Judges

(ASV - American Standard Version)
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
[12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21]

Copyright 1901 by Thomas Nelson & Sons
Copyright 1929 by the International Council of Religious Education

Chapter 1

[1]And it came to pass after the death of Joshua, that the children of Israel asked of Jehovah, saying, Who shall go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them? [2] And Jehovah said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. [3]And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him. [4]And Judah went up; and Jehovah delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they smote of them in Bezek ten thousand men. [5]And they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek; and they fought against him, and they smote the Canaanites and the Perizzites. [6]But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. [7]And Adoni-bezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered [their food] under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.

[8]And the children of Judah fought against Jerusalem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. [9]And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites that dwelt in the hill-country, and in the South, and in the lowland. [10]And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron (now the name of Hebron beforetime was Kiriath-arba); and they smote Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.

[11]And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir. (Now the name of Debir beforetime was Kiriath-sepher.) [12]And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kiriath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. [13] And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. [14]And it came to pass, when she came [unto him], that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she alighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? [15]And she said unto him, Give me a blessing; for that thou hast set me in the land of the South, give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.

[16]And the children of the Kenite, Moses' brother-in-law, went up out of the city of palm-trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which is in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt with the people. [17]And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they smote the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah. [18]Also Judah took Gaza with the border thereof, and Ashkelon with the border thereof, and Ekron with the border thereof. [19]And Jehovah was with Judah; and drove out [the inhabitants of] the hill-country; for he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron. [20]And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses had spoken: and he drove out thence the three sons of Anak. [21]And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.

[22]And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Beth-el; and Jehovah was with them. [23]And the house of Joseph sent to spy out Beth-el. (Now the name of the city beforetime was Luz.) [24]And the watchers saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Show us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will deal kindly with thee. [25]And he showed them the entrance into the city; and they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let the man go and all his family. [26]And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz, which is the name thereof unto this day.

[27]And Manasseh did not drive out [the inhabitants of] Beth-shean and its towns, nor [of] Taanach and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. [28]And it came to pass, when Israel was waxed strong, that they put the Canaanites to taskwork, and did not utterly drive them out. [29]And Ephraim drove not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them. [30]Zebulun drove not out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became subject to taskwork.

[31]Asher drove not out the inhabitants of Acco, nor the inhabitants of Sidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob; [32]but the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; for they did not drive them out. [33]Naphtali drove not out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, nor the inhabitants of Beth-anath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became subject to taskwork. [34]And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the hill-country; for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley; [35]but the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres, in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became subject to taskwork. [36]And the border of the Amorites was from the ascent of Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.

Chapter 2

[1]And the angel of Jehovah came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you: [2]and ye shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall break down their altars. But ye have not hearkened unto my voice: why have ye done this? [3]Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be [as thorns] in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. [4]And it came to pass, when the angel of Jehovah spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. [5]And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto Jehovah.

[6]Now when Joshua had sent the people away, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land. [7]And the people served Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Jehovah that he had wrought for Israel. [8]And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Jehovah, died, being a hundred and ten years old. [9]And 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. [10]And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, that knew not Jehovah, nor yet the work which he had wrought for Israel.

[11]And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served the Baalim; [12]and they forsook Jehovah, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the peoples that were round about them, and bowed themselves down unto them: and they provoked Jehovah to anger. [13]And they forsook Jehovah, and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. [14] And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that despoiled them; and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. [15]Whithersoever they went out, the hand of Jehovah was against them for evil, as Jehovah had spoken, and as Jehovah had sworn unto them: and they were sore distressed.

[16]And Jehovah raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those that despoiled them. [17]And yet they hearkened not unto their judges; for they played the harlot after other gods, and bowed themselves down unto them: they turned aside quickly out of the way wherein their fathers walked, obeying the commandments of Jehovah; [but] they did not so. [18]And when Jehovah raised them up judges, then Jehovah was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented Jehovah because of their groaning by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. [19]But it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their doings, nor from their stubborn way. [20]And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel; and he said, Because this nation have transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; [21]I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations that Joshua left when he died; [22]that by them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of Jehovah to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not. [23]So Jehovah left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.

Chapter 3

[1]Now these are the nations which Jehovah left, to prove Israel by them, even as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan; [2]only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as beforetime knew nothing thereof: [3][namely], the five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baal-hermon unto the entrance of Hamath. [4]And they were [left], to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of Jehovah, which he commanded their fathers by Moses. [5]And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites: [6]and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods.

[7]And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and forgat Jehovah their God, and served the Baalim and the Asheroth. [8]Therefore the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. [9]And when the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah, Jehovah raised up a saviour to the children of Israel, who saved them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. [10]And the Spirit of Jehovah came upon him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and Jehovah delivered Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand: and his hand prevailed against Cushan-rishathaim. [11]And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

[12]And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah: and Jehovah strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah. [13]And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and smote Israel, and they possessed the city of palm-trees. [14]And the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

[15]But when the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah, Jehovah raised them up a saviour, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a man left-handed. And the children of Israel sent tribute by him unto Eglon the king of Moab. [16]And Ehud made him a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length; and he girded it under his raiment upon his right thigh. [17]And he offered the tribute unto Eglon king of Moab: now Eglon was a very fat man. [18]And when he had made an end of offering the tribute, he sent away the people that bare the tribute. [19] But he himself turned back from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king. And he said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him. [20]And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting by himself alone in the cool upper room. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat. [21] And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his body: [22]and the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, for he drew not the sword out of his body; and it came out behind. [23]Then Ehud went forth into the porch, and shut the doors of the upper room upon him, and locked them.

[24]Now when he was gone out, his servants came; and they saw, and, behold, the doors of the upper room were locked; and they said, Surely he is covering his feet in the upper chamber. [25]And they tarried till they were ashamed; and, behold, he opened not the doors of the upper room: therefore they took the key, and opened [them], and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.

[26]And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirah. [27]And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the hill-country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill-country, and he before them. [28]And he said unto them, Follow after me; for Jehovah hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and suffered not a man to pass over. [29]And they smote of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, every lusty man, and every man of valor; and there escaped not a man. [30] So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.

[31]And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who smote of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox-goad: and he also saved Israel.

Chapter 4

[1]And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, when Ehud was dead. [2]And Jehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. [3]And the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.

[4]Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time. [5]And she dwelt under the palm-tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth-el in the hill-country of Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. [6]And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not Jehovah, the God of Israel, commanded, [saying], Go and draw unto mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? [7]And I will draw unto thee, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thy hand. [8]And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go; but if thou wilt not go with me, I will not go. [9]And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding, the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor; for Jehovah will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. [10]And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh; and there went up ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.

[11]Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, even from the children of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh. [12]And they told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor. [13]And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles, unto the river Kishon. [14]And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath delivered Sisera into thy hand; is not Jehovah gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. [15]And Jehovah discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot, and fled away on his feet. [16]But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; there was not a man left.

[17]Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. [18]And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And he turned in unto her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. [19]And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. [20]And he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No. [21]Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent-pin, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died. [22]And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest. And he came unto her; and, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent-pin was in his temples. [23]So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. [24]And the hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

Chapter 5

[1]Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, [2]For that the leaders took the lead in Israel, For that the people offered themselves willingly, Bless ye Jehovah. [3]Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, [even] I, will sing unto Jehovah; I will sing praise to Jehovah, the God of Israel. [4]Jehovah, when thou wentest forth out of Seir, When thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, The earth trembled, the heavens also dropped, Yea, the clouds dropped water. [5]The mountains quaked at the presence of Jehovah, Even yon Sinai at the presence of Jehovah, the God of Israel.

[6]In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, And the travellers walked through byways. [7]The rulers ceased in Israel, they ceased, Until that I Deborah arose, That I arose a mother in Israel. [8]They chose new gods; Then was war in the gates: Was there a shield or spear seen Among forty thousand in Israel? [9]My heart is toward the governors of Israel, That offered themselves willingly among the people: Bless ye Jehovah. [10]Tell [of it], ye that ride on white asses, Ye that sit on rich carpets, And ye that walk by the way. [11]Far from the noise of archers, in the places of drawing water, There shall they rehearse the righteous acts of Jehovah, [Even] the righteous acts of his rule in Israel. Then the people of Jehovah went down to the gates.

[12]Awake, awake, Deborah; Awake, awake, utter a song: Arise, Barak, and lead away thy captives, thou son of Abinoam. [13]Then came down a remnant of the nobles [and] the people; Jehovah came down for me against the mighty. [14]Out of Ephraim [came down] they whose root is in Amalek; After thee, Benjamin, among thy peoples; Out of Machir came down governors, And out of Zebulun they that handle the marshal's staff. [15]And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; As was Issachar, so was Barak; Into the valley they rushed forth at his feet. By the watercourses of Reuben There were great resolves of heart. [16]Why sattest thou among the sheepfolds, To hear the pipings for the flocks? At the watercourses of Reuben There were great searchings of heart. [17]Gilead abode beyond the Jordan: And Dan, why did he remain in ships? Asher sat still at the haven of the sea, And abode by his creeks. [18]Zebulun was a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death, And Naphtali, upon the high places of the field.

[19]The kings came and fought; Then fought the kings of Canaan. In Taanach by the waters of Megiddo: They took no gain of money. [20]From heaven fought the stars, From their courses they fought against Sisera. [21]The river Kishon swept them away, That ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, march on with strength. [22]Then did the horsehoofs stamp By reason of the prancings, the prancings of their strong ones. [23]Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of Jehovah. Curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, Because they came not to the help of Jehovah, To the help of Jehovah against the mighty.

[24]Blessed above women shall Jael be, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Blessed shall she be above women in the tent. [25]He asked water, [and] she gave him milk; She brought him butter in a lordly dish. [26]She put her hand to the tent-pin, And her right hand to the workmen's hammer; And with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote through his head; Yea, she pierced and struck through his temples. [27]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]Through the window she looked forth, and cried, The mother of Sisera [cried] through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarry the wheels of his chariots? [29]Her wise ladies answered her, Yea, she returned answer to herself, [30]Have they not found, have they not divided the spoil? A damsel, two damsels to every man; To Sisera a spoil of dyed garments, A spoil of dyed garments embroidered, Of dyed garments embroidered on both sides, on the necks of the spoil? [31]So let all thine enemies perish, O Jehovah: But let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.

Chapter 6

[1]And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah: and Jehovah delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. [2]And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel; and because of Midian the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and the caves, and the strongholds. [3]And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east; they came up against them; [4]and they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. [5]For they came up with their cattle and their tents; they came in as locusts for multitude; both they and their camels were without number: and they came into the land to destroy it. [6]And Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah.

[7]And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah because of Midian, [8]that Jehovah sent a prophet unto the children of Israel: and he said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; [9]and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land; [10]and I said unto you, I am Jehovah your God; ye shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell. But ye have not hearkened unto my voice.

[11]And the angel of Jehovah came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. [12]And the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him, and said unto him, Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valor. [13]And Gideon said unto him, Oh, my lord, if Jehovah is with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where are all his wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not Jehovah bring us up from Egypt? but now Jehovah hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian. [14]And Jehovah looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent thee? [15]And he said unto him, Oh, Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. [16]And Jehovah said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. [17]And he said unto him, If now I have found favor in thy sight, then show me a sign that it is thou that talkest with me. [18]Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and lay it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.

[19]And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of meal: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. [20]And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. [21]Then the angel of Jehovah put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there went up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of Jehovah departed out of his sight. [22]And Gideon saw that he was the angel of Jehovah; and Gideon said, Alas, O Lord Jehovah! forasmuch as I have seen the angel of Jehovah face to face. [23]And Jehovah said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. [24]Then Gideon built an altar there unto Jehovah, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

[25]And it came to pass the same night, that Jehovah said unto him, Take thy father's bullock, even the second bullock seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the Asherah that is by it; [26]and build an altar unto Jehovah thy God upon the top of this stronghold, in the orderly manner, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt-offering with the wood of the Asherah which thou shalt cut down. [27]Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as Jehovah had spoken unto him: and it came to pass, because he feared his father's household and the men of the city, so that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

[28]And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. [29]And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. [30]Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die, because he hath broken down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the Asherah that was by it. [31]And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye contend for Baal? Or will ye save him? he that will contend for him, let him be put to death whilst [it is yet] morning: if he be a god, let him contend for himself, because one hath broken down his altar. [32]Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal contend against him, because he hath broken down his altar.

[33]Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east assembled themselves together; and they passed over, and encamped in the valley of Jezreel. [34]But the Spirit of Jehovah came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him. [35]And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; and they also were gathered together after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them. [36]And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast spoken, [37]behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing-floor; if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the ground, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast spoken. [38] And it was so; for he rose up early on the morrow, and pressed the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. [39]And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once: let me make trial, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. [40]And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.

Chapter 7

[1]Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and encamped beside the spring of Harod: and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. [2]And Jehovah said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. [3]Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and trembling, let him return and depart from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

[4]And Jehovah said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. [5]So he brought down the people unto the water: and Jehovah said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. [6]And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. [7]And Jehovah said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thy hand; and let all the people go every man unto his place. [8] So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets; and he sent all the men of Israel every man unto his tent, but retained the three hundred men: and the camp of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

[9]And it came to pass the same night, that Jehovah said unto him, Arise, get thee down into the camp; for I have delivered it into thy hand. [10]But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Purah thy servant down to the camp: [11]and thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thy hands be strengthened to go down into the camp. Then went he down with Purah his servant unto the outermost part of the armed men that were in the camp. [12]And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like locusts for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand which is upon the sea-shore for multitude. [13]And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man telling a dream unto his fellow; and he said, Behold, I dreamed a dream; and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came unto the tent, and smote it so that it fell, and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat. [14]And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: into his hand God hath delivered Midian, and all the host.

[15]And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped; and he returned into the camp of Israel, and said, Arise; for Jehovah hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. [16] And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put into the hands of all of them trumpets, and empty pitchers, with torches within the pitchers. [17]And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outermost part of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. [18]When I blow the trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, For Jehovah and for Gideon.

[19]So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outermost part of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch, when they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake in pieces the pitchers that were in their hands. [20]And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the torches in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands wherewith to blow; and they cried, The sword of Jehovah and of Gideon. [21]And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran; and they shouted, and put [them] to flight. [22] And they blew the three hundred trumpets, and Jehovah set every man's sword against his fellow, and against all the host; and the host fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. [23]And the men of Israel were gathered together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after Midian. [24]And 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, even the Jordan. So all the men of Ephraim were gathered together, and took the waters as far as Beth-barah, even the Jordan. [25] And they took the two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian: and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon beyond the Jordan.

Chapter 8

[1]And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with Midian? And they did chide with him sharply. [2] And he said unto them, What have I now done in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? [3]God hath delivered into your hand the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison with you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.

[4]And Gideon came to the Jordan, [and] passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing. [5]And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they are faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian. [6]And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thy hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? [7]And Gideon said, Therefore when Jehovah hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. [8]And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them in like manner; and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. [9]And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.

[10]Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the host of the children of the east; for there fell a hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. [11]And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host; for the host was secure. [12]And Zebah and Zalmunna fled; and he pursued after them; and he took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host.

[13]And Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle from the ascent of Heres. [14]And he caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him: and he described for him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, seventy and seven men. [15]And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, concerning whom ye did taunt me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thy hand, that we should give bread unto thy men that are weary? [16] And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. [17] And he brake down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.

[18]Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king. [19]And he said, They were my brethren, the sons of my mother: as Jehovah liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you. [20]And he said unto Jether his first-born, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword; for he feared, because he was yet a youth. [21]Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us; for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescents that were on their camels' necks.

[22]Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also; for thou hast saved us out of the hand of Midian. [23]And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: Jehovah shall rule over you. [24]And Gideon said unto them, I would make a request of you, that ye would give me every man the ear-rings of his spoil. (For they had golden ear-rings, because they were Ishmaelites.) [25]And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the ear-rings of his spoil. [26]And the weight of the golden ear-rings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold, besides the crescents, and the pendants, and the purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were about their camels' necks. [27]And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel played the harlot after it there; and it became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. [28]So Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.

[29]And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house. [30]And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten; for he had many wives. [31]And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. [32]And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. [33]And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and played the harlot after the Baalim, and made Baal-berith their god. [34]And the children of Israel remembered not Jehovah their God, who had delivered them out of the hand of all their enemies on every side; [35]neither showed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, [who is] Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had showed unto Israel.

Chapter 9

[1]And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother's brethren, and spake with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying, [2]Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are threescore and ten persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh. [3]And his mother's brethren spake of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother. [4]And they gave him threescore and ten [pieces] of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light fellows, who followed him. [5]And he went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself. [6] And all the men of Shechem assembled themselves together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem.

[7]And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. [8]The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree, Reign thou over us. [9]But the olive-tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man, and go to wave to and fro over the trees? [10]And the trees said to the fig-tree, Come thou, and reign over us. [11] But the fig-tree said unto them, Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to wave to and fro over the trees? [12]And the trees said unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. [13]And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my new wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to wave to and fro over the trees? [14]Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. [15]And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. [16]Now therefore, if ye have dealt truly and uprightly, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands [17](for my father fought for you, and adventured his life, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: [18]and ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maid-servant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother); [19]if ye then have dealt truly and uprightly with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: [20]but if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour 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 devour Abimelech. [21]And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

[22]And Abimelech was prince over Israel three years. [23]And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: [24]that the violence done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid upon Abimelech their brother, who slew them, and upon the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to slay his brethren. [25]And the men of Shechem set liers-in-wait for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.

[26]And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him. [27]And they went out into the field, and gathered their vineyards, and trod [the grapes], and held festival, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. [28]And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve ye the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: but why should we serve him? [29]And would that this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out. [30]And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. [31]And he sent messengers unto Abimelech craftily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren are come to Shechem; and, behold, they constrain the city [to take part] against thee. [32]Now therefore, up by night, thou and the people that are with thee, and lie in wait in the field: [33]and it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and rush upon the city; and, behold, when he and the people that are with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion.

[34]And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies. [35]And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from the ambushment. [36] And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the tops of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men. [37]And Gaal spake again and said, See, there come people down by the middle of the land, and one company cometh by the way of the oak of Meonenim. [38]Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth, that thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out now, I pray, and fight with them. [39]And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. [40]And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and there fell many wounded, even unto the entrance of the gate.

[41]And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. [42]And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. [43]And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field; and he looked, and, behold, the people came forth out of the city; And he rose up against them, and smote them. [44]And 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 upon all that were in the field, and smote them. [45]And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that were therein: and he beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.

[46]And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard thereof, they entered into the stronghold of the house of Elberith. [47]And it was told Abimelech that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. [48]And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his shoulder: and he said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done. [49] And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

[50]Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. [51]But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut themselves in, and gat them up to the roof of the tower. [52]And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and drew near unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire. [53]And a certain woman cast an upper millstone upon Abimelech's head, and brake his skull. [54] Then he called hastily unto the young man his armorbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and kill me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. [55]And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place. [56]Thus God requited the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren; [57]and all the wickedness of the men of Shechem did God requite upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

Chapter 10

[1]And after Abimelech there arose to save Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in the hill-country of Ephraim. [2]And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir. [3]And after him arose Jair, the Gileadite; and he judged Israel twenty and two years. [4]And he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities, which are called Havvoth-jair unto this day, which are in the land of Gilead. [5]And Jair died, and was buried in Kamon.

[6]And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served the Baalim, and the Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Sidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and they forsook Jehovah, and served him not. [7]And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the children of Ammon. [8]And they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel that year: eighteen years [oppressed they] all the children of Israel that were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. [9] And the children of Ammon passed over the Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed.

[10]And the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah, saying, We have sinned against thee, even because we have forsaken our God, and have served the Baalim. [11]And Jehovah said unto the children of Israel, [Did] not [I save you] from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? [12]The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried unto me, and I saved you out of their hand. [13]Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will save you no more. [14]Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress. [15]And the children of Israel said unto Jehovah, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; only deliver us, we pray thee, this day. [16]And they put away the foreign gods from among them, and served Jehovah; and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel. [17]Then the children of Ammon were gathered together, and encamped in Gilead. And the children of Israel assembled themselves together, and encamped in Mizpah. [18]And the people, the princes of Gilead, said one to another, What man is he that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.