Judges


Judges

     1[1 -5] After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel asked Yahweh, saying, Who will go up first against the Canaanites for us, to fight against them? Yahweh said, Judah will go up; see, I’ve handed over the land to him. Judah said to Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my land to fight against the Canaanites; and I’ll go with you into your land. So Simeon went with him. Judah went up; and Yahweh handed over the Canaanites and the Perizzites to them; and they fought 10,000 of them in Bezek. They found Adoni-Bezek in Bezek; and they fought against him, and they fought the Canaanites and the Perizzites.

[6-8] But Adoni-Bezek ran; and they chased after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes. Adoni-Bezek said, “70 rulers, having their thumbs and big toes cut off, gathered their food under my table; God has repaid me for what I’ve done.” They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there. Then the people of Judah fought against Jerusalem, and took it, and fought it with the blade of a sword, and set the city on fire.

[9-15] Afterward the people of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, in the South, and in the lowland. Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron (now the name of Hebron before was Kiriath Arba); and they fought Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. From there he went against the people of Debir. (Now the name of Debir before was Kiriath Sepher.) Then Caleb said, Whoever fights Kiriath Sepher, and takes it, I give to him Achsah, my daughter, as wife. Othniel, the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; and he gave him Achsah, his daughter, as wife. When she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field; and she got off from off her donkey; and Caleb said to her, What do you want? So she said to him, Give me a blessing; since you’ve put me in the land of the South, give me creeks of water, too. So Caleb gave her the upper creeks and the lower creeks.

     [16-20] Moses’ brother-in-law went up out of the city of palm trees with the people of Judah into the countryside of Judah which is in the south of Arad; and they went and lived with the people of the Kenite. Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they fought the Canaanites who lived in Zephath, and completely destroyed it. The name of the city was called Hormah. Also Judah took Gaza with its border, Ashkelon with its border, and Ekron with its border. Yahweh was with Judah; and drove out the people of the hill country; but he couldn’t drive out the people of the valley, because they had iron war vehicles. They gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had said; and he drove out there the three sons of Anak the giant.

     [21 -26] The people of Benjamin didn’t drive out the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem; but the Jebusites live with the people of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day. The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel; and Yahweh was with them. The house of Joseph sent to spy out Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.) The spies saw a man come out of the city, and they said to him, Show us the entrance into the city, and we’ll deal kindly with you. He showed them the entrance into the city; and they fought the city with the blade of a sword; but they let the man and all his family go. The man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called its name Luz, which is its name to this day.

     [27-30] Manasseh didn’t drive out the people of Beth Shean and its towns, nor of Taanach and its towns, nor the people of Dor and its towns, nor the people of Ibleam and its towns, nor the people of Megiddo and its towns; but the Canaanites would live in that land. When Israel had grown strong, they put the Canaanites to hard work, and didn’t completely drive them out. Ephraim didn’t drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer; but the Canaanites lived in Gezer with them. Zebulun didn’t drive out the people of Kitron, or the people of Nahalal; but the Canaanites lived with them, and became their workers.

     [31-36] Asher didn’t drive out the people of Accho, nor the people of Sidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob; but the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the people of the land; they didn’t drive them out. Naphtali didn’t drive out the people of Beth Shemesh, or the people of Beth Anath; but he lived among the Canaanites, the people of the land; But the people of Beth Shemesh and of Beth Anath became their workers. The Amorites forced the people of Dan into the hill country; for they wouldn’t let them come down to the valley; but the Amorites would live in MountHeres, in Aijalon, and in Shaalabbin; yet the hand of the house of Joseph was strong, so they became their workers. The border of the Amorites was from the get up of Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.

     2[1-5] The angel of Yahweh came up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you to the land which I promised to your ancestors; and I said, I’ll never break My promised agreement with you; and you won’t make any promised agreement with the people of this land; you’ll break down their altars. But you haven’t listened to Me; why have you done this? So I also said, I won’t drive them out from before you; but they’ll be as thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a trap to you. When the angel of Yahweh said these words to all the people of Israel, the people raised their voices, and cried. They called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to Yahweh.

     [6 -10] Now when Joshua had sent the people away, the people of Israel went to their inheritance to take the land. The people served Yahweh all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work Yahweh had done for Israel. Joshua the son of Nun, the worker of Yahweh, died, being 110 years old. They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash. Also all that generation died; and another generation came after them, who didn’t know Yahweh, or the work which God had done for Israel.

     [11 -15] The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and served the Baals (false gods);            and they stopped worshiping Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, the false gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; and they made Yahweh angry. They left Yahweh, and served Baal and the fertility goddess Ashtaroth. So Yahweh was angry at Israel, and gave them into the hands of thieves who stole from them, and sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they couldn’t face their enemies any more. Wherever they went out, the hand of Yahweh was against them for evil, as Yahweh had said, and as Yahweh had promised to them; and they were very upset.

     [16 -19] But Yahweh sent judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who ruined them. Yet they didn’t listen to their judges; and were unfaithful, worshipping other gods, and bowing down to them; they turned quickly out of the way in which their ancestors walked, who obeyed the words of Yahweh; but they didn’t do so. When Yahweh sent judges, then Yahweh was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for it grieved Yahweh to hear their crying because of those who abused them and troubled them. But when the judge was dead, they turned back, and did worse than their ancestors, in worshipping other gods, and bowing down to them; they didn’t stop doing it, nor turn from their stubborn ways.

     [20-23] Yahweh was angry at Israel and said, Because this nation has sinned against My promised agreement which I told their ancestors, and haven’t listened to Me; From now on, I also won’t drive out any of their enemies from before them of the nations that Joshua left when he died; that by them I may prove Israel, whether they’ll keep the way of Yahweh and follow it, as their ancestors did, or not. So Yahweh left those nations without driving them out quickly; neither gave them into the hand of Joshua.

     3[1 -6] Now these are the nations which Yahweh left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as hadn’t known all the wars of Canaan; only that the generations of the people of Israel strength know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing  about it; namely, the five leaders of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. They were left, to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to the words of Yahweh, which was given to their ancestors by Moses. The people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods.

     [7-11] The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and forgot Yahweh their God, and served the Baals and the Asherah (Astarte, Canaanite goddess of fortune and happiness, the supposed consort of Baal). So Yahweh was angry at Israel, and sold them into the hand of Cushan Rishathaim, ruler of Mesopotamia; and the people of Israel served Cushan Rishathaim eight years. When the people of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised up a hero to the people of Israel, who saved them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Spirit of Yahweh came on him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and Yahweh handed over Cushan Rishathaim ruler of Mesopotamia to him; and his hand was strong against Cushan Rishathaim. The land had rest 40 years, and then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

     [12-15] The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh; and Yahweh strengthened Eglon the ruler of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of Yahweh. He gathered to him the people of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and fought Israel, and they took the city of palm trees. The people of Israel served Eglon the ruler of Moab 18 years. But when the people of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised them up a hero, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tax money by him to Eglon the ruler of Moab.

     [16-21] Ehud made him a sword which had two edges, about 18” in length; and he tied it under his clothing on his right thigh. He offered the tax money to Eglon ruler of Moab; now Eglon was a very fat man. When he had given the tax money, he sent away the people who brought the tax money.       But he himself turned back from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I’ve a secret errand to you, ruler. He said, Be quiet. All who stood by him went out from him. Ehud came to him; and he was sitting by himself alone in the cool upper room. Ehud said, I’ve a message from God to you.  Then he got up out of his seat. Ehud raised his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and stuck it into his body; and the hilt also went in after the blade; and the fat closed on the blade, for he didn’t take the sword out of his body; and it came out behind him.

     [23 -26] Then Ehud went into the porch, and shut the doors of the upper room on him, and locked them. Now when he had gone out, his workers came; and they saw that the doors of the upper room were locked; and they said, Truly he is resting quietly in the upper room. So they waited until they were ashamed; and he didn’t open the doors of the upper room; so they took the key, and opened them, and he was fallen down dead on the earth. Ehud escaped while they waited, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped to Seirah.

     [27-31] When he had come, he blew a battle horn in the hill country of Ephraim; and the people of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he led them. He said to them, Follow me; for Yahweh has given your enemies the Moabites to you. They went down after him, and took the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and didn’t let anyone across. They fought of Moab at that time about 10,000 men, every strong man of courage; and no one escaped. So Moab was taken that day by the hand of Israel. The land had rest 80 years. After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who fought of the Philistines 600 men with an animal prodding stick; and he also saved Israel.

     4[1-3] The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh when Ehud was dead. Yahweh sold them into the hand of Jabin ruler of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth of the Gentiles. The people of Israel cried to Yahweh because he had 900 iron war vehicles; and for 20 years he greatly abused the people of Israel.

     [4-7] Now Deborah, a preacher, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time. She lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh Naphtali, and said to him, Hasn’t Yahweh, the God of Israel, said, Go to MountTabor, and take with you 10,000 men of the people of Naphtali and of the people of Zebulun? I’ll draw to you, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army with his war vehicles and his number; and I’ll give him to you.

     [8-10] Barak said to her, If you’ll go with me, then I’ll go; but if you won’t go with me, I won’t go. She said, I’ll go with you; though the journey that you take won’t be for your honor; for Yahweh will give Sisera into the hand of a woman. Deborah got up, and went with Barak to Kedesh. Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh; and there went up 10,000 men at his feet; and Deborah went up with him.

     [11-13] Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, even from the people of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had made his home as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh. They told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to MountTabor. Sisera gathered together all his war vehicles, all 900 iron war vehicles, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles, to the river Kishon.

     [14-17] Deborah said to Barak, Get up; for this is the day in which Yahweh has given Sisera to you; hasn’t Yahweh gone out before you? So Barak went down from MountTabor, and 10,000 men after him. Yahweh troubled Sisera, and all his war vehicles, and all his army with the blade of a sword before Barak; and Sisera got off his war vehicle, and ran away on foot. But Barak chased after the war vehicles, and after the army to Harosheth of the Gentiles; and all the army of Sisera fell by the blade of a sword; there wasn’t anyone left. But Sisera ran away on foot to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the ruler of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

     [18-21] Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, Turn in, sir, turn in to me; don’t be afraid. He came in to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. He said to her, Please give me a little water to drink; I’m thirsty. So she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him a drink, and covered him. He said to her, Stand in the door of the tent, and if anyone comes and asks of you, and says, Is there any man hiding here? say No Then Jael Heber’s wife took a tent peg, and a hammer in her hand, and went quietly to him, and pounded the peg into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he fainted and died.

     [22 -24] As Barak chased Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, Come, and I’ll show you the man whom you seek. He came to her; and Sisera lay dead, and the tent peg was in his temples. So God defeated Jabin the ruler of Canaan on that day before the people of Israel. The hand of the people of Israel was stronger and stronger against Jabin the ruler of Canaan, until they had destroyed him.

     5[1-3] Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying, Because the leaders took the lead in Israel, and the people offered themselves willingly, be blessed, Yahweh! Hear, you rulers! Listen, you leaders! I, yes I’ll sing to Yahweh. I’ll sing praise to Yahweh, the God of Israel.

    [4-9] Yahweh, when You came out of Seir, when You marched out of the field of Edom, the earth shook, and the sky dropped. Yes, the clouds rained. The mountains quaked at the presence of Yahweh, even Sinai, at the presence of Yahweh, the God of Israel. In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied. The travelers walked through the streets. The rulers stopped in Israel. They stopped until I, Deborah, got up; Until I stood up a mother in Israel. They chose new gods. Then war was in the gates. Was there a shield or spear seen among 40,000 in Israel? My heart is toward the governors of Israel, who offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless Yahweh!

     [10-12] Tell it, you who ride on white donkeys, you who sit on rich carpets, and you who walk by the way.           Far from the noise of archers, in the places of drawing water, there they’ll repeat the righteous acts of Yahweh, yes the righteous acts of God’s rule in Israel. Then the people of Yahweh went down to the gates.   Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, sing a song! Get up, Barak, and lead away your prisoners, you son of Abinoam.

     [13-16] Then what was left of the nobles and the people came down. Yahweh came down for me against the strong. Those whose root is in Amalek came out of Ephraim, after you, Benjamin, among your peoples. Governors came down out of Machir. Those who handle the ruler’s staff came out of Zebulun. The leaders of Issachar were with Deborah. As was Issachar, so was Barak. They rushed into the valley at his feet. By the rivers of Reuben, there were heart-filled thoughts. Why did you sit quietly among the animal pens, to hear the whistling for the flocks? At the rivers of Reuben, there were heart-filled thoughts.

     [17 -20] Gilead lived across the Jordon. Why did Dan stay in their ships? Asher sat still at the haven of the sea, and lived by the creeks. Zebulun was a people that risked their lives to the death; Naphtali also, on the hills of the field. The rulers came and fought, then the rulers of Canaan fought at Taanach by the rivers of Megiddo, taking no pay. From the sky the stars fought. From their courses, they fought against Sisera.

[21-23 ] The river Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. My soul, march on with strength. Then the horse hoofs pounded because of the galloping, the galloping of their war horses. Punishment will come to Meroz, said the angel of Yahweh. Punish its people greatly, because they didn’t come to help Yahweh, to help Yahweh against the strong.

     [24-27] Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, will be blessed above women; she’ll be blessed above women who live in the tent. He asked for water. She gave him milk. She brought him butter in a beautiful dish. She took the tent peg, and the workmen’s hammer in her hands. With the hammer she struck Sisera. She nailed through his head. Yes, she pierced and struck through his temples. At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay. At her feet he bowed, he fell. Where he bowed, there he fell down dead.

     [28-31 Through the window she looked out, and cried; Sisera’s mother looked through the lattice. Why is his war vehicle so long in coming? Why do the wheels of his war vehicles stand still? Her wise ladies answered her, Yes, she even said to herself, Haven’t they found and divided the stuff by now? A woman or two for every man; some dyed clothes for Sisera, some beautifully embroidered dyed clothes, yes, dyed clothes embroidered on both sides, and on the necks of all the stuff? So let all your enemies die, Yahweh, but let those who love You be as the sun when it rises at midday. So the land had rest 40 years.

     6[1-5] Then the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh; and Yahweh gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. The hand of Midian was strong against Israel; and because of Midian the people of Israel lived in the dens in the mountains, among the caves, and the strongholds. So when Israel had planted, the Midianites, the Amalekites, and the people of the east came up; they came up against them; and they encamped against them, and destroyed the produce of the earth, until you come to Gaza, and left no food in Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor donkey. They came up with their livestock and their tents; they came in as locusts in number; both they and their camels couldn’t be counted; and they came into the land to destroy it.

[6-10] Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the people of Israel cried to Yahweh. When the people of Israel cried to Yahweh because of Midian, Yahweh sent a prophet to the people of Israel, who said to them, Yahweh, the God of Israel, says this, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out of the place of hard work; and I freed you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all who abused you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land; and I said to you, I am Yahweh your God; you won’t worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live. But you haven’t listened to Me.

     [11 -14] The angel of Yahweh came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite; and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. The angel of Yahweh appeared to him, and said to him, Yahweh is with you, strong man of courage. So Gideon asked, If Yahweh is with us, why then has all this happened to us? and where are all the wondrous works which our ancestors told us about, saying, Didn’t Yahweh bring us out of Egypt? but now Yahweh has thrown us away, and given us into the hand of Midian. Yahweh looked at him, and said, Go in your strength, and you’ll save Israel from the hand of Midian; haven’t I sent you?

     [15 -19] Then Gideon asked, Oh, Yahweh, with what will I save Israel? See, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least important in my father’s house. But Yahweh said to him, Truly I’ll be with you, and you’ll fight the Midianites as one man. Then Gideon asked, If I’ve found favor in your sight, then show me a sign that it’s really You who talk with me. Please don’t go away, until I come to you, and bring out my gift, and lay it before you. So Yahweh said, I’ll wait until you come again. Gideon went in, and got ready a young goat, and some cakes made without yeast of about 8 gallons of meal; the meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out to the angel under the oak, and presented it.

     [20-24] The angel of God said to him, Take the meat and the cakes made without yeast, and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth. He did so. Then the angel of Yahweh held out the end of the staff, and touched the meat and the cakes made without yeast; and fire came up out of the rock, and burned up all the meat and the cakes made without yeast; and the angel of Yahweh left from his sight. So Gideon knew that it was the angel of Yahweh; and Gideon said, Ah, Yahweh God! I’ve seen the angel of Yahweh face to face. So Yahweh said to him, Be at peace; don’t be afraid; you won’t die. Then Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh, and called it Yahweh is Peace; to this day it’s still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

     [25-28] The same night, Yahweh said to him, Take your father’s bull, even the second bull of seven years old, and throw down the altar of that false god Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah (poles or trees used for worship of Astarte, Canaanite goddess of fortune and happiness, the supposed consort of Baal) that is by it; and build an altar to Yahweh your God on the top of this stronghold, in the orderly way, and take the second bull, and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah (poles or trees used for worship of Astarte, Canaanite goddess of fortune and happiness, the supposed consort of Baal) which you’ll cut down. Then Gideon took ten of his workers, and did as Yahweh had said to him; and because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city, so that he couldn’t do it by day, he did it by night. When the men of the city got up early in the morning, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah was cut down that was by it, and the second bull was offered on the altar that was built.

     [29-32] They asked one another, Who has done this? When they asked around, it was told them, Gideon the son of Joash has done this. Then the men of the city said to Joash, Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has broken down the altar of Baal, and has cut down the Asherah (poles or trees used for worship of Astarte, Canaanite goddess of fortune and happiness, the supposed consort of Baal). So Joash said to all who stood against him, Will you fight for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever will fight for him, let him be put to death while it’s still morning; if Baal is a god, let him fight for himself, because someone has broken down his altar. So on that day he named Gideon Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal fight against him, because he has broken down his altar.

     [33-35] Then all the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people of the east gathered together; and they came through, and encamped in the valley of Jezreel. But the Spirit of Yahweh came on Gideon; and he blew a battle horn; and Abiezer followed behind him. He sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; and they also followed behind him; and he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came to meet them.

     [36-40] Gideon said to God, If you’ll save Israel by my hand, as you’ve said, I’ll put a piece of wool on the ground; if there’s dew only on the wool, and it’s dry on all the ground, then I’ll know that you’ll save Israel by my hand, as you’ve said. And it was so; as he got up early on the next day, and squeezed the wool together, and wrung the dew out of the wool, making a bowl full of water. Then Gideon said to God, Don’t be angry with me, and I’ll ask but this once more; Please let me make a trial just this once with the wool; let it now be dry only on the wool, and let there be dew on all the ground. And God did so that night; as it was dry on the wool only, and there was dew on all the ground.

     7[1 -5] Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people who were with him, got up early and encamped beside Harod Creek; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them, by Moreh Hill, in the valley. Yahweh said to Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, or Israel will lift themselves up against me, saying, My own hand has saved me. So say to the people, Whoever is scared and shaking, go home from MountGilead. So 22,000 people went home; and there were 10,000 left. Then Yahweh said to Gideon, The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I’ll test them for you there; and whoever I tell you, These will go with you, they’ll go with you; and whoever I tell you, These won’t go with you, they won’t go. So he brought down the people down to the water; and Yahweh said to Gideon, Everyone who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you’ll separate from those who bow down on their knees to drink.

     [6-11] The number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth was 300 men; but all the rest of the people bowed down on their knees to drink water. Yahweh said to Gideon, By these 300 men who lapped I’ll save you, and give the Midianites to you; and let everyone else go home. So the people took food in their hand, and their horns; and he sent all the men of Israel home except the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was beneath him in the valley. The same night, Yahweh said to him, Get up, go down into the camp; for I’ve given it to you. But if you fear to go down, go with Purah, your worker, down to the camp, and you’ll hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened to go down into the camp. Then he went down with Purah, his worker, to the edge of the soldiers who were in the camp.

     [12 -14]The Midianites, Amalekites, and all the people of the east lay along in the valley like locusts in number; and their camels couldn’t be counted, as the sand which is on the seashore in number. When Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to another; and he said, See, I dreamed a dream; and a cake of barley bread rolled into the camp of Midian, and came to the tent, and hit it so hard that it fell, and turned upside down, so that the tent lay flat.  Then the other fellow answered, This isn’t anything else but the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and the army into his hand.

     [15 -18] So when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and its interpretation, he worshiped God; and he returned to the camp of Israel, and said, Get up; for Yahweh has given to you the army of Midian. He divided the 300 men into three companies, and he gave them all horns and empty pitchers with torches in them. He said to them, Look at me, and do what I do; and when I come to the edge of the camp, just as I do, so you’ll do. When I blow the horn, I and all who are with me, then blow your horns also on every side of the camp, and yell, For Yahweh and for Gideon.

     [19 -22] So Gideon, and the hundred men who were with him, came to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, When they had just set the guards, they blew the horns, and broke in pieces the pitchers that were in their hands. The three companies blew the horns, broke the pitchers, held the torches in their left hands, and the horns in their right hands with which to blow; and they cried, The sword of Yahweh and of Gideon. Then everyone in the camp jumped up; and all the army shouted, and ran.           They blew the 300 horns, and Yahweh set everyone’s sword against each other, and against all the army; and the army ran as far as Beth Shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

     [23-25] The men of Israel were gathered together out of Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh, and chased after Midian. Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim, saying, Come down against Midian, and take before them the waters, as far as Beth Barah to the Jordan. So all the men of Ephraim were gathered together, and took the waters as far as Beth Barah to the Jordan. They took the two leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they killed at the winepress of Zeeb, and chased Midian; and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon across the Jordon.

     8[1-3] The men of Ephraim said to him, Why have you done us this way, so that you didn’t call us when you went to fight with Midian? They spoke to him angrily. He answered them, What have I done now in comparison with you? Isn’t picking the last few grapes of Ephraim better than the wine of Abiezer? God has given to you the leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and what was I able to do in comparison with you? Then their anger was cooled toward him when he had said that.

     [4-9] Gideon came to the Jordan, and crossed over, he, and the 300 men who were with him, faint, yet still running. He said to the men of Succoth, Please give some loaves of bread to the people who follow me; for they’re faint, and I am chasing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the rulers of Midian. The leaders of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your army? So Gideon said, When Yahweh has given Zebah and Zalmunna to me, then I’ll tear your flesh with the thorns of the countryside and with briers. He went up there to Penuel, and said to them in like way; and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. So he said also to the men of Penuel, when I come again in peace, I’ll break down this tower.

     [10 -12] Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their armies, about 15,000 men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the east; because 120,000 men who fought had died. So Gideon went up by the way of those who lived in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and fought the army; for the army was safe.             Zebah and Zalmunna ran; and he chased after them; and he took the two rulers of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and confused all the army.

     [13 -17] Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle from the get up of Heres. He caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and asked him; and he described for him the leaders of Succoth, and its elders, 77 men. He came to the men of Succoth, and said, See Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are tired? So he took the elders of the city, and beat them with thorns of the countryside and briers, and punished the men of Succoth. Then he broke down the tower of Penuel, and killed the men of the city.

     [18-21] Then said he to Zebah and Zalmunna, What kind of men were they whom you killed at Tabor? They answered, As you are, so were they; each one looked like the people of a ruler. He said, They were my brothers, the sons of my mother; as Yahweh lives, if you had let them live, I wouldn’t kill you. He said to Jether his firstborn, Get up, and kill them. But the youth didn’t draw his sword, because he was scared and sill young.       Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Get up, and kill us; for as the man is, so is his strength. Gideon got up, and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescents that were on their camels’ necks.

     [22-30] Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, Rule over us, both you, and your son, and your son’s son also; for you’ve saved us from Midian. But Gideon said to them, I won’t rule over you, neither will my son rule over you; Yahweh will rule over you. Gideon said to them, I would make a request of you, that you would give me all the earrings out of your stuff. (For they all had golden earrings, because those who they killed were Ishmaelites.) They answered, We’ll willingly give them. So they spread out a piece of cloth, and threw in it all the earrings out of their stuff. The weight of the golden earrings that he asked for was 1,700 gold coins, besides the crescents, and the pendants, and the purple clothing that was on the rulers of Midian, and besides the chains that were about their camels’ necks. Gideon made a golden breastplate, and put it in his city, in Ophrah; and all Israel unfaithfully worshiped it there; and it became a trap to Gideon, and to his house. So Midian was defeated before the people of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. The land had rest 40 years in the days of Gideon.

[29-32] So Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. And Gideon had 70 sons conceived from his body; for he had many wives. His mistress who was in Shechem also had him a son, and he named him Abimelech. Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

     [33 -35] As soon as Gideon was dead, the people of Israel turned again, and were unfaithful to God, following after the Baals, and made Baal Berith their god. The people of Israel didn’t remember Yahweh their God, Who had freed them from all their enemies on every side; neither did they show kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, for all the goodness which he had done for Israel.

     9[1-4] Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s brothers, and said to them, and to all the family of the house of his mother’s father, Please ask all the men of Shechem, Whether it’s better for you, that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are 70 persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you? Remember also that I am your flesh and bone. His mother’s brothers said to him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words; and their hearts turned to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother. So they gave him 70 pieces of silver out of the house of Baal Berith, with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless men who did whatever he wanted.

     [5 -7] He went to his father’s house at Ophrah, and killed his brothers, the 70 sons of Jerubbaal, on one stone; but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal hid himself and escaped. All the men of Shechem gathered themselves together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech their ruler, by the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem. When they told it to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of MountGerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said to them, Listen to me, you men of Shechem, that God may listen to you.

     [8 -15] Once upon a time, the trees came to anoint a ruler over them; and they said to the olive tree, Reign over us. But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my oil with which by me they honor God and man, and go to wave back and forth over the trees? The trees said to the fig tree, You come, and reign over us. But the fig tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to wave back and forth over the trees? The trees said to the vine, Come, and reign over us. The vine said to them, Should I leave my new wine, which cheers God and man, and go to wave back and forth over the trees? Then said all the trees to the bramble, Come, and reign over us. So the bramble said to the trees, If in truth you anoint me ruler over you, then come and rest in my shade; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and burn the cedars of Lebanon.

 

     [16-21] So now, if you’ve dealt truly and righteously, in that you’ve made Abimelech ruler, and if you’ve dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done to him what he deserved, (for my father fought for you, and risked his life, and freed you out of the hand of Midian, and you’ve come up against my father’s house this day, and have killed his 70 sons, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his mistress, ruler over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother); if you then have dealt truly and righteously with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then be happy with Abimelech, and let him also be happy with you, but if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and burn the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and burn Abimelech.       Jotham ran away, and went to Beer, and lived there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

     [22-25] When Abimelech ruled over Israel three years, God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem acted unfaithfully with Abimelech, so that the violence done to the 70 sons of Jerubbaal strength come, and that their blood strength be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who helped to kill his brothers. The men of Shechem set an ambush for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who came along that way by them; and it was told Abimelech.

     [26-28] Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brothers, and went over to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him. They went out into the field, and gathered their vineyards, and crushed the grapes, and celebrated their holiday, and went into the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech.       Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve them? Isn’t he the son of Jerubbaal and Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem; but why should we serve him?

     [29 -33] I wish that this people were under my hand! Then would I remove Abimelech. So he said to Abimelech, Get your army ready, and come fight.       When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, he was very angry. He sent messengers to Abimelech secretly, saying, See, Gaal the son of Ebed, and his brothers have come to Shechem; and see, they push the city to take part against you. So, come up by night, you and the people who are with you, and set an ambush in the field; and in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you’ll get up early, and rush on the city; and when he and the people who are with him come out against you, then you can do to them whatever you want to do.

     [34-38] Abimelech got up, and all the people who were with him, by night, and they set up an ambush against Shechem in four companies. Gaal, the son of Ebed, went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city; and Abimelech got up, and the people who were with him, from the ambush. When Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains. Zebul said to him, You only see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men. Gaal said again, See, people are coming down the middle of the land, and one company comes by the way of the oak of Meonenim. Then Zebul said to him, What do you say now, you who said, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? isn’t this the people that you’ve hated? Go out now, I ask, and fight them.

     [39-43] So    Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. Abimelech chased him, and he ran before him, and many wounded fell, even to the entrance of the gate. Abimelech stayed at Arumah; and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers, so that they couldn’t stay in Shechem. On the next day, the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. He took the people, and divided them into three companies, and set up an ambush in the field; and he looked, and the people came out of the city; He came up against them, and fought them.

     [44-49] Abimelech, and the companies that were with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city; and the two companies rushed on all who were in the field, and fought them. Abimelech fought against the city that day; and he took the city, and killed all the people who were in it; and he beat down the city, and spread salt all through it. When all the men of the tower of Shechem heard it, they went into the stronghold of the house of Elberith. It was told Abimelech that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. So Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a branch from the trees, and picked it up, and put it on his shoulder; and he said to the people who were with him, What you’ve seen me do, quickly, do as I’ve done. So all the people cut down a branch, and followed Abimelech, and put them on the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire with them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

     [50-54] Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. But there was a strong tower within the city, and all the men and women ran into it, and all they of the city, and shut themselves in, and went up to the roof of the tower. Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and came to the door of the tower to burn it. But a certain woman threw a heavy millstone on Abimelech’s head, and broke his skull. Then he called quickly to the young man who was his armor bearer, and said to him, Draw your sword, and kill me, that men won’t say of me, A woman killed him. So his young man stabbed him, and he died.

     [55-57] When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, everyone went home. So God punished the evil thing of Abimelech, which he did to his father, in killing his 70 brothers; and God punished all the evil thing of the men of Shechem; and brought on them the punishment that Jotham the son of Jerubbaal said would come to them.

     10[1-5] After Abimelech, Tothe son of Puah, came to power to save Israel, who was the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he lived in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. He judged Israel 23 years, and died, and was buried in Shamir. After him, Jair, the Gileadite came to power; and he judged Israel 22 years. He had 30 sons who rode on 30 donkey colts, and they had 30 cities, which are called Havvoth Jair to this day, which are in the land of Gilead. And Jair died, and was buried in Kamon.

     [6 -8] The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and worshiped the false gods of the Baals, and the Fertility goddess Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Sidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the people of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and they stopped worshiping Yahweh. So Yahweh was angry at Israel, and handed them over to the Philistines, and to the people of Ammon. They troubled and abused the people of Israel that year; and for 18 years they abused all the people of Israel that were across the Jordon in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.

     [9-16] The people of Ammon crossed over the Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was very troubled. The people of Israel cried out to Yahweh, saying, We’ve sinned against you, because we’ve forsaken our God, and have served the Baals. So Yahweh said to the people of Israel, Didn’t I save you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the people of Ammon, and from the Philistines? And also the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites, troubled you; and you cried to me, and I saved you out of their hand. Yet you’ve forsaken me, and served other gods; so I won’t save you any more. Go and cry to the gods which you’ve chosen; let them save you in the time of your trouble. The people of Israel said to Yahweh, We’ve sinned; do to us whatever seems right to you; only save us, we ask, this day. And they put away all the false foreign gods from them, and served Yahweh; and God’s soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

     [17-18] Then the people of Ammon were gathered together, and encamped in Gilead. So the people of Israel gathered themselves together, and encamped in Mizpah. The people, the leaders of Gilead, said to one another, Who will fight against the people of Ammon? He will be head over all the people of Gilead.

     11[1-3] Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a strong man of courage, and he was the son of a prostitute; and Gilead became the father of Jephthah. Gilead’s wife had him sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove out Jephthah, and said to him, You won’t inherit in our father’s house; for you’re the son of another woman. Then Jephthah ran from his brothers, and lived in the land of Tob; and there were gathered worthless fellows to Jephthah, and they went out with him.

     [4 -10] After a while, the people of Ammon made war against Israel. When the people of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah out of the land of Tob; and they said to Jephthah, Come and be our leader, that we may fight with the people of Ammon. So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, Didn’t you hate me, and drive me out of my father’s house? So why are you coming to me now when you’re in trouble? But the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, We have turned again to you now, so that you may go with us, and fight with the people of Ammon; and you’ll be our head over all the people of Gilead. Then Jephthah asked the elders of Gilead, If you bring me home again to fight with the people of Ammon, and Yahweh hands them over to me, will I be your head? And the elders of Gilead answered Jephthah, Yahweh will be witness between us; Truly we’ll do whatever you tell us to do.

     [11-13] Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them; and Jephthah said all his words before Yahweh in Mizpah. Then Jephthah sent messengers to the ruler of the people of Ammon, saying, What do you have to do with me, that you’ve come to me to fight against my land? The ruler of the people of Ammon answered to the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when he came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and to the Jordan; so give back those lands again peaceably.

     [14 -27] Then Jephthah sent messengers again to the ruler of the people of Ammon; and he said to him, This says Jephthah; Israel didn’t take away the land of Moab, nor the land of the people of Ammon, but when they came up from Egypt, and Israel went through the countryside to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh; then Israel sent messengers to the ruler of Edom, saying, Please let me pass through your land; but the ruler of Edom didn’t listen. In the same way, he sent to the ruler of Moab; but he wouldn’t listen either; and Israel stayed in Kadesh. Then they went through the countryside, and went around the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and they encamped on the other side of the Arnon; but they didn’t come within the border of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. Israel sent messengers to Sihon ruler of the Amorites, the ruler of Heshbon; and Israel said to him, Let us pass, we ask, through your land to my place. But Sihon didn’t trust Israel to pass through his border; so Sihon gathered all his people together, and encamped in Jahaz, and fought against Israel. Yahweh, the God of Israel, handed Sihon and all his people over to Israel, and they fought them; so Israel took all the land of the Amorites, and the people of that country. They took all the border of the Amorites, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and from the countryside even to the Jordan. So now Yahweh, the God of Israel, has taken the land of the Amorites and gave it to the people Israel, and should you take it back from them? Won’t you take whatever Chemosh your god gives you to take? So whoever Yahweh our God has taken from before us, them we will take. Now are you anything better than Balak, the son of Zippor, ruler of Moab? did he ever come against Israel, or did he ever fight against them? While Israel lived in Heshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, 300 years; why didn’t you take it back during that time? So we haven’t sinned against you, but you do me wrong to war against me; Yahweh, the Judge, will be judge this day between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon.

     [28-33] But the ruler of the people of Ammon didn’t listen to the words of Jephthah which he sent. Then the Spirit of Yahweh came on Jephthah, and he crossed over Gilead and Manasseh, and crossed over Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he crossed over to the people of Ammon. Jephthah made a promise to Yahweh, and said, If you’ll indeed give the people of Ammon to me, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, it will be Yahweh’s, and I’ll offer it up for a burnt offering. So Jephthah crossed over to the people of Ammon to fight against them; and Yahweh handed  them over to him. He fought them from Aroer until you come to Minnith, even 20 cities, and to Abelcheramim with a very great slaughter. So the people of Ammon were defeated before the people of Israel.

     [34 -40] Then Jephthah came to Mizpah to his house; and his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances; and she was his only child; besides her, he had no other son or daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, Oh, my daughter! you’ve brought me very low, and you’re one of those who trouble me; for I’ve made a promise to Yahweh, and I can’t go back on it. So she said to him, My father, you’ve made a promise to Yahweh; so do to me whatever you’ve said, because Yahweh has taken vengeance for you on your enemies, even on the people of Ammon. Then she said to her father, Let this one thing be done for me; let me alone for two months, that I may leave and go down on the mountains, and mourn my virginity, I and my friends. So he said, Go. He sent her away for two months; and she left, her and her friends, and mourned her virginity on the mountains. At the end of two months, she returned to her father, Who did to her what he had promised; and she was a virgin. It was a custom in Israel, that the daughters of Israel went yearly to mourn the daughter of Jephthah, the Gileadite four days in a year.

     12[1-3] The men of Ephraim gathered together, and went northward; and they said to Jephthah, Why did you go to fight against the people of Ammon, and didn’t call us to go with you? We’ll burn your house down on you with fire. And Jephthah said to them, I and my people were in great trouble with the people of Ammon; and when I called you, you didn’t come to help us. When I saw that you didn’t help me, I put my life in my own hand, and went against the people of Ammon, and Yahweh handed them over to me; so why then have you come up to me this day, to fight against me?

     [4-7] Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim; and the men of Gilead fought Ephraim, because they said, You’re fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim, and in the midst of Manasseh. So the Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, Let me go over, the men of Gilead said to him, Are you an Ephraimite? If he said, No; then they said to him, Say now Shibboleth; and he said Sibboleth; for he couldn’t manage to pronounce it right; then they laid hold on him, and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. There fell at that time of Ephraim 42,000. So Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

     [8-10] After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. He had 30 sons; and 30 daughters he sent abroad, and 30 daughters he brought in from abroad for his sons. He judged Israel seven years. Ibzan died, and was buried at Bethlehem.

     [11-12] After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. Elon the Zebulunite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

     [13 -15] After him Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode on 70 donkey colts; and he judged Israel eight years. Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

     13[1-5] The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh; and Yahweh handed them over to the Philistines 40 years. Now there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife couldn’t have any children. The angel of Yahweh appeared to the woman, and said to her, See now, you haven’t been able to have children up to now; but you’ll conceive, and have a son. So please beware and drink no wine or alcoholic drink, and don’t eat anything unfit; because you’ll conceive, and have a son; and you are to never cut his hair; for the child will be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he will begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

     [6-7] Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, An angel of God came to me, whose face was like the face of the angel of God, very awesome; and I didn’t ask him where he was, neither did he tell me his name; but he said to me, See, you’ll conceive, and have a son; and now drink no wine or alcoholic drink, and don’t eat anything unfit; for the child will be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.

     [8-10] Then Manoah prayed to Yahweh, Oh, Lord, please let the angel of God whom you sent come again to us, and teach us what to do to the child who will be born. And God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field; but Manoah, her husband wasn’t with her. The woman hurried, and ran, and told her husband, See, the angel has appeared to me who came to me the other day.

     [11-16] So    Manoah got up, and followed his wife, and came to the angel, and said to him, Are you the one who spoke to this woman? He said, I am. Then Manoah said, Now, let what you said happen; what will be the ordering of the child, and what will we do to him? The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, Of what I said to the woman let her beware. She may not eat of anything that comes of the vine, neither let her drink wine or alcoholic drink, nor eat anything unfit; what I told her let her do. Then Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, I ask, let us delay you, that we may get a young goat ready for you. The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, Though you keep me, I won’t eat of your bread; and if you get a burnt offering ready, you must offer it to Yahweh. For Manoah didn’t know that he was the angel of Yahweh.

     [17-20] Then Manoah asked the angel of Yahweh, What is your name, that when your words happen we may honor you? But the angel of Yahweh said to him, Why do you ask my name, seeing it’s not to be known? So Manoah took the kid with the meal offering, and offered it on the rock to Yahweh; and the angel did wonderful things as Manoah and his wife looked on. When the flame went up toward the sky from off the altar, the angel of Yahweh went up in the flame of the altar; and as Manoah and his wife looked on, they fell on their faces to the ground.

     [21-25] But the angel of Yahweh didn’t appear to Manoah or to his wife any more. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of Yahweh. Manoah said to his wife, we’ll truly die, because we’ve seen God. But his wife said to him, If Yahweh wanted to kill us, God wouldn’t have got a burnt offering and a meal offering at our hand, nor shown us all these things, nor told such things as these. So the woman had a son, and named him Samson; and the child grew, and Yahweh blessed him. Then the Spirit of Yahweh began to move him in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

     14[1 Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. He came up, and told his father and mother, and said, I’ve seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; so get her for me as a wife. Then his father and mother said to him, Is there not a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the unbelieving Philistines? Samson said to his father, Get her for me; for she pleases me well.  But his father and mother didn’t know that it was of Yahweh, who sought an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines had rule over Israel.

     [5 -9] Then Samson went down, along with his father and mother, to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah; and a young lion roared at him. The Spirit of Yahweh came greatly on him, and he tore it as he would have torn a young goat; and he didn’t even have anything in his hand; but he didn’t tell his father or his mother what he had done. He went down, and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson well. After a while he returned to take her; and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion; and there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. He took it into his hands, and went on, eating as he went; and he came to his father and mother, and gave to them, and they ate; but he didn’t tell them that he had taken the honey out of the body of the lion.

     [10 -14] His father went down to the woman; and Samson made a feast there; for so the young men used to do. When they saw him, they brought 30 friends to be with him. Then Samson said to them, Let me now tell you a riddle; if you can tell me the answer within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I’ll give you 30 linen clothes and 30 changes of clothing; but if you can’t tell it to me, then you will give me 30 linen clothes and 30 changes of clothing. They said to him, Put forth your riddle, that we may hear it. So he said to them, Food comes out of the eater. Sweetness comes out of the strong. In three days they still couldn’t tell the riddle.

     [15-18] On the seventh day, they said to Samson’s wife, trick your husband, that he may tell us the riddle, or we’ll burn you and your father’s house with fire; have you called us to make us poor? isn’t it so? So Samson’s wife cried before him, and said, You hate me, and don’t love me; you’ve put forth a riddle to my people, and haven’t told it to me. He said to her, Look, I haven’t told it to my father or my mother, so should I tell you? She cried before him the seven days, while their feast lasted; and on the seventh day, he told her, because she pressed him very much; and she told the riddle to her people. Then the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? So Samson said to them, If you hadn’t plowed with my cow, you wouldn’t have found out my riddle.

     [19-20] Then the Spirit of Yahweh came greatly on him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and fought 30 of their men, and took their stuff, and gave the changes of clothing to those who told him the riddle. He was very angry, and he went up to his father’s house. But Samson’s wife was given to a man whom he had as his friend.

     15[1 But after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a young goat; and he said, I’ll go in to see my wife into the room. But her father wouldn’t let him to go in. Her father said, I most certainly thought that you totally hated her; so I gave her to your friend; isn’t her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her, instead. But Samson said to them, This time I’ll be blameless in regard to the Philistines, when I cause them great hurt. So Samson went and caught 300 foxes, and took firebrands, and turned them tail to tail, and put a firebrand in between each two. When he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks and the standing grain, and also the olive groves.

     [6 -8] Then the Philistines said, Who has done this? They said, Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife, and given her to his friend. Then the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire. So Samson said to them, Though you’ve done this, Truly I’ll get you back, and then I’ll stop. He fought them hand to hand with a great slaughter; and then he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

     [9-13] Then the Philistines went up, and encamped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. The men of Judah said, Why are you come up against us? They said, We’ve come up to take Samson, to do to him as he has done to us. Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, “Don’t you know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you’ve done to us?” He said to them, As they did to me, so have I done to them. They said to him, We’ve come down to take you, that we may hand you over to the Philistines. Samson said to them, Promise me that you won’t fall on me yourselves. They said to him, No; but we’ll tie you up, and hand you over to them; but truly we won’t kill you. They tied him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock.

     [14-17] When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him; and the Spirit of Yahweh came greatly on him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his ropes dropped from off his hands. He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and reached out, and took it, and fought a thousand men with it. And Samson said, With the jawbone of a donkey, I’ve piled them up. With the jawbone of a donkey I’ve killed a thousand men. When he had finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and that place was called Ramath Lehi (Mount of the Jawbone).

     [18 -20] He was very thirsty, and called on Yahweh, and said, You’ve given this great victory by the hand of your worker; and now will I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the unbelievers. But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out. When he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived; so the its name was called En Hakkore (Creek of One Calling), Which is in Lehi, to this day. He judged Israel in the days of the Philistines 20 years.

     16[1-3] Samson went to Gaza, and saw there a prostitute, and went to her for sex. It was told the Gazites, saying, Samson has come here. They surrounded him, and set up an ambush for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, Wait until morning light, then we’ll kill him. Samson lay until midnight, and got up at midnight, and laid hold of the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and plucked them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of the mountain that is before Hebron.

    [4-7] Afterward, he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. So the leaders of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, Trick him, and see where his great strength lies, and how we may overcome him, that we may tie him up him to punish him; and we’ll each give you of us 1100 pieces of silver. So Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, please, where your great strength lies, and how you strength be tied up to punish you. Samson said to her, If they tie me with seven green cords that were never dried, then I’ll become weak, and be as any other man.

     [8 -9] Then the leaders of the Philistines brought her seven green cords which hadn’t been dried, and she tied him with them. Now she had an ambush waiting in the inner room. She said to him, “The Philistines have come for you, Samson!” and He broke the cords, as a string of flax is broken when it touches the fire. So what made him strong wasn’t discovered.

     [10-12] Then Delilah said to Samson, See, you’ve mocked me, and told me lies; now tell me, please, with what you might be tied? So he said to her, If they only tie me with new ropes with which no work has been done, then I’ll become weak, and be as any other man. So Delilah took new ropes, and tied him with it, and said to him, The Philistines have come for you, Samson. The ambush was waiting in the inner room, but he broke them off his arms like a thread.

     [13-15] Then Delilah said to Samson, Up to now you’ve mocked me, and told me lies; so tell me with what you strength be tied. He said to her, If you weave the seven locks of my head with an unfinished web of a weaver’s loom. She weaved his hair and fastened it with a pin, and said to him, The Philistines have come for you, Samson. He awakened out of his sleep, and jumped up with the pin of the beam, and the web of the weaver’s loom. So she said to him, How can you say, I love you, when your heart isn’t with me? You’ve mocked me these three times, and haven’t told me what makes you so strong.

     [16 -18] When she pressed him daily with her words, and begged him, so that his soul was troubled to death, he told her all his heart, and said to her, “My hair has never been cut; for I’ve been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my hair is cut, then I’ll loose my strength, and I’ll become weak, and be like any other man.” When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the leaders of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he has told me all his heart. Then the leaders of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hand.

     [19-22] She made him fall sleep on her knees; and she called for a man, and cut off the seven locks of his head; and she began to hit him, and he had no strength. She said, The Philistines have come for you, Samson. He awoke out of his sleep, and thought, I’ll go out as at other times, and shake myself free. But he didn’t know that Yahweh had gone from him. The Philistines took hold of him, and put out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza, and tied him with fetters of brass; and he ground at the mill in the prison. But the hair of his head began to grow again after it was cut.

     [23 -26] The leaders of the Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to be happy; for they said, Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand. When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, Our god has given into our hand our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, who has killed many of us. When their hearts were merry, they said, Call for Samson, that he may make sport for us. They called for Samson out of the prison; and he made sport before them. They set him between two pillars; and Samson said to the boy who held him by the hand, Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean on them.

     [27-31] Now the house was full of men and women; and all the leaders of the Philistines were there; and there were on the roof about 3,000 men and women, who watched while Samson made sport. Then Samson called to Yahweh, and said, Yahweh God, remember me, please, and strengthen me, please, only this once, God, that I may be avenged at once of the Philistines for my two eyes. So Samson took hold of the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and leaned on them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left. Then Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. He bowed himself with all his strength; and the house fell on the leaders, and on all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than those who he had killed in his life. Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial site of Manoah his father. He judged Israel 20 years.

     17[1-5] There was a man of the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Micah. He said to his mother, The 1100 pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you spoke a punishment, and also spoke it in my ears, see, I have the silver; I took it. His mother said, Blessed be my son of Yahweh.          He gave back the 1100 pieces of silver to his mother; and his mother said, I most certainly dedicate this silver to Yahweh from my hand for my son, to make an engraved image and a molten image; so I’ll give it back to you.            When he gave back the money to his mother, his mother took 200 pieces of silver, and gave them to the metal worker who made it an engraved image and a molten image; and it was in the house of Micah.     The man Micah had a house of gods, and he made a breastplate, and a family idol, and dedicated one of his sons who became his preacher.

[6-10] In those days there was no ruler in Israel, so everyone did whatever they thought was right.         There was a young man out of Bethlehem Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite; and he stayed there.[         The man left out of the city, out of Bethlehem Judah, to stay wherever he could find a place, and he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he traveled. Micah said to him, Where do you come from? He said to him, I am a Levite of Bethlehem Judah, and I go to stay wherever I may find a place.        Micah said to him, Live with me, and be a father and a preacher to me, and I’ll give you ten pieces of silver by the year, and a suit of clothing, and your food. So the Levite went in.

[11-13] The Levite was content to live with the man; and the young man was to him as one of his sons. Micah dedicated the Levite, and the young man became his preacher, and lived in the house of Micah. Then Micah said, Now I know that Yahweh will do good to me, seeing I have a Levite for my preacher.

     18[1-4] In those days there was no ruler in Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites searched for their land to live in; for to that day their inheritance hadn’t fallen to them among the family groups of Israel.       The people of Dan sent five men out of their family, experienced soldiers, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said to them, Go, search the land. They came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and stayed there.      When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young Levite man; and they turned aside there, and said to him, who brought you here? and what do you have to do with this place? and what business do you have here? He said to them, Micah has done this and this with me, and he has hired me, and I have become his preacher.

[5-9] They said to him, Ask counsel, we ask, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go will be well. The preacher said to them, Go in peace; the way you go is before Yahweh. Then the five men left, and came to Laish, and saw the people who were in it, how they lived in safety, like the Sidonians, quiet and safe; for there was no one in the land in authority, that could put them to shame in anything, and they were far from the Sidonians, and had no dealings with anyone. They came to their brothers to Zorah and Eshtaol; and their brothers asked them, What do you say? They said, Get up, and let us go up against them; for we’ve seen the land, and it’s very good; Why are you standing still? Don’t be lazy! Go in to take the land.

[10-13] When you go, you’ll come to a people safe, and the land is large; for God has given it to you, a place where you’ll never want for anything on earth. Set out from there of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, 600 soldiers. They went up, and encamped in Kiriath Jearim, in Judah; so they called that place Mahaneh Dan, to this day; It’s behind Kiriath Jearim. They passed there to the hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.

[14 -16] Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish answered, and said to their brothers, Do you know that there is in these houses a golden breastplate, and family idol, and an engraved image, and a molten image? Now so consider what you have to do. They turned aside there, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even to the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare. The 600 soldiers, who were of the people of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate.

[17-19] The five men who went to spy out the land went up, and came in there, and took the engraved image, and the golden breastplate, and the family idol, and the molten image; and the preacher stood by the entrance of the gate with the 600 soldiers. When these went into Micah’s house, and got the engraved image, the golden breastplate, and the family idol, and the molten image, the preacher said to them, What are you doing? They said to him, Hold your peace, lay your hand on your mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a preacher; is it better for you to be preacher to the house of one man, or to be a preacher to a whole family group in Israel?

[20 -24] The preacher’s heart was glad, and he took the golden breastplate, the family idol, and the engraved image, and went with them. So they turned and left, and put the little ones and the livestock and the goods before them. When they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men who were in the houses near to Micah’s house gathered together, and overtook the people of Dan.   They called to the people of Dan. They turned around, and said to Micah, What troubles you, that you come with such a company?          He said, you’ve taken away my gods which I made, and the preacher, and have gone away, and what more do I have? How then do you say to me, What troubles you?

     [25-28] The people of Dan said to him, “Don’t let your voice be heard among us, or angry people will attack you, and you lose your life, along with the lives of your household.” The people of Dan went their way; and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house. They took what Micah had made, and the preacher whom he had, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and safe, and fought them with the blade of a sword; and they burnt the city with fire. There was no one to save them, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with anyone else; and it was in the valley that lies by Beth Rehob. They built the city, and lived in it.

[29-31] They called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father who was born to Israel (Jacob); But the name of the city was Laish at the first.  The people of Dan set up for themselves the engraved image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were preachers to the tribe of the Danites until the day the land of Israel was taken prisoner. So they set them up Micah’s engraved image which he made, the whole time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

     19[1 In those days when there was no ruler in Israel, there was a certain Levite staying on the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim, who took to him a mistress out of Bethlehem Judah. His mistress was unfaithful to him, and went away from him to her father’s house to Bethlehem Judah, and was there for four months.      Her husband went up, and followed her, to speak kindly to her, to bring her back again, having his worker with him, and a couple of donkeys; and she brought him into her father’s house; and when the father of the young lady saw him, he was happy to meet him. His father-in-law, the young lady’s father, kept him with them for three days; so they ate and drank, and stayed there.

     [5-10] On the fourth day, they got up early in the morning, and started to leave; and the young lady’s father said to his son-in-law, Strengthen your heart with a little bread, and afterward go your way. So they sat down, and ate and drank together; and the young lady’s father said to the man, Please stay all night, and let your heart be merry. The man started to leave; but his father-in-law urged him, and he stayed there again. He got up early in the morning on the fifth day to leave; and the young lady’s father said, Please strengthen your heart and stay until the day ends; and they both ate. When the man started to leave, he, his mistress, and his worker, his father-in-law, the young lady’s father, said to him, See, now the day draws toward evening, please stay all night; see, the day grows to an end, stay here, that your heart may be merry; and tomorrow get up early on your way, that you may go home. But the man wouldn’t stay that night, but he got up and left, and came to Jebus, which is Jerusalem); and there were with him a couple of donkeys saddled; his mistress also was with him.

     [11 -15] When they were by Jebus, the day was almost over; and the worker said to him, Please come and let’s turn aside into this city of the Jebusites, and stay in it. He said to him, We won’t turn aside into the city of a foreigners, that isn’t of the people of Israel; but we’ll pass over to Gibeah. He said to his worker, Come and let us draw near to one of these places; and we’ll stay in Gibeah, or in Ramah. So they went on their way; and the sun went down on them near to Gibeah, Which belongs to Benjamin. They turned aside there, to go in to stay in Gibeah; and he went in, and sat down in the street of the city; for there was no one who took them into his house to stay.

     [16-] See, an old man came from his work out of the field at evening; now the man was of the hill country of Ephraim, and he stayed in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjamites. He looked up, and saw the traveling man in the street of the city; and the old man said, Where are you going? and where do you come from? He said to him, We are passing from BethlehemJudah to the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim where I am from, and I went to BethlehemJudah; and I am now going to the Place of Worship of Yahweh; and no one has taken me into their house. Yet we have both straw and feed for our donkeys; and there is bread and wine with us also for me, the young lady, and for the young man who is with your workers; we don’t need anything.

[20-] The old man said, Be at peace; but let all your wants be on me; only don’t stay out in the street.    So he brought him into his house, and gave the donkeys feed; and they washed their feet, and ate and drank. As they were making their hearts merry, the men of the city, some homosexuals, surrounded the house, beating at the door; and they said to the homeowner, the old man, saying, Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may have sex with him. The man, the homeowner, Went out to them, and said to them, No, my brothers, please don’t act so evil; seeing that this man has come into my house, don’t do this evil thing. See, here is my daughter who has never had sex, and his mistress; I’ll bring them out now, and you may disgrace them, and do with them whatever you want; but to this man don’t do any such evil.            But the men wouldn’t listen to him; so the man took hold of his mistress, and brought her out to them; and they gang raped her and abused her all night until the morning; and when dawn came, they let her go.

     [26-30] Then the woman came at the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her man was, until it was light. He got up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way; and the woman his mistress was fallen down at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, Get up, and let us be going; but she didn’t answer him; then he picked her up on the donkey; and the man got up, and went home. When he was at his house, he took a knife, and took hold of his mistress, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her body parts throughout all the borders of Israel.          All who saw it said, nothing like this has ever been done or seen from the day that the people of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak.

     20[1-3] Then all the people of Israel went out, and the people was gathered as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba with the land of Gilead, to Yahweh at Mizpah. The captains of all the people, even of all the family groups of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, 400,000 foot soldiers.    (Now the people of Benjamin heard that the people of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) The people of Israel said, Tell us, how did this evil thing happen?

     [4-7] The Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered, I came into Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my mistress, to stay.           The men of Gibeah came against me, and surrounded the house by night; they wanted to kill me, and my mistress they raped, and she is dead. I took my mistress, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel; for they’ve done sexual sin and disgrace in Israel. See, all of you people of Israel give your advice and counsel.

     [8-10] All the people got up as one man, saying, We won’t any of us go to his tent, nor turn in to his house. But now this is the thing which we’ll do to Gibeah; we’ll go up against it as God chooses; and we’ll take ten men out of 100 throughout all the family groups of Israel, and 100 out of 1,000, and 1,000 out of 10,000, to get food for the people, that they may do when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, what is deserved for all the disgrace that they’ve done in Israel.

[11-14] So all the men of Israel gathered together against the city, coming together as one man. The family groups of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What evil thing is this that has happen among you? Now give up the men, those homosexuals who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away this evil from Israel. But Benjamin wouldn’t listen to the voice of their brothers the people of Israel. The people of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the people of Israel.

     [15-19]The people of Benjamin were counted on that day out of the cities 26,000 soldiers, besides the people of Gibeah, who were counted 700 of the best soldiers. Among all this people there were 700 of the best left-handed soldiers; everyone could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss. The men of Israel, besides Benjamin were counted 400,000 soldiers; all these were soldiers of war. The people of Israel got up, and went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of God; and they said, Who will go up for us first to battle against the people of Benjamin? Yahweh said, Judah will go up first. The people of Israel got up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.

     [20-23] The men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel got ready for battle against them at Gibeah. The people of Benjamin came out of Gibeah, and killed 22,000 Israelites on that day.         The people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves, and got ready for battle again in the same place where they got ready the first day. The people of Israel went up and cried before Yahweh until even; and they asked Yahweh, saying, Will I go again to battle against the people of Benjamin, our own family? Yahweh said, Go up against them.

     [24-28] The people of Israel came against the people of Benjamin the second day. Benjamin came against them out of Gibeah the second day, and killed 18,000 of the people of Israel; all these soldiers of war.  Then all the people of Israel went up, and came to Bethel, and cried, and sat there before Yahweh, and fasted that day until even; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yahweh. The people of Israel asked of Yahweh (for the Box of the promised agreement of God was there in those days, and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, Will I yet again go out to battle against the people of Benjamin my brother, or will I stop? Yahweh said, Go up; for tomorrow I’ll give them to you.

[29-32] Israel set ambushes all around Gibeah. The people of Israel went up against the people of Benjamin on the third day, and set themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times. The people of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to fight and kill the people of Israel, as at other times, in the highways that go up to Bethel, and the other to Gibeah, in the field, about 30 men of Israel. The people of Benjamin said, They’re fought down before us, as at the first. But the people of Israel said, Let us run, and draw them away from the city to the highways.

     [33-36] All the men of Israel got up out of their place, and got ready for battle at Baal Tamar; and the ambushers of Israel came out of their place, even out of Maareh Geba. There came over against Gibeah 10,000 of the best soldiers out of all Israel, and the battle was very bad; but they didn’t know that evil was close on them. Yahweh fought Benjamin before Israel; and the people of Israel destroyed 25,100 soldiers of Benjamin that day; all soldiers of war. So the people of Benjamin saw that they were beaten; and the men of Israel left space between them and Benjamin, because they trusted the ambush whom they had set against Gibeah.

[37-40] The ambushers hurried, rushing on Gibeah, and moved forward, and fought all the city with the blade of a sword. Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the ambushers was that they would make a great cloud of smoke go up out of the city. The men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to fight and kill about 30 people of Israel; for they said, Truly they’re beaten before us, as in the first battle. But when the cloud began to go up out of the city in a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them; and saw the whole city going up in smoke to the sky.

     [41-45] The men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were troubled; for they saw that evil had come on them.        So they turned their backs before the men of Israel and ran out into the countryside; but the battle caught up with them; and those who came out of the cities killed them. They surrounded the Benjamites, and chased them, and easily brought them down at their resting place, near Gibeah toward the east. Benjamin lost 18,000 men; all these were experienced soldiers. They turned and ran toward the countryside to the rock of Rimmon; and they picked 5,000 of them off in the highways, and followed hard after them to Gidom, and fought 2,000 of them.

     [46-48] So all who fell that day of Benjamin were 25,000 soldiers; all these were experienced soldiers.    But 600 men turned and ran toward the countryside to the rock of Rimmon, and abode in the rock of Rimmon four months. The men of Israel turned again on the people of Benjamin, and fought them with the blade of a sword, all the people, the livestock, and whatever they found; and they set all the cities on fire.

     21[1-5] Now the men of Israel had promised in Mizpah, saying, None of us will give our daughters to the men of Benjamin as wives. The people came to Bethel, and sat there until evening before God, and raised their voices, and cried very much. They said, Yahweh, the God of Israel, Why has this happened in Israel, that there should be today one family lacking in Israel? On the next day, the people got up early, and built an altar there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. The people of Israel said, Who is there among all the family groups of Israel who didn’t come up in the assembly to Yahweh? For they had made a solemn promise about anyone who didn’t come up to Yahweh to Mizpah, saying, He will Truly be put to death.

     [6-11] The people of Israel grieved for Benjamin, who was their own family, and said, There is one family group gone from Israel this day. What will we do for wives for those who are left, seeing we’ve promised Yahweh that we won’t give them any of our daughters for wives? So they said, Who is there of the family groups of Israel who didn’t come up to Yahweh to Mizpah? It was found that no one came to the camp from Jabesh Gilead to the assembly. For when the people were counted, there were none of the people of Jabesh Gilead there. The people sent there 12,000 of the best soldiers, and told them, saying, Go and fight the people of Jabesh Gilead with the blade of a sword, along with the women and the little ones. This is the thing that you’ll do; you’ll completely destroy every male, and every woman who has had sex with a man.

     [12-15] So they found among the people of Jabesh Gilead 400 young women, who hadn’t had sex with a man; and they brought them to the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. The whole people sent and said to the people of Benjamin who were in the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace to them. Benjamin returned at that time; and they gave them the young women whom they had saved alive from the women of Jabesh Gilead; and there still weren’t enough for them. The people grieved for Benjamin, because Yahweh had made a breach in the family groups of Israel.

     [16-18] Then the elders of the people said, What will we do for wives for those who are left, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin? They said, There must be an inheritance for those who are escaped out of Benjamin, that a tribe not be lost from Israel. But we may not give them wives out of our daughters, for the people of Israel had promised, saying, Anyone who gives a wife to Benjamin will be punished by God.

     [19 -22] Then they said, See, there is a feast of Yahweh from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah. They told the people of Benjamin, saying, Go and set an ambush in the vineyards, and when the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards, and catch a wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. When their families come to complain to us, we’ll say to them, Give them graciously to us, because we didn’t take each man a wife in battle, neither did you give them to them, or you would be guilty.

     [23 -25] So the people of Benjamin did so, and took wives, according to their number, of those who danced, whom they carried off; and they went and returned to their inheritance, and built the cities, and lived in them. The people of Israel left there at that time, everyone to his group and to his family, and they went out from there everyone to his inheritance. In those days there was no ruler in Israel; everyone did whatever they thought was right.

 

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