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Upon this the people were greatly disturb- | having justly t deserved to die for what they ed at what they saw and heard, as never had done. But the inhabitants of Gibeah having had the experience of such a thing would not deliver ap the young men, and before. So they gathered themselves to Shi-thought it too reproachful for them, out of fear loh, out of a just anger; and assembling in a of war, to submit to other men's demands upon great congregation before the tabernacle, they them ; vaunting themselves to be no way infeimmediately resolved to take arms, and to rior to any in war'; neither in their number, treat the inhabitants of Gibeah as enemies. nor in courage. The rest of their tribe also But the senate restrained them from doing so, made great preparation for war; for they were and persuaded them, that they ought not so so insolently mad also, as to resolve to repel. hastily to make war upon people of the same force by force. nation with them, before they discoursed When it was related to the Israelites what them by words, concerning the accusation the inhabitants of Gibeah had resolved apon, laid against them. It being * part of their they took an oath that no one of them would law, that they should not bring an army give his daughter in marriage to a Benjaagainst foreigners themselves, when they ap- mite: but that they would make war with pear to have been injurious, without sending greater fury against them than their forean ambassage first, and trying thereby whe- fathers had made war against the Canaanther they will repent or not; and accordingly ites. Accordingly they sent out an arıny of they exhorted them to do what they ought, in four hundred thousand against them; while obedience to their laws: that is, to send to the Benjamites' army was į twenty-five thouthe inhabitants of Gibeah, to know whether sand and six hundred; five hundred of whom they would deliver up the offenders to them: were excellent at slinging stones with their and if they should deliver them up, to rest | left hands. When the battle was joined at satisfied with the punishment of those offend- | Gibeah, the Benjamites beat the Israelites, ers; but if they despised the message that and of them there fell twenty-two thousand was sent them, to punish themi, by taking up inen: and probably more had been destroyed arms against them. Accordingly they sent had not the night come on and broken off the to the inhabitants of Gibeah, and accused the fight. So the Benjamites returned to the city young men of the crimes committed in the af- with joy; and the Israelites returned to their fair of the Levite's wife; and required of camp in great affliction at what had hapthem those that had done what was contrary pened. On the next day, when they fought to the law, that they might be punished ; as again, the Benjamites beat them, and eighteen
fered by a private person, those only who voluntarily people upon urgent occasions. “ When any one had retook a piece of the sacrifice entered into a strict engage. I ceived an injury, and had not the means of avenging ment to espouse bis interest. Connections of this kind himself, he sacrificed an ox, and cut it into pieces, which derived their force from the deities in honour of which he caused to be dressed and publicly exposed ; ihen he the sacrifice was offered : from the true God when made | spread out the skin of the victim, and sat upon it with his by the Jews; from idols when made by the Gentiles.lands tied behind him. All who chuse to take part in The Jews were content to invoke and take the Lord to the injury which had been done look up a piece of the witness; whereas the pagans never failed to place upon ox, and swore to supply and maintain for him, one, five an altar of green turf the deities which presided over their horses, another ten, others still more; some infantry; covenant. "These deities were called common, because each according to his strength and ability. They who they were the common deities of all who were thus united, had only their person, engaged 10 march themselves. and received in common the honors which they thought Now an army composed of such soldiers, far from retreatproper to pay them.
ing or disbanding, was invincible, as it was engaged by A direct proof of these facts is recorded in 1 Sam. xi. 7. oath.” And Saul took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces,
These circumstances, compared with the account given and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the of the Levite's conduct, and the subsequent behaviour of hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth the tribes, clearly point out, that the niethod used by the after Saul and afier Samuel, so shall it be done unto his Levite to obtain redress was consistent with the established
And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and usages of the times and effected the retribution he desired they came out with one consent. Another proof is drawn to see accomplished. B. from the customs observed by the Scythians and Molos. * See Iy. 8. and Deut. xx. 10. şians, Lucian thus speaks of what passed between these + Deut. sxii. 25.
Judy. xx. 46, 47.
thousand of the Israelites were slain, and the || did not join with them in fighting against the
jamites, and appointed a fast upon that acWhen therefore they had divided the army || count; although they supposed those men had into two parts, they laid the one half of them in suffered justly for their offence against the laws. ambush about the city. Gibeah by night, while So they recalled by their ambassadors those the other half attacked the Benjamites: these six hundred which had escaped. These had retiring upon the assault, the Benjamites pur- | seated themselves on a certain rock called sued them ; while the Hebrews retired by Rimmon, which was in the wilderness. So the slow degrees, as desirous to draw them entire- | ambassadors lamented not only the disaster ly from the city, and the other followed them that had befallen the Benjamites, but them. as they retired, till both the old and young men selves also, by this destruction of their kinthat were left in the city, as too weak to fight, dred ; and persuaded them to take it patiently, came running out together, as willing to bring and to come and unite with them;
and not, so their enemies under. However, when they | far as in them lay, to give their suffrage to the were a great way from the city, the Hebrews | utter destruction of the tribe of Benjamin; and turned back to fight them, and gave the pre said to them, “We give you leave to take the concerted signal to those that lay in ambush ; || whole land of Benjamin to yourselves; and as who rose up, and with a great noise fell upon much prey as you are able to carry away with the enemy. Now, as soon as they perceived you." So these men with sorrow contessed, themselves to be deceived, they knew not what that what had been done was accordiiig to the to do; and when they were driven into a cer. || decree of God, and had happened for their own lain hollow place, which was in a valley, they wickedness; and assented to those that invited were shot at by those that encompassed them, || thein, and came down to their own tribe. The till they were all destroyed, excepting six Israelites also gave them the four hundred virhundred; which formed themselves into a close gins of Jabesh Gilead, † for wives. But as to body of men, and forced their passage through the remaining two hundred, they deliberated the midst of their enemies, and fled to the || how they might obtain wives for them. And neighboring mountains : but the rest, being | whereas they had before the war taken an oath, about twenty-five thousand, were slain. Then that no one would give his daughter to wife did tbe Israelites burn Gibeah, and slew the to any Benjamite ; some advised them to have women, and the males that were under age ; | no regard to what they had sworn, because they did the same also to the other cities of the oath had not been taken advisedly and juthe Benjamites. And indeed they were en- || diciously, but in a passion ; and thought that raged to that degree, that they sent twelve they should do nothing against God, if they thousand men out of the army, and gave them were able to save a whole tribe, which was in orders to destroy Jabesli Gilead ; because they || danger of perishing ; and that perjury was
Deir 3 at ites
: Sals JE
Trei DUTO by the blished desire
Josephus seems here to have made a small mistake, + See this account in Josephus remarked as one of the
Judg. xxi, 14.
So They prepared therefore their chariots, and
only a sad dangerous thing, not when it is accordingly it flourished, and soon increased committed out of necessity, but with a wicked to be a multitude, and came to enjoy all other intention. But when the senate were affright-degrees of happiness. And such was the coned at the very name of perjury, a certain per- clusion of this war. son told them, that he could shew them a way whereby they might procure wives for the Ben
CHAP. III. jamites, and yet keep their oath. And on their asking what his proposal was ? he said, OF THE MISFORTUNES BROUGHT UPON THE ISRABLITES BY “ Three times in a year, * when we meet in
THEIR INDOLENCE AND REMISSNESS; THEIR OPPRESSION
BY THE ASSYRIANS, AND THEIR SUBSEQUENT DELIVERShiloh, our wives and our daughters accom
ANCE BY OTHNIEL, WHO RULED OVER THEM PORTY YEARS. pany us.
Let then the Benjamites be allowed to steal away and marry such women as W it happened † that the tribe of Dan they can catch ; wbile we will neither incite suffered in the like manner with the nor forbid them. And when their parents tribe of Benjamin, and on the following occata take it ill, and desire us to inflict punishment sion. When the Israelites had already left off upon them, we will tell them that they were the exercise of their arms of war, and were themselves the cause of wbat had happened, intent upon their husbandry, the Canaanites by neglecting to guard their daughters; and despised them, and brought together an army. that they ought not to be over angry at the Not because they expected to suffer from them; Benjamites, since that anger had been per-| but because they had a mind to have a sure
too high already.” So the prospect of treating the Hebrews ill when they Israelites were persuaded to follow this ad- pleased : and night thereby for the time to vice; and decreed, that the Benjamites should come dwell in their own cities more securely. when the festival was coming on, these two gathered their soldiers together. Their cities hundred Benjamites lay in ambush before the also combined, and drew over to them Askecity, by two or three together; and waited for lon and Ekron, which were within the tribe the coming of the virgins in the vineyards, and of Judah, and many more of those that lay in other places where they could lie conceal- the plain. They also forced the Danites to ed. Accordingly the virgins came along, fly into the mountainous country, and left playing ; and suspected nothing of what was them not the least portion of the plain country coming upon them, and walked after an un- to set their foot on. Since then these Danites guarded manner. So those that lay scattered were not able to fight them, and bad not land in the road rose up, and caught hold of them. enough for their own support ; they sent five . By this means these Benjamites got them of their men into the midland .country, to see wives, and applied themselves to agriculture, for a land to which they might remove their and took good care to recover their former habitation. So these men went as far as the happy state. And thus was this tribe, after neighborhood of mount Libanus, and the they had been in danger of entirely perishing, fountains of the lesser Jordan, at the great saved by the wisdom of the Israelites. And plain of Sidon, a day's journey from the city:
* All the three great festivals were to be observed in too great for a design of this nature to be put into execu: the place where God settled his habitation, which was tion, since the violence, which must of course have been now at Shiloh ; and therefore some are of opinion that offered to the young women, would hardly have met with the feast here mentioned was one of these; particularly, a general connivauce. It is much more probable, therethey think it was the feast of tabernacles, because this fore, that this was some festival peculiar in the people was a season of great joy, for having newly gathered their of Shiloh, which • thre Benjamites -perhaps might know vintage, and the only season wherein the Jewish virgins nothing of, and were therefore pui in mind of it by the were allowed to dance. At this time they dwelt in booths | elders of the congregation. Josephus tells us that it was 100, behind which the Benjamites (as they fancy). might celebrated thrice every year; and on this festival it might very conveniently conceal themselves, and so watch an be a custom for the young women.Lo go out into the fields, opportunity of carrying away the virgins. But what and there dance by themselves, which might give their seems to make against this opinion is, that at any of these ravishers the
very opportunity they wanted ; Le Clerc's public festivals the concourse of people would have been comment. B.
+ About An, 1455, B. C.
OF THE SUBJUGATION OF THE HEBREWS BY. THE MOABITES;
AND OF THEIR DELIVERANCE FROM SLAVERY BY EHUD,
therefore was angry with them, and they for- | and while they never paid to God the honor
And when they bad taken a view of the land, || to his assistance ; so they joined battle with and found it to be exceeding fruitful, they the Assyrians, and drove them entirely before acquainted their tribe with it. Whereupon them, and compelled them to pass over the they made an expedition with an army; and Eupbrates. Hereupon Othniel, who had built there the city of Dan, of the same name given such proof of his valor, received from of their own tribe.
the multitude authority to judge the people. The Israelites now grew so indolent, * that | And when he bad ruled over them Ś forty misfortunes came heavier upon them; which years, he died. also proceeded in part from their contempt
CHAP. IV. of the divine worship. For when they had once fallen off from the regularity of their political government, they indulged themselves farther in living according to their own will ; till they were full of the evil doings that WH
HEN Othniel was dead, the affairs of were common among the Canaanites. God
the Israelites fell again into disorder ; feited, by their luxury, that happy state, which || due to him, nor were obedient: to the laws, they had obtained by innumerable labors. || their afflictions increased.; till. Eglon | king For when Chushan, king of the Assyrians, of the Moabites, taking advantage of the dishad made war against them, they lost many | orders of their political government, made of their soldiers in the battle: and when they war upon them, and overcame them in several were besieged, they were taken by force. battles, and made the inost-courageous to subNay, there were some who, out of fear, vo mit; and entirely subdued their army, and luntarily submiited to him; and, though the ordered them to pay him tribute. And when tribute laid upon them was more than they he had built bim a royal palace at 9 Jericho, could bear, yet did they pay it; and under- he omitted no method whereby he might diswent all sort of oppression † for eight years
tress them; and indeed he reduced them to After which time they were delivered in the poverty for ** eighteen years. But when God following manner :
had once taken pity on the Israelites, on acThere was one whose name was Othniel, I count of their afflictions, and was moved to the son of Kenaz, of the tribe of Judah, an compassion by their supplications, he freed active man, and of great courage. He had | them from the bard usage they had met with an admonition from God not to overlook the under the Moabites. And this liberty he proIsraelites in such a distress as they were now cured for them in the following manner: in ; but to endeavor boldly to regain their There was a young man of the tribe of liberty. So when he had procured some to Benjamin, whose name was Ehud, the son of assist him in this dangerous undertaking, (and Gera; a man of very great courage in bold few they were who, either out of shame at undertakings; and of a very strong body, fit their present circumstances, or out of a desire for hard Jabor, but best skilled in using his of changing them, could be prevailed on to left hand, tf in which was bis.whole strength; assist him, he first of all destroyed that gar
and he also dwelt.at Jericho. Now this man rison which Chushan bad set over them. And became familiar with Eglon, and that by when it was perceived that he had not failed means of presents, with which he obtained his in his first attempt, more of the people came favor, and insinuated himself into his good opi* An, 1449.
or rather in that fine country of palm-trees, upon or near + From 1419 to 1441. B..C.
Judg. iii. 9.'
the same spot of ground on which Jericho had formerly § From An. 1441 to 1401.
ll Judg. iii. 12. stood, and on which it was afterward rebuilt by Hiel, appears by the sacred history; Judg. i. 16. jj. 13. 1. Kings xvi. 34. Our other copies, that avoid its proper thai Eglon's pavilion, or palace, was at the city of Palm name Jericho, and call it the city of palm-trees only, speak trees, as the place where Jericho had stood is called after here more accurately than Josephus. its, destruction by Joshua : that is, at or near the demo ** From An. 1401 to 1383. lished city. Accordingly Josephus says it was at Jericho;
77 Judg. iii. 15.
DURING TWENTY YEARS; AND THEIR EMANCIPATION BY
nion, whereby he was also beloved of those were put to fight, and ran away towards the that were about the king. Now when, on a country of Moab, in order to save themselves.“ time, he was bringing presents to the king, Their number was above ten thousand. The : and had two servants with him, he put a dag- Israelites seized upon the ford of Jordan, apd: ger on bis right thigh secretly, and went in pursued them, and slew them; and inany they to him. It was then summer time, and the killed at the ford ; nor did one of them escape middle of the day, when the guards were not out of their hands.' And by this means it strictly on their watch: both because of the was that the Hebrews freed themselves from: heat, and because they were gone to dinner. slavery under the Moabites. Ehud also' was. So the young man, when he had offered his on this account dignified with the government: presents to the king, who then resided in a over all the multitude, and died after he had small parlour, that stood conveniently to avoid || held the government † eighty years.
He was the heat, fell into discourse with him : for a man worthy of commendation, even besides they were now alone, the king having bid his what he deserved for the aforementioned açt attendants leave him, because he had a mind of his. After him Shamgar,f the son of Anath, to talk with Ehud. He was now sitting on was elected for their governor ; but died in his throne ; and fear seized upon Ehud, lest the first year of his government. he should miss his stroke, and not give him a deadly wound. So he raised himself up, and
CHAP. V. said, he bad a dream to impart to him, by the command of God. Upon this, the king leap- of the oppression of the HebrewS BY THE CANAANITES ed out of his throne for joy of the dream ; so Ehud smote him to the heart; and leaving his
BARAK AND DEBORAH, WHO RULED OVER THEM FURTY dagger in his body, he went out, and shut the door after him. king's servants ND now it was that the Israelites were stillthe had composed himself to sleep.
furtunes to amend their manners, and neither Hereupon Ehud informed the people of Je worshipping God, nor submitting to the laws, richo privately what he had done; and exhort- were brought under slavery again by Jabin, | ed then to recover their liberty. They heard king of the Canaanites ; and that before they him gladly, and went to their arnis, and sent had a short breathing-time after the slavery. messengers all over the country, that should under the Moabites. For this Jabin came out sound irumpets * of rams' horns ; for it was of Hazor, a city that was situate over the lake the custom to call the people together by Semechonitis; and had in pay three hundred them. Now the attendants of Eglon were thousand armed footmen, and ten thousand ignorant of what misfortune had befallen him horsemen; with no fewer than three thousand for a great while. But towards evening, fear-chariots. Sisera was the commander of all ing some uncommon accident had happened, this arnıy, and was the principal person in the they entered into his parlour ; and when they king's favor. He so sorely beat the Israelites found him dead, they were in great disorder, when they fought with him, that he compelled and knew not what to do. And before the them to pay tribute. guards could be got together, the multitude So they continued to undergo that hardship of the Israelites came upon them, so that for twenty years, as not good enough of them, some of them were slain iininediately, and some selves to grow wise by their misfortunes. God
Judg. iii. 27.
hardly a breathing for the Israelites before Jabin came + These 80 years for the government of Ehud are and enslaved them: it is highly probable that some of the necessary to Josephus's usual large numbers, between the copies in this time bad here only eight years, instead of Exodus, and the building of the temple, of 592 or 612 80; as had that of Theophilus of Antioch, Ad Auyears; but not to the smallest number of 480 years, tolye. L. III. and this most probably from his copy of i Kings vi. 1. which lesser number Josephus seems some-Josepbus. times to have followed. And since in the beginning of
Judg. jii, 31.
§ An. 1375. || Judy. iv. 2. the next chapter it is said by Josepbus, that there was From An. 1374 to 1354.