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Title: Antiquities of the Jews
Author: Josephus, Flavius
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Antiquities of the Jews" ***


By Flavius Josephus

Translated by William Whiston




BOOK I. Containing The Interval Of Three Thousand Eight Hundred And
Thirty-Three Years. — From The Creation To The Death Of Isaac.

CHAPTER 1. The Constitution Of The World And The Disposition Of The

CHAPTER 2. Concerning The Posterity Of Adam, And The Ten Generations
From Him To The Deluge.

CHAPTER 3. Concerning The Flood; And After What Manner Noah Was Saved In
An Ark, With His Kindred, And Afterwards Dwelt In The Plain Of Shinar.

CHAPTER 4. Concerning The Tower Of Babylon, And The Confusion Of

CHAPTER 5. After What Manner The Posterity Of Noah Sent Out Colonies,
And Inhabited The Whole Earth.

CHAPTER 6. How Every Nation Was Denominated From Their First

CHAPTER 7. How Abram Our Forefather Went Out Of The Land Of The
Chaldeans, And Lived In The Land Then Called Canaan But Now Judea.

CHAPTER 8. That When There Was A Famine In Canaan, Abram Went Thence
Into Egypt; And After He Had Continued There A While He Returned Back

CHAPTER 9. The Destruction Of The Sodomites By The Assyrian War.

CHAPTER 10. How Abram Fought With The Assyrians, And Overcame Them, And
Saved The Sodomite Prisoners, And Took From The Assyrians The Prey They
Had Gotten.

CHAPTER 11. How God Overthrew The Nation Of The Sodomites, Out Of His
Wrath Against Them For Their Sins.

CHAPTER 12. Concerning Abimelech; And Concerning Ismael The Son Of
Abraham; And Concerning The Arabians, Who Were His Posterity.

CHAPTER 13. Concerning Isaac The Legitimate Son Of Abraham.

CHAPTER 14. Concerning Sarah Abraham's Wife; And How She Ended Her Days.

CHAPTER 15. How The Nation Of The Troglodytes Were Derived From Abraham
By Keturah.

CHAPTER 16. How Isaac Took Rebeka To Wife.

CHAPTER 17. Concerning The Death Of Abraham.

CHAPTER 18. Concerning The Sons Of Isaac, Esau And Jacob; Of Their
Nativity And Education.

CHAPTER 19. Concerning Jacob's Flight Into Mesopotamia, By Reason Of The
Fear He Was In Of His Brother.

CHAPTER 20. Concerning The Meeting Of Jacob And Esau.

CHAPTER 21. Concerning The Violation Of Dina's Chastity.

CHAPTER 22. How Isaac Died, And Was Buried In Hebron.


BOOK II. Containing The Interval Of Two Hundred And Twenty Years.—From
The Death Of Isaac To The Exodus Out Of Egypt.

CHAPTER 1. How Esau And Jacob, Isaac's Sons Divided Their Habitation;
And Esau Possessed Idumea And Jacob Canaan.

CHAPTER 2. How Joseph, The Youngest Of Jacob's Sons, Was Envied By His
Brethren, When Certain Dreams Had Foreshown His Future Happiness.

CHAPTER 3. How Joseph Was Thus Sold By His Brethren Into Egypt, By
Reason Of Their Hatred To Him; And How He There Grew Famous And
Illustrious And Had His Brethren Under His Power.

CHAPTER 4. Concerning The Signal Chastity Of Joseph.

CHAPTER 5. What Things Befell Joseph In Prison.

CHAPTER 6. How Joseph When He Was Become Famous In Egypt, Had His
Brethren In Subjection.

CHAPTER 7. The Removal Of Joseph's Father With All His Family, To Him,
On Account Of The Famine.

CHAPTER 8. Of The Death Of Jacob And Joseph.

CHAPTER 9. Concerning The Afflictions That Befell The Hebrews In Egypt,
During Four Hundred Years. [16]

CHAPTER 10. How Moses Made War With The Ethiopians.

CHAPTER 11. How Moses Fled Out Of Egypt Into Midian.

CHAPTER 12. Concerning The Burning Bush And The Rod Of Moses.

CHAPTER 13. How Moses And Aaron Returned Into Egypt To Pharaoh.

CHAPTER 14. Concerning The Ten Plagues Which Came Upon The Egyptians.

CHAPTER 15. How The Hebrews Under The Conduct Of Moses Left Egypt.

CHAPTER 16. How The Sea Was Divided Asunder For The Hebrews, When They
Were Pursued By The Egyptians, And So Gave Them An Opportunity Of
Escaping From Them.


BOOK III. Containing The Interval Of Two Years.—From The Exodus Out Of
Egypt, To The Rejection Of That Generation.

CHAPTER 1. How Moses When He Had Brought The People Out Of Egypt Led
Them To Mount Sinai; But Not Till They Had Suffered Much In Their

CHAPTER 2. How The Amalekites And The Neighbouring Nations, Made War
With The Hebrews And Were Beaten And Lost A Great Part Of Their Army.

CHAPTER 3. That Moses Kindly Received-His Father-In-Law, Jethro, When He
Came To Him To Mount Sinai.

CHAPTER 4. How Raguel Suggested To Moses To Set His People In Order,
Under Their Rulers Of Thousands, And Rulers Of Hundreds, Who Lived
Without Order Before; And How Moses Complied In All Things With His
Father-In-Law's Admonition.

CHAPTER 5. How Moses Ascended Up To Mount Sinai, And Received Laws From
God, And Delivered Them To The Hebrews.

CHAPTER 6. Concerning The Tabernacle Which Moses Built In The Wilderness
For The Honor Of God And Which Seemed To Be A Temple.

CHAPTER 7. Concerning The Garments Of The Priests, And Of The High

CHAPTER 8. Of The Priesthood Of Aaron.

CHAPTER 9. The Manner Of Our Offering Sacrifices.

CHAPTER 10. Concerning The Festivals; And How Each Day Of Such Festival
Is To Be Observed.

CHAPTER 11. Of The Purifications.

CHAPTER 12. Several Laws.

CHAPTER 13. Moses Removed From Mount Sinai, And Conducted The People To
The Borders Of The Canaanites.

CHAPTER 14. How Moses Sent Some Persons To Search Out The Land Of The
Canaanites, And The Largeness Of Their Cities; And Further That When
Those Who Were Sent Were Returned, After Forty Days And Reported That
They Should Not Be A Match For Them, And Extolled The Strength Of The
Canaanites The Multitude Were Disturbed And Fell Into Despair; And Were
Resolved To Stone Moses, And To Return Back Again Into Egypt, And Serve
The Egyptians.

CHAPTER 15. How Moses Was Displeased At This, And Foretold That God Was
Angry And That They Should Continue In The Wilderness For Forty Years
And Not, During That Time, Either Return Into Egypt Or Take Possession
Of Canaan.


BOOK IV. Containing The Interval Of Thirty-Eight Years.—From The
Rejection Of That Generation To The Death Of Moses.

CHAPTER 1. Fight Of The Hebrews With The Canaanites Without The Consent
Of Moses; And Their Defeat.

CHAPTER 2. The Sedition Of Corah And Of The Multitude Against Moses, And
Against His Brother, Concerning The Priesthood.

CHAPTER 3. How Those That Stirred Up This Sedition Were Destroyed,
According To The Will Of God; And How Aaron, Moses's Brother Both He And
His Posterity, Retained The Priesthood.

CHAPTER 4. What Happened To The Hebrews During Thirty-Eight Years In The

CHAPTER 5. How Moses Conquered Sihon And Og Kings Of The Amorites, And
Destroyed Their Whole Army And Then Divided Their Land By Lot To Two
Tribes And A Half Of The Hebrews.

CHAPTER 6. Concerning Balaam The Prophet And What Kind Of Man He Was.

CHAPTER 7. How The Hebrews Fought With The Midianites, And Overcame

CHAPTER 8. The Polity Settled By Moses; And How He Disappeared From
Among Mankind.


BOOK V. Containing The Interval Of Four Hundred And Seventy-Six
Years.—From The Death Of Moses To The Death Of Eli.

CHAPTER 1. How Joshua, The Commander Of The Hebrews, Made War With The
Canaanites, And Overcame Them, And Destroyed Them, And Divided Their
Land By Lot To The Tribes Of Israel.

CHAPTER 2. How, After The Death Of Joshua Their Commander, The
Israelites Transgressed The Laws Of Their Country, And Experienced Great
Afflictions; And When There Was A Sedition Arisen, The Tribe Of Benjamin
Was Destroyed Excepting Only Six Hundred Men.

CHAPTER 3. How The Israelites After This Misfortune Grew Wicked And
Served The Assyrians; And How God Delivered Them By Othniel, Who Ruled
Over Them Forty Years.

CHAPTER 4. How Our People Served The Moabites Eighteen Years, And Were
Then Delivered From Slavery By One Ehud Who Retained The Dominion Eighty

CHAPTER 5. How The Canaanites Brought The Israelites Under Slavery For
Twenty Years; After Which They Were Delivered By Barak And Deborah, Who
Ruled Over Them For Forty Years.

CHAPTER 6. How The Midianites And Other Nations Fought Against The
Israelites And Beat Them, And Afflicted Their Country For Seven Years,
How They Were Delivered By Gideon, Who Ruled Over The Multitude For
Forty Years.

CHAPTER 7. That The Judges Who Succeeded Gideon Made War With The
Adjoining Nations For A Long Time.

CHAPTER 8. Concerning The Fortitude Of Samson, And What Mischiefs He
Brought Upon The Philistines.

CHAPTER 9. How Under Eli's Government Of The Israelites Booz Married
Ruth, From Whom Came Obed The Grandfather Of David.

CHAPTER 10. Concerning The Birth Of Samuel; And How He Foretold The
Calamity That Befell The Sons Of Eli.

CHAPTER 11. Herein Is Declared What Befell The Sons Of Eli, The Ark, And
The People And How Eli Himself Died Miserably.


BOOK VI. Containing The Interval Of Thirty-Two Years.—From The Death Of
Eli To The Death Of Saul.

CHAPTER 1. The Destruction That Came Upon The Philistines, And Upon
Their Land, By The Wrath Of Go On Account Of Their Having Carried The
Ark Away Captive; And After What Manner They Sent It Back To The

CHAPTER 2. The Expedition Of The Philistines Against The Hebrews And The
Hebrews' Victory Under The Conduct Of Samuel The Prophet, Who Was Their

CHAPTER 3. How Samuel When He Was So Infirm With Old Age That He Could
Not Take Care Of The Public Affairs Intrusted Them To His Sons; And How
Upon The Evil Administration Of The Government By Them The Multitude
Were So Angry, That They Required To Have A King To Govern Them,
Although Samuel Was Much Displeased Thereat.

CHAPTER 4. The Appointment Of A King Over The Israelites, Whose Name Was
Saul; And This By The Command Of God.

CHAPTER 5. Saul's Expedition Against The Nation Of The Ammonites And
Victory Over Them And The Spoils He Took From Them.

CHAPTER 6. How The Philistines Made Another Expedition Against The
Hebrews And Were Beaten.

CHAPTER 7. Saul's War With The Amalekites, And Conquest Of Them.

CHAPTER 8. How, Upon Saul's Transgression Of The Prophet's Commands,
Samuel Ordained Another Person To Be King Privately, Whose Name Was
David, As God Commanded Him.

CHAPTER 9. How The Philistines Made Another Expedition Against The
Hebrews Under The Reign Of Saul; And How They Were Overcome By David's
Slaying Goliath In Single Combat.

CHAPTER 10. Saul Envies David For His Glorious Success, And Takes An
Occasion Of Entrapping Him, From The Promise He Made Him Of Giving Him
His Daughter In Marriage; But This Upon Condition Of His Bringing Him
Six Hundred Heads Of The Philistines.

CHAPTER 11. How David, Upon Saul's Laying Snares For Him, Did Yet Escape
The Dangers He Was In By The Affection And Care Of Jonathan And The
Contrivances Of His Wife Michal: And How He Came To Samuel The Prophet.

CHAPTER 12. How David Fled To Ahimelech And Afterwards To The Kings Of
The Philistines And Of The Moabites, And How Saul Slew Ahimelech And His

CHAPTER 13. How David, When He Had Twice The Opportunity Of Killing Saul
Did Not Kill Him. Also Concerning The Death Of Samuel And Nabal.

CHAPTER 14. Now Saul Upon God's Not Answering Him Concerning The Fight
With The Philistines Desired A Necromantic Woman To Raise Up The Soul Of
Samuel To Him; And How He Died, With His Sons Upon The Overthrow Of The
Hebrews In Battle.


BOOK VII. Containing The Interval Of Forty Years.—From The Death Of Saul
To The Death Of David.

CHAPTER 1. How David Reigned Over One Tribe At Hebron While The Son Of
Saul Reigned Over The Rest Of The Multitude; And How, In The Civil War
Which Then Arose Asahel And Abner Were Slain.

CHAPTER 2. That Upon The Slaughter Of Ishbosheth By The Treachery Of His
Friends, David Received The Whole Kingdom.

CHAPTER 3. How David Laid Siege To Jerusalem; And When He Had Taken The
City, He Cast The Canaanites Out Of It, And Brought In The Jews To
Inhabit Therein.

CHAPTER 4. That When David Had Conquered The Philistines Who Made War
Against Him At Jerusalem, He Removed The Ark To Jerusalem And Had A Mind
To Build A Temple.

CHAPTER 5. How David Brought Under The Philistines, And The Moabites,
And The Kings Of Sophene And Of Damascus, And Of The Syrians As Also The
Idumeans, In War; And How He Made A League With The King Of Hamath; And
Was Mindful Of The Friendship That Jonathan, The Son Of Saul, Had Borne

CHAPTER 6. How The War Was Waged Against The Ammonites And Happily

CHAPTER 7. How David Fell In Love With Bathsheba, And Slew Her Husband
Uriah, For Which He Is Reproved By Nathan.

CHAPTER 8. How Absalom Murdered Amnon, Who Had Forced His Own Sister;
And How He Was Banished And Afterwards Recalled By David.

CHAPTER 9. Concerning The Insurrection Of Absalom Against David And
Concerning Ahithophel And Hushai; And Concerning Ziba And Shimei; And
How Ahithophel Hanged Himself.

CHAPTER 10. How, When Absalom Was Beaten, He Was Caught In A Tree By His
Hair And Was Slain.

CHAPTER 11. How David, When He Had Recovered His Kingdom, Was Reconciled
To Shimei, And To Ziba; And Showed A Great Affection To Barzillai; And
How, Upon The Rise Of A Sedition, He Made Amasa Captain Of His Host, In
Order To Pursue Seba; Which Amasa Was Slain By Joab.

CHAPTER 12. How The Hebrews Were Delivered From A Famine When The
Gibeonites Had Caused Punishment To Be Inflicted For Those Of Them That
Had Been Slain: As Also, What Great Actions Were Performed Against The
Philistines By David, And The Men Of Valor About Him.

CHAPTER 13. That When David Had Numbered the People, They Were Punished;
and How the Divine Compassion Restrained That Punishment.

CHAPTER 14. That David Made Great Preparations For The House Of God; And
That, Upon Adonijah's Attempt To Gain The Kingdom, He Appointed Solomon
To Reign.

CHAPTER 15. What Charge David Gave Tohis Son Solomon At The Approach Of
His Death, And How Many Things He Left Him For The Building Of The


BOOK VIII. Containing The Interval Of One Hundred And Sixty-Three
Years.—From The Death Of David To The Death Of Ahab.

CHAPTER 1. How Solomon, When He Had Received The Kingdom Took Off His

CHAPTER 2. Concerning The Wife Of Solomon; Concerning His Wisdom And
Riches; And Concerning What He Obtained Of Hiram For The Building Of The

CHAPTER 3. Of The Building Of This Temple

CHAPTER 4. How Solomon Removed The Ark Into The Temple How He Made
Supplication To God, And Offered Public Sacrifices To Him.

CHAPTER 5. How Solomon Built Himself A Royal Palace, Very Costly And
Splendid; And How He Solved The Riddles Which Were Sent Him By Hiram.

CHAPTER 6. How Solomon Fortified The City Of Jerusalem, And Built Great
Cities; And How He Brought Some Of The Canaanites Into Subjection, And
Entertained The Queen Of Egypt And Of Ethiopia.

CHAPTER 7. How Solomon Grew Rich, And Fell Desperately In Love With
Women And How God, Being Incensed At It, Raised Up Ader And Jeroboam
Against Him. Concerning The Death Of Solomon.

CHAPTER 8. How, Upon The Death Of Solomon The People Forsook His Son
Rehoboam, And Ordained Jeroboam King Over The Ten Tribes.

CHAPTER 9. How Jadon The Prophet Was Persuaded By Another Lying Prophet
And Returned [To Bethel,] And Was Afterwards Slain By A Lion. As Also
What Words The Wicked Prophet Made Use Of To Persuade The King, And
Thereby Alienated His Mind From God.

CHAPTER 10. Concerning Rehoboam, And How God Inflicted Punishment Upon
Him For His Impiety By Shishak [King Of Egypt].

CHAPTER 11. Concerning The Death Of A Son Of Jeroboam. How Jeroboam Was
Beaten By Abijah Who Died A Little Afterward And Was Succeeded In His
Kingdom By Asa. And Also How, After The Death Of Jeroboam Baasha
Destroyed His Son Nadab And All The House Of Jeroboam.

CHAPTER 12. How Zerah, King Of The Ethiopians, Was Beaten By Asa; And
How Asa, Upon Baasha's Making War Against Him, Invited The King Of The
Damascens To Assist Him; And How, On The Destruction Of The House Of
Baasha Zimri Got The Kingdom As Did His Son Ahab After Him.

CHAPTER 13. How Ahab When He Had Taken Jezebel To Wife Became More
Wicked Than All The Kings That Had Been Before Him; Of The Actions Of
The Prophet Elijah, And What Befell Naboth.

CHAPTER 14. How Hadad King Of Damascus And Of Syria, Made Two
Expeditions Against Ahab And Was Beaten.

CHAPTER 15. Concerning Jehoshaphat The King Of Jerusalem And How Ahab
Made An Expedition Against The Syrians And Was Assisted Therein By
Jehoshaphat, But Was Himself Overcome In Battle And Perished Therein.


BOOK IX. Containing The Interval Of One Hundred And Fifty-Seven
Years.—From The Death Of Ahab To The Captivity Of The Ten Tribes.

CHAPTER 1. Concerning Jehoshaphat Again; How He Constituted Judges And,
By God's Assistance Overcame His Enemies.

CHAPTER 2. Concerning Ahaziah; The King Of Israel; And Again Concerning
The Prophet Elijah.

CHAPTER 3. How Joram And Jehoshaphat Made An Expedition Against The
Moabites; As Also Concerning The Wonders Of Elisha; And The Death Of

CHAPTER 4. Jehoram Succeeds Jehoshaphat; How Joram, His Namesake, King
Of Israel, Fought With The Syrians; And What Wonders Were Done By The
Prophet Elisha.

CHAPTER 5. Concerning The Wickedness Of Jehoram King O Jerusalem; His
Defeat And Death.

CHAPTER 6. How Jehu Was Anointed King, And Slew Both Joram And Ahaziah;
As Also What He Did For The Punishment Of The Wicked.

CHAPTER 7. How Athaliah Reigned Over Jerusalem For Five [Six] Years When
Jehoiada The High Priest Slew Her And Made Jehoash, The Son Of Ahaziah,

CHAPTER 8. Hazael Makes An Expedition Against The People Of Israel And
The Inhabitants Of Jerusalem. Jehu Dies, And Jehoahaz Succeeds In The
Government. Jehoash The King Of Jerusalem At First Is Careful About The
Worship Of God But Afterwards Becomes Impious And Commands Zechariah To
Be Stoned. When Jehoash [King Of Judah] Was Dead, Amaziah Succeeds Him
In The Kingdom.

CHAPTER 9. How Amaziah Made An Expedition Against The Edomites And
Amalekites And Conquered Them; But When He Afterwards Made War Against
Joash, He Was Beaten And Not Long After Was Slain, And Uzziah Succeeded
In The Government.

CHAPTER 10. Concerning Jeroboam King Of Israel And Jonah The Prophet;
And How After The Death Of Jeroboam His Son Zachariah Took The
Government. How Uzziah, King Of Jerusalem, Subdued The Nations That Were
Round About Him; And What Befell Him When He Attempted To Offer Incense
To God.

CHAPTER 11. How Zachariah Shallum, Menahem Pekahiah And Pekah Took The
Government Over The Israelites; And How Pul And Tiglath-Pileser Made An
Expedition Against The Israelites. How Jotham, The Son Of Uzziah Reigned
Over The Tribe Of Judah; And What Things Nahum Prophesied Against The

CHAPTER 12. How Upon The Death Of Jotham, Ahaz Reigned In His Stead;
Against Whom Rezin, King Of Syria And Pekah King Of Israel, Made War;
And How Tiglath-Pileser, King Of Assyria Came To The Assistance Of Ahaz,
And Laid Syria Waste And Removing The Damascenes Into Media Placed Other
Nations In Their Room.

CHAPTER 13. How Pekah Died By The Treachery Of Hoshea Who Was A Little
After Subdued By Shalmaneser; And How Hezekiah Reigned Instead Of Ahaz;
And What Actions Of Piety And Justice He Did.

CHAPTER 14. How Shalmaneser Took Samaria By Force And How He
Transplanted The Ten Tribes Into Media, And Brought The Nation Of The
Cutheans Into Their Country [In Their Room].


BOOK X. Containing The Interval Of One Hundred And Eighty-Two Years And
A Half.—From The Captivity Of The Ten Tribes To The First Year Of Cyrus.

CHAPTER 1. How Sennacherib Made An Expedition Against Hezekiah; What
Threatenings Rabshakeh Made To Hezekiah When Sennacherib Was Gone
Against The Egyptians; How Isaiah The Prophet Encouraged Him; How
Sennacherib Having Failed Of Success In Egypt, Returned Thence To
Jerusalem; And How Upon His Finding His Army Destroyed, He Returned
Home; And What Befell Him A Little Afterward.

CHAPTER 2. How Hezekiah Was Sick, And Ready To Die; And How God Bestowed
Upon Him Fifteen Years Longer Life, [And Secured That Promise] By The
Going Back Of The Shadow Ten Degrees.

CHAPTER 3. How Manasseh Reigned After Hezekiah; And How When He Was In
Captivity He Returned To God And Was Restored To His Kingdom And Left It
To [His Son] Amon.

CHAPTER 4. How Amon Reigned Instead Of Manasseh; And After Amon Reigned
Josiah; He Was Both Righteous And Religious. As Also Concerning Huldah
The Prophetess.

CHAPTER 5. How Josiah Fought With Neco [King Of Egypt.] And Was Wounded
And Died In A Little Time Afterward; As Also How Neco Carried Jehoahaz,
Who Had Been Made King Into Egypt And Delivered The Kingdom To
Jehoiakim; And [Lastly] Concerning Jeremiah And Ezekiel.

CHAPTER 6. How Nebuchadnezzar, When He Had Conquered The King Of Egypt
Made An Expedition Against The Jews, And Slew Jehoiakim, And Made
Jeholachin His Son King.

CHAPTER 7. That The King Of Babylon Repented Of Making Jehoiachin King,
And Took Him Away To Babylon And Delivered The Kingdom To Zedekiah. This
King Would Not Believe What Was Predicted By Jeremiah And Ezekiel But
Joined Himself To The Egyptians; Who When They Came Into Judea, Were
Vanquished By The King Of Babylon; As Also What Befell Jeremiah.

CHAPTER 8. How The King Of Babylon Took Jerusalem And Burnt The Temple
And Removed The People Of Jerusalem And Zedekiah To Babylon. As Also,
Who They Were That Had Succeeded In The High Priesthood Under The Kings.

CHAPTER 9. How Nebuzaradan Set Gedaliah Over The Jews That Were Left In
Judea Which Gedaliah Was A Little Afterward Slain By Ishmael; And How
Johanan After Ishmael Was Driven Away Went Down Into Egypt With The
People Which People Nebuchadnezzar When He Made An Expedition Against
The Egyptians Took Captive And Brought Them Away To Babylon.

CHAPTER 10. Concerning Daniel And What Befell Him At Babylon.

CHAPTER 11. Concerning Nebuchadnezzar And His Successors And How Their
Government Was Dissolved By The Persians; And What Things Befell Daniel
In Media; And What Prophecies He Delivered There.


BOOK XI. Containing The Interval Of Two Hundred And Fifty-Three Years
And Five Months.—From The First Of Cyrus To The Death Of Alexander The

CHAPTER 1. How Cyrus, King Of The Persians, Delivered The Jews Out Of
Babylon And Suffered Them To Return To Their Own Country And To Build
Their Temple, For Which Work He Gave Them Money.

CHAPTER 2. How Upon The Death Of Cyrus The Jews Were Hindered In
Building Of The Temple By The Cutheans, And The Neighboring Governors;
And How Cambyses Entirely Forbade The Jews To Do Any Such Thing.

CHAPTER 3. How After The Death Of Cambyses And The Slaughter Of The Magi
But Under The Reign Of Darius, Zorobabel Was Superior To The Rest In The
Solution Of Problems And Thereby Obtained This Favor Of The King, That
The Temple Should Be Built.

CHAPTER 4. How The Temple Was Built While The Cutheans Endeavored In
Vain To Obstruct The Work.

CHAPTER 5. How Xerxes The Son Of Darius Was Well Disposed To The Jews;
As Also Concerning Esdras And Nehemiah.

CHAPTER 6. Concerning Esther And Mordecai And Haman; And How In The
Reign Of Artaxerxes The Whole Nation Of The Jews Was In Danger Of

CHAPTER 7. How John Slew His Brother Jesus In The Temple; And How
Bagoses Offered Many Injuries To The Jews; And What Sanballat Did.

CHAPTER 8. Concerning Sanballat And Manasseh, And The Temple Which They
Built On Mount Gerizzim; As Also How Alexander Made His Entry Into The
City Jerusalem, And What Benefits He Bestowed On The Jews.


BOOK XII. Containing The Interval Of A Hundred And Seventy Years.—From
The Death Of Alexander The Great To The Death Of Judas Maccabeus.

CHAPTER 1. How Ptolemy The Son Of Lagus Took Jerusalem And Judea By
Deceit And Treachery, And Carried Many Thence, And Planted Them In

CHAPTER 2. How Ptolemy Philadelphus Procured The Laws Of The Jews To Be
Translated Into The Greek Tongue And Set Many Captives Free, And
Dedicated Many Gifts To God.

CHAPTER 3. How The Kings Of Asia Honored The Nation Of The Jews And Made
Them Citizens Of Those Cities Which They Built.

CHAPTER 4. How Antiochus Made A League With Ptolemy And How Onias
Provoked Ptolemy Euergetes To Anger; And How Joseph Brought All Things
Right Again, And Entered Into Friendship With Him; And What Other Things
Were Done By Joseph, And His Son Hyrcanus.

CHAPTER 5. How, Upon The Quarrels One Against Another About The High
Priesthood Antiochus Made An Expedition Against Jerusalem, Took The City
And Pillaged The Temples. And Distressed The Jews' As Also How Many Of
The Jews Forsook The Laws Of Their Country; And How The Samaritans
Followed The Customs Of The Greeks And Named Their Temple At Mount
Gerizzim The Temple Of Jupiter Hellenius.

CHAPTER 6. How, Upon Antiochus's Prohibition To The Jews To Make Use Of
The Laws Of Their Country Mattathias, The Son Of Asamoneus, Alone
Despised The King, And Overcame The Generals Of Antiochus's Army; As
Also Concerning The Death Of Mattathias, And The Succession Of Judas.

CHAPTER 7. How Judas Overthrew The Forces Of Apollonius And Seron And
Killed The Generals Of Their Armies Themselves; And How When, A Little
While Afterwards Lysias And Gorgias Were Beaten He Went Up To Jerusalem
And Purified The Temple.

CHAPTER 8. How Judas Subdued The Nations Round About; And How Simon Beat
The People Of Tyre And Ptolemais; And How Judas Overcame Timotheus, And
Forced Him To Fly Away, And Did Many Other Things After Joseph And
Azarias Had Been Beaten.

CHAPTER 9. Concerning The Death Of Antiochus Epiphane. How Antiochus
Eupator Fought Against Juda And Besieged Him In The Temple And
Afterwards Made Peace With Him And Departed; Of Alcimus And Onias.

CHAPTER 10. How Bacchides, The General Of Demetrius's Army, Made An
Expedition Against Judea, And Returned Without Success; And How Nicanor
Was Sent A Little Afterward Against Judas And Perished, Together With
His Army; As Also Concerning The Death Of Alcimus And The Succession Of

CHAPTER 11. That Bacchides Was Again Sent Out Against Judas; And How
Judas Fell As He Was Courageously Fighting.


BOOK XIII. Containing The Interval Of Eighty-Two Years.—From The Death
Of Judas Maccabeus To The Death Of Queen Alexandra.

CHAPTER 1. How Jonathan Took The Government After His Brother Judas; And
How He, Together With His Brother Simon, Waged War Against Bacchides.

CHAPTER 2. How Alexander [Bala] In His War With Demetrius, Granted
Jonathan Many Advantages And Appointed Him To Be High Priest And
Persuaded Him To Assist Him Although Demetrius Promised Him Greater
Advantages On The Other Side. Concerning The Death

CHAPTER 3. The Friendship That Was Between Onias And Ptolemy Philometor;
And How Onias Built A Temple In Egypt Like To That At Jerusalem.

CHAPTER 4. How Alexander Honored Jonathan After An Extraordinary Manner;
And How Demetrius, The Son Of Demetrius, Overcame Alexander And Made A
League Of Friendship With Jonathan.

CHAPTER 5. How Trypho After He Had Beaten Demetrius Delivered The
Kingdom To Antiochus The Son Of Alexander, And Gained Jonathan For His
Assistant; And Concerning The Actions And Embassies Of Jonathan.

CHAPTER 6. How Jonathan Was Slain By Treachery; And How Thereupon The
Jews Made Simon Their General And High Priest: What Courageous Actions
He Also Performed Especially Against Trypho.

CHAPTER 7. How Simon Confederated Himself With Antiochus Pius, And Made
War Against Trypho, And A Little Afterward, Against Cendebeus, The
General Of Antiochus's Army; As Also How Simon Was Murdered By His Son-
In-Law Ptolemy, And That By Treachery.

CHAPTER 8. Hyrcanus Receives The High Priesthood, And Ejects Ptolemy Out
Of The Country. Antiochus Makes War Against Hyrcanus And Afterwards
Makes A League With Him.

CHAPTER 9. How, After The Death Of Antiochus, Hyrcanus Made An
Expedition Against Syria, And Made A League With The Romans. Concerning
The Death Of King Demetrius And Alexander.

CHAPTER 10. How Upon The Quarrel Between Antiochus Grypus And Antiochus
Cyzicenus About The Kingdom Hyrcanus Tooksamaria, And Utterly Demolished
It; And How Hyrcaus Joined Himself To The Sect Of The Sadducees, And
Left That Of The Pharisees.

CHAPTER 11. How Aristobulus, When He Had Taken The Government First Of
All Put A Diadem On His Head, And Was Most Barbarously Cruel To His
Mother And His Brethren; And How, After He Had Slain Antigonus, He
Himself Died.

CHAPTER 12. How Alexander When He Had Taken The Government Made An
Expedition Against Ptolemais, And Then Raised The Siege Out Of Fear Of
Ptolemy Lathyrus; And How Ptolemy Made War Against Him, Because He Had
Sent To Cleopatra To Persuade Her To Make War Against Ptolemy, And Yet
Pretended To Be In Friendship With Him, When He Beat The Jews In The

CHAPTER 13. How Alexander, upon the League of Mutual Defense Which
Cleopatra Had Agreed with Him, Made an Expedition Against Coelesyria,
and Utterly Overthrew the City of Gaza; and How He Slew Many Ten
Thousands of Jews That Rebelled Against Him.

CHAPTER 14. How Demetrius Eucerus Overcame Alexander And Yet In A Little
Time Retired Out Of The Country For Fear; As Also How Alexander Slew
Many Of The Jews And Thereby Got Clear Of His Troubles. Concerning The
Death Of Demetrius.

CHAPTER 15. How Antiochus, Who Was Called Dionysus, And After Him Aretas
Made Expeditions Into Judea; As Also How Alexander Took Many Cities And
Then Returned To Jerusalem, And After A Sickness Of Three Years Died;
And What Counsel He Gave To Alexandra.

CHAPTER 16. How Alexandra By Gaining The Good-Will Of The Pharisees,
Retained The Kingdom Nine Years, And Then, Having Done Many Glorious
Actions Died.


BOOK XIV. Containing The Interval Of Thirty-Two Years.—From The Death Of
Queen Alexandra To The Death Of Antigonus.

CHAPTER 1. The War Between Aristobulus And Hyrcanus About The Kingdom;
And How They Made Anagreement That Aristobulus Should Be King, And
Hyrcanus Live A Private Life; As Also How Hyrcanus A Little Afterward
Was Persuaded By Antipater To Fly To Aretas.

CHAPTER 2. How Aretas And Hyrcanus Made An Expedition Against
Aristobulus And Besieged Jerusalem; And How Scaurus The Roman General
Raised The Siege. Concerning The Death Of Onias.

CHAPTER 3. How Aristobulus And Hyrcanus Came To Pompey In Order To Argue
Who Ought To Have The Kingdom; And How Upon The Plight Of Aristobulus To
The Fortress Alexandrium Pompey Led His Army Against Him And Ordered Him
To Deliver Up The Fortresses Whereof He Was Possessed.

CHAPTER 4. How Pompey When The Citizens Of Jerusalem Shut Their Gates
Against Him Besieged The City And Took It By Force; As Also What Other
Things He Did In Judea.

CHAPTER 5. How Scaurus Made A League Of Mutual Assistance With Aretas;
And What Gabinius Did In Judea, After He Had Conquered Alexander, The
Son Of Aristobulus.

CHAPTER 6. How Gabinius Caught Aristobulus After He Had Fled From Rome,
And Sent Him Back To Rome Again; And Now The Same Gabinius As He
Returned Out Of Egypt Overcame Alexander And The Nabateans In Battle.

CHAPTER 7. How Crassus Came Into Judea, And Pillaged The Temple; And
Then Marched Against The Parthians And Perished, With His Army. Also How
Cassius Obtained Syria, And Put A Stop To The Parthians And Then Went Up
To Judea.

CHAPTER 8. The Jews Become Confederates With Cæsar When He Fought
Against Egypt. The Glorious Actions Of Antipater, And His Friendship
With Cæsar. The Honors Which The Jews Received From The Romans And

CHAPTER 9. How Antipater Committed The Care Of Galilee To Herod, And
That Of Jerusalem To Phasaelus; As Also How Herod Upon The Jews' Envy At
Antipater Was Accused Before Hyrcanus.

CHAPTER 10. The Honors That Were Paid The Jews; And The Leagues That
Were Made By The Romans And Other Nations, With Them.

CHAPTER 11. How Marcus, Succeeded Sextus When He Had Been Slain By
Bassus's Treachery; And How, After The Death Of Cæsar, Cassius Came Into
Syria, And Distressed Judea; As Also How Malichus Slew Antipater And Was
Himself Slain By Herod.

CHAPTER 12. Herod Ejects Antigonus, The Son Of Aristobulus Out Of Judea,
And Gains The Friendship Of Antony, Who Was Now Come Into Syria, By
Sending Him Much Money; On Which Account He Would Not Admit Of Those
That Would Have Accused Herod: And What It Was That Antony Wrote To The
Tyrians In Behalf.

CHAPTER 13. How Antony Made Herod And Phasaelus Tetrarchs, After They
Had Been Accused To No Purpose; And How The Parthians When They Brought
Antigonus Into Judea Took Hyrcanus And Phasaelus Captives. Herod's
Flight; And What Afflictions Hyrcanus And Phasaelus Endured.

CHAPTER 14. How Herod Got Away From The King Of Arabia And Made Haste To
Go Into Egypt And Thence Went Away In Haste Also To Rome; And How, By
Promising A Great Deal Of Money To Antony He Obtained Of The Senate And
Of Cæsar To Be Made King Of The Jews.

CHAPTER 15. How Herod Sailed Out Of Italy To Judea, And Fought With
Antigonus And What Other Things Happened In Judea About That Time.

CHAPTER 16. How Herod, When He Had Married Mariamne Took Jerusalem With
The Assistance Of Sosius By Force; And How The Government Of The
Asamoneans Was Put An End To.


BOOK XV. Containing The Interval Of Eighteen Years.—From The Death Of
Antigonus To The Finishing Of The Temple By Herod.

CHAPTER 1. Concerning Pollio And Sameas. Herod Slays The Principal Of
Antigonus's Friends, And Spoils The City Of Its Wealth. Antony Beheads

CHAPTER 2. How Hyrcanus Was Set At Liberty By The Parthians, And
Returned To Herod; And What Alexandra Did When She Heard That Ananelus
Was Made High Priest.

CHAPTER 3. How Herod Upon His Making Aristobulus High Priest Took Care
That He Should Be Murdered In A Little Time; And What Apology He Made To
Antony About Aristobulus; As Also Concerning Joseph And Mariamne.

CHAPTER 4. How Cleopatra, When She Had Gotten From Antony Some Parts Of
Judea And Arabia Came Into Judea; And How Herod Gave Her Many Presents
And Conducted Her On Her Way Back To Egypt.

CHAPTER 5. How Herod Made War With The King Of Arabia, And After They
Had Fought Many Battles, At Length Conquered Him, And Was Chosen By The
Arabs To Be Governor Of That Nation; As Also Concerning A Great

CHAPTER 6. How Herod Slew Hyrcanus And Then Hasted Away To Cæsar, And
Obtained The Kingdom From Him Also; And How A Little Time Afterward, He
Entertained Cæsar In A Most Honorable Manner.

CHAPTER 7. How Herod Slew Sohemus And Mariamne And Afterward Alexandra
And Costobarus, And His Most Intimate Friends, And At Last The Sons Of
Babbas Also.

CHAPTER 8. How Ten Men Of The Citizens [Of Jerusalem] Made A Conspiracy
Against Herod, For The Foreign Practices He Had Introduced, Which Was A
Transgression Of The Laws Of Their Country. Concerning The Building Of
Sebaste And Cæsarea, And Other Edifices Of Herod.

CHAPTER 9. Concerning The Famine That Happened In Judea And Syria; And
How Herod, After He Had Married Another Wife, Rebuilt Cæsarea, And Other
Grecian Cities.

CHAPTER 10. How Herod Sent His Sons To Rome; How Also He Was Accused By
Zenodorus And The Gadarens, But Was Cleared Of What They Accused Him Of
And Withal Gained To Himself The Good-Will Of Cæsar. Concerning The
Pharisees, The Essens And Manahem.

CHAPTER 11. How Herod Rebuilt The Temple And Raised It Higher And Made
It More Magnificent Than It Was Before; As Also Concerning That Tower
Which He Called Antonia.


BOOK XVI. Containing The Interval Of Twelve Years.—From The Finishing Of
The Temple By Herod To The Death Of Alexander And Aristobulus.

CHAPTER 1. A Law Of Herod's About, Thieves. Salome And Pheroras
Calumniate Alexander And Aristobulus, Upon Their Return From Rome For
Whom Yet Herod Provides Wives.

CHAPTER 2. How Herod Twice Sailed To Agrippa; And How Upon The Complaint
In Ionia Against The Greeks Agrippa Confirmed The Laws To Them.

CHAPTER 3. How Great Disturbances Arose In Herods Family On His
Preferring Antipater His Eldest Son Before The Rest, Till Alexander Took
That Injury Very Heinously.

CHAPTER 4. How During Antipater's Abode At Rome, Herod Brought Alexander
And Aristobulus Before Cæsar And Accused Them. Alexander's Defense Of
Himself Before Cæsar And Reconciliation To His Father.

CHAPTER 5. How Herod Celebrated The Games That Were To Return Every
Fifth Year Upon The Building Of Cæsarea; And How He Built And Adorned
Many Other Places After A Magnificent Manner; And Did Many Other Actions

CHAPTER 6. An Embassage In Cyrene And Asia To Cæsar, Concerning The
Complaints They Had To Make Against The Greeks; With Copies Of The
Epistles Which Cæsar And Agrippa Wrote To The Cities For Them.

CHAPTER 7. How, Upon Herod's Going Down Into David's Sepulcher, The
Sedition In His Family Greatly Increased.

CHAPTER 8. How Herod Took Up Alexander And Bound Him; Whom Yet Archelaus
King Of Cappadocia Reconciled To His Father Herod Again.

CHAPTER 9. Concerning The Revolt Of The Trachonites; How Sylleus Accused
Herod Before Cæsar; And How Herod, When Cæsar Was Angry At Him, Resolved
To Send Nicolaus To Rome.

CHAPTER 10. How Eurycles Falsely Accused Herod's Sons; And How Their
Father Bound Them, And Wrote To Cæsar About Them. Of Sylleus And How He
Was Accused By Nicolaus.

CHAPTER 11. How Herod, By Permission From Cæsar Accused His Sons Before
An Assembly Of Judges At Berytus; And What Tero Suffered For Using A
Boundless And Military Liberty Of Speech. Concerning Also The Death Of
The Young Men And Their Burial At


BOOK XVII. Containing The Interval Of Fourteen Years.—From The Death Of
Alexander And Aristobulus To The Banishment Of Archelaus.

CHAPTER 1. How Antipater Was Hated By All The Nation [Of The Jews] For
The Slaughter Of His Brethren; And How, For That Reason He Got Into
Peculiar Favor With His Friends At Rome, By Giving Them Many Presents;
As He Did Also With Saturninus, The President Of Syria And The Governors
Who Were Under Him; And Concerning Herod's Wives And Children.

CHAPTER 2. Concerning Zamaris, The Babylonian Jew; Concerning The Plots
Laid By Antipater Against His Father; And Somewhat About The Pharisees.

CHAPTER 3. Concerning The Enmity Between Herod And Pheroras; How Herod
Sent Antipater To Cæsar; And Of The Death Of Pheroras.

CHAPTER 4. Pheroras's Wife Is Accused By His Freedmen, As Guilty Of
Poisoning Him; And How Herod, Upon Examining; Of The Matter By Torture
Found The Poison; But So That It Had Been Prepared For Himself By His
Son Antipater; And Upon An Inquiry By Torture He Discovered The
Dangerous Designs Of Antipater.

CHAPTER 5. Antipater's Navigation From Rome To His Father; And How He
Was Accused By Nicolaus Of Damascus And Condemned To Die By His Father,
And By Quintilius Varus, Who Was Then President Of Syria; And How He Was
Then Bound Till Cæsar Should Be Informed Of His Cause.

CHAPTER 6. Concerning The Disease That Herod Fell Into And The Sedition
Which The Jews Raised Thereupon; With The Punishment Of The Seditious.

CHAPTER 7. Herod Has Thoughts Of Killing Himself With His Own Hand; And
A Little Afterwards He Orders Antipater To Be Slain.

CHAPTER 8. Concerning Herod's Death, And Testament, And Burial.

CHAPTER 9. How The People Raised A Sedition Against Archelaus, And How
He Sailed To Rome.

CHAPTER 10. A Sedition Against Sabinus; And How Varus Brought The
Authors Of It To Punishment.

CHAPTER 11. An Embassage To Cæsar; And How Cæsar Confirmed Herod's

CHAPTER 12. Concerning A Spurious Alexander.

CHAPTER 13. How Archelaus Upon A Second Accusation, Was Banished To


BOOK XVIII. Containing The Interval Of Thirty-Two Years.—From The
Banishment Of Archelus To The Departure From Babylon.

CHAPTER 1. How Cyrenius Was Sent By Cæsar To Make A Taxation Of Syria
And Judea; And How Coponius Was Sent To Be Procurator Of Judea;
Concerning Judas Of Galilee And Concerning The Sects That Were Among The

CHAPTER 2. Now Herod And Philip Built Several Cities In Honor Of Cæsar.
Concerning The Succession Of Priests And Procurators; As Also What
Befell Phraates And The Parthians.

CHAPTER 3. Sedition Of The Jews Against Pontius Pilate. Concerning
Christ, And What Befell Paulina And The Jews At Rome.

CHAPTER 4. How The Samaritans Made A Tumult And Pilate Destroyed Many Of
Them; How Pilate Was Accused And What Things Were Done By Vitellius
Relating To The Jews And The Parthians.

CHAPTER 5. Herod The Tetrarch Makes War With Aretas, The King Of Arabia,
And Is Beaten By Him As Also Concerning The Death Of John The Baptist.
How Vitellius Went Up To Jerusalem; Together With Some Account Of
Agrippa And Of The Posterity Of Herod The Great.

CHAPTER 6. Of The Navigation Of King Agrippa To Rome, To Tiberius Cæsar;
And Now Upon His Being Accused By His Own Freed-Man, He Was Bound; How
Also He, Was Set At Liberty By Caius, After Tiberius's Death And Was
Made King Of The Tetrarchy Of Philip.

CHAPTER 7. How Herod The Tetrarch Was Banished.

CHAPTER 8. Concerning The Embassage Of The Jews To Caius; [28] And How
Caius Sent Petronius Into Syria To Make War Against The Jews, Unless
They Would Receive His Statue.

CHAPTER 9. What Befell The Jews That Were In Babylon On Occasion Of
Asineus And Anileus, Two Brethren.


BOOK XIX. Containing The Interval Of Three Years And A Half.—From The
Departure Out Of Babylon To Fadus, The Roman Procurator.

CHAPTER 1. How Caius [1] Was Slain By Cherea.

CHAPTER 2. How The Senators Determined To Restore The Democracy; But The
Soldiers Were For Preserving The Monarchy, Concerning The Slaughter Of
Caius's Wife And Daughter. A Character Of Caius's Morals.

CHAPTER 3. How Claudius Was Seized Upon And Brought Out Of His House And
Brought To The Camp; And How The Senate Sent An Embassage To Him.

CHAPTER 4. What Things King Agrippa Did For Claudius; And How Claudius
When He Had Taken The Government Commanded The Murderers Of Caius To Be

CHAPTER 5. How Claudius Restored To Agrippa His Grandfathers Kingdoms
And Augmented His Dominions; And How He Published An Edict In Behalf.

CHAPTER 6. What Things Were Done By Agrippa At Jerusalem When He Was
Returned Back Into Judea; And What It Was That Petronius Wrote To The
Inhabitants Of Doris, In Behalf.

CHAPTER 7. Concerning Silas And On What Account It Was That King Agrippa
Was Angry At Him. How Agrippa Began To Encompass Jerusalem With A Wall;
And What Benefits He Bestowed On The Inhabitants Of Berytus.

CHAPTER 8. What Other Acts Were Done By Agrippa Until His Death; And
After What Manner He Died.

CHAPTER 9. What Things Were Done After The Death Of Agrippa; And How
Claudius, On Account Of The Youth And Unskilfulness Of Agrippa, Junior,
Sent Cuspius Fadus To Be Procurator Of Judea, And Of The Entire Kingdom.


BOOK XX. Containing The Interval Of Twenty-Two Years.—From Fadus The
Procurator To Florus.

CHAPTER 1. A Sedition Of The Philadelphians Against The Jews; And Also
Concerning The Vestments Of The High Priest.

CHAPTER 2. How Helena The Queen Of Adiabene And Her Son Izates, Embraced
The Jewish Religion; And How Helena Supplied The Poor With Corn, When
There Was A Great Famine At Jerusalem.

CHAPTER 3. How Artabanus, the King of Parthia out of Fear of the Secret
Contrivances of His Subjects Against Him, Went to Izates, and Was By Him
Reinstated in His Government; as Also How Bardanes His Son Denounced War
Against Izates.

CHAPTER 4. How Izates Was Betrayed By His Own Subjects, And Fought
Against By The Arabians And How Izates, By The Providence Of God, Was
Delivered Out Of Their Hands.

CHAPTER 5. Concerning Theudas And The Sons Of Judas The Galilean; As
Also What Calamity Fell Upon The Jews On The Day Of The Passover.

CHAPTER 6. How There Happened A Quarrel Between The Jews And The
Samaritans; And How Claudius Put An End To Their Differences.

CHAPTER 7. Felix Is Made Procurator Of Judea; As Also Concerning
Agrippa, Junior And His Sisters.

CHAPTER 8. After What Manner Upon The Death Of Claudius, Nero Succeeded
In The Government; As Also What Barbarous Things He Did. Concerning The
Robbers, Murderers And Impostors, That Arose While Felix And Festus Were
Procurators Of Judea.

CHAPTER 9. Concerning Albinus Under Whose Procuratorship James Was
Slain; As Also What Edifices Were Built By Agrippa.

CHAPTER 10. An Enumeration Of The High Priests.

CHAPTER 11. Concerning Florus The Procurator, Who Necessitated The Jews
To Take Up Arms Against The Romans. The Conclusion.



1. Those who undertake to write histories, do not, I perceive, take that
trouble on one and the same account, but for many reasons, and those
such as are very different one from another. For some of them apply
themselves to this part of learning to show their skill in composition,
and that they may therein acquire a reputation for speaking finely:
others of them there are, who write histories in order to gratify those
that happen to be concerned in them, and on that account have spared no
pains, but rather gone beyond their own abilities in the performance:
but others there are, who, of necessity and by force, are driven to
write history, because they are concerned in the facts, and so cannot
excuse themselves from committing them to writing, for the advantage of
posterity; nay, there are not a few who are induced to draw their
historical facts out of darkness into light, and to produce them for the
benefit of the public, on account of the great importance of the facts
themselves with which they have been concerned. Now of these several
reasons for writing history, I must profess the two last were my own
reasons also; for since I was myself interested in that war which we
Jews had with the Romans, and knew myself its particular actions, and
what conclusion it had, I was forced to give the history of it, because
I saw that others perverted the truth of those actions in their

2. Now I have undertaken the present work, as thinking it will appear to
all the Greeks 2 worthy of their study; for it will contain all our
antiquities, and the constitution of our government, as interpreted out
of the Hebrew Scriptures. And indeed I did formerly intend, when I wrote
of the war, 3 to explain who the Jews originally were,—what fortunes
they had been subject to,—and by what legislature they had been
instructed in piety, and the exercise of other virtues,—what wars also
they had made in remote ages, till they were unwillingly engaged in this
last with the Romans: but because this work would take up a great
compass, I separated it into a set treatise by itself, with a beginning
of its own, and its own conclusion; but in process of time, as usually
happens to such as undertake great things, I grew weary and went on
slowly, it being a large subject, and a difficult thing to translate our
history into a foreign, and to us unaccustomed language. However, some
persons there were who desired to know our history, and so exhorted me
to go on with it; and, above all the rest, Epaphroditus, 4 a man who is
a lover of all kind of learning, but is principally delighted with the
knowledge of history, and this on account of his having been himself
concerned in great affairs, and many turns of fortune, and having shown
a wonderful rigor of an excellent nature, and an immovable virtuous
resolution in them all. I yielded to this man's persuasions, who always
excites such as have abilities in what is useful and acceptable, to join
their endeavors with his. I was also ashamed myself to permit any
laziness of disposition to have a greater influence upon me, than the
delight of taking pains in such studies as were very useful: I thereupon
stirred up myself, and went on with my work more cheerfully. Besides the
foregoing motives, I had others which I greatly reflected on; and these
were, that our forefathers were willing to communicate such things to
others; and that some of the Greeks took considerable pains to know the
affairs of our nation.

3. I found, therefore, that the second of the Ptolemies was a king who
was extraordinarily diligent in what concerned learning, and the
collection of books; that he was also peculiarly ambitious to procure a
translation of our law, and of the constitution of our government
therein contained, into the Greek tongue. Now Eleazar the high priest,
one not inferior to any other of that dignity among us, did not envy the
forenamed king the participation of that advantage, which otherwise he
would for certain have denied him, but that he knew the custom of our
nation was, to hinder nothing of what we esteemed ourselves from being
communicated to others. Accordingly, I thought it became me both to
imitate the generosity of our high priest, and to suppose there might
even now be many lovers of learning like the king; for he did not obtain
all our writings at that time; but those who were sent to Alexandria as
interpreters, gave him only the books of the law, while there were a
vast number of other matters in our sacred books. They, indeed, contain
in them the history of five thousand years; in which time happened many
strange accidents, many chances of war, and great actions of the
commanders, and mutations of the form of our government. Upon the whole,
a man that will peruse this history, may principally learn from it, that
all events succeed well, even to an incredible degree, and the reward of
felicity is proposed by God; but then it is to those that follow his
will, and do not venture to break his excellent laws: and that so far as
men any way apostatize from the accurate observation of them, what was
practical before becomes impracticable 5 and whatsoever they set about
as a good thing, is converted into an incurable calamity. And now I
exhort all those that peruse these books, to apply their minds to God;
and to examine the mind of our legislator, whether he hath not
understood his nature in a manner worthy of him; and hath not ever
ascribed to him such operations as become his power, and hath not
preserved his writings from those indecent fables which others have
framed, although, by the great distance of time when he lived, he might
have securely forged such lies; for he lived two thousand years ago; at
which vast distance of ages the poets themselves have not been so hardy
as to fix even the generations of their gods, much less the actions of
their men, or their own laws. As I proceed, therefore, I shall
accurately describe what is contained in our records, in the order of
time that belongs to them; for I have already promised so to do
throughout this undertaking; and this without adding any thing to what
is therein contained, or taking away any thing therefrom.

4. But because almost all our constitution depends on the wisdom of
Moses, our legislator, I cannot avoid saying somewhat concerning him
beforehand, though I shall do it briefly; I mean, because otherwise
those that read my book may wonder how it comes to pass, that my
discourse, which promises an account of laws and historical facts,
contains so much of philosophy. The reader is therefore to know, that
Moses deemed it exceeding necessary, that he who would conduct his own
life well, and give laws to others, in the first place should consider
the Divine nature; and, upon the contemplation of God's operations,
should thereby imitate the best of all patterns, so far as it is
possible for human nature to do, and to endeavor to follow after it:
neither could the legislator himself have a right mind without such a
contemplation; nor would any thing he should write tend to the promotion
of virtue in his readers; I mean, unless they be taught first of all,
that God is the Father and Lord of all things, and sees all things, and
that thence he bestows a happy life upon those that follow him; but
plunges such as do not walk in the paths of virtue into inevitable
miseries. Now when Moses was desirous to teach this lesson to his
countrymen, he did not begin the establishment of his laws after the
same manner that other legislators did; I mean, upon contracts and other
rights between one man and another, but by raising their minds upwards
to regard God, and his creation of the world; and by persuading them,
that we men are the most excellent of the creatures of God upon earth.
Now when once he had brought them to submit to religion, he easily
persuaded them to submit in all other things: for as to other
legislators, they followed fables, and by their discourses transferred
the most reproachful of human vices unto the gods, and afforded wicked
men the most plausible excuses for their crimes; but as for our
legislator, when he had once demonstrated that God was possessed of
perfect virtue, he supposed that men also ought to strive after the
participation of it; and on those who did not so think, and so believe,
he inflicted the severest punishments. I exhort, therefore, my readers
to examine this whole undertaking in that view; for thereby it will
appear to them, that there is nothing therein disagreeable either to the
majesty of God, or to his love to mankind; for all things have here a
reference to the nature of the universe; while our legislator speaks
some things wisely, but enigmatically, and others under a decent
allegory, but still explains such things as required a direct
explication plainly and expressly. However, those that have a mind to
know the reasons of every thing, may find here a very curious
philosophical theory, which I now indeed shall wave the explication of;
but if God afford me time for it, I will set about writing it 6 after I
have finished the present work. I shall now betake myself to the history
before me, after I have first mentioned what Moses says of the creation
of the world, which I find described in the sacred books after the
manner following.


1 (return) [ This preface of Josephus is excellent in its kind, and
highly worthy the repeated perusal of the reader, before he set about
the perusal of the work itself.]

2 (return) [ That is, all the Gentiles, both Greeks and Romans.]

3 (return) [ We may seasonably note here, that Josephus wrote his Seven
Books of the Jewish War long before he wrote these his Antiquities.
Those books of the War were published about A.D. 75, and these
Antiquities, A. D. 93, about eighteen years later.]

4 (return) [ This Epaphroditus was certainly alive in the third year of
Trajan, A.D. 100. See the note on the First Book Against Apion, sect. 1.
Who he was we do not know; for as to Epaphroditus, the freedman of Nero,
and afterwards Domitian's secretary, who was put to death by Domitian in
the 14th or 15th year of his reign, he could not be alive in the third
of Trajan.]

5 (return) [ Josephus here plainly alludes to the famous Greek proverb,
If God be with us, every thing that is impossible becomes possible.]

6 (return) [ As to this intended work of Josephus concerning the reasons
of many of the Jewish laws, and what philosophical or allegorical sense
they would bear, the loss of which work is by some of the learned not
much regretted, I am inclinable, in part, to Fabricius's opinion, ap.
Havercamp, p. 63, 61, That "we need not doubt but that, among some vain
and frigid conjectures derived from Jewish imaginations, Josephus would
have taught us a greater number of excellent and useful things, which
perhaps nobody, neither among the Jews, nor among the Christians, can
now inform us of; so that I would give a great deal to find it still

BOOK I. Containing The Interval Of Three Thousand Eight Hundred And
Thirty-Three Years. — From The Creation To The Death Of Isaac.

CHAPTER 1. The Constitution Of The World And The Disposition Of The

1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. But when the
earth did not come into sight, but was covered with thick darkness, and
a wind moved upon its surface, God commanded that there should be light:
and when that was made, he considered the whole mass, and separated the
light and the darkness; and the name he gave to one was Night, and the
other he called Day: and he named the beginning of light, and the time
of rest, The Evening and The Morning, and this was indeed the first day.
But Moses said it was one day; the cause of which I am able to give even
now; but because I have promised to give such reasons for all things in
a treatise by itself, I shall put off its exposition till that time.
After this, on the second day, he placed the heaven over the whole
world, and separated it from the other parts, and he determined it
should stand by itself. He also placed a crystalline [firmament] round
it, and put it together in a manner agreeable to the earth, and fitted
it for giving moisture and rain, and for affording the advantage of
dews. On the third day he appointed the dry land to appear, with the sea
itself round about it; and on the very same day he made the plants and
the seeds to spring out of the earth. On the fourth day he adorned the
heaven with the sun, the moon, and the other stars, and appointed them
their motions and courses, that the vicissitudes of the seasons might be
clearly signified. And on the fifth day he produced the living
creatures, both those that swim, and those that fly; the former in the
sea, the latter in the air: he also sorted them as to society and
mixture, for procreation, and that their kinds might increase and
multiply. On the sixth day he created the four-footed beasts, and made
them male and female: on the same day he also formed man. Accordingly
Moses says, That in just six days the world, and all that is therein,
was made. And that the seventh day was a rest, and a release from the
labor of such operations; whence it is that we Celebrate a rest from our
labors on that day, and call it the Sabbath, which word denotes rest in
the Hebrew tongue.

2. Moreover, Moses, after the seventh day was over1 begins to talk
philosophically; and concerning the formation of man, says thus: That
God took dust from the ground, and formed man, and inserted in him a
spirit and a soul.2 This man was called Adam, which in the Hebrew tongue
signifies one that is red, because he was formed out of red earth,
compounded together; for of that kind is virgin and true earth. God also
presented the living creatures, when he had made them, according to
their kinds, both male and female, to Adam, who gave them those names by
which they are still called. But when he saw that Adam had no female
companion, no society, for there was no such created, and that he
wondered at the other animals which were male and female, he laid him
asleep, and took away one of his ribs, and out of it formed the woman;
whereupon Adam knew her when she was brought to him, and acknowledged
that she was made out of himself. Now a woman is called in the Hebrew
tongue Issa; but the name of this woman was Eve, which signifies the
mother of all living.

3. Moses says further, that God planted a paradise in the east,
flourishing with all sorts of trees; and that among them was the tree of
life, and another of knowledge, whereby was to be known what was good
and evil; and that when he brought Adam and his wife into this garden,
he commanded them to take care of the plants. Now the garden was watered
by one river,3 which ran round about the whole earth, and was parted
into four parts. And Phison, which denotes a multitude, running into
India, makes its exit into the sea, and is by the Greeks called Ganges.
Euphrates also, as well as Tigris, goes down into the Red Sea.4 Now the
name Euphrates, or Phrath, denotes either a dispersion, or a flower: by
Tiris, or Diglath, is signified what is swift, with narrowness; and Geon
runs through Egypt, and denotes what arises from the east, which the
Greeks call Nile.

4. God therefore commanded that Adam and his wife should eat of all the
rest of the plants, but to abstain from the tree of knowledge; and
foretold to them, that if they touched it, it would prove their
destruction. But while all the living creatures had one language, 5 at
that time the serpent, which then lived together with Adam and his wife,
shewed an envious disposition, at his supposal of their living happily,
and in obedience to the commands of God; and imagining, that when they
disobeyed them, they would fall into calamities, he persuaded the woman,
out of a malicious intention, to taste of the tree of knowledge, telling
them, that in that tree was the knowledge of good and evil; which
knowledge, when they should obtain, they would lead a happy life; nay, a
life not inferior to that of a god: by which means he overcame the
woman, and persuaded her to despise the command of God. Now when she had
tasted of that tree, and was pleased with its fruit, she persuaded Adam
to make use of it also. Upon this they perceived that they were become
naked to one another; and being ashamed thus to appear abroad, they
invented somewhat to cover them; for the tree sharpened their
understanding; and they covered themselves with fig-leaves; and tying
these before them, out of modesty, they thought they were happier than
they were before, as they had discovered what they were in want of. But
when God came into the garden, Adam, who was wont before to come and
converse with him, being conscious of his wicked behavior, went out of
the way. This behavior surprised God; and he asked what was the cause of
this his procedure; and why he, that before delighted in that
conversation, did now fly from it, and avoid it. When he made no reply,
as conscious to himself that he had transgressed the command of God, God
said, "I had before determined about you both, how you might lead a
happy life, without any affliction, and care, and vexation of soul; and
that all things which might contribute to your enjoyment and pleasure
should grow up by my providence, of their own accord, without your own
labor and pains-taking; which state of labor and pains-taking would soon
bring on old age, and death would not be at any remote distance: but now
thou hast abused this my good-will, and hast disobeyed my commands; for
thy silence is not the sign of thy virtue, but of thy evil conscience."
However, Adam excused his sin, and entreated God not to be angry at him,
and laid the blame of what was done upon his wife; and said that he was
deceived by her, and thence became an offender; while she again accused
the serpent. But God allotted him punishment, because he weakly
submitted to the counsel of his wife; and said the ground should not
henceforth yield its fruits of its own accord, but that when it should
be harassed by their labor, it should bring forth some of its fruits,
and refuse to bring forth others. He also made Eve liable to the
inconveniency of breeding, and the sharp pains of bringing forth
children; and this because she persuaded Adam with the same arguments
wherewith the serpent had persuaded her, and had thereby brought him
into a calamitous condition. He also deprived the serpent of speech, out
of indignation at his malicious disposition towards Adam. Besides this,
he inserted poison under his tongue, and made him an enemy to men; and
suggested to them, that they should direct their strokes against his
head, that being the place wherein lay his mischievous designs towards
men, and it being easiest to take vengeance on him, that way. And when
he had deprived him of the use of his feet, he made him to go rolling
all along, and dragging himself upon the ground. And when God had
appointed these penalties for them, he removed Adam and Eve out of the
garden into another place.

CHAPTER 2. Concerning The Posterity Of Adam, And The Ten Generations
From Him To The Deluge.

1. Adam and Eve had two sons: the elder of them was named Cain; which
name, when it is interpreted, signifies a possession: the younger was
Abel, which signifies sorrow. They had also daughters. Now the two
brethren were pleased with different courses of life: for Abel, the
younger, was a lover of righteousness; and believing that God was
present at all his actions, he excelled in virtue; and his employment
was that of a shepherd. But Cain was not only very wicked in other
respects, but was wholly intent upon getting; and he first contrived to
plough the ground. He slew his brother on the occasion following:—They
had resolved to sacrifice to God. Now Cain brought the fruits of the
earth, and of his husbandry; but Abel brought milk, and the first-fruits
of his flocks: but God was more delighted with the latter oblation,6
when he was honored with what grew naturally of its own accord, than he
was with what was the invention of a covetous man, and gotten by forcing
the ground; whence it was that Cain was very angry that Abel was
preferred by God before him; and he slew his brother, and hid his dead
body, thinking to escape discovery. But God, knowing what had been done,
came to Cain, and asked him what was become of his brother, because he
had not seen him of many days; whereas he used to observe them
conversing together at other times. But Cain was in doubt with himself,
and knew not what answer to give to God. At first he said that he was
himself at a loss about his brother's disappearing; but when he was
provoked by God, who pressed him vehemently, as resolving to know what
the matter was, he replied, he was not his brother's guardian or keeper,
nor was he an observer of what he did. But, in return, God convicted
Cain, as having been the murderer of his brother; and said, "I wonder at
thee, that thou knowest not what is become of a man whom thou thyself
hast destroyed." God therefore did not inflict the punishment [of death]
upon him, on account of his offering sacrifice, and thereby making
supplication to him not to be extreme in his wrath to him; but he made
him accursed, and threatened his posterity in the seventh generation. He
also cast him, together with his wife, out of that land. And when he was
afraid that in wandering about he should fall among Wild beasts, and by
that means perish, God bid him not to entertain such a melancholy
suspicion, and to go over all the earth without fear of what mischief he
might suffer from wild beasts; and setting a mark upon him, that he
might be known, he commanded him to depart.

2. And when Cain had traveled over many countries, he, with his wife,
built a city, named Nod, which is a place so called, and there he
settled his abode; where also he had children. However, he did not
accept of his punishment in order to amendment, but to increase his
wickedness; for he only aimed to procure every thing that was for his
own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his
neighbors. He augmented his household substance with much wealth, by
rapine and violence; he excited his acquaintance to procure pleasures
and spoils by robbery, and became a great leader of men into wicked
courses. He also introduced a change in that way of simplicity wherein
men lived before; and was the author of measures and weights. And
whereas they lived innocently and generously while they knew nothing of
such arts, he changed the world into cunning craftiness. He first of all
set boundaries about lands: he built a city, and fortified it with
walls, and he compelled his family to come together to it; and called
that city Enoch, after the name of his eldest son Enoch. Now Jared was
the son of Enoch; whose son was Malaliel; whose son was Mathusela; whose
son was Lamech; who had seventy-seven children by two wives, Silla and
Ada. Of those children by Ada, one was Jabal: he erected tents, and
loved the life of a shepherd. But Jubal, who was born of the same mother
with him, exercised himself in music;7 and invented the psaltery and the
harp. But Tubal, one of his children by the other wife, exceeded all men
in strength, and was very expert and famous in martial performances. He
procured what tended to the pleasures of the body by that method; and
first of all invented the art of making brass. Lamech was also the
father of a daughter, whose name was Naamah. And because he was so
skillful in matters of divine revelation, that he knew he was to be
punished for Cain's murder of his brother, he made that known to his
wives. Nay, even while Adam was alive, it came to pass that the
posterity of Cain became exceeding wicked, every one successively dying,
one after another, more wicked than the former. They were intolerable in
war, and vehement in robberies; and if any one were slow to murder
people, yet was he bold in his profligate behavior, in acting unjustly,
and doing injuries for gain.

3. Now Adam, who was the first man, and made out of the earth, [for our
discourse must now be about him,] after Abel was slain, and Cain fled
away, on account of his murder, was solicitous for posterity, and had a
vehement desire of children, he being two hundred and thirty years old;
after which time he lived other seven hundred, and then died. He had
indeed many other children,8 but Seth in particular. As for the rest, it
would be tedious to name them; I will therefore only endeavor to give an
account of those that proceeded from Seth. Now this Seth, when he was
brought up, and came to those years in which he could discern what was
good, became a virtuous man; and as he was himself of an excellent
character, so did he leave children behind him who imitated his
virtues.9 All these proved to be of good dispositions. They also
inhabited the same country without dissensions, and in a happy
condition, without any misfortunes falling upon them, till they died.
They also were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is
concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order. And that their
inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon
Adam's prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the
force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of
water, they made two pillars, 10 the one of brick, the other of stone:
they inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar
of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might
remain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; and also inform them
that there was another pillar of brick erected by them. Now this remains
in the land of Siriad to this day.

CHAPTER 3. Concerning The Flood; And After What Manner Noah Was Saved In
An Ark, With His Kindred, And Afterwards Dwelt In The Plain Of Shinar.

1. Now this posterity of Seth continued to esteem God as the Lord of the
universe, and to have an entire regard to virtue, for seven generations;
but in process of time they were perverted, and forsook the practices of
their forefathers; and did neither pay those honors to God which were
appointed them, nor had they any concern to do justice towards men. But
for what degree of zeal they had formerly shown for virtue, they now
showed by their actions a double degree of wickedness, whereby they made
God to be their enemy. For many angels11 of God accompanied with women,
and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good,
on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the
tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom
the Grecians call giants. But Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and
being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their
dispositions and their acts for the better: but seeing they did not
yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid
they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they
had married; so he departed out of that land.

2. Now God loved this man for his righteousness: yet he not only
condemned those other men for their wickedness, but determined to
destroy the whole race of mankind, and to make another race that should
be pure from wickedness; and cutting short their lives, and making their
years not so many as they formerly lived, but one hundred and twenty
only,12 he turned the dry land into sea; and thus were all these men
destroyed: but Noah alone was saved; for God suggested to him the
following contrivance and way of escape:—That he should make an ark of
four stories high, three hundred cubits13 long, fifty cubits broad, and
thirty cubits high. Accordingly he entered into that ark, and his wife,
and sons, and their wives, and put into it not only other provisions, to
support their wants there, but also sent in with the rest all sorts of
living creatures, the male and his female, for the preservation of their
kinds; and others of them by sevens. Now this ark had firm walls, and a
roof, and was braced with cross beams, so that it could not be any way
drowned or overborne by the violence of the water. And thus was Noah,
with his family, preserved. Now he was the tenth from Adam, as being the
son of Lamech, whose father was Mathusela; he was the son of Enoch, the
son of Jared; and Jared was the son of Malaleel, who, with many of his
sisters, were the children of Cainan, the son of Enos. Now Enos was the
son of Seth, the son of Adam.

3. This calamity happened in the six hundredth year of Noah's
government, [age,] in the second month, 14 called by the Macedonians
Dius, but by the Hebrews Marchesuan: for so did they order their year in
Egypt. But Moses appointed that ú Nisan, which is the same with
Xanthicus, should be the first month for their festivals, because he
brought them out of Egypt in that month: so that this month began the
year as to all the solemnities they observed to the honor of God,
although he preserved the original order of the months as to selling and
buying, and other ordinary affairs. Now he says that this flood began on
the twenty-seventh [seventeenth] day of the forementioned month; and
this was two thousand six hundred and fifty-six [one thousand six
hundred and fifty-six] years from Adam, the first man; and the time is
written down in our sacred books, those who then lived having noted
down,[15] with great accuracy, both the births and deaths of illustrious

4. For indeed Seth was born when Adam was in his two hundred and
thirtieth year, who lived nine hundred and thirty years. Seth begat Enos
in his two hundred and fifth year; who, when he had lived nine hundred
and twelve years, delivered the government to Cainan his son, whom he
had in his hundred and ninetieth year. He lived nine hundred and five
years. Cainan, when he had lived nine hundred and ten years, had his son
Malaleel, who was born in his hundred and seventieth year. This
Malaleel, having lived eight hundred and ninety-five years, died,
leaving his son Jared, whom he begat when he was in his hundred and
sixty-fifth year. He lived nine hundred and sixty-two years; and then
his son Enoch succeeded him, who was born when his father was one
hundred and sixty-two years old. Now he, when he had lived three hundred
and sixty-five years, departed and went to God; whence it is that they
have not written down his death. Now Mathusela, the son of Enoch, who
was born to him when he was one hundred and sixty-five years old, had
Lamech for his son when he was one hundred and eighty-seven years of
age; to whom he delivered the government, when he had retained it nine
hundred and sixty-nine years. Now Lamech, when he had governed seven
hundred and seventy-seven years, appointed Noah, his son, to be ruler of
the people, who was born to Lamech when he was one hundred and eighty-
two years old, and retained the government nine hundred and fifty years.
These years collected together make up the sum before set down. But let
no one inquire into the deaths of these men; for they extended their
lives along together with their children and grandchildren; but let him
have regard to their births only.15

5. When God gave the signal, and it began to rain, the water poured down
forty entire days, till it became fifteen cubits higher than the earth;
which was the reason why there was no greater number preserved, since
they had no place to fly to. When the rain ceased, the water did but
just begin to abate after one hundred and fifty days, [that is, on the
seventeenth day of the seventh month,] it then ceasing to subside for a
little while. After this, the ark rested on the top of a certain
mountain in Armenia; which, when Noah understood, he opened it; and
seeing a small piece of land about it, he continued quiet, and conceived
some cheerful hopes of deliverance. But a few days afterward, when the
water was decreased to a greater degree, he sent out a raven, as
desirous to learn whether any other part of the earth were left dry by
the water, and whether he might go out of the ark with safety; but the
raven, finding all the land still overflowed, returned to Noah again.
And after seven days he sent out a dove, to know the state of the
ground; which came back to him covered with mud, and bringing an olive
branch: hereby Noah learned that the earth was become clear of the
flood. So after he had staid seven more days, he sent the living
creatures out of the ark; and both he and his family went out, when he
also sacrificed to God, and feasted with his companions. However, the
Armenians call this place, [GREEK] 16 The Place of Descent; for the ark
being saved in that place, its remains are shown there by the
inhabitants to this day.

6. Now all the writers of barbarian histories make mention of this
flood, and of this ark; among whom is Berosus the Chaldean. For when he
is describing the circumstances of the flood, he goes on thus: "It is
said there is still some part of this ship in Armenia, at the mountain
of the Cordyaeans; and that some people carry off pieces of the bitumen,
which they take away, and use chiefly as amulets for the averting of
mischiefs." Hieronymus the Egyptian also, who wrote the Phoenician
Antiquities, and Mnaseas, and a great many more, make mention of the
same. Nay, Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth book, hath a
particular relation about them; where he speaks thus: "There is a great
mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris, upon which it is
reported that many who fled at the time of the Deluge were saved; and
that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it; and
that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved. This might
be the man about whom Moses the legislator of the Jews wrote."

7. But as for Noah, he was afraid, since God had determined to destroy
mankind, lest he should drown the earth every year; so he offered burnt-
offerings, and besought God that nature might hereafter go on in its
former orderly course, and that he would not bring on so great a
judgment any more, by which the whole race of creatures might be in
danger of destruction: but that, having now punished the wicked, he
would of his goodness spare the remainder, and such as he had hitherto
judged fit to be delivered from so severe a calamity; for that otherwise
these last must be more miserable than the first, and that they must be
condemned to a worse condition than the others, unless they be suffered
to escape entirely; that is, if they be reserved for another deluge;
while they must be afflicted with the terror and sight of the first
deluge, and must also be destroyed by a second. He also entreated God to
accept of his sacrifice, and to grant that the earth might never again
undergo the like effects of 'his wrath; that men might be permitted to
go on cheerfully in cultivating the same; to build cities, and live
happily in them; and that they might not be deprived of any of those
good things which they enjoyed before the Flood; but might attain to the
like length of days, and old age, which the ancient people had arrived
at before.

8. When Noah had made these supplications, God, who loved the man for
his righteousness, granted entire success to his prayers, and said, that
it was not he who brought the destruction on a polluted world, but that
they underwent that vengeance on account of their own wickedness; and
that he had not brought men into the world if he had himself determined
to destroy them, it being an instance of greater wisdom not to have
granted them life at all, than, after it was granted, to procure their
destruction; "But the injuries," said he, "they offered to my holiness
and virtue, forced me to bring this punishment upon them. But I will
leave off for the time to come to require such punishments, the effects
of so great wrath, for their future wicked actions, and especially on
account of thy prayers. But if I shall at any time send tempests of
rain, in an extraordinary manner, be not affrighted at the largeness of
the showers; for the water shall no more overspread the earth. However,
I require you to abstain from shedding the blood of men, and to keep
yourselves pure from murder; and to punish those that commit any such
thing. I permit you to make use of all the other living creatures at
your pleasure, and as your appetites lead you; for I have made you lords
of them all, both of those that walk on the land, and those that swim in
the waters, and of those that fly in the regions of the air on high,
excepting their blood, for therein is the life. But I will give you a
sign that I have left off my anger by my bow." [whereby is meant the
rainbow, for they determined that the rainbow was the bow of God]. And
when God had said and promised thus, he went away.

9. Now when Noah had lived three hundred and fifty years after the
Flood, and that all that time happily, he died, having lived the number
of nine hundred and fifty years. But let no one, upon comparing the
lives of the ancients with our lives, and with the few years which we
now live, think that what we have said of them is false; or make the
shortness of our lives at present an argument, that neither did they
attain to so long a duration of life, for those ancients were beloved of
God, and [lately] made by God himself; and because their food was then
fitter for the prolongation of life, might well live so great a number
of years: and besides, God afforded them a longer time of life on
account of their virtue, and the good use they made of it in
astronomical and geometrical discoveries, which would not have afforded
the time of foretelling [the periods of the stars] unless they had lived
six hundred years; for the great year is completed in that interval. Now
I have for witnesses to what I have said, all those that have written
Antiquities, both among the Greeks and barbarians; for even Manetho, who
wrote the Egyptian History, and Berosus, who collected the Chaldean
Monuments, and Mochus, and Hestieus, and, besides these, Hieronymus the
Egyptian, and those who composed the Phoenician History, agree to what I
here say: Hesiod also, and Hecatseus, Hellanicus, and Acusilaus; and,
besides these, Ephorus and Nicolaus relate that the ancients lived a
thousand years. But as to these matters, let every one look upon them as
he thinks fit.

CHAPTER 4. Concerning The Tower Of Babylon, And The Confusion Of

1. Now the sons of Noah were three,—Shem, Japhet, and Ham, born one
hundred years before the Deluge. These first of all descended from the
mountains into the plains, and fixed their habitation there; and
persuaded others who were greatly afraid of the lower grounds on account
of the flood, and so were very loath to come down from the higher
places, to venture to follow their examples. Now the plain in which they
first dwelt was called Shinar. God also commanded them to send colonies
abroad, for the thorough peopling of the earth, that they might not
raise seditions among themselves, but might cultivate a great part of
the earth, and enjoy its fruits after a plentiful manner. But they were
so ill instructed that they did not obey God; for which reason they fell
into calamities, and were made sensible, by experience, of what sin they
had been guilty: for when they flourished with a numerous youth, God
admonished them again to send out colonies; but they, imagining the
prosperity they enjoyed was not derived from the favor of God, but
supposing that their own power was the proper cause of the plentiful
condition they were in, did not obey him. Nay, they added to this their
disobedience to the Divine will, the suspicion that they were therefore
ordered to send out separate colonies, that, being divided asunder, they
might the more easily be Oppressed.

2. Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of
God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of
great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as
if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was
their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually
changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men
from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on
his power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a
mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high
for the waters to be able to reach! and that he would avenge himself on
God for destroying their forefathers!

3. Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of
Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they
built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree
negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands
employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect; but
the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that
thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it
really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar,
made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water. When God
saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them
utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the
former sinners; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them
divers languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those
languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place
wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the
confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the
Hebrews mean by the word Babel, confusion. The Sibyl also makes mention
of this tower, and of the confusion of the language, when she says thus:
"When all men were of one language, some of them built a high tower, as
if they would thereby ascend up to heaven, but the gods sent storms of
wind and overthrew the tower, and gave every one his peculiar language;
and for this reason it was that the city was called Babylon." But as to
the plan of Shinar, in the country of Babylonia, Hestiaeus mentions it,
when he says thus: "Such of the priests as were saved, took the sacred
vessels of Jupiter Enyalius, and came to Shinar of Babylonia."

CHAPTER 5. After What Manner The Posterity Of Noah Sent Out Colonies,
And Inhabited The Whole Earth.

1. After this they were dispersed abroad, on account of their languages,
and went out by colonies every where; and each colony took possession of
that land which they light upon, and unto which God led them; so that
the whole continent was filled with them, both the inland and the
maritime countries. There were some also who passed over the sea in
ships, and inhabited the islands: and some of those nations do still
retain the denominations which were given them by their first founders;
but some have lost them also, and some have only admitted certain
changes in them, that they might be the more intelligible to the
inhabitants. And they were the Greeks who became the authors of such
mutations. For when in after-ages they grew potent, they claimed to
themselves the glory of antiquity; giving names to the nations that
sounded well [in Greek] that they might be better understood among
themselves; and setting agreeable forms of government over them, as if
they were a people derived from themselves.

CHAPTER 6. How Every Nation Was Denominated From Their First

1. Now they were the grandchildren of Noah, in honor of whom names were
imposed on the nations by those that first seized upon them. Japhet, the
son of Noah, had seven sons: they inhabited so, that, beginning at the
mountains Taurus and Amanus, they proceeded along Asia, as far as the
river Tansis, and along Europe to Cadiz; and settling themselves on the
lands which they light upon, which none had inhabited before, they
called the nations by their own names. For Gomer founded those whom the
Greeks now call Galatians, [Galls,] but were then called Gomerites.
Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by
the Greeks called Scythians. Now as to Javan and Madai, the sons of
Japhet; from Madai came the Madeans, who are called Medes, by the
Greeks; but from Javan, Ionia, and all the Grecians, are derived. Thobel
founded the Thobelites, who are now called Iberes; and the Mosocheni
were founded by Mosoch; now they are Cappadocians. There is also a mark
of their ancient denomination still to be shown; for there is even now
among them a city called Mazaca, which may inform those that are able to
understand, that so was the entire nation once called. Thiras also
called those whom he ruled over Thirasians; but the Greeks changed the
name into Thracians. And so many were the countries that had the
children of Japhet for their inhabitants. Of the three sons of Gomer,
Aschanax founded the Aschanaxians, who are now called by the Greeks
Rheginians. So did Riphath found the Ripheans, now called Paphlagonians;
and Thrugramma the Thrugrammeans, who, as the Greeks resolved, were
named Phrygians. Of the three sons of Javan also, the son of Japhet,
Elisa gave name to the Eliseans, who were his subjects; they are now the
Aeolians. Tharsus to the Tharsians, for so was Cilicia of old called;
the sign of which is this, that the noblest city they have, and a
metropolis also, is Tarsus, the tau being by change put for the theta.
Cethimus possessed the island Cethima: it is now called Cyprus; and from
that it is that all islands, and the greatest part of the sea-coasts,
are named Cethim by the Hebrews: and one city there is in Cyprus that
has been able to preserve its denomination; it has been called Citius by
those who use the language of the Greeks, and has not, by the use of
that dialect, escaped the name of Cethim. And so many nations have the
children and grandchildren of Japhet possessed. Now when I have premised
somewhat, which perhaps the Greeks do not know, I will return and
explain what I have omitted; for such names are pronounced here after
the manner of the Greeks, to please my readers; for our own country
language does not so pronounce them: but the names in all cases are of
one and the same ending; for the name we here pronounce Noeas, is there
Noah, and in every case retains the same termination.

2. The children of Ham possessed the land from Syria and Amanus, and the
mountains of Libanus; seizing upon all that was on its sea-coasts, and
as far as the ocean, and keeping it as their own. Some indeed of its
names are utterly vanished away; others of them being changed, and
another sound given them, are hardly to be discovered; yet a few there
are which have kept their denominations entire. For of the four sons of
Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Chus; for the Ethiopians, over
whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men
in Asia, called Chusites. The memory also of the Mesraites is preserved
in their name; for all we who inhabit this country [of Judea] called
Egypt Mestre, and the Egyptians Mestreans. Phut also was the founder of
Libya, and called the inhabitants Phutites, from himself: there is also
a river in the country of Moors which bears that name; whence it is that
we may see the greatest part of the Grecian historiographers mention
that river and the adjoining country by the appellation of Phut: but the
name it has now has been by change given it from one of the sons of
Mesraim, who was called Lybyos. We will inform you presently what has
been the occasion why it has been called Africa also. Canaan, the fourth
son of Ham, inhabited the country now called Judea, and called it from
his own name Canaan. The children of these [four] were these: Sabas, who
founded the Sabeans; Evilas, who founded the Evileans, who are called
Getuli; Sabathes founded the Sabathens, they are now called by the
Greeks Astaborans; Sabactas settled the Sabactens; and Ragmus the
Ragmeans; and he had two sons, the one of whom, Judadas, settled the
Judadeans, a nation of the western Ethiopians, and left them his name;
as did Sabas to the Sabeans: but Nimrod, the son of Chus, staid and
tyrannized at Babylon, as we have already informed you. Now all the
children of Mesraim, being eight in number, possessed the country from
Gaza to Egypt, though it retained the name of one only, the Philistim;
for the Greeks call part of that country Palestine. As for the rest,
Ludieim, and Enemim, and Labim, who alone inhabited in Libya, and called
the country from himself, Nedim, and Phethrosim, and Chesloim, and
Cephthorim, we know nothing of them besides their names; for the
Ethiopic war17 which we shall describe hereafter, was the cause that
those cities were overthrown. The sons of Canaan were these: Sidonius,
who also built a city of the same name; it is called by the Greeks Sidon
Amathus inhabited in Amathine, which is even now called Amathe by the
inhabitants, although the Macedonians named it Epiphania, from one of
his posterity: Arudeus possessed the island Aradus: Arucas possessed
Arce, which is in Libanus. But for the seven others, [Eueus,] Chetteus,
Jebuseus, Amorreus, Gergesus, Eudeus, Sineus, Samareus, we have nothing
in the sacred books but their names, for the Hebrews overthrew their
cities; and their calamities came upon them on the occasion following.

3. Noah, when, after the deluge, the earth was resettled in its former
condition, set about its cultivation; and when he had planted it with
vines, and when the fruit was ripe, and he had gathered the grapes in
their season, and the wine was ready for use, he offered sacrifice, and
feasted, and, being drunk, he fell asleep, and lay naked in an unseemly
manner. When his youngest son saw this, he came laughing, and showed him
to his brethren; but they covered their father's nakedness. And when
Noah was made sensible of what had been done, he prayed for prosperity
to his other sons; but for Ham, he did not curse him, by reason of his
nearness in blood, but cursed his prosperity: and when the rest of them
escaped that curse, God inflicted it on the children of Canaan. But as
to these matters, we shall speak more hereafter.

4. Shem, the third son of Noah, had five sons, who inhabited the land
that began at Euphrates, and reached to the Indian Ocean. For Elam left
behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the Persians. Ashur lived at
the city Nineve; and named his subjects Assyrians, who became the most
fortunate nation, beyond others. Arphaxad named the Arphaxadites, who
are now called Chaldeans. Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called
Syrians; as Laud founded the Laudites, which are now called Lydians. Of
the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus: this country
lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia; and Gather the
Bactrians; and Mesa the Mesaneans; it is now called Charax Spasini. Sala
was the son of Arphaxad; and his son was Heber, from whom they
originally called the Jews Hebrews. 18 Heber begat Joetan and Phaleg: he
was called Phaleg, because he was born at the dispersion of the nations
to their several countries; for Phaleg among the Hebrews signifies
division. Now Joctan, one of the sons of Heber, had these sons, Elmodad,
Saleph, Asermoth, Jera, Adoram, Aizel, Decla, Ebal, Abimael, Sabeus,
Ophir, Euilat, and Jobab. These inhabited from Cophen, an Indian river,
and in part of Asia adjoining to it. And this shall suffice concerning
the sons of Shem.

5. I will now treat of the Hebrews. The son of Phaleg, whose father Was
Heber, was Ragau; whose son was Serug, to whom was born Nahor; his son
was Terah, who was the father of Abraham, who accordingly was the tenth
from Noah, and was born in the two hundred and ninety-second year after
the deluge; for Terah begat Abram in his seventieth year. Nahor begat
Haran when he was one hundred and twenty years old; Nahor was born to
Serug in his hundred and thirty-second year; Ragau had Serug at one
hundred and thirty; at the same age also Phaleg had Ragau; Heber begat
Phaleg in his hundred and thirty-fourth year; he himself being begotten
by Sala when he was a hundred and thirty years old, whom Arphaxad had
for his son at the hundred and thirty-fifth year of his age. Arphaxad
was the son of Shem, and born twelve years after the deluge. Now Abram
had two brethren, Nahor and Haran: of these Haran left a son, Lot; as
also Sarai and Milcha his daughters; and died among the Chaldeans, in a
city of the Chaldeans, called Ur; and his monument is shown to this day.
These married their nieces. Nabor married Milcha, and Abram married
Sarai. Now Terah hating Chaldea, on account of his mourning for Ilaran,
they all removed to Haran of Mesopotamia, where Terah died, and was
buried, when he had lived to be two hundred and five years old; for the
life of man was already, by degrees, diminished, and became shorter than
before, till the birth of Moses; after whom the term of human life was
one hundred and twenty years, God determining it to the length that
Moses happened to live. Now Nahor had eight sons by Milcha; Uz and Buz,
Kemuel, Chesed, Azau, Pheldas, Jadelph, and Bethuel. These were all the
genuine sons of Nahor; for Teba, and Gaam, and Tachas, and Maaca, were
born of Reuma his concubine: but Bethuel had a daughter, Rebecca, and a
son, Laban.

CHAPTER 7. How Abram Our Forefather Went Out Of The Land Of The
Chaldeans, And Lived In The Land Then Called Canaan But Now Judea.

1. Now Abram, having no son of his own, adopted Lot, his brother Haran's
son, and his wife Sarai's brother; and he left the land of Chaldea when
he was seventy-five years old, and at the command of God went into
Canaan, and therein he dwelt himself, and left it to his posterity. He
was a person of great sagacity, both for understanding all things and
persuading his hearers, and not mistaken in his opinions; for which
reason he began to have higher notions of virtue than others had, and he
determined to renew and to change the opinion all men happened then to
have concerning God; for he was the first that ventured to publish this
notion, That there was but one God, the Creator of the universe; and
that, as to other [gods], if they contributed any thing to the happiness
of men, that each of them afforded it only according to his appointment,
and not by their own power. This his opinion was derived from the
irregular phenomena that were visible both at land and sea, as well as
those that happen to the sun, and moon, and all the heavenly bodies,
thus:—"If [said he] these bodies had power of their own, they would
certainly take care of their own regular motions; but since they do not
preserve such regularity, they make it plain, that in so far as they co-
operate to our advantage, they do it not of their own abilities, but as
they are subservient to Him that commands them, to whom alone we ought
justly to offer our honor and thanksgiving." For which doctrines, when
the Chaldeans, and other people of Mesopotamia, raised a tumult against
him, he thought fit to leave that country; and at the command and by the
assistance of God, he came and lived in the land of Canaan. And when he
was there settled, he built an altar, and performed a sacrifice to God.

2. Berosus mentions our father Abram without naming him, when he says
thus: "In the tenth generation after the Flood, there was among the
Chaldeans a man righteous and great, and skillful in the celestial
science." But Hecatseus does more than barely mention him; for he
composed, and left behind him, a book concerning him. And Nicolaus of
Damascus, in the fourth book of his History, says thus: "Abram reigned
at Damascus, being a foreigner, who came with an army out of the land
above Babylon, called the land of the Chaldeans: but, after a long time,
he got him up, and removed from that country also, with his people, and
went into the land then called the land of Canaan, but now the land of
Judea, and this when his posterity were become a multitude; as to which
posterity of his, we relate their history in another work. Now the name
of Abram is even still famous in the country of Damascus; and there is
shown a village named from him, The Habitation of Abram."

CHAPTER 8. That When There Was A Famine In Canaan, Abram Went Thence
Into Egypt; And After He Had Continued There A While He Returned Back

1. Now, after this, when a famine had invaded the land of Canaan, and
Abram had discovered that the Egyptians were in a flourishing condition,
he was disposed to go down to them, both to partake of the plenty they
enjoyed, and to become an auditor of their priests, and to know what
they said concerning the gods; designing either to follow them, if they
had better notions than he, or to convert them into a better way, if his
own notions proved the truest. Now, seeing he was to take Sarai with
him, and was afraid of the madness of the Egyptians with regard to
women, lest the king should kill him on occasion of his wife's great
beauty, he contrived this device:—he pretended to be her brother, and
directed her in a dissembling way to pretend the same, for he said it
would be for their benefit. Now, as soon as he came into Egypt, it
happened to Abram as he supposed it would; for the fame of his wife's
beauty was greatly talked of; for which reason Pharaoh, the king of
Egypt, would not be satisfied with what was reported of her, but would
needs see her himself, and was preparing to enjoy her; but God put a
stop to his unjust inclinations, by sending upon him a distemper, and a
sedition against his government. And when he inquired of the priests how
he might be freed from these calamities, they told him that this his
miserable condition was derived from the wrath of God, upon account of
his inclinations to abuse the stranger's wife. He then, out of fear,
asked Sarai who she was, and who it was that she brought along with her.
And when he had found out the truth, he excused himself to Abram, that
supposing the woman to be his sister, and not his wife, he set his
affections on her, as desiring an affinity with him by marrying her, but
not as incited by lust to abuse her. He also made him a large present in
money, and gave him leave to enter into conversation with the most
learned among the Egyptians; from which conversation his virtue and his
reputation became more conspicuous than they had been before.

2. For whereas the Egyptians were formerly addicted to different
customs, and despised one another's sacred and accustomed rites, and
were very angry one with another on that account, Abram conferred with
each of them, and, confuting the reasonings they made use of, every one
for their own practices, demonstrated that such reasonings were vain and
void of truth: whereupon he was admired by them in those conferences as
a very wise man, and one of great sagacity, when he discoursed on any
subject he undertook; and this not only in understanding it, but in
persuading other men also to assent to him. He communicated to them
arithmetic, and delivered to them the science of astronomy; for before
Abram came into Egypt they were unacquainted with those parts of
learning; for that science came from the Chaldeans into Egypt, and from
thence to the Greeks also.

3. As soon as Abram was come back into Canaan, he parted the land
between him and Lot, upon account of the tumultuous behavior of their
shepherds, concerning the pastures wherein they should feed their
flocks. However, he gave Lot his option, or leave, to choose which lands
he would take; and he took himself what the other left, which were the
lower grounds at the foot of the mountains; and he himself dwelt in
Hebron, which is a city seven years more ancient than Tunis of Egypt.
But Lot possessed the land of the plain, and the river Jordan, not far
from the city of Sodom, which was then a fine city, but is now
destroyed, by the will and wrath of God, the cause of which I shall show
in its proper place hereafter.

CHAPTER 9. The Destruction Of The Sodomites By The Assyrian War.

At this time, when the Assyrians had the dominion over Asia, the people
of Sodom were in a flourishing condition, both as to riches and the
number of their youth. There were five kings that managed the affairs of
this county: Ballas, Barsas, Senabar, and Sumobor, with the king of
Bela; and each king led on his own troops: and the Assyrians made war
upon them; and, dividing their army into four parts, fought against
them. Now every part of the army had its own commander; and when the
battle was joined, the Assyrians were conquerors, and imposed a tribute
on the kings of the Sodomites, who submitted to this slavery twelve
years; and so long they continued to pay their tribute: but on the
thirteenth year they rebelled, and then the army of the Assyrians came
upon them, under their commanders Amraphel, Arioch, Chodorlaomer, and
Tidal. These kings had laid waste all Syria, and overthrown the
offspring of the giants. And when they were come over against Sodom,
they pitched their camp at the vale called the Slime Pits, for at that
time there were pits in that place; but now, upon the destruction of the
city of Sodom, that vale became the Lake Asphaltites, as it is called.
However, concerning this lake we shall speak more presently. Now when
the Sodomites joined battle with the Assyrians, and the fight was very
obstinate, many of them were killed, and the rest were carried captive;
among which captives was Lot, who had come to assist the Sodomites.

CHAPTER 10. How Abram Fought With The Assyrians, And Overcame Them, And
Saved The Sodomite Prisoners, And Took From The Assyrians The Prey They
Had Gotten.

1. When, Abram heard of their calamity, he was at once afraid for Lot
his kinsman, and pitied the Sodomites, his friends and neighbors; and
thinking it proper to afford them assistance, he did not delay it, but
marched hastily, and the fifth night fell upon the Assyrians, near Dan,
for that is the name of the other spring of Jordan; and before they
could arm themselves, he slew some as they were in their beds, before
they could suspect any harm; and others, who were not yet gone to sleep,
but were so drunk they could not fight, ran away. Abram pursued after
them, till, on the second day, he drove them in a body unto Hoba, a
place belonging to Damascus; and thereby demonstrated that victory does
not depend on multitude and the number of hands, but the alacrity and
courage of soldiers overcome the most numerous bodies of men, while he
got the victory over so great an army with no more than three hundred
and eighteen of his servants, and three of his friends: but all those
that fled returned home ingloriously.

2. So Abram, when he had saved the captive Sodomites, who had been taken
by the Assyrians, and Lot also, his kinsman, returned home in peace. Now
the king of Sodom met him at a certain place, which they called The
King's Dale, where Melchisedec, king of the city Salem, received him.
That name signifies, the righteous king: and such he was, without
dispute, insomuch that, on this account, he was made the priest of God:
however, they afterward called Salem Jerusalem. Now this Melchisedec
supplied Abram's army in an hospitable manner, and gave them provisions
in abundance; and as they were feasting, he began to praise him, and to
bless God for subduing his enemies under him. And when Abram gave him
the tenth part of his prey, he accepted of the gift: but the king of
Sodom desired Abram to take the prey, but entreated that he might have
those men restored to him whom Abram had saved from the Assyrians,
because they belonged to him. But Abram would not do so; nor would make
any other advantage of that prey than what his servants had eaten; but
still insisted that he should afford a part to his friends that had
assisted him in the battle. The first of them was called Eschol, and
then Enner, and Mambre.

3. And God commended his virtue, and said, Thou shalt not however lose
the rewards thou hast deserved to receive by such thy glorious actions.
He answered, And what advantage will it be to me to have such rewards,
when I have none to enjoy them after me?—for he was hitherto childless.
And God promised that he should have a son, and that his posterity
should be very numerous; insomuch that their number should be like the
stars. When he heard that, he offered a sacrifice to God, as he
commanded him. The manner of the sacrifice was this:—He took an heifer
of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram in like
manner of three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a pigeon 19 and as he
was enjoined, he divided the three former, but the birds he did not
divide. After which, before he built his altar, where the birds of prey
flew about, as desirous of blood, a Divine voice came to him, declaring
that their neighbors would be grievous to his posterity, when they
should be in Egypt, for four hundred years; 20 during which time they
should be afflicted, but afterwards should overcome their enemies,
should conquer the Canaanites in war, and possess themselves of their
land, and of their cities.

4. Now Abram dwelt near the oak called Ogyges,—the place belongs to
Canaan, not far from the city of Hebron. But being uneasy at his wife's
barrenness, he entreated God to grant that he might have male issue; and
God required of him to be of good courage, and said that he would add to
all the rest of the benefits that he had bestowed upon him, ever since
he led him out of Mesopotamia, the gift of children. Accordingly Sarai,
at God's command, brought to his bed one of her handmaidens, a woman of
Egyptian descent, in order to obtain children by her; and when this
handmaid was with child, she triumphed, and ventured to affront Sarai,
as if the dominion were to come to a son to be born of her. But when
Abram resigned her into the hand of Sarai, to punish her, she contrived
to fly away, as not able to bear the instances of Sarai's severity to
her; and she entreated God to have compassion on her. Now a Divine Angel
met her, as she was going forward in the wilderness, and bid her return
to her master and mistress, for if she would submit to that wise advice,
she would live better hereafter; for that the reason of her being in
such a miserable case was this, that she had been ungrateful and
arrogant towards her mistress. He also told her, that if she disobeyed
God, and went on still in her way, she should perish; but if she would
return back, she should become the mother of a son who should reign over
that country. These admonitions she obeyed, and returned to her master
and mistress, and obtained forgiveness. A little while afterwards, she
bare Ismael; which may be interpreted Heard of God, because God had
heard his mother's prayer.

5. The forementioned son was born to Abram when he was eighty-six years
old: but when he was ninety-nine, God appeared to him, and promised him
that he Should have a son by Sarai, and commanded that his name should
be Isaac; and showed him, that from this son should spring great nations
and kings, and that they should obtain all the land of Canaan by war,
from Sidon to Egypt. But he charged him, in order to keep his posterity
unmixed with others, that they should be circumcised in the flesh of
their foreskin, and that this should be done on the eighth day after
they were born: the reason of which circumcision I will explain in
another place. And Abram inquiring also concerning Ismael, whether he
should live or not, God signified to him that he should live to be very
old, and should be the father of great nations. Abram therefore gave
thanks to God for these blessings; and then he, and all his family, and
his son Ismael, were circumcised immediately; the son being that day
thirteen years of age, and he ninety-nine.

CHAPTER 11. How God Overthrew The Nation Of The Sodomites, Out Of His
Wrath Against Them For Their Sins.

1. About this time the Sodomites grew proud, on account of their riches
and great wealth; they became unjust towards men, and impious towards
God, insomuch that they did not call to mind the advantages they
received from him: they hated strangers, and abused themselves with
Sodomitical practices. God was therefore much displeased at them, and
determined to punish them for their pride, and to overthrow their city,
and to lay waste their country, until there should neither plant nor
fruit grow out of it.

2. When God had thus resolved concerning the Sodomites, Abraham, as he
sat by the oak of Mambre, at the door of his tent, saw three angels; and
thinking them to be strangers, he rose up, and saluted them, and desired
they would accept of an entertainment, and abide with him; to which,
when they agreed, he ordered cakes of meal to be made presently; and
when he had slain a calf, he roasted it, and brought it to them, as they
sat under the oak. Now they made a show of eating; and besides, they
asked him about his wife Sarah, where she was; and when he said she was
within, they said they would come again hereafter, and find her become a
mother. Upon which the woman laughed, and said that it was impossible
she should bear children, since she was ninety years of age, and her
husband was a hundred. Then they concealed themselves no longer, but
declared that they were angels of God; and that one of them was sent to
inform them about the child, and two of the overthrow of Sodom.

3. When Abraham heard this, he was grieved for the Sodomites; and he
rose up, and besought God for them, and entreated him that he would not
destroy the righteous with the wicked. And when God had replied that
there was no good man among the Sodomites; for if there were but ten
such man among them, he would not punish any of them for their sins,
Abraham held his peace. And the angels came to the city of the
Sodomites, and Lot entreated them to accept of a lodging with him; for
he was a very generous and hospitable man, and one that had learned to
imitate the goodness of Abraham. Now when the Sodomites saw the young
men to be of beautiful countenances, and this to an extraordinary
degree, and that they took up their lodgings with Lot, they resolved
themselves to enjoy these beautiful boys by force and violence; and when
Lot exhorted them to sobriety, and not to offer any thing immodest to
the strangers, but to have regard to their lodging in his house; and
promised that if their inclinations could not be governed, he would
expose his daughters to their lust, instead of these strangers; neither
thus were they made ashamed.

4. But God was much displeased at their impudent behavior, so that he
both smote those men with blindness, and condemned the Sodomites to
universal destruction. But Lot, upon God's informing him of the future
destruction of the Sodomites, went away, taking with him his wife and
daughters, who were two, and still virgins; for those that were
betrothed 21 to them were above the thoughts of going, and deemed that
Lot's words were trifling. God then cast a thunderbolt upon the city,
and set it on fire, with its inhabitants; and laid waste the country
with the like burning, as I formerly said when I wrote the Jewish War.
22 But Lot's wife continually turning back to view the city as she went
from it, and being too nicely inquisitive what would become of it,
although God had forbidden her so to do, was changed into a pillar of
salt;23 for I have seen it, and it remains at this day. Now he and his
daughters fled to a certain small place, encompassed with the fire, and
settled in it: it is to this day called Zoar, for that is the word which
the Hebrews use for a small thing. There it was that he lived a
miserable life, on account of his having no company, and his want of

5. But his daughters, thinking that all mankind were destroyed,
approached to their father, 24 though taking care not to be perceived.
This they did, that human kind might not utterly fail: and they bare
sons; the son of the elder was named Moab, Which denotes one derived
from his father; the younger bare Ammon, which name denotes one derived
from a kinsman. The former of whom was the father of the Moabites, which
is even still a great nation; the latter was the father of the
Ammonites; and both of them are inhabitants of Celesyria. And such was
the departure of Lot from among the Sodomites.

CHAPTER 12. Concerning Abimelech; And Concerning Ismael The Son Of
Abraham; And Concerning The Arabians, Who Were His Posterity.

1. Abraham now removed to Gerar of Palestine, leading Sarah along with
him, under the notion of his sister, using the like dissimulation that
he had used before, and this out of fear: for he was afraid of
Abimelech, the king of that country, who did also himself fall in love
with Sarah, and was disposed to corrupt her; but he was restrained from
satisfying his lust by a dangerous distemper which befell him from God.
Now when his physicians despaired of curing him, he fell asleep, and saw
a dream, warning him not to abuse the stranger's wife; and when he
recovered, he told his friends that God had inflicted that disease upon
him, by way of punishment, for his injury to the stranger; and in order
to preserve the chastity of his wife, for that she did not accompany him
as his sister, but as his legitimate wife; and that God had promised to
be gracious to him for the time to come, if this person be once secure
of his wife's chastity. When he had said this, by the advice of his
friends, he sent for Abraham, and bid him not to be concerned about his
wife, or fear the corruption of her chastity; for that God took care of
him, and that it was by his providence that he received his wife again,
without her suffering any abuse. And he appealed to God, and to his
wife's conscience; and said that he had not any inclination at first to
enjoy her, if he had known she was his wife; but since, said he, thou
leddest her about as thy sister, I was guilty of no offense. He also
entreated him to be at peace with him, and to make God propitious to
him; and that if he thought fit to continue with him, he should have
what he wanted in abundance; but that if he designed to go away, he
should be honorably conducted, and have whatsoever supply he wanted when
he came thither. Upon his saying this, Abraham told him that his
pretense of kindred to his wife was no lie, because she was his
brother's daughter; and that he did not think himself safe in his
travels abroad, without this sort of dissimulation; and that he was not
the cause of his distemper, but was only solicitous for his own safety:
he said also, that he was ready to stay with him. Whereupon Abimelech
assigned him land and money; and they coventanted to live together
without guile, and took an oath at a certain well called Beersheba,
which may be interpreted, The Well of the Oath: and so it is named by
the people of the country unto this day.

2. Now in a little time Abraham had a son by Sarah, as God had foretold
to him, whom he named Isaac, which signifies Laughter. And indeed they
so called him, because Sarah laughed when God 25 said that she should
bear a son, she not expecting such a thing, as being past the age of
child-bearing, for she was ninety years old, and Abraham a hundred; so
that this son was born to them both in the last year of each of those
decimal numbers. And they circumcised him upon the eighth day and from
that time the Jews continue the custom of circumcising their sons within
that number of days. But as for the Arabians, they circumcise after the
thirteenth year, because Ismael, the founder of their nation, who was
born to Abraham of the concubine, was circumcised at that age;
concerning whom I will presently give a particular account, with great

3. As for Sarah, she at first loved Ismael, who was born of her own
handmaid Hagar, with an affection not inferior to that of her own son,
for he was brought up in order to succeed in the government; but when
she herself had borne Isaac, she was not willing that Ismael should be
brought up with him, as being too old for him, and able to do him
injuries when their father should be dead; she therefore persuaded
Abraham to send him and his mother to some distant country. Now, at the
first, he did not agree to what Sarah was so zealous for, and thought it
an instance of the greatest barbarity, to send away a young child 26 and
a woman unprovided of necessaries; but at length he agreed to it,
because God was pleased with what Sarah had determined: so he delivered
Ismael to his mother, as not yet able to go by himself; and commanded
her to take a bottle of water, and a loaf of bread, and so to depart,
and to take Necessity for her guide. But as soon as her necessary
provisions failed, she found herself in an evil case; and when the water
was almost spent, she laid the young child, who was ready to expire,
under a fig-tree, and went on further, that so he might die while she
was absent. But a Divine Angel came to her, and told her of a fountain
hard by, and bid her take care, and bring up the child, because she
should be very happy by the preservation of Ismael. She then took
courage, upon the prospect of what was promised her, and, meeting with
some shepherds, by their care she got clear of the distresses she had
been in.

4. When the lad was grown up, he married a wife, by birth an Egyptian,
from whence the mother was herself derived originally. Of this wife were
born to Ismael twelve sons; Nabaioth, Kedar, Abdeel, Mabsam, Idumas,
Masmaos, Masaos, Chodad, Theman, Jetur, Naphesus, Cadmas. These
inhabited all the country from Euphrates to the Red Sea, and called it
Nabatene. They are an Arabian nation, and name their tribes from these,
both because of their own virtue, and because of the dignity of Abraham
their father.

CHAPTER 13. Concerning Isaac The Legitimate Son Of Abraham.

1. Now Abraham greatly loved Isaac, as being his only begotten 27 and
given to him at the borders of old age, by the favor of God. The child
also endeared himself to his parents still more, by the exercise of
every virtue, and adhering to his duty to his parents, and being zealous
in the worship of God. Abraham also placed his own happiness in this
prospect, that, when he should die, he should leave this his son in a
safe and secure condition; which accordingly he obtained by the will of
God: who being desirous to make an experiment of Abraham's religious
disposition towards himself, appeared to him, and enumerated all the
blessings he had bestowed on him; how he had made him superior to his
enemies; and that his son Isaac, who was the principal part of his
present happiness, was derived from him; and he said that he required
this son of his as a sacrifice and holy oblation. Accordingly he
commanded him to carry him to the mountain Moriah, and to build an
altar, and offer him for a burnt-offering upon it for that this would
best manifest his religious disposition towards him, if he preferred
what was pleasing to God, before the preservation of his own son.

2. Now Abraham thought that it was not right to disobey God in any
thing, but that he was obliged to serve him in every circumstance of
life, since all creatures that live enjoy their life by his providence,
and the kindness he bestows on them. Accordingly he concealed this
command of God, and his own intentions about the slaughter of his son,
from his wife, as also from every one of his servants, otherwise he
should have been hindered from his obedience to God; and he took Isaac,
together with two of his servants, and laying what things were necessary
for a sacrifice upon an ass, he went away to the mountain. Now the two
servants went along with him two days; but on the third day, as soon as
he saw the mountain, he left those servants that were with him till then
in the plain, and, having his son alone with him, he came to the
mountain. It was that mountain upon which king David afterwards built
the temple. 28 Now they had brought with them every thing necessary for
a sacrifice, excepting the animal that was to be offered only. Now Isaac
was twenty-five years old. And as he was building the altar, he asked
his father what he was about to offer, since there was no animal there
for an oblation:—to which it was answered, "That God would provide
himself an oblation, he being able to make a plentiful provision for men
out of what they have not, and to deprive others of what they already
have, when they put too much trust therein; that therefore, if God
pleased to be present and propitious at this sacrifice, he would provide
himself an oblation."

3. As soon as the altar was prepared, and Abraham had laid on the wood,
and all things were entirely ready, he said to his son, "O son, I poured
out a vast number of prayers that I might have thee for my son; when
thou wast come into the world, there was nothing that could contribute
to thy support for which I was not greatly solicitous, nor any thing
wherein I thought myself happier than to see thee grown up to man's
estate, and that I might leave thee at my death the successor to my
dominion; but since it was by God's will that I became thy father, and
it is now his will that I relinquish thee, bear this consecration to God
with a generous mind; for I resign thee up to God who has thought fit
now to require this testimony of honor to himself, on account of the
favors he hath conferred on me, in being to me a supporter and defender.
Accordingly thou, my son, wilt now die, not in any common way of going
out of the world, but sent to God, the Father of all men, beforehand, by
thy own father, in the nature of a sacrifice. I suppose he thinks thee
worthy to get clear of this world neither by disease, neither by war,
nor by any other severe way, by which death usually comes upon men, but
so that he will receive thy soul with prayers and holy offices of
religion, and will place thee near to himself, and thou wilt there be to
me a succorer and supporter in my old age; on which account I
principally brought thee up, and thou wilt thereby procure me God for my
Comforter instead of thyself."

4. Now Isaac was of such a generous disposition as became the son of
such a father, and was pleased with this discourse; and said, "That he
was not worthy to be born at first, if he should reject the
determination of God and of his father, and should not resign himself up
readily to both their pleasures; since it would have been unjust if he
had not obeyed, even if his father alone had so resolved." So he went
immediately to the altar to be sacrificed. And the deed had been done if
God had not opposed it; for he called loudly to Abraham by his name, and
forbade him to slay his son; and said, "It was not out of a desire of
human blood that he was commanded to slay his son, nor was he willing
that he should be taken away from him whom he had made his father, but
to try the temper of his mind, whether he would be obedient to such a
command. Since therefore he now was satisfied as to that his alacrity,
and the surprising readiness he showed in this his piety, he was
delighted in having bestowed such blessings upon him; and that he would
not be wanting in all sort of concern about him, and in bestowing other
children upon him; and that his son should live to a very great age;
that he should live a happy life, and bequeath a large principality to
his children, who should be good and legitimate." He foretold also, that
his family should increase into many nations 29 and that those
patriarchs should leave behind them an everlasting name; that they
should obtain the possession of the land of Canaan, and be envied by all
men. When God had said this, he produced to them a ram, which did not
appear before, for the sacrifice. So Abraham and Isaac receiving each
other unexpectedly, and having obtained the promises of such great
blessings, embraced one another; and when they had sacrificed, they
returned to Sarah, and lived happily together, God affording them his
assistance in all things they desired.

CHAPTER 14. Concerning Sarah Abraham's Wife; And How She Ended Her Days.

Now Sarah died a little while after, having lived one hundred and
twenty-seven years. They buried her in Hebron; the Canaanites publicly
allowing them a burying-place; which piece of ground Abraham bought for
four hundred shekels, of Ephron, an inhabitant of Hebron. And both
Abraham and his descendants built themselves sepulchers in that place.

CHAPTER 15. How The Nation Of The Troglodytes Were Derived From Abraham
By Keturah.

Abraham after this married Keturah, by whom six sons were born to him,
men of courage, and of sagacious minds: Zambran, and Jazar, and Madan,
and Madian, and Josabak, and Sous. Now the sons of Sous were Sabathan
and Dadan. The sons of Dadan were Latusim, and Assur, and Luom. The sons
of Madiau were Ephas, and Ophren, and Anoch, and Ebidas, and Eldas. Now,
for all these sons and grandsons, Abraham contrived to settle them in
colonies; and they took possession of Troglodytis, and the country of
Arabia the Happy, as far as it reaches to the Red Sea. It is related of
this Ophren, that he made war against Libya, and took it, and that his
grandchildren, when they inhabited it, called it [from his name] Africa.
And indeed Alexander Polyhistor gives his attestation to what I here
say; who speaks thus: "Cleodemus the prophet, who was also called
Malchus, who wrote a History of the Jews, in agreement with the History
of Moses, their legislator, relates, that there were many sons born to
Abraham by Keturah: nay, he names three of them, Apher, and Surim, and
Japhran. That from Surim was the land of Assyria denominated; and that
from the other two [Apher and Japbran] the country of Africa took its
name, because these men were auxiliaries to Hercules, when he fought
against Libya and Antaeus; and that Hercules married Aphra's daughter,
and of her he begat a son, Diodorus; and that Sophon was his son, from
whom that barbarous people called Sophacians were denominated."

CHAPTER 16. How Isaac Took Rebeka To Wife.

1. Now when Abraham, the father of Isaac, had resolved to take Rebeka,
who was grand-daughter to his brother Nahor, for a wife to his son
Isaac, who was then about forty years old, he sent the ancientest of his
servants to betroth her, after he had obliged him to give him the
strongest assurances of his fidelity; which assurances were given after
the manner following:—They put each other's hands under each other's
thighs; then they called upon God as the witness of what was to be done.
He also sent such presents to those that were there as were in esteem,
on account that that they either rarely or never were seen in that
country, The servant got thither not under a considerable time; for it
requires much time to pass through Meopotamia, in which it is tedious
traveling, both in the winter for the depth of the clay, and in summer
for want of water; and, besides this, for the robberies there committed,
which are not to be avoided by travelers but by caution beforehand.
However, the servant came to Haran; and when he was in the suburbs, he
met a considerable number of maidens going to the water; he therefore
prayed to God that Rebeka might be found among them, or her whom Abraham
sent him as his servant to espouse to his son, in case his will were
that this marriage should be consummated, and that she might be made
known to him by the sign, That while others denied him water to drink,
she might give it him.

2. With this intention he went to the well, and desired the maidens to
give him some water to drink: but while the others refused, on pretense
that they wanted it all at home, and could spare none for him, one only
of the company rebuked them for their peevish behavior towards the
stranger; and said, What is there that you will ever communicate to
anybody, who have not so much as given the man some water? She then
offered him water in an obliging manner. And now he began to hope that
his grand affair would succeed; but desiring still to know the truth, he
commended her for her generosity and good nature, that she did not
scruple to afford a sufficiency of water to those that wanted it, though
it cost her some pains to draw it; and asked who were her parents, and
wished them joy of such a daughter. "And mayst thou be espoused," said
he, "to their satisfaction, into the family of an agreeable husband, and
bring him legitimate children." Nor did she disdain to satisfy his
inquiries, but told him her family. "They," says she, "call me Rebeka;
my father was Bethuel, but he is dead; and Laban is my brother; and,
together with my mother, takes care of all our family affairs, and is
the guardian of my virginity." When the servant heard this, he was very
glad at what had happened, and at what was told him, as perceiving that
God had thus plainly directed his journey; and producing his bracelets,
and some other ornaments which it was esteemed decent for virgins to
wear, he gave them to the damsel, by way of acknowledgment, and as a
reward for her kindness in giving him water to drink; saying, it was but
just that she should have them, because she was so much more obliging
than any of the rest. She desired also that he would come and lodge with
them, since the approach of the night gave him not time to proceed
farther. And producing his precious ornaments for women, he said he
desired to trust them to none more safely than to such as she had shown
herself to be; and that he believed he might guess at the humanity of
her mother and brother, that they would not be displeased, from the
virtue he found in her; for he would not be burdensome, but would pay
the hire for his entertainment, and spend his own money. To which she
replied, that he guessed right as to the humanity of her parents; but
complained that he should think them so parsimonious as to take money,
for that he should have all on free cost. But she said she would first
inform her brother Laban, and, if he gave her leave, she would conduct
him in.

3. As soon then as this was over, she introduced the stranger; and for
the camels, the servants of Laban brought them in, and took care of
them; and he was himself brought in to supper by Laban. And, after
supper, he says to him, and to the mother of the damsel, addressing
himself to her, "Abraham is the son of Terah, and a kinsman of yours;
for Nahor, the grandfather of these children, was the brother of
Abraham, by both father and mother; upon which account he hath sent me
to you, being desirous to take this damsel for his son to wife. He is
his legitimate son, and is brought up as his only heir. He could indeed
have had the most happy of all the women in that country for him, but he
would not have his son marry any of them; but, out of regard to his own
relations, he desired him to match here, whose affection and inclination
I would not have you despise; for it was by the good pleasure of God
that other accidents fell out in my journey, and that thereby I lighted
upon your daughter and your house; for when I was near to the city, I
saw a great many maidens coming to a well, and I prayed that I might
meet with this damsel, which has come to pass accordingly. Do you
therefore confirm that marriage, whose espousals have been already made
by a Divine appearance; and show the respect you have for Abraham, who
hath sent me with so much solicitude, in giving your consent to the
marriage of this damsel." Upon this they understood it to be the will of
God, and greatly approved of the offer, and sent their daughter, as was
desired. Accordingly Isaac married her, the inheritance being now come
to him; for the children by Keturah were gone to their own remote

CHAPTER 17. Concerning The Death Of Abraham.

A Little while after this Abraham died. He was a man of incomparable
virtue, and honored by God in a manner agreeable to his piety towards
him. The whole time of his life was one hundred seventy and five years,
and he was buried in Hebron, with his wife Sarah, by their sons Isaac
and Ismael.

CHAPTER 18. Concerning The Sons Of Isaac, Esau And Jacob; Of Their
Nativity And Education.

1. Now Isaac's wife proved with child, after the death of Abraham; 30
and when her belly was greatly burdened, Isaac was very anxious, and
inquired of God; who answered, that Rebeka should bear twins; and that
two nations should take the names of those sons; and that he who
appeared the second should excel the elder. Accordingly she, in a little
time, as God had foretold, bare twins; the elder of whom, from his head
to his feet, was very rough and hairy; but the younger took hold of his
heel as they were in the birth. Now the father loved the elder, who was
called Esau, a name agreeable to his roughness, for the Hebrews call
such a hairy roughness [Esau, 31 or] Seir; but Jacob the younger was
best beloved by his mother.

2. When there was a famine in the land, Isaac resolved to go into Egypt,
the land there being good; but he went to Gerar, as God commanded him.
Here Abimelech the king received him, because Abraham had formerly lived
with him, and had been his friend. And as in the beginning he treated
him exceeding kindly, so he was hindered from continuing in the same
disposition to the end, by his envy at him; for when he saw that God was
with Isaac, and took such great care of him, he drove him away from him.
But Isaac, when he saw how envy had changed the temper of Abimelech
retired to a place called the Valley, not far from Gerar: and as he was
digging a well, the shepherds fell upon him, and began to fight, in
order to hinder the work; and because he did not desire to contend, the
shepherds seemed to get the him, so he still retired, and dug another
and when certain other shepherds of Abimelech began to offer him
violence, he left that also, still retired, thus purchasing security to
himself a rational and prudent conduct. At length they gave him leave to
dig a well without disturbance. He named this well Rehoboth, which
denotes a large space; but of the former wells, one was called Escon,
which denotes strife, the other Sitenna, name signifies enmity.

3. It was now that Isaac's affairs increased, and in a flourishing
condition; and this his great riches. But Abimelech, thinking in
opposition to him, while their living made them suspicious of each
other, and retiring showing a secret enmity also, he afraid that his
former friendship with Isaac would not secure him, if Isaac should
endeavor the injuries he had formerly offered him; he therefore renewed
his friendship with him, Philoc, one of his generals. And when he had
obtained every thing he desired, by reason of Isaac's good nature, who
preferred the earlier friendship Abimelech had shown to himself and his
father to his later wrath against him, he returned home.

4. Now when Esau, one of the sons of Isaac, whom the father principally
loved, was now come to the age of forty years, he married Adah, the
daughter of Helon, and Aholibamah, the daughter of Esebeon; which Helon
and Esebeon were great lords among the Canaanites: thereby taking upon
himself the authority, and pretending to have dominion over his own
marriages, without so much as asking the advice of his father; for had
Isaac been the arbitrator, he had not given him leave to marry thus, for
he was not pleased with contracting any alliance with the people of that
country; but not caring to be uneasy to his son by commanding him to put
away these wives, he resolved to be silent.

5. But when he was old, and could not see at all, he called Esau to him,
and told him, that besides his blindness, and the disorder of his eyes,
his very old age hindered him from his worship of God [by sacrifice]; he
bid him therefore to go out a hunting, and when he had caught as much
venison as he could, to prepare him a supper 32 that after this he might
make supplication to God, to be to him a supporter and an assister
during the whole time of his life; saying, that it was uncertain when he
should die, and that he was desirous, by prayers for him, to procure,
beforehand, God to be merciful to him.

6. Accordingly, Esau went out a hunting. But Rebeka 33 thinking it
proper to have the supplication made for obtaining the favor of God to
Jacob, and that without the consent of Isaac, bid him kill kids of the
goats, and prepare a supper. So Jacob obeyed his mother, according to
all her instructions. Now when the supper was got ready, he took a
goat's skin, and put it about his arm, that by reason of its hairy
roughness, he might by his father be believed to be Esau; for they being
twins, and in all things else alike, differed only in this thing. This
was done out of his fear, that before his father had made his
supplications, he should be caught in his evil practice, and lest he
should, on the contrary, provoke his father to curse him. So he brought
in the supper to his father. Isaac perceivest to be Esau. So suspecting
no deceit, he ate the supper, and betook himself to his prayers and
intercessions with God; and said, "O Lord of all ages, and Creator of
all substance; for it was thou that didst propose to my father great
plenty of good things, and hast vouchsafed to bestow on me what I have;
and hast promised to my posterity to be their kind supporter, and to
bestow on them still greater blessings; do thou therefore confirm these
thy promises, and do not overlook me, because of my present weak
condition, on account of which I most earnestly pray to thee. Be
gracious to this my son; and preserve him and keep him from every thing
that is evil. Give him a happy life, and the possession of as many good
things as thy power is able to bestow. Make him terrible to his enemies,
and honorable and beloved among his friends."

7. Thus did Isaac pray to God, thinking his prayers had been made for
Esau. He had but just finished them, when Esau came in from hunting. And
when Isaac perceived his mistake, he was silent: but Esau required that
he might be made partaker of the like blessing from his father that his
brother had partook of; but his father refused it, because all his
prayers had been spent upon Jacob: so Esau lamented the mistake.
However, his father being grieved at his weeping, said, that "he should
excel in hunting and strength of body, in arms, and all such sorts of
work; and should obtain glory for ever on those accounts, he and his
posterity after him; but still should serve his brother."

8. Now the mother delivered Jacob, when she was afraid that his brother
would inflict some punishment upon him because of the mistake about the
prayers of Isaac; for she persuaded her husband to take a wife for Jacob
out of Mesopotamia, of her own kindred, Esau having married already
Basemmath, the daughter of Ismael, without his father's consent; for
Isaac did not like the Canaanites, so that he disapproved of Esau's
former marriages, which made him take Basemmath to wife, in order to
please him; and indeed he had a great affection for her.

CHAPTER 19. Concerning Jacob's Flight Into Mesopotamia, By Reason Of The
Fear He Was In Of His Brother.

1. Now Jacob was sent by his mother to Mesopotamia, in order to marry
Laban her brother's daughter [which marriage was permitted by Isaac, on
account of his obsequiousness to the desires of his wife]; and he
accordingly journeyed through the land of Canaan; and because he hated
the people of that country, he would not lodge with any of them, but
took up his lodging in the open air, and laid his head on a heap of
stones that he had gathered together. At which time he saw in his sleep
such a vision standing by him:—he seemed to see a ladder that reached
from the earth unto heaven, and persons descending upon the ladder that
seemed more excellent than human; and at last God himself stood above
it, and was plainly visible to him, who, calling him by his name, spake
to him in these words:—

2. "O Jacob, it is not fit for thee, who art the son of a good father,
and grandson of one who had obtained a great reputation for his eminent
virtue, to be dejected at thy present circumstances, but to hope for
better times, for thou shalt have great abundance of all good things, by
my assistance: for I brought Abraham hither, out of Mesopotamia, when he
was driven away by his kinsmen, and I made thy father a happy man, nor
will I bestow a lesser degree of happiness on thyself: be of good
courage, therefore, and under my conduct proceed on this thy journey,
for the marriage thou goest so zealously about shall be consummated. And
thou shalt have children of good characters, but their multitude shall
be innumerable; and they shall leave what they have to a still more
numerous posterity, to whom, and to whose posterity, I give the dominion
of all the land, and their posterity shall fill the entire earth and
sea, so far as the sun beholds them: but do not thou fear any danger,
nor be afraid of the many labors thou must undergo, for by my providence
I will direct thee what thou art to do in the time present, and still
much more in the time to come."

3. Such were the predictions which God made to Jacob; whereupon he
became very joyful at what he had seen and heard; and he poured oil on
the stones, because on them the prediction of such great benefits was
made. He also vowed a vow, that he would offer sacrifices upon them, if
he lived and returned safe; and if he came again in such a condition, he
would give the tithe of what he had gotten to God. He also judged the
place to be honorable and gave it the name of Bethel, which, in the
Greek, is interpreted, The House of God.

4. So he proceeded on his journey to Mesopotamia, and at length came to
Haran; and meeting with shepherds in the suburbs, with boys grown up,
and maidens sitting about a certain well, he staid with them, as wanting
water to drink; and beginning to discourse with them, he asked them
whether they knew such a one as Laban, and whether he was still alive.
Now they all said they knew him, for he was not so inconsiderable a
person as to be unknown to any of them; and that his daughter fed her
father's flock together with them; and that indeed they wondered that
she was not yet come, for by her means thou mightest learn more exactly
whatever thou desirest to know about that family. While they were saying
this the damsel came, and the other shepherds that came down along with
her. Then they showed her Jacob, and told her that he was a stranger,
who came to inquire about her father's affairs. But she, as pleased,
after the custom of children, with Jacob's coming, asked him who he was,
and whence he came to them, and what it was he lacked that he came
thither. She also wished it might be in their power to supply the wants
he came about.

5. But Jacob was quite overcome, not so much by their kindred, nor by
that affection which might arise thence, as by his love to the damsel,
and his surprise at her beauty, which was so flourishing, as few of the
women of that age could vie with. He said then, "There is a relation
between thee and me, elder than either thy or my birth, if thou be the
daughter of Laban; for Abraham was the son of Terah, as well as Haran
and Nahor. Of the last of whom [Nahor] Bethuel thy grandfather was the
son. Isaac my father was the son of Abraham and of Sarah, who was the
daughter of Haran. But there is a nearer and later cement of mutual
kindred which we bear to one another, for my mother Rebeka was sister to
Laban thy father, both by the same father and mother; I therefore and
thou are cousin-germans. And I am now come to salute you, and to renew
that affinity which is proper between us." Upon this the damsel, at the
mention of Rebeka, as usually happens to young persons, wept, and that
out of the kindness she had for her father, and embraced Jacob, she
having learned an account of Rebeka from her father, and knew that her
parents loved to hear her named; and when she had saluted him, she said
that "he brought the most desirable and greatest pleasures to her
father, with all their family, who was always mentioning his mother, and
always thinking of her, and her alone; and that this will make thee
equal in his eyes to any advantageous circumstances whatsoever." Then
she bid him go to her father, and follow her while she conducted him to
him; and not to deprive him of such a pleasure, by staying any longer
away from him.

6. When she had said thus, she brought him to Laban; and being owned by
his uncle, he was secure himself, as being among his friends; and he
brought a great deal of pleasure to them by his unexpected coning. But a
little while afterward, Laban told him that he could not express in
words the joy he had at his coming; but still he inquired of him the
occasion of his coming, and why he left his aged mother and father, when
they wanted to be taken care of by him; and that he would afford him all
the assistance he wanted. Then Jacob gave him an account of the whole
occasion of his journey, and told him, "that Isaac had two sons that
were twins, himself and Esau; who, because he failed of his father's
prayers, which by his mother's wisdom were put up for him, sought to
kill him, as deprived of the kingdom 34 which was to be given him of
God, and of the blessings for which their father prayed; and that this
was the occasion of his coming hither, as his mother had commanded him
to do: for we are all [says he] brethren one to another; but our mother
esteems an alliance with your family more than she does one with the
families of the country; so I look upon yourself and God to be the
supporters of my travels, and think myself safe in my present

7. Now Laban promised to treat him with great humanity, both on account
of his ancestors, and particularly for the sake of his mother, towards
whom, he said, he would show his kindness, even though she were absent,
by taking care of him; for he assured him he would make him the head
shepherd of his flock, and give him authority sufficient for that
purpose; and when he should have a mind to return to his parents, he
would send him back with presents, and this in as honorable a manner as
the nearness of their relation should require. This Jacob heard gladly;
and said he would willingly, and with pleasure, undergo any sort of
pains while he tarried with him, but desired Rachel to wife, as the
reward of those pains, who was not only on other accounts esteemed by
him, but also because she was the means of his coming to him; for he
said he was forced by the love of the damsel to make this proposal.
Laban was well pleased with this agreement, and consented to give the
damsel to him, as not desirous to meet with any better son-in-law; and
said he would do this, if he would stay with him some time, for he was
not willing to send his daughter to be among the Canaanites, for he
repented of the alliance he had made already by marrying his sister
there. And when Jacob had given his consent to this, he agreed to stay
seven years; for so many years he had resolved to serve his father-in-
law, that, having given a specimen of his virtue, it might be better
known what sort of a man he was. And Jacob, accepting of his terms,
after the time was over, he made the wedding-feast; and when it was
night, without Jacob's perceiving it, he put his other daughter into bed
to him, who was both elder than Rachel, and of no comely countenance:
Jacob lay with her that night, as being both in drink and in the dark.
However, when it was day, he knew what had been done to him; and he
reproached Laban for his unfair proceeding with him; who asked pardon
for that necessity which forced him to do what he did; for he did not
give him Lea out of any ill design, but as overcome by another greater
necessity: that, notwithstanding this, nothing should hinder him from
marrying Rachel; but that when he had served another seven years, he
would give him her whom he loved. Jacob submitted to this condition, for
his love to the damsel did not permit him to do otherwise; and when
another seven years were gone, he took Rachel to wife.

8. Now each of these had handmaids, by their father's donation. Zilpha
was handmaid to Lea, and Bilha to Rachel; by no means slaves, 35 but
however subject to their mistresses. Now Lea was sorely troubled at her
husband's love to her sister; and she expected she should be better
esteemed if she bare him children: so she entreated God perpetually; and
when she had borne a son, and her husband was on that account better
reconciled to her, she named her son Reubel, because God had had mercy
upon her, in giving her a son, for that is the signification of this
name. After some time she bare three more sons; Simeon, which name
signifies that God had hearkened to her prayer. Then she bare Levi, the
confirmer of their friendship. After him was born Judah, which denotes
thanksgiving. But Rachel, fearing lest the fruitfulness of her sister
should make herself enjoy a lesser share of Jacob's affections, put to
bed to him her handmaid Bilha; by whom Jacob had Dan: one may interpret
that name into the Greek tongue, a divine judgment. And after him
Nephthalim, as it were, unconquerable in stratagems, since Rachel tried
to conquer the fruitfulness of her sister by this stratagem.
Accordingly, Lea took the same method, and used a counter-stratagem to
that of her sister; for she put to bed to him her own handmaid. Jacob
therefore had by Zilpha a son, whose name was Gad, which may be
interpreted fortune; and after him Asher, which may be called a happy
man, because he added glory to Lea. Now Reubel, the eldest son of Lea,
brought apples of mandrakes 36 to his mother. When Rachel saw them, she
desired that she would give her the apples, for she longed to eat them;
but when she refused, and bid her be content that she had deprived her
of the benevolence she ought to have had from her husband, Rachel, in
order to mitigate her sister's anger, said she would yield her husband
to her; and he should lie with her that evening. She accepted of the
favor, and Jacob slept with Lea, by the favor of Rachel. She bare then
these sons: Issachar, denoting one born by hire: and Zabulon, one born
as a pledge of benevolence towards her; and a daughter, Dina. After some
time Rachel had a son, named Joseph, which signified there should be
another added to him.

9. Now Jacob fed the flocks of Laban his father-in-law all this time,
being twenty years, after which he desired leave of his father-in-law to
take his wives and go home; but when his father-in-law would not give
him leave, he contrived to do it secretly. He made trial therefore of
the disposition of his wives what they thought of this journey;—when
they appeared glad, and approved of it. Rachel took along with her the
images of the gods, which, according to their laws, they used to worship
in their own country, and ran away together with her sister. The
children also of them both, and the handmaids, and what possessions they
had, went along with them. Jacob also drove away half the cattle,
without letting Laban know of it beforehand But the reason why Rachel
took the images of the gods, although Jacob had taught her to despise
such worship of those gods, was this, That in case they were pursued,
and taken by her father, she might have recourse to these images, in
order to obtain his pardon.

10. But Laban, after one day's time, being acquainted with Jacob's and
his daughters' departure, was much troubled, and pursued after them,
leading a band of men with him; and on the seventh day overtook them,
and found them resting on a certain hill; and then indeed he did not
meddle with them, for it was even-tide; but God stood by him in a dream,
and warned him to receive his son-in-law and his daughters in a
peaceable manner; and not to venture upon any thing rashly, or in wrath
to but to make a league with Jacob. And he told him, that if he despised
their small number, attacked them in a hostile manner, he would assist
them. When Laban had been thus forewarned by God, he called Jacob to him
the next day, in order to treat with him, and showed him what dream he
had; in dependence whereupon he came confidently to him, and began to
accuse him, alleging that he had entertained him when he was poor, and
in want of all things, and had given him plenty of all things which he
had. "For," said he, "I have joined my daughters to thee in marriage,
and supposed that thy kindness to me be greater than before; but thou
hast had no regard to either thy mother's relations to me, nor to the
affinity now newly contracted between us; nor to those wives whom thou
hast married; nor to those children, of whom I am the grandfather. Thou
hast treated me as an enemy, driving away my cattle, and by persuading
my daughters to run away from their father; and by carrying home those
sacred paternal images which were worshipped by my forefathers, and have
been honored with the like worship which they paid them by myself. In
short, thou hast done this whilst thou art my kinsman, and my sister's
son, and the husband of my daughters, and was hospitably treated by me,
and didst eat at my table." When Laban had said this, Jacob made his
defense—That he was not the only person in whom God had implanted the
love of his native country, but that he had made it natural to all men;
and that therefore it was but reasonable that, after so long time, he
should go back to it. "But as to the prey, of whose driving away thou
accusest me, if any other person were the arbitrator, thou wouldst be
found in the wrong; for instead of those thanks I ought to have had from
thee, for both keeping thy cattle, and increasing them, how is it that
thou art unjustly angry at me because I have taken, and have with me, a
small portion of them? But then, as to thy daughters, take notice, that
it is not through any evil practices of mine that they follow me in my
return home, but from that just affection which wives naturally have to
their husbands. They follow therefore not so properly myself as their
own children." And thus far of his apology was made, in order to clear
himself of having acted unjustly. To which he added his own complaint
and accusation of Laban; saying, "While I was thy sister's son, and thou
hadst given me thy daughters in marriage, thou hast worn me out with thy
harsh commands, and detained me twenty years under them. That indeed
which was required in order to my marrying thy daughters, hard as it
was, I own to have been tolerable; but as to those that were put upon me
after those marriages, they were worse, and such indeed as an enemy
would have avoided." For certainly Laban had used Jacob very ill; for
when he saw that God was assisting to Jacob in all that he desired, he
promised him, that of the young cattle which should be born, he should
have sometimes what was of a white color, and sometimes what should be
of a black color; but when those that came to Jacob's share proved
numerous, he did not keep his faith with him, but said he would give
them to him the next year, because of his envying him the multitude of
his possessions. He promised him as before, because he thought such an
increase was not to be expected; but when it appeared to be fact, he
deceived him.

11. But then, as to the sacred images, he bid him search for them; and
when Laban accepted of the offer, Rachel, being informed of it, put
those images into that camel's saddle on which she rode, and sat upon
it; and said, that her natural purgation hindered her rising up: so
Laban left off searching any further, not supposing that his daughter in
such circumstances would approach to those images. So he made a league
with Jacob, and bound it by oaths, that he would not bear him any malice
on account of what had happened; and Jacob made the like league, and
promised to love Laban's daughters. And these leagues they confirmed
with oaths also, which the made upon certain as whereon they erected a
pillar, in the form of an altar: whence that hill is called Gilead; and
from thence they call that land the Land of Gilead at this day. Now when
they had feasted, after the making of the league, Laban returned home.

CHAPTER 20. Concerning The Meeting Of Jacob And Esau.

1. Now as Jacob was proceeding on his journey to the land of Canaan,
angels appeared to him, and suggested to him good hope of his future
condition; and that place he named the Camp of God. And being desirous
of knowing what his brother's intentions were to him, he sent
messengers, to give him an exact account of every thing, as being
afraid, on account of the enmities between them. He charged those that
were sent, to say to Esau, "Jacob had thought it wrong to live together
with him while he was in anger against him, and so had gone out of the
country; and that he now, thinking the length of time of his absence
must have made up their differences, was returning; that he brought with
him his wives, and his children, with what possessions he had gotten;
and delivered himself, with what was most dear to him, into his hands;
and should think it his greatest happiness to partake together with his
brother of what God had bestowed upon him." So these messengers told him
this message. Upon which Esau was very glad, and met his brother with
four hundred men. And Jacob, when he heard that he was coming to meet
him with such a number of men, was greatly afraid: however, he committed
his hope of deliverance to God; and considered how, in his present
circumstances, he might preserve himself and those that were with him,
and overcome his enemies if they attacked him injuriously. He therefore
distributed his company into parts; some he sent before the rest, and
the others he ordered to come close behind, that so, if the first were
overpowered when his brother attacked them, they might have those that
followed as a refuge to fly unto. And when he had put his company in
this order, he sent some of them to carry presents to his brother. The
presents were made up of cattle, and a great number of four-footed
beasts, of many kinds, such as would be very acceptable to those that
received them, on account of their rarity. Those who were sent went at
certain intervals of space asunder, that, by following thick, one after
another, they might appear to be more numerous, that Esau might remit of
his anger on account of these presents, if he were still in a passion.
Instructions were also given to those that were sent to speak gently to

2. When Jacob had made these appointments all the day, and night came
on, he moved on with his company; and, as they were gone over a certain
river called Jabboc, Jacob was left behind; and meeting with an angel,
he wrestled with him, the angel beginning the struggle: but he prevailed
over the angel, who used a voice, and spake to him in words, exhorting
him to be pleased with what had happened to him, and not to suppose that
his victory was a small one, but that he had overcome a divine angel,
and to esteem the victory as a sign of great blessings that should come
to him, and that his offspring should never fall, and that no man should
be too hard for his power. He also commanded him to be called Israel,
which in the Hebrew tongue signifies one that struggled with the divine
angel. 37 These promises were made at the prayer of Jacob; for when he
perceived him to be the angel of God, he desired he would signify to him
what should befall him hereafter. And when the angel had said what is
before related, he disappeared; but Jacob was pleased with these things,
and named the place Phanuel, which signifies, the face of God. Now when
he felt pain, by this struggling, upon his broad sinew, he abstained
from eating that sinew himself afterward; and for his sake it is still
not eaten by us.

3. When Jacob understood that his brother was near, he ordered his wives
to go before, each by herself, with the handmaids, that they might see
the actions of the men as they were fighting, if Esau were so disposed.
He then went up to his brother Esau, and bowed down to him, who had no
evil design upon him, but saluted him; and asked him about the company
of the children and of the women; and desired, when he had understood
all he wanted to know about them, that he would go along with him to
their father; but Jacob pretending that the cattle were weary, Esau
returned to Seir, for there was his place of habitation, he having named
the place Roughness, from his own hairy roughness.

CHAPTER 21. Concerning The Violation Of Dina's Chastity.

1. Hereupon Jacob came to the place, till this day called Tents
[Succoth]; from whence he went to Shechem, which is a city of the
Canaanites. Now as the Shechemites were keeping a festival Dina, who was
the only daughter of Jacob, went into the city to see the finery of the
women of that country. But when Shechem, the son of Hamor the king, saw
her, he defiled her by violence; and being greatly in love with her,
desired of his father that he would procure the damsel to him for a
wife. To which desire he condescended, and came to Jacob, desiring him
to give leave that his son Shechem might, according to law, marry Dina.
But Jacob, not knowing how to deny the desire of one of such great
dignity, and yet not thinking it lawful to marry his daughter to a
stranger, entreated him to give him leave to have a consultation about
what he desired him to do. So the king went away, in hopes that Jacob
would grant him this marriage. But Jacob informed his sons of the
defilement of their sister, and of the address of Hamor; and desired
them to give their advice what they should do. Upon thiss, the greatest
part said nothing, not knowing what advice to give. But Simeon and Levi,
the brethren of the damsel by the same mother, agreed between themselves
upon the action following: It being now the time of a festival, when the
Shechemites were employed in ease and feasting, they fell upon the watch
when they were asleep, and, coming into the city, slew all the males 38
as also the king, and his son, with them; but spared the women. And when
they had done this without their father's consent, they brought away
their sister.

2. Now while Jacob was astonished at the greatness of this act, and was
severely blaming his sons for it, God stood by him, and bid him be of
good courage; but to purify his tents, and to offer those sacrifices
which he had vowed to offer when he went first into Mesopotamia, and saw
his vision. As he was therefore purifying his followers, he lighted upon
the gods of Laban; [for he did not before know they were stolen by
Rachel;] and he hid them in the earth, under an oak, in Shechem. And
departing thence, he offered sacrifice at Bethel, the place where he saw
his dream, when he went first into Mesopotamia.

3. And when he was gone thence, and was come over against Ephrata, he
there buried Rachel, who died in child-bed: she was the only one of
Jacob's kindred that had not the honor of burial at Hebron. And when he
had mourned for her a great while, he called the son that was born of
her Benjamin, 39 because of the sorrow the mother had with him. These
are all the children of Jacob, twelve males and one female.--Of them
eight were legitimate,--viz. six of Lea, and two of Rachel; and four
were of the handmaids, two of each; all whose names have been set down

CHAPTER 22. How Isaac Died, And Was Buried In Hebron.

From thence Jacob came to Hebron, a city situate among the Canaanites;
and there it was that Isaac lived: and so they lived together for a
little while; for as to Rebeka, Jacob did not find her alive. Isaac also
died not long after the coming of his son; and was buried by his sons,
with his wife, in Hebron, where they had a monument belonging to them
from their forefathers. Now Isaac was a man who was beloved of God, and
was vouchsafed great instances of providence by God, after Abraham his
father, and lived to be exceeding old; for when he had lived virtuously
one hundred and eighty-five years, he then died.


1 (return) [ Since Josephus, in his Preface, sect. 4, says that Moses
wrote some things enigmatically, some allegorically, and the rest in
plain words, since in his account of the first chapter of Genesis, and
the first three verses of the second, he gives us no hints of any
mystery at all; but when he here comes to ver. 4, etc., he says that
Moses, after the seventh day was over, began to talk philosophically; it
is not very improbable that he understood the rest of the second and the
third chapters in some enigmatical, or allegorical, or philosophical
sense. The change of the name of God just at this place, from Elohim to
Jehovah Elohim, from God to Lord God, in the Hebrew, Samaritan, and
Septuagint, does also not a little favor some such change in the
narration or construction.]

2 (return) [ We may observe here, that Josephus supposed man to be
compounded of spirit, soul, and body, with St. Paul, 1 Thessalonians
5:23, and the rest of the ancients: he elsewhere says also, that the
blood of animals was forbidden to be eaten, as having in it soul and
spirit, Antiq. B. III. ch. 11. sect. 2.]

3 (return) [ Whence this strange notion came, which yet is not peculiar
to Joseph, but, as Dr. Hudson says here, is derived from older authors,
as if four of the greatest rivers in the world, running two of them at
vast distances from the other two, by some means or other watered
paradise, is hard to say. Only since Josephus has already appeared to
allegorize this history, and take notice that these four names had a
particular signification; Phison for Ganges, a multitude; Phrath for
Euphrates, either a dispersion or a flower; Diglath for Tigris, what is
swift, with narrowness; and Geon for Nile, what arises from the east,—we
perhaps mistake him when we suppose he literally means those four
rivers; especially as to Geon or Nile, which arises from the east, while
he very well knew the literal Nile arises from the south; though what
further allegorical sense he had in view, is now, I fear, impossible to
be determined.]

4 (return) [ By the Red Sea is not here meant the Arabian Gulf, which
alone we now call by that name, but all that South Sea, which included
the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf, as far as the East Indies; as Reland
and Hudson here truly note, from the old geographers.]

5 (return) [ Hence it appears, that Josephus thought several, at least,
of the brute animals, particularly the serpent, could speak before the
fall. And I think few of the more perfect kinds of those animals want
the organs of speech at this day. Many inducements there are also to a
notion, that the present state they are in, is not their original state;
and that their capacities have been once much greater than we now see
them, and are capable of being restored to their former condition. But
as to this most ancient, and authentic, and probably allegorical account
of that grand affair of the fall of our first parents, I have somewhat
more to say in way of conjecture, but being only a conjecture, I omit
it: only thus far, that the imputation of the sin of our first parents
to their posterity, any further than as some way the cause or occasion
of man's mortality, seems almost entirely groundless; and that both man,
and the other subordinate creatures, are hereafter to be delivered from
the curse then brought upon them, and at last to be delivered from that
bondage of corruption, Romans 8:19-22.]

6 (return) [ St. John's account of the reason why God accepted the
sacrifice of Abel, and rejected that of Cain; as also why Cain slew
Abel, on account of that his acceptance with God, is much better than
this of Josephus: I mean, because "Cain was of the evil one, and slew
his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil,
and his brother's righteous," 1 John 3:12. Josephus's reason seems to be
no better than a pharisaical notion or tradition.]

7 (return) [ From this Jubal, not improbably, came Jobel, the trumpet of
jobel or jubilee; that large and loud musical instrument, used in
proclaiming the liberty at the year of jubilee.]

8 (return) [ The number of Adam's children, as says the old tradition
was thirty-three sons, and twenty-three daughters.]

9 (return) [ What is here said of Seth and his posterity, that they were
very good and virtuous, and at the same time very happy, without any
considerable misfortunes, for seven generations, [see ch. 2. sect. 1,
before; and ch. 3. sect. 1, hereafter,] is exactly agreeable to the
state of the world and the conduct of Providence in all the first ages.]

10 (return) [ Of Josephus's mistake here, when he took Seth the son of
Adam, for Seth or Sesostris, king of Egypt, the erector of this pillar
in the land of Siriad, see Essay on the Old Testament, Appendix, p. 159,
160. Although the main of this relation might be true, and Adam might
foretell a conflagration and a deluge, which all antiquity witnesses to
be an ancient tradition; nay, Seth's posterity might engrave their
inventions in astronomy on two such pillars; yet it is no way credible
that they could survive the deluge, which has buried all such pillars
and edifices far under ground in the sediment of its waters, especially
since the like pillars of the Egyptian Seth or Sesostris were extant
after the flood, in the land of Siriad, and perhaps in the days of
Josephus also, as is shown in the place here referred to.]

11 (return) [ This notion, that the fallen angels were, in some sense,
the fathers of the old giants, was the constant opinion of antiquity.]

12 (return) [ Josephus here supposes that the life of these giants, for
of them only do I understand him, was now reduced to 120 years; which is
confirmed by the fragment of Enoch, sect. 10, in Authent. Rec. Part I.
p. 268. For as to the rest of mankind, Josephus himself confesses their
lives were much longer than 120 years, for many generations after the
flood, as we shall see presently; and he says they were gradually
shortened till the days of Moses, and then fixed [for some time] at 120,
ch. 6. sect. 5. Nor indeed need we suppose that either Enoch or Josephus
meant to interpret these 120 years for the life of men before the flood,
to be different from the 120 years of God's patience [perhaps while the
ark was preparing] till the deluge; which I take to be the meaning of
God when he threatened this wicked world, that if they so long continued
impenitent, their days should be no more than 120 years.]

13 (return) [ A cubit is about 21 English inches.]

14 (return) [ Josephus here truly determines, that the year at the Flood
began about the autumnal equinox. As to what day of the month the Flood
began, our Hebrew and Samaritan, and perhaps Josephus's own copy, more
rightly placed it on the 17th day, instead of the 27th, as here; for
Josephus agrees with them, as to the distance of 150 days to the 17th
day of the 7th month, as Genesis 7. ult. with 8:3.]

15 (return) [ Josephus here takes notice, that these ancient genealogies
were first set down by those that then lived, and from them were
transmitted down to posterity; which I suppose to be the true account of
that matter. For there is no reason to imagine that men were not taught
to read and write soon after they were taught to speak; and perhaps all
by the Messiah himself, who, under the Father, was the Creator or
Governor of mankind, and who frequently in those early days appeared to

16 (return) [ This [GREEK], or Place of Descent, is the proper rendering
of the Armenian name of this very city. It is called in Ptolemy Naxuana,
and by Moses Chorenensis, the Armenian historian, Idsheuan; but at the
place itself Nachidsheuan, which signifies The first place of descent,
and is a lasting monument of the preservation of Noah in the ark, upon
the top of that mountain, at whose foot it was built, as the first city
or town after the flood. See Antiq. B. XX. ch. 2. sect. 3; and Moses
Chorenensis, who also says elsewhere, that another town was related by
tradition to have been called Seron, or, The Place of Dispersion, on
account of the dispersion of Xisuthrus's or Noah's sons, from thence
first made. Whether any remains of this ark be still preserved, as the
people of the country suppose, I cannot certainly tell. Mons. Tournefort
had, not very long since, a mind to see the place himself, but met with
too great dangers and difficulties to venture through them.]

17 (return) [ One observation ought not here to be neglected, with
regard to that Ethiopic war which Moses, as general of the Egyptians,
put an end to, Antiq. B. II. ch. 10., and about which our late writers
seem very much unconcerned; viz. that it was a war of that consequence,
as to occasion the removal or destruction of six or seven nations of the
posterity of Mitzraim, with their cities; which Josephus would not have
said, if he had not had ancient records to justify those his assertions,
though those records be now all lost.]

18 (return) [ That the Jews were called Hebrews from this their
progenitor Heber, our author Josephus here rightly affirms; and not from
Abram the Hebrew, or passenger over Euphrates, as many of the moderns
suppose. Shem is also called the father of all the children of Heber, or
of all the Hebrews, in a history long before Abram passed over
Euphrates, Genesis 10:21, though it must be confessed that, Genesis
14:13, where the original says they told Abram the Hebrew, the
Septuagint renders it the passenger, [GREEK]: but this is spoken only of
Abram himself, who had then lately passed over Euphrates, and is another
signification of the Hebrew word, taken as an appellative, and not as a
proper name.]

19 (return) [ It is worth noting here, that God required no other
sacrifices under the law of Moses, than what were taken from these five
kinds of animals which he here required of Abram. Nor did the Jews feed
upon any other domestic animals than the three here named, as Reland
observes on Antiq. B. IV. ch. 4. sect. 4.]

20 (return) [ As to this affliction of Abram's posterity for 400 years,
see Antiq. B. II. ch. 9. sect. 1.]

21 (return) [ These sons-in-law to Lot, as they are called, Genesis
19:12-14, might be so styled, because they were betrothed to Lot's
daughters, though not yet married to them. See the note on Antiq. B.
XIV. ch. 13. sect. 1.]

22 (return) [ Of the War, B. IV. ch. 8. sect. 4.]

23 (return) [ This pillar of salt was, we see here, standing in the days
of Josephus, and he had seen it. That it was standing then is also
attested by Clement of Rome, contemporary with Josephus; as also that it
was so in the next century, is attested by Irenaeus, with the addition
of an hypothesis, how it came to last so long, with all its members
entire.—Whether the account that some modern travelers give be true,
that it is still standing, I do not know. Its remote situation, at the
most southern point of the Sea of Sodom, in the wild and dangerous
deserts of Arabia, makes it exceeding difficult for inquisitive
travelers to examine the place; and for common reports of country
people, at a distance, they are not very satisfactory. In the mean time,
I have no opinion of Le Clerc's dissertation or hypothesis about this
question, which can only be determined by eye-witnesses. When Christian
princes, so called, lay aside their foolish and unchristian wars and
quarrels, and send a body of fit persons to travel over the east, and
bring us faithful accounts of all ancient monuments, and procure us
copies of all ancient records, at present lost among us, we may hope for
full satisfaction in such inquiries; but hardly before.]

24 (return) [ I see no proper wicked intention in these daughters of
Lot, when in a case which appeared to them of unavoidable necessity,
they procured themselves to be with child by their father. Without such
an unavoidable necessity, incest is a horrid crime; but whether in such
a case of necessity, as they apprehended this to be, according to
Josephus, it was any such crime, I am not satisfied. In the mean time,
their making their father drunk, and their solicitous concealment of
what they did from him, shows that they despaired of persuading him to
an action which, at the best, could not but be very suspicious and
shocking to so good a man.]

25 (return) [ It is well worth observation, that Josephus here calls
that principal Angel, who appeared to Abraham and foretold the birth of
Isaac, directly God; which language of Josephus here, prepares us to
believe those other expressions of his, that Jesus was a wise man, if it
be lawful to call him a man, Antiq. B. XVIII. ch. 3. sect. 3, and of God
the Word, in his homily concerning Hades, may be both genuine. Nor is
the other expression of Divine Angel, used presently, and before, also
of any other signification.]

26 (return) [ Josephus here calls Ismael a young child or infant, though
he was about 13 years of age; as Judas calls himself and his brethren
young men, when he was 47, and had two children, Antiq. B. II. ch. 6.
sect. 8, and they were of much the same age; as is a damsel of 12 years
old called a little child, Mark 5:39-42, five several times. Herod is
also said by Josephus to be a very young man at 25. See the note on
Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 9. sect 2, and of the War, B. I. ch. 10. And
Aristobulus is styled a very little child at 16 years of age, Antiq. B.
XV. ch. 2. sect. 6, 7. Domitian also is called by him a very young
child, when he went on his German expedition at about 18 years of age,
of the War, B. VII. ch. 4. sect. 2. Samson's wife, and Ruth, when they
were widows, are called children, Antiq. B. V. ch. 8. sect. 6, and ch.
9. sect. 2 3.]

27 (return) [ Note, that both here and Hebrews 11:17, Isaac is called
Abraham's only begotten son, though he at the same time had another son,
Ismael. The Septuagint expresses the true meaning, by rendering the text
the beloved son.]

28 (return) [ Here is a plain error in the copies which say that king
David afterwards built the temple on this Mount Moriah, while it was
certainly no other than king Solomon who built that temple, as indeed
Procopius cites it from Josephus. For it was for certain David, and not
Solomon, who built the first altar there, as we learn, 2 Samuel 24:18,
etc.; 1 Chronicles 21:22, etc.; and Antiq. B. VII. ch. 13. sect. 4.]

29 (return) [ It seems both here, and in God's parallel blessing to
Jacob, ch. 19. sect. 1, that Josephus had yet no notion of the hidden
meaning of that most important and most eminent promise, "In thy seed
shall all the families of the earth be blessed. He saith not, and of
seeds, as of many, but as of one; and to thy seed, which is Christ,"
Galatians 3:16. Nor is it any wonder, he being, I think, as yet not a
Christian. And had he been a Christian, yet since he was, to be sure,
till the latter part of his life, no more than an Ebionite Christian,
who, above all the apostles, rejected and despised St. Paul, it would be
no great wonder if he did not now follow his interpretation. In the mean
time, we have in effect St. Paul's exposition in the Testament of
Reuben, sect. 6, in Authent. Rec. Part I. p. 302, who charges his sons
"to worship the seed of Judah, who should die for them in visible and
invisible wars; and should be among them an eternal king." Nor is that
observation of a learned foreigner of my acquaintance to be despised,
who takes notice, that as seeds in the plural, must signify posterity,
so seed in the singular may signify either posterity, or a single
person; and that in this promise of all nations being happy in the seed
of Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob, etc., it is always used in the singular.
To which I shall add, that it is sometimes, as it were, paraphrased by
the son of Abraham, the son of David, etc., which is capable of no such

30 (return) [ The birth of Jacob and Esau is here said to be after
Abraham's death: it should have been after Sarah's death. The order of
the narration in Genesis, not always exactly according to the order of
time, seems to have led Josephus into this error, as Dr. Bernard
observes here.]

31 (return) [ For Seir in Josephus, the coherence requires that we read
Esau or Seir, which signify the same thing.]

32 (return) [ The supper of savory meat, as we call it, Genesis 27:4, to
be caught by hunting, was intended plainly for a festival or a
sacrifice; and upon the prayers that were frequent at sacrifices, Isaac
expected, as was then usual in such eminent cases, that a divine impulse
would come upon him, in order to the blessing of his son there present,
and his foretelling his future behavior and fortune. Whence it must be,
that when Isaac had unwittingly blessed Jacob, and was afterwards made
sensible of his mistake, yet did he not attempt to alter it, how
earnestly soever his affection for Esau might incline him to wish it
might be altered, because he knew that this blessing came not from
himself, but from God, and that an alteration was out of his power. A
second afflatus then came upon him, and enabled him to foretell Esau's
future behavior and foretell Esau's future behavior and fortune also.]

33 (return) [ Whether Jacob or his mother Rebeka were most blameable in
this imposition upon Isaac in his old age, I cannot determine. However
the blessing being delivered as a prediction of future events, by a
Divine impulse, and foretelling things to befall to the posterity of
Jacob and Esau in future ages, was for certain providential; and
according to what Rebeka knew to be the purpose of God, when he answered
her inquiry, "before the children were born," Genesis 25:23, "that one
people should be stronger than the other people; and the elder, Esau,
should serve the younger, Jacob." Whether Isaac knew or remembered this
old oracle, delivered in our copies only to Rebeka; or whether, if he
knew and remembered it, he did not endeavor to alter the Divine
determination, out of his fondness for his elder and worser son Esau, to
the damage of his younger and better son Jacob, as Josephus elsewhere
supposes, Antiq. B. II. ch. 7. sect. 3; I cannot certainly say. If so,
this might tempt Rebeka to contrive, and Jacob to put this imposition
upon him. However, Josephus says here, that it was Isaac, and not
Rebeka, who inquired of God at first, and received the forementioned
oracle, sect. 1; which, if it be the true reading, renders Isaac's
procedure more inexcusable. Nor was it probably any thing else that so
much encouraged Esau formerly to marry two Canaanitish wives, without
his parents' consent, as Isaac's unhappy fondness for him.]

34 (return) [ By this "deprivation of the kingdom that was to be given
Esau of God," as the first-born, it appears that Josephus thought that a
"kingdom to be derived from God" was due to him whom Isaac should bless
as his first-born, which I take to be that kingdom which was expected
under the Messiah, who therefore was to be born of his posterity whom
Isaac should so bless. Jacob therefore by obtaining this blessing of the
first-born, became the genuine heir of that kingdom, in opposition to

35 (return) [ Here we have the difference between slaves for life and
servants, such as we now hire for a time agreed upon on both sides, and
dismiss again after he time contracted for is over, which are no slaves,
but free men and free women. Accordingly, when the Apostolical
Constitutions forbid a clergyman to marry perpetual servants or slaves,
B. VI. ch. 17., it is meant only of the former sort; as we learn
elsewhere from the same Constitutions, ch. 47. Can. LXXXII. But
concerning these twelve sons of Jacob, the reasons of their several
names, and the times of their several births in the intervals here
assigned, their several excellent characters, their several faults and
repentance, the several accidents of their lives, with their several
prophecies at their deaths, see the Testaments of these twelve
patriarchs, still preserved at large in the Authent. Rec. Part I. p.

36 (return) [ I formerly explained these mandrakes, as we, with the
Septuagint, and Josephus, render the Hebrew word Dudaim, of the Syrian
Maux, with Ludolphus, Antbent. Rec. Part I. p. 420; but have since seen
such a very probable account in M. S. of my learned friend Mr. Samuel
Barker, of what we still call mandrakes, and their description by the
ancient naturalists and physicians, as inclines me to think these here
mentioned were really mandrakes, and no other.]

37 (return) [ Perhaps this may be the proper meaning of the word Israel,
by the present and the old Jerusalem analogy of the Hebrew tongue. In
the mean time, it is certain that the Hellenists of the first century,
in Egypt and elsewhere, interpreted Israel to be a man seeing God, as is
evident from the argument fore-cited.]

38 (return) [ Of this slaughter of the Shechemites by Simeon and Levi,
see Authent. Rec. Part I. p. 309, 418, 432-439. But why Josephus has
omitted the circumcision of these Shechemites, as the occasion of their
death; and of Jacob's great grief, as in the Testament of Levi, sect. 5;
I cannot tell.]

39 (return) [ Since Benoni signifies the son of my sorrow, and Benjamin
the son of days, or one born in the father's old age, Genesis 44:20, I
suspect Josephus's present copies to be here imperfect, and suppose
that, in correspondence to other copies, he wrote that Rachel called her
son's name Benoni, but his father called him Benjamin, Genesis 35:18. As
for Benjamin, as commonly explained, the son of the right hand, it makes
no sense at all, and seems to be a gross modern error only. The
Samaritan always writes this name truly Benjamin, which probably is here
of the same signification, only with the Chaldee termination in, instead
of im in the Hebrew; as we pronounce cherubin or cherubim indifferently.
Accordingly, both the Testament of Benjamin, sect. 2, p. 401, and Philo
de Nominum Mutatione, p. 1059, write the name Benjamin, but explain it
not the son of the right hand, but the son of days.]

BOOK II. Containing The Interval Of Two Hundred And Twenty Years.—From
The Death Of Isaac To The Exodus Out Of Egypt.

CHAPTER 1. How Esau And Jacob, Isaac's Sons Divided Their Habitation;
And Esau Possessed Idumea And Jacob Canaan.

1. After the death of Isaac, his sons divided their habitations
respectively; nor did they retain what they had before; but Esau
departed from the city of Hebron, and left it to his brother, and dwelt
in Seir, and ruled over Idumea. He called the country by that name from
himself, for he was named Adom; which appellation he got on the
following occasion:—One day returning from the toil of hunting very
hungry, [it was when he was a child in age,] he lighted on his brother
when he was getting ready lentile-pottage for his dinner, which was of a
very red color; on which account he the more earnestly longed for it,
and desired him to give him some of it to eat: but he made advantage of
his brother's hunger, and forced him to resign up to him his birthright;
and he, being pinched with famine, resigned it up to him, under an oath.
Whence it came, that, on account of the redness of this pottage, he was,
in way of jest, by his contemporaries, called Adom, for the Hebrews call
what is red Adom; and this was the name given to the country; but the
Greeks gave it a more agreeable pronunciation, and named it Idumea.

2. He became the father of five sons; of whom Jaus, and Jalomus, and
Coreus, were by one wife, whose name was Alibama; but of the rest,
Aliphaz was born to him by Ada, and Raguel by Basemmath: and these were
the sons of Esau. Aliphaz had five legitimate sons; Theman, Omer,
Saphus, Gotham, and Kanaz; for Amalek was not legitimate, but by a
concubine, whose name was Thamna. These dwelt in that part of Idumea
which is called Gebalitis, and that denominated from Amalek, Amalekitis;
for Idumea was a large country, and did then preserve the name of the
whole, while in its several parts it kept the names of its peculiar

CHAPTER 2. How Joseph, The Youngest Of Jacob's Sons, Was Envied By His
Brethren, When Certain Dreams Had Foreshown His Future Happiness.

1. It happened that Jacob came to so great happiness as rarely any other
person had arrived at. He was richer than the rest of the inhabitants of
that country; and was at once envied and admired for such virtuous sons,
for they were deficient in nothing, but were of great souls, both for
laboring with their hands and enduring of toil; and shrewd also in
understanding. And God exercised such a providence over him, and such a
care of his happiness, as to bring him the greatest blessings, even out
of what appeared to be the most sorrowful condition; and to make him the
cause of our forefathers' departure out of Egypt, him and his posterity.
The occasion was this:—When Jacob had his son Joseph born to him by
Rachel, his father loved him above the rest of his sons, both because of
the beauty of his body, and the virtues of his mind, for he excelled the
rest in prudence. This affection of his father excited the envy and the
hatred of his brethren; as did also his dreams which he saw, and related
to his father, and to them, which foretold his future happiness, it
being usual with mankind to envy their very nearest relations such their
prosperity. Now the visions which Joseph saw in his sleep were these:—

2. When they were in the middle of harvest, and Joseph was sent by his
father, with his brethren, to gather the fruits of the earth, he saw a
vision in a dream, but greatly exceeding the customary appearances that
come when we are asleep; which, when he was got up, he told his
brethren, that they might judge what it portended. He said, he saw the
last night, that his wheat-sheaf stood still in the place where he set
it, but that their sheaves ran to bow down to it, as servants bow down
to their masters. But as soon as they perceived the vision foretold that
he should obtain power and great wealth, and that his power should be in
opposition to them, they gave no interpretation of it to Joseph, as if
the dream were not by them understood: but they prayed that no part of
what they suspected to be its meaning might come to pass; and they bare
a still greater hatred to him on that account.

3. But God, in opposition to their envy, sent a second vision to Joseph,
which was much more wonderful than the former; for it seemed to him that
the sun took with him the moon, and the rest of the stars, and came down
to the earth, and bowed down to him. He told the vision to his father,
and that, as suspecting nothing of ill-will from his brethren, when they
were there also, and desired him to interpret what it should signify.
Now Jacob was pleased with the dream: for, considering the prediction in
his mind, and shrewdly and wisely guessing at its meaning, he rejoiced
at the great things thereby signified, because it declared the future
happiness of his son; and that, by the blessing of God, the time would
come when he should be honored, and thought worthy of worship by his
parents and brethren, as guessing that the moon and sun were like his
mother and father; the former, as she that gave increase and nourishment
to all things; and the latter, he that gave form and other powers to
them; and that the stars were like his brethren, since they were eleven
in number, as were the stars that receive their power from the sun and

4. And thus did Jacob make a judgment of this vision, and that a shrewd
one also. But these interpretations caused very great grief to Joseph's
brethren; and they were affected to him hereupon as if he were a certain
stranger, that was to those good things which were signified by the
dreams and not as one that was a brother, with whom it was probable they
should be joint-partakers; and as they had been partners in the same
parentage, so should they be of the same happiness. They also resolved
to kill the lad; and having fully ratified that intention of theirs, as
soon as their collection of the fruits was over, they went to Shechem,
which is a country good for feeding of cattle, and for pasturage; there
they fed their flocks, without acquainting their father with their
removal thither; whereupon he had melancholy suspicions about them, as
being ignorant of his sons' condition, and receiving no messenger from
the flocks that could inform him of the true state they were in; so,
because he was in great fear about them, he sent Joseph to the flocks,
to learn the circumstances his brethren were in, and to bring him word
how they did.

CHAPTER 3. How Joseph Was Thus Sold By His Brethren Into Egypt, By
Reason Of Their Hatred To Him; And How He There Grew Famous And
Illustrious And Had His Brethren Under His Power.

1. Now these brethren rejoiced as soon as they saw their brother coming
to them, not indeed as at the presence of a near relation, or as at the
presence of one sent by their father, but as at the presence of an
enemy, and one that by Divine Providence was delivered into their hands;
and they already resolved to kill him, and not let slip the opportunity
that lay before them. But when Reubel, the eldest of them, saw them thus
disposed, and that they had agreed together to execute their purpose, he
tried to restrain them, showing them the heinous enterprise they were
going about, and the horrid nature of it; that this action would appear
wicked in the sight of God, and impious before men, even though they
should kill one not related to them; but much more flagitious and
detestable to appear to have slain their own brother, by which act the
father must be treated unjustly in the son's slaughter, and the mother 1
also be in perplexity while she laments that her son is taken away from
her, and this not in a natural way neither. So he entreated them to have
a regard to their own consciences, and wisely to consider what mischief
would betide them upon the death of so good a child, and their youngest
brother; that they would also fear God, who was already both a spectator
and a witness of the designs they had against their brother; that he
would love them if they abstained from this act, and yielded to
repentance and amendment; but in case they proceeded to do the fact, all
sorts of punishments would overtake them from God for this murder of
their brother, since they polluted his providence, which was every where
present, and which did not overlook what was done, either in deserts or
in cities; for wheresoever a man is, there ought he to suppose that God
is also. He told them further, that their consciences would be their
enemies, if they attempted to go through so wicked an enterprise, which
they can never avoid, whether it be a good conscience; or whether it be
such a one as they will have within them when once they have killed
their brother. He also added this besides to what he had before said,
that it was not a righteous thing to kill a brother, though he had
injured them; that it is a good thing to forget the actions of such near
friends, even in things wherein they might seem to have offended; but
that they were going to kill Joseph, who had been guilty of nothing that
was ill towards them, in whose case the infirmity of his small age
should rather procure him mercy, and move them to unite together in the
care of his preservation. That the cause of killing him made the act
itself much worse, while they determined to take him off out of envy at
his future prosperity, an equal share of which they would naturally
partake while he enjoyed it, since they were to him not strangers, but
the nearest relations, for they might reckon upon what God bestowed upon
Joseph as their own; and that it was fit for them to believe, that the
anger of God would for this cause be more severe upon them, if they slew
him who was judged by God to be worthy of that prosperity which was to
be hoped for; and while, by murdering him, they made it impossible for
God to bestow it upon him.

2. Reubel said these and many other things, and used entreaties to them,
and thereby endeavored to divert them from the murder of their brother.
But when he saw that his discourse had not mollified them at all, and
that they made haste to do the fact, he advised them to alleviate the
wickedness they were going about, in the manner of taking Joseph off;
for as he had exhorted them first, when they were going to revenge
themselves, to be dissuaded from doing it; so, since the sentence for
killing their brother had prevailed, he said that they would not,
however, be so grossly guilty, if they would be persuaded to follow his
present advice, which would include what they were so eager about, but
was not so very bad, but, in the distress they were in, of a lighter
nature. He begged of them, therefore, not to kill their brother with
their own hands, but to cast him into the pit that was hard by, and so
to let him die; by which they would gain so much, that they would not
defile their own hands with his blood. To this the young men readily
agreed; so Reubel took the lad and tied him to a cord, and let him down
gently into the pit, for it had no water at all in it; who, when he had
done this, went his way to seek for such pasturage as was fit for
feeding his flocks.

3. But Judas, being one of Jacob's sons also, seeing some Arabians, of
the posterity of Ismael, carrying spices and Syrian wares out of the
land of Gilead to the Egyptians, after Rubel was gone, advised his
brethren to draw Joseph out of the pit, and sell him to the Arabians;
for if he should die among strangers a great way off, they should be
freed from this barbarous action. This, therefore, was resolved on; so
they drew Joseph up out of the pit, and sold him to the merchants for
twenty pounds 2 He was now seventeen years old. But Reubel, coming in
the night-time to the pit, resolved to save Joseph, without the privity
of his brethren; and when, upon his calling to him, he made no answer,
he was afraid that they had destroyed him after he was gone; of which he
complained to his brethren; but when they had told him what they had
done, Reubel left off his mourning.

4. When Joseph's brethren had done thus to him, they considered what
they should do to escape the suspicions of their father. Now they had
taken away from Joseph the coat which he had on when he came to them at
the time they let him down into the pit; so they thought proper to tear
that coat to pieces, and to dip it into goats' blood, and then to carry
it and show it to their father, that he might believe he was destroyed
by wild beasts. And when they had so done, they came to the old man, but
this not till what had happened to his son had already come to his
knowledge. Then they said that they had not seen Joseph, nor knew what
mishap had befallen him; but that they had found his coat bloody and
torn to pieces, whence they had a suspicion that he had fallen among
wild beasts, and so perished, if that was the coat he had on when he
came from home. Now Jacob had before some better hopes that his son was
only made a captive; but now he laid aside that notion, and supposed
that this coat was an evident argument that he was dead, for he well
remembered that this was the coat he had on when he sent him to his
brethren; so he hereafter lamented the lad as now dead, and as if he had
been the father of no more than one, without taking any comfort in the
rest; and so he was also affected with his misfortune before he met with
Joseph's brethren, when he also conjectured that Joseph was destroyed by
wild beasts. He sat down also clothed in sackcloth and in heavy
affliction, insomuch that he found no ease when his sons comforted him,
neither did his pains remit by length of time.

CHAPTER 4. Concerning The Signal Chastity Of Joseph.

1. Now Potiphar, an Egyptian, who was chief cook to king Pharaoh, bought
Joseph of the merchants, who sold him to him. He had him in the greatest
honor, and taught him the learning that became a free man, and gave him
leave to make use of a diet better than was allotted to slaves. He
intrusted also the care of his house to him. So he enjoyed these
advantages, yet did not he leave that virtue which he had before, upon
such a change of his condition; but he demonstrated that wisdom was able
to govern the uneasy passions of life, in such as have it in reality,
and do not only put it on for a show, under a present state of

2. For when his master's wife was fallen in love with him, both on
account of his beauty of body, and his dexterous management of affairs;
and supposed, that if she should make it known to him, she could easily
persuade him to come and lie with her, and that he would look upon it as
a piece of happy fortune that his mistress should entreat him, as
regarding that state of slavery he was in, and not his moral character,
which continued after his condition was changed. So she made known her
naughty inclinations, and spake to him about lying with her. However, he
rejected her entreaties, not thinking it agreeable to religion to yield
so far to her, as to do what would tend to the affront and injury of him
that purchased him, and had vouchsafed him so great honors. He, on the
contrary, exhorted her to govern that passion; and laid before her the
impossibility of her obtaining her desires, which he thought might be
conquered, if she had no hope of succeeding; and he said, that as to
himself, he would endure any thing whatever before he would be persuaded
to it; for although it was fit for a slave, as he was, to do nothing
contrary to his mistress, he might well be excused in a case where the
contradiction was to such sort of commands only. But this opposition of
Joseph, when she did not expect it, made her still more violent in her
love to him; and as she was sorely beset with this naughty passion, so
she resolved to compass her design by a second attempt.

3. When, therefore, there was a public festival coming on, in which it
was the custom for women to come to the public solemnity; she pretended
to her husband that she was sick, as contriving an opportunity for
solitude and leisure, that she might entreat Joseph again. Which
opportunity being obtained, she used more kind words to him than before;
and said that it had been good for him to have yielded to her first
solicitation, and to have given her no repulse, both because of the
reverence he ought to bear to her dignity who solicited him, and because
of the vehemence of her passion, by which she was forced though she were
his mistress to condescend beneath her dignity; but that he may now, by
taking more prudent advice, wipe off the imputation of his former folly;
for whether it were that he expected the repetition of her solicitations
she had now made, and that with greater earnestness than before, for
that she had pretended sickness on this very account, and had preferred
his conversation before the festival and its solemnity; or whether he
opposed her former discourses, as not believing she could be in earnest;
she now gave him sufficient security, by thus repeating her application,
that she meant not in the least by fraud to impose upon him; and assured
him, that if he complied with her affections, he might expect the
enjoyment of the advantages he already had; and if he were submissive to
her, he should have still greater advantages; but that he must look for
revenge and hatred from her, in case he rejected her desires, and
preferred the reputation of chastity before his mistress; for that he
would gain nothing by such procedure, because she would then become his
accuser, and would falsely pretend to her husband, that he had attempted
her chastity; and that Potiphar would hearken to her words rather than
to his, let his be ever so agreeable to the truth.

4. When the woman had said thus, and even with tears in her eyes,
neither did pity dissuade Joseph from his chastity, nor did fear compel
him to a compliance with her; but he opposed her solicitations, and did
not yield to her threatenings, and was afraid to do an ill thing, and
chose to undergo the sharpest punishment rather than to enjoy his
present advantages, by doing what his own conscience knew would justly
deserve that he should die for it. He also put her in mind that she was
a married woman, and that she ought to cohabit with her husband only;
and desired her to suffer these considerations to have more weight with
her than the short pleasure of lustful dalliance, which would bring her
to repentance afterwards, would cause trouble to her, and yet would not
amend what had been done amiss. He also suggested to her the fear she
would be in lest they should be caught; and that the advantage of
concealment was uncertain, and that only while the wickedness was not
known [would there be any quiet for them]; but that she might have the
enjoyment of her husband's company without any danger. And he told her,
that in the company of her husband she might have great boldness from a
good conscience, both before God and before men. Nay, that she would act
better like his mistress, and make use of her authority over him better
while she persisted in her chastity, than when they were both ashamed
for what wickedness they had been guilty of; and that it is much better
to a life, well and known to have been so, than upon the hopes of the
concealment of evil practices.

5. Joseph, by saying this, and more, tried to restrain the violent
passion of the woman, and to reduce her affections within the rules of
reason; but she grew more ungovernable and earnest in the matter; and
since she despaired of persuading him, she laid her hands upon him, and
had a mind to force him. But as soon as Joseph had got away from her
anger, leaving also his garment with her, for he left that to her, and
leaped out of her chamber, she was greatly afraid lest he should
discover her lewdness to her husband, and greatly troubled at the
affront he had offered her; so she resolved to be beforehand with him,
and to accuse Joseph falsely to Potiphar, and by that means to revenge
herself on him for his pride and contempt of her; and she thought it a
wise thing in itself, and also becoming a woman, thus to prevent his
accusation. Accordingly she sat sorrowful and in confusion, framing
herself so hypocritically and angrily, that the sorrow, which was really
for her being disappointed of her lust, might appear to be for the
attempt upon her chastity; so that when her husband came home, and was
disturbed at the sight of her and inquired what was the cause of the
disorder she was in, she began to accuse Joseph: and, "O husband," said
she, "mayst thou not live a day longer if thou dost not punish the
wicked slave who has desired to defile thy bed; who has neither minded
who he was when he came to our house, so as to behave himself with
modesty; nor has he been mindful of what favors he had received from thy
bounty [as he must be an ungrateful man indeed, unless he, in every
respect, carry himself in a manner agreeable to us]: this man, I say,
laid a private design to abuse thy wife, and this at the time of a
festival, observing when thou wouldst be absent. So that it now is clear
that his modesty, as it appeared to be formerly, was only because of the
restraint he was in out of fear of thee, but that he was not really of a
good disposition. This has been occasioned by his being advanced to
honor beyond what he deserved, and what he hoped for; insomuch that he
concluded, that he who was deemed fit to be trusted with thy estate and
the government of thy family, and was preferred above thy eldest
servants, might be allowed to touch thy wife also." Thus when she had
ended her discourse, she showed him his garment, as if he then left it
with her when he attempted to force her. But Potiphar not being able to
disbelieve what his wife's tears showed, and what his wife said, and
what he saw himself, and being seduced by his love to his wife, did not
set himself about the examination of the truth; but taking it for
granted that his wife was a modest woman, and condemning Joseph as a
wicked man, he threw him into the malefactors' prison; and had a still
higher opinion of his wife, and bare her witness that she was a woman of
a becoming modesty and chastity.

CHAPTER 5. What Things Befell Joseph In Prison.

1. Now Joseph, commending all his affairs to God, did not betake himself
to make his defense, nor to give an account of the exact circumstances
of the fact, but silently underwent the bonds and the distress he was
in, firmly believing that God, who knew the cause of his affliction, and
the truth of the fact, would be more powerful than those that inflicted
the punishments upon him:—a proof of whose providence he quickly
received; for the keeper of the prison taking notice of his care and
fidelity in the affairs he had set him about, and the dignity of his
countenance, relaxed his bonds, and thereby made his heavy calamity
lighter, and more supportable to him. He also permitted him to make use
of a diet better than that of the rest of the prisoners. Now, as his
fellow prisoners, when their hard labors were over, fell to discoursing
one among another, as is usual in such as are equal sufferers, and to
inquire one of another what were the occasions of their being condemned
to a prison: among them the king's cupbearer, and one that had been
respected by him, was put in bonds, upon the king's anger at him. This
man was under the same bonds with Joseph, and grew more familiar with
him; and upon his observing that Joseph had a better understanding than
the rest had, he told him of a dream he had, and desired he would
interpret its meaning, complaining that, besides the afflictions he
underwent from the king, God did also add to him trouble from his

2. He therefore said, that in his sleep he saw three clusters of grapes
hanging upon three branches of a vine, large already, and ripe for
gathering; and that he squeezed them into a cup which the king held in
his hand; and when he had strained the wine, he gave it to the king to
drink, and that he received it from him with a pleasant countenance.
This, he said, was what he saw; and he desired Joseph, that if he had
any portion of understanding in such matters, he would tell him what
this vision foretold. Who bid him be of good cheer, and expect to be
loosed from his bonds in three days' time, because the king desired his
service, and was about to restore him to it again; for he let him know
that God bestows the fruit of the vine upon men for good; which wine is
poured out to him, and is the pledge of fidelity and mutual confidence
among men; and puts an end to their quarrels, takes away passion and
grief out of the minds of them that use it, and makes them cheerful.
"Thou sayest that thou didst squeeze this wine from three clusters of
grapes with thine hands, and that the king received it: know, therefore,
that this vision is for thy good, and foretells a release from thy
present distress within the same number of days as the branches had
whence thou gatheredst thy grapes in thy sleep. However, remember what
prosperity I have foretold thee when thou hast found it true by
experience; and when thou art in authority, do not overlook us in this
prison, wherein thou wilt leave us when thou art gone to the place we
have foretold; for we are not in prison for any crime; but for the sake
of our virtue and sobriety are we condemned to suffer the penalty of
malefactors, and because we are not willing to injure him that has thus
distressed us, though it were for our own pleasure." The cupbearer,
therefore, as was natural to do, rejoiced to hear such an interpretation
of his dream, and waited the completion of what had been thus shown him

3. But another servant there was of the king, who had been chief baker,
and was now bound in prison with the cupbearer; he also was in good
hope, upon Joseph's interpretation of the other's vision, for he had
seen a dream also; so he desired that Joseph would tell him what the
visions he had seen the night before might mean. They were these that
follow:—"Methought," says he, "I carried three baskets upon my head; two
were full of loaves, and the third full of sweetmeats and other
eatables, such as are prepared for kings; but that the fowls came
flying, and eat them all up, and had no regard to my attempt to drive
them away." And he expected a prediction like to that of the cupbearer.
But Joseph, considering and reasoning about the dream, said to him, that
he would willingly be an interpreter of good events to him, and not of
such as his dream denounced to him; but he told him that he had only
three days in all to live, for that the [three] baskets signify, that on
the third day he should be crucified, and devoured by fowls, while he
was not able to help himself. Now both these dreams had the same several
events that Joseph foretold they should have, and this to both the
parties; for on the third day before mentioned, when the king solemnized
his birth-day, he crucified the chief baker, but set the butler free
from his bonds, and restored him to his former ministration.

4. But God freed Joseph from his confinement, after he had endured his
bonds two years, and had received no assistance from the cupbearer, who
did not remember what he had said to him formerly; and God contrived
this method of deliverance for him. Pharaoh the king had seen in his
sleep the same evening two visions; and after them had the
interpretations of them both given him. He had forgotten the latter, but
retained the dreams themselves. Being therefore troubled at what he had
seen, for it seemed to him to be all of a melancholy nature, the next
day he called together the wisest men among the Egyptians, desiring to
learn from them the interpretation of his dreams. But when they
hesitated about them, the king was so much the more disturbed. And now
it was that the memory of Joseph, and his skill in dreams, came into the
mind of the king's cupbearer, when he saw the confusion that Pharaoh was
in; so he came and mentioned Joseph to him, as also the vision he had
seen in prison, and how the event proved as he had said; as also that
the chief baker was crucified on the very same day; and that this also
happened to him according to the interpretation of Joseph. That Joseph
himself was laid in bonds by Potiphar, who was his head cook, as a
slave; but, he said, he was one of the noblest of the stock of the
Hebrews; and said further, his father lived in great splendor. "If,
therefore, thou wilt send for him, and not despise him on the score of
his misfortunes, thou wilt learn what thy dreams signify." So the king
commanded that they should bring Joseph into his presence; and those who
received the command came and brought him with them, having taken care
of his habit, that it might be decent, as the king had enjoined them to

5. But the king took him by the hand; and, "O young man," says he, "for
my servant bears witness that thou art at present the best and most
skillful person I can consult with; vouchsafe me the same favors which
thou bestowedst on this servant of mine, and tell me what events they
are which the visions of my dreams foreshow; and I desire thee to
suppress nothing out of fear, nor to flatter me with lying words, or
with what may please me, although the truth should be of a melancholy
nature. For it seemed to me that, as I walked by the river, I saw kine
fat and very large, seven in number, going from the river to the
marshes; and other kine of the same number like them, met them out of
the marshes, exceeding lean and ill-favored, which ate up the fat and
the large kine, and yet were no better than before, and not less
miserably pinched with famine. After I had seen this vision, I awaked
out of my sleep; and being in disorder, and considering with myself what
this appearance should be, I fell asleep again, and saw another dream,
much more wonderful than the foregoing, which still did more affright
and disturb me:—I saw seven ears of corn growing out of one root, having
their heads borne down by the weight of the grains, and bending down
with the fruit, which was now ripe and fit for reaping; and near these I
saw seven other ears of corn, meager and weak, for want of rain, which
fell to eating and consuming those that were fit for reaping, and put me
into great astonishment."

6. To which Joseph replied:—"This dream," said he, "O king, although
seen under two forms, signifies one and the same event of things; for
when thou sawest the fat kine, which is an animal made for the plough
and for labor, devoured by the worser kine, and the ears of corn eaten
up by the smaller ears, they foretell a famine, and want of the fruits
of the earth for the same number of years, and equal with those when
Egypt was in a happy state; and this so far, that the plenty of these
years will be spent in the same number of years of scarcity, and that
scarcity of necessary provisions will be very difficult to be corrected;
as a sign whereof, the ill-favored kine, when they had devoured the
better sort, could not be satisfied. But still God foreshows what is to
come upon men, not to grieve them, but that, when they know it
beforehand, they may by prudence make the actual experience of what is
foretold the more tolerable. If thou, therefore, carefully dispose of
the plentiful crops which will come in the former years, thou wilt
procure that the future calamity will not be felt by the Egyptians."

7. Hereupon the king wondered at the discretion and wisdom of Joseph;
and asked him by what means he might so dispense the foregoing plentiful
crops in the happy years, as to make the miserable crops more tolerable.
Joseph then added this his advice: To spare the good crops, and not
permit the Egyptians to spend them luxuriously, but to reserve what they
would have spent in luxury beyond their necessity against the time of
want. He also exhorted him to take the corn of the husbandmen, and give
them only so much as will be sufficient for their food. Accordingly
Pharaoh being surprised at Joseph, not only for his interpretation of
the dream, but for the counsel he had given him, intrusted him with
dispensing the corn; with power to do what he thought would be for the
benefit of the people of Egypt, and for the benefit of the king, as
believing that he who first discovered this method of acting, would
prove the best overseer of it. But Joseph having this power given him by
the king, with leave to make use of his seal, and to wear purple, drove
in his chariot through all the land of Egypt, and took the corn of the
husbandmen, 3 allotting as much to every one as would be sufficient for
seed, and for food, but without discovering to any one the reason why he
did so.

CHAPTER 6. How Joseph When He Was Become Famous In Egypt, Had His
Brethren In Subjection.

1. Joseph was now grown up to thirty years of age, and enjoyed great
honors from the king, who called him Psothom Phanech, out of regard to
his prodigious degree of wisdom; for that name denotes the revealer of
secrets. He also married a wife of very high quality; for he married the
daughter of Petephres, 4 one of the priests of Heliopolis; she was a
virgin, and her name was Asenath. By her he had children before the
scarcity came on; Manasseh, the elder, which signifies forgetful,
because his present happiness made him forget his former misfortunes;
and Ephraim, the younger, which signifies restored, because he was
restored to the freedom of his forefathers. Now after Egypt had happily
passed over seven years, according to Joseph's interpretation of the
dreams, the famine came upon them in the eighth year; and because this
misfortune fell upon them when they had no sense of it beforehand, 5
they were all sorely afflicted by it, and came running to the king's
gates; and he called upon Joseph, who sold the corn to them, being
become confessedly a savior to the whole multitude of the Egyptians. Nor
did he open this market of corn for the people of that country only, but
strangers had liberty to buy also; Joseph being willing that all men,
who are naturally akin to one another, should have assistance from those
that lived in happiness.

2. Now Jacob also, when he understood that foreigners might come, sent
all his sons into Egypt to buy corn, for the land of Canaan was
grievously afflicted with the famine; and this great misery touched the
whole continent. He only retained Benjamin, who was born to him by
Rachel, and was of the same mother with Joseph. These sons of Jacob then
came into Egypt, and applied themselves to Joseph, wanting to buy corn;
for nothing of this kind was done without his approbation, since even
then only was the honor that was paid the king himself advantageous to
the persons that paid it, when they took care to honor Joseph also. Now
when he well knew his brethren, they thought nothing of him; for he was
but a youth when he left them, and was now come to an age so much
greater, that the lineaments of his face were changed, and he was not
known by them: besides this, the greatness of the dignity wherein he
appeared, suffered them not so much as to suspect it was he. He now made
trial what sentiments they had about affairs of the greatest
consequence; for he refused to sell them corn, and said they were come
as spies of the king's affairs; and that they came from several
countries, and joined themselves together, and pretended that they were
of kin, it not being possible that a private man should breed up so many
sons, and those of so great beauty of countenance as they were, such an
education of so many children being not easily obtained by kings
themselves. Now this he did in order to discover what concerned his
father, and what happened to him after his own departure from him, and
as desiring to know what was become of Benjamin his brother; for he was
afraid that they had ventured on the like wicked enterprise against him
that they had done to himself, and had taken him off also.

3. Now these brethren of his were under distraction and terror, and
thought that very great danger hung over them; yet not at all reflecting
upon their brother Joseph, and standing firm under the accusations laid
against them, they made their defense by Reubel, the eldest of them, who
now became their spokesman: "We come not hither," said he, "with any
unjust design, nor in order to bring any harm to the king's affairs; we
only want to be preserved, as supposing your humanity might be a refuge
for us from the miseries which our country labors under, we having heard
that you proposed to sell corn, not only to your own countrymen, but to
strangers also, and that you determined to allow that corn, in order to
preserve all that want it; but that we are brethren, and of the same
common blood, the peculiar lineaments of our faces, and those not so
much different from one another, plainly show. Our father's name is
Jacob, an Hebrew man, who had twelve of us for his sons by four wives;
which twelve of us, while we were all alive, were a happy family; but
when one of our brethren, whose name was Joseph, died, our affairs
changed for the worse, for our father could not forbear to make a long
lamentation for him; and we are in affliction, both by the calamity of
the death of our brother, and the miserable state of our aged father. We
are now, therefore, come to buy corn, having intrusted the care of our
father, and the provision for our family, to Benjamin, our youngest
brother; and if thou sendest to our house, thou mayst learn whether we
are guilty of the least falsehood in what we say."

4. And thus did Reubel endeavor to persuade Joseph to have a better
opinion of them. But when he had learned from them that Jacob was alive,
and that his brother was not destroyed by them, he for the present put
them in prison, as intending to examine more into their affairs when he
should be at leisure. But on the third day he brought them out, and said
to them, "Since you constantly affirm that you are not come to do any
harm to the king's affairs; that you are brethren, and the sons of the
father whom you named; you will satisfy me of the truth of what you say,
if you leave one of your company with me, who shall suffer no injury
here; and if, when ye have carried corn to your father, you will come to
me again, and bring your brother, whom you say you left there, along
with you, for this shall be by me esteemed an assurance of the truth of
what you have told me." Hereupon they were in greater grief than before;
they wept, and perpetually deplored one among another the calamity of
Joseph; and said, "They were fallen into this misery as a punishment
inflicted by God for what evil contrivances they had against him." And
Reubel was large in his reproaches of them for their too late
repentance, whence no profit arose to Joseph; and earnestly exhorted
them to bear with patience whatever they suffered, since it was done by
God in way of punishment, on his account. Thus they spake to one
another, not imagining that Joseph understood their language. A general
sadness also seized on them at Reubel's words, and a repentance for what
they had done; and they condemned the wickedness they had perpetrated,
for which they judged they were justly punished by God. Now when Joseph
saw that they were in this distress, he was so affected at it that he
fell into tears, and not being willing that they should take notice of
him, he retired; and after a while came to them again, and taking Symeon
6 in order to his being a pledge for his brethren's return, he bid them
take the corn they had bought, and go their way. He also commanded his
steward privily to put the money which they had brought with them for
the purchase of corn into their sacks, and to dismiss them therewith;
who did what he was commanded to do.

5. Now when Jacob's sons were come into the land of Canaan, they told
their father what had happened to them in Egypt, and that they were
taken to have come thither as spies upon the king; and how they said
they were brethren, and had left their eleventh brother with their
father, but were not believed; and how they had left Symeon with the
governor, until Benjamin should go thither, and be a testimonial of the
truth of what they had said: and they begged of their father to fear
nothing, but to send the lad along with them. But Jacob was not pleased
with any thing his sons had done; and he took the detention of Symeon
heinously, and thence thought it a foolish thing to give up Benjamin
also. Neither did he yield to Reubel's persuasion, though he begged it
of him, and gave leave that the grandfather might, in way of requital,
kill his own sons, in case any harm came to Benjamin in the journey. So
they were distressed, and knew not what to do; nay, there was another
accident that still disturbed them more,—the money that was found hidden
in their sacks of corn. Yet when the corn they had brought failed them,
and when the famine still afflicted them, and necessity forced them,
Jacob did 7 [not] still resolve to send Benjamin with his brethren,
although there was no returning into Egypt unless they came with what
they had promised. Now the misery growing every day worse, and his sons
begging it of him, he had no other course to take in his present
circumstances. And Judas, who was of a bold temper on other occasions,
spake his mind very freely to him: "That it did not become him to be
afraid on account of his son, nor to suspect the worst, as he did; for
nothing could be done to his son but by the appointment of God, which
must also for certain come to pass, though he were at home with him;
that he ought not to condemn them to such manifest destruction; nor
deprive them of that plenty of food they might have from Pharaoh, by his
unreasonable fear about his son Benjamin, but ought to take care of the
preservation of Symeon, lest, by attempting to hinder Benjamin's
journey, Symeon should perish. He exhorted him to trust God for him; and
said he would either bring his son back to him safe, or, together with
his, lose his own life." So that Jacob was at length persuaded, and
delivered Benjamin to them, with the price of the corn doubled; he also
sent presents to Joseph of the fruits of the land of Canaan, balsam and
rosin, as also turpentine and honey. 8 Now their father shed many tears
at the departure of his sons, as well as themselves. His concern was,
that he might receive them back again safe after their journey; and
their concern was, that they might find their father well, and no way
afflicted with grief for them. And this lamentation lasted a whole day;
so that the old man was at last tired with grief, and staid behind; but
they went on their way for Egypt, endeavoring to mitigate their grief
for their present misfortunes, with the hopes of better success

6. As soon as they came into Egypt, they were brought down to Joseph:
but here no small fear disturbed them, lest they should be accused about
the price of the corn, as if they had cheated Joseph. They then made a
long apology to Joseph's steward; and told him, that when they came home
they found the money in their sacks, and that they had now brought it
along with them. He said he did not know what they meant: so they were
delivered from that fear. And when he had loosed Symeon, and put him
into a handsome habit, he suffered him to be with his brethren; at which
time Joseph came from his attendance on the king. So they offered him
their presents; and upon his putting the question to them about their
father, they answered that they found him well. He also, upon his
discovery that Benjamin was alive, asked whether this was their younger
brother; for he had seen him. Whereupon they said he was: he replied,
that the God over all was his protector. But when his affection to him
made him shed tears, he retired, desiring he might not be seen in that
plight by his brethren. Then Joseph took them to supper, and they were
set down in the same order as they used to sit at their father's table.
And although Joseph treated them all kindly, yet did he send a mess to
Benjamin that was double to what the rest of the guests had for their

7. Now when after supper they had composed themselves to sleep, Joseph
commanded his steward both to give them their measures of corn, and to
hide its price again in their sacks; and that withal they should put
into Benjamin's sack the golden cup, out of which he loved himself to
drink.—which things he did, in order to make trial of his brethren,
whether they would stand by Benjamin when he should be accused of having
stolen the cup, and should appear to be in danger; or whether they would
leave him, and, depending on their own innocency, go to their father
without him. When the servant had done as he was bidden, the sons of
Jacob, knowing nothing of all this, went their way, and took Symeon
along with them, and had a double cause of joy, both because they had
received him again, and because they took back Benjamin to their father,
as they had promised. But presently a troop of horsemen encompassed
them, and brought with them Joseph's servant, who had put the cup into
Benjamin's sack. Upon which unexpected attack of the horsemen they were
much disturbed, and asked what the reason was that they came thus upon
men, who a little before had been by their lord thought worthy of an
honorable and hospitable reception? They replied, by calling them wicked
wretches, who had forgot that very hospitable and kind treatment which
Joseph had given them, and did not scruple to be injurious to him, and
to carry off that cup out of which he had, in so friendly a manner,
drank to them, and not regarding their friendship with Joseph, no more
than the danger they should be in if they were taken, in comparison of
the unjust gain. Hereupon he threatened that they should be punished;
for though they had escaped the knowledge of him who was but a servant,
yet had they not escaped the knowledge of God, nor had gone off with
what they had stolen; and, after all, asked why we come upon them, as if
they knew nothing of the matter: and he told them that they should
immediately know it by their punishment. This, and more of the same
nature, did the servant say, in way of reproach to them: but they being
wholly ignorant of any thing here that concerned them, laughed at what
he said, and wondered at the abusive language which the servant gave
them, when he was so hardy as to accuse those who did not before so much
as retain the price of their corn, which was found in their sacks, but
brought it again, though nobody else knew of any such thing,—so far were
they from offering any injury to Joseph voluntarily. But still,
supposing that a search would be a more sure justification of themselves
than their own denial of the fact, they bid him search them, and that if
any of them had been guilty of the theft, to punish them all; for being
no way conscious to themselves of any crime, they spake with assurance,
and, as they thought, without any danger to themselves also. The
servants desired there might be a search made; but they said the
punishment should extend to him alone who should be found guilty of the
theft. So they made the search; and, having searched all the rest, they
came last of all to Benjamin, as knowing it was Benjamin's sack in which
they had hidden the cup, they having indeed searched the rest only for a
show of accuracy: so the rest were out of fear for themselves, and were
now only concerned about Benjamin, but still were well assured that he
would also be found innocent; and they reproached those that came after
them for their hindering them, while they might, in the mean while, have
gotten a good way on their journey. But as soon as they had searched
Benjamin's sack, they found the cup, and took it from him; and all was
changed into mourning and lamentation. They rent their garments, and
wept for the punishment which their brother was to undergo for his
theft, and for the delusion they had put on their father, when they
promised they would bring Benjamin safe to him. What added to their
misery was, that this melancholy accident came unfortunately at a time
when they thought they had been gotten off clear; but they confessed
that this misfortune of their brother, as well as the grief of their
father for him, was owing to themselves, since it was they that forced
their father to send him with them, when he was averse to it.

8. The horsemen therefore took Benjamin and brought him to Joseph, his
brethren also following him; who, when he saw him in custody, and them
in the habit of mourners, said, "How came you, vile wretches as you are,
to have such a strange notion of my kindness to you, and of God's
providence, as impudently to do thus to your benefactor, who in such an
hospitable manner had entertained you?" Whereupon they gave up
themselves to be punished, in order to save Benjamin; and called to mind
what a wicked enterprise they had been guilty of against Joseph. They
also pronounced him more happy than themselves, if he were dead, in
being freed from the miseries of this life; and if he were alive, that
he enjoyed the pleasure of seeing God's vengeance upon them. They said
further; that they were the plague of their father, since they should
now add to his former affliction for Joseph, this other affliction for
Benjamin. Reubel also was large in cutting them upon this occasion. But
Joseph dismissed them; for he said they had been guilty of no offense,
and that he would content himself with the lad's punishment; for he said
it was not a fit thing to let him go free, for the sake of those who had
not offended; nor was it a fit thing to punish them together with him
who had been guilty of stealing. And when he promised to give them leave
to go away in safety, the rest of them were under great consternation,
and were able to say nothing on this sad occasion. But Judas, who had
persuaded their father to send the lad from him, being otherwise also a
very bold and active man, determined to hazard himself for the
preservation of his brother. "It is true," 9 said he, "O governor, that
we have been very wicked with regard to thee, and on that account
deserved punishment; even all of us may justly be punished, although the
theft were not committed by all, but only by one of us, and he the
youngest also; but yet there remains some hope for us, who otherwise
must be under despair on his account, and this from thy goodness, which
promises us a deliverance out of our present danger. And now I beg thou
wilt not look at us, or at that great crime we have been guilty of, but
at thy own excellent nature, and take advice of thine own virtue,
instead of that wrath thou hast against us; which passion those that
otherwise are of lower character indulge, as they do their strength, and
that not only on great, but also on very trifling occasions. Overcome,
sir, that passion, and be not subdued by it, nor suffer it to slay those
that do not otherwise presume upon their own safety, but are desirous to
accept of it from thee; for this is not the first time that thou wilt
bestow it on us, but before, when we came to buy corn, thou affordedst
us great plenty of food, and gavest us leave to carry so much home to
our family as has preserved them from perishing by famine. Nor is there
any difference between not overlooking men that were perishing for want
of necessaries, and not punishing those that seem to be offenders, and
have been so unfortunate as to lose the advantage of that glorious
benefaction which they received from thee. This will be an instance of
equal favor, though bestowed after a different manner; for thou wilt
save those this way whom thou didst feed the other; and thou wilt hereby
preserve alive, by thy own bounty, those souls which thou didst not
suffer to be distressed by famine, it being indeed at once a wonderful
and a great thing to sustain our lives by corn, and to bestow on us that
pardon, whereby, now we are distressed, we may continue those lives. And
I am ready to suppose that God is willing to afford thee this
opportunity of showing thy virtuous disposition, by bringing us into
this calamity, that it may appear thou canst forgive the injuries that
are done to thyself, and mayst be esteemed kind to others, besides those
who, on other accounts, stand in need of thy assistance; since it is
indeed a right thing to do well to those who are in distress for want of
food, but still a more glorious thing to save those who deserve to be
punished, when it is on account of heinous offenses against thyself; for
if it be a thing deserving commendation to forgive such as have been
guilty of small offenses, that tend to a person's loss, and this be
praiseworthy in him that overlooks such offenses, to restrain a man's
passion as to crimes which are capital to the guilty, is to be like the
most excellent nature of God himself. And truly, as for myself, had it
not been that we had a father, who had discovered, on occasion of the
death of Joseph, how miserably he is always afflicted at the loss of his
sons, I had not made any words on account of the saving of our own
lives; I mean, any further than as that would be an excellent character
for thyself, to preserve even those that would have nobody to lament
them when they were dead, but we would have yielded ourselves up to
suffer whatsoever thou pleasedst; but now [for we do not plead for mercy
to ourselves, though indeed, if we die, it will be while we are young,
and before we have had the enjoyment of life] have regard to our father,
and take pity of his old age, on whose account it is that we make these
supplications to thee. We beg thou wilt give us those lives which this
wickedness of ours has rendered obnoxious to thy punishment; and this
for his sake who is not himself wicked, nor does his being our father
make us wicked. He is a good man, and not worthy to have such trials of
his patience; and now, we are absent, he is afflicted with care for us.
But if he hear of our deaths, and what was the cause of it, he will on
that account die an immature death; and the reproachful manner of our
ruin will hasten his end, and will directly kill him; nay, will bring
him to a miserable death, while he will make haste to rid himself out of
the world, and bring himself to a state of insensibility, before the sad
story of our end come abroad into the rest of the world. Consider these
things in this manner, although our wickedness does now provoke thee
with a just desire of punishing that wickedness, and forgive it for our
father's sake; and let thy commiseration of him weigh more with thee
than our wickedness. Have regard to the old age of our father, who, if
we perish, will be very lonely while he lives, and will soon die himself
also. 10 Grant this boon to the name of fathers, for thereby thou wilt
honor him that begat thee, and will grant it to thyself also, who
enjoyest already that denomination; thou wilt then, by that
denomination, be preserved of God, the Father of all,—by showing a pious
regard to which, in the case of our father, thou wilt appear to honor
him who is styled by the same name; I mean, if thou wilt have this pity
on our father, upon this consideration, how miserable he will be if he
be deprived of his sons! It is thy part therefore to bestow on us what
God has given us, when it is in thy power to take it away, and so to
resemble him entirely in charity; for it is good to use that power,
which can either give or take away, on the merciful side; and when it is
in thy power to destroy, to forget that thou ever hadst that power, and
to look on thyself as only allowed power for preservation; and that the
more any one extends this power, the greater reputation does he gain to
himself. Now, by forgiving our brother what he has unhappily committed,
thou wilt preserve us all; for we cannot think of living if he be put to
death, since we dare not show ourselves alive to our father without our
brother, but here must we partake of one and the same catastrophe of his
life. And so far we beg of thee, O governor, that if thou condemnest our
brother to die, thou wilt punish us together with him, as partners of
his crime,—for we shall not think it reasonable to be reserved to kill
ourselves for grief of our brother's death, but so to die rather as
equally guilty with him of this crime. I will only leave with thee this
one consideration, and then will say no more, viz. that our brother
committed this fault when he was young, and not yet of confirmed wisdom
in his conduct; and that men naturally forgive such young persons. I end
here, without adding what more I have to say, that in case thou
condemnest us, that omission may be supposed to have hurt us, and
permitted thee to take the severer side. But in case thou settest us
free, that this may be ascribed to thy own goodness, of which thou art
inwardly conscious, that thou freest us from condemnation; and that not
by barely preserving us, but by granting us such a favor as will make us
appear more righteous than we really are, and by representing to thyself
more motives for our deliverance than we are able to produce ourselves.
If, therefore, thou resolvest to slay him, I desire thou wilt slay me in
his stead, and send him back to his father; or if thou pleasest to
retain him with thee as a slave, I am fitter to labor for thy advantage
in that capacity, and, as thou seest, am better prepared for either of
those sufferings." So Judas, being very willing to undergo any thing
whatever for the deliverance of his brother, cast himself down at
Joseph's feet, and earnestly labored to assuage and pacify his anger.
All his brethren also fell down before him, weeping and delivering
themselves up to destruction for the preservation of the life of

10. But Joseph, as overcome now with his affections, and no longer able
to personate an angry man, commanded all that were present to depart,
that he might make himself known to his brethren when they were alone;
and when the rest were gone out, he made himself known to his brethren;
and said, "I commend you for your virtue, and your kindness to our
brother: I find you better men than I could have expected from what you
contrived about me. Indeed, I did all this to try your love to your
brother; so I believe you were not wicked by nature in what you did in
my case, but that all has happened according to God's will, who has
hereby procured our enjoyment of what good things we have; and, if he
continue in a favorable disposition, of what we hope for hereafter.
Since, therefore, I know that our father is safe and well, beyond
expectation, and I see you so well disposed to your brother, I will no
longer remember what guilt you seem to have had about me, but will leave
off to hate you for that your wickedness; and do rather return you my
thanks, that you have concurred with the intentions of God to bring
things to their present state. I would have you also rather to forget
the same, since that imprudence of yours is come to such a happy
conclusion, than to be uneasy and blush at those your offenses. Do not,
therefore, let your evil intentions, when you condemned me, and that
bitter remorse which might follow, be a grief to you now, because those
intentions were frustrated. Go, therefore, your way, rejoicing in what
has happened by the Divine Providence, and inform your father of it,
lest he should be spent with cares for you, and deprive me of the most
agreeable part of my felicity; I mean, lest he should die before he
comes into my sight, and enjoys the good things that we now have. Bring,
therefore, with you our father, and your wives and children, and all
your kindred, and remove your habitations hither; for it is not proper
that the persons dearest to me should live remote from me, now my
affairs are so prosperous, especially when they must endure five more
years of famine." When Joseph had said this, he embraced his brethren,
who were in tears and sorrow; but the generous kindness of their brother
seemed to leave among them no room for fear, lest they should be
punished on account of what they had consulted and acted against him;
and they were then feasting. Now the king, as soon as he heard that
Joseph's brethren were come to him, was exceeding glad of it, as if it
had been a part of his own good fortune; and gave them wagons full of
corn and gold and silver, to be conveyed to his father. Now when they
had received more of their brother part to be carried to their father,
and part as free gifts to every one of themselves, Benjamin having still
more than the rest, they departed.

CHAPTER 7. The Removal Of Joseph's Father With All His Family, To Him,
On Account Of The Famine.

1. As soon as Jacob came to know, by his sons returning home, in what
state Joseph was, that he had not only escaped death, for which yet he
lived all along in mourning, but that he lived in splendor and
happiness, and ruled over Egypt, jointly with the king, and had
intrusted to his care almost all his affairs, he did not think any thing
he was told to be incredible, considering the greatness of the works of
God, and his kindness to him, although that kindness had, for some late
times, been intermitted; so he immediately and zealously set out upon
his journey to him.

2. When he came to the Well of the Oath, [Beersheba,] he offered
sacrifice to God; and being afraid that the happiness there was in Egypt
might tempt his posterity to fall in love with it, and settle in it, and
no more think of removing into the land of Canaan, and possessing it, as
God had promised them; as also being afraid, lest, if this descent into
Egypt were made without the will of God, his family might be destroyed
there; out of fear, withal, lest he should depart this life before he
came to the sight of Joseph; he fell asleep, revolving these doubts in
his mind.

3. But God stood by him, and called him twice by his name; and when he
asked who he was, God said, "No, sure; it is not just that thou, Jacob,
shouldst be unacquainted with that God who has been ever a protector and
a helper to thy forefathers, and after them to thyself: for when thy
father would have deprived thee of the dominion, I gave it thee; and by
my kindness it was that, when thou wast sent into Mesopotamia all alone,
thou obtainedst good wives, and returnedst with many children, and much
wealth. Thy whole family also has been preserved by my providence; and
it was I who conducted Joseph, thy son, whom thou gavest up for lost, to
the enjoyment of great prosperity. I also made him lord of Egypt, so
that he differs but little from a king. Accordingly, I come now as a
guide to thee in this journey; and foretell to thee, that thou shalt die
in the arms of Joseph: and I inform thee, that thy posterity shall be
many ages in authority and glory, and that I will settle them in the
land which I have promised them."

4. Jacob, encouraged by this dream, went on more cheerfully for Egypt
with his sons, and all belonging to them. Now they were in all seventy.
I once, indeed, thought it best not to set down the names of this
family, especially because of their difficult pronunciation [by the
Greeks]; but, upon the whole, I think it necessary to mention those
names, that I may disprove such as believe that we came not originally
from Mesopotamia, but are Egyptians. Now Jacob had twelve sons; of these
Joseph was come thither before. We will therefore set down the names of
Jacob's children and grandchildren. Reuben had four sons--Anoch, Phallu,
Assaron, Charmi. Simeon had six--Jamuel, Jamin, Avod, Jachin, Soar,
Saul. Levi had three sons--Gersom, Caath, Merari. Judas had three sons--
Sala, Phares, Zerah; and by Phares two grandchildren, Esrom and Amar.
Issachar had four sons--Thola, Phua, Jasob, Samaron. Zabulon had with
him three sons--Sarad, Helon, Jalel. So far is the posterity of Lea;
with whom went her daughter Dinah. These are thirty-three. Rachel had
two sons, the one of whom, Joseph, had two sons also, Manasses and
Ephraim. The other, Benjamin, had ten sons—Bolau, Bacchar, Asabel,
Geras, Naaman, Jes, Ros, Momphis, Opphis, Arad. These fourteen added to
the thirty-three before enumerated, amount to the number forty-seven.
And this was the legitimate posterity of Jacob. He had besides by
Bilhah, the handmaid of Rachel, Dan and Nephtliali; which last had four
sons that followed him— Jesel, Guni, Issari, and Sellim. Dan had an only
begotten son, Usi. If these be added to those before mentioned, they
complete the number fifty-four. Gad and Aser were the sons of Zilpha,
who was the handmaid of Lea. These had with them, Gad seven— Saphoniah,
Augis, Sunis, Azabon, Aerin, Erocd, Ariel. Aser had a daughter, Sarah,
and six male children, whose names were Jomne, Isus, Isoui, Baris, Abar
and Melchiel. If we add these, which are sixteen, to the fifty-four, the
forementioned number 70 is completed 11 Jacob not being himself included
in that number.

5. When Joseph understood that his father was coming, for Judas his
brother was come before him, and informed him of his approach, he went
out to meet him; and they met together at Heroopolis. But Jacob almost
fainted away at this unexpected and great joy; however, Joseph revived
him, being yet not himself able to contain from being affected in the
same manner, at the pleasure he now had; yet was he not wholly overcome
with his passion, as his father was. After this, he desired Jacob to
travel on slowly; but he himself took five of his brethren with him, and
made haste to the king, to tell him that Jacob and his family were come;
which was a joyful hearing to him. He also bid Joseph tell him what sort
of life his brethren loved to lead, that he might give them leave to
follow the same, who told him they were good shepherds, and had been
used to follow no other employment but this alone. Whereby he provided
for them, that they should not be separated, but live in the same place,
and take care of their father; as also hereby he provided, that they
might be acceptable to the Egyptians, by doing nothing that would be
common to them with the Egyptians; for the Egyptians are prohibited to
meddle with feeding of sheep. 12

6. When Jacob was come to the king, and saluted him, and wished all
prosperity to his government, Pharaoh asked him how old he now was; upon
whose answer, that he was a hundred and thirty years old, he admired
Jacob on account of the length of his life. And when he had added, that
still he had not lived so long as his forefathers, he gave him leave to
live with his children in Heliopolis; for in that city the king's
shepherds had their pasturage.

7. However, the famine increased among the Egyptians, and this heavy
judgment grew more oppressive to them, because neither did the river
overflow the ground, for it did not rise to its former height, nor did
God send rain upon it; 13 nor did they indeed make the least provision
for themselves, so ignorant were they what was to be done; but Joseph
sold them corn for their money. But when their money failed them, they
bought corn with their cattle and their slaves; and if any of them had a
small piece of land, they gave up that to purchase them food, by which
means the king became the owner of all their substance; and they were
removed, some to one place, and some to another, that so the possession
of their country might be firmly assured to the king, excepting the
lands of the priests, for their country continued still in their own
possession. And indeed this sore famine made their minds, as well as
their bodies, slaves; and at length compelled them to procure a
sufficiency of food by such dishonorable means. But when this misery
ceased, and the river overflowed the ground, and the ground brought
forth its fruits plentifully, Joseph came to every city, and gathered
the people thereto belonging together, and gave them back entirely the
land which, by their own consent, the king might have possessed alone,
and alone enjoyed the fruits of it. He also exhorted them to look on it
as every one's own possession, and to fall to their husbandry with
cheerfulness, and to pay as a tribute to the king, the fifth part 14 of
the fruits for the land which the king, when it was his own, restored to
them. These men rejoiced upon their becoming unexpectedly owners of
their lands, and diligently observed what was enjoined them; and by this
means Joseph procured to himself a greater authority among the
Egyptians, and greater love to the king from them. Now this law, that
they should pay the fifth part of their fruits as tribute, continued
until their later kings.

CHAPTER 8. Of The Death Of Jacob And Joseph.

1. Now when Jacob had lived seventeen years in Egypt, he fell into a
disease, and died in the presence of his sons; but not till he made his
prayers for their enjoying prosperity, and till he had foretold to them
prophetically how every one of them was to dwell in the land of Canaan.
But this happened many years afterward. He also enlarged upon the
praises of Joseph 15 how he had not remembered the evil doings of his
brethren to their disadvantage; nay, on the contrary, was kind to them,
bestowing upon them so many benefits, as seldom are bestowed on men's
own benefactors. He then commanded his own sons that they should admit
Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasses, into their number, and divide the
land of Canaan in common with them; concerning whom we shall treat
hereafter. However, he made it his request that he might be buried at
Hebron. So he died, when he had lived full a hundred and fifty years,
three only abated, having not been behind any of his ancestors in piety
towards God, and having such a recompense for it, as it was fit those
should have who were so good as these were. But Joseph, by the king's
permission, carried his father's dead body to Hebron, and there buried
it, at a great expense. Now his brethren were at first unwilling to
return back with him, because they were afraid lest, now their father
was dead, he should punish them for their secret practices against him;
since he was now gone, for whose sake he had been so gracious to them.
But he persuaded them to fear no harm, and to entertain no suspicions of
him: so he brought them along with him, and gave them great possessions,
and never left off his particular concern for them.

2. Joseph also died when he had lived a hundred and ten years; having
been a man of admirable virtue, and conducting all his affairs by the
rules of reason; and used his authority with moderation, which was the
cause of his so great felicity among the Egyptians, even when he came
from another country, and that in such ill circumstances also, as we
have already described. At length his brethren died, after they had
lived happily in Egypt. Now the posterity and sons of these men, after
some time, carried their bodies, and buried them at Hebron: but as to
the bones of Joseph, they carried them into the land of Canaan
afterward, when the Hebrews went out of Egypt, for so had Joseph made
them promise him upon oath. But what became of every one of these men,
and by what toils they got the possession of the land of Canaan, shall
be shown hereafter, when I have first explained upon what account it was
that they left Egypt.

CHAPTER 9. Concerning The Afflictions That Befell The Hebrews In Egypt,
During Four Hundred Years. 16

1. Now it happened that the Egyptians grew delicate and lazy, as to
pains-taking, and gave themselves up to other pleasures, and in
particular to the love of gain. They also became very ill-affected
towards the Hebrews, as touched with envy at their prosperity; for when
they saw how the nation of the Israelites flourished, and were become
eminent already in plenty of wealth, which they had acquired by their
virtue and natural love of labor, they thought their increase was to
their own detriment. And having, in length of time, forgotten the
benefits they had received from Joseph, particularly the crown being now
come into another family, they became very abusive to the Israelites,
and contrived many ways of afflicting them; for they enjoined them to
cut a great number of channels for the river, and to build walls for
their cities and ramparts, that they might restrain the river, and
hinder its waters from stagnating, upon its running over its own banks:
they set them also to build pyramids, 17 and by all this wore them out;
and forced them to learn all sorts of mechanical arts, and to accustom
themselves to hard labor. And four hundred years did they spend under
these afflictions; for they strove one against the other which should
get the mastery, the Egyptians desiring to destroy the Israelites by
these labors, and the Israelites desiring to hold out to the end under

2. While the affairs of the Hebrews were in this condition, there was
this occasion offered itself to the Egyptians, which made them more
solicitous for the extinction of our nation. One of those sacred
scribes, 18 who are very sagacious in foretelling future events truly,
told the king, that about this time there would a child be born to the
Israelites, who, if he were reared, would bring the Egyptian dominion
low, and would raise the Israelites; that he would excel all men in
virtue, and obtain a glory that would be remembered through all ages.
Which thing was so feared by the king, that, according to this man's
opinion, he commanded that they should cast every male child, which was
born to the Israelites, into the river, and destroy it; that besides
this, the Egyptian midwives 19 should watch the labors of the Hebrew
women, and observe what is born, for those were the women who were
enjoined to do the office of midwives to them; and by reason of their
relation to the king, would not transgress his commands. He enjoined
also, that if any parents should disobey him, and venture to save their
male children alive, 20 they and their families should be destroyed.
This was a severe affliction indeed to those that suffered it, not only
as they were deprived of their sons, and while they were the parents
themselves, they were obliged to be subservient to the destruction of
their own children, but as it was to be supposed to tend to the
extirpation of their nation, while upon the destruction of their
children, and their own gradual dissolution, the calamity would become
very hard and inconsolable to them. And this was the ill state they were
in. But no one can be too hard for the purpose of God, though he
contrive ten thousand subtle devices for that end; for this child, whom
the sacred scribe foretold, was brought up and concealed from the
observers appointed by the king; and he that foretold him did not
mistake in the consequences of his preservation, which were brought to
pass after the manner following:—

3. A man whose name was Amram, one of the nobler sort of the Hebrews,
was afraid for his whole nation, lest it should fail, by the want of
young men to be brought up hereafter, and was very uneasy at it, his
wife being then with child, and he knew not what to do. Hereupon he
betook himself to prayer to God; and entreated him to have compassion on
those men who had nowise transgressed the laws of his worship, and to
afford them deliverance from the miseries they at that time endured, and
to render abortive their enemies' hopes of the destruction of their
nation. Accordingly God had mercy on him, and was moved by his
supplication. He stood by him in his sleep, and exhorted him not to
despair of his future favors. He said further, that he did not forget
their piety towards him, and would always reward them for it, as he had
formerly granted his favor to their forefathers, and made them increase
from a few to so great a multitude. He put him in mind, that when
Abraham was come alone out of Mesopotamia into Canaan, he had been made
happy, not only in other respects, but that when his wife was at first
barren, she was afterwards by him enabled to conceive seed, and bare him
sons. That he left to Ismael and to his posterity the country of Arabia;
as also to his sons by Ketura, Troglodytis; and to Isaac, Canaan. That
by my assistance, said he, he did great exploits in war, which, unless
you be yourselves impious, you must still remember. As for Jacob, he
became well known to strangers also, by the greatness of that prosperity
in which he lived, and left to his sons, who came into Egypt with no
more than seventy souls, while you are now become above six hundred
thousand. Know therefore that I shall provide for you all in common what
is for your good, and particularly for thyself what shall make thee
famous; for that child, out of dread of whose nativity the Egyptians
have doomed the Israelite children to destruction, shall be this child
of thine, and shall be concealed from those who watch to destroy him:
and when he is brought up in a surprising way, he shall deliver the
Hebrew nation from the distress they are under from the Egyptians. His
memory shall be famous while the world lasts; and this not only among
the Hebrews, but foreigners also:—all which shall be the effect of my
favor to thee, and to thy posterity. He shall also have such a brother,
that he shall himself obtain my priesthood, and his posterity shall have
it after him to the end of the world.

4. When the vision had informed him of these things, Amram awaked and
told it to Jochebed who was his wife. And now the fear increased upon
them on account of the prediction in Amram's dream; for they were under
concern, not only for the child, but on account of the great happiness
that was to come to him also. However, the mother's labor was such as
afforded a confirmation to what was foretold by God; for it was not
known to those that watched her, by the easiness of her pains, and
because the throes of her delivery did not fall upon her with violence.
And now they nourished the child at home privately for three months; but
after that time Amram, fearing he should be discovered, and, by falling
under the king's displeasure, both he and his child should perish, and
so he should make the promise of God of none effect, he determined
rather to trust the safety and care of the child to God, than to depend
on his own concealment of him, which he looked upon as a thing
uncertain, and whereby both the child, so privately to be nourished, and
himself should be in imminent danger; but he believed that God would
some way for certain procure the safety of the child, in order to secure
the truth of his own predictions. When they had thus determined, they
made an ark of bulrushes, after the manner of a cradle, and of a bigness
sufficient for an infant to be laid in, without being too straitened:
they then daubed it over with slime, which would naturally keep out the
water from entering between the bulrushes, and put the infant into it,
and setting it afloat upon the river, they left its preservation to God;
so the river received the child, and carried him along. But Miriam, the
child's sister, passed along upon the bank over against him, as her
mother had bid her, to see whither the ark would be carried, where God
demonstrated that human wisdom was nothing, but that the Supreme Being
is able to do whatsoever he pleases: that those who, in order to their
own security, condemn others to destruction, and use great endeavors
about it, fail of their purpose; but that others are in a surprising
manner preserved, and obtain a prosperous condition almost from the very
midst of their calamities; those, I mean, whose dangers arise by the
appointment of God. And, indeed, such a providence was exercised in the
case of this child, as showed the power of God.

5. Thermuthis was the king's daughter. She was now diverting herself by
the banks of the river; and seeing a cradle borne along by the current,
she sent some that could swim, and bid them bring the cradle to her.
When those that were sent on this errand came to her with the cradle,
and she saw the little child, she was greatly in love with it, on
account of its largeness and beauty; for God had taken such great care
in the formation of Moses, that he caused him to be thought worthy of
bringing up, and providing for, by all those that had taken the most
fatal resolutions, on account of the dread of his nativity, for the
destruction of the rest of the Hebrew nation. Thermuthis bid them bring
her a woman that might afford her breast to the child; yet would not the
child admit of her breast, but turned away from it, and did the like to
many other women. Now Miriam was by when this happened, not to appear to
be there on purpose, but only as staying to see the child; and she said,
"It is in vain that thou, O queen, callest for these women for the
nourishing of the child, who are no way of kin to it; but still, if thou
wilt order one of the Hebrew women to be brought, perhaps it may admit
the breast of one of its own nation." Now since she seemed to speak
well, Thermuthis bid her procure such a one, and to bring one of those
Hebrew women that gave suck. So when she had such authority given her,
she came back and brought the mother, who was known to nobody there. And
now the child gladly admitted the breast, and seemed to stick close to
it; and so it was, that, at the queen's desire, the nursing of the child
was entirely intrusted to the mother.

6. Hereupon it was that Thermuthis imposed this name Mouses upon him,
from what had happened when he was put into the river; for the Egyptians
call water by the name of Mo, and such as are saved out of it, by the
name of Uses: so by putting these two words together, they imposed this
name upon him. And he was, by the confession of all, according to God's
prediction, as well for his greatness of mind as for his contempt of
difficulties, the best of all the Hebrews, for Abraham was his ancestor
of the seventh generation. For Moses was the son of Amram, who was the
son of Caath, whose father Levi was the son of Jacob, who was the son of
Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. Now Moses's understanding became
superior to his age, nay, far beyond that standard; and when he was
taught, he discovered greater quickness of apprehension than was usual
at his age, and his actions at that time promised greater, when he
should come to the age of a man. God did also give him that tallness,
when he was but three years old, as was wonderful. And as for his
beauty, there was nobody so unpolite as, when they saw Moses, they were
not greatly surprised at the beauty of his countenance; nay, it happened
frequently, that those that met him as he was carried along the road,
were obliged to turn again upon seeing the child; that they left what
they were about, and stood still a great while to look on him; for the
beauty of the child was so remarkable and natural to him on many
accounts, that it detained the spectators, and made them stay longer to
look upon him.

7. Thermuthis therefore perceiving him to be so remarkable a child,
adopted him for her son, having no child of her own. And when one time
had carried Moses to her father, she showed him to him, and said she
thought to make him her successor, if it should please God she should
have no legitimate child of her own; and to him, "I have brought up a
child who is of a divine form, 21 and of a generous mind; and as I have
received him from the bounty of the river, in, I thought proper to adopt
him my son, and the heir of thy kingdom." And she had said this, she put
the infant into her father's hands: so he took him, and hugged him to
his breast; and on his daughter's account, in a pleasant way, put his
diadem upon his head; but Moses threw it down to the ground, and, in a
puerile mood, he wreathed it round, and trod upon his feet, which seemed
to bring along with evil presage concerning the kingdom of Egypt. But
when the sacred scribe saw this, [he was the person who foretold that
his nativity would lay the dominion of that kingdom low,] he made a
violent attempt to kill him; and crying out in a frightful manner, he
said, "This, O king! this child is he of whom God foretold, that if we
kill him we shall be in no danger; he himself affords an attestation to
the prediction of the same thing, by his trampling upon thy government,
and treading upon thy diadem. Take him, therefore, out of the way, and
deliver the Egyptians from the fear they are in about him; and deprive
the Hebrews of the hope they have of being encouraged by him." But
Thermuthis prevented him, and snatched the child away. And the king was
not hasty to slay him, God himself, whose providence protected Moses,
inclining the king to spare him. He was, therefore, educated with great
care. So the Hebrews depended on him, and were of good hopes great
things would be done by him; but the Egyptians were suspicious of what
would follow such his education. Yet because, if Moses had been slain,
there was no one, either akin or adopted, that had any oracle on his
side for pretending to the crown of Egypt, and likely to be of greater
advantage to them, they abstained from killing him.

CHAPTER 10. How Moses Made War With The Ethiopians.

1. Moses, therefore, when he was born, and brought up in the foregoing
manner, and came to the age of maturity, made his virtue manifest to the
Egyptians; and showed that he was born for the bringing them down, and
raising the Israelites. And the occasion he laid hold of was this:—The
Ethiopians, who are next neighbors to the Egyptians, made an inroad into
their country, which they seized upon, and carried off the effects of
the Egyptians, who, in their rage, fought against them, and revenged the
affronts they had received from them; but being overcome in battle, some
of them were slain, and the rest ran away in a shameful manner, and by
that means saved themselves; whereupon the Ethiopians followed after
them in the pursuit, and thinking that it would be a mark of cowardice
if they did not subdue all Egypt, they went on to subdue the rest with
greater vehemence; and when they had tasted the sweets of the country,
they never left off the prosecution of the war: and as the nearest parts
had not courage enough at first to fight with them, they proceeded as
far as Memphis, and the sea itself, while not one of the cities was able
to oppose them. The Egyptians, under this sad oppression, betook
themselves to their oracles and prophecies; and when God had given them
this counsel, to make use of Moses the Hebrew, and take his assistance,
the king commanded his daughter to produce him, that he might be the
general 22 of their army. Upon which, when she had made him swear he
would do him no harm, she delivered him to the king, and supposed his
assistance would be of great advantage to them. She withal reproached
the priest, who, when they had before admonished the Egyptians to kill
him, was not ashamed now to own their want of his help.

2. So Moses, at the persuasion both of Thermuthis and the king himself,
cheerfully undertook the business: and the sacred scribes of both
nations were glad; those of the Egyptians, that they should at once
overcome their enemies by his valor, and that by the same piece of
management Moses would be slain; but those of the Hebrews, that they
should escape from the Egyptians, because Moses was to be their general.
But Moses prevented the enemies, and took and led his army before those
enemies were apprized of his attacking them; for he did not march by the
river, but by land, where he gave a wonderful demonstration of his
sagacity; for when the ground was difficult to be passed over, because
of the multitude of serpents, [which it produces in vast numbers, and,
indeed, is singular in some of those productions, which other countries
do not breed, and yet such as are worse than others in power and
mischief, and an unusual fierceness of sight, some of which ascend out
of the ground unseen, and also fly in the air, and so come upon men at
unawares, and do them a mischief,] Moses invented a wonderful stratagem
to preserve the army safe, and without hurt; for he made baskets, like
unto arks, of sedge, and filled them with ibes, 23 and carried them
along with them; which animal is the greatest enemy to serpents
imaginable, for they fly from them when they come near them; and as they
fly they are caught and devoured by them, as if it were done by the
harts; but the ibes are tame creatures, and only enemies to the
serpentine kind: but about these ibes I say no more at present, since
the Greeks themselves are not unacquainted with this sort of bird. As
soon, therefore, as Moses was come to the land which was the breeder of
these serpents, he let loose the ibes, and by their means repelled the
serpentine kind, and used them for his assistants before the army came
upon that ground. When he had therefore proceeded thus on his journey,
he came upon the Ethiopians before they expected him; and, joining
battle with them, he beat them, and deprived them of the hopes they had
of success against the Egyptians, and went on in overthrowing their
cities, and indeed made a great slaughter of these Ethiopians. Now when
the Egyptian army had once tasted of this prosperous success, by the
means of Moses, they did not slacken their diligence, insomuch that the
Ethiopians were in danger of being reduced to slavery, and all sorts of
destruction; and at length they retired to Saba, which was a royal city
of Ethiopia, which Cambyses afterwards named Mero, after the name of his
own sister. The place was to be besieged with very great difficulty,
since it was both encompassed by the Nile quite round, and the other
rivers, Astapus and Astaboras, made it a very difficult thing for such
as attempted to pass over them; for the city was situate in a retired
place, and was inhabited after the manner of an island, being
encompassed with a strong wall, and having the rivers to guard them from
their enemies, and having great ramparts between the wall and the
rivers, insomuch, that when the waters come with the greatest violence,
it can never be drowned; which ramparts make it next to impossible for
even such as are gotten over the rivers to take the city. However, while
Moses was uneasy at the army's lying idle, [for the enemies durst not
come to a battle,] this accident happened:—Tharbis was the daughter of
the king of the Ethiopians: she happened to see Moses as he led the army
near the walls, and fought with great courage; and admiring the subtilty
of his undertakings, and believing him to be the author of the
Egyptians' success, when they had before despaired of recovering their
liberty, and to be the occasion of the great danger the Ethiopians were
in, when they had before boasted of their great achievements, she fell
deeply in love with him; and upon the prevalancy of that passion, sent
to him the most faithful of all her servants to discourse with him about
their marriage. He thereupon accepted the offer, on condition she would
procure the delivering up of the city; and gave her the assurance of an
oath to take her to his wife; and that when he had once taken possession
of the city, he would not break his oath to her. No sooner was the
agreement made, but it took effect immediately; and when Moses had cut
off the Ethiopians, he gave thanks to God, and consummated his marriage,
and led the Egyptians back to their own land.

CHAPTER 11. How Moses Fled Out Of Egypt Into Midian.

1. Now the Egyptians, after they had been preserved by Moses,
entertained a hatred to him, and were very eager in compassing their
designs against him, as suspecting that he would take occasion, from his
good success, to raise a sedition, and bring innovations into Egypt; and
told the king he ought to be slain. The king had also some intentions of
himself to the same purpose, and this as well out of envy at his
glorious expedition at the head of his army, as out of fear of being
brought low by him and being instigated by the sacred scribes, he was
ready to undertake to kill Moses: but when he had learned beforehand
what plots there were against him, he went away privately; and because
the public roads were watched, he took his flight through the deserts,
and where his enemies could not suspect he would travel; and, though he
was destitute of food, he went on, and despised that difficulty
courageously; and when he came to the city Midian, which lay upon the
Red Sea, and was so denominated from one of Abraham's sons by Keturah,
he sat upon a certain well, and rested himself there after his laborious
journey, and the affliction he had been in. It was not far from the
city, and the time of the day was noon, where he had an occasion offered
him by the custom of the country of doing what recommended his virtue,
and afforded him an opportunity of bettering his circumstances.

2. For that country having but little water, the shepherds used to seize
on the wells before others came, lest their flocks should want water,
and lest it should be spent by others before they came. There were now
come, therefore, to this well seven sisters that were virgins, the
daughters of Raguel, a priest, and one thought worthy by the people of
the country of great honor. These virgins, who took care of their
father's flocks, which sort of work it was customary and very familiar
for women to do in the country of the Troglodytes, they came first of
all, and drew water out of the well in a quantity sufficient for their
flocks, into troughs, which were made for the reception of that water;
but when the shepherds came upon the maidens, and drove them away, that
they might have the command of the water themselves, Moses, thinking it
would be a terrible reproach upon him if he overlooked the young women
under unjust oppression, and should suffer the violence of the men to
prevail over the right of the maidens, he drove away the men, who had a
mind to more than their share, and afforded a proper assistance to the
women; who, when they had received such a benefit from him, came to
their father, and told him how they had been affronted by the shepherds,
and assisted by a stranger, and entreated that he would not let this
generous action be done in vain, nor go without a reward. Now the father
took it well from his daughters that they were so desirous to reward
their benefactor; and bid them bring Moses into his presence, that he
might be rewarded as he deserved. And when Moses came, he told him what
testimony his daughters bare to him, that he had assisted them; and
that, as he admired him for his virtue, he said that Moses had bestowed
such his assistance on persons not insensible of benefits, but where
they were both able and willing to return the kindness, and even to
exceed the measure of his generosity. So he made him his son, and gave
him one of his daughters in marriage; and appointed him to be the
guardian and superintendent over his cattle; for of old, all the wealth
of the barbarians was in those cattle.

CHAPTER 12. Concerning The Burning Bush And The Rod Of Moses.

1. Now Moses, when he had obtained the favor of Jethro, for that was one
of the names of Raguel, staid there and fed his flock; but some time
afterward, taking his station at the mountain called Sinai, he drove his
flocks thither to feed them. Now this is the highest of all the
mountains thereabout, and the best for pasturage, the herbage being
there good; and it had not been before fed upon, because of the opinion
men had that God dwelt there, the shepherds not daring to ascend up to
it; and here it was that a wonderful prodigy happened to Moses; for a
fire fed upon a thorn bush, yet did the green leaves and the flowers
continue untouched, and the fire did not at all consume the fruit
branches, although the flame was great and fierce. Moses was affrighted
at this strange sight, as it was to him; but he was still more
astonished when the fire uttered a voice, and called to him by name, and
spake words to him, by which it signified how bold he had been in
venturing to come into a place whither no man had ever come before,
because the place was divine; and advised him to remove a great way off
from the flame, and to be contented with what he had seen; and though he
were himself a good man, and the offspring of great men, yet that he
should not pry any further; and he foretold to him, that he should have
glory and honor among men, by the blessing of God upon him. He also
commanded him to go away thence with confidence to Egypt, in order to
his being the commander and conductor of the body of the Hebrews, and to
his delivering his own people from the injuries they suffered there:
"For," said God, "they shall inhabit this happy land which your
forefather Abraham inhabited, and shall have the enjoyment of all good
things." But still he enjoined them, when he brought the Hebrews out of
the land of Egypt, to come to that place, and to offer sacrifices of
thanksgiving there, Such were the divine oracles which were delivered
out of the fire.

2. But Moses was astonished at what he saw, and much more at what he
heard; and he said, "I think it would be an instance of too great
madness, O Lord, for one of that regard I bear to thee, to distrust thy
power, since I myself adore it, and know that it has been made manifest
to my progenitors: but I am still in doubt how I, who am a private man,
and one of no abilities, should either persuade my own countrymen to
leave the country they now inhabit, and to follow me to a land whither I
lead them; or, if they should be persuaded, how can I force Pharaoh to
permit them to depart, since they augment their own wealth and
prosperity by the labors and works they put upon them?"

3. But God persuaded him to be courageous on all occasions, and promised
to be with him, and to assist him in his words, when he was to persuade
men; and in his deeds, when he was to perform wonders. He bid him also
to take a signal of the truth of what he said, by throwing his rod upon
the ground, which, when he had done, it crept along, and was become a
serpent, and rolled itself round in its folds, and erected its head, as
ready to revenge itself on such as should assault it; after which it
become a rod again as it was before. After this God bid Moses to put his
right hand into his bosom: he obeyed, and when he took it out it was
white, and in color like to chalk, but afterward it returned to its
wonted color again. He also, upon God's command, took some of the water
that was near him, and poured it upon the ground, and saw the color was
that of blood. Upon the wonder that Moses showed at these signs, God
exhorted him to be of good courage, and to be assured that he would be
the greatest support to him; and bid him make use of those signs, in
order to obtain belief among all men, that "thou art sent by me, and
dost all things according to my commands. Accordingly I enjoin thee to
make no more delays, but to make haste to Egypt, and to travel night and
day, and not to draw out the time, and so make the slavery of the
Hebrews and their sufferings to last the longer."

4. Moses having now seen and heard these wonders that assured him of the
truth of these promises of God, had no room left him to disbelieve them:
he entreated him to grant him that power when he should be in Egypt; and
besought him to vouchsafe him the knowledge of his own name; and since
he had heard and seen him, that he would also tell him his name, that
when he offered sacrifice he might invoke him by such his name in his
oblations. Whereupon God declared to him his holy name, which had never
been discovered to men before; concerning which it is not lawful for me
to say any more 24 Now these signs accompanied Moses, not then only, but
always when he prayed for them: of all which signs he attributed the
firmest assent to the fire in the bush; and believing that God would be
a gracious supporter to him, he hoped he should be able to deliver his
own nation, and bring calamities on the Egyptians.

CHAPTER 13. How Moses And Aaron Returned Into Egypt To Pharaoh.

1. So Moses, when he understood that the Pharaoh, in whose reign he fled
away, was dead, asked leave of Raguel to go to Egypt, for the benefit of
his own people. And he took with him Zipporah, the daughter of Raguel,
whom he had married, and the children he had by her, Gersom and Eleazer,
and made haste into Egypt. Now the former of those names, Gersom, in the
Hebrew tongue, signifies that he was in a strange land; and Eleazer,
that, by the assistance of the God of his fathers, he had escaped from
the Egyptians. Now when they were near the borders, Aaron his brother,
by the command of God, met him, to whom he declared what had befallen
him at the mountain, and the commands that God had given him. But as
they were going forward, the chief men among the Hebrews, having learned
that they were coming, met them: to whom Moses declared the signs he had
seen; and while they could not believe them, he made them see them, So
they took courage at these surprising and unexpected sights, and hoped
well of their entire deliverance, as believing now that God took care of
their preservation.

2. Since then Moses found that the Hebrews would be obedient to
whatsoever he should direct, as they promised to be, and were in love
with liberty, he came to the king, who had indeed but lately received
the government, and told him how much he had done for the good of the
Egyptians, when they were despised by the Ethiopians, and their country
laid waste by them; and how he had been the commander of their forces,
and had labored for them, as if they had been his own people and he
informed him in what danger he had been during that expedition, without
having any proper returns made him as he had deserved. He also informed
him distinctly what things happened to him at Mount Sinai; and what God
said to him; and the signs that were done by God, in order to assure him
of the authority of those commands which he had given him. He also
exhorted him not to disbelieve what he told him, nor to oppose the will
of God.

3. But when the king derided Moses; he made him in earnest see the signs
that were done at Mount Sinai. Yet was the king very angry with him and
called him an ill man, who had formerly run away from his Egyptian
slavery, and came now back with deceitful tricks, and wonders, and
magical arts, to astonish him. And when he had said this, he commanded
the priests to let him see the same wonderful sights; as knowing that
the Egyptians were skillful in this kind of learning, and that he was
not the only person who knew them, and pretended them to be divine; as
also he told him, that when he brought such wonderful sights before him,
he would only be believed by the unlearned. Now when the priests threw
down their rods, they became serpents. But Moses was not daunted at it;
and said, "O king, I do not myself despise the wisdom of the Egyptians,
but I say that what I do is so much superior to what these do by magic
arts and tricks, as Divine power exceeds the power of man: but I will
demonstrate that what I do is not done by craft, or counterfeiting what
is not really true, but that they appear by the providence and power of
God." And when he had said this, he cast his rod down upon the ground,
and commanded it to turn itself into a serpent. It obeyed him, and went
all round, and devoured the rods of the Egyptians, which seemed to be
dragons, until it had consumed them all. It then returned to its own
form, and Moses took it into his hand again.

4. However, the king was no more moved when it was done than before; and
being very angry, he said that he should gain nothing by this his
cunning and shrewdness against the Egyptians;—and he commanded him that
was the chief taskmaster over the Hebrews, to give them no relaxation
from their labors, but to compel them to submit to greater oppressions
than before; and though he allowed them chaff before for making their
bricks, he would allow it them no longer, but he made them to work hard
at brick-making in the day-time, and to gather chaff in the night. Now
when their labor was thus doubled upon them, they laid the blame upon
Moses, because their labor and their misery were on his account become
more severe to them. But Moses did not let his courage sink for the
king's threatenings; nor did he abate of his zeal on account of the
Hebrews' complaints; but he supported himself, and set his soul
resolutely against them both, and used his own utmost diligence to
procure liberty to his countrymen. So he went to the king, and persuaded
him to let the Hebrews go to Mount Sinai, and there to sacrifice to God,
because God had enjoined them so to do. He persuaded him also not to
counterwork the designs of God, but to esteem his favor above all
things, and to permit them to depart, lest, before he be aware, he lay
an obstruction in the way of the Divine commands, and so occasion his
own suffering such punishments as it was probable any one that
counterworked the Divine commands should undergo, since the severest
afflictions arise from every object to those that provoke the Divine
wrath against them; for such as these have neither the earth nor the air
for their friends; nor are the fruits of the womb according to nature,
but every thing is unfriendly and adverse towards them. He said further,
that the Egyptians should know this by sad experience; and that besides,
the Hebrew people should go out of their country without their consent.

CHAPTER 14. Concerning The Ten Plagues Which Came Upon The Egyptians.

1. But when the king despised the words of Moses, and had no regard at
all to them, grievous plagues seized the Egyptians; every one of which I
will describe, both because no such plagues did ever happen to any other
nation as the Egyptians now felt, and because I would demonstrate that
Moses did not fail in any one thing that he foretold them; and because
it is for the good of mankind, that they may learn this caution—Not to
do anything that may displease God, lest he be provoked to wrath, and
avenge their iniquities upon them. For the Egyptian river ran with
bloody water at the command of God, insomuch that it could not be drunk,
and they had no other spring of water neither; for the water was not
only of the color of blood, but it brought upon those that ventured to
drink of it, great pains and bitter torment. Such was the river to the
Egyptians; but it was sweet and fit for drinking to the Hebrews, and no
way different from what it naturally used to be. As the king therefore
knew not what to do in these surprising circumstances, and was in fear
for the Egyptians, he gave the Hebrews leave to go away; but when the
plague ceased, he changed his mind again, end would not suffer them to
go. 25

2. But when God saw that he was ungrateful, and upon the ceasing of this
calamity would not grow wiser, he sent another plague upon the
Egyptians:—An innumerable multitude of frogs consumed the fruit of the
ground; the river was also full of them, insomuch that those who drew
water had it spoiled by the blood of these animals, as they died in, and
were destroyed by, the water; and the country was full of filthy slime,
as they were born, and as they died: they also spoiled their vessels in
their houses which they used, and were found among what they eat and
what they drank, and came in great numbers upon their beds. There was
also an ungrateful smell, and a stink arose from them, as they were
born, and as they died therein. Now, when the Egyptians were under the
oppression of these miseries, the king ordered Moses to take the Hebrews
with him, and be gone. Upon which the whole multitude of the frogs
vanished away; and both the land and the river returned to their former
natures. But as soon as Pharaoh saw the land freed from this plague, he
forgot the cause of it, and retained the Hebrews; and, as though he had
a mind to try the nature of more such judgments, he would not yet suffer
Moses and his people to depart, having granted that liberty rather out
of fear than out of any good consideration.

3. Accordingly, God punished his falseness with another plague, added to
the former; for there arose out of the bodies of the Egyptians an
innumerable quantity of lice, by which, wicked as they were, they
miserably perished, as not able to destroy this sort of vermin either
with washes or with ointments. At which terrible judgment the king of
Egypt was in disorder, upon the fear into which he reasoned himself,
lest his people should be destroyed, and that the manner of this death
was also reproachful, so that he was forced in part to recover himself
from his wicked temper to a sounder mind, for he gave leave for the
Hebrews themselves to depart. But when the plague thereupon ceased, he
thought it proper to require that they should leave their children and
wives behind them, as pledges of their return; whereby he provoked God
to be more vehemently angry at him, as if he thought to impose on his
providence, and as if it were only Moses, and not God, who punished the
Egyptians for the sake of the Hebrews: for he filled that country full
of various sorts of pestilential creatures, with their various
properties, such indeed as had never come into the sight of men before,
by whose means the men perished themselves, and the land was destitute
of husbandmen for its cultivation; but if any thing escaped destruction
from them, it was killed by a distemper which the men underwent also.

4. But when Pharaoh did not even then yield to the will of God, but,
while he gave leave to the husbands to take their wives with them, yet
insisted that the children should be left behind, God presently resolved
to punish his wickedness with several sorts of calamities, and those
worse than the foregoing, which yet had so generally afflicted them; for
their bodies had terrible boils, breaking forth with blains, while they
were already inwardly consumed; and a great part of the Egyptians
perished in this manner. But when the king was not brought to reason by
this plague, hail was sent down from heaven; and such hail it was, as
the climate of Egypt had never suffered before, nor was it like to that
which falls in other climates in winter time, 26 but was larger than
that which falls in the middle of spring to those that dwell in the
northern and north-western regions. This hail broke down their boughs
laden with fruit. After this a tribe of locusts consumed the seed which
was not hurt by the hail; so that to the Egyptians all hopes of the
future fruits of the ground were entirely lost.

5. One would think the forementioned calamities might have been
sufficient for one that was only foolish, without wickedness, to make
him wise, and to make him Sensible what was for his advantage. But
Pharaoh, led not so much by his folly as by his wickedness, even when he
saw the cause of his miseries, he still contested with God, and
willfully deserted the cause of virtue; so he bid Moses take the Hebrews
away, with their wives and children, to leave their cattle behind, since
their own cattle were destroyed. But when Moses said that what he
desired was unjust, since they were obliged to offer sacrifices to God
of those cattle, and the time being prolonged on this account, a thick
darkness, without the least light, spread itself over the Egyptians,
whereby their sight being obstructed, and their breathing hindered by
the thickness of the air, they died miserably, and under a terror lest
they should be swallowed up by the dark cloud. Besides this, when the
darkness, after three days and as many nights, was dissipated, and when
Pharaoh did not still repent and let the Hebrews go, Moses came to him
and said, "How long wilt thou be disobedient to the command of God? for
he enjoins thee to let the Hebrews go; nor is there any other way of
being freed from the calamities you are under, unless you do so." But
the king angry at what he said, and threatened to cut off his head if he
came any more to trouble him these matters. Hereupon Moses said he not
speak to him any more about them, for he himself, together with the
principal men among the Egyptians, should desire the Hebrews away. So
when Moses had said this, he his way.

6. But when God had signified, that with one plague he would compel the
Egyptians to let Hebrews go, he commanded Moses to tell the people that
they should have a sacrifice ready, and they should prepare themselves
on the tenth day of the month Xanthicus, against the fourteenth, [which
month is called by the Egyptians Pharmuth, Nisan by the Hebrews; but the
Macedonians call it Xanthicus,] and that he should carry the Hebrews
with all they had. Accordingly, he having got the Hebrews ready for
their departure, and having sorted the people into tribes, he kept them
together in one place: but when the fourteenth day was come, and all
were ready to depart they offered the sacrifice, and purified their
houses with the blood, using bunches of hyssop for that purpose; and
when they had supped, they burnt the remainder of the flesh, as just
ready to depart. Whence it is that we do still offer this sacrifice in
like manner to this day, and call this festival Pascha which signifies
the feast of the passover; because on that day God passed us over, and
sent the plague upon the Egyptians; for the destruction of the first-
born came upon the Egyptians that night, so that many of the Egyptians
who lived near the king's palace, persuaded Pharaoh to let the Hebrews
go. Accordingly he called for Moses, and bid them be gone; as supposing,
that if once the Hebrews were gone out of the country, Egypt should be
freed from its miseries. They also honored the Hebrews with gifts; 27
some, in order to get them to depart quickly, and others on account of
their neighborhood, and the friendship they had with them.

CHAPTER 15. How The Hebrews Under The Conduct Of Moses Left Egypt.

1. So the Hebrews went out of Egypt, while the Egyptians wept, and
repented that they had treated them so hardly.—Now they took their
journey by Letopolis, a place at that time deserted, but where Babylon
was built afterwards, when Cambyses laid Egypt waste: but as they went
away hastily, on the third day they came to a place called Beelzephon,
on the Red Sea; and when they had no food out of the land, because it
was a desert, they eat of loaves kneaded of flour, only warmed by a
gentle heat; and this food they made use of for thirty days; for what
they brought with them out of Egypt would not suffice them any longer
time; and this only while they dispensed it to each person, to use so
much only as would serve for necessity, but not for satiety. Whence it
is that, in memory of the want we were then in, we keep a feast for
eight days, which is called the feast of unleavened bread. Now the
entire multitude of those that went out, including the women and
children, was not easy to be numbered, but those that were of an age fit
for war, were six hundred thousand.

2. They left Egypt in the month Xanthicus, on the fifteenth day of the
lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham
came into Canaan, but two hundred and fifteen years only after Jacob
removed into Egypt. 28 It was the eightieth year of the age of Moses,
and of that of Aaron three more. They also carried out the bones of
Joesph with them, as he had charged his sons to do.

3. But the Egyptians soon repented that the Hebrews were gone; and the
king also was mightily concerned that this had been procured by the
magic arts of Moses; so they resolved to go after them. Accordingly they
took their weapons, and other warlike furniture, and pursued after them,
in order to bring them back, if once they overtook them, because they
would now have no pretense to pray to God against them, since they had
already been permitted to go out; and they thought they should easily
overcome them, as they had no armor, and would be weary with their
journey; so they made haste in their pursuit, and asked of every one
they met which way they were gone. And indeed that land was difficult to
be traveled over, not only by armies, but by single persons. Now Moses
led the Hebrews this way, that in case the Egyptians should repent and
be desirous to pursue after them, they might undergo the punishment of
their wickedness, and of the breach of those promises they had made to
them. As also he led them this way on account of the Philistines, who
had quarreled with them, and hated them of old, that by all means they
might not know of their departure, for their country is near to that of
Egypt; and thence it was that Moses led them not along the road that
tended to the land of the Philistines, but he was desirous that they
should go through the desert, that so after a long journey, and after
many afflictions, they might enter upon the land of Canaan. Another
reason of this was, that God commanded him to bring the people to Mount
Sinai, that there they might offer him sacrifices. Now when the
Egyptians had overtaken the Hebrews, they prepared to fight them, and by
their multitude they drove them into a narrow place; for the number that
pursued after them was six hundred chariots, with fifty thousand
horsemen, and two hundred thousand foot-men, all armed. They also seized
on the passages by which they imagined the Hebrews might fly, shutting
them up 29 between inaccessible precipices and the sea; for there was
[on each side] a [ridge of] mountains that terminated at the sea, which
were impassable by reason of their roughness, and obstructed their
flight; wherefore they there pressed upon the Hebrews with their army,
where [the ridges of] the mountains were closed with the sea; which army
they placed at the chops of the mountains, that so they might deprive
them of any passage into the plain.

4. When the Hebrews, therefore, were neither able to bear up, being
thus, as it were, besieged, because they wanted provisions, nor saw any
possible way of escaping; and if they should have thought of fighting,
they had no weapons; they expected a universal destruction, unless they
delivered themselves up to the Egyptians. So they laid the blame on
Moses, and forgot all the signs that had been wrought by God for the
recovery of their freedom; and this so far, that their incredulity
prompted them to throw stones at the prophet, while he encouraged them
and promised them deliverance; and they resolved that they would deliver
themselves up to the Egyptians. So there was sorrow and lamentation
among the women and children, who had nothing but destruction before
their eyes, while they were encompassed with mountains, the sea, and
their enemies, and discerned no way of flying from them.

5. But Moses, though the multitude looked fiercely at him, did not,
however, give over the care of them, but despised all dangers, out of
his trust in God, who, as he had afforded them the several steps already
taken for the recovery of their liberty, which he had foretold them,
would not now suffer them to be subdued by their enemies, to be either
made slaves or be slain by them; and, standing in midst of them, he
said, "It is not just of us to distrust even men, when they have
hitherto well managed our affairs, as if they would not be the same
hereafter; but it is no better than madness, at this time to despair of
the providence of God, by whose power all those things have been
performed he promised, when you expected no such things: I mean all that
I have been concerned in for deliverance and escape from slavery. Nay,
when we are in the utmost distress, as you see we ought rather to hope
that God will succor us, by whose operation it is that we are now in
this narrow place, that he may out of such difficulties as are otherwise
insurmountable and out of which neither you nor your enemies expect you
can be delivered, and may at once demonstrate his own power and his
providence over us. Nor does God use to give his help in small
difficulties to those whom he favors, but in such cases where no one can
see how any hope in man can better their condition. Depend, therefore,
upon such a Protector as is able to make small things great, and to show
that this mighty force against you is nothing but weakness, and be not
affrighted at the Egyptian army, nor do you despair of being preserved,
because the sea before, and the mountains behind, afford you no
opportunity for flying, for even these mountains, if God so please, may
be made plain ground for you, and the sea become dry land."

CHAPTER 16. How The Sea Was Divided Asunder For The Hebrews, When They
Were Pursued By The Egyptians, And So Gave Them An Opportunity Of
Escaping From Them.

1. When Moses had said this, he led them to the sea, while the Egyptians
looked on; for they were within sight. Now these were so distressed by
the toil of their pursuit, that they thought proper to put off fighting
till the next day. But when Moses was come to the sea-shore, he took his
rod, and made supplication to God, and called upon him to be their
helper and assistant; and said "Thou art not ignorant, O Lord, that it
is beyond human strength and human contrivance to avoid the difficulties
we are now under; but it must be thy work altogether to procure
deliverance to this army, which has left Egypt at thy appointment. We
despair of any other assistance or contrivance, and have recourse only
to that hope we have in thee; and if there be any method that can
promise us an escape by thy providence, we look up to thee for it. And
let it come quickly, and manifest thy power to us; and do thou raise up
this people unto good courage and hope of deliverance, who are deeply
sunk into a disconsolate state of mind. We are in a helpless place, but
still it is a place that thou possessest; still the sea is thine, the
mountains also that enclose us are thine; so that these mountains will
open themselves if thou commandest them, and the sea also, if thou
commandest it, will become dry land. Nay, we might escape by a flight
through the air, if thou shouldst determine we should have that way of

2. When Moses had thus addressed himself to God, he smote the sea with
his rod, which parted asunder at the stroke, and receiving those waters
into itself, left the ground dry, as a road and a place of flight for
the Hebrews. Now when Moses saw this appearance of God, and that the sea
went out of its own place, and left dry land, he went first of all into
it, and bid the Hebrews to follow him along that divine road, and to
rejoice at the danger their enemies that followed them were in; and gave
thanks to God for this so surprising a deliverance which appeared from

3. Now, while these Hebrews made no stay, but went on earnestly, as led
by God's presence with them, the Egyptians supposed first that they were
distracted, and were going rashly upon manifest destruction. But when
they saw that they were going a great way without any harm, and that no
obstacle or difficulty fell in their journey, they made haste to pursue
them, hoping that the sea would be calm for them also. They put their
horse foremost, and went down themselves into the sea. Now the Hebrews,
while these were putting on their armor, and therein spending their
time, were beforehand with them, and escaped them, and got first over to
the land on the other side without any hurt. Whence the others were
encouraged, and more courageously pursued them, as hoping no harm would
come to them neither: but the Egyptians were not aware that they went
into a road made for the Hebrews, and not for others; that this road was
made for the deliverance of those in danger, but not for those that were
earnest to make use of it for the others' destruction. As soon,
therefore, as ever the whole Egyptian army was within it, the sea flowed
to its own place, and came down with a torrent raised by storms of wind,
30 and encompassed the Egyptians. Showers of rain also came down from
the sky, and dreadful thunders and lightning, with flashes of fire.
Thunderbolts also were darted upon them. Nor was there any thing which
used to be sent by God upon men, as indications of his wrath, which did
not happen at this time, for a dark and dismal night oppressed them. And
thus did all these men perish, so that there was not one man left to be
a messenger of this calamity to the rest of the Egyptians.

4. But the Hebrews were not able to contain themselves for joy at their
wonderful deliverance, and destruction of their enemies; now indeed
supposing themselves firmly delivered, when those that would have forced
them into slavery were destroyed, and when they found they had God so
evidently for their protector. And now these Hebrews having escaped the
danger they were in, after this manner, and besides that, seeing their
enemies punished in such a way as is never recorded of any other men
whomsoever, were all the night employed in singing of hymns, and in
mirth. 31 Moses also composed a song unto God, containing his praises,
and a thanksgiving for his kindness, in hexameter verse. 32

5. As for myself, I have delivered every part of this history as I found
it in the sacred books; nor let any one wonder at the strangeness of the
narration if a way were discovered to those men of old time, who were
free from the wickedness of the modern ages, whether it happened by the
will of God or whether it happened of its own accord;—while, for the
sake of those that accompanied Alexander, king of Macedonia, who yet
lived, comparatively but a little while ago, the Pamphylian Sea retired
and afforded them a passage 33 through itself, had no other way to go; I
mean, when it was the will of God to destroy the monarchy of the
Persians: and this is confessed to be true by all that have written
about the actions of Alexander. But as to these events, let every one
determine as he pleases.

6. On the next day Moses gathered together the weapons of the Egyptians,
which were brought to the camp of the Hebrews by the current of the sea,
and the force of the winds resisting it; and he conjectured that this
also happened by Divine Providence, that so they might not be destitute
of weapons. So when he had ordered the Hebrews to arm themselves with
them, he led them to Mount Sinai, in order to offer sacrifice to God,
and to render oblations for the salvation of the multitude, as he was
charged to do beforehand.


1 (return) [ We may here observe, that in correspondence to Joseph's
second dream, which implied that his mother, who was then alive, as well
as his father, should come and bow down to him, Josephus represents her
here as still alive after she was dead, for the decorum of the dream
that foretold it, as the interpretation of the dream does also in all
our copies, Genesis 37:10.]

2 (return) [ The Septuagint have twenty pieces of gold; the Testament of
Gad thirty; the Hebrew and Samaritan twenty of silver; and the vulgar
Latin thirty. What was the true number and true sum cannot therefore now
be known.]

3 (return) [ That is, bought it for Pharaoh at a very low price.]

4 (return) [ This Potiphar, or, as Josephus, Petephres, who was now a
priest of On, or Heliopolis, is the same name in Josephus, and perhaps
in Moses also, with him who is before called head cook or captain of the
guard, and to whom Joseph was sold. See Genesis 37:36; 39:1, with 41:50.
They are also affirmed to be one and the same person in the Testament of
Joseph, sect. 18, for he is there said to have married the daughter of
his master and mistress. Nor is this a notion peculiar to that
Testament, but, as Dr. Bernard confesses, note on Antiq. B. II. ch. 4.
sect. 1, common to Josephus, to the Septuagint interpreters, and to
other learned Jews of old time.]

5 (return) [ This entire ignorance of the Egyptians of these years of
famine before they came, told us before, as well as here, ch. 5. sect.
7, by Josephus, seems to me almost incredible. It is in no other copy
that I know of.]

6 (return) [ The reason why Symeon might be selected out of the rest for
Joseph's prisoner, is plain in the Testament of Symeon, viz. that he was
one of the bitterest of all Joseph's brethren against him, sect. 2;
which appears also in part by the Testament of Zabulon, sect. 3.]

7 (return) [ The coherence seems to me to show that the negative
particle is here wanting, which I have supplied in brackets, and I
wonder none have hitherto suspected that it ought to be supplied.]

8 (return) [ Of the precious balsam of Judea, and the turpentine, see
the note on Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 6. sect. 6.]

9 (return) [ This oration seems to me too large, and too unusual a
digression, to have been composed by Judas on this occasion. It seems to
me a speech or declamation composed formerly, in the person of Judas,
and in the way of oratory, that lay by him, and which he thought fit to
insert on this occasion. See two more such speeches or declamations,
Antiq. B. VI. ch. 14. sect. 4]

10 (return) [ In all this speech of Judas we may observe, that Josephus
still supposed that death was the punishment of theft in Egypt, in the
days of Joseph, though it never was so among the Jews, by the law of

11 (return) [ All the Greek copies of Josephus have the negative
particle here, that Jacob himself was not reckoned one of the 70 souls
that came into Egypt; but the old Latin copies want it, and directly
assure us he was one of them. It is therefore hardly certain which of
these was Josephus's true reading, since the number 70 is made up
without him, if we reckon Leah for one; but if she be not reckoned,
Jacob must himself be one, to complete the number.]

12 (return) [ Josephus thought that the Egyptians hated or despised the
employment of a shepherd in the days of Joseph; whereas Bishop
Cumberland has shown that they rather hated such Poehnician or Canaanite
shepherds that had long enslaved the Egyptians of old time. See his
Sanchoniatho, p. 361, 362.]

13 (return) [ Reland here puts the question, how Josephus could complain
of its not raining in Egypt during this famine, while the ancients
affirm that it never does naturally rain there. His answer is, that when
the ancients deny that it rains in Egypt, they only mean the Upper Egypt
above the Delta, which is called Egypt in the strictest sense; but that
in the Delta [and by consequence in the Lower Egypt adjoining to it] it
did of old, and still does, rain sometimes. See the note on Antiq. B.
III. ch. 1. sect. 6.]

14 (return) [ Josephus supposes that Joseph now restored the Egyptians
their lands again upon the payment of a fifth part as tribute. It seems
to me rather that the land was now considered as Pharaoh's land, and
this fifth part as its rent, to be paid to him, as he was their
landlord, and they his tenants; and that the lands were not properly
restored, and this fifth part reserved as tribute only, till the days of
Sesostris. See Essay on the Old Testament, Append. 148, 149.]

15 (return) [ As to this encomium upon Joseph, as preparatory to Jacob's
adopting Ephraim and Manasses into his own family, and to be admitted
for two tribes, which Josephus here mentions, all our copies of Genesis
omit it, ch. 48.; nor do we know whence he took it, or whether it be not
his own embellishment only.]

16 (return) [ As to the affliction of Abraham's posterity for 400 years,
see Antiq. B. I. ch. 10. sect. 3; and as to what cities they built in
Egypt, under Pharaoh Sesostris, and of Pharaoh Sesostris's drowning in
the Red Sea, see Essay on the Old Testament, Append. p. 132-162.]

17 (return) [ Of this building of the pyramids of Egypt by the
Israelites, see Perizonius Orig. Aegyptiac, ch. 21. It is not impossible
they might build one or more of the small ones; but the larger ones seem
much later. Only, if they be all built of stone, this does not so well
agree with the Israelites' labors, which are said to have been in brick,
and not in stone, as Mr. Sandys observes in his Travels. p. 127, 128.]

18 (return) [ Dr. Bernard informs us here, that instead of this single
priest or prophet of the Egyptians, without a name in Josephus, the
Targum of Jonathan names the two famous antagonists of Moses, Jannes and
Jambres. Nor is it at all unlikely that it might be one of these who
foreboded so much misery to the Egyptians, and so much happiness to the
Israelites, from the rearing of Moses.]

19 (return) [ Josephus is clear that these midwives were Egyptians, and
not Israelites, as in our other copies: which is very probable, it being
not easily to be supposed that Pharaoh could trust the Israelite
midwives to execute so barbarous a command against their own nation.
(Consult, therefore, and correct hence our ordinary copies, Exodus 1:15,
22.) And, indeed, Josephus seems to have had much completer copies of
the Pentateuch, or other authentic records now lost, about the birth and
actions of Moses, than either our Hebrew, Samaritan, or Greek Bibles
afford us, which enabled him to be so large and particular about him.]

20 (return) [ Of this grandfather of Sesostris, Ramestes the Great, who
slew the Israelite infants, and of the inscription on his obelisk,
containing, in my opinion, one of the oldest records of mankind, see
Essay on the Old Test. Append. p. 139, 145, 147, 217-220.]

21 (return) [ What Josephus here says of the beauty of Moses, that he
was of a divine form, is very like what St. Stephen says of the same
beauty; that Moses was beautiful in the sight of Acts 7:20.]

22 (return) [ This history of Moses, as general of the Egyptians against
the Ethiopians, is wholly omitted in our Bibles; but is thus by
Irenaeus, from Josephus, and that soon after his own age:—"Josephus
says, that when Moses was nourished in the palace, he was appointed
general of the army against the Ethiopians, and conquered them, when he
married that king's daughter; because, out of her affection for him, she
delivered the city up to him." See the Fragments of Irenaeus, ap. edit.
Grab. p. 472. Nor perhaps did St. Stephen refer to any thing else when
he said of Moses, before he was sent by God to the Israelites, that he
was not only learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, but was also
mighty in words and in deeds, Acts 7:22.]

23 (return) [ Pliny speaks of these birds called ibes; and says, "The
Egyptians invoked them against the serpents," Hist. Nat. B. X. ch. 28.
Strabo speaks of this island Meroe, and these rivers Astapus and
Astaboras, B. XVI. p. 771, 786; and B XVII. p. 82].]

24 (return) [ This superstitious fear of discovering the name with four
letters, which of late we have been used falsely to pronounce Jehovah,
but seems to have been originally pronounced Jahoh, or Jao, is never, I
think, heard of till this passage of Josephus; and this superstition, in
not pronouncing that name, has continued among the Rabbinical Jews to
this day [though whether the Samaritans and Caraites observed it so
early, does not appear]. Josephus also durst not set down the very words
of the ten commandments, as we shall see hereafter, Antiq. B. III. ch.
5. sect. 4, which superstitious silence I think has yet not been
continued even by the Rabbins. It is, however, no doubt but both these
cautious concealments were taught Josephus by the Pharisees, a body of
men at once very wicked and very superstitious.]

25 (return) [ Of this judicial hardening the hearts and blinding the
eyes of wicked men, or infatuating them, as a just punishment for their
other willful sins, to their own destruction, see the note on Antiq. B.
VII. ch. 9. sect. 6.]

26 (return) [ As to this winter or spring hail near Egypt and Judea, see
the like on thunder and lightning there, in the note on Antiq. B. VI.
ch. 5. sect. 6.]

27 (return) [ These large presents made to the Israelites, of vessels of
and vessels of gold, and raiment, were, as Josephus truly calls them,
gifts really given them; not lent them, as our English falsely renders
them. They were spoils required, not of them, Genesis 15:14; Exodus
3:22; 11:2; Psalm 105:37,] as the same version falsely renders the
Hebrew word Exodus 12:35, 36. God had ordered the Jews to demand these
as their pay and reward, during their long and bitter slavery in Egypt,
as atonements for the lives of the Egyptians, and as the condition of
the Jews' departure, and of the Egyptians' deliverance from these
terrible judgments, which, had they not now ceased, they had soon been
all dead men, as they themselves confess, ch. 12. 33. Nor was there any
sense in borrowing or lending, when the Israelites were finally
departing out of the land for ever.]

28 (return) [ Why our Masorete copy so groundlessly abridges this
account in Exodus 12:40, as to ascribe 430 years to the sole
peregrination of the Israelites in Egypt, when it is clear even by that
Masorete chronology elsewhere, as well as from the express text itself,
in the Samaritan, Septuagint, and Josephus, that they sojourned in Egypt
but half that time,--and that by consequence, the other half of their
peregrination was in the land of Canaan, before they came into Egypt,--
is hard to say. See Essay on the Old Testament, p. 62, 63.]

29 (return) [ Take the main part of Reland's excellent note here, which
greatly illustrates Josephus, and the Scripture, in this history, as
follows: "[A traveller, says Reland, whose name was] Eneman, when he
returned out of Egypt, told me that he went the same way from Egypt to
Mount Sinai, which he supposed the Israelites of old traveled; and that
he found several mountainous tracts, that ran down towards the Red Sea.
He thought the Israelites had proceeded as far as the desert of Etham,
Exodus 13:20, when they were commanded by God to return back, Exodus
14:2, and to pitch their camp between Migdol and the sea; and that when
they were not able to fly, unless by sea, they were shut in on each side
by mountains. He also thought we might evidently learn hence, how it
might be said that the Israelites were in Etham before they went over
the sea, and yet might be said to have come into Etham after they had
passed over the sea also. Besides, he gave me an account how he passed
over a river in a boat near the city Suez, which he says must needs be
the Heroopolia of the ancients, since that city could not be situate any
where else in that neighborhood." As to the famous passage produced here
by Dr. Bernard, out of Herodotus, as the most ancient heathen testimony
of the Israelites coming from the Red Sea into Palestine, Bishop
Cumberland has shown that it belongs to the old Canaanite or Phoenician
shepherds, and their retiring out of Egypt into Canaan or Phoenicia,
long before the days of Moses. Sanchoniatho, p. 374, &c.]

30 (return) [ Of these storms of wind, thunder, and lightning, at this
drowning of Pharaoh's army, almost wanting in our copies of Exodus, but
fully extant in that of David, Psalm 77:16-18, and in that of Josephus
here, see Essay on the Old Test. Append. p. 15,1, 155.]

31 (return) [ What some have here objected against this passage of the
Israelites over the Red Sea, in this one night, from the common maps,
viz. that this sea being here about thirty miles broad, so great an army
could not pass over it in so short a time, is a great mistake. Mons.
Thevenot, an authentic eye-witness, informs us, that this sea, for about
five days' journey, is no where more than about eight or nine miles
over-cross, and in one place but four or five miles, according to De
Lisle's map, which is made from the best travelers themselves, and not
copied from others. What has been further objected against this passage
of the Israelites, and drowning of the Egyptians, being miraculous also,
viz. that Moses might carry the Israelites over at a low tide without
any miracle, while yet the Egyptians, not knowing the tide so well as
he, might be drowned upon the return of the tide, is a strange story
indeed! That Moses, who never had lived here, should know the quantity
and time of the flux and reflux of the Red Sea better than the Egyptians
themselves in its neighborhood! Yet does Artapanus, an ancient heathen
historian, inform us, that this was what the more ignorant Memphites,
who lived at a great distance, pretended, though he confesses, that the
more learned Heliopolitans, who lived much nearer, owned the destruction
of the Egyptians, and the deliverance of the Israelites, to have been
miraculous: and De Castro, a mathematician, who surveyed this sea with
great exactness, informs us, that there is no great flux or reflux in
this part of the Red Sea, to give a color to this hypothesis; nay, that
at the elevation of the tide there is little above half the height of a
man. See Essay on the Old Test. Append. p. 239, 240. So vain and
groundless are these and the like evasions and subterfuges of our modern
sceptics and unbelievers, and so certainly do thorough inquiries and
authentic evidence disprove and confute such evasions and subterfuges
upon all occasions.]

32 (return) [ What that hexameter verse, in which Moses's triumphant
song is here said to be written, distinctly means, our present ignorance
of the old Hebrew metre or measure will not let us determine. Nor does
it appear to me certain that even Josephus himself had a distinct notion
of it, though he speaks of several sort of that metre or measure, both
here and elsewhere. Antiq. B. IV. ch. 8. sect. 44; and B. VII. ch. 12.
sect. 3.]

33 (return) [ Take here the original passages of the four old authors
that still remain, as to this transit of Alexander the Great over the
Pamphylian Sea: I mean, of Callisthenes, Strabu, Arrian, and Appian. As
to Callisthenes, who himself accompanied Alexander in this expedition,
Eustathius, in his Notes on the third Iliad of Homer, [as Dr. Bernard
here informs us,] says, That "this Callisthenes wrote how the Pamphylian
Sea did not only open a passage for Alexander, but, by rising and did
pay him homage as its king." Strabo's is this [Geog. B. XIV. p. 666]:
"Now about Phaselis is that narrow passage, by the sea-side, through
which his army. There is a mountain called Climax, adjoins to the Sea of
Pamphylia, leaving a narrow passage on the shore, which, in calm
weather, is bare, so as to be passable by travelers, but when the sea
overflows, it is covered to a great degree by the waves. Now then, the
ascent by the mountains being round about and steep, in still weather
they make use of the road along the coast. But Alexander fell into the
winter season, and committing himself chiefly to fortune, he marched on
before the waves retired; and so it happened that were a whole day in
journeying over it, and were under water up to the navel." Arrian's
account is this [B. I. p. 72, 73]: "Alexander removed from Phaselis, he
sent some part his army over the mountains to Perga; which road the
Thracians showed him. A difficult way it was, but short. He himself
conducted those that were with him by the sea-shore. This road is
impassable at any other time than when the north wind blows; but if the
south wind prevail, there is no passing by the shore. Now at this time,
after strong south winds, a north wind blew, and that not without the
Divine Providence, [as both he and they that were with him supposed,]
and afforded him an easy and quick passage." Appian, when he compares
Cæsar and Alexander together, [De Bel. Civil. B. II. p. 522,] says,
"That they both depended on their boldness and fortune, as much as on
their skill in war. As an instance of which, Alexander journeyed over a
country without water, in the heat of summer, to the oracle of [Jupiter]
Hammon, and quickly passed over the Bay of Pamphylia, when, by Divine
Providence, the sea was cut off—thus Providence restraining the sea on
his account, as it had sent him rain when he traveled [over the
desert]." N. B.—Since, in the days of Josephus, as he assures us, all
the more numerous original historians of Alexander gave the account he
has here set down, as to the providential going back of the waters of
the Pamphylian Sea, when he was going with his army to destroy the
Persian monarchy, which the fore-named authors now remaining fully
confirm, it is without all just foundation that Josephus is here blamed
by some late writers for quoting those ancient authors upon the present
occasion; nor can the reflections of Plutarch, or any other author later
than Josephus, be in the least here alleged to contradict him. Josephus
went by all the evidence he then had, and that evidence of the most
authentic sort also. So that whatever the moderns may think of the thing
itself, there is hence not the least color for finding fault with
Josephus: he would rather have been much to blame had he omitted these

BOOK III. Containing The Interval Of Two Years.—From The Exodus Out Of
Egypt, To The Rejection Of That Generation.

CHAPTER 1. How Moses When He Had Brought The People Out Of Egypt Led
Them To Mount Sinai; But Not Till They Had Suffered Much In Their

1. When the Hebrews had obtained such a wonderful deliverance, the
country was a great trouble to them, for it was entirely a desert, and
without sustenance for them; and also had exceeding little water, so
that it not only was not at all sufficient for the men, but not enough
to feed any of the cattle, for it was parched up, and had no moisture
that might afford nutriment to the vegetables; so they were forced to
travel over this country, as having no other country but this to travel
in. They had indeed carried water along with them from the land over
which they had traveled before, as their conductor had bidden them; but
when that was spent, they were obliged to draw water out of wells, with
pain, by reason of the hardness of the soil. Moreover, what water they
found was bitter, and not fit for drinking, and this in small quantities
also; and as they thus traveled, they came late in the evening to a
place called Marah, 1 which had that name from the badness of its water,
for Mar denotes bitterness. Thither they came afflicted both by the
tediousness of their journey, and by their want of food, for it entirely
failed them at that time. Now here was a well, which made them choose to
stay in the place, which, although it were not sufficient to satisfy so
great an army, did yet afford them some comfort, as found in such desert
places; for they heard from those who had been to search, that there was
nothing to be found, if they traveled on farther. Yet was this water
bitter, and not fit for men to drink; and not only so, but it was
intolerable even to the cattle themselves.

2. When Moses saw how much the people were cast down, and that the
occasion of it could not be contradicted, for the people were not in the
nature of a complete army of men, who might oppose a manly fortitude to
the necessity that distressed them; the multitude of the children, and
of the women also, being of too weak capacities to be persuaded by
reason, blunted the courage of the men themselves,—he was therefore in
great difficulties, and made everybody's calamity his own; for they ran
all of them to him, and begged of him; the women begged for their
infants, and the men for the women, that he would not overlook them, but
procure some way or other for their deliverance. He therefore betook
himself to prayer to God, that he would change the water from its
present badness, and make it fit for drinking. And when God had granted
him that favor, he took the top of a stick that lay down at his feet,
and divided it in the middle, and made the section lengthways. He then
let it down into the well, and persuaded the Hebrews that God had
hearkened to his prayers, and had promised to render the water such as
they desired it to be, in case they would be subservient to him in what
he should enjoin them to do, and this not after a remiss or negligent
manner. And when they asked what they were to do in order to have the
water changed for the better, he bid the strongest men among them that
stood there, to draw up water 2 and told them, that when the greatest
part was drawn up, the remainder would be fit to drink. So they labored
at it till the water was so agitated and purged as to be fit to drink.

3. And now removing from thence they came to Elim; which place looked
well at a distance, for there was a grove of palm-trees; but when they
came near to it, it appeared to be a bad place, for the palm-trees were
no more than seventy; and they were ill-grown and creeping trees, by the
want of water, for the country about was all parched, and no moisture
sufficient to water them, and make them hopeful and useful, was derived
to them from the fountains, which were in number twelve: they were
rather a few moist places than springs, which not breaking out of the
ground, nor running over, could not sufficiently water the trees. And
when they dug into the sand, they met with no water; and if they took a
few drops of it into their hands, they found it to be useless, on
account of its mud. The trees were too weak to bear fruit, for want of
being sufficiently cherished and enlivened by the water. So they laid
the blame on their conductor, and made heavy complaints against him; and
said that this their miserable state, and the experience they had of
adversity, were owing to him; for that they had then journeyed an entire
thirty days, and had spent all the provisions they had brought with
them; and meeting with no relief, they were in a very desponding
condition. And by fixing their attention upon nothing but their present
misfortunes, they were hindered from remembering what deliverances they
had received from God, and those by the virtue and wisdom of Moses also;
so they were very angry at their conductor, and were zealous in their
attempt to stone him, as the direct occasion of their present miseries.

4. But as for Moses himself, while the multitude were irritated and
bitterly set against him, he cheerfully relied upon God, and upon his
consciousness of the care he had taken of these his own people; and he
came into the midst of them, even while they clamored against him, and
had stones in their hands in order to despatch him. Now he was of an
agreeable presence, and very able to persuade the people by his
speeches; accordingly he began to mitigate their anger, and exhorted
them not to be over-mindful of their present adversities, lest they
should thereby suffer the benefits that had formerly been bestowed on
them to slip out of their memories; and he desired them by no means, on
account of their present uneasiness, to cast those great and wonderful
favors and gifts, which they had obtained of God, out of their minds,
but to expect deliverance out of those their present troubles which they
could not free themselves from, and this by the means of that Divine
Providence which watched over them. Seeing it is probable that God tries
their virtue, and exercises their patience by these adversities, that it
may appear what fortitude they have, and what memory they retain of his
former wonderful works in their favor, and whether they will not think
of them upon occasion of the miseries they now feel. He told them, it
appeared they were not really good men, either in patience, or in
remembering what had been successfully done for them, sometimes by
contemning God and his commands, when by those commands they left the
land of Egypt; and sometimes by behaving themselves ill towards him who
was the servant of God, and this when he had never deceived them, either
in what he said, or had ordered them to do by God's command. He also put
them in mind of all that had passed; how the Egyptians were destroyed
when they attempted to detain them, contrary to the command of God; and
after what manner the very same river was to the others bloody, and not
fit for drinking, but was to them sweet, and fit for drinking; and how
they went a new road through the sea, which fled a long way from them,
by which very means they were themselves preserved, but saw their
enemies destroyed; and that when they were in want of weapons, God gave
them plenty of them;-and so he recounted all the particular instances,
how when they were, in appearance, just going to be destroyed, God had
saved them in a surprising manner; and that he had still the same power;
and that they ought not even now to despair of his providence over them;
and accordingly he exhorted them to continue quiet, and to consider that
help would not come too late, though it come not immediately, if it be
present with them before they suffer any great misfortune; that they
ought to reason thus: that God delays to assist them, not because he has
no regard to them, but because he will first try their fortitude, and
the pleasure they take in their freedom, that he may learn whether you
have souls great enough to bear want of food, and scarcity of water, on
its account; or whether you rather love to be slaves, as cattle are
slaves to such as own them, and feed them liberally, but only in order
to make them more useful in their service. That as for himself, he shall
not be so much concerned for his own preservation; for if he die
unjustly, he shall not reckon it any affliction, but that he is
concerned for them, lest, by casting stones at him, they should be
thought to condemn God himself.

5. By this means Moses pacified the people, and restrained them from
stoning him, and brought them to repent of what they were going to do.
And because he thought the necessity they were under made their passion
less unjustifiable, he thought he ought to apply himself to God by
prayer and supplication; and going up to an eminence, he requested of
God for some succor for the people, and some way of deliverance from the
want they were in, because in him, and in him alone, was their hope of
salvation; and he desired that he would forgive what necessity had
forced the people to do, since such was the nature of mankind, hard to
please, and very complaining under adversities. Accordingly God promised
he would take care of them, and afford them the succor they were
desirous of. Now when Moses had heard this from God, he came down to the
multitude. But as soon as they saw him joyful at the promises he had
received from God, they changed their sad countenances into gladness. So
he placed himself in the midst of them, and told them he came to bring
them from God a deliverance from their present distresses. Accordingly a
little after came a vast number of quails, which is a bird more
plentiful in this Arabian Gulf than any where else, flying over the sea,
and hovered over them, till wearied with their laborious flight, and,
indeed, as usual, flying very near to the earth, they fell down upon the
Hebrews, who caught them, and satisfied their hunger with them, and
supposed that this was the method whereby God meant to supply them with
food. Upon which Moses returned thanks to God for affording them his
assistance so suddenly, and sooner than he had promised them.

6. But presently after this first supply of food, he sent them a second;
for as Moses was lifting up his hands in prayer, a dew fell down; and
Moses, when he found it stick to his hands, supposed this was also come
for food from God to them. He tasted it; and perceiving that the people
knew not what it was, and thought it snowed, and that it was what
usually fell at that time of the year, he informed them that this dew
did not fall from heaven after the manner they imagined, but came for
their preservation and sustenance. So he tasted it, and gave them some
of it, that they might be satisfied about what he told them. They also
imitated their conductor, and were pleased with the food, for it was
like honey in sweetness and pleasant taste, but like in its body to
bdellium, one of the sweet spices, and in bigness equal to coriander
seed. And very earnest they were in gathering it; but they were enjoined
to gather it equally 3—the measure of an omer for each one every day,
because this food should not come in too small a quantity, lest the
weaker might not be able to get their share, by reason of the
overbearing of the strong in collecting it. However, these strong men,
when they had gathered more than the measure appointed for them, had no
more than others, but only tired themselves more in gathering it, for
they found no more than an omer apiece; and the advantage they got by
what was superfluous was none at all, it corrupting, both by the worms
breeding in it, and by its bitterness. So divine and wonderful a food
was this! It also supplied the want of other sorts of food to those that
fed on it. And even now, in all that place, this manna comes down in
rain, 4 according to what Moses then obtained of God, to send it to the
people for their sustenance. Now the Hebrews call this food manna: for
the particle man, in our language, is the asking of a question. What is
this? So the Hebrews were very joyful at what was sent them from heaven.
Now they made use of this food for forty years, or as long as they were
in the wilderness.

7. As soon as they were removed thence, they came to Rephidim, being
distressed to the last degree by thirst; and while in the foregoing days
they had lit on a few small fountains, but now found the earth entirely
destitute of water, they were in an evil case. They again turned their
anger against Moses; but he at first avoided the fury of the multitude,
and then betook himself to prayer to God, beseeching him, that as he had
given them food when they were in the greatest want of it, so he would
give them drink, since the favor of giving them food was of no value to
them while they had nothing to drink. And God did not long delay to give
it them, but promised Moses that he would procure them a fountain, and
plenty of water, from a place they did not expect any. So he commanded
him to smite the rock which they saw lying there, 5 with his rod, and
out of it to receive plenty of what they wanted; for he had taken care
that drink should come to them without any labor or pains-taking. When
Moses had received this command from God, he came to the people, who
waited for him, and looked upon him, for they saw already that he was
coming apace from his eminence. As soon as he was come, he told them
that God would deliver them from their present distress, and had granted
them an unexpected favor; and informed them, that a river should run for
their sakes out of the rock. But they were amazed at that hearing,
supposing they were of necessity to cut the rock in pieces, now they
were distressed by their thirst and by their journey; while Moses only
smiting the rock with his rod, opened a passage, and out of it burst
water, and that in great abundance, and very clear. But they were
astonished at this wonderful effect; and, as it were, quenched their
thirst by the very sight of it. So they drank this pleasant, this sweet
water; and such it seemed to be, as might well be expected where God was
the donor. They were also in admiration how Moses was honored by God;
and they made grateful returns of sacrifices to God for his providence
towards them. Now that Scripture, which is laid up in the temple, 6
informs us, how God foretold to Moses, that water timid in this manner
be derived out of the rock.'

CHAPTER 2. How The Amalekites And The Neighbouring Nations, Made War
With The Hebrews And Were Beaten And Lost A Great Part Of Their Army.

1. The name of the Hebrews began already to be every where renowned, and
rumors about them ran abroad. This made the inhabitants of those
countries to be in no small fear. Accordingly they sent ambassadors to
one another, and exhorted one another to defend themselves, and to
endeavor to destroy these men. Those that induced the rest to do so,
were such as inhabited Gobolitis and Petra. They were called Amalekites,
and were the most warlike of the nations that lived thereabout; and
whose kings exhorted one another, and their neighbors, to go to this war
against the Hebrews; telling them that an army of strangers, and such a
one as had run away from slavery under the Egyptians, lay in wait to
ruin them; which army they were not, in common prudence and regard to
their own safety, to overlook, but to crush them before they gather
strength, and come to be in prosperity: and perhaps attack them first in
a hostile manner, as presuming upon our indolence in not attacking them
before; and that we ought to avenge ourselves of them for what they have
done in the wilderness, but that this cannot be so well done when they
have once laid their hands on our cities and our goods: that those who
endeavor to crush a power in its first rise, are wiser than those that
endeavor to put a stop to its progress when it is become formidable; for
these last seem to be angry only at the flourishing of others, but the
former do not leave any room for their enemies to become troublesome to
them. After they had sent such embassages to the neighboring nations,
and among one another, they resolved to attack the Hebrews in battle.

2. These proceedings of the people of those countries occasioned
perplexity and trouble to Moses, who expected no such warlike
preparations. And when these nations were ready to fight, and the
multitude of the Hebrews were obliged to try the fortune of war, they
were in a mighty disorder, and in want of all necessaries, and yet were
to make war with men who were thoroughly well prepared for it. Then
therefore it was that Moses began to encourage them, and to exhort them
to have a good heart, and rely on God's assistance by which they had
been put in a state of freedom and to hope for victory over those who
were ready to fight with them, in order to deprive them of that
blessing: that they were to suppose their own army to be numerous,
wanting nothing, neither weapons, nor money, nor provisions, nor such
other conveniences as, when men are in possession of, they fight
undauntedly; and that they are to judge themselves to have all these
advantages in the Divine assistance. They are also to suppose the
enemy's army to be small, unarmed, weak, and such as want those
conveniences which they know must be wanted, when it is God's will that
they shall be beaten; and how valuable God's assistance is, they had
experienced in abundance of trials; and those such as were more terrible
than war, for that is only against men; but these were against famine
and thirst, things indeed that are in their own nature insuperable; as
also against mountains, and that sea which afforded them no way for
escaping; yet had all these difficulties been conquered by God's
gracious kindness to them. So he exhorted them to be courageous at this
time, and to look upon their entire prosperity to depend on the present
conquest of their enemies.

3. And with these words did Moses encourage the multitude, who then
called together the princes of their tribes, and their chief men, both
separately and conjointly. The young men he charged to obey their
elders, and the elders to hearken to their leader. So the people were
elevated in their minds, and ready to try their fortune in battle, and
hoped to be thereby at length delivered from all their miseries: nay,
they desired that Moses would immediately lead them against their
enemies without the least delay, that no backwardness might be a
hindrance to their present resolution. So Moses sorted all that were fit
for war into different troops, and set Joshua, the son of Nun, of the
tribe of Ephraim, over them; one that was of great courage, and patient
to undergo labors; of great abilities to understand, and to speak what
was proper; and very serious in the worship of God; and indeed made like
another Moses, a teacher of piety towards God. He also appointed a small
party of the armed men to be near the water, and to take care of the
children, and the women, and of the entire camp. So that whole night
they prepared themselves for the battle; they took their weapons, if any
of them had such as were well made, and attended to their commanders as
ready to rush forth to the battle as soon as Moses should give the word
of command. Moses also kept awake, teaching Joshua after what manner he
should order his camp. But when the day began, Moses called for Joshua
again, and exhorted him to approve himself in deeds such a one as a his
reputation made men expect from him; and to gain glory by the present
expedition, in the opinion of those under him, for his exploits in this
battle. He also gave a particular exhortation to the principal men of
the Hebrews, and encouraged the whole army as it stood armed before him.
And when he had thus animated the army, both by his words and works, and
prepared every thing, he retired to a mountain, and committed the army
to God and to Joshua.

4. So the armies joined battle; and it came to a close fight, hand to
hand, both sides showing great alacrity, and encouraging one another.
And indeed while Moses stretched out his hand towards heaven 7 the
Hebrews were too hard for the Amalekites: but Moses not being able to
sustain his hands thus stretched out, [for as often as he let down his
hands, so often were his own people worsted,] he bade his brother Aaron,
and Hur their sister Miriam's husband, to stand on each side of him, and
take hold of his hands, and not permit his weariness to prevent it, but
to assist him in the extension of his hands. When this was done, the
Hebrews conquered the Amalekites by main force; and indeed they had all
perished, unless the approach of the night had obliged the Hebrews to
desist from killing any more. So our forefathers obtained a most signal
and most seasonable victory; for they not only overcame those that
fought against them, but terrified also the neighboring nations, and got
great and splendid advantages, which they obtained of their enemies by
their hard pains in this battle: for when they had taken the enemy's
camp, they got ready booty for the public, and for their own private
families, whereas till then they had not any sort of plenty, of even
necessary food. The forementioned battle, when they had once got it, was
also the occasion of their prosperity, not only for the present, but for
the future ages also; for they not only made slaves of the bodies of
their enemies, but subdued their minds also, and after this battle,
became terrible to all that dwelt round about them. Moreover, they
acquired a vast quantity of riches; for a great deal of silver and gold
was left in the enemy's camp; as also brazen vessels, which they made
common use of in their families; many utensils also that were
embroidered there were of both sorts, that is, of what were weaved, and
what were the ornaments of their armor, and other things that served for
use in the family, and for the furniture of their rooms; they got also
the prey of their cattle, and of whatsoever uses to follow camps, when
they remove from one place to another. So the Hebrews now valued
themselves upon their courage, and claimed great merit for their valor;
and they perpetually inured themselves to take pains, by which they
deemed every difficulty might be surmounted. Such were the consequences
of this battle.

5. On the next day, Moses stripped the dead bodies of their enemies, and
gathered together the armor of those that were fled, and gave rewards to
such as had signalized themselves in the action; and highly commended
Joshua, their general, who was attested to by all the army, on account
of the great actions he had done. Nor was any one of the Hebrews slain;
but the slain of the enemy's army were too many to be enumerated. So
Moses offered sacrifices of thanksgiving to God, and built an altar,
which he named The Lord the Conqueror. He also foretold that the
Amalekites should utterly be destroyed; and that hereafter none of them
should remain, because they fought against the Hebrews, and this when
they were in the wilderness, and in their distress also. Moreover, he
refreshed the army with feasting. And thus did they fight this first
battle with those that ventured to oppose them, after they were gone out
of Egypt. But when Moses had celebrated this festival for the victory,
he permitted the Hebrews to rest for a few days, and then he brought
them out after the fight, in order of battle; for they had now many
soldiers in light armor. And going gradually on, he came to Mount Sinai,
in three months' time after they were removed out of Egypt; at which
mountain, as we have before related, the vision of the bush, and the
other wonderful appearances, had happened.

CHAPTER 3. That Moses Kindly Received-His Father-In-Law, Jethro, When He
Came To Him To Mount Sinai.

Now when Raguel, Moses's father-in-law, understood in what a prosperous
condition his affairs were, he willingly came to meet him and Moses and
his children, and pleased himself with his coming. And when he had
offered sacrifice, he made a feast for the multitude, near the Bush he
had formerly seen; which multitude, every one according to their
families, partook of the feast. But Aaron and his family took Raguel,
and sung hymns to God, as to Him who had been the author procurer of
their deliverance and their freedom. They also praised their conductor,
as him by whose virtue it was that all things had succeeded with them.
Raguel also, in his eucharistical oration to Moses, made great encomiums
upon the whole multitude; and he could not but admire Moses for his
fortitude, and that humanity he had shewn in the delivery of his

CHAPTER 4. How Raguel Suggested To Moses To Set His People In Order,
Under Their Rulers Of Thousands, And Rulers Of Hundreds, Who Lived
Without Order Before; And How Moses Complied In All Things With His
Father-In-Law's Admonition.

1. The next day, as Raguel saw Moses in the middle of a crowd of
business for he determined the differences of those that referred them
to him, every one still going to him, and supposing that they should
then only obtain justice, if he were the arbitrator; and those that lost
their causes thought it no harm, while they thought they lost them
justly, and not by partiality. Raguel however said nothing to him at
that time, as not desirous to be any hinderance to such as had a mind to
make use of the virtue of their conductor. But afterward he took him to
himself, and when he had him alone, he instructed him in what he ought
to do; and advised him to leave the trouble of lesser causes to others,
but himself to take care of the greater, and of the people's safety, for
that certain others of the Hebrews might be found that were fit to
determine causes, but that nobody but a Moses could take of the safety
of so many ten thousands. "Be therefore," says he, "insensible of thine
own virtue, and what thou hast done by ministering under God to the
people's preservation. Permit, therefore, the determination of common
causes to be done by others, but do thou reserve thyself to the
attendance on God only, and look out for methods of preserving the
multitude from their present distress. Make use of the method I suggest
to you, as to human affairs; and take a review of the army, and appoint
chosen rulers over tens of thousands, and then over thousands; then
divide them into five hundreds, and again into hundreds, and into
fifties; and set rulers over each of them, who may distinguish them into
thirties, and keep them in order; and at last number them by twenties
and by tens: and let there be one commander over each number, to be
denominated from the number of those over whom they are rulers, but such
as the whole multitude have tried, and do approve of, as being good and
righteous men; 8 and let those rulers decide the controversies they have
one with another. But if any great cause arise, let them bring the
cognizance of it before the rulers of a higher dignity; but if any great
difficulty arise that is too hard for even their determination, let them
send it to thee. By these means two advantages will be gained; the
Hebrews will have justice done them, and thou wilt be able to attend
constantly on God, and procure him to be more favorable to the people."

2. This was the admonition of Raguel; and Moses received his advice very
kindly, and acted according to his suggestion. Nor did he conceal the
invention of this method, nor pretend to it himself, but informed the
multitude who it was that invented it: nay, he has named Raguel in the
books he wrote, as the person who invented this ordering of the people,
as thinking it right to give a true testimony to worthy persons,
although he might have gotten reputation by ascribing to himself the
inventions of other men; whence we may learn the virtuous disposition of
Moses: but of such his disposition, we shall have proper occasion to
speak in other places of these books.

CHAPTER 5. How Moses Ascended Up To Mount Sinai, And Received Laws From
God, And Delivered Them To The Hebrews.

1. Now Moses called the multitude together, and told them that he was
going from them unto mount Sinai to converse with God; to receive from
him, and to bring back with him, a certain oracle; but he enjoined them
to pitch their tents near the mountain, and prefer the habitation that
was nearest to God, before one more remote. When he had said this, he
ascended up to Mount Sinai, which is the highest of all the mountains
that are in that country 9 and is not only very difficult to be ascended
by men, on account of its vast altitude, but because of the sharpness of
its precipices also; nay, indeed, it cannot be looked at without pain of
the eyes: and besides this, it was terrible and inaccessible, on account
of the rumor that passed about, that God dwelt there. But the Hebrews
removed their tents as Moses had bidden them, and took possession of the
lowest parts of the mountain; and were elevated in their minds, in
expectation that Moses would return from God with promises of the good
things he had proposed to them. So they feasted and waited for their
conductor, and kept themselves pure as in other respects, and not
accompanying with their wives for three days, as he had before ordered
them to do. And they prayed to God that he would favorably receive Moses
in his conversing with him, and bestow some such gift upon them by which
they might live well. They also lived more plentifully as to their diet;
and put on their wives and children more ornamental and decent clothing
than they usually wore.

2. So they passed two days in this way of feasting; but on the third
day, before the sun was up, a cloud spread itself over the whole camp of
the Hebrews, such a one as none had before seen, and encompassed the
place where they had pitched their tents; and while all the rest of the
air was clear, there came strong winds, that raised up large showers of
rain, which became a mighty tempest. There was also such lightning, as
was terrible to those that saw it; and thunder, with its thunderbolts,
were sent down, and declared God to be there present in a gracious way
to such as Moses desired he should be gracious. Now, as to these
matters, every one of my readers may think as he pleases; but I am under
a necessity of relating this history as it is described in the sacred
books. This sight, and the amazing sound that came to their ears,
disturbed the Hebrews to a prodigious degree, for they were not such as
they were accustomed to; and then the rumor that was spread abroad, how
God frequented that mountain, greatly astonished their minds, so they
sorrowfully contained themselves within their tents, as both supposing
Moses to be destroyed by the Divine wrath, and expecting the like
destruction for themselves.

3. When they were under these apprehensions, Moses appeared as joyful
and greatly exalted. When they saw him, they were freed from their fear,
and admitted of more comfortable hopes as to what was to come. The air
also was become clear and pure of its former disorders, upon the
appearance of Moses; whereupon he called together the people to a
congregation, in order to their hearing what God would say to them: and
when they were gathered together, he stood on an eminence whence they
might all hear him, and said, "God has received me graciously, O
Hebrews, as he has formerly done; and has suggested a happy method of
living for you, and an order of political government, and is now present
in the camp: I therefore charge you, for his sake and the sake of his
works, and what we have done by his means, that you do not put a low
value on what I am going to say, because the commands have been given by
me that now deliver them to you, nor because it is the tongue of a man
that delivers them to you; but if you have a due regard to the great
importance of the things themselves, you will understand the greatness
of Him whose institutions they are, and who has not disdained to
communicate them to me for our common advantage; for it is not to be
supposed that the author of these institutions is barely Moses, the son
of Amram and Jochebed, but He who obliged the Nile to run bloody for
your sakes, and tamed the haughtiness of the Egyptians by various sorts
of judgments; he who provided a way through the sea for us; he who
contrived a method of sending us food from heaven, when we were
distressed for want of it; he who made the water to issue out of a rock,
when we had very little of it before; he by whose means Adam was made to
partake of the fruits both of the land and of the sea; he by whose means
Noah escaped the deluge; he by whose means our forefather Abraham, of a
wandering pilgrim, was made the heir of the land of Canaan; he by whose
means Isaac was born of parents that were very old; he by whose means
Jacob was adorned with twelve virtuous sons; he by whose means Joseph
became a potent lord over the Egyptians; he it is who conveys these
instructions to you by me as his interpreter. And let them be to you
venerable, and contended for more earnestly by you than your own
children and your own wives; for if you will follow them, you will lead
a happy life you will enjoy the land fruitful, the sea calm, and the
fruit of the womb born complete, as nature requires; you will be also
terrible to your enemies for I have been admitted into the presence of
God and been made a hearer of his incorruptible voice so great is his
concern for your nation, and its duration."

4. When he had said this, he brought the people, with their wives and
children, so near the mountain, that they might hear God himself
speaking to them about the precepts which they were to practice; that
the energy of what should be spoken might not be hurt by its utterance
by that tongue of a man, which could but imperfectly deliver it to their
understanding. And they all heard a voice that came to all of them from
above, insomuch that no one of these words escaped them, which Moses
wrote on two tables; which it is not lawful for us to set down directly,
but their import we will declare 10

5. The first commandment teaches us that there is but one God, and that
we ought to worship him only. The second commands us not to make the
image of any living creature to worship it. The third, that we must not
swear by God in a false matter. The fourth, that we must keep the
seventh day, by resting from all sorts of work. The fifth, that we must
honor our parents. The sixth that we must abstain from murder. The
seventh that we must not commit adultery. The eighth, that we must not
be guilty of theft. The ninth, that we must not bear false witness. The
tenth, that we must not admit of the desire of any thing that is

6. Now when the multitude had heard God himself giving those precepts
which Moses had discoursed of, they rejoiced at what was said; and the
congregation was dissolved: but on the following days they came to his
tent, and desired him to bring them, besides, other laws from God.
Accordingly he appointed such laws, and afterwards informed them in what
manner they should act in all cases; which laws I shall make mention of
in their proper time; but I shall reserve most of those laws for another
work, 11 and make there a distinct explication of them.

7. When matters were brought to this state, Moses went up again to Mount
Sinai, of which he had told them beforehand. He made his ascent in their
sight; and while he staid there so long a time, [for he was absent from
them forty days,] fear seized upon the Hebrews, lest Moses should have
come to any harm; nor was there any thing else so sad, and that so much
troubled them, as this supposal that Moses was perished. Now there was a
variety in their sentiments about it; some saying that he was fallen
among wild beasts; and those that were of this opinion were chiefly such
as were ill-disposed to him; but others said that he was departed, and
gone to God; but the wiser sort were led by their reason to embrace
neither of those opinions with any satisfaction, thinking, that as it
was a thing that sometimes happens to men to fall among wild beasts and
perish that way, so it was probable enough that he might depart and go
to God, on account of his virtue; they therefore were quiet, and
expected the event: yet were they exceeding sorry upon the supposal that
they were deprived of a governor and a protector, such a one indeed as
they could never recover again; nor would this suspicion give them leave
to expect any comfortable event about this man, nor could they prevent
their trouble and melancholy upon this occasion. However, the camp durst
not remove all this while, because Moses had bidden them afore to stay

8. But when the forty days, and as many nights, were over, Moses came
down, having tasted nothing of food usually appointed for the
nourishment of men. His appearance filled the army with gladness, and he
declared to them what care God had of them, and by what manner of
conduct of their lives they might live happily; telling them, that
during these days of his absence he had suggested to him also that he
would have a tabernacle built for him, into which he would descend when
he came to them, and how we should carry it about with us when we remove
from this place; and that there would be no longer any occasion for
going up to Mount Sinai, but that he would himself come and pitch his
tabernacle amongst us, and be present at our prayers; as also, that the
tabernacle should be of such measures and construction as he had shown
him, and that you are to fall to the work, and prosecute it diligently.
When he had said this, he showed them the two tables, with the ten
commandments engraven upon them, five upon each table; and the writing
was by the hand of God.

CHAPTER 6. Concerning The Tabernacle Which Moses Built In The Wilderness
For The Honor Of God And Which Seemed To Be A Temple.

1. Hereupon the Israelites rejoiced at what they had seen and heard of
their conductor, and were not wanting in diligence according to their
ability; for they brought silver, and gold, and brass, and of the best
sorts of wood, and such as would not at all decay by putrefaction;
camels' hair also, and sheep-skins, some of them dyed of a blue color,
and some of a scarlet; some brought the flower for the purple color, and
others for white, with wool dyed by the flowers aforementioned; and fine
linen and precious stones, which those that use costly ornaments set in
ouches of gold; they brought also a great quantity of spices; for of
these materials did Moses build the tabernacle, which did not at all
differ from a movable and ambulatory temple. Now when these things were
brought together with great diligence, [for every one was ambitious to
further the work even beyond their ability,] he set architects over the
works, and this by the command of God; and indeed the very same which
the people themselves would have chosen, had the election been allowed
to them. Now their names are set down in writing in the sacred books;
and they were these: Besaleel, the son of Uri, of the tribe of Judah,
the grandson of Miriam, the sister of their conductor and Aholiab, the
son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. Now the people went on with what
they had undertaken with so great alacrity, that Moses was obliged to
restrain them, by making proclamation, that what had been brought was
sufficient, as the artificers had informed him; so they fell to work
upon the building of the tabernacle. Moses also informed them, according
to the direction of God, both what the measures were to be, and its
largeness; and how many vessels it ought to contain for the use of the
sacrifices. The women also were ambitious to do their parts, about the
garments of the priests, and about other things that would be wanted in
this work, both for ornament and for the divine service itself.

2. Now when all things were prepared, the gold, and the silver, and the
brass, and what was woven, Moses, when he had appointed beforehand that
there should be a festival, and that sacrifices should be offered
according to every one's ability, reared up the tabernacle 12 and when
he had measured the open court, fifty cubits broad and a hundred long,
he set up brazen pillars, five cubits high, twenty on each of the longer
sides, and ten pillars for the breadth behind; every one of the pillars
also had a ring. Their chapiters were of silver, but their bases were of
brass: they resembled the sharp ends of spears, and were of brass, fixed
into the ground. Cords were also put through the rings, and were tied at
their farther ends to brass nails of a cubit long, which, at every
pillar, were driven into the floor, and would keep the tabernacle from
being shaken by the violence of winds; but a curtain of fine soft linen
went round all the pillars, and hung down in a flowing and loose manner
from their chapiters, and enclosed the whole space, and seemed not at
all unlike to a wall about it. And this was the structure of three of
the sides of this enclosure; but as for the fourth side, which was fifty
cubits in extent, and was the front of the whole, twenty cubits of it
were for the opening of the gates, wherein stood two pillars on each
side, after the resemblance of open gates. These were made wholly of
silver, and polished, and that all over, excepting the bases, which were
of brass. Now on each side of the gates there stood three pillars, which
were inserted into the concave bases of the gates, and were suited to
them; and round them was drawn a curtain of fine linen; but to the gates
themselves, which were twenty cubits in extent, and five in height, the
curtain was composed of purple, and scarlet, and blue, and fine linen,
and embroidered with many and divers sorts of figures, excepting the
figures of animals. Within these gates was the brazen laver for
purification, having a basin beneath of the like matter, whence the
priests might wash their hands and sprinkle their feet; and this was the
ornamental construction of the enclosure about the court of the
tabernacle, which was exposed to the open air.

3. As to the tabernacle itself, Moses placed it in the middle of that
court, with its front to the east, that, when the sun arose, it might
send its first rays upon it. Its length, when it was set up, was thirty
cubits, and its breadth was twelve [ten] cubits. The one of its walls
was on the south, and the other was exposed to the north, and on the
back part of it remained the west. It was necessary that its height
should be equal to its breadth [ten cubits]. There were also pillars
made of wood, twenty on each side; they were wrought into a quadrangular
figure, in breadth a cubit and a half, but the thickness was four
fingers: they had thin plates of gold affixed to them on both sides,
inwardly and outwardly: they had each of them two tenons belonging to
them, inserted into their bases, and these were of silver, in each of
which bases there was a socket to receive the tenon; but the pillars on
the west wall were six. Now all these tenons and sockets accurately
fitted one another, insomuch that the joints were invisible, and both
seemed to be one entire and united wall. It was also covered with gold,
both within and without. The number of pillars was equal on the opposite
sides, and there were on each part twenty, and every one of them had the
third part of a span in thickness; so that the number of thirty cubits
were fully made up between them; but as to the wall behind, where the
six pillars made up together only nine cubits, they made two other
pillars, and cut them out of one cubit, which they placed in the
corners, and made them equally fine with the other. Now every one of the
pillars had rings of gold affixed to their fronts outward, as if they
had taken root in the pillars, and stood one row over against another
round about, through which were inserted bars gilt over with gold, each
of them five cubits long, and these bound together the pillars, the head
of one bar running into another, after the nature of one tenon inserted
into another; but for the wall behind, there was but one row of bars
that went through all the pillars, into which row ran the ends of the
bars on each side of the longer walls; the male with its female being so
fastened in their joints, that they held the whole firmly together; and
for this reason was all this joined so fast together, that the
tabernacle might not be shaken, either by the winds, or by any other
means, but that it might preserve itself quiet and immovable

4. As for the inside, Moses parted its length into three partitions. At
the distance of ten cubits from the most secret end, Moses placed four
pillars, the workmanship of which was the very same with that of the
rest; and they stood upon the like bases with them, each a small matter
distant from his fellow. Now the room within those pillars was the most
holy place; but the rest of the room was the tabernacle, which was open
for the priests. However, this proportion of the measures of the
tabernacle proved to be an imitation of the system of the world; for
that third part thereof which was within the four pillars, to which the
priests were not admitted, is, as it were, a heaven peculiar to God. But
the space of the twenty cubits, is, as it were, sea and land, on which
men live, and so this part is peculiar to the priests only. But at the
front, where the entrance was made, they placed pillars of gold, that
stood on bases of brass, in number seven; but then they spread over the
tabernacle veils of fine linen and purple, and blue, and scarlet colors,
embroidered. The first veil was ten cubits every way, and this they
spread over the pillars which parted the temple, and kept the most holy
place concealed within; and this veil was that which made this part not
visible to any. Now the whole temple was called The Holy Place: but that
part which was within the four pillars, and to which none were admitted,
was called The Holy of Holies. This veil was very ornamental, and
embroidered with all sorts of flowers which the earth produces; and
there were interwoven into it all sorts of variety that might be an
ornament, excepting the forms of animals. Another veil there was which
covered the five pillars that were at the entrance. It was like the
former in its magnitude, and texture, and color; and at the corner of
every pillar a ring retained it from the top downwards half the depth of
the pillars, the other half affording an entrance for the priests, who
crept under it. Over this there was a veil of linen, of the same
largeness with the former: it was to be drawn this way or that way by
cords, the rings of which, fixed to the texture of the veil, and to the
cords also, were subservient to the drawing and undrawing of the veil,
and to the fastening it at the corner, that then it might be no
hinderance to the view of the sanctuary, especially on solemn days; but
that on other days, and especially when the weather was inclined to
snow, it might be expanded, and afford a covering to the veil of divers
colors. Whence that custom of ours is derived, of having a fine linen
veil, after the temple has been built, to be drawn over the entrances.
But the ten other curtains were four cubits in breadth, and twenty-eight
in length; and had golden clasps, in order to join the one curtain to
the other, which was done so exactly that they seemed to be one entire
curtain. These were spread over the temple, and covered all the top and
parts of the walls, on the sides and behind, so far as within one cubit
of the ground. There were other curtains of the same breadth with these,
but one more in number, and longer, for they were thirty cubits long;
but these were woven of hair, with the like subtilty as those of wool
were made, and were extended loosely down to the ground, appearing like
a triangular front and elevation at the gates, the eleventh curtain
being used for this very purpose. There were also other curtains made of
skins above these, which afforded covering and protection to those that
were woven both in hot weather and when it rained. And great was the
surprise of those who viewed these curtains at a distance, for they
seemed not at all to differ from the color of the sky. But those that
were made of hair and of skins, reached down in the same manner as did
the veil at the gates, and kept off the heat of the sun, and what injury
the rains might do. And after this manner was the tabernacle reared.

5. There was also an ark made, sacred to God, of wood that was naturally
strong, and could not be corrupted. This was called Eron in our own
language. Its construction was thus: its length was five spans, but its
breadth and height was each of them three spans. It was covered all over
with gold, both within and without, so that the wooden part was not
seen. It had also a cover united to it, by golden hinges, after a
wonderful manner; which cover was every way evenly fitted to it, and had
no eminences to hinder its exact conjunction. There were also two golden
rings belonging to each of the longer boards, and passing through the
entire wood, and through them gilt bars passed along each board, that it
might thereby be moved and carried about, as occasion should require;
for it was not drawn in a cart by beasts of burden, but borne on the
shoulders of the priests. Upon this its cover were two images, which the
Hebrews call Cherubims; they are flying creatures, but their form is not
like to that of any of the creatures which men have seen, though Moses
said he had seen such beings near the throne of God. In this ark he put
the two tables whereon the ten commandments were written, five upon each
table, and two and a half upon each side of them; and this ark he placed
in the most holy place.

6. But in the holy place he placed a table, like those at Delphi. Its
length was two cubits, and its breadth one cubit, and its height three
spans. It had feet also, the lower half of which were complete feet,
resembling those which the Dorians put to their bedsteads; but the upper
parts towards the table were wrought into a square form. The table had a
hollow towards every side, having a ledge of four fingers' depth, that
went round about like a spiral, both on the upper and lower part of the
body of the work. Upon every one of the feet was there also inserted a
ring, not far from the cover, through which went bars of wood beneath,
but gilded, to be taken out upon occasion, there being a cavity where it
was joined to the rings; for they were not entire rings; but before they
came quite round they ended in acute points, the one of which was
inserted into the prominent part of the table, and the other into the
foot; and by these it was carried when they journeyed: Upon this table,
which was placed on the north side of the temple, not far from the most
holy place, were laid twelve unleavened loaves of bread, six upon each
heap, one above another: they were made of two tenth-deals of the purest
flour, which tenth-deal [an omer] is a measure of the Hebrews,
containing seven Athenian cotyloe; and above those loaves were put two
vials full of frankincense. Now after seven days other loaves were
brought in their stead, on the day which is by us called the Sabbath;
for we call the seventh day the Sabbath. But for the occasion of this
intention of placing loaves here, we will speak to it in another place.

7. Over against this table, near the southern wall, was set a
candlestick of cast gold, hollow within, being of the weight of one
hundred pounds, which the Hebrews call Chinchares, if it be turned into
the Greek language, it denotes a talent. It was made with its knops, and
lilies, and pomegranates, and bowls [which ornaments amounted to seventy
in all]; by which means the shaft elevated itself on high from a single
base, and spread itself into as many branches as there are planets,
including the sun among them. It terminated in seven heads, in one row,
all standing parallel to one another; and these branches carried seven
lamps, one by one, in imitation of the number of the planets. These
lamps looked to the east and to the south, the candlestick being situate

8. Now between this candlestick and the table, which, as we said, were
within the sanctuary, was the altar of incense, made of wood indeed, but
of the same wood of which the foregoing vessels were made, such as was
not liable to corruption; it was entirely crusted over with a golden
plate. Its breadth on each side was a cubit, but the altitude double.
Upon it was a grate of gold, that was extant above the altar, which had
a golden crown encompassing it round about, whereto belonged rings and
bars, by which the priests carried it when they journeyed. Before this
tabernacle there was reared a brazen altar, but it was within made of
wood, five cubits by measure on each side, but its height was but three,
in like manner adorned with brass plates as bright as gold. It had also
a brazen hearth of network; for the ground underneath received the fire
from the hearth, because it had no basis to receive it. Hard by this
altar lay the basins, and the vials, and the censers, and the caldrons,
made of gold; but the other vessels, made for the use of the sacrifices,
were all of brass. And such was the construction of the tabernacle; and
these were the vessels thereto belonging.

CHAPTER 7. Concerning The Garments Of The Priests, And Of The High

1. There were peculiar garments appointed for the priests, and for all
the rest, which they call Cohanoeoe [-priestly] garments, as also for
the high priests, which they call Cahanoeoe Rabbae, and denote the high
priest's garments. Such was therefore the habit of the rest. But when
the priest approaches the sacrifices, he purifies himself with the
purification which the law prescribes; and, in the first place, he puts
on that which is called Machanase, which means somewhat that is fast
tied. It is a girdle, composed of fine twined linen, and is put about
the privy parts, the feet being to be inserted into them in the nature
of breeches, but above half of it is cut off, and it ends at the thighs,
and is there tied fast.

2. Over this he wore a linen vestment, made of fine flax doubled: it is
called Chethone, and denotes linen, for we call linen by the name of
Chethone. This vestment reaches down to the feet, and sits close to the
body; and has sleeves that are tied fast to the arms: it is girded to
the breast a little above the elbows, by a girdle often going round,
four fingers broad, but so loosely woven, that you would think it were
the skin of a serpent. It is embroidered with flowers of scarlet, and
purple, and blue, and fine twined linen, but the warp was nothing but
fine linen. The beginning of its circumvolution is at the breast; and
when it has gone often round, it is there tied, and hangs loosely there
down to the ankles: I mean this, all the time the priest is not about
any laborious service, for in this position it appears in the most
agreeable manner to the spectators; but when he is obliged to assist at
the offering sacrifices, and to do the appointed service, that he may
not be hindered in his operations by its motion, he throws it to the
left, and bears it on his shoulder. Moses indeed calls this belt
Albaneth; but we have learned from the Babylonians to call it Emia, for
so it is by them called. This vestment has no loose or hollow parts any
where in it, but only a narrow aperture about the neck; and it is tied
with certain strings hanging down from the edge over the breast and
back, and is fastened above each shoulder: it is called Massabazanes.

3. Upon his head he wears a cap, not brought to a conic form nor
encircling the whole head, but still covering more than the half of it,
which is called Masnaemphthes; and its make is such that it seems to be
a crown, being made of thick swathes, but the contexture is of linen;
and it is doubled round many times, and sewed together; besides which, a
piece of fine linen covers the whole cap from the upper part, and
reaches down to the forehead, and hides the seams of the swathes, which
would otherwise appear indecently: this adheres closely upon the solid
part of the head, and is thereto so firmly fixed, that it may not fall
off during the sacred service about the sacrifices. So we have now shown
you what is the habit of the generality of the priests.

4. The high priest is indeed adorned with the same garments that we have
described, without abating one; only over these he puts on a vestment of
a blue color. This also is a long robe, reaching to his feet, [in our
language it is called Meeir,] and is tied round with a girdle,
embroidered with the same colors and flowers as the former, with a
mixture of gold interwoven. To the bottom of which garment are hung
fringes, in color like pomegranates, with golden bells 13 by a curious
and beautiful contrivance; so that between two bells hangs a
pomegranate, and between two pomegranates a bell. Now this vesture was
not composed of two pieces, nor was it sewed together upon the shoulders
and the sides, but it was one long vestment so woven as to have an
aperture for the neck; not an oblique one, but parted all along the
breast and the back. A border also was sewed to it, lest the aperture
should look too indecently: it was also parted where the hands were to
come out.

5. Besides these, the high priest put on a third garment, which was
called the Ephod, which resembles the Epomis of the Greeks. Its make was
after this manner: it was woven to the depth of a cubit, of several
colors, with gold intermixed, and embroidered, but it left the middle of
the breast uncovered: it was made with sleeves also; nor did it appear
to be at all differently made from a short coat. But in the void place
of this garment there was inserted a piece of the bigness of a span,
embroidered with gold, and the other colors of the ephod, and was called
Essen, [the breastplate,] which in the Greek language signifies the
Oracle. This piece exactly filled up the void space in the ephod. It was
united to it by golden rings at every corner, the like rings being
annexed to the ephod, and a blue riband was made use of to tie them
together by those rings; and that the space between the rings might not
appear empty, they contrived to fill it up with stitches of blue
ribands. There were also two sardonyxes upon the ephod, at the
shoulders, to fasten it in the nature of buttons, having each end
running to the sardonyxes of gold, that they might be buttoned by them.
On these were engraven the names of the sons of Jacob, in our own
country letters, and in our own tongue, six on each of the stones, on
either side; and the elder sons' names were on the right shoulder.
Twelve stones also there were upon the breast-plate, extraordinary in
largeness and beauty; and they were an ornament not to be purchased by
men, because of their immense value. These stones, however, stood in
three rows, by four in a row, and were inserted into the breastplate
itself, and they were set in ouches of gold, that were themselves
inserted in the breastplate, and were so made that they might not fall
out. Now the first three stones were a sardonyx, a topaz, and an
emerald. The second row contained a carbuncle, a jasper, and a sapphire.
The first of the third row was a ligure, then an amethyst, and the third
an agate, being the ninth of the whole number. The first of the fourth
row was a chrysolite, the next was an onyx, and then a beryl, which was
the last of all. Now the names of all those sons of Jacob were engraven
in these stones, whom we esteem the heads of our tribes, each stone
having the honor of a name, in the order according to which they were
born. And whereas the rings were too weak of themselves to bear the
weight of the stones, they made two other rings of a larger size, at the
edge of that part of the breastplate which reached to the neck, and
inserted into the very texture of the breastplate, to receive chains
finely wrought, which connected them with golden bands to the tops of
the shoulders, whose extremity turned backwards, and went into the ring,
on the prominent back part of the ephod; and this was for the security
of the breastplate, that it might not fall out of its place. There was
also a girdle sewed to the breastplate, which was of the forementioned
colors, with gold intermixed, which, when it had gone once round, was
tied again upon the seam, and hung down. There were also golden loops
that admitted its fringes at each extremity of the girdle, and included
them entirely.

6. The high priest's mitre was the same that we described before, and
was wrought like that of all the other priests; above which there was
another, with swathes of blue embroidered, and round it was a golden
crown polished, of three rows, one above another; out of which arose a
cup of gold, which resembled the herb which we call Saccharus; but those
Greeks that are skillful in botany call it Hyoscyamus. Now, lest any one
that has seen this herb, but has not been taught its name, and is
unacquainted with its nature, or, having known its name, knows not the
herb when he sees it, I shall give such as these are a description of
it. This herb is oftentimes in tallness above three spans, but its root
is like that of a turnip [for he that should compare it thereto would
not be mistaken]; but its leaves are like the leaves of mint. Out of its
branches it sends out a calyx, cleaving to the branch; and a coat
encompasses it, which it naturally puts off when it is changing, in
order to produce its fruit. This calyx is of the bigness of the bone of
the little finger, but in the compass of its aperture is like a cup.
This I will further describe, for the use of those that are unacquainted
with it. Suppose a sphere be divided into two parts, round at the
bottom, but having another segment that grows up to a circumference from
that bottom; suppose it become narrower by degrees, and that the cavity
of that part grow decently smaller, and then gradually grow wider again
at the brim, such as we see in the navel of a pomegranate, with its
notches. And indeed such a coat grows over this plant as renders it a
hemisphere, and that, as one may say, turned accurately in a lathe, and
having its notches extant above it, which, as I said, grow like a
pomegranate, only that they are sharp, and end in nothing but prickles.
Now the fruit is preserved by this coat of the calyx, which fruit is
like the seed of the herb Sideritis: it sends out a flower that may seem
to resemble that of poppy. Of this was a crown made, as far from the
hinder part of the head to each of the temples; but this Ephielis, for
so this calyx may be called, did not cover the forehead, but it was
covered with a golden plate, 14 which had inscribed upon it the name of
God in sacred characters. And such were the ornaments of the high

7. Now here one may wonder at the ill-will which men bear to us, and
which they profess to bear on account of our despising that Deity which
they pretend to honor; for if any one do but consider the fabric of the
tabernacle, and take a view of the garments of the high priest, and of
those vessels which we make use of in our sacred ministration, he will
find that our legislator was a divine man, and that we are unjustly
reproached by others; for if any one do without prejudice, and with
judgment, look upon these things, he will find they were every one made
in way of imitation and representation of the universe. When Moses
distinguished the tabernacle into three parts, 15 and allowed two of
them to the priests, as a place accessible and common, he denoted the
land and the sea, these being of general access to all; but he set apart
the third division for God, because heaven is inaccessible to men. And
when he ordered twelve loaves to be set on the table, he denoted the
year, as distinguished into so many months. By branching out the
candlestick into seventy parts, he secretly intimated the Decani, or
seventy divisions of the planets; and as to the seven lamps upon the
candlesticks, they referred to the course of the planets, of which that
is the number. The veils, too, which were composed of four things, they
declared the four elements; for the fine linen was proper to signify the
earth, because the flax grows out of the earth; the purple signified the
sea, because that color is dyed by the blood of a sea shell-fish; the
blue is fit to signify the air; and the scarlet will naturally be an
indication of fire. Now the vestment of the high priest being made of
linen, signified the earth; the blue denoted the sky, being like
lightning in its pomegranates, and in the noise of the bells resembling
thunder. And for the ephod, it showed that God had made the universe of
four elements; and as for the gold interwoven, I suppose it related to
the splendor by which all things are enlightened. He also appointed the
breastplate to be placed in the middle of the ephod, to resemble the
earth, for that has the very middle place of the world. And the girdle
which encompassed the high priest round, signified the ocean, for that
goes round about and includes the universe. Each of the sardonyxes
declares to us the sun and the moon; those, I mean, that were in the
nature of buttons on the high priest's shoulders. And for the twelve
stones, whether we understand by them the months, or whether we
understand the like number of the signs of that circle which the Greeks
call the Zodiac, we shall not be mistaken in their meaning. And for the
mitre, which was of a blue color, it seems to me to mean heaven; for how
otherwise could the name of God be inscribed upon it? That it was also
illustrated with a crown, and that of gold also, is because of that
splendor with which God is pleased. Let this explication 16 suffice at
present, since the course of my narration will often, and on many
occasions, afford me the opportunity of enlarging upon the virtue of our

CHAPTER 8. Of The Priesthood Of Aaron.

1. When what has been described was brought to a conclusion, gifts not
being yet presented, God appeared to Moses, and enjoined him to bestow
the high priesthood upon Aaron his brother, as upon him that best of
them all deserved to obtain that honor, on account of his virtue. And
when he had gathered the multitude together, he gave them an account of
Aaron's virtue, and of his good-will to them, and of the dangers he had
undergone for their sakes. Upon which, when they had given testimony to
him in all respects, and showed their readiness to receive him, Moses
said to them, "O you Israelites, this work is already brought to a
conclusion, in a manner most acceptable to God, and according to our
abilities. And now since you see that he is received into this
tabernacle, we shall first of all stand in need of one that may
officiate for us, and may minister to the sacrifices, and to the prayers
that are to be put up for us. And indeed had the inquiry after such a
person been left to me, I should have thought myself worthy of this
honor, both because all men are naturally fond of themselves, and
because I am conscious to myself that I have taken a great deal of pains
for your deliverance; but now God himself has determined that Aaron is
worthy of this honor, and has chosen him for his priest, as knowing him
to be the most righteous person among you. So that he is to put on the
vestments which are consecrated to God; he is to have the care of the
altars, and to make provision for the sacrifices; and he it is that must
put up prayers for you to God, who will readily hear them, not only
because he is himself solicitous for your nation, but also because he
will receive them as offered by one that he hath himself chosen to this
office." The Hebrews were pleased with what was said, and they gave
their approbation to him whom God had ordained; for Aaron was of them
all the most deserving of this honor, on account of his own stock and
gift of prophecy, and his brother's virtue. He had at that time four
sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.17

2. Now Moses commanded them to make use of all the utensils which were
more than were necessary to the structure of the tabernacle, for
covering the tabernacle itself, the candlestick, and altar of incense,
and the other vessels, that they might not be at all hurt when they
journeyed, either by the rain, or by the rising of the dust. And when he
had gathered the multitude together again, he ordained that they should
offer half a shekel for every man, as an oblation to God; which shekel
is a piece among the Hebrews, and is equal to four Athenian drachmae. 18
Whereupon they readily obeyed what Moses had commanded; and the number
of the offerers was six hundred and five thousand five hundred and
fifty. Now this money that was brought by the men that were free, was
given by such as were about twenty years old, but under fifty; and what
was collected was spent in the uses of the tabernacle.

3. Moses now purified the tabernacle and the priests; which purification
was performed after the following manner:—He commanded them to take five
hundred shekels of choice myrrh, an equal quantity of cassia, and half
the foregoing weight of cinnamon and calamus [this last is a sort of
sweet spice]; to beat them small, and wet them with an hin of oil of
olives [an hin is our own country measure, and contains two Athenian
choas, or congiuses]; then mix them together, and boil them, and prepare
them after the art of the apothecary, and make them into a very sweet
ointment; and afterward to take it to anoint and to purify the priests
themselves, and all the tabernacle, as also the sacrifices. There were
also many, and those of various kinds, of sweet spices, that belonged to
the tabernacle, and such as were of very great price, and were brought
to the golden altar of incense; the nature of which I do not now
describe, lest it should be troublesome to my readers; but incense 19
was to be offered twice a-day, both before sun-rising and at sun-
setting. They were also to keep oil already purified for the lamps;
three of which were to give light all day long, 20 upon the sacred
candlestick, before God, and the rest were to be lighted at the evening.

4. Now all was finished. Besaleel and Aholiab appeared to be the most
skillful of the workmen; for they invented finer works than what others
had done before them, and were of great abilities to gain notions of
what they were formerly ignorant of; and of these, Besaleel was judged
to be the best. Now the whole time they were about this work was the
interval of seven months; and after this it was that was ended the first
year since their departure out of Egypt. But at the beginning of the
second year, on the month Xanthicus, as the Macedonians call it, but on
the month Nisan, as the Hebrews call it, on the new moon, they
consecrated the tabernacle, and all its vessels, which I have already

5. Now God showed himself pleased with the work of the Hebrews, and did
not permit their labors to be in vain; nor did he disdain to make use of
what they had made, but he came and sojourned with them, and pitched his
tabernacle in the holy house. And in the following manner did he come to
it:—The sky was clear, but there was a mist over the tabernacle only,
encompassing it, but not with such a very deep and thick cloud as is
seen in the winter season, nor yet in so thin a one as men might be able
to discern any thing through it, but from it there dropped a sweet dew,
and such a one as showed the presence of God to those that desired and
believed it.

6. Now when Moses had bestowed such honorary presents on the workmen, as
it was fit they should receive, who had wrought so well, he offered
sacrifices in the open court of the tabernacle, as God commanded him; a
bull, a ram, and a kid of the goats, for a sin-offering. Now I shall
speak of what we do in our sacred offices in my discourse about
sacrifices; and therein shall inform men in what cases Moses bid us
offer a whole burnt-offering, and in what cases the law permits us to
partake of them as of food. And when Moses had sprinkled Aaron's
vestments, himself, and his sons, with the blood of the beasts that were
slain, and had purified them with spring waters and ointment, they
became God's priests. After this manner did he consecrate them and their
garments for seven days together. The same he did to the tabernacle, and
the vessels thereto belonging, both with oil first incensed, as I said,
and with the blood of bulls and of rams, slain day by day one, according
to its kind. But on the eighth day he appointed a feast for the people,
and commanded them to offer sacrifice according to their ability.
Accordingly they contended one with another, and were ambitious to
exceed each other in the sacrifices which they brought, and so fulfilled
Moses's injunctions. But as the sacrifices lay upon the altar, a sudden
fire was kindled from among them of its own accord, and appeared to the
sight like fire from a flash of lightning, and consumed whatsoever was
upon the altar.

7. Hereupon an affliction befell Aaron, considered as a man and a
father, but was undergone by him with true fortitude; for he had indeed
a firmness of soul in such accidents, and he thought this calamity came
upon him according to God's will: for whereas he had four sons, as I
said before, the two elder of them, Nadab and Abihu, did not bring those
sacrifices which Moses bade them bring, but which they used to offer
formerly, and were burnt to death. Now when the fire rushed upon them,
and began to burn them, nobody could quench it. Accordingly they died in
this manner. And Moses bid their father and their brethren to take up
their bodies, to carry them out of the camp, and to bury them
magnificently. Now the multitude lamented them, and were deeply affected
at this their death, which so unexpectedly befell them. But Moses
entreated their brethren and their father not to be troubled for them,
and to prefer the honor of God before their grief about them; for Aaron
had already put on his sacred garments.

8. But Moses refused all that honor which he saw the multitude ready to
bestow upon him, and attended to nothing else but the service of God. He
went no more up to Mount Sinai; but he went into the tabernacle, and
brought back answers from God for what he prayed for. His habit was also
that of a private man, and in all other circumstances he behaved himself
like one of the common people, and was desirous to appear without
distinguishing himself from the multitude, but would have it known that
he did nothing else but take care of them. He also set down in writing
the form of their government, and those laws by obedience whereto they
would lead their lives so as to please God, and so as to have no
quarrels one among another. However, the laws he ordained were such as
God suggested to him; so I shall now discourse concerning that form of
government, and those laws.

9. I will now treat of what I before omitted, the garment of the high
priest: for he [Moses] left no room for the evil practices of [false]
prophets; but if some of that sort should attempt to abuse the Divine
authority, he left it to God to be present at his sacrifices when he
pleased, and when he pleased to be absent. 21 And he was willing this
should be known, not to the Hebrews only, but to those foreigners also
who were there. For as to those stones, 22 which we told you before, the
high priest bare on his shoulders, which were sardonyxes, [and I think
it needless to describe their nature, they being known to every body,]
the one of them shined out when God was present at their sacrifices; I
mean that which was in the nature of a button on his right shoulder,
bright rays darting out thence, and being seen even by those that were
most remote; which splendor yet was not before natural to the stone.
This has appeared a wonderful thing to such as have not so far indulged
themselves in philosophy, as to despise Divine revelation. Yet will I
mention what is still more wonderful than this: for God declared
beforehand, by those twelve stones which the high priest bare on his
breast, and which were inserted into his breastplate, when they should
be victorious in battle; for so great a splendor shone forth from them
before the army began to march, that all the people were sensible of
God's being present for their assistance. Whence it came to pass that
those Greeks, who had a veneration for our laws, because they could not
possibly contradict this, called that breastplate the Oracle. Now this
breastplate, and this sardonyx, left off shining two hundred years
before I composed this book, God having been displeased at the
transgressions of his laws. Of which things we shall further discourse
on a fitter opportunity; but I will now go on with my proposed

10. The tabernacle being now consecrated, and a regular order being
settled for the priests, the multitude judged that God now dwelt among
them, and betook themselves to sacrifices and praises to God as being
now delivered from all expectation of evils and as entertaining a
hopeful prospect of better times hereafter. They offered also gifts to
God some as common to the whole nation, and others as peculiar to
themselves, and these tribe by tribe; for the heads of the tribes
combined together, two by two, and brought a waggon and a yoke of oxen.
These amounted to six, and they carried the tabernacle when they
journeyed. Besides which, each head of a tribe brought a bowl, and a
charger, and a spoon, of ten darics, full of incense. Now the charger
and the bowl were of silver, and together they weighed two hundred
shekels, but the bowl cost no more than seventy shekels; and these were
full of fine flour mingled with oil, such as they used on the altar
about the sacrifices. They brought also a young bullock, and a ram, with
a lamb of a year old, for a whole burnt-offering, as also a goat for the
forgiveness of sins. Every one of the heads of the tribes brought also
other sacrifices, called peace-offerings, for every day two bulls, and
five rams, with lambs of a year old, and kids of the goats. These heads
of tribes were twelve days in sacrificing, one sacrificing every day.
Now Moses went no longer up to Mount Sinai, but went into the
tabernacle, and learned of God what they were to do, and what laws
should be made; which laws were preferable to what have been devised by
human understanding, and proved to be firmly observed for all time to
come, as being believed to be the gift of God, insomuch that the Hebrews
did not transgress any of those laws, either as tempted in times of
peace by luxury, or in times of war by distress of affairs. But I say no
more here concerning them, because I have resolved to compose another
work concerning our laws.

CHAPTER 9. The Manner Of Our Offering Sacrifices.

1. I Will now, however, make mention of a few of our laws which belong
to purifications, and the like sacred offices, since I am accidentally
come to this matter of sacrifices. These sacrifices were of two sorts;
of those sorts one was offered for private persons, and the other for
the people in general; and they are done in two different ways. In the
one case, what is slain is burnt, as a whole burnt-offering, whence that
name is given to it; but the other is a thank-offering, and is designed
for feasting those that sacrifice. I will speak of the former. Suppose a
private man offer a burnt-offering, he must slay either a bull, a lamb,
or a kid of the goats, and the two latter of the first year, though of
bulls he is permitted to sacrifice those of a greater age; but all
burnt-offerings are to be of males. When they are slain, the priests
sprinkle the blood round about the altar; they then cleanse the bodies,
and divide them into parts, and salt them with salt, and lay them upon
the altar, while the pieces of wood are piled one upon another, and the
fire is burning; they next cleanse the feet of the sacrifices, and the
inwards, in an accurate manner and so lay them to the rest to be purged
by the fire, while the priests receive the hides. This is the way of
offering a burnt-offering.

2. But those that offer thank-offerings do indeed sacrifice the same
creatures, but such as are unblemished, and above a year old; however,
they may take either males or females. They also sprinkle the altar with
their blood; but they lay upon the altar the kidneys and the caul, and
all the fat, and the lobe of the liver, together with the rump of the
lamb; then, giving the breast and the right shoulder to the priests, the
offerers feast upon the remainder of the flesh for two days; and what
remains they burn.

3. The sacrifices for sins are offered in the same manner as is the
thank-offering. But those who are unable to purchase complete
sacrifices, offer two pigeons, or turtle doves; the one of which is made
a burnt-offering to God, the other they give as food to the priests. But
we shall treat more accurately about the oblation of these creatures in
our discourse concerning sacrifices. But if a person fall into sin by
ignorance, he offers an ewe lamb, or a female kid of the goats, of the
same age; and the priests sprinkle the blood at the altar, not after the
former manner, but at the corners of it. They also bring the kidneys and
the rest of the fat, together with the lobe of the liver, to the altar,
while the priests bear away the hides and the flesh, and spend it in the
holy place, on the same day; 23 for the law does not permit them to
leave of it until the morning. But if any one sin, and is conscious of
it himself, but hath nobody that can prove it upon him, he offers a ram,
the law enjoining him so to do; the flesh of which the priests eat, as
before, in the holy place, on the same day. And if the rulers offer
sacrifices for their sins, they bring the same oblations that private
men do; only they so far differ, that they are to bring for sacrifices a
bull or a kid of the goats, both males.

4. Now the law requires, both in private and public sacrifices, that the
finest flour be also brought; for a lamb the measure of one tenth
deal,—for a ram two,—and for a bull three. This they consecrate upon the
altar, when it is mingled with oil; for oil is also brought by those
that sacrifice; for a bull the half of an hin, and for a ram the third
part of the same measure, and one quarter of it for a lamb. This hin is
an ancient Hebrew measure, and is equivalent to two Athenian choas [or
congiuses]. They bring the same quantity of oil which they do of wine,
and they pour the wine about the altar; but if any one does not offer a
complete sacrifice of animals, but brings fine flour only for a vow, he
throws a handful upon the altar as its first-fruits, while the priests
take the rest for their food, either boiled or mingled with oil, but
made into cakes of bread. But whatsoever it be that a priest himself
offers, it must of necessity be all burnt. Now the law forbids us to
sacrifice any animal at the same time with its dam; and, in other cases,
not till the eighth day after its birth. Other sacrifices there are also
appointed for escaping distempers, or for other occasions, in which
meat-offerings are consumed, together with the animals that are
sacrificed; of which it is not lawful to leave any part till the next
day, only the priests are to take their own share.

CHAPTER 10. Concerning The Festivals; And How Each Day Of Such Festival
Is To Be Observed.

1. The law requires, that out of the public expenses a lamb of the first
year be killed every day, at the beginning and at the ending of the day;
but on the seventh day, which is called the Sabbath, they kill two, and
sacrifice them in the same manner. At the new moon, they both perform
the daily sacrifices, and slay two bulls, with seven lambs of the first
year, and a kid of the goats also, for the expiation of sins; that is,
if they have sinned through ignorance.

2. But on the seventh month, which the Macedonians call Hyperberetaeus,
they make an addition to those already mentioned, and sacrifice a bull,
a ram, and seven lambs, and a kid of the goats, for sins.

3. On the tenth day of the same lunar month, they fast till the evening;
and this day they sacrifice a bull, and two rams, and seven lambs, and a
kid of the goats, for sins. And, besides these, they bring two kids of
the goats; the one of which is sent alive out of the limits of the camp
into the wilderness for the scapegoat, and to be an expiation for the
sins of the whole multitude; but the other is brought into a place of
great cleanness, within the limits of the camp, and is there burnt, with
its skin, without any sort of cleansing. With this goat was burnt a
bull, not brought by the people, but by the high priest, at his own
charges; which, when it was slain, he brought of the blood into the holy
place, together with the blood of the kid of the goats, and sprinkled
the ceiling with his finger seven times, as also its pavement, and again
as often toward the most holy place, and about the golden altar: he also
at last brings it into the open court, and sprinkles it about the great
altar. Besides this, they set the extremities, and the kidneys, and the
fat, with the lobe of the liver, upon the altar. The high priest
likewise presents a ram to God as a burnt-offering.

4. Upon the fifteenth day of the same month, when the season of the year
is changing for winter, the law enjoins us to pitch tabernacles in every
one of our houses, so that we preserve ourselves from the cold of that
time of the year; as also that when we should arrive at our own country,
and come to that city which we should have then for our metropolis,
because of the temple therein to be built, and keep a festival for eight
days, and offer burnt-offerings, and sacrifice thank-offerings, that we
should then carry in our hands a branch of myrtle, and willow, and a
bough of the palm-tree, with the addition of the pome citron: That the
burnt-offering on the first of those days was to be a sacrifice of
thirteen bulls, and fourteen lambs, and fifteen rams, with the addition
of a kid of the goats, as an expiation for sins; and on the following
days the same number of lambs, and of rams, with the kids of the goats;
but abating one of the bulls every day till they amounted to seven only.
On the eighth day all work was laid aside, and then, as we said before,
they sacrificed to God a bullock, a ram, and seven lambs, with a kid of
the goats, for an expiation of sins. And this is the accustomed
solemnity of the Hebrews, when they pitch their tabernacles.24

5. In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called Nisan, and is the
beginning of our year, on the fourteenth day of the lunar month, when
the sun is in Aries, [for in this month it was that we were delivered
from bondage under the Egyptians,] the law ordained that we should every
year slay that sacrifice which I before told you we slew when we came
out of Egypt, and which was called the Passover; and so we do celebrate
this passover in companies, leaving nothing of what we sacrifice till
the day following. The feast of unleavened bread succeeds that of the
passover, and falls on the fifteenth day of the month, and continues
seven days, wherein they feed on unleavened bread; on every one of which
days two bulls are killed, and one ram, and seven lambs. Now these lambs
are entirely burnt, besides the kid of the goats which is added to all
the rest, for sins; for it is intended as a feast for the priest on
every one of those days. But on the second day of unleavened bread,
which is the sixteenth day of the month, they first partake of the
fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them. And
while they suppose it proper to honor God, from whom they obtain this
plentiful provision, in the first place, they offer the first-fruits of
their barley, and that in the manner following: They take a handful of
the ears, and dry them, then beat them small, and purge the barley from
the bran; they then bring one tenth deal to the altar, to God; and,
casting one handful of it upon the fire, they leave the rest for the use
of the priest. And after this it is that they may publicly or privately
reap their harvest. They also at this participation of the first-fruits
of the earth, sacrifice a lamb, as a burnt-offering to God.

6. When a week of weeks has passed over after this sacrifice, [which
weeks contain forty and nine days,] on the fiftieth day, which is
Pentecost, but is called by the Hebrews Asartha, which signifies
Pentecost, they bring to God a loaf, made of wheat flour, of two tenth
deals, with leaven; and for sacrifices they bring two lambs; and when
they have only presented them to God, they are made ready for supper for
the priests; nor is it permitted to leave any thing of them till the day
following. They also slay three bullocks for a burnt-offering, and two
rams; and fourteen lambs, with two kids of the goats, for sins; nor is
there anyone of the festivals but in it they offer burnt-offerings; they
also allow themselves to rest on every one of them. Accordingly, the law
prescribes in them all what kinds they are to sacrifice, and how they
are to rest entirely, and must slay sacrifices, in order to feast upon

7. However, out of the common charges, baked bread [was set on the table
of shew-bread], without leaven, of twenty-four tenth deals of flour, for
so much is spent upon this bread; two heaps of these were baked, they
were baked the day before the sabbath, but were brought into the holy
place on the morning of the sabbath, and set upon the holy table, six on
a heap, one loaf still standing over against another; where two golden
cups full of frankincense were also set upon them, and there they
remained till another sabbath, and then other loaves were brought in
their stead, while the loaves were given to the priests for their food,
and the frankincense was burnt in that sacred fire wherein all their
offerings were burnt also; and so other frankincense was set upon the
loaves instead of what was there before. The high priest also, of his
own charges, offered a sacrifice, and that twice every day. It was made
of flour mingled with oil, and gently baked by the fire; the quantity
was one tenth deal of flour; he brought the half of it to the fire in
the morning, and the other half at night. The account of these
sacrifices I shall give more accurately hereafter; but I think I have
premised what for the present may be sufficient concerning them.

CHAPTER 11. Of The Purifications.

1. Moses took out the tribe of Levi from communicating with the rest of
the people, and set them apart to be a holy tribe; and purified them by
water taken from perpetual springs, and with such sacrifices as were
usually offered to God on the like occasions. He delivered to them also
the tabernacle, and the sacred vessels, and the other curtains, which
were made for covering the tabernacle, that they might minister under
the conduct of the priests, who had been already consecrated to God.

2. He also determined concerning animals; which of them might be used
for food, and which they were obliged to abstain from; which matters,
when this work shall give me occasion, shall be further explained; and
the causes shall be added by which he was moved to allot some of them to
be our food, and enjoined us to abstain from others. However, he
entirely forbade us the use of blood for food, and esteemed it to
contain the soul and spirit. He also forbade us to eat the flesh of an
animal that died of itself, as also the caul, and the fat of goats, and
sheep, and bulls.

3. He also ordered that those whose bodies were afflicted with leprosy,
and that had a gonorrhea, should not come into the city; nay, he removed
the women, when they had their natural purgations, till the seventh day;
after which he looked on them as pure, and permitted them to come in
again. The law permits those also who have taken care of funerals to
come in after the same manner, when this number of days is over; but if
any continued longer than that number of days in a state of pollution,
the law appointed the offering two lambs for a sacrifice; the one of
which they are to purge by fire, and for the other, the priests take it
for themselves. In the same manner do those sacrifice who have had the
gonorrhea. But he that sheds his seed in his sleep, if he go down into
cold water, has the same privilege with those that have lawfully
accompanied with their wives. And for the lepers, he suffered them not
to come into the city at all, nor to live with any others, as if they
were in effect dead persons; but if any one had obtained by prayer to
God, the recovery from that distemper, and had gained a healthful
complexion again, such a one returned thanks to God, with several sorts
of sacrifices; concerning which we will speak hereafter.

4. Whence one cannot but smile at those who say that Moses was himself
afflicted with the leprosy when he fled out of Egypt, and that he became
the conductor of those who on that account left that country, and led
them into the land of Canaan; for had this been true, Moses would not
have made these laws to his own dishonor, which indeed it was more
likely he would have opposed, if others had endeavored to introduce
them; and this the rather, because there are lepers in many nations, who
yet are in honor, and not only free from reproach and avoidance, but who
have been great captains of armies, and been intrusted with high offices
in the commonwealth, and have had the privilege of entering into holy
places and temples; so that nothing hindered, but if either Moses
himself, or the multitude that was with him, had been liable to such a
misfortune in the color of his skin, he might have made laws about them
for their credit and advantage, and have laid no manner of difficulty
upon them. Accordingly, it is a plain case, that it is out of violent
prejudice only that they report these things about us. But Moses was
pure from any such distemper, and lived with countrymen who were pure of
it also, and thence made the laws which concerned others that had the
distemper. He did this for the honor of God. But as to these matters,
let every one consider them after what manner he pleases.

5. As to the women, when they have born a child, Moses forbade them to
come into the temple, or touch the sacrifices, before forty days were
over, supposing it to be a boy; but if she hath born a girl, the law is
that she cannot be admitted before twice that number of days be over.
And when after the before-mentioned time appointed for them, they
perform their sacrifices, the priests distribute them before God.

6. But if any one suspect that his wife has been guilty of adultery, he
was to bring a tenth deal of barley flour; they then cast one handful to
God and gave the rest of it to the priests for food. One of the priests
set the woman at the gates that are turned towards the temple, and took
the veil from her head, and wrote the name of God on parchment, and
enjoined her to swear that she had not at all injured her husband; and
to wish that, if she had violated her chastity, her right thigh might be
put out of joint; that her belly might swell; and that she might die
thus: but that if her husband, by the violence of his affection, and of
the jealousy which arose from it, had been rashly moved to this
suspicion, that she might bear a male child in the tenth month. Now when
these oaths were over, the priest wiped the name of God out of the
parchment, and wrung the water into a vial. He also took some dust out
of the temple, if any happened to be there, and put a little of it into
the vial, and gave it her to drink; whereupon the woman, if she were
unjustly accused, conceived with child, and brought it to perfection in
her womb: but if she had broken her faith of wedlock to her husband, and
had sworn falsely before God, she died in a reproachful manner; her
thigh fell off from her, and her belly swelled with a dropsy. And these
are the ceremonies about sacrifices, and about the purifications thereto
belonging, which Moses provided for his countrymen. He also prescribed
the following laws to them:—

CHAPTER 12. Several Laws.

1. As for adultery, Moses forbade it entirely, as esteeming it a happy
thing that men should be wise in the affairs of wedlock; and that it was
profitable both to cities and families that children should be known to
be genuine. He also abhorred men's lying with their mothers, as one of
the greatest crimes; and the like for lying with the father's wife, and
with aunts, and sisters, and sons' wives, as all instances of abominable
wickedness. He also forbade a man to lie with his wife when she was
defiled by her natural purgation: and not to come near brute beasts; nor
to approve of the lying with a male, which was to hunt after unlawful
pleasures on account of beauty. To those who were guilty of such
insolent behavior, he ordained death for their punishment.

2. As for the priests, he prescribed to them a double degree of purity
25 for he restrained them in the instances above, and moreover forbade
them to marry harlots. He also forbade them to marry a slave, or a
captive, and such as got their living by cheating trades, and by keeping
inns; as also a woman parted from her husband, on any account
whatsoever. Nay, he did not think it proper for the high priest to marry
even the widow of one that was dead, though he allowed that to the
priests; but he permitted him only to marry a virgin, and to retain her.
Whence it is that the high priest is not to come near to one that is
dead, although the rest are not prohibited from coming near to their
brethren, or parents, or children, when they are dead; but they are to
be unblemished in all respects. He ordered that the priest who had any
blemish, should have his portion indeed among the priests, but he
forbade him to ascend the altar, or to enter into the holy house. He
also enjoined them, not only to observe purity in their sacred
ministrations, but in their daily conversation, that it might be
unblamable also. And on this account it is that those who wear the
sacerdotal garments are without spot, and eminent for their purity and
sobriety: nor are they permitted to drink wine so long as they wear
those garments. 26 Moreover, they offer sacrifices that are entire, and
have no defect whatsoever.

3. And truly Moses gave them all these precepts, being such as were
observed during his own lifetime; but though he lived now in the
wilderness, yet did he make provision how they might observe the same
laws when they should have taken the land of Canaan. He gave them rest
to the land from ploughing and planting every seventh year, as he had
prescribed to them to rest from working every seventh day; and ordered,
that then what grew of its own accord out of the earth should in common
belong to all that pleased to use it, making no distinction in that
respect between their own countrymen and foreigners: and he ordained,
that they should do the same after seven times seven years, which in all
are fifty years; and that fiftieth year is called by the Hebrews The
Jubilee, wherein debtors are freed from their debts, and slaves are set
at liberty; which slaves became such, though they were of the same
stock, by transgressing some of those laws the punishment of which was
not capital, but they were punished by this method of slavery. This year
also restores the land to its former possessors in the manner
following:—When the Jubilee is come, which name denotes liberty, he that
sold the land, and he that bought it, meet together, and make an
estimate, on one hand, of the fruits gathered; and, on the other hand,
of the expenses laid out upon it. If the fruits gathered come to more
than the expenses laid out, he that sold it takes the land again; but if
the expenses prove more than the fruits, the present possessor receives
of the former owner the difference that was wanting, and leaves the land
to him; and if the fruits received, and the expenses laid out, prove
equal to one another, the present possessor relinquishes it to the
former owners. Moses would have the same law obtain as to those houses
also which were sold in villages; but he made a different law for such
as were sold in a city; for if he that sold it tendered the purchaser
his money again within a year, he was forced to restore it; but in case
a whole year had intervened, the purchaser was to enjoy what he had
bought. This was the constitution of the laws which Moses learned of God
when the camp lay under Mount Sinai, and this he delivered in writing to
the Hebrews.

4. Now when this settlement of laws seemed to be well over, Moses
thought fit at length to take a review of the host, as thinking it
proper to settle the affairs of war. So he charged the heads of the
tribes, excepting the tribe of Levi, to take an exact account of the
number of those that were able to go to war; for as to the Levites, they
were holy, and free from all such burdens. Now when the people had been
numbered, there were found six hundred thousand that were able to go to
war, from twenty to fifty years of age, besides three thousand six
hundred and fifty. Instead of Levi, Moses took Manasseh, the son of
Joseph, among the heads of tribes; and Ephraim instead of Joseph. It was
indeed the desire of Jacob himself to Joseph, that he would give him his
sons to be his own by adoption, as I have before related.

5. When they set up the tabernacle, they received it into the midst of
their camp, three of the tribes pitching their tents on each side of it;
and roads were cut through the midst of these tents. It was like a well-
appointed market; and every thing was there ready for sale in due order;
and all sorts of artificers were in the shops; and it resembled nothing
so much as a city that sometimes was movable, and sometimes fixed. The
priests had the first places about the tabernacle; then the Levites,
who, because their whole multitude was reckoned from thirty days old,
were twenty-three thousand eight hundred and eighty males; and during
the time that the cloud stood over the tabernacle, they thought proper
to stay in the same place, as supposing that God there inhabited among
them; but when that removed, they journeyed also.

6. Moreover, Moses was the inventor of the form of their trumpet, which
was made of silver. Its description is this:—In length it was little
less than a cubit. It was composed of a narrow tube, somewhat thicker
than a flute, but with so much breadth as was sufficient for admission
of the breath of a man's mouth: it ended in the form of a bell, like
common trumpets. Its sound was called in the Hebrew tongue Asosra. Two
of these being made, one of them was sounded when they required the
multitude to come together to congregations. When the first of them gave
a signal, the heads of the tribes were to assemble, and consult about
the affairs to them properly belonging; but when they gave the signal by
both of them, they called the multitude together. Whenever the
tabernacle was removed, it was done in this solemn order:—At the first
alarm of the trumpet, those whose tents were on the east quarter
prepared to remove; when the second signal was given, those that were on
the south quarter did the like; in the next place, the tabernacle was
taken to pieces, and was carried in the midst of six tribes that went
before, and of six that followed, all the Levites assisting about the
tabernacle; when the third signal was given, that part which had their
tents towards the west put themselves in motion; and at the fourth
signal those on the north did so likewise. They also made use of these
trumpets in their sacred ministrations, when they were bringing their
sacrifices to the altar as well on the Sabbaths as on the rest of the
[festival] days; and now it was that Moses offered that sacrifice which
was called the Passover in the Wilderness, as the first he had offered
after the departure out of Egypt.

CHAPTER 13. Moses Removed From Mount Sinai, And Conducted The People To
The Borders Of The Canaanites.

A Little while afterwards he rose up, and went from Mount Sinai; and,
having passed through several mansions, of which we will speak he came
to a place called Hazeroth, where the multitude began again to be
mutinous, and to Moses for the misfortunes they had suffered their
travels; and that when he had persuaded to leave a good land, they at
once had lost land, and instead of that happy state he had them, they
were still wandering in their miserable condition, being already in want
of water; and if the manna should happen to fail, must then utterly
perish. Yet while they spake many and sore things against the there was
one of them who exhorted them to be unmindful of Moses, and of what
great pains he had been at about their common safety; not to despair of
assistance from God. The multitude thereupon became still more unruly,
and mutinous against Moses than before. Hereupon Moses, although he was
so basely abused by them encouraged them in their despairing conditioned
and promised that he would procure them a quantity of flesh-meat, and
that not for a few days only, but for many days. This they were not to
believe; and when one of them asked, whence he could obtain such vast
plenty of what he promised, he replied, "Neither God nor I, we hear such
opprobrious language from will leave off our labors for you; and this
soon appear also." As soon as ever he had said this, the whole camp was
filled with quails, they stood round about them, and gathered great
numbers. However, it was not long ere God punished the Hebrews for their
insolence, those reproaches they had used towards him, no small number
of them died; and still to this day the place retains the memory of this
destruction and is named Kibrothhattaavah, which is, Graves of Lust.

CHAPTER 14. How Moses Sent Some Persons To Search Out The Land Of The
Canaanites, And The Largeness Of Their Cities; And Further That When
Those Who Were Sent Were Returned, After Forty Days And Reported That
They Should Not Be A Match For Them, And Extolled The Strength Of The
Canaanites The Multitude Were Disturbed And Fell Into Despair; And Were
Resolved To Stone Moses, And To Return Back Again Into Egypt, And Serve
The Egyptians.

1. When Moses had led the Hebrews away from thence to a place called
Paran, which was near to the borders of the Canaanites, and a place
difficult to be continued in, he gathered the multitude together to a
congregation; and standing in the midst of them, he said, "Of the two
things that God determined to bestow upon us, liberty, and the
possession of a Happy Country, the one of them ye already are partakers
of, by the gift of God, and the other you will quickly obtain; for we
now have our abode near the borders of the Canaanites, and nothing can
hinder the acquisition of it, when we now at last are fallen upon it: I
say, not only no king nor city, but neither the whole race of mankind,
if they were all gathered together, could do it. Let us therefore
prepare ourselves for the work, for the Canaanites will not resign up
their land to us without fighting, but it must be wrested from them by
great struggles in war. Let us then send spies, who may take a view of
the goodness of the land, and what strength it is of; but, above all
things, let us be of one mind, and let us honor God, who above all is
our helper and assister."

2. When Moses had said thus, the multitude requited him with marks of
respect; and chose twelve spies, of the most eminent men, one out of
each tribe, who, passing over all the land of Canaan, from the borders
of Egypt, came to the city Hamath, and to Mount Lebanon; and having
learned the nature of the land, and of its inhabitants, they came home,
having spent forty days in the whole work. They also brought with them
of the fruits which the land bare; they also showed them the excellency
of those fruits, and gave an account of the great quantity of the good
things that land afforded, which were motives to the multitude to go to
war. But then they terrified them again with the great difficulty there
was in obtaining it; that the rivers were so large and deep that they
could not be passed over; and that the hills were so high that they
could not travel along for them; that the cities were strong with walls,
and their firm fortifications round about them. They told them also,
that they found at Hebron the posterity of the giants. Accordingly these
spies, who had seen the land of Canaan, when they perceived that all
these difficulties were greater there than they had met with since they
came out of Egypt, they were affrighted at them themselves, and
endeavored to affright the multitude also.

3. So they supposed, from what they had heard, that it was impossible to
get the possession of the country. And when the congregation was
dissolved, they, their wives and children, continued their lamentation,
as if God would not indeed assist them, but only promised them fair.
They also again blamed Moses, and made a clamor against him and his
brother Aaron, the high priest. Accordingly they passed that night very
ill, and with contumelious language against them; but in the morning
they ran to a congregation, intending to stone Moses and Aaron, and so
to return back into Egypt.

4. But of the spies, there were Joshua the son of Nun, of the tribe of
Ephraim, and Caleb of the tribe of Judah, that were afraid of the
consequence, and came into the midst of them, and stilled the multitude,
and desired them to be of good courage; and neither to condemn God, as
having told them lies, nor to hearken to those who had affrighted them,
by telling them what was not true concerning the Canaanites, but to
those that encouraged them to hope for good success; and that they
should gain possession of the happiness promised them, because neither
the height of mountains, nor the depth of rivers, could hinder men of
true courage from attempting them, especially while God would take care
of them beforehand, and be assistant to them. "Let us then go," said
they, "against our enemies, and have no suspicion of ill success,
trusting in God to conduct us, and following those that are to be our
leaders." Thus did these two exhort them, and endeavor to pacify the
rage they were in. But Moses and Aaron fell on the ground, and besought
God, not for their own deliverance, but that he would put a stop to what
the people were unwarily doing, and would bring their minds to a quiet
temper, which were now disordered by their present passion. The cloud
also did now appear, and stood over the tabernacle, and declared to them
the presence of God to be there.

CHAPTER 15. How Moses Was Displeased At This, And Foretold That God Was
Angry And That They Should Continue In The Wilderness For Forty Years
And Not, During That Time, Either Return Into Egypt Or Take Possession
Of Canaan.

1. Moses came now boldly to the multitude, and informed them that God
was moved at their abuse of him, and would inflict punishment upon them,
not indeed such as they deserved for their sins, but such as parents
inflict on their children, in order to their correction. For, he said,
that when he was in the tabernacle, and was bewailing with ears that
destruction which was coming upon them God put him in mind what things
he had done for them, and what benefits they had received from him, and
yet how ungrateful they had been to him that just now they had been
induced, through the timorousness of the spies, to think that their
words were truer than his own promise to them; and that on this account,
though he would not indeed destroy them all, nor utterly exterminate
their nation, which he had honored more than any other part of mankind,
yet he would not permit them to take possession of the land of Canaan,
nor enjoy its happiness; but would make them wander in the wilderness,
and live without a fixed habitation, and without a city, for forty years
together, as a punishment for this their transgression; but that he had
promised to give that land to our children, and that he would make them
the possessors of those good things which, by your ungoverned passions,
you have deprived yourselves of.

2. When Moses had discoursed thus to them according to the direction of
God, the multitude grieved, and were in affliction; and entreated Most
to procure their reconciliation to God, and to permit them no longer to
wander in the wilderness, but bestow cities upon them. But he replied,
that God would not admit of any such trial, for that God was not moved
to this determination from any human levity or anger, but that he had
judicially condemned them to that punishment. Now we are not to
disbelieve that Moses, who was but a single person, pacified so many ten
thousands when they were in anger, and converted them to a mildness
temper; for God was with him, and prepared way to his persuasions of the
multitude; and as they had often been disobedient, they were now
sensible that such disobedience was disadvantageous to them and that
they had still thereby fallen into calamities.

3. But this man was admirable for his virtue, and powerful in making men
give credit to what he delivered, not only during the time of his
natural life, but even there is still no one of the Hebrews who does not
act even now as if Moses were present, and ready to punish him if he
should do any thing that is indecent; nay, there is no one but is
obedient to what laws he ordained, although they might be concealed in
their transgressions. There are also many other demonstrations that his
power was more than human, for still some there have been, who have come
from the parts beyond Euphrates, a journey of four months, through many
dangers, and at great expenses, in honor of our temple; and yet, when
they had offered their oblations, could not partake of their own
sacrifices, because Moses had forbidden it, by somewhat in the law that
did not permit them, or somewhat that had befallen them, which our
ancient customs made inconsistent therewith; some of these did not
sacrifice at all, and others left their sacrifices in an imperfect
condition; many were not able, even at first, so much as to enter the
temple, but went their ways in this as preferring a submission to the
laws of Moses before the fulfilling of their own inclinations, they had
no fear upon them that anybody could convict them, but only out of a
reverence to their own conscience. Thus this legislation, which appeared
to be divine, made this man to be esteemed as one superior to his own
nature. Nay, further, a little before the beginning of this war, when
Claudius was emperor of the Romans, and Ismael was our high priest, and
when so great a famine 27 was come upon us, that one tenth deal [of
wheat] was sold for four drachmae, and when no less than seventy cori of
flour were brought into the temple, at the feast of unleavened bread,
[these cori are thirty-one Sicilian, but forty-one Athenian medimni,]
not one of the priests was so hardy as to eat one crumb of it, even
while so great a distress was upon the land; and this out of a dread of
the law, and of that wrath which God retains against acts of wickedness,
even when no one can accuse the actors. Whence we are not to wonder at
what was then done, while to this very day the writings left by Moses
have so great a force, that even those that hate us do confess, that he
who established this settlement was God, and that it was by the means of
Moses, and of his virtue; but as to these matters, let every one take
them as he thinks fit.


1 (return) [ Dr. Bernard takes notice here, that this place Mar, where
the waters were bitter, is called by the Syrians and Arabians Mariri,
and by the Syrians sometimes Morath, all derived from the Hebrew Mar. He
also takes notice, that it is called The Bitter Fountain by Pliny
himself; which waters remain there to this day, and are still bitter, as
Thevenot assures us and that there are also abundance of palm-trees. See
his Travels, Part I. ch. 26. p. 166.]

2 (return) [ The additions here to Moses's account of the sweetening of
the waters at Marah, seem derived from some ancient profane author, and
he such an author also as looks less authentic than are usually followed
by Josephus. Philo has not a syllable of these additions, nor any other
ancienter writer that we know of. Had Josephus written these his
Antiquities for the use of Jews, he would hardly have given them these
very improbable circumstances; but writing to Gentiles, that they might
not complain of his omission of any accounts of such miracles derived
from Gentiles, he did not think proper to conceal what he had met with
there about this matter. Which procedure is perfectly agreeable to the
character and usage of Josephus upon many occasions. This note is, I
confess, barely conjectural; and since Josephus never tells us when his
own copy, taken out of the temple, had such additions, or when any
ancient notes supplied them; or indeed when they are derived from
Jewish, and when from Gentile antiquity,—we can go no further than bare
conjectures in such cases; only the notions of Jews were generally so
different from those of Gentiles, that we may sometimes make no
improbable conjectures to which sort such additions belong. See also
somewhat like these additions in Josephus's account of Elisha's making
sweet the bitter and barren spring near Jericho, War, B. IV. ch. 8.
sect. 3.]

3 (return) [ It seems to me, from what Moses, Exodus 16:18, St. Paul, 2
Corinthians 8:15, and Josephus here say, compared together, that the
quantity of manna that fell daily, and did not putrefy, was just so much
as came to an omer apiece, through the whole host of Israel, and no

4 (return) [ This supposal, that the sweet honey-dew or manna, so
celebrated in ancient and modern authors, as falling usually in Arabia,
was of the very same sort with this manna sent to the Israelites, savors
more of Gentilism than of Judaism or Christianity. It is not improbable
that some ancient Gentile author, read by Josephus, so thought; nor
would he here contradict him; though just before, and Antiq. B. IV. ch.
3. sect. 2, he seems directly to allow that it had not been seen before.
However, this food from heaven is here described to be like snow; and in
Artapanus, a heathen writer, it is compared to meal, color like to snow,
rained down by God," Essay on the Old Test. Append. p. 239. But as to
the derivation of the word manna, whether from man, which Josephus says
then signified What is it or from mannah, to divide, i.e., a dividend or
portion allotted to every one, it is uncertain: I incline to the latter
derivation. This manna is called angels' food, Psalm 78:26, and by our
Sacior, John 6:31, etc., as well as by Josephus here and elsewhere,
Antiq. B. III. ch. 5. sect. 3, said to be sent the Jews from heaven.]

5 (return) [ This rock is there at this day, as the travelers agree; and
must be the same that was there in the days of Moses, as being too large
to be brought thither by our modern carriages.]

6 (return) [ Note here, that the small book of the principal laws of
Moses is ever said to be laid up in the holy house itself; but the
larger Pentateuch, as here, some where within the limits of the temple
and its courts only. See Antiq. B. V. ch. 1. sect. 17.]

7 (return) [ This eminent circumstance, that while Moses's hands were
lift up towards heaven, the Israelites prevailed, and while they were
let down towards the earth, the Amalekites prevailed, seems to me the
earliest intimation we have of the proper posture, used of old, in
solemn prayer, which was the stretching out of the hands [and eyes]
towards heaven, as other passages of the Old and New Testament inform
us. Nay, by the way, this posture seemed to have continued in the
Christian church, till the clergy, instead of learning their prayers by
heart, read them out of a book, which is in a great measure inconsistent
with such an elevated posture, and which seems to me to have been only a
later practice, introduced under the corrupt state of the church; though
the constant use of divine forms of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving,
appears to me to have been the practice of God's people, patriarchs,
Jews, and Christians, in all the past ages.]

8 (return) [ This manner of electing the judges and officers of the
Israelites by the testimonies and suffrages of the people, before they
were ordained by God, or by Moses, deserves to be carefully noted,
because it was the pattern of the like manner of the choice and
ordination of bishops, presbyters, and deacons, in the Christian

9 (return) [ Since this mountain, Sinai, is here said to be the highest
of all the mountains that are in that country, it must be that now
called St. Katherine's, which is one-third higher than that within a
mile of it, now called Sinai, as Mons. Thevenot informs us, Travels,
Part I. ch. 23. p. 168. The other name of it, Horeb, is never used by
Josephus, and perhaps was its name among the Egyptians only, whence the
Israelites were lately come, as Sinai was its name among the Arabians,
Canaanites, and other nations. Accordingly when [1 Kings 9:8: the
Scripture says that Elijah came to Horeb, the mount of God, Josephus
justly says, Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 13. sect. 7, that he came to the
mountain called Sinai: and Jerome, here cited by Dr. Hudson, says, that
he took this mountain to have two names, Sinai and Choreb. De Nomin.
Heb. p. 427.]

10 (return) [ Of this and another like superstitious notion of the
Pharisees, which Josephus complied with, see the note on Antiq. B. II.
ch. 12. sect. 4.]

11 (return) [ This other work of Josephus, here referred to, seems to be
that which does not appear to have been ever published, which yet he
intended to publish, about the reasons of many of the laws of Moses; of
which see the note on the Preface, sect. 4.]

12 (return) [ Of this tabernacle of Moses, with its several parts and
furniture, see my description at large, chap. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.,
hereto belonging.]

13 (return) [ The use of these golden bells at the bottom of the high
priest's long garment, seems to me to have been this: That by shaking
his garment at the time of his offering incense in the temple, on the
great day of expiation, or at other proper periods of his sacred
ministrations there, on the great festivals, the people might have
notice of it, and might fall to their own prayers at the time of
incense, or other proper periods; and so the whole congregation might at
once offer those common prayers jointly with the high priest himself to
the Almighty See Luke 1:10; Revelation 8:3, 4. Nor probably is the son
of Sirach to be otherwise understood, when he says of Aaron, the first
high priest, Ecelus. 45:9, "And God encompassed Aaron with pomegranates,
and with many golden bells round about, that as he went there might be a
sound, and a noise made that might be heard in the temple, for a
memorial to the children of his people."]

14 (return) [ The reader ought to take notice here, that the very Mosaic
Petalon, or golden plate, for the forehead of the Jewish high priest,
was itself preserved, not only till the days of Josephus, but of Origen;
and that its inscription, Holiness to the Lord, was in the Samaritan
characters. See Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 3. sect. 8, Essay on the Old Test.
p. 154, and Reland, De pol. Templi, p. 132.]

15 (return) [ When Josephus, both here and ch. 6. sect. 4, supposes the
tabernacle to have been parted into three parts, he seems to esteem the
bare entrance to be a third division, distinct from the holy and the
most holy places; and this the rather, because in the temple afterward
there was a real distinct third part, which was called the Porch:
otherwise Josephus would contradict his own description of the
tabernacle, which gives as a particular account of no more than two

16 (return) [ This explication of the mystical meaning of the Jewish
tabernacle and its vessels, with the garments of the high priest, is
taken out of Philo, and fitted to Gentile philosophical notions. This
may possibly be forgiven in Jews, greatly versed in heathen learning and
philosophy, as Philo had ever been, and as Josephus had long been when
he wrote these Antiquities. In the mean time, it is not to be doubted,
but in their education they must have both learned more Jewish
interpretations, such as we meet with in the Epistle of Barnabas, in
that to the Hebrews, and elsewhere among the old Jews. Accordingly when
Josephus wrote his books of the Jewish War, for the use of the Jews, at
which time he was comparatively young, and less used to Gentile books,
we find one specimen of such a Jewish interpretation; for there [B. VII.
ch. 5. sect. 5: he makes the seven branches of the temple-candlestick,
with their seven lamps, an emblem of the seven days of creation and
rest, which are here emblems of the seven planets. Nor certainly ought
ancient Jewish emblems to be explained any other way than according to
ancient Jewish, and not Gentile, notions. See of the War, B. I. ch. 33.
sect. 2.]

17 (return) [ It is well worth our observation, that the two principal
qualifications required in this section for the constitution of the
first high priest, [viz. that he should have an excellent character for
virtuous and good actions; as also that he should have the approbation
of the people,] are here noted by Josephus, even where the nomination
belonged to God himself; which are the very same qualifications which
the Christian religion requires in the choice of Christian bishops,
priests, and deacons; as the Apostolical Constitutions inform us, B. II.
ch. 3.]

18 (return) [ This weight and value of the Jewish shekel, in the days of
Josephus, equal to about 2s. 10d. sterling, is, by the learned Jews,
owned to be one-fifth larger than were their old shekels; which
determination agrees perfectly with the remaining shekels that have
Samaritan inscriptions, coined generally by Simon the Maccabee, about
230 years before Josephus published his Antiquities, which never weigh
more than 2s. 4d., and commonly but 2s. 4d. See Reland De Nummis
Samaritanorum, p. 138.]

19 (return) [ The incense was here offered, according to Josephus's
opinion, before sun-rising, and at sun-setting; but in the days of
Pompey, according to the same Josephus, the sacrifices were offered in
the morning, and at the ninth hour. Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 4. sect. 3.]

20 (return) [ Hence we may correct the opinions of the modern Rabbins,
who say that only one of the seven lamps burned in the day-time; whereas
our Josephus, an eyewitness, says there were three.]

21 (return) [ Of this strange expression, that Moses "left it to God to
be present at his sacrifices when he pleased, and when he pleased to be
absent," see the note on B. II. against Apion, sect. 16.]

22 (return) [ These answers by the oracle of Urim and Thummim, which
words signify, light and perfection, or, as the Septuagint render them,
revelation and truth, and denote nothing further, that I see, but the
shining stones themselves, which were used, in this method of
illumination, in revealing the will of God, after a perfect and true
manner, to his people Israel: I say, these answers were not made by the
shining of the precious stones, after an awkward manner, in the high
priest's breastplate, as the modern Rabbins vainly suppose; for
certainly the shining of the stones might precede or accompany the
oracle, without itself delivering that oracle, see Antiq. B. VI. ch. 6.
sect. 4; but rather by an audible voice from the mercy- seat between the
cherubims. See Prideaux's Connect. at the year 534. This oracle had been
silent, as Josephus here informs us, two hundred years before he wrote
his Antiquities, or ever since the days of the last good high priest of
the family of the Maccabees, John Hyrcanus. Now it is here very well
worth our observation, that the oracle before us was that by which God
appeared to be present with, and gave directions to, his people Israel
as their King, all the while they submitted to him in that capacity; and
did not set over them such independent kings as governed according to
their own wills and political maxims, instead of Divine directions.
Accordingly we meet with this oracle [besides angelic and prophetic
admonitions] all along from the days of Moses and Joshua to the
anointing of Saul, the first of the succession of the kings, Numbers
27:21; Joshua 6:6, etc.; 19:50; Judges 1:1; 18:4-6, 30, 31; 20:18, 23,
26-28; 21:1, etc.; 1 Samuel 1:17, 18; 3. per tot.; 4. per tot.; nay,
till Saul's rejection of the Divine commands in the war with Amalek,
when he took upon him to act as he thought fit, 1 Samuel 14:3, 18, 19,
36, 37, then this oracle left Saul entirely, [which indeed he had seldom
consulted before, 1 Samuel 14:35; 1 Chronicles 10:14; 13:3; Antiq. B. 7
ch. 4 sect 2.] and accompanied David, who was anointed to succeed him,
and who consulted God by it frequently, and complied with its directions
constantly [1 Samuel 14:37, 41; 15:26; 22:13, 15; 23:9, 10; 30:7, 8, 18;
2 Samuel 2:1; 5:19, 23; 21:1; 23:14; 1 Chronicles 14:10, 14; Antiq. B IV
ch. 12 sect. 5]. Saul, indeed, long after his rejection by God, and when
God had given him up to destruction for his disobedience, did once
afterwards endeavor to consult God when it was too late; but God would
not then answer him, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets, 1
Samuel 28:6. Nor did any of David's successors, the kings of Judah, that
we know of, consult God by this oracle, till the very Babylonish
captivity itself, when those kings were at an end; they taking upon
them, I suppose, too much of despotic power and royalty, and too little
owning the God of Israel for the supreme King of Israel, though a few of
them consulted the prophets sometimes, and were answered by them. At the
return of the two tribes, without the return of the kingly government,
the restoration of this oracle was expected, Nehemiah 7;63; 1 Esd. 5:40;
1 Macc. 4:46; 14:41. And indeed it may seem to have been restored for
some time after the Babylonish captivity, at least in the days of that
excellent high priest, John Hyrcanus, whom Josephus esteemed as a king,
a priest, and a prophet; and who, he says, foretold several things that
came to pass accordingly; but about the time of his death, he here
implies, that this oracle quite ceased, and not before. The following
high priests now putting diadems on their heads, and ruling according to
their own will, and by their own authority, like the other kings of the
pagan countries about them; so that while the God of Israel was allowed
to be the supreme King of Israel, and his directions to be their
authentic guides, God gave them such directions as their supreme King
and Governor, and they were properly under a theocracy, by this oracle
of Urim, but no longer [see Dr. Bernard's notes here]; though I confess
I cannot but esteem the high priest Jaddus's divine dream, Antiq. B. XI.
ch. 8. sect. 4, and the high priest Caiaphas's most remarkable prophecy,
John 11:47-52, as two small remains or specimens of this ancient oracle,
which properly belonged to the Jewish high priests: nor perhaps ought we
entirely to forget that eminent prophetic dream of our Josephus himself,
[Footnote one next to a high priest, as of the family of the Asamoneans
or Maccabees,] as to the succession of Vespasian and Titus to the Roman
empire, and that in the days of Nero, and before either Galba, Otho, or
Vitellius were thought of to succeed him. Of the War, B. III. ch. 8.
sect. 9. This, I think, may well be looked on as the very last instance
of any thing like the prophetic Urim among the Jewish nation, and just
preceded their fatal desolation: but how it could possibly come to pass
that such great men as Sir John Marsham and Dr. Spenser, should imagine
that this oracle of Urim and Thummim with other practices as old or
older than the law of Moses, should have been ordained in imitation of
somewhat like them among the Egyptians, which we never hear of till the
days of Diodorus Siculus, Aelian, and Maimonides, or little earlier than
the Christian era at the highest, is almost unaccountable; while the
main business of the law of Moses was evidently to preserve the
Israelites from the idolatrous and superstitious practices of the
neighboring pagan nations; and while it is so undeniable, that the
evidence for the great antiquity of Moses's law is incomparably beyond
that for the like or greater antiquity of such customs in Egypt or other
nations, which indeed is generally none at all, it is most absurd to
derive any of Moses's laws from the imitation of those heathen
practices, Such hypotheses demonstrate to us how far inclination can
prevail over evidence, in even some of the most learned part of

23 (return) [ What Reland well observes here, out of Josephus, as
compared with the law of Moses, Leviticus 7:15, [that the eating of the
sacrifice the same day it was offered, seems to mean only before the
morning of the next, although the latter part, i.e. the night, be in
strictness part of the next day, according to the Jewish reckoning,] is
greatly to be observed upon other occasions also. The Jewish maxim in
such cases, it seems, is this: That the day goes before the night; and
this appears to me to be the language both of the Old and New Testament.
See also the note on Antiq. B. IV. ch. 4. sect. 4, and Reland's note on
B. IV. ch. 8. sect. 28.]

24 (return) [ We may here note, that Josephus frequently calls the camp
the city, and the court of the Mosaic tabernacle a temple, and the
tabernacle itself a holy house, with allusion to the latter city,
temple, and holy house, which he knew so well long afterwards.]

25 (return) [ These words of Josephus are remarkable, that the lawgiver
of the Jews required of the priests a double degree of parity, in
comparison of that required of the people, of which he gives several
instances immediately. It was for certain the case also among the first
Christians, of the clergy, in comparison of the laity, as the
Apostolical Constitutions and Canons every where inform us.]

26 (return) [ We must here note with Reland, that the precept given to
the priests of not drinking wine while they wore the sacred garments, is
equivalent; to their abstinence from it all the while they ministered in
the temple; because they then always, and then only, wore those sacred
garments, which were laid up there from one time of ministration to

27 (return) [ See Antiq, B. XX. ch. 2. sect, 6. and Acts 11:28.]

BOOK IV. Containing The Interval Of Thirty-Eight Years.—From The
Rejection Of That Generation To The Death Of Moses.

CHAPTER 1. Fight Of The Hebrews With The Canaanites Without The Consent
Of Moses; And Their Defeat.

1. Now this life of the Hebrews in the wilderness was so disagreeable
and troublesome to them, and they were so uneasy at it, that although
God had forbidden them to meddle with the Canaanites, yet could they not
be persuaded to be obedient to the words of Moses, and to be quiet; but
supposing they should be able to beat their enemies, without his
approbation, they accused him, and suspected that he made it his
business to keep them in a distressed condition, that they might always
stand in need of his assistance. Accordingly they resolved to fight with
the Canaanites, and said that God gave them his assistance, not out of
regard to Moses's intercessions, but because he took care of their
entire nation, on account of their forefathers, whose affairs he took
under his own conduct; as also, that it was on account of their own
virtue that he had formerly procured them their liberty, and would be
assisting to them, now they were willing to take pains for it. They also
said that they were possessed of abilities sufficient for the conquest
of their enemies, although Moses should have a mind to alienate God from
them; that, however, it was for their advantage to be their own masters,
and not so far to rejoice in their deliverance from the indignities they
endured under the Egyptians, as to bear the tyranny of Moses over them,
and to suffer themselves to be deluded, and live according to his
pleasure, as though God did only foretell what concerns us out of his
kindness to him, as if they were not all the posterity of Abraham; that
God made him alone the author of all the knowledge we have, and we must
still learn it from him; that it would be a piece of prudence to oppose
his arrogant pretenses, and to put their confidence in God, and to
resolve to take possession of that land which he had promised them, and
not to give ear to him, who on this account, and under the pretense of
Divine authority, forbade them so to do. Considering, therefore, the
distressed state they were in at present, and that in those desert
places they were still to expect things would be worse with them, they
resolved to fight with the Canaanites, as submitting only to God, their
supreme Commander, and not waiting for any assistance from their

2. When, therefore, they had come to this resolution, as being best for
them, they went against their enemies; but those enemies were not
dismayed either at the attack itself, or at the great multitude that
made it, and received them with great courage. Many of the Hebrews were
slain; and the remainder of the army, upon the disorder of their troops,
were pursued, and fled, after a shameful manner, to their camp.
Whereupon this unexpected misfortune made them quite despond; and they
hoped for nothing that was good; as gathering from it, that this
affliction came from the wrath of God, because they rashly went out to
war without his approbation.

3. But when Moses saw how deeply they were affected with this defeat,
and being afraid lest the enemies should grow insolent upon this
victory, and should be desirous of gaining still greater glory, and
should attack them, he resolved that it was proper to withdraw the army
into the wilderness to a further distance from the Canaanites: so the
multitude gave themselves up again to his conduct, for they were
sensible that, without his care for them, their affairs could not be in
a good condition; and he caused the host to remove, and he went further
into the wilderness, as intending there to let them rest, and not to
permit them to fight the Canaanites before God should afford them a more
favorable opportunity.

CHAPTER 2. The Sedition Of Corah And Of The Multitude Against Moses, And
Against His Brother, Concerning The Priesthood.

1. That which is usually the case of great armies, and especially upon
ill success, to be hard to be pleased, and governed with difficulty, did
now befall the Jews; for they being in number six hundred thousand, and
by reason of their great multitude not readily subject to their
governors, even in prosperity, they at this time were more than usually
angry, both against one another and against their leader, because of the
distress they were in, and the calamities they then endured. Such a
sedition overtook them, as we have not the like example either among the
Greeks or the Barbarians, by which they were in danger of being all
destroyed, but were notwithstanding saved by Moses, who would not
remember that he had been almost stoned to death by them. Nor did God
neglect to prevent their ruin; but, notwithstanding the indignities they
had offered their legislator and the laws, and disobedience to the
commandments which he had sent them by Moses, he delivered them from
those terrible calamities which, without his providential care, had been
brought upon them by this sedition. So I will first explain the cause
whence this sedition arose, and then will give an account of the
sedition itself; as also of what settlements made for their government
after it was over.

2. Corah, a Hebrew of principal account, both by his family and by his
wealth, one that was also able to speak well, and one that could easily
persuade the people by his speeches, saw that Moses was in an exceeding
great dignity, and was at it, and envied him on that account, [he of the
same tribe with Moses, and of kin to him,] was particularly grieved,
because he thought he better deserved that honorable post on account of
great riches, and not inferior to him in his birth. So he raised a
clamor against him among the Levites, who were of the same tribe, and
among his kindred, saying, "That it was a very sad thing that they
should overlook Moses, while he hunted after and paved the way to glory
for himself, and by ill arts should obtain it, under the pretense of
God's command, while, contrary to laws, he had given the priesthood to
Aaron, the common suffrage of the multitude, but by his own vote, as
bestowing dignities in a way on whom he pleased." He added, "That this
concealed way of imposing on them was harder to be borne than if it had
been done by an open force upon them, because he did now not only usurp
their power without their consent, but even they were unapprised of his
contrivances against them; for whosoever is conscious to himself that he
deserves any dignity, aims to get it by persuasion, and not by an
arrogant method of violence; those that believe it impossible to obtain
honors justly, make a show of goodness, and do not introduce force, but
by cunning tricks grow wickedly powerful. That it was proper for the
multitude to punish such men, even while they think themselves concealed
in their designs, and not suffer them to gain strength till they have
them for their open enemies. For what account," added he, "is Moses able
to give, why he has bestowed the priesthood on Aaron and his sons? for
if God had determined to bestow that honor on one of the tribe of Levi,
I am more worthy of it than he is; I myself being equal to Moses by my
family, and superior to him both in riches and in age: but if God had
determined to bestow it on the eldest be, that of Reuben might have it
most justly; and then Dathan, and Abiram, and [On, the son of] Peleth,
would have it; for these are the oldest men of that tribe, and potent on
account of their great wealth also."

3. Now Corah, when he said this, had a mind to appear to take care of
the public welfare, but in reality he was endeavoring to procure to have
that dignity transferred by the multitude to himself. Thus did he, out
of a malignant design, but with plausible words, discourse to those of
his own tribe; when these words did gradually spread to more people, and
when the hearers still added to what tended to the scandals that were
cast upon Aaron, the whole army was full of them. Now of those that
conspired with Corah, there were two hundred and fifty, and those of the
principal men also, who were eager to have the priesthood taken away
from Moses's brother, and to bring him into disgrace: nay, the multitude
themselves were provoked to be seditious, and attempted to stone Moses,
and gathered themselves together after an indecent manner, with
confusion and disorder. And now all were, in a tumultuous manner,
raising a clamour before the tabernacle of God, to prosecute the tyrant,
and to relieve the multitude from their slavery under him who, under
color of the Divine laid violent injunctions upon them; for had it been
God who chose one that was to perform the office of a priest, he would
have raised person to that dignity, and would not have produced such a
one as was inferior to many others nor have given him that office; and
that in he had judged it fit to bestow it on Aaron, he would have
permitted it to the multitude to bestow it, and not have left it to be
bestowed by his own brother.

4. Now although Moses had a great while ago foreseen this calumny of
Corah, and had seen the people were irritated, yet was he not affrighted
at it; but being of good courage, because given them right advice about
their affairs, and knowing that his brother had been made partaker of
the priesthood at the command of God, and not by his own favor to him,
he came to the assembly; and as for the multitude, he said not a word to
them, but spake as loud to Corah as he could; and being very skillful in
making speeches, and having this natural talent, among others, that he
could greatly move the multitude with his discourses, he said, "O Corah,
both thou and all these with thee [pointing to the two hundred and fifty
men] seem to be worthy of this honor; nor do I pretend but that this
whole company may be worthy of the like dignity, although they may not
be so rich or so great as you are: nor have I taken and given this
office to my brother because he excelled others in riches, for thou
exceedest us both in the greatness of thy wealth; 1 nor indeed because
he was of an eminent family, for God, by giving us the same common
ancestor, has made our families equal: nay, nor was it out of brotherly
affection, which another might yet have justly done; for certainly,
unless I had bestowed this honor out of regard to God, and to his laws,
I had not passed by myself, and given it to another, as being nearer of
kin to myself than to my brother, and having a closer intimacy with
myself than I have with him; for surely it would not be a wise thing for
me to expose myself to the dangers of offending, and to bestow the happy
employment on this account upon another. But I am above such base
practices: nor would God have overlooked this matter, and seen himself
thus despised; nor would he have suffered you to be ignorant of what you
were to do, in order to please him; but he hath himself chosen one that
is to perform that sacred office to him, and thereby freed us from that
care. So that it was not a thing that I pretend to give, but only
according to the determination of God; I therefore propose it still to
be contended for by such as please to put in for it, only desiring that
he who has been already preferred, and has already obtained it, may be
allowed now also to offer himself for a candidate. He prefers your
peace, and your living without sedition, to this honorable employment,
although in truth it was with your approbation that he obtained it; for
though God were the donor, yet do we not offend when we think fit to
accept it with your good-will; yet would it have been an instance of
impiety not to have taken that honorable employment when he offered it;
nay, it had been exceedingly unreasonable, when God had thought fit any
one should have it for all time to come, and had made it secure and firm
to him, to have refused it. However, he himself will judge again who it
shall be whom he would have to offer sacrifices to him, and to have the
direction of matters of religion; for it is absurd that Corah, who is
ambitious of this honor, should deprive God of the power of giving it to
whom he pleases. Put an end, therefore, to your sedition and disturbance
on this account; and tomorrow morning do every one of you that desire
the priesthood bring a censer from home, and come hither with incense
and fire: and do thou, O Corah, leave the judgment to God, and await to
see on which side he will give his determination upon this occasion, but
do not thou make thyself greater than God. Do thou also come, that this
contest about this honorable employment may receive determination. And I
suppose we may admit Aaron without offense, to offer himself to this
scrutiny, since he is of the same lineage with thyself, and has done
nothing in his priesthood that can be liable to exception. Come ye
therefore together, and offer your incense in public before all the
people; and when you offer it, he whose sacrifice God shall accept shall
be ordained to the priesthood, and shall be clear of the present calumny
on Aaron, as if I had granted him that favor because he was my brother."

CHAPTER 3. How Those That Stirred Up This Sedition Were Destroyed,
According To The Will Of God; And How Aaron, Moses's Brother Both He And
His Posterity, Retained The Priesthood.

1. When Moses had said this, the multitude left off the turbulent
behavior they had indulged, and the suspicion they had of Moses, and
commended what he had said; for those proposals were good, and were so
esteemed of the people. At that time therefore they dissolved the
assembly. But on the next day they came to the congregation, in order to
be present at the sacrifice, and at the determination that was to be
made between the candidates for the priesthood. Now this congregation
proved a turbulent one, and the multitude were in great suspense in
expectation of what was to be done; for some of them would have been
pleased if Moses had been convicted of evil practices, but the wiser
sort desired that they might be delivered from the present disorder and
disturbance; for they were afraid, that if this sedition went on, the
good order of their settlement would rather be destroyed; but the whole
body of the people do naturally delight in clamors against their
governors, and, by changing their opinions upon the harangues of every
speaker, disturb the public tranquillity. And now Moses sent messengers
for Abiram and Dathan, and ordered them to come to the assembly, and
wait there for the holy offices that were to be performed. But they
answered the messenger, that they would not obey his summons; nay, would
not overlook Moses's behavior, who was growing too great for them by
evil practices. Now when Moses heard of this their answer, he desired
the heads of the people to follow him, and he went to the faction of
Dathan, not thinking it any frightful thing at all to go to these
insolent people; so they made no opposition, but went along with him.
But Dathan, and his associates, when they understood that Moses and the
principal of the people were coming to them, came out, with their wives
and children, and stood before their tents, and looked to see what Moses
would do. They had also their servants about them to defend themselves,
in case Moses should use force against them.

2. But he came near, and lifted up his hands to heaven, and cried out
with a loud voice, in order to be heard by the whole multitude, and
said, "O Lord of the creatures that are in the heaven, in the earth, and
in the sea; for thou art the most authentic witness to what I have done,
that it has all been done by thy appointment, and that it was thou that
affordedst us assistance when we attempted any thing, and showedst mercy
on the Hebrews in all their distresses; do thou come now, and hear all
that I say, for no action or thought escapes thy knowledge; so that thou
wilt not disdain to speak what is true, for my vindication, without any
regard to the ungrateful imputations of these men. As for what was done
before I was born, thou knowest best, as not learning them by report,
but seeing them, and being present with them when they were done; but
for what has been done of late, and which these men, although they know
them well enough, unjustly pretend to suspect, be thou my witness. When
I lived a private quiet life, I left those good things which, by my own
diligence, and by thy counsel, I enjoyed with Raguel my father-in-law;
and I gave myself up to this people, and underwent many miseries on
their account. I also bore great labors at first, in order to obtain
liberty for them, and now in order to their preservation; and have
always showed myself ready to assist them in every distress of theirs.
Now, therefore, since I am suspected by those very men whose being is
owing to my labors, come thou, as it is reasonable to hope thou wilt;
thou, I say, who showedst me that fire at mount Sinai, and madest me to
hear its voice, and to see the several wonders which that place afforded
thou who commandedst me to go to Egypt, and declare thy will to this
people; thou who disturbest the happy estate of the Egyptians, and
gavest us the opportunity of flying away from out under them, and madest
the dominion of Pharaoh inferior to my dominion; thou who didst make the
sea dry land for us, when we knew not whither to go, and didst overwhelm
the Egyptians with those destructive waves which had been divided for
us; thou who didst bestow upon us the security of weapons when we were
naked; thou who didst make the fountains that were corrupted to flow, so
as to be fit for drinking, and didst furnish us with water that came out
of the rocks, when we were in want of it; thou who didst preserve our
lives with [quails, which was] food from the sea, when the fruits of the
ground failed us; thou didst send us such food from heaven as had never
been seen before; thou who didst suggest to us the knowledge of thy
laws, and appoint to us a form of government,—come thou, I say, O Lord
of the whole world, and that as such a Judge and a Witness to me as
cannot be bribed, and show how I never admitted of any gift against
justice from any of the Hebrews; and have never condemned a man that
ought to have been acquitted, on account of one that was rich; and have
never attempted to hurt this commonwealth. I am now and am suspected of
a thing the remotest from my intentions, as if I had given the
preisthood to Aaron, not at thy command, but out own favor to him; do
thou at this time demonstrate that all things are administered by thy
providence and that nothing happens by chance, but is governed by thy
will, and thereby attains its end: as also demonstrate that thou takest
care that have done good to the Hebrews; demonstrate this, I say, by the
punishment of Abiram and Dathan, who condemn thee as an insensible
Being, and one overcome by my contrivances. This thou do by inflicting
such an open punishment on these men who so madly fly in the face of thy
glory, as will take them out of the world, not in an manner, but so that
it may appear they do die after the manner of other men: let that ground
which they tread upon open about them and consume them, with their
families and goods. This will be a demonstration of thy power to all and
this method of their sufferings will be an instruction of wisdom for
those that entertain profane sentiments of thee. By this means I shall
be a good servant, in the precepts thou hast given by me. But if the
calumnies they have raised against me be true, mayst thou preserve these
men from every evil accident, and bring all that destruction on me which
I have imprecated upon them. And when thou hast inflicted punishment on
those that have endeavored to deal unjustly with this people, bestow
upon them concord and peace. Save this multitude that follow thy
commandments, and preserve them free from harm, and let them not partake
of the punishment of those that have sinned; for thou knowest thyself it
is not just, that for the wickedness of those men the whole body of the
Israelites should suffer punishment."

3. When Moses had said this, with tears in his eyes, the ground was
moved on a sudden; and the agitation that set it in motion was like that
which the wind produces in waves of the sea. The people were all
affrighted; and the ground that was about their tents sunk down at the
great noise, with a terrible sound, and carried whatsoever was dear to
the seditious into itself, who so entirely perished, that there was not
the least appearance that any man had ever been seen there, the earth
that had opened itself about them, closing again, and becoming entire as
it was before, insomuch that such as saw it afterward did not perceive
that any such accident had happened to it. Thus did these men perish,
and become a demonstration of the power of God. And truly, any one would
lament them, not only on account of this calamity that befell them,
which yet deserves our commiseration, but also because their kindred
were pleased with their sufferings; for they forgot the relation they
bare to them, and at the sight of this sad accident approved of the
judgment given against them; and because they looked upon the people
about Dathan as pestilent men, they thought they perished as such, and
did not grieve for them.

4. And now Moses called for those that contended about the priesthood,
that trial might be made who should be priest, and that he whose
sacrifice God was best pleased with might be ordained to that function.
There attended two hundred and fifty men, who indeed were honored by the
people, not only on account of the power of their ancestors, but also on
account of their own, in which they excelled the others: Aaron also and
Corah came forth, and they all offered incense, in those censers of
theirs which they brought with them, before the tabernacle. Hereupon so
great a fire shone out as no one ever saw in any that is made by the
hand of man, neither in those eruptions out of the earth that are caused
by subterraneous burn-rags, nor in such fires as arise of their own
accord in the woods, when the agitation is caused by the trees rubbing
one against another: but this fire was very bright, and had a terrible
flame, such as is kindled at the command of God; by whose irruption on
them, all the company, and Corah himself, were destroyed, 2 and this so
entirely, that their very bodies left no remains behind them. Aaron
alone was preserved, and not at all hurt by the fire, because it was God
that sent the fire to burn those only who ought to be burned. Hereupon
Moses, after these men were destroyed, was desirous that the memory of
this judgment might be delivered down to posterity, and that future ages
might be acquainted with it; and so he commanded Eleazar, the son of
Aaron, to put their censers near the brazen altar, that they might be a
memorial to posterity of what these men suffered, for supposing that the
power of God might be eluded. And thus Aaron was now no longer esteemed
to have the priesthood by the favor of Moses, but by the public judgment
of God; and thus he and his children peaceably enjoyed that honor

CHAPTER 4. What Happened To The Hebrews During Thirty-Eight Years In The

1. However, this sedition was so far from ceasing upon this destruction,
that it grew much stronger, and became more intolerable. And the
occasion of its growing worse was of that nature, as made it likely the
calamity would never cease, but last for a long time; for the men,
believing already that nothing is done without the providence of God,
would have it that these things came thus to pass not without God's
favor to Moses; they therefore laid the blame upon him that God was so
angry, and that this happened not so much because of the wickedness of
those that were punished, as because Moses procured the punishment; and
that these men had been destroyed without any sin of theirs, only
because they were zealous about the Divine worship; as also, that he who
had been the cause of this diminution of the people, by destroying so
many men, and those the most excellent of them all, besides his escaping
any punishment himself, had now given the priesthood to his brother so
firmly, that nobody could any longer dispute it with him; for no one
else, to be sure, could now put in for it, since he must have seen those
that first did so to have miserably perished. Nay, besides this, the
kindred of those that were destroyed made great entreaties to the
multitude to abate the arrogance of Moses, because it would be safest
for them so to do.

2. Now Moses, upon his hearing for a good while that the people were
tumultuous, was afraid that they would attempt some other innovation,
and that some great and sad calamity would be the consequence. He called
the multitude to a congregation, and patiently heard what apology they
had to make for themselves, without opposing them, and this lest he
should imbitter the multitude: he only desired the heads of the tribes
to bring their rods, 3 with the names of their tribes inscribed upon
them, and that he should receive the priesthood in whose rod God should
give a sign. This was agreed to. So the rest brought their rods, as did
Aaron also, who had written the tribe of Levi on his rod. These rods
Moses laid up in the tabernacle of God. On the next day he brought out
the rods, which were known from one another by those who brought them,
they having distinctly noted them, as had the multitude also; and as to
the rest, in the same form Moses had received them, in that they saw
them still; but they also saw buds and branches grown out of Aaron's
rod, with ripe fruits upon them; they were almonds, the rod having been
cut out of that tree. The people were so amazed at this strange sight,
that though Moses and Aaron were before under some degree of hatred,
they now laid that hatred aside, and began to admire the judgment of God
concerning them; so that hereafter they applauded what God had decreed,
and permitted Aaron to enjoy the priesthood peaceably. And thus God
ordained him priest three several times, and he retained that honor
without further disturbance. And hereby this sedition of the Hebrews,
which had been a great one, and had lasted a great while, was at last

3. And now Moses, because the tribe of Levi was made free from war and
warlike expeditions, and was set apart for the Divine worship, lest they
should want and seek after the necessaries of life, and so neglect the
temple, commanded the Hebrews, according to the will of God, that when
they should gain the possession of the land of Canaan, they should
assign forty-eight good and fair cities to the Levites; and permit them
to enjoy their suburbs, as far as the limit of two thousand cubits would
extend from the walls of the city. And besides this, he appointed that
the people should pay the tithe of their annual fruits of the earth,
both to the Levites and to the priests. And this is what that tribe
receives of the multitude; but I think it necessary to set down what is
paid by all, peculiarly to the priests.

4. Accordingly he commanded the Levites to yield up to the priests
thirteen of their forty-eight cities, and to set apart for them the
tenth part of the tithes which they every year receive of the people; as
also, that it was but just to offer to God the first-fruits of the
entire product of the ground; and that they should offer the first-born
of those four-footed beasts that are appointed for sacrifices, if it be
a male, to the priests, to be slain, that they and their entire families
may eat them in the holy city; but that the owners of those first-born
which are not appointed for sacrifices in the laws of our country,
should bring a shekel and a half in their stead: but for the first-born
of a man, five shekels: that they should also have the first-fruits out
of the shearing of the sheep; and that when any baked bread corn, and
made loaves of it, they should give somewhat of what they had baked to
them. Moreover, when any have made a sacred vow, I mean those that are
called Nazarites, that suffer their hair to grow long, and use no wine,
when they consecrate their hair, 4 and offer it for a sacrifice, they
are to allot that hair for the priests [to be thrown into the fire].
Such also as dedicate themselves to God, as a corban, which denotes what
the Greeks call a gift, when they are desirous of being freed from that
ministration, are to lay down money for the priests; thirty shekels if
it be a woman, and fifty if it be a man; but if any be too poor to pay
the appointed sum, it shall be lawful for the priests to determine that
sum as they think fit. And if any slay beasts at home for a private
festival, but not for a religious one, they are obliged to bring the maw
and the cheek, [or breast,] and the right shoulder of the sacrifice, to
the priests. With these Moses contrived that the priests should be
plentifully maintained, besides what they had out of those offerings for
sins which the people gave them, as I have set it down in the foregoing
book. He also ordered, that out of every thing allotted for the priests,
their servants, [their sons,] their daughters, and their wives, should
partake, as well as themselves, excepting what came to them out of the
sacrifices that were offered for sins; for of those none but the males
of the family of the priests might eat, and this in the temple also, and
that the same day they were offered.

5. When Moses had made these constitutions, after the sedition was over,
he removed, together with the whole army, and came to the borders of
Idumea. He then sent ambassadors to the king of the Idumeans, and
desired him to give him a passage through his country; and agreed to
send him what hostages he should desire, to secure him from an injury.
He desired him also, that he would allow his army liberty to buy
provisions; and, if he insisted upon it, he would pay down a price for
the very water they should drink. But the king was not pleased with this
embassage from Moses: nor did he allow a passage for the army, but
brought his people armed to meet Moses, and to hinder them, in case they
should endeavor to force their passage. Upon which Moses consulted God
by the oracle, who would not have him begin the war first; and so he
withdrew his forces, and traveled round about through the wilderness.

6. Then it was that Miriam, the sister of Moses, came to her end, having
completed her fortieth year 5 since she left Egypt, on the first 6 day
of the lunar month Xanthicus. They then made a public funeral for her,
at a great expense. She was buried upon a certain mountain, which they
call Sin: and when they had mourned for her thirty days, Moses purified
the people after this manner: He brought a heifer that had never been
used to the plough or to husbandry, that was complete in all its parts,
and entirely of a red color, at a little distance from the camp, into a
place perfectly clean. This heifer was slain by the high priest, and her
blood sprinkled with his finger seven times before the tabernacle of
God; after this, the entire heifer was burnt in that state, together
with its skin and entrails; and they threw cedar-wood, and hyssop, and
scarlet wool, into the midst of the fire; then a clean man gathered all
her ashes together, and laid them in a place perfectly clean. When
therefore any persons were defiled by a dead body, they put a little of
these ashes into spring water, with hyssop, and, dipping part of these
ashes in it, they sprinkled them with it, both on the third day, and on
the seventh, and after that they were clean. This he enjoined them to do
also when the tribes should come into their own land.

7. Now when this purification, which their leader made upon the mourning
for his sister, as it has been now described, was over, he caused the
army to remove and to march through the wilderness and through Arabia;
and when he came to a place which the Arabians esteem their metropolis,
which was formerly called Arce, but has now the name of Petra, at this
place, which was encompassed with high mountains, Aaron went up one of
them in the sight of the whole army, Moses having before told him that
he was to die, for this place was over against them. He put off his
pontifical garments, and delivered them to Eleazar his son, to whom the
high priesthood belonged, because he was the elder brother; and died
while the multitude looked upon him. He died in the same year wherein he
lost his sister, having lived in all a hundred twenty and three years.
He died on the first day of that lunar month which is called by the
Athenians Hecatombaeon, by the Macedonians Lous, but by the Hebrews

CHAPTER 5. How Moses Conquered Sihon And Og Kings Of The Amorites, And
Destroyed Their Whole Army And Then Divided Their Land By Lot To Two
Tribes And A Half Of The Hebrews.

1. The people mourned for Aaron thirty days, and when this mourning was
over, Moses removed the army from that place, and came to the river
Arnon, which, issuing out of the mountains of Arabia, and running
through all that wilderness, falls into the lake Asphaltitis, and
becomes the limit between the land of the Moabites and the land of the
Amorites. This land is fruitful, and sufficient to maintain a great
number of men, with the good things it produces. Moses therefore sent
messengers to Sihon, the king of this country, desiring that he would
grant his army a passage, upon what security he should please to
require; he promised that he should be no way injured, neither as to
that country which Sihon governed, nor as to its inhabitants; and that
he would buy his provisions at such a price as should be to their
advantage, even though he should desire to sell them their very water.
But Sihon refused his offer, and put his army into battle array, and was
preparing every thing in order to hinder their passing over Arnon.

2. When Moses saw that the Amorite king was disposed to enter upon
hostilities with them, he thought he ought not to bear that insult; and,
determining to wean the Hebrews from their indolent temper, and prevent
the disorders which arose thence, which had been the occasion of their
former sedition, [nor indeed were they now thoroughly easy in their
minds,] he inquired of God, whether he would give him leave to fight?
which when he had done, and God also promised him the victory, he was
himself very courageous, and ready to proceed to fighting. Accordingly
he encouraged the soldiers; and he desired of them that they would take
the pleasure of fighting, now God gave them leave so to do. They then,
upon the receipt of this permission, which they so much longed for, put
on their whole armor, and set about the work without delay. But the
Amorite king was not now like to himself when the Hebrews were ready to
attack him; but both he himself was affrighted at the Hebrews, and his
army, which before had showed themselves to be of good courage, were
then found to be timorous: so they could not sustain the first onset,
nor bear up against the Hebrews, but fled away, as thinking this would
afford them a more likely way for their escape than fighting, for they
depended upon their cities, which were strong, from which yet they
reaped no advantage when they were forced to fly to them; for as soon as
the Hebrews saw them giving ground, they immediately pursued them close;
and when they had broken their ranks, they greatly terrified them, and
some of them broke off from the rest, and ran away to the cities. Now
the Hebrews pursued them briskly, and obstinately persevered in the
labors they had already undergone; and being very skillful in slinging,
and very dexterous in throwing of darts, or any thing else of that kind,
and also having nothing but light armor, which made them quick in the
pursuit, they overtook their enemies; and for those that were most
remote, and could not be overtaken, they reached them by their slings
and their bows, so that many were slain; and those that escaped the
slaughter were sorely wounded, and these were more distressed with
thirst than with any of those that fought against them, for it was the
summer season; and when the greatest number of them were brought down to
the river out of a desire to drink, as also when others fled away by
troops, the Hebrews came round them, and shot at them; so that, what
with darts and what with arrows, they made a slaughter of them all.
Sihon their king was also slain. So the Hebrews spoiled the dead bodies,
and took their prey. The land also which they took was full of abundance
of fruits, and the army went all over it without fear, and fed their
cattle upon it; and they took the enemies prisoners, for they could no
way put a stop to them, since all the fighting men were destroyed. Such
was the destruction which overtook the Amorites, who were neither
sagacious in counsel, nor courageous in action. Hereupon the Hebrews
took possession of their land, which is a country situate between three
rivers, and naturally resembled an island: the river Arnon being its
southern; the river Jabbok determining its northern side, which running
into Jordan loses its own name, and takes the other; while Jordan itself
runs along by it, on its western coast.

3. When matters were come to this state, Og, the king of Gilead and
Gaulanitis, fell upon the Israelites. He brought an army with him, and
in haste to the assistance of his friend Sihon: but though he found him
already slain, yet did he resolve still to come and fight the Hebrews,
supposing he should be too hard for them, and being desirous to try
their valor; but failing of his hope, he was both himself slain in the
battle, and all his army was destroyed. So Moses passed over the river
Jabbok, and overran the kingdom of Og. He overthrew their cities, and
slew all their inhabitants, who yet exceeded in riches all the men in
that part of the continent, on account of the goodness of the soil, and
the great quantity of their wealth. Now Og had very few equals, either
in the largeness of his body, or handsomeness of his appearance. He was
also a man of great activity in the use of his hands, so that his
actions were not unequal to the vast largeness and handsome appearance
of his body. And men could easily guess at his strength and magnitude
when they took his bed at Rabbath, the royal city of the Ammonites; its
structure was of iron, its breadth four cubits, and its length a cubit
more than double thereto. However, his fall did not only improve the
circumstances of the Hebrews for the present, but by his death he was
the occasion of further good success to them; for they presently took
those sixty cities, which were encompassed with excellent walls, and had
been subject to him, and all got both in general and in particular a
great prey.

CHAPTER 6. Concerning Balaam The Prophet And What Kind Of Man He Was.

1. Now Moses, when he had brought his army to Jordan; pitched his camp
in the great plain over against Jericho. This city is a very happy
situation, and very fit for producing palm-trees and balsam. And now the
Israelites began to be very proud of themselves, and were very eager for
fighting. Moses then, after he had offered for a few days sacrifices of
thanksgiving to God, and feasted the people, sent a party of armed men
to lay waste the country of the Midianites, and to take their cities.
Now the occasion which he took for making war upon them was this that

2. When Balak, the king of the Moabites, who had from his ancestors a
friendship and league with the Midianites, saw how great the Israelites
were grown, he was much affrighted on account of his own and his
kingdom's danger; for he was not acquainted with this, that the Hebrews
would not meddle with any other country, but were to be contented with
the possession of the land of Canaan, God having forbidden them to go
any farther 7 So he, with more haste than wisdom, resolved to make an
attempt upon them by words; but he did not judge it prudent to fight
against them, after they had such prosperous successes, and even became
out of ill successes more happy than before, but he thought to hinder
them, if he could, from growing greater, and so he resolved to send
ambassadors to the Midianites about them. Now these Midianites knowing
there was one Balaam, who lived by Euphrates, and was the greatest of
the prophets at that time, and one that was in friendship with them,
sent some of their honorable princes along with the ambassadors of
Balak, to entreat the prophet to come to them, that he might imprecate
curses to the destruction of the Israelites. So Balaam received the
ambassadors, and treated them very kindly; and when he had supped, he
inquired what was God's will, and what this matter was for which the
Midianites entreated him to come to them. But when God opposed his
going, he came to the ambassadors, and told them that he was himself
very willing and desirous to comply with their request, but informed
them that God was opposite to his intentions, even that God who had
raised him to great reputation on account of the truth of his
predictions; for that this army, which they entreated him to come and
curse, was in the favor of God; on which account he advised them to go
home again, and not to persist in their enmity against the Israelites;
and when he had given them that answer, he dismissed the ambassadors.

3. Now the Midianites, at the earnest request and fervent entreaties of
Balak, sent other ambassadors to Balaam, who, desiring to gratify the
men, inquired again of God; but he was displeased at [second] trial 8
and bid him by no means to contradict the ambassadors. Now Balaam did
not imagine that God gave this injunction in order to deceive him, so he
went along with the ambassadors; but when the divine angel met him in
the way, when he was in a narrow passage, and hedged in with a wall on
both sides, the ass on which Balaam rode understood that it was a divine
spirit that met him, and thrust Balaam to one of the walls, without
regard to the stripes which Balaam, when he was hurt by the wall, gave
her; but when the ass, upon the angel's continuing to distress her, and
upon the stripes which were given her, fell down, by the will of God,
she made use of the voice of a man, and complained of Balaam as acting
unjustly to her; that whereas he had no fault to find with her in her
former service to him, he now inflicted stripes upon her, as not
understanding that she was hindered from serving him in what he was now
going about, by the providence of God. And when he was disturbed by
reason of the voice of the ass, which was that of a man, the angel
plainly appeared to him, and blamed him for the stripes he had given his
ass; and informed him that the brute creature was not in fault, but that
he was himself come to obstruct his journey, as being contrary to the
will of God. Upon which Balaam was afraid, and was preparing to return
back again: yet did God excite him to go on his intended journey, but
added this injunction, that he should declare nothing but what he
himself should suggest to his mind.

4. When God had given him this charge, he came to Balak; and when the
king had entertained him in a magnificent manner, he desired him to go
to one of the mountains to take a view of the state of the camp of the
Hebrews. Balak himself also came to the mountain, and brought the
prophet along with him, with a royal attendance. This mountain lay over
their heads, and was distant sixty furlongs from the camp. Now when he
saw them, he desired the king to build him seven altars, and to bring
him as many bulls and rams; to which desire the king did presently
conform. He then slew the sacrifices, and offered them as burnt-
offerings, that he might observe some signal of the flight of the
Hebrews. Then said he, "Happy is this people, on whom God bestows the
possession of innumerable good things, and grants them his own
providence to be their assistant and their guide; so that there is not
any nation among mankind but you will be esteemed superior to them in
virtue, and in the earnest prosecution of the best rules of life, and of
such as are pure from wickedness, and will leave those rules to your
excellent children; and this out of the regard that God bears to you,
and the provision of such things for you as may render you happier than
any other people under the sun. You shall retain that land to which he
hath sent you, and it shall ever be under the command of your children;
and both all the earth, as well as the seas, shall be filled with your
glory: and you shall be sufficiently numerous to supply the world in
general, and every region of it in particular, with inhabitants out of
your stock. However, O blessed army! wonder that you are become so many
from one father: and truly, the land of Canaan can now hold you, as
being yet comparatively few; but know ye that the whole world is
proposed to be your place of habitation for ever. The multitude of your
posterity also shall live as well in the islands as on the continent,
and that more in number than are the stars of heaven. And when you are
become so many, God will not relinquish the care of you, but will afford
you an abundance of all good things in times of peace, with victory and
dominion in times of war. May the children of your enemies have an
inclination to fight against you; and may they be so hardy as to come to
arms, and to assault you in battle, for they will not return with
victory, nor will their return be agreeable to their children and wives.
To so great a degree of valor will you be raised by the providence of
God, who is able to diminish the affluence of some, and to supply the
wants of others."

5. Thus did Balaam speak by inspiration, as not being in his own power,
but moved to say what he did by the Divine Spirit. But then Balak was
displeased, and said he had broken the contract he had made, whereby he
was to come, as he and his confederates had invited him, by the promise
of great presents: for whereas he came to curse their enemies, he had
made an encomium upon them, and had declared that they were the happiest
of men. To which Balaam replied, "O Balak, if thou rightly considerest
this whole matter, canst thou suppose that it is in our power to be
silent, or to say any thing, when the Spirit of God seizes upon us?—for
he puts such words as he pleases in our mouths, and such discourses as
we are not ourselves conscious of. I well remember by what entreaties
both you and the Midianites so joyfully brought me hither, and on that
account I took this journey. It was my prayer, that I might not put any
affront upon you, as to what you desired of me; but God is more powerful
than the purposes I had made to serve you; for those that take upon them
to foretell the affairs of mankind, as from their own abilities, are
entirely unable to do it, or to forbear to utter what God suggests to
them, or to offer violence to his will; for when he prevents us and
enters into us, nothing that we say is our own. I then did not intend to
praise this army, nor to go over the several good things which God
intended to do to their race; but since he was so favorable to them, and
so ready to bestow upon them a happy life and eternal glory, he
suggested the declaration of those things to me: but now, because it is
my desire to oblige thee thyself, as well as the Midianites, whose
entreaties it is not decent for me to reject, go to, let us again rear
other altars, and offer the like sacrifices that we did before, that I
may see whether I can persuade God to permit me to bind these men with
curses." Which, when Balak had agreed to, God would not, even upon
second sacrifices, consent to his cursing the Israelites. 9 Then fell
Balaam upon his face, and foretold what calamities would befall the
several kings of the nations, and the most eminent cities, some of which
of old were not so much as inhabited; which events have come to pass
among the several people concerned, both in the foregoing ages, and in
this, till my own memory, both by sea and by land. From which completion
of all these predictions that he made, one may easily guess that the
rest will have their completion in time to come.

6. But Balak being very angry that the Israelites were not cursed, sent
away Balaam without thinking him worthy of any honor. Whereupon, when he
was just upon his journey, in order to pass the Euphrates, he sent for
Balak, and for the princes of the Midianites, and spake thus to them:—"O
Balak, and you Midianites that are here present, [for I am obliged even
without the will of God to gratify you,] it is true no entire
destruction can seize upon the nation of the Hebrews, neither by war,
nor by plague, nor by scarcity of the fruits of the earth, nor can any
other unexpected accident be their entire ruin; for the providence of
God is concerned to preserve them from such a misfortune; nor will it
permit any such calamity to come upon them whereby they may all perish;
but some small misfortunes, and those for a short time, whereby they may
appear to be brought low, may still befall them; but after that they
will flourish again, to the terror of those that brought those mischiefs
upon them. So that if you have a mind to gain a victory over them for a
short space of time, you will obtain it by following my directions:—Do
you therefore set out the handsomest of such of your daughters as are
most eminent for beauty, 10 and proper to force and conquer the modesty
of those that behold them, and these decked and trimmed to the highest
degree able. Then do you send them to be near camp, and give them in
charge, that the young men of the Hebrews desire their allow it them;
and when they see they are enamored of them, let them take leaves; and
if they entreat them to stay, let give their consent till they have
persuaded leave off their obedience to their own laws, the worship of
that God who established them to worship the gods of the Midianites and
for by this means God will be angry at them 11." Accordingly, when
Balaam had suggested counsel to them, he went his way.

7. So when the Midianites had sent their daughters, as Balaam had
exhorted them, the Hebrew men were allured by their beauty, and came
with them, and besought them not to grudge them the enjoyment of their
beauty, nor to deny them their conversation. These daughters of
Midianites received their words gladly, and consented to it, and staid
with them; but when they brought them to be enamored of them, and their
inclinations to them were grown to ripeness, they began to think of
departing from them: then it was that these men became greatly
disconsolate at the women's departure, and they were urgent with them
not to leave them, but begged they would continue there, and become
their wives; and they promised them they should be owned as mistresses
all they had. This they said with an oath, and called God for the
arbitrator of what they promised; and this with tears in their eyes, and
all such marks of concern, as might shew how miserable they thought
themselves without them, and so might move their compassion for them. So
the women, as soon as they perceived they had made their slaves, and had
caught them with their conservation began to speak thus to them:—

8. "O you illustrious young men! we have of our own at home, and great
plenty of good things there, together with the natural, affectionate
parents and friends; nor is it out of our want of any such things that
we came to discourse with you; nor did we admit of your invitation with
design to prostitute the beauty of our bodies for gain; but taking you
for brave and worthy men, we agreed to your request, that we might treat
you with such honors as hospitality required: and now seeing you say
that you have a great affection for us, and are troubled when you think
we are departing, we are not averse to your entreaties; and if we may
receive such assurance of your good-will as we think can be alone
sufficient, we will be glad to lead our lives with you as your wives;
but we are afraid that you will in time be weary of our company, and
will then abuse us, and send us back to our parents, after an
ignominious manner." And they desired that they would excuse them in
their guarding against that danger. But the young men professed they
would give them any assurance they should desire; nor did they at all
contradict what they requested, so great was the passion they had for
them. "If then," said they, "this be your resolution, since you make use
of such customs and conduct of life as are entirely different from all
other men, 12 insomuch that your kinds of food are peculiar to
yourselves, and your kinds of drink not common to others, it will be
absolutely necessary, if you would have us for your wives, that you do
withal worship our gods. Nor can there be any other demonstration of the
kindness which you say you already have, and promise to have hereafter
to us, than this, that you worship the same gods that we do. For has any
one reason to complain, that now you are come into this country, you
should worship the proper gods of the same country? especially while our
gods are common to all men, and yours such as belong to nobody else but
yourselves." So they said they must either come into such methods of
divine worship as all others came into, or else they must look out for
another world, wherein they may live by themselves, according to their
own laws.

9. Now the young men were induced by the fondness they had for these
women to think they spake very well; so they gave themselves up to what
they persuaded them, and transgressed their own laws, and supposing
there were many gods, and resolving that they would sacrifice to them
according to the laws of that country which ordained them, they both
were delighted with their strange food, and went on to do every thing
that the women would have them do, though in contradiction to their own
laws; so far indeed that this transgression was already gone through the
whole army of the young men, and they fell into a sedition that was much
worse than the former, and into danger of the entire abolition of their
own institutions; for when once the youth had tasted of these strange
customs, they went with insatiable inclinations into them; and even
where some of the principal men were illustrious on account of the
virtues of their fathers, they also were corrupted together with the

10. Even Zimri, the head of the tribe of Simeon accompanied with Cozbi,
a Midianitish women, who was the daughter of Sur, a man of authority in
that country; and being desired by his wife to disregard the laws of
Moses, and to follow those she was used to, he complied with her, and
this both by sacrificing after a manner different from his own, and by
taking a stranger to wife. When things were thus, Moses was afraid that
matters should grow worse, and called the people to a congregation, but
then accused nobody by name, as unwilling to drive those into despair
who, by lying concealed, might come to repentance; but he said that they
did not do what was either worthy of themselves, or of their fathers, by
preferring pleasure to God, and to the living according to his will;
that it was fit they should change their courses while their affairs
were still in a good state, and think that to be true fortitude which
offers not violence to their laws, but that which resists their lusts.
And besides that, he said it was not a reasonable thing, when they had
lived soberly in the wilderness, to act madly now when they were in
prosperity; and that they ought not to lose, now they have abundance,
what they had gained when they had little:— and so did he endeavor, by
saying this, to correct the young inert, and to bring them to repentance
for what they had done.

11. But Zimri arose up after him, and said, "Yes, indeed, Moses, thou
art at liberty to make use of such laws as thou art so fond of, and
hast, by accustoming thyself to them, made them firm; otherwise, if
things had not been thus, thou hadst often been punished before now, and
hadst known that the Hebrews are not easily put upon; but thou shalt not
have me one of thy followers in thy tyrannical commands, for thou dost
nothing else hitherto, but, under pretense of laws, and of God, wickedly
impose on us slavery, and gain dominion to thyself, while thou deprivest
us of the sweetness of life, which consists in acting according to our
own wills, and is the right of free-men, and of those that have no lord
over them. Nay, indeed, this man is harder upon the Hebrews then were
the Egyptians themselves, as pretending to punish, according to his
laws, every one's acting what is most agreeable to himself; but thou
thyself better deservest to suffer punishment, who presumest to abolish
what every one acknowledges to be what is good for him, and aimest to
make thy single opinion to have more force than that of all the rest;
and what I now do, and think to be right, I shall not hereafter deny to
be according to my own sentiments. I have married, as thou sayest
rightly, a strange woman, and thou hearest what I do from myself as from
one that is free, for truly I did not intend to conceal myself. I also
own that I sacrificed to those gods to whom you do not think it fit to
sacrifice; and I think it right to come at truth by inquiring of many
people, and not like one that lives under tyranny, to suffer the whole
hope of my life to depend upon one man; nor shall any one find cause to
rejoice who declares himself to have more authority over my actions than

12. Now when Zimri had said these things, about what he and some others
had wickedly done, the people held their peace, both out of fear of what
might come upon them, and because they saw that their legislator was not
willing to bring his insolence before the public any further, or openly
to contend with him; for he avoided that, lest many should imitate the
impudence of his language, and thereby disturb the multitude. Upon this
the assembly was dissolved. However, the mischievous attempt had
proceeded further, if Zimri had not been first slain, which came to pass
on the following occasion:—Phineas, a man in other respects better than
the rest of the young men, and also one that surpassed his
contemporaries in the dignity of his father, [for he was the son of
Eleazar the high priest, and the grandson of [Aaron] Moses's brother,]
who was greatly troubled at what was done by Zimri, he resolved in
earnest to inflict punishment on him, before his unworthy behavior
should grow stronger by impunity, and in order to prevent this
transgression from proceeding further, which would happen if the
ringleaders were not punished. He was of so great magnanimity, both in
strength of mind and body, that when he undertook any very dangerous
attempt, he did not leave it off till he overcame it, and got an entire
victory. So he came into Zimri's tent, and slew him with his javelin,
and with it he slew Cozbi also, Upon which all those young men that had
a regard to virtue, and aimed to do a glorious action, imitated
Phineas's boldness, and slew those that were found to be guilty of the
same crime with Zimri. Accordingly many of those that had transgressed
perished by the magnanimous valor of these young men; and the rest all
perished by a plague, which distemper God himself inflicted upon them;
so that all those their kindred, who, instead of hindering them from
such wicked actions, as they ought to have done, had persuaded them to
go on, were esteemed by God as partners in their wickedness, and died.
Accordingly there perished out of the army no fewer than fourteen 13
[twenty-four] thousand at this time.

13. This was the cause why Moses was provoked to send an army to destroy
the Midianites, concerning which expedition we shall speak presently,
when we have first related what we have omitted; for it is but just not
to pass over our legislator's due encomium, on account of his conduct
here, because, although this Balaam, who was sent for by the Midianites
to curse the Hebrews, and when he was hindered from doing it by Divine
Providence, did still suggest that advice to them, by making use of
which our enemies had well nigh corrupted the whole multitude of the
Hebrews with their wiles, till some of them were deeply infected with
their opinions; yet did he do him great honor, by setting down his
prophecies in writing. And while it was in his power to claim this glory
to himself, and make men believe they were his own predictions, there
being no one that could be a witness against him, and accuse him for so
doing, he still gave his attestation to him, and did him the honor to
make mention of him on this account. But let every one think of these
matters as he pleases.

CHAPTER 7. How The Hebrews Fought With The Midianites, And Overcame

1. Now Moses sent an army against the land of Midian, for the causes
forementioned, in all twelve thousand, taking an equal number out of
every tribe, and appointed Phineas for their commander; of which Phineas
we made mention a little before, as he that had guarded the laws of the
Hebrews, and had inflicted punishment on Zimri when he had transgressed
them. Now the Midianites perceived beforehand how the Hebrews were
coming, and would suddenly be upon them: so they assembled their army
together, and fortified the entrances into their country, and there
awaited the enemy's coming. When they were come, and they had joined
battle with them, an immense multitude of the Midianites fell; nor could
they be numbered, they were so very many: and among them fell all their
kings, five in number, viz. Evi, Zur, Reba, Hur, and Rekem, who was of
the same name with a city, the chief and capital of all Arabia, which is
still now so called by the whole Arabian nation, Arecem, from the name
of the king that built it; but is by the Greeks called—Petra. Now when
the enemies were discomfited, the Hebrews spoiled their country, and
took a great prey, and destroyed the men that were its inhabitants,
together with the women; only they let the virgins alone, as Moses had
commanded Phineas to do, who indeed came back, bringing with him an army
that had received no harm, and a great deal of prey; fifty-two thousand
beeves, seventy-five thousand six hundred sheep, sixty thousand asses,
with an immense quantity of gold and silver furniture, which the
Midianites made use of in their houses; for they were so wealthy, that
they were very luxurious. There were also led captive about thirty-two
thousand virgins. 14 So Moses parted the prey into parts, and gave one
fiftieth part to Eleazar and the two priests, and another fiftieth part
to the Levites; and distributed the rest of the prey among the people.
After which they lived happily, as having obtained an abundance of good
things by their valor, and there being no misfortune that attended them,
or hindered their enjoyment of that happiness.

2. But Moses was now grown old, and appointed Joshua for his successor,
both to receive directions from God as a prophet, and for a commander of
the army, if they should at any time stand in need of such a one; and
this was done by the command of God, that to him the care of the public
should be committed. Now Joshua had been instructed in all those kinds
of learning which concerned the laws and God himself, and Moses had been
his instructor.

3. At this time it was that the two tribes of Gad and Reuben, and the
half tribe of Manasseh, abounded in a multitude of cattle, as well as in
all other kinds of prosperity; whence they had a meeting, and in a body
came and besought Moses to give them, as their peculiar portion, that
land of the Amorites which they had taken by right of war, because it
was fruitful, and good for feeding of cattle; but Moses, supposing that
they were afraid of fighting with the Canaanites, and invented this
provision for their cattle as a handsome excuse for avoiding that war,
he called them arrant cowards, and said they had only contrived a decent
excuse for that cowardice; and that they had a mind to live in luxury
and ease, while all the rest were laboring with great pains to obtain
the land they were desirous to have; and that they were not willing to
march along, and undergo the remaining hard service, whereby they were,
under the Divine promise, to pass over Jordan, and overcome those our
enemies which God had shown them, and so obtain their land. But these
tribes, when they saw that Moses was angry with them, and when they
could not deny but he had a just cause to be displeased at their
petition, made an apology for themselves; and said, that it was not on
account of their fear of dangers, nor on account of their laziness, that
they made this request to him, but that they might leave the prey they
had gotten in places of safety, and thereby might be more expedite, and
ready to undergo difficulties, and to fight battles. They added this
also, that when they had built cities, wherein they might preserve their
children, and wives, and possessions, if he would bestow them upon them,
they would go along with the rest of the army. Hereupon Moses was
pleased with what they said; so he called for Eleazar the high priest,
and Joshua, and the chief of the tribes, and permitted these tribes to
possess the land of the Amorites; but upon this condition, that they
should join with their kinsmen in the war until all things were settled.
Upon which condition they took possession of the country, and built them
strong cities, and put into them their children and their wives, and
whatsoever else they had that might be an impediment to the labors of
their future marches.

4. Moses also now built those ten cities which were to be of the number
of the forty-eight [for the Levites;]; three of which he allotted to
those that slew any person involuntarily, and fled to them; and he
assigned the same time for their banishment with that of the life of
that high priest under whom the slaughter and flight happened; after
which death of the high priest he permitted the slayer to return home.
During the time of his exile, the relations of him that was slain may,
by this law, kill the manslayer, if they caught him without the bounds
of the city to which he fled, though this permission was not granted to
any other person. Now the cities which were set apart for this flight
were these: Bezer, at the borders of Arabia; Ramoth, of the land of
Gilead; and Golan, in the land of Bashan. There were to be also, by
Moses's command, three other cities allotted for the habitation of these
fugitives out of the cities of the Levites, but not till after they
should be in possession of the land of Canaan.

5. At this time the chief men of the tribe of Manasseh came to Moses,
and informed him that there was an eminent man of their tribe dead,
whose name was Zelophehad, who left no male children, but left
daughters; and asked him whether these daughters might inherit his land
or not. He made this answer, That if they shall marry into their own
tribe, they shall carry their estate along with them; but if they
dispose of themselves in marriage to men of another tribe, they shall
leave their inheritance in their father's tribe. And then it was that
Moses ordained, that every one's inheritance should continue in his own

CHAPTER 8. The Polity Settled By Moses; And How He Disappeared From
Among Mankind.

1. When forty years were completed, within thirty days, Moses gathered
the congregation together near Jordan, where the city Abila now stands,
a place full of palm-trees; and all the people being come together, he
spake thus to them:—

2. "O you Israelites and fellow soldiers, who have been partners with me
in this long and uneasy journey; since it is now the will of God, and
the course of old age, at a hundred and twenty, requires it that I
should depart out of this life; and since God has forbidden me to be a
patron or an assistant to you in what remains to be done beyond Jordan;
I thought it reasonable not to leave off my endeavors even now for your
happiness, but to do my utmost to procure for you the eternal enjoyment
of good things, and a memorial for myself, when you shall be in the
fruition of great plenty and prosperity. Come, therefore, let me suggest
to you by what means you may be happy, and may leave an eternal
prosperous possession thereof to your children after you, and then let
me thus go out of the world; and I cannot but deserve to be believed by
you, both on account of the great things I have already done for you,
and because, when souls are about to leave the body, they speak with the
sincerest freedom. O children of Israel! there is but one source of
happiness for all mankind, the favor of God 15 for he alone is able to
give good things to those that deserve them, and to deprive those of
them that sin against him; towards whom, if you behave yourselves
according to his will, and according to what I, who well understand his
mind, do exhort you to, you will both be esteemed blessed, and will be
admired by all men; and will never come into misfortunes, nor cease to
be happy: you will then preserve the possession of the good things you
already have, and will quickly obtain those that you are at present in
want of,—only do you be obedient to those whom God would have you to
follow. Nor do you prefer any other constitution of government before
the laws now given you; neither do you disregard that way of Divine
worship which you now have, nor change it for any other form: and if you
do this, you will be the most courageous of all men, in undergoing the
fatigues of war, and will not be easily conquered by any of your
enemies; for while God is present with you to assist you, it is to be
expected that you will be able to despise the opposition of all mankind;
and great rewards of virtue are proposed for you, if you preserve that
virtue through your whole lives. Virtue itself is indeed the principal
and the first reward, and after that it bestows abundance of others; so
that your exercise of virtue towards other men will make your own lives
happy, and render you more glorious than foreigners can be, and procure
you an undisputed reputation with posterity. These blessings you will be
able to obtain, in case you hearken to and observe those laws which, by
Divine revelation, I have ordained for you; that is, in case you withal
meditate upon the wisdom that is in them. I am going from you myself,
rejoicing in the good things you enjoy; and I recommend you to the wise
conduct of your law, to the becoming order of your polity, and to the
virtues of your commanders, who will take care of what is for your
advantage. And that God, who has been till now your Leader, and by whose
goodwill I have myself been useful to you, will not put a period now to
his providence over you, but as long as you desire to have him your
Protector in your pursuits after virtue, so long will you enjoy his care
over you. Your high priest also Eleazar, as well as Joshua, with the
senate, and chief of your tribes, will go before you, and suggest the
best advices to you; by following which advices you will continue to be
happy: to whom do you give ear without reluctance, as sensible that all
such as know well how to be governed, will also know how to govern, if
they be promoted to that authority themselves. And do not you esteem
liberty to consist in opposing such directions as your governors think
fit to give you for your practice,—as at present indeed you place your
liberty in nothing else but abusing your benefactors; which error if you
can avoid for the time to come, your affairs will be in a better
condition than they have hitherto been. Nor do you ever indulge such a
degree of passion in these matters, as you have oftentimes done when you
have been very angry at me; for you know that I have been oftener in
danger of death from you than from our enemies. What I now put you in
mind of, is not done in order to reproach you; for I do not think it
proper, now I am going out of the world, to bring this to your
remembrance, in order to leave you offended at me, since, at the time
when I underwent those hardships from you, I was not angry at you; but I
do it in order to make you wiser hereafter, and to teach you that this
will be for your security; I mean, that you never be injurious to those
that preside over you, even when you are become rich, as you will be to
a great degree when you have passed over Jordan, and are in possession
of the land of Canaan. Since, when you shall have once proceeded so far
by your wealth, as to a contempt and disregard of virtue, you will also
forfeit the favor of God; and when you have made him your enemy, you
will be beaten in war, and will have the land which you possess taken
away again from you by your enemies, and this with great reproaches upon
your conduct. You will be scattered over the whole world, and will, as
slaves, entirely fill both sea and land; and when once you have had the
experience of what I now say, you will repent, and remember the laws you
have broken, when it is too late. Whence I would advise you, if you
intend to preserve these laws, to leave none of your enemies alive when
you have conquered them, but to look upon it as for your advantage to
destroy them all, lest, if you permit them to live, you taste of their
manners, and thereby corrupt your own proper institutions. I also do
further exhort you, to overthrow their altars, and their groves, and
whatsoever temples they have among them, and to burn all such, their
nation, and their very memory with fire; for by this means alone the
safety of your own happy constitution can be firmly secured to you. And
in order to prevent your ignorance of virtue, and the degeneracy of your
nature into vice, I have also ordained you laws, by Divine suggestion,
and a form of government, which are so good, that if you regularly
observe them, you will be esteemed of all men the most happy."

3. When he had spoken thus, he gave them the laws and the constitution
of government written in a book. Upon which the people fell into tears,
and appeared already touched with the sense that they should have a
great want of their conductor, because they remembered what a number of
dangers he had passed through, and what care he had taken of their
preservation: they desponded about what would come upon them after he
was dead, and thought they should never have another governor like him;
and feared that God would then take less care of them when Moses was
gone, who used to intercede for them. They also repented of what they
had said to him in the wilderness when they were angry, and were in
grief on those accounts, insomuch that the whole body of the people fell
into tears with such bitterness, that it was past the power of words to
comfort them in their affliction. However, Moses gave them some
consolation; and by calling them off the thought how worthy he was of
their weeping for him, he exhorted them to keep to that form of
government he had given them; and then the congregation was dissolved at
that time.

4. Accordingly, I shall now first describe this form of government which
was agreeable to the dignity and virtue of Moses; and shall thereby
inform those that read these Antiquities, what our original settlements
were, and shall then proceed to the remaining histories. Now those
settlements are all still in writing, as he left them; and we shall add
nothing by way of ornament, nor any thing besides what Moses left us;
only we shall so far innovate, as to digest the several kinds of laws
into a regular system; for they were by him left in writing as they were
accidentally scattered in their delivery, and as he upon inquiry had
learned them of God. On which account I have thought it necessary to
premise this observation beforehand, lest any of my own countrymen
should blame me, as having been guilty of an offense herein. Now part of
our constitution will include the laws that belong to our political
state. As for those laws which Moses left concerning our common
conversation and intercourse one with another, I have reserved that for
a discourse concerning our manner of life, and the occasions of those
laws; which I propose to myself, with God's assistance, to write, after
I have finished the work I am now upon.

5. When you have possessed yourselves of the land of Canaan, and have
leisure to enjoy the good things of it, and when you have afterward
determined to build cities, if you will do what is pleasing to God, you
will have a secure state of happiness. Let there be then one city of the
land of Canaan, and this situate in the most agreeable place for its
goodness, and very eminent in itself, and let it be that which God shall
choose for himself by prophetic revelation. Let there also be one temple
therein, and one altar, not reared of hewn stones, but of such as you
gather together at random; which stones, when they are whited over with
mortar, will have a handsome appearance, and be beautiful to the sight.
Let the ascent to it be not by steps 16 but by an acclivity of raised
earth. And let there be neither an altar nor a temple in any other city;
for God is but one, and the nation of the Hebrews is but one.

6. He that blasphemeth God, let him be stoned; and let him hang upon a
tree all that day, and then let him be buried in an ignominious and
obscure manner.

7. Let those that live as remote as the bounds of the land which the
Hebrews shall possess, come to that city where the temple shall be, and
this three times in a year, that they may give thanks to God for his
former benefits, and may entreat him for those they shall want
hereafter; and let them, by this means, maintain a friendly
correspondence with one another by such meetings and feastings together,
for it is a good thing for those that are of the same stock, and under
the same institution of laws, not to be unacquainted with each other;
which acquaintance will be maintained by thus conversing together, and
by seeing and talking with one another, and so renewing the memorials of
this union; for if they do not thus converse together continually, they
will appear like mere strangers to one another.

8. Let there be taken out of your fruits a tenth, besides that which you
have allotted to give to the priests and Levites. This you may indeed
sell in the country, but it is to be used in those feasts and sacrifices
that are to be celebrated in the holy city; for it is fit that you
should enjoy those fruits of the earth which God gives you to possess,
so as may be to the honor of the donor.

9. You are not to offer sacrifices out of the hire of a woman who is a
harlot 17 for the Deity is not pleased with any thing that arises from
such abuses of nature; of which sort none can be worse than this
prostitution of the body. In like manner no one may take the price of
the covering of a bitch, either of one that is used in hunting, or in
keeping of sheep, and thence sacrifice to God.

10. Let no one blaspheme those gods which other cities esteem such; 18
nor may any one steal what belongs to strange temples, nor take away the
gifts that are dedicated to any god.

11. Let not any one of you wear a garment made of woolen and linen, for
that is appointed to be for the priests alone.

12. When the multitude are assembled together unto the holy city for
sacrificing every seventh year, at the feast of tabernacles, let the
high priest stand upon a high desk, whence he may be heard, and let him
read the laws to all the people; and let neither the women nor the
children be hindered from hearing, no, nor the servants neither; for it
is a good thing that those laws should be engraven in their souls, and
preserved in their memories, that so it may not be possible to blot them
out; for by this means they will not be guilty of sin, when they cannot
plead ignorance of what the laws have enjoined them. The laws also will
have a greater authority among them, as foretelling what they will
suffer if they break them; and imprinting in their souls by this hearing
what they command them to do, that so there may always be within their
minds that intention of the laws which they have despised and broken,
and have thereby been the causes of their own mischief. Let the children
also learn the laws, as the first thing they are taught, which will be
the best thing they can be taught, and will be the cause of their future

13. Let every one commemorate before God the benefits which he bestowed
upon them at their deliverance out of the land of Egypt, and this twice
every day, both when the day begins and when the hour of sleep comes on,
gratitude being in its own nature a just thing, and serving not only by
way of return for past, but also by way of invitation of future favors.
They are also to inscribe the principal blessings they have received
from God upon their doors, and show the same remembrance of them upon
their arms; as also they are to bear on their forehead and their arm
those wonders which declare the power of God, and his good-will towards
them, that God's readiness to bless them may appear every where
conspicuous about them. 19

14. Let there be seven men to judge in every city, 20 and these such as
have been before most zealous in the exercise of virtue and
righteousness. Let every judge have two officers allotted him out of the
tribe of Levi. Let those that are chosen to judge in the several cities
be had in great honor; and let none be permitted to revile any others
when these are present, nor to carry themselves in an insolent manner to
them; it being natural that reverence towards those in high offices
among men should procure men's fear and reverence towards God. Let those
that judge be permitted to determine according as they think to be
right, unless any one can show that they have taken bribes, to the
perversion of justice, or can allege any other accusation against them,
whereby it may appear that they have passed an unjust sentence; for it
is not fit that causes should be openly determined out of regard to
gain, or to the dignity of the suitors, but that the judges should
esteem what is right before all other things, otherwise God will by that
means be despised, and esteemed inferior to those, the dread of whose
power has occasioned the unjust sentence; for justice is the power of
God. He therefore that gratifies those in great dignity, supposes them
more potent than God himself. But if these judges be unable to give a
just sentence about the causes that come before them, [which case is not
unfrequent in human affairs,] let them send the cause undetermined to
the holy city, and there let the high priest, the prophet, and the
sanhedrim, determine as it shall seem good to them.

15. But let not a single witness be credited, but three, or two at the
least, and those such whose testimony is confirmed by their good lives.
But let not the testimony of women be admitted, on account of the levity
and boldness of their sex 21 Nor let servants be admitted to give
testimony, on account of the ignobility of their soul; since it is
probable that they may not speak truth, either out of hope of gain, or
fear of punishment. But if any one be believed to have borne false
witness, let him, when he is convicted, suffer all the very same
punishments which he against whom he bore witness was to have suffered.

16. If a murder be committed in any place, and he that did it be not
found, nor is there any suspicion upon one as if he had hated the man,
and so had killed him, let there be a very diligent inquiry made after
the man, and rewards proposed to any one who will discover him; but if
still no information can be procured, let the magistrates and senate of
those cities that lie near the place in which the murder was committed,
assemble together, and measure the distance from the place where the
dead body lies; then let the magistrates of the nearest city thereto
purchase a heifer, and bring it to a valley, and to a place therein
where there is no land ploughed or trees planted, and let them cut the
sinews of the heifer; then the priests and Levites, and the senate of
that city, shall take water and wash their hands over the head of the
heifer; and they shall openly declare that their hands are innocent of
this murder, and that they have neither done it themselves, nor been
assisting to any that did it. They shall also beseech God to be merciful
to them, that no such horrid act may any more be done in that land.

17. Aristocracy, and the way of living under it, is the best
constitution: and may you never have any inclination to any other form
of government; and may you always love that form, and have the laws for
your governors, and govern all your actions according to them; for you
need no supreme governor but God. But if you shall desire a king, let
him be one of your own nation; let him be always careful of justice and
other virtues perpetually; let him submit to the laws, and esteem God's
commands to be his highest wisdom; but let him do nothing without the
high priest and the votes of the senators: let him not have a great
number of wives, nor pursue after abundance of riches, nor a multitude
of horses, whereby he may grow too proud to submit to the laws. And if
he affect any such things, let him be restrained, lest he become so
potent that his state be inconsistent with your welfare.

18. Let it not be esteemed lawful to remove boundaries, neither our own,
nor of those with whom we are at peace. Have a care you do not take
those landmarks away which are, as it were, a divine and unshaken
limitation of rights made by God himself, to last for ever; since this
going beyond limits, and gaining ground upon others, is the occasion of
wars and seditions; for those that remove boundaries are not far off an
attempt to subvert the laws.

19. He that plants a piece of land, the trees of which produce fruits
before the fourth year, is not to bring thence any first-fruits to God,
nor is he to make use of that fruit himself, for it is not produced in
its proper season; for when nature has a force put upon her at an
unseasonable time, the fruit is not proper for God, nor for the master's
use; but let the owner gather all that is grown on the fourth year, for
then it is in its proper season. And let him that has gathered it carry
it to the holy city, and spend that, together with the tithe of his
other fruits, in feasting with his friends, with the orphans, and the
widows. But on the fifth year the fruit is his own, and he may use it as
he pleases.

20. You are not to sow with seed a piece of land which is planted with
vines, for it is enough that it supply nourishment to that plant, and be
not harassed by ploughing also. You are to plough your land with oxen,
and not to oblige other animals to come under the same yoke with them;
but to till your land with those beasts that are of the same kind with
each other. The seeds are also to be pure, and without mixture, and not
to be compounded of two or three sorts, since nature does not rejoice in
the union of things that are not in their own nature alike; nor are you
to permit beasts of different kinds to gender together, for there is
reason to fear that this unnatural abuse may extend from beasts of
different kinds to men, though it takes its first rise from evil
practices about such smaller things. Nor is any thing to be allowed, by
imitation whereof any degree of subversion may creep into the
constitution. Nor do the laws neglect small matters, but provide that
even those may be managed after an unblamable manner.

21. Let not those that reap, and gather in the corn that is reaped,
gather in the gleanings also; but let them rather leave some handfuls
for those that are in want of the necessaries of life, that it may be a
support and a supply to them, in order to their subsistence. In like
manner when they gather their grapes, let them leave some smaller
bunches for the poor, and let them pass over some of the fruits of the
olive-trees, when they gather them, and leave them to be partaken of by
those that have none of their own; for the advantage arising from the
exact collection of all, will not be so considerable to the owners as
will arise from the gratitude of the poor. And God will provide that the
land shall more willingly produce what shall be for the nourishment of
its fruits, in case you do not merely take care of your own advantage,
but have regard to the support of others also. Nor are you to muzzle the
mouths of the oxen when they tread the ears of corn in the thrashing-
floor; for it is not just to restrain our fellow-laboring animals, and
those that work in order to its production, of this fruit of their
labors. Nor are you to prohibit those that pass by at the time when your
fruits are ripe to touch them, but to give them leave to fill themselves
full of what you have; and this whether they be of your own country or
strangers,—as being glad of the opportunity of giving them some part of
your fruits when they are ripe; but let it not be esteemed lawful for
them to carry any away. Nor let those that gather the grapes, and carry
them to the wine-presses, restrain those whom they meet from eating of
them; for it is unjust, out of envy, to hinder those that desire it, to
partake of the good things that come into the world according to God's
will, and this while the season is at the height, and is hastening away
as it pleases God. Nay, if some, out of bashfulness, are unwilling to
touch these fruits, let them be encouraged to take of them [I mean,
those that are Israelites] as if they were themselves the owners and
lords, on account of the kindred there is between them. Nay, let them
desire men that come from other countries, to partake of these tokens of
friendship which God has given in their proper season; for that is not
to be deemed as idly spent, which any one out of kindness communicates
to another, since God bestows plenty of good things on men, not only for
themselves to reap the advantage, but also to give to others in a way of
generosity; and he is desirous, by this means, to make known to others
his peculiar kindness to the people of Israel, and how freely he
communicates happiness to them, while they abundantly communicate out of
their great superfluities to even these foreigners also. But for him
that acts contrary to this law, let him be beaten with forty stripes
save one 22 by the public executioner; let him undergo this punishment,
which is a most ignominious one for a free-man, and this because he was
such a slave to gain as to lay a blot upon his dignity; for it is proper
for you who have had the experience of the afflictions in Egypt, and of
those in the wilderness, to make provision for those that are in the
like circumstances; and while you have now obtained plenty yourselves,
through the mercy and providence of God, to distribute of the same
plenty, by the like sympathy, to such as stand in need of it.

22. Besides those two tithes, which I have already said you are to pay
every year, the one for the Levites, the other for the festivals, you
are to bring every third year a third tithe to be distributed to those
that want; 23 to women also that are widows, and to children that are
orphans. But as to the ripe fruits, let them carry that which is ripe
first of all into the temple; and when they have blessed God for that
land which bare them, and which he had given them for a possession, when
they have also offered those sacrifices which the law has commanded them
to bring, let them give the first-fruits to the priests. But when any
one hath done this, and hath brought the tithe of all that he hath,
together with those first-fruits that are for the Levites, and for the
festivals, and when he is about to go home, let him stand before the
holy house, and return thanks to God, that he hath delivered them from
the injurious treatment they had in Egypt, and hath given them a good
land, and a large, and lets them enjoy the fruits thereof; and when he
hath openly testified that he hath fully paid the tithes [and other
dues] according to the laws of Moses, let him entreat God that he will
be ever merciful and gracious to him, and continue so to be to all the
Hebrews, both by preserving the good things which he hath already given
them, and by adding what it is still in his power to bestow upon them.

23. Let the Hebrews marry, at the age fit for it, virgins that are free,
and born of good parents. And he that does not marry a virgin, let him
not corrupt another man's wife, and marry her, nor grieve her former
husband. Nor let free men marry slaves, although their affections should
strongly bias any of them so to do; for it is decent, and for the
dignity of the persons themselves, to govern those their affections. And
further, no one ought to marry a harlot, whose matrimonial oblations,
arising from the prostitution of her body, God will not receive; for by
these means the dispositions of the children will be liberal and
virtuous; I mean, when they are not born of base parents, and of the
lustful conjunction of such as marry women that are not free. If any one
has been espoused to a woman as to a virgin, and does not afterward find
her so to be, let him bring his action, and accuse her, and let him make
use of such indications 24 to prove his accusation as he is furnished
withal; and let the father or the brother of the damsel, or some one
that is after them nearest of kin to her, defend her If the damsel
obtain a sentence in her favor, that she had not been guilty, let her
live with her husband that accused her; and let him not have any further
power at all to put her away, unless she give him very great occasions
of suspicion, and such as can be no way contradicted. But for him that
brings an accusation and calumny against his wife in an impudent and
rash manner, let him be punished by receiving forty stripes save one,
and let him pay fifty shekels to her father: but if the damsel be
convicted, as having been corrupted, and is one of the common people,
let her be stoned, because she did not preserve her virginity till she
were lawfully married; but if she were the daughter of a priest, let her
be burnt alive. If any one has two wives, and if he greatly respect and
be kind to one of them, either out of his affection to her, or for her
beauty, or for some other reason, while the other is of less esteem with
him; and if the son of her that is beloved be the younger by birth than
another born of the other wife, but endeavors to obtain the right of
primogeniture from his father's kindness to his mother, and would
thereby obtain a double portion of his father's substance, for that
double portion is what I have allotted him in the laws,—let not this be
permitted; for it is unjust that he who is the elder by birth should be
deprived of what is due to him, on the father's disposition of his
estate, because his mother was not equally regarded by him. He that hath
corrupted a damsel espoused to another man, in case he had her consent,
let both him and her be put to death, for they are both equally guilty;
the man, because he persuaded the woman willingly to submit to a most
impure action, and to prefer it to lawful wedlock; the woman, because
she was persuaded to yield herself to be corrupted, either for pleasure
or for gain. However, if a man light on a woman when she is alone, and
forces her, where nobody was present to come to her assistance, let him
only be put to death. Let him that hath corrupted a virgin not yet
espoused marry her; but if the father of the damsel be not willing that
she should be his wife, let him pay fifty shekels as the price of her
prostitution. He that desires to be divorced from his wife for any cause
25 whatsoever, [and many such causes happen among men,] let him in
writing give assurance that he will never use her as his wife any more;
for by this means she may be at liberty to marry another husband,
although before this bill of divorce be given, she is not to be
permitted so to do: but if she be misused by him also, or if, when he is
dead, her first husband would marry her again, it shall not be lawful
for her to return to him. If a woman's husband die, and leave her
without children, let his brother marry her, and let him call the son
that is born to him by his brother's name, and educate him as the heir
of his inheritance, for this procedure will be for the benefit of the
public, because thereby families will not fail, and the estate will
continue among the kindred; and this will be for the solace of wives
under their affliction, that they are to be married to the next relation
of their former husbands. But if the brother will not marry her, let the
woman come before the senate, and protest openly that this brother will
not admit her for his wife, but will injure the memory of his deceased
brother, while she is willing to continue in the family, and to bear him
children. And when the senate have inquired of him for what reason it is
that he is averse to this marriage, whether he gives a bad or a good
reason, the matter must come to this issue, That the woman shall loose
the sandals of the brother, and shall spit in his face, and say, He
deserves this reproachful treatment from her, as having injured the
memory of the deceased. And then let him go away out of the senate, and
bear this reproach upon him all his life long; and let her marry to whom
she pleases, of such as seek her in marriage. But now, if any man take
captive, either a virgin, or one that hath been married, 26 and has a
mind to marry her, let him not be allowed to bring her to bed to him, or
to live with her as his wife, before she hath her head shaven, and hath
put on her mourning habit, and lamented her relations and friends that
were slain in the battle, that by this means she may give vent to her
sorrow for them, and after that may betake herself to feasting and
matrimony; for it is good for him that takes a woman, in order to have
children by her, to be complaisant to her inclinations, and not merely
to pursue his own pleasure, while he hath no regard to what is agreeable
to her. But when thirty days are past, as the time of mourning, for so
many are sufficient to prudent persons for lamenting the dearest
friends, then let them proceed to the marriage; but in case when he hath
satisfied his lust, he be too proud to retain her for his wife, let him
not have it in his power to make her a slave, but let her go away
whither she pleases, and have that privilege of a free woman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1 (return) [ Reland here takes notice, that although our Bibles say
little or nothing of these riches of Corah, yet that both the Jews and
Mahommedans, as well as Josephus, are full of it.]

2 (return) [ It appears here, and from the Samaritan Pentateuch, and, in
effect, from the psalmist, as also from the Apostolical Constitutions,
from Clement's First Epistle to the Corinthians, from Ignatius's Epistle
to the Magnesians, and from Eusebius, that Corah was not swallowed up
with the Reubenites, but burned with the Levites of his own tribe. See
Essay on the Old Testament, p. 64, 65.]

3 (return) [ Concerning these twelve rods of the twelve tribes of
Israel, see St. Clement's account, much larger than that in our Bibles,
1 Epist. sect. 45; as is Josephus's present account in measure larger

4 (return) [ Grotius, on Numbers 6:18, takes notice that the Greeks
also, aswell as the Jews, sometimes consecrated the hair of their heads
to the gods.]

5 (return) [ Josephus here uses this phrase, "when the fortieth year was
completed," for when it was begun; as does St. Luke when the day of
Pentecost was completed," Acts 2:1.]

6 (return) [ Whether Miriam died, as Josephus's. Greek copies imply, on
the first day of the month, may be doubted, because the Latin copies say
it was on the tenth, and so say the Jewish calendars also, as Dr.
Bernard assures us. It is said her sepulcher is still extant near Petra,
the old capital city of Arabia Petraea, at this day; as also that of
Aaron, not far off.]

7 (return) [ What Josephus here remarks is well worth our remark in this
place also; viz. that the Israelites were never to meddle with the
Moabites, or Ammonites, or any other people, but those belonging to the
land of Canaan, and the countries of Sihon and Og beyond Jordan, as far
as the desert and Euphrates, and that therefore no other people had
reason to fear the conquests of the Israelites; but that those countries
given them by God were their proper and peculiar portion among the
nations, and that all who endeavored to dispossess them might ever be
justly destroyed by them.]

8 (return) [ Note that Josephus never supposes Balaam to be an idolater,
nor to seek idolatrous enchantments, or to prophesy falsely, but to be
no other than an ill-disposed prophet of the true God; and intimates
that God's answer the second time, permitting him to go, was ironical,
and on design that he deceived [which sort of deception, by way of
punishment for former crimes, Josephus never scruples to admit, as ever
esteeming such wicked men justly and providentially deceived]. But
perhaps we had better keep here close to the text which says Numbers
23:20, 21, that God only permitted Balaam to go along with the
ambassadors, in case they came and called him, or positively insisted on
his going along with them, on any terms; whereas Balaam seems out of
impatience to have risen up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and
rather to have called them, than staid for their calling him, so zealous
does he seem to have been for his reward of divination, his wages of
unrighteousness, Numbers 23:7, 17, 18, 37; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 5, 11;
which reward or wages the truly religious prophets of God never required
nor accepted, as our Josephus justly takes notice in the cases of
Samuel, Antiq. B. V. ch. 4. sect. 1, and Daniel, Antiq. B. X. ch. 11.
sect. 3. See also Genesis 14:22, 23; 2 Kings 5:15, 16, 26, 27; and Acts

9 (return) [ Whether Josephus had in his copy but two attempts of Balaam
in all to curse Israel; or whether by this his twice offering sacrifice,
he meant twice besides that first time already mentioned, which yet is
not very probable; cannot now be certainly determined. In the mean time,
all other copies have three such attempts of Balaam to curse them in the
present history.]

10 (return) [ Such a large and distinct account of this perversion of
the Israelites by the Midianite women, of which our other copies give us
but short intimations, Numbers 31:16 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 11; Revelation
2:14, is preserved, as Reland informs us, in the Samaritan Chronicle, in
Philo, and in other writings of the Jews, as well as here by Josephus.]

11 (return) [ This grand maxim, That God's people of Israel could never
be hurt nor destroyed, but by drawing them to sin against God, appears
to be true, by the entire history of that people, both in the Bible and
in Josephus; and is often taken notice of in them both. See in
particular a most remarkable Ammonite testimony to this purpose, Judith

12 (return) [ What Josephus here puts into the mouths of these Midianite
women, who came to entice the Israelites to lewdness and idolatry, viz.
that their worship of the God of Israel, in opposition to their idol
gods, implied their living according to the holy laws which the true God
had given them by Moses, in opposition to those impure laws which were
observed under their false gods, well deserves our consideration; and
gives us a substantial reason for the great concern that was ever shown
under the law of Moses to preserve the Israelites from idolatry, and in
the worship of the true God; it being of no less consequence than,
Whether God's people should be governed by the holy laws of the true
God, or by the impure laws derived from demons, under the pagan

13 (return) [ The mistake in all Josephus's copies, Greek and Latin
which have here fourteen thousand instead of twenty-four thousand, is so
flagrant, that our very learned editors, Bernard and Hudson, have put
the latter number directly into the text. I choose rather to put it in

14 (return) [ The slaughter of all the Midianite women that had
prostituted themselves to the lewd Israelites, and the preservation of
those that had not been guilty therein; the last of which were no fewer
than thirty-two thousand, both here and Numbers 31:15-17, 35, 40, 46,
and both by the particular command of God; are highly remarkable, and
show that, even in nations otherwise for their wickedness doomed to
destruction, the innocent were sometimes particularly and providentially
taken care of, and delivered from that destruction; which directly
implies, that it was the wickedness of the nations of Canaan, and
nothing else, that occasioned their excision. See Genesis 15;16; 1
Samuel 15:18, 33; Apost. Constit. B. VIII. ch. 12. p. 402. In the first
of which places, the reason of the delay of the punishment of the
Amorites is given, because "their iniquity was not yet full." In the
secured, Saul is ordered to go and "destroy the sinners, the
Amalekites;" plainly implying that they were therefore to be destroyed,
because they were sinners, and not otherwise. In the third, the reason
is given why king Agag was not to be spared, viz. because of his former
cruelty: "As thy sword hath made the [Hebrew] women childless, so shall
thy mother be made childless among women by the Hebrews." In the last
place, the apostles, or their amanuensis Clement, gave this reason for
the necessity of the coming of Christ, that "men had formerly perverted
both the positive law, and that of nature; and had cast out of their
mind the memory of the Flood, the burning of Sodom, the plagues of the
Egyptians, and the slaughter of the inhabitants of Palestine," as signs
of the most amazing impenitence and insensibility, under the punishments
of horrid wickedness.]

15 (return) [ Josephus here, in this one sentence, sums up his notion of
Moses's very long and very serious exhortations in the book of
Deuteronomy; and his words are so true, and of such importance, that
they deserve to be had in constant remembrance.]

16 (return) [ This law, both here and Exodus 20:25, 26, of not going up
to God's altar by ladder-steps, but on an acclivity, seems not to have
belonged to the altar of the tabernacle, which was in all but three
cubits high, Exodus 27:4; nor to that of Ezekiel, which was expressly to
be gone up to by steps, ch. 43:17; but rather to occasional altars of
any considerable altitude and largeness; as also probably to Solomon's
altar, to which it is here applied by Josephus, as well as to that in
Zorobabel's and Herod's temple, which were, I think, all ten cubits
high. See 2 Chronicles 4:1, and Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 3. sect. 7. The
reason why these temples, and these only, were to have this ascent on an
acclivity, and not by steps, is obvious, that before the invention of
stairs, such as we now use, decency could not be otherwise provided for
in the loose garments which the priests wore, as the law required. See
Lamy of the Tabernacle and Temple, p. 444.]

17 (return) [ The hire of public or secret harlots was given to Venus in
Syria, as Lucian informs us, p. 878; and against some such vile practice
of the old idolaters this law seems to have been made.]

18 (return) [ The Apostolical Constitutions, B. II. ch. 26. sect. 31,
expound this law of Moses, Exodus 22. 28, "Thou shalt not revile or
blaspheme the gods," or magistrates, which is a much more probable
exposition than this of Josephus, of heathen gillis, as here, and
against Apion, B. II. ch. 3. sect. 31. What book of the law was thus
publicly read, see the note on Antiq. B. X. ch. 5. sect. 5, and 1 Esd.

19 (return) [ Whether these phylacteries, and other Jewish memorials of
the law here mentioned by Josephus, and by Muses, [besides the fringes
on the borders of their garments, Numbers 15:37,] were literally meant
by God, I much question. That they have been long observed by the
Pharisees and Rabbinical Jews is certain; however, the Karaites, who
receive not the unwritten traditions of the elders, but keep close to
the written law, with Jerome and Grotius, think they were not literally
to be understood; as Bernard and Reland here take notice. Nor indeed do
I remember that, either in the ancienter books of the Old Testament, or
in the books we call Apocrypha, there are any signs of such literal
observations appearing among the Jews, though their real or mystical
signification, i.e. the constant remembrance and observation of the laws
of God by Moses, be frequently inculcated in all the sacred writings.]

20 (return) [ Here, as well as elsewhere, sect. 38, of his Life, sect.
14, and of the War, B. II. ch. 20. sect. 5, are but seven judges
appointed for small cities, instead of twenty-three in the modern
Rabbins; which modern Rabbis are always but of very little authority in
comparison of our Josephus.]

21 (return) [ I have never observed elsewhere, that in the Jewish
government women were not admitted as legal witnesses in courts of
justice. None of our copies of the Pentateuch say a word of it. It is
very probable, however, that this was the exposition of the scribes and
Pharisees, and the practice of the Jews in the days of Josephus.]

22 (return) [ This penalty of "forty stripes save one," here mentioned,
and sect. 23, was five times inflicted on St. Paul himself by the Jews,
2 Corinthians 11:24]

23 (return) [ Josephus's plain and express interpretation of this law of
Moses, Deuteronomy 14:28, 29; 26:12, etc., that the Jews were bound
every third year to pay three tithes, that to the Levites, that for
sacrifices at Jerusalem, and this for the indigent, the widow, and the
orphans, is fully confirmed by the practice of good old Tobit, even when
he was a captive in Assyria, against the opinions of the Rabbins, Tobit

24 (return) [ These tokens of virginity, as the Hebrew and Septuagint
style them, Deuteronomy 22:15, 17, 20, seem to me very different from
what our later interpreters suppose. They appear rather to have been
such close linen garments as were never put off virgins, after, a
certain age, till they were married, but before witnesses, and which,
while they were entire, were certain evidences of such virginity. See
these, Antiq. B. VII. ch. 8. sect. 1; 2 Samuel 13:18; Isaiah 6:1
Josephus here determines nothing what were these particular tokens of
virginity or of corruption: perhaps he thought he could not easily
describe them to the heathens, without saying what they might have
thought a breach of modesty; which seeming breach of modesty laws cannot
always wholly avoid.]

25 (return) [ These words of Josephus are very like those of the
Pharisees to our Savior upon this very subject, Matthew 19:3, "Is it
lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?"]

26 (return) [ Here it is supposed that this captive's husband, if she
were before a married woman, was dead before, or rather was slain in
this very battle, otherwise it would have been adultery in him that
married her.]

27 (return) [ See Herod the Great insisting on the execution of this
law, with relation to two of his own sons, before the judges at Berytus,
Antiq. B. XVI. ch. 11. sect. 2.]

28 (return) [ Philo and others appear to have understood this law,
Exodus 21:22, 23, better than Josephus, who seems to allow, that though
the infant in the mother's womb, even after the mother were quick, and
so the infant had a rational soul, were killed by the stroke upon the
mother, yet if the mother escaped, the offender should only be fined,
and not put to death; while the law seems rather to mean, that if the
infant in that case be killed, though the mother escape, the offender
must be put to death, and not only when the mother is killed, as
Josephus understood it. It seems this was the exposition of the
Pharisees in the days of Josephus.]

29 (return) [ What we render a witch, according to our modern notions of
witchcraft, Exodus 22:15, Philo and Josephus understood of a poisoner,
or one who attempted by secret and unlawful drugs or philtra, to take
away the senses or the lives of men.]

30 (return) [ This permission of redeeming this penalty with money is
not in our copies, Exodus 21:24, 25; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy

31 (return) [ We may here note, that thirty shekels, the price our
Savior was sold for by Judas to the Jews, Matthew 26:15, and 27;3, was
the old value of a bought servant or slave among that people.]

32 (return) [ This law against castration, even of brutes, is said to be
so rigorous elsewhere, as to inflict death on him that does it which
seems only a Pharisaical interpretation in the days of Josephus of that
law, Leviticus 21:20, and 22:24: only we may hence observe, that the
Jews could then have no oxen which are gelded, but only bulls and cows,
in Judea.]

33 (return) [ These laws seem to be those above-mentioned, sect, 4, of
this chapter.]

34 (return) [ What laws were now delivered to the priests, see the note
on Antiq. B. III. ch. 1. sect. 7.]

35 (return) [ Of the exact place where this altar was to be built,
whether nearer Mount Gerizzim or Mount Ebal, according to Josephus, see
Essay on the Old Testament, p. 168—171. Dr. Bernard well observes here,
how unfortunate this neglect of consulting the Urim was to Joshua
himself, in the case of the Gibeonites, who put a trick upon him, and
ensnared him, together with the rest of the Jewish rulers, with a solemn
oath to preserve them, contrary to his commission to extirpate all the
Canaanites, root and branch; which oath he and the other rulers never
durst break. See Scripture Politics, p. 55, 56; and this snare they were
brought into because they "did not ask counsel at the mouth of the
Lord," Joshua 9:14.]

36 (return) [ Since Josephus assures us here, as is most naturally to be
supposed, and as the Septuagint gives the text, Deuteronomy 33:6, that
Moses blessed every one of the tribes of Israel, it is evident that
Simeon was not omitted in his copy, as it unhappily now is, both in our
Hebrew and Samaritan copies.]

BOOK V. Containing The Interval Of Four Hundred And Seventy-Six
Years.—From The Death Of Moses To The Death Of Eli.

CHAPTER 1. How Joshua, The Commander Of The Hebrews, Made War With The
Canaanites, And Overcame Them, And Destroyed Them, And Divided Their
Land By Lot To The Tribes Of Israel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER 2. How, After The Death Of Joshua Their Commander, The
Israelites Transgressed The Laws Of Their Country, And Experienced Great
Afflictions; And When There Was A Sedition Arisen, The Tribe Of Benjamin
Was Destroyed Excepting Only Six Hundred Men.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER 3. How The Israelites After This Misfortune Grew Wicked And
Served The Assyrians; And How God Delivered Them By Othniel, Who Ruled
Over The Forty Years.

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

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

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

CHAPTER 4. How Our People Served The Moabites Eighteen Years, And Were
Then Delivered From Slavery By One Ehud Who Retained The Dominion Eighty

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

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

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

CHAPTER 5. How The Canaanites Brought The Israelites Under Slavery For
Twenty Years; After Which They Were Delivered By Barak And Deborah, Who
Ruled Over Them For Forty Years.

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER 6. How The Midianites And Other Nations Fought Against The
Israelites And Beat Them, And Afflicted Their Country For Seven Years,
How They Were Delivered By Gideon, Who Ruled Over The Multitude For
Forty Years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER 7. That The Judges Who Succeeded Gideon Made War With The
Adjoining Nations For A Long Time.

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

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

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

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

5. Now Abimelech, when he had affrighted the Israelites with the
miseries he had brought upon the Shechemites, seemed openly to affect
greater authority than he now had, and appeared to set no bounds to his
violence, unless it were with the destruction of all. Accordingly he
marched to Thebes, and took the city on the sudden; and there being a
great tower therein, whereunto the whole multitude fled, he made
preparation to besiege it. Now as he was rushing with violence near the
gates, a woman threw a piece of a millstone upon his head, upon which
Abimelech fell down, and desired his armor-bearer to kill him lest his
death should be thought to be the work of a woman:—who did what he was
bid to do. So he underwent this death as a punishment for the wickedness
he had perpetrated against his brethren, and his insolent barbarity to
the Shechemites. Now the calamity that happened to those Shechemites was
according to the prediction of Jotham, However, the army that was with
Abimelech, upon his fall, was scattered abroad, and went to their own

6. Now it was that Jair the Gileadite, 16 of the tribe of Manasseh, took
the government. He was a man happy in other respects also, but
particularly in his children, who were of a good character. They were
thirty in number, and very skillful in riding on horses, and were
intrusted with the government of the cities of Gilead. He kept the
government twenty-two years, and died an old man; and he was buried in
Camon, a city of Gilead.

7. And now all the affairs of the Hebrews were managed uncertainly, and
tended to disorder, and to the contempt of God and of the laws. So the
Ammonites and Philistines had them in contempt, and laid waste the
country with a great army; and when they had taken all Perea, they were
so insolent as to attempt to gain the possession of all the rest. But
the Hebrews, being now amended by the calamities they had undergone,
betook themselves to supplications to God; and brought sacrifices to
him, beseeching him not to be too severe upon them, but to be moved by
their prayers to leave off his anger against them. So God became more
merciful to them, and was ready to assist them.

8. When the Ammonites had made an expedition into the land of Gilead,
the inhabitants of the country met them at a certain mountain, but
wanted a commander. Now there was one whose name was Jephtha, who, both
on account of his father's virtue, and on account of that army which he
maintained at his own expenses, was a potent man: the Israelites
therefore sent to him, and entreated him to come to their assistance,
and promised him the dominion over them all his lifetime. But he did not
admit of their entreaty; and accused them, that they did not come to his
assistance when he was unjustly treated, and this in an open manner by
his brethren; for they cast him off, as not having the same mother with
the rest, but born of a strange mother, that was introduced among them
by his father's fondness; and this they did out of a contempt of his
inability [to vindicate himself]. So he dwelt in the country of Gilead,
as it is called, and received all that came to him, let them come from
what place soever, and paid them wages. However, when they pressed him
to accept the dominion, and sware they would grant him the government
over them all his life, he led them to the war.

9. And when Jephtha had taken immediate care of their affairs, he placed
his army at the city Mizpeh, and sent a message to the Ammonite [king],
complaining of his unjust possession of their land. But that king sent a
contrary message; and complained of the exodus of the Israelites out of
Egypt, and desired him to go out of the land of the Amorites, and yield
it up to him, as at first his paternal inheritance. But Jephtha returned
this answer: That he did not justly complain of his ancestors about the
land of the Amorites, and ought rather to thank them that they left the
land of the Ammonites to them, since Moses could have taken it also; and
that neither would he recede from that land of their own, which God had
obtained for them, and they had now inhabited [above] three hundred
years, but would fight with them about it.

10. And when he had given them this answer, he sent the ambassadors
away. And when he had prayed for victory, and had vowed to perform
sacred offices, and if he came home in safety, to offer in sacrifice
what living creature soever should first meet him, 17 he joined battle
with the enemy, and gained a great victory, and in his pursuit slew the
enemies all along as far as the city of Minnith. He then passed over to
the land of the Ammonites, and overthrew many of their cities, and took
their prey, and freed his own people from that slavery which they had
undergone for eighteen years. But as he came back, he fell into a
calamity no way correspondent to the great actions he had done; for it
was his daughter that came to meet him; she was also an only child and a
virgin: upon this Jephtha heavily lamented the greatness of his
affliction, and blamed his daughter for being so forward in meeting him,
for he had vowed to sacrifice her to God. However, this action that was
to befall her was not ungrateful to her, since she should die upon
occasion of her father's victory, and the liberty of her fellow
citizens: she only desired her father to give her leave, for two months,
to bewail her youth with her fellow citizens; and then she agreed, that
at the forementioned time he might do with her according to his vow.
Accordingly, when that time was over, he sacrificed his daughter as a
burnt-offering, offering such an oblation as was neither conformable to
the law nor acceptable to God, not weighing with himself what opinion
the hearers would have of such a practice.

11. Now the tribe of Ephraim fought against him, because he did not take
them along with him in his expedition against the Ammonites, but because
he alone had the prey, and the glory of what was done to himself. As to
which he said, first, that they were not ignorant how his kindred had
fought against him, and that when they were invited, they did not come
to his assistance, whereas they ought to have come quickly, even before
they were invited. And in the next place, that they were going to act
unjustly; for while they had not courage enough to fight their enemies,
they came hastily against their own kindred: and he threatened them
that, with God's assistance, he would inflict a punishment upon them,
unless they would grow wiser. But when he could not persuade them, he
fought with them with those forces which he sent for out of Gilead, and
he made a great slaughter among them; and when they were beaten, he
pursued them, and seized on the passages of Jordan by a part of his army
which he had sent before, and slew about forty-two thousand of them.

12. So when Jephtha had ruled six years, he died, and was buried in his
own country, Sebee, which is a place in the land of Gilead.

13. Now when Jephtha was dead, Ibzan took the government, being of the
tribe of Judah, and of the city of Bethlehem. He had sixty children,
thirty of them sons, and the rest daughters; all whom he left alive
behind him, giving the daughters in marriage to husbands, and taking
wives for his sons. He did nothing in the seven years of his
administration that was worth recording, or deserved a memorial. So he
died an old man, and was buried in his own country.

14. When Ibzan was dead after this manner, neither did Helon, who
succeeded him in the government, and kept it ten years, do any thing
remarkable: he was of the tribe of Zebulon.

15. Abdon also, the son of Hilel, of the tribe of Ephraim, and born at
the city Pyrathon, was ordained their supreme governor after Helon. He
is only recorded to have been happy in his children; for the public
affairs were then so peaceable, and in such security, that neither did
he perform any glorious action. He had forty sons, and by them left
thirty grandchildren; and he marched in state with these seventy, who
were all very skillful in riding horses; and he left them all alive
after him. He died an old man, and obtained a magnificent burial in

CHAPTER 8. Concerning The Fortitude Of Samson, And What Mischiefs He
Brought Upon The Philistines.

1. After Abdon was dead, the Philistines overcame the Israelites, and
received tribute of them for forty years; from which distress they were
delivered after this manner:—

2. There was one Manoah, a person of such great virtue, that he had few
men his equals, and without dispute the principal person of his country.
He had a wife celebrated for her beauty, and excelling her
contemporaries. He had no children; and, being uneasy at his want of
posterity, he entreated God to give them seed of their own bodies to
succeed them; and with that intent he came constantly into the suburbs
18 together with his wife; which suburbs were in the Great Plain. Now he
was fond of his wife to a degree of madness, and on that account was
unmeasurably jealous of her. Now, when his wife was once alone, an
apparition was seen by her: it was an angel of God, and resembled a
young man beautiful and tall, and brought her the good news that she
should have a son, born by God's providence, that should be a goodly
child, of great strength; by whom, when he was grown up to man's estate,
the Philistines should be afflicted. He exhorted her also not to poll
his hair, and that he should avoid all other kinds of drink, [for so had
God commanded,] and be entirely contented with water. So the angel, when
he had delivered that message, went his way, his coming having been by
the will of God.

3. Now the wife informed her husband when he came home of what the angel
had said, who showed so great an admiration of the beauty and tallness
of the young man that had appeared to her, that her husband was
astonished, and out of himself for jealousy, and such suspicions as are
excited by that passion: but she was desirous of having her husband's
unreasonable sorrow taken away; accordingly she entreated God to send
the angel again, that he might be seen by her husband. So the angel came
again by the favor of God, while they were in the suburbs, and appeared
to her when she was alone without her husband. She desired the angel to
stay so long till she might bring her husband; and that request being
granted, she goes to call Manoah. When he saw the angel he was not yet
free from suspicion, and he desired him to inform him of all that he had
told his wife; but when he said it was sufficient that she alone knew
what he had said, he then requested of him to tell who he was, that when
the child was born they might return him thanks, and give him a present.
He replied that he did not want any present, for that he did not bring
them the good news of the birth of a son out of the want of any thing.
And when Manoah had entreated him to stay, and partake of his
hospitality, he did not give his consent. However he was persuaded, at
the earnest request of Manoah to stay so long as while he brought him
one mark of his hospitality; so he slew a kid of the goats, and bid his
wife boil it. When all was ready, the angel enjoined him to set the
loaves and the flesh, but without the vessels, upon the rock; which when
they had done, he touched the flesh with the rod which he had in his
hand, which, upon the breaking out of a flame, was consumed, together
with the loaves; and the angel ascended openly, in their sight, up to
heaven, by means of the smoke, as by a vehicle. Now Manoah was afraid
that some danger would come to them from this sight of God; but his wife
bade him be of good courage, for that God appeared to them for their

4. So the woman proved with child, and was careful to observe the
injunctions that were given her; and they called the child, when he was
born, Samson, which name signifies one that is strong. So the child grew
apace; and it appeared evidently that he would be a prophet, 19 both by
the moderation of his diet, and the permission of his hair to grow.

5. Now when he once came with his parents to Timhath, a city of the
Philistines, when there was a great festival, he fell in love with a
maid of that country, and he desired of his parents that they would
procure him the damsel for his wife: but they refused so to do, because
she was not of the stock of Israel; yet because this marriage was of
God, who intended to convert it to the benefit of the Hebrews, he over-
persuaded them to procure her to be espoused to him. And as he was
continually coming to her parents, he met a lion, and though he was
naked, he received his onset, and strangled him with his hands, and cast
the wild beast into a woody piece of ground on the inside of the road.

6. And when he was going another time to the damsel, he lit upon a swarm
of bees making their combs in the breast of that lion; and taking three
honey-combs away, he gave them, together with the rest of his presents,
to the damsel. Now the people of Timhath, out of a dread of the young
man's strength, gave him during the time of the wedding-feast [for he
then feasted them all] thirty of the most stout of their youth, in
pretense to be his companions, but in reality to be a guard upon him,
that he might not attempt to give them any disturbance. Now as they were
drinking merrily and playing, Samson said, as was usual at such times,
"Come, if I propose you a riddle, and you can expound it in these seven
days' time, I will give you every one a linen shirt and a garment, as
the reward of your wisdom." So they being very ambitious to obtain the
glory of wisdom, together with the gains, desired him to propose his
riddle. He, "That a devourer produced sweet food out of itself, though
itself were very disagreeable." And when they were not able, in three
days' time, to find out the meaning of the riddle, they desired the
damsel to discover it by the means of her husband, and tell it them; and
they threatened to burn her if she did not tell it them. So when the
damsel entreated Samson to tell it her, he at first refused to do it;
but when she lay hard at him, and fell into tears, and made his refusal
to tell it a sign of his unkindness to her, he informed her of his
slaughter of a lion, and how he found bees in his breast, and carried
away three honey-combs, and brought them to her. Thus he, suspecting
nothing of deceit, informed her of all, and she revealed it to those
that desired to know it. Then on the seventh day, whereon they were to
expound the riddle proposed to them, they met together before sun-
setting, and said, "Nothing is more disagreeable than a lion to those
that light on it, and nothing is sweeter than honey to those that make
use of it." To which Samson made this rejoinder: "Nothing is more
deceitful than a woman for such was the person that discovered my
interpretation to you." Accordingly he gave them the presents he had
promised them, making such Askelonites as met him upon the road his
prey, who were themselves Philistines also. But he divorced this his
wife; and the girl despised his anger, and was married to his companion,
who made the former match between them.

7. At this injurious treatment Samson was so provoked, that he resolved
to punish all the Philistines, as well as her: so it being then summer-
time, and the fruits of the land being almost ripe enough for reaping,
he caught three hundred foxes, and joining lighted torches to their
tails, he sent them into the fields of the Philistines, by which means
the fruits of the fields perished. Now when the Philistines knew that
this was Samson's doing, and knew also for what cause he did it, they
sent their rulers to Timhath, and burnt his former wife, and her
relations, who had been the occasion of their misfortunes.

8. Now when Samson had slain many of the Philistines in the plain
country, he dwelt at Etam, which is a strong rock of the tribe of Judah;
for the Philistines at that time made an expedition against that tribe:
but the people of Judah said that they did not act justly with them, in
inflicting punishments upon them while they paid their tribute, and this
only on account of Samson's offenses. They answered, that in case they
would not be blamed themselves, they must deliver up Samson, and put him
into their power. So they being desirous not to be blamed themselves,
came to the rock with three thousand armed men, and complained to Samson
of the bold insults he had made upon the Philistines, who were men able
to bring calamity upon the whole nation of the Hebrews; and they told
him they were come to take him, and to deliver him up to them, and put
him into their power; so they desired him to bear this willingly.
Accordingly, when he had received assurance from them upon oath, that
they would do him no other harm than only to deliver him into his
enemies' hands, he came down from the rock, and put himself into the
power of his countrymen. Then did they bind him with two cords, and lead
him on, in order to deliver him to the Philistines; and when they came
to a certain place, which is now called the Jaw-bone, on account of the
great action there performed by Samson, though of old it had no
particular name at all, the Philistines, who had pitched their camp not
far off, came to meet them with joy and shouting, as having done a great
thing, and gained what they desired; but Samson broke his bonds asunder,
and catching up the jaw-bone of an ass that lay down at his feet, fell
upon his enemies, and smiting them with his jaw-bone, slew a thousand of
them, and put the rest to flight and into great disorder.

9. Upon this slaughter Samson was too proud of what he had performed,
and said that this did not come to pass by the assistance of God, but
that his success was to be ascribed to his own courage; and vaunted
himself, that it was out of a dread of him that some of his enemies fell
and the rest ran away upon his use of the jaw-bone; but when a great
thirst came upon him, he considered that human courage is nothing, and
bare his testimony that all is to be ascribed to God, and besought him
that he would not be angry at any thing he had said, nor give him up
into the hands of his enemies, but afford him help under his affliction,
and deliver him from the misfortune he was under. Accordingly God was
moved with his entreaties, and raised him up a plentiful fountain of
sweet water at a certain rock whence it was that Samson called the place
the Jaw-bone, 20 and so it is called to this day.

10. After this fight Samson held the Philistines in contempt, and came
to Gaza, and took up his lodgings in a certain inn. When the rulers of
Gaza were informed of his coming thither, they seized upon the gates,
and placed men in ambush about them, that he might not escape without
being perceived; but Samson, who was acquainted with their contrivances
against him, arose about midnight, and ran by force upon the gates, with
their posts and beams, and the rest of their wooden furniture, and
carried them away on his shoulders, and bare them to the mountain that
is over Hebron, and there laid them down.

11. However, he at length 21 transgressed the laws of his country, and
altered his own regular way of living, and imitated the strange customs
of foreigners, which thing was the beginning of his miseries; for he
fell in love with a woman that was a harlot among the Philistines: her
name was Delilah, and he lived with her. So those that administered the
public affairs of the Philistines came to her, and, with promises,
induced her to get out of Samson what was the cause of that his
strength, by which he became unconquerable to his enemies. Accordingly,
when they were drinking, and had the like conversation together, she
pretended to admire the actions he had done, and contrived to get out of
him by subtlety, by what means he so much excelled others in strength.
Samson, in order to delude Delilah, for he had not yet lost his senses,
replied, that if he were bound with seven such green withs of a vine as
might still be wreathed, he should be weaker than any other man. The
woman said no more then, but told this to the rulers of the Philistines,
and hid certain of the soldiers in ambush within the house; and when he
was disordered in drink and asleep, she bound him as fast as possible
with the withs; and then upon her awakening him, she told him some of
the people were upon him; but he broke the withs, and endeavored to
defend himself, as though some of the people were upon him. Now this
woman, in the constant conversation Samson had with her, pretended that
she took it very ill that he had such little confidence in her
affections to him, that he would not tell her what she desired, as if
she would not conceal what she knew it was for his interest to have
concealed. However, he deluded her again, and told her, that if they
bound him with seven cords, he should lose his strength. And when, upon
doing this, she gained nothing, he told her the third time, that his
hair should be woven into a web; but when, upon doing this, the truth
was not yet discovered, at length Samson, upon Delilah's prayer, [for he
was doomed to fall into some affliction,] was desirous to please her,
and told her that God took care of him, and that he was born by his
providence, and that "thence it is that I suffer my hair to grow, God
having charged me never to poll my head, and thence my strength is
according to the increase and continuance of my hair." When she had
learned thus much, and had deprived him of his hair, she delivered him
up to his enemies, when he was not strong enough to defend himself from
their attempts upon him; so they put out his eyes, and bound him, and
had him led about among them.

12. But in process of time Samson's hair grew again. And there was a
public festival among the Philistines, when the rulers, and those of the
most eminent character, were feasting together; [now the room wherein
they were had its roof supported by two pillars;] so they sent for
Samson, and he was brought to their feast, that they might insult him in
their cups. Hereupon he, thinking it one of the greatest misfortunes, if
he should not be able to revenge himself when he was thus insulted,
persuaded the boy that led him by the hand, that he was weary and wanted
to rest himself, and desired he would bring him near the pillars; and as
soon as he came to them, he rushed with force against them, and
overthrew the house, by overthrowing its pillars, with three thousand
men in it, who were all slain, and Samson with them. And such was the
end of this man, when he had ruled over the Israelites twenty years. And
indeed this man deserves to be admired for his courage and strength, and
magnanimity at his death, and that his wrath against his enemies went so
far as to die himself with them. But as for his being ensnared by a
woman, that is to be ascribed to human nature, which is too weak to
resist the temptations to that sin; but we ought to bear him witness,
that in all other respects he was one of extraordinary virtue. But his
kindred took away his body, and buried it in Sarasat his own country,
with the rest of his family.

CHAPTER 9. How Under Eli's Government Of The Israelites Booz Married
Ruth, From Whom Came Obed The Grandfather Of David.

1. Now after the death of Samson, Eli the high priest was governor of
the Israelites. Under him, when the country was afflicted with a famine,
Elimelech of Bethlehem, which is a city of the tribe of Judah, being not
able to support his family under so sore a distress, took with him Naomi
his wife, and the children that were born to him by her, Chillon and
Mahlon, and removed his habitation into the land of Moab; and upon the
happy prosperity of his affairs there, he took for his sons wives of the
Moabites, Orpah for Chillon, and Ruth for Mahlon. But in the compass of
ten years, both Elimelech, and a little while after him, the sons, died;
and Naomi being very uneasy at these accidents, and not being able to
bear her lonesome condition, now those that were dearest to her were
dead, on whose account it was that she had gone away from her own
country, she returned to it again, for she had been informed it was now
in a flourishing condition. However, her daughters-in-law were not able
to think of parting with her; and when they had a mind to go out of the
country with her, she could not dissuade them from it; but when they
insisted upon it, she wished them a more happy wedlock than they had
with her sons, and that they might have prosperity in other respects
also; and seeing her own affairs were so low, she exhorted them to stay
where they were, and not to think of leaving their own country, and
partaking with her of that uncertainty under which she must return.
Accordingly Orpah staid behind; but she took Ruth along with her, as not
to be persuaded to stay behind her, but would take her fortune with her,
whatsoever it should prove.

2. When Ruth was come with her mother-in-law to Bethlehem, Booz, who was
near of kin to Elimelech, entertained her; and when Naomi was so called
by her fellow citizens, according to her true name, she said, "You might
more truly call me Mara." Now Naomi signifies in the Hebrew tongue
happiness, and Mara, sorrow. It was now reaping time; and Ruth, by the
leave of her mother-in-law, went out to glean, that they might get a
stock of corn for their food. Now it happened that she came into Booz's
field; and after some time Booz came thither, and when he saw the
damsel, he inquired of his servant that was set over the reapers
concerning the girl. The servant had a little before inquired about all
her circumstances, and told them to his master, who kindly embraced her,
both on account of her affection to her mother-in-law, and her
remembrance of that son of hers to whom she had been married, and wished
that she might experience a prosperous condition; so he desired her not
to glean, but to reap what she was able, and gave her leave to carry it
home. He also gave it in charge to that servant who was over the
reapers, not to hinder her when she took it away, and bade him give her
her dinner, and make her drink when he did the like to the reapers. Now
what corn Ruth received of him she kept for her mother-in-law, and came
to her in the evening, and brought the ears of corn with her; and Naomi
had kept for her a part of such food as her neighbors had plentifully
bestowed upon her. Ruth also told her mother-in-law what Booz had said
to her; and when the other had informed her that he was near of kin to
them, and perhaps was so pious a man as to make some provision for them,
she went out again on the days following, to gather the gleanings with
Booz's maidservants.

3. It was not many days before Booz, after the barley was winnowed,
slept in his thrashing-floor. When Naomi was informed of this
circumstance she contrived it so that Ruth should lie down by him, for
she thought it might be for their advantage that he should discourse
with the girl. Accordingly she sent the damsel to sleep at his feet; who
went as she bade her, for she did not think it consistent with her duty
to contradict any command of her mother-in-law. And at first she lay
concealed from Booz, as he was fast asleep; but when he awaked about
midnight, and perceived a woman lying by him, he asked who she was;—and
when she told him her name, and desired that he whom she owned for her
lord would excuse her, he then said no more; but in the morning, before
the servants began to set about their work, he awaked her, and bid her
take as much barley as she was able to carry, and go to her mother-in-
law before any body there should see that she had lain down by him,
because it was but prudent to avoid any reproach that might arise on
that account, especially when there had been nothing done that was ill.
But as to the main point she aimed at, the matter should rest here,—"He
that is nearer of kin than I am, shall be asked whether he wants to take
thee to wife: if he says he does, thou shalt follow him; but if he
refuse it, I will marry thee, according to the law."

4. When she had informed her mother-in-law of this, they were very glad
of it, out of the hope they had that Booz would make provision for them.
Now about noon Booz went down into the city, and gathered the senate
together, and when he had sent for Ruth, he called for her kinsman also;
and when he was come, he said, "Dost not thou retain the inheritance of
Elimelech and his sons?" He confessed that he did retain it, and that he
did as he was permitted to do by the laws, because he was their nearest
kinsman. Then said Booz, "Thou must not remember the laws by halves, but
do every thing according to them; for the wife of Mahlon is come hither,
whom thou must marry, according to the law, in case thou wilt retain
their fields." So the man yielded up both the field and the wife to
Booz, who was himself of kin to those that were dead, as alleging that
he had a wife already, and children also; so Booz called the senate to
witness, and bid the woman to loose his shoe, and spit in his face,
according to the law; and when this was done, Booz married Ruth, and
they had a son within a year's time. Naomi was herself a nurse to this
child; and by the advice of the women, called him Obed, as being to be
brought up in order to be subservient to her in her old age, for Obed in
the Hebrew dialect signifies a servant. The son of Obed was Jesse, and
David was his son, who was king, and left his dominions to his sons for
one and twenty generations. I was therefore obliged to relate this
history of Ruth, because I had a mind to demonstrate the power of God,
who, without difficulty, can raise those that are of ordinary parentage
to dignity and splendor, to which he advanced David, though he were born
of such mean parents.

CHAPTER 10. Concerning The Birth Of Samuel; And How He Foretold The
Calamity That Befell The Sons Of Eli.

1. And now upon the ill state of the affairs of the Hebrews, they made
war again upon the Philistines. The occasion was this: Eli, the high
priest, had two sons, Hophni and Phineas. These sons of Eli were guilty
of injustice towards men, and of impiety towards God, and abstained from
no sort of wickedness. Some of their gifts they carried off, as
belonging to the honorable employment they had; others of them they took
away by violence. They also were guilty of impurity with the women that
came to worship God at the tabernacle, obliging some to submit to their
lust by force, and enticing others by bribes; nay, the whole course of
their lives was no better than tyranny. Their father therefore was angry
at them for such their wickedness, and expected that God would suddenly
inflict his punishments upon them for what they had done. The multitude
took it heinously also. And as soon as God had foretold what calamity
would befall Eli's sons, which he did both to Eli himself and to Samuel
the prophet, who was yet but a child, he openly showed his sorrow for
his sons' destruction.

2. I will first despatch what I have to say about the prophet Samuel,
and after that will proceed to speak of the sons of Eli, and the
miseries they brought on the whole people of the Hebrews. Elcanah, a
Levite, one of a middle condition among his fellow citizens, and one
that dwelt at Ramathaim, a city of the tribe of Ephraim, married two
wives, Hannah and Peninnah. He had children by the latter; but he loved
the other best, although she was barren. Now Elcanah came with his wives
to the city Shiloh to sacrifice, for there it was that the tabernacle of
God was fixed, as we have formerly said. Now when, after he had
sacrificed, he distributed at that festival portions of the flesh to his
wives and children, and when Hannah saw the other wife's children
sitting round about their mother, she fell into tears, and lamented
herself on account of her barrenness and lonesomeness; and suffering her
grief to prevail over her husband's consolations to her, she went to the
tabernacle to beseech God to give her seed, and to make her a mother;
and to vow to consecrate the first son she should bear to the service of
God, and this in such a way, that his manner of living should not be
like that of ordinary men. And as she continued at her prayers a long
time, Eli, the high priest, for he sat there before the tabernacle, bid
her go away, thinking she had been disordered with wine; but when she
said she had drank water, but was in sorrow for want of children, and
was beseeching God for them, he bid her be of good cheer, and told her
that God would send her children.

3. So she came to her husband full of hope, and ate her meal with
gladness. And when they had returned to their own country she found
herself with child, and they had a son born to them, to whom they gave
the name of Samuel, which may be styled one that was asked of God. They
therefore came to the tabernacle to offer sacrifice for the birth of the
child, and brought their tithes with them; but the woman remembered the
vows she had made concerning her son, and delivered him to Eli,
dedicating him to God, that he might become a prophet. Accordingly his
hair was suffered to grow long, and his drink was water. So Samuel dwelt
and was brought up in the temple. But Elcanah had other sons by Hannah,
and three daughters.

4. Now when Samuel was twelve years old, he began to prophesy: and once
when he was asleep, God called to him by his name; and he, supposing he
had been called by the high priest, came to him: but when the high
priest said he did not call him, God did so thrice. Eli was then so far
illuminated, that he said to him, "Indeed, Samuel, I was silent now as
well as before: it is God that calls thee; do thou therefore signify it
to him, and say, I am here ready." So when he heard God speak again, he
desired him to speak, and to deliver what oracles he pleased to him, for
he would not fail to perform any ministration whatsoever he should make
use of him in;—to which God replied, "Since thou art here ready, learn
what miseries are coming upon the Israelites,—such indeed as words
cannot declare, nor faith believe; for the sons of Eli shall die on one
day, and the priesthood shall be transferred into the family of Eleazar;
for Eli hath loved his sons more than he hath loved my worship, and to
such a degree as is not for their advantage." Which message Eli obliged
the prophet by oath to tell him, for otherwise he had no inclination to
afflict him by telling it. And now Eli had a far more sure expectation
of the perdition of his sons; but the glory of Samuel increased more and
more, it being found by experience that whatsoever he prophesied came to
pass accordingly. 22

CHAPTER 11. Herein Is Declared What Befell The Sons Of Eli, The Ark, And
The People And How Eli Himself Died Miserably.

1. About this time it was that the Philistines made war against the
Israelites, and pitched their camp at the city Aphek. Now when the
Israelites had expected them a little while, the very next day they
joined battle, and the Philistines were conquerors, and slew above four
thousand of the Hebrews, and pursued the rest of their multitude to
their camp.

2. So the Hebrews being afraid of the worst, sent to the senate, and to
the high priest, and desired that they would bring the ark of God, that
by putting themselves in array, when it was present with them, they
might be too hard for their enemies, as not reflecting that he who had
condemned them to endure these calamities was greater than the ark, and
for whose sake it was that this ark came to be honored. So the ark came,
and the sons of the high priest with it, having received a charge from
their father, that if they pretended to survive the taking of the ark,
they should come no more into his presence, for Phineas officiated
already as high priest, his father having resigned his office to him, by
reason of his great age. So the Hebrews were full of courage, as
supposing that, by the coming of the ark, they should be too hard for
their enemies: their enemies also were greatly concerned, and were
afraid of the ark's coming to the Israelites: however, the upshot did
not prove agreeable to the expectation of both sides, but when the
battle was joined, that victory which the Hebrews expected was gained by
the Philistines, and that defeat the Philistines were afraid of fell to
the lot of the Israelites, and thereby they found that they had put
their trust in the ark in vain, for they were presently beaten as soon
as they came to a close fight with their enemies, and lost about thirty
thousand men, among whom were the sons of the high priest; but the ark
was carried away by the enemies.

3. When the news of this defeat came to Shiloh, with that of the
captivity of the ark, [for a certain young man, a Benjamite, who was in
the action, came as a messenger thither,] the whole city was full of
lamentations. And Eli, the high priest, who sat upon a high throne at
one of the gates, heard their mournful cries, and supposed that some
strange thing had befallen his family. So he sent for the young man; and
when he understood what had happened in the battle, he was not much
uneasy as to his sons, or what was told him withal about the army, as
having beforehand known by Divine revelation that those things would
happen, and having himself declared them beforehand,—for what sad things
come unexpectedly they distress men the most; but as soon as [he heard]
the ark was carried captive by their enemies, he was very much grieved
at it, because it fell out quite differently from what he expected; so
he fell down from his throne and died, having in all lived ninety-eight
years, and of them retained the government forty.

4. On the same day his son Phineas's wife died also, as not able to
survive the misfortune of her husband; for they told her of her
husband's death as she was in labor. However, she bare a son at seven
months, who lived, and to whom they gave the name of Icabod, which name
signifies disgrace,—and this because the army received a disgrace at
this time.

5. Now Eli was the first of the family of Ithamar, the other son of
Aaron, that had the government; for the family of Eleazar officiated as
high priest at first, the son still receiving that honor from the father
which Eleazar bequeathed to his son Phineas; after whom Abiezer his son
took the honor, and delivered it to his son, whose name was Bukki, from
whom his son Ozi received it; after whom Eli, of whom we have been
speaking, had the priesthood, and so he and his posterity until the time
of Solomon's reign; but then the posterity of Eleazar reassumed it.


1 (return) [ The Amorites were one of the seven nations of Canaan. Hence
Reland is willing to suppose that Josephus did not here mean that their
land beyond Jordan was a seventh part of the whole land of Canaan, but
meant the Arnorites as a seventh nation. His reason is, that Josephus,
as well as our Bible, generally distinguish the land beyond Jordan from
the land of Canaan; nor can it be denied, that in strictness they were
all forgot: yet after two tribes and a half of the twelve tribes came to
inherit it, it might in a general way altogether be well included under
the land of Canaan, or Palestine, or Judea, of which we have a clear
example here before us in Josephus, whose words evidently imply, that
taking the whole land of Canaan, or that inhabited by all the twelve
tribes together, and parting it into seven parts, the part beyond Jordan
was in quantity of ground one seventh part of the whole. And this well
enough agrees to Reland's own map of that country, although this land
beyond Jordan was so peculiarly fruitful, and good for pasturage, as the
two tribes and a half took notice, Numbers 32:1, 4, 16, that it
maintained about a fifth part of the whole people.]

2 (return) [ It plainly appears by the history of these spies, and the
innkeeper Rahab's deception of the king of Jericho's messengers, by
telling them what was false in order to save the lives of the spies, and
yet the great commendation of her faith and good works in the New
Testament, Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25, as well as by many other parallel
examples, both in the Old Testament and in Josephus, that the best men
did not then scruple to deceive those public enemies who might justly be
destroyed; as also might deceive ill men in order to save life, and
deliver themselves from the tyranny of their unjust oppressors, and this
by telling direct falsehoods; I mean, all this where no oath was
demanded of them, otherwise they never durst venture on such a
procedure. Nor was Josephus himself of any other opinion or practice, as
I shall remark in the note on Antiq. B. IX. ch. 4. sect. 3. And observe,
that I still call this woman Rahab, an innkeeper, not a harlot, the
whole history, both in our copies, and especially in Josephus, implying
no more. It was indeed so frequent a thing, that women who were
innkeepers were also harlots, or maintainers of harlots, that the word
commonly used for real harlots was usually given them. See Dr. Bernard's
note here, and Judges 11:1, and Antiq. B. V. ch. 7. sect. 8.]

3 (return) [ Upon occasion of this devoting of Jericho to destruction,
and the exemplary punishment of Achar, who broke that duerein or
anathema, and of the punishment of the future breaker of it, Hiel, 1
Kings 16:34, as also of the punishment of Saul, for breaking the like
chefera or anathema, against the Amalekites, 1 Samuel 15., we may
observe what was the true meaning of that law, Leviticus 27:28: "None
devoted which shall be devoted of shall be redeemed; but shall be put to
death;" i.e. whenever any of the Jews' public enemies had been, for
their wickedness, solemnly devoted to destruction, according to the
Divine command, as were generally the seven wicked nations of Canaan,
and those sinners the Amalekites, 1 Samuel 15:18, it was utterly
unlawful to permit those enemies to be redeemed; but they were to be all
utterly destroyed. See also Numbers 23:2, 3.]

4 (return) [ That the name of this chief was not Achan, as in the common
copies, but Achar, as here in Josephus, and in the Apostolical Constit.
B. VII. ch. 2., and elsewhere, is evident by the allusion to that name
in the curse of Joshua, "Why hast thou troubled us?—the Lord shall
trouble thee;" where the Hebrew word alludes only to the name Achar, but
not to Achan. Accordingly, this Valley of Achar, or Achor, was and is a
known place, a little north of Gilgal, so called from the days of Joshua
till this day. See Joshua 7:26; Isaiah 65:10; Hosea 2:15; and Dr.
Bernard's notes here.]

5 (return) [ Here Dr. Bernard very justly observes, that a few words are
dropped out of Josephus's copies, on account of the repetition of the
word shekels, and that it ought to be read thus:—"A piece of gold that
weighed fifty shekels, and one of silver that weighed two hundred
shekels," as in our other copies, Joshua 7:21.]

6 (return) [ I agree here with Dr. Bernard, and approve of Josephus's
interpretation of Gilgal for liberty. See Joshua 5:9.]

7 (return) [ Whether this lengthening of the day, by the standing still
of the sun and moon, were physical and real, by the miraculous stoppage
of the diurnal motion of the earth for about half a revolution, or
whether only apparent, by aerial phosphori imitating the sun and moon as
stationary so long, while clouds and the night hid the real ones, and
this parhelion or mock sun affording sufficient light for Joshua's
pursuit and complete victory, [which aerial phosphori in other shapes
have been more than ordinarily common of late years,] cannot now be
determined: philosophers and astronomers will naturally incline to this
latter hypothesis. In the mean time, the fact itself was mentioned in
the book of Jasher, now lost, Joshua 10:13, and is confirmed by Isaiah,
28:21, Habakkuk, 3:11, and by the son of Sirach, Ecclus. 46:4. In the
18th Psalm of Solomon, yet it is also said of the luminaries, with
relation, no doubt, to this and the other miraculous standing still and
going back, in the days of Joshua and Hezekiah, "They have not wandered,
from the day that he created them; they have not forsaken their way,
from ancient generations, unless it were when God enjoined them [so to
do] by the command of his servants." See Authent. Rec. part i. p. 154.
[8: Of the books laid up in the temple, see the note on Antiq. B. III.
ch. 1. sect. 7.]

9 (return) [ Since not only Procopius and Suidas, but an earlier author,
Moses Chorenensis, p. 52, 53, and perhaps from his original author
Mariba Carina, one as old as Alexander the Great, sets down the famous
inscription at Tangier concerning the old Canaanites driven out of
Palestine by Joshua, take it here in that author's own words: "We are
those exiles that were governors of the Canaanites, but have been driven
away by Joshua the robber, and are come to inhabit here." See the note
there. Nor is it unworthy of our notice what Moses Chorenensis adds, p.
53, and this upon a diligent examination, viz. that "one of those
eminent men among the Canaanites came at the same time into Armenia, and
founded the Genthuniaa family, or tribe; and that this was confirmed by
the manners of the same family or tribe, as being like those of the

10 (return) [ By prophesying, when spoken of a high priest, Josephus,
both here and frequently elsewhere, means no more than consulting God by
Urim, which the reader is still to bear in mind upon all occasions. And
if St. John, who was contemporary with Josephus, and of the same
country, made use of this style, when he says that "Caiaphas being high
priest that year, prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation, and
not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one
the children of God that were scattered abroad," chap. 11;51, 52, he may
possibly mean, that this was revealed to the high priest by an
extraordinary voice from between the cherubims, when he had his
breastplate, or Urim and Thummim, on before; or the most holy place of
the temple, which was no other than the oracle of Urim and Thummim. Of
which above, in the note on Antiq. B. III. ch. 8. sect. 9.]

11 (return) [ This great number of seventy-two reguli, or small kings,
over whom Adonibezek had tyrannized, and for which he was punished
according to the lex talionis, as well as the thirty-one kings of Canaan
subdued by Joshua, and named in one chapter, Joshua 12., and thirty-two
kings, or royal auxiliaries to Benhadad king of Syria, 1 Kings 20:1;
Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 14. sect. 1, intimate to us what was the ancient
form of government among several nations before the monarchies began,
viz. that every city or large town, with its neighboring villages, was a
distinct government by itself; which is the more remarkable, because
this was certainly the form of ecclesiastical government that was
settled by the apostles, and preserved throughout the Christian church
in the first ages of Christianity. Mr. Addison is of opinion, that "it
would certainly be for the good of mankind to have all the mighty
empires and monarchies of the world cantoned out into petty states and
principalities, which, like so many large families, might lie under the
observation of their proper governors, so that the care of the prince
might extend itself to every individual person under his protection;
though he despairs of such a scheme being brought about, and thinks that
if it were, it would quickly be destroyed." Remarks on Italy, 4to, p.
151. Nor is it unfit to be observed here, that the Armenian records,
though they give us the history of thirty-nine of their ancientest
heroes or governors after the Flood, before the days of Sardanapalus,
had no proper king till the fortieth, Parerus. See Moses Chorehensis, p.
55. And that Almighty God does not approve of such absolute and
tyrannical monarchies, any one may learn that reads Deuteronomy 17:14-
20, and 1 Samuel 8:1-22; although, if such kings are set up as own him
for their supreme King, and aim to govern according to his laws, he hath
admitted of them, and protected them and their subjects in all

12 (return) [ Josephus's early date of this history before the beginning
of the Judges, or when there was no king in Israel, Judges 19;1, is
strongly confirmed by the large number of Benjamites, both in the days
of Asa and Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 14:8, and 16:17, who yet were here
reduced to six hundred men; nor can those numbers be at all supposed
genuine, if they were reduced so late as the end of the Judges, where
our other copies place this reduction.]

13 (return) [ Josephus seems here to have made a small mistake, when he
took the Hebrew word Bethel, which denotes the house of God, or the
tabernacle, Judges 20:18, for the proper name of a place, Bethel, it no
way appearing that the tabernacle was ever at Bethel; only so far it is
true, that Shiloh, the place of the tabernacle in the days of the
Judges, was not far from Bethel.]

14 (return) [ It appears by the sacred history, Judges 1:16; 3:13, that
Eglon's pavilion or palace was at the City of Palm-Trees, as the place
where Jericho had stood is called after its destruction by Joshua, that
is, at or near the demolished city. Accordingly, Josephus says it was at
Jericho, or rather in that fine country of palm-trees, upon, or near to,
the same spot of ground on which Jericho had formerly stood, and on
which it was rebuilt by Hiel, 1 Kings 16:31. Our other copies that avoid
its proper name Jericho, and call it the City of Palm-Trees only, speak
here more accurately than Josephus.]

15 (return) [ These eighty years for the government of Ehud are
necessary to Josephus's usual large numbers between the exodus and the
building of the temple, of five hundred and ninety-two or six hundred
and twelve years, but not to the smallest number of four hundred and
eighty years, 1 Kings 6:1; which lesser number Josephus seems sometimes
to have followed. And since in the beginning of the next chapter it is
said by Josephus, that there was hardly a breathing time for the
Israelites before Jabin came and enslaved them, it is highly probable
that some of the copies in his time had here only eight years instead of
eighty; as had that of Theophilus of Antioch, Ad Autolye. 1. iii., and
this most probably from his copy of Josephus.]

16 (return) [ Our present copies of Josephus all omit Tola among the
judges, though the other copies have him next after Abimelech, and allot
twenty-three years to his administration, Judges 10:1, 2; yet do all
Josephus's commentators conclude, that in Josephus's sum of the years of
the judges, his twenty-three years are included; hence we are to
confess, that somewhat has been here lost out of his copies.]

17 (return) [ Josephus justly condemns Jephtha, as do the Apostolical
Constitutions, B. VII. ch. 37., for his rash vow, whether it were for
sacrificing his daughter, as Josephus thought, or for dedicating her,
who was his only child, to perpetual virginity, at the tabernacle or
elsewhere, which I rather suppose. If he had vowed her for a sacrifice,
she ought to have been redeemed, Leviticus 27:1-8; but of the sense of
ver. 28, 29, as relating not to things vowed to. God, but devoted to
destruction, see the note on Antiq. B. V. ch. 1. sect. 8.]

18 (return) [ I can discover no reason why Manoah and his wife came so
constantly into these suburbs to pray for children, but because there
was a synagogue or place of devotion in those suburbs.]

19 (return) [ Here, by a prophet, Josephus seems only to mean one that
was born by a particular providence, lived after the manner of a
Nazarite devoted to God, and was to have an extraordinary commission and
strength from God for the judging and avenging his people Israel,
without any proper prophetic revelations at all.]

20 (return) [ This fountain, called Lehi, or the Jaw-bone, is still in
being, as travelers assure us, and was known by this very name in the
days of Josephus, and has been known by the same name in all those past
ages. See Antiq. B. VII. ch. 12. sect. 4.]

21 (return) [ See this justly observed in the Apostolical Constitutions,
B. VII. ch. 37., that Samson's prayer was heard, but that it was before
this his transgression.]

22 (return) [ Although there had been a few occasional prophets before,
yet was this Samuel the first of a constant succession of prophets in
the Jewish nation, as is implied in St. Peter's words, Acts 3:24 "Yea,
and all the prophets, from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many
as have spoken, have likewise foretold of those days." See also Acts
13:20. The others were rather sometime called righteous men, Matthew
10:41; 13:17.]

BOOK VI. Containing The Interval Of Thirty-Two Years.—From The Death Of
Eli To The Death Of Saul.

CHAPTER 1. The Destruction That Came Upon The Philistines, And Upon
Their Land, By The Wrath Of Go On Account Of Their Having Carried The
Ark Away Captive; And After What Manner They Sent It Back To The

1. When the Philistines had taken the ark of the Hebrews captive, as I
said a little before, they carried it to the city of Ashdod, and put it
by their own god, who was called Dagon, 1 as one of their spoils; but
when they went into his temple the next morning to worship their god,
they found him paying the same worship to the ark, for he lay along, as
having fallen down from the basis whereon he had stood: so they took him
up, and set him on his basis again, and were much troubled at what had
happened; and as they frequently came to Dagon and found him still lying
along, in a posture of adoration to the ark, they were in very great
distress and confusion. At length God sent a very destructive disease
upon the city and country of Ashdod, for they died of the dysentery or
flux, a sore distemper, that brought death upon them very suddenly; for
before the soul could, as usual in easy deaths, be well loosed from the
body, they brought up their entrails, and vomited up what they had
eaten, and what was entirely corrupted by the disease. And as to the
fruits of their country, a great multitude of mice arose out of the
earth and hurt them, and spared neither the plants nor the fruits. Now
while the people of Ashdod were under these misfortunes, and were not
able to support themselves under their calamities, they perceived that
they suffered thus because of the ark, and that the victory they had
gotten, and their having taken the ark captive, had not happened for
their good; they therefore sent to the people of Askelon, and desired
that they would receive the ark among them. This desire of the people of
Ashdod was not disagreeable to those of Askelon, so they granted them
that favor. But when they had gotten the ark, they were in the same
miserable condition; for the ark carried along with it the disasters
that the people of Ashdod had suffered, to those who received it from
them. Those of Askelon also sent it away from themselves to others: nor
did it stay among those others neither; for since they were pursued by
the same disasters, they still sent it to the neighboring cities; so
that the ark went round, after this manner, to the five cities of the
Philistines, as though it exacted these disasters as a tribute to be
paid it for its coming among them.

2. When those that had experienced these miseries were tired out with
them, and when those that heard of them were taught thereby not to admit
the ark among them, since they paid so dear a tribute for it, at length
they sought for some contrivance and method how they might get free from
it: so the governors of the five cities, Gath, and Ekron, and Askelon,
as also of Gaza, and Ashdod, met together, and considered what was fit
to be done; and at first they thought proper to send the ark back to its
own people, as allowing that God had avenged its cause; that the
miseries they had undergone came along with it, and that these were sent
on their cities upon its account, and together with it. However, there
were those that said they should not do so, nor suffer themselves to be
deluded, as ascribing the cause of their miseries to it, because it
could not have such power and force upon them; for, had God had such a
regard to it, it would not have been delivered into the hands of men. So
they exhorted them to be quiet, and to take patiently what had befallen
them, and to suppose there was no other cause of it but nature, which,
at certain revolutions of time, produces such mutations in the bodies of
men, in the earth, in plants, and in all things that grow out of the
earth. But the counsel that prevailed over those already described, was
that of certain men, who were believed to have distinguished themselves
in former times for their understanding and prudence, and who, in their
present circumstances, seemed above all the rest to speak properly.
These men said it was not right either to send the ark away, or to
retain it, but to dedicate five golden images, one for every city, as a
thank-offering to God, on account of his having taken care of their
preservation, and having kept them alive when their lives were likely to
be taken away by such distempers as they were not able to bear up
against. They also would have them make five golden mice like to those
that devoured and destroyed their country 2 to put them in a bag, and
lay them upon the ark; to make them a new cart also for it, and to yoke
milch kine to it 3 but to shut up their calves, and keep them from them,
lest, by following after them, they should prove a hinderance to their
dams, and that the dams might return the faster out of a desire of those
calves; then to drive these milch kine that carried the ark, and leave
it at a place where three ways met, and So leave it to the kine to go
along which of those ways they pleased; that in case they went the way
to the Hebrews, and ascended to their country, they should suppose that
the ark was the cause of their misfortunes; but if they turned into
another road, they said, "We will pursue after it, and conclude that it
has no such force in it."

3. So they determined that these men spake well; and they immediately
confirmed their opinion by doing accordingly. And when they had done as
has been already described, they brought the cart to a place where three
ways met, and left it there and went their ways; but the kine went the
right way, and as if some persons had driven them, while the rulers of
the Philistines followed after them, as desirous to know where they
would stand still, and to whom they would go. Now there was a certain
village of the tribe of Judah, the name of which was Bethshemesh, and to
that village did the kine go; and though there was a great and good
plain before them to proceed in, they went no farther, but stopped the
cart there. This was a sight to those of that village, and they were
very glad; for it being then summer-time, and all the inhabitants being
then in the fields gathering in their fruits, they left off the labors
of their hands for joy, as soon as they saw the ark, and ran to the
cart, and taking the ark down, and the vessel that had the images in it,
and the mice, they set them upon a certain rock which was in the plain;
and when they had offered a splendid sacrifice to God, and feasted, they
offered the cart and the kine as a burnt-offering: and when the lords of
the Philistines saw this, they returned back.

4. But now it was that the wrath of God overtook them, and struck
seventy persons of the village of Bethshemesh dead, who, not being
priests, and so not worthy to touch the ark, had approached to it. 4
Those of that village wept for these that had thus suffered, and made
such a lamentation as was naturally to be expected on so great a
misfortune that was sent from God; and every one mourned for his own
relation. And since they acknowledged themselves unworthy of the ark's
abode with them, they sent to the public senate of the Israelites, and
informed them that the ark was restored by the Philistines; which when
they knew, they brought it away to Kirjathjearim, a city in the
neighborhood of Bethshemesh. In this city lived one Abinadab, by birth a
Levite, and who was greatly commended for his righteous and religious
course of life; so they brought the ark to his house, as to a place fit
for God himself to abide in, since therein did inhabit a righteous man.
His sons also ministered to the Divine service at the ark, and were the
principal curators of it for twenty years; for so many years it
continued in Kirjathjearim, having been but four months with the

CHAPTER 2. The Expedition Of The Philistines Against The Hebrews And The
Hebrews' Victory Under The Conduct Of Samuel The Prophet, Who Was Their

1. Now while the city of Kirjathjearim had the ark with them, the whole
body of the people betook themselves all that time to offer prayers and
sacrifices to God, and appeared greatly concerned and zealous about his
worship. So Samuel the prophet, seeing how ready they were to do their
duty, thought this a proper time to speak to them, while they were in
this good disposition, about the recovery of their liberty, and of the
blessings that accompanied the same. Accordingly he used such words to
them as he thought were most likely to excite that inclination, and to
persuade them to attempt it: "O you Israelites," said he, "to whom the
Philistines are still grievous enemies, but to whom God begins to be
gracious, it behooves you not only to be desirous of liberty, but to
take the proper methods to obtain it. Nor are you to be contented with
an inclination to get clear of your lords and masters, while you still
do what will procure your continuance under them. Be righteous then, and
cast wickedness out of your souls, and by your worship supplicate the
Divine Majesty with all your hearts, and persevere in the honor you pay
to him; for if you act thus, you will enjoy prosperity; you will be
freed from your slavery, and will get the victory over your enemies:
which blessings it is not possible you should attain, either by weapons
of war, or by the strength of your bodies, or by the multitude of your
assistants; for God has not promised to grant these blessings by those
means, but by being good and righteous men; and if you will be such, I
will be security to you for the performance of God's promises." When
Samuel had said thus, the multitude applauded his discourse, and were
pleased with his exhortation to them, and gave their consent to resign
themselves up to do what was pleasing to God. So Samuel gathered them
together to a certain city called Mizpeh, which, in the Hebrew tongue,
signifies a watch-tower; there they drew water, and poured it out to
God, and fasted all day, and betook themselves to their prayers.

2. This their assembly did not escape the notice of the Philistines: so
when they had learned that so large a company had met together, they
fell upon the Hebrews with a great army and mighty forces, as hoping to
assault them when they did not expect it, nor were prepared for it. This
thing affrighted the Hebrews, and put them into disorder and terror; so
they came running to Samuel, and said that their souls were sunk by
their fears, and by the former defeat they had received, and "that
thence it was that we lay still, lest we should excite the power of our
enemies against us. Now while thou hast brought us hither to offer up
our prayers and sacrifices, and take oaths [to be obedient], our enemies
are making an expedition against us, while we are naked and unarmed;
wherefore we have no other hope of deliverance but that by thy means,
and by the assistance God shall afford us upon thy prayers to him, we
shall obtain deliverance from the Philistines." Hereupon Samuel bade
them be of good cheer, and promised them that God would assist them; and
taking a sucking lamb, he sacrificed it for the multitude, and besought
God to hold his protecting hand over them when they should fight with
the Philistines, and not to overlook them, nor suffer them to come under
a second misfortune. Accordingly God hearkened to his prayers, and
accepting their sacrifice with a gracious intention, and such as was
disposed to assist them, he granted them victory and power over their
enemies. Now while the altar had the sacrifice of God upon it, and had
not yet consumed it wholly by its sacred fire, the enemy's army marched
out of their camp, and was put in order of battle, and this in hope that
they should be conquerors, since the Jews 5 were caught in distressed
circumstances, as neither having their weapons with them, nor being
assembled there in order to fight. But things so fell out, that they
would hardly have been credited though they had been foretold by
anybody: for, in the first place, God disturbed their enemies with an
earthquake, and moved the ground under them to such a degree, that he
caused it to tremble, and made them to shake, insomuch that by its
trembling, he made some unable to keep their feet, and made them fall
down, and by opening its chasms, he caused that others should be hurried
down into them; after which he caused such a noise of thunder to come
among them, and made fiery lightning shine so terribly round about them,
that it was ready to burn their faces; and he so suddenly shook their
weapons out of their hands, that he made them fly and return home naked.
So Samuel with the multitude pursued them to Bethcar, a place so called;
and there he set up a stone as a boundary of their victory and their
enemies' flight, and called it the Stone of Power, as a signal of that
power God had given them against their enemies.

3. So the Philistines, after this stroke, made no more expeditions
against the Israelites, but lay still out of fear, and out of
remembrance of what had befallen them; and what courage the Philistines
had formerly against the Hebrews, that, after this victory, was
transferred to the Hebrews. Samuel also made an expedition against the
Philistines, and slew many of them, and entirely humbled their proud
hearts, and took from them that country, which, when they were formerly
conquerors in battle, they had cut off from the Jews, which was the
country that extended from the borders of Gath to the city of Ekron: but
the remains of the Canaanites were at this time in friendship with the

CHAPTER 3. How Samuel When He Was So Infirm With Old Age That He Could
Not Take Care Of The Public Affairs Intrusted Them To His Sons; And How
Upon The Evil Administration Of The Government By Them The Multitude
Were So Angry, That They Required To Have A King To Govern Them,
Although Samuel Was Much Displeased Thereat.

1. But Samuel the prophet, when he had ordered the affairs of the people
after a convenient manner, and had appointed a city for every district
of them, he commanded them to come to such cities, to have the
controversies that they had one with another determined in them, he
himself going over those cities twice in a year, and doing them justice;
and by that means he kept them in very good order for a long time.

2. But afterwards he found himself oppressed with old age, and not able
to do what he used to do, so he committed the government and the care of
the multitude to his sons,—the elder of whom was called Joel, and the
name of the younger was Abiah. He also enjoined them to reside and judge
the people, the one at the city of Bethel, and the other at Beersheba,
and divided the people into districts that should be under the
jurisdiction of each of them. Now these men afford us an evident example
and demonstration how some children are not of the like dispositions
with their parents; but sometimes perhaps good and moderate, though born
of wicked parents; and sometimes showing themselves to be wicked, though
born of good parents: for these men turning aside from their father's
good courses, and taking a course that was contrary to them, perverted
justice for the 'filthy lucre of gifts and bribes, and made their
determinations not according to truth, but according to bribery, and
turned aside to luxury, and a costly way of living; so that as, in the
first place, they practiced what was contrary to the will of God, so did
they, in the second place, what was contrary to the will of the prophet
their father, who had taken a great deal of care, and made a very
careful provision that the multitude should be righteous.

3. But the people, upon these injuries offered to their former
constitution and government by the prophet's sons, were very uneasy at
their actions, and came running to the prophet, who then lived at the
city Ramah, and informed him of the transgressions of his sons; and
said, That as he was himself old already, and too infirm by that age of
his to oversee their affairs in the manner he used to do, so they begged
of him, and entreated him, to appoint some person to be king over them,
who might rule over the nation, and avenge them of the Philistines, who
ought to be punished for their former oppressions. These words greatly
afflicted Samuel, on account of his innate love of justice, and his
hatred to kingly government, for he was very fond of an aristocracy, as
what made the men that used it of a divine and happy disposition; nor
could he either think of eating or sleeping, out of his concern and
torment of mind at what they had said, but all the night long did he
continue awake and revolved these notions in his mind.

4. While he was thus disposed, God appeared to him, and comforted him,
saying, That he ought not to be uneasy at what the multitude desired,
because it was not he, but Himself whom they so insolently despised, and
would not have to be alone their king; that they had been contriving
these things from the very day that they came out of Egypt; that however
in no long time they would sorely repent of what they did, which
repentance yet could not undo what was thus done for futurity; that they
would be sufficiently rebuked for their contempt, and the ungrateful
conduct they have used towards me, and towards thy prophetic office. "So
I command thee to ordain them such a one as I shall name beforehand to
be their king, when thou hast first described what mischiefs kingly
government will bring upon them, and openly testified before them into
what a great change of affairs they are hasting."

5. When Samuel had heard this, he called the Jews early in the morning,
and confessed to them that he was to ordain them a king; but he said
that he was first to describe to them what would follow, what treatment
they would receive from their kings, and with how many mischiefs they
must struggle. "For know ye," said he, "that, in the first place, they
will take your sons away from you, and they will command some of them to
be drivers of their chariots, and some to be their horsemen, and the
guards of their body, and others of them to be runners before them, and
captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds; they will also make
them their artificers, makers of armor, and of chariots, and of
instruments; they will make them their husbandmen also, and the curators
of their own fields, and the diggers of their own vineyards; nor will
there be any thing which they will not do at their commands, as if they
were slaves bought with money. They will also appoint your daughters to
be confectioners, and cooks, and bakers; and these will be obliged to do
all sorts of work which women slaves, that are in fear of stripes and
torments, submit to. They will, besides this, take away your
possessions, and bestow them upon their eunuchs, and the guards of their
bodies, and will give the herds of your cattle to their own servants:
and to say briefly all at once, you, and all that is yours, will be
servants to your king, and will become no way superior to his slaves;
and when you suffer thus, you will thereby be put in mind of what I now
say. And when you repent of what you have done, you will beseech God to
have mercy upon you, and to grant you a quick deliverance from your
kings; but he will not accept your prayers, but will neglect you, and
permit you to suffer the punishment your evil conduct has deserved."

6. But the multitude was still so foolish as to be deaf to these
predictions of what would befall them; and too peevish to suffer a
determination which they had injudiciously once made, to be taken out of
their mind; for they could not be turned from their purpose, nor did
they regard the words of Samuel, but peremptorily insisted on their
resolution, and desired him to ordain them a king immediately, and not
trouble himself with fears of what would happen hereafter, for that it
was necessary they should have with them one to fight their battles, and
to avenge them of their enemies, and that it was no way absurd, when
their neighbors were under kingly government, that they should have the
same form of government also. So when Samuel saw that what he had said
had not diverted them from their purpose, but that they continued
resolute, he said, "Go you every one home for the present; when it is
fit I will send for you, as soon as I shall have learned from God who it
is that he will give you for your king."

CHAPTER 4. The Appointment Of A King Over The Israelites, Whose Name Was
Saul; And This By The Command Of God.

1. Ther was one of the tribe of Benjamin, a man of a good family, and of
a virtuous disposition; his name was Kish. He had a son, a young man of
a comely countenance, and of a tall body, but his understanding and his
mind were preferable to what was visible in him: they called him Saul.
Now this Kish had some fine she-asses that were wandered out of the
pasture wherein they fed, for he was more delighted with these than with
any other cattle he had; so he sent out his son, and one servant with
him, to search for the beasts; but when he had gone over his own tribe
in search after the asses, he went to other tribes, and when he found
them not there neither, he determined to go his way home, lest he should
occasion any concern to his father about himself. But when his servant
that followed him told him as they were near the city of Ramah, that
there was a true prophet in that city, and advised him to go to him, for
that by him they should know the upshot of the affair of their asses, he
replied, That if they should go to him, they had nothing to give him as
a reward for his prophecy, for their subsistence money was spent. The
servant answered, that he had still the fourth part of a shekel, and he
would present him with that; for they were mistaken out of ignorance, as
not knowing that the prophet received no such reward 6 So they went to
him; and when they were before the gates, they lit upon certain maidens
that were going to fetch water, and they asked them which was the
prophet's house. They showed them which it was; and bid them make haste
before he sat down to supper, for he had invited many guests to a feast,
and that he used to sit down before those that were invited. Now Samuel
had then gathered many together to feast with him on this very account;
for while he every day prayed to God to tell him beforehand whom he
would make king, he had informed him of this man the day before, for
that he would send him a certain young man out of the tribe of Benjamin
about this hour of the day; and he sat on the top of the house in
expectation of that time's being come. And when the time was completed,
he came down and went to supper; so he met with Saul, and God discovered
to him that this was he who should rule over them. Then Saul went up to
Samuel and saluted him, and desired him to inform him which was the
prophet's house; for he said he was a stranger and did not know it. When
Samuel had told him that he himself was the person, he led him in to
supper, and assured him that the asses were found which he had been to
seek, and that the greatest of good things were assured to him: he
replied, "I am too inconsiderable to hope for any such thing, and of a
tribe to small to have kings made out of it, and of a family smaller
than several other families; but thou tellest me this in jest, and
makest me an object of laughter, when thou discoursest with me of
greater matters than what I stand in need of." However, the prophet led
him in to the feast, and made him sit down, him and his servant that
followed him, above the other guests that were invited, which were
seventy in number 7 and he gave orders to the servants to set the royal
portion before Saul. And when the time of going to bed was come, the
rest rose up, and every one of them went home; but Saul staid with the
prophet, he and his servant, and slept with him.

2. Now as soon as it was day, Samuel raised up Saul out of his bed, and
conducted him homeward; and when he was out of the city, he desired him
to cause his servant to go before, but to stay behind himself, for that
he had somewhat to say to him when nobody else was present. Accordingly,
Saul sent away his servant that followed him; then did the prophet take
a vessel of oil, and poured it upon the head of the young man, and
kissed him, and said, "Be thou a king, by the ordination of God, against
the Philistines, and for avenging the Hebrews for what they have
suffered by them; of this thou shalt have a sign, which I would have
thee take notice of:—As soon as thou art departed hence, thou will find
three men upon the road, going to worship God at Bethel; the first of
whom thou wilt see carrying three loaves of bread, the second carrying a
kid of the goats, and the third will follow them carrying a bottle of
wine. These three men will salute thee, and speak kindly to thee, and
will give thee two of their loaves, which thou shalt accept of. And
thence thou shalt come to a place called Rachel's Monument, where thou
shalt meet with those that will tell thee thy asses are found; after
this, when thou comest to Gabatha, thou shalt overtake a company of
prophets, and thou shalt be seized with the Divine Spirit, 8 and
prophesy along with them, till every one that sees thee shall be
astonished, and wonder, and say, Whence is it that the son of Kish has
arrived at this degree of happiness? And when these signs have happened
to thee, know that God is with thee; then do thou salute thy father and
thy kindred. Thou shalt also come when I send for thee to Gilgal, that
we may offer thank-offerings to God for these blessings." When Samuel
had said this, and foretold these things, he sent the young man away.
Now all things fell out to Saul according to the prophecy of Samuel.

3. But as soon as Saul came into the house of his kinsman Abner, whom
indeed he loved better than the rest of his relations, he was asked by
him concerning his journey, and what accidents happened to him therein;
and he concealed none of the other things from him, no, not his coming
to Samuel the prophet, nor how he told him the asses were found; but he
said nothing to him about the kingdom, and what belonged thereto, which
he thought would procure him envy, and when such things are heard, they
are not easily believed; nor did he think it prudent to tell those
things to him, although he appeared very friendly to him, and one whom
he loved above the rest of his relations, considering, I suppose, what
human nature really is, that no one is a firm friend, neither among our
intimates, nor of our kindred; nor do they preserve that kind
disposition when God advances men to great prosperity, but they are
still ill-natured and envious at those that are in eminent stations.

4. Then Samuel called the people together to the city Mizpeh, and spake
to them in the words following, which he said he was to speak by the
command of God:—That when he had granted them a state of liberty, and
brought their enemies into subjection, they were become unmindful of his
benefits, and rejected God that he should not be their King, as not
considering that it would be most for their advantage to be presided
over by the best of beings, for God is the best of beings, and they
chose to have a man for their king; while kings will use their subjects
as beasts, according to the violence of their own wills and
inclinations, and other passions, as wholly carried away with the lust
of power, but will not endeavor so to preserve the race of mankind as
his own workmanship and creation, which, for that very reason, God would
take cake of. "But since you have come to a fixed resolution, and this
injurious treatment of God has quite prevailed over you, dispose
yourselves by your tribes and scepters, and cast lots."

5. When the Hebrews had so done, the lot fell upon the tribe of
Benjamin; and when the lot was cast for the families of this tribe, that
which was called Matri was taken; and when the lot was cast for the
single persons of that family, Saul, the son of Kish, was taken for
their king. When the young man knew this, he prevented [their sending
for him], and immediately went away and hid himself. I suppose that it
was because he would not have it thought that he willingly took the
government upon him; nay, he showed such a degree of command over
himself, and of modesty, that while the greatest part are not able to
contain their joy, even in the gaining of small advantages, but
presently show themselves publicly to all men, this man did not only
show nothing of that nature, when he was appointed to be the lord of so
many and so great tribes, but crept away and concealed himself out of
the sight of those he was to reign over, and made them seek him, and
that with a good deal of trouble. So when the people were at a loss, and
solicitous, because Saul disappeared, the prophet besought God to show
where the young man was, and to produce him before them. So when they
had learned of God the place where Saul was hidden, they sent men to
bring him; and when he was come, they set him in the midst of the
multitude. Now he was taller than any of them, and his stature was very

6. Then said the prophet, "God gives you this man to be your king: see
how he is higher than any of the people, and worthy of this dominion."
So as soon as the people had made acclamation, God save the king, the
prophet wrote down what would come to pass in a book, and read it in the
hearing of the king, and laid up the book in the tabernacle of God, to
be a witness to future generations of what he had foretold. So when
Samuel had finished this matter, he dismissed the multitude, and came
himself to the city Rainah, for it was his own country. Saul also went
away to Gibeah, where he was born; and many good men there were who paid
him the respect that was due to him; but the greater part were ill men,
who despised him and derided the others, who neither did bring him
presents, nor did they in affection, or even in words, regard to please

CHAPTER 5. Saul's Expedition Against The Nation Of The Ammonites And
Victory Over Them And The Spoils He Took From Them.

1. After one month, the war which Saul had with Nahash, the king of the
Ammonites, obtained him respect from all the people; for this Nahash had
done a great deal of mischief to the Jews that lived beyond Jordan by
the expedition he had made against them with a great and warlike army.
He also reduced their cities into slavery, and that not only by subduing
them for the present, which he did by force and violence, but by
weakening them by subtlety and cunning, that they might not be able
afterward to get clear of the slavery they were under to him; for he put
out the right eyes 9 of those that either delivered themselves to him
upon terms, or were taken by him in war; and this he did, that when
their left eyes were covered by their shields, they might be wholly
useless in war. Now when the king of the Ammonites had served those
beyond Jordan in this manner, he led his army against those that were
called Gileadites, and having pitched his camp at the metropolis of his
enemies, which was the city of Jabesh, he sent ambassadors to them,
commanding them either to deliver themselves up, on condition to have
their right eyes plucked out, or to undergo a siege, and to have their
cities overthrown. He gave them their choice, whether they would cut off
a small member of their body, or universally perish. However, the
Gileadites were so affrighted at these offers, that they had not courage
to say any thing to either of them, neither that they would deliver
themselves up, nor that they would fight him. But they desired that he
would give them seven days' respite, that they might send ambassadors to
their countrymen, and entreat their assistance; and if they came to
assist them, they would fight; but if that assistance were impossible to
be obtained from them, they said they would deliver themselves up to
suffer whatever he pleased to inflict upon them.

2. So Nabash, contemning the multitude of the Gileadites and the answer
they gave, allowed them a respite, and gave them leave to send to
whomsoever they pleased for assistance. So they immediately sent to the
Israelites, city by city, and informed them what Nabash had threatened
to do to them, and what great distress they were in. Now the people fell
into tears and grief at the hearing of what the ambassadors from Jabesh
said; and the terror they were in permitted them to do nothing more. But
when the messengers were come to the city of king Saul, and declared the
dangers in which the inhabitants of Jabesh were, the people were in the
same affliction as those in the other cities, for they lamented the
calamity of those related to them. And when Saul was returned from his
husbandry into the city, he found his fellow citizens weeping; and when,
upon inquiry, he had learned the cause of the confusion and sadness they
were in, he was seized with a divine fury, and sent away the ambassadors
from the inhabitants of Jabesh, and promised them to come to their
assistance on the third day, and to beat their enemies before sun-
rising, that the sun upon its rising might see that they had already
conquered, and were freed from the fears they were under: but he bid
some of them stay to conduct them the right way to Jabesh.

3. So being desirous to turn the people to this war against the
Ammonites by fear of the losses they should otherwise undergo, and that
they might the more suddenly be gathered together, he cut the sinews of
his oxen, and threatened to do the same to all such as did not come with
their armor to Jordan the next day, and follow him and Samuel the
prophet whithersoever they should lead them. So they came together, out
of fear of the losses they were threatened with, at the appointed time.
And the multitude were numbered at the city Bezek. And he found the
number of those that were gathered together, besides that of the tribe
of Judah, to be seven hundred thousand, while those of that tribe were
seventy thousand. So he passed over Jordan, and proceeded in marching
all that night, thirty furlongs, and came to Jabesh before sun-rising.
So he divided the army into three companies; and fell upon their enemies
on every side on the sudden, and when they expected no such thing; and
joining battle with them, they slew a great many of the Ammonites, as
also their king Nabash. This glorious action was done by Saul, and was
related with great commendation of him to all the Hebrews; and he thence
gained a wonderful reputation for his valor: for although there were
some of them that contemned him before, they now changed their minds,
and honored him, and esteemed him as the best of men: for he did not
content himself with having saved the inhabitants of Jabesh only, but he
made an expedition into the country of the Ammonites, and laid it all
waste, and took a large prey, and so returned to his own country most
gloriously. So the people were greatly pleased at these excellent
performances of Saul, and rejoiced that they had constituted him their
king. They also made a clamor against those that pretended he would be
of no advantage to their affairs; and they said, Where now are these
men?—let them be brought to punishment, with all the like things that
multitudes usually say when they are elevated with prosperity, against
those that lately had despised the authors of it. But Saul, although he
took the good-will and the affection of these men very kindly, yet did
he swear that he would not see any of his countrymen slain that day,
since it was absurd to mix this victory, which God had given them, with
the blood and slaughter of those that were of the same lineage with
themselves; and that it was more agreeable to be men of a friendly
disposition, and so to betake themselves to feasting.

4. And when Samuel had told them that he ought to confirm the kingdom to
Saul by a second ordination of him, they all came together to the city
of Gilgal, for thither did he command them to come. So the prophet
anointed Saul with the holy oil in the sight of the multitude, and
declared him to be king the second time. And so the government of the
Hebrews was changed into a regal government; for in the days of Moses,
and his disciple Joshua, who was their general, they continued under an
aristocracy; but after the death of Joshua, for eighteen years in all,
the multitude had no settled form of government, but were in an anarchy;
after which they returned to their former government, they then
permitting themselves to be judged by him who appeared to be the best
warrior and most courageous, whence it was that they called this
interval of their government the Judges.

5. Then did Samuel the prophet call another assembly also, and said to
them, "I solemnly adjure you by God Almighty, who brought those
excellent brethren, I mean Moses and Aaron, into the world, and
delivered our fathers from the Egyptians, and from the slavery they
endured under them, that you will not speak what you say to gratify me,
nor suppress any thing out of fear of me, nor be overborne by any other
passion, but say, What have I ever done that was cruel or unjust? or
what have I done out of lucre or covetousness, or to gratify others?
Bear witness against me, if I have taken an ox or a sheep, or any such
thing, which yet when they are taken to support men, it is esteemed
blameless; or have I taken an ass for mine own use of any one to his
grief?—lay some one such crime to my charge, now we are in your king's
presence." But they cried out, that no such thing had been done by him,
but that he had presided over the nation after a holy and righteous

6. Hereupon Samuel, when such a testimony had been given him by them
all, said, "Since you grant that you are not able to lay any ill thing
to my charge hitherto, come on now, and do you hearken while I speak
with great freedom to you. You have been guilty of great impiety against
God, in asking you a king. It behoves you to remember that our
grandfather Jacob came down into Egypt, by reason of a famine, with
seventy souls only of our family, and that their posterity multiplied
there to many ten thousands, whom the Egyptians brought into slavery and
hard oppression; that God himself, upon the prayers of our fathers, sent
Moses and Aaron, who were brethren, and gave them power to deliver the
multitude out of their distress, and this without a king. These brought
us into this very land which you now possess: and when you enjoyed these
advantages from God, you betrayed his worship and religion; nay,
moreover, when you were brought under the hands of your enemies, he
delivered you, first by rendering you superior to the Assyrians and
their forces, he then made you to overcome the Ammonites and the
Moabites, and last of all the Philistines; and these things have been
achieved under the conduct of Jephtha and Gideon. What madness therefore
possessed you to fly from God, and to desire to be under a king?—yet
have I ordained him for king whom he chose for you. However, that I may
make it plain to you that God is angry and displeased at your choice of
kingly government, I will so dispose him that he shall declare this very
plainly to you by strange signals; for what none of you ever saw here
before, I mean a winter storm in the midst of harvest, 10 I will entreat
of God, and will make it visible to you." Now, as soon as he had said
this, God gave such great signals by thunder and lightning, and the
descent of hail, as attested the truth of all that the prophet had said,
insomuch that they were amazed and terrified, and confessed they had
sinned, and had fallen into that sin through ignorance; and besought the
prophet, as one that was a tender and gentle father to them, to render
God so merciful as to forgive this their sin, which they had added to
those other offenses whereby they had affronted him and transgressed
against him. So he promised them that he would beseech God, and persuade
him to forgive them these their sins. However, he advised them to be
righteous, and to be good, and ever to remember the miseries that had
befallen them on account of their departure from virtue: as also to
remember the strange signs God had shown them, and the body of laws that
Moses had given them, if they had any desire of being preserved and made
happy with their king. But he said, that if they should grow careless of
these things, great judgments would come from God upon them, and upon
their king. And when Samuel had thus prophesied to the Hebrews, he
dismissed them to their own homes, having confirmed the kingdom to Saul
the second time.

CHAPTER 6. How The Philistines Made Another Expedition Against The
Hebrews And Were Beaten.

1. Now Saul chose out of the multitude about three thousand men, and he
took two thousand of them to be the guards of his own body, and abode in
the city Bethel, but he gave the rest of them to Jonathan his son, to be
the guards of his body; and sent him to Gibeah, where he besieged and
took a certain garrison of the Philistines, not far from Gilgal; for the
Philistines of Gibeah had beaten the Jews, and taken their weapons away,
and had put garrisons into the strongest places of the country, and had
forbidden them to carry any instrument of iron, or at all to make use of
any iron in any case whatsoever. And on account of this prohibition it
was that the husbandmen, if they had occasion to sharpen any of their
tools, whether it were the coulter or the spade, or any instrument of
husbandry, they came to the Philistines to do it. Now as soon as the
Philistines heard of this slaughter of their garrison, they were in a
rage about it, and, looking on this contempt as a terrible affront
offered them, they made war against the Jews, with three hundred
thousand footmen, and thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horses;
and they pitched their camp at the city Michmash. When Saul, the king of
the Hebrews, was informed of this, he went down to the city Gilgal, and
made proclamation over all the country, that they should try to regain
their liberty; and called them to the war against the Philistines,
diminishing their forces, and despising them as not very considerable,
and as not so great but they might hazard a battle with them. But when
the people about Saul observed how numerous the Philistines were, they
were under a great consternation; and some of them hid themselves in
caves and in dens under ground, but the greater part fled into the land
beyond Jordan, which belonged to Gad and Reuben.

2. But Saul sent to the prophet, and called him to consult with him
about the war and the public affairs; so he commanded him to stay there
for him, and to prepare sacrifices, for he would come to him within
seven days, that they might offer sacrifices on the seventh day, and
might then join battle with their enemies. So he waited 11 as the
prophet sent to him to do; yet did not he, however, observe the command
that was given him, but when he saw that the prophet tarried longer than
he expected, and that he was deserted by the soldiers, he took the
sacrifices and offered them; and when he heard that Samuel was come, he
went out to meet him. But the prophet said he had not done well in
disobeying the injunctions he had sent to him, and had not staid till
his coming, which being appointed according to the will of God, he had
prevented him in offering up those prayers and those sacrifices that he
should have made for the multitude, and that he therefore had performed
Divine offices in an ill manner, and had been rash in performing them.
Hereupon Saul made an apology for himself, and said that he had waited
as many days as Samuel had appointed him; that he had been so quick in
offering his sacrifices, upon account of the necessity he was in, and
because his soldiers were departing from him, out of their fear of the
enemy's camp at Michmash, the report being gone abroad that they were
coming down upon him of Gilgal. To which Samuel replied, "Nay,
certainly, if thou hadst been a righteous man, 12 and hadst not
disobeyed me, nor slighted the commands which God suggested to me
concerning the present state of affairs, and hadst not acted more
hastily than the present circumstances required, thou wouldst have been
permitted to reign a long time, and thy posterity after thee." So
Samuel, being grieved at what happened, returned home; but Saul came to
the city Gibeah, with his son Jonathan, having only six hundred men with
him; and of these the greater part had no weapons, because of the
scarcity of iron in that country, as well as of those that could make
such weapons; for, as we showed a little before, the Philistines had not
suffered them to have such iron or such workmen. Now the Philistines
divided their army into three companies, and took as many roads, and
laid waste the country of the Hebrews, while king Saul and his son
Jonathan saw what was done, but were not able to defend the land, having
no more than six hundred men with them. But as he, and his son, and
Abiah the high priest, who was of the posterity of Eli the high priest,
were sitting upon a pretty high hill, and seeing the land laid waste,
they were mightily disturbed at it. Now Saul's son agreed with his
armor-bearer, that they would go privately to the enemy's camp, and make
a tumult and a disturbance among them. And when the armor-bearer had
readily promised to follow him whithersoever he should lead him, though
he should be obliged to die in the attempt, Jonathan made use of the
young man's assistance, and descended from the hill, and went to their
enemies. Now the enemy's camp was upon a precipice which had three tops,
that ended in a small but sharp and long extremity, while there was a
rock that surrounded them, like lines made to prevent the attacks of an
enemy. There it so happened, that the out-guards of the camp were
neglected, because of the security that here arose from the situation of
the place, and because they thought it altogether impossible, not only
to ascend up to the camp on that quarter, but so much as to come near
it. As soon, therefore, as they came to the camp, Jonathan encouraged
his armor-bearer, and said to him, "Let us attack our enemies; and if,
when they see us, they bid us come up to them, take that for a signal of
victory; but if they say nothing, as not intending to invite us to come
up, let us return back again." So when they were approaching to the
enemy's camp, just after break of day, and the Philistines saw them,
they said one to another, "The Hebrews come out of their dens and
caves:" and they said to Jonathan and to his armor-bearer, "Come on,
ascend up to us, that we may inflict a just punishment upon you, for
your rash attempt upon us." So Saul's son accepted of that invitation,
as what signified to him victory, and he immediately came out of the
place whence they were seen by their enemies: so he changed his place,
and came to the rock, which had none to guard it, because of its own
strength; from thence they crept up with great labor and difficulty, and
so far overcame by force the nature of the place, till they were able to
fight with their enemies. So they fell upon them as they were asleep,
and slew about twenty of them, and thereby filled them with disorder and
surprise, insomuch that some of them threw away their entire armor and
fled; but the greatest part, not knowing one another, because they were
of different nations, suspected one another to be enemies, [for they did
not imagine there were only two of the Hebrews that came up,] and so
they fought one against another; and some of them died in the battle,
and some, as they were flying away, were thrown down from the rock

3. Now Saul's watchmen told the king that the camp of the Philistines
was in confusion; then he inquired whether any body was gone away from
the army; and when he heard that his son, and with him his armor-bearer,
were absent, he bade the high priest take the garments of his high
priesthood, and prophesy to him what success they should have; who said
that they should get the victory, and prevail against their enemies. So
he went out after the Philistines, and set upon them as they were
slaying one another. Those also who had fled to dens and caves, upon
hearing that Saul was gaining a victory, came running to him. When,
therefore, the number of the Hebrews that came to Saul amounted to about
ten thousand, he pursued the enemy, who were scattered all over the
country; but then he fell into an action, which was a very unhappy one,
and liable to be very much blamed; for, whether out of ignorance or
whether out of joy for a victory gained so strangely, [for it frequently
happens that persons so fortunate are not then able to use their reason
consistently,] as he was desirous to avenge himself, and to exact a due
punishment of the Philistines, he denounced a curse 13 upon the Hebrews:
That if any one put a stop to his slaughter of the enemy, and fell on
eating, and left off the slaughter or the pursuit before the night came
on, and obliged them so to do, he should be accursed. Now after Saul had
denounced this curse, since they were now in a wood belonging to the
tribe of Ephraim, which was thick and full of bees, Saul's son, who did
not hear his father denounce that curse, nor hear of the approbation the
multitude gave to it, broke off a piece of a honey-comb, and ate part of
it. But, in the mean time, he was informed with what a curse his father
had forbidden them to taste any thing before sun-setting: so he left off
eating, and said his father had not done well in this prohibition,
because, had they taken some food, they had pursued the enemy with
greater rigor and alacrity, and had both taken and slain many more of
their enemies.

4. When, therefore, they had slain many ten thousands of the
Philistines, they fell upon spoiling the camp of the Philistines, but
not till late in the evening. They also took a great deal of prey and
cattle, and killed them, and ate them with their blood. This was told to
the king by the scribes, that the multitude were sinning against God as
they sacrificed, and were eating before the blood was well washed away,
and the flesh was made clean. Then did Saul give order that a great
stone should be rolled into the midst of them, and he made proclamation
that they should kill their sacrifices upon it, and not feed upon the
flesh with the blood, for that was not acceptable to God. And when all
the people did as the king commanded them, Saul erected an altar there,
and offered burnt-offerings upon it to God 14 This was the first altar
that Saul built.

5. So when Saul was desirous of leading his men to the enemy's camp
before it was day, in order to plunder it, and when the soldiers were
not unwilling to follow him, but indeed showed great readiness to do as
he commanded them, the king called Ahitub the high priest, and enjoined
him to know of God whether he would grant them the favor and permission
to go against the enemy's camp, in order to destroy those that were in
it. And when the priest said that God did not give any answer, Saul
replied, "And not without some cause does God refuse to answer what we
inquire of him, while yet a little while ago he declared to us all that
we desired beforehand, and even prevented us in his answer. To be sure
there is some sin against him that is concealed from us, which is the
occasion of his silence. Now I swear by him himself, that though he that
hath committed this sin should prove to be my own son Jonathan, I will
slay him, and by that means will appease the anger of God against us,
and that in the very same manner as if I were to punish a stranger, and
one not at all related to me, for the same offense." So when the
multitude cried out to him so to do, he presently set all the rest on
one side, and he and his son stood on the other side, and he sought to
discover the offender by lot. Now the lot appeared to fall upon Jonathan
himself. So when he was asked by his father what sin he had been guilty
of, and what he was conscious of in the course of his life that might be
esteemed instances of guilt or profaneness, his answer was this, "O
father, I have done nothing more than that yesterday, without knowing of
the curse and oath thou hadst denounced, while I was in pursuit of the
enemy, I tasted of a honey-comb." But Saul sware that he would slay him,
and prefer the observation of his oath before all the ties of birth and
of nature. And Jonathan was not dismayed at this threatening of death,
but, offering himself to it generously and undauntedly, he said, "Nor do
I desire you, father, to spare me: death will be to me very acceptable,
when it proceeds from thy piety, and after a glorious victory; for it is
the greatest consolation to me that I leave the Hebrews victorious over
the Philistines." Hereupon all the people were very sorry, and greatly
afflicted for Jonathan; and they sware that they would not overlook
Jonathan, and see him die, who was the author of their victory. By which
means they snatched him out of the danger he was in from his father's
curse, while they made their prayers to God also for the young man, that
he would remit his sin.

6. So Saul, having slain about sixty thousand of the enemy, returned
home to his own city, and reigned happily: and he also fought against
the neighboring nations, and subdued the Ammonites, and Moabites, and
Philistines, and Edomites, and Amalekites, as also the king of Zobah. He
had three male children, Jonathan, and Isui, and Melchishua; with Merab
and Michal his daughters. He had also Abner, his uncle's son, for the
captain of his host: that uncle's name was Ner. Now Ner, and Kish the
father of Saul, were brothers. Saul had also a great many chariots and
horsemen, and against whomsoever he made war he returned conqueror, and
advanced the affairs of the Hebrews to a great degree of success and
prosperity, and made them superior to other nations; and he made such of
the young men as were remarkable for tallness and comeliness the guards
of his body.

CHAPTER 7. Saul's War With The Amalekites, And Conquest Of Them.

1. Now Samuel came unto Saul, and said to him, that he was sent by God
to put him in mind that God had preferred him before all others, and
ordained him king; that he therefore ought to be obedient to him, and to
submit to his authority, as considering, that though he had the dominion
over the other tribes, yet that God had the dominion over him, and over
all things. That accordingly God said to him, that "because the
Amalekites did the Hebrews a great deal of mischief while they were in
the wilderness, and when, upon their coming out of Egypt, they were
making their way to that country which is now their own, I enjoin thee
to punish the Amalekites, by making war upon them; and when thou hast
subdued them, to leave none of them alive, but to pursue them through
every age, and to slay them, beginning with the women and the infants,
and to require this as a punishment to be inflicted upon them for the
mischief they did to our forefathers; to spare nothing, neither asses
nor other beasts, nor to reserve any of them for your own advantage and
possession, but to devote them universally to God, and, in obedience to
the commands of Moses, to blot out the name of Amalek entirely." 15

2. So Saul promised to do what he was commanded; and supposing that his
obedience to God would be shown, not only in making war against the
Amalekites, but more fully in the readiness and quickness of his
proceedings, he made no delay, but immediately gathered together all his
forces; and when he had numbered them in Gilgal, he found them to be
about four hundred thousand of the Israelites, besides the tribe of
Judah, for that tribe contained by itself thirty thousand. Accordingly,
Saul made an irruption into the country of the Amalekites, and set many
men in several parties in ambush at the river, that so he might not only
do them a mischief by open fighting, but might fall upon them
unexpectedly in the ways, and might thereby compass them round about,
and kill them. And when he had joined battle with the enemy, he beat
them; and pursuing them as they fled, he destroyed them all. And when
that undertaking had succeeded, according as God had foretold, he set
upon the cities of the Amalekites; he besieged them, and took them by
force, partly by warlike machines, partly by mines dug under ground, and
partly by building walls on the outsides. Some they starved out with
famine, and some they gained by other methods; and after all, he betook
himself to slay the women and the children, and thought he did not act
therein either barbarously or inhumanly; first, because they were
enemies whom he thus treated, and, in the next place, because it was
done by the command of God, whom it was dangerous not to obey. He also
took Agag, the enemies' king, captive,—the beauty and tallness of whose
body he admired so much, that he thought him worthy of preservation. Yet
was not this done however according to the will of God, but by giving
way to human passions, and suffering himself to be moved with an
unseasonable commiseration, in a point where it was not safe for him to
indulge it; for God hated the nation of the Amalekites to such a degree,
that he commanded Saul to have no pity on even those infants which we by
nature chiefly compassionate; but Saul preserved their king and governor
from the miseries which the Hebrews brought on the people, as if he
preferred the fine appearance of the enemy to the memory of what God had
sent him about. The multitude were also guilty, together with Saul; for
they spared the herds and the flocks, and took them for a prey, when God
had commanded they should not spare them. They also carried off with
them the rest of their wealth and riches; but if there were any thing
that was not worthy of regard, that they destroyed.

3. But when Saul had conquered all these Amalekites that reached from
Pelusium of Egypt to the Red Sea, he laid waste all the rest of the
enemy's country: but for the nation of the Shechemites, he did not touch
them, although they dwelt in the very middle of the country of Midian;
for before the battle, Saul had sent to them, and charged them to depart
thence, lest they should be partakers of the miseries of the Amalekites;
for he had a just occasion for saving them, since they were of the
kindred of Raguel, Moses's father-in-law.

4. Hereupon Saul returned home with joy, for the glorious things he had
done, and for the conquest of his enemies, as though he had not
neglected any thing which the prophet had enjoined him to do when he was
going to make war with the Amalekites, and as though he had exactly
observed all that he ought to have done. But God was grieved that the
king of the Amalekites was preserved alive, and that the multitude had
seized on the cattle for a prey, because these things were done without
his permission; for he thought it an intolerable thing that they should
conquer and overcome their enemies by that power which he gave them, and
then that he himself should be so grossly despised and disobeyed by
them, that a mere man that was a king would not bear it. He therefore
told Samuel the prophet, that he repented that he had made Saul king,
while he did nothing that he had commanded him, but indulged his own
inclinations. When Samuel heard that, he was in confusion, and began to
beseech God all that night to be reconciled to Saul, and not to be angry
with him; but he did not grant that forgiveness to Saul which the
prophet asked for, as not deeming it a fit thing to grant forgiveness of
[such] sins at his entreaties, since injuries do not otherwise grow so
great as by the easy tempers of those that are injured; or while they
hunt after the glory of being thought gentle and good-natured, before
they are aware they produce other sins. As soon therefore as God had
rejected the intercession of the prophet, and it plainly appeared he
would not change his mind, at break of day Samuel came to Saul at
Gilgal. When the king saw him, he ran to him, and embraced him, and
said, "I return thanks to God, who hath given me the victory, for I have
performed every thing that he hath commanded me." To which Samuel
replied, "How is it then that I hear the bleating of the sheep and the
lowing of the greater cattle in the camp?" Saul made answer, That the
people had reserved them for sacrifices; but that, as to the nation of
the Amalekites, it was entirely destroyed, as he had received it in
command to see done, and that no one man was left; but that he had saved
alive the king alone, and brought him to him, concerning whom, he said,
they would advise together what should be done with him. But the prophet
said, "God is not delighted with sacrifices, but with good and with
righteous men, who are such as follow his will and his laws, and never
think that any thing is well done by them but when they do it as God had
commanded them; that he then looks upon himself as affronted, not when
any one does not sacrifice, but when any one appears to be disobedient
to him. But that from those who do not obey him, nor pay him that duty
which is the alone true and acceptable worship, he will not kindly
accept their oblations, be those they offer ever so many and so fat, and
be the presents they make him ever so ornamental, nay, though they were
made of gold and silver themselves, but he will reject them, and esteem
them instances of wickedness, and not of piety. And that he is delighted
with those that still bear in mind this one thing, and this only, how to
do that, whatsoever it be, which God pronounces or commands for them to
do, and to choose rather to die than to transgress any of those
commands; nor does he require so much as a sacrifice from them. And when
these do sacrifice, though it be a mean oblation, he better accepts of
it as the honor of poverty, than such oblations as come from the richest
men that offer them to him. Wherefore take notice, that thou art under
the wrath of God, for thou hast despised and neglected what he commanded
thee. How dost thou then suppose that he will respect a sacrifice out of
such things as he hath doomed to destruction? unless perhaps thou dost
imagine that it is almost all one to offer it in sacrifice to God as to
destroy it. Do thou therefore expect that thy kingdom will be taken from
thee, and that authority which thou hast abused by such insolent
behavior, as to neglect that God who bestowed it upon thee." Then did
Saul confess that he had acted unjustly, and did not deny that he had
sinned, because he had transgressed the injunctions of the prophet; but
he said that it was out of a dread and fear of the soldiers, that he did
not prohibit and restrain them when they seized on the prey. "But
forgive me," said he, "and be merciful to me, for I will be cautious how
I offend for the time to come." He also entreated the prophet to go back
with him, that he might offer his thank-offerings to God; but Samuel
went home, because he saw that God would not be reconciled to him.

5. But then Saul was so desirous to retain Samuel, that he took hold of
his cloak, and because the vehemence of Samuel's departure made the
motion to be violent, the cloak was rent. Upon which the prophet said,
that after the same manner should the kingdom be rent from him, and that
a good and a just man should take it; that God persevered in what he had
decreed about him; that to be mutable and changeable in what is
determined, is agreeable to human passions only, but is not agreeable to
the Divine Power. Hereupon Saul said that he had been wicked, but that
what was done could not be undone: he therefore desired him to honor him
so far, that the multitude might see that he would accompany him in
worshipping God. So Samuel granted him that favor, and went with him and
worshipped God. Agag also, the king of the Amalekites, was brought to
him; and when the king asked, How bitter death was? Samuel said, "As
thou hast made many of the Hebrew mothers to lament and bewail the loss
of their children, so shalt thou, by thy death, cause thy mother to
lament thee also." Accordingly, he gave order to slay him immediately at
Gilgal, and then went away to the city Ramah.

CHAPTER 8. How, Upon Saul's Transgression Of The Prophet's Commands,
Samuel Ordained Another Person To Be King Privately, Whose Name Was
David, As God Commanded Him.

1. Now Saul being sensible of the miserable condition he had brought
himself into, and that he had made God to be his enemy, he went up to
his royal palace at Gibeah, which name denotes a hill, and after that
day he came no more into the presence of the prophet. And when Samuel
mourned for him, God bid him leave off his concern for him, and to take
the holy oil, and go to Bethlehem, to Jesse the son of Obed, and to
anoint such of his sons as he should show him for their future king. But
Samuel said, he was afraid lest Saul, when he came to know of it, should
kill him, either by some private method or even openly. But upon God's
suggesting to him a safe way of going thither, he came to the
forementioned city; and when they all saluted him, and asked what was
the occasion of his coming, he told them he came to sacrifice to God.
When, therefore, he had gotten the sacrifice ready, he called Jesse and
his sons to partake of those sacrifices; and when he saw his eldest son
to be a tall and handsome man, he guessed by his comeliness that he was
the person who was to be their future king. But he was mistaken in
judging about God's providence; for when Samuel inquired of God whether
he should anoint this youth, whom he so admired, and esteemed worthy of
the kingdom, God said, "Men do not see as God seeth. Thou indeed hast
respect to the fine appearance of this youth, and thence esteemest him
worthy of the kingdom, while I propose the kingdom as a reward, not of
the beauty of bodies, but of the virtue of souls, and I inquire after
one that is perfectly comely in that respect; I mean one who is
beautiful in piety, and righteousness, and fortitude, and obedience, for
in them consists the comeliness of the soul." When God had said this,
Samuel bade Jesse to show him all his sons. So he made five others of
his sons to come to him; of all of whom Eliab was the eldest, Aminadab
the second, Shammall the third, Nathaniel the fourth, Rael the fifth,
and Asam the sixth. And when the prophet saw that these were no way
inferior to the eldest in their countenances, he inquired of God which
of them it was whom he chose for their king. And when God said it was
none of them, he asked Jesse whether he had not some other sons besides
these; and when he said that he had one more, named David, but that he
was a shepherd, and took care of the flocks, Samuel bade them call him
immediately, for that till he was come they could not possibly sit down
to the feast. Now, as soon as his father had sent for David, and he was
come, he appeared to be of a yellow complexion, of a sharp sight, and a
comely person in other respects also. This is he, said Samuel privately
to himself, whom it pleases God to make our king. So he sat down to the
feast, and placed the youth under him, and Jesse also, with his other
sons; after which he took oil in the presence of David, and anointed
him, and whispered him in the ear, and acquainted him that God chose him
to be their king; and exhorted him to be righteous, and obedient to his
commands, for that by this means his kingdom would continue for a long
time, and that his house should be of great splendor, and celebrated in
the world; that he should overthrow the Philistines; and that against
what nations soever he should make war, he should be the conqueror, and
survive the fight; and that while he lived he should enjoy a glorious
name, and leave such a name to his posterity also.

2. So Samuel, when he had given him these admonitions, went away. But
the Divine Power departed from Saul, and removed to David; who, upon
this removal of the Divine Spirit to him, began to prophesy. But as for
Saul, some strange and demoniacal disorders came upon him, and brought
upon him such suffocations as were ready to choke him; for which the
physicians could find no other remedy but this, That if any person could
charm those passions by singing, and playing upon the harp, they advised
them to inquire for such a one, and to observe when these demons came
upon him and disturbed him, and to take care that such a person might
stand over him, and play upon the harp, and recite hymns to him. 16
Accordingly Saul did not delay, but commanded them to seek out such a
man. And when a certain stander-by said that he had seen in the city of
Bethlehem a son of Jesse, who was yet no more than a child in age, but
comely and beautiful, and in other respects one that was deserving of
great regard, who was skillful in playing on the harp, and in singing of
hymns, [and an excellent soldier in war,] he sent to Jesse, and desired
him to take David away from the flocks, and send him to him, for he had
a mind to see him, as having heard an advantageous character of his
comeliness and his valor. So Jesse sent his son, and gave him presents
to carry to Saul. And when he was come, Saul was pleased with him, and
made him his armor-bearer, and had him in very great esteem; for he
charmed his passion, and was the only physician against the trouble he
had from the demons, whensoever it was that it came upon him, and this
by reciting of hymns, and playing upon the harp, and bringing Saul to
his right mind again. However, he sent to Jesse, the father of the
child, and desired him to permit David to stay with him, for that he was
delighted with his sight and company; which stay, that he might not
contradict Saul, he granted.

CHAPTER 9. How The Philistines Made Another Expedition Against The
Hebrews Under The Reign Of Saul; And How They Were Overcome By David's
Slaying Goliath In Single Combat.

1. Now the Philistines gathered themselves together again no very long
time afterward; and having gotten together a great army, they made war
against the Israelites; and having seized a place between Shochoh and
Azekah, they there pitched their camp. Saul also drew out his army to
oppose them; and by pitching his own camp on a certain hill, he forced
the Philistines to leave their former camp, and to encamp themselves
upon such another hill, over-against that on which Saul's army lay, so
that a valley, which was between the two hills on which they lay,
divided their camps asunder. Now there came down a man out of the camp
of the Philistines, whose name was Goliath, of the city of Gath, a man
of vast bulk, for he was of four cubits and a span in tallness, and had
about him weapons suitable to the largeness of his body, for he had a
breastplate on that weighed five thousand shekels: he had also a helmet
and greaves of brass, as large as you would naturally suppose might
cover the limbs of so vast a body. His spear was also such as was not
carried like a light thing in his right hand, but he carried it as lying
on his shoulders. He had also a lance of six hundred shekels; and many
followed him to carry his armor. Wherefore this Goliath stood between
the two armies, as they were in battle array, and sent out aloud voice,
and said to Saul and the Hebrews, "I will free you from fighting and
from dangers; for what necessity is there that your army should fall and
be afflicted? Give me a man of you that will fight with me, and he that
conquers shall have the reward of the conqueror and determine the war;
for these shall serve those others to whom the conqueror shall belong;
and certainly it is much better, and more prudent, to gain what you
desire by the hazard of one man than of all." When he had said this, he
retired to his own camp; but the next day he came again, and used the
same words, and did not leave off for forty days together, to challenge
the enemy in the same words, till Saul and his army were therewith
terrified, while they put themselves in array as if they would fight,
but did not come to a close battle.

2. Now while this war between the Hebrews and the Philistines was going
on, Saul sent away David to his father Jesse, and contented himself with
those three sons of his whom he had sent to his assistance, and to be
partners in the dangers of the war: and at first David returned to feed
his sheep and his flocks; but after no long time he came to the camp of
the Hebrews, as sent by his father, to carry provisions to his brethren,
and to know what they were doing. While Goliath came again, and
challenged them, and reproached them, that they had no man of valor
among them that durst come down to fight him; and as David was talking
with his brethren about the business for which his father had sent him,
he heard the Philistine reproaching and abusing the army, and had
indignation at it, and said to his brethren, "I am ready to fight a
single combat with this adversary." Whereupon Eliab, his eldest brother,
reproved him, and said that he spoke too rashly and improperly for one
of his age, and bid him go to his flocks, and to his father. So he was
abashed at his brother's words, and went away, but still he spake to
some of the soldiers that he was willing to fight with him that
challenged them. And when they had informed Saul what was the resolution
of the young man, the king sent for him to come to him: and when the
king asked what he had to say, he replied, "O king, be not cast down,
nor afraid, for I will depress the insolence of this adversary, and will
go down and fight with him, and will bring him under me, as tall and as
great as he is, till he shall be sufficiently laughed at, and thy army
shall get great glory, when he shall be slain by one that is not yet of
man's estate, neither fit for fighting, nor capable of being intrusted
with the marshalling an army, or ordering a battle, but by one that
looks like a child, and is really no elder in age than a child."

3. Now Saul wondered at the boldness and alacrity of David, but durst
not presume on his ability, by reason of his age; but said he must on
that account be too weak to fight with one that was skilled in the art
of war. "I undertake this enterprise," said David, "in dependence on
God's being with me, for I have had experience already of his
assistance; for I once pursued after and caught a lion that assaulted my
flocks, and took away a lamb from them; and I snatched the lamb out of
the wild beast's mouth, and when he leaped upon me with violence, I took
him by the tail, and dashed him against the ground. In the same manner
did I avenge myself on a bear also; and let this adversary of ours be
esteemed like one of these wild beasts, since he has a long while
reproached our army, and blasphemed our God, who yet will reduce him
under my power."

4. However, Saul prayed that the end might be, by God's assistance, not
disagreeable to the alacrity and boldness of the child; and said, "Go
thy way to the fight." So he put about him his breastplate, and girded
on his sword, and fitted the helmet to his head, and sent him away. But
David was burdened with his armor, for he had not been exercised to it,
nor had he learned to walk with it; so he said, "Let this armor be
thine, O king, who art able to bear it; but give me leave to fight as
thy servant, and as I myself desire." Accordingly he laid by the armor,
and taking his staff with him, and putting five stones out of the brook
into a shepherd's bag, and having a sling in his right hand, he went
towards Goliath. But the adversary seeing him come in such a manner,
disdained him, and jested upon him, as if he had not such weapons with
him as are usual when one man fights against another, but such as are
used in driving away and avoiding of dogs; and said, "Dost thou take me
not for a man, but a dog?" To which he replied, "No, not for a dog, but
for a creature worse than a dog." This provoked Goliath to anger, who
thereupon cursed him by the name of God, and threatened to give his
flesh to the beasts of the earth, and to the fowls of the air, to be
torn in pieces by them. To whom David answered, "Thou comest to me with
a sword, and with a spear, and with a breastplate; but I have God for my
armor in coming against thee, who will destroy thee and all thy army by
my hands for I will this day cut off thy head, and cast the other parts
of thy body to the dogs, and all men shall learn that God is the
protector of the Hebrews, and that our armor and our strength is in his
providence; and that without God's assistance, all other warlike
preparations and power are useless." So the Philistine being retarded by
the weight of his armor, when he attempted to meet David in haste, came
on but slowly, as despising him, and depending upon it that he should
slay him, who was both unarmed and a child also, without any trouble at

5. But the youth met his antagonist, being accompanied with an invisible
assistant, who was no other than God himself. And taking one of the
stones that he had out of the brook, and had put into his shepherd's
bag, and fitting it to his sling, he slang it against the Philistine.
This stone fell upon his forehead, and sank into his brain, insomuch
that Goliath was stunned, and fell upon his face. So David ran, and
stood upon his adversary as he lay down, and cut off his head with his
own sword; for he had no sword himself. And upon the fall of Goliath the
Philistines were beaten, and fled; for when they saw their champion
prostrate on the ground, they were afraid of the entire issue of their
affairs, and resolved not to stay any longer, but committed themselves
to an ignominious and indecent flight, and thereby endeavored to save
themselves from the dangers they were in. But Saul and the entire army
of the Hebrews made a shout, and rushed upon them, and slew a great
number of them, and pursued the rest to the borders of Garb, and to the
gates of Ekron; so that there were slain of the Philistines thirty
thousand, and twice as many wounded. But Saul returned to their camp,
and pulled their fortification to pieces, and burnt it; but David
carried the head of Goliath into his own tent, but dedicated his sword
to God [at the tabernacle].

CHAPTER 10. Saul Envies David For His Glorious Success, And Takes An
Occasion Of Entrapping Him, From The Promise He Made Him Of Giving Him
His Daughter In Marriage; But This Upon Condition Of His Bringing Him
Six Hundred Heads Of The Philistines.

1. Now the women were an occasion of Saul's envy and hatred to David;
for they came to meet their victorious army with cymbals, and drums, and
all demonstrations of joy, and sang thus: The wives said, that "Saul had
slain his many thousands of the Philistines." The virgins replied, that
"David had slain his ten thousands." Now, when the king heard them
singing thus, and that he had himself the smallest share in their
commendations, and the greater number, the ten thousands, were ascribed
to the young man; and when he considered with himself that there was
nothing more wanting to David, after such a mighty applause, but the
kingdom; he began to be afraid and suspicious of David. Accordingly he
removed him from the station he was in before, for he was his armor-
bearer, which, out of fear, seemed to him much too near a station for
him; and so he made him captain over a thousand, and bestowed on him a
post better indeed in itself, but, as he thought, more for his own
security; for he had a mind to send him against the enemy, and into
battles, as hoping he would be slain in such dangerous conflicts.

2. But David had God going along with him whithersoever he went, and
accordingly he greatly prospered in his undertakings, and it was visible
that he had mighty success, insomuch that Saul's daughter, who was still
a virgin, fell in love with him; and her affection so far prevailed over
her, that it could not be concealed, and her father became acquainted
with it. Now Saul heard this gladly, as intending to make use of it for
a snare against David, and he hoped that it would prove the cause of
destruction and of hazard to him; so he told those that informed him of
his daughter's affection, that he would willingly give David the virgin
in marriage, and said, "I engage myself to marry my daughter to him if
he will bring me six hundred heads of my enemies 17 supposing that when
a reward so ample was proposed to him, and when he should aim to get him
great glory, by undertaking a thing so dangerous and incredible, he
would immediately set about it, and so perish by the Philistines; and my
designs about him will succeed finely to my mind, for I shall be freed
from him, and get him slain, not by myself, but by another man." So he
gave order to his servants to try how David would relish this proposal
of marrying the damsel. Accordingly, they began to speak thus to him:
That king Saul loved him, as well as did all the people, and that he was
desirous of his affinity by the marriage of this damsel. To which he
gave this answer:—"Seemeth it to you a light thing to be made the king's
son-in-law? It does not seem so to me, especially when I am one of a
family that is low, and without any glory or honor." Now when Saul was
informed by his servants what answer David had made, he said,—"Tell him
that I do not want any money nor dowry from him, which would be rather
to set my daughter to sale than to give her in marriage; but I desire
only such a son-in-law as hath in him fortitude, and all other kinds of
virtue," of which he saw David was possessed, and that his desire was to
receive of him, on account of his marrying his daughter, neither gold
nor silver, nor that he should bring such wealth out of his father's
house, but only some revenge on the Philistines, and indeed six hundred
of their heads, than which a more desirable or a more glorious present
could not be brought him, and that he had much rather obtain this, than
any of the accustomed dowries for his daughter, viz. that she should be
married to a man of that character, and to one who had a testimony as
having conquered his enemies.

3. When these words of Saul were brought to David, he was pleased with
them, and supposed that Saul was really desirous of this affinity with
him; so that without bearing to deliberate any longer, or casting about
in his mind whether what was proposed was possible, or was difficult or
not, he and his companions immediately set upon the enemy, and went
about doing what was proposed as the condition of the marriage.
Accordingly, because it was God who made all things easy and possible to
David, he slew many [of the Philistines], and cut off the heads of six
hundred of them, and came to the king, and by showing him these heads of
the Philistines, required that he might have his daughter in marriage.
Accordingly, Saul having no way of getting off his engagements, as
thinking it a base thing either to seem a liar when he promised him this
marriage, or to appear to have acted treacherously by him, in putting
him upon what was in a manner impossible, in order to have him slain, he
gave him his daughter in marriage: her name was Michal.

CHAPTER 11. How David, Upon Saul's Laying Snares For Him, Did Yet Escape
The Dangers He Was In By The Affection And Care Of Jonathan And The
Contrivances Of His Wife Michal: And How He Came To Samuel The Prophet.

1. However, Saul was not disposed to persevere long in the state wherein
he was, for when he saw that David was in great esteem, both with God
and with the multitude, he was afraid; and being not able to conceal his
fear as concerning great things, his kingdom and his life, to be
deprived of either of which was a very great calamity, he resolved to
have David slain, and commanded his son Jonathan and his most faithful
servants to kill him: but Jonathan wondered at his father's change with
relation to David, that it should be made to so great a degree, from
showing him no small good-will, to contrive how to have him killed. Now,
because he loved the young man, and reverenced him for his virtue, he
informed him of the secret charge his father had given, and what his
intentions were concerning him. However, he advised him to take care and
be absent the next day, for that he would salute his father, and, if he
met with a favorable opportunity, he would discourse with him about him,
and learn the cause of his disgust, and show how little ground there was
for it, and that for it he ought not to kill a man that had done so many
good things to the multitude, and had been a benefactor to himself, on
account of which he ought in reason to obtain pardon, had he been guilty
of the greatest crimes; and "I will then inform thee of my father's
resolution." Accordingly David complied with such an advantageous
advice, and kept himself then out of the king's sight.

2. On the next day Jonathan came to Saul, as soon as he saw him in a
cheerful and joyful disposition, and began to introduce a discourse
about David: "What unjust action, O father, either little or great, hast
thou found so exceptionable in David, as to induce thee to order us to
slay a man who hath been of great advantage to thy own preservation, and
of still greater to the punishment of the Philistines? A man who hath
delivered the people of the Hebrews from reproach and derision, which
they underwent for forty days together, when he alone had courage enough
to sustain the challenge of the adversary, and after that brought as
many heads of our enemies as he was appointed to bring, and had, as a
reward for the same, my sister in marriage; insomuch that his death
would be very sorrowful to us, not only on account of his virtue, but on
account of the nearness of our relation; for thy daughter must be
injured at the same time that he is slain, and must be obliged to
experience widowhood, before she can come to enjoy any advantage from
their mutual conversation. Consider these things, and change your mind
to a more merciful temper, and do no mischief to a man, who, in the
first place, hath done us the greatest kindness of preserving thee; for
when an evil spirit and demons had seized upon thee, he cast them out,
and procured rest to thy soul from their incursions: and, in the second
place, hath avenged us of our enemies; for it is a base thing to forget
such benefits." So Saul was pacified with these words, and sware to his
son that he would do David no harm, for a righteous discourse proved too
hard for the king's anger and fear. So Jonathan sent for David, and
brought him good news from his father, that he was to be preserved. He
also brought him to his father; and David continued with the king as

3. About this time it was that, upon the Philistines making a new
expedition against the Hebrews, Saul sent David with an army to fight
with them; and joining battle with them he slew many of them, and after
his victory he returned to the king. But his reception by Saul was not
as he expected upon such success, for he was grieved at his prosperity,
because he thought he would be more dangerous to him by having acted so
gloriously: but when the demoniacal spirit came upon him, and put him
into disorder, and disturbed him, he called for David into his bed-
chamber wherein he lay, and having a spear in his hand, he ordered him
to charm him with playing on his harp, and with singing hymns; which
when David did at his command, he with great force threw the spear at
him; but David was aware of it before it came, and avoided it, and fled
to his own house, and abode there all that day.

4. But at night the king sent officers, and commanded that he should be
watched till the morning, lest he should get quite away, that he might
come into the judgment-hall, and so might be delivered up, and condemned
and slain. But when Michal, David's wife, the king's daughter,
understood what her father designed, she came to her husband, as having
small hopes of his deliverance, and as greatly concerned about her own
life also, for she could not bear to live in case she were deprived of
him; and she said, "Let not the sun find thee here when it rises, for if
it do, that will be the last time it will see thee: fly away then while
the night may afford thee opportunity, and may God lengthen it for thy
sake; for know this, that if my father find thee, thou art a dead man."
So she let him down by a cord out of the window, and saved him: and
after she had done so, she fitted up a bed for him as if he were sick,
and put under the bed-clothes a goat's liver 18 and when her father, as
soon as it was day, sent to seize David, she said to those that were
there, That he had not been well that night, and showed them the bed
covered, and made them believe, by the leaping of the liver, which
caused the bed-clothes to move also, that David breathed like one that
was asthmatic. So when those that were sent told Saul that David had not
been well in the night he ordered him to be brought in that condition,
for he intended to kill him. Now when they came and uncovered the bed,
and found out the woman's contrivance, they told it to the king; and
when her father complained of her that she had saved his enemy, and had
put a trick upon himself, she invented this plausible defense for
herself, and said, That when he had threatened to kill her, she lent him
her assistance for his preservation, out of fear; for which her
assistance she ought to be forgiven, because it was not done of her own
free choice, but out of necessity: "For," said she, "I do not suppose
that thou wast so zealous to kill thy enemy, as thou wast that I should
be saved." Accordingly Saul forgave the damsel; but David, when he had
escaped this danger, came to the prophet Samuel to Ramah, and told him
what snares the king had laid for him, and how he was very near to death
by Saul's throwing a spear at him, although he had been no way guilty
with relation to him, nor had he been cowardly in his battles with his
enemies, but had succeeded well in them all, by God's assistance; which
thing was indeed the cause of Saul's hatred to David.

5. When the prophet was made acquainted with the unjust proceedings of
the king, he left the city Ramah, and took David with him, to a certain
place called Naioth, and there he abode with him. But when it was told
Saul that David was with the prophet, he sent soldiers to him, and
ordered them to take him, and bring him to him: and when they came to
Samuel, and found there a congregation of prophets, they became
partakers of the Divine Spirit, and began to prophesy; which when Saul
heard of, he sent others to David, who prophesying in like manner as did
the first, he again sent others; which third sort prophesying also, at
last he was angry, and went thither in great haste himself; and when he
was just by the place, Samuel, before he saw him, made him prophesy
also. And when Saul came to him, he was disordered in mind 19 and under
the vehement agitation of a spirit; and, putting off his garments, 20 he
fell down, and lay on the ground all that day and night, in the presence
of Samuel and David.

6. And David went thence, and came to Jonathan, the son of Saul, and
lamented to him what snares were laid for him by his father; and said,
that though he had been guilty of no evil, nor had offended against him,
yet he was very zealous to get him killed. Hereupon Jonathan exhorted
him not to give credit to such his own suspicions, nor to the calumnies
of those that raised those reports, if there were any that did so, but
to depend on him, and take courage; for that his father had no such
intention, since he would have acquainted him with that matter, and have
taken his advice, had it been so, as he used to consult with him in
common when he acted in other affairs. But David sware to him that so it
was; and he desired him rather to believe him, and to provide for his
safety, than to despise what he, with great sincerity, told him: that he
would believe what he said, when he should either see him killed
himself, or learn it upon inquiry from others: and that the reason why
his father did not tell him of these things, was this, that he knew of
the friendship and affection that he bore towards him.

7. Hereupon, when Jonathan found that this intention of Saul was so well
attested, he asked him what he would have him do for him. To which David
replied, "I am sensible that thou art willing to gratify me in every
thing, and procure me what I desire. Now tomorrow is the new moon, and I
was accustomed to sit down then with the king at supper: now, if it seem
good to thee, I will go out of the city, and conceal myself privately
there; and if Saul inquire why I am absent, tell him that I am gone to
my own city Bethlehem, to keep a festival with my own tribe; and add
this also, that thou gavest me leave so to do. And if he say, as is
usually said in the case of friends that are gone abroad, It is well
that he went, then assure thyself that no latent mischief or enmity may
be feared at his hand; but if he answer otherwise, that will be a sure
sign that he hath some designs against me, Accordingly thou shalt inform
me of thy father's inclinations; and that out of pity to my case and out
of thy friendship for me, as instances of which friendship thou hast
vouchsafed to accept of the assurances of my love to thee, and to give
the like assurances to me, that is, those of a master to his servant;
but if thou discoverest any wickedness in me, do thou prevent thy
father, and kill me thyself."

8. But Jonathan heard these last words with indignation, and promised to
do what he desired of him, and to inform him if his father's answers
implied any thing of a melancholy nature, and any enmity against him.
And that he might the more firmly depend upon him, he took him out into
the open field, into the pure air, and sware that he would neglect
nothing that might tend to the preservation of David; and he said, "I
appeal to that God, who, as thou seest, is diffused every where, and
knoweth this intention of mine, before I explain it in words, as the
witness of this my covenant with thee, that I will not leave off to make
frequent trims of the purpose of my father till I learn whether there be
any lurking distemper in the most secret parts of his soul; and when I
have learnt it, I will not conceal it from thee, but will discover it to
thee, whether he be gently or peevishly disposed; for this God himself
knows, that I pray he may always be with thee, for he is with thee now,
and will not forsake thee, and will make thee superior to thine enemies,
whether my father be one of them, or whether I myself be such. Do thou
only remember what we now do; and if it fall out that I die, preserve my
children alive, and requite what kindness thou hast now received to
them." When he had thus sworn, he dismissed David, bidding him go to a
certain place of that plain wherein he used to perform his exercises;
for that, as soon as he knew the mind of his father, he would come
thither to him, with one servant only; "and if," says he, "I shoot three
darts at the mark, and then bid my servant to carry these three darts
away, for they are before him, know thou that there is no mischief to be
feared from my father; but if thou hearest me say the contrary, expect
the contrary from the king. However, thou shalt gain security by my
means, and shalt by no means suffer any harm; but see thou dost not
forget what I have desired of thee in the time of thy prosperity, and be
serviceable to my children." Now David, when he had received these
assurances from Jonathan, went his way to the place appointed.

9. But on the next day, which was the new moon, the king, when he had
purified himself, as the custom was, came to supper; and when there sat
by him his son Jonathan on his right hand, and Abner, the captain of his
host, on the other hand, he saw David's seat was empty, but said
nothing, supposing that he had not purified himself since he had
accompanied with his wife, and so could not be present; but when he saw
that he was not there the second day of the month neither, he inquired
of his son Jonathan why the son of Jesse did not come to the supper and
the feast, neither the day before nor that day. So Jonathan said, That
he was gone, according to the agreement between them, to his own city,
where his tribe kept a festival, and that by his permission: that he
also invited him to come to their sacrifice; "and," says Jonathan, "if
thou wilt give me leave, I Will go thither, for thou knowest the good-
will that I bear him." And then it was that Jonathan understood his
father's hatred to David, and plainly saw his entire disposition; for
Saul could not restrain his anger, but reproached Jonathan, and called
him the son of a runagate, and an enemy; and said he was a partner with
David, and his assistant, and that by his behavior he showed he had no
regard to himself, or to his mother, and would not be persuaded of
this,—that while David is alive, their kingdom was not secure to them;
yet did he bid him send for him, that he might be punished. And when
Jonathan said, in answer, "What hath he done that thou wilt punish him?"
Saul no longer contented himself to express his anger in bare words, but
snatched up his spear, and leaped upon him, and was desirous to kill
him. He did not indeed do what he intended, because he was hindered by
his friends; but it appeared plainly to his son that he hated David, and
greatly desired to despatch him, insomuch that he had almost slain his
son with his own hands on his account.

10. And then it was that the king's son rose hastily from supper; and
being unable to admit any thing into his mouth for grief, he wept all
night, both because he had himself been near destruction, and because
the death of David was determined: but as soon as it was day, he went
out into the plain that was before the city, as going to perform his
exercises, but in reality to inform his friend what disposition his
father was in towards him, as he had agreed with him to do; and when
Jonathan had done what had been thus agreed, he dismissed his servant
that followed him, to return to the city; but he himself went into the
desert, and came into his presence, and communed with him. So David
appeared and fell at Jonathan's feet, and bowed down to him, and called
him the preserver of his soul; but he lifted him up from the earth, and
they mutually embraced one another, and made a long greeting, and that
not without tears. They also lamented their age, and that familiarity
which envy would deprive them of, and that separation which must now be
expected, which seemed to them no better than death itself. So
recollecting themselves at length from their lamentation, and exhorting
one another to be mindful of the oaths they had sworn to each other,
they parted asunder.

CHAPTER 12. How David Fled To Ahimelech And Afterwards To The Kings Of
The Philistines And Of The Moabites, And How Saul Slew Ahimelech And His

1. But David fled from the king, and that death he was in danger of by
him, and came to the city Nob, to Ahimelech the priest, who, when he saw
him coming all alone, and neither a friend nor a servant with him, he
wondered at it, and desired to learn of him the cause why there was
nobody with him. To which David answered, That the king had commanded
him to do a certain thing that was to be kept secret, to which, if he
had a mind to know so much, he had no occasion for any one to accompany
him; "however, I have ordered my servants to meet me at such and such a
place." So he desired him to let him have somewhat to eat; and that in
case he would supply him, he would act the part of a friend, and be
assisting to the business he was now about: and when he had obtained
what he desired, he also asked him whether he had any weapons with him,
either sword or spear. Now there was at Nob a servant of Saul, by birth
a Syrian, whose name was Doeg, one that kept the king's mules. The high
priest said that he had no such weapons; but, he added, "Here is the
sword of Goliath, which, when thou hadst slain the Philistine, thou
didst dedicate to God."

2. When David had received the sword, he fled out of the country of the
Hebrews into that of the Philistines, over which Achish reigned; and
when the king's servants knew him, and he was made known to the king
himself, the servants informing him that he was that David who had
killed many ten thousands of the Philistines, David was afraid lest the
king should put him to death, and that he should experience that danger
from him which he had escaped from Saul; so he pretended to be
distracted and mad, so that his spittle ran out of his mouth; and he did
other the like actions before the king of Gath, which might make him
believe that they proceeded from such a distemper. Accordingly the king
was very angry at his servants that they had brought him a madman, and
he gave orders that they should eject David immediately [out of the

3. So when David had escaped in this manner out of Gath, he came to the
tribe of Judah, and abode in a cave by the city of Adullam. Then it was
that he sent to his brethren, and informed them where he was, who then
came to him with all their kindred, and as many others as were either in
want or in fear of king Saul, came and made a body together, and told
him they were ready to obey his orders; they were in all about four
hundred. Whereupon he took courage, now such a force and assistance was
come to him; so he removed thence and came to the king of the Moabites,
and desired him to entertain his parents in his country, while the issue
of his affairs were in such an uncertain condition. The king granted him
this favor, and paid great respect to David's parents all the time they
were with him.

4. As for himself, upon the prophet's commanding him to leave the
desert, and to go into the portion of the tribe of Judah, and abide
there, he complied therewith; and coming to the city Hareth, which was
in that tribe, he remained there. Now when Saul heard that David had
been seen with a multitude about him, he fell into no small disturbance
and trouble; but as he knew that David was a bold and courageous man, he
suspected that somewhat extraordinary would appear from him, and that
openly also, which would make him weep and put him into distress; so he
called together to him his friends, and his commanders, and the tribe
from which he was himself derived, to the hill where his palace was; and
sitting upon a place called Aroura, his courtiers that were in
dignities, and the guards of his body, being with him, he spake thus to
them:—"You that are men of my own tribe, I conclude that you remember
the benefits that I have bestowed upon you, and that I have made some of
you owners of land, and made you commanders, and bestowed posts of honor
upon you, and set some of you over the common people, and others over
the soldiers; I ask you, therefore, whether you expect greater and more
donations from the son of Jesse? for I know that you are all inclinable
to him; [even my own son Jonathan himself is of that opinion, and
persuades you to be of the same]; for I am not unacquainted with the
oaths and the covenants that are between him and David, and that
Jonathan is a counselor and an assistant to those that conspire against
me, and none of you are concerned about these things, but you keep
silence and watch, to see what will be the upshot of these things." When
the king had made this speech, not one of the rest of those that were
present made any answer; but Doeg the Syrian, who fed his mules, said,
that he saw David when he came to the city Nob to Ahimelech the high
priest, and that he learned future events by his prophesying; that he
received food from him, and the sword of Goliath, and was conducted by
him with security to such as he desired to go to.

5. Saul therefore sent for the high priest, and for all his kindred; and
said to them, "What terrible or ungrateful tiring hast thou suffered
from me, that thou hast received the son of Jesse, and hast bestowed on
him both food and weapons, when he was contriving to get the kingdom?
And further, why didst thou deliver oracles to him concerning
futurities? For thou couldst not be unacquainted that he was fled away
from me, and that he hated my family." But the high priest did not
betake himself to deny what he had done, but confessed boldly that he
had supplied him with these things, not to gratify David, but Saul
himself: and he said, "I did not know that he was thy adversary, but a
servant of thine, who was very faithful to thee, and a captain over a
thousand of thy soldiers, and, what is more than these, thy son-in-law,
and kinsman. Men do not choose to confer such favors on their
adversaries, but on those who are esteemed to bear the highest good-will
and respect to them. Nor is this the first time that I prophesied for
him, but I have done it often, and at other times as well as now. And
when he told me that he was sent by thee in great haste to do somewhat,
if I had furnished him with nothing that he desired I should have
thought that it was rather in contradiction to thee than to him;
wherefore do not thou entertain any ill opinion of me, nor do thou have
a suspicion of what I then thought an act of humanity, from what is now
told thee of David's attempts against thee, for I did then to him as to
thy friend and son-in-law, and captain of a thousand, and not as to
thine adversary."

6. When the high priest had spoken thus, he did not persuade Saul, his
fear was so prevalent, that he could not give credit to an apology that
was very just. So he commanded his armed men that stood about him to
kill him, and all his kindred; but as they durst not touch the high
priest, but were more afraid of disobeying God than the king, he ordered
Doeg the Syrian to kill them. Accordingly, he took to his assistance
such wicked men as were like himself, and slew Ahimelech and all his
family, who were in all three hundred and eighty-five. Saul also sent to
Nob, 21 the city of the priests, and slew all that were there, without
sparing either women or children, or any other age, and burnt it; only
there was one son of Ahimelech, whose name was Abiathar, who escaped.
However, these things came to pass as God had foretold to Eli the high
priest, when he said that his posterity should be destroyed, on account
of the transgression of his two sons.

7. 22 Now this king Saul, by perpetrating so barbarous a crime, and
murdering the whole family of the high-priestly dignity, by having no
pity of the infants, nor reverence for the aged, and by overthrowing the
city which God had chosen for the property, and for the support of the
priests and prophets which were there, and had ordained as the only city
allotted for the education of such men, gives all to understand and
consider the disposition of men, that while they are private persons,
and in a low condition, because it is not in their power to indulge
nature, nor to venture upon what they wish for, they are equitable and
moderate, and pursue nothing but what is just, and bend their whole
minds and labors that way; then it is that they have this belief about
God, that he is present to all the actions of their lives, and that he
does not only see the actions that are done, but clearly knows those
their thoughts also, whence those actions do arise. But when once they
are advanced into power and authority, then they put off all such
notions, and, as if they were no other than actors upon a theater, they
lay aside their disguised parts and manners, and take up boldness,
insolence, and a contempt of both human and Divine laws, and this at a
time when they especially stand in need of piety and righteousness,
because they are then most of all exposed to envy, and all they think,
and all they say, are in the view of all men; then it is that they
become so insolent in their actions, as though God saw them no longer,
or were afraid of them because of their power: and whatsoever it is that
they either are afraid of by the rumors they hear, or they hate by
inclination, or they love without reason, these seem to them to be
authentic, and firm, and true, and pleasing both to men and to God; but
as to what will come hereafter, they have not the least regard to it.
They raise those to honor indeed who have been at a great deal of pains
for them, and after that honor they envy them; and when they have
brought them into high dignity, they do not only deprive them of what
they had obtained, but also, on that very account, of their lives also,
and that on wicked accusations, and such as on account of their
extravagant nature, are incredible. They also punish men for their
actions, not such as deserve condemnation, but from calumnies and
accusations without examination; and this extends not only to such as
deserve to be punished, but to as many as they are able to kill. This
reflection is openly confirmed to us from the example of Saul, the son
of Kish, who was the first king who reigned after our aristocracy and
government under the judges were over; and that by his slaughter of
three hundred priests and prophets, on occasion of his suspicion about
Ahimelech, and by the additional wickedness of the overthrow of their
city, and this is as he were endeavoring in some sort to render the
temple [tabernacle] destitute both of priests and prophets, which
endeavor he showed by slaying so many of them, and not suffering the
very city belonging to them to remain, that so others might succeed

8. But Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, who alone could be saved out of
the family of priests slain by Saul, fled to David, and informed him of
the calamity that had befallen their family, and of the slaughter of his
father; who hereupon said, He was not unapprised of what would follow
with relation to them when he saw Doeg there; for he had then a
suspicion that the high priest would be falsely accused by him to the
king, and he blamed himself as having been the cause of this misfortune.
But he desired him to stay there, and abide with him, as in a place
where he might be better concealed than any where else.

CHAPTER 13. How David, When He Had Twice The Opportunity Of Killing Saul
Did Not Kill Him. Also Concerning The Death Of Samuel And Nabal.

1. About this time it was that David heard how the Philistines had made
an inroad into the country of Keilah, and robbed it; so he offered
himself to fight against them, if God, when he should be consulted by
the prophet, would grant him the victory. And when the prophet said that
God gave a signal of victory, he made a sudden onset upon the
Philistines with his companions, and he shed a great deal of their
blood, and carried off their prey, and staid with the inhabitants of
Keilah till they had securely gathered in their corn and their fruits.
However, it was told Saul the king that David was with the men of
Keilah; for what had been done and the great success that had attended
him, were not confined among the people where the things were done, but
the fame of it went all abroad, and came to the hearing of others, and
both the fact as it stood, and the author of the fact, were carried to
the king's ears. Then was Saul glad when he heard David was in Keilah;
and he said, "God hath now put him into my hands, since he hath obliged
him to come into a city that hath walls, and gates, and bars." So he
commanded all the people suddenly, and when they had besieged and taken
it to kill David. But when David perceived this, and learned of God that
if he staid there the men of Keilah would deliver him up to Saul, he
took his four hundred men and retired into a desert that was over
against a city called Engedi. So that when the king heard he was fled
away from the men of Keilah, he left off his expedition against him.

2. Then David removed thence, and came to a certain place called the New
Place, belonging to Ziph; where Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to him,
and saluted him, and exhorted him to be of good courage, and to hope
well as to his condition hereafter, and not to despond at his present
circumstances, for that he should be king, and have all the forces of
the Hebrews under him: he told him that such happiness uses to come with
great labor and pains: they also took oaths, that they would, all their
lives long, continue in good-will and fidelity one to another; and he
called God to witness, as to what execrations he had made upon himself
if he should transgress his covenant, and should change to a contrary
behavior. So Jonathan left him there, having rendered his cares and
fears somewhat lighter, and returned home. Now the men of Ziph, to
gratify Saul, informed him that David abode with them, and [assured him]
that if he would come to them, they would deliver him up, for that if
the king would seize on the Straits of Ziph, David would not escape to
any other people. So the king commended them, and confessed that he had
reason to thank them, because they had given him information of his
enemy; and he promised them, that it should not be long ere he would
requite their kindness. He also sent men to seek for David, and to
search the wilderness wherein he was; and he promised that he himself
would follow them. Accordingly they went before the king, to hunt for
and to catch David, and used endeavors, not only to show their good-will
to Saul, by informing him where his enemy was, but to evidence the same
more plainly by delivering him up into his power. But these men failed
of those their unjust and wicked desires, who, while they underwent no
hazard by not discovering such an ambition of revealing this to Saul,
yet did they falsely accuse and promise to deliver up a man beloved of
God, and one that was unjustly sought after to be put to death, and one
that might otherwise have lain concealed, and this out of flattery, and
expectation of gain from the king; for when David was apprized of the
malignant intentions of the men of Ziph, and the approach of Saul, he
left the Straits of that country, and fled to the great rock that was in
the wilderness of Maon.

3. Hereupon Saul made haste to pursue him thither; for, as he was
marching, he learned that David was gone away from the Straits of Ziph,
and Saul removed to the other side of the rock. But the report that the
Philistines had again made an incursion into the country of the Hebrews,
called Saul another way from the pursuit of David, when he was ready to
be caught; for he returned back again to oppose those Philistines, who
were naturally their enemies, as judging it more necessary to avenge
himself of them, than to take a great deal of pains to catch an enemy of
his own, and to overlook the ravage that was made in the land.

4. And by this means David unexpectedly escaped out of the danger he was
in, and came to the Straits of Engedi; and when Saul had driven the
Philistines out of the land, there came some messengers, who told him
that David abode within the bounds of Engedi: so he took three thousand
chosen men that were armed, and made haste to him; and when he was not
far from those places, he saw a deep and hollow cave by the way-side; it
was open to a great length and breadth, and there it was that David with
his four hundred men were concealed. When therefore he had occasion to
ease nature, he entered into it by himself alone; and being seen by one
of David's companions, and he that saw him saying to him, that he had
now, by God's providence, an opportunity of avenging himself of his
adversary; and advising him to cut off his head, and so deliver himself
out of that tedious, wandering condition, and the distress he was in; he
rose up, and only cut off the skirt of that garment which Saul had on:
but he soon repented of what he had done; and said it was not right to
kill him that was his master, and one whom God had thought worthy of the
kingdom; "for that although he were wickedly disposed towards us, yet
does it not behoove me to be so disposed towards him." But when Saul had
left the cave, David came near and cried out aloud, and desired Saul to
hear him; whereupon the king turned his face back, and David, according
to custom, fell down on his face before the king, and bowed to him; and
said, "O king, thou oughtest not to hearken to wicked men, nor to such
as forge calumnies, nor to gratify them so far as to believe what they
say, nor to entertain suspicions of such as are your best friends, but
to judge of the dispositions of all men by their actions; for calumny
deludes men, but men's own actions are a clear demonstration of their
kindness. Words indeed, in their own nature, may be either true or
false, but men's actions expose their intentions nakedly to our view. By
these, therefore it will be well for thee to believe me, as to my regard
to thee and to thy house, and not to believe those that frame such
accusations against me as never came into my mind, nor are possible to
be executed, and do this further by pursuing after my life, and have no
concern either day or night, but how to compass my life and to murder
me, which thing I think thou dost unjustly prosecute; for how comes it
about, that thou hast embraced this false opinion about me, as if I had
a desire to kill thee? Or how canst thou escape the crime of impiety
towards God, when thou wishest thou couldst kill, and deemest thine
adversary, a man who had it in his power this day to avenge himself, and
to punish thee, but would not do it? nor make use of such an
opportunity, which, if it had fallen out to thee against me, thou hadst
not let it slip, for when I cut off the skirt of thy garment, I could
have done the same to thy head." So he showed him the piece of his
garment, and thereby made him agree to what he said to be true; and
added, "I, for certain, have abstained from taking a just revenge upon
thee, yet art thou not ashamed to prosecute me with unjust hatred. 23
May God do justice, and determine about each of our dispositions."—But
Saul was amazed at the strange delivery he had received; and being
greatly affected with the moderation and the disposition of the young
man, he groaned; and when David had done the same, the king answered
that he had the justest occasion to groan, "for thou hast been the
author of good to me, as I have been the author of calamity to thee; and
thou hast demonstrated this day, that thou possessest the righteousness
of the ancients, who determined that men ought to save their enemies,
though they caught them in a desert place. I am now persuaded that God
reserves the kingdom for thee, and that thou wilt obtain the dominion
over all the Hebrews. Give me then assurances upon oath, That thou wilt
not root out my family, nor, out of remembrance of what evil I have done
thee, destroy my posterity, but save and preserve my house." So David
sware as he desired, and sent back Saul to his own kingdom; but he, and
those that were with him, went up the Straits of Mastheroth.

5. About this time Samuel the prophet died. He was a man whom the
Hebrews honored in an extraordinary degree: for that lamentation which
the people made for him, and this during a long time, manifested his
virtue, and the affection which the people bore for him; as also did the
solemnity and concern that appeared about his funeral, and about the
complete observation of all his funeral rites. They buried him in his
own city of Ramah; and wept for him a very great number of days, not
looking on it as a sorrow for the death of another man, but as that in
which they were every one themselves concerned. He was a righteous man,
and gentle in his nature; and on that account he was very dear to God.
Now he governed and presided over the people alone, after the death of
Eli the high priest, twelve years, and eighteen years together with Saul
the king. And thus we have finished the history of Samuel.

6. There was a man that was a Ziphite, of the city of Maon, who was
rich, and had a vast number of cattle; for he fed a flock of three
thousand sheep, and another flock of a thousand goats. Now David had
charged his associates to keep these flocks without hurt and without
damage, and to do them no mischief, neither out of covetousness, nor
because they were in want, nor because they were in the wilderness, and
so could not easily be discovered, but to esteem freedom from injustice
above all other motives, and to look upon the touching of what belonged
to another man as a horrible crime, and contrary to the will of God.
These were the instructions he gave, thinking that the favors he granted
this man were granted to a good man, and one that deserved to have such
care taken of his affairs. This man was Nabal, for that was his name,—a
harsh man, and of a very wicked life, being like a cynic in the course
of his behavior, but still had obtained for his wife a woman of a good
character, wise and handsome. To this Nabal, therefore, David sent ten
men of his attendants at the time when he sheared his sheep, and by them
saluted him; and also wished he might do what he now did for many years
to come, but desired him to make him a present of what he was able to
give him, since he had, to be sure, learned from his shepherds that we
had done them no injury, but had been their guardians a long time
together, while we continued in the wilderness; and he assured him he
should never repent of giving any thing to David. When the messengers
had carried this message to Nabal, he accosted them after an inhuman and
rough manner; for he asked them who David was? and when he heard that he
was the son of Jesse, he said, "Now is the time that fugitives grow
insolent, and make a figure, and leave their masters." When they told
David this, he was wroth, and commanded four hundred armed men to follow
him, and left two hundred to take care of the stuff, [for he had already
six hundred, 24] and went against Nabal: he also swore that he would
that night utterly destroy the whole house and possessions of Nabal; for
that he was grieved, not only that he had proved ungrateful to them,
without making any return for the humanity they had shown him, but that
he had also reproached them, and used ill language to them, when he had
received no cause of disgust from them.

7. Hereupon one of those that kept the flocks of Nabal, said to his
mistress, Nabal's wife, that when David sent to her husband he had
received no civil answer at all from him; but that her husband had
moreover added very reproachful language, while yet David had taken
extraordinary care to keep his flocks from harm, and that what had
passed would prove very pernicious to his master. When the servant had
said this, Abigail, for that was his wife's name, saddled her asses, and
loaded them with all sorts of presents; and, without telling her husband
any thing of what she was about, [for he was not sensible on account of
his drunkenness,] she went to David. She was then met by David as she
was descending a hill, who was coming against Nabal with four hundred
men. When the woman saw David, she leaped down from her ass, and fell on
her face, and bowed down to the ground; and entreated him not to bear in
mind the words of Nabal, since he knew that he resembled his name. Now
Nabal, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies folly. So she made her apology,
that she did not see the messengers whom he sent. "Forgive me,
therefore," said she, "and thank God, who hath hindered thee from
shedding human blood; for so long as thou keepest thyself innocent, he
will avenge thee of wicked men, 25 for what miseries await Nabal, they
will fall upon the heads of thine enemies. Be thou gracious to me, and
think me so far worthy as to accept of these presents from me; and, out
of regard to me, remit that wrath and that anger which thou hast against
my husband and his house, for mildness and humanity become thee,
especially as thou art to be our king." Accordingly, David accepted her
presents, and said, "Nay, but, O woman, it was no other than God's mercy
which brought thee to us today, for, otherwise, thou hadst never seen
another day, I having sworn to destroy Nabal's house this very night,
and to leave alive not one of you who belonged to a man that was wicked
and ungrateful to me and my companions; but now hast thou prevented me,
and seasonably mollified my anger, as being thyself under the care of
God's providence: but as for Nabal, although for thy sake he now escape
punishment, he will not always avoid justice; for his evil conduct, on
some other occasion, will be his ruin." 26

8. When David had said this, he dismissed the woman. But when she came
home and found her husband feasting with a great company, and oppressed
with wine, she said nothing to him then about what had happened; but on
the next day, when he was sober, she told him all the particulars, and
made his whole body to appear like that of a dead man by her words, and
by that grief which arose from them; so Nabal survived ten days, and no
more, and then died. And when David heard of his death, he said that God
had justly avenged him of this man, for that Nabal had died by his own
wickedness, and had suffered punishment on his account, while he had
kept his own hands clean. At which time he understood that the wicked
are prosecuted by God; that he does not overlook any man, but bestows on
the good what is suitable to them, and inflicts a deserved punishment on
the wicked. So he sent to Nabal's wife, and invited her to come to him,
to live with him, and to be his wife. Whereupon she replied to those
that came, that she was not worthy to touch his feet; however, she came,
with all her servants, and became his wife, having received that honor
on account of her wise and righteous course of life. She also obtained
the same honor partly on account of her beauty. Now David had a wife
before, whom he married from the city Abesar; for as to Michal, the
daughter of king Saul, who had been David's wife, her father had given
her in marriage to Phalti, the son of Laish, who was of the city of

9. After this came certain of the Ziphites, and told Saul that David was
come again into their country, and if he would afford them his
assistance, they could catch him. So he came to them with three thousand
armed men; and upon the approach of night, he pitched his camp at a
certain place called Hachilah. But when David heard that Saul was coming
against him, he sent spies, and bid them let him know to what place of
the country Saul was already come; and when they told him that he was at
Hachilah, he concealed his going away from his companions, and came to
Saul's camp, having taken with him Abishai, his sister Zeruiah's son,
and Ahimelech the Hittite. Now Saul was asleep, and the armed men, with
Abner their commander, lay round about him in a circle. Hereupon David
entered into the king's tent; but he did neither kill Saul, though he
knew where he lay, by the spear that was stuck down by him, nor did he
give leave to Abishai, who would have killed him, and was earnestly bent
upon it so to do; for he said it was a horrid crime to kill one that was
ordained king by God, although he was a wicked man; for that he who gave
him the dominion would in time inflict punishment upon him. So he
restrained his eagerness; but that it might appear to have been in his
power to have killed him when he refrained from it, he took his spear,
and the cruse of water which stood by Saul as he lay asleep, without
being perceived by any in the camp, who were all asleep, and went
securely away, having performed every thing among the king's attendants
that the opportunity afforded, and his boldness encouraged him to do. So
when he had passed over a brook, and was gotten up to the top of a hill,
whence he might be sufficiently heard, he cried aloud to Saul's
soldiers, and to Abner their commander, and awaked them out of their
sleep, and called both to him and to the people. Hereupon the commander
heard him, and asked who it was that called him. To whom David replied,
"It is I, the son of Jesse, whom you make a vagabond. But what is the
matter? Dost thou, that art a man of so great dignity, and of the first
rank in the king's court, take so little care of thy master's body? and
is sleep of more consequence to thee than his preservation, and thy care
of him? This negligence of yours deserves death, and punishment to be
inflicted on you, who never perceived when, a little while ago, some of
us entered into your camp, nay, as far as to the king himself, and to
all the rest of you. If thou look for the king's spear and his cruse of
water, thou wilt learn what a mighty misfortune was ready to overtake
you in your very camp without your knowing it." Now when Saul knew
David's voice, and understood that when he had him in his power while he
was asleep, and his guards took no care of him, yet did not he kill him,
but spared him, when he might justly have cut him off, he said that he
owed him thanks for his preservation; and exhorted him to be of good
courage, and not be afraid of suffering any mischief from him any more,
and to return to his own home, for he was now persuaded that he did not
love himself so well as he was loved by him: that he had driven away him
that could guard him, and had given many demonstrations of his good-will
to him: that he had forced him to live so long in a state of banishment,
and in great fears of his life, destitute of his friends and his
kindred, while still he was often saved by him, and frequently received
his life again when it was evidently in danger of perishing. So David
bade them send for the spear and the cruse of water, and take them back;
adding this withal, That God would be the judge of both their
dispositions, and of the actions that flowed from the same, "who knows
that then it was this day in my power to have killed thee I abstained
from it."

10. Thus Saul having escaped the hands of David twice, he went his way
to his royal palace, and his own city: but David was afraid, that if he
staid there he should be caught by Saul; so he thought it better to go
up into the land of the Philistines, and abide there. Accordingly, he
came with the six hundred men that were with him to Achish, the king of
Gath, which was one of their five cities. Now the king received both him
and his men, and gave them a place to inhabit in. He had with him also
his two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail, and he dwelt in Gath. But when Saul
heard this, he took no further care about sending to him, or going after
him, because he had been twice, in a manner, caught by him, while he was
himself endeavoring to catch him. However, David had no mind to continue
in the city of Gath, but desired the king, that since he had received
him with such humanity, that he would grant him another favor, and
bestow upon him some place of that country for his habitation, for he
was ashamed, by living in the city, to be grievous and burdensome to
him. So Achish gave him a certain village called Ziklag; which place
David and his sons were fond of when he was king, and reckoned it to be
their peculiar inheritance. But about those matters we shall give the
reader further information elsewhere. Now the time that David dwelt in
Ziklag, in the land of the Philistines, was four months and twenty days.
And now he privately attacked those Geshurites and Amalekites that were
neighbors to the Philistines, and laid waste their country, and took
much prey of their beasts and camels, and then returned home; but David
abstained from the men, as fearing they should discover him to king
Achish; yet did he send part of the prey to him as a free gift. And when
the king inquired whom they had attacked when they brought away the
prey, he said, those that lay to the south of the Jews, and inhabited in
the plain; whereby he persuaded Achish to approve of what he had done,
for he hoped that David had fought against his own nation, and that now
he should have him for his servant all his life long, and that he would
stay in his country.

CHAPTER 14. How Saul Upon God's Not Answering Him Concerning The Fight
With The Philistines Desired A Necromantic Woman To Raise Up The Soul Of
Samuel To Him; And How He Died, With His Sons Upon The Overthrow Of The
Hebrews In Battle.

1. About the same time the Philistines resolved to make war against the
Israelites, and sent to all their confederates that they would go along
with them to the war to Reggan, [near the city Shunem,] whence they
might gather themselves together, and suddenly attack the Hebrews. Then
did Achish, the king of Gath, desire David to assist them with his armed
men against the Hebrews. This he readily promised; and said that the
time was now come wherein he might requite him for his kindness and
hospitality. So the king promised to make him the keeper of his body,
after the victory, supposing that the battle with the enemy succeeded to
their mind; which promise of honor and confidence he made on purpose to
increase his zeal for his service.

2. Now Saul, the king of the Hebrews, had cast out of the country the
fortune-tellers, and the necromancers, and all such as exercised the
like arts, excepting the prophets. But when he heard that the
Philistines were already come, and had pitched their camp near the city
Shunem, situate in the plain, he made haste to oppose them with his
forces; and when he was come to a certain mountain called Gilboa, he
pitched his camp over-against the enemy; but when he saw the enemy's
army he was greatly troubled, because it appeared to him to be numerous,
and superior to his own; and he inquired of God by the prophets
concerning the battle, that he might know beforehand what would be the
event of it. And when God did not answer him, Saul was under a still
greater dread, and his courage fell, foreseeing, as was but reasonable
to suppose, that mischief would befall him, now God was not there to
assist him; yet did he bid his servants to inquire out for him some
woman that was a necromancer and called up the souls of the dead, that
So he might know whether his affairs would succeed to his mind; for this
sort of necromantic women that bring up the souls of the dead, do by
them foretell future events to such as desire them. And one of his
servants told him that there was such a woman in the city Endor, but was
known to nobody in the camp; hereupon Saul put off his royal apparel,
and took two of those his servants with him, whom he knew to be most
faithful to him, and came to Endor to the woman, and entreated her to
act the part of a fortune-teller, and to bring up such a soul to him as
he should name to her. But when the woman opposed his motion, and said
she did not despise the king, who had banished this sort of fortune-
tellers, and that he did not do well himself, when she had done him no
harm, to endeavor to lay a snare for her, and to discover that she
exercised a forbidden art, in order to procure her to be punished, he
sware that nobody should know what she did; and that he would not tell
any one else what she foretold, but that she should incur no danger. As
soon as he had induced her by this oath to fear no harm, he bid her
bring up to him the soul of Samuel. She, not knowing who Samuel was,
called him out of Hades. When he appeared, and the woman saw one that
was venerable, and of a divine form, she was in disorder; and being
astonished at the sight, she said, "Art not thou king Saul?" for Samuel
had informed her who he was. When he had owned that to be true, and had
asked her whence her disorder arose, she said that she saw a certain
person ascend, who in his form was like to a god. And when he bid her
tell him what he resembled, in what habit he appeared, and of what age
he was, she told him he was an old man already, and of a glorious
personage, and had on a sacerdotal mantle. So the king discovered by
these signs that he was Samuel; and he fell down upon the ground, and
saluted and worshipped him. And when the soul of Samuel asked him why he
had disturbed him, and caused him to be brought up, he lamented the
necessity he was under; for he said, that his enemies pressed heavily
upon him; that he was in distress what to do in his present
circumstances; that he was forsaken of God, and could obtain no
prediction of what was coming, neither by prophets nor by dreams; and
that "these were the reasons why I have recourse to time, who always
took great care of me." But 27 Samuel, seeing that the end of Saul's
life was come, said, "It is in vain for thee to desire to learn of me
any thing future, when God hath forsaken thee: however, hear what I say,
that David is to be king, and to finish this war with good success; and
thou art to lose thy dominion and thy life, because thou didst not obey
God in the war with the Amalekites, and hast not kept his commandments,
as I foretold thee while I was alive. Know, therefore, that the people
shall be made subject to their enemies, and that thou, with thy sons,
shall fall in the battle tomorrow, and thou shalt then be with me [in

3. When Saul heard this, he could not speak for grief, and fell down on
the floor, whether it were from the sorrow that arose upon what Samuel
had said, or from his emptiness, for he had taken no food the foregoing
day nor night, he easily fell quite down: and when with difficulty he
had recovered himself, the woman would force him to eat, begging this of
him as a favor on account of her concern in that dangerous instance of
fortune-telling, which it was not lawful for her to have done, because
of the fear she was under of the king, while she knew not who he was,
yet did she undertake it, and go through with it; on which account she
entreated him to admit that a table and food might be set before him,
that he might recover his strength, and so get safe to his own camp. And
when he opposed her motion, and entirely rejected it, by reason of his
anxiety, she forced him, and at last persuaded him to it. Now she had
one calf that she was very fond of, and one that she took a great deal
of care of, and fed it herself; for she was a woman that got her living
by the labor of her own hands, and had no other possession but that one
calf; this she killed, and made ready its flesh, and set it before his
servants and himself. So Saul came to the camp while it was yet night.

4. Now it is but just to recommend the generosity of this woman, 28
because when the king had forbidden her to use that art whence her
circumstances were bettered and improved, and when she had never seen
the king before, she still did not remember to his disadvantage that he
had condemned her sort of learning, and did not refuse him as a
stranger, and one that she had had no acquaintance with; but she had
compassion upon him, and comforted him, and exhorted him to do what he
was greatly averse to, and offered him the only creature she had, as a
poor woman, and that earnestly, and with great humanity, while she had
no requital made her for her kindness, nor hunted after any future favor
from him, for she knew he was to die; whereas men are naturally either
ambitious to please those that bestow benefits upon them, or are very
ready to serve those from whom they may receive some advantage. It would
be well therefore to imitate the example and to do kindnesses to all
such as are in want and to think that nothing is better, nor more
becoming mankind, than such a general beneficence, nor what will sooner
render God favorable, and ready to bestow good things upon us. And so
far may suffice to have spoken concerning this woman. But I shall speak
further upon another subject, which will afford me all opportunity of
discoursing on what is for the advantage of cities, and people, and
nations, and suited to the taste of good men, and will encourage them
all in the prosecution of virtue; and is capable of showing them the
desirability of acquiring glory, and an everlasting fame; and of
imprinting in the kings of nations, and the rulers of cities, great
inclination and diligence of doing well; as also of encouraging them to
undergo dangers, and to die for their countries, and of instructing them
how to despise all the most terrible adversities: and I have a fair
occasion offered me to enter on such a discourse by Saul the king of the
Hebrews; for although he knew what was coming upon him, and that he was
to die immediately, by the prediction of the prophet, he did not resolve
to fly from death, nor so far to indulge the love of life as to betray
his own people to the enemy, or to bring a disgrace on his royal
dignity; but exposing himself, as well as all his family and children,
to dangers, he thought it a brave thing to fall together with them, as
he was fighting for his subjects, and that it was better his sons should
die thus, showing their courage, than to leave them to their uncertain
conduct afterward, while, instead of succession and posterity, they
gained commendation and a lasting name. Such a one alone seems to me to
be a just, a courageous, and a prudent man; and when any one has arrived
at these dispositions, or shall hereafter arrive at them, he is the man
that ought to be by all honored with the testimony of a virtuous or
courageous man: for as to those that go out to war with hopes of
success, and that they shall return safe, supposing they should have
performed some glorious action, I think those do not do well who call
these valiant men, as so many historians and other writers who treat of
them are wont to do, although I confess those do justly deserve some
commendation also; but those only may be styled courageous and bold in
great undertakings, and despisers of adversities, who imitate Saul: for
as for those that do not know what the event of war will be as to
themselves, and though they do not faint in it, but deliver themselves
up to uncertain futurity, and are tossed this way and that way, this is
not so very eminent an instance of a generous mind, although they happen
to perform many great exploits; but when men's minds expect no good
event, but they know beforehand they must die, and that they must
undergo that death in the battle also, after this neither to be
affrighted, nor to be astonished at the terrible fate that is coming,
but to go directly upon it, when they know it beforehand, this it is
that I esteem the character of a man truly courageous. Accordingly this
Saul did, and thereby demonstrated that all men who desire fame after
they are dead are so to act as they may obtain the same: this especially
concerns kings, who ought not to think it enough in their high stations
that they are not wicked in the government of their subjects, but to be
no more than moderately good to them. I could say more than this about
Saul and his courage, the subject affording matter sufficient; but that
I may not appear to run out improperly in his commendation, I return
again to that history from which I made this digression.

5. Now when the Philistines, as I said before, had pitched their camp,
and had taken an account of their forces, according to their nations,
and kingdoms, and governments, king Achish came last of all with his own
army; after whom came David with his six hundred armed men. And when the
commanders of the Philistines saw him, they asked the king whence these
Hebrews came, and at whose invitation. He answered that it was David,
who was fled away from his master Saul, and that he had entertained him
when he came to him, and that now he was willing to make him this
requital for his favors, and to avenge himself upon Saul, and so was
become his confederate. The commanders complained of this, that he had
taken him for a confederate who was an enemy; and gave him counsel to
send him away, lest he should unawares do his friends a great deal of
mischief by entertaining him, for that he afforded him an opportunity of
being reconciled to his master by doing a mischief to our army. They
thereupon desired him, out of a prudent foresight of this, to send him
away, with his six hundred armed men, to the place he had given him for
his habitation; for that this was that David whom the virgins celebrated
in their hymns, as having destroyed many ten thousands of the
Philistines. When the king of Gath heard this, he thought they spake
well; so he called David, and said to him, "As for myself, I can bear
witness that thou hast shown great diligence and kindness about me, and
on that account it was that I took thee for my confederate; however,
what I have done does not please the commanders of the Philistines; go
therefore within a day's time to the place I have given thee, without
suspecting any harm, and there keep my country, lest any of our enemies
should make an incursion upon it, which will be one part of that
assistance which I expect from thee." So David came to Ziklag, as the
king of Gath bade him; but it happened, that while he was gone to the
assistance of the Philistines, the Amalekites had made an incursion, and
taken Ziklag before, and had burnt it; and when they had taken a great
deal of other prey out of that place, and out of the other parts of the
Philistines' country, they departed.

6. Now when David found that Ziklag was laid waste, and that it was all
spoiled, and that as well his own wives, who were two, as the wives of
his companions, with their children, were made captives, he presently
rent his clothes, weeping and lamenting, together with his friends; and
indeed he was so cast down with these misfortunes, that at length tears
themselves failed him. He was also in danger of being stoned to death by
his companions, who were greatly afflicted at the captivity of their
wives and children, for they laid the blame upon him of what had
happened. But when he had recovered himself out of his grief, and had
raised up his mind to God, he desired the high priest Abiathar to put on
his sacerdotal garments, and to inquire of God, and to prophesy to him,
whether God would grant; that if he pursued after the Amalekites, he
should overtake them, and save their wives and their children, and
avenge himself on the enemies. And when the high priest bade him to
pursue after them, he marched apace, with his four hundred men, after
the enemy; and when he was come to a certain brook called Besor, and had
lighted upon one that was wandering about, an Egyptian by birth, who was
almost dead with want and famine, [for he had continued wandering about
without food in the wilderness three days,] he first of all gave him
sustenance, both meat and drink, and thereby refreshed him. He then
asked him to whom he belonged, and whence he came. Whereupon the man
told him he was an Egyptian by birth, and was left behind by his master,
because he was so sick and weak that he could not follow him. He also
informed him that he was one of those who had burnt and plundered, not
only other parts of Judea, but Ziklag itself also. So David made use of
him as a guide to find oat the Amalekites; and when he had overtaken
them, as they lay scattered about on the ground, some at dinner, some
disordered, and entirely drunk with wine, and in the fruition of their
spoils and their prey, he fell upon them on the sudden, and made a great
slaughter among them; for they were naked, and expected no such thing,
but had betaken themselves to drinking and feasting; and so they were
all easily destroyed. Now some of them that were overtaken as they lay
at the table were slain in that posture, and their blood brought up with
it their meat and their drink. They slew others of them as they were
drinking to one another in their cups, and some of them when their full
bellies had made them fall asleep; and for so many as had time to put on
their armor, they slew them with the sword, with no less ease than they
did those that were naked; and for the partisans of David, they
continued also the slaughter from the first hour of the day to the
evening, so that there were, not above four hundred of the Amalekites
left; and they only escaped by getting upon their dromedaries and
camels. Accordingly David recovered not only all the other spoils which
the enemy had carried away, but his wives also, and the wives of his
companions. But when they were come to the place where they had left the
two hundred men, which were not able to follow them, but were left to
take care of the stuff, the four hundred men did not think fit to divide
among them any other parts of what they had gotten, or of the prey,
since they did not accompany them, but pretended to be feeble, and did
not follow them in pursuit of the enemy, but said they should be
contented to have safely recovered their wives; yet did David pronounce
that this opinion of theirs was evil and unjust, and that when God had
granted them such a favor, that they had avenged themselves on their
enemies, and had recovered all that belonged to themselves, they should
make an equal distribution of what they had gotten to all, because the
rest had tarried behind to guard their stuff; and from that time this
law obtained among them, that those who guarded the stuff, should
receive an equal share with those that fought in the battle. Now when
David was come to Ziklag, he sent portions of the spoils to all that had
been familiar with him, and to his friends in the tribe of Judah. And
thus ended the affairs of the plundering of Ziklag, and of the slaughter
of the Amalekites.

7. Now upon the Philistines joining battle, there followed a sharp
engagement, and the Philistine, became the conquerors, and slew a great
number of their enemies; but Saul the king of Israel, and his sons,
fought courageously, and with the utmost alacrity, as knowing that their
entire glory lay in nothing else but dying honorably, and exposing
themselves to the utmost danger from the enemy [for they had nothing
else to hope for]; so they brought upon themselves the whole power of
the enemy, till they were encompassed round and slain, but not before
they had killed many of the Philistines Now the sons of Saul were
Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchisua; and when these were slain the
multitude of the Hebrews were put to flight, and all was disorder, and
confusion, and slaughter, upon the Philistines pressing in upon them.
But Saul himself fled, having a strong body of soldiers about him; and
upon the Philistines sending after them those that threw javelins and
shot arrows, he lost all his company except a few. As for himself, he
fought with great bravery; and when he had received so many wounds, that
he was not able to bear up nor to oppose any longer, and yet was not
able to kill himself, he bade his armor-bearer draw his sword, and run
him through, before the enemy should take him alive. But his armor-
bearer not daring to kill his master, he drew his own sword, and placing
himself over against its point, he threw himself upon it; and when he
could neither run it through him, nor, by leaning against it, make the
sword pass through him, he turned him round, and asked a certain young
man that stood by who he was; and when he understood that he was an
Amalekite, he desired him to force the sword through him, because he was
not able to do it with his own hands, and thereby to procure him such a
death as he desired. This the young man did accordingly; and he took the
golden bracelet that was on Saul's arm, and his royal crown that was on
his head, and ran away. And when Saul's armor-bearer saw that he was
slain, he killed himself; nor did any of the king's guards escape, but
they all fell upon the mountain called Gilboa. But when those Hebrews
that dwelt in the valley beyond Jordan, and those who had their cities
in the plain, heard that Saul and his sons were fallen, and that the
multitude about them were destroyed, they left their own cities, and
fled to such as were the best fortified and fenced; and the Philistines,
finding those cities deserted, came and dwelt in them.

8. On the next day, when the Philistines came to strip their enemies
that were slain, they got the bodies of Saul and of his sons, and
stripped them, and cut off their heads; and they sent messengers all
about their country, to acquaint them that their enemies were fallen;
and they dedicated their armor in the temple of Astarte, but hung their
bodies on crosses at the walls of the city Bethshun, which is now called
Scythepolls. But when the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead heard that they
had dismembered the dead bodies of Saul and of his sons, they deemed it
so horrid a thing to overlook this barbarity, and to suffer them to be
without funeral rites, that the most courageous and hardy among them
[and indeed that city had in it men that were very stout both in body
and mind] journeyed all night, and came to Bethshun, and approached to
the enemy's wall, and taking down the bodies of Saul and of his sons,
they carried them to Jabesh, while the enemy were not able enough nor
bold enough to hinder them, because of their great courage. So the
people of Jabesh wept all in general, and buried their bodies in the
best place of their country, which was named Areurn; and they observed a
public mourning for them seven days, with their wives and children,
beating their breasts, and lamenting the king and his sons, without
either tasting meat or drink 29 [till the evening.]

9. To this his end did Saul come, according to the prophecy of Samuel,
because he disobeyed the commands of God about the Amalekites, and on
the account of his destroying the family of Ahimelech the high priest,
with Ahimelech himself, and the city of the high priests. Now Saul, when
he had reigned eighteen years while Samuel was alive, and after his
death two [and twenty], ended his life in this manner.


1 (return) [ Dagon, a famous maritime god or idol, is generally supposed
to have been like a man above the navel, and like a fish beneath it.]

2 (return) [ Spanheim informs us here, that upon the coins of Tenedos,
and those of other cities, a field-mouse is engraven, together with
Apollo Smintheus, or Apollo, the driver away of field-mice, on account
of his being supposed to have freed certain tracts of ground from those
mice; which coins show how great a judgment such mice have sometimes
been, and how the deliverance from them was then esteemed the effect of
a divine power; which observations are highly suitable to this history.]

3 (return) [ This device of the Philistines, of having a yoke of kine to
draw this cart, into which they put the ark of the Hebrews, is greatly
illustrated by Sanchoniatho's account, under his ninth generation, that
Agrouerus, or Agrotes, the husbandman, had a much-worshipped statue and
temple, carried about by one or more yoke of oxen, or kine, in
Phoenicia, in the neighborhood of these Philistines. See Cumberland's
Sanchoniatho, p. 27 and 247; and Essay on the Old Testament, Append. p.

4 (return) [ These seventy men, being not so much as Levites, touched
the ark in a rash or profane manner, and were slain by the hand of God
for such their rashness and profaneness, according to the Divine
threatenings, Numbers 4:15, 20; but how other copies come to add such an
incredible number as fifty thousand in this one town, or small city, I
know not. See Dr. Wall's Critical Notes on 1 Samuel 6:19.]

5 (return) [ This is the first place, so far as I remember, in these
Antiquities, where Josephus begins to call his nation Jews, he having
hitherto usually, if not constantly, called them either Hebrews or
Israelites. The second place soon follows; see also ch. 3. sect. 5.]

6 (return) [ Of this great mistake of Saul and his servant, as if true
prophet of God would accept of a gift or present, for foretelling what
was desired of him, see the note on B. IV. ch. 6. sect. 3.]

7 (return) [ It seems to me not improbable that these seventy guests of
Samuel, as here, with himself at the head of them, were a Jewish
sanhedrim, and that hereby Samuel intimated to Saul that these seventy-
one were to be his constant counselors, and that he was to act not like
a sole monarch, but with the advice and direction of these seventy-one
members of that Jewish sanhedrim upon all occasions, which yet we never
read that he consulted afterward.]

8 (return) [ An instance of this Divine fury we have after this in Saul,
ch. 5. sect. 2, 3; 1 Samuel 11:6. See the like, Judges 3:10; 6:34;
11:29; 13:25; and 14:6.]

9 (return) [ Take here Theodoret's note, cited by Dr. Hudson:—"He that
exposes his shield to the enemy with his left hand, thereby hides his
left eye, and looks at the enemy with his right eye: he therefore that
plucks out that eye, makes men useless in war."]

10 (return) [ Mr. Reland observes here, and proves elsewhere in his note
on Antiq. B. III. ch. 1. sect. 6, that although thunder and lightning
with us usually happen in summer, yet in Palestine and Syria they are
chiefly confined to winter. Josephus takes notice of the same thing
again, War, B. IV. ch. 4. sect. 5.]

11 (return) [ Saul seems to have staid till near the time of the evening
sacrifice, on the seventh day, which Samuel the prophet of God had
appointed him, but not till the end of that day, as he ought to have
done; and Samuel appears, by delaying to come to the full time of the
evening sacrifice on that seventh day, to have tried him [who seems to
have been already for some time declining from his strict and bounden
subordination to God and his prophet; to have taken life-guards for
himself and his son, which was entirely a new thing in Israel, and
savored of a distrust of God's providence; and to have affected more
than he ought that independent authority which the pagan kings took to
themselves]; Samuel, I say, seems to have here tried Saul whether he
would stay till the priest came, who alone could lawfully offer the
sacrifices, nor would boldly and profanely usurp the priest's office,
which he venturing upon, was justly rejected for his profaneness. See
Apost. Constit. B. II. ch. 27. And, indeed, since Saul had accepted
kingly power, which naturally becomes ungovernable and tyrannical, as
God foretold, and the experience of all ages has shown, the Divine
settlement by Moses had soon been laid aside under the kings, had not
God, by keeping strictly to his laws, and severely executing the
threatenings therein contained, restrained Saul and other kings in some
degree of obedience to himself; nor was even this severity sufficient to
restrain most of the future kings of Israel and Judah from the grossest
idolatry and impiety. Of the advantage of which strictness, in the
observing Divine laws, and inflicting their threatened penalties, see
Antiq. B. VI. ch. 12. sect. 7; and Against Apion, B. II. sect. 30, where
Josephus speaks of that matter; though it must be noted that it seems,
at least in three instances, that good men did not always immediately
approve of such Divine severity. There seems to be one instance, 1
Samuel 6:19, 20; another, 1 Samuel 15:11; and a third, 2 Samuel 6:8, 9;
Antiq. B. VI. ch. 7. sect. 2; though they all at last acquiesced in the
Divine conduct, as knowing that God is wiser than men.]

12 (return) [ By this answer of Samuel, and that from a Divine
commission, which is fuller in l Samuel 13:14, and by that parallel note
in the Apostolical Constitutions just now quoted, concerning the great
wickedness of Saul in venturing, even under a seeming necessity of
affairs, to usurp the priest's office, and offer sacrifice without the
priest, we are in some degree able to answer that question, which I have
ever thought a very hard one, viz. Whether, if there were a city or
country of lay Christians without any clergymen, it were lawful for the
laity alone to baptize, or celebrate the eucharist, etc., or indeed
whether they alone could ordain themselves either bishops, priests, or
deacons, for the due performance of such sacerdotal ministrations; or
whether they ought not rather, till they procure clergymen to come among
them, to confine themselves within those bounds of piety and
Christianity which belong alone to the laity; such particularly as are
recommended in the first book of the Apostolical Constitutions, which
peculiarly concern the laity, and are intimated in Clement's undoubted
epistle, sect. 40. To which latter opinion I incline.]

13 (return) [ This rash vow or curse of Saul, which Josephus says was
confirmed by the people, and yet not executed, I suppose principally
because Jonathan did not know of it, is very remarkable; it being of the
essence of the obligation of all laws, that they be sufficiently known
and promulgated, otherwise the conduct of Providence, as to the
sacredness of solemn oaths and vows, in God's refusing to answer by Urim
till this breach of Saul's vow or curse was understood and set right,
and God propitiated by public prayer, is here very remarkable, as indeed
it is every where else in the Old Testament.]

14 (return) [ Here we have still more indications of Saul's affectation
of despotic power, and of his entrenching upon the priesthood, and
making and endeavoring to execute a rash vow or curse, without
consulting Samuel or the sanhedrim. In this view it is also that I look
upon this erection of a new altar by Saul, and his offering of burnt-
offerings himself upon it, and not as any proper instance of devotion or
religion, with other commentators.]

15 (return) [ The reason of this severity is distinctly given, 1 Samuel
15:18, "Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites:" nor indeed
do we ever meet with these Amalekites but as very cruel and bloody
people, and particularly seeking to injure and utterly to destroy the
nation of Israel. See Exodus 17:8-16; Numbers 14:45; Deuteronomy 25:17-
19; Judges 6:3, 6; 1 Samuel 15:33; Psalms 83:7; and, above all, the most
barbarous of all cruelties, that of Haman the Agagite, or one of the
posterity of Agag, the old king of the Amalekites, Esther 3:1-15.]

16 (return) [ Spanheim takes notice here that the Greeks had such
singers of hymns; and that usually children or youths were picked out
for that service; as also, that those called singers to the harp, did
the same that David did here, i.e. join their own vocal and instrumental
music together.]

17 (return) [ Josephus says thrice in this chapter, and twice
afterwards, ch. 11. sect. 2, and B. VII. ch. 1. sect. 4, i.e. five times
in all, that Saul required not a bare hundred of the foreskins of the
Philistines, but six hundred of their heads. The Septuagint have 100
foreskins, but the Syriac and Arabic 200. Now that these were not
foreskins, with our other copies, but heads, with Josephus's copy, seems
somewhat probable, from 1 Samuel 29:4, where all copies say that it was
with the heads of such Philistines that David might reconcile himself to
his master, Saul.]

18 (return) [ Since the modern Jews have lost the signification of the
Hebrew word here used, cebr; and since the LXX., as well as Josephus,
reader it the liver of the goat, and since this rendering, and
Josephus's account, are here so much more clear and probable than those
of others, it is almost unaccountable that our commentators should so
much as hesitate about its true interpretation.]

19 (return) [ These violent and wild agitations of Saul seem to me to
have been no other than demoniacal; and that the same demon which used
to seize him, since he was forsaken of God, and which the divine hymns
and psalms which were sung to the harp by David used to expel, was now
in a judicial way brought upon him, not only in order to disappoint his
intentions against innocent David, but to expose him to the laughter and
contempt of all that saw him, or heard of those agitations; such violent
and wild agitations being never observed in true prophets, when they
were under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Our other copies, which
say the Spirit of God came him, seem not so here copy, which mentions
nothing of God at all. Nor does Josephus seem to ascribe this impulse
and ecstasy of Saul to any other than to his old demoniacal spirit,
which on all accounts appears the most probable. Nor does the former
description of Saul's real inspiration by the Divine Spirit, 1 Samuel
10:9- 12; Antiq. B. VI. ch. 4. sect. 2, which was before he was become
wicked, well agree with the descriptions before us.]

20 (return) [ What is meant by Saul's lying down naked all that day, and
all that night, 1 Samuel 19:4, and whether any more than laying aside
his royal apparel, or upper garments, as Josephus seems to understand
it, is by no means certain. See the note on Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 14.
sect. 2.

21 (return) [ This city Nob was not a city allotted to the priests, nor
had the prophets, that we know of, any particular cities allotted them.
It seems the tabernacle was now at Nob, and probably a school of the
prophets was here also. It was full two days' journey on foot from
Jerusalem, 1 Samuel 21:5. The number of priests here slain in Josephus
is three hundred and eighty-five, and but eighty-five in our Hebrew
copies; yet are they three hundred and five in the Septuagint. I prefer
Josephus's number, the Hebrew having, I suppose, only dropped the
hundreds, the other the tens. This city Nob seems to have been the
chief, or perhaps the only seat of the family of Ithamar, which here
perished, according to God's former terrible threatenings to Eli, 1
Samuel 2:27-36; 3:11-18. See ch. 14. sect. D, hereafter.]

22 (return) [ This section contains an admirable reflection of Josephus
concerning the general wickedness of men in great authority, and the
danger they are in of rejecting that regard to justice and humanity, to
Divine Providence and the fear of God, which they either really had, or
pretended to have, while they were in a lower condition. It can never be
too often perused by kings and great men, nor by those who expect to
obtain such elevated dignities among mankind. See the like reflections
of our Josephus, Antiq. B. VII. ch. 1. sect. 5, at the end; and B. VIII.
ch. 10. sect. 2, at the beginning. They are to the like purport with one
branch of Agur's prayer: "One thing have I required of thee, deny it me
not before I die: Give me not riches, lest I be full, and deny thee, and
say, Who is the Lord?" Proverbs 30:7-9.]

23 (return) [ The phrase in David's speech to Saul, as set down in
Josephus, that he had abstained from just revenge, puts me in mind of
the like words in the Apostolical Constitutions, B. VII. ch. 2., "That
revenge is not evil, but that patience is more honorable."]

24 (return) [ The number of men that came first to David, are distinctly
in Josephus, and in our common copies, but four hundred. When he was at
Keilah still but four hundred, both in Josephus and in the LXXX.; but
six hundred in our Hebrew copies, 1 Samuel 23:3; see 30:9, 10. Now the
six hundred there mentioned are here estimated by Josephus to have been
so many, only by an augmentation of two hundred afterward, which I
suppose is the true solution of this seeming disagreement.]

25 (return) [ In this and the two next sections, we may perceive how
Josephus, nay, how Abigail herself, would understand, the "not avenging
ourselves, but heaping coals of fire on the head of the injurious,"
Proverbs 25:22; Romans 12:20, not as we do now, of them into but of
leaving them to the judgment of God, "to whom vengeance belongeth,"
Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalms 94:1; Hebrews 10:30, and who will take
vengeance on the wicked. And since all God's judgments are just, and all
fit to be executed, and all at length for the good of the persons
punished, I incline to think that to be the meaning of this phrase of
"heaping coals of fire on their heads."]

26 (return) [ We may note here, that how sacred soever an oath was
esteemed among the people of God in old times, they did not think it
obligatory where the action was plainly unlawful. For so we see it was
in this case of David, who, although he had sworn to destroy Nabal and
his family, yet does he here, and 1 Samuel 25:32-41, bless God for
preventing his keeping his oath, and shedding of blood, which he had
swore to do.]

27 (return) [ This history of Saul's consultation, not with a witch, as
we render the Hebrew word here, but with a necromancer, as the whole
history shows, is easily understood, especially if we consult the
Recognitions of Clement, B. I. ch. 5. at large, and more briefly, and
nearer the days of Samuel Ecclus. 46:20, "Samuel prophesied after his
death, and showed the king his end, and lift up his voice from the earth
in prophecy," to blot out "the wickedness of the people." Nor does the
exactness of the accomplishment of this prediction, the very next day,
permit us to suppose any imposition upon Saul in the present history;
for as to all modern hypotheses against the natural sense of such
ancient and authentic histories, I take them to be of very small value
or consideration.]

28 (return) [ These great commendations of this necromantic woman of
Endor, and of Saul's martial courage, when yet he knew he should die in
the battle, are somewhat unusual digressions in Josephus. They seem to
me extracted from some speeches or declamations of his composed
formerly, in the way of oratory, that lay by him, and which he thought
fit to insert upon this occasion. See before on Antiq. B. I. ch. 6 sect.

29 (return) [ This way of speaking in Josephus, of fasting "seven days
without meat or drink," is almost like that of St. Paul, Acts 27:33,
"This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried, and continued
fasting, having taken nothing:" and as the nature of the thing, and the
impossibility of strictly fasting so long, require us here to understand
both Josephus and the sacred author of this history, 1 Samuel 30:13,
from whom he took it, of only fasting fill the evening; so must we
understand St. Paul, either that this was really the fourteenth day that
they had taken nothing till the evening, or else that this was the
fourteenth day of their tempestuous weather in the Adriatic Sea, as ver.
27, and that on this fourteenth day alone they had continued fasting,
and had taken nothing before that evening. The mention of their long
abstinence, ver. 21, inclines me to believe the former explication to be
the truth, and that the case was then for a fortnight what it was here
for a week, that they kept all those days entirely as lasts till the
evening, but not longer. See Judges 20:26; 21:2; 1 Samuel 14:24; 2
Samuel 1:12; Antiq. B. VII. ch. 7. sect. 4.]

BOOK VII. Containing The Interval Of Forty Years.—From The Death Of Saul
To The Death Of David.

CHAPTER 1. How David Reigned Over One Tribe At Hebron While The Son Of
Saul Reigned Over The Rest Of The Multitude; And How, In The Civil War
Which Then Arose Asahel And Abner Were Slain.

1. This fight proved to be on the same day whereon David was come back
to Ziklag, after he had overcome the Amalekites. Now when he had been
already two days at Ziklag, there came to him the man who slew Saul,
which was the third day after the fight. He had escaped out of the
battle which the Israelites had with the Philistines, and had his
clothes rent, and ashes upon his head. And when he made his obeisance to
David, he inquired of him whence he came. He replied, from the battle of
the Israelites; and he informed him that the end of it was unfortunate,
many ten thousands of the Israelites having been cut off, and Saul,
together with his sons, slain. He also said that he could well give him
this information, because he was present at the victory gained over the
Hebrews, and was with the king when he fled. Nor did he deny that he had
himself slain the king, when he was ready to be taken by the enemy, and
he himself exhorted him to do it, because, when he was fallen on his
sword, his great wounds had made him so weak that he was not able to
kill himself. He also produced demonstrations that the king was slain,
which were the golden bracelets that had been on the king's arms, and
his crown, which he had taken away from Saul's dead body, and had
brought them to him. So David having no longer any room to call in
question the truth of what he said, but seeing most evident marks that
Saul was dead, he rent his garments, and continued all that day with his
companions in weeping and lamentation. This grief was augmented by the
consideration of Jonathan; the son of Saul, who had been his most
faithful friend, and the occasion of his own deliverance. He also
demonstrated himself to have such great virtue, and such great kindness
for Saul, as not only to take his death to heart, though he had been
frequently in danger of losing his life by his means, but to punish him
that slew him; for when David had said to him that he was become his own
accuser, as the very man who had slain the king, and when he had
understood that he was the son of an Amalekite, he commanded him to be
slain. He also committed to writing some lamentations and funeral
commendations of Saul and Jonathan, which have continued to my own age.

2. Now when David had paid these honors to the king, he left off his
mourning, and inquired of God by the prophet which of the cities of the
tribe of Judah he would bestow upon him to dwell in; who answered that
he bestowed upon him Hebron. So he left Ziklag, and came to Hebron, and
took with him his wives, who were in number two, and his armed men;
whereupon all the people of the forementioned tribe came to him, and
ordained him their king. But when he heard that the inhabitants of
Jabesh- gilead had buried Saul and his sons [honorably], he sent to them
and commended them, and took what they had done kindly, and promised to
make them amends for their care of those that were dead; and at the same
time he informed them that the tribe of Judah had chosen him for their

3. But as soon as Abner, the son of Ner, who was general of Saul's army,
and a very active man, and good-natured, knew that the king, and
Jonathan, and his two other sons, were fallen in the battle, he made
haste into the camp; and taking away with him the remaining son of Saul,
whose name was Ishbosheth, he passed over to the land beyond Jordan, and
ordained him the king of the whole multitude, excepting the tribe of
Judah; and made his royal seat in a place called in our own language
Mahanaim, but in the language of the Grecians, The Camps; from whence
Abner made haste with a select body of soldiers, to fight with such of
the tribe of Judah as were disposed to it, for he was angry that this
tribe had set up David for their king. But Joab, whose father was Suri,
and his mother Zeruiah, David's sister, who was general of David's army,
met him, according to David's appointment. He had with him his brethren,
Abishai and Asahel, as also all David's armed men. Now when he met Abner
at a certain fountain, in the city of Gibeon, he prepared to fight. And
when Abner said to him, that he had a mind to know which of them had the
more valiant soldiers, it was agreed between them that twelve soldiers
of each side should fight together. So those that were chosen out by
both the generals for this fight came between the two armies, and
throwing their lances one against the other, they drew their swords, and
catching one another by the head, they held one another fast, and ran
each other's swords into their sides and groins, until they all, as it
were by mutual agreement, perished together. When these were fallen down
dead, the rest of the army came to a sore battle, and Abner's men were
beaten; and when they were beaten, Joab did not leave off pursuing them,
but he pressed upon them, and excited the soldiers to follow them close,
and not to grow weary of killing them. His brethren also pursued them
with great alacrity, especially the younger, Asahel, who was the most
eminent of them. He was very famous for his swiftness of foot, for he
could not only be too hard for men, but is reported to have overrun a
horse, when they had a race together. This Asahel ran violently after
Abner, and would not turn in the least out of the straight way, either
to the one side or to the other. Hereupon Abner turned back, and
attempted artfully to avoid his violence. Sometimes he bade him leave
off the pursuit, and take the armor of one of his soldiers; and
sometimes, when he could not persuade him so to do, he exhorted him to
restrain himself, and not to pursue him any longer, lest he should force
him to kill him, and he should then not be able to look his brother in
the face: but when Asahel would not admit of any persuasions, but still
continued to pursue him, Abner smote him with his spear, as he held it
in his flight, and that by a back-stroke, and gave him a deadly wound,
so that he died immediately; but those that were with him pursuing
Abner, when they came to the place where Asahel lay, they stood round
about the dead body, and left off the pursuit of the enemy. However,
both Joab 1 himself, and his brother Abishai, ran past the dead corpse,
and making their anger at the death of Asahel an occasion of greater
zeal against Abner, they went on with incredible haste and alacrity, and
pursued Abner to a certain place called Ammah: it was about sun-set.
Then did Joab ascend a certain hill, as he stood at that place, having
the tribe of Benjamin with him, whence he took a view of them, and of
Abner also. Hereupon Abner cried aloud, and said that it was not fit
that they should irritate men of the same nation to fight so bitterly
one against another; that as for Asahel his brother, he was himself in
the wrong, when he would not be advised by him not to pursue him any
farther, which was the occasion of his wounding and death. So Joab
consented to what he said, and accepted these his words as an excuse
[about Asahel], and called the soldiers back with the sound of the
trumpet, as a signal for their retreat, and thereby put a stop to any
further pursuit. After which Joab pitched his camp there that night; but
Abner marched all that night, and passed over the river Jordan, and came
to Ishbosheth, Saul's son, to Mahanaim. On the next day Joab counted the
dead men, and took care of all their funerals. Now there were slain of
Abner's soldiers about three hundred and sixty; but of those of David
nineteen, and Asahel, whose body Joab and Abishai carried to Bethlehem;
and when they had buried him in the sepulcher of their fathers, they
came to David to Hebron. From this time therefore there began an
intestine war, which lasted a great while, in which the followers of
David grew stronger in the dangers they underwent, and the servants and
subjects of Saul's sons did almost every day become weaker.

4. About this time David was become the father of six sons, born of as
many mothers. The eldest was by Ahinoam, and he was called Arenon; the
second was Daniel, by his wife Abigail; the name of the third was
Absalom, by Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; the fourth
he named Adonijah, by his wife Haggith; the fifth was Shephatiah, by
Abital; the sixth he called Ithream, by Eglah. Now while this intestine
war went on, and the subjects of the two kings came frequently to action
and to fighting, it was Abner, the general of the host of Saul's son,
who, by his prudence, and the great interest he had among the multitude,
made them all continue with Ishbosheth; and indeed it was a considerable
time that they continued of his party; but afterwards Abner was blamed,
and an accusation was laid against him, that he went in unto Saul's
concubine: her name was Rispah, the daughter of Aiah. So when he was
complained of by Ishbosheth, he was very uneasy and angry at it, because
he had not justice done him by Ishbosheth, to whom he had shown the
greatest kindness; whereupon he threatened to transfer the kingdom to
David, and demonstrate that he did not rule over the people beyond
Jordan by his own abilities and wisdom, but by his warlike conduct and
fidelity in leading his army. So he sent ambassadors to Hebron to David,
and desired that he would give him security upon oath that he would
esteem him his companion and his friend, upon condition that he should
persuade the people to leave Saul's son, and choose him king of the
whole country; and when David had made that league with Abner, for he
was pleased with his message to him, he desired that he would give this
as the first mark of performance of the present league, that he might
have his wife Michal restored to him, as her whom he had purchased with
great hazards, and with those six hundred heads of the Philistines which
he had brought to Saul her father. So Abner took Michal from Phaltiel,
who was then her husband, and sent her to David, Ishbosheth himself
affording him his assistance, for David had written to him that of right
he ought to have this his wife restored to him. Abner also called
together the elders of the multitude, the commanders and captains of
thousands, and spake thus to them: That he had formerly dissuaded them
from their own resolution, when they were ready to forsake Ishbosheth,
and to join themselves to David; that, however, he now gave them leave
so to do, if they had a mind to it, for they knew that God had appointed
David to be king of all the Hebrews by Samuel the prophet; and had
foretold that he should punish the Philistines, and overcome them, and
bring them under. Now when the elders and rulers heard this, and
understood that Abner was come over to those sentiments about the public
affairs which they were of before, they changed their measures, and came
in to David. When these men had agreed to Abner's proposal, he called
together the tribe of Benjamin, for all of that tribe were the guards of
Ishbosheth's body, and he spake to them to the same purpose. And when he
saw that they did not in the least oppose what he said, but resigned
themselves up to his opinion, he took about twenty of his friends and
came to David, in order to receive himself security upon oath from him;
for we may justly esteem those things to be firmer which every one of us
do by ourselves, than those which we do by another. He also gave him an
account of what he had said to the rulers, and to the whole tribe of
Benjamin; and when David had received him in a courteous manner, and had
treated him with great hospitality for many days, Abner, when he was
dismissed, desired him to bring the multitude with him, that he might
deliver up the government to him, when David himself was present, and a
spectator of what was done.

5. When David had sent Abner away, Joab, the of his army, came
immediately to Hebron; he had understood that Abner had been with David,
and had parted with him a little before under leagues and agreements
that the government should be delivered up to David, he feared lest
David should place Abner, who had assisted him to gain the kingdom, in
the first rank of dignity, especially since he was a shrewd man in other
respects, in understanding affairs, and in managing them artfully, as
proper seasons should require, and that he should himself be put lower,
and be deprived of the command of the army; so he took a knavish and a
wicked course. In the first place, he endeavored to calumniate Abner to
the king, exhorting him to have a care of him, and not to give attention
to what he had engaged to do for him, because all he did tended to
confirm the government to Saul's son; that he came to him deceitfully
and with guile, and was gone away in hopes of gaining his purpose by
this management: but when he could not thus persuade David, nor saw him
at all exasperated, he betook himself to a project bolder than the
former:—he determined to kill Abner; and in order thereto, he sent some
messengers after him, to whom he gave in charge, that when they should
overtake him they should recall him in David's name, and tell him that
he had somewhat to say to him about his affairs, which he had not
remembered to speak of when he was with him. Now when Abner heard what
the messengers said, [for they overtook him in a certain place called
Besira, which was distant from Hebron twenty furlongs,] he suspected
none of the mischief which was befalling him, and came back. Hereupon
Joab met him in the gate, and received him in the kindest manner, as if
he were Abner's most benevolent acquaintance and friend; for such as
undertake the vilest actions, in order to prevent the suspicion of any
private mischief intended, do frequently make the greatest pretenses to
what really good men sincerely do. So he took him aside from his own
followers, as if he would speak with him in private, and brought him
into a void place of the gate, having himself nobody with him but his
brother Abishai; then he drew his sword, and smote him in the groin;
upon which Abner died by this treachery of Joab, which, as he said
himself, was in the way of punishment for his brother Asahel, whom Abner
smote and slew as he was pursuing after him in the battle of Hebron, but
as the truth was, out of his fear of losing his command of the army, and
his dignity with the king, and lest he should be deprived of those
advantages, and Abner should obtain the first rank in David's court. By
these examples any one may learn how many and how great instances of
wickedness men will venture upon for the sake of getting money and
authority, and that they may not fail of either of them; for as when
they are desirous of obtaining the same, they acquire them by ten
thousand evil practices; so when they are afraid of losing them, they
get them confirmed to them by practices much worse than the former, as
if no other calamity so terrible could befall them as the failure of
acquiring so exalted an authority; and when they have acquired it, and
by long custom found the sweetness of it, the losing it again: and since
this last would be the heaviest of all afflictions they all of them
contrive and venture upon the most difficult actions, out of the fear of
losing the same. But let it suffice that I have made these short
reflections upon that subject.

6. When David heard that Abner was slain, it grieved his soul; and he
called all men to witness, with stretching out his hands to God, and
crying out that he was not a partaker in the murder of Abner, and that
his death was not procured by his command or approbation. He also wished
the heaviest curses might light upon him that slew him and upon his
whole house; and he devoted those that had assisted him in this murder
to the same penalties on its account; for he took care not to appear to
have had any hand in this murder, contrary to the assurances he had
given and the oaths he had taken to Abner. However, he commanded all the
people to weep and lament this man, and to honor his dead body with the
usual solemnities; that is, by rending their garments, and putting on
sackcloth, and that things should be the habit in which they should go
before the bier; after which he followed it himself, with the elders and
those that were rulers, lamenting Abner, and by his tears demonstrating
his good-will to him while he was alive, and his sorrow for him now he
was dead, and that he was not taken off with his consent. So he buried
him at Hebron in a magnificent manner, and indited funeral elegies for
him; he also stood first over the monument weeping, and caused others to
do the same; nay, so deeply did the death of Abner disorder him, that
his companions could by no means force him to take any food, but he
affirmed with an oath that he would taste nothing till the sun was set.
This procedure gained him the good-will of the multitude; for such as
had an affection for Abner were mightily satisfied with the respect he
paid him when he was dead, and the observation of that faith he had
plighted to him, which was shown in his vouchsafing him all the usual
ceremonies, as if he had been his kinsman and his friend, and not
suffering him to be neglected and injured with a dishonorable burial, as
if he had been his enemy; insomuch that the entire nation rejoiced at
the king's gentleness and mildness of disposition, every one being ready
to suppose that the king would have taken the same care of them in the
like circumstances, which they saw be showed in the burial of the dead
body of Abner. And indeed David principally intended to gain a good
reputation, and therefore he took care to do what was proper in this
case, whence none had any suspicion that he was the author of Abner's
death. He also said this to the multitude, that he was greatly troubled
at the death of so good a man; and that the affairs of the Hebrews had
suffered great detriment by being deprived of him, who was of so great
abilities to preserve them by his excellent advice, and by the strength
of his hands in war. But he added, that "God, who hath a regard to all
men's actions, will not suffer this man [Joab] to go off unrevenged; but
know ye, that I am not able to do any thing to these sons of Zeruiah,
Joab and Abishai, who have more power than I have; but God will requite
their insolent attempts upon their own heads." And this was the fatal
conclusion of the life of Abner.

CHAPTER 2. That Upon The Slaughter Of Ishbosheth By The Treachery Of His
Friends, David Received The Whole Kingdom.

1. When Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, had heard of the death of Abner, he
took it to heart to be deprived of a man that was of his kindred, and
had indeed given him the kingdom, but was greatly afflicted, and Abner's
death very much troubled him; nor did he himself outlive any long time,
but was treacherously set upon by the sons of Rimmon, [Baanah and Rechab
were their names,] and was slain by them; for these being of a family of
the Benjamites, and of the first rank among them, thought that if they
should slay Ishbosheth, they should obtain large presents from David,
and be made commanders by him, or, however, should have some other trust
committed to them. So when they once found him alone, and asleep at
noon, in an upper room, when none of his guards were there, and when the
woman that kept the door was not watching, but was fallen asleep also,
partly on account of the labor she had undergone, and partly on account
of the heat of the day, these men went into the room in which
Ishbosheth, Saul's son, lay asleep, and slew him; they also cut off his
head, and took their journey all that night, and the next day, as
supposing themselves flying away from those they had injured, to one
that would accept of this action as a favor, and would afford them
security. So they came to Hebron, and showed David the head of
Ishbosheth, and presented themselves to him as his well-wishers, and
such as had killed one that was his enemy and antagonist. Yet David did
not relish what they had done as they expected, but said to them, "You
vile wretches, you shall immediately receive the punishment you deserve.
Did not you know what vengeance I executed on him that murdered Saul,
and brought me his crown of gold, and this while he who made this
slaughter did it as a favor to him, that he might not be caught by his
enemies? Or do you imagine that I am altered in my disposition, and
suppose that I am not the same man I then was, but am pleased with men
that are wicked doers, and esteem your vile actions, when you are become
murderers of your master, as grateful to me, when you have slain a
righteous man upon his bed, who never did evil to any body, and treated
you with great good-will and respect? Wherefore you shall suffer the
punishment due on his account, and the vengeance I ought to inflict upon
you for killing Ishbosheth, and for supposing that I should take his
death kindly at your hands; for you could not lay a greater blot on my
honor, than by making such a supposal." When David had said this, he
tormented them with all sorts of torments, and then put them to death;
and he bestowed all accustomed rites on the burial of the head of
Ishbosheth, and laid it in the grave of Abner.

2. When these things were brought to this conclusion, all the principal
men of the Hebrew people came to David to Hebron, with the heads of
thousands, and other rulers, and delivered themselves up to him, putting
him in mind of the good-will they had borne to him in Saul's lifetime,
and the respect they then had not ceased to pay him when he was captain
of a thousand, as also that he was chosen of God by Samuel the prophet,
he and his sons; 2 and declaring besides, how God had given him power to
save the land of the Hebrews, and to overcome the Philistines. Whereupon
he received kindly this their alacrity on his account; and exhorted them
to continue in it, for that they should have no reason to repent of
being thus disposed to him. So when he had feasted them, and treated
them kindly, he sent them out to bring all the people to him; upon which
came to him about six thousand and eight hundred armed men of the tribe
of Judah, who bare shields and spears for their weapons, for these had
[till now] continued with Saul's son, when the rest of the tribe of
Judah had ordained David for their king. There came also seven thousand
and one hundred out of the tribe of Simeon. Out of the tribe of Levi
came four thousand and seven hundred, having Jehoiada for their leader.
After these came Zadok the high priest, with twenty-two captains of his
kindred. Out of the tribe of Benjamin the armed men were four thousand;
but the rest of the tribe continued, still expecting that some one of
the house of Saul should reign over them. Those of the tribe of Ephraim
were twenty thousand and eight hundred, and these mighty men of valor,
and eminent for their strength. Out of the half tribe of Manasseh came
eighteen thousand, of the most potent men. Out of the tribe of Issachar
came two hundred, who foreknew what was to come hereafter, 3 but of
armed men twenty thousand. Of the tribe of Zebulon fifty thousand chosen
men. This was the only tribe that came universally in to David, and all
these had the same weapons with the tribe of Gad. Out of the tribe of
Naphtali the eminent men and rulers were one thousand, whose weapons
were shields and spears, and the tribe itself followed after, being [in
a manner] innumerable [thirty- seven thousand]. Out of the tribe of Dan
there were of chosen men twenty-seven thousand and six hundred. Out of
the tribe of Asher were forty thousand. Out of the two tribes that were
beyond Jordan, and the rest of the tribe of Manasseh, such as used
shields, and spears, and head-pieces, and swords, were a hundred and
twenty thousand. The rest of the tribes also made use of swords. This
multitude came together to Hebron to David, with a great quantity of
corn, and wine, and all other sorts of food, and established David in
his kingdom with one consent. And when the people had rejoiced for three
days in Hebron, David and all the people removed and came to Jerusalem.

CHAPTER 3. How David Laid Siege To Jerusalem; And When He Had Taken The
City, He Cast The Canaanites Out Of It, And Brought In The Jews To
Inhabit Therein.

1. Now the Jebusites, who were the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and were by
extraction Canaanites, shut their gates, and placed the blind, and the
lame, and all their maimed persons, upon the wall, in way of derision of
the king, and said that the very lame themselves would hinder his
entrance into it. This they did out of contempt of his power, and as
depending on the strength of their walls. David was hereby enraged, and
began the siege of Jerusalem, and employed his utmost diligence and
alacrity therein, as intending by the taking of this place to
demonstrate his power, and to intimidate all others that might be of the
like [evil] disposition towards him. So he took the lower city by force,
but the citadel held out still; 4 whence it was that the king, knowing
that the proposal of dignities and rewards would encourage the soldiers
to greater actions, promised that he who should first go over the
ditches that were beneath the citadel, and should ascend to the citadel
itself and take it, should have the command of the entire people
conferred upon him. So they all were ambitious to ascend, and thought no
pains too great in order to ascend thither, out of their desire of the
chief command. However, Joab, the son of Zeruiah, prevented the rest;
and as soon as he was got up to the citadel, cried out to the king, and
claimed the chief command.

2. When David had cast the Jebusites out of the citadel, he also rebuilt
Jerusalem, and named it The City of David, and abode there all the time
of his reign; but for the time that he reigned over the tribe of Judah
only in Hebron, it was seven years and six months. Now when he had
chosen Jerusalem to be his royal city, his affairs did more and more
prosper, by the providence of God, who took care that they should
improve and be augmented. Hiram also, the king of the Tyrians, sent
ambassadors to him, and made a league of mutual friendship and
assistance with him. He also sent him presents, cedar-trees, and
mechanics, and men skillful in building and architecture, that they
might build him a royal palace at Jerusalem. Now David made buildings
round about the lower city: he also joined the citadel to it, and made
it one body; and when he had encompassed all with walls, he appointed
Joab to take care of them. It was David, therefore, who first cast the
Jebusites out of Jerusalem, and called it by his own name, The City of
David: for under our forefather Abraham it was called [Salem, or]
Solyma; 5 but after that time, some say that Homer mentions it by that
name of Solyma, [for he named the temple Solyma, according to the Hebrew
language, which denotes security.] Now the whole time from the warfare
under Joshua our general against the Canaanites, and from that war in
which he overcame them, and distributed the land among the Hebrews, [nor
could the Israelites ever cast the Canaanites out of Jerusalem until
this time, when David took it by siege,] this whole time was five
hundred and fifteen years.

3. I shall now make mention of Araunah, who was a wealthy man among the
Jebusites, but was not slain by David in the siege of Jerusalem, because
of the good-will he bore to the Hebrews, and a particular benignity and
affection which he had to the king himself; which I shall take a more
seasonable opportunity to speak of a little afterwards. Now David
married other wives over and above those which he had before: he had
also concubines. The sons whom he had were in number eleven, whose names
were Amnon, Emnos, Eban, Nathan, Solomon, Jeban, Elien, Phalna,
Ennaphen, Jenae, Eliphale; and a daughter, Tamar. Nine of these were
born of legitimate wives, but the two last-named of concubines; and
Tamar had the same mother with Absalom.

CHAPTER 4. That When David Had Conquered The Philistines Who Made War
Against Him At Jerusalem, He Removed The Ark To Jerusalem And Had A Mind
To Build A Temple.

1. When the Philistines understood that David was made king of the
Hebrews, they made war against him at Jerusalem; and when they had
seized upon that valley which is called The Valley of the Giants, and is
a place not far from the city, they pitched their camp therein; but the
king of the Jews, who never permitted himself to do any thing without
prophecy, 6 and the command of God and without depending on him as a
security for the time to come, bade the high priest to foretell to him
what was the will of God, and what would be the event of this battle.
And when he foretold that he should gain the victory and the dominion,
he led out his army against the Philistines; and when the battle was
joined, he came himself behind, and fell upon the enemy on the sudden,
and slew some of them, and put the rest to flight. And let no one
suppose that it was a small army of the Philistines that came against
the Hebrews, as guessing so from the suddenness of their defeat, and
from their having performed no great action, or that was worth
recording, from the slowness of their march, and want of courage; but
let him know that all Syria and Phoenicia, with many other nations
besides them, and those warlike nations also, came to their assistance,
and had a share in this war, which thing was the only cause why, when
they had been so often conquered, and had lost so many ten thousands of
their men, they still came upon the Hebrews with greater armies; nay,
indeed, when they had so often failed of their purpose in these battles,
they came upon David with an army three times as numerous as before, and
pitched their camp on the same spot of ground as before. The king of
Israel therefore inquired of God again concerning the event of the
battle; and the high priest prophesied to him, that he should keep his
army in the groves, called the Groves of Weeping, which were not far
from the enemy's camp, and that he should not move, nor begin to fight,
till the trees of the grove should be in motion without the wind's
blowing; but as soon as these trees moved, and the time foretold to him
by God was come, he should, without delay, go out to gain what was an
already prepared and evident victory; for the several ranks of the
enemy's army did not sustain him, but retreated at the first onset, whom
he closely followed, and slew them as he went along, and pursued them to
the city Gaza [which is the limit of their country]: after this he
spoiled their camp, in which he found great riches; and he destroyed
their gods.

2. When this had proved the event of the battle, David thought it
proper, upon a consultation with the elders, and rulers, and captains of
thousands, to send for those that were in the flower of their age out of
all his countrymen, and out of the whole land, and withal for the
priests and the Levites, in order to their going to Kirjathjearim, to
bring up the ark of God out of that city, and to carry it to Jerusalem,
and there to keep it, and offer before it those sacrifices and those
other honors with which God used to be well-pleased; for had they done
thus in the reign of Saul, they had not undergone any great misfortunes
at all. So when the whole body of the people were come together, as they
had resolved to do, the king came to the ark, which the priest brought
out of the house of Aminadab, and laid it upon a new cart, and permitted
their brethren and their children to draw it, together with the oxen.
Before it went the king, and the whole multitude of the people with him,
singing hymns to God, and making use of all sorts of songs usual among
them, with variety of the sounds of musical instruments, and with
dancing and singing of psalms, as also with the sounds of trumpets and
of cymbals, and so brought the ark to Jerusalem. But as they were come
to the threshing-floor of Chidon, a place so called, Uzzah was slain by
the anger of God; for as the oxen shook the ark, he stretched out his
hand, and would needs take hold of it. Now, because he was not a priest
7 and yet touched the ark, God struck him dead. Hereupon both the king
and the people were displeased at the death of Uzzah; and the place
where he died is still called the Breach of Uzzah unto this day. So
David was afraid; and supposing that if he received the ark to himself
into the city, he might suffer in the like manner as Uzzah had suffered,
who, upon his bare putting out his hand to the ark, died in the manner
already mentioned, he did not receive it to himself into the city, but
he took it aside unto a certain place belonging to a righteous man,
whose name was Obededom, who was by his family a Levite, and deposited
the ark with him; and it remained there three entire months. This
augmented the house of Obededom, and conferred many blessings upon it.
And when the king heard what had befallen Obededom, how he was become,
of a poor man in a low estate, exceeding happy, and the object of envy
to all those that saw or inquired after his house, he took courage, and,
hoping that he should meet with no misfortune thereby, he transferred
the ark to his own house; the priests carrying it, while seven companies
of singers, who were set in that order by the king, went before it, and
while he himself played upon the harp, and joined in the music,
insomuch, that when his wife Michel, the daughter of Saul, who was our
first king, saw him so doing, she laughed at him. But when they had
brought in the ark, they placed it under the tabernacle which David had
pitched for it, and he offered costly sacrifices and peace-offerings,
and treated the whole multitude, and dealt both to the women, and the
men, and the infants a loaf of bread and a cake, and another cake baked
in a pan, with the portion of the sacrifice. So when he had thus feasted
the people, he sent them away, and he himself returned to his own house.

3. But when Michal his wife, the daughter of Saul, came and stood by
him, she wished him all other happiness, and entreated that whatsoever
he should further desire, to the utmost possibility, might be given him
by God, and that he might be favorable to him; yet did she blame him,
that so great a king as he was should dance after an unseemly manner,
and in his dancing, uncover himself among the servants and the
handmaidens. But he replied, that he was not ashamed to do what was
acceptable to God, who had preferred him before her father, and before
all others; that he would play frequently, and dance, without any regard
to what the handmaidens and she herself thought of it. So this Michal,
who was David's wife, had no children; however, when she was afterward
married to him to whom Saul her father had given her, [for at this time
David had taken her away from him, and had her himself,] she bare five
children. But concerning those matters I shall discourse in a proper

4. Now when the king saw that his affairs grew better almost every day,
by the will of God, he thought he should offend him, if, while he
himself continued in houses made of cedar, such as were of a great
height, and had the most curious works of architecture in them, he
should overlook the ark while it was laid in a tabernacle, and was
desirous to build a temple to God, as Moses had predicted such a temple
should be built. 8 And when he had discoursed with Nathan the prophet
about these things, and had been encouraged by him to do whatsoever he
had a mind to do, as having God with him, and his helper in all things,
he was thereupon the more ready to set about that building. But God
appeared to Nathan that very night, and commanded him to say to David, 9
that he took his purpose and his desires kindly, since nobody had before
now taken it into their head to build him a temple, although upon his
having such a notion he would not permit him to build him that temple,
because he had made many wars, and was defiled with the slaughter of his
enemies; that, however, after his death, in his old age, and when he had
lived a long life, there should be a temple built by a son of his, who
should take the kingdom after him, and should be called Solomon, whom he
promised to provide for, as a father provides for his son, by preserving
the kingdom for his son's posterity, and delivering it to them; but that
he would still punish him, if he sinned, with diseases and barrenness of
land. When David understood this from the prophet, and was overjoyful at
this knowledge of the sure continuance of the dominion to his posterity,
and that his house should be splendid, and very famous, he came to the
ark, and fell down on his face, and began to adore God, and to return
thanks to him for all his benefits, as well for those that he had
already bestowed upon him in raising him from a low state, and from the
employment of a shepherd, to so great dignity of dominion and glory; as
for those also which he had promised to his posterity; and besides, for
that providence which he had exercised over the Hebrews in procuring
them the liberty they enjoyed. And when he had said thus, and had sung a
hymn of praise to God, he went his way.

CHAPTER 5. How David Brought Under The Philistines, And The Moabites,
And The Kings Of Sophene And Of Damascus, And Of The Syrians As Also The
Idumeans, In War; And How He Made A League With The King Of Hamath; And
Was Mindful Of The Friendship That Jonathan, The Son Of Saul, Had Borne

1. A Litlle while after this, he considered that he ought to make war
against the Philistines, and not to see any idleness or laziness
permitted in his management, that so it might prove, as God had foretold
to him, that when he had overthrown his enemies, he should leave his
posterity to reign in peace afterward: so he called together his army
again, and when he had charged them to be ready and prepared for war,
and when he thought that all things in his army were in a good state, he
removed from Jerusalem, and came against the Philistines; and when he
had overcome them in battle, and had cut off a great part of their
country, and adjoined it to the country of the Hebrews, he transferred
the war to the Moabites; and when he had overcome two parts of their
army in battle, he took the remaining part captive, and imposed tribute
upon them, to be paid annually. He then made war against Iadadezer, the
son of Rehob, king of Sophene; 10 and when he had joined battle with him
at 'the river Euphrates, he destroyed twenty thousand of his footmen,
and about seven thousand of his horsemen. He also took a thousand of his
chariots, and destroyed the greatest part of them, and ordered that no
more than one hundred should be kept. 11

2. Now when Hadad, king of Damascus and of Syria, heard that David
fought against Hadadezer, who was his friend, he came to his assistance
with a powerful army, in hopes to rescue him; and when he had joined
battle with David at the river Euphrates, he failed of his purpose, and
lost in the battle a great number of his soldiers; for there were slain
of the army of Hadad twenty thousand, and all the rest fled. Nicelens
also [of Damascus] makes mention of this king in the fourth book of his
histories; where he speaks thus: "A great while after these things had
happened, there was one of that country whose name was Hadad, who was
become very potent; he reigned over Damascus, and, the other parts of
Syria, excepting Phoenicia. He made war against David, the king of
Judea, and tried his fortune in many battles, and particularly in the
last battle at Euphrates, wherein he was beaten. He seemed to have been
the most excellent of all their kings in strength and manhood," Nay,
besides this, he says of his posterity, that "they succeeded one another
in his kingdom, and in his name;" where he thus speaks: "When Hadad was
dead, his posterity reigned for ten generations, each of his successors
receiving from his father that his dominion, and this his name; as did
the Ptolemies in Egypt. But the third was the most powerful of them all,
and was willing to avenge the defeat his forefather had received; so he
made an expedition against the Jews, and laid waste the city which is
now called Samaria." Nor did he err from the truth; for this is that
Hadad who made the expedition against Samaria, in the reign of Ahab,
king of Israel, concerning whom we shall speak in due place hereafter.

3. Now when David had made an expedition against Damascus, and the other
parts of Syria, and had brought it all into subjection, and had placed
garrisons in the country, and appointed that they should pay tribute, he
returned home. He also dedicated to God at Jerusalem the golden quivers,
the entire armor which the guards of Hadad used to wear; which Shishak,
the king of Egypt, took away when he fought with David's grandson,
Rehoboam, with a great deal of other wealth which he carried out of
Jerusalem. However, these things will come to be explained in their
proper places hereafter. Now as for the king of the Hebrews, he was
assisted by God, who gave him great success in his wars, and he made all
expedition against the best cities of Hadadezer, Betah and Machen; so he
took them by force, and laid them waste. Therein was found a very great
quantity of gold and silver, besides that sort of brass which is said to
be more valuable than gold; of which brass Solomon made that large
vessel which was called The [Brazen] Sea, and those most curious lavers,
when he built the temple for God.

4. But when the king of Hamath was informed of the ill success of
Hadadezer, and had heard of the ruin of his army, he was afraid on his
own account, and resolved to make a league of friendship and fidelity
with David before he should come against him; so he sent to him his son
Joram, and professed that he owed him thanks for fighting against
Hadadezer, who was his enemy, and made a league with him of mutual
assistance and friendship. He also sent him presents, vessels of ancient
workmanship, both of gold, of silver, and of brass. So when David had
made this league of mutual assistance with Toi, [for that was the name
of the king of Hamath,] and had received the presents he sent him, he
dismissed his son with that respect which was due on both sides; but
then David brought those presents that were sent by him, as also the
rest of the gold and silver which he had taken of the cities whom he had
conquered, and dedicated them to God. Nor did God give victory and
success to him only when he went to the battle himself, and led his own
army, but he gave victory to Abishai, the brother of Joab, general of
his forces, over the Idumeans, 12 and by him to David, when he sent him
with an army into Idumea: for Abishai destroyed eighteen thousand of
them in the battle; whereupon the king [of Israel] placed garrisons
through all Idumea, and received the tribute of the country, and of
every head among them. Now David was in his nature just, and made his
determination with regard to truth. He had for the general of his whole
army Joab; and he made Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, recorder. He also
appointed Zadok, of the family of Phinehas, to be high priest, together
with Abiathar, for he was his friend. He also made Seisan the scribe,
and committed the command over the guards of his body to Benaiah; the
son of Jehoiada. His elder sons were near his body, and had the care of
it also.

5. He also called to mind the covenants and the oaths he had made with
Jonathan, the son of Saul, and the friendship and affection Jonathan had
for him; for besides all the rest of his excellent qualities with which
he was endowed, he was also exceeding mindful of such as had at other
times bestowed benefits upon him. He therefore gave order that inquiry
should be made, whether any of Jonathan's lineage were living, to whom
he might make return of that familiar acquaintance which Jonathan had
had with him, and for which he was still debtor. And when one of Saul's
freed men was brought to him, who was acquainted with those of his
family that were still living, he asked him whether he could tell him of
any one belonging to Jonathan that was now alive, and capable of a
requital of the benefits which he had received from Jonathan. And he
said, that a son of his was remaining, whose name was Mephibosheth, but
that he was lame of his feet; for that when his nurse heard that the
father and grandfather of the child were fallen in the battle, she
snatched him up, and fled away, and let him fall from her shoulders, and
his feet were lamed. So when he had learned where and by whom he was
brought up, he sent messengers to Machir, to the city of Lodebar, for
with him was the son of Jonathan brought up, and sent for him to come to
him. So when Mephibosheth came to the king, he fell on his face and
worshipped him; but David encouraged him, bade him be of good cheer, and
expect better times. So he gave him his father's house, and all the
estate which his grandfather Saul was in possession of, and bade him
come and diet with him at his own table, and never to be absent one day
from that table. And when the youth had worshipped him on account of his
words and gifts given to him, he called for Ziba, and told him that he
had given the youth his father's house, and all Saul's estate. He also
ordered that Ziba should cultivate his land, and take care of it, and
bring him the profits of all to Jerusalem. Accordingly, David brought
him to his table every day, and bestowed upon the youth, Ziba and his
sons, who were in number fifteen, and his servants, who were in number
twenty. When the king had made these appointments, and Ziba had
worshipped him, and promised to do all that he had bidden him, he went
his way; so that this son of Jonathan dwelt at Jerusalem, and dieted at
the king's table, and had the same care that a son could claim taken of
him. He also had himself a son, whom he named Micha.

CHAPTER 6. How The War Was Waged Against The Ammonites And Happily

1. This were the honors that such as were left of Saul's and Jonathan's
lineage received from David. About this time died Nahash, the king of
the Ammonites, who was a friend of David's; and when his son had
succeeded his father in the kingdom, David sent ambassadors to him to
comfort him; and exhorted him to take his father's death patiently, and
to expect that he would continue the same kindness to himself which he
had shown to his father. But the princes of the Ammonites took this
message in evil part, and not as David's kind dispositions gave reason
to take it; and they excited the king to resent it; and said that David
had sent men to spy out the country, and what strength it had, under the
pretense of humanity and kindness. They further advised him to have a
care, and not to give heed to David's words, lest he should be deluded
by him, and so fall into an inconsolable calamity. Accordingly Nahash's
[son], the king of the Ammonites, thought these princes spake what was
more probable than the truth would admit, and so abused the ambassadors
after a very harsh manner; for he shaved the one half of their beards,
and cut off one half of their garments, and sent his answer, not in
words, but in deeds. When the king of Israel saw this, he had
indignation at it, and showed openly that he would not overlook this
injurious and contumelious treatment, but would make war with the
Ammonites, and would avenge this wicked treatment of his ambassadors on
their king. So that king's intimate friends and commanders,
understanding that they had violated their league, and were liable to be
punished for the same, made preparations for war; they also sent a
thousand talents to the Syrian king of Mesopotamia, and endeavored to
prevail with him to assist them for that pay, and Shobach. Now these
kings had twenty thousand footmen. They also hired the king of the
country called Maacah, and a fourth king, by name Ishtob; which last had
twelve thousand armed men.

2. But David was under no consternation at this confederacy, nor at the
forces of the Ammonites; and putting his trust in God, because he was
going to war in a just cause, on account of the injurious treatment he
had met with, he immediately sent Joab, the captain of his host, against
them, and gave him the flower of his army, who pitched his camp by
Rabbah, the metropolis of the Ammonites; whereupon the enemy came out,
and set themselves in array, not all of them together, but in two
bodies; for the auxiliaries were set in array in the plain by
themselves, but the army of the Ammonites at the gates over against the
Hebrews. When Joab saw this, he opposed one stratagem against another,
and chose out the most hardy part of his men, and set them in opposition
to the king of Syria, and the kings that were with him, and gave the
other part to his brother Abishai, and bid him set them in opposition to
the Ammonites; and said to him, that in case he should see that the
Syrians distressed him, and were too hard for him, he should order his
troops to turn about and assist him; and he said that he himself would
do the same to him, if he saw him in the like distress from the
Ammonites. So he sent his brother before, and encouraged him to do every
thing courageously and with alacrity, which would teach them to be
afraid of disgrace, and to fight manfully; and so he dismissed him to
fight with the Ammonites, while he fell upon the Syrians. And though
they made a strong opposition for a while, Joab slew many of them, but
compelled the rest to betake themselves to flight; which, when the
Ammonites saw, and were withal afraid of Abishai and his army, they
staid no longer, but imitated their auxiliaries, and fled to the city.
So Joab, when he had thus overcome the enemy, returned with great joy to
Jerusalem to the king.

3. This defeat did not still induce the Ammonites to be quiet, nor to
own those that were superior to them to be so, and be still, but they
sent to Chalaman, the king of the Syrians, beyond Euphrates, and hired
him for an auxiliary. He had Shobach for the captain of his host, with
eighty thousand footmen, and ten thousand horsemen. Now when the king of
the Hebrews understood that the Ammonites had again gathered so great an
army together, he determined to make war with them no longer by his
generals, but he passed over the river Jordan himself with all his army;
and when he met them he joined battle with them, and overcame them, and
slew forty thousand of their footmen, and seven thousand of their
horsemen. He also wounded Shobach, the general of Chalaman's forces, who
died of that stroke; but the people of Mesopotamia, upon such a
conclusion of the battle, delivered themselves up to David, and sent him
presents, who at winter time returned to Jerusalem. But at the beginning
of the spring he sent Joab, the captain of his host, to fight against
the Ammonites, who overran all their country, and laid it waste, and
shut them up in their metropolis Rabbah, and besieged them therein.

CHAPTER 7. How David Fell In Love With Bathsheba, And Slew Her Husband
Uriah, For Which He Is Reproved By Nathan.

1. But David fell now into a very grievous sin, though he were otherwise
naturally a righteous and a religious man, and one that firmly observed
the laws of our fathers; for when late in an evening he took a view
round him from the roof of his royal palace, where he used to walk at
that hour, he saw a woman washing herself in her own house: she was one
of extraordinary beauty, and therein surpassed all other women; her name
was Bathsheba. So he was overcome by that woman's beauty, and was not
able to restrain his desires, but sent for her, and lay with her.
Hereupon she conceived with child, and sent to the king, that he should
contrive some way for concealing her sin [for, according to the laws of
their fathers, she who had been guilty of adultery ought to be put to
death]. So the king sent for Joab's armor-bearer from the siege, who was
the woman's husband, and his name was Uriah. And when he was come, the
king inquired of him about the army, and about the siege; and when he
had made answer that all their affairs went according to their wishes,
the king took some portions of meat from his supper, and gave them to
him, and bade him go home to his wife, and take his rest with her. Uriah
did not do so, but slept near the king with the rest of his armor-
bearers. When the king was informed of this, he asked him why he did not
go home to his house, and to his wife, after so long an absence; which
is the natural custom of all men, when they come from a long journey. He
replied, that it was not right, while his fellow soldiers, and the
general of the army, slept upon the ground, in the camp, and in an
enemy's country, that he should go and take his rest, and solace himself
with his wife. So when he had thus replied, the king ordered him to stay
there that night, that he might dismiss him the next day to the general.
So the king invited Uriah to supper, and after a cunning and dexterous
manlier plied him with drink at supper, till he was thereby disordered;
yet did he nevertheless sleep at the king's gates without any
inclination to go to his wife. Upon this the king was very angry at him;
and wrote to Joab, and commanded him to punish Uriah, for he told him
that he had offended him; and he suggested to him the manner in which he
would have him punished, that it might not be discovered that he was
himself the author of this his punishment; for he charged him to set him
over against that part of the enemy's army where the attack would be
most hazardous, and where he might be deserted, and be in the greatest
jeopardy, for he bade him order his fellow soldiers to retire out of the
fight. When he had written thus to him, and sealed the letter with his
own seal, he gave it to Uriah to carry to Joab. When Joab had received
it, and upon reading it understood the king's purpose, he set Uriah in
that place where he knew the enemy would be most troublesome to them;
and gave him for his partners some of the best soldiers in the army; and
said that he would also come to their assistance with the whole army,
that if possible they might break down some part of the wall, and enter
the city. And he desired him to be glad of the opportunity of exposing
himself to such great pains, and not to be displeased at it, since he
was a valiant soldier, and had a great reputation for his valor, both
with the king and with his countrymen. And when Uriah undertook the work
he was set upon with alacrity, he gave private orders to those who were
to be his companions, that when they saw the enemy make a sally, they
should leave him. When, therefore, the Hebrews made an attack upon the
city, the Ammonites were afraid that the enemy might prevent them, and
get up into the city, and this at the very place whither Uriah was
ordered; so they exposed their best soldiers to be in the forefront, and
opened their gates suddenly, and fell upon the enemy with great
vehemence, and ran violently upon them. When those that were with Uriah
saw this, they all retreated backward, as Joab had directed them
beforehand; but Uriah, as ashamed to run away and leave his post,
sustained the enemy, and receiving the violence of their onset, he slew
many of them; but being encompassed round, and caught in the midst of
them, he was slain, and some other of his companions were slain with

2. When this was done, Joab sent messengers to the king, and ordered
them to tell him that he did what he could to take the city soon; but
that, as they made an assault on the wall, they had been forced to
retire with great loss; and bade them, if they saw the king was angry at
it, to add this, that Uriah was slain also. When the king had heard this
of the messengers, he took it heinously, and said that they did wrong
when they assaulted the wall, whereas they ought, by undermining and
other stratagems of war, to endeavor the taking of the city, especially
when they had before their eyes the example of Abimelech, the son of
Gideon, who would needs take the tower in Thebes by force, and was
killed by a large stone thrown at him by an old woman; and although he
was a man of great prowess, he died ignominiously by the dangerous
manner of his assault: that they should remember this accident, and not
come near the enemy's wall, for that the best method of making war with
success was to call to mind the accidents of former wars, and what good
or bad success had attended them in the like dangerous cases, that so
they might imitate the one, and avoid the other. But when the king was
in this disposition, the messenger told him that Uriah was slain also;
whereupon he was pacified. So he bade the messenger go back to Joab and
tell him that this misfortune is no other than what is common among
mankind, and that such is the nature, and such the accidents of war,
insomuch that sometimes the enemy will have success therein, and
sometimes others; but that he ordered him to go on still in his care
about the siege, that no ill accident might befall him in it hereafter;
that they should raise bulwarks and use machines in besieging the city;
and when they have gotten it, to overturn its very foundations, and to
destroy all those that are in it. Accordingly the messenger carried the
king's message with which he was charged, and made haste to Joab. But
Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, when she was informed of the death of her
husband, mourned for his death many days; and when her mourning was
over, and the tears which she shed for Uriah were dried up, the king
took her to wife presently; and a son was born to him by her.

3. With this marriage God was not well pleased, but was thereupon angry
at David; and he appeared to Nathan the prophet in his sleep, and
complained of the king. Now Nathan was a fair and prudent man; and
considering that kings, when they fall into a passion, are guided more
by that passion than they are by justice, he resolved to conceal the
threatenings that proceeded from God, and made a good-natured discourse
to him, and this after the manner following:—He desired that the king
would give him his opinion in the following case:—"There were," said he,
"two men inhabiting the same city, the one of them was rich, and [the
other poor]. The rich man had a great many flocks of cattle, of sheep,
and of kine; but the poor man had but one ewe lamb. This he brought up
with his children, and let her eat her food with them; and he had the
same natural affection for her which any one might have for a daughter.
Now upon the coming of a stranger to the rich man, he would not
vouchsafe to kill any of his own flocks, and thence feast his friend;
but he sent for the poor man's lamb, and took her away from him, and
made her ready for food, and thence feasted the stranger." This
discourse troubled the king exceedingly; and he denounced to Nathan,
that "this man was a wicked man who could dare to do such a thing; and
that it was but just that he should restore the lamb fourfold, and be
punished with death for it also." Upon this Nathan immediately said that
he was himself the man who ought to suffer those punishments, and that
by his own sentence; and that it was he who had perpetrated this 'great
and horrid crime.' He also revealed to him, and laid before him, the
anger of God against him, who had made him king over the army of the
Hebrews, and lord of all the nations, and those many and great nations
round about him; who had formerly delivered him out of the hands of
Saul, and had given him such wives as he had justly and legally married;
and now this God was despised by him, and affronted by his impiety, when
he had married, and now had, another man's wife; and by exposing her
husband to the enemy, had really slain him; that God would inflict
punishments upon him on account of those instances of wickedness; that
his own wives should be forced by one of his sons; and that he should be
treacherously supplanted by the same son; and that although he had
perpetrated his wickedness secretly, yet should that punishment which he
was to undergo be inflicted publicly upon him; "that, moreover," said
he, "the child which was born to thee of her shall soon die." When the
king was troubled at these messages, and sufficiently confounded, and
said with tears and sorrow that he had sinned, [for he was without
controversy a pious man, and guilty of no sin at all in his whole life,
excepting those in the matter of Uriah,] God had compassion on him, and
was reconciled to him, and promised that he would preserve to him both
his life and his kingdom; for he said that, seeing he repented of the
things he had done, he was no longer displeased with him. So Nathan,
when he had delivered this prophecy to the king, returned home.

4. However, God sent a dangerous distemper upon the child that was born
to David of the wife of Uriah, at which the king was troubled, and did
not take any food for seven days, although his servants almost forced
him to take it; but he clothed himself in a black garment, and fell
down, and lay upon the ground in sackcloth, entrusting God for the
recovery of the child, for he vehemently loved the child's mother; but
when, on the seventh day, the child was dead, the king's servants durst
not tell him of it, as supposing that when he knew it, he would still
less admit of food, and other care of himself, by reason of his grief at
the death of his son, since when the child was only sick, he so greatly
afflicted himself, and grieved for him: but when the king perceived that
his servants were in disorder, and seemed to be affected, as those who
are very desirous to conceal something, he understood that the child was
dead; and when he had called one of his servants to him, and discovered
that so it was, he arose up and washed himself, and took a white
garment, and came into the tabernacle of God. He also commanded them to
set supper before him, and thereby greatly surprised his kindred and
servants, while he did nothing of this when the child was sick, but did
it all when he was dead. Whereupon having first begged leave to ask him
a question, they besought him to tell them the reason of this his
conduct; he then called them unskillful people, and instructed them how
he had hopes of the recovery of the child while it was alive, and
accordingly did all that was proper for him to do, as thinking by such
means to render God propitious to him; but that when the child was dead,
there was no longer any occasion for grief, which was then to no
purpose. When he had said this, they commended the king's wisdom and
understanding. He then went in unto Bathsheba his wife, and she
conceived and bare a son; and by the command of Nathan the prophet
called his name Solomon.

5. But Joab sorely distressed the Ammonites in the siege, by cutting off
their waters, and depriving them of other means of subsistence, till
they were in the greatest want of meat and drink, for they depended only
on one small well of water, and this they durst not drink of too freely,
lest the fountain should entirely fail them. So he wrote to the king,
and informed him thereof; and persuaded him to come himself to take the
city, that he might have the honor of the victory. Upon this letter of
Joab's, the king accepted of his good-will and fidelity, and took with
him his army, and came to the destruction of Rabbah; and when he had
taken it by force, he gave it to his soldiers to plunder it; but he
himself took the king of the Ammonites' crown, whose weight was a talent
of gold; 13 and it had in its middle a precious stone called a sardonyx;
which crown David ever after wore on his own head. He also found many
other vessels in the city, and those both splendid and of great price;
but as for the men, he tormented them, 14 and then destroyed them; and
when he had taken the other cities of the Ammonites by force, he treated
them after the same manner.

CHAPTER 8. How Absalom Murdered Amnon, Who Had Forced His Own Sister;
And How He Was Banished And Afterwards Recalled By David.

1. When the king was returned to Jerusalem, a sad misfortune befell his
house, on the occasion following: He had a daughter, who was yet a
virgin, and very handsome, insomuch that she surpassed all the most
beautiful women; her name was Tamar; she had the same mother with
Absalom. Now Amnon, David's eldest son, fell in love with her, and being
not able to obtain his desires, on account of her virginity, and the
custody she was under, was so much out of order, nay, his grief so eat
up his body, that he grew lean, and his color was changed. Now there was
one Jenadab, a kinsman and friend of his, who discovered this his
passion, for he was an extraordinary wise man, and of great sagacity of
mind. When, therefore, he saw that every morning Amnon was not in body
as he ought to be, he came to him, and desired him to tell him what was
the cause of it: however, he said that he guessed that it arose from the
passion of love. Amnon confessed his passion, that he was in love with a
sister of his, who had the same father with himself. So Jenadab
suggested to him by what method and contrivance he might obtain his
desires; for he persuaded him to pretend sickness, and bade him, when
his father should come to him, to beg of him that his sister might come
and minister to him; for if that were done, he should be better, and
should quickly recover from his distemper. So Amnon lay down on his bed,
and pretended to be sick, as Jonadab had suggested. When his father
came, and inquired how he did, he begged of him to send his sister to
him. Accordingly, he presently ordered her to be brought to him; and
when she was come, Amnon bade her make cakes for him, and fry them in a
pan, and do it all with her own hands, because he should take them
better from her hand [than from any one's else]. So she kneaded the
flour in the sight of her brother, and made him cakes, and baked them in
a pan, and brought them to him; but at that time he would not taste
them, but gave order to his servants to send all that were there out of
his chamber, because he had a mind to repose himself, free from tumult
and disturbance. As soon as what he had commanded was done, he desired
his sister to bring his supper to him into the inner parlor; which, when
the damsel had done, he took hold of her, and endeavored to persuade her
to lie with him. Whereupon the damsel cried out, and said, "Nay,
brother, do not force me, nor be so wicked as to transgress the laws,
and bring upon thyself the utmost confusion. Curb this thy unrighteous
and impure lust, from which our house will get nothing but reproach and
disgrace." She also advised him to speak to his father about this
affair; for he would permit him [to marry her]. This she said, as
desirous to avoid her brother's violent passion at present. But he would
not yield to her; but, inflamed with love and blinded with the vehemency
of his passion, he forced his sister: but as soon as Amnon had satisfied
his lust, he hated her immediately, and giving her reproachful words,
bade her rise up and be gone. And when she said that this was a more
injurious treatment than the former, if, now he had forced her, he would
not let her stay with him till the evening, but bid her go away in the
day- time, and while it was light, that she might meet with people that
would be witnesses of her shame,—he commanded his servant to turn her
out of his house. Whereupon she was sorely grieved at the injury and
violence that had been offered to her, and rent her loose coat, [for the
virgins of old time wore such loose coats tied at the hands, and let
down to the ankles, that the inner coats might not be seen,] and
sprinkled ashes on her head; and went up the middle of the city, crying
out and lamenting for the violence that had been offered her. Now
Absalom, her brother, happened to meet her, and asked her what sad thing
had befallen her, that she was in that plight; and when she had told him
what injury had been offered her, he comforted her, and desired her to
be quiet, and take all patiently, and not to esteem her being corrupted
by her brother as an injury. So she yielded to his advice, and left off
her crying out, and discovering the force offered her to the multitude;
and she continued as a widow with her brother Absalom a long time.

2. When David his father knew this, he was grieved at the actions of
Amnon; but because he had an extraordinary affection for him, for he was
his eldest son, he was compelled not to afflict him; but Absalom watched
for a fit opportunity of revenging this crime upon him, for he
thoroughly hated him. Now the second year after this wicked affair about
his sister was over, and Absalom was about to go to shear his own sheep
at Baalhazor, which is a city in the portion of Ephraim, he besought his
father, as well as his brethren, to come and feast with him: but when
David excused himself, as not being willing to be burdensome to him,
Absalom desired he would however send his brethren; whom he did send
accordingly. Then Absalom charged his own servants, that when they
should see Amnon disordered and drowsy with wine, and he should give
them a signal, they should fear nobody, but kill him.

3. When they had done as they were commanded, the rest of his brethren
were astonished and disturbed, and were afraid for themselves, so they
immediately got on horseback, and rode away to their father; but
somebody there was who prevented them, and told their father they were
all slain by Absalom; whereupon he was overcome with sorrow, as for so
many of his sons that were destroyed at once, and that by their brother
also; and by this consideration, that it was their brother that appeared
to have slain them, he aggravated his sorrow for them. So he neither
inquired what was the cause of this slaughter, nor staid to hear any
thing else, which yet it was but reasonable to have done, when so very
great, and by that greatness so incredible, a misfortune was related to
him: he rent his clothes and threw himself upon the ground, and there
lay lamenting the loss of all his sons, both those who, as he was
informed, were slain, and of him who slew them. But Jonadab, the son of
his brother Shemeah, entreated him not to indulge his sorrow so far, for
as to the rest of his sons he did not believe that they were slain, for
he found no cause for such a suspicion; but he said it might deserve
inquiry as to Amnon, for it was not unlikely that Absalom might venture
to kill him on account of the injury he had offered to Tamar. In the
mean time, a great noise of horses, and a tumult of some people that
were coming, turned their attention to them; they were the king's sons,
who were fled away from the feast. So their father met them as they were
in their grief, and he himself grieved with them; but it was more than
he expected to see those his sons again, whom he had a little before
heard to have perished. However, their were tears on both sides; they
lamenting their brother who was killed, and the king lamenting his son,
who was killed also; but Absalom fled to Geshur, to his grandfather by
his mother's side, who was king of that country, and he remained with
him three whole years.

4. Now David had a design to send to Absalom, not that he should come to
be punished, but that he might be with him, for the effects of his anger
were abated by length of time. It was Joab, the captain of his host,
that chiefly persuaded him so to do; for he suborned an ordinary woman,
that was stricken in age, to go to the king in mourning apparel, who
said thus to him:—That two of her sons, in a coarse way, had some
difference between them, and that in the progress of that difference
they came to an open quarrel, and that one was smitten by the other, and
was dead; and she desired him to interpose in this case, and to do her
the favor to save this her son from her kindred, who were very zealous
to have him that had slain his brother put to death, that so she might
not be further deprived of the hopes she had of being taken care of in
her old age by him; and that if he would hinder this slaughter of her
son by those that wished for it, he would do her a great favor, because
the kindred would not be restrained from their purpose by any thing else
than by the fear of him. And when the king had given his consent to what
the woman had begged of him, she made this reply to him:—"I owe thee
thanks for thy benignity to me in pitying my old age, and preventing the
loss of my only remaining child; but in order to assure me of this thy
kindness, be first reconciled to thine own son, and cease to be angry
with him; for how shall I persuade myself that thou hast really bestowed
this favor upon me, while thou thyself continuest after the like manner
in thy wrath to thine own son? for it is a foolish thing to add
willfully another to thy dead son, while the death of the other was
brought about without thy consent." And now the king perceived that this
pretended story was a subornation derived from Joab, and was of his
contrivance; and when, upon inquiry of the old woman, he understood it
to be so in reality, he called for Joab, and told him he had obtained
what he requested according to his own mind; and he bid him bring
Absalom back, for he was not now displeased, but had already ceased to
be angry with him. So Joab bowed himself down to the king, and took his
words kindly, and went immediately to Geshur, and took Absalom with him,
and came to Jerusalem.

5. However, the king sent a message to his son beforehand, as he was
coming, and commanded him to retire to his own house, for he was not yet
in such a disposition as to think fit at present to see him.
Accordingly, upon the father's command, he avoided coming into his
presence, and contented himself with the respects paid him by his own
family only. Now his beauty was not impaired, either by the grief he had
been under, or by the want of such care as was proper to be taken of a
king's son, for he still surpassed and excelled all men in the tallness
of his body, and was more eminent [in a fine appearance] than those that
dieted the most luxuriously; and indeed such was the thickness of the
hair of his head, that it was with difficulty that he was polled every
eighth day; and his hair weighed two hundred shekels 15 which are five
pounds. However, he dwelt in Jerusalem two years, and became the father
of three sons, and one daughter; which daughter was of very great
beauty, and which Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, took to wife afterward,
and had by her a son named Abijah. But Absalom sent to Joab, and desired
him to pacify his father entirely towards him; and to beseech him to
give him leave to come to him to see him, and speak with him. But when
Joab neglected so to do, he sent some of his own servants, and set fire
to the field adjoining to him; which, when Joab understood, he came to
Absalom, and accused him of what he had done; and asked him the reason
why he did so. To which Absalom replied, that "I have found out this
stratagem that might bring thee to us, while thou hast taken no care to
perform the injunction I laid upon thee, which was this, to reconcile my
father to me; and I really beg it of thee, now thou art here, to pacify
my father as to me, since I esteem my coming hither to be more grievous
than my banishment, while my father's wrath against me continues."
Hereby Joab was persuaded, and pitied the distress that Absalom was in,
and became an intercessor with the king for him. And when he had
discoursed with his father, he soon brought him to that amicable
disposition towards Absalom, that he presently sent for him to come to
him; and when he had cast himself down upon the ground, and had begged
for the forgiveness of his offenses, the king raised him up, and
promised him to forget what he had formerly done.

CHAPTER 9. Concerning The Insurrection Of Absalom Against David And
Concerning Ahithophel And Hushai; And Concerning Ziba And Shimei; And
How Ahithophel Hanged Himself.

1. Now Absalom, upon this his success with the king, procured to himself
a great many horses, and many chariots, and that in a little time also.
He had moreover fifty armor-bearers that were about him; and he came
early every day to the king's palace, and spake what was agreeable to
such as came for justice and lost their causes, as if that happened for
want of good counselors about the king, or perhaps because the judges
mistook in that unjust sentence they gave; whereby he gained the good-
will of them all. He told them, that had he but such authority committed
to him, he would distribute justice to them in a most equitable manner.
When he had made himself so popular among the multitude, he thought he
had already the good-will of the people secured to him; but when four
years 16 had passed since his father's reconciliation to him, he came to
him, and besought him to give him leave to go to Hebron, and pay a
sacrifice to God, because he vowed it to him when he fled out of the
country. So when David had granted his request, he went thither, and
great multitudes came running together to him, for he had sent to a
great number so to do.

2. Among them came Ahithophel the Gilonite, a counsellor of David's, and
two hundred men out of Jerusalem itself, who knew not his intentions,
but were sent for as to a sacrifice. So he was appointed king by all of
them, which he obtained by this stratagem. As soon as this news was
brought to David, and he was informed of what he did not expect from his
son, he was affrighted at this his impious and bold undertaking, and
wondered that he was so far from remembering how his offense had been so
lately forgiven him, that he undertook much worse and more wicked
enterprises; first, to deprive him of that kingdom which was given him
of God; and secondly, to take away his own father's life. He therefore
resolved to fly to the parts beyond Jordan: so he called his most
intimate friends together, and communicated to them all that he had
heard of his son's madness. He committed himself to God, to judge
between them about all their actions; and left the care of his royal
palace to his ten concubines, and went away from Jerusalem, being
willingly accompanied by the rest of the multitude, who went hastily
away with him, and particularly by those six hundred armed men, who had
been with him from his first flight in the days of Saul. But he
persuaded Abiathar and Zadok, the high priests, who had determined to go
away with him, as also all the Levites, who were with the ark, to stay
behind, as hoping that God would deliver him without its removal; but he
charged them to let him know privately how all things went on; and he
had their sons, Ahimmaz the son of Zadok, and Jonathan the son of
Abiathar, for faithful ministers in all things; but Ittai the Gitrite
went out with him whether David would let him or not, for he would have
persuaded him to stay, and on that account he appeared the more friendly
to him. But as he was ascending the Mount of Olives barefooted, and all
his company were in tears, it was told him that Ahithophel was with
Absalom, and was of his side. This hearing augmented his grief; and he
besought God earnestly to alienate the mind of Absalom from Ahithophel,
for he was afraid that he should persuade him to follow his pernicious
counsel, for he was a prudent man, and very sharp in seeing what was
advantageous. When David was gotten upon the top of the mountain, he
took a view of the city; and prayed to God with abundance of tears, as
having already lost his kingdom; and here it was that a faithful friend
of his, whose name was Hushai, met him. When David saw him with his
clothes rent, and having ashes all over his head, and in lamentation for
the great change of affairs, he comforted him, and exhorted him to leave
off grieving; nay, at length he besought him to go back to Absalom, and
appear as one of his party, and to fish out the secretest counsels of
his mind, and to contradict the counsels of Ahithophel, for that he
could not do him so much good by being with him as he might by being
with Absalom. So he was prevailed on by David, and left him, and came to
Jerusalem, whither Absalom himself came also a little while afterward.

3. When David was gone a little farther, there met him Ziba, the servant
of Mephibosheth, [whom he had sent to take care of the possessions which
had been given him, as the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul,] with a
couple of asses, loaden with provisions, and desired him to take as much
of them as he and his followers stood in need of. And when the king
asked him where he had left Mephibosheth, he said he had left him in
Jerusalem, expecting to be chosen king in the present confusions, in
remembrance of the benefits Saul had conferred upon them. At this the
king had great indignation, and gave to Ziba all that he had formerly
bestowed on Mephibosheth; for he determined that it was much fitter that
he should have them than the other; at which Ziba greatly rejoiced.

4. When David was at Bahurim, a place so called, there came out a
kinsman of Saul's, whose name was Shimei, and threw stones at him, and
gave him reproachful words; and as his friends stood about the king and
protected him, he persevered still more in his reproaches, and called
him a bloody man, and the author of all sorts of mischief. He bade him
also go out of the land as an impure and accursed wretch; and he thanked
God for depriving him of his kingdom, and causing him to be punished for
what injuries he had done to his master [Saul], and this by the means of
his own son. Now when they were all provoked against him, and angry at
him, and particularly Abishai, who had a mind to kill Shimei, David
restrained his anger. "Let us not," said he, "bring upon ourselves
another fresh misfortune to those we have already, for truly I have not
the least regard nor concern for this dog that raves at me: I submit
myself to God, by whose permission this man treats me in such a wild
manner; nor is it any wonder that I am obliged to undergo these abuses
from him, while I experience the like from an impious son of my own; but
perhaps God will have some commiseration upon us; if it be his will we
shall overcome them." So he went on his way without troubling himself
with Shimei, who ran along the other side of the mountain, and threw out
his abusive language plentifully. But when David was come to Jordan, he
allowed those that were with him to refresh themselves; for they were

5. But when Absalom, and Ahithophel his counselor, were come to
Jerusalem, with all the people, David's friend, Hushai, came to them;
and when he had worshipped Absalom, he withal wished that his kingdom
might last a long time, and continue for all ages. But when Absalom said
to him, "How comes this, that he who was so intimate a friend of my
father's, and appeared faithful to him in all things, is not with him
now, but hath left him, and is come over to me?" Hushai's answer was
very pertinent and prudent; for he said, "We ought to follow God and the
multitude of the people; while these, therefore, my lord and master, are
with thee, it is fit that I should follow them, for thou hast received
the kingdom from God. I will therefore, if thou believest me to be thy
friend, show the same fidelity and kindness to thee, which thou knowest
I have shown to thy father; nor is there any reason to be in the least
dissatisfied with the present state of affairs, for the kingdom is not
transferred into another, but remains still in the same family, by the
son's receiving it after his father." This speech persuaded Absalom, who
before suspected Hushai. And now he called Ahithophel, and consulted
with him what he ought to do: he persuaded him to go in unto his
father's concubines; for he said that "by this action the people would
believe that thy difference with thy father is irreconcilable, and will
thence fight with great alacrity against thy father, for hitherto they
are afraid of taking up open enmity against him, out of an expectation
that you will be reconciled again." Accordingly, Absalom was prevailed
on by this advice, and commanded his servants to pitch him a tent upon
the top of the royal palace, in the sight of the multitude; and he went
in and lay with his father's concubines. Now this came to pass according
to the prediction of Nathan, when he prophesied and signified to him
that his son would rise up in rebellion against him.

6. And when Absalom had done what he was advised to by Ahithophel, he
desired his advice, in the second place, about the war against his
father. Now Ahithophel only asked him to let him have ten thousand
chosen men, and he promised he would slay his father, and bring the
soldiers back again in safety; and he said that then the kingdom would
be firm to him when David was dead [but not otherwise]. Absalom was
pleased with this advice, and called for Hushai, David's friend [for so
did he style him]; and informing him of the opinion of Ahithophel, he
asked, further, what was his opinion concerning that matter. Now he was
sensible that if Ahithophel's counsel were followed, David would be in
danger of being seized on, and slain; so he attempted to introduce a
contrary opinion, and said, "Thou art not unacquainted, O king, with the
valor of thy father, and of those that are now with him; that he hath
made many wars, and hath always come off with victory, though probably
he now abides in the camp, for he is very skillful in stratagems, and in
foreseeing the deceitful tricks of his enemies; yet will he leave his
own soldiers in the evening, and will either hide himself in some
valley, or will place an ambush at some rock; so that when our army
joins battle with him, his soldiers will retire for a little while, but
will come upon us again, as encouraged by the king's being near them;
and in the mean time your father will show himself suddenly in the time
of the battle, and will infuse courage into his own people when they are
in danger, but bring consternation to thine. Consider, therefore, my
advice, and reason upon it, and if thou canst not but acknowledge it to
be the best, reject the opinion of Ahithophel. Send to the entire
country of the Hebrews, and order them to come and fight with thy
father; and do thou thyself take the army, and be thine own general in
this war, and do not trust its management to another; then expect to
conquer him with ease, when thou overtakest him openly with his few
partisans, but hast thyself many ten thousands, who will be desirous to
demonstrate to thee their diligence and alacrity. And if thy father
shall shut himself up in some city, and bear a siege, we will overthrow
that city with machines of war, and by undermining it." When Hushai had
said this, he obtained his point against Ahithophel, for his opinion was
preferred by Absalom before the other's: however, it was no other than
God 17 who made the counsel of Hushai appear best to the mind of

7. So Hushai made haste to the high priests, Zadok and Abiathar, and
told them the opinion of Ahithophel, and his own, and that the
resolution was taken to follow this latter advice. He therefore bade
them send to David, and tell him of it, and to inform him of the
counsels that had been taken; and to desire him further to pass quickly
over Jordan, lest his son should change his mind, and make haste to
pursue him, and so prevent him, and seize upon him before he be in
safety. Now the high priests had their sons concealed in a proper place
out of the city, that they might carry news to David of what was
transacted. Accordingly, they sent a maid-servant, whom they could
trust, to them, to carry the news of Absalom's counsels, and ordered
them to signify the same to David with all speed. So they made no excuse
nor delay, but taking along with them their fathers' injunctions,
because pious and faithful ministers, and judging that quickness and
suddenness was the best mark of faithful service, they made haste to
meet with David. But certain horsemen saw them when they were two
furlongs from the city, and informed Absalom of them, who immediately
sent some to take them; but when the sons of the high priest perceived
this, they went out of the road, and betook themselves to a certain
village; that village was called Bahurim; there they desired a certain
woman to hide them, and afford them security. Accordingly she let the
young men down by a rope into a well, and laid fleeces of wool over
them; and when those that pursued them came to her, and asked her
whether she saw them, she did not deny that she had seen them, for that
they staid with her some time, but she said they then went their ways;
and she foretold that, however, if they would follow them directly, they
would catch them; but when after a long pursuit they could not catch
them, they came back again; and when the woman saw those men were
returned, and that there was no longer any fear of the young men's being
caught by them, she drew them up by the rope, and bade them go on their
journey accordingly, they used great diligence in the prosecution of
that journey, and came to David, and informed him accurately of all the
counsels of Absalom. So he commanded those that were with him to pass
over Jordan while it was night, and not to delay at all on that account.

8. But Ahithophel, on rejection of his advice, got upon his ass, and
rode away to his own country, Gilon; and, calling his family together,
he told them distinctly what advice he had given Absalom; and since he
had not been persuaded by it, he said he would evidently perish, and
this in no long time, and that David would overcome him, and return to
his kingdom again; so he said it was better that he should take his own
life away with freedom and magnanimity, than expose himself to be
punished by David, in opposition to whom he had acted entirely for
Absalom. When he had discoursed thus to them, he went into the inmost
room of his house, and hanged himself; and thus was the death of
Ahithophel, who was self-condemned; and when his relations had taken him
down from the halter, they took care of his funeral. Now, as for David,
he passed over Jordan, as we have said already, and came to Mahanaim,
every fine and very strong city; and all the chief men of the country
received him with great pleasure, both out of the shame they had that he
should be forced to flee away [from Jerusalem], and out of the respect
they bare him while he was in his former prosperity. These were
Barzillai the Gileadite, and Siphar the ruler among the Ammonites, and
Machir the principal man of Gilead; and these furnished him with
plentiful provisions for himself and his followers, insomuch that they
wanted no beds nor blankets for them, nor loaves of bread, nor wine;
nay, they brought them a great many cattle for slaughter, and afforded
them what furniture they wanted for their refreshment when they were
weary, and for food, with plenty of other necessaries.

CHAPTER 10. How, When Absalom Was Beaten, He Was Caught In A Tree By His
Hair And Was Slain

1. And this was the state of David and his followers: but Absalom got
together a vast army of the Hebrews to oppose his father, and passed
therewith over the river Jordan, and sat down not far off Mahanaim, in
the country of Gilead. He appointed Amasa to be captain of all his host,
instead of Joab his kinsman: his father was Ithra and his mother
Abigail: now she and Zeruiah, the mother of Joab, were David's sisters.
But when David had numbered his followers, and found them to be about
four thousand, he resolved not to tarry till Absalom attacked him, but
set over his men captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, and
divided his army into three parts; the one part he committed to Joab,
the next to Abishai, Joab's brother, and the third to Ittai, David's
companion and friend, but one that came from the city Gath; and when he
was desirous of fighting himself among them, his friends would not let
him: and this refusal of theirs was founded upon very wise reasons:
"For," said they, "if we be conquered when he is with us, we have lost
all good hopes of recovering ourselves; but if we should be beaten in
one part of our army, the other parts may retire to him, and may thereby
prepare a greater force, while the enemy will naturally suppose that he
hath another army with him." So David was pleased with this their
advice, and resolved himself to tarry at Mahanaim; and as he sent his
friends and commanders to the battle, he desired them to show all
possible alacrity and fidelity, and to bear in mind what advantages they
had received from him, which, though they had not been very great, yet
had they not been quite inconsiderable; and he begged of them to spare
the young man Absalom, lest some mischief should befall himself, if he
should be killed; and thus did he send out his army to the battle, and
wished them victory therein.

2. Then did Joab put his army in battle-array over against the enemy in
the Great Plain, where he had a wood behind him. Absalom also brought
his army into the field to oppose him. Upon the joining of the battle,
both sides showed great actions with their hands and their boldness; the
one side exposing themselves to the greatest hazards, and using their
utmost alacrity, that David might recover his kingdom; and the other
being no way deficient, either in doing or suffering, that Absalom might
not be deprived of that kingdom, and be brought to punishment by his
father for his impudent attempt against him. Those also that were the
most numerous were solicitous that they might not be conquered by those
few that were with Joab, and with the other commanders, because that
would be the greater disgrace to them; while David's soldiers strove
greatly to overcome so many ten thousands as the enemy had with them.
Now David's men were conquerors, as superior in strength and skill in
war; so they followed the others as they fled away through the forests
and valleys; some they took prisoners, and many they slew, and more in
the flight than in the battle for there fell about twenty thousand that
day. But all David's men ran violently upon Absalom, for he was easily
known by his beauty and tallness. He was himself also afraid lest his
enemies should seize on him, so he got upon the king's mule, and fled;
but as he was carried with violence, and noise, and a great motion, as
being himself light, he entangled his hair greatly in the large boughs
of a knotty tree that spread a great way, and there he hung, after a
surprising manner; and as for the beast, it went on farther, and that
swiftly, as if his master had been still upon his back; but he, hanging
in the air upon the boughs, was taken by his enemies. Now when one of
David's soldiers saw this, he informed Joab of it; and when the general
said, that if he had shot at and killed Absalom, he would have given him
fifty shekels,—he replied, "I would not have killed my master's son if
thou wouldst have given me a thousand shekels, especially when he
desired that the young man might be spared in the hearing of us all."
But Joab bade him show him where it was that he saw Absalom hang;
whereupon he shot him to the heart, and slew him, and Joab's armor-
bearers stood round the tree, and pulled down his dead body, and cast it
into a great chasm that was out of sight, and laid a heap of stones upon
him, till the cavity was filled up, and had both the appearance and the
bigness of a grave. Then Joab sounded a retreat, and recalled his own
soldiers from pursuing the enemy's army, in order to spare their

3. Now Absalom had erected for himself a marble pillar in the king's
dale, two furlongs distant from Jerusalem, which he named Absalom's
Hand, saying, that if his children were killed, his name would remain by
that pillar; for he had three sons and one daughter, named Tamar, as we
said before, who when she was married to David's grandson, Rehoboam,
bare a son, Abijah by name, who succeeded his father in the kingdom; but
of these we shall speak in a part of our history which will be more
proper. After the death of Absalom, they returned every one to their own
homes respectively.

4. But now Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok the high priest, went to Joab, and
desired he would permit him to go and tell David of this victory, and to
bring him the good news that God had afforded his assistance and his
providence to him. However, he did not grant his request, but said to
him, "Wilt thou, who hast always been the messenger of good news, now go
and acquaint the king that his son is dead?" So he desired him to
desist. He then called Cushi, and committed the business to him, that he
should tell the king what he had seen. But when Ahimaaz again desired
him to let