Moses beckoned with his
hand to those that were remote from him, and bade them stay
behind in quiet, while he exhorted those that were near to him
that they would not render his departure so lamentable. Whereupon
they thought they ought to grant him that favor, to let him
depart according as he himself desired; so they restrained
themselves, though weeping still towards one another. All those
who accompanied him were the senate, and Eleazar the high priest,
and Joshua their commander. Now as soon as they were come to the
mountain called Abarim, (which is a very high mountain, situate
over against Jericho, and one that affords, to such as are upon
it, a prospect of the greatest part of the excellent land of
Canaan,) he dismissed the senate; and as he was going to embrace
Eleazar and Joshua, and was still discoursing with them, a cloud
stood over him on the sudden, and he disappeared in a certain
valley, although he wrote in the holy books that he died, which
was done out of fear, lest they should venture to say that,
because of his extraordinary virtue, he went to God.

49. Now Moses lived in all one hundred and twenty years; a third
part of which time, abating one month, he was the people's ruler;
and he died on the last month of the year, which is called by the
Macedonians Dystrus, but by us Adar, on the first day of the
month. He was one that exceeded all men that ever were in
understanding, and made the best use of what that understanding
suggested to him. He had a very graceful way of speaking and
addressing himself to the multitude; and as to his other
qualifications, he had such a full command of his passions, as if
he hardly had any such in his soul, and only knew them by their
names, as rather perceiving them in other men than in himself. He
was also such a general of an army as is seldom seen, as well as
such a prophet as was never known, and this to such a degree,
that whatsoever he pronounced, you would think you heard the
voice of God himself. So the people mourned for him thirty days:
nor did ever any grief so deeply affect the Hebrews as did this
upon the death of Moses: nor were those that had experienced his
conduct the only persons that desired him, but those also that
perused the laws he left behind him had a strong desire after
him, and by them gathered the extraordinary virtue he was master
of. And this shall suffice for the declaration of the manner of
the death of Moses.


Containing The Interval Of Four Hundred And Seventy-Six Years.

From The Death Of Moses To The Death Of Eli.


How Joshua, The Commander Of The Hebrews, Made War With The
Canaanites, And Overcame Them, And Destroyed Them, And Divided
Their Land By Lot To The Tribes Of Israel.

1. When Moses was taken away from among men, in the manner
already described, and when all the solemnities belonging to the
mourning for him were finished, and the sorrow for him was over,
Joshua commanded the multitude to get themselves ready for an
expedition. He also sent spies to Jericho to discover what forces
they had, and what were their intentions; but he put his camp in
order, as intending soon to pass over Jordan at a proper season.
And calling to him the rulers of the tribe of Reuben, and the
governors of the tribe of Gad, and [the half tribe of] Manasseh,
for half of this tribe had been permitted to have their
habitation in the country of the Amorites, which was the seventh
part of the land of Canaan, (1) he put them in mind what they had
promised Moses; and he exhorted them that, for the sake of the
care that Moses had taken of them who had never been weary of
taking pains for them no, not when he was dying, and for the sake
of the public welfare, they would prepare themselves, and readily
perform what they had promised; so he took fifty thousand of them
who followed him, and he marched from Abila to Jordan, sixty

2. Now when he had pitched his camp, the spies came to him
immediately, well acquainted with the whole state of the
Canaanites; for at first, before they were at all discovered,
they took a full view of the city of Jericho without disturbance,
and saw which parts of the walls were strong, and which parts
were otherwise, and indeed insecure, and which of the gates were
so weak as might afford an entrance to their army. Now those that
met them took no notice of them when they saw them, and supposed
they were only strangers, who used to be very curious in
observing everything in the city, and did not take them for
enemies; but at even they retired to a certain inn that was near
to the wall, whither they went to eat their supper; which supper
when they had done, and were considering how to get away,
information was given to the king as he was at supper, that there
were some persons come from the Hebrews' camp to view the city as
spies, and that they were in the inn kept by Rahab, and were very
solicitous that they might not be discovered. So he sent
immediately some to them, and commanded to catch them, and bring
them to him, that he might examine them by torture, and learn
what their business was there. As soon as Rahab understood that
these messengers were coming, she hid the spies under stalks of
flax, which were laid to dry on the top of her house; and said to
the messengers that were sent by the king, that certain unknown
strangers had supped with her a little before sun-setting, and
were gone away, who might easily be taken, if they were any
terror to the city, or likely to bring any danger to the king. So
these messengers being thus deluded by the woman, (2) and
suspecting no imposition, went their ways, without so much as
searching the inn; but they immediately pursued them along those
roads which they most probably supposed them to have gone, and
those particularly which led to the river, but could hear no
tidings of them; so they left off the pains of any further
pursuit. But when the tumult was over, Rahab brought the men
down, and desired them as soon as they should have obtained
possession of the land of Canaan, when it would be in their power
to make her amends for her preservation of them, to remember what
danger she had undergone for their sakes; for that if she had
been caught concealing them, she could not have escaped a
terrible destruction, she and all her family with her, and so bid
them go home; and desired them to swear to her to preserve her
and her family when they should take the city, and destroy all
its inhabitants, as they had decreed to do; for so far she said
she had been assured by those Divine miracles of which she had
been informed. So these spies acknowledged that they owed her
thanks for what she had done already, and withal swore to requite
her kindness, not only in words, but in deeds. But they gave her
this advice, That when she should perceive that the city was
about to be taken, she should put her goods, and all her family,
by way of security, in her inn, and to hang out scarlet threads
before her doors, [or windows,] that the commander of the Hebrews
might know her house, and take care to do her no harm; for, said
they, we will inform him of this matter, because of the concern
thou hast had to preserve us: but if any one of thy family fall
in the battle, do not thou blame us; and we beseech that God, by
whom we have sworn, not then to be displeased with us, as though
we had broken our oaths. So these men, when they had made this
agreement, went away, letting themselves down by a rope from the
wall, and escaped, and came and told their own people whatsoever
they had done in their journey to this city. Joshua also told
Eleazar the high priest, and the senate, what the spies had sworn
to Rahab, who continued what had been sworn.

3. Now while Joshua, the commander, was in fear about their
passing over Jordan, for the river ran with a strong current, and
could not be passed over with bridges, for there never had been
bridges laid over it hitherto; and while he suspected, that if he
should attempt to make a bridge, that their enemies would not
afford him thee to perfect it, and for ferry-boats they had none,
- God promised so to dispose of the river, that they might pass
over it, and that by taking away the main part of its waters. So
Joshua, after two days, caused the army and the whole multitude
to pass over in the manner following: - The priests went first of
all, having the ark with them; then went the Levites bearing the
tabernacle and the vessels which belonged to the sacrifices;
after which the entire multitude followed, according to their
tribes, having their children and their wives in the midst of
them, as being afraid for them, lest they should be borne away by
the stream. But as soon as the priests had entered the river
first, it appeared fordable, the depth of the water being
restrained and the sand appearing at the bottom, because the
current was neither so strong nor so swift as to carry it away by
its force; so they all passed over the river without fear,
finding it to be in the very same state as God had foretold he
would put it in; but the priests stood still in the midst of the
river till the multitude should be passed over, and should get to
the shore in safety; and when all were gone over, the priests
came out also, and permitted the current to run freely as it used
to do before. Accordingly the river, as soon as the Hebrews were
come out of it, arose again presently, and carne to its own
proper magnitude as before.

4. So the Hebrews went on farther fifty furlongs, and pitched
their camp at the distance of ten furlongs from Jericho; but
Joshua built an altar of those stones which all the heads of the
tribes, at the command of the prophets, had taken out of the
deep, to be afterwards a memorial of the division of the stream
of this river, and upon it offered sacrifice to God; and in that
place celebrated the passover, and had great plenty of all the
things which they wanted hitherto; for they reaped the corn of
the Canaanites, which was now ripe, and took other things as
prey; for then it was that their former food, which was manna,
and of which they had eaten forty years, failed them.

5. Now while the Israelites did this, and the Canaanites did not
attack them, but kept themselves quiet within their own walls,
Joshua resolved to besiege them; so on the first day of the feast
[of the passover], the priests carried the ark round about, with
some part of the armed men to be a guard to it. These priests
went forward, blowing with their seven trumpets; and exhorted the
army to be of good courage, and went round about the city, with
the senate following them; and when the priests had only blown
with the trumpets, for they did nothing more at all, they
returned to the camp. And when they had done this for six days,
on the seventh Joshua gathered the armed men and all the people
together, and told them these good tidings, That the city should
now be taken, since God would on that day give it them, by the
falling down of the walls, and this of their own accord, and
without their labor. However, he charged them to kill every one
they should take, and not to abstain from the slaughter of their
enemies, either for weariness or for pity, and not to fall on the
spoil, and be thereby diverted from pursuing their enemies as
they ran away; but to destroy all the animals, and to take
nothing for their own peculiar advantage. He commanded them also
to bring together all the silver and gold, that it might be set
apart as first-fruits unto God out of this glorious exploit, as
having gotten them from the city they first took; only that they
should save Rahab and her kindred alive, because of the oath
which the spies had sworn to her.

6. When he had said this, and had set his army in order, be
brought it against the city: so they went round the city again,
the ark going before them, and the priests encouraging the people
to be zealous in the work; and when they had gone round it seven
times, and had stood still a little, the wall fell down, while no
instruments of war, nor any other force, was applied to it by the

7. So they entered into Jericho, and slew all the men that were
therein, while they were aftrighted at the surprising overthrow
of the walls, and their courage was become useless, and they were
not able to defend themselves; so they were slain, and their
throats cut, some in the ways, and others as caught in their
houses; nothing afforded them assistance, but they all perished,
even to the women and the children; and the city was filled with
dead bodies, and not one person escaped. They also burnt the
whole city, and the country about it; but they saved alive Rahab,
with her family, who had fled to her inn. And when she was
brought to him, Joshua owned to her that they owed her thanks for
her preservation of the spies: so he said he would not appear to
be behind her in his benefaction to her; whereupon he gave her
certain lands immediately, and had her in great esteem ever

8. And if any part of the city escaped the fire, he overthrew it
from the foundation; and he denounced a curse (3)against its
inhabitants, if any should desire to rebuild it; how, upon his
laying the foundation of the walls, he should be deprived of his
eldest son; and upon finishing it, he should lose his youngest
son. But what happened hereupon we shall speak of hereafter.

9. Now there was an immense quantity of silver and gold, and
besides those of brass also, that was heaped together out of the
city when it was taken, no one transgressing the decree, nor
purloining for their own peculiar advantage; which spoils Joshua
delivered to the priests, to be laid up among their treasures.
And thus did Jericho perish.

10. But there was one Achar, (4) the son [of Charmi, the son] of
Zebedias, of the tribe of Judah, who finding a royal garment
woven entirely of gold, and a piece of gold that weighed two
hundred shekels; (5) and thinking it a very hard case, that what
spoils he, by running some hazard, had found, he must give away,
and offer it to God, who stood in no need of it, while he that
wanted it must go without it, - made a deep ditch in his own
tent, and laid them up therein, as supposing he should not only
be concealed from his fellow soldiers, but from God himself also.

11. Now the place where Joshua pitched his camp was called
Gilgal, which denotes liberty; (6) for since now they had passed
over Jordan, they looked on themselves as freed from the miseries
which they had undergone from the Egyptians, and in the

12. Now, a few days after the calamity that befell Jericho,
Joshua sent three thousand armed men to take Ai, a city situate
above Jericho; but, upon the sight of the people of Ai, with them
they were driven back, and lost thirty-six of their men. When
this was told the Israelites, it made them very sad, and
exceeding disconsolate, not so much because of the relation the
men that were destroyed bare to them, though those that were
destroyed were all good men, and deserved their esteem, as by the
despair it occasioned; for while they believed that they were
already, in effect, in possession of the land, and should bring
back the army out of the battles without loss, as God had
promised beforehand, they now saw unexpectedly their enemies bold
with success; so they put sackcloth over their garments, and
continued in tears and lamentation all the day, without the least
inquiry after food, but laid what had happened greatly to heart.

13. When Joshua saw the army so much afflicted, and possessed
with forebodings of evil as to their whole expedition, he used
freedom with God, and said, "We are not come thus far out of any
rashness of our own, as though we thought ourselves able to
subdue this land with our own weapons, but at the instigation of
Moses thy servant for this purpose, because thou hast promised
us, by many signs, that thou wouldst give us this land for a
possession, and that thou wouldst make our army always superior
in war to our enemies, and accordingly some success has already
attended upon us agreeably to thy promises; but because we have
now unexpectedly been foiled, and have lost some men out of our
army, we are grieved at it, as fearing what thou hast promised
us, and what Moses foretold us, cannot be depended on by us; and
our future expectation troubles us the more, because we have met
with such a disaster in this our first attempt. But do thou, O
Lord, free us from these suspicions, for thou art able to find a
cure for these disorders, by giving us victory, which will both
take away the grief we are in at present, and prevent our
distrust as to what is to come."

14. These intercessions Joshua put up to God, as he lay prostrate
on his face: whereupon God answered him, That he should rise up,
and purify his host from the pollution that had got into it; that
"things consecrated to me have been impudently stolen from me,"
and that "this has been the occasion why this defeat had happened
to them;" and that when they should search out and punish the
offender, he would ever take care they should have the victory
over their enemies. This Joshua told the people; and calling for
Eleazar the high priest, and the men in authority, he cast lots,
tribe by tribe; and when the lot showed that this wicked action
was done by one of the tribe of Judah, he then again proposed the
lot to the several families thereto belonging; so the truth of
this wicked action was found to belong to the family of Zachar;
and when the inquiry was made man by man, they took Achar, who,
upon God's reducing him to a terrible extremity, could not deny
the fact: so he confessed the theft, and produced what he had
taken in the midst of them, whereupon he was immediately put to
death; and attained no more than to be buried in the night in a
disgraceful manner, and such as was suitable to a condemned

15. When Joshua had thus purified the host, he led them against
Ai: and having by night laid an ambush round about the city, he
attacked the enemies as soon as it was day; but as they advanced
boldly against the Israelites, because of their former victory,
he made them believe he retired, and by that means drew them a
great way from the city, they still supposing that they were
pursuing their enemies, and despised them, as though the case had
been the same with that in the former battle; after which Joshua
ordered his forces to turn about, and placed them against their
front. He then made the signals agreed upon to those that lay in
ambush, and so excited them to fight; so they ran suddenly into
the city, the inhabitants being upon the walls, nay, others of
them being in perplexity, and coming to see those that were
without the gates. Accordingly, these men took the city, and slew
all that they met with; but Joshua forced those that came against
him to come to a close fight, and discomfited them, and made them
run away; and when they were driven towards the city, and thought
it had not been touched, as soon as they saw it was taken, and
perceived it was burnt, with their wives and children, they
wandered about in the fields in a scattered condition, and were
no way able to defend themselves, because they had none to
support them. Now when this calamity was come upon the men of Ai,
there were a great number of children, and women, and servants,
and an immense quantity of other furniture. The Hebrews also took
herds of cattle, and a great deal of money, for this was a rich
country. So when Joshua came to Gilgal, he divided all these
spoils among the soldiers.

16. But the Gibeonites, who inhabited very near to Jerusalem,
when they saw what miseries had happened to the inhabitants of
Jericho; and to those of Ai, and suspected that the like sore
calamity would come as far as themselves, they did not think fit
to ask for mercy of Joshua; for they supposed they should find
little mercy from him, who made war that he might entirely
destroy the nation of the Canaanites; but they invited the people
of Cephirah and Kiriathjearim, who were their neighbors, to join
in league with them; and told them that neither could they
themselves avoid the danger they were all in, if the Israelites
should prevent them, and seize upon them: so when they had
persuaded them, they resolved to endeavor to escape the forces of
the Israelites. Accordingly, upon their agreement to what they
proposed, they sent ambassadors to Joshua to make a league of
friendship with him, and those such of the citizens as were best
approved of, and most capable of doing what was most advantageous
to the multitude. Now these ambassadors thought it dangerous to
confess themselves to be Canaanites, but thought they might by
this contrivance avoid the danger, namely, by saying that they
bare no relation to the Canaanites at all, but dwelt at a very
great distance from them: and they said further, that they came a
long way, on account of the reputation he had gained for his
virtue; and as a mark of the truth of what they said, they showed
him the habit they were in, for that their clothes were new when
they came out, but were greatly worn by the length of thee they
had been on their journey; for indeed they took torn garments, on
purpose that they might make him believe so. So they stood in the
midst of the people, and said that they were sent by the people
of Gibeon, and of the circumjacent cities, which were very remote
from the land where they now were, to make such a league of
friendship with them, and this on such conditions as were
customary among their forefathers; for when they understood that,
by the favor of God, and his gift to them, they were to have the
possession of the land of Canaan bestowed upon them, they said
that they were very glad to hear it, and desired to be admitted
into the number of their citizens. Thus did these ambassadors
speak; and showing them the marks of their long journey, they
entreated the Hebrews to make a league of friendship with them.
Accordingly Joshua, believing what they said, that they were not
of the nation of the Canaanites, entered into friendship with
them; and Eleazar the high priest, with the senate, sware to them
that they would esteem them their friends and associates, and
would attempt nothing that should be unfair against them, the
multitude also assenting to the oaths that were made to them. So
these men, having obtained what they desired, by deceiving the
Israelites, went home: but when Joshua led his army to the
country at the bottom of the mountains of this part of Canaan, he
understood that the Gibeonites dwelt not far from Jerusalem, and
that they were of the stock of the Canaanites; so he sent for
their governors, and reproached them with the cheat they had put
upon him; but they alleged, on their own behalf, that they had no
other way to save themselves but that, and were therefore forced
to have recourse to it. So he called for Eleazar the high priest,
and for the senate, who thought it right to make them public
servants, that they might not break the oath they had made to
them; and they ordained them to be so. And this was the method by
which these men found. safety and security under the calamity
that was ready to overtake them.

17. But the king of Jerusalem took it to heart that the
Gibeonites had gone over to Joshua; so he called upon the kings
of the neighboring nations to join together, and make war against
them. Now when the Gibeonites saw these kings, which were four,
besides the king of Jerusalem, and perceived that they had
pitched their camp at a certain fountain not far from their city,
and were getting ready for the siege of it, they called upon
Joshua to assist them; for such was their case, as to expect to
be destroyed by these Canaanites, but to suppose they should be
saved by those that came for the destruction of the Canaanites,
because of the league of friendship that was between them.
Accordingly, Joshua made haste with his whole army to assist
them, and marching day and night, in the morning he fell upon the
enemies as they were going up to the siege; and when he had
discomfited them, he followed them, and pursued them down the
descent of the hills. The place is called Bethhoron; where he
also understood that God assisted him, which he declared by
thunder and thunderbolts, as also by the falling of hail larger
than usual. Moreover, it happened that the day was lengthened (7)
that the night might not come on too soon, and be an obstruction
to the zeal of the Hebrews in pursuing their enemies; insomuch
that Joshua took the kings, who were hidden in a certain cave at
Makkedah, and put them to death. Now, that the day was lengthened
at this thee, and was longer than ordinary, is expressed in the
books laid up in the temple. (8)

18. These kings which made war with, and were ready to fight the
Gibeonites, being thus overthrown, Joshua returned again to the
mountainous parts of Canaan; and when he had made a great
slaughter of the people there, and took their prey, he came to
the camp at Gilgal. And now there went a great fame abroad among
the neighboring people of the courage of the Hebrews; and those
that heard what a number of men were destroyed, were greatly
aftrighted at it: so the kings that lived about Mount Libanus,
who were Canaanites, and those Canaanites that dwelt in the plain
country, with auxiliaries out of the land of the Philistines,
pitched their camp at Beroth, a city of the Upper Galilee, not
far from Cadesh, which is itself also a place in Galilee. Now the
number of the whole army was three hundred thousand armed
footmen, and ten thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand chariots;
so that the multitude of the enemies aftrighted both Joshua
himself and the Israelites; and they, instead of being full of
hopes of good success, were superstitiously timorous, with the
great terror with which they were stricken. Whereupon God
upbraided them with the fear they were in, and asked them whether
they desired a greater help than he could afford them; and
promised them that they should overcome their enemies; and withal
charged them to make their enemies' horses useless, and to burn
their chariots. So Joshua became full of courage upon these
promises of God, and went out suddenly against the enemies; and
after five days' march he came upon them, and joined battle with
them, and there was a terrible fight, and such a number were
slain as could not be believed by those that heard it. He also
went on in the pursuit a great way, and destroyed the entire army
of the enemies, few only excepted, and all the kings fell in the
battle; insomuch, that when there wanted men to be killed, Joshua
slew their horses, and burnt their chariots and passed all over
their country without opposition, no one daring to meet him in
battle; but he still went on, taking their cities by siege, and
again killing whatever he took.

19. The fifth year was now past, and there was not one of the
Canaanites remained any longer, excepting some that had retired
to places of great strength. So Joshua removed his camp to the
mountainous country, and placed the tabernacle in the city of
Shiloh, for that seemed a fit place for it, because of the beauty
of its situation, until such thee as their affairs would permit
them to build a temple; and from thence he went to Shechem,
together with all the people, and raised an altar where Moses had
beforehand directed; then did he divide the army, and placed one
half of them on Mount Gerizzim, and the other half on Mount Ebal,
on which mountain the altar was; he also placed there the tribe
of Levi, and the priests. And when they had sacrificed, and
denounced the [blessings and the] curses, and had left them
engraven upon the altar, they returned to Shiloh.

20. And now Joshua was old, and saw that the cities of the
Canaanites were not easily to be taken, not only because they
were situate in such strong places, but because of the strength
of the walls themselves, which being built round about, the
natural strength of the places on which the cities stood, seemed
capable of repelling their enemies from besieging them, and of
making those enemies despair of taking them; for when the
Canaanites had learned that the Israelites came out of Egypt in
order to destroy them, they were busy all that time in making
their cities strong. So he gathered the people together to a
congregation at Shiloh; and when they, with great zeal and haste,
were come thither, he observed to them what prosperous successes
they had already had, and what glorious things had been done, and
those such as were worthy of that God who enabled them to do
those things, and worthy of the virtue of those laws which they
followed. He took notice also, that thirty-one of those kings
that ventured to give them battle were overcome, and every army,
how great soever it were, that confided in their own power, and
fought with them, was utterly destroyed; so that not so much as
any of their posterity remained. And as for the cities, since
some of them were taken, but the others must be taken in length
of thee, by long sieges, both on account of the strength of their
walls, and of the confidence the inhabitants had in them thereby,
he thought it reasonable that those tribes that came along with
them from beyond Jordan, and had partaken of the dangers they had
undergone, being their own kindred, should now be dismissed and
sent home, and should have thanks for the pains they had taken
together with them. As also, he thought it reasonable that they
should send one man out of every tribe, and he such as had the
testimony of extraordinary virtue, who should measure the land
faithfully, and without any fallacy or deceit should inform them
of its real magnitude.

21. Now Joshua, when he had thus spoken to them, found that the
multitude approved of his proposal. So he sent men to measure
their country, and sent with them some geometricians, who could
not easily fail of knowing the truth, on account of their skill
in that art. He also gave them a charge to estimate the measure
of that part of the land that was most fruitful, and what was not
so good: for such is the nature of the land of Canaan, that one
may see large plains, and such as are exceeding fit to produce
fruit, which yet, if they were compared to other parts of the
country, might be reckoned exceedingly fruitful; yet, if it be
compared with the fields about Jericho, and to those that belong
to Jerusalem, will appear to be of no account at all; and
although it so falls out that these people have but a very little
of this sort of land, and that it is, for the main, mountainous
also, yet does it not come behind other parts, on account of its
exceeding goodness and beauty; for which reason Joshua thought
the land for the tribes should be divided by estimation of its
goodness, rather than the largeness of its measure, it often
happening that one acre of some sort of land was equivalent to a
thousand other acres. Now the men that were sent, which were in
number ten, traveled all about, and made an estimation of the
land, and in the seventh month came to him to the city of Shiloh,
where they had set up the tabernacle.

22. So Joshua took both Eleazar and the senate, and with them the
heads of the tribes, and distributed the land to the nine tribes,
and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, appointing the dimensions to
be according to the largeness of each tribe. So when he had cast
lots, Judah had assigned him by lot the upper part of Judea,
reaching as far as Jerusalem, and its breadth extended to the
Lake of Sodom. Now in the lot of this tribe there were the cities
of Askelon and Gaza. The lot of Simeon, which was the second,
included that part of Idumea which bordered upon Egypt and
Arabia. As to the Benjamites, their lot fell so, that its length
reached from the river Jordan to the sea, but in breadth it was
bounded by Jerusalem and Bethel; and this lot was the narrowest
of all, by reason of the goodness of the land, for it included
Jericho and the city of Jerusalem. The tribe of Ephraim had by
lot the land that extended in length from the river Jordan to
Gezer; but in breadth as far as from Bethel, till it ended at the
Great Plain. The half-tribe of Manasseh had the land from Jordan
to the city of Dora; but its breadth was at Bethsham, which is
now called Scythopolis. And after these was Issachar, which had
its limits in length, Mount Carmel and the river, but its limit
in breadth was Mount Tabor. The tribe of Zebulon's lot included
the land which lay as far as the Lake of Genesareth, and that
which belonged to Carmel and the sea. The tribe of Aser had that
part which was called the Valley, for such it was, and all that
part which lay over-against Sidon. The city Arce belonged to
their share, which is also named Actipus. The Naphthalites
received the eastern parts, as far as the city of Damascus and
the Upper Galilee, unto Mount Libanus, and the Fountains of
Jordan, which rise out of that mountain; that is, out of that
part of it whose limits belong to the neighboring city of Arce.
The Danites' lot included all that part of the valley which
respects the sun-setting, and were bounded by Azotus and Dora; as
also they had all Jamnia and Gath, from Ekron to that mountain
where the tribe of Judah begins.

23. After this manner did Joshua divide the six nations that bear
the name of the sons of Canaan, with their land, to be possessed
by the nine tribes and a half; for Moses had prevented him, and
had already distributed the land of the Amorites, which itself
was so called also from one of the sons of Canaan, to the two
tribes and a half, as we have shown already. But the parts about
Sidon, as also those that belonged to the Arkites, and the
Amathites, and the Aradians, were not yet regularly disposed of.

24. But now was Joshua hindered by his age from executing what he
intended to do (as did those that succeeded him in the
government, take little care of what was for the advantage of the
public); so he gave it in charge to every tribe to leave no
remainder of the race of the Canaanites in the land that had been
divided to them by lot; that Moses had assured them beforehand,
and they might rest fully satisfied about it, that their own
security and their observation of their own laws depended wholly
upon it. Moreover, he enjoined them to give thirty-eight cities
to the Levites, for they had already received ten in the country
of the Amorites; and three of these he assigned to those that
fled from the man-slayers, who were to inhabit there; for he was
very solicitous that nothing should be neglected which Moses had
ordained. These cities were, of the tribe of Judah, Hebron; of
that of Ephraim, Shechem; and of that of Naphthali, Cadesh, which
is a place of the Upper Galilee. He also distributed among them
the rest of the prey not yet distributed, which was very great;
whereby they had an affluence of great riches, both all in
general, and every one in particular; and this of gold and of
vestments, and of other furniture, besides a multitude of cattle,
whose number could not be told.

25. After this was over, he gathered the army together to a
congregation, and spake thus to those tribes that had their
settlement in the land of the Amorites beyond Jordan, - for fifty
thousand of them had armed themselves, and had gone to the war
along with them: - "Since that God, who is the Father and Lord of
the Hebrew nation, has now given us this land for a possession,
and promised to preserve us in the enjoyment of it as our own for
ever; and since you have with alacrity offered yourselves to
assist us when we wanted that assistance on all occasions,
according to his command; it is but just, now all our
difficulties are over, that you should be permitted to enjoy
rest, and that we should trespass on your alacrity to help us no
longer; that so, if we should again stand in need of it, we may
readily have it on any future emergency, and not tire you out so
much now as may make you slower in assisting us another thee. We,
therefore, return you our thanks for the dangers you have
undergone with us, and we do it not at this thee only, but we
shall always be thus disposed; and be so good as to remember our
friends, and to preserve in mind what advantages we have had from
them; and how you have put off the enjoyments of your own
happiness for our sakes, and have labored for what we have now,
by the goodwill of God, obtained, and resolved not to enjoy your
own prosperity till you had afforded us that assistance. However,
you have, by joining your labor with ours, gotten great plenty of
riches, and will carry home with you much prey, with gold and
silver, and, what is more than all these, our good-will towards
you, and a mind willingly disposed to make a requital of your
kindness to us, in what case soever you shall desire it, for you
have not omitted any thing which Moses beforehand required of
you, nor have you despised him because he was dead and gone from
you, so that there is nothing to diminish that gratitude which we
owe to you. We therefore dismiss you joyful to your own
inheritances; and we entreat you to suppose, that there is no
limit to be set to the intimate relation that is between us; and
that you will not imagine, because this river is interposed
between us, that you are of a different race from us, and not
Hebrews; for we are all the posterity of Abraham, both we that
inhabit here, and you that inhabit there; and it is the same God
that brought our forefathers and yours into the world, whose
worship and form of government we are to take care of, which he
has ordained, and are most carefully to observe; because while
you continue in those laws, God will also show himself merciful
and assisting to you; but if you imitate the other nations, and
forsake those laws, he will reject your nation." When Joshua had
spoken thus, and saluted them all, both those in authority one by
one, and the whole multitude in common, he himself staid where he
was; but the people conducted those tribes on their journey, and
that not without tears in their eyes; and indeed they hardly knew
how to part one from the other.

26. Now when the tribe of Reuben, and that of Gad, and as many of
the Manassites as followed them, were passed over the river, they
built an altar on the banks of Jordan, as a monument to
posterity, and a sign of their relation to those that should
inhabit on the other side. But when those on the other side heard
that those who had been dismissed had built an altar, but did not
hear with what intention they built it, but supposed it to be by
way of innovation, and for the introduction of strange gods, they
did not incline to disbelieve it; but thinking this defamatory
report, as if it were built for divine worship, was credible,
they appeared in arms, as though they would avenge themselves on
those that built the altar; and they were about to pass over the
river, and to punish them for their subversion of the laws of
their country; for they did not think it fit to regard them on
account of their kindred or the dignity of those that had given
the occasion, but to regard the will of God, and the manner
wherein he desired to be worshipped; so these men put themselves
in array for war. But Joshua, and Eleazar the high priest, and
the senate, restrained them; and persuaded them first to make
trial by words of their intention, and afterwards, if they found
that their intention was evil, then only to proceed to make war
upon them. Accordingly, they sent as ambassadors to them Phineas
the son of Eleazar, and ten more persons that were in esteem
among the Hebrews, to learn of them what was in their mind, when,
upon passing over the river, they had built an altar upon its
banks. And as soon as these ambassadors were passed over, and
were come to them, and a congregation was assembled, Phineas
stood up and said, That the offense they had been guilty of was
of too heinous a nature to be punished by words alone, or by them
only to be amended for the future; yet that they did not so look
at the heinousness of their transgression as to have recourse to
arms, and to a battle for their punishment immediately, but that,
on account of their kindred, and the probability there was that
they might be reclaimed, they took this method of sending an
ambassage to them: "That when we have learned the true reasons by
which you have been moved to build this altar, we may neither
seem to have been too rash in assaulting you by our weapons of
war, if it prove that you made the altar for justifiable reasons,
and may then justly punish you if the accusation prove true; for
we can hardly
hardly suppose that you, have been acquainted with the will of
God and have been hearers of those laws which he himself hath
given us, now you are separated from us, and gone to that
patrimony of yours, which you, through the grace of God, and that
providence which he exercises over you, have obtained by lot, can
forget him, and can leave that ark and that altar which is
peculiar to us, and can introduce strange gods, and imitate the
wicked practices of the Canaanites. Now this will appear to have
been a small crime if you repent now, and proceed no further in
your madness, but pay a due reverence to, and keep in mind the
laws of your country; but if you persist in your sins, we will
not grudge our pains to preserve our laws; but we will pass over
Jordan and defend them, and defend God also, and shall esteem of
you as of men no way differing from the Canaanites, but shall
destroy you in the like manner as we destroyed them; for do not
you imagine that, because you are got over the river, you are got
out of the reach of God's power; you are every where in places
that belong to him, and impossible it is to overrun his power,
and the punishment he will bring on men thereby: but if you think
that your settlement here will be any obstruction to your
conversion to what is good, nothing need hinder us from dividing
the land anew, and leaving this old land to be for the feeding of
sheep; but you will do well to return to your duty, and to leave
off these new crimes; and we beseech you, by your children and
wives, not to force us to punish you. Take therefore such
measures in this assembly, as supposing that your own safety, and
the safety of those that are dearest to you, is therein
concerned, and believe that it is better for you to be conquered
by words, than to continue in your purpose, and to experience
deeds and war therefore."

27. When Phineas had discoursed thus, the governors of the
assembly, and the whole multitude, began to make an apology for
themselves, concerning what they were accused of; and they said,
That they neither would depart from the relation they bare to
them, nor had they built the altar by way of innovation; that
they owned one and the same common God with all the Hebrews, and
that brazen altar which was before the tabernacle, on which they
would offer their sacrifices; that as to the altar they had
raised, on account of which they were thus suspected, it was not
built for worship, "but that it might be a sign and a monument of
our relation to you for ever, and a necessary caution to us to
act wisely, and to continue in the laws of our country, but not a
handle for transgressing them, as you suspect: and let God be our
authentic witness, that this was the occasion of our building
this altar: whence we beg you will have a better opinion of us,
and do not impute such a thing to us as would render any of the
posterity of Abraham well worthy of perdition, in case they
attempt to bring in new rites, and such as are different from our
usual practices."

28. When they had made this answer, and Phineas had commended
them for it, he came to Joshua, and explained before the people
what answer they had received. Now Joshua was glad that he was
under no necessity of setting them in array, or of leading them
to shed blood, and make war against men of their own kindred; and
accordingly he offered sacrifices of thanksgiving to God for the
same. So Joshua after that dissolved this great assembly of the
people, and sent them to their own inheritances, while he himself
lived in Shechem. But in the twentieth year after this, when he
was very old, he sent for those of the greatest dignity in the
several cities, with those in authority, and the senate, and as
many of the common people as could be present; and when they were
come, he put them in mind of all the benefits God had bestowed on
them, which could not but be a great many, since from a low
estate they were advanced to so great a degree of glory and
plenty; and exhorted them to take notice of the intentions of
God, which had been so gracious towards them; and told them that
the Deity would continue their friend by nothing else but their
piety; and that it was proper for him, now that he was about to
depart out of this life, to leave such an admonition to them; and
he desired that they would keep in memory this his exhortation to

29. So Joshua, when he had thus discoursed to them, died, having
lived a hundred and ten years; forty of which he lived with
Moses, in order to learn what might be for his advantage
afterwards. He also became their commander after his death for
twenty-five years. He was a man that wanted not wisdom nor
eloquence to declare his intentions to the people, but very
eminent on both accounts. He was of great courage and magnanimity
in action and in dangers, and very sagacious in procuring the
peace of the people, and of great virtue at all proper seasons.
He was buried in the city of Timnab, of the tribe of Ephraim (9)
About the same time died Eleazar the high priest, leaving the
high priesthood to his son Phineas. His monument also, and
sepulcher, are in the city of Gabatha.


How, After The Death Of Joshua Their Commander, The Israelites
Transgressed The Laws Of Their Country, And Experienced Great
Afflictions; And When There Was A Sedition Arisen, The Tribe Of
Benjamin Was Destroyed Excepting Only Six Hundred Men.

1. After the death of Joshua and Eleazar, Phineas prophesied,
(10) that according to God's will they should commit the
government to the tribe of Judah, and that this tribe should
destroy the race of the Canaanites; for then the people were
concerned to learn what was the will of God. They also took to
their assistance the tribe of Simeon; but upon this condition,
that when those that had been tributary to the tribe of Judah
should be slain, they should do the like for the tribe of Simeon.

2. But the affairs of the Canaanites were at this thee in a
flourishing condition, and they expected the Israelites with a
great army at the city Bezek, having put the government into the
hands of Adonibezek, which name denotes the Lord of Bezek, for
Adoni in the Hebrew tongue signifies Lord. Now they hoped to have
been too hard for the Israelites, because Joshua was dead; but
when the Israelites had joined battle with them, I mean the two
tribes before mentioned, they fought gloriously, and slew above
ten thousand of them, and put the rest to flight; and in the
pursuit they took Adonibezek, who, when his fingers and toes were
cut off by them, said, "Nay, indeed, I was not always to lie
concealed from God, as I find by what I now endure, while I have
not been ashamed to do the same to seventy-two kings." (11) So
they carried him alive as far as Jerusalem; and when he was dead,
they buried him in the earth, and went on still in taking the
cities: and when they had taken the greatest part of them, they
besieged Jerusalem; and when they had taken the lower city, which
was not under a considerable time, they slew all the inhabitants;
but the upper city was not to be taken without great difficulty,
through the strength of its walls, and the nature of the place.

3. For which reason they removed their camp to Hebron; and when
they had taken it, they slew all the inhabitants. There were till
then left the race of giants, who had bodies so large, and
countenances so entirely different from other men, that they were
surprising to the sight, and terrible to the hearing. The bones
of these men are still shown to this very day, unlike to any
credible relations of other men. Now they gave this city to the
Levites as an extraordinary reward, with the suburbs of two
thousand cities; but the land thereto belonging they gave as a
free gift to Caleb, according to the injunctions of Moses. This
Caleb was one of the spies which Moses sent into the land of
Canaan. They also gave land for habitation to the posterity of
Jethro, the Midianite, who was the father-in-law to Moses; for
they had left their own country, and followed them, and
accompanied them in the wilderness.

4. Now the tribes of Judah and Simeon took the cities which were
in the mountainous part of Canaan, as also Askelon and Ashdod, of
those that lay near the sea; but Gaza and Ekron escaped them, for
they, lying in a flat country, and having a great number of
chariots, sorely galled those that attacked them. So these
tribes, when they were grown very rich by this war, retired to
their own cities, and laid aside their weapons of war.

5. But the Benjamites, to whom belonged Jerusalem, permitted its
inhabitants to pay tribute. So they all left off, the one to
kill, and the other to expose themselves to danger, and had time
to cultivate the ground. The rest of the tribes imitated that of
Benjamin, and did the same; and, contenting themselves with the
tributes that were paid them, permitted the Canaanites to live in

6. However, the tribe of Ephraim, when they besieged Bethel, made
no advance, nor performed any thing worthy of the time they
spent, and of the pains they took about that siege; yet did they
persist in it, still sitting down before the city, though they
endured great trouble thereby: but, after some time, they caught
one of the citizens that came to them to get necessaries, and
they gave him some assurances that, if he would deliver up the
city to them, they would preserve him and his kindred; so he
aware that, upon those terms, he would put the city into their
hands. Accordingly, he that, thus betrayed the city was preserved
with his family; and the Israelites slew all the inhabitants, and
retained the city for themselves.

7. After this, the Israelites grew effeminate as to fighting any
more against their enemies, but applied themselves to the
cultivation of the land, which producing them great plenty and
riches, they neglected the regular disposition of their
settlement, and indulged themselves in luxury and pleasures; nor
were they any longer careful to hear the laws that belonged to
their political government: whereupon God was provoked to anger,
and put them in mind, first, how, contrary to his directions,
they had spared the Canaanites; and, after that, how those
Canaanites, as opportunity served, used them very barbarously.
But the Israelites, though they were in heaviness at these
admonitions from God, yet were they still very unwilling to go to
war; and since they got large tributes from the Canaanites, and
were indisposed for taking pains by their luxury, they suffered
their aristocracy to be corrupted also, and did not ordain
themselves a senate, nor any other such magistrates as their laws
had formerly required, but they were very much given to
cultivating their fields, in order to get wealth; which great
indolence of theirs brought a terrible sedition upon them, and
they proceeded so far as to fight one against another, from the
following occasion: -

8. There was a Levite (12) a man of a vulgar family, that
belonged to the tribe of Ephraim, and dwelt therein: this man
married a wife from Bethlehem, which is a place belonging to the
tribe of Judah. Now he was very fond of his wife, and overcome
with her beauty; but he was unhappy in this, that he did not meet
with the like return of affection from her, for she was averse to
him, which did more inflame his passion for her, so that they
quarreled one with another perpetually; and at last the woman was
so disgusted at these quarrels, that she left her husband, and
went to her parents in the fourth month. The husband being very
uneasy at this her departure, and that out of his fondness for
her, came to his father and mother-in-law, and made up their
quarrels, and was reconciled to her, and lived with them there
four days, as being kindly treated by her parents. On the fifth
day he resolved to go home, and went away in the evening; for his
wife's parents were loath to part with their daughter, and
delayed the time till the day was gone. Now they had one servant
that followed them, and an ass on which the woman rode; and when
they were near Jerusalem, having gone already thirty furlongs,
the servant advised them to take up their lodgings some where,
lest some misfortune should befall them if they traveled in the
night, especially since they were not far off enemies, that
season often giving reason for suspicion of dangers from even
such as are friends; but the husband was not pleased with this
advice, nor was he willing to take up his lodging among
strangers, for the city belonged to the Canaanites, but desired
rather to go twenty furlongs farther, and so to take their
lodgings in some Israelite city. Accordingly, he obtained his
purpose, and came to Gibeah, a city of the tribe of Benjamin,
when it was just dark; and while no one that lived in the
market-place invited him to lodge with him, there came an old man
out of the field, one that was indeed of the tribe of Ephraim,
but resided in Gibeah, and met him, and asked him who he was, and
for what reason he came thither so late, and why he was looking
out for provisions for supper when it was dark? To which he
replied, that he was a Levite, and was bringing his wife from her
parents, and was going home; but he told him his habitation was
in the tribe of Ephraim: so the old man, as well because of their
kindred as because they lived in the same tribe, and also because
they had thus accidentally met together, took him in to lodge
with him. Now certain young men of the inhabitants of Gibeah,
having seen the woman in the market-place, and admiring her
beauty, when they understood that she lodged with the old man,
came to the doors, as contemning the weakness and fewness of the
old man's family; and when the old man desired them to go away,
and not to offer any violence or abuse there, they desired him to
yield them up the strange woman, and then he should have no harm
done to him: and when the old man alleged that the Levite was of
his kindred, and that they would be guilty of horrid wickedness
if they suffered themselves to be overcome by their pleasures,
and so offend against their laws, they despised his righteous
admonition, and laughed him to scorn. They also threatened to
kill him if he became an obstacle to their inclinations;
whereupon, when he found himself in great distress, and yet was
not willing to overlook his guests, and see them abused, he
produced his own daughter to them; and told them that it was a
smaller breach of the law to satisfy their lust upon her, than to
abuse his guests, supposing that he himself should by this means
prevent any injury to be done to those guests. When they no way
abated of their earnestness for the strange woman, but insisted
absolutely on their desires to have her, he entreated them not to
perpetrate any such act of injustice; but they proceeded to take
her away by force, and indulging still more the violence of their
inclinations, they took the woman away to their house, and when
they had satisfied their lust upon her the whole night, they let
her go about daybreak. So she came to the place where she had
been entertained, under great affliction at what had happened;
and was very sorrowful upon occasion of what she had suffered,
and durst not look her husband in the face for shame, for she
concluded that he would never forgive her for what she had done;
so she fell down, and gave up the ghost: but her husband supposed
that his wife was only fast asleep, and, thinking nothing of a
more melancholy nature had happened, endeavored to raise her up,
resolving to speak comfortably to her, since she did not
voluntarily expose herself to these men's lust, but was forced
away to their house; but as soon as he perceived she was dead, he
acted as prudently as the greatness of his misfortunes would
admit, and laid his dead wife upon the beast, and carried her
home; and cutting her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, he sent
them to every tribe, and gave it in charge to those that carried
them, to inform the tribes of those that were the causes of his
wife's death, and of the violence they had offered to her.

9. Upon this the people were greatly disturbed at what they saw,
and at what they heard, as never having had the experience of
such a thing before; so they gathered themselves to Shiloh, out
of a prodigious and a just anger, and assembling in a great
congregation before the tabernacle, they immediately resolved to
take arms, and to treat the inhabitants of Gibeah as enemies; but
the senate restrained them from doing so, and persuaded them,
that they ought not so hastily to make war upon people of the
same nation with them, before they discoursed them by words
concerning the accusation laid against them; it being part of
their law, that they should not bring an army against foreigners
themselves, when they appear to have been injurious, without
sending an ambassage first, and trying thereby whether they will
repent or not: and accordingly they exhorted them to do what they
ought to do in obedience to their laws, that is, to send to the
inhabitants of Gibeah, to know whether they would deliver up the
offenders to them, and if they deliver them up, to rest satisfied
with the punishment of those offenders; but if they despised the
message that was sent them, to punish them by taking, up arms
against them. Accordingly they sent to the inhabitants of Gibeah,
and accused the young men of the crimes committed in the affair
of the Levite's wife, and required of them those that had done
what was contrary to the law, that they might be punished, as
having justly deserved to die for what they had done; but the
inhabitants of Gibeah would not deliver up the young men, and
thought it too reproachful to them, out of fear of war, to submit
to other men's demands upon them; vaunting themselves to be no
way inferior to any in war, neither in their number nor in
courage. The rest of their tribe were also making great
preparation for war, for they were so insolently mad as also to
resolve to repel force by force.

10. When it was related to the Israelites what the inhabitants of
Gibeah had resolved upon, they took their oath that no one of
them would give his daughter in marriage to a Benjamite, but make
war with greater fury against them than we have learned our
forefathers made war against the Canaanites; and sent out
presently an army of four hundred thousand against them, while
the Benjamites' army-was twenty-five thousand and six hundred;
five hundred of whom were excellent at slinging stones with their
left hands, insomuch that when the battle was joined at Gibeah
the Benjamites beat the Israelites, and of them there fell two
thousand men; and probably more had been destroyed had not the
night came on and prevented it, and broken off the fight; so the
Benjamites returned to the city with joy, and the Israelites
returned to their camp in a great fright at what had happened. On
the next day, when they fought again, the Benjamites beat them;
and eighteen thousand of the Israelites were slain, and the rest
deserted their camp out of fear of a greater slaughter. So they
came to Bethel, (13) a city that was near their camp, and fasted
on the next day; and besought God, by Phineas the high priest,
that his wrath against them might cease, and that he would be
satisfied with these two defeats, and give them the victory and
power over their enemies. Accordingly God promised them so to do,
by the prophesying of Phineas.

11. When therefore they had divided the army into two parts, they
laid the one half of them in ambush about the city Gibeah by
night, while the other half attacked the Benjamites, who retiring
upon the assault, the Benjamites pursued them, while the Hebrews
retired by slow degrees, as very desirous to draw them entirely
from the city; and the other followed them as they retired, till
both the old men and the young men that were left in the city, as
too weak to fight, came running out together with them, as
willing to bring their enemies under. However, when they were a
great way from the city the Hebrews ran away no longer, but
turned back to fight them, and lifted up the signal they had
agreed on to those that lay in ambush, who rose up, and with a
great noise fell upon the enemy. Now, as soon as ever they
perceived themselves to be deceived, they knew not what to do;
and when they were driven into a certain hollow place which was
in a valley, they were shot at by those that encompassed them,
till they were all destroyed, excepting six hundred, which formed
themselves into a close body of men, and forced their passage
through the midst of their enemies, and fled to the neighboring
mountains, and, seizing upon them, remained there; but the rest
of them, being about twenty-five thousand, were slain. Then did
the Israelites burn Gibeah, and slew the women, and the males
that were under age; and did the same also to the other cities of
the Benjamites; and, indeed, they were enraged to that degree,
that they sent twelve thousand men out of the army, and gave them
orders to destroy Jabesh Gilead, because it did not join with
them in fighting against the Benjamites. Accordingly, those that
were sent slew the men of war, with their children and wives,
excepting four hundred virgins. To such a degree had they
proceeded in their anger, because they not only had the suffering
of the Levite's wife to avenge, but the slaughter of their own

12. However, they afterward were sorry for the calamity they had
brought upon the Benjamites, and appointed a fast on that
account, although they supposed those men had suffered justly for
their offense against the laws; so they recalled by their
ambassadors those six hundred which had escaped. These had seated
themselves on a certain rock called Rimmon, which was in the
wilderness. So the ambassadors lamented not only the disaster
that had befallen the Benjamites, but themselves also, by this
destruction of their kindred; and persuaded them to take it
patiently; and to come and unite with them, and not, so far as in
them lay, to give their suffrage to the utter destruction of the
tribe of Benjamin; and said to them, "We give you leave to take
the whole land of Benjamin to yourselves, and as much prey as you
are able to carry away with you." So these men with sorrow
confessed, that what had been done was according to the decree of
God, and had happened for their own wickedness; and assented to
those that invited them, and came down to their own tribe. The
Israelites also gave them the four hundred virgins of Jabesh
Gilead for wives; but as to the remaining two hundred, they
deliberated about it how they might compass wives enough for
them, and that they might have children by them; and whereas they
had, before the war began, taken an oath, that no one would give
his daughter to wife to a Benjamite, some advised them to have no
regard to what they had sworn, because the oath had not been
taken advisedly and judiciously, but in a passion, and thought
that they should do nothing against God, if they were able to
save a whole tribe which was in danger of perishing; and that
perjury was then a sad and dangerous thing, not when it is done
out of necessity, but when it is done with a wicked intention.
But when the senate were affrighted at the very name of perjury,
a certain person told them that he could show them a way whereby
they might procure the Benjamites wives enough, and yet keep
their oath. They asked him what his proposal was. He said, "That
three times in a year, when we meet in Shiloh, our wives and our
daughters accompany us: let then the Benjamites be allowed to
steal away, and marry such women as they can catch, while we will
neither incite them nor forbid them; and when their parents take
it ill, and desire us to inflict punishment upon them, we will
tell them, that they were themselves the cause of what had
happened, by neglecting to guard their daughters, and that they
ought not to be over angry at the Benjamites, since that anger
was permitted to rise too high already." So the Israelites were
persuaded to follow this advice, and decreed, That the Benjamites
should be allowed thus to steal themselves wives. So when the
festival was coming on, these two hundred Benjamites lay in
ambush before the city, by two and three together, and waited for
the coming of the virgins, in the vineyards and other places
where they could lie concealed. Accordingly the virgins came
along playing, and suspected nothing of what was coming upon
them, and walked after an unguarded manner, so those that laid
scattered in the road, rose up, and caught hold of them: by this
means these Benjamites got them wives, and fell to agriculture,
and took good care to recover their former happy state. And thus
was this tribe of the Benjamites, after they had been in danger
of entirely perishing, saved in the manner forementioned, by the
wisdom of the Israelites; and accordingly it presently
flourished, and soon increased to be a multitude, and came to
enjoy all other degrees of happiness. And such was the conclusion
of this war.


How The Israelites After This Misfortune Grew Wicked And Served
The Assyrians; And How God Delivered Them By Othniel, Who Ruled
Over The Forty Years.

1. Now it happened that the tribe of Dan suffered in like manner
with the tribe of Benjamin; and it came to do so on the occasion
following: - When the Israelites had already left off the
exercise of their arms for war, and were intent upon their
husbandry, the Canaanites despised them, and brought together an
army, not because they expected to suffer by them, but because
they had a mind to have a sure prospect of treating the Hebrews
ill when they pleased, and might thereby for the time to come
dwell in their own cities the more securely; they prepared
therefore their chariots, and gathered their soldiery together,
their cities also combined together, and drew over to them
Askelon and Ekron, which were within the tribe of Judah, and many
more of those that lay in the plain. They also forced the Danites
to fly into the mountainous country, and left them not the least
portion of the plain country to set their foot on. Since then
these Danites were not able to fight them, and had not land
enough to sustain them, they sent five of their men into the
midland country, to seek for a land to which they might remove
their habitation. So these men went as far as the neighborhood of
Mount Libanus, and the fountains of the Lesser Jordan, at the
great plain of Sidon, a day's journey from the city; and when
they had taken a view of the land, and found it to be good and
exceeding fruitful, they acquainted their tribe with it,
whereupon they made an expedition with the army, and built there
the city Dan, of the same name with the son of Jacob, and of the
same name with their own tribe.

2. The Israelites grew so indolent, and unready of taking pains,
that misfortunes came heavier upon them, which also proceeded in
part from their contempt of the Divine worship; for when they had
once fallen off from the regularity of their political
government, they indulged themselves further in living according
to their own pleasure, and according to their own will, till they
were full of the evil doings that were common among the
Canaanites. God therefore was angry with them, and they lost that
their happy state which they had obtained by innumerable labors,
by their luxury; for when Chushan, king of the Assyrians, had
made war against them, they lost many of their soldiers in the
battle, and when they were besieged, they were taken by force;
nay, there were some who, out of fear, voluntarily submitted to
him, and though the tribute laid upon them was more than they
could bear, yet did they pay it, and underwent all sort of
oppression for eight years; after which thee they were freed from
them in the following manner: -

3. There was one whose name was Othniel, the son of Kenaz, of the
tribe of Judah, an active man and of great courage. He had an
admonition from God not to overlook the Israelites in such a
distress as they were now in, but to endeavor boldly to gain them
their liberty; so when he had procured some to assist him in this
dangerous undertaking, (and few they were, who, either out of
shame at their present circumstances, or out of a desire of
changing them, could be prevailed on to assist him,) he first of
all destroyed that garrison which Chushan had set over them; but
when it was perceived that he had not failed in his first
attempt, more of the people came to his assistance; so they
joined battle with the Assyrians, and drove them entirely before
them, and compelled them to pass over Euphrates. Hereupon
Othniel, who had given such proofs of his valor, received from
the multitude authority tojudge the people; and when he had ruled
over them forty years, he died.


How Our People Served The Moabites Eighteen Years, And Were Then
Delivered From Slavery By One Ehud Who Retained The Dominion
Eighty Years.

1. When Othniel was dead, the affairs of the Israelites fell
again into disorder: and while they neither paid to God the honor
due to him, nor were obedient to the laws, their afflictions
increased, till Eglon, king of the Moabites, did so greatly
despise them on account of the disorders of their political
government, that he made war upon them, and overcame them in
several battles, and made the most courageous to submit, and
entirely subdued their army, and ordered them to pay him tribute.
And when he had built him a royal palace at Jericho, (14) he
omitted no method whereby he might distress them; and indeed he
reduced them to poverty for eighteen years. But when God had once
taken pity of the Israelites, on account of their afflictions,
and was moved to compassion by their supplications put up to him,
he freed them from the hard usage they had met with under the
Moabites. This liberty he procured for them in the following
manner; -

2. There was a young man of the tribe of Benjamin, whose name was
Ehud, the son of Gera, a man of very great courage in bold
undertakings, and of a very strong body, fit for hard labor, but
best skilled in using his left hand, in which was his whole
strength; and he also dwelt at Jericho. Now this man became
familiar with Eglon, and that by means of presents, with which he
obtained his favor, and insinuated himself into his good opinion;
whereby he was also beloved of those that were about the king.
Now, when on a time he was bringing presents to the king, and had
two servants with him, he put a dagger on his right thigh
secretly, and went in to him: it was then summer thee, and the
middle of the day, when the guards were not strictly on their
watch, both because of the heat, and because they were gone to
dinner. So the young man, when he had offered his presents to the
king, who then resided in a small parlor that stood conveniently
to avoid the heat, fell into discourse with him, for they were
now alone, the king having bid his servants that attended him to
go their ways, because he had a mind to talk with Ehud. He was
now sitting on his throne; and fear seized upon Ehud lest he
should miss his stroke, and not give him a deadly wound; so he
raised himself up, and said he had a dream to impart to him by
the command of God; upon which the king leaped out of his throne
for joy of the dream; so Ehud smote him to the heart, and leaving
his dagger in his body, he went out and shut the door after him.
Now the king's servants were very still, as supposing that the
king had composed himself to sleep.

3. Hereupon Ehud informed the people of Jericho privately of what
he had done, and exhorted them to recover their liberty; who
heard him gladly, and went to their arms, and sent messengers
over the country, that should sound trumpets of rams' horns; for
it was our custom to call the people together by them. Now the
attendants of Eglon were ignorant of what misfortune had befallen
him for a great while; but, towards the evening, fearing some
uncommon accident had happened, they entered into his parlor, and
when they found him dead, they were in great disorder, and knew
not what to do; and before the guards could be got together, the
multitude of the Israelites came upon them, so that some of them
were slain immediately, and some were put to flight, and ran away
toward the country of Moab, in order to save themselves. Their
number was above ten thousand. The Israelites seized upon the
ford of Jordan, and pursued them, and slew them, and many of them
they killed at the ford, nor did one of them escape out of their
hands; and by this means it was that the Hebrews freed themselves
from slavery under the Moabites. Ehud also was on this account
dignified with the government over all the multitude, and died
after he had held the government eighty years (15) He was a man
worthy of commendation, even besides what he deserved for the
forementioned act of his. After him Shamgat, the son of Anath,
was elected for their governor, but died in the first year of his


How The Canaanites Brought The Israelites Under Slavery For
Twenty Years; After Which They Were Delivered By Barak And
Deborah, Who Ruled Over Them For Forty Years.

1. And now it was that the Israelites, taking no warning by their
former misfortunes to amend their manners, and neither
worshipping God nor submitting to the laws, were brought under
slavery by Jabin, the king of the Canaanites, and that before
they had a short breathing time after the slavery under the
Moabites; for this Jabin out of Hazor, a city that was situate
over the Semechonitis, and had in pay three hundred footmen, and
ten thousand horsemen, with fewer than three thousand chariots.
Sisera was commander of all his army, and was the principal
person in the king's favor. He so sorely beat the Israelites when
they fought with him, that he ordered them to pay tribute.

2. So they continued to that hardship for twenty years, as not
good enough of themselves to grow wise by their misfortunes. God
was willing also hereby the more to subdue their obstinacy and
ingratitude towards himself: so when at length they were become
penitent, and were so wise as to learn that their calamities
arose from their contempt of the laws, they besought Deborah, a
certain prophetess among them, (which name in the Hebrew tongue
signifies a Bee,) to pray to God to take pity on them, and not to
overlook them, now they were ruined by the Canaanites. So God
granted them deliverance, and chose them a general, Barak, one
that was of the tribe of Naphtali. Now Barak, in the Hebrew
tongue, signifies Lightning.

3. So Deborah sent for Barak, and bade him choose out ten
thousand young men to go against the enemy, because God had said
that that number was sufficient, and promised them victory. But
when Barak said that he would not be the general unless she would
also go as a general with him, she had indignation at what he
said 'Thou, O Barak, deliverest up meanly that authority which
God hath given thee into the hand of a woman, and I do not reject
it!" So they collected ten thousand men, and pitched their camp
at Mount Tabor, where, at the king's command, Sisera met them,
and pitched his camp not far from the enemy; whereupon the
Israelites, and Barak himself, were so aftrighted at the
multitude of those enemies, that they were resolved to march off,
had not Deborah retained them, and commanded them to fight the
enemy that very day, for that they should conquer them, and God
would be their assistance.

4. So the battle began; and when they were come to a close fight,
there came down from heaven a great storm, with a vast quantity
of rain and hail, and the wind blew the rain in the face of the
Canaanites, and so darkened their eyes, that their arrows and
slings were of no advantage to them, nor would the coldness of
the air permit the soldiers to make use of their swords; while
this storm did not so much incommode the Israelites, because it
came in their backs. They also took such courage, upon the
apprehension that God was assisting them, that they fell upon the
very midst of their enemies, and slew a great number of them; so
that some of them fell by the Israelites, some fell by their own
horses, which were put into disorder, and not a few were killed
by their own chariots. At last Sisera, as soon as he saw himself
beaten, fled away, and came to a woman whose name was Jael, a
Kenite, who received him, when he desired to be concealed; and
when he asked for somewhat to drink, she gave him sour milk, of
which he drank so unmeasurably that he fell asleep; but when he
was asleep, Jael took an iron nail, and with a hammer drove it
through his temples into the floor; and when Barak came a little
afterward, she showed Sisera nailed to the ground: and thus was
this victory gained by a woman, as Deborah had foretold. Barak
also fought with Jabin at Hazor; and when he met with him, he
slew him: and when the general was fallen, Barak overthrew the
city to the foundation, and was the commander of the Israelites
for forty years.


How The Midianites And Other Nations Fought Against The
Israelites And Beat Them, And Afflicted Their Country For Seven
Years, How They Were Delivered By Gideon, Who Ruled Over The
Multitude For Forty Years.

1. Now when Barak and Deborah were dead, whose deaths happened
about the same time, afterwards the Midianites called the
Amalekites and Arabians to their assistance, and made war against
the Israelites, and were too hard for those that fought against
them; and when they had burnt the fruits of the earth, they
carried off the prey. Now when they had done this for three
years, the multitude of the Israelites retired to the mountains,
and forsook the plain country. They also made themselves hollows
under ground, and caverns, and preserved therein whatsoever had
escaped their enemies; for the Midianites made expeditions in
harvest-time, but permitted them to plough the land in winter,
that so, when the others had taken the pains, they might have
fruits for them to carry away. Indeed, there ensued a famine and
a scarcity of food; upon which they betook themselves to their
supplications to God, and besought him to save them.

2. Gideon also, the son of Joash, one of the principal persons of
the tribe of Manasseh, brought his sheaves of corn privately, and
thrashed them at the wine-press; for he was too fearful of their
enemies to thrash them openly in the thrashing-floor. At this
time somewhat appeared to him in the shape of a young man, and
told him that he was a happy man, and beloved of God. To which he
immediately replied, "A mighty indication of God's favor to me,
that I am forced to use this wine-press instead of a
thrashing-floor!" But the appearance exhorted him to be of good
courage, and to make an attempt for the recovery of their
liberty. He answered, that it was impossible for him to recover
it, because the tribe to which he belonged was by no means
numerous; and because he was but young himself, and too
inconsiderable to think of such great actions. But the other
promised him, that God would supply what he was defective in, and
would afford the Israelites victory under his conduct.

3. Now, therefore, as Gideon was relating this to some young men,
they believed him, and immediately there was an army of ten
thousand men got ready for fighting. But God stood by Gideon in
his sleep, and told him that mankind were too fond of themselves,
and were enemies to such as excelled in virtue. Now that they
might not pass God over, but ascribe the victory to him, and
might not fancy it obtained by their own power, because they were
a great many, and able of themselves to fight their enemies, but
might confess that it was owing to his assistance, he advised him
to bring his army about noon, in the violence of the heat, to the
river, and to esteem those that bent down on their knees, and so
drank, to be men of courage; but for all those that drank
tumultuously, that he should esteem them to do it out of fear,
and as in dread of their enemies. And when Gideon had done as God
had suggested to him, there were found three hundred men that
took water with their hands tumultuously; so God bid him take
these men, and attack the enemy. Accordingly they pitched their
camp at the river Jordan, as ready the next day to pass over it.

4. But Gideon was in great fear, for God had told him beforehand
that he should set upon his enemies in the night-time; but God,
being willing to free him from his fear, bid him take one of his
soldiers, and go near to the Midianites' tents, for that he
should from that very place have his courage raised, and grow
bold. So he obeyed, and went and took his servant Phurah with
him; and as he came near to one of the tents, he discovered that
those that were in it were awake, and that one of them was
telling to his fellow soldier a dream of his own, and that so
plainly that Gideon could hear him. The dream was this: - He
thought he saw a barley-cake, such a one as could hardly be eaten
by men, it was so vile, rolling through the camp, and
overthrowing the royal tent, and the tents of all the soldiers.
Now the other soldier explained this vision to mean the
destruction of the army; and told them what his reason was which
made him so conjecture, viz. That the seed called barley was all
of it allowed to be of the vilest sort of seed, and that the
Israelites were known to be the vilest of all the people of Asia,
agreeably to the seed of barley, and that what seemed to look big
among the Israelites was this Gideon and the army that was with
him; "and since thou sayest thou didst see the cake overturning
our tents, I am afraid lest God hath granted the victory over us
to Gideon."

5. When Gideon had heard this dream, good hope and courage came
upon him; and he commanded his soldiers to arm themselves, and
told them of this vision of their enemies. They also took courage
at what was told them, and were ready to perform what he should
enjoin them. So Gideon divided his army into three parts, and
brought it out about the fourth watch of the night, each part
containing a hundred men: they all bare empty pitchers and
lighted lamps in their hands, that their onset might not be
discovered by their enemies. They had also each of them a ram's
horn in his right hand, which he used instead of a trumpet. The
enemy's camp took up a large space of ground, for it happened
that they had a great many camels; and as they were divided into
different nations, so they were all contained in one circle. Now
when the Hebrews did as they were ordered beforehand, upon their
approach to their enemies, and, on the signal given, sounded with
their rams' horns, and brake their pitchers, and set upon their
enemies with their lamps, and a great shout, and cried, "Victory
to Gideon, by God's assistance," a disorder and a fright seized
upon the other men while they were half asleep, for it was
night-time, as God would have it; so that a few of them were
slain by their enemies, but the greatest part by their own
soldiers, on account of the diversity of their language; and when
they were once put into disorder, they killed all that they met
with, as thinking them to be enemies also. Thus there was a great
slaughter made. And as the report of Gideon's victory came to the
Israelites, they took their weapons and pursued their enemies,
and overtook them in a certain valley encompassed with torrents,
a place which these could not get over; so they encompassed them,
and slew them all, with their kings, Oreb and Zeeb. But the
remaining captains led those soldiers that were left, which were
about eighteen thousand, and pitched their camp a great way off
the Israelites. However, Gideon did not grudge his pains, but
pursued them with all his army, and joining battle with them, cut
off the whole enemies' army, and took the other leaders, Zeba and
Zalmuna, and made them captives. Now there were slain in this
battle of the Midianites, and of their auxiliaries the Arabians,
about a hundred and twenty thousand; and the Hebrews took a great
prey, gold, and silver, and garments, and camels, and asses. And
when Gideon was come to his own country of Ophrah, he slew the
kings of the Midianites.

6. However, the tribe of Ephraim was so displeased at the good
success of Gideon, that they resolved to make war against him,
accusing him because he did not tell them of his expedition
against their enemies. But Gideon, as a man of temper, and that
excelled in every virtue, pleaded, that it was not the result of
his own authority or reasoning, that made him attack the enemy
without them; but that it was the command of God, and still the
victory belonged to them as well as those in the army. And by
this method of cooling their passions, he brought more advantage
to the Hebrews, than by the success he had against these enemies,
for he thereby delivered them from a sedition which was arising
among them; yet did this tribe afterwards suffer the punishment
of this their injurious treatment of Gideon, of which we will
give an account in due time.

7. Hereupon Gideon would have laid down the government, but was
over-persuaded to take it, which he enjoyed forty years, and
distributed justice to them, as the people came to him in their
differences; and what he determined was esteemed valid by all.
And when he died, he was buried in his own country of Ophrah.


That The Judges Who Succeeded Gideon Made War With The Adjoining
Nations For A Long Time.

1. Now Gideon had seventy sons that were legitimate, for he had
many wives; but he had also one that was spurious, by his
concubine Drumah, whose name was Abimelech, who, after his
father's death, retired to Shecbem to his mother's relations, for
they were of that place: and when he had got money of such of
them as were eminent for many instances of injustice, he came
with them to his father's house, and slew all his brethren,
except Jotham, for he had the good fortune to escape and be
preserved; but Abimelech made the government tyrannical, and
constituted himself a lord, to do what he pleased, instead of
obeying the laws; and he acted most rigidly against those that
were the patrons of justice.

2. Now when, on a certain time, there was a public festival at
Shechem, and all the multitude was there gathered together,
Jotham his brother, whose escape we before related, went up to
Mount Gerizzim, which hangs over the city Shechem, and cried out
so as to be heard by the multitude, who were attentive to him. He
desired they would consider what he was going to say to them: so
when silence was made, he said, That when the trees had a human
voice, and there was an assembly of them gathered together, they
desired that the fig-tree would rule over them; but when that
tree refused so to do, because it was contented to enjoy that
honor which belonged peculiarly to the fruit it bare, and not
that which should be derived to it from abroad, the trees did not
leave off their intentions to have a ruler, so they thought
proper to make the offer of that honor to the vine; but when the
vine was chosen, it made use of the same words which the fig-tree
had used before, and excused itself from accepting the
government: and when the olive-tree had done the same, the brier,
whom the trees had desired to take the kingdom, (it is a sort of
wood good for firing,) it promised to take the government, and to
be zealous in the exercise of it; but that then they must sit
down under its shadow, and if they should plot against it to
destroy it, the principle of fire that was in it should destroy
them. He told them, that what he had said was no laughing matter;
for that when they had experienced many blessings from Gideon,
they overlooked Abimelech, when he overruled all, and had joined
with him in slaying his brethren; and that he was no better than
a fire himself. So when he had said this, he went away, and lived
privately in the mountains for three years, out of fear of

3. A little while after this festival, the Shechemites, who had
now repented themselves of having slain the sons of Gideon, drove
Abimelech away, both from their city and their tribe; whereupon
he contrived how he might distress their city. Now at the season
of vintage, the people were afraid to go out and gather their
fruits, for fear Abimelech should do them some mischief. Now it
happened that there had come to them a man of authority, one
Gaal, that sojourned with them, having his armed men and his
kinsmen with him; so the Shechemites desired that he would allow
them a guard during their vintage; whereupon he accepted of their
desires, and so the people went out, and Gaal with them at the
head of his soldiery. So they gathered their fruit with safety;
and when they were at supper in several companies, they then
ventured to curse Abimelech openly; and the magistrates laid
ambushes in places about the city, and caught many of Abimelech's
followers, and destroyed them.

4. Now there was one Zebul, a magistrate of the Shechemites, that
had entertained Abimelech. He sent messengers, and informed him
how much Gaal had irritated the people against him, and excited
him to lay ambushes before the city, for that he would persuade
Gaal to go out against him, which would leave it in his power to
be revenged on him; and when that was once done, he would bring
him to be reconciled to the city. So Abimelech laid ambushes, and
himself lay with them. Now Gaal abode in the suburbs, taking
little care of himself; and Zebul was with him. Now as Gaal saw
the armed men coming on, he said to Zebul, That some armed men
were coming; but the other replied, They were only shadows of
huge stones: and when they were come nearer, Gaal perceived what
was the reality, and said, They were not shadows, but men lying
in ambush. Then said Zebul, "Didst not thou reproach Abimelech
for cowardice? why dost thou not then show how very courageous
thou art thyself, and go and fight him?" So Gaal, being in
disorder, joined battle with Abimelech, and some of his men fell;
whereupon he fled into the city, and took his men with him. But
Zebul managed his matters so in the city, that he procured them
to expel Gaal out of the city, and this by accusing him of
cowardice in this action with the soldiers of Ahimelech. But
Abimelech, when he had learned that the Shechemites were again
coming out to gather their grapes, placed ambushes before the
city, and when they were coming out, the third part of his army
took possession of the gates, to hinder the citizens from
returning in again, while the rest pursued those that were
scattered abroad, and so there was slaughter every where; and
when he had overthrown the city to the very foundations, for it
was not able to bear a siege, and had sown its ruins with salt,
he proceeded on with his army till all the Shechemites were
slain. As for those that were scattered about the country, and so
escaped the danger, they were gathered together unto a certain
strong rock, and settled themselves upon it, and prepared to
build a wall about it: and when Abimelech knew their intentions,
he prevented them, and came upon them with his forces, and laid
faggots of dry wood round the place, he himself bringing some of
them, and by his example encouraging the soldiers to do the same.
And when the rock was encompassed round about with these faggots,
they set them on fire, and threw in whatsoever by nature caught
fire the most easily: so a mighty flame was raised, and nobody
could fly away from the rock, but every man perished, with their
wives and children, in all about fifteen hundred men, and the
rest were a great number also. And such was the calamity which
fell upon the Shechemites; and men's grief on their account had
been greater than it was, had they not brought so much mischief
on a person who had so well deserved of them, and had they not

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