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Full text of "A critical and exegetical commentary on Judges"

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This book belongs to 

THE LIBRARY 

of 
VICTORIA UNIVERSITY 

Toronto 5, Canada 



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fntematbnal Critical C0mmnttarg 

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UNDER THE EDITORSHIP OF 

THE REV. SAMUEL ROLLES DRIVER, D.D., 

Regius Professor of Hebrew, Oxford; 

THE REV. ALFRED PLUMMER, M.A., D.D., 

Master of University College, Durham I 
AND 

THE REV. CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, D.D., 

Edward Robinson Professor of Biblical Theology, 
Union Tlieological Seminary, Neiu York. 



nternational Critical C0mmmtarj 



cm % J0lg Scriptures of % 
Ctstamcnts. 



EDITORS PREFACE. 




THERE are now before the public many Commentaries, 
written by British and American divines, of a popular or 
homiletical character. The Cambridge Bible for Schools, 
the Handbooks for Bible Classes and Private Students, The 
Speakers Commentary, The Popular Commentary (Schaff), 
The Expositor s Bible, and other similar series, have their 
special place and importance. But they do not enter into 
the field of Critical Biblical scholarship occupied by such 
series of Commentaries as the Kurzgefasstes exegetischcs 
Handbitch zum A. T.; De Wette s Kurzgefasstes cxegetisches 
Handbuch ziim N. T. ; * Meyer s Kritisch-exegetischer Kom- 
mentar ; * Keil and Delitzsch s Biblischer Commentar ilber 
das A. T. ; * Lange s Theologisch-homiletisches Bibehverk ; 
Nowack s Handkommcntar zum A. T. ; Holtzmann s Hand- 
kommentar zum N, T. Several of these have been translated, 
edited, and in some cases enlarged and adapted, for the 
English-speaking public ; others are in process of translation. 
But no corresponding series by British or American divines 
has hitherto been produced. The way has been prepared 
by special Commentaries by Cheyne, Ellicott, Kalisch, 
Lightfoot, Perowne, Westcott, and others ; and the time has 
come, in the judgment of the projectors of this enterprise, 
when it is practicable to combine British and American 
scholars in the production of a critical, comprehensive 
* Authorised Translations published by Messrs. Clark. 



IV EDITORS PREFACE. 

Commentary that will be abreast of modern biblical scholar 
ship, and in a measure lead its van. 

Messrs. T. & T. Clark of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 
Messrs. Charles Scribner s Sons of New York, U.S.A., 
propose to publish such a series of Commentaries on the 
Old and New Testaments, under the editorship of Prof. S. R. 
DRIVER, D.D., for the Old Testament, and the Rev. ALFRED 
PLUMMER, D.D., for the New Testament, in Great Britain ; 
and of Prof. C. A. BRIGGS, D.D., in America. 

The Commentaries will be international and inter-con 
fessional, and will be free from polemical and ecclesiastical 
bias. They will be based upon a thorough critical study of 
the original texts of the Bible, and upon critical methods of 
interpretation. They are designed chiefly for students and 
clergymen, and will be written in a compact style. Each 
book will be preceded by an Introduction, stating the results 
of criticism upon it, and discussing impartially the questions 
still remaining open. The details of criticism will appear 
in their proper place in the body of the Commentary. Each 
section of the Text will be introduced with a paraphrase, 
or summary of contents. Technical details of textual and 
philological criticism will, as a rule, be kept distinct from 
matter of a more general character ; and in the Old Testa 
ment the exegetical notes will be arranged, as far as 
possible, so as to be serviceable to students not acquainted 
with Hebrew. The History of Interpretation of the Books 
will be dealt with, when necessary, in the Introductions, 
with critical notices of the most important literature of 
the subject. Historical and Archaeological questions, as 
well as questions of Biblical Theology, are included in the 
plan of the Commentaries, but not Practical or Homiletical 
Exegesis. The Volumes will constitute a uniform series. 



THE INTERNATIONAL CRITICAL COMMENTARY. 



THE following eminent Scholars are engaged upon the 
Volumes named below : 

THE OLD TESTAMENT. 

Genesis. The Rev. T. K. CHEYNE, D.D., Oriel Professor of the 

Interpretation of Holy Scripture, Oxford. 

Exodus. The Rev. A. R. S. KENNEDY, D.D., Professor of Hebrew, 

University of Edinburgh. 

Leviticus. The Rev. H. A. WHITE, M.A., Fellow of New College, 

Oxford. 

Numbers. G. BUCHANAN GRAY, B.A. , Lecturer in Hebrew, Mans 

field College, Oxford. 

Deuteronomy. The Rev. S. R. DRIVER, D.D. , Regius Professor of Hebrew, 
Oxford. [Ready. 

Joshua. The Rev. GEORGE ADAM SMITH, D.D., Professor of 

Hebrew, Free Church College, Glasgow. 

Judges. The Rev. GEORGE MOORE, D.D. , Professor of Hebrew, And- 

over Theological Seminary, Andover, Mass. [Ready. 

Samuel. The Rev. H. P. SMITH, D.D., late Professor of Hebrew, 

Lane Theological Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Kings. The Rev. FRANCIS BROWN, D.D., Professor of Hebrew and 

Cognate Languages, Union Theological Seminary, New 

York City. 
Isaiah. The Rev. A. B. DAVIDSON, D.D., LL.D., Professor of 

Hebrew, Free Church College, Edinburgh. 
Jeremiah. The Rev. A. F. KIKKPATRICK, D.D., Regius Professor of 

Hebrew, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 
Minor Prophets. W. R. HARPER, Ph.D., President of the University of 

Chicago, Illinois. 

Psalms. The Rev. CHARLES A. BRIGGS, D.D., Edward Robinson 

Professor of Biblical Theology, Union Theological 
Seminary, New York. 

Proverbs. The Rev. C. H. TOY, D.D., Professor of Hebrew, Harvard 

University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Daniel. The Rev. JOHN P. PETERS, Ph.D., late Professor of 

Hebrew, P. E. Divinity School, Philadelphia, now Rector 
of St. Michael s Church, New York City. 

Ezra and The Rev. L. W. BATTEN, Ph.D., Professor of Hebrew, 

Nehemiah. P. E. Divinity School, Philadelphia. 

Chronicles. The Rev. EDWARD L. CURTIS, D. D., Professor of Hebrew, 

Yale University, New Haven, Conn. 



THE INTERNATIONAL CRITICAL COMMENTARY continued, 



THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

Mark. The Rev. E. P. GOULD, D.D., Professor of New Testament 

Exegesis, P. E. Divinity School, Philadelphia. 

[In the Press. 

Luke. The Rev. ALFRED PLUMMER, D.D. , Master of University 

College, Durham. 

Acts. The Rev. FREDERICK H. CHASE, D. D. , Fellow of Christ s 

College, Cambridge. 

Romans. The Rev. WILLIAM SANDAY, D.D., Lady Margaret Pro 

fessor of Divinity, and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford; 
and the Rev. A. C. HEADLAM, M.A., Fellow of All Souls 
College, Oxford. [Ready. 

Corinthians. The Rev. ARCH. ROBEKTSON, D.D., Principal of Bishop 

Hatfield s Hall, Durham. 

Galatians. The Rev. ERNEST D. BURTON, A.B., Professor of New 

Testament Literature, University of Chicago. 

Ephesians. The Rev. T. K. ABBOTT, B. D., D. Lit., formerly Professor 

of Biblical Greek, Trinity College, Dublin. 

Philippians. The Rev. MARVIN R. VINCENT, D.D. , Professor of Biblical 

Literature, Union Theological Seminary, New York City. 

The Pastoral The Rev. WALTER LOCK, M.A., Fellow of Magdalen 
Epistles. College, and Tutor of Keble College, Oxford. 

Hebrews. The Rev. T. C. EDWARDS, D.D. , Principal of the Theo 

logical College. Baki ; late Principal of University College 
of Wales, Aberystwyth. 

Revelation. The Rev. ROBERT H. CHARLES, M.A., Trinity College, 

Dublin, and Exeter College, Oxford. 



JUDGES 

REV. GEORGE F. MOORE, D.D. 



PRINTED 15V -MORRISON AND CllJH, 
FOR 

T. C I , A R K, K I ) I N I! U R G H. 



THE INTERNATIONAL CRITICAL COMMENTARY 



CRITICAL AND EXEGETICAL 
COMMENTARY 



JUDGES 



REV. GEORGE F. MOORE, D.D. 

PROFESSOR OF HEBKEW IN AXDOVEU THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 

ANDOVEK, MASS, 



EDINBURGH 
T. & T. CLARK, 38 GEORGE STREET 

1895 



I UN ION 

THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE 



r 



IHMANU I 







PREFACE 



THE interest and importance of the Book of Judges lie chiefly 
in the knowledge which it gives us of the state of society and 
religion in Israel in the early centuries of its settlement in Pales 
tine, for which Judges and Samuel are our only sources. In 
addition to this, parts of the book are of preeminent historical 
value : in particular, ch. i, which contains by far the oldest and 
most trustworthy account of the invasion of Canaan; and ch. 5, 
the Song of Deborah, the only contemporary monument of Isra- 
elitish history before the Kingdom. In the following commentary 
matters of history, antiquities, and especially the social and relig 
ious life of the people in this period, are properly given the 
largest place ; not only for their intrinsic interest, but because 
the knowledge of these things is indispensable to any right under 
standing of the history of Israel and of its religion. The work of 
the prophets can only be comprehended in its relation to the 
national religion of Israel. But before there was a national religion, 
there was a common religion of the Israelite tribes which was one 
of the most potent forces in the making of the nation. What this 
religion was, which they brought with them into Canaan, and what 
changes it underwent in contact with Canaanite civilization and 
the religions of the land, we learn in no small part from the Book 
of Judges ; while here and there, as in the Song of Deborah, 
we have glimpses of a remoter past, the adoption of the religion 
of Yahweh by the tribes at Horeb, the work of Moses. 

To make such a use of the book, it is necessary to distinguish 
carefully between the work of the principal author, who wrote in 



yi PREFACE 

the 6th century B.C., separated from the times of the judges by 
as many centuries as lie between us and the crusades, and the 
much older sources from which the stories of the judges them 
selves are derived. We must also, as far as possible, define 
the age and character of these sources, which are not all of the 
same antiquity or historical value. Nor is it solely on historical 
grounds that this is required. The difficulties which the inter 
preter finds in the book are in considerable part of a kind for 
which exegesis and textual criticism have no solution. They 
have arisen from the changes and additions which the author 
made in transcribing his sources, or from the attempt to combine 
and harmonize two parallel but slightly different versions of the 
same story, and can be cleared up only by ascertaining how this 
was done. Criticism is thus not only obligatory upon the histo 
rian, it is an essential part of the work of the exegete. That the 
task is delicate and difficult, and in the nature of the case largely 
conjectural, cannot exempt the commentator from trying to 
solve these knotty questions. At the worst, the uncertainties of 
criticism are infinitely preferable to the exegetical violence which 
is the only alternative. In the commentary, especially in the 
introductions to the several stories, I have discussed the particu 
lar problems of criticism with such fulness as they seemed to 
demand ; in the Introduction ( 3-6) the reader will find set 
forth the general results to which these investigations lead. 

The Hebrew text of Judges, with the exception of part of 
ch. 5, is comparatively well preserved ; but in very many places 
the ancient versions have a better reading, or a variant which may 
not be neglected. The Greek translations of this book are of 
peculiar interest, and perhaps nowhere in the Old Testament can 
the difficult problems which this version presents be approached 
with more hope of illuminating results. I trust that the some 
what full registration of the readings of in this commentary 



PREFACE vii 

may not be unwelcome to students of the Greek as well as of the 
Hebrew Bible. An edition of the Hebrew text, with critical appa 
ratus, is in preparation, and will shortly appear in "The Sacred 
Books of the Old Testament," edited by Professor Paul Haupt. 

In the philological notes, I have been mindful of the fact that 
it is the commentator s duty, not to follow the lexicographer and 
the grammarian, but to precede them ; and have investigated 
afresh, and as far as possible exhaustively, all questions of ety 
mology, usage, and construction which seemed to require it. 
If, in many cases, I cannot flatter myself that these investiga 
tions have added much light, they have often performed at least 
the negative service of showing that commonly accepted inter 
pretations are unsound. In the hope that the commentary may 
be used to some extent by students, for whose reading the Book 
of Judges is peculiarly well suited, some notes of a more ele 
mentary character on the forms of words and on grammatical 
points have been added. 

In conformity with the general plan of the series, all matters 
of textual criticism and Hebrew philology, together with more 
detailed and technical discussions of points of criticism, antiq 
uities, and topography, have been kept apart from the body of 
the commentary, and will be found in smaller type at the end 
of the paragraphs. It is one of the evils of this arrangement that 
the grounds of an interpretation must often be sought in another 
place from the interpretation itself, while in other instances 
some repetition is unavoidable. It is believed, however, that 
the separation will prove convenient to many who may use 
the commentary ; and I have endeavoured to diminish its dis 
advantages by cross-references and full indexes. 

I have tried to make good use of all that has been done 
hitherto for the criticism and interpretation of the book. The 
commentators whom I have chiefly consulted are named in the 



viii PREFACE 

Introduction, 9, the critics at the end of 6 ; other works are 
referred to in the foot-notes of the commentary. It is not 
improbable that, in this extensive and scattered literature, I may 
have overlooked some things of importance ; I have not inten 
tionally ignored any. Several books of great value have appeared 
during the printing of this volume, so that I have, to my regret 
and loss, been able to use them only in the later chapters ; 
among these I may name particularly Benzinger, Hebraischc 
Archaologie, 1894; Nowack, Lehrbuch der Hebraischen Archli- 
p/ogic, 1894; G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy 
Lam!, 1894; and the i2th edition of Gesenius Handworterbuch, 
thoroughly revised by Buhl, 1895. 

A list of the principal abbreviations employed will be found on 
p. 474. They conform, by the editors desire, to those used in 
the new Hebrew Lexicon, in course of publication under the edi 
torship of Professors Brown, Driver, and Briggs. The references 
in the commentary have been carefully verified, and will, I trust, 
be found accurate. In the few instances in which I have not 
been able to consult a book which is cited, the fact is indi 
cated by a () affixed to the title. The citations of Scripture in 
the body of the commentary follow the chapter and verse numer 
ation of the Authorized Version as given in the Queen s Print 
er s Bible ; in the critical notes the verses are those of the 
Hebrew Bible (Van der Hooght s ed., 1705). 

It is a pleasant duty to acknowledge the assistance which 
I have received in the preparation of this volume from my 
colleague and friend, Dr. Charles C. Torrey, Instructor in the 
Semitic Languages in Andover Theological Seminary, who has 
read nearly all the proofs, and to whom I am indebted for 
some valuable suggestions and corrections. 

G. F. M. 

July, 1895- 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

PREFACE v-viii 

INTRODUCTION xi-1 

I. Title. Place of the Book in the Canon xi 

2. Contents xiii 

3. The History of the yndges, ii. 6-xvi. 31. Character and 

Age xv 

4. The Sources of Judges ii. 6-xvi. j/ xix 

5. The Sources of Judges xvii.-xxi. and of i.-ii. j xxix 

6. 77/if Composition of the Book of Judges xxxiii 

7. Chronology of the Book of Judges xxxvii 

8. Hebrew Text and Ancient Versions xliii 

9. Interpreters of the Book of Judges xlvii 

COMMENTARY 1-454 

INDEX 455-476 

I. Matters. 
II. Hebrew Words and Forms. 

III. Grammatical Observations. 

IV. Passages Incidentally Discussed. 
Abbreviations. 



ADDENDA AND CORRIGENDA 



V. 7 n.;. Sacred Books of the Old Testament, ed. by P. Ilaupt, 1894. 

P. 42, 1. 33. The conjecture is Giesebrecht s, Z.47VF. i. p. 234. 

P. 63 f. See Introduction, p. xxvii f. 

P. 70 f. On Astarte sec now also G. A. Barton, "The Semitic Istar Cult," 

Hebraica, ix. p. 131-165; x. p. 1-74. 
P. 86, 1. 21 IT. and n. ^f. Perhaps asratum is not me N but n^ii ;"; see Cl. 

Hoffmann, Ucbcr cinigc Phon. Inschriften, p. 26 f. In a tablet in the 

Brit. Museum (Xo. 33 obv. 1. 3) the name is actually written with an 

ideogram for Ishtar. 
P. 100, 102. On Seirah see v. Kasteren, Mittli. u. Xachrichten d. Deutschcn 

Palacstina-l ereins, 1895, p. 26-30. 
P. 138, 1. 25 f. See W. R. Smith, in Smaller Cambridge Bible for Schools, 

Judges, p. 39. 

P. 175, 367. C. Xiebuhr, Studicn n. Bemerkungen zur Gesch. d. alien 
Orients, 1894, has analyzed Jucl. 6-8, 17-21. and parts of ch. i. See 
Thcol. JaJircsbericht, xiv. p. 54. 

P. 195, 1. 5. The note on 7 1 has been accidentally omitted. 
P. 206, 1. 29 f. and n.*. ZATW. ii. p. 175. 
P. 242. n.*. For i4 5 readp. 329, 340. 
P. 243. 1. 27. For 13- read p. 316. 
P. 297, 1. i ff. Compare Introduction, 4; 7. 
I . 315, 1. 3 from below. For iS 1 read p. 371 f. 
P. 380. With Micah s son as his priest, cf. Wellhausen, Reste arab. Heiden- 

tumcs. p. 13. 

P. 417, 419. On Belial see Cheyne, Expositor, June, 1895, P- 435~439- 
P. 426. With 20 1 cf. f. 



INTRODUCTION. 



i. Title. Place of the Book in the Canon. 

THE title, JUDGES, or, THE BOOK OF JUDGES, which the book 
bears in the Jewish and Christian Bibles,* is given to it because 
it relates the exploits of a succession of Israelite leaders and 
champions who, in the book itself as well as in other parts of 
the Old Testament, are called Judges. f The signification of the 
Hebrew word is, however, much wider than that of the Greek 
*/3iT?/s, the Latin judex, or the English judge. The verb shaphat 
is not only judicare, J but vindicare, both in the sense of defend, 
deliver, and in that of avenge, punish. The participle shophei 
is not only judex, but vindex, and is not infrequently synonymous 
with deliverer. || Again, as the administration of justice was, in 
times of peace, the most important function of the chieftain or 
king, the noun is sometimes equivalent to ruler, ^[ and the verb 
signifies, rule, govern. In this sense it is most natural to take 
it in the lists of Minor Judges, where we read, for example of 
Tola : He judged Israel twenty-three years. . . . And after him 
arose Jair, the Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty-two years.** 
It is clear that the writer regarded these judges as a succession of 

* See note at the end of this $. 

t Jud. 2i6- 17. is, 2 S. j~ (corrected by i Chr. 176) 7 n (= i Chr. 17!) 2 K. 23*1 
Ruth ii Ecclus. 46" ; cf. Fl. Jos., antt. vi. 5, 4 $ 85. 

J The only place in Jud. where it has this sense is 4 - ; but this is perhaps not 
the original meaning of v. 4 . 

$ See below, p. 88, 89, and in addition to the authors cited there, Kohler, Biblische 
Geschichte, ii. i. p. 24. 

|| Jud. 2i6 38. 10 I0 i. 2 Neh. g"-" Is. ig 20 ; Bachmann, Richter, p. 31 n. 

U Am. 2 s (cf. i 15 ) Hos. 7 r Mi. 5 1 Ps. 2 10 &c. So also in Phoenician ; see note at 
the end of this . 

** Jud. I 2-3 C f. 12"- 8- - " I 5 2 I S. 4 18 ? 15 c f. 820. 

b xi 



xii INTRODUCTION 

chiefs, who arose in different parts of the land, ruling with an 
authority which was personal and not hereditary.* The same 
conception is probably to be recognized in 2 17 , the Israelites would 
not obey their judges. The word judge is not used of Ehud, 
Barak, or Gideon, and seems not to have been found in the oldest 
of the author s sources. f The title, Book of Judges, was in all 
probability meant by those who prefixed it to the book to corre 
spond to that of the Book of Kings; the judges were the succes 
sion of rulers and defenders of Israel before the hereditary 
monarchy, as the kings were afterwards. \ 

In the Hebrew Bible the Book of Judges stands in the first 
division of the Prophets, the Prophetic Histories (Jos., Jud., Sam., 
Kings), which narrate continuously the history of Israel from 
the invasion of Canaan to the fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.). In the 
Greek Bible, Ruth is appended to it, sometimes under one title 
(*p6Tai), sometimes under its own name ; and in manuscripts, the 
Pentateuch, together with Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, frequently 
forms a codex (Octateuch). || In the history of Israel before the 
exile, Judges covers the time from the close of the period of con 
quest and occupation with the death of Joshua to the beginning 
of the struggle with the Philistines in the days of Eli.^f A better 
division, from our point of view, would have been the establish 
ment of the kingdom of Saul, and there is some evidence that, in 
one at least of the older histories which our author had before 
him, Eli and Samuel were reckoned among the judges ; ** but as 
Samuel is the central figure in the story of the founding of the 



* Others of them besides Jephthah (II s - 11 ) and Gideon may have obtained this 
power by successful leadership in war. 

tCf. 3 156 &c. (deliver). 

i Whether this title was first given to the canonical Judges, or to one of its 
predecessors, is not certain. In the sense indicated above the word Judge is 

understood by Fl. JOS. (o-Tparrj-yoi, ap^c^res, iJ.6va.pxOi, auTOxpaTopes r^ejudi/es, - Ba.) , 

Stud., Reuss (Heldenbuch), al. Book of the Deliverers of Israel, Ephr. Syr., 
Bachmann, Kohler, al. Of judges in the common sense, it is taken by Ew. (GVI. 
ii. p. 509), Hitz., Cass., al. 

$ D^VJ NI E X 2:. 

|| This fact is not without importance in the history of the text. 
U Jud. ii-2 5 , which describes the invasion and settlement, overlaps the Book of 
Joshua; see below, p. 7-10. 

** See i S. 4 1S y 15 , and below, $ 4, p. xxii f. 



TITLE AND PLACE IN THE CANON xiii 

kingdom, it was not unnatural to begin a new book with his birth. 
The character of the two works shows conclusively that Judges 
was not composed by the author of Samuel ; the peculiar religious 
interpretation of the history which is impressed so strongly on 
Judges is almost entirely lacking in Samuel.* 

The Title.- n^aaiS , Baba bathra I4 b ; Sa^aretjU, Orig.; Sophtim, Jerome. 
Kptrai, Melito, Orig., titles in <ABal.. ^ T v K p ir ^ v /3//3Xos, rdv Kpir&v, Greek 
Ff. generally. Philo (de confus. lingg. c. 26, i. p. 424 ed. Mangey), TJ TUV 
Kpifj-druv dvaypa(pofj.^vrj /3i /3Aos ; cf. BatrtAeiiDj , Regnorum, for Kings. Liber 
fttdicuM, Judicum, in the Latin Church. In Syriac, Sephar dayyane {dabnai 
fsrall), Book of Judges (S> PLOH ) ; another, and perhaps older title is, Paroqe 
dabnai Israil, The Deliverers of the Israelites (<S A ) ; cf. Ephrem, i. p. 308. 
The book was also known by its Hebrew title, Shaphte or Shaphefe (<S PLH , 
BO. iii. i. p. 5, 62, 71, &c.), which was early corrupted to Shabhfe, as if 
from B3C 5 , tribe ; f so in <& A , see Ephrem, /. s. c. Sufetes, qui summus Poenis 
est magistratus (Liv., xxviii. 37) ; quod velut consulare imperium apud eos erat 
(ib. xxx. 7, of Carthage; cf. xxxiv. 61). In Latin inscriptions from Africa we 
learn of the sufetes of a number of cities (CYZ. viii. No. 7, 765, 10525); 
sometimes two are named (ib. No. 797, 5306). vssr occurs frequently in 
inscriptions, J but it is in most cases uncertain whether ordinary judges or 
chief magistrates are meant. In Spain and Sardinia (Cagliari), the governors 
and petty kings were in the Middle Ages called judices (Ducange, s.v.), in 
which we may be disposed to see a survival from the times of the Phoenician 
rule. The sufetes of Carthage and the Punic colonies were a regular magis 
tracy, and belong to a much more highly organized political society than the 
sJibphet tm of the O.T. We might rather compare the SiKacrral who held the 
supreme power at Tyre for brief periods during an interregnum in the 6th 
cent. B.C. (Fl. Jos., c. Ap. \. 21 157). || 

2. Contents. 

The Book of Judges consists of three parts: i 1 -2-" , 2 (i -i6 31 , 
I7-2I-11" 

* On the cognate pragmatism of parts of i S. 1-12, see below, p. xxxiv n. 

f The same confusion of EJfliP, B3a>, occurs in various places in the O.T., e.g. 2 S. 
7~ g, Dt. iis . 

% See Bloch, Phoenicisches Glossar, s.v. 

Cf. also /</ = praeses provinciae, CIL. viii. No. 949. 

|| On the Assyrian shiptu shapitu, see Jensen, ZA. v. 278-280. 

IT So most recent scholars; Kue., Schrad., We., Sta., Be., Reuss, Bu., Dr., 
Co., K.6., Kitt., al. For other opinions, especially about the division of i 1 ^ 6 , see 
Ba., p. 77-80. 



XIV 



INTRODUCTION 



(1) iW . A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE CONQUESTS AND SETTLEMENTS 

OF THE ISRAELITE TRIBES IN CANAAN. 

i 1 - 21 . The southern tribes ; Judah, Caleb, the Kenites, Simeon, 

Benjamin. 

I 2 2 - 29 . The central tribes ; Joseph (Manasseh, Ephraim). 
I 30 - 33 . The northern tribes ; Zebulun, Asher, Naphtali. 
I 34-3j_ Dan s settlements in the west. 
I 36 . The southern border. 
2 1 - 5 . The Angel of Yahvveh reproves the Israelites for sparing the 

inhabitants of the land, and foretells the consequences. 

(2) 2 <i -i6 31 . THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL IN THE DAYS OF THE JUDGES. 

2 G _3 6 . introduction : The religious interpretation and judgement of 
the whole period as a recurring cycle of defection from Yahweh, 
subjugation, and deliverance. The nations which Yahweh left 
in Palestine. 

3-i6 :!1 . The stories of the Judges and their heroic deeds. 

3 7 ~ 1] . Othniel delivers Israel from Cushan-rishathaim, King of 
Aram-naharaim. 

312-3). Ehud kills Eglon, King of Moab, and liberates Israel. 

3 31 . Shamgar kills six hundred Philistines. 

4. Deborah and Barak deliver Israel from the Canaanites ; the 
defeat and death of Sisera. 

5. Triumphal ode, celebrating this victory. 
6-8. Gideon rids Israel of the Midianites. 

9. Abimelech, the son of Gideon, King of Shechem. 

IO 1 - 5 . Tola ; Jair. 

io- ls . The moral of the history repeated and enforced ; preface 

to a new period of oppression. 
n 1 -^ 7 . Jephthah delivers Gilead from the Ammonites; he punishes 

the Ephraimites. 
T2*- 15 . Ibzan, Elon, Abdon. 
13-16. The adventures of Samson, and the mischief he does the 

Philistines. 

(3) 17-21. TWO ADDITIONAL STORIES OF THE TIMES OF THE JUDGES. 

i ~, 18. Micah s idols; the migration of the Danites, and founda 
tion of the sanctuary at Dan. 

19-21. The outrage committed by the inhabitants of Gibeah upon 
the Levite s concubine. The vengeance of the Israelites, ending 
in the almost complete extermination of the tribe of Benjamin. 

Chapters 2 B -i6 ;;1 constitute the body of the work, to which 
alone the title, Book of Judges, in strictness applies. Ch. 17-21 



CONTENTS XV 

is an appendix, relating two important events of the period pre 
ceding the establishment of the kingdom.* As we find in these 
chapters no trace of the distinctive historical theories, or the 
strongly marked style, of the author of 2 6 -i6 31 , we may confidently 
infer that these two stories were not appended to his book by 
himself, but by some later hand.f Ch. i, as interpreted by 
2 1 5 , forms a fitting introduction to the present book, showing how 
the old inhabitants were left in possession of the chief cities of 
Canaan. Their religion became a snare to the invaders ; and 
thus the culpable failure to extirpate people and gods together 
was the prime cause of all the evils that befell Israel in the follow 
ing generations. But although, in this light, i 1 -2 5 is a very good 
beginning for the book, it cannot have been prefixed by the 
author of 2 G -3 31 , whose own extended introduction (2-3) not 
only takes no notice of i 1 -? , but by its connexion with Jos. 
formally excludes it. J Like the appendix, 17-21, therefore, i 1 -2 5 
must have been introduced by a compiler or editor later than the 
author of 2 6 -i6 31 . 

\^3- The History of the Judges, ii. 6-xvi. ji. Character 

and age. 

In the Introduction (2 6 ~3 6 ), the author gives a comprehensive 
survey of the history of the entire period. The generation which 
had seen all the great work of Yahweh, in Egypt, in the desert, 
and in the conquest of Canaan (2 7 ), remained true to hfcm ; but 
after the death of Joshua and his contemporaries, Israel fell away 
from Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and worshipped the Baals 
and Astartes, the gods of the nations about them. Indignant at 
this unfaithfulness, Yahweh gave them into the power of their 
enemies, who subjugated and oppressed them. Moved by their 
distress, Yahweh repeatedly raised up leaders (judges) who de- 

* The references to the grandsons of Moses (i8 30 ) and of Aaron (2o 28 ) show 
that, in the view of the writer at least, these events took place at the beginning of 
this period, within a generation after the invasion, not at its end. 

t See below, $ 5, 6. 

J See below, $ 5, 6, and p. 3 ff. 

For the titles of the principal works on the subject of this and the following 
sections, see note at the end of $ 6. 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

livered them from their foes.* But they persisted in the worship 
of other gods, or relapsed into it when the judge was dead ; each 
generation was worse than those before it. Neither punishment 
nor deliverance wrought any lasting amendment. The history of 
each of the judges begins with a few sentences telling us how the 
Israelites offended Yahweh ; how he gave them into the power of 
this or that hostile people for a number of years ; and how he at 
last raised up a deliverer.! The introductions to the stories of 
Gideon (6 1 10 ) and Jephthah (lo 10 ) are longer, and the moral is 
enforced in the words of a prophet, or of Yahweh himself, up 
braiding the Israelites for their disobedience and ingratitude. 
The history of all these successive oppressions and deliverances 
thus exemplifies and confirms the representation of the whole 
period which is given in the introduction. J Temporibus . . . 
judicum, sicut se habebant et peccata populi et misericordia Dei, 
alternaverunt prospera et adversa bellorum. 

It is clear that in all this the author s purpose is not merely to 
interpret the history, and explain upon religious principles why 
such evils befell Israel in the days of the judges, but to impress 
upon his readers the lesson that unfaithfulness to Yahweh is 
always punished ; that whenever Israel falls away from him, he 
withdraws his protection and leaves it defenceless before its foes. 
By historical examples he would warn his contemporaries against 
a like apostasy. His motive and aim are thus not historical, but 
religious. || In a different, but not less effective way, he inculcates 
the same truth which all the prophets preached ; Yahweh is 
Israel s God, and the religion of Israel is to keep itself to him 
alone. ^[ 

The author s motive, the lesson he enforces, and the way in 
which he makes the history teach it, are almost the only data at 
our command to ascertain the age in which he lived. Indefinite 



* Cf. 3 - " 4 :;1 - 5" lo" 1 " - ; of the repentance of the people we read only in io lif -. 

f See 3 1 -- 1 " 3"-" 4 lff - 13! ; cf. p. 62 f. 

J For the evidence that the introductions to the stories of the judges are by the 
same author as 2 6 -3 G , see esp. Kuenen, HCCft. i. p. 340 f. 

Aug., de civ. Dei, xvi. 43; cf. xviii. 13. 

|| It is inaccurate to speak of his " philosophy of history " ; nothing is further 
from his mind than a philosophical analysis of the causes of events. 

U See Reuss, GA T. 275 ; Kitt., GdH. i. 2. p. 6f. 



JUDGES II. 6 XVI. 31: AUTHORSHIP. xvii 

as such criteria may seem, they are, when the character of the 
work is sufficiently marked, among the most conclusive ; and in 
this case they enable us to determine, beyond reasonable doubt, 
the period and circle in which the book was written. 

That the history of Israel is a divine discipline, righteous, wise, 
and good, is the great idea of the prophets. In old Israel, as 
among other nations, defeat in battle, foreign invasion and con 
quest, were indeed ascribed to the anger of the national god, 
whom his people, or members of it, had in some way offended. 
But that Yahweh s anger as well as his favour is moral, and that 
therefore his dealing with his people is to be understood upon 
moral premises, was first distinctly taught by the prophets of the 
8th century. This principle was naturally applied by them in 
the first place to the present and the immediate future. But the 
evils of the present have their roots in the past ; and Hosea| 
looking back over the history of Israel from the time of the settle 
ment in Canaan, sees in it one long, dark chapter of defection 
from Yahweh, of heathenish worship and heathenish wickedness. 
It is Hosea, also, who represents unfaithfulness to Yahweh as the 
one great sin from which all others spring, and who, with a figure 
drawn from his own unhappy home, brands this unfaithfulness 
with the name prostitution, by which later writers so often char 
acterize it.* 

The prophets of the end of the yth and the beginning of the 6th 
century judge Judah in the same way in which Hosea, in the 
last years of the Northern Kingdom, had judged Israel. In the 
long reign of Manasseh, foreign gods and foreign cults were intro 
duced in Judah on a scale never before witnessed ; the principle 
of exclusiveness which was native in the religion of Yahweh, and 
which the prophets had proclaimed with ever increasing absolute 
ness, was recklessly trampled under foot. This was, as Jeremiah 
constantly declared, the unpardonable sin which nothing short of 
the destruction of the nation could expiate. f Ezekiel represents 
the exile as the punishment of the sins of Israel in its whole past : 
in Egypt, in the wilderness, in Canaan, it had always been a 

* Jud. 2!" 827- 33 ; see below, p. 72. With the following cf. Stade, G VI. ii. 

p. 15 ft 

f See e.g. Jer. 15 ; cf. also 2 K. 22 15 - 20 . 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

rebellious people, ever falling away from Yahweh into heathenism 
and idolatry.* 

The signal fulfilment of the prophets predictions in the fall of 
Judah, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the deportation of its 
inhabitants, set the seal of God s truth not only on their religious 
teaching, but upon their judgement of the past of Israel. In the 
light of this judgement, disciples of the prophets wrote the history 
of the two kingdoms, using and adapting the old records to illus 
trate and enforce the great lessons which prophecy had taught. 
The same ruling ideas, the same practical motives, permeate the 
Book of Deuteronomy, especially the opening and closing chap 
ters,! an d are indeed so prominent, in it that the historical prag 
matism of which we have been speaking is frequently, and not 
inappropriately, called Deuteronomic, and the writers whose work 
it characterizes, the Deuteronomic school. 

To this school the author of Jud. 2 <i -i6 31 manifestly belongs. 
What others had done for the history of the Kingdom, he does for 
the centuries between the invasion and the days of Samuel. J From 
the very first generation after the settlement in Canaan, Israel 
had left Yahweh, to run after other gods and prostitute itself to 
them ; and in this course it persisted through the whole period, 
in spite of all warnings and chastisements. The part of the book 
; which we are now considering can, therefore, hardly have been 
written before the beginning of the 6th century. 

Other considerations might incline us to put it some decades 
later. It is antecedently probable that the new school of histo 
rians applied themselves first to the history of the Kingdom, where 
the prophets had gone before them, and in which the moral was 
more impressive because nearer at hand. From that they would 
naturally go back to the earlier period. The same inference may 
perhaps be drawn from the fact that the judgement of Israel s 
past in our book is more severe than in the Kings. In the latter, 
the sin of the people is in no small part the worship on the high 
places, a heathenish form of worship, forbidden by the law, but 



* See esp. Ez. 16 20 23. f Ch. i-n 27-33 see e -S- 4 15 " 40 28 29! 28 . 

J There is no sufficient ground for identifying him with any one of the Deu 
teronomic writers in Dt. or Jos., or with the Deut. author of Kings. 
$ Schrader, We., Rue., Sta., Bu., Dr., Co., Kitt., al. 



JUDGES II. 6 XVI. 31 : AGE xix 

still a worship of Yahweh. In Judges the apostasy is complete ; 
the people abandons Yahweh for the Baals and Astartes.* 

The conclusions to which an examination of the contents of the 
book leads are confirmed by the evidence of its vocabulary and 
style, in which the affinity to the literature of the end of the yth 
century is unmistakable. In the commentary these parallels are 
noted, and they need not be repeated here.f 

4. The Sources of Judges ii. 6-xvi. ji. 

The characteristics which have been discussed in the last section 
appear chiefly in the introduction (2 G -3) and at the beginning 
of the histories of the several judges. The stories themselves, 
with the exception of that of Othniel (3 r ~ u ), show few traces of 
the author s distinctive conceptions or expressions, j Some of 
them for instance, Samson s adventures among the Philistines 
have little or no relation to the purpose of the book ; others 
relate of the judges things which must have been offensive to the 
author, such as Gideon s setting up the ephod and the sacrifice of 
Jephthah s daughter ; in all, the religious ideas, the language. 
and style, are entirely unlike his own. It is plain therefore, 
that the author of Jud. 2 6 -i6 31 did not write these stories himself, 
but took them from older sources. 

These sources cannot have been oral tradition, or unwritten 
popular legends, || for, apart from the difficulty of supposing that 
oral tradition had transmitted to so late a time such lifelike and 
truthful pictures of a state of society that had passed away cen- 

* See Stade, GVI. ii. p. 21. It is to be observed, however, that in the theory of 
the Deuteronomic writers, the local cults on the high places were not prohibited 
till after the building of the temple. 

t See especially on 2 6 ~3 6 3"- 11 and the introductions to the several stories ; cf. 
also Kue., HCO-. i. p. 339 ; Bu., Richt, u. Sam., p. 91 f., 128 ; K.6., EM., p. 254. 

J Kitt. thinks it very probable that the author of 3"- 11 also wrote e 25 - 32 7 2 - 8 S 22 * ; 
but these passages appear to me to be derived from one of the chief sources of the 
book. 

Compare the story of Ehud (3 12 - 30 ) with that of Othniel (s"- 11 ). The latter 
shows us, better than anything else, what these histories would be like if the author 
had written them himself. We may also compare the chapters of ancient history 
with which the author of Chronicles supplements Kings, all, of course, in his 
own peculiar manner. || Stahelin, al. 



XX INTRODUCTION 

turies before, in reducing oral tradition to writing, the author 
would inevitably have left the impress of his own style upon the 
stories far more deeply than is the case ; the Deuteronomic 
peculiarities we have noted above would not be confined to the 
beginning and end of the tales. The greater or less unevenness 
of which we are always aware in passing from the introduction 
to the story which follows, is clearly the joint by which an older 
written source is united to the Deuteronomic preface. 

If the author employed written sources, our next inquiry is, 
whether he made his choice among single tales or different collec 
tions of tales, or whether he took them all from some one older 
book. This question cannot be answered with entire certainty ; 
it is quite conceivable that the cycle of stories about Samson, for 
instance, may have existed separately ; but it is demonstrable, I 
think, that the author had before him an older work in which the 
jsxploits of a considerable number of the Israelite heroes were 
vnarrated ; * and if this is true, it may very well be that this col 
lection was his only source. It is easier to understand how a 
story like that of Samson should have been included in the Deu 
teronomic Book of Judges, if the author found it in the earlier 
work on which he based his own, than to imagine that he intro 
duced it for himself from some other source. 

A more minute examination of the introduction to the book 
(2 <1 -3 <! ), and of the setting of the several stories, especially those 
of Gideon (6 ! ~ 10 ) and Jephthah (io r ~ 1G ), brings out the fact that 
these parts of the work are not entirely homogeneous. The 
numerous repetitions and duplications, and the differences in point 
of view and phraseology, which, though slight, are unmistakable, 
show that more than one writer has had a hand in the com- 
position.f Of this fact, which is recognized by most recent 
critics, two explanations may be given. One is, that the author or 
editor of the present Book of Judges, in incorporating 2 (i -i6 31 in 
his own work, dwelt upon and emphasized the moral lessons of the 
history which his predecessor had enforced ; the lack of unity and 



* See next . 

t See the commentary on the passages indicated, and esp. p. 63 f., 175 f., 181 f., 
375 t 



PRE-DEUTERONOMIC BOOK OF JUDGES xxi 

consistency which the critics have observed would thus be due to 
interpolation.* The alternative hypothesis is, that the author of 
2 6 -i6 31 used as the basis of his work an older collection of tales 
of the Israelite heroes, in which the varying fortunes of Israel in 
those troublous times were already made to point the moral that 
unfaithfulness to Yahweh was the prime cause of all the evils that 
befell the people, a pre-Deuteronomic Book of the Histories of 
the Judges.f 

The considerations which incline the balance of probability to 
the second of these hypotheses are the following : (a) The ele 
ments which are admitted by all not to belong to the principal 
Deuteronomic stratum in the book do not seem to be superim 
posed upon it, but embedded in it ; and they are more intimately 
united with their context than the additions by which later editors 
often try to heighten the effect of their text are wont to be. (6) If 
the author or editor of the present Book of Judges made all these 
additions in 2 6 -i6 31 , we should expect to find his mark upon ch. 
17, 1 8, 19-21 also, which certainly invited a moral comment and 
application quite as much as some of the stories in the body of 
the work ; but no trace of such an improvement is to be discov 
ered in those chapters. (<r) The language of the parts of the 
book in question is distinguished from that of the Deuteronomic 
writers and editors generally by a more marked affinity to one of 
the older sources of the Hexateuch (E) . J. (d} Some of the tales, 
e.g. that of Gideon (ch. 6-8), are composite ; two somewhat dif 
ferent versions of the story have been united by a third hand, 
which does not appear to be that of the author of the book, but 
of an earlier redactor. It is not a remote conjecture that this 
redactor is also the author of the non-Deuteronomic element in 
the introduction (2 8 -3 6 ) and other parts of the book. (<?) The 
Deuteronomic Book of Judges did not include ch. 17, 18, 19-21 ; 
the closing formula, I5 20 , may perhaps be taken as evidence that 
it did not contain ch. i6; S 33 " 35 is an editorial substitute for 



* So Kittel, Stud. u. Krit., 1892, p. 44 ff; GdH. i. 2. p. 7-9. To this later hand 
he ascribes : iia. 4a. 8f. 2 ib-5a. 13. ir. 20-22 3 4-6. 31 67- 10 I0 9-16 (except perhaps v.ioa). 

t We., Sta., Bu., Dr., Co. 

t Kitt. accounts for this by supposing that R (the editor of our Judges) formed 
his style on older models. \ Bu., Co.; against this view see Kitt., GdH. \. 2. p. 12. 



XXll INTRODUCTION 

ch. 9, which has obviously not passed through the hands of the 
Deuteronomic author.* But ch. 17, 18, and the primary version 
of the story in ch. 19-21 are akin to the older narratives in 2 c -i6 31 ; 
ch. 1 6, the death of Samson, is unquestionably from the same 
source as ch. 13-15 ; ch. 9, itself composite, is too closely con 
nected with ch. 6-8 to be of different origin. The simplest 
hypothesis is, that these chapters were contained in the earlier 
collection, but were omitted by the Deuteronomic author from 
his book, as unsuitable to his purpose. f 

The older book seems to have contained the histories of Ehud, 
Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, and Samson ; J 
not improbably also the story of Micah s idols and the migration 
of the Danites, and the original form of that of the Levite and his 
concubine. In what order these stories stood, we cannot make 
out. Chapters 17, 18, and 19-21, if included in the book, would 
have their natural place near its beginning ; they certainly cannot 
have stood where they now do, in the midst of the history of 
the " days of the Philistines," between Samson and Eli. Chap 
ter io G - lt! , a formal and extended introduction resembling 2 6 - 1 , can 
hardly have been designed to occupy its present position. 

It is a question of more importance whether the pre-Deutero- 
nomic Judges (to use this name for brevity) || contained other his 
tories not included in the canonical Book of Judges. 

The death of Samson (i6 31 ) is not the end of a period or a 
turning point in the history, such as an author would naturally 
choose for the end of a book ; nor is it at all probable that a 
writer who begins with an introduction of some length, setting 
forth in advance the moral of the history, would bring his work to 
so abrupt a conclusion without a word of retrospective comment. 
It has long been noticed that in i Sam. the account of the death 
of Eli (4 18 ) is followed by the words, " Now he had judged Israel 



* Bu. ; see below, p. 234, 238. 

f For a different hypothesis see below, p. xxxvi f. 

J There is, at least, no apparent reason to ascribe any of these stories to an 
independent source. 

See further, below, p. xxiii f. For conjectures about its original position, see 
p. 276. 

|| Meaning by it the collection which preceded the Deuteronomic Book of 
Judges, 26-1631. 



CONTENTS OF THE PRE-DEUTERONOMIC JUDGES xxiii 

forty years"; precisely the same formula as in Jud. I6" 1 , cf. 12 
io 2 - 3 i2 ! - n - 14 .* Of Samuel also we read that "he judged Israel 
as long as he lived " (i S. f ) ; and that the words were not origi 
nally meant in a justiciary sense, as might seem from v. 1G-1T , which 
describe his judicial circuit,! * s manifest from the preceding 
verses, which tell how he delivered Israel from the Philistines by 
the great victory at Mizpah, concluding in the same way as the 
accounts of the deliverances wrought by the judges before him : 
" And the Philistines were subdued, and did not again come into 
the territory of Israel ; J and the hand of Yahweh was against the 
Philistines as long as Samuel lived " (7 lr> )- Samuel was thus, in 
this narrative, the judge who delivered Israel from the Philistines. || 
In i S. 1 2 also, Samuel is represented, not merely as a prophet or 
as a justice, but as one who for many years had borne rule over 
Israel. This speech of Samuel, which contains a retrospect of the 
period of the judges (v. 7 ~ n ), and solemn words of warning for the 
future under the newly established kingdom, is precisely the con 
clusion which we desire for the Book of the Histories of the 
Judges, corresponding admirably to the parting discourse of 
Joshua (Jos. 24) at the close of the period of the conquest.Tf 
There is, therefore, great probability in the opinion of Graf and 
others that the pre-Deuteronomic Judges included the times of 
Eli and Samuel, and ended with i S. 12.** If this be true, Jud. 
I0 6-ie n ma y or igi na iiy have been the introduction to the period of 
Philistine oppression in the same work, j J These wars were, in 
fact, and in the historical traditions of Israel, the beginning of a 
new epoch ; and the author may have recognized their importance 

* Kuenen (HCCft. i. p. 353) and Wildeboer (Letterkunde, p. 274) regard 
i S. 4 18b as a gloss, on what seem to me insufficient grounds. 

t On these verses see below, p. 113. J Cf. Jud. 3 30 8- 8 n 33 . 

Cf. Jud. 2". 

|| Some critics connect this with Jud. I3 5 , where the Angel foretells that Samson 
shall begin to deliver Israel ; see p. 317. 

U Cf. also 2 K. 177-23 (Schrad., Kue.) ; Wildeboer is, however, certainly 
mistaken in supposing that Jud. 2 6 -3 a is dependent upon 2 K. 17 (Letterkunde, 

P-273)- 

** Graf, Gesch. Biicher, p. 97 f. ; so Bu. Kue., Wildeboer, al., think that this was 
true of the Deuteronomic Judges. 

ft Excluding Deuteronomic additions. 

++ Bu. ; see below, p. 276. 



xxiv INTRODUCTION 

by a more extended introduction than those which he prefixed to 
the other " oppressions." 

The pragmatism of this work was similar to that of the Deutero- 
nomic Judges ; in it also, as may be seen in the non-Deutero- 
nomic parts of 2 ( -^ , and io -> ~ 16 , in 6 7 ~ 10 and in i S. 12, the 
history is interpreted and judged from the prophetic point of 
view ; that the people forsook Yahweh and worshipped the gods 
of Canaan is here also the fans et origo maloruin ; in it the con 
flicts of particular tribes and groups of tribes with their neighbours 
had already become oppressions and deliverances of all Israel, 
the heroes of these local struggles, the judges of Israel.* But, 
close as the resemblance is, the distinctive Deuteronomic note 
is absent ; the standpoint is that of Hosea and the prophetic 
historians who wrote in his spirit, rather than that of Jeremiah 
and the Deuteronomic school. 

The age of this older Book of Judges is fixed within these 
limits ; it may with considerable confidence be ascribed to the 
7th century, perhaps to the times of Manasseh. 

The hand of the author of the older Judges, like that of the 
Deuteronomic writer, is recognized in the introduction and the 
setting of the tales rather than in the tales themselves. The ques 
tion from what sources the latter are derived is only pushed back 
one step by the discovery of a pre-Deuteronomic collection. The 
existence of composite narratives, like the histories of Gideon 
(ch. 6-8), and Deborah and Barak (ch. 4), shows that there 
must have been more than one such source. The more or less 
strongly marked diversity in language and style between the 
several stories also points to diversity of origin. That these 
sources were old and good collections of the national traditions, 
the character of the stories sufficiently attests. On closer inspec 
tion, one of them appears to be more ancient and of greater 
historical worth than the rest. In some instances, as for example 
in that of Samson (ch. 13-16), the author seems to have known 
but one version of the story, which he has given entire from one of 



* The chronology of this book was different from that of its successor; see 7. 
The use of shophet, and some other words and phrases of common occurrence 
such as yjDn, jrjsj, subdue, be subdued," probably also come from it. 



SOURCES OF THE TALES OF THE JUDGES XXV 

his sources ; in other cases, as in that of Gideon-Jerubbaal, he 
united as best he could two somewhat discrepant accounts ; in still 
other cases it is difficult to decide whether the lack of unity and 
directness in the narrative is to be ascribed to the attempt to com 
bine different versions, or to editorial amplification, or to subse 
quent interpolations and glosses. 

These phenomena are so much like those with which we are 
familiar in parts of the Hexateuch where the Yahwistic and Elo- 
histic narratives (J and E) have been united by a later writer (Rje) 
into one composite history, that we can hardly fail to ask the ques 
tion whether the similarity is not really identity ; that is, whether 
the pre-Deuteronomic Judges was not a part of the great prophetic 
history which critics designate by the symbol JE, and its sources 
J and E. That this is the case was affirmed by Schrader, who 
attempted to separate the two chief sources from each other and 
from the Deuteronomic elements.* More recently Bohme f and 
Stade I have demonstrated the affinity of parts of the book to J 
and E respectively ; while Budde has taken up the problem which 
Schrader first attacked, and with great acuteness has worked out 
an analysis of the entire book. On the other hand, Kuenen 
maintains a sceptical attitude toward all attempts to identify the 
sources of Judges with J and E in the Hexateuch, || and Kittel 
combats the hypothesis, arguing that such resemblances as exist 
are less decisive than the countervailing differences. ^f 

Budde s hypothesis is not intrinsically improbable. There is 
the best reason to believe that neither J nor E ended with the 
conquest of Canaan, but that both brought the history down to a 
much later time, if not to their own day. The parting speech of 
Joshua, Jos. 24 (substantially E), looks not only backward but for 
ward ; it is the end of a book, not of the historical work of which 
it formed a part; and Jud. 2 6 ~ 10 (Jos. 24 28 " 31 ), from the same 
hand, is unmistakably the transition to the subsequent history. 



* De Wette, Einl*., p. 327-332. For earlier critics who have entertained this 
opinion, see Wildeboer, Letterkunde, p. 168 f. 

t ZA TW. v. 1885, p. 251-274. J ZA TW. i. p. 339^343. 

Richt, u. Sam., 1890. Bu. s results are accepted by Co., Bin!., { 16. 

|| HCO*. i. p. 355 f. 

IT Stud. u. Krlt., 1892, p. 44 ff. ; GdH. i. 2. p. 15-18. So also K.6., Einl.,. 
p. 252-254, Wildeboer, al. , 



XXVi INTRODUCTION 

Jud. i, J s account of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, is 
certainly not the end of his work ; 2 la - " b here also lead over to the 
following period.* It is antecedently more probable that these 
books furnished the author of Judges with his material than that 
they altogether disappear at the beginning of this period, their 
place being taken by two unrelated sources having a certain 
resemblance to J and E respectively. | It must be acknowledged 
that the resemblances are less marked than might be expected, 
and are accompanied by noticeable differences. But it should be 
observed, first, that the ultimate sources, the popular traditions 
from which the tales of the judges are drawn, naturally had a 
different origin and character from the legends of the patriarchs 
in Genesis or the narratives of the Mosaic age ; and, second, that 
the symbols J and E represent, not individual authors, but a suc 
cession of writers, the historiography of a certain period and 
school. I The differences upon which Kittel and Konig have 
laid stress are, it appears to me, critically of less significance than 
the admitted resemblances. Moreover, the problem of the sources 
in Judges cannot be separated from the same question in Samuel, 
and in the latter the indicia point to J and E more clearly, per 
haps, than in Judges. 

For these reasons I have used the symbols J and E in the com 
mentary, to distinguish the two chief sources from which the 
narratives appear to be derived, though I am fully aware that the 
question of their identity is by no means beyond controversy. 
Those of my readers who are not convinced of this identity may 
regard the letters J and E as equivalent to X and Y, two other 
wise unknown sources, of which X (J) is almost everywhere mani 
festly the older and historically the more valuable. The author 
who united them and composed the pre-Deuteronomic Book of 
Judges was probably one of that school of prophetic historians 



* Cf. also J s part in 2^-36. 

t It is methodologically an unreasonable demand that it should first be proved 
that J and E included the history of the times of the judges, before we endeavour 
to identify them in the Book of Judges. What other proof can we have than that 
\ve ean trace them in its narratives ? 

J In E, for example, there is a well-defined secondary stratum (Eo). 

$ We have seen reason to believe that a considerable part of i Sam. was con 
tained in the pre-Deuteronomic fudges. 



J AND E IX JUDGES xxv l l 

~ \ 
who are commonly represented by the signature Rje.* His hand 

may be most distinctly recognized in 2 20 -3 6 , where the conflicting 
representations of J and E are worked into one another with free 
additions by the redactor in a way with which we are familiar in 
JE in the Hexateuch. 

The age of the two chief sources in Judges 2 6 -i6 31 cannot be 
very definitely fixed. There are, in this part of the book, no allu 
sions to historical events of later times which might serve us as a 
clew.f Almost the only criterion which we possess is their relation 
to the religious development. In those parts of the book which are 
attributed to J, the standpoint of the narrator is that of the old 
national religion of Israel ; there is no trace of prophetic influ 
ence, and we can have no hesitation in ascribing this source to a 
timejDefore the great prophetic movement of the 8th century. 
Other indications point to a considerably higher antiquity. The 
stories are manifestly drawn from a living tradition, not from anti 
quarian lore ; they reproduce the state of society and religion in 
the Dearly days,, of the settlement in Palestine with a convincing 
reality which is of nature, not of art, and exhibit a knowledge of 
the conditions of the time which can hardly have been possessed 
by an author of the 8th century, after the changes which two 
centuries of the kingdom and of rapidly advancing civilization had 
wrought. On such grounds we should be inclined to assign this 
source to the first half of the gih century, a date which is entirely 
compatible with our identification of it with J. 

The second main source from which the tales of the Judges are 
derived (E) appears, wherever direct comparison is possible, as in 
the histories of Gideon and Abimelech, to be younger than J. It 
is, however, not all of the same age. The older stratum does not 
differ very greatly from J, and is also, in all probability, pre- 
prophetic ; the later stratum is strongly tinged with prophetic 
ideas, and in its judgement of the religious offences of the people 
prepares the way for the pragmatism of the Jehovistic (JE) and 
Deuteronomic History of the Judges. So closely, indeed, does 



* This symbol is, however, not very satisfactory, since the method of these 
writers was much more that of the historian who largely excepts his sources, than 
of the redactor who merely combines and harmonizes them. 

t On i8>- "I see below, $ 5, p. xxx f. 




XXV111 INTRODUCTION" 

this element (E L ,) approach the standpoint of the latter authors 
that it is difficult, if not impossible, to decide whether certain 
passages or verses should be attributed to the one or the other.* 
Fortunately, the similarity which makes the analysis uncertain 
makes it also of less importance. The author of the later element 
in E (E L ,) may have lived toward the end of the 8th century or 
in the first half of the yth.f 

The Triumphal Ode, ch. 5, is much older than the correspond 
ing prose narrative, or than any other of the stories in the book. J 
Whether it was included in J, or in E, or in both of them, cannot 
be certainly determined. The closing formula, 5 31b , may have 
been added or transposed by an editor. The Ode was in all prob 
ability preserved in one of the collections of old Hebrew poetry, 
such as the Book of Jashar, or the Book of the Wars of Yah we h ; 
but, like other poems from those collections, may early have been 
incorporated into the prose histories. 

The brief notices of the so-called Minor Judges (io u " I2 8 " 1 ") 
begin and close with formulas which, while they have a certain 
likeness to those which introduce and conclude the stories of 
the other judges, have also a distinctive difference. || Of each 
of the five we read that he "judged Israel " so many years, but of 
the oppressions and deliverances which in the rest of the book 
alternate with such regularity nothing is said ; of their exploits 
there is no record ; indeed, beyond the places where they were 
buried and perhaps the number of their posterity, nothing what 
ever is narrated of them. Most, if not all, the names of these 
"judges " appear to be those of clans rather than individuals ; and 
the years of their rule seem to be independent of the chronological 
scheme of the book and to disturb its symmetry. It has been con 
jectured that the names were introduced by an editor to make up 
the number of twelve judges ;^[ and Wellhausen has strengthened 
this hypothesis by the observation that the sum of the years of the 

* It is not impossible, for example, that in the introduction (26-3) a part of what, 
with Budde, I have ascribed to E, is in reality the work of Rje. 

t It is worthy of notice that the " commandments of Yahweh " are mentioned 
only in 2 1 " 3 4 ; " the covenant of Yahweh," only in a 1 - - 1 " (Ko., EinL, p. 257). 

J See p. 127-132. ^ Compare 5 1 with Ex. 15!. 

(I See p. 270 f. "* N oldeke and many recent scholars. 



SONG OF DEBORAH. MINOR JUDGES xxix 

Minor Judges is almost exactly that of the interregna in the 
general chronology of the period.* The mention of these judges 
should then be compared with similar antiquarian and genealogical 
notices in Chronicles. On the other hand, Kuenen, remarking 
that the characteristic formulas of the Minor Judges stand also at 
the close of the story of Jephthah (i2 7 , cf. also 15^ i S. 4 18 7 15 ) r 
and rejecting, partly on this ground, Wellhausen s combination of 
the numbers, is of the opinion that these five judges were included 
not only in the Deuteronomic Judges, but in its predecessor, and 
are thus ultimately derived from one of the sources of the latter 
work.f A third hypothesis is that the Minor Judges stood in 
the pre-Deuteronomic book, were omitted by the Deuteronomic 
author, like the story of Abimelech and perhaps ch. 17-21, and 
restored by the editor of the present Book of Judges. Beyond 
such conjectures we can hardly go. 

5. The Sources of Judges xvii.xxi. and of i.-ii. 5. 

The two stories with which our Book of Judges ends, that of 
Micah s idols and the migration of the Danites (ch. 17, 18), and 
that of the assault on the Levite and his concubine at Gibeah, 
with its disastrous consequences to the tribe of Benjamin (ch. 19- 
21), were not included in the Deuteronomic Judges. They relate, 
not the deliverance of Israel from the foes that oppressed it, by 
the hand of divinely commissioned champions, but the fortunes of 
two tribes, one of which was compelled to leave its earliest seats 
to find a new home in the remote north, while the second was 
almost exterminated by the righteous indignation of the other 
Israelites. If the Deuteronomic author had employed these 
stories, as perhaps he might have done, to illustrate the moral 
and religious corruption of the times, the natural place for them in 

* See below, 7. This theory is adopted by Budde, who thinks that the shorter 
formulas in which the names of the Minor Judges are set are patterned after those 
of the Deuteronomic author {Richt. u. Sam., p. 93 f.) ; cf. also Cornill, Einl^., 
p. 97 ff. 

\ HCO 1 . \. p. 351 f. ; cf. p. 342, 354. A similar view is maintained by Kittel, 
GdH. i. 2. p. ioff., except that, in conformity with his general theory, which recog 
nizes no pre-Deuteronomic editor, he supposes that the smaller Book of Judges 
(ri.) was one of the immediate sources of D. 



XXX INTRODUCTION 

his book would have been immediately after the introduction ; a 
place which chronological considerations also indicated. There 
is no evidence, however, in the introductions to these stories, of 
any intention to use them in this way. The familiar formulas of 
D are absent, nor is their place taken by others which might be 
attributed to the same hand. In the narratives themselves there 
is no trace of a Deuteronomic redaction. 

Whether these stories were contained in the older work which 
the Deuteronomic author used as the basis of his own, we cannot 
be so sure. There is certainly no mark of the editor s hand upon 
them, and it is conceivable that they were preserved independently 
in one of the sources of that collection. This would account both 
for the resemblance of the stories to those in 2-i6 ;!1 and for the 
absence of all traces either of Rje or of D in them.* But in 
ch. 17, 1 8, two narratives appear to have been combined in much 
the same way as in ch. 6-8, and we should be inclined to attribute 
this fusion to the same redactor (Rje).y It is quite possible that, 
as this author s work was considerably more extensive than the 
Deuteronomic Judges, he may have found place in it for these 
chapters. 

That the two versions of the story of Micah and the Danites 
(ch. 17, 1 8) are derived from J and E is a natural conjecture. 
Budde has noted several words and phrases in one of them which 
/seem to point to E. The whole impression which this strand of 
I the narrative makes would incline me rather to ascribe it to J ; 
decisive evidence is lacking. However that may be, there can be 
no doubt that the primary version of the story is among the oldest 
in the book, as it is in many ways one of the most instructive. 
The second version is apparently younger, but, if I interpret it 
correctly, there seems to be no reason why it may not come from 
E. | In T8" "~ ;!1 are two references to historical events : the depopu 
lation of the land (v."), and the cessation of the temple at Shiloh 
(v/ 11 ). By the former we are probably to understand the depor- 



* That J, at least, survived separately till a late date is probably to be inferred 
from the preservation of ch. i. 

f Many critics, however, think that the appearance of duplication is due to 
interpolations, rather than to the union of two sources; see p. 366-369. Ch. 19 is 
also perhaps composite. + See p. 370. 



JUDGES XVII.-XXI: SOURCES xxxi 

tation of the inhabitants of northern Galilee in 734 ; the date of 
the latter is unknown. The older narrative in ch. 17, 18, to which 
iS 30 seems to belong, can scarcely be brought down to as late a 
time as the reign of Tiglathpileser ; the words may have been 
added by an editor.* 

The problem which is presented to criticism by the narrative 
of the outrage at Gibeah and the sanguinary vengeance which 
almost annihilated the tribe of Benjamin is of a different kind from 
any other in the Book of Judges. At first sight, the narrative 
seems to be not only entirely unhistorical, but without even a leg 
endary ground one huge theocratic fiction of very late origin. f 
Closer examination, however, shows that this is a mistake. The 
basis of the narrative, which can be discovered not only in ch. 19 
and 2i 15ff- , but in ch. 20, is a very old story, having an obvious 
affinity to the primary stratum in ch. 17, 18, and in tone and lan 
guage resembling the most ancient parts of the Hexateuch and 
the Books of Samuel. This is overlaid, especially in ch. 20, 2I 1 " 14 , 
by a stratum akin to the latest additions to the priestly history in 
the Hexateuch and to the Chronicles. This post-exilic rifacimento 
is clearly dependent upon the former version ; the only question is, 
whether it once existed separately and was united with the old 
story by a third hand, J or whether it was from the beginning 
merely a kind of midrash upon the original text, in part exaggerat 
ing it, in part substituting an account of the events in accordance 
with the author s theocratic conception of the ancient history. 
The latter appears to me the more probable hypothesis ; but the 
other is certainly possible. || The primitive story is hardly inferior 
in age to any in the book, and may be derived from J. The 
secondary version bears, in conception and expression, all the 
marks of the extreme decadence of Hebrew literature, and is a 
product of the 4th century B.C. more probably than of the 
5th. If it was interpolated by its author in the earlier narrative, 
as we find it, it may be the work of the editor who appended 
chapters 17-21 to the Deuteronomic Judges; on the alternative 
hypothesis, the same editor may have combined the two versions ; 
but other explanations are also conceivable. 

* See p. 399-401 . f We. J Bu., Co. 

Kue., Kitt., Wildeboer. || See p. 405, 407 f. 



xxxii INTRODUCTION 

The Book of Ruth relates things which happened " in the days 
when the judges ruled " ; in the Greek Bible it immediately fol 
lows Judges, and in many early enumerations and catalogues is 
counted as a part of Judges.* Some recent scholars have thought 
that this was the original place of the book : it was, like ch. 17, 
1 8, and 19-21, an appendix to the Book of Judges proper, ch. 
i-i6.f Ruth is, however, in subject, language, and style, unlike 
any of the stories in Jud. 1-16, or in 17-21 ; it is a product of 
a much later age, and belongs to a wholly different species of liter 
ature. As the events narrated in it are supposed to have taken 
place some half century before the establishment of the kingdom, 
its natural place in the series of historical books was between 
judges and Samuel ; or, as falling in the days of the judges, it 
might be appended to the former book ; but this connexion was 
probably never universal, and may, indeed, have been peculiar to 
the Greek Bible. 

Chapter iW contains an account of the invasion of Western 
Palestine by the Israelite tribes, and their settlements, particularly 
enumerating the cities that they did not succeed in conquering, 
most of which long remained in the possession of the native 
Canaanite population, j This account, which in historical value 
far surpasses any other source that we possess for this period, is 
.manifestly extracted from an older work, and Schrader, Meyer, 
and others rightly recognize in it J. s history of the conquest. 
The narrative has been considerably abridged by the editor who 
prefixed it to the pre-Deuteronomic Book of Judges, || for the pur 
pose, as we see from his own words in 2 lb ~ 5a , of showing how Israel 
sinned in making terms with the people of the land and leaving 
them to be a constant snare and peril ; it has also suffered to some 
extent from derangement and interpolation, whether by the edi 
tor s own hand or that of scribes. Fortunately, the motive of the 



* So probably by Fl. Jos., contra Aplon., c. 8; and expressly by many Christian 
Fathers. 

t So Stiihelin, Auberlen, al.; see esp. Bertheau, p. 290 ff. ; cf. also Schrader in 
De Wette, Einl*. p. 395 f. + See p. 3 ff. 

\^ See below, p. 6 f. 

j| It is more probable that a b- a ; s by an editor of the school of Rje than that it 
is from the hand of the post-exilic redactor. 



RUTH. JUDGES I.-II. 5 xxxiii 

recension gives us confidence that he left intact those features of 
his original which are of chief interest and importance for us, 
proving that in the invasion the tribes acted singly, or as they 
were allied by older ties or common interest ; and that Israelite 
supremacy in Canaan was not achieved by one irresistible wave of 
conquest, but only after an obstinate struggle lasting for genera 
tions. Fragments of the same source, some of which are a wel 
come supplement to the narrative in Judges i, are preserved in 
the Book of Joshua.* 

On the Minor Judges, see above, p. xxviii f. 



6. The Composition of the Book of Judges. 

If the results of the critical analysis outlined in 4 and 5 are 
substantially correct, the genesis of the book may be conceived in 
some such way as the following : f 

Early in the Qth century, the traditions of the invasion and 
settlement of Western Palestine, of the subsequent conflicts in 
various parts of the land with the native population or with new 
invaders, and of the heroic deeds of Israel s leaders and cham 
pions in these struggles, were collected and fixed in writing, prob 
ably as part of a historical work which included the patriarchal 
age, the migration from Egypt, and the history of Israel under the 
kingdom down to the author s own time (J). 

Perhaps a century later, another book of similar character and 
scope was written, containing in part the same stories, but in a 
form adhering less closely to historical reality (E). A second 
recension of this work (E 2 ) bears very distinctly the impress of 
the prophetic movement of the 8th century, and specifically of 
Hosea s teaching, and may be assigned to the end of the 8th 
or the beginning of the yth century. The author s religious 



* See p. 5 f. 

t It must be borne in mind that any hypothesis we may frame is much simpler 
than the literary history of which it attempts to give account. J, E, JE, D, R, &c. 
represent, not individual authors whose share in the work can be exactly assigned 
by the analysis, but stages of the process, in which more than one perhaps 
many successive hands participated, every transcription being to some extent a 
recension. 



xxxiv INTRODUCTION 

interpretation and judgement of the history in the spirit of proph 
ecy is the beginning of the treatment so generally adopted by 
later writers ; history with a moral soon becoming history for the 
moral. 

As in the Hexateuch and in Samuel, J and E (E a ) were the 
chief sources of the great prophetic historical work, JE. Where 
the author of this work found in his sources variants of the same 
story, he combined them, sometimes interweaving them so closely 
as to make the strands almost inextricable, sometimes doing little 
more than transcribe paragraphs of J and E alternately ; adapt 
ing his method to the material before him. In many cases he 
found it necessary, in order to bring his sources into harmony or 
to preserve the connexion, to insert something of his own ; in some 
places he added with a freer hand. The Book of Judges in 
JE* seems to have begun with the death of Joshua, and to have 
closed with the great discourse of Samuel, i S. 1 2, a division which 
certainly existed in E. It probably contained all the stories in 
our Judges except that of Othniel ; and in view of the character of 
the succeeding redactions, Rje may, with greater justice than D, 
be regarded as the true author of the book. JE is a work of the 
7th century, but antedates the reforms of Josiah (621 B.C.) 
and the dominant influence of Jeremiah and the Deuteronomy. 

Early in the 6th century, an author belonging to the Deutero- 
nomic school took this work as the basis of his own. As the 
traces of his hand do not extend to i S. 1-121 nor to Jud. i -2 :> 
17-21, we infer that D s book included only Jud. 2 i; -i6 :u (or per 
haps 15""). Eli and Samuel not unnaturally presented themselves 
to his mind in the character of priest and prophet rather than of 
judges ; and, if historical considerations weighed with him, he 
may very well have thought that the life of Samuel, from which 
that of Eli is inseparable, belonged to the history of the founding 
of the kingdom, rather than to the preceding period. Besides 
Jud. 17-21, it is certain that D excluded the story of Abimelech, 
which did not readily lend itself to his moral purpose ; 8 * is 
his brief substitute for the omitted narrative. He may also have 



* It is not of course implied that its author gave it this title. 

t The Dcuteronomic elements in r S. 1-12 have not the distinctive signature of 
I) in Judges. 



COMPOSITION OF JUDGES XXXV 

omitted the Minor Judges,* possibly also ch. 16, the tragic end 
of Samson ; this would account for the premature closing formula, 
I5 20 .! On the other hand, he added the deliverance of Israel from 
Cushan-rishathaim by Othniel (3 M1 ), as a typical exemplification 
of the theory set forth in the introduction (2 6 -3), and perhaps 
with the additional motive of giving a judge to Judah, which in the 
older book was almost the only tribe that furnished none. The 
system of chronology is Deuteronomic, as appears from its relation 
to the system of the Books of Kings, but whether in its present 
form it is the work of D is less certain ; see 7. 

Upon the general introduction, 2 B -3, as well as upon the intro 
ductions to the stories of the several judges, D impressed the un 
mistakable Deuteronomic stamp. In his judgement of the history 
he had been anticipated by E 2 and JE, but his more rigorous 
pragmatism and his distinctive style can in most cases be distin 
guished with sufficient certainty from the work of his predecessors. 
In 2 fi -3 fi , especially in 2 f> ~ 19 , the Deuteronomic element is very 
closely combined with the older text. Budde, whose opinion I 
have followed in the commentary, { thinks that D did not, in this 
somewhat awkward way, intrude his own point of view into the 
introduction of JE, but substituted a new introduction for JE s ; 
the two were united, to their mutual detriment, by the final, post- 
exilic redactor. The other hypothesis has, however, the advan 
tage of simplicity, and the considerations which weigh against it 
are perhaps overestimated. 

The Deuteronomic Judges did not supplant the older work 
upon which it was founded ; JE s history was in existence long 
after the exile. In the 5th or 4th century B.C., an editor united 
the two books, and produced the present Book of Judges. In 
doing so, he naturally included those parts of JE which D had 
omitted, Jud. i J -2 5 9 17 18 19-21 ; possibly also the Minor 
Judges, lo 1 " 5 i2 8 ~ 13 . || The secondary version of the war with 
Benjamin in ch. 19-21 is perhaps his work; and in other parts of 
the book traces of his hand may be discerned in minor glosses ; 
some of these may, however, be of still later date. 



* This depends in part upon the decision of the difficult questions of the chro 
nology ; see 7. t Budde. ^ P. 63 f. 
See Kuenen, HCCfi. i. p. 339 i. || See above. 



XXXVl INTRODUCTION 

On the critical problems discussed in $ 3-6, see in general Studer, Richter, 
1835, P- 4 2 5 ff - ; Schrader in DeWette, Einleitung*, 1869, p. 327-333; Well- 
hausen in Bleek, Einl.*, 1878, p. 181-203 = Composition d. Hexatenchs, u. s. \v., 
1889, p. 213-238, cf. 353-357; v. Doorninck, Bijdrage tot de tekstkritiek van 
Richteren i.-xvi., 1879, p. 123-128; Bertheau, Richter und RutJi-, 1883; Kue- 
nen, Historisch-critisch Onderzoek, i. p. 338-367 (1887); Budde, Richter und 
Sa/nuel, 1890, p. 1-166; Driver, Literature of the Old 7 es(aient, 1891, 
j). 151-162; Kittel, " Die pentateuchischen Urkunden in den BUchern Richter 
und Samuel," Stud. n. Krit,, 1892, p. 44 ff. ; Gesch. der Hebraer, i. 2. 1892, 
p. 1-22; Kalkoff, Ztir Qitellenkritik des Richterbuchs, 1893 (Gymnas. Progr.) . 

The theory of the origin of the Book of Judges set forth in the preceding 
paragraphs is in all essential features that of Budde, whose thorough investiga 
tion of the critical problems of the book has been of the greatest value to me 
throughout. The reader of the commentary will, I trust, discover that I have 
not accepted Buckle s results without a careful re-examination of the whole 
question ; and in many particulars I have been led to form a different opinion. 
( )f other hypotheses concerning the composition of the book, it will be suffi 
cient to mention those of Kuenen and Kittel. The former thinks that Jud. 
2_i6 :!1 is a part of a Deuteronomic Book of Judges the end of which is con 
tained in i S. 7-12. This book contained all the stories that are now found 
in the chapters named,* with the solitary exception of 3 :il (Shamgar). The 
introduction. 2-3 r , is, as a whole, the work of the Deuteronomic \vriter,f who 
is the author of the religious pragmatism of the book. He used as the basis 
of his work a pre-Deuteronomic Book of Judges, in which Othniel as well 
as Shamgar was not included, while Abimelech was reckoned as one of the 
twelve judges, whose number was completed by Samuel, or, more probably, by 
some name which we cannot now recover. This older book was quite differ 
ent in character from the Deuteronomic work; it knew nothing of a regular 
alternation of apostasy, punishment, and deliverance ; it was a series of portraits 
of the leaders and heroes of Israel in the period before the establishment of 
the kingdom; but the unity of Israel was already erroneously antedated, and 
its deliverance from the hand of its foes represented as Yahweh s answer to 
its prayer. The author drew a large part of his material from older writings, 
some of them of Ephraimite origin, which were among the earliest products of 
Israelite historiography; but the book itself can hardly have been compiled 
before the first half of the 7th century. Jud. i 1 -2 5 preserves fragments of 
a very ancient account of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes; 
ch. 17, 1 8, is also a very old story, which has been considerably interpolated; 
in ch. 19-21 the old narrative has been thoroughly worked over in the spirit 
of post-exilic Judaism. These chapters were united with 2 6 -i6 31 by the last 



* Including the Minor Judges. 

tit has suffered somewhat from interpolations; and in 3 1 - 15 the author lias 
incorporated an older fragment which is not altogether in harmony with his own 
view. 



COMPOSITION OF JUDGES XXXVii 

redactor.* Kittel differs from almost all recent critics in denying the exis 
tence of a pre-Deuteronomic Book of Judges. The author of the Deutero- 
nomic Judges (" Ri") collected the stories in 2 6 -i6 31 , combined parallel narra 
tives (as in ch. 6-8), and embraced them all in his rigorous pragmatism and his 
schematic chronology. The traces of a different conception and style, which 
have been taken as evidence that this author worked upon the basis of an 
older book, are rather to be ascribed to the redactor of the present Book of 
Judges (R), who introduced a considerable number of glosses and some longer 
additions to the text of "Ri."f This last redactor, who also joined i [ -2 5 
17-21 to 2 6 -i6 31 , himself belonged to the Deuteronomic school; but his style, 
formed on older models, is a degree nearer to that of E in the Hexateuch 
than that of " Ri." Kittel s theory thus gives us, instead of JE and D, a 
double Deuteronomic redaction which we might represent by D and Rd. The 
sources of the tales are not J and E, but unknown ancient collections. 



7. Chronology of the Book of Judges. 

The chronology of the Book of Judges presents a very difficult 
problem, on which a great deal of learning and ingenuity has been 
expended, without, as yet, leading to any generally accepted solu 
tion. The data contained in the book itself are these : 

YEARS 

1. 3 s . The Israelites subject to Cushan-rishathaim 8 

2. 3 11 . Peace under Othniel % 40 

3. 3 14 . Subject to Eglon, King of Moab 18 

4. 3 31 . Peace after the death of Eglon (Ehud) 80 

5. 4 3 . Oppressed by the Canaanite king, Jabin 20 

6. 5 31 . Peace after the victory of Barak 40 

7. 6 1 . Ravaged by the Midianites and their allies 7 

8. 8- 8 . Peace in the days of Gideon 40 

9. 9--. Dominion of Abimelech 3 

10. io- . Rule of Tola 23 

n. io 3 . Ruleofjair 22 

12. io 8 . The Israelites in Gilead oppressed by the Ammonites ... 18 

13. I2 7 . Rule of Jephthah 116 

14. 12 - . Ruleoflbzan 1 7 

* Kuenen s view is substantially maintained by Wildeboer, Letterkunde, p. 165 ff., 
269 ff. 

t Jud. l a- *a. 8f. 2 lb-5a. 13. 17. 2)-22 g-l-G. 31. ff-W i o 9-l. 
+ ALM c 50. 

A few Greek cursives, 22. Fl. Jos., antt. v. 7, 5, omits Tola altogether. 
|| BPV and several cursives, 60. 
II See Euseb., Chron. ed. Schoene, ii. p. 52, 53; Jerome, ed. Vallarsi, viii. 288. 



XXXViii INTRODUCTION 

YEARS 

15. I2 11 . Rule of Elon 10 

16. I2 14 . Rule of Abdon *8 

17. I3 1 . Domination of the Philistines 40 

18. I5 2) (i6 :u ). Rule of Samson 20 

The first thing that will be noticed in this table is the fre 
quency with which the numbers forty (No. 2. 6. 8. 17), eighty 
(No. 4), and tivcnty (No. 5.18) recur in it.| Each of the greater 
judges, except Jephthah, secures his country from the attacks of 
its foes for forty, or twice forty, or half of forty, years. This phe 
nomenon becomes still more striking when we observe that it is 
not confined to the Book of Judges, but runs through the chro 
nology of the whole period : The wandering in the wilderness 
lasted forty years; Eli judged Israel forty years (i S. 4 18 ) ; \ 
David reigned forty years (i K. 2 11 ) ; Solomon forty (i K. ii 4 -). 
In i K. 6 , finally, we read, that from the exodus until Solomon 
began to build the temple, in the fourth year of his reign, was four 
hundred and eighty years. It is obvious that we have here to 
do with a systematic chronology, in which a generation is reckoned 
at forty years, and the period made to consist of twelve gener 
ations. |j 

When we compare the numbers given in Judges with the total 



* Fl. Jos., antt. v. 7, 15, names Abdon, but does not give the years of his rule. 

t Compare also No. 15 (ten), and observe how No. 3. 10. u. 12 balance on 
either side of twenty. 

1 <S 20: A20, Fl. Jos. 40. 

$ (5 440 (<8 L A2 480), for some reason reckoning eleven generations instead of 
twelve. See Preuss, Die Zeitrechnung der Septuaginta, 1859, p. 74 ff. 

|| So Hecataeus of Miletus attempted to construct a chronology of Greek antiq 
uity on the basis of the genealogies, reckoning forty years to a generation ; see 
K. Meyer, Forschungen, i. p. 169 ff. ; GdA. ii. p. 8 f. The second great period of 
Hebrew history, from Solomon to the return from Babylon, is also four hundred 
and eighty years; see Wellhausen, Pro/*., p. 2830.; Stade, GVI. i. p. 89 ff. In 
conformity with this theory, i Chr. 6 :iff - gives in the first period the names of 
twelve high priests ; in the second, according to the corrected text (see C), from the 
first high priest who officiated in the new temple to Jehozadak, who was carried 
away to Babylon, eleven. The four hundred and ninety years which Daniel com 
putes for the last period, to the coming of the kingdom of the saints, is of almost 
exactly the same length, though calculated on a different basis (seventy weeks of 
seven years). On the frequency of 40 in chronologies &c., see Bredow s Disserta- 
tio dc Georgii Syncclli Ckrono^raphia, prefixed to the Bonn ed. of Synccllus, ii. 
P. 53 ff- 



CHRONOLOGY xxxix 

in i K. 6 1 , however, a large discrepancy appears. The sum of 
the years of the oppressions and of the judges is four hundred and 
ten years. To this must be added the forty years in the wilder 
ness ; the days of Joshua, from the invasion of Canaan until he 
and all his generation passed away (Jud. 2 7 10 ), for which no num 
bers are given (x) ; the forty (or twenty) years of Eli (i S. 4 18 ) ; the 
years in which Samuel judged Israel (i S. 7 15 ,) (y), and the reign 
of Saul (i S. I3 1 ,) (z), for neither of which have we any data; the 
forty years of David (i K. 2 11 ) ; and four years of Solomon* 
before the building of the temple was begun: that is, 40 + x 
+ 410 -f 40 -f- y -f z + 40 + 4 = 534 + .v +y + z. In this sum 
x+y + z (Joshua, Samuel, Saul) must represent a considerable 
number of years ; f but even neglecting them, the total greatly 
exceeds the 480 of Kings. Various hypotheses have been pro 
posed to bring them into harmony. One way by which this can 
be accomplished is to suppose that the oppressions and deliver 
ances related in the Book of Judges were not successive, but in 
part synchronous. They were, in fact, without exception, local 
struggles ; and it is not only conceivable, but highly probable, that 
while one part of the land was enjoying security under its judge, 
other tribes were groaning under the foreign yoke. J Thus Herz- 
feld supposes that for one hundred and seventeen years, from the 
victory of Othniel over the Aramaeans to the beginning of the Mid- 
ianite forays, the history runs parallel ; the subjection of the 
southern tribes by the Moabites, their deliverance by Ehud, and 
the long peace which followed, falling in the same period with the 
oppression of the north by the Canaanites, the war of liberation 
under Deborah and Barak, and the forty years security which their 



* According to the Hebrew way of reckoning. 

t Josephus gives Joshua 25 ; Samuel 12; Samuel and Saul contemporaneously 
18 ; Saul after the death of Samuel 22. The Christian chronologists do not differ 
very widely ; Eusebius gives Joshua 27 ; Samuel and Saul jointly 40. We should 
hardly say that these estimates are excessive. For the whole period Josephus 
reckons 592 years (antt. viii. 3. i 61 ; x. 8, 5 147) or 612 (antt. xx. 10, i 230; 
c.Ap. ii. 2 19), or in still different ways; see P. Brinch, Examen. chronologiac 
Flav. Josephi, c. 4; Herzfeld, Chronologia judicum, p. 12 f. 

1 On the considerations which may be urged in favour of the hypothesis of 
synchronisms, see Walther, in Zusdtae zur Allg. Welthist., 1747, ii. p. 400 ff. (cited 
by Bachmann). 



xl INTRODUCTION 

victory gained.* This synchronism, Avhich is not suggested by a 
syllable in the text of Judges, is only made out by a series of 
arbitrary assumptions, such as that nineteen years elapsed between 
the victory of Othniel and the Moabite invasion. With much 
greater show of probability, others suppose that the subjugation 
of the Israelites in Gilead by the Ammonites coincided with the 
oppression of their brethren in Canaan by the Philistines. Such 
an hypothesis not only offers no intrinsic difficulty, but seems to 
be commended by Jud. io (; ~ s , where we read that, as a punishment 
for their fresh defection, Yahweh sold the Israelites into the 
power of the Philistines and the Ammonites. In the following 
chapters, the author narrates, first, the Ammonite oppression, the 
deliverance of Gilead by Jephthah, and the rule of his successors, 
Ibzan, Elon, Abdon (ch. n. 12); and then (I3 1 ) takes up the 
story of the long struggle with the Philistines which is so insepa 
rably connected with the beginnings of the kingdom in Israel. 
The forty years of Philistine oppression, with which the forty years 
of Eli coincide, thus cover also the eighteen years of Ammonite 
rule east of the Jordan, the six of Jephthah, seven of Ibzan, ten 
of Elon (41), while the eight years of Abdon would fall in the 
time of Samuel. In this form the hypothesis was proposed by 
Sebastian Schmid ; j and, often in combination with other syn 
chronisms, has been accepted by many commentators and chro- 
nologists. I In this way the length of the period is greatly reduced, 
but the exact equation with the four hundred and eighty years of 
i K. 6 1 is obtained only by attributing to the unknown quantities, 
,v, y, and z, in the other member entirely arbitrary values. The 
most serious objection to the synchronistic hypothesis in any form 
is, that the chronology of the book is, on the face of it, continuous ; 



* That the twenty years of Canaanite oppression and the forty years of peace 
which followed fell in the eighty years of peace which the south enjoyed after the 
death of Eglon, is a hypothesis propounded by older chronologists (Beza, Mar- 
sham) . Others think that the forty years peace under Gideon in Central Palestine 
coincided with the forty years of Barak in the North ; &c. On these and other 
theories see Ba., p. 64 f. 

t Appendix chronologica, ad libriun Judicum, 1684. 

J Vitringa, Carp/.ov, Marsham, Walther; Ke., Ew., Hgstbg., al. ; most recently, 
with different modifications and more or less artificial subsidiary hypotheses, 
Bachmann and Kohler. 



CHRONOLOGY \][ 

if the author had intended us to understand that the Ammonite 
and the Philistine oppressions were contemporaneous, he would 
have given a much more distinct intimation of his meaning than 
io 6f , and have given it in its proper place in I3 1 .* 

Noldeke has tried to solve the problem in another way.f He 
observes that the sum of the rule of the Minor Judges, including 
Jephthah, is seventy-six years, to which if we add the four years of 
Solomon before the building of the temple, we obtain another 
eighty ; a coincidence which can hardly be accidental, and which, 
if designed, shows that the Minor Judges were included in the 
chronological system of the book. The total of the years ascribed 
to the judges and kings in the Books of Judges and Samuel, down 
to the fourth year of Solomon, is three hundred and eighty. J To 
this must be added the forty years of Moses, the years of Joshua 
(x), Samuel (y), and Saul (2). For Samuel he reckons (from 
i S. 7 2 ) twenty years. We have thus : 40 + 380 + 20 440 + x 
+ z. In this system of forties we should naturally give to the 
unknown quantities (Joshua, Saul) twenty years each, or unequal 
numbers together making forty, obtaining thus exactly the four 
hundred and eighty of i K. 6. The years of foreign domination 
and of usurpers are, as usual in Oriental chronologies, not 
counted ; the beginning of each judge s rule being reckoned, 
not from the victory which brought him into power, but from 
the death of his predecessor. || 

In principle, this appears to me the most probable hypothesis. 
I should be inclined, however, to divide the numbers somewhat 
differently. For Eli, instead of the forty years of |^, I should 

* Compare the formal synchronisms in the Books of Kings. 

t " Die Chronologic der Richterzeit," Untersuchungen sur Kritik d. A. T. s, 
1869, p. 173 ff. 

J Othniel 40, Ehud 80, Barak 40, Gideon 40, Minor Judges 76 + 4 of Solomon 
= 80, Samson 20, Eli 40, David 40 = 380. 

$ Noldeke makes the sum of these years 94 ; viz. Cushan 8, Eglon 18, Jabin 20, 
Midianites 7, Abimelech 3, Ammonites 18, Philistines 20 (deducting the twenty in 
the days of Samson, Jud. 15-). 

|| This is the method of Jewish and early Christian chronologers ; see Euseb., 
Chron. ed. Schoene, ii. p. 35 : post mortem Jesu subjectos tenuerunt Hebraeos 
aliengenae annis 8, qui junguntur Gothonielis temporibus, secundum Judaeorum 
traditiones; and so in every following case. So also Seder Olam, c. 12, and the 
Jewish commentators : see Meyer, Seder Olam, p. 383 ff. 



xliv INTKODl CTIOX 

Much more important aid in the restoration of the text is given 
by the ancient versions. First among these in critical value as 
well as in age are the Greek versions. I say versions ; for Lagarde 
has demonstrated in the most conclusive way, by printing them 
face to face through five chapters, that we have two Greek trans 
lations of Judges.* It would probably be going too far to affirm 
that they are independent; the author of the younger of them 
may have known and used the older; but it is certain that his 
work is not a recension or revision of his predecessor s, but a new 
translation. One of these versions is represented by the great 
majority of manuscripts, including the uncials. Sarravianus ( s ),t 
Alexandrinus ( A ),+ Coislinianus ( ),S Basiliano-Vaticanus ( v ), || 
and many cursives. The latter form several well-defined groups, 
some of which may properly be designated as recensions. One of 
these ( L ) is represented in Judges by codd. 19, 108, 118 (Holmes 
and Parsons), ^[ the Complutensian Polyglot, and Lagarde s 
Lib ro nun /". T. canonicorum pars prior, 1883 ; and is thought by 
many scholars to exhibit the recension of T.ucian. The sec 
ond ( M ) is a group whose most constant members are codd. 54. 

in Kennicott s collations. For the Massora, besides Jacob ben Chayim s edition in 
the Venice Rabbinical Bible, I have chiefly consulted Frensdorff s edition of the 
Oc/i/a liv-OctiLi, 1864, and his Maajretisc/ies \\~iirterbuch. 1876: Ginsburg s huge 
work will be of little use un:.il the volume of apparatus appears. 

* Septuagiiita Studien, 1892, p. 1-72. I had reached the same conclusion in a 
paper read at the meeting of the Society of lliblical Liter<ifni-c in May, 1890, before 
I learned, through a letter from Prof. Lagarde, that he was preparing this edition. 

t In Holmes and Parsons apparatus, IV and V. Ilexaplar manuscript of the 
4th or 5th century (Tischendorf) in Leyclen, St. Petersburg, and Paris. Pub 
lished by Tischendorf, ^[ouuincnta s.icra ineditii, iii. ; the Paris leaves by Lagarde, 
Seniitica, ii. Of judges it contains: o^-io i5 :; -i8 ir i9 -" -2T 1 -. 

Holmes and Parsons, III. Of the 5th century, in London. F.dited by Grabe 
and successors, 1707-1720, 4 vols. Type facsimile by Babcr, 1812-1828, 3 vols. 
Photographic reproduction published by the Trustees of the British Museum, 1881- 
1883. 

s> Holmes and Parsons, X. Ilexaplar; of the yth century (Holmes). The 
collation in 1 1. P. is to be controlled by that of Griesbach, in Kichhorn s Repcrto- 
r in in, ii. p. 194 ff. 

|| Holmes and Parsons, XL Of the gth century (Holmes), in Rome. In 
Judges it lacks I4 1 "-i8 1 . For this MS., H.P. has been my sole dependence. No 
significance is to be attached, therefore, to the absence of v from an array in which 
it might be expected. 

11 Of these, 108 (Vaticanus 330) only is complete in Judges ; the others have 
more or less extensive lacuna;. For this group I have cited Lagarde s edition. 



TEXT AND VERSIONS xlv 

59, 75, 82, which are frequently joined by others. A Leipzig 
palimpsest (uncial) published by Tischendorf also belongs to this 
group.* This hitherto inedited recension exhibits the text of 
Theodoret.f A third group () consists of the Venice manu 
scripts 1 20 and 121, with the Aldine edition, which is derived 
from them. $ Most of the translations made from the Greek fol 
low this version ; so the Old Latin (!), the Hexaplar Syriac of 
Paul of Telia (s), || the Ethiopic (c),1[ and the Armenian.** 

The Hexaplar codices ( SI>a1 -) and the Hexaplar Syriac show 
that this version was the basis of Origen s critical labours. It is, 
therefore, presumptively the oldest Greek translation of Judges ; 
and in so far as " Septuagint " is equivalent to " the oldest Greek 
version," the text of A and its congeners might justly lay claim 
to that designation. ft It seems to me desirable, however, in the 
interests of clearness that the name, with all its misleading asso 
ciations, should be banished from critical use. 

The other version is found in the Vatican Codex ( B ), Cod. 
Musei Britannici Add. 20002 (),|| and a considerable group of 
cursives in Holmes and Parsons ( x ) ; viz. 16, 30, 52, 53, 58, 63, 
77, 85 (text), 131, 144, 209, 236, 237; the text printed in the 

* Monumenta sacra, i. p. 171-176. It contains of Jud. u24-34 i82-20. 

t I have projected an edition of it, of which an announcement will be made in 
due time. 

J I have not compared the Aldina for myself, but have relied on Holmes and 
Parsons, compared with the collation in the London Polyglot, vol. vi. 

The scanty fragments of the Old Latin were collected by Sabatier, and 
reprinted, with a few gleanings, by Fritzsche, Liber Judicum secundum LXX inter- 
frctcs, 1867. More considerable additions are gathered by Vercellone in his 
apparatus to the Vulgate (ii., 1864). 

|| This version was made in the year 616-617 A.D., in Egypt, from a Hexaplar 
codex; see Gwynne, in Smith s Diet, of Christ. Biography, iv. p. 266 ff. Judges 
was published from a MS. in the British Museum, with a reconstruction of the 
Greek text, by T. Skat Rordam (Libri Judicum ct Ruth, 1861) ; and by Lagarde 
(Bibliotheca syriaca, 1892). 

H Dillmann, Octateuchus aethiopicus, 1853. Contains a collation with the 
Roman text of <G. 

** I am unable to use the Armenian version : see Lagarde, Genesis graecc, p. 
18; Septuagint a Studicn, p. 8 f. 

tt Grabe, Epistola ad Mi Ilium, 1705. 

jj Known to me only from Lagarde s collation of Jud. 1-5. On the surmise that 
a codex in St. Petersburg, which is probably part of the same manuscript, contains 
the text of Theodotion, see Lagarde, Septuaginta Studicn, p. n. 



xlvi INTRODUCTION" 

Catena Nicepliori represents this family. (Irabe, in 1705. proved 
that this version was of Egyptian origin ; * a conclusion which is 
brilliantly confirmed by the fact, that of all the secondary versions 
only the Sahidic (it) is based upon it.t As the quotations in the 
Alexandrian Fathers from the 2(1 to the 4th century (Clement, 
Origen, Didymus) \ follow the version represented by ( A and its 
congeners, while Cyrill uses the text which we find in (H BGX k, 
the conjecture is not remote that the latter translation of Judges 
was made in the 4th century ; but much remains to be done 
before any positive conclusion can be reached. 

In this state of the case, I have thought it proper to adduce 
the evidence of the Greek versions with more fulness than would 
ordinarily be necessary in a commentary. If the Greek version is 
to be used at all for the emendation of the Hebrew text, it must 
be used critically ; and to operate, as older commentators did. 
with "A" and "15," or as some more modern scholars do, with 
Tischendorf s reprint of the Roman edition and Lagarde s "Lu- 
cian," taking the one or the other for Septuagint " upon the 
intrinsic, probability of readings, is not a critical procedure. || 

The Latin version of Jerome is one of the best specimens of 
his skill as a translator ; and is exegeticallv of the greatest value. 

O o 

because it gives not merely Jerome s own interpretation, but that 
of his Jewish teachers and helpers. It is of less assistance to the 
textual critic, because the Hebrew text from which it was made 
was substantially the Jewish standard text which, having been 
authoritatively fixed in the 2d century, A.D., has been transmitted 
to us with great fidelity. For the Latin text itself we have an 



* In the letter to Mill, cited above. Grabe embarrassed this result by the 
assumption that the version, or revision, was the work of Ilesychius. 

t Ciasca, Saci oriini Bibliorum fragments copto-sahidica, i. iSS^. Contains of 
Judges, i" --i i-r- 2 l s . x Didymus died 394 or 399. 

ij Cyrill became Hp. of Alexandria in 412 A.II. 

|| On the Greek text of Judges, see Grabe, I .pistola ad MiUnnn, 1705; Zirgler, 
Theologische Abhandlttngen, i. 1791, p. 276 ff. ; O. F. Fritzsche, Liber fndiciiiu 
seciindiitn I. XX interprctea, 1867 (distinguishing three types of text) ; Schulte, DC 
restitutions atijiie iiidole geitninae - ersiottis graecac. in libro Jndicinn, 1889 ; Lagarde, 
Septuaginta Studien, 1892, ji. 1-72. For the fragments of Aquila, Symmachus, and 
Theodotion, Field, Origenis hi-xaploncn qnac supcrsuni, 1875; cf. J. (j. Scharfen- 
\x?cg, Animadversiones quibus fragmcntaversionum gr<ieccirum /"./ . . . . iiliistrcin- 
tur emeiidantur, ii. 1781, p. 40-8^. 



TEXT AND VERSIONS xlvii 

excellent apparatus in Vercellone, I ariae Icctiones vulgatae latinac 
Bibliorum editionis, ii. 1864. 

The Syrian Vulgate (Peshitto) also represents in the main the 
Hebrew Standard text, and is of more importance to the inter 
preter than to the critic. For the Peshitto, which exhibits a con 
stancy second only to that of the Hebrew, I have compared, in 
places where its variations seemed to be significant, the cditio 
princeps of Gabriel Sionita in the Paris Polyglot (? p ), from which 
that in the London Polyglot (<S L ) is derived immediately, and that 
of Lee at one remove ; the photolithographic reproduction of the 
Ambrosian codex (JS A ) ; the Nestorian text as edited by Justin 
Perkins at Ooroomiah in 1852 (S (> ) ; and an old and excellent 
manuscript of the Historical Books and the Wisdom of the O.T., 
of Nestorian origin, belonging to the Harvard Semitic Museum, 
Cambridge, Mass. (<&"). 

The Targum is seldom of much critical value, but often serves 
us well as a commentary upon the punctuation, and fills an impor 
tant place in the history of Jewish exegesis. Its text exhibits 
considerable variation. I have compared, in critical places, the 
edition by Felix Pratensis in the first of Bomberg s Great Bibles, 
1518 (ST " 1 ), that by Jacob ben Chayim in the second of those 
Bibles, 1525 (2E VUI1 --) ;* Buxtorf s rifacimento of the latter in his 
Great Bible, 1618-20,! reproduced in the London Polyglot; the 
Antwerp Polyglot ; and Lagarde s edition of the Targum from the 
great Codex Reuchlinianus at Carlsruhe, Prophetac chaldaice, 1872 
( reuch -) I also collated, in 1888, Codex. Brit. Mus. Orient., 2210, 
a manuscript from Southern Arabia with supralinear punctuation, 
dated A.D. 1469 (& ")! 

The only systematic attempt to employ the versions for the 
emendation of the Hebrew text of Judges is made by A. v. Door- 
ninck, Bijdrage tot de tekstkritiek van Richteren i.-xvi., 1879. 

9. Interpreters of the Book of Judges. 

Of the Fathers, the nine homilies of Origen on this book, which 
are preserved in Rufinus s Latin translation (Orig., Opp. ed. Dela- 

* Known to me only in the edition of 1547. 

t The punctuation and orthography are Buxtorf s ; nor did he refrain from more 
serious emendations. J See Merx, Chrestomathia Targtunica, Proleg. p. xvi. 



xlviii IXTKODIXTIOX 

rue, ii. p. 458-478) have very little exegetical merit. Theodoret 
in his Qitaesfioiics (Opp. ed. Schulze, i. p. 321-345) discusses 
with some fulness a number of the more obscure or difficult pas 
sages in Judges with candour and skill. His extensive quotations 
are of importance for the history of the Greek text. The com 
mentary of Procopius of Gaza (Migne, Patrologia graeca, Ixxxvii. 
1041-1080), though fragmentary and largely allegorical, is not 
devoid of worth. The Catena Nicephori (Leipzig, 1773) draws 
chiefly from Josephus, Theodoret, and Procopius, but quotes also 
a considerable number of anonymous Greek expositions. Augus 
tine wrote Quacstiones on Judges, as on the other books of the 
Heptateuch (Migne, Patrologia latiua, xxxiv. 791-824) ; so did 
Isidore of Seville (// . Ixxxiii. 379-390). We have also a com 
mentary on Judges by Kphrem Syrus {Opp. i. p. 308-330). 

The patristic exegesis had only the versions to work upon ; the 
history of the interpretation of the Hebrew text begins with the 
Jewish commentators of the Middle Ages.* Of these, R. Solo 
mon Tsaaki, commonly called Rashi " (1040-1105 A.ix),in many 
ways deserves the foremost place which the judgement of Jewish 
scholars generally accords him. He has two of the greatest and 
rarest gifts of the commentator, the instinct to discern precisely 
the point at which explanation is necessary, and the art of giving 
or indicating the needed help in the fewest words. He had an 
almost unequalled knowledge not only of the Bible, but of the 
whole vast body of Jewish tradition. His interpretation adheres 
more closely to the exegetical tradition than that of his successors, 
and very often agrees with Jerome s, that is, Jerome s Jewish 
teachers. R. David Kimchi (ca. 1160-1235) gave much more 
prominence to the grammatical and lexical side of the commenta 
tor s task, in which he excelled ; he is a judicious interpreter and 
a lucid expositor. Of much less note is R. Levi ben Gerson 
(" Ivalbng," died ca. 1370), whose commentary is printed with 
Rashi and Kimchi in the Rabbinical Bibles of Venice and Basel. 
Besides these are to be named, Abarbanel (1437-1 508), whose 
very diffuse commentary is in Judges largely dependent on Levi 
ben Gerson ; t and Solomon ben Melech, Michlol Yophi (Amster- 



COMMENTARIES xlix 

dam, 1684), a convenient exegetical hand-book, chiefly abridged 
from Kimchi. 

Through the Postillae perpetuac of Nicolaus a Lyra (ca. 1270- 
1340) the Jewish exegesis, and what was even more important, a 
sounder exegetical method, passed over into the Church. Later 
Catholic commentators of note are Arias Montanus, De varia 
Rcpitblica, 1592; Serarius, 1609; Jac. Bonfrerius, 1631; Corne 
lius a Lapide, 1642 ; Th. Malvenda, 1650.* 

Among the early Protestant commentators, Sebastian Minister 
(1489-1552) follows the Jewish interpreters, particularly Kimchi, 
very closely. Drusius s (1550-1616) learning had a wider range ; 
besides the rabbinical commentaries he made good use of the 
ancient Greek versions and the Fathers, and deserves the praise 
which R. Simon gives him as the most learned and judicious of 
the interpreters whose works are collected in the Critici Sacri. 
The fragmentary annotations of Grotius often contain interest 
ing illustrations and parallels from Greek and Roman writers. Of 
all the older commentaries by far the best, and one of the most 
valuable commentaries on Judges, is that of Sebastian Schmid 
(1684). The author brings together into his 1642 solid quarto 
pages all that had been done before him for the interpretation of 
the book. His own exegetical judgement is clear and sound. In 
excursus at the end of each chapter (Quaestiones) , the difficulties 
of every kind are discussed with great thoroughness. The com 
mentary of Clericus (1708), a work of a more modern type, is 
also deservedly held in high esteem. The marginal annotations 
in J. H. Michaelis s edition of the Hebrew Bible (1720) are 
excellent; nor must the notes to J. 1). Michaelis s German trans 
lation (1774) be passed over. Rosenmiiller s Scholia on Judges 
(1835) contain very little that is new. 

The modern period of interpretation begins with G. L. Studer s 
admirable commentary,! in which the problems that the book pre 
sents to criticism and critical exegesis were first clearly recognized, 
and a long step taken toward their solution. Bertheau s commen 
tary in the " Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch " (1845) is a 
work of less originality, but, especially in the second edition (1883), 

* Of these I have read only a Lyra and a Lapide. Serarius I know through 
Schmid. f Das Buck der Richter, 1835; second (title) edition, 1842. 



1 INTRODUCTION 

fills a useful place. Reuss has given, in French (1877) and Ger 
man (1892), brilliant translations of Judges, with introductions, 
and brief but excellent notes. Keil (1863;* 2 ed. 1874) has 
the stamp of the manufactured article; Cassel (in Lange, 1865 ;t 

2 ed. 1887) is full of curious learning and ingeniously perverse 
exegesis. By far the fullest recent commentary on Judges is 
that of J. Bachmann (1868), which was unfortunately never car 
ried beyond the fifth chapter. The author s standpoint is that of 
Hengstenberg, and he is a stanch opponent of modern criticism 
of every shade and school ; but in range and accuracy of schol 
arship, and exhaustive thoroughness of treatment, his volume 
stands without a rival. Other modern commentaries which 
require no special note are those of Hervey in the " Speaker s 
Commentary" (1872) and in the " Pulpit Commentary " (1881) : 
and Jamieson, in Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown s " Critical and 
Experimental Commentary." A. R. Fausset s Critical and Expos 
itory Conuncntar\ on Judges (1885) i.s "expository" in the homi- 
letic sense, and critical " in no sense at all. The German 
translation of Judges in Kautzsch s Das Altc Testament, 1894 
(by Kittel), embodies in a sober and conservative spirit the 
results of modern critical scholarship. 



A COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF 
JUDGES. 



A COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF 
JUDGES. 



I. l-II. 5. The conquests and settlements of the Israelite 
tribes in Canaan. 

LITERATURE. E. Meyer, " Kritik der Berichte iiber die Eroberung Palaes- 
tinas," ZATW. i. 1881, p. 117-146; cf. Stade, ibid., p. 146-150. 

K. Budde, " Richter und Josua," ZATW. vii. 1887, p. 93-166 = Die Biicher 
Richter und Samuel, 1890, p. 1-89. Other writers on the composition of 
the Book of Judges, see Introduction, 6, end. 

At the opening of the narrative, we have to suppose the Israelite 
tribes encamped in the plain of Jericho (i 16 2 1 ), and about to 
invade the hill-country. They inquire of the oracle what tribe 
shall first attack the Canaanites. Agreeably to its response, Judah 
together with Simeon begins the invasion (v. 1 " 3 ). They defeat 
and capture Adoni-bezek, and, advancing southward, take Hebron, 
Debir, and Hormah, making themselves masters of the mountains, 
but are unable to conquer the coast plain (v. 4 " 21 ). The tribe of 
Joseph invades the central highlands, and takes Bethel (v. 22 26 ), 
but has to leave many strong towns, especially along the Great 
Plain, in the hands of the Canaanites (v. 27 29 ). In the north, no 
conquests are recorded ; the Israelites settle in the midst of the 
native population (v. 30 33 ). In the west, Dan is crowded back 
into the mountains (v/ 54 " 36 ). The Angel of Yahweh removes from 
Gilgal to " Bochim." * He reproves Israel for making terms with 
the people of the land and sparing their places of worship, and 
foretells the consequences of this disobedience. 

The words of the Angel show how ch. i is to be regarded in 
its present connexion. The failure of the invaders to conquer 

* Perhaps originally Bethel, <5 ; see comm. on 2 1 . 
3 



4 JUDGES 

the whole land at once is not due to the strength of its walled 
towns, or the superiority of their inhabitants in the art and 
enginery of war, but to Israel s slackness in carrying out the root 
and branch policy enjoined in Ex. 34 11 " 1 1 23 :!lb ;a Dt. y 1 5 c. As 
a punishment, Yahweh leaves the Canaanites whom they have 
guiltily spared to be the cause of all the ills denounced in those 
passages. Their religion is the snare into which Israel is ever 
afresh falling. The repeated apostasies and ensuing judgements 
which are the subject of the Book of Judges have their origin in 
the primal act of disobedience, that Israel did not exterminate the 
inhabitants of the land. From this point of view, ch. i, with 
its long list of cities remaining in the hands of the Canaanites, 
including many of the most important places in Central and 
Northern Palestine, forms a fitting introduction to the present 
Book of Judges. 

It had, however, no place in the original plan of the book, but 
has been introduced by a later editor. For, a, the Introduction 
gives, in the proper place (3 1 " 6 ), an enumeration of the native 
races remaining in Canaan, or on its borders, which makes no 
reference to ch. i and is not entirely consonant with it. b, 
Jud. 2 r " w is the immediate continuation, in sense and structure, 
of Jos. 24" .* The intrusion of Jud. i }}> -2~ between two consecu 
tive sentences of the narrative led later, perhaps in connexion 
with the division into books, to the creation of a new close for 
Jos. 24, v. 28 31 being restored from Jud. 2 i; ~ 9 ,t while v. 3 -- ;r are frag 
mentary notices from another source which came in appropriately 
at the end of the history of that generation. 

The whole character of Jud. iW gives evidence that it was 
not composed for the place, but is an extract from an older 
history of the Israelite occupation of Canaan. It has not, how 
ever, been preserved just as it was in the original source. The 
editor, to whom its value lay, not in what it told of the conquests 



* The translations of Jud. 2 f > in AV. and RV., which conceal this fact, are 
grammatically false. 

t A careful comparison of the two passages will show clearly, I think, that this 
is their true relation, and not, as is still commonly assumed, that Jud. 2 6 - 10 was 
borrowed by the Deuteronomic author of Judges from Jos. 24 28 -"- 1 . Comp. the 
somewhat similar case, Ezra ii-3a = 2 Chr. 35-- -. 



I. i-II. 5 5 

of Israel, but in the evidence it gave of the incompleteness of the 
conquest, that is, of the unfaithfulness of Israel, has apparently 
abridged and adapted it to his purpose ; and the trace of still 
later hands is probably to be recognized in certain additions and 
changes. 

On the critical restoration of the chapter, see Wellhausen, Einleitttng*, 
p. 181-183 = Composition d. Hexat., p. 213-215; E. Meyer, ZATW. i. 
p. 135 ff.; Buckle, ZATIV. vii. p. 94 K. = Richter u. Samuel, p. 2 ff. (cf. 
84-89) ; Kuenen, Historisch-critisch Onderzoek, i. p. 356-358 ; Kittel, Ge- 
schichte der Hebraer, i. I. p. 239-245. 

Ch. I 1 " is an editorial title corresponding to Jos. i 1 ; v. 4 , superfluous and 
disturbing by the side of v. " 7 , is probably secondary; v. 8 , an interpolation 
induced by v. 7b , directly contradicting v. 21 Jos. I5 63 cf. Jud. ig 10 - 12 2 S. 5 oir -; 
v. y makes the impression of a general summary by a later hand; v. lc - 2U are 
severed parts of the original, which may be restored by the help of Jos. 15" ; 
v. ls flatly contradicts v. 19 , and is, like v. 8 , in conflict with the facts ; v. 21 
= Jos. I5 63 , with the change of the original Judah to Benjamin, in conformity 
with later representations of the partition of the land; v. 19 - 21 , or perhaps 21 - 19 , 
originally stood after v. 7 . The story of the conquests of Joseph is dispropor 
tionately meagre, and has very likely been abridged by the editor; Budde, 
with considerable probability, conjectures that Jos. I y 14 - 18 Nu. 32 39 - 41 - 4 - Jos. 1 3 13 
originally stood in this connexion. The account of the settlement of the 
northern tribes may be similarly curtailed. With v. 34f - Jos. ig 47 may once 
have been joined. In a 1 " 5 , only v. la " 5b , "The Angel of Yahweh went up from 
Gilgal to Bethel, . . . and they sacrificed there to Yahweh," can belong to the 
older narrative; v. lb -" a are in the characteristic manner of the redaction of 
Judges. On all this, see more fully below in the commentary. 

Although thus by no means intact, the passage presents, after the manifest 
interpolations have been removed, a sufficiently orderly and intelligible con 
nexion. Recent criticism has thus set aside the hypothesis of compilation 
(Stud.; cf. Preiss, ZWTh. 1892, p. 496), and must qualify the strong terms 
in which the confusion and fragmentariness of the chapter has often been 
spoken of, e.g. by Kuenen. 

Fragments of this narrative are also preserved in different places 
in the Book of Joshua: Jos. i5 13 19 = Jud. i 1(W5 - L>0 ; Jos. is 18 
= Jud. i 21 ; Jos. i6 = Jud. i 29 ; Jos. 1 7 11 13 = Jud. i^. As 
these passages, which in Judges stand in good connexion, are 
in Joshua broken up and scattered, fitting so loosely in the con 
text that it would frequently gain by their removal, and strikingly 
at variance with the prevailing tenor of the book, the explanation 
which first suggests itself is that they have been inserted in Joshua 



6 JUDGES 

directly from Judges by a relatively late hand.* Against this must 
be set, however, the fact, properly emphasized by Budde, that in 
more than one of these parallels, Jos. has preserved the original 
text, while in Jud. it has been intentionally altered ; see especially 
v _io.o. in. m_ r \i[s i s better explained by supposing that the extracts 
in Joshua were made, not from Jud. i, but from the history from 
which the latter chapter was taken. f The hypothesis is confirmed 
by the fact that, as Dillmann j and Budde have shown, there are 
other passages in Joshua, to which there is no parallel in Jud. i, 
which are almost certainly derived from the same source, vi/. 
Jos. i3 1;! (cf. Jud. i 27 -- 9 - ) ig 47 (S>, and especially i7 14 " ls .|| 

This source was not improbably J s history of the conquest.^ 
The author of the Book of Joshua uses J pretty freely in the 
beginning of his history of the invasion down to the taking of Ai 
and the treaty with the Gibeonites (8. 9); but in the following 
chapters, which narrate the great victories of Joshua (10-12), and 
the division of the land (13 ff.), he abandons this source, assum- 
ably because its account of the gradual and imperfect subjugation 
of Canaan by the tribes severally was irreconcilable with his own 
unhistorical representation of the complete conquest of the land 
by Joshua at the head of all Israel, the extermination of all its 
inhabitants, and partition of the conquered territory. Jud. i -2 \ 
with the cognate fragments in Jos. 13 ff., accords very well with 
the undoubted excerpts from J in Jos. 1-9 ; the whole tenor and 
style of the narrative resembles that of J in the Pentateuch ; as 



* So Hiivernick, BL, Be., Mey., Kuc., HCCfi, Reuss, al. On the relation 
between these passages in Jos. and Jud., there are other special investigations 
by Welte, 1842; Keil, Z. Lutk. Tli. 1846, p. i ff. The hypothesis that Jud. i is a 
compilation from the Book of Jos. (Staheiin, Krit. Untersuchungen, p. 102 ft". ; 
Preiss, / IVTA. 1892, p. 496) is sufficiently refuted by the facts stated above in the 
text. Further, Jud. i contains other matter of the same sort (e.g. v.----~) which 
has no parallel in Jos. That this also once stood in Jos., and was omitted, perhaps 
by R d , an alternative proposed by Di. (NDJ. p. 442), is not probable. 

t So Ke., Orelli, Kue., //A O 1 ., Bu., Matthes, Kitt, Ko. J -WJ- P- 442. 

Richter mid Samuel, p. 25 ff. Cf. also Wellh.-Bleek 4 , p. 182 - Composition d. 
Ilex., p. 214. 

|| This meets the argument of Kue. (IICO-. i. p. 358) that it is improbable 
that the editor of Jos. should have independently excerpted from his source exclu 
sively matters which are found in Jud. i. 

II Schrader-De Wette, Einleitung*, p. 327, Mey., Di., Sta., Bu., Kitt., Co. 



I. i-II. 5 7 

particular indications may be noted the precedence of Judah, the 
name Canaanites, the resort to the oracle, the Angel of Yahweh. 
The only positive argument of considerable weight on the other 
side is the meagreness of the relation in Jud. i, the almost statisti 
cal character of much of it, in contrast to the free and vivid nar 
ration of J.* If, however, as there is independent reason for 
believing, the editor of Jud. i has greatly abridged the older 
history, this loses much of its force. 

The age of the original of Jud. i cannot be certainly determined 
from anything in the chapter itself. It is inferred from v. 21 (the 
Uenjamites live with the Jebusites in Jerusalem "unto this day") 
that it was written before the conquest of Zion by David, 2 S. 5 ; t 
but 2 S. 24 10ff - shows that the Jebusites were not expelled by David ; 
cf. also i K. p 20 *"-. | On the other hand, v. 28 - 3 -" describe a state of 
things which can hardly have existed before the reign of David 
or Solomon ; v. 29 (cf. (H and Jos. i6 10 ) is probably to be read in 
the light of i K. g 16 , which would bring us down at least to the 
time of Solomon. There are no historical references in the 
chapter which conflict with our ascription of it to J. 

Whether this be its origin or not, Jud. i is, beyond dispute, one 
of the most precious monuments of early Hebrew history. It 
contains an account of the invasion and settlement of Western 
Palestine entirely different from that given in the Book of Joshua, 
and of vastly greater historical value. In Joshua, the united 
armies of Israel, under the command of Joshua, in two campaigns 
(10. n) conquer all Palestine from the Lebanon to the southern 
desert, and ruthlessly exterminate its entire population. The land 
is partitioned among the tribes (13 ff.), who have only to enter 
and take possession of the territory allotted to them. In Jud. i, 
on the contrary, the tribes invade the land singly, or as they are 
united by common interest ; they fight for their own hand with 
varying success, or settle peaceably among the older population. 



* Konig, Einleitung, p. 252 f. Konig exaggerates, however, when he speaks of 
Jud. i as an " ungeschmiickte, wortarme Zusammenstellung von Thatsachen." 
Against the ascription of the chapter to J, see also Be., p. xviii., and Kue., HCffi. 
P- 357- t Ba., Ke., Cass., K6., with Jewish (Ki.) and older Christian scholars. 

1 Budde (" Critical Notes on the Hebrew Text of Samuel") understands 2 S. 5 s 
itself as forbidding the slaughter of the Jebusites. 



8 JUDGES 

The larger cities with few exceptions, the fertile valleys, and the 
seaboard plain remain in the hands of the Canaanites. For long, 
the Israelites were really masters only in the mountains of Central 
and Southern Canaan, and the two strongest tribes, Joseph and 
Judah, were completely separated from each other by a line of 
Canaanite strongholds having Jerusalem as its salient.* On the 
other side, the Great Plain and the fortified cities along its south 
ern margin separated Joseph from the tribes which settled farther 
north. 

Which of these two conflicting representations of the Israelite 
invasion is the truer, cannot be for a moment in question. All 
that we know of the history of Israel in Canaan in the succeeding 
centuries confirms the representation of Jud. that the subjugation 
of the land by the tribes was gradual and partial ; that not only 
were the Canaanites not extirpated, but that many cities and 
whole regions remained in their possession ; that the conquest of 
these was first achieved by the kings David and Solomon. On 
the other hand, the whole political and religious history of these 
centuries would be unintelligible if we were to imagine it as 
beginning with such a conquest of Canaan as is narrated in the 
Book of Joshua. The song of Deborah alone is sufficient to prove 
this representation altogether false. 

From the place in which it stands, and the fact that several uf the most 
important things related in it, such as the taking of Hebron, are also narrated 
in Jos. in connexion with the conquests of Joshua, Jud. I has sometimes been 
explained as, in the main, a recapitulation of events which happened in the 
lifetime of Joshua. So Thdt., qitacst., 7 (cf. i), Ki., Abarb., Cler., Schm., 
Ziegler, Ilgstb., Biihl. But, as has been observed above, the parallel passages 
in Joshua are not an organic part of that book, with whose entire conception 
of the character of the conquest they but ill accord, and therefore their 
position does not prove that the events they relate occurred at the time to 
which they are ascribed by their present context. Others, following the title, 
v. la , put the events related in Jud. I " after the death of Joshua." f So among 

* The cities named in Jud. r ! ~>, and those of the Gibeonite confederation, 
Jos. 9 17 ; see Stade, /. / 7 JI". i. p. 147 ; Budde, Richter und Samuel, p. 17. 

t The parallels in Jos. are then explained as anticipatory; that is, the author 
of that book, in narrating the conquests of Israel, for the sake of completeness, 
introduced, out of their chronological order, certain things which were not accom 
plished till a later time; Aug., qitaest., 3 (but cf. 6), Glossa oni., Ra ; RLbG., Bronx, 
Ha., al. Others, while putting the greater part of the chapter after the death of 



I. i-II. 5 9 

modern scholars, Ke., Ba., Be., Cass. This title of the canonical editor (see 
comm. ) is, however, of no authority. In point of fact, the situation pre 
supposed in Jud. I and the invasion there described, is, in its character and 
results, inconceivable if the land in all its length and breadth had already 
been conquered and its inhabitants exterminated by Joshua. We require, 
at least, some reference to the revolution by which all the results of Joshua s 
wars were lost; we must know who sowed the land with dragon s teeth, that 
in the place of the population which Joshua destroyed, man, woman, and 
child, another generation better able to defend its own sprang up in a night. 
In default of this, the commentators and historians who treat Jud. I as a con 
tinuation of the history of the conquest after the death of Joshua are con 
strained to reduce to the uttermost the extent and importance of Joshua s 
victories. These victories, it is said, broke the power of the Canaanite 
confederacies in the north and south, so that they no longer presented a 
formidable front in the field, but by no means resulted in the subjugation of 
all Canaan. The fortified towns defied the invaders, or were speedily recov 
ered by them. All over the land, as soon as the first wave of conquest passed, 
the Canaanites raised their heads again. The reduction of the strongholds, 
and the occupation of the territory allotted to each, was left to the tribes 
severally. In this task, some were more persistent and successful than 
others; some soon came to terms with the people of the land. It is this 
phase of the struggle that is described in Jud. i. The harmony thus estab 
lished between Jos. and Jud. is only attained by substituting for the story of 
the conquest in Jos. 10-12 a rationalistic version which is as irreconcilable 
with the text of Jos. as Jud. I itself. Of such fruitless victories as left all the 
work to be done over, of strongholds unsubdued, or Canaanites left to garrison 
them, the Book of Joshua knows nothing. The register of Joshua s conquests, 
the cities which he gave to the tribes of Israel for a possession (ch. 12), 
contains not only the names of the cities which in Jud. i are taken by the 
several tribes (Hebron, Debir, Bethel), but of the far more numerous cities 
which, as we know both from Jud. I and the later history, remained Canaanite 
for generations, Jerusalem, Gezer, Taanach, Megicldo, etc. 

Jud. I can therefore only be understood as a history of the first conquests 
and settlements of the Israelite tribes in Western Palestine, a counterpart to 
the Book of Joshua, whose representation it contravenes at all essential points. 
So Stud., We., Mey., Sta., GVI. I. p. 66 f.; Kue., Bu., Kitt., Dr., Co. 

In spite of the fundamental contradiction, there are striking agreements 
between the story of the conquest in Jos. and Jud. i. The struggle begins in 
the south (Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, and Adoni-bezek, who dies at 
Jerusalem) ; the settlement of Judah and its affined clans is followed by that 
of Joseph (Jos. I4 6 - 15 I5 U12 - 13 " 19 i6 lff - ly 14 - 18 ) ; the other tribes are provided for 



Joshua, have referred certain of the events narrated in it to the last years of his 
life ; so Chytraeus (v. 8 - 16 ) , Eichh. ( v.W-13) , Schnurrer (v. loff - -*>) ; or without attempt 
ing to discriminate, v. Lengerke, Wahl. 



IO JUDGES 

later, and their standing is different from that of the great southern and central 
tribes (Jos. i8 lff ). Jos. n is unquestionably related to Jud. 4 (Jabin of 
Ilazor), as Jos. 10 is to Jud. i~ -~. The account of the conquest in Joshua is 
the product of successive theological reconstructions of the history. Its basis 
seems to have been a relation closely akin to the original of Jud. I, if not 
identical with it; but this historical basis is completely transformed by the 
ascription of the doings of the several tribes to all Israel, and of the events 
of succeeding generations to the first period of the invasion, and by the 
substitution of the theological ideal of a conquest by the people of Yahweh 
for the sober reality. 

I. l a . Title. After the death of Joshua} cf. Jos. i 1 . From 
the hand of the canonical editor to divide the books of Jos. and 
Jud.* The death of Joshua marked the close of the period of 
conquest, as that of Moses (Dt. 34 *) the end of the Exodus and 
wandering. The division is therefore a natural one, and the title 
stands in a suitable place after Jos. 24 2y 3() .t What immediately 
follows, however (i lb -2 " i ), does not relate things which took place 
after the death of Joshua, but is an account of the invasion of 
Canaan and its results, running parallel to Jos., but giving a wholly 
different representation ; see above, p. 7-9. 

I. l b -8. The Israelites inquire of the oracle what tribe shall 
first attack the Canaanites. Judah is designated, and, making 
common cause with Simeon, invades the land. They defeat and 
capture Adoni-bezek. 

The original connexion of i lb is lost. It must have been pre 
ceded at least by an account of the passage of the Jordan and the 
taking of Jericho, the remains of which are probably still to be 
recognized in the composite narrative in Jos. ; perhaps also by a 
preliminary division of the land to be conquered (v. :! ). Whether 
we should also include an account of the operations against Ai 
(Jos. 8) and the oldest version of the ruse of the Gibeonites 
(Jos. 9) is more doubtful. \ 

* See Doom. p. 17, and esp. Paine, Bibliothcca Sacra, 1891, p. 652 ff. A some 
what similar suggestion is made by Ziegler, T/ieol. Abhandlungen , i. (1791), p. 282. 

f This ending of Jos. 24 is, however, itself probably restored by the editor from 
Jud. 2 s - 1 "; see above, p. 4. The natural place for the title in the original context 
would be before Jud. 2 11 . 

J See on these questions, Mey., 7.ATIV. i. p. 136; Bu., Richter uud Samuel, 
p. 50 ff.; Kitt., GdH. i. i. p. 245 ff. 



Li. II 

1. The Israelites inquired of Yahwch~\ consulted the oracle of 
Y. ; cf. i8 5 . The phrase does not occur in the Hexateuch, in 
which the only reference to the consultation of the oracle (Nu. 2;- 1 
IV) is differently expressed. It is used not only of the oracle of 
Yahweh, but of a stock (Hos. 4 12 ) ; teraphim (Ez. 21-*) ; manes 
(i Chr. io 13 ). It is natural here to think of the priestly oracle (i8 r> 
i S. 22 10 13 - 15 ), by the ephod (i S. 23* 3O 7 ), or urim and thummim 
(i S. 14" <6>). As in the Pentateuch the latter is in the hands of 
the High Priest only, Jewish and many Christian interpreters have 
inferred that the response on this occasion was given by Phineas, 
son of Eleazar,* but it is unsafe to ascribe this intention to the 
author, who more probably has in mind the oracle at Gilgal (2 1 ), 
long one of the most frequented holy places. The Israelites are, 
of course, the tribes which settled west of the Jordan.f The story 
supposes them encamped together in the plain near Jericho (i 1(i ) 
and Gilgal (2 1 ), from which point they separate, Judah and Simeon 
to invade the south, Joseph to occupy the central highlands. 

That the tribes, which before the death of Joshua had taken possession of 
their partially subjugated allotments, now held a council at Shiloh (Procop., 
a Lap., Ba.) to plan measures against the Canaanites who were left in their 
several territories; that from the council they returned home and opened a 
series of campaigns in different parts of the land, Judah making the first, 
attack (Ba.), is a figment without the slightest warrant in the text. 

Their question is not, Who shall lead us in a joint expedition ? $ 
or, What tribe shall have the hegemony ? but, What tribe shall 
first invade its own region? II as the response and the following 
narrative clearly show, and as, indeed, the language requires. 
The Canaanites^ collective name for the inhabitants of the land ; 
see on 3 3 . Those who find in Jud. i a continuation of the history 
in Jos. are compelled to explain the words of the Canaanites who 
remained unsubdued in the territory of the several tribes,^" an 



* Fl. Jos., antt. v. 2, i $ 120 ; cf. Jud. 20^ -. The death of Eleazar is recorded 
in Jos. 24 s3 (cf. ) in close connexion with that of Joshua. 

t That they were accompanied and aided in the conquest of the land by the 
contingent of the tribes east of the Jordan is the representation of E and D. 

t 1L5, Aug., other Ff. $ Fl. Jos., Euseb., Ephr. Syr., Schm., E\v. 

|| Rabb., a Lyra, Masius, Drus., Cler., most moderns. 

U Procop., Rabb., Brenz, and many. 



12 JUDGES 

interpretation which is neither warranted by the text here, nor 
consonant with the representation of Jos. (cf. 1 1-- 1 ").* 2. The 
oracle designates Judah. In Jos. also the first victories of Israel 
are gained in the south (ch. 10), and Judah is the first of the 
tribes west of the Jordan to receive its allotment (ch. 14. 15). It 
has been suggested above that the author of Joshua had before him 
an account of the invasion of Canaan strongly resembling Jud. i. 
Whether this precedence of Judah, like the part assigned to Judah 
in J s story of Joseph and his brethren, is to be attributed to the 
Judahite origin of the narrative, or whether it may preserve a 
reminiscence of the fact that Judah was the first of the tribes to 
establish itself in Canaan, cannot well be decided. | 3. Judah 
said to Si/neon his brot1ier~\ utique tribus ad tribum (Aug). Simeon 
was the " brother " of Judah, not only as all the tribes of Israel 
were brethren, but in the closer kindred of the Leah tribes 
(Gen. 29 :1L> :; " ). The seats of Simeon were in the south of Judah; 
its towns (Jos. I9 1 " 1 ) were all within the limits of Judah, and in 
Jos. i^-"-" 1 -- 1 - are included in the list of the latter tribe (cf. also 
i Chr. 4 L S " ;!:! ). On Simeon see further below, on v. 17 . Judah 
proposes that they unite their forces for the invasion, first of the 
territory of Judah, and then of the more southern district which 
fell to Simeon. The words imply that the invasion had not yet 
begun ; the two tribes are encamped, with the others, at a point 
outside of the territory which they subsequently occupied, at Gil- 
gal, j as we are to infer not only from 2 1 but probably also from 
Jos. 14-16; see below. Into my allotted territory^ The tribes 
go up, not to conquer for themselves a lot, but each to conquer 
its own lot. It is clearly presupposed that there was an under 
standing among them before the beginning of the invasion in 
what quarter each was to seek its fortune, a preliminary division 



* See above, the last note, and p. 8 f. 

t It is thought by some scholars that Judah entered the land, not from the east, 
as is assumed in the passage before us, in agreement with all the other sources, 
but from the south (Graf, Simeon, p. 15 f., Kuen., Land, Tiele, Doom.; cf. Hud., 
Richter it. Samuel, p. 41). I am inclined to think that this is true of Caleb, but not 
of Judah ; see below on v. 10 - -* . 

J Not at Shechem (Be.), or at Shiloh (Ra.) ; the conquest of this region by 
Joseph falls, according to the representation of our chapter, after the invasion of 
the South by Judah. ^ \Vellhausen. 



I. 2-4 13 

of the land to be conquered.* It is probable that in its original 
connexion, v. lb was preceded by an account of this partition, and 
possible that traces of this account may be found in Jos. i4 6ff - i5 Iff - 
(Judah) and i6 Iff (Joseph). It is noteworthy that in Jos. 14-16 
these tribes only have their territory assigned to them at Gilgal. 
In what manner the author of Jud. i conceived this division to 
have been made, we cannot certainly make out ; the reference to 
the oracle (v. lf- ) and the term " allotment " suggest the sacred lot ; 
cf. Jos. i8 6 " 10 . Whether such a partition of the land actually took 
place is a question for historical criticism ; | the language of these 
verses leaves no doubt that the author so represented it. 

1. nwa Ssr, OTiSso Sxr] i8 5 2O 18 - 23 - 27 ; freq. (il t.) in Sam. The 2 is 
originally local; cf. 3 cni, SN C"n, &c. SN n 1 ?]?] march up to, against. The 
hostile sense, oftener expressed by Sy, is sufficiently indicated in the context; 
cf. 3 nS> , invade (a region, country), v. 3 Nu. I3 22 Is. 7. u^] expressing 
the common interest; cf. Dt. 3O 12f -. We should more likely say, who of us. 

nSnro] lit. at the beginning. n?nn (inf. n. of *?rn, begin) is not used 
of order in place or rank but of inception in time; cf. io 18 "C N C">s<n ID 
rray 1J33 nnSnS Vrv, who will first attack the Ammonites.]: 2. i"isn rx voj 
ITO] / deliver . . . info his power, give up to him, v. 4 2 14 3 10 4" and often, 
especially in the introductions to the stories of the judges, Ex. 23 31 Jos. 2i 42 
&c. The pf. represents the future as, in the thought and purpose of the 
speaker, already an accomplished fact, an unalterable certainty; Dr. 3 13, 
Ges. 25 106, 3 a. 3. <|t nJ3] in sortetn meant (Aug., lL vg ), not in sorte mea 
(fL codd - plur edd ^ Ba ^ t,.^ is a n t men t t allotted portion of territory, Jos. i y 14 - 1: , 
eventually, like K\r)pos, portion, estate. ToSm . . . ncn^ji . . . nSy] go tip with 
me . . . and let tts fight . . . and I will go with thee. Bidding and promise, 
cf. v. 24 . When the bidding or asking clause is felt to be logically dependent, 
such sentences pass over into the class of conditionals, If you go with me, I 
will go with you (Paul, Principien der Sprachgeschichte 1 , p. 124). 

4. The verse is superfluous ; except the ten thousand slain a 
round number for which we need hardly seek an historical source 

it tells us nothing which we do not read in the context. By 
the side of v. w it occasions serious difficulty. As an anticipative 



* But that Jud. i presupposes the great cadaster, Jos. 15-21, and would be unin 
telligible without it (Be.), cannot be admitted. For the necessary knowledge of 
the seats and bounds of the tribes, the author s contemporaries did not need to 
consult the domesday book. 

t See Kitt., GdH. i. I. p. 246 f. ; Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 41 f. 

J On Jud. 2O 18 , see note there. 



14 JUDGES 

general statement of the result of the campaign which is related 
in detail in v:" ,* it is very clumsy ; nor are the interpretations 
more satisfactory which refer v. 4 and 5 to successive moments in 
the invasion, whether, with Bertheau, we suppose that after a first 
defeat near Bezek, in which he lost 10,000 men, Adoni-bezek 
threw himself into the town, where he was again attacked and put 
to flight ; or, with Cassel, that in the first battle Adoni-bezek was 
not engaged. In either case, we should expect the narrator to 
explain in some way the relation between the two defeats of the 
same people at the same place. Probably the redactor, having 
abridged his source by omitting the beginning of the story of 
Adoni-bezek, filled its place with these general phrases borrowed 
from the context. 

E. Meyer {ZATIV. \. p. 135) regards v. 4 (except nun and perh. the 
number 10,000) as derived from J, and rejects v. 5 as repetition; he finds 
other grounds for suspicion in v. 7b compared with v.- 1 , and in the use of 
C .-^N, v. 7a , though he does not deny that the story of Adoni-bezek may have 
an historical basis. Kue. doubts the whole of v. 4 -" on historical grounds; 
Matthes ascribes v. fi - " to the last hand (canonical editor). See against Mey. 
and Kue., Bu., Kicht. it. Stun., p. 3 f. Kitt. (6"<//7. i. I. p. 241) thinks that in 
v. 4 the words, And Y. gave the Canaanites into their power, may be genuine, 
which is certainly not impossible. 

Judah alone is named (cf. v. s 10 prob. all secondary). 
Tlieir hand . . . they smote~\ the men of Judah ; the common 
distributive plural with a collective noun. On the Canaanites and 
Perizzites, and on Bezek, see on v. 5 . Ten thousand mcn~\ ^ 
(they slew of Moab ten thousand men) 4" f 20 2 K. i4 7 &c. ; 
a common round number. 5. They came upon Adoni-bezek at 
BezeK\ if v. 4 (Judah went up) is from the hand of an editor, the 
plural probably referred originally to the allies, Judah and Simeon, 
v. 3 . There is good reason to suspect that the beginning of the 
story of Adoni-bezek, which would have told us who he was, and 
perhaps something of the circumstances under which the allies 
encountered him, has been omitted by the editor. BczcJi} the 
name occurs in the O.T. only in i S. n 8 , where Saul musters at 
Bezek the force he has raised for the relief of Jabesh Gilead. The 
Bezek of i S. 1 1 is, without doubt, the modern Khirbet Ibziq, 14 



* Abarb., Schm., Ke., Ba. 



I- 4-5 I 5 

Kngl. miles SSW. of Beisan, and a somewhat less distance from 
the mouth of Wady Yabis, of which it lies directly west. Many 
scholars identify the place in our text with this Bezek.* The 
situation, however, does not meet the requirements of the narra 
tive at all. At the beginning of the story, Judah and Simeon set 
out from the neighbourhood of Gilgal to invade the region in which 
they were afterward settled ; its end (v. 7) brings us to Jerusalem, 
and we should naturally infer that the battle took place at no 
great distance from that city.f Ibzlq lies wholly outside of this 
sphere of action, and in an opposite direction. Others have 
therefore supposed that there was another, hitherto unidentified, 
Bezek in Judah, J and if the text be sound, this seems necessary. 
Budde thinks that the name Bezek was introduced by an editor, 
who derived it merely from the name of the king Adoni-bezek ; 
but after the words " they came upon A.," an indication of the 
scene of the encounter is certainly expected, || and this gap would 
not be filled by the words "king of Jerusalem," which Budde con 
ceives originally to have stood in this place. A more serious diffi 
culty is the name Adoni-bezek. This is generally explained, Lord 
of Bezek ; but such a formation is altogether anomalous. No com 
pound names of persons in Hebrew are made in this way from the 
name of a town, nor if we should evade this objection by taking 
the words appellatively ^[ is adon used like melek of the sover 
eign of a city or country. In names compounded with adon, the 
second part is uniformly the name of a god,** Adoni-zedek (Adonl- 
Sedeq), Adoniram (Adoni-Ram), Adonijah (Adom-Yahu) .ft If 

* Euseb., Ki., E\v., Hitz., Di., Stud., Be., Ke., MV., SS., al. 

t This is confirmed by Jos. 10, according to which the Israelites, coming up 
from Gilgal, encounter the enemy at Gibeon. 

J Cler., Rosenm., v. Raum., Ba., Grove, al. 

Sandys (1610) notes a Bezek 2 m. from Bethzur (Reland, p. 663), which does 
not seem to have been heard of by more recent travellers. Conder would identify 
Bezek with Bezkah, 6 m. SE. of Lydda (SWP. Memoirs, iii. p. 36). Schotanus 
suggested Bozkath (npsa), Jos. is 39 . Cass. takes the noun appellatively, the stony 
desert W. of the Dead Sea, without support in Heb. or intrinsic probability. 

|| The words V rij Befe are lacking, however, in &G. 59. 108. t , perhaps by accident. 

H So S. ** The same is true of compounds of melek. 

ft Similarly in Phoen. : pswix, s j:3j-iN, B SC jis. The one apparent exception 
in the O.T., Adonikam, Ezr. 2 13 , is differently formed, and, moreover, probably 
corrupt; Neh. io 17 gives him the name Adonijah. See Renan, Hist, d Israel, i. 
p. 241 ; Bu., Richt. ti. Sam., p. 64. 



1 6 JUDGES 

the name Adoni-bezek is sound, Bezek must be an otherwise 
unknown god, whose name, we might then suppose, the town also 
bore. The question is further complicated by Jos. 10, where, in 
an account which, notwithstanding its radical divergences, is par 
allel to Jud. i 1 " 7 , and based on the same or a closely similar 
source, the head of the Canaanite confederacy which first makes 
front against the Israelite invaders is Adoni-zedek, king of Jeru 
salem. The latter is a normal formation which has a striking par 
allel in Melchi-zedek (Malki-Sedeq),* king of Jerusalem (Gen. 14). 
It seems probable, therefore, that in the place of the problematical 
Adoni-bezek, king (v. 7 ) of some nameless city,f the original of 
Jud. i (J) had Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, j 

/>t C6 /C-(p;D)] Euseb. (OS 2 . 2375.,) notes two neighbouring villages of the name, 

17 R. m. from Xeapolis, on the road to Scythopolis (Beth-shean). This is the 
Khirbet Ibziq of the Engl. Survey {Great Map, sh. 12; Memoirs, ii. p. 231, 
237), 14 E. m. from Nabulus, with which Eshtori Parchi (A.D. 1322; ed. Venet. 
fol. 66 6 ) had already identified it. Adoni-bezek^ Jerome {OS-. 313 cf. 2317) 
interprets dominus fulminis, or domimis metis fulgurans. The former might 
seem to be a possible Hebrew name; cf. Barak (ch. 4. 5); Roavepyes (Mar. 3 17 ); 
Scipiades, belli fulmina, &c. But JHN is not used like >y3 of the possessor of 
a quality or attribute, and pra fulmen rests solely on the probably corrupt text 
of Ez. I 14 . The identity of Adoni-bezek, Jud. I, and Adoni-zedek, Jos. 10, 
which was discussed by older Catholic commentators (see e.g. a Lapide), is 
accepted by many recent critics. Against the hypothesis adopted above in 
the text, Bu. and We. contend that the original form of the name was Adoni- 
bezek, as in Jud.; Adoni-zedek in Jos. being an intentional differentiation 
in some way connected with Melchi-zedek, Gen. 14. In support of this view 
the fact is adduced that in Jos. the MSS. of (ffir, with singular unanimity, 
exhibit ASwvi/Sefe* (cf. also OS-. 26513; I32 8 2317); unintentional confor 
mation of Cr in Jos. to Jud. is less probable, it is argued, than differentiation 
in p| for harmonistic reasons, which also led to the omission in Jud. of the 
title, king of Jerusalem. But since Adoni-zedek is regularly formed and 
supported by analogy, while Adoni-bezek is quite anomalous, it seems more 

* pTi, 2u5u (Philo Bybl.), is the name of a Canaanite deity; cf. I^CpiX (name 
of a king) on coins (Bloch, Phoen. Glossar, p. 55). Cf. Sspns, "O^pix, in S. Arabia 
(Praetorius, in 7.DMG. xxvi. p. 426). 

t It is to be particularly observed that he is not called king of Bezek. On the 
other hand, the end of his history, v. 7 , shows that he was in some way connected 
with Jerusalem. 

J The last words would naturally stand, not here (Bu.), but at the first intro 
duction of his name, now omitted. 

$ The opposite opinion is defended by Kitt., Gdll. i. i. p. 277 f. 



I. 5-6 I/ 

probable that if there was any intentional change it was in the latter, not in 
the former.* The motive for such a change need not have been purely 
harmonistic ; this may be one of the not infrequent perversions of proper 
names by a contemptuous and silly wit, such as perhaps turned Din njDn 2 9 
into mo n Jos. 24 3 .t A third variation of this name is exhibited by Fl. Jos., 
antt. v. 2, 2 121 (on Jud. i), Steph. Byz., Procop. Gaz. (on Jud. i), (g S-^ 
in Jos. IO 1 , viz., A.Suviej3eK (Ze/3eK, Ze/J^cvj). Whether this is a corruption in 
Greek, or represents an (intermediate?) variation in Heb., can hardly be 
determined. 

The Canaanitcs and the Perizzitcs\ the Perizzites coupled with 
the Canaanites, v. 4 Gen. 13" 34 30 (J), and frequently in the cata 
logue of the peoples of Palestine, the " seven nations " of Dt. y 1 . \ 
We know nothing more about them. " The land of the Perizzites 
and the Rephaim (giants)," Jos. ly 15 , is probably a gloss or a 
corruption, and it is extremely precarious to infer from this collo 
cation, taken with the absence of the name in Gen. 10, that the 
Perizzites belonged to a still older population which the Canaan 
ites had supplanted and reduced to villeinage. || It may rather be 
questioned whether they were in reality a people (tribe, clan) at 
all, or only a class of the Canaanite population, the inhabitants of 
peasant villages, as the name suggests. 

Tifln] i|^o Dt. 3 5 i S. 6 18 are the inhabitants of unwalled villages, nps 
Ez. 38"; cf. MH., Meg. ig a . It is possible that these Canaanite peasants 
were later imagined to have been a distinct people, and that the pronunciation 
ino is an artificial discrimination from the appellative use. ffi apparently 
knew nothing of this distinction; for it has 4>e/>e^cuot in Dt. and Sam. also, 
where the later Greek translators render drei x <J" "oi. 

6. They cut off his thumbs and great toes~\ the mutilation doubly 
disabled him for fighting, and probably also disqualified him for 
reigning. Clericus quotes from Aelian, var. hist., ii. 9, the story 
that the Athenians voted to cut off the right thumb of every Aegine- 
tan they captured, Iva. 86pv p.\v /3ao-raetv /AT) Swwvrat, KWTrrjv St 



* That in Jos. the corruption has infected (5, but not ffi, is of no great signifi 
cance ; cf. the variations of <5 in Jud. 2 9 Jos. 24 3n cited below. 

t Such wit would be capable of giving a contemptuous twist to p?3. 
J On these lists, see below, on 3 5 . 
Wanting in <5. 

|| Dillm., BL. iv. p. 462, cf. NDJ. p. 546; Kautzsch, HWBl ii. p. 1193. 
C 



I 8 JUDGES 

ve.iv Swcovrcu.* Hannibal, according to Valer. Max., ix. 2, ext. 2, 
mutilated prisoners of war, prima pedum parte succisa. After the 
surrender of Uxellodunum, Caesar cut off the hands of all who had 
borne arms (bell. gall., viii. 44). 7. Seventy kings, 6-r.] This 
sounds more like a savage boast than the note of contrition, 
though he recognizes a retribution in his fate. The obvious 
exaggeration is no reason for questioning the genuineness of the 
verse, | nor for the conjecture that the number has been raised 
from seven, \ nor for supplying in thought, " at different times." 
The table was a small, low stand, around which those who partook 
of the meal sat on the ground, or which was placed before them 
as they sat upon chairs or couches. || We are not, therefore, to- 
imagine the kings actually under the table, but as gathering up 
from the ground, like dogs (Matt. 15-", Odyss. xvii. 309), the frag 
ments which fell as their master ate ; and we may perhaps best 
represent this if we think of him as sitting, like Saul (i S. 20 - ), 
upon a divan by the wall with the table before him.lf They 
brought him to Jerusalem, and he died therc~\ the common, and 
indubitably the most natural interpretation of these words, viz. 
that the Israelites, as they now marched to attack Jerusalem 
(v. 8), carried their captive with them, is beset by great difficulty. 
The author of this story of the conquest tells us plainly that the 
invaders were unable to dislodge the Jebusites from Jerusalem 
(Jos. i5 K Jud. i- 1 ); v. s , which says the opposite, is for that 
reason by another and a later hand. To relieve this difficulty, 
several recent scholars ** give the verb in v." h an indefinite subject, 
men brought him, he was brought, sc\ by his own people, to 



* The story is repeated or referred to by Xen., hist, gr., ii. i, 31 ; Pint., vit. f.ys., 
9; Cic., dc off., iii. n; Valer. Max.. ix. 2, ext. 8. Whether it is true, or only a 
Peloponnesian slander (K. O. Miiller), it shows that such atrocities were not 
inconceivable even in Greek warfare. Examples among the Persians, Quint. Curt., 
iii. 20, v. 17; Diod, Sic., xvii. 69; Arabs, E\v., Gl I. ii. p. 494 n. 
t Kue. J Kitt. $ Ba. 

|| Seemingly the oldest custom among the Egyptians and the Homeric Greeks 
also ; cf. Krman, Aegypten n. aeg. I.ebcn, p. 262 f. ; Buchholz, Homerische Realien, 
ii. 2, p. 161 ff. ; Baumeister, Denkm&ler, p. 1817 f . ; Lane, Modern Egyptians 5 , 
p. 142 ff. ; Thomson, Land and Beolft, iii. p. 75 f. ; Benzinger, Hebr. Archiiologie, 
p. 113, 123. Reclining at meals was a new foreign fashion in Israel in the 8th 
century ; see Am. 312 6 4 . 11 See the cut in Thomson, I.e., p. 76. 

** Cass., Rcuss, Bu., Kitt. 



I. 6-7 19 

Jerusalem ; * a notice which becomes at once more intelligible 
and more significant if, as has been supposed, he was king of 
Jerusalem, and that city was not attempted by Judah at this time. 

6. rasp ] Pi. cut off, praccidere : 2 S. 4 12 (hands and feet) ; cf. Qal 
Dt. 25 12 . vS.ni IHI num] pi. only here and v. 7 ; sg. pi Ex. 29 20 &c. The 
plural in ffl is formed as from a sg. pna which Jsn>- has throughout in place 
of J^J ud - pa. Arab, has by the side of |*^-? the vulgar forms rLg-J and 
(V^Li. The noun is prob. fern., like other names of members of the body 

(Ges. 25 122. 3 c; Stade, 310 c) ; Gesen. made it masc. through miscon 
struction of v. 7 ; in Arab, it has both genders, the fern, prevailing. The 
annexion of two genitives to one noun occurs in Heb. only when the genitives 
naturally go together, or form a standing phrase, as in fix) Q^Z mpn, Jer. S3 25 ; 
e*a-n aSn nar }nx, Dt. n 9 Jer. II 5 &c.; see also Nu. 2O 5 Is. 22 5 ; a striking 
example is Jud. 7 25 a.xn 3i>- U N->. In Arabic the constr. is more freely used. 
(gABX has here icai TO. &Kpa rCiv TroStDc ai)roO, and it is possible that their 
Heb. conformed to the common construction, Ex. 29 20 : < r - M 5 C support fj). 
7. D xxps arvS.ni arw nuna O aSa a^ar] the ptcp. is to be taken with 
QiyfD (circumstantial) ; mjna is adv. accus. of determination (Stud., Be., Ges. 25 
121. 2, n. I ; see Wright, Arab. Gram., ii. 44 e; Howell, Arab. Gram., 
i. 83 ff.); cf. 2 S. I5 32 Neh. 4 12 . For a different construction of these cases 
see Ew., 288 b (De Sacy, Gram. Arabe, ii. 320 f.; Fleischer, Kl. Schriften, 
i. p. 644). anapSs vn] Dr. 3 135. 5; Ges. 25 116. 5 n., 2. fnW] in older 
texts only of the king s table (i S. 2O 29 and freq.). To be connected not with 
Heb. nSc (=^*Lww) send (not spread out, MV.), but with Aram. Syr. 



^;r ( ^J^M) strip off (skin of an animal, clothing, &c.) ; NnSsy rhv (MH. 
skin, hide. Like the Arab. 8jLuw (from ^&uw sweep off, 



strip off ), it was originally a round mat of leather with a drawing-string in 
the edge, such as is still in use among the Bedawin, which, spread out on the 
ground, served for a table, drawn up, as a receptacle for food; and was subse 
quently applied to the wooden or metal tray set upon a stand, which in town 
life superseded this primitive arrangement. See Lane, Arab.-Engl. Lex., 
p. 1371 B; Xiebuhr, Arabien, 1772, p. 52; Doughty, Arabia Deserta, 1888, 
i. p. 148. Whether the name pSs was given it in Heb. because it was originally 
of leather (Levy, NHlVb. iv. p. 560), or because it was removed, stripped off, 
after using, can hardly be decided. The form of the noun is anomalous; 
Lagarde {Bildung d. Nomina, p. 204 f.) rightly regards it as of foreign type, 
and (with fan? jrnq, J2-n) borrowed from an Aramaic dialect. Earth (A 7 omt- 
nalbildung, p. xxix n) explains the a (instead of the normal 5) as the result 

* Ges. 25 144, 3 b. ; Green, 245, 2. 



20 JUDGES 

of dissimilation, to avoid the sequence of rounded vowels u (0) o. This is not 
satisfactory, because: i, such dissimilation would more probably have affected 
the first vowel (giving sil/wn), as in the examples Barth himself has collected 
in the text; 2, the object of the dissimilation is not attained by substituting 
T(<Z = O) for 1 (o). C7- ] requite; of divine retribution for evil deeds, Dt. 
7 10 Jer. 25 14 &c. 2Ti s N] in the intercourse between men of different tribes, 
worshippers of different gods, the common name is naturally used; it is no 
reason for doubting the genuineness of the verse (Mey.). 

8. Of the capture and destruction of Jerusalem as here nar 
rated, there is no trace in the history. Even the Book of Joshua, 
which relates at large the overthrow of its king Adoni-zedek and 
the destruction of all the other cities of his confederacy, is signifi 
cantly silent about Jerusalem (Jos. 10; cf. 12). In Jud. 19 "- it 
is a city of the Jebusites, " where there are no Israelites," and 
where, therefore, a belated wayfarer hesitates to seek hospitality. 
The taking of Jerusalem, with its stronghold Zion, is, in fact, one 
of the great achievements of David (2 S. 5"),* the memory of 
which is perpetuated in the name City of David. But we are not 
left to inferences ; the author of the history from which Jud. i is 
derived tells us explicitly that the invaders did not could not 
gain possession of Jerusalem. We are fortunate enough to have 
this statement in two places which it is instructive to place side 
by side. 

Jos. I5 03 The Jebusites inhabiting Jeru- Jud. I 21 The Jebusites inhabiting Jeru 
salem, the Judahites could not dis- salem, the Benjainites did not dis 
possess ; and the Jebusites dwelt possess; and the Jebusites dwelt 
with the Judahites in Jerusalem, to with the Benjainites in Jerusalem, 
this day. to this day. 

These passages are identical even to the inverted order of the sentence; 
the only differences are indicated by the italic type. In this variation it can 
hardly be doubted that Jos. has preserved the original; the editor of Jud. has, 
as in other places in the chapter, changed could not to did not in conformity 
to his theory of the responsibility for this failure, and substituted Benjamin 
for Judah in harmony with the partition which allotted Jerusalem to the 
former tribe (Jos. i$ s iS 1G -- s ). For the converse changes (Stud., Be.), no 
reason can be assigned. The verse probably stood in the original immediately 
after v. 7 , or perhaps v. 7 - 1!< - - . 



* i S. i7 54 , implying that Jerusalem was already a great holy place of Yahweh, 
is a gross anachronism. 



I. 8-9 21 

That this statement, in its original form as it stands in Jos., 
proceeds from J there is no reason to doubt ; it exactly corre 
sponds in substance and form to Jud. i- w -. It follows that v. 8 , 
which flatly contradicts v. 21 , cannot be genuine ; it was probably 
inserted by an editor, who perhaps interpreted v. 7 , as most com 
mentators have done, to mean that Judah carried Adoni-bezek to 
Jerusalem, and supplied an express statement of what seemed to 
him to be necessarily inferred from v." b . Whether this be its 
origin or not, the verse has no historical value.* 

To harmonize v. 8 with v. 21 (Jos. I5 C3 ) and with the known facts, two 
principal hypotheses have been proposed: I. They took and destroyed the 
lower city, but were unable to conquer the citadel (Fl. Jos., antt. v. 2, 2 
124, cf. Procop. on v. 21 ). Later the lower city was rebuilt, and inhabited 
by Judahites and Benjamites as well as Jebusites; but the latter, holding the 
castle, were the real masters of the city till the time of David (Cler., Schm., 
a Lapid., Abarb.). 2. Judah took the city and burned it as related in v. 8 , but, 
as they did not occupy it, the Jebusites soon rebuilt and fortified it so strongly 
that neither Benjamin, in whose territory it lay, nor Judah, whose border it 
threatened, was able to reconquer it. After a time, during which it was wholly 
Jebusite (Jud. I9 llf -), Judahites and Benjamites settled as metics beside the 
citizens of the place, and this relation continued till David s time, when, the 
power passing into Israelite hands, it was reversed (cf. Aug., quaest. 7, Thdt., 
Ew., Ke., Be., Reuss, Ba.). By the first of these hypotheses v. 8 and v. 21 are 
made to refer to different things, the lower city, the citadel; by the second, 
to different periods, at the beginning of the invasion, in later times; neither 
is consistent with the text ; if such had been the author s meaning he would 
have made it plain. Ji lonS l] the verbs cannot be taken as pluperf., they had 
fought against J. and taken it, &*c. (Ki., Drus., al), an interpretation which the 
syntax of Heb. tenses does not allow. On Jerusalem and the Jebusites, see on 
ig 10 . :nn flS] see below, on v. 25 . t?so Trtry -p; n rsi] 2O 48 2 K. 8 1 2 Ps. 74 7t ; 
cf. m>-3 tt-N >nnSs i Hos. 8 U Am. i 4 - " 10 &c. The older comm. explained the first 
of these constructions as an hypallage for the second (see esp. Drus.) ; but 
such an artificial figure is not natural in prose. Cast into the fire will hardly 
do, for in all cases in O.T. the obj. is a city or building; set on fire is 
scarcely a parallel idiom; perhaps the origin of the phrase may be send off, 
get rid of, by fire. 

9-15. Judah wages the war in all parts of its territory; 
the taking of Hebron and Debir; the dowry of Caleb s 
daughter Achsah. 9. The verse gives us nothing more than 

* Hitz., GVI. \. p. 102; Stade, GVI. i. p. 161 n. 



22 JUDGES 

the familiar names of the three regions into which the territory 
of Judah was divided by nature, and on account of this general 
character is suspected.* The Highlands and the South and the 
Lowlands, for the whole land of Judah, resembles Jos. io 40 (D) 
9 1 (Rd) Dt. i 7 cf. Jer. 17-" &c. Instead of Lowland (shephelaJi) , 
the author of our history uses Plain ( emey, v. w - 34 ). Budde conjec 
tures with considerable probability that the verse was inserted 
here by the editor in place of v. 111 - 1 , when the latter verses were 
removed to their present position. Of the three regions named, 
the Highlands (RV. hill country) are the mountainous backbone 
of Southern Palestine, attaining its greatest elevation near Hebron ; 
the South is the steppe region which forms the transition to the 
true desert ; the Lowland is the coast plain including the Judaean 
foot-hills. 

As the Dead Sea is far below the level of the Mediterranean, while the 
height of land is much nearer the former than the latter, the mountains of 
Judah fall off toward the east almost precipitously in three terraces; this is 
the Wilderness (-OT:) of Judah, a waterless, treeless waste, which only in 
spring shows a thin iilm of vegetation. aJj] from a root not living in Heb., 
but in Aram, and Syr. meaning dry, dry up ; the name, therefore, is probably 
pre-Israelite. As the Negeb was the southernmost of the natural divisions of 
Palestine, the name acquired the sense south, just as c 1 sea came to mean 
west. nSfl3>n] sc. ]">Nn, the low-lying land. There was a shephelah of Israel 
(Jos. ii 1 ), but the name is generally used without further definition for the 
southern part of the maritime plain, from Joppa to Gaza. It appears to be of 
Israelite origin. 

10. In J the conquest of Hebron is ascribed to Caleb (Jos. 
i5 13f ). In the passage before us Judah gains the victory (v. 10 ) 
and afterwards cedes the city to Caleb (v. 20 ). Closer examination 
of the text shows, however, that this is the work of the editor, and 
that the older history from which he extracts his material agreed 
with Jos. i5 1:1 " , and was, in fact, identical with the source of the 
latter passage. As the story now runs in Jud. i, Judah first de 
feats the three giants (v. 10 ), and then Caleb drives them out (v. L ) ; 
the subject of v." can in its present connexion only be Judah, but 




I. 9-10 23 

the context imperatively requires that it should be Caleb. The 
text of the older narrative may be reconstructed by the aid of the 
parallel in Jos. : 

Jos. I5 13 And to Caleb the son of Jud. i- And they gave to Caleb He- 

Jephunneh he gave a portion in bron, as Moses had bidden, and he 

the midst of the Judahites, accord- expelled from if the three sons of 

ing to the commandment of Yah- Anak. 

weh to Joshua,* Kiriath (i.e. the v. r [And Judah went against the Ca- 
city of) Arba the father of (the) naanites who lived in Hebron the 
Anak (giants), that is Hebron. ancient name of Hebron was Kir- 
14 And Caleb expelled from it the iath Arba ; and they smote] She- 
three sons of Anak, Sheshai, Ahi- shai, Ahiman, and Talmai. n And 
man, and Talmai, the children of he went thence against the inhab- 
Anak. 15 And he went up thence itants of Debir, &c. 12 And Caleb 
against the inhabitants of Debir, said, &c. 
&c. 16 And Caleb said, &c. 

The editor ascribes Caleb s conquest to Judah,f and makes it a victory over 
the Canaanites, where the older narrative spoke only of Anakim. To accom 
plish this, he removed v. 21 from the beginning of this story to the end of the 
account of the conquests of Judah and inserted the words enclosed in brackets 
(Bu., I\icht. u. Sam., p. 4 ff. ). 

Hebron, 22 Rom. miles S. of Jerusalem, \ in the highest part of 
the mountains of Judah, lies in a valley running from NW. to SE. 
The modern city is built partly in the bottom, partly on the slope 
of the eastern hill. With the region south of it Hebron be 
longed to Caleb ; on this clan see note below on v. 15 . The name 
of Hebron in earlier times was Kirjath-arba\ Jos. i4 1J , cf. "Kir- 
jath-arba, that is Hebron" Gen. 23- 35-" Jos. i5 54 2O 7 , see also 
i5 13 2 1 11 . The original meaning of the name is probably Tetra- 
polis ; the peculiar construction of the numeral, which later 
scribes did not recognize, is evidence of its alien origin, if not of 
its remote antiquity. Hebron has not been discovered in the lists 



* See Jos. I4-15. 

t The next step in this progress was to attribute the conquest of Hebron and 
the extermination of the giants to Joshua and all Israel, Jos. lo 36 *"- n 21 f-. 

t OS*. 209,3. 

$ If it occupies exactly the ancient site, it was one of the very few cities in Pal 
estine which did not stand on a hill. On Hebron see Rob., RK 2 -. i. p. 213 f., ii. p. 
72 ff. ; Rosen, ZDMG. xii. p. 477 ff. ; Sepp, Jerusalem, i. p. 486-502 ; Guerin, Judee, 
iii. p. 214-256; Lortet, Syrie, p. 317-333 ; SWP. Memoirs, iii. p. 305-309, 333-346; 
B;id 3 ., p. 139 ff. ; Wilson in DO-., s.v. 



24 JUDGES 

of places in Palestine conquered by Egyptian kings of the iSth 
and i gth dynasties,* nor in the Amarna letters, although the au 
thority of the governor of Jerusalem extended to places further 
south. In Nu. i3~ 2 we are told that Hebron was built "seven 
years before Zoan in Egypt," by which we should probably under 
stand the restoration of the latter city at the beginning of the igth 
dynasty. They smote Shcshai, Ahiinan, and Talmai~\ Jos. i5 H 
Nu. 13"; the three giants ("sons of Anak ") whom Caleb drove 
out (v. 2ft ). The editor has widely separated words which in J 
stood in immediate connexion ; " he (i.e. Caleb) drove out the 
three giants, Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai " ; cf. Jos. 15". The 
names are of distinctively Aramaic type ; Talmai is the name of an 
Aramaean king of Geshur, whose daughter was wife of David and 
mother of Absalom (2 S. 3" i3 ;i7 ), and inscriptions recently found 
at El-Ola near Teima mention two kings of Lihhyan named 
Talmi ; | Ahiman i Chr. g 17 , Sheshai (Shashai) Ezr. io 40 . 

10. Ji frian DPI] parenthetic nominal sentence; perhaps an archaeological 
gloss of the editor. a^o 1 ?] formerly, previously ; v. 11 - ^ 3 2 &c. jjaiN nnp] 
the numeral four is recognized by Jerome (tie situ, etc., OS 2 . 8410) : Arbe, 
id est quattuor, eo quod ibi tres patriarchae, Abraham, Isaac et Jacob, sepulti 
sunt, et Adam magnus, ut in Jesu libro scriptum est (Jos. I4 15 ). \ The same 
Midrash, Ber, rab. 58 (on Gen. 23-). Kirjath-arba is interpreted Tetra- 
polis by Luc. Osiander (1578), E\v., Furrer, Cass., Di., De., al.; with the 
anomalous (not Hebrew) construction of the numeral cf. a iNa Seven 
Wells. Such a name might be given to a town in which four kindred or 
confederate clans were settled in as many separate quarters; compare the 
Phoenician Tripolis the native name has not been recovered -founded by 
Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus. || Later readers, however, took Arba as the name 



* The identification of " Khibur " in inscriptions of. Ramses III. with Hebron 
(Sayce, RP. n. s. vi. p. 32, 39; Higher Criticism, p. 333, cf. 336 f.) is devoid of 
all plausibility. Whether the name Hebron has anything to do with the Habiri so 
often mentioned in the Amarna letters (Sayce, al.) is not yet clear. 

t I). H. Miiller, Epigraphische Denkmaler ans Arabien, p. 5 ; cited by Sayce, 
Higher Criticism, p. 189. 

See also ep. 108, n (Off. ed. Vail., i. 694), where he adds: licet plerique 
Caleb quartum putent, cujus ex latere memoria moftstratur. 

It is conceivable that Hebron (? confederation ) is of similar origin. It is 
worthy of note, though probably only an accidental coincidence, that the modern 
city is divided into four quarters (Rosen, ZDMG. xii. 1858, p. 487) ; though its 
recent growth makes the division less clearly marked than it was a few years ago. 

|| Strabo, xvi. 2, 15, p. 754 ; Diod. Sic., xvi. 41 ; Scylax, p. 42. 



I. lo-ii 25 

of a man, the ancestor of the giants of Hebron. So J!| in Jos. I5 13 2I 11 nnp 
pjyn 3N j. 3-iN, I4 15 D pjya Snjn cnxn jmN nnp, " the city of Arba, the greatest 
man among the Anakim." In all these places has preserved the original 
reading, TroXis A. /iTjrpoVoXts Eva/c (j&v E^a/c, T>V Ei/a/a/i), z.^. 2N >3iN nnp 
pj>n.* A later editor or scribe, who did not catch the sense, and took > 31N 
for a masc. pr. n., altered as to "ON; Vnjn DIND is another miscorrection. A 
kindred misapprehension of pjyn 133 (giants; see on v. 2) ) made pj> also, in 
spite of the article, a man s name, and so provided the giants of Hebron with 
a genealogy reaching back two generations: Arba Anak Sheshai, Ahi- 
man, Talmai (Ges., Stud., al.) IDTIN] so, as the noun type demands, 
Bomb 1 ., Mich. ; the receptus JCTIN is due to popular etymology, jp TIN, frater 
meus quis? (Philo, Jerome, al.); cf. Nu. I3 22 , and Xorzi in loc. 

11-15. Jos. i5 15 19 . 11. He went thence\ in the present con 
text the subject must be Judah, but v. u> and Jos. i5 15 show that it 
was originally Caleb ; see on v. 10 . Debi>-\ evidently a place of 
some importance in the Negeb (v. 1J ), or on the edge of the hill 
country, to which it is also reckoned (Jos. n 21 i5 49 ). It is prob 
ably ed-Doheriyeh, or Dahariyeh,t four or five hours SW. of He 
bron. This village, which stands in a conspicuous position on a 
flat ridge, is the meeting point of the routes from Gaza, Beer- 
sheba, and other places south and east, and is counted the end of 
the desert journey for travellers coming from those quarters, the 
frontier settlement of Syria. The situation relatively to the places 
named in Jos. i^- 50 is also suitable ; note that Debir is named in 
immediate connexion with Anab (Jos. n 21 I5 50 ), which lies very 
near Dahariyeh.J Kirjath-sepher\ the name is commonly ex 
plained from the Hebrew sepher writing, book ; so fB, & 71-0X1? 
L civitas litterarum, 2E SIX rvip i.e. Archive-town. 



* Suggested by Schleusner, Thes. s.v. /uTjTpoTroAis. For EN in this sense cf. 
2 S. 2o 19 and Phoen. coins, |>J33 BN fcOTNVS, Gesen., Man. Phoen., p. 270 f., tab. 35 ; 
Schroeder, Phoniz. Sprache, p. 275 and pi. 18, 5; DJ1X ON nxS, Gesen., Man. Phoen., 
p. 262 f., tab. 34 ; Schroeder, op. cif., p. 275, pi. 18, 2. 

t In the former way (x}_gJoJI) it is written and explained by Eli Smith ; the 
second (xjoUhJI, Guerin, SIVP. Name Lists] is more probably right. 



t See Rob., BFP. i. p. 209, 211 ; Wilson, Lands of the Bible (1847), i. p. 349 ff. ; 
Palmer, Desert of the Exodus, p. 394 f. ; Trumbull, Kades/i Barnea, p. 102 ff. ; S \VP. 
Memoirs, iii. p. 402. The identification was proposed by Knobel (on Jos. I5 15 - 49 ; 
1861). Conder, in apparent ignorance of his predecessor, speaks of it as one of 
the most valuable identifications due to the survey ( Tent Work, 1879, ii. p. 93). 



26 JUDGES 

So tempting a name could not fail to give rise to a multitude of 
speculations ; the town was so called because it was the depository 
of the earliest records of post-diluvian history (Masius), or of the 
public archives of the Canaanites or Anakim (Neubauer), or as 
the seat of a famous library (Arias Montanus), "like those of the 
great cities of Babylonia and Assyria" (Sayce).* Some recent 
critics, like the writer last named, are inclined to draw large 
inferences about the civilization of Canaan from this library,! 
whose existence, it must be remembered, depends solely on a 
possible Hebrew etymology of a proper name not of Hebrew 
oriin. 



era l^i] Jos. I5 10 s ;-i, B - v o 1 Jud. KOI av^aav. Hollenberg (ZATIV. 
i. p. 101 f.), Bu., Kitt. restore ?;," i here; f L M flj C3 AL:NI S was occasioned by 
l^i v. 10 . Rosen (ZZ?J/6\ xi. 1857, p. 50 ff.) would find the name Debir in 
Debirwan or Idbirwan, a high and abrupt hill an hour and a quarter \V. of 
Hebron, and the springs of v. 15 in Ain Xunkur, two miles or more \VS\V. 
of the city; so Ew. (earlier), Roed., v. Raum., Cass. The site is, however, 
much too near Hebron; Achsah could not complain in going thither that she 
was being sent off into the Xegeb country (v. 15 ). Van de Velcle suggested 
Khirbet cd-l)ilbch, t\vo hours SW. of Hebron in a valley abounding with 
springs; but this again does not fit the story; Achsah begs for the springs just 
because they do not abound about Debir. Ewald {GVI. ii. p. 403) thought 
of el-Burg (Rob., BR-. ii. 216 f.), a mile or more \V. of ed-Daharlyeh. Set- 
further on v. lf) . The etymology of Debir is altogether obscure. J As appella 
tive, *v:n is in Heb. the adytum of the temple (i K. 6 5 - lu 8 ), commonly 
explained as the rear, i.e. western part of the building. Sayee, reverting to 
Jerome s oraculitin, place where the god speaks to his priests, infers that 
Debir was famous for its oracle as well as its library, the two being probably 
closely connected {IligJicr Criticism, p. 55). icD n np] (5 I!X \\ (Kaptacreru;- 
</>ap) 5? il pronounce "i^b, Scribe-town. There are two names in the O.T. with 
which this is naturally compared, ->;D (H ace. rn^p 5L Sephar Sa>07?pa) 
in Southern Arabia (Gen. io 30 ) and DM-^D Sepharvaim (2 K. \~j-^ &c.), com 
monly, but falsely, identified with the Babylonian Sippar (Abu Ilabba). || In 
both of these also Jerome discovers the Heb. sepher, book (OS 2 . io 2 i 4717). 
An etymological myth of the same kind which modern critics spin out of the 



* Others have imagined that it was so named because alphabetic writing was 
there invented (Hitz., Kneucker) ; or because it was famous for the preparation of 
writing materials skins or papyrus (Schm.) ; or as the seat of the oldest uni 
versity (a Lyra, Serar., a Lap., al.). t Sayce, Higher Criticism, &c., p. 54 ff. 

t 131 as the name of a city occurs in Sabaean inscriptions (MV.). 

f 5, however, )j^C. Comp. the Egyptian name below. 

J| See Fr. Delit/seh in C.ahver Bibcllexikon-, p. 827. 



I. 11-14 27 

name Kirjath-sepher seems early to have attached itself to that of Sippar 
(2i7r0opa, Ptol., v. 1 8, 7), where Berossus tells us that the records of the 
antediluvian world were buried by Xisuthrus, the Babylonian Noah, and pre 
served from the waters of the flood (Miiller, fr. hist, gr., ii. p. 501, Euseb., 
chron., ed. Schoene, i. p. 21, 22). The etymology is adopted by Bochart 
(Sippara= N^DD), and recently by Menant, who interprets "la ville des 
livres " {Babylone et la Chaldee, 1875, p. 96). See, against this derivation, 
Fr. Delitzsch, Paradies, p. 210, Sayce, Hibbert Lect., p. 168 n. To connect 
IBD in ISD ,> with Aram, and MH. nap, border, frontier, as I formerly sug 
gested (PAOS. Oct. 1890, p. Ixx.), gives a suitable sense, Frontier-town, but 
the phonetic difficulties now seem to me decisive against this explanation. 
Another name of Debir-Kirjath-sepher, ace. to Jos. I5 49 , was ruo nnp; see 
comm. on Jos. I.e. Kirjath-sepher is recognized by W. M. Miiller (Asien u. 
Enropa, p. 174), in Bal-ti tti-pa-\ra (determinative "Writing"), i.e. "House 
of the Scribe" (~i?b, as in <@ B J5), in Papyrus Anastasi I. 

12. Whoever smites Kirjath-sepher, 6-v.] cf. i S. i; 25 ; from 
the sequel it appears that the captured city also fell to the victor. 
13. Othniel the son of Kenaz, the younger brother of Ca/eb~\ 3 
Jos. i5 17 . The last words may grammatically be referred either to 
Kenaz or to Othniel, and interpreters have always been divided 
upon the question whether Othniel was Caleb s nephew * or his 
brother.f The words who was younger than he favour the latter 
construction. The age of Kenaz is irrelevant ; the notice is per 
tinent only as indicating that the disparity in age between uncle 
and niece was not as great as might be thought, or (in 3 9 ) as 
explaining how Othniel so long outlived Caleb. J 14. When she 
camc~\ We are perhaps to imagine that she had been sent for from 
a place of safety, such as Hebron, where she had been left during 
the campaign against Debir. The order of the narrative is not 
against this ; the fulfilment of Caleb s promise is properly related 
in v. 13b - ; an important incident connected with the marriage is 
added in v. 14f -. Others, with a less natural interpretation of the 
verb, explain, as she was going from her father s house, where the 
marriage had taken place, to her husband s new home, escorted 



* BN vibs Kei-e^ iSeA^oG XaAe/3 ; so Calv., Schm., Cler., Pfeiffer, J H Mich., Ew., 
Ba., Reuss. 

f A ai. it filius Cenez frater Caleb ; so Orig., Thdt., Procop., Temurah 16", Ra., 
Ki., Abarb., and most moderns, Ke., Cass., Be., Di., Bu., Kitt., al. 

J It seems to me not improbable that the words, which are not found in Jos., 
were first introduced in 3 9 , and thence at second hand into i 13 . 



28 JUDGES 

on the way by her father. She instigated him to ask of her father 
a piece of land} as Achsah herself makes the request, we should 
rather expect, he instigated her to ask, &c* If we adhere to the 
canon, proclivi scriptioni praestat arclua, the best explanation is 
doubtless, she persuaded him that they should ask ; f it was her 
suggestion, and the execution of the plan naturally devolved upon 
her, but it was with his full knowledge and consent. We hardly see, 
however, why the author should take the pains to tell us that. She 
slipped off her ass~\ i S. 2^ Gen. 2/\. G4 2 K. 5-* ; a mark of rever 
ence, here and in i S. 2^ the posture of a respectful suppliant. $ 
What is it?~\ What wonkiest thou? (RV.) is somewhat too 
definite. 15. Give me a present} lit. a (real, tangible) blessing; 
Gen. 33 U i S. 2^- 7 30* 2 K. 5 15 &c. Thou hast put me in the 
Negeb region. ~\ Others, thou hast given me the Negel> region, || 
which is grammatically hard to justify, and yields an inferior sense. 
The district of Debir to which Achsah was going had not been given 
to her, but belonged to Othniel by conquest. On the Negeb see 
on v. 9 ; as the root is not in use in Biblical Hebrew, it is inadmissi 
ble to render it here appellatively, a dry land ; ^ nor is it necessary 
to emphasize the contrast in this way, the scarcity of water in the 
Negeb was well enough known. Give me Gi/llath-maim~\ the 
words, usually translated springs or wells of water, are, like the 
following Gullath-illith and Gullath-tahtith (" the upper springs 
and the nether springs," RV.), a proper name of alien origin and 
so far as the first element is concerned of uncertain mean 
ing. If Debir is rightly identified above (on v. 1 -), the waters so 
named are doubtless those of Seil ed-Dilbeh, about two-fifths of 
the way from Hebron to ed-Daharlyeh. This is one of the best 
watered valleys in southern Palestine, counting no less than four 
teen springs and having even at the end of the dry season a run 
ning stream three or four miles long. The springs are in three 
groups : the first, six in number, at the head of the valley ; the 



* CH cf. 5, Doom., Bu. f Abarb., Schm., Ba. 

t Illustrations from the modern East, Niebuhr, Arabien, p. 44, 50, Reisebeschrei- 
iiff t i. p. 139, 239 f. ; Seetzen, Reisen, iii. p. 190 (Ba.). 
$ GS3T, RV., Stud., Ke., Be., Cass., Reuss, al. 
li IL, AV., Ra., Ki., Schm., Cler., Ba., al. 
II 1L terram arentem, Ke., Cass., cf. Stud. 



I. 14-15 29 

second, five springs, of which Ain ed-Dilbeh is the largest, a mile 
or more further down along the road from Hebron, in an open 
valley ; the third, smaller springs near the lower end of the Seil.* 
The first two of these groups may very well be the Gullath-illith 
and Gullath-tahtith of our verse. The possession of these springs 
must always have been a matter of great importance ; and the 
story before us which is not an irrelevant scrap of family his 
tory is told to explain or establish the claim of Achsah, a branch 
of the Kenizzite clan Othniel of Debir, to waters which by their 
situation seemed naturally to belong to the older line, the Caleb- 
ites of Hebron. 

12. -!.r,x] without explicit antecedent; Ges. 25 138, 2. rroSi] pf. consec. 
after r\:-< -C-N; Dr. 3 115 (p. 130 f.). voji] apodosis of a virtual conditional 
sentence; cf. Gen. 44 9 Ex. 2i 13 , Ges. 25 112. 5, a, 5; Friedrich, Die hebr. 
ConditionaltStoe, p. 66. 13. 2^3 TIX rjp p "ytrjnp] examples of apposition 
to the genitive, I S. 14" 2 S. I3 3 ; to the governing noun, I S. 9 lb - I S. 26 s 
i K. 1 6" Is. 37 2 c. 14. .-1x122] cannot be, at the moment of departure 
from her father s house (Drus., Ba., cf. Bal - Jos. tv rtji tKTropeve<r6a.i, M Jud. 
id.), and would hardly be used if the meaning were, as they were on the way 
to her husband s house (1L Jos., cum pergerent simul; Jud., quam pergentem 
in itinere monuit vir suus, &c.). in.-vDm] she instigated him : the verb usually 
in a bad sense, I K. 2I 25 2 K. i8 32 2 S. 24 1 I S. 26 19 . The difficulty occasioned 
by the gender of the verb and its suffix is evaded by all the versions (exc. 3T) 
in different ways, but a comparison of their variations in Jos. and Jud. is not 
favourable to the supposition that they read ^"^D l, he instigated her (Doom., 
Bu.) ; nor is it explained how this easy and natural reading was supplanted 
in both Jos. and Jud. by the much more difficult inmDni of |. Many com 
mentators harmonize, She urged him to ask for the field, but, finding him 

v ) ) 

unwilling, undertook the business herself (Ki., LOsiander, Cler., Be., Ke., _ 
Cass.). me*n] the field; Jos. I5 18 better ms a field (BMNai. J U( J. dyp&v~) ; 
the article probably dittography of the preceding n (Stud., Doom., Hollenb.). 
njxm] njj> only here (=Jos. I5 18 ) and 4 21 (see note there). It is not 
found in MH., and, indeed, a root njx appears only in Eth. ( await, wait for, 
lie in wait ), after which J. D. Mich, interprets here, When she reached the 
end of her journey she waited upon her ass, i.e. did not dismount. It is safer 
to be guided by the context, illustrated by the passages cited above; so 2TJ5, 
Rabb. and most. (5 tfttnifffv or avffiorjffev (Jos.), ty6yyvfev [/cat Kpaev] (Jud.), 
1L suspiravit, probably do not represent a different text, but are attempts at 
the unknown word guided by the analogy of ms (Is. 42 ut MH.) or mx; the 
same interpretation in the Haggada, Temurah 16. 15. -h nan] Jos. I5 19 

* See .S 1 WP. Memoirs, iii. p. 301 f. 



3O JUDGES 

substitutes the more common run under the influence of the following jm. 
ijnru 2Jjn ]nx ^] the suff. cannot be indirect obj. (for ^ s ) or second obj.; for 
if such a construction of this very common verb had been possible in Heb. 
we should have had other examples of it in the O.T. or MH. In the sense, 
ihon hast put me into the Negeb region, we might desiderate the prep., pN SN 
sun (cf. 2. S. II IG ), or jn pxa; but the ace. of place is perhaps sufficient, 
especially if we may suppose that the original text had 3Jjn nxnx (Gen. 2O 1 ),* 
which would exclude all ambiguity; the loss of n local before the article 
(haplography) is not infrequent. a^s P^J] is a proper name like r ^iirr: 
D>D (nfl-\ s) Jos. n 8 I3 6 ; so rightly ( Jos. I5 19 Yu\a8fj.ai/j., Euseb., OS 2 . 24534 
cf. 12727, Schm. This appears more clearly in ronm nSj, why nSj] H gnU~bth 
(pi.) ; the discord of number thus needlessly created has led in Jos. to mis- 
correction of the adjj. (n^nnn, n"i7jj n 1 ?;)) ; the older and correct tradition in 
Jos. I5 19 TTJV Tia\a6 rrjv S.v(a Ka.1 r\\v FuXaQ rrjv KO.TW, A Jud. I 15 TTJV 
To\\a9 K.r.e. Golath (or Gullath) is a fern. sg. with the old ending at which 
is preserved in many Canaanite names of places, e.g. Zephath v. 17 , Baalath 
i Ki. 9 18 , Sarephath 17 (Bo. i. p. 413). That the name is of Canaanite (not 
Israelite) origin is manifest from the adjj. rvVy, mrnr, for which we have in 
Hebrew only njvSy, ruinnn; e.g. njvSjjn nrnan Is. f 3 . It is idle, therefore, to 
seek for it a meaning and etymology in Hebrew; nSj, i K. 7 41 - 4 - Zech. 4 2 - ;; 
gives no light. The word was unknown to the ancient translators; renders 
(in Jud.) \vTpuuiv vSaros, associating it with n^NJ; 1L=S3> merely guess from 
the context, watering-place, well-watered spot ; the common interpretation, 
springs (Ra., Ki., al. mu.) has no other origin. f 

On Caleb and the kindred clans see Noldeke, Die Amalekiter, 1864, p. 20; 
Untersuchungen zitr Kritik des A. T., 1869, p. 176-179; Graf, Der Statiim 
Simeon, 1866, p. 16-18; Kuenen, Godsdienst van Israel, i. p. 139 ff., 177 ff.,. 
Religion of Israel, i. p. 135 ff., 176 ff.; esp. Wellhausen, De gentibus et fa- 
miliis Judaeis, etc., 1870; Composition des Hexatenchs, p. 337 f. 

Caleb and Othniel are branches of the Eene Kenaz, an Eclomite tribe 
(Gen. 36 11 - 15 - 4 -), closely related to Jerachmeel. J These clans, separating 
from the main stock of their people, found new homes, Jerachmeel in the 
eastern Negeb, Caleb in the hill country north of it as far as Hebron. The 
latter, the more settled branch of the Kenizzites, eventually coalesced with 
their northern neighbours of Judah, and came to be reckoned one of the chief 
clans of that tribe (cf. Nu. 136 34" i Chr. 2- 18ff - 4 - -). In David s time, 
however, Caleb was still distinct from Judah (i S. 3O 14 ), and Jos. I5 13 cl. I4 6ff - 



* In the Hexat. 3Jjn px is characteristic of E; Di., NDJ. p. 618. 

t M. A. Levy (Phoniz. Stud., i. p. 26) thought that the words csn nSj L were to 
be read in a Punic inscription (Num. 8, Ges., Man. Phoe>t., tab. 47), but the deci 
pherment is probably false. 

J Compare also the names in the genealogies of Caleb and Jerachmeel, i Chr. 
2. 4, with the Edomite genealogies, i Chr. i ; We., De gentibus, p. 38 f. 

The Chronicles hardly know any other Judahites. 



I. 15-16 31 

explains how Caleb came to be settled in the midst of Judah. The Calebites, 
as has been intimated, probably made their way into their new seats from the 
south; their old homes lay near the passes from that quarter, and a reminis 
cence of the fact seems to be preserved in the story of the spies, in which in 
its original form Caleb alone maintains the possibility of a successful inva 
sion from that side, and receives Hebron as the reward of his faith (Nu. 13 
Jos. I4 6ff -).* From the emphasis of the exception it is to be inferred that 
Caleb alone, not Judah, entered from this direction. 

16. A branch of the Kenites accompany Judah to the vicinity 
of Arad ; then, going on to the south, join their kinsmen ( Ama- 
lek). The text has suffered badly, and the restoration is at more 
than one point doubtful ; the general sense, however, is sufficiently 
certain. The Hebrew has, and the sons of . . . Kenite,^ Moses 1 
father-in-law, went up, &c. The apparent lacuna is filled in (> 
by supplying the name, Jethro (Ex. 3 1 ), or, better, Hobab (Nu. 
lo 29 Jud. 4"), and inserting the article, the Kenite. E. Meyer 
would substitute the clan name, as in all other cases in the chap 
ter, reading, Kain, \ the brother-in-law of Moses, went up, &c. 
In view of 4" it seems to me preferable to restore, and Hobab the 
Kenite, Moses father-in-law, went i/p ; see critical note. From 
the Palm City ] 3 1:5 . Jericho, the Palm City, Dt. 34 2 Chr. 28 15 . 
The situation of Jericho suits 3 13 and the verse before us. The 
Palm City is named, not as the old home of the Kenites, which 
Hobab had long before left to cast in his lot with Israel, || but as . 
the point from which he set out with Judah on this campaign. The 
narrative represents the invaders as coming down from the north 
(Jerusalem, Hebron, Debir, Arad, Zephath) ; and v. 1 4 cl. v. 22 sup 
pose that Judah and Joseph set out from the same place, proba 
bly the Jordan valley near Gilgal (2 1 ; see also on i 22 ). Jericho- 
is, therefore, entirely suitable here, and there is no reason to look 
for another palm city in the south. To the wilderness of Judah 
which is in the Negeb of Arad~\ belonging to, or in the neighbour 
hood of, that city. So, rather than /;/ the south of Arad*^ He 
brew usage seems to require us to translate; cf. i S. 27 30". 



* We., Comp., p. 337 f. 

t R.V., "The children of the Kenite," tacitly emends by supplying the article. 

J Jud. 411. $ Bertheau. 

|| Xu. lo 82 (J) with its original sequel. II English version and most scholars.. 



32 JUDGES 

Arad (Nu. 2i l 33* Jos. i2 14 ) is generally identified with Tell Arad, 
a round detached hill about 16 Eng. miles S. of Hebron.* The 
language of the text appears self-contradictory ; the Wilderness of 
Judah, the barren steeps in which the mountains break down to 
the Dead Sea,f and the Negeb are distinct regions (see above on 
v."),and it hardly seems possible that a part of the Wilderness 
could be described as lying in the Negeb of Arad. The suspicion 
is strengthened by the variation of (, which has at the pass (de 
scent) of Arad (cf. Jos. io n ). It is very doubtful, however, 
whether this represents the original reading of ^, as Doorninck 
and Budde assume. And he went and dwelt with the Amalekites^ 
leaving Judah, he continued southward into the desert and made 
his home with the nomadic Amalekites. So one of the principal 
recensions of & ; ^ has with the people, which would also be 
possible if we might, with a slight emendation, read his people ; 
i.e., the main body of the Kenites. The sense would be substan 
tially the same, for the Kenites were neighbours and kinsmen of 
the Amalekites (i S. 15 ) ; see below. 

n:": pn >rp ^31] when the gentile adj. is used of an individual, as is sup 
posed by RV. here, the article is indispensable; it can only be dropped where 
the gent. adj. has become by appropriation a personal name, or where it is 
personified and takes the place of the eponymic ancestor, as in Gen. 36 
0"^), &c.* The only grammatical translation of the text as it stands is the 
sons of l\cni (n. pr.) ; so the Midrash, Alechilta, Jithro I, fol. 65* Weiss, &c. 
<8 supplies the missing name; (3 BX lodop WT Ex. 3 1 ; LM S C IwjSa^, A fe 
Iwa/3 = mn Jud. 4 11 Xu. io 2 . Stud, and Mey. infer that neither name stood 
in the Ileb. copies before these translators; but Jeihro may be the substitu 
tion of the more frequent name of Moses father-in-law for the unfamiliar 
Hobab (cf. lodop for Payovrt\ Ex. 2 18 in many coclcl.). In view of the sg. 
verbs in v. b it is probable that the original reading was Hobab the Kenite, 
rather than the sons of Hobab (see Bu., Kicht. u. Sam., p. 9 n., 86). Mey. s at 
tractive conj. nS; nr-: pn ppi is approved by Kue. (IICO 1 . i. p. 367) and Bu. 



* On Tell Arad see Schubert, Itdsc, ii. p. 457 f. ; Rob., BK-. ii. p. 101, 201 ; Van 
de Velde, Narrative, ii. p. 83 f. ; Palmer, Desert of the Exodus, p. 402; Guerin 
Judce, iii. p. 182 f . ; S\\ P. Memoirs, iii. p. 403, 415. 

t Especially, it would seem, in the northern part ; En-gedi is the most southern 
in the list of towns in this region, Jos. I5 olf -. 

+ The apparent exceptions are all, for one reason or another, suspicious; see 
Roorda, Gram, llcbr., \ ^-jzfui. 

\ The plur. in the first verb, iSy, is natural conformation to the newsubj. ij>p >J3. 



I. 16 



33 



(p. 9, but see p. 86); but 4 11 obstinately stands in the way. Even if the 
words HB>D jnn aan ^jaa there are a gloss (Mey., Bu.), or the whole verse a 
late interpolation (Matthes, Kue.), the knowledge that Moses father-in-law 
was a Kenite, of which there is no other intimation in the O.T., must have 
been derived from I 10 . |nh] = the girl s father, 19*, njnh wife s mother, Dt. 
27 23 cl. Lev. ao 14 ; cf. Ex. iS 1 - 2 Jethro, Moses father-in-law. So here 3T&, 
Mechilta, Ra., Ki., al. Many scholars render fryi when used of Hobab (Jud. 
4 11 I 16 ; some also Nu. io 29 , where, however, a different construction is possi 
ble), brother-in-law (Thdt., Luth., Cler., Be., Ba., Ke., Cass., Reuss, Bu., Kitt., 
AV., RV., al. mu.). Others more indefinitely, relative (IL cognatus), relative 

by marriage (affinis, Schm.). It is not impossible that ?? n, like Ar. .JC^., 
may have been used in the wider sense of a man s wife s near kinsmen, such 
as her father, or brother (Abulw., Ibn Ezra) ; but there is no certain instance 
in the O.T. of any other meaning than father-in-law, with which also the 
participial form better accords (cf. Stade, ZATIV. vi. p. 143 n.). The pas 
sages in the Pent, which refer to Moses marriage are conflicting and baffle 
analysis; cf. Ex. 2 16 -~; 3 1 4 1S i8 lff -; Nu. io 29 Jud. 4 11 (i 16 ). According to 
E his wife was a daughter of Jethro, a Midianite : J seems to have represented 
him as marrying the daughter of Hobab ben Reuel,* a Kenite, but the redac 
tion has introduced great confusion. annnn -vy] on the palms of Jericho 
see Theophrast., hist, plant., ii. 6, 8; Strabo, xvi. p. 763; Fl. Jos., b.j. iv. 8, 3; 
i. 6, 6; Plin., n. h., v. 70; xiii. 44, &c.; Arab authors (Muqaddasi, Yaqut) 
in Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, p. 396 f. They have now en 
tirely disappeared. Of Jericho the name Palm City is here understood by 
Sifre on Num. lo 29 - 32 , 78, 81 (fol. 2o a 2i b ed. Friedm.), Ra., Thdt., 
Procop., and most commentators. Cler. suggested the <JHHIHKUV described by 
Diod. Sic., iii. 42, Strabo, xvi. p. 776, on the Arabian shore of the Red Sea 
(cf. Ptol., vi. 7, 3); see Bochart, Phaleg, ii. c. 22 (i. p. 118 ed. Villemandy). 
Others have thought of Tamar, Ez. 47 19 48 28 ( Jericho) perhaps also 
i K. 9 18 , at the SE. limit of the Holy Land; probably Qa/jiapia, Ptol., v. 16 
8, Qa/j.apa, Euseb., OS. 2 21034, on the road from Jerusalem to Aila, which 
Rob. (.#./?. 2 ii. p. 202) would locate at Kurnub. TI>] seems to be named 
in the Egypt, king Shishak s (Shoshenq) lists of conquests in Palestine; see 
W. M. Muller, Asien und Europa, u. s. w., p. 168. The Onomastica put it 
down at 20 R. m. from Hebron, 4 m. from Malatha, which corresponds suffi 
ciently closely with the situation of Tell Arad. From Nu. 2I 1 , where the 
Israelites on their first advance from the south suffer a repulse at the hands 
of the king of Arad, we should rather look for Arad in the southern Negeb, 
near the border of the desert; but it is unsafe to lay great stress upon this.f 
Mey. (ZATIV. i. p. 132, 137 n.) regards -n> in Jud. i 16 as a misplaced mar 
ginal correction of nas, v. 17 , and accordingly restores -ny in v. 17 (in conformity 
with Nu. 2I 1 - 3 ) and cancels it in v. 16 ; see contra, Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. io f. 

* Reuel is an Edomite clan ; Gen. 36*- I0 . t See below, on v.i . 

D 



34 JUDGES 

"n> ajja i" .s* rnirv Ta-c] o ///<? south of A. would be not TI> ajja, but ajjs 
nyS; cf. p? p^ DTps Gen. 3 - 4 , ^ pss^ Jos. 8 11 , > s a^ Jos. 8 9 , &c. The va 
rious recensions of (5 all have tirl KaTa/3d<rea;s Apa5 = T1J7 Tima ; in other 
respects they differ considerably. Doom, and Bu., following AI 3 t els TTJV 
Iov5a TTJV ofiaav ev rtf vbrif ^TTI Kara/Wcreus Apa5, and rejecting ev TO? 
as false doublet (in Heh. a.na, "nica) to ^TTI Kara/Sdcreus, restore lain 
11; nisa Ti N min\ But Toi55a does not belong to the original text of <; it 
is lacking in ( MO , asterisked in 3, and stands in B in a different place; 
presumably it was not in the Hebrew from which they translated. I propose 
a different solution; viz., that -ni^a (i-rrl KarajSdo-ecos) is an old error for naisa, 
as in Jos. S 24 ; aJja IITS is a gloss to T>" from Nu. 2l l introduced into the 
text in the wrong place; rnirp a natural complement to 13T:3 * thus left 
without a genitive. It may be added in confirmation that, if Arad be rightly 
identilied with Tell Arad, there is no steep pass (1112) in the neighbourhood 
of it (see Guerin, Judee, iii. p. 182). B>n ns att"i ~| L "i] /uerd roO Xaou 
AyttaXTjK <S N ft-t T 5 XaoO is doublet, corrected after |^ C;H; the translator read 
pSsy PN (Hollenberg, ZATIV. \. p. 102; Mey., Kue.), or, in view of n"n in 
J^, better, ^p^^-n rs (Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 9 f., Kitt., Dr., TBS. p. 93). As 
this is not suggested by the context and cannot well have arisen by accident, 
while it admirably agrees with the facts ( T S. 15 &c.), it may be confidently 
adopted. Otherwise we might emend i^> rx. We reconstruct accordingly, 
-V s ?:>n rx as"i f s n -n> 131?: n-nrv >j2 rx an^rn i^yr: n 1 ?;- nr-: pn ^^in aa-i 
On the Kenites see Andr. Murray, Comm. de Kinaeis, Hamburg, 1718; 
Xoldeke, Die Amalekiter, p. 19 ff. ; Wellhausen, De gentibus, etc., p. 30 ff. ; 
Kuenen, Godsdienst, i. p. 179 ff. = Religion of Israel, i. p. 179 ff.; Stade, " Das 
Kainszeichen," ZATIV. xiv. p. 250 ff. The Kenites are frequently associated 
with the Amalekites (i S. 15 Nu. 24 20 " 2 -; cf. also Gen. 36 10 - 1 -), and were in 
all probability a branch of that people. J But while Amalek was hostile and 
treacherous (Dt. 25 17f - Ex. I7 8 -" ), the Kenites were friendly to Israel, and 
according to J allied by marriage to Moses. The original sequel of Xu. 
io-* :i2 (J) no doubt narrated that Hobab, yielding to Moses importunity, 
accompanied Israel in its further migration. In the invasion Hobab con 
sorted with Judah (Jud. i lt; ) and followed that tribe into the south, but, true 
to his Bedawin instincts, soon roamed beyond the border into the pastures of 
his kinsmen of Amalek. The old relations between the Kenites and Judah 
were maintained, however, in the time of David (i S. 2j l " cf. 3o 29 ). Later 

* In <B IJ to aa. 

t C I! , which belongs to this family, has here, as in a good many other places, 
been revised. 

J The Kenites belong to the same group with the Kennizzites (Gen. 36, cf. is 19 ). 
The common opinion that they were closely related to the Midianites is at variance 
with all thai we know about the two peoples, and rests only on the harmony which 
editors and commentators have forced upon the divergent traditions of J and K. 
The connexion of the Rechabitcs ( fer. 35) with the Kenites (i Chr. 2- ") is also 
very doubtful. $ Note the towns pp Jos. 15"", nrp 15^-. 



i- l6 - 7 35 

the feeling of the Israelites was less friendly (Nu. 24 21f -). In Jud. 4 we find a 
sept of the Kenites, Heber, pitching their tents far in the North; see comm. 
on 4 11 . 

17. Judah helps Simeon to destroy Zephath-Hormah. Ac 
cording to the agreement (v. 3 ), the allies next invade the territory 
of Simeon in the south of Judah. Zephat1i\ the name only here ; 
see below on Hormah. They devoted if\ to destruction, razing 
the town and exterminating its inhabitants, to the glory of Yah- 
weh; cf. 21" Nu. 31 Dt. 2 34 3 6 , &c., Jos. 8 24ff - io 28ff - n llff -, &c., 
esp. i S. i5 3ff- . According to Dt. 7 2 2O 16ff - the wars with the Ca- 
naanites were always to be such holy wars of extermination. Simi 
larly the Moabite king Mesha records in his inscription how at the 
bidding of Kemosh he took Nebo from Israel and put to death 
the whole population, " men and boys, wives and maidens, and 
slave girls; for to Ashtar-Kemosh I devoted it" (1. 16 f.) ; and 
again of Ataroth, " I killed all the people of the city, a fine sight ( ?) 
for Kemosh and Moab ! " (1. n f.) ; cf. also 2 K. 8 12 .* So the 
city came to be called Hormah~\ because it had been visited with 
the herein ; " Devoted City." The same explanation of the name 
Nu. 2 1 3 . The etymology is scarcely historical; Hormah more 
probably signified " inviolable, sacred " ; cf. Hermon. Hormah 
was a city of southern Judah ( i S. 3O :JO ) f towards the frontier of 
Edom (Jos. I5 30 cl. v. 21 ), J occupied by Simeonites (Jos. ip 4 i Chr. 
4 :w ). In the catalogues it regularly precedes Ziklag ; cf. also Nu. 
1 4 45 Dt. i <4 . The data are insufficient to fix the locality, and no 
trace of the name has been discovered. According to our verse 
the native name of the place was Zephath, which Robinson would 
connect with the pass Naqb es-Safa, SE. of Kurnub, while Row 
lands and many recent writers would identify with Sebata or Sebaita, 
two and a half hours S. of Khalaseh. || It is, however, highly 



* On the herem see Ew., Alterthiimer^ , p. 101 ff., = Antiquities, p. 75 ff. ; Merx. 
BL., Ri., HWB., Riietschi, PRE2. s. v. " Bann " ; W. R. Smith, Religion of Semites, 
Lect. iv. and esp. Add. note, p. 427-435 ; Stade, G VI. \. p. 490 f. 

t Named, as here, immediately after the Kenites of the Negeb. 

J Jos. 15 represents Idumaea as contiguous to Judaea along its whole southern 
frontier, as it was in fact after the exile. $ BR*. ii. p. 181. 

|| Rowlands in Williams, Holy City*, i. p. 464 ; Tuch, ZDMG. i. p. 185 ; Wilton, 
The Negeb, p. 198-206; Palmer, Desert of the Exodus, p. 371 ff. The place had 
been previously visited by Seetzen, Reisen, iii. p. 44. 



36 JUDGES 

improbable that the old Canaanite name Zephath should have sur 
vived to our time, while Hormah, the name by which alone the 
place is known in the O.T. history, has entirely perished. 

17. nmx irnm] the Hiph. is denom. fr. ann. The primary meaning of 
the latter is not very remote from vy ; both denote inviolability, and, in a 
religious sense, withdrawal from common use or contact. But in the further 
development of this idea in Ileb. they go in opposite directions : trip applies 
to things which God appropriates to himself because he chooses them for his 
pleasure or service; Bin to things which he prohibits to men because he hates 
them with peculiar hatred. Both are inviolable : the first are holy, and it is 
sacrilege to pervert them to profane uses; the second are also sacrosanct, and 
whatever touches them contracts the same character and is doomed to the 
same fate. They thus represent opposite sides of the common idea of taboo 
(on which see Fraser, Enc. Brit**, xxiii. p. 15 ff.). The root np is found 
only in the North Semitic languages; Bin in them all, cf. Ar. pY^** (* J^ 
vJy^k; Xabat. Bin, inviolable, Euting 2sf. and p. 28; Palmyr., de Vogue, 
35; Himyar., Halevy, 50, 1760, &c.* ncin -vp n Oi? NT" 1 ] the use of the 
3 sg. in. with inherent indef. subj. (miscalled impersonal ) is not infrequent 
in this verb; 2 S. 2 V > Gen. II 9 i6 14 19-, Gcs. 25 144, 3 a. From Xu. 2I 1 -" 
it would appear that the older native name of Hormah was Arad, and that, 
with the neighbouring Canaanite cities, it was destroyed by Israel during their 
earlier wanderings in revenge for hostile acts of its king; whence its name 
Hormah. Critics who do not, like Cass., Ba., assume that the city was twice 
destroyed and renamed, explain Nu. 2i 3 as narrating by anticipation the 
destruction of the place by Judah and Simeon, Jud. I 17 (Stud., Kn., Ew., Be., 
We., Mey., Di.). On this hypothesis it must be assumed, further, that 
Zephath and Arad (both equivalent to Hormah) designate the same place, 
which creates a fresh difficulty, f A more probable solution is, that the words 
11" ^ 3 in Xu. 2I 1 are an interpolation; J they disturb the structure of the 
verse and make serious difficulty with v. 3 . If the words are omitted, Bip2 (v. 3) 
is the region in which the destroyed cities stood, which also better suits 
X T u. I4 45 Dt. i 44 (from Seir to Hormah). It is then not necessary to connect 
Nu. 2i - ;! with Jud. i 17 in any way; they contain two explanations of the 
name Hormah. The identifications proposed by Rob. and Rowlands are 
founded upon Xu. 2 1 1 - 3 , both assuming that the attack on the Canaanites 
proceeded from Kadesh; es-Safa is a pass leading into the mountains from 
Am el-Weibeh (Robinson s Kadesh); Sebaita lies north of Ain Qudes 
(Rowlands Kadesh); neither is anywhere near Tell Arad. On Simeon, 



* Noldeke in Euting, /. c. 

t Mey. removes this by writing -n; 1 for res in Jud. i 1 "; see above on v. 1G . 

t The name may have come, by association with Hormah, from Jos. I2 14 . 



! 7-19 37 

see Dozy, Die Israeliten zn Mekka, 1864; Graf, Der Stamm Simeon, 1866; 
Wellhausen, Comp", Nachtrage, p. 353-355; Stade, GVI. i. p. 152 ff. 

18, 19. The Coast Plain. The two verses flatly contradict 
each other ; v. 18 tells us that Judah captured the three principal 
cities of the plain, Gaza in the south, Ashkelon in the middle, and 
Kkron in the north, with their territory. That is in effect the 
whole region occupied in latter times by the Philistine confed 
eracy ; v. 19 says that Judah, with the help of Yahweh, got posses 
sion of the mountainous interior, but was unable to conquer the 
lowlands, where the formidable war-chariots of the natives could 
operate. This agrees with 3^ Jos. 13", where Philistia, like Phoe 
nicia and Coele-Syria, is represented as being a part of Canaan 
which Israel did not conquer.* The hypothesis that Judah took 
these cities in the first onset, but was unable to maintain its hold 
on the plain, f does not relieve the difficulty in our verses ; a writer 
who meant that must have expressed himself quite otherwise in 
v. 19 . The phraseology of v. ls is also strikingly different from that 
of the rest of the chapter. Nothing remains but to pronounce 
v. 18 an editorial addition of the same stamp as v. 8 and of equally 
unhistorical character. \ 19. Yahweh was with Judah] v.". The 
Highlands] see above, on v. 9. The position of the verse sug 
gests the question whether the Judaean Negeb is tacitly included, 
so that Highlands as a designatio a potiori has here a wider ex 
tension ; or whether the Negeb, occupied by Caleb, Othniel, 
Kain, and Simeon, is distinguished from the possessions of Judah 
proper. || Meyer, however, with good reason, restores v. 19 21 to their 
natural place after v.".^[ They were unable to expel, &c.~] see 
critical note. The Plain] is here as in v. 34 , the coast plain west 
of Judah, in which the cities named in v. 18 stood.** Others ff 
take the word ^etncq) collectively for the wide valleys in the 
mountains of Judah, such as the Emeq Rephaim near Jerusalem 



* Jos. 1545-4" (R; Di.) includes the Philistine cities in the list of towns belong 
ing to Judah, in conformity with v. 12 which makes the (ideal) boundary of the 
tribe the Mediterranean Sea. 

t Ki. and Abarb. on 3 3 ; a Lyra, Schm. (qu. 14), Ew., Be., Ke., Ba. 

J Mey., Bu., Kitt., Renan, Hist., i. p. 246 ; cf. Stud. 

Bertheau. || Bachmann. II So also Bu., Kitt. 

** Fl. Jos., antt. v. 2, 4, Thdt., qu. 6, Stud., Ke., Be., and most. ft Ba. 



38 JUDGES 

(2 S. 5 18 ), Emeq ha-Elah (i S. iy 2 ), &c. ; but these would be un 
tenable, even with chariots, after Judah had taken the hill cities. 
Iron chariots } 4 :! Jos. iy 1(i - LS . Probably of wood, strengthened 
or studded with iron ; * curnts falcati (3L) seems to be an archae 
ological anachronism. Chariots were, as the Egyptian monuments 
prove, a strong arm in the military establishment of the Palestin 
ian and Hittite kingdoms, whence they were introduced into 
Egypt. 



18. mim T^ L "i] i s C harmonizing, OVK e/cX^po^/xr/crev,! which Ziegler 
(cf. Cler.) and Doom, accept, explaining "o 1 " ! pj as transcriptional error for 
137 N 1 ?!. But if v. 19 had originally been prefaced by such a statement, it 
would probably have been differently introduced (e.g. MI n-nm rx mn mm ^) ; 
observe also lo 1 ? (v. 8 - 1L> - 13 ), and esp. n s uj (as I S. y 14 and often) instead of 
.mnij2, elsewhere throughout the chapter. % Bu. (Richt. u. Sam., p. 6 n.) 
supposes that v. 18 , except the first two words, was originally a gloss to f^ n 
v. 19 ; the contradictory beginnings of the verse in fjj and proceed from two 
different scribes who independently introduced the gloss into the text. The 
statements of El. Jos., antt. v. 2, 4 128 and v. 3, I 177, are manifestly de 
rived from our text, but agree neither with it nor with each other. On the 
cities named in v. ls see DB-; on Gaza also below on i6 J , on Ashkelon, on 
I4 19 . 19. B>mrp xS] that this mode of expression is abstractly possible 
must perhaps be admitted, though there is no complete parallel ; cf. Am. 6 10 , 
Dr. 3 202, 2; Ges. 25 114 n. 2. But in the context the impersonal, it was 
impossible to expel, is less suitable than he (Judah) was tenable to expel. 
Jos. I5 1:i 17!- make it most probable that the author wrote tt mn? ^y N - ; cf. 
also (5ILC; the verb ^ was cancelled by R or a scribe on dogmatic 
grounds. relieves the difficulty by premising " after they had sinned " (cf. 
2 ~. loft.). an anonymous commentator in Cat. Niceph. writes, OVK r;Svvr]dr]o-ai , 
OVK f-rrl a5vva/j.tq, eipr/rai, d\X ftrl pa6vfj.io..\\ ^"Tin cannot be always trans 
lated by the same English word, but is to be rendered according to the 
context, conquer, occupy, expel, &c. pcy] is etymologically a deep depres- 



* See the description of Egyptian war-chariots in Wilkinson, Ancient Egyp 
tians*, i. p. 222 ff . ; Erman, Aegypten, u. s. w., p. 649 ff., 720 f. ; W. M. Miiller, 
Asien n. F.uropa, p. 301 (Syrian), 329 (Hittite). 

t See further, Lagarde, Septuaginta Studien, i. p. 20, 22. 

t The rendering of T s by lK\r)poi>6wvev points to a different hand from the 
translator of the rest of the chapter (cf. v. J2 - 13) , and perhaps justifies the inference 
that v.i 8 (which from its contents cannot have been inserted by the editor of 
Jud. i) was interpolated after the Greek version was made. 

These versions could, however, scarcely render otherwise, and 1L and !T, at 
least, probably had our text ; S translates, did not destroy. 

|| Similarly R. Xfoses es-Sheikh supplies e^-mS nxi N 1 ?. 



I. 19-21 30 

sion; in usage the name is not given to a narrow valley or ravine, but to a 
broader and more open valley or low plain, such as the Plain of Jezreel, 
Jos. I7 1G &c. That it belongs to the definition of an emeq to lie between or 
be shut in by hills (Rob., Phys. Geog., 70), so that the coast plain could not 
be so called (Ba., Graf, on Jer. 47), is not warranted. See further, M. 
Sliebiith, ix. 2, esp. Tos. Shebiith, vii. IO f. For the last words of the verse 
<S has on I rjxa-P SiecrretXaTo ai)rots, prob. by corruption of ^ni^n) to L "-on; 
cf. Jos. i7 1(5 - 18 where unros ^TriXe/cros may have a similar origin (cf. We., De 
gentibus, etc., p. 31, TBS. p. 18). 

20. Caleb expels the giants of Hebron. See above on v. 10 . 
As Moses had bidden} Nu. 14" Dt. i 36 cf. Jos. i4 12ff - is 1 -. The 
three giants} Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. v. 10 . The inhabitants 
of Hebron are called Canaanites (v. 10 ) and Amorites (Jos. io 5 E),* 

both general names for the native population of Palestine. 
The legends of the conquest made Hebron one of the chief seats 
of a giant race, the remnants of the autochthones who everywhere 
preceded the historical peoples;! Nu. ij 22 (J) Jos. 15" i4 15 
n 21f . "Sons of Anak " (AV., RV.) gives the erroneous impres 
sion that Anak is the name of the father of these giants, an 
error which was shared by early Jewish scribes and translators. 

r>J".~i ja] is a phrase like ^Tin ija warriors, and signifies men of great 
stature, lit. of (long) neck ; cf. Jerome, de situ, etc. (OS 2 . 1127), Enacim, 
quos gigantes et potentes intellegere debemus; Schultens, lob, p. 383. The 
article categorically prohibits taking pj; as a proper noun. The genealogy 
Arba (i.e. Four), the father of Anak {Long-neck), the father of Sheshai, &c. 
(Jos. I5 13 2i u ) is the result of a series of blunders; see on v. 10 . 

21. Jerusalem. See above on v. 8 and cf. Jos. I5 63 . The au 
thor doubtless wrote Judah (Jos. I5 63 ), which was changed by a 
later hand to Benjamin in accordance with Jos. i8 28 cf. v. 1G 15*. 
The probable order of the narrative in J was v. 7 - ia 21 , or v. 7 - - w . J 
Did not expel} Jos. I5 63 , could not expel ; doubtless the original 
reading of J, which has been changed as in v. 19 , for similar rea 
son. The Jebusites dwelt with the Benja mites} Jos. i$ with the 
Judahites. 



* The Hittites at Hebron, Gen. 23 (P), are subject of controversy. There is 
no reason to suppose that the name is used with greater ethnographical exactness 
than Canaanite in ] or Amorite in E. 

t See Dt. 2 i<>-i2.~2"f- ^. j Mey., 13u., Kitt. \ Budde. 



40 JUDGES 

22-29. Joseph invades Mt. Ephraim and takes Bethel. Cities 
which Manasseh and Ephraim did not conquer. The oldest 
history of the conquest represented the invasion of Central Pales 
tine as independent of that of the south and subsequent to it, a 
representation which also underlies the narrative in Jos. What is 
here related of Joseph is apparently an abridged but otherwise 
unaltered extract from the older history (J), corresponding to the 
account of the conquests of Judah. The house of Joseph also went 
up] as Judah had done ; the sentence is the formal counterpart of 
v. 4 . House of Joseph v. 23 - 35 Jos. 17 " (J) 2 S. i9 21 i K. n 28 Am. 5 , 
&c. Here it tacitly includes Benjamin, as well as Ephraim and 
Manasseh ; cf. 2. S. i9 21 , where the Benjamite Shimei says, " I am 
come to-day, the first of all the house of Joseph." And Yah- 
weh was with them~\ as he was with Judah (v. 10 ). Budde s con 
jecture, and Joshua with tJiein,\ is extremely ingenious, but 
equally hazardous ; see critical note. In connexion with this 
conjecture Btulde surmises that in the original context of T a 
short account of the operations against Ai (Jos. 8) preceded v. 23 . 
23. Reconnoitred at J3ethcl~\ caused an examination to be 
made in order to find out the best way to surprise or attack the 
town. The ancient name of B. was Luz\ Gen. 28 35 6 48 " Jos. 
i8 13 (all P or R). In Jos. i6 2 the two seem to be distinguished 
(" from Bethel to Luz"), and it has been inferred from the pas 
sages in Gen. also that the Israelite sanctuary, Bethel, was at a 
little distance from the old Canaanite city, Luz ; \ the conclusion 
is, however, in both cases precarious. In JE (Gen. 28) the origin 
of the name Bethel is connected with the vision which Jacob had 
there in his flight from the wrath of Esau, and the sacred stone 
(/JaiYvAos) which he set up on the spot (v. 22 ) ; in P (Gen. 35 !I " 1:> ) 
with a theophany on the same spot as he returned from Paddan 
Aram. In the times of the kingdom it was the most famous holy 
place in Central Palestine, i K. i2 2Sff - 13 2 K. 10 " 17* Am. 7 1 " ls 
3 14 4 4 5 r> Hos. IO 1 Jer. 48 13 , &c. It is the modern Beitm, about 
twelve miles north of Jerusalem on the way to Xabulus (She- 



* On Benjamin, see Slade, G VI. i. p. 160 f. 
t Richt. u. Sam., p. 58 f. ; accepted by Kitt., GdH. \. i. 243. 

+ So a Lap., Ges. (T/ies. p. 194), Ew. (GV1. i. 435 f.), Di. on Gen. 28, Guerin. 
al. mu. 



I. 22-26 41 

chem).* 24. The men on the watch~\ the Israelite scouts or 
pickets; cf. i S. ig u 2 S. n lfi . Show us the way to enter the 
city} not the entrance into the city, i.e., the gate (AV., RV.), which 
they could see for themselves ; but the most advantageous point 
for an assault or surprise.! They put the city to the sivord^ v. H 
^is.iG jgi? Q en _ ^4- i S. i5 s , &c. The phrase is used constantly 
in describing the wars of extermination waged, or to be waged, 
against the Canaanites, and against the Amalekites ; cf. also Jud. 
20 s7.<8 2I io j g- 22 w 2 s _ j-u 2 K IQ* ,% Let the man and all his 
family go~\ cf. Jos. 2 lL ff - 6~ f -- 3 (Rahab) ; family is to be understood 
in the larger sense, not merely of his household, but of his kin 
dred. 26. The man migrated to the north beyond the Israelite 
settlements, and founded a new Luz. The author thus accounts 
for the existence in his time of a town bearing that name in Coele- 
Syria or the Lebanon. The land of the Hittites\ is tacitly con 
trasted with the land of Israel ; see further on 3 3 . Beyond this 
we have no clue to the site of the northern Luz ; the appellative 
meaning of the word in Arabic (lauz almond ) makes identi 
fication with any of the numerous modern places of like-sounding 
name more than usually precarious. 

22. pv P 3] ppdd. (ca. 15 Kenn. and De Rossi) (S (as generally in Jos. 
and Jud.) IDr \j:j oi viol \uat\<p, which Kitt. adopts. But as pr i}3 is in the 
Octateuch by far the commoner phrase, the variant has no significance, espe 
cially after the plural verb, where the correction of the constriictio ad sensum 
(Ges. 25 145, 2; Roorda, 595) to grammatical concord is very natural. The 
name Joseph has recently been recognized in the name Y-^a-p-a-rq, i.e., Joseph- 
el, || in the catalogue of the Syrian conquests of Thothmes III. in the l6th cent. 
B.C. ; though for the present the discovery creates new and perplexing prob 
lems rather than solves any. See E. Meyer, ZATW. vi. p. I ff. ; Groff, Rev. 
Egyptologique, iv. p. 95 ff.; Sayce, Higher Criticism, 6r., p. 337~339; most 
recently, W. M. Miiller, Asien u. Europa, p. 162 ff., who regards them as 
names of places (not of tribes) in Central Palestine. See below on Asher, 
v. 31 , p. 52. DCJ? nwi] (gALM^ Euseb., KO.\ Ioi?5cts /uer avruv. Bu. (Richt. 



* On Beitin see Rob., BIP. i. p. 447 ff. ; Guerin, Judee, iii. p. 14-27; SWP. 
Memoirs, ii. p. 295 f., 305 ; Bad 3 ., p. 215. 

t Vatabl., Cler., Schm., Stud., Ke., Ba., Kitt.; less probably, a secret entrance, 
Abarb., Be. J On the usage see Be., on i 8 , p. 15 f. 

$ Outside of Canaan, Ki., Schm., Cler., al. 

|| Cf. Y--k-b-a-ra, i.e. Jacob-el in the same list. 

H The secondary versions fail us; lafe are lacking; f omits by omoeoteleut. 
from Boi^rjA v.22-Bat^7,A v. 23 ; |^ j s supported by 



42 JUDGES 

u. Sam., p. 58 f.) conj. that the author wrote yenm; as Joshua seemed impos 
sible in this context, the name was altered to mw (<g), but this, too, conflicted 
with the foregoing narrative and was changed to nirv. But instead of these 
clumsy alterations the simple and only natural remedy was to drop the words 
altogether.* The origin of the variant in <@ is much more probably to be 
explained by the accidental corruption of mrr to mirv in the copy from which 
the translation was made. In the story of the taking of Bethel as narrated in 
v.- - 28 there is no reference to a leader such as Joshua, and hardly room for 
such a one. 23. In Jos. 16- n;v? is perh. merely a gloss to SN.TJ, "from 
Bethel-Lux : (Di. in loc.) ; f it is hardly likely that in denning a long boundary 
by four or live points two places would be named which are so near to each 
other as to be ordinarily identified. The inference from Gen. 28 19 (Jacob 
did not pass the night in the Canaanite town) is only really cogent upon the 
assumption of the strictly historical character of the narrative. In the partition 
of the land Bethel is allotted to Benjamin (Jos. 18-- cf. Xeh. II 31 ), but the 
course of the boundary (Jos. iS 13 cf. i6 lf -) seems to leave it in the territory of 
Ephraim; see comin. on Jos. 18. The Onomastica (OS-. 20935 2309 8330 
ioo s ) locate Bethel on the left of the Roman road from Jerusalem to Xeapolis 
(Shechem), 12 R. m. from me former; so also the Bordeaux Pilgrim (Reland, 
p. 416; Palestine Pilgrims r J cxt Soc., p. 19). Later Christian travellers 
looked for it much farther north (reff. in Rob., i. p. 449 n.) ; but the true site 
was still pointed out to Jewish pilgrims (Carmoly, Itincraires, p. 130, 249; 
Eshtori Parchi, fol. 68" ed. Venet). It was identified with Beitin by the 
missionary Xicolayson in 1836, and by Rob., BR-. i. 447 ff. ; the soundness of 
the identification is defended (against Thenius) by Graf in an exhaustive 
discussion, Sticd. n. Krit., 1854, p. 851-858. wrn] mr (c. c. ace.) explore, 
reconnoitre, Xu. 13. 14, passim. The Hiph. is better taken as direct causa 
tive (Ko. i. p. 205 f.) institute an exploration, reconnaisance, rather than 
send out scouts (c^r), have scouts reconnoitre (Ra., Ki. after (C, Stud., 
R6., Ba.), or as equivalent to Qal (Tanch., R. Jes., Schm. (dub.), MV., al.) ; in 
the former case s > would perhaps be expected (Be.), in the latter the ace. 
The text is perhaps at fault; ( irapfv((3a\ov 1L cum obsiJerent suggest 2 urm 
o/ 1 ; Sta. (SS. s.i .*) proposes -TVIS^, which would be construed with s ; - rather 
than 2. (J51L may, however, be merely attempts at the sense; the former led 
M. Jos. to imagine a long siege of Bethel (antt. \. 2, 6 130 f.). nor rua] 
O!KOS Icrpa7;X (5 AVLO i>(ot lo-paTjA" 4 - " : (5 IiX vacat. The subject is superfluous, 
and the variants perhaps indicate that it is not original in $). 24. B^ss n] 
~ 1 :^ 1 in a hostile sense, have a place in observation, almost equivalent to 
invest ; 2 S. n 1 1 I S. ig 11 Job 13-" Ps. 56" yi 1 . NSV C -N] (S BX KO.I t Soi) 
dvrjp (eiropeveTo = NJ> U">x n;ni, Doom. ir J ; 1 ! . . . I:NTH] construction as in 



* All the more, that the story of Ai, to which they are supposed to have formed 
{lie introduction, has been dropped. 

t (P 18 I; r have .Voi^ a not here but after Bau^A v. 1 , but this maybe accidental ; (5^ 
supports ?.;. 



I. 22-25, 2 7 43 

v. 3 ; see note there. 25. 3in is s ] lit. according to a sword s mouth, i.e. as 
fiercely as a sword is wont to devour, unsparingly; so De., Di. (on Gen. 34 23 ), 
Ba., al. Perhaps, however, ns had in this phrase lost its literal meaning, 
mouth, as it usually does in ^sh, so that it only conveyed the notion, accord 
ing to, in the manner or measure of. The prep, should not be taken instru- 
mentally, with the edge of the sword, which would, besides, require the article; 
see Giesebrecht, Praposit. Lamed, p. 95, 98 f. D^nnn px] the ambiguity of 
Greek transcription sometimes confuses D^nn Hittites with DTO Cyprians, both 
of which may be represented by XerTtei/x; * cf. Fl. Jos. antt. i. 6, i 128, ix. 4, 
5 77. Misled by this confusion Euseb. (OS 2 . 30259) writes, Xerrtei/u yij 
XeTTi/u. ij KvTrpos, tvOa. w6\iv fKTicrev Aoufa; f cf. Procop. on Jud. I 20 al. 
Some modern scholars also have connected a\~o with D^nn; so Stud, on 
Jud. i K , Ges., Mon. Phoen., p. 152 f., cf. p. 122, Thes. p. 726; Movers, 
Phonizier, ii. 2. p. 203 ff . ; Fiirst, WB 1 . p. 453. But the inscriptions of 
Citium which Ges. cited in support of this identity prove to have been mis- 
copied or misread; see E. Meyer, ZDMG. xxxi. p. 719 f. In the Talmud 
(Sotah, 46*) Luz is a place famous for its blue dyes (cf. also Sanhedr. 12"), 
which points, perhaps, to a site not very remote from the Phoen. coast. See 
Xeubauer, Geo%. du Talmud, p. 156. Proposed identifications of Luz in 
our verse are Luweizeh (Rob., BR 1 . iii. p. 389), four or five miles from Tell 
el-Qadi (Dan),J and Kamid el Lauz (Rob., I.e. p. 425) on the western 
side of the Bika above Hasbeiya, once a place of considerable importance 
(Abu-1 Fida, Tab. Syr. ed. Koehler, p. 93; Le Strange, Palestine under the 
Moslems, p. 347, cf. p. 39). 

27. Cf. Jos. i7 1K13 . As on the south Joseph was separated from 
Judah by a line of Canaanite towns, || so on the north it was con 
fined to the mountains and cut off from the fertile plain and the 
tribes which struggled for a foothold beyond it in Galilee by a 
chain of fortified cities guarding all the passes. At the eastern 
end of this cordon was Beth-shean, on the main road to Damas 
cus ; at the western extremity, Megiddo, on the road up from the 
coast, commanding thus the great commercial and military road 
between Egypt and the east. Beth-shean~\ Jos. i f 6 a stronghold 
of the Canaanites, whose iron chariots deterred the tribe of Joseph 
from the attempt to extend their border in that direction. It 
was in possession of the Philistines at the end of Saul s life (i S. 



* o>P3 = XtTTiei/u. Jer. 2 10 Ez. 276; cf. Nu. 24 24 <GM i Chr. v & i Mace. i 1 . 

t But cf. OS2. 275.,,,. 

J Conder (SWF. Memoirs, i. p. 96) has revived this suggestion. 

<J Perhaps the Kumidi of the Ainarna tablets; a principality of S. Phoenicia. 

|| See above, p. 8; and below on v. 35 . 



44 JUDGES 

3 1 10 2 S. 2 1 12 ), having perhaps recently been wrested by them 
from the Canaanites ; but was conquered by Israel, probably 
under David, and was subject to Solomon (i K. 4 12 ; see also on 
v. 28 ). It is the modern Beisan, situated at the point where the 
narrow eastern extension of the Great Plain begins to fall off 
rapidly to the Jordan valley, and by its position completely com 
manding this pass.* And its dependencies^ lit. daughters, daugh 
ter towns ; places to which Beth-shean stood in the relation of a 
/^TpoVoAts ; | Nu. 2 1 25 - 32 32 42 Jos. i5 45 Jer. 49* Ez. i6 4G , &c. 
Taanach~\ in the O.T. generally coupled with Megiddo (5 i K. 
4 12 Jos. ly 11 i2 21 ) ; now Ta annuk on the edge of the Great Plain 
about six miles NW. of Genin, and about four SE. of Leggim 
(Megiddo). \ Dof\ Jos. n 2 i2 23 iy u i K. 4 U i Chr. y 29 cf. Jud. 
i 31 ( ; on the sea coast south of Carmel, nine Roman miles N. 
of Caesarea. Its ruins lie near the modern village of Tantura. || 
The name of Dor in this place interrupts the orderly progress of 
the enumeration of the cities along the margin of the Great Plain 
from East to West ; we should expect it to stand in the last place 
as it does in i Chr. y 29 , which appears to be derived from Jud. i 27 , 
and are tempted to conjecture that it has been accidentally trans 
posed. Ibleam~\ Jos. i y 11 (not in () i Chr. 6 55 (Eng. vers. 6 70 ) 
cf. (. From 2 K. 9-" it appears to have been near En-gannin, 
the modern Genin, and the name has probably survived in (Wady 
and Bir) Bel ameh, half an hour S. of Genin.^f Others, with less 
probability, would identify Ibleam with Gelameh, a little village on 
a knoll three miles and a half S. by W. from Zer in (Jezreel) on the 
road to Genin.** Megiddo~\ see the passages cited above under 
Taanach ; also i K. g 15 2 K. g 27 23 2yf -. The whole plain is called 



* Descriptions of the site in Seetzen (who visited it in 1806), Reiscn, ii. p. 161 ff. ; 
Rob., BK 2 . iii. p. 326 ff. ; Van de Velde, Narrative, ii. p. 356 ff. : Guerin, Samarie, 
i. p. 284-298; SWP. Memoirs, ii. p. 83, 101-114 (with plans). 

t See above on v. 10 , note. 

J See Schubert, Reise, iii. p. 164; Rob., Z?A J -. ii. p. 316, iii. p. 117; Guerin, 
Samarie, ii. p. 226 ff . ; Sll P. Memoirs, ii. p. 68. 

Awpa i Mace. 1511 ; Fl. Jos., c. Ap., ii. 10 116; OS 2 . 283,..,. 

|| Guerin, Samarie, ii. p. 305-315; SWP. Memoirs, ii. p. 3, 7 ff. ; Bad*., p. 238. 

H Ke., Di. (NDJ. p. 545) ; SIVP. Memoirs, ii. 47 f., 51 f. ; Bad *., p. 228. See 
also Schultz, 7.MDG. iii. p. 49; Guerin, Samarie, i. p. 339 ff. 
** Knob., Cass., Grove, Wilson 



I. 27-28 45 

from it the Plain of Megiddo (Zech. I2 11 2 Chr. 35"), as the Kishon 
is called the River of Megiddo (Jud. 5 19 ). Megiddo was evidently 
a place of capital strategic importance, and is named in both 
Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions. In later times the name com 
pletely disappears ; neither Josephus nor Eusebius and Jerome 
are acquainted with it. Robinson * established, to a high degree 
of probability, that Megiddo occupied the site of the Legio of 
the Onomastica, the modern Leggun, at the point where the main 
road from the coast, having crossed the range of hills which ex 
tending to the SE. connects Carmel with Samaria, emerges into the 
Great Plain. Its position must always have made it the key to 
the western end of the plain as Beth-shean was to its eastern end.f 
The Canaanites resolved to remain in that region^ stubbornly 
maintained their hold upon it. 28. When Israel became strong 
enough~\ the subjugation of these cities appears to have been the 
work of David ; their power had doubtless been greatly weakened 
by the struggle with the Philistines, who, at the beginning of Saul s 
reign, or shortly after, had probably conquered the rest of them 
as we know they did Beth-shean. They were all subject to Solo 
mon, i K. 4 nf -. They impressed the Canaanites in the working 
gangs ] employed on public works (i K. g M -). From the earliest 
times to the days of the Suez canal, the corvee has been in the 
East the means by which great public works have been executed. 
According to their traditions, the Israelites had been set to such 
labour in Egypt ; Solomon employed it on a large scale in his build 
ings and fortifications, and, in spite of i K. g 22 , it bore heavily not 
only upon aliens but on Israelites (i K. 5 13m i2 4 - 10 - 18 ). Megiddo 
and Gezer (v. 29 ) were fortified by him by impressed labour, doubt 
less largely of their own Canaanite inhabitants ( i K. p 15 ) . But 
by no means expelled them~\ the population of these cities con 
tinued to be largely Canaanite ; Beth-shean, in particular, was, 
even to the latest times, more foreign than Israelite. 

27. Beth-shean\ Bcu0<raf, TJ fcrriv ZtcvOuv ir6\is <, 2 Mace. I2 29 Judith 3 10 ; 
2*cu067roXts, Fl. Jos., antt. xii. 8, 5 348, &c.; Euseb. OS 2 . 23755. According 



* BR*. ii. p. 328 ff., iii. p. 116 ff. 

t See Van de Velde, Narrative, i. p. 350 ff. ; Guerin, Samarie, ii. p. 232 ff. ; 
Bad 3 , p. 229 f. 



46 JUDGES 

to Georgius Syncellus (chronog., i. p. 405 ed. Bonn.) * it had this name from 
a body of Scythians who were left behind in the reflux of the great Scythian 
invasion (Hdt., i. 105 f.) ; cf. Aug., qu. 8. It is not improbable that this is 
merely a learned combination. Other ancient references to the place, see 
Reland, Palaestina, p. 992 ff. ; Schiirer, Gesch. d. jiid. I olkes, u. s. \v., ii. 
p. 97 ff. ; Jewish authors, Neubauer, Geog. du Talmud, p. 174 f., Zunz in 
Asher s Benjamin of Tudela, ii. p. 425, cf. p. 400 f. ; Arab geographers, Le 
Strange, Palestine tinder the Moslems, p. 410 f. The name is not to be read 
in the Egyptian inscriptions as many have done; Miiller, Asien u. Europa, 
p. 193. Taanach~\ is found in the lists of Palestinian cities subdued by 
Thothmes III. (i6th cent. B.C.) and Shishak (loth cent.), in the former in 
immediate juxtaposition to Ibleam; see YV. M. Miiller, Asien n. Europa, 
p. 170, 195. Euseb. (OS 2 . 26242) locates it 3 R. m. from Legio; Eshtori 
Parchi (fol. 67 ed. Venet.) found it, with unchanged name, I hr. S. of 
Megiddo (Leggun). Dor\ Reland, p. 738 ff. (where, with other ancient 
notices, an extract from the larger work of Steph. Byz.) ; Schiirer, GjV. ii. 
p. 77-79. According to the Papyrus Golinischeff, the maritime town D-u-a o 
(Dor) was, in the time of Hri-hor (before 1050 H.C.), in the hands of the 
Takara, one of the tribes which invaded Canaan with the Purusati (Philis 
tines) ; see W. M. Miiller, Asien n. Europa, p. 388. The irregular order 
of the present enumeration, which springs to and fro Taanach, Dor, Ib 
leam, Megiddo may have given rise to the conj. En-dor, which in Jos. 
I7 11 |9 stands as a doublet to Dor and in S has displaced it; but En-dor does 
not belong in this company at all. The name is properly written not in,t 
as here, but INT Jos. I7 11 i K. 4 11 , INT ]> ; Ps. 83", INI rsn Jos. 2i 3 -; see 
Massora on Jos. ly 11 and Norzi. That this is the original form of the name 
appears from the Assyrian text cited by Schrader, KAT 1 . p. 168, and is put 
beyond question by the inscription of Eshmunazar (CIS., Pars i., i. no. 3, 
1. 19). Ibleatii} in 2 K. 9- we should not translate to the garden house 
(2?F.), but to Beth-haggan (Sta., Klo.), i.e. En-gannim Jos. ig 21 Tiva.r) Y\. Jos. 
antt. xx. 6, i 118, on the edge of the Great Plain, the border town between 
Samaria and Galilee (b. j. iii. 3, 4), now Genin (Rob., BK 2 . ii. p. 315 f.; 
Guerin, Samarie, i. p. 327-332; SIVP. Memoirs, ii. p. 44). "The pass (as 
cent) of Gur, which is near Ibleam," must have been in the edge of the hills. 
The situation of Bel ameh suits all these indications. J Gelameh (Rob., BR 2 . 
ii. p. 319; Guerin, Samarie, i. p. 326 f.; SIVP. Memoirs, ii. p. 84), in the 
open plain an hour N. of Genin, suits neither in name nor in situation; it can 
never have been a place of great strength, and there is no pass in the neigh 
bourhood. Eshtori Parchi (fol. 67*) and Conder (SIVP. J/cw^V.f, ii. p. 98) 
identify Ibleam with Yebla, N\V. of Beisan. Megiddo } Egyptian references, 



* Cf. Pliny, n. //., v. 74, Scythopolim, antea Nysam, a Libero Patre sepulta nutrice 
ibi Scytliis reductis. 

t Numerous codd. (Ue Rossi) have ix-<. 

J Bei ameh may also be the BtAa^wr of Judith, 8 :i (BeA/uei- 4^ f. codd. _ & R e lma). 



I. 27-29 47 

Miiller, op. cit. p. 195 f; Amarna tablets, Sayce, Acad. Feb. 7, 1891, p. 138; 
Assyrian, Schrader, KAT*. p. 168 COT. i. p. 156. The identification with 
Leggun is due to Eshtori Parchi (1322; fol. 67*, Zunz, in Asher s Benj. of 
Tudela, ii. p. 433) ; in modern times it seems to have been first suggested 
in an anonymous review of Raumer s Palaestina in the Milnch. gelehrt. 
Anzeigen, Dec. 1836, p. 920 (Rob.). Legio (Ae7ewv) isfreq. mentioned in the 
Onomastica; as the intersection of several roads it is used as the base from 
which the distance of a number of places is reckoned; under the name 
Leggun it is often named in the Arab geographers (Le Strange, Palestine, &*<:., 
p. 492 f.). Tell el-Mutesellim (Thomson, Land and Hook-, ii. p. 214; Gue- 
rin, Samarie, ii. p. 237) may have been the citadel of Megiddo, as Tell 
el-Hisn was of Beth-shean. Conder {PEF. Statements, 1877, p. 13 ff., 
cf. 190-192; SWP. Memoirs, ii. p. 90 ff.) would put Megiddo at Khurbet 
el-Mugedda , in the valley 3 m. SW. of Beth-shean; the situation is impos 
sible. Others (so Spruner-Sieglin, Atlas ) identify it with el-Mugeidil, an 
hour and a quarter SW. of Nazareth. iS mn N^J j os< ijiz ^mn 1 ? . . . iSy N^i; 
see above, on v. 19 . MI jjjon *?NVI] not began (<@1L as usually), nor consented, 
agreed (Ba., Cass., after older scholars). The verb means make up one s 
mind, resolve, decide, either of one s own motion, Gen. 18-" Dt. I 5 i S. I2 22 
&c., or at the instance or request of another, Jud. ig 5 17" 2 K. 6 3 and often. 
But we are not warranted in putting so much into it as, they had to submit 
to reside in that (limited) region on conditions fixed by the Israelites, of 
which villeinage (v. 28 ) was the ultimate, if not the immediate, import (Ba.) ; 
cf. Ex. 2 21 Jud. I7 11 , further v. 3 * 5 cl. Jos. ig 47 . 28. D^S "jyjjn HN D8"i] Jos. ly 15 
UHM. The etymology of 02 is obscure; possibly it is a loan-word. It is a 
body of men impressed to labour on public works, frequently defined "o;* DT, 
working gang. Ex. I 11 the Egyptians set over the Israelites CIDS nr, i.e., not 
eiriffTaTai TWI> epyuv (<S1L), but gang-foremen. The word can be used of a 
whole population which is subject to the corvee; fig. (Prov. I2 24t ) of an 
individual who is reduced to this status. It nowhere in the O.T. has the 
meaning tribute, tributary, which the exegetical tradition attaches to it. A 
distinction between D2 and nay Ds, such as Ba. tries to establish, does not 
exist. itt>mn x 1 ? trmni] did not drive them out at all. The absol. object., 
Ges. 25 113, 3 a; Ew. 312 a. For a comparison of the parallel passage, 
Jos. I7 1U13 , and discussion of its relation to Jud., see Be., p. 37 f.; Di., NDJ. 
p. 544 ff.; esp. Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 13 ff.; Kitt., Gdll. i. i. p. 244. 

29. Jos. i6 10 . Ephraim did not conquer Gezer, which formed 
a Canaanite enclave in the territory of that tribe. Gezer\ on the 
SW. border of Ephraim (Jos. i6 :? ). In David s time still indepen 
dent (i S. 27 s 2 S. 5 2 " i Chr. 20 4 ),* it was conquered in the following 

* In Jos. I3 2 also we should probably read nun for niBMn ; We., TBS. p. 139; 
Dr., TBS., p. 163 ; Mey., ZA TW. i. p. 126 n. ; cf. also Ew., G VI. ii. 467. On the 
other side, Di., ad loc. 



48 JUDGES 

reign by the Pharaoh and given to his daughter, Solomon s queen ; 
Solomon rebuilt it as a frontier fortress against the Philistines 
(i K. 9 1 " " 17 ). It is the modern Tell Gezer, discovered in 1870 by 
Clermont Ganneau, between Amwas-Nicopolis and Aqir-Ekron. 
The Canaanites dwelt in the midst of them at Gczcr~] Jos. 
i6 lob , The C. dwelt in the midst of Ephraim unto this day, 
and were subjected to compulsory labour," which is not a free ex 
pansion of Jud.,* but represents the original reading of J (cf. 
V> L S. so. 33. 35^ . j-] ie tex {. m j uc ]_ j ias been abbreviated. t The words 
" unto this day " do not necessarily imply a time prior to the 
destruction of the city by the Egyptians (i K. 9 10 ) ; J the extermi 
nation of the Canaanite population need not be taken so literally. 

Gezer ] is named in the lists of Thothmes III. (Miiller, Asien u. Europa, 
p. 1 60), and in Amarna tablets (Sayce, Acad., Feb. 1891, p. 138). According 
to I K. 9 1G (cf. I S. 27^; 2 S. 5 25 is indecisive, I Chr. 2O 4 can hardly prove the 
contrary) it was in Solomon s time a Canaanite (not Philistine) city, though it 
may earlier have been subject to the Philistines. Gezer (Fdfttpa, Yafrpa) was 
an important place in the Maccabaean wars; I Mace. 4 la y 40 g :y2 (Fl. Jos., 
antt. xiii. I, 3 15) I3 53 I4 ;u (Fl. Jos., /;. j. i. 2, 2) 15-^-^ (H. j os . ; ant t. x iii. 
9, 2 261). Fuseb. (OS-. 24414) puts it 4 R. m. X. of Xicopolis. The Arab 
geographers mention Tell Gezer as a fortress in the Province Filastin (Le 
Strange, Palest, under the Moslems, p. 543). For Ganneau s discovery of the 
place, see PI- .F. Statements, 1873, p. 78 f.; 1874, p. 276 ff.; 1875, p. 74 ff. 
A boundary stone was found with the inscription ~uj cnr; Acad. ties Inscript., 
Comptes rendus, 1874, p. 106 ff., 201, 213 f., 273 ff.; see also SIVP. Memoirs, 
ii. 428-439 (with plan). 

30-33. The northern tribes settle among the older population ; 
the principal cities remain in the possession of the Canaanites. 

The entrance of these tribes into western Palestine was indepen 
dent of the invasion of Judah (v. lff -) and Joseph (v." ff -), and if 
the author s representation which also underlies Jos. i8 lft - -be 
correct, later in time. Its results were also much less considera 
ble ; even in the mountains of Galilee they did not gain the mas 
tery as their brethren had done in the mountains of Ephraim and 
Judah. The newcomers were fain to settle among the Canaan 
ites where they could find place ; the mass of the population in 



* Be., cf. Ew., GVI. ii. p. 464. 

t Bu., Richt. u. Sam,, p. 15 ; Kitt., GdH. i. i. p. 244. 

t Bleek, Eiitl ^. p. 151 f., Ba., al. 



I. 29-31 49 

this "heathen district" (Galilee of the Gentiles) was probably 
for many centuries not Israelite. 

The tribes of Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali are named. The 
omission of Issachar is not easily accounted for, since the Song of 
Deborah (ch. 5) shows that in early times it was a prominent 
tribe and had much to suffer from the Canaanites (cf. also Gen. 
49 14f ). It is hardly likely that it is included under Joseph,* more 
probably it has been omitted, through accident or design, in the 
abridgment of the chapter. 

30. Zebulim~\ settled in the western part of Lower Galilee, in 
the hills north of the Great Plain; see Jos. ig 10 10 . Kitron and 
Nahalol~\ Nahalol appears among the cities of Zebulon, Jos. ig 1 " 
2 1 35 ; Kitron only here. Neither has been identified. Were 
subjected to compulsory labour} see on v. 29 and note on v. 28 . 
31. Asher~\ north of Zebulun and west of Naphtali, in the moun 
tainous country behind the Phoenician coast. Acco~\ only here 
in the Hebrew Old Testament. f It was renamed Ptolemais 
(Act. 2 1 7 ), probably in honour of Ptolemy II., but the new name 
did not supplant the old one. It is the St. Jean d Acre of the 
crusaders, the modern Akka, on the coast north of the headland 
of Carmel. \ Sidon~\ the famous Phoenician city, the modern 
Saida. 

Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, Rehob~\ of these places only 
Achzib can be identified with any confidence. It is the Ecdippa 
of the Greek and Roman geographers, on the coast nine Roman 
miles north of Ptolemais, || the modern ez-Zib, between Akka and 
Tyre.^[ Of the others, a highly probable emendation of Jos. ig 29 

* We., Comp., p. 215; cf. Mey., ZATW. i. p. 142 f. ; against this view, Bu., 
Rlcht. u. Sam., p. 44 ff. 

1 13>? is to be restored (for IDJ?) in Jos. ig*> with C N cf. M (Relancl, Hollenb.), 
and according to a widely accepted conj. of Reland, in Mi. i lrt (for 133) ; see Ryssel, 
Micha, p. 23 ff. 

J On Acco see Fl. Jos., b. j. ii. 10, I f. ; Reland, p. 534 ff. ; Rob., BF&. iii. p. 
89 ff.; Guerin, Galilee, i. p. 502-525; Lortet, Syrie, p. 159-168; SWP. Memoirs, 
i. p. 160 ff. ; Schiirer, GjV. ii. p. 79 ff. ; Neubauer, Gcog. du Talmud, p. 231 f. ; 
Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, p. 328-334. 

J On Sidon, Reland, p. 1010 ff. ; Pietschmann, P/ionizier, p. 53 ff. ; Rob., BR-. 
ii. p. 476-485; Ritter 2 , xvii. p. 380 ff.; Renan, Mission de Phenicie, p. 361 ff. ; Gu6- 
rin, Galilee, ii. p. 485-506; Lortet, Syrie, p. 91-116; Bad 3 , p. 279-283. 

|| Jerome, OS *. 9512- *^ Ritter, xvi. p. 811 f . ; Guerin, Galilee, ii. 164 f. 

F. 



50 JUDGES 

would restore Ahlab, or Helbah, which is perhaps a variant of the 
same name, before Achzib ; it was probably on the coast between 
Achzib and Sarepta. Aphik and Rehob are found together in the 
catalogue of cities of Asher, Jos. iy l} ; they were apparently fur 
ther inland. 32. The Ashcrites settled among the inhabitants of 
tlie Iand~] the words clearly express the difference between the 
situation in this part of the land and that south of the Great 
Plain. In the latter region the conquest was incomplete, but 
the Israelites were, at least in the mountains, the predominant ele 
ment in the population ; in the north there was no conquest at all, 
and Asher and Naphtali settled among the native inhabitants as 
best they could. For they did not drive them ouf\ we may with 
confidence assume that the author of the older history wrote, as 
elsewhere, could not. 33. Naphtali\ settled in the eastern half 
of Upper Galilee, having Zebulon and Issachar on the south and 
Asher on the west. Beth-shemesK\ Jos. ip 38 ; not identified. 
Beth-anath~\ coupled with Beth-shemesh (Jos. /. c.) in the list 
of fortified cities in Naphtali, is perhaps the modern village 
Ainltha, six miles WNW. from Qades (Kedesh of Naphtali).* 
The name shows that it was an old seat of the worship of the 
goddess Anath,t as Beth-shemesh of the worship of the Sun. 
They settled, 6-v.] see above on v. ;! ~. Became subject to impress- 
ment~\ v." ; see on v. 28 - - . Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath were 
not the only cities in Naphtali which maintained their indepen 
dence ; in 4-"- a Canaanite king of Hazor has subjugated all the 
northern tribes. From the predominance of the alien element in 
this region it was called the Foreign District (Gcl il ha-gofim, 
Galilee of the Gentiles, Is. 8- :! = AV. 9 1 ), or shortly, the District 
(Ge/l/, Galilee; i K. 9" 2 K. i5~ J )- It was subject to Solomon, 
who fortified Hazor (i K. 9 ;5 ), and ceded twenty towns in it (the 
Cabul) to Hiram, king of Tyre (i K. 9 n - 13 ). 

30. We may safely disregard the combinations V?ru = SiSns (Jcr. Megillah, 
i. i)= Ma liil, 3.1 m. W. of Nazareth (Schwarz), or Ain Mahil (Conder); as 
well as the identification by an etymological Midrash of Kitron with 

* So Van do Vclde, Narrative, \. p. 170; Guenn, Galilee, ii. p. 374; Miihlau, 
in Ri. IlWtt. ; SWP. Memoirs, i. p. 200. 

t Cf. Beth-anoth in Judah, Anathoth in Benjamin ; E. Meyer, 7.DMG. xxxi. 
(1877) p. 718. See below on 3"!. 



I- 32-33 51 

Sepphoris {Meg. 6). The tradition of the names is not such as to inspire 
unqualified confidence. In Jos. ig 15 we find SSrm nap (<S B Karavad), in 
2i 34 nmp is prob. another variant of the same name; Jer. Meg. i. I identifies 
pop with P jiop (see Neubauer, 6V0-. du Talm., p. 189). For ^Snj here <S B 
has Ata/iava, ? .<?. rum Jos. 2i 35 . JI^T] see Frensdorff, Mass. Worterb., p. 281 f. 

31. aSnx] The same place is no doubt meant in Jos. ig 29 , where the emenda 
tion mvax aSnn ( ? aSnxs, na^ns) for the unintelligible X Sam (Stud., Hollenb. ; 
cf. (5 B O,TT{> Aeft 54 airb AXe/3) seems imperative. The order of enumeration 
(restoring isy v. 30 ) is from N. to S. An inscription of Sennacherib,* which 
recites his successes in Phoenicia, names in order, Sidon, Bit-Zi-it-ti (mr nu), 
Sarepta, Mahalliba, Usu-u,\ Achzib, Acco. Fr. Delitzsch {Parodies, p. 283 f.) 
and Schrader {KAT 2 . p. 173) compared Mahalliba with Ahlab, Helbah, and 
W. M. Miiller (Asien u. Europa, p. 194, n.) conj. that aSnn was the original 
name in the O.T. also. This does not commend itself; but it is altogether 
probable that Ahlab, Helbah, and Mahalliba are variations of the same name, J 
the meaning remaining the same. If this be so, we may venture to conjecture 
that it was the old name of the Promontorium album of Pliny, the modern 
Ras el-Abyad, midway between Tyre and Achzib; cf. Plin., n. h., v. 75, Ptole- 
mais, quae quondam Acce . . . Ecdippa, promunturium Album, Tyros. Many 
identify Ahlab with the Gush Halab of the Talmuds, the FurxaXa of Josephus 
(b. j., ii. 20, 6; iv. 2, i ff. ; vit., 10, &c.), now el-Gish, N\V. of Safed; but this, 
although in the Talmud ascribed to Asher {Menachoth, 85 b , cf. Si/re, Dt. 355, 
fol. 148" ed. Friedm.), is much too far inland for our context, and, indeed, for 
the boundaries of Asher. Still more remote is aSn (Aleppo), or naSn, prob. 
Hisn Halba (Le Strange, p. 352) in the district of Tripoli (Eshtori Parchi, 
fol. 60" ed. Venet., Asher, Benj. of Tudela, ii. 415). 2>?3K] in the Talmud 
2^0, N. of Acco; Tos. Ohaloth, xviii. 13, and often (Neubauer, p. 231-233); 
E/cShrTra, Ptol., v. 15, 5; cf. Fl. Jos., antt. v. i, 22 85, b. j. i. 13, 4; Ecdippa, 
Plin., w.^.,v.75. The identification with ez-Zib is as old as Maundrell (1697). 

P^BN] not * A0a/ca in the Lebanon, N. of Beirut, at the sources of the Adonis 
(Nahr Ibrahim), famous for its worship of the Syrian Aphrodite, the modern 
Afqa (older scholars in Reland, p. 572, Ges. 7"Aes., Rosenm., v. Raum., Ba., 
Ke., Cass., al.), which is much too far north for the present context and that 
of Jos. I9 3 \ || The name is not uncommon. 3^"!] also a common name. 

* Taylor Cylinder, col. ii. 1. 38-40; Schrader. KAT*. p. 288. 

t Query = nDn Jos. ig 29 ? The name osil also in Egyptian inscriptions, Miiller, 
Asien it. Europa, p. 194. J Cf. Ahmed and Mohammed. 

\ On Gush Halab see Neubauer, Gcog . du Talmud, p. 230 f. ; el-Gish, Rob., Bffl. 
ii. p. 445 f. ; Guerin, Galilee, ii. p. 94-100; SWP. Memoirs, i. p. 198, 224-226. It is 
freq. mentioned by Arab. Geographers (Le Strange, p. 463). Eshtori Parchi ob 
serves that Gush Halab is almost a day s journey from Acco; he can explain its 
belonging to Asher only by the fact that the boundaries of the tribes overlapped 
(fol. 67-). 

|| Aphaka in the Lebanon is probably intended in Jos. I3 4 ; see J. D. Mich., 
Sitppl., p. 114; cf. Budde, Urgeschichte, p. 350. 



52 JUDGES 

The Rehob of our text (and Jos. ig 30 ) cannot be the same as Beth-rehob near 
Dan (Jud i8 28 ). It is very likely Rehob in Asher that is meant in the Egyptian 
lists cited by MUller, Asien u. Europa, p. 153; see his note there. It seems 
probable from the order in Jos. ig 29 - 30 , and from the fact that in other cata 
logues of the towns on the Phoenician seaboard the names nowhere occur, 
that Aphik and Rehob were not on the coast, but in the interior. The omis 
sion of Tyre from this list is significant. The name Asher appears in the 
Egyptian inscriptions of Seti and Ramses II.* among the peoples with whom 
those kings waged war in northwestern Palestine, in the same region where 
the Israelite tribe Asher is located by the O.T.; see W. M. Miiller, Asien tt. 
Europa, p. 236 ff.f Like the names Joseph-el and Jacob-el (above, p. 41), 
this fact opens large questions about the settlement of the Israelites in Pales 
tine, upon which we cannot enter here. PJJ? rro] occurs among the conquests 
of Seti and Ramses II. (Miiller, of. cit., p. 195, 220), with divine determina 
tive, as was observed by De Rouge in 1852 {Alcm. dc V Acad. des Inscr., xx. 2, 
1861, p. 181). There is another Ainata on the eastern slope of the Lebanon 
not far from theBisherreh cedars (Burton, Unexplored Syria, ii. 138 f.; Thom 
son, Land and Book 2 , Lebanon, c., p. 272, 313; Bad", p. 350). For other 
attempts to identify Beth-anath, in accordance with the indications of Euseb., 
OS 2 . 23645 cl. 22470, see Ba. 

34, 35. Dan is forced back into the mountains. The verses 
differ strikingly from the rest of the chapter in the use of the 
name Amorite instead of Canaanite. In the Hexateuch the 
former is characteristic of E (and D), the latter of J.J Verse 30 , 
which shares this peculiarity, is clearly fragmentary and mis 
placed. For these reasons, which he fortifies by other peculiari 
ties of expression in the verse, Meyer separates v. 34 ~ 3G as the work 
of another hand. Budde has shown, however, || that, whatever 
explanation we may give of the substitution of Amorites for Ca- 
naanites, v. 34f- are probably derived from the same source and 
context as the rest of the chapter. Dan~\ first tried to get a 
foothold on the southwest of Ephraim. The language of the text 
perhaps implies that in the beginning they pushed further toward 
the Lowlands, but were soon checked and pressed back by the 



* Before the date now generally accepted for the Exodus, therefore. 

t M. Jastrow, Jr., in JttL. xi. p. 120, points out that the Habiri and Alilkil 
(mare Milkil) of the Amarna tablets correspond to two of the clans of Asher, 
Heber and Malchiel (Nu. 26 4f> ). 

J We., Comp., p. 341 ; Mey., 7<A TW. i. p. 121 ff. ; Bu., Urgeschichte, p. 345 f. 

$ 7. A TW. i. p. 126, 135 ; so also Stade, G VI. i. p. 138 n. 

|| Kicht. u. Sam., p. 15 ff. ; see also Kitt., GdH. i. i. p. 244, and note below. 



L 34-35 53 

natives, who crowded them into a small district about Zorah and 
Eshtaol, where we find them in Jud. 13-16. The main body of 
the tribe, finding these limits too narrow, migrated to the head 
waters of the Jordan, where they established themselves about 
Laish, renamed Dan (Jud. 18 f. Jos. i9 47f -). The Amorites~\ in E 
and D comprehensive name for the pre-Israelite peoples of Pales 
tine. The author (J) from whom this notice is derived probably 
wrote Canaanites* as throughout the chapter. The contrast 
between the mountains and the plain, as in v. 19 cf. also Jos. 1 7 16 . 
The broad valleys which extend inland, like that of Aijalon (Jos. 
io 12 ) f are doubtless included, but not exclusively meant. 35. 
Cf. v. 27 Har-heres\ only here. Generally, and with great proba 
bility, regarded as the same with Beth-shemesh (i K. 4 2 Chr. 
28 18 ), J or Ir-Shemesh (Jos. ip 41 ), which stand in immediate con 
nexion with Aijalon and Shaalbim, and then to be identified with 
the modern Ain Shems, on the south side of Wady Surar, opposite 
Sur ah (Zorah). Aijalon~\ Jos. ip 42 io 12 , on the Philistine border 
(i S. i4 31 ) ; subject to Solomon (i K. 4) ; fortified by Rehoboam 
(2 Chr. ii 10 ) ; according to the same authority, conquered by 
the Philistines under Ahaz (2 Chr. 28 18 ). Conclusively identified 
by Robinson with the modern Yalo, || about two miles E. of 
Amwas (Nicopolis), on the southern side of the valley. Aijalon 
commanded the descent to the plain by W. Selman, as Beth- 
shemesh did that by W. Surar (Sorek) ; cf. i S. 6 9 . Shaalbim\ 
i K. 4 <J Jos. iQ 42 . Knobel, Conder, and others would find it at 
Selblt, on the north side of the valley, two miles N. of Amwas, 
and about three miles NW. of Yalo. The site is not unsuitable, 
but the similarity of the names is extremely slight, and all other 
data are wanting. The hand of the house of Joseph rested heav- 



* Hardly Philistines, as Bu. (p. 18 n.) is tempted to conjecture, a reading 
which editors or scribes would be much less likely to change. Nor does the name 
Amorites include the Philistines, as Mey. erroneously gathers from i S. 7 14 
(7.ATW. i. 123). The date of the Philistine invasion is uncertain; but their 
occupation of the lowland may have crowded the Canaanites back upon Dan. 

f Merg ibn Omeir; Rob., BR^. iii. p. 144; Phys. Geog., p. 113. 

t So Cler., Hiller (Onom. sacra, 1706, p. 560). 

$ Rob., UK 2 -, ii. p. 224 f.; Guurin, Judce, ii. p. 18-22. 

|| BI&. ii. p. 253 f., iii. p. 144 f. ; see also Guerin, Judec, i. p. 290 ff. ; SWP, 
Memoirs, iii. p. 19. 



54 JUDGES 

ily upon theni\ lit. grew heavy ; cf. i S. 5. The language does 
not strictly refer to conquest. The places seem to have come 
under Israelite dominion before the division of the kingdom ; they 
are all included in one of Solomon s prefectures ( i K. 4") . Beth- 
shemesh was Israelite still earlier (i S. 6). 

34. As v. 3 1 , in any case, is not the original sequel of v. 1341 -, it is unsafe to 
infer much from their present juxtaposition. Moreover, in v. 3 the text is 
corrupt precisely in the critical words; for Amorites we must read Edotnites 
(llollenb., Bu., Kitt). The form of v. 34f - corresponds as closely to the rest 
of the chapter as the different situation admits, and the coincidences in 
phraseology become more significant against the other differences; observe 
i~c> in contrast to nn v. 31 (v. 19 ), ru:? 1 ? SNVI v. 35 (v. 2T Jos. ly 1 -), IDV no v. 35 
(v. 22 - 3 ), osS vrm v. 35 (v. 30 - 33 J os . i6 10 ); cf. v. 3 - b with v.- S;l , v. 34b with v. 11 " 
(Bu., Kicht. u. Sam., p. 16). The contents of the verse fully agree with what 
we know of the fortunes of Dan. There remains only the name Amorite, 
which can hardly be allowed to outweigh these evidences of unity of origin. 
The change may have been made by an editor; or the corruption in v. 3 may 
have worked back into the preceding verses, with which that was thought to 
be closely connected. liTrri] TH S lit. squeeze, crowd, Nu. 22- , trop. Am. 
6 14 Jud. IO 1 -; freq. in ptcp. D^m L , oppressors, Jud. 2 1S 6 J &c. I S. io ls . 
uru N 1 ? 13] better ai:ru >x s i Jos. ig 47 , Bu., Kitt. 35. Din in] Din, the 
sun, Job 9"; cf. Din pjrn Jud. 2 9 , Dinn n^sSa 8 13 , Dinn -\iy Is. ly 18 (llelio- 
polis in Egypt = tiTir n O Jer. 43 13 ).* Beth-shemesh, a border town of the 
Israelites (i S. 6 IJ - lL>ff -), on the boundary of Judah (Jos. I5 1 1 ), to which tribe 
it is reckoned to belong (Jos. 2I 1 1 ) ; cf. OS~. 237 59 . Aijalott] Jerome (OS 1 . 
892s)> correcting on Jewish authority an error of Euseb., puts it 2 R. m. from 
Nicopolis on the way to Jerusalem; cf. ep. 108, 8 (Opp. ed. Vallarsi, i. 690). 

Shaalbini\ The name Selbit ( UjL^l..,) cannot represent CO S ;T; see the 
thorough investigations of Kampffmeyer in ZDPV. xv. xvi. (5 translates 
dXwire/ces, from which it may be inferred that Hebrew had a noun a s ; - r 

-9 S 

corresponding to ^_>AAi, as well as ^\~, iJ^H.-, SJ\JL3. Aq. Symm. Theod. 
liaXa/Seiv, which, corrupted to QaXaBeiv, has found its way as a doublet 
into (5 I! . The other variations of in this verse are particularly interesting. 

i 1 i2rri] <5 adds firl rbv A./j,oppaiov. Cf. ^y n 1 ?;TI 3 1 1 6 2 . -Doom, 
(p. 1 1 f.) regards 33 35 as patriotic interpolations (cf. (5 v. ;o - ) ; the 
Israelites cannot have thus subjected the more numerous and stronger native 
population. These notices, however, describe the situation at a later time, 
after the consolidation of the Israelite power in Canaan. 

36. The Edomite frontier. The verse has no connexion with 
the preceding. The Pass of Akrabbim was on the southern or 

* See on 2 - . The text of Jud. 14!" (noinn) is corrupt. 



I- 34-36 55 

southeastern frontier of Judah, toward Edom (Nu. 34 3f - Jos. is 1 " 4 ) ; 
Sela, an Edomite stronghold (2 K. i4 7 ) which lay still further 
east. The Hebrew text has the boundary of the Amorites, which 
could only be understood of the old southern boundary of their 
land, which thus became the limit of the Israelite conquests. This 
would, however, be a singularly roundabout way of making a plain 
statement. It is therefore in the highest degree probable that, 
following certain recensions of &, we should restore, the boundary 
of the Edomites was, &c,* This description of the southern 
boundary has no connexion with the seats of Dan in the West ; 
it would stand appropriately after v. 16 (the Kenites) or v. 17 (Sim 
eon), but from the form of v. 36 it may be doubted whether this 
was its original place. I am inclined to conjecture that the 
source from which the material of Jud. i was derived contained 
a brief description of the frontier between Israel and its neigh 
bours on different sides, of which only this fragment has been pre 
served. The Edomites\ the nearest kinsmen of the Israelites and 
their neighbours on the SE. The Akrabbim Pass\ Scorpion Pass. 
Doubtless one of the principal passes leading up from the Arabah ; 
probably the Naqb es-Safa, by which the main road from Petra to 
Hebron ascends. f To Scla and beyond^ Hebrew text and ver 
sions, from Scla, which gives us two points of departure remote 
from each other and no further limit. Sela (The Cliff) is com 
monly identified with the later capital of the Nabataeans, Petra ; 
but this identification, in itself dubious, \ is here impossible. The 
boundary between Judah and Edom can never have run from 
Naqb es-Safa to Wady Miisa. We require a point near the south 
ern end of the Dead Sea, which equally well suits 2 K. i4 7 Is. I6 1 . 
The emendation is easy and seems necessary. It is doubtful 
whether the end of the verse is complete. 

<5 BN exactly represent ty, with which llCS also agree; but (5-VLM c g ( su b 
obel.) have r6 opiov rov Afj.oppa.tov 6 ISou/xcuos. ISof/uatos prob. represents 



* Budde, Richt. u. Sam., p. 18 f . ; Kht.,Gdff. i. i. p. 243. Ho lenberg (ZATW. 
i. p. 102-104), in closer agreement with G, proposed " the border of the Amorites 
were the Edomites," &c. 

t Knob., Grove (DB\), Ri. (HWB. s. v.), Di. (NDJ. p. 209), Be., al. Descrip 
tions of the Naqb es-Safa, Rob., I3R*. ii. 180 f.; Schubert, Reise, ii. p. 443, 447 ff. 

1 See Buhl, Gesc/i. der Edomiter, p. 34 f. 



56 JUDGES 

a sound correction in Hebrew. jr^Dnc] (@ AM t eirl T?}S irerpas, probably cor 
rection of OTTO. A terminus ad quern is indispensable; ?; in i Son:: may easily 
have originated in dittography. We should accordingly restore the text as 
follows : rhyw yScn a^npy nS; C3 isiNn Si3J\ 

On the Edomites, see F. Buhl, Geschichte dcr Edomittr, 1893. The name 
occurs in a passage of the Papyrus Anastasi, where permission is asked for 
Bedawin of A-du-mq (Edom) to pass the frontier fortress at T u -kti (Succoth) 
to pasture their flocks in the fields of the Pharaoh; M tiller, Asien u. Europa, 
p. 135. In the Assyrian inscriptions frequently; Schrader, A AT 1 .^. 149 f. 
D^ip; nS> ^] opiov TOVTO rrjs I5ovfj.aias (Lat., Judaeai) a.va.TO\iKov, Pro- 
cop.; cf. also I Mace. 5 3 . Rob. (//A 2 , ii. p. 120) proposed the line of cliffs, 
fifty to a hundred and fifty feet high, which cross the Ghor in an irregular 
curve from NW. to SE., seven or eight miles S. of the Dead Sea, the point at 
which the Arabah breaks down to the lower level of the Ghor. But apart 
from the fact that this is no pass, it falls with Rob. s false identification of 
Kadesh ( Ain el-Weibeh). The description of the boundary (Nu. 34 3f - 
Jos. I5 1 " 4 ) requires a pass on a line between the southern end of the Dead 
Sea and Kadesh ( Ain Qudeis). The conditions are best fulfilled by Naqb es- 
Safa; Naqb ibn Mar (Wilson, DIP. s. v.) is also possible. W. az-Zuweireh 
(De Saulcy) is much too far north. i Son] is understood as the name of the 
Edomite capital, Petra, by Procop., Vatab., Cler., Rosenm., Ew. (GVf. i. 
p. 338) ; Stud., Be., Cass., Oett, al. The equivalence of the names is seduc 
tive, but the identification has no more substantial basis. The passages in 
which Sela occurs (Jud. I 3G 2 K. 14" Is. I6 1 )* all seem to point to a cliff near 
the southern end of the Dead Sea; we may perhaps conjecture that it was the 
modern es-Safieh, a bare and dazzlingly white sandstone promontory a thou 
sand feet high.f 

II. 1-5. The Angel of Yahweh goes up from Gilgal ; he up 
braids the Israelites for sparing the people of the land, and 
foretells the consequences. Origin of the name Bochim. That 
2 1 "" is to be joined to i is now generally recognized; 2 ]a 5b is the 
fitting close of the account of the conquest and settlement in ch. 
i ; 2 lb ~ 5a connects ch. i with the Book of Judges (2 6rt ), and ex 
plains to us in what sense and with what intention ch. i was 
prefixed.- Verse la is the counterpart of Jos. iS 1 (P).t Israel 
being now firmly established in Canaan, the religious centre is 
transferred from the plains of Jericho, where they first gained a 



* Is. 42 11 is too indefinite to be taken into account, 
f Buhl, op. cif., p. 20. 

J We., L omp., p. 215; Mey., Kue., Sta., Bu. In P, iS 1 must originally have 
stood before i-j 1 - 5 (We., Di.). 



i. 36-n. i 57 

foothold in Western Palestine, to a sanctuary in the heart of the 
land. This change is signalized by the removal of the Angel of 
Yahweh,* his presence manifested in oracle and theophany, from 
Gilgal to the new holy place, which, upon his appearance there, 
is consecrated by sacrifice (v. 5l) ). The transfer of the religious 
centre to Bethel marks the end of the period of invasion, as the 
preceding period of migration ended with the encampment at 
Gilgal (Jos. 5 1U " 12 ). What stands between (v. Ib 5a ) is in substance 
and form strikingly different from ch. i, and bears the stamp of 
the school of Hebrew historiography which, for lack of a more 
suitable general name, we call Deuteronomic.| It does not exactly 
agree with 2 llff- , however, still less with 2 23 3 1 " 3 , and on external 
grounds also cannot be ascribed to the author of that Introduc 
tion to the Book of Judges. It doubtless comes from the hand 
of the editor who introduced ch. i in this place. $ 

1. The Messenger of Yahweh] not a prophet, but, as always 
in Jud., Yahweh himself as he appears to men in human form or 
otherwise sensibly manifests his presence ; cf. Ex. 3 2 3 2 s4 23 20ff - 
Nu. 2O 16 Jos. 5 13 " 15 ; see comm. on 6 11 . The appearance of the 
maPak (theophany) at Bethel is the sign that Yahweh will hence 
forth there receive the worship of his people and make himself 
known to them (Ex. 2O 24 ).|| From Gilgal] Jos. 4 1% - 20 5 10 2 S. 
i9 15 - 40 . Between the fords of the Jordan and Jericho, where the 
Israelites first encamped after crossing the river, and where, ac 
cording to Jos. 9 jo ""- 15 - 43 14", they long maintained a standing 
camp.^[ The name, which occurs elsewhere in Palestine, seems 
to be derived from ancient stone circles (cromlechs) ; ** cf. Jos. 
4 20 . Gilgal was, in the eighth century, a frequented sanctuary ; 
Amos (4 4f - 5 5 ) and Hosea (4 15 p 15 12") name it with Bethel and 

* Cf. Ex. 2320. f We., Mey., Sta., Kue., Bu., Kitt., Dr. 

J Bu., Richt. H. Sam., p. 20. 

$ (<ES vid.) Rabb., Drus., Stud.; specifically, Phineas, Midr. Tanch., 2Ti cr - 
RLbG., Cass. An angel, Thdt., Aug., a Lap. ; in human form, Ephrem. 

|| Examples of the establishment of an altar at the scene of a theophany, Gen. 
I2~ f - z6-tf- 35 lff - ; or of the appearance of the Messenger of Yahweh, Jud. 6 24 1315-20 
2 S. 24 1 5ff-. See further, W. R. Smith, Religion of Semites, Pt. i. p. 108 f. 

H Representation of E ? It is probable, though not certain, that the same place 
is meant in i S. 7*6 i 8 nW. &c. 

** The etymology proposed in Jos. 5 is more ingenious than plausible. 



58 JUDGES 

Beersheba as one of the chief seats of Yahweh worship. Modern 
explorers have found traces of the ancient name in Tell Gelgul 
and Birket Gilgullyeh. To Bethel ( ?) ] the Hebrew text, which 
is confirmed by all the versions, to Bochim, i.e., to the place 
subsequently so named from the weeping there on this occasion 
(v. 5tt -).* In v. 1 we expect, however, the older name of the place, 
and a name of greater note. This is perhaps preserved in the con 
flate text of (!, which beside CTTI TQV KXavO^va (Bochim) has and 
to Bethel and to the house of Israel.^ Bochim ("Weepers") may 
then be connected with Allon Bacuth (" Weeping Tree ") below 
Bethel (Gen. 35 s ; see on v. 5 ). Since, according to Jos. iS 1 ip 51 , 
the tabernacle was at Shiloh, others think that Bochim must have 
been near that sanctuary, j The original sequel of v. la was 5b , 
"and they sacrificed there to Yahweh"; see below, ad loc. 
l b . I brought you up from Egypt~\ so the context and the follow 
ing tenses require ; %} I will bring you tip. The false tense sug 
gests that some words have fallen out at the beginning of the 
sentence, and various attempts have been made, beginning with 
the ancient versions, to fill the lacuna. The most satisfactory of 
these is, / visited you and brought you up, &*c. ; but it is not im 
possible that this improves on the author. The land wliicJi I 
sware to your fathers } this reference to the oath made to the 
forefathers is very common in Dt. (i 8 (> i 35 6 10il8-23 y 1 S 1 ir -* 1 
i9 8 26 - 1 " 28 11 30 20 -ji 20 - 21 - 2 ^ &c.) and in editorial additions to 
other books of the Pentateuch (Rje. Rd. ; cf. Gen. 50 -* Ex. 13^ n 
32 1:i 33 1 Nu. i4 1(! - 2! 32 11 ) ; the promise, Gen. i f (J) i3 15 15 * 26 3 
28 1;!t - ; also i y 8 35 12 (P) . / will never annul my agreement with 
you~\ in the light of v. 2 , not the covenant with the forefathers just 
spoken of, but that of Ex. 34 1()ff , to which the reference in the 
following is unmistakable. 2. You shall make no terms ] Ex. 34 12 ; 
the command that accompanied his promise and constitutes the 
obligation of the other part. Pull down their altars ] Ex. 34 , 
" pull down their altars and shatter their stone pillars (rnassebahs) 
and hew down their wooden posts" (asherahs) the sacred sym- 



* The use of the name in v. 1 is explained as an anticipation ; Rabb., Aug., 
Drus., Cler., Stud. 

t The emendation Bethel is adopted by We., Coi/tp., p. 215 ; Mey., Kue., Bu., Kitt. 
J Cass., Ba., al. Di. on Ut. i. 



ii. i-s 59 

bols which stood beside the altars ; cf. Dt. f 1 2 3 ; further Ex. 
23 32 Nu. 33 5:iff Jos. 23 12ff -. You have not heeded my injunction~\ 
cf. Ex. 23-"-. The words contain the author s judgment on the 
failure to exterminate the Canaanites, ch. i. What have you 
done /] 8 l Gen. 3" ; What is this you have done ? not, Why have 
you done this ? * 3. And I also said~\ many understand this as a 
declaration of present purpose, setting it over against / said, v. 1 : 
I said I will not break my word with you, I will drive out these 
nations (Ex. 34" >f -) ; but you have disobeyed my command to 
make no terms with them ; therefore I have now also said, I will 
not drive them out.f But if this antithesis had been designed, v. 3 
would hardly begin as it does, and I also said, but rather, there 
fore I say, or, so I now say. It is preferable, therefore, to regard 
v. 3 as referring to a previous warning such as Jos. 23 13 Nu. 33^, \ 
from which the peculiar expression in v. 3b is perhaps derived. 
That this threat was now to be carried out, did not need, after 
v. 2b , to be expressly declared. They will be thorns in your 
sides (?)] so the text is usually filled out from Nu. 33^, cf. Jos. 
23 13 (a scourge [?] on your flanks). The text, which can be 
literally translated only, they will be sides to you, may be ex 
plained as an unintelligent abridgment of one of these passages. 
Others would translate, in parallelism with the next clause, they 
will be traps for you ; cf. Jos. 23 13b -. And their gods will be a 
snare to you ] Ex. 34 - 25 Dt. y 10 . Not an occasion of sin only, 
but a cause of sudden and unexpected ruin ; cf. Is. 8 R 1; , Yahweh 
is "a springe and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." Au 
gustine, however, goes too deep when he infers from the verse, 
"nonnulla etiam de ira Dei venire peccata." || 4. The people 
broke out into loud weeping} 2i 2 i S. n 4 , &c. 5. They gave the 
place the name Bochim~\ i.e., Weepers. The subject may be in 
definite, so the place got the name B. ((5 Aa1 -). A place Bochim 
is not otherwise known. It is perhaps a far-fetched etymological 



* H.S, Lth., Cler., Schm., AV., RV. al. mil. 

tSo U, Thdt., Ra., Schm., Trem. Jun., Cler., Stud., Ba., Reuss, Kitt. Ap 
plication of the principle, " Frangenti fidem fides frangatur eidem," Schm. 
J Abaib., Ke. 

Abulw., Cler. (retia), Lth., Fr. Delitzsch. 
|| See Schm., qu. 2. 



60 JUDGES 

explanation of a name Beka im (28. 5"" 1 ) ; * cf. also the valley 
of Baca (Ps. S4 7 ), and Allon Bacuth (Gen. 35"). They sacri 
ficed there to Yahwefi\ original sequel of v. la . It is not improba 
ble that the older history related the building of the altar at 
Bethel, and perhaps other things, which have been supplanted by 
v _ib-5a . j^ t nere seems to be no reason to regard the context as 
so fragmentary that the original connexion and intention cannot 
be made out.t 

( )lder scholars regarded 2 1 - 5 as a fragment having no connexion with either 
what precedes or what follows (Ziegler, Theol. Abliandl., i. 1791, p. 295); or, 
misled by the similarity in tone between 2 lb - 5a and 2 G -3, as a piece taken 
from some other context and set here as a prelude, or text, to the following 
(Stud.). Another point which was much discussed by earlier commentators 
is whether the events here related occurred before or after the death of 
Joshua; see Cler., Schm., qu. 3, Stud. 1. Gilgal ] according to Fl. Jos., antt. 
v. i, 4 20, in the plain E. of Jericho, 10 stadia from that city and 50 from 
the Jordan; Euseb. (OS 2 . 24394 cf. 23305) describes it as a deserted site 2 R. 
m. E. of Jericho, still holy to the people of the neighbourhood; cf. Jerome, ep. 
1 08, 12 (Of p. i. 696, ed. Vail.). A Gilgal, with a church in which the twelve 
stones set up by Joshua were shown, was visited by pilgrims clown to the yth or 
8th cent. % Zschokke in 1865 found a mound covered with large stones which 
the Arabs called Tell Gelgul (Beitrage zur Topographic tier ivestl. Jordansau, 
p. 28); cf. Guerin, Samarie, i. p. 117 ff., who discovered the mosaic floor of 
a church. Conder identifies Gilgal with Birket Gilguliyeh (Gt. Map, sh. 1 8 
1 s), nearer to Enha (Jericho); see PEF. Statements, 1874, p. 36-38; SIVP. 
Memoirs, iii. p. 173, 191. c-oan SN] v. 5 e^a; the art. is perhaps an addi 
tional ground of suspicion. (5, with substantial unanimity, tiri TOV K\a.v6fj.Civa. 
K.a.1 e?rt BcuflTjX KO.L ewl Tov oiKov Iffpari\. The first words (cf. the pi. KXau$/uw- 
i/es, v. 5 ) may reasonably be suspected of being a later conformation to |& (We.) ; 
Bu. (J\ichi. u. Sam., p. 21) regards the rest of <& as genuine, and restores 
SN-C"" pia Ssi SN pia SN SJ^J-D nini -jNVa S^i, or ]Dv n^; so also Kitt. I 
suspect that S&nB" n^a is merely an accidental doublet of Ss n^a. || A critical 
significance has sometimes been attached to the space (Npos) in the middle 
of the verse, as indicating a lacuna or break in the text; but it is more 



* Appellatively a kind of tree. etymologizes in the same way in 2 S. 5-" f - and 
Ps. 84 , translating KAaue^uii- as here. The place cannot be the same as in 2 S. ; 
the latter is in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Hitz. (Pss. 8-v ; G VI. i. p. 107) identifies 
the valley of Baca with the Bochim (Bekaim) of our text. 

t Kuenen. + Sec DIP. s. v. 

<} In s the crit. signs are confused; but doubtless meant to athetize all after 

K\av9fjiuil a. 

|| Ziegler expresses a similar suspicion, but thinks of a Greek corruption. 



II. 5 6i 

probably connected with an older or discrepant division of the verses.* 
n yjw] the versions have supplied various beginnings for the sentence which 
do not meet the difficulty. Stud, and Be. would insert THCN (I proposed to 
bring you up, &c.; cf. Ra.); Bottch. {Neue exeget. Krit. Aehrenlese, p. 74) 
conjectured Ji nSyN ICNI aanx imps npj (nSyN future), cf. Ex. 3 16f - Gen. 
5O 24 , which Doom, improves upon by reading n^yxi for nSjm -into. This 
gives us an unimpeachable text. The speech of the angel is, however, a cento 
of quotations and reminiscences, and it is at least possible that the author here 
copied Ex. 3 17a without correcting the tense. Attempts to explain nS> % N gram 
matically (Roorda, 367; Dr. 3 27 7; Ges. 25 107 i a; Ba., al.) are forced, and 
do not account for the following NONI. Tina ISK N 1 ?] make of no effect, 
annul, I K. I5 19 ; in religious sense common in Jer. Ez. Dt. and later. 2. 
<S presents a longer text, probably amplified from the parallels in Ex. and Dt. 
Doom, and Bu. {ThLZ. 1884, 211), on the contrary, think that $2 has been 
abridged. The " singular antithesis," make no terms . . . but pull down their 
altars, at which Doom, stumbles, stands just so in Ex. 34 12 - 13 . nna imjn NS] 
the phrase n^aa ma (usually with sy or r\v, herewith S, as in I S. n 1 , prescribe 
terms to ) apparently originated in the rite described in Jer. 34 18f , cf. Gen. I5 10 . 
See the parallels collected by Bochart, Hierozoicon, 1. ii. c. 33 (i. p. 332 ff. ed. 
Rosenm.), Di. in BL. s. v., " Bund"; and on the probable significance of the 
rite, W. R. Smith, Religion of Semites, Ft. i. p. 461 f.; further, Valeton, in 
ZATW. xii. 225 ff. On the etymology and signification of nna see on 
2 20 . fixhn an\mnarc] ynj pull down, pull to pieces, Ex. 34 13 Dt. 7 5 i2 3 
Jud. 6 28 - 30 - 31 2 K. 23 12 ; of houses (Is. 22 10 ), tower (Jud. 8 9 - 17 ), cities 
(Jer. 4 20 ), &c. The altars were probably built of stones, Ex. 2O 25 i Mace. 
4 44ff -. The form of the verb, with preservation of o and ending un, also 
Ex. 34 13 , B6. 930. Qr\->vy rw ns] Ges. 25 136, n. 2. 3. C -UN N 1 ?] cnj 
Ex. 23 s8 - so- 31 332 34" Jos. 24 12 - 18 Jud. 6 9 ; frequent in E (Bu., Richt. u. 
Sam., p. 159). onsS aaS vm] cf. Nu. 33 55 aanxa o^JS 1 ?, Jos. 23 13 taai S 
aa^iya n^jx 1 ?! aanxa. In view of the apparent reference to this threat, it is 
probably best to correct Jud. to conform to Nu. Whether hasty abridgment 
or transcriptional accident has produced the present text is uncertain. The 
ancient versions seem to have read or guessed onxS or amsS, cf. aanx mxi 
Nu. 33 55b ; so <& et s o-woxfa I in angustias, in pressura, IL hastes, 2C pp JJD 1 ?. 
Stud., Be., Doom, would emend accordingly; but the reading of these verss. 
has the marks of a bad (though natural and old) conjecture; the idea thus 
conveyed is too self-evident to suit the emphatic context; moreover, is is 
never found in a similar connexion. Abulw., connecting ons with "m hunt, 
interpreted snares, traps, and this explanation has been recently revived by 
Fr. Delitzsch, Hebr. Lang., p. 29 f., Prolegomena, p. 75 f., comparing Assyrian 

* The former opinion was maintained by Morinus and many older scholars (see 
Ges., Lehrgebaude, p. 124) ; the theory has lately been revived by Graetz and 
controverted by Sidon ; see Theol. Jahresbericht, iv. p. 18 ; Graetz rejoinder, 
Monatsschrift. f. G, u. W, d. Judenthums, 1887, p. 193-200. 



62 JUDGES 

saddn, trap, springe. Another comparatively simple solution would he to 
pronounce ani 1 ? (cf. mx Ex. 2i ls , esp. i S. 24 1 -), huntsmen, trappers. 
D 3 a] the form of this n. pr. loci (act. ptcp.) strengthens the suspicion that 
the pronunciation has been deflected in favour of the etymology. 



II. 6-XVI. 31. THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL IN CANAAN 

IN THE DAYS OF THE JUDGES. 

II. 6-III. 6. Introduction ; the religious pragmatism of the 
history. 

After the great assembly and solemn covenant at Shechem (Jos. 
24 1 " 27 ), Joshua sends the people away to occupy the lands which 
have been allotted to them (2 ). Israel continues faithful to 
Yahweh as long as Joshua and the survivors of his generation live, 
but after they have passed away, and a new generation comes up 
who have not seen the great deliverances and victories of their 
God, the heathenizing of Israel begins (v. 7 1 ") . The people neg 
lect Yahweh for the worship of the Baals and Astartes, the gods 
of Canaan (v. 11 " 13 ). Yahweh visits his anger upon them by the 
hand of their foes and they are brought into great straits (v. 14f ). 
Anon, moved by their groans under foreign tyranny, he raises up 
champions who deliver them ; but they do not even then aban 
don the worship of other gods, and the death of the judge is 
always a signal for a worse relapse into heathenism (v. ir " 1;i ). In 
indignation at this incurable unfaithfulness, Yahweh vows that he 
will not complete the expulsion of the peoples of the land, but 
will leave them to tempt Israel. The Israelites intermarry with 
their neighbours and adopt their religion (2 20 -3). 

This general introduction contains an interpretation and judge 
ment of the history of the whole period, which is represented as 
" an almost rhythmical alternation of idolatry and subjugation, re 
turn to Yahweh and liberation."^ The motives out of which it 
is constructed reappear in the particular introduction to the story 
of each of the Judges. A typical example is 3 1 -" 1 " : The Israel 
ites again did what displeased Yahweh, and Yahweh gave Eglon, 
king of Moab, power over Israel. . . . And the Israelites served 

* Vatke, Biblischc Thcologie, 1835, P- l8r - 



II. 6-III. 6 63 

Eglon, king of Moab, eighteen years. And the Israelites cried 
unto Yahweh, and he raised them up a deliverer, Ehud ben Gera, 
the Benjamite, &c. Compare 3 7 11 (Othniel), 4 1 " 3 (Deborah), 13 
(Samson). In 6 1 - 6 - 7 - 10 (Gideon) and io M(i (Jephthah) the theme 
is developed at greater length, the latter passage being closely 
parallel to 2-3 (! . It is clear from the prominence given to the 
pragmatism that the author s aim was moral and religious rather 
than purely historical ; the lesson of the history is for him the 
chief thing in the history.* He has, however, contented himself 
with emphasizing the lesson in this way, and has hardly touched 
the stories themselves. See further on 3 7ff - 

The introduction, 2 fi -3 6 , is not homogeneous. Ch. 2 6 " 10 is the 
transition from the history of the conquest under Joshua to that 
of the Judges, and is found, with slight variations, in Jos. 24 28 " 31 
also.f In v. 11 22 two very similar accounts have been intimately 
combined ; while in 2 s " 3 1 " 6 fragments of an independent narrative 
(J) also enter into the composition. 

On the analysis of 2 6 -3 see Bertheau 2 , p. viii. f., xix. f., 55 ff., esp. 61 f. ; 
Budde, Richt. u. Sam., p. 92-94, 155 ff.; E. Meyer, ZATW. \. p. 144 f; 
Kuenen, HCO 2 . i. p. 338 ff.; Kittel, Stud. u. Krit., 1892, p. 51 ff., Gdll. i. 2. 
p. 5 f. Although Kuenen, after setting aside v. 13 - 17 as interpolations, finds no 
ground for challenging the unity of 2 11 23 , which he ascribes as a whole to the 
Deuteronomic author, the composite character of the passage is recognized by 
most recent critics. It is evident in the duplication of almost every clause; 
cf. v. 12 with v. 13 ; v. 14a (he gave them into the power of spoilers) with v. 14b 
(he sold them into the power of their enemies) ; v. 1Gf - with v. 18f - The char 
acter of these doublets points to composition (Bu.), rather than to editorial 
expansion or interpolation. We can separate two parallel accounts, each 
of which is almost completely preserved; the two are, however, in thought 
and phrase so much alike, and the style of the redactor so similar to that of 
both, that the analysis is difficult and doubtful. To one of them (E) may be 
assigned 2 C - 8 - 10 - ^ 14a - 16 - 17 - 2- 21 . This is the principal narrative and is intact, 
lacking only perhaps some such words as, "And the Israelites cried unto 
Yahweh " (cf. 3 15 ), before 2 1G . To the other belong 2 7 - 12 - 14b - 15 - 18 - 19 , in which 
the nexus between v. 7 and v. 1 - is wanting, having been supplanted by the words 



* The book is, as Reuss says, " die natlirliche, und nur in andrer Form vorge- 
tragene Predigt eines Propheten, der um sich her das fremde Wesen und Ver- 
derben in erschreckender Weise uberhand nehmen sah " (GescA. d. Allen Test., 

2750 

t On the relation between Jos. and Jud. see below on 2 6 . 



64 JUDGES 

of E. Verse 11 is an addition by the last editor (R).* The second of these 
exhibits throughout the peculiarities of conception and expression which we 
find in the Deuteronomic strata of the Ilexateuch and the Deuteronomic 
writers in the Book of Kings, as well as in the introductions to the stories of 
the several Judges, and may be confidently ascribed to the same school. For 
brevity, and without attempting to define its relation to the cognate parts of 
Dt. and Jos., this element in the book will henceforth be designated by the 
signature D (L)euteronomic author of Judges). With general agreement be 
tween the introductions of E and D, there are slight differences of repre 
sentation which should not be overlooked. In E the sin of Israel is the 
worship of the Baals and Astartes, the gods of Palestine (2 1:J ) ; in D the 
adoption of the religion of the surrounding nations (v. 12 ef. io r> ). In E they 
are delivered into the hand of plunderers (o Dir v. 14a ) ; in D sold into the 
power of the enemies who surround them (v. 14b - 15 ), with which compare 3 1 2 
(Moab), 6 ff. (Midian), io cff - (Ammon), 13 ff. (Philistines). In E they do not 
obey their judges but persist in apostasy (v. 17 ), in consequence of which 
Yahweh resolves not to drive out any more of the nations which Joshua left 
unsubdued (v. -* -- 1 ); in D a reform under each of the judges is followed at 
his death by a worse relapse (v. 18 - 11 ). In 2 2;5 -3 fi fragments of a third source 
are found ;f ch. 2 2311 3 - give an altogether different explanation of the incom 
pleteness of the conquest from 2- 1 3 la - 4 , and are ascribed by Mey. and Bu. 
(cf. Kitt.) to the author of ch. I (J).+ The list of nations, 3 3 , is thought 
by these scholars to be derived from the same source, but this seems to me 
less probable; 2 3a 3- appear to me to refer backward to ch. I, and neither to 
require nor admit after them a list like 3 :5 . This list, which corresponds to 
Jos. i3- ff - rather than to Jud. I, together with 3 la , I am inclined to attribute 
to E, whose narrative would then run: 2 20 - 2l ^a-S-*- y- G bear the stamp of 
Rje rather than E, and may have as their basis a text of J; 2 22 3 la are 
redactional, though perhaps not by the same hand. 

II. 6-10. The Israelites settle on the lands allotted them. 
Joshua and his contemporaries pass away. The new generation. 

6.= Jos. 24 is . Joshua dismissed the people, &c.~\ the conclu- 



* Re. s analysis is : A 2i la - . -W ; B 2" >- !- 2-2. ! 3 i-fi. A belongs to the frame 
work of the book, and is interpolated by its author in the older introduction (B). 
Bu. materially improves upon this : A (= Dcut. author) 2 n - 1~ 14 - 16 - 18 - ly ; B (= E) 
2 13. 20-22a 35. ; A and B were united by a later editor (R) who added v. 1 ". 

f First recognized by Meyer, 7,ATW. i. p. 145. 

+ Mey. s analysis (7.AT\V. i. p. 145) is : J z- ^ 3>- "-"; E 2?- (= 3 4 ) 23b gia. 5. fi. 
(continuation of Jos. 24 1;if - --). Bu. (Riclit. n. Sam., p. 159 f.) ascribes to E z--- 
S 1 * * ! 3 4 s introduced by R to recover connexion. The original, doubtless very 
brief, form of 2 2S ~y^ (in substance ]), can hardly be recovered. Kitt. regards 2 23 
3 1 - 15 (prob. J) as the only old part of this passage; E is not represented. Kue. 
also thinks 3 1 - 3 an extract from an older source ; 2 ij 3 4 form the setting given it by 
the author of Judges. 



II. 6-8 65 

sion of the account of the great assembly at Shechem and the 
parting exhortations of Joshua (Jos. 24 1 27 ; substantially E). It 
was followed by the death and burial of Joshua (v. sf - Jos. 24 LW -), to 
which E s description of the subsequent apostasy of Israel and 
its consequences (v. 10 " 14a - 1(if - 2W ) immediately attached itself. The 
insertion of Jud. i lb -2 -li , and the division of the books, left the 
story in Jos. without a suitable close, and accordingly Jud. 2 6 - 8 - 9 
were restored in their original connexion in Jos. (24 28 30 ), carrying 
over with them Jud. 2 7 (= Jos. 24 :!1 ), an addition of D.* 7. = 
Jos. 24 31 ((0> 24- J ). The verse is not by the same hand as v. 10 , to 
which it is parallel ; v. 10 is the sequel of v. J in E, v. 7 , in expression 
and representation Deuteronomic, is its counterpart in D. The 
elders, who survived Joshud\ the sheikhs, the head men of the 
clans and families, who were the natural guardians of Israelitish 
custom, law, and religion. f It is not used with primary reference 
to age, \ though the elders here meant were doubtless the coevals 
of Joshua. Who survived Joshua] lit. prolonged days offer J ; 
a very common phrase in Dt. (e.g. 4 40 5 ;l 5 n J i; 20 22 7 30 * 32 4r ) 
and Deuteronomic passages in other books (e.g. i K. 3" ; cf. also 
Ex. 20 12 ) ; otherwise infrequent (Is. 53 Prov. 28 1G Eccl. S 1;! ). 
Who had seen all the great work of Yahweh~\ v. 10 Jos. 24 31 had 
known, experienced. The " great work of Yahweh " is not to be 
limited to the conquest of Canaan, but comprehends his whole 
great deliverance, the exodus, the wandering, and the invasion, of 
all of which Joshua s generation had been witnesses ; cf. Dt. n 2 " 7 , 
where Moses recalls to the Israelites, as they are about to cross 
the Jordan, how their eyes had seen " all the great work of Yah 
weh which he wrought" (v. 7 ), specifying the Egyptian plagues, 
the deliverance of Israel and destruction of the Egyptians at the 
Red Sea, &c. (v. LM cf. 7 18 - lu ). The author of Jud. 2 7 , like the 
author of Dt. n 2 " 7 5 21t 7 1Sf -, represents the exodus and the con 
quest as falling within the lifetime of a single generation. In the 
memory of these signal manifestations of Yahweh s power and 
grace, that generation remained faithful to him even after their 
great leader passed away ; cf. v. 10 . 8. = Jos. 24. The begin 
ning of the verse in Jos., and after these things, i.e., after Joshua 

* Cf. Stud., Havernick, Einl., ii. i. p. 79. f Be. J Da. 

F 



66 JUDGES 

had delivered his farewell address and the people had entered 
upon the possession of their allotments, may be part of the origi 
nal text, but is not indispensable. The servant of Yahwch~] of 
Joshua, perhaps the addition of an editor;* Dt. 34" Jos. i 1 and 
often of Moses, see Dillmann on Dt. /. c. A hundred ami fen 
years old } the age of his ancestor Joseph, Gen. $o~-- 6 (E). 
9. = Jos. 24 "". They buried him within the bounds of his estate~\ 
on the lands which were allotted to him (Jos. ip 4 - 1 ) ; not " on the 
boundary," <S:c. Timnath-heres\ Jos. 24^ 19 Timnath-serah, 
probably a metathesis to get rid of a name of heathenish sound ; 
see note. Timnath is the modern Tibneh, NW. of Gifna (Gophna) 
on the road to the coast. On the northern side of the hill which 
lies over against the town to the south are remarkable tombs, 
in one of which Guerin would recognize the burial place of 
Joshua. I Samaritan, Jewish, and Moslem tradition in the Mid 
dle Ages fixed on a site nearer Nabulus (Shechem), at Kefr 
Harith or at "Awerteh. $ The Highlands of Ephraini\ see on 3- . 

-North of Mt. Gaasli} cf. "the Wadies of Gaash," 2 S. 23" = 
i Chr. i i " L> ; there is no other clue by which to fix the location. 

10. All that generation~\ the contemporaries of Joshua ; see 
above on v. . Were gathered to their fathers } 2 K. 22-"; com 
pare the equivalent expressions, be gathered to his people, go to 
his fathers, sleep with his fathers. The original reference is to 
the family sepulchre, in which, as in a common abode, the mem 
bers of the family dwell together, and perpetuate in that shadowy 
existence the relations of the former life. ly a natural extension 
the phrases are applied also to the nether world, in which, by 
their clans, and tribes, and nations, all the dead dwell. In later 
times they are only a euphemistic circumlocution for death. 
Another generation^ Joel, i"; the defection began with the next 



* * in ]ud. i 1 also. 

t On Tibneh sec Eli Smith in Bibliotheca. Sacra, 1843, p. 483 ff. ; Do Saulcy, 
Voyage en Terre Sainte, ii. p. 238 ff., Guerin, Samarie, ii. p. 89-104; PEI-\ State 
ments, 1873, p. 145, 1878, p. 22 f.; S\VI>. Memoirs, ii. p. 299 f., 374-378. 

j Kefr Harith, about 9 m. S\V. of Nabulus, is accepted by Conder (SWP. Me 
moirs, ii. p. 284 f. ; PEF. Statements, 1878, p. 22 f.) and G. A. Smith, Hist. Geogr. 
of the Holy Land, 1894, P- 35 1 , n - 3- 

$ Sec Botteher, De inferis, p. 54 ff. ; Schwally, Lcbcn -iiach dem Tode, p. 54 ff. ; 
Moore, in Andover Review, ii. 1884, p. 433 ff., 516-518 (literature). 



ii. s-io 6; 

generation after the invasion. Who did not know Yahwc/i and 
the work which he wrought for Israel] see on v. 7 Jos. 24 :!1 . Not 
would not acknowledge Yahweh (Ex. 5- i S. 2 12 ), but, did not, by 
personal experience, know him as Deliverer, Leader, Conqueror 
(cf. Dt. n 2>s i3 2 , &c.) ; they had not shared those wonderful ex 
periences which had been to their fathers the proof of Yahweh s 
power and his jealous love for Israel, and made it inconceivable 
that they should turn from him to other gods ; cf. Ex. i 8 .* 

6. This seems more probable than the alternative hypothesis, that, after 
the insertion of Jud. i 1 -2 5 , the close of Jos. 24 was repeated in Jud. 2 cff - to 
resume connexion. That the text in Jos. appears in some points more origi 
nal (nSxn aninn nnx >m v. 29 ; the position of v. 31 =Jud. 2 7 f) is not con 
clusive. That the events narrated in 2- 10 cannot be posterior in time to 
v. 1 - 5 was recognized by older commentators, who tried to get over the difficulty 
by exegetical artifices. Schm. connects : Caeterum quomodo, quae Angelus 
Jehovae praedixit, impleta fuerint, ex his sequentibus apparebit : Postquam 
dimisit Josua, etc. The structure of the following verses is suspended; the 
apodosis begins in v. 11 , Turn vero fecerunt filii Israelis malum, etc. Similarly 
Ba. : What is narrated in v. G - 10a is to be regarded as virtually in the pluper 
fect; v. 10b - u connects with and continues v. 5 . Cf. also Ra., Ki., Abarb. 9. 
Din men] probably Portion (sacred territory) of the Sun; cf. Har-heres (i 35 ; 
see note there), Beth-shemesh, &c. In Jos. (24^ ig 50 ) mo pj^p, and so 
ILS here. This is not the true name of the place (Stud., Ges. Thes,, J Be., al.), 
for which Din njan Jud. 2 9 is transcriptional error; neither are Din and mo 
from the same root by metathesis, like u*32, 3i: 3 (Ki., Abarb., Schm.), or from 
different roots of the same meaning (Ba.) ; but Din n is the original, and n 
mo is prob. not accidental error but intentional mutilation of a name which 
savoured of idolatry (Juynboll, Chron. Samar., p. 295). There are numerous 
examples of similar procedure; cf. esp. Is. IQ 18 , where for the same reason 
Din has been altered to Din, or, in a few manuscripts, to Din. The latter 
reading is found in some codd. and ed. Soncino in Jud. 2 . Possibly 8a/j.va<ra- 
Xap <5 Jos. 24 30 (2i 40 Jud. 2 <Jcodd -) represents another transposition. Cf. also 
Baba bathra I22 a - b , Ra. on Jos. 24 31 Jud. 2 9 . At the beginning of our era 
Thamna was the chief town of a toparchy which lay to the NE. of Lydda 
(Diospolis) in the old territory of Ephraim (Fl. Jos., b. j. iii. 3, 5; Plin., 
n. h., v. 70; Euseb., OS 2 . 2ig S i cf. 2603 23993 21191 ||). Here in the 4th cent. 



* Noting the similarities of phraseology. 

t In C this verse stands in Jos. in the same position as in Jud., immediately 
after v. 2 ^ = Jud. 2. 

J Etymologizing, without warrant in usage, portio abundant v. redimdans. 

\ Hiivernick (Eiiil. ii. i. p. 79) considered Din P the old Canaanite, niD P the 
Israelite name. || See also Schiirer, GjV. ii. p. 138 f. 



68 JUDGES 



the tomb of Joshua (fTriarjuov . . . fj.vrnj.eC) was shown (OS 1 . 261-,^ 24603; 
Jerome, ep. 108, 13). It was identified with the modern Tihneh by Eli 
Smith in 1843 (/>//</. Sao-., p. 483 f.). Guerin, in 1863, was convinced that 
he had discovered the tomb of Joshua in the most western of the rock tombs 
over against the town. Many niches for lamps in the forechamber prove that 
it was once a frequented shrine; and it is not improbable that it is the same 
that was shown to Christian pilgrims as the sepulchre of Joshua in the 4th 
century. For confirmation, the Abbe Richard in 1870 found in and before the 
tomb flint knives, which he combined with Jos. 24 30 2i 40 (5. There are a 
number of other places bearing the name Timnath : one in the hill country of 
Judah (Jos. 15", prob. also Gen. jS 1211 -); another the scene of Samson s 
exploits (Jud. 14. 15; Jos. I5 lj I9 4:i ). ^ ne name Tibneh is also found east 
of the Jordan in Aglun (Tristram, Land of Israel, p. 458 ff.).* 10. 
i;-p xS T.I N] ;-n in this sense freq. in Dt, e.g. 1 1- 9- I i- s 13^ " 14 2S 33 - M - M ; cf. 
Jer. 9 1(; , &c. (DL, XDJ. p. 588). 

11-19. The defection of Israel; neither punishment nor de 
liverance works amendment. A summary of the whole history. 
11-13. The defection. Verse 11 is not the original sequel of 
v. 1 " (E), which is rather to be found in v. 1:i , neither is it in place 
before v. 12 (D), which it anticipates; probably, therefore, inserted 
by the editor (R), employing motives of both E and D. The Is 
raelites did what displeased Yahwch~\ lit. that which was evil in his 
eyes. Standing formula in the introduction to the stories of the 
several judges (3 7 - I2 4 1 6 1 10 13 ; cf. Dt. 4^ 9" if 31"*), and 
especially in the judgements passed on the character of the kings of 
Israel and Judah (i K. is 2 "- 34 i6 25 - 3 " 22 52 2 K. 3 2 , &c.) ; seldom 
in Samuel (i S. i5 lu 2 S. I2 1 cf. i S. I2 20 ), which was never sub 
jected to thorough Deuteronomic redaction. The evil is gener 
ally, though not always, an offence against religion, the worship 
of other gods, or of idols of Yah we h ; see the examples above. 
Served the I>aals~\ the gods of the Canaanites among whom they 
lived (3" )? then, in general, fell into heathenism; see further on 
v. l;i . 12. The verse shows in every clause its filiation with the 
Deuteronomic literature. Forsook Yahwe/i] jo fi - 10 - 13 , and often 
throughout the O.T. God of f/u-ir fathers ] only here in Jud. ; 
frequent in Dt. (i 11 - 21 4 1 6 :! I2 1 26 if 29"" cf. Ex. 3 15 - 10 4 Jos. 
i8\). Who brou glit them out of the land of Egypt] the great de- 



* The genitive, very likely in these cases also originally the name of a god, has 
been dropped. 



II. n-i4 69 

liverance gave him a right to their allegiance. It stands thus as 
the first of the Ten Words (Ex. 20- Dt. 5), the ground of 
obligation and motive of obedience. Unfaithfulness has the base 
ness of ingratitude (Dt. 8 im i3 10 , &c.). Followed other go ds~\ 
2 1<J Dt. 8 1U ii- 8 13- 2 8 14 Jer. f n 10 13 ", and freq. Of the gods of 
the surrounding nations ] Dt. 6" i3 7f . Exasperated Yahwe/i] the 
verb nowhere else in Jud. ; Dt. 4 25 p 18 3i- J 32 1G ; freq. in Deutero- 
nomic strata of Kings and in Jer. It connotes defiant provocation : 
superbe peccaverunt, nee curaverunt, si maxime Deus indignaretur 
(Schm.). 13, 14. Verse 13 is a doublet to v. 1 -.* As v. 12 clearly 
belongs to D, v. 13 may be ascribed to E and connected immedi 
ately with v. 10 . Forsook Yahweh] see on v. 12a ; cf. also in E, Jos. 
24-" Dt. 3i 1(it . And sacrificed to Baal and Astarte~\ on the text 
see critical note. The Baals and Astartes, i.e. the heathen gods 
and goddesses, are coupled in the same way in Jud. 10 i S. 7 4 
i2 10 ;t cf. Baals and Asheras, Jud. 3 7 . Baal signifies proprietor, 
possessor of something, and requires a complement, expressed or 
implied, thus : Baal-Sor, the Lord of Tyre ; Baal-Sidon, Baal- Leba 
non, Baal-Hermon, also Baal-Shamen, the Lord of the Heavens ; $ 
or Baal-zebub, Baal-berith, &c. It is not a proper name ; the name 
of the Baal of Tyre, e.g., was Melqart ; in Israel the Baal (Propri 
etor) was Yahweh (Hos. 2 lfi , Heb. 2 18 ). There were thus innu 
merable Baals, some of them having proper names of their own, 
others distinguished only by the place where they were wor 
shipped, or by some attribute. In any religious community the 
god to which it belonged would ordinarily be spoken of merely as 
the Baal, the Lord, further definition being unnecessary ; but there 
was among the Canaanites and Phoenicians no one god named 
Baal. In the Old Testament the plural is sometimes used of this 
multitude of local deities ; sometimes, as here, the singular, for 
the whole genus false god in contrast to Yahweh. || Astarte~\ 



* An elaborate exegetical explanation of this doublet in Abarb. 

t Both probably E (e). 

J That Baal was a solar deity is, however, an inveterate error. It is not certain 
even that Baal-hamman was such ; see E. Meyer, in Roscher, i. 2870. 

$ Cf. also names such as Eshbaal (son of Saul), Baaljada (son of David = 
Eljada), and even Baaljah, i.e. Yahweh is Baal. 

|| Cf. Hos. 13! Jer. 28, esp. nia Zeph. i 4 . See Sta., ZATW. vi. p. 303 f. 



70 JUDGES 

Phoen. Ashtart ; Heb. Ashtoreth.* One of the most widely 
worshipped of the Semitic divinities ; in Babylonia and Assyria 
as Ishtar, in southern Arabia as Athtar, in Syria as Athar. From 
i K. ii 5 - 33 2 K. 23 ia it might appear that the worship of Astarte 
was specifically Phoenician, but this would be an erroneous infer 
ence ; it was evidently common through all Palestine, east and 
west of the Jordan. She had a temple among the Philistines 
(i S. 3 1 10 ), gave her name to a city in Bashan, Ashtaroth- 
karnaim (Dt. i 4 Gen. i4 5 ), and appears in the Moabite stele of 
King Mesha ( Ashtar-Kemosh, 1. 17). Numerous inscriptions 
from Phoenicia and its colonies attest the wide diffusion and im 
portance of her cult, which was early introduced into Egypt also. 
As the principal female deity of the Canaanites, the name of 
Astarte is used in the O.T. in conjunction with Baal as a quasi- 
appellative for goddess, for which the Hebrew language possesses 
no proper word.f 

11. BiS^an] the plural here and in jinn 27 v. 13 does not refer to the many 
images of the gods (Aug., quaest. 16, Ki., Ges., Stud., al.), nor to the manifold 
local forms of one god (Renan, comparing the many Virgins of Catholic 
lands, I Baethgen, al.) ; hut to different gods. 13. nnntpp 1 ?! SyaS napi] 
the incongruity of number is most probably to be removed by reading rnntPjjS 
sg., though the plural is supported by ffi, and verss. It would make no 
difference in the sense if we made both plur. The construction of the verb 
presents a more serious difficulty; S "n> for izy with accus. is unexampled; 
in Jer. 44 3 ia>S (> (5J5) is doublet or gloss to iapS. This corruption suggests 
the correction for our verse; I conjecture that the author wrote napM burnt 
sacrifices (Jer. 7 n 1:! - 17 and often, IIos. n 2 , &c.), which was altered, by 
accidental conformation to v. 11 , or intentionally, for emphasis, to i"n> % M. On 
BAAL see Baudissin, PRE*. ii. p. 27-38, where the older literature is pretty 
fully given (p. 37 f.); Pietschmann, Gesch. d. Phonizier, p. 183 f.; Baethgen, 
Beitrage zur Semit. Religionsgeschichte, p. 17 ff. ; W. R. Smith, Religion of 
Semites, Ft. i. p. 92 ff., and art. " Baal " in New Diet, of the Bible ; E. Meyer, 
art. " Ba al " in Roscher, Lexikon der Griechischen und RomiscJien MytJwlogie, 
\. 2867-2880. On ASTARTE, Baudissin, PRE-. i. p. 719-725 (older lit., p. 



* With malicious substitution of the vowels of bosheth. 

t Similarly in Assyrian (in the plural), Hani u-ishtarati, gods and goddesses; 
Schrader, KA T 2 . p. 180 ; Tiele, Babylonisch-Assyr. Geschichte, p. 538. In the treaty 
of Ramses II. with the Hittites we read of the " Astart of the Hittite country," just 
as of the Snth of Heta ; W. M. Miiller, Asian it. Europa, p. 330. 

J As Aug. had the many Junos. 

$ In i S. 4 -* the meaning, be subject to, is different. 



II. I4-I6 71 

725); Pietschmann, op, cit.; Baethgen, Beitrage, p. 31 ff.; Barton, " Ashto- 
reth and her Influence in the O.T.," JBL. x. p. 73 ff.; E. Meyer, art. "As- 
tarte," in Roscher, i. 645-655. A satisfactory etymology and explanation of 
the name mns j; has not yet been given ; see Lexx. The fern, ending seems 
to be distinctly Canaanite (Phoenician, Hittite). 

14, 15. The punishment. 14. The two halves of the verse 
are obviously doublets ; v. a is probably the continuation of v. 1; (E), 
v. b its counterpart in D. Yahweh was incensed against Israel~\ 
v. 20 3 8 io 7 cf. 6 ! J ; a common phrase. He gave them into the 
power of pillagers] a somewhat unusual word; v. lc i S. i4 ts 2 K. 
ly 20 Is. io 13 ; see note. He sold them into the power of the ene 
mies who surrounded them] parallel to the preceding (v. a ), in dif 
ferent terms ; 3 8 4 2 io 7 cf. 4 Dt. 32 i S. 12 Ez. 3O 12 Is. 5O 1 ; for 
the last clause see S 34 . The punishment is inflicted by the hand 
of the same surrounding nations for whose religion they had for 
saken their own (v. 12 ). The words may have originally followed 
immediately after v. 12 , "they exasperated Yahweh." They were 
no more able to stand before their enemies] Jos. y 12 cf. Lev. 26 %f 
Nu. i4 42 45 . 15. In every campaign] lit. wherever they went out 
(to war) ; see note. Others, in every undertaking, in omni nego- 
tio, propter quod exiverunt.* The hand of Yahweh, 6-v.] Dt. 2 15 . 
As Yahweh had threatened] the reference is not to any single 
passage expressly containing this threat,f but to the whole tenor 
of such chapters as Dt. 28 (cf. esp. v . 25 " 0> - 34 - 48ff -) and Lev. 26 (esp. 
v. 17 - 36 30 ) ; cf. Is. 30 ". And they were in great straits] Gen. 32" 

2 S. I 3 2 . 

16-19. Not even the judges whom Yahweh from time to time 
raises up to deliver them are able to reclaim them from their 
evil ways. Verses ll! - 17 and v. ls - lu are entirely parallel ; v. 1G with 
its sequel v. 17 is by the same hand as v. 14a (E) ; v. 18 19 correspond 
in I) and connect with v. 14b . 16. Judges] the judges of this 
book are the champions and leaders of Israel in its conflicts with 
its enemies and oppressors. The name is synonymous with deliv 
erer (v. 1(; - 18 3 aii :J1 ) ; see note on 3 1 ". Delivered them from those 
that pillaged them] v. 14a . It is possible that some such words as 
" And the Israelites cried unto Yahweh " (3 15 ) have been dis- 

* Schm. ; similarly Ba. f Certainly not Jos. 23 13 Jud. 2 1 - 15 /Schm., Ba.). 



72 JUDGES 

placed by v. llh - ir . 17. Continues the preceding.* Even their 
deliverers had no influence over them. They apostatized to 
other gods~\ lit. went whoring after other gods, S 27 - ; " (Gideon s 
ephod) Ex. 34 1 " - 1<; Dt. 31 cf. Lev. T f 2o : - (i . They deserted 
Yahweh, their own god, and gave themselves up, body and soul, 
to other gods. The figure suggests both the sin of unfaithfulness 
and the shame of prostitution. It is very common in the lit 
erature of the 7th century, and probably originated with Hosea, 
whose own bitter experience with his adulterous wife became for 
him the type of the relations of Yahweh and Israel (Hos. 1-3 
cf. Q 1 , &c.).t They soon turned aside, 6<r.] Ex. 32 s J )t. 9 " " ; i i" s 
31- . Their fathers, the generation of Joshua (v. 10 - 2 - cf. v. 7 ), 
walked in obedience to God s commands ; their descendants did 
not follow their example. 18. Parallel to v. (see above) ; ob 
serve enemies, as in v. llh , in contrast to pillagers, v.""- 1 ". Yahweh 
was witJi the judge] cf. Jos. i". -For Yahweh was moved to pity 
by their groaning} motive of the deliverance, v. a . Not repented, 
i.e. changed his mind and gave up his purpose to punish them. 

- Tyrants and oppressors ] the words are synonymous; see note. 

19. Counterpart of v. 17 , with a slight difference of representa 
tion ; in v. 17 they pay no heed to the efforts of the judges to re 
strain them from their apostasy ; \ in v. 1!) it is implied that their 
propensity to heathenism was held in check during the life of the 
judge only to break out the more violently at his death. At the 
death of the judge they would relapse ] the tenses express what 
happened over and over again with the regularity of law. This is 
the conception of the history which dominates the Deuteronomic 
setting of the stories of the judges; see 4 1 8 ; ", &c. Worse than 
their fathers] Jer. f i6 12 . Not the godly fathers of v. 10 - 17 - 22 , 
but the generations which preceded them, and had sinned in the 
same way under former judges ; each was worse than the last. 
In running after other gods ] they went to still greater lengths in 
the evil way on which their ancestors had entered (v. 12 ) . They 
did not drop any of their practices or of their obstinacy] lit. stnl>- 

* Bu., Knc., regard v. 17 as a late interpolation ; sec note below, 
t See Smend, Alttestamentliche Religionsgeschichte, p. 188 ff. 
+ As Israel in later times gave no heed to the warnings and expostulations of 
the prophets. 



IT. 17-20 73 

born way; viz., those of their predecessors. The collocation 
"practices and way " (or ways) is frequent in Jer., e.g. 4 18 7 3 - 5 iS". 

14. cnix lDi ; <i_ D^pir TO] the punctuation distinguishes, without difference 
of meaning, nor v. 16 I S. I4 48 23! 2 K. i; 20 &c. from DD:- i S. ly 53 Is. I3 16 ; 
cf. DOS and DOS, nsi and 021. Syn. of ira Is. iy u 42 22 Jer. 3O 1G , plunder, 
pillage. The word seems to have been borrowed by the Egyptians as a 
designation for the nomadic robber-tribes of the desert south of Palestine 
(sa-su, sa-sa, pron. ); see W. M. Miiller, Asien u. Europa,^. 131 f. 
15. isx> T^N Sj2] quocumqiie egrederentur ; i.e., quamcumque expeditionem 
aggrederentur (Cler.); so rightly Ki., cf. Jos. I 7 - 9 2 K. i8 7 . NS% march out 
to war, make a foray (u 3 ), campaign (2 S. n 1 Am. 5 3 Dt. 28 7 and often); 
see Lex. 16. ai^wm] sc. the judges: <5 KO.I fffuvev avrovs Kuptos. 17. 
Bu. {Richt. u. Sam., p. 92) and Kue. regard v. 17 as an interpolation, inter 
rupting the connexion between v. 10 and v. 18 , introducing a new motive, 
disobedience to the judges, and in expression varying from the Deut. pattern. 
If the analysis proposed above be sound, v. 17 is the sequel of v. 16 , while v. 18 
connects immediately with v. 15 . The last two clauses of v. 17 hang somewhat 
awkwardly, and may, if any one chooses, be ascribed to R; there is no reason 
for attributing the whole verse to him. ins 110] the inf. abs. in adverbial 
accusative, cf. v. 23 Ex. 32 8 Dt. 7* &c., Ew. 280 c. 18. mm . . . -ji v-i D ^n i^ 
OD- n D" i"^] pf. . . . pf. consec.; recurring event in past time, Job i 5 Jud. 6 3 
Gen. 38 9 (Sv^); "O 8 1 Hos. n 1 . orpNjs] p of the origin of his emotion, its 
cause. Dirpmi cmx^] yn 1 ? i 34 4 3 69 io 12 Ex. 3 9 i S. io 18 2 K. I3 4 - 22 Am. 6" 
&c. pm Joel 2 8f ; common in Aram.; in OT the usual equivalent of Heb. 
pnS. 19. in^nsrii -lau^] impf. frequentative; Hiphil of conduct, behave badly. 
an 1 ? mnnti nSi a-oj," 1 ? . . . Ji no^S] the first gerundial inf. (see on v. 22 ) specifies 
the particular in which they behaved worse than their fathers; the following 
inff. ( Ji Di2; tLi ) are a species of explicative apposition to ro ? L , showing 
wherein the following of other gods consisted (Schm. well, serviendo Hits, et 
incurvando se Hits ), not the motive of the Israelites (&> serve t/iei/i). M? 
cn^SSyca iS^sn] p of partitive object; cf. I S. 3 19 Est. 6 10 . Others render, 
did not desist from their practices, &c., giving the Hiph. an internally transi 
tive force for which there seems to be no example or necessity. D^SjD in bad 
sense, Is. 3 8 Jer. ii 18 &c. 

20, 21. The penalty of Israel s persistent defection; Yahweh 
will not drive out any more of the nations which remained un- 
conquered at the death of Joshua. Cf. v. 2 *"-. The verses are 
with much probability ascribed by Budde to E ; * but in con 
formity with our analysis of the preceding we should connect 
them with v. lfif -, rather than with v. 13 as he does. 20. Inasmuch 

* Richt. u. Sam., p. 158 f. 



74 JUDGES 

as this people have transgressed the injunction I laid upon their 
fathers^ Jos. 7" (E). RV. lit., my covenant which I commanded 
their fathers. The verbs (transgress, enjoin) show that bcrith, 
rendered in our versions with mechanical uniformity covenant, is 
not here conceived of as a mutual compact or agreement, but 
as an ordinance of Yahweh, a rule prescribed by him. In general, 
in the older literature,* bcrith, in its religious use, is a formal act 
by which the relations between Yahweh and his people are regu 
lated, or the relation thus regulated. Its author is God alone ; 
man s part is only to accept it. In speaking of it, according to 
circumstances, the thought may rest chiefly, or even exclusively, 
on one or the other of its two sides ; on the solemn promise and 
pledge of his favour which Yahweh has freely given, or on the 
character and conduct which he requires, which are in effect the 
terms of friendly intercourse with him and the enjoyment of his 
blessings. In the former case it becomes, as in v. 2 , almost equiv 
alent to promise ; in the latter, to commandment, injunction, as 
here, so that it may stand in parallelism to law (tora/i), as in 
Hos. 8\t The commandment given to the fathers was, that they 
should worship Yahweh alone ; cf. Ex. 34 1 -" 16 23 24f-32f- . 21. /, on 
my part, will not drive out, 6<r.] ; by their violation of his injunc 
tion they have forfeited the promise that accompanied it and was 
virtually conditional upon their fidelity (Ex. 34" 23 23 27 " 31 ). A 
single man of the nations that Joshua left when he died~\ cf. Jos. 

23 - Jlld. 2 2f IO 13 . 

20. mn Mjn] MJ seldom of Israel; Ex. 19 33" Jos. 3 17 4 1 Zeph. 2 9 (parallel 
to c; 1 , which is the usual word) Is. I 4 . Possibly the word is chosen for this 
reason; nt itself sometimes has a tone of alienation like iste ; cf. Is. 6 9 S 12 . 
nna] apparently only in Hebrew. The older etymological theory is well 
represented by Simonis : J foedus ... sic dicitur a dissectione animalium, in 
pangendis foederibus usitata; similarly J. D. Mich., Ges. T/ies., and many; 
most recently Konig, Ilauptprobleme der altisraelit. Religiomgeschichte, p. 85 
= Religious Hist, of Israel, p. 152. Others suppose a development like that 
in deddcre, dedsio ; schddeu, entschdden, &c.; so E. Meier, IVurzchub., 1845, 



* J E and D in the Hexateuch, and the cognate strata in the historical books. 

f See J. J. P. Valcton, Jr., " Das Wort pi-o in den jehovistischen und deutero- 
nomistischen Stlicken des Hexateuchs," 7.ATW. xii. p. 224-260; cf. 16. p. 1-22 (in 
the Priestly Law) ; Smend, Alttest. Religionsgeschichte, p. 294 ff. 

J Cf. Castell, Lex. lleptaglott., s. v. 



II. 2O-22 



75 



p. 514, MV., al. The assumed primary meaning, however (ma cut ), is facti 
tious. Fr. Delitzsch, Hebrew and Assyrian, compares Assyr. baru, decide. 
See Brown, Hebrew Lexicon, s. v. In O.T. usage the notion of agreement is 
manifestly prior to that of either command or promise, and probably this 
reflects the older history of the word. For the free nomadic Semite, all right 
which did not exist by nature in the bond of blood originated in compact; 
We., Prolcg.? p. 443 f., Engl. transl. p. 418 f.; II. Schultz, Alttest. Theol.* 
401 ff. = Old Test. Tkeol., ii. p. 2 ff. nna -\a> ] Dt. i; 2 Jos. 7 n 23 1G 2 K. i8 12 ; 
cf. -ion v. 1 Dt. 3I 16 - 20 , rotr Dt. 4 23 , ar>- Dt. 29-*, DXS 2 K. i; 15 (Valeton, ZATW. 
xii. p. 235). ms] with nna Jos. 7 11 23 lfi i K. ii 11 . 21. ps-vv ary trx] 
unusual use of aty; cf. 2 S. I5 1G . nrn] which Joshua left and died. (5 has 
instead, Kal a4>r]Kev (subj. Yahweh) = nn, as principal verb of the next sen 
tence; perhaps neither is original. 

22-111. 6. Motives of Yahweh in leaving these nations; 
enumeration of them; consequences to Israel. 22. Cf. 3 4 . 

Verse ~ b has a distinctly Deuteronomic colour ; v.~ a is ascribed 
by Budde, not without some hesitation, to E.* But the connex 
ion with v. 21 , as the history of interpretation shows, is loose and 
ambiguous ; and the motive for leaving the nations, to try Israel, 
is not easily reconciled with v. 20 -, where they are left as a punish 
ment for Israel s confirmed unfaithfulness. It seems more proba 
ble, therefore, that v. 22 is altogether by a different hand from v. - w -, 
presumably that of an editor. In order to prove Israel by them } 
cf. 3 la - 4 . Assuming the unity of the context, interpreters have 
been divided in opinion whether the clause is a continuation of 
the words of Yahweh in v. 21 , that by them I may prove Israel^ or 
the writer s explanation of God s purpose, that he might prove 
Israel. \ The latter is the more probable construction, and if the 
verse be the addition of an editor the only natural one. The 
object of the trial is to know whether Israel, thus exposed to close 
and constant contact with heathenism, will remain faithful to its 
own religion. Keep the way of Yahweh~\ observe the institutions 
and ordinances of his religion, Gen. i8 19 Dt. 5 s3 Jer. 5 4 - 5 ; often 
in plural, ways of Y., Dt. io lL> n~ &c., which was probably the 
original reading here (see note). Compare the equivalent terms 
of 3 4 . The phrase expresses more nearly than any other in the 



* Richt. u. Sam., p. 159. f U, Lth., Schm., RV., al. + Aug., Stud., Ra., al. 
$ On the theological questions which this temptation or probation suggests, see 
Aug., qu. 17; Greg. Magn., Dial., iii. c. 14 yfr/. ; a Lapide, in loc.; Schm., </. 12. 



;6 JUDGES 

O.T. what we call religion, from the external point of view, as 
the fear of Yahwch does the inner side of religion ; compare the 
use of 6So s, Acts iS 25 - 20 tf &c. As their fathers did~\ 2 . 

22. TIDJ }-;^] Dt. 8 2 - 1(! , cf. ro^ Jud. 3 L . At this distance from the 
principal verb, the writer would probably have expressed ut experiar by the 
personal construction ncjx j;":^, avoiding all ambiguity. 22 r; ss mrr -p-<] 
for 22 (5FS give a sing.; Houbig. and Doom, emend rn. More probably, 
however, the author wrote nirp >^-n (masc. plur.), from which the present text 
arose by accident. The plur. 22 in ffl is explained of the many command 
ments, statutes, and ordinances which constitute the way of Y. r:^] gerun- 
dial, v. 17 - 19 i S. I2 17 I4 33 2 S. 3 10 Jer. 44 7 - 8 ; Gcs.- 5 114, n. 4; Dr. 3 205. 

23. Verse 23a , with y, clearly belongs to a different circle of ideas 
from 2 2 " 1 - or z~ 3*. In 2 2;;a 3 2 Yahwch does not drive out the peo 
ple of Canaan at once, in order that the succeeding generations of 
Israelites also may have experience of war. This explanation ac 
cords well with J s point of view, and to that writer the verses are 
with considerable probability ascribed by E. Meyer.* Verse 2;!h 
may perhaps be an editorial addition, connecting the statement of 
v. a!a with the time before Joshua s death (v. 21 ) ; it is possible, how 
ever, that the editor has only substituted the name Joshua for an 
original Israel. Yahwch left these nations ] the reference is obvi 
ously to nations of which the writer had already spoken, not to the 
list below in 3 3 . If our analysis be substantially correct, we shall 
most naturally think of ch. i, in the fuller form in which it once 
existed, in which, as appears from v. 31 , not only the cities within 
their own borders which Israel did not conquer were named, but 
the boundaries of the surrounding nations. Not expelling them 
at once~\ cf. Ex. 23" - Dt. y 221 , which differ materially, however, in 
conception and expression. The reason for the gradual expulsion 
is given in 3 2 . Did not gire them into t/ie power of Joshud\ the 
commentators have found it very hard to explain how this could 
be a punishment for the defection of Israel after the death of 
Joshua, as in the present connexion it must be ; quas nimirum 
non dederat in manum Josuae,| is what the connexion impera 
tively requires, but this cannot be extorted from the Hebrew text. 

III. 1. Verse la is the introduction to the catalogue v. 3 ; v. lb is 



* See above, p. 64 and n. t Schm., cf. Abarb. 



II. 22-111. 2 77 

a doublet to v.~ h . To try Israel by them~\ it was a disciplinary 
judgement ; cf. Dt. 8~ 1G . This sense would be possible in the 
assumed context of E (a 20 121 3 ln s ) ; perhaps, however, the words 
were added by the redactor ; cf. 2" 3*. Namely all those who 
had no experience of all the wars of Canaan~\ the generation fol 
lowing the invasion ; corresponding to those who knew not Yah- 
weh and the great things he did for Israel (2 10 cf. 2"). The words 
are difficult and inappropriate in their present connexion; they 
may be either an editorial addition derived from v. L b , or, more 
probably, a gloss to v. 2b intruded into the text in the wrong place.* 
2. The original sequel of 2 i? ".-\ The text is clearly corrupt; the 
restoration is somewhat uncertain. The most conservative course 
is to follow ( ; merely for the sake of the successive generations 
of Israelites, to familiarize them with war. A bolder reconstruc 
tion would be, merely in order that the Israelites might have expe 
rience of war. The sense is not materially different. 3L well, ut 
postea discerent filii eorum certare cum hostibus, et habere con- 
suetudinem praeliandi. The incompleteness of the conquest is 
not attributed to the sinful slackness of Israel (2 1 " 5 ), nor is it 
designed as a trial of Israel s fidelity to its religion (2- 3 4 ), nor 
a punishment for its persistent infidelity (2 20f -); it is a wise 
appointment of Yahweh, that his people, from generation to 
generation, may have occasion to cultivate the virtues which only 
war develops, and learn by experience the superiority of their 
god to those of the heathen. Only those who had not known 
them before~\ the generation of the invasion had had this training 
and experience ; it is their descendants who are meant in v. a . 
The half verse is superfluous and may be secondary ; v. lb is a 
doublet to it. 

23. B>mn vn^aS] the proper negative of the inf. (8 1 ) ; here in gerundial 
use (see on v. 22 above), as in Jos. 236 MI mo TiSa?, riot turning. III. 1. iti N 
nirp rvjn] <S AVLM s Ii7<Cs; conformation to 2 21 . SNIC^DN D3 PiDjS] S. dcr/c^- 
crat . . . KCU 5t5dcu roO iro\t(ju>v TT^V r^vr]v (Thdt., qu. 8). 2. nm njn fyc^ 
SNT; > ja] the subject of the inf. cannot be Yahweh as in v. 4 , that he might 
know the generations (Schror., Be., Ke., Reuss), expressing the motive of 



* Stud. 

t That 3 2 is not consonant with its present context is observed by Ziegler, who 
regards it as an interpolation. 



78 JUDGES 

putting them to the trial (v. 1 ); for then we can make nothing of the rest 
of the sentence.* As the text stands it must be rendered, in order iJiat the 
generations of the .Israelites might know (SiC, Ra., Ki., Cler., Schm., Stud., 
Ba., Cass., and most). But then the inf. has no object, or rather another 
verb is interposed, H^rrr c-cS 1 ?, to teach them war.\ The whole sen 
tence, though intelligible, is overloaded and clumsy. (5 omits the first inf., 
PJH S , which relieves the worst of the difficulty. J It is more satisfactory, 
though bolder, to treat pm as corrupt doublet of PJH, and Die ? ? as a gloss to 
the latter, or substitute for it; with the structure cf. Jos. 4 24 , ^y SD PJH ]-;^ 
Mi "ixn. Cler. compares Livy, xxxix. I. ci> ii ? C^ja 1 ? T-TN] the pi. masc. 
suff. referring to nrnSs is intolerable; the writer or scribe very likely had in 
mind the JJTJD PlcnSn of v. lb ; the discord in gender is not so unusual. The 
half verse is not improbably an editorial restriction like v. lb ; observe the over 
emphatic use of pi as well as the false concord just noted. pi] restrictive 
particle, with nouns (i S. I 13 Am. 3-), verbs (Jud. I4 1G ), and particles 
(2 K. 2i 8 ). It does not always limit the next following word, but often 
stands at the beginning of the sentence, limiting the emphatic word in it, 

which has not, however, as in Arab, after L+Jl, a fixed position in the 
sentence. 

3, 4. The peoples which Yahweh left within the bounds of 
Palestine to try the faith and obedience of Israel. The intro 
duction to these verses seems to be 3 la , these are the nations which 
Yahweh left. The verses accord better with the representation of 
E (or D) than of J, to which source v. 3 is attributed by Meyer 
and Budde ; see above, p. 64. With the catalogue compare Jos. 
i3 <J - (i . The five tyrants of the Philistines ] Jos. i3 3 i S. 6 1(; - 18 . The 
five are Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Oath, Ekron. The word ren 
dered tyrant (sereii) is used only of the Philistines, and is evi 
dently the native name. That these cities were not conquered 
by Israel agrees with the statement in i- and contradicts i" 1 ; see 
there. And all the Canaanites\ in J, as we have observed in 
ch. i above, Canaanite is the comprehensive name for the popula 
tions west of the Jordan which the Israelites in part subjected and 
among whom they settled. It is hardly possible to reconcile all 



* The verb in the relative sentence must, as Ba. urges, have the same subj. as 
the inf.; to teach them ivar is another end, not easily harmonized with getting 
knowledge of Israel. 

t Ew. ((! 17. ii. p. 382) would pronounce DT % : L|L (Qal), that they might learn. 

J For ]y^ with a noun, see Gen. i8- 4 Dt. 3-? 2 K. 8 1U Is. 45- Kc. 

$ E. Meyer, Z.ATW. i. p. 121 ff. ; iii. p. 306-309; Budde, Urgeschichte, p. 345 rf. 



III. 3-4 79 

the Canaanites here with the usage of J ; * in the context, as 
Schmid has justly observed, the words cannot refer to the un- 
subjugated Canaanites in Israelite territory (ch. i), but to a com 
pact population on its borders. f In E (and consequently in D), 
however, the name Canaanite seems to be employed in a more 
restricted sense for the inhabitants of the lowlands of western, 
and especially southwestern Palestine ; \ Nu. \^ (E) Dt. i 7 (cf. 
ii 30 ) Jos. 5 1 ; further, Jos. i3 3 - 4 2 S. 2^ Zeph. 2 5 . This corre 
sponds, as far as I can judge, with the use of the name in Egyp 
tian sources, and would be altogether suitable in the text before 
us, as well as in Jos. i3 3f -, "the Philistines, and the Avvim in the 
south all the territory of the Canaanites." For this reason also 
it is better to ascribe the verse to E. The Sidoniani\ Jos. 13*. 
Here, as often, the collective name for the Phoenicians. || Sidon, 
the ancient metropolis, gave its name to the entire people, and 
the denomination persisted after the political and commercial he 
gemony had long passed to Tyre ; see 10 i8 7 i K. 5 6 (Heb. 5 20 ). 
The Hittites inhabiting Mount Lebanon"} conjectural emendation ; 
^ and the versions have Hivvites, by a transcriptional error which 
occurs in %fy in Jos. n 3 also. The Hivvites were a petty people of 
Central Palestine (Gen. 34* cf. x 36* Jos. 9 r ) ; If the seats of the 
Hittites, on the contrary, were in Coele Syria and the Lebanon 
(i K. lo 29 2 K. f; cf. Jud. i 26 2 S. 24" ),** where the Egyptian 
inscriptions also place them. The emendation is therefore neces 
sary. From Mt. Baal Herman as far as the Gateway of Ha- 
math~\ Jos. 13* defines their southern boundary somewhat more 
precisely as "Baal-gad at the foot of Mt. Hermon." Baal-gad, 
according to Jos. n 17 (cf. i2 7 ) the northern limit of Israelite 



* That it is left to the reader to understand, " all those, namely, who were men 
tioned above in ch. i " (Bu.), is much too loose writing to impute to the author. 

f Schm., p. 297 ; so also Ba. 

J Also, apparently, of the lower Jordan valley and its southern extension, the 
Arabah. See Masius on Jos. 13*. 

It is, of course, possible that the words " and all the C." are interpolated ; the 
difference of form gives some ground for the suspicion. 

|| So also in Homer, Od. iv. 84, &c. 

H Compare also the catalogue of the " seven nations," in which the normal 
order is, Perizzites, Hivvites, Jebusites; Ex. 332 &c. (13 times). 
** See, however, Klostermann on the last passage. 



80 JUDGES 

conquest under Joshua, was in the valley of the Lebanon, the 
Biqa, and must therefore have been on the Avestern side of Mt. 
Hermon, perhaps at the modern Hasbeiya.* HamatJi\ frequently 
mentioned in Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions as well as in the 
O.T., is the modern Hama, a city of 60,000 inhabitants, on the 
Orontes (el Asi),t The Gateway of Hamath, often named as 
the northern limit of Palestine (Am. 6 14 2 K. i^ 1 i K. S K Ez. 47" 
48 1 Nu. 34 s cf. i3 L>1 ), is probably the plain Horns, some 30 miles 
south of Hama, at the intersection of four passes, and of main 
roads from the coast, the Syrian desert, and north and south 
through Coele Syria. 

The verse implies that the boundaries of Palestine are the 
desert on the south, and the northern end of the Lebanon range 
on the north, and from the Antilebanon and the Jordan valley to 
the sea. } The whole of this territory Israel regarded as included 
in the gift of Yahweh. Its actual possessions, however, Avere of 
much more modest dimensions. The entire seaboard, the Philis 
tine lowlands and the plain of Sharon, as well as the Phoenician 
coast north of Carmel and the Avhole region of the Lebanon 
remained in the hands of its old inhabitants or Avere conquered by 
other invaders like the Philistines. This difference between the 
ideal and the actual boundaries of the land of Israel is frequently 
noted. 

On the Philistines see A T ew Bible Dictionary (A. & C. Black), s. v., 
where the older literature will be found; Ilitzig, Urgeschichte u. Mythologie 
tier Philistaer, 1845; Stark, Gaza und die philist dische Kiiste, 1852; Pietsch- 
mann, Phonizicr, p. 261 ff. ; Schwally, "Die Kasse der Philister," ZlVTli. 
xxxiv. p. 103-108; W. M. Miiller, Asicn u. Eurofa, p. 387 ff. The Philistines, 
so far as our present knowledge goes, did not make their appearance in Pales 
tine until the age of Ramses III. Shortly before the time of Saul they 
subjugated not only Judah (Jud. I5 11 ) and Joseph (i S. 4), but the Canaanites 
in the Great Plain (i S. 3i 10 ), and it is natural to surmise that these successes 
were gained in the first impetus of the invasion. Under David Israel freed 
itself from them, and they were thenceforward confined to the southern part 



* Kneuckcr, P,L. i. p. 331 ; Ha., Di., NDJ. p. 499 f. ; B;id :! . p. 297. 

t On Hamath see Pococke, Description of the East, ii. i. p. 143 f. ; Burckharclt, 
Travels in Syria and the Holy Land, 1822, p. 145 f f. ; Rob., B1V. iii. p. 551; Bad 3 . 
p. 398 f. ; Arab geographers, Le Strange, p. 357-360. 

J Cf. i K. 8f 2 K. 14^ Am. 6". 

The northernmost settlement of Israel was at Dan. 



III. 3-4 8 I 

of the seaboard plain with its five cities. The Canaanites^ in Egyptian texts 
Canaan {Ka-n--na) appears to be a district of southwestern Palestine not 
very remote from Egypt.* In the Amarna correspondence the land Ki-na- 
ah-hi is mentioned a number of times, in connexions which point to the 
vicinity of the Phoenician cities (Acco, Berl. 8; Tyre, Loud. 30). f The Phoe 
nicians called themselves Canaanites, their land Canaan. J Before the advent 
of the Philistines the plain south of Carmel was no doubt occupied by the same 
race as the coast north of it, and Canaanites seem, at least in Southern 
Palestine, to have occupied also the hill country back from the coast. The 
current etymological explanation of the name, Lowland, Lowlanders (Ro- 
senmiiller, Bibl, Alterihumsk., 1826, ii. I. p. 75 f., Ges., al. mu.), in contrast 
either to Aram, or to the Amorites ( Highlanders ), is false both in language 
and fact; see my note, PA OS. 1890, p. Ixvii-lxx. The texts cited above for 
the more restricted use of the name Canaanite in E and D are too summarily 
disposed of by Mey. and Bu., who, because they conflict with the representa 
tion of J, regard them all as late and erroneous theory. But the theory itself 
has its origin in the usage of E. The Sidonians] in Gen. io 15 Sidon (Phoe 
nicia) is the oldest son, i.e. the most important people, of Canaan; but Bu. is 
perhaps right in his contention that in the O.T. the name Canaanites is never 
specifically employed for the Phoenicians. || See further, Smend, HIVB^. 
s. v. " Sidon"; Pietschmann, Phonizier, p. 106 f. On the Hittites, see the 
literature, DB-. s. v. (i. p. 1379); and add Jensen, review of Peiser, ZA. vii. 
357-366; also "Grundlagen fur eine Entzifferung," u.s.w., ZDMG. xlviii. 
p. 235 ff. In Jos. ii 3 the departure from the usual order of the catalogue- 
suggests that Hivvites and Hittites have accidentally exchanged places, and 
this suspicion is confirmed by (gBMai. {^ \y e _ {TBS. p. 218) emends accord 
ingly, the Ilittites at the foot of Herman. The same correction is made in 
Jud. 3 3 by Mey. {ZATW. \. p. 126) and Bu.; the objections of Ui. {NDJ. 
p. 497) are of no great force. The Hittite empire in Syria, with which the 
Egyptian kings of the igth dynasty waged long and obstinate war for the 
possession of the land of Amor (Northern Palestine, Coele Syria), had disap 
peared before the advent of the Israelite tribes in Palestine. The Hittites of 

* E. Meyer, ZA TW. iii. p. 308 f. ; Wiedemann in Budde, Urgeschichte, p. 
346 n. ; Pietschmann, Phonisier, p. 97 ; Miiller, Asien u. Europa, p. 205 ff. Mu ller 
thinks that it does not include Phoenicia, for which a special name {Qa-hi) exists ; 
but the inference is perhaps unwarranted. 

t Communication from Prof. D. G. Lyon ; see also Halevy, REJ. xx. p. 204 ff. ; 
Delattre, PSBA. 1891, p. 234. 

J Canaan (l>JD) on a coin of Laodicea, above, p. 25 n. ; x<a = >jr, Hecataeus 
[? Abder.] , Miiller, fr. hist, gr., i. p. 17 ; Choeroboscus, Bekker, anted, gr., iii. 
p. 1181; Euseb., praep. ev., \. io $ 26; Steph. Byz., s. v. With this shorter form 
Kinahhi in the Amarna tablets must be connected. 

This must be inferred from the usage of J. 

|| Urgeschichte, p. 348 ff., against Ba., Di., BL., art. " Kenaan " ; Kautzsch, H WD., 
art. " Canaaniter," al. 
G 



82 JUDGES 

the Lebanon in the O.T. are, so far as \ve can judge, Semites, of the Palestin 
ian, rather than the Aramaean, branch of the race. Heth is a son of Canaan 

(Gen. IO 15 ), and the inclusion of their country in the ideal limits of the 
promised land shows that it was regarded as part of Canaan. Baal Herman] 
i.e. the Baal of Mt. Hermon; cf. Baal Lebanon in Phoen. inscription. Many 
scholars identify Baal-gad, Baal-hermon, with the modern Banias (Pan.eas, 
Caesarea Philippi), on the southern end of Mt. Hermon; so Schwarz, Ges. 

Thes.; Rob., BR~. iii. p. 409 f.; v. Kaum., Sepp, Ke., Be., MV., SS., al. The 
only positive argument for this view is derived from I Chr. 5 23 ; but this late, 
and in |ij corrupt, verse cannot stand against the explicit statement that Baal- 
gad was in the Biq ah, with which the site of Banias cannot be reconciled. 
Still less can Baal-gad be Ba albek (Ileliopolis),* which by no stretch of 
imagination could be said to be at the foot of Hermon. On Hermon as a 
sacred mountain see Euseb., OS 1 . 21737; Jerome, ib. 9019; Hilary on Ps. 132; 
DB-. i. p. 1340. Hamatli\ the name is found in Egyptian and Assyrian 
inscriptions; under the Seleucidae it was renamed Epiphaneia (Ptol., v. 15, 16; 
Plin., n. h., v. 23 82; OS 2 . 25713; Jerome, on Ez. 47 16 ) ; but the old name 
remained in local use (Fl. Jos., antt. i. 6, 2 138). nnn NiaS ty] this use of 
the inf. is almost confined to this phrase, Am. 6 14 Jos. I3 5 &c.; besides, 
i Chr. 5 9 Ez. 47 15 (on wh. see Co.) . It is therefore not strange that should 
take it as n. pr. On the situation see Post in DB 1 . (Amer. eel.) ii. p. 987 f. ; 
cf. Rob., BR 1 . iii. 568 f.; Van de Velde, Narr., ii. 469-471; Ba.; on the 
routes also E. Meyer, GdA. i. p. 222 f. 

4. They sensed to try Israel by~\ cf. 2" 3 11 . Continuation of v. ;! 
by the same hand (E). The conception is a frequent one in E 
((len. 22 1 Ex. 2O L>() ) as well as D. To know, erv.] Theodoret 
(qu. 8) will not allow that God tries men for the sake of knowing 
what is in them ; it is only to let them develop and reveal their 
true character; similarly Aug. (<///. 17, 3): non ut sciret Deus 
omnium cognitor, etiam futurorum, sed ut scirent ipsi, et sua con- 
scientia vel gloriarentur, vel convincerentur. The author s the 
ology was not so profound. 

5, 6. The Israelites dwell among 1 the natives of the land, 
intermarry with them, and worship their gods. Meyer and 
Budde, in accordance with their analysis of the foregoing, ascribe 
these verses to E ; but they contain nothing characteristic of E ; 
the catalogue of nations suggests rather Rje (cf. Ex. 34") or a 
Deuteronomic hand (cf. Dt. y 1 4 Jos. 23 1 -). It seems to me more 
probable that the verses are substantially from J, amplified by an 

* Iken, J. D. Mich., Ritter. 



III. 4-6 83 

editor, as the cognate passage in Ex. 34 has been. Such a notice 
might very well close J s account of the settlement in Canaan ; 
his narrative was not devoid of religious judgement, though it was 
not so dogmatic as in E and D. The Canaanites, 6-v.] to the 
six peoples here recited the complete catalogue of the "seven 
nations " of Palestine (Dt. 7 1 ) adds the Girgashites (Jos. 3 24") ; 
but usually only these six are named (Ex. 3 8 - 17 23^ 33 2 34" Dt. 2O lr 
&c.) . On the Canaanites, see on 3 3 ; Hittites, 3* ; Perizzites, 
i 5 ; Hivvites, 3 3 and note below ; Jebusites, i<) m \ The A?norites~] 
in E and D the comprehensive name for the peoples whom Israel 
conquered and succeeded on both sides of the Jordan.* In 
Egyptian texts the land of Amar, or Amor, is Northern Palestine, 
with the region of the Lebanon in whole or in part.| It is at 
least a noteworthy coincidence that in the historical tradition of 
the northern tribes we find the name Amorites, in that of the 
southern tribes (J), Canaanites. J That the Amorites were of a 
different race from the Canaanites, there is no conclusive proof. 
6. The Israelites intermarried with the native inhabitants ; cf. 
Ex. 34 16 Dt. 7 3f Jos. 23 12 . And worshipped their gods~\ the con- 
nubium in itself involved the recognition of one another s religion, 
and was naturally followed by participation in the cultus ; cf. 
i K. n L4 - H &c. Religious exclusiveness in the ancient world was 
possible only upon terms of complete non-intercourse. 

5. The Nations of Palestine. On the lists see Ochla we-Ochla, No. 274. 
The catalogue seems to be nowhere original either in J or E, but to be filled 
in by Rje or Rd.; see Mey., ZATW. i. p. 124 f.; Bu., Urgesch., p. 344 ff.; Di., 
NDJ. p. 272. Here it is to be suspected that only the first name, the 
Canaanites, is original; observe the ensuing asyndeton. v ?nn] like ^njj (i 5 ), 
is supposed by many to have been originally descriptive of a mode of life, 
people who lived in run, Bedawin encampments; cf. "vx 11 mn Nu. 32 41 , and 

* Steinthal, Zeitschr. f. Volkerpsychologle, xii. p. 267; We., Comp. d. Hexat., 
P- I 3S. 34 1 I Mey., ZA TW. i. 121 ff. ; Bu., Urgeschichte, p. 344 ff. 

t See E. Meyer, ZA TW. iii. p. 306 ff. ; Miiller, Asien u. Enropa, p. 213 ff., who 
restricts the term to the Lebanon region. Cf. also the use of the name in Amarna 
correspondence (letters of Aziru), and of mUt amurri in Assyrian inscriptions; 
Delattre, PSBA. 1891, p. 215-234. 

i Cf. also Amos. Miiller (op. cit. p. 231) is unreasonably skeptical about the 
existence of Amorites in Central Palestine, or even in Galilee. 

Bacon (JBL. x. p. 115 n.) asserts that this list is never interpolated in E; but 
query. 



84 JUDGES 

Arab. ^^.* So Ges. Thes. {pagamii), Fiirst, MV., Di. on Gen. IO 17 , Sayce, 
al.; cf. Ew., GVI. i. p. 341 = ///. i. p. 237. But the Hivvites of Shechem 
and Gibeon (Gen. 34 Jos. 9) were surely not Bedawin; nor is it probable that 
a descriptive name of the sort would have clung to them in spite of their 
change of life. Perhaps the older interpreters in the Onomastica were more 
nearly right in connecting it with rvn f (drjpiudeis, ucnrep <30eis) ; it is conceiv 
able that it is an animal name, the Snake clan. Amorites\ the etymological 
interpretation, Highlanders (Simonis, and many), is purely fictitious, like the 
corresponding explanation of Canaanite (above, on 3 a ) ; though in E and D 
the Amorites are represented as the inhabitants of the mountainous interior of 
Western Palestine, the land conquered by Israel (Nu. I3 29 Dt. I 7 ). The Amor 
ites are represented in Gen. io 10 as a Canaanite people, like the Phoenicians 
and Hittites. Sayce has attempted to prove that they belonged ethnologically 
to a distinct race; J in language, religion, and civilisation, however, they are 
not in any way distinguished in the O.T. from the other peoples of Palestine. 

III. 7-11. Othniel delivers Israel from Cushan-rishathaim. 

-The Israelites displease Yahweh by neglecting him for the 
worship of the gods of Canaan (v. 7 ). In anger he gives them 
up to Cushan-rishathaim, king of Syria on the Euphrates, to 
whom they are subject eight years (v. 8 ). At last, moved by 
their cries, he raises up a deliverer in the person of Othniel ben 
Kenaz, who goes to war with Cushan, and by God s help prevails 
over him (v. 9 - 10 ) . The land enjoys security for forty years, until 
the death of Othniel (v. 11 ). 

The pragmatic introductory and closing formulas in which each 
of the stories of the judges is set, are here, where they are 
employed for the first time, appropriately expanded to their com 
plete typical form. This amplitude of the setting, however, only 
makes more conspicuous its emptiness. || It contains nothing but 
the names of Othniel and Cushan, the former of which is derived 
from i ia , the other is an enigma; no single detail of the struggle 
is recorded, it is evident that the author knew none. Nor does 



* On the original meaning of _,^. (tent) see De Goeje in W. R. Smith, Relig 
ion of Semites, Pt. i. p. 256 n. 

t A connexion of in with nin (Eve) may also be suspected; Cass.,\Ve., Camp., 

P- 343- 

J See his article, " The White Race of Ancient Palestine," Expositor, July, 1888, 
p. 48-57; Races of the O.T., 1891, p. 112 ff. f See Introduction, f 3. 

|| The lack of substance in the story was felt by Fl. Jos., who fills in incidents 
apparently suggested by events of the Maccabaean struggle (an ft. v. 3, 2 179-184), 



III. 7-11 85 

the bare fact pass unchallenged. The subjugation of Canaan at 
this time by an enemy from so remote a quarter is highly improba 
ble,* if not beyond the bounds of possibility ; its liberation by 
Othniel, a Kenizzite clan in the extreme south, scarcely less 
improbable. It can hardly be regarded as evidence of inordinate 
skepticism that many recent scholars have doubted whether this 
typical oppression and deliverance has any basis of fact, or even 
of tradition, and have surmised that the author filled the blanks in 
his scheme with the first chance names at hand.| That of Othniel 
would naturally suggest itself, and had the advantage of giving a 
judge to Judah ; whence that of Cushan came it is idle to guess. 

The method by which Sayce {Higher Criticism, p. 297 ff.) procures the 
" verdict of the monuments " against the critics on this point is eminently 
characteristic. We are told that the people of Mitanni (according to Sayce 
the native name of Aram-naharaim) were among the foes "Libyans, 
Sicilians, Sardinians, Greeks, Cypriots, Hittites, and Philistines" who com 
bined against Egypt in the reign of Ramses III. (p. 298) ; and from the fact 
that the King of Mitanni does not figure at Medinet Habu among the con 
quered foe, Sayce concludes that he probably remained behind in Syria or 
Palestine (p. 300) ; the eight years that Cushan oppressed Israel would 
exactly correspond with the eight years between the beginning of the Libyan 
attack on Egypt and the campaign of the Pharaoh in Syria (303 f.). Prof. 
Sayce gives no references. The land of Mitanni (Miten) is mentioned, so 
far as I can ascertain, but twice in the inscriptions of Ramses III., J and that, 
not in any connexion with the incursion of the northern barbarians, but in 
those catalogues of remote and strange countries which were compiled in 
order that the Pharaoh might seem as great a conqueror as Thothmes III., 
from whose inscriptions many of the names are derived. That " we know 
from the Egyptian records that Mitanni or Aram-naharaim took part in the 
invasion of Egypt" is an assertion for which Prof. Sayce owes it to us to 
produce the evidence. Without this proof, the whole combination is as base 
less as it is ingenious. || 

* It involves, it must be remembered, not only the conquest of the Israelite 
tribes, but of the Canaanites, with their strong cities (ch. i). 

t We., Comp., p. 219; Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 94 f. ; Sta., GF7 2 . i. p. 69. 

J See Sayce himself, p. 300. 

On the character of these lists, v. E. Meyer, Gesch. Aegypt., p. 319 ; Miiller, 
Asien u. Europa, p. 284, who affirms that the name of Miten never occurs in a his 
torical text after the i8th dynasty. 

|| Kitt., who does not admit that Othniel is an unhistorical figure, imagines that 
the story is a dim reminiscence of the wars of Ramses III. and Tiglath Pileser I. 
in Palestine (GdH. i. 2. p. 70). 



86 JUDGES 

7. See on 2 11 . Forgot Yahweh, &c.~] Dt. 6 12 8"- " 1<J 32 18 
i S. i2 9 Hos. 2 13 Jer. 3 21 &c. ; cf. also Jud. 8 34 . Served the Baals\ 
see on 2 13 . And asherahs] in by far the greater number of 
instances in the O.T. the asherah is a wooden post or mast, which 
stood at the place of worship ; see on 6 25ff . In this verse, how 
ever, as in i K. i8 19 2 K. 23 4 ,* it is evidently intended for the 
name of a divinity ; and as in these passages Asherah stands by 
the side of Baal precisely as Astarte does elsewhere (2 13 10 i S. 7* 
i2 10 ), it was a natural inference that Asherah was only another 
name (title or epithet) of Astarte. f The wooden asherah was 
then supposed to be the symbol or image of this goddess. Others 
distinguish Asherah from Astarte in different ways. \ On the 
other hand, the existence of a goddess Asherah is denied by some 
conservative scholars, and by many recent critics ; || the passages 
which seem to prove the contrary are to be explained either as 
metonymy (the name of the symbol being put for that of the 
goddess), or as the confusion by late writers of the symbol ashe 
rah with the goddess Astarte. So far as the O.T. is concerned 
these scholars are right ; it gives no sufficient evidence that a 
goddess Asherah was worshipped by Canaanites or Israelites. 
The name, Ebed-astierah,^ in letters found at el-Amarna, may 
signify no more than that the asherah post itself was esteemed 
divine, a fetish, or a cultus-god, as no one doubts that it was in 
O.T. times. See on the whole question, my article, "Asherah" 
in the new Bible Dictionary. 

In i K. i8 19 the 400 prophets of Asherah are interpolated (We., Sta., 
Klo.) ; 2 K. 21" ms Nn SDS, ^D-3 is gloss, in the same sense in which 2 Chr. 33 T 
substitutes SsD; i K. I5 13 = 2 Chr. I5 16 mtPN 1 ? nxSas is not, "a horrible 
thing (traditionally, Priapus, phallus) to Asherah," but, as an asherah ; 2 K. 23 7 
mi^N 1 ? BT3 is obscure and prob. corrupt; if the traditional vestments be right, 

* Cf. also 2 K. 21" i K. is". 

t This is doubtless the cause of the frequent confusion in the versions; see also 
Thdt., qu. 55 in .f Reg. The identification is accepted by Selden, Spencer, Ges., 
Vatke, Stud., Be., Renan, Schrader, al. mu. ; more doubtfully Baudissin. 

j E.g., Movers, Phonizier, i. p. 560 ff. ; Sayce, Cont. Rev., xliv. p. 391 f. ; Higher 
Criticism, p. 80 f. 

Hgstbg., Ba., Bacthgen. 

|| We., Sta., G. Hoffmann, W. R. Smith, Bu., al. 

"d Abad-A"s-ra-tum, &c., sometimes written with the divine determinative ; 
Schrader, /./. iii. p. 363 f. 



III. 7-10 87 

it would not prove the existence of a goddess or an idol, but only that the 
sacred post was draped. 2 K. 23* remains, the only passage beside our text 
in which there can be no doubt that a divinity is meant; but even here it may 
only be one of the common cases in which part of the apparatus of worship 
has become an object of worship a cultus god. That later writers took the 
asherahs for heathen deities, or idols, is perhaps to be inferred from the 
appearance of a new fern. plur. nns>N, 2 Chr. ig 3 33 3 Jud. 3 7 *; in Old Hebrew 
the name of the class is Bna>N, from which the nom. unitatis is formed in the 
usual way, ma>N, which owes its fem. gender, not to its being or representing 
a female divinity, but to grammatical formation. 

8. Cf. 2 U . Cu$han-rishathaim\ the second name suggested 
to Hebrew ears risk ah, wickedness, and the traditional pronun 
ciation probably intends " Cushan ( ? the Nubian) of double-dyed 
villainy " ; * compare similar displays of wit in the names of the 
kings Bera and Birsha Gen. 14 , f Tabal Is. 7 &c. Aram- 
naharahn} Gen. 24 Dt. 23* Ps. 60 (title) . RV. Mesopotamia,^ 
that is, the whole immense region between the Euphrates and the 
Tigris, from the mountains of Armenia and the continuation of the 
Taurus in the north to the latitude of Babylon, or even to the Per 
sian Gulf. The Aram-naharaim of the O.T. probably did not 
extend farther east than the Chaboras (Habur) ; || it may, like 
the Egyptian Naharin, have included also a more or less extensive 
tract west of the Euphrates.^ 9. The Israelites cried to Yahwe/i] 
standing formula ; v. 15 4 3 6 6 - 7 io 10 i S. i2 8 - 10 cf. Ex. 2 i 4 10 Jos. 2 4 7 . 
Yahweh raised up a deliverer, o^Y.] v. 15 . Deliverer is synony 
mous vi\\h. judge ; cf. 2 16 - 18 . Othniel, 6^.] see on i 13 . 10. The 
spirit of Yahweh came upon him~\ KOL eye vero CTT avrov (), not 
fnitque in eo 3L Cf. n 29 Nu. 24- i S. ig 20 - 23 and, with expressions 
which give more prominence to the suddenness or violence of the 
seizure, Jud. 6 s4 I3 25 i4- 19 i5 M i S. n 6 i6 13 . To the energy of 
the spirit of God is attributed whatever seems to transcend the 
limits of man s own sagacity or strength ; the heroic valour of the 
judges, the wisdom of the ruler (Nu. n 1Gf - i S. i6 13 ), the genius 



* Sanhedr., 105*; Yalqut ; Ki., Abarb. in loc. 
t i er - 1- ; Beresh. rab. 42 (ed. Sulzb., f. 37*). 

J So C in all other places and many codd. here, S., Vat., Schm., Cler., Ba., Be., 
Ke., al. mu. $ Strabo, xvi. p. 746; Ptol., v. 18, i ; Plin., . A., v. 66. 

|| Kiepert, Nold., Di., Mey. 
H See E. Meyer, Gesch. Aeg., p. 227 ; \V. M. Miiller, Asien u. Europa, p. 249 ff. 



88 JUDGES 

of the artist (Ex. 31" 36 ), the inspiration of the poet (2 S. 2y) r 
the divine frenzy of the Nebiiin (i S. io 10 ), the revelations of the 
prophet (Ez. 3 24 c.), extraordinary feats of any kind (Jud. 14 
cf. i K. i8 4ti ) ; see in general, Is. n 1 28 G . In many of its mani 
festations, especially in older times, it was thought of as a physical 
force (Jud. 14 i5 u i K. i8 12 - 4li 2 K. 2 " &c.). Extraordinary evil 
as well as good is caused by it ; for example, Saul s madness 
(i S. i6 14 1 9"), false prophecy (i K. 22 ").* He vindicated 
Israel~\ RV. and most, judged Israel ; but the verb means not so 
much pronounce a judgement as establish a right, and in the 
present context it is parallel to deliver v. !t , as in 2 1(!>1S lo 1 - 2 ; cf. 
"He . . . that vindicates his country from a tyrant" (Massinger). 
Others, became judge, began to exercise the office of judge ; j 
without warrant in usage. The following clauses explain how he 
vindicated Israel. He went to war ] 2 l ~ cf. i S. S 2 ". He got the 
upper hand of Ci/s/ian~\ prevailed over him, 6 2 Ps. Sg 13 cf. Jud. r" . 
The language imports that he not only liberated Israel, but subju 
gated the oppressor ; cf. 6-. 11. The land enjoyed security forty 
years\ it was exempt from further attacks for a whole genera 
tion. This formula of the editor also v. 30 5" S 2S cf. Jos. ii 23 14 . 
The forty years run from the victory of Othniel to his death ; 
cf. 2 18 , " Yahweh was with the judge and delivered them from their 
enemies as long as the judge lived." On the chronology, see 
Introduction, 7. Othniel s death was the end of the period 
of security, the beginning of a new period of apostasy and disas 
ter; cf. 2 ly . 

8. D\ n j?CH fife] Cushan is the name of a Bedawin tribe connected with 
Midian (Hab. 3"), perhaps a subtribe of that people (Nu. I2 1 ; Moses 
Midianite wife is a Cushife, i.e. of Cushan). An incursion of these Bedawin, 
and their defeat and expulsion by the Kenizzites of Debir (Othniel), is con 
ceivable enough; and if the names are taken from any historical connexion, 
we might conjecture that it was from some such story. ;ria is related to si ir 
as pi s to aV-, ]:v to fv> Ii J3 to ps Xa, prr> to ir^ &c.; observe the frequency 
of clan names in an in the Midianite genealogy, Gen. 25^, in comparison with 
the Ishmaelites, 25 1: lff -. The pronunciation fvia prob. intends a sf. cons., after 



* Maimonides, More Xebochhu, Pt. ii. c. 45 ; Oehler, Alltest. Theol., \ 65 ; Schultz, 
Altttst. Tlitol.?> p. 586 f. = Old Test. Theol., ii. p. 202 f. ; Konig, Offenbanutgsbegriff 
d. A. T., i. p. 171 ff. ; Smend, Alttest. Religionsgeschichte, p. 460 ff. 

t Lth., Schm., Cler., Rosenm. 



III. lo-n 89 

the analogy of Aram-naharaim, to which also the dual Djnjfcn is probably 
conformed. annj oix] apparently "Aram of two rivers"; the ancients 
thought of the Euphrates and Tigris, many moderns of the Euphrates and 
Chaboras, or Belias * (Belih) ; others of the Euphrates and Orontes,f or 
Euphrates and Chrysorrhoas (Barada). J It may fairly be questioned, how 
ever, whether the pronunciation which makes the noun dual is not factitious. 
As a geographical term cnnj probably corresponds to the Egyptian Naharin 
(there is no trace of a dual form), which lay on both sides of the upper 
Euphrates; see Meyer and Miiller cited above, p. 87 n. The name would 
then signify merely " River- Syria." The only cities in Aram-naharaim which 
are named in the O.T. are Harran (Gen. 24 10 ) and Pethor (Dt. 23 5 cf. Xu. 22 5 ) ; 
the latter was on the west side of the Euphrates (Schrader, KAT-. p. 156). 
10. s Nir^ nN BB^I] an exhaustive examination of the usage of the verb 
oar by Prof. H. Ferguson is to be found in JBL, viii. p. 130-136; see also 
Hachmann, p. 25 ff. That cw often means give judgement, taou s judicial 
decision, needs no illustration; cf. only I K. 3 28 . But it is often do justice, 
or get justice done, give one his rights or his dues. It is thus equivalent on 
the one hand to defend, deliver, on the other to condemn, punish. i K. 8 32 
illustrates both; cf. the Latin mndicare in both senses. See Is. i 17 (|| an) 
Jer. 5 28 Ps. io 18 72* 26 1 (vindicate me, O Yahweh). It is parallel to aSa 
Ps. 43 1 ; pnxn, S^n, B7C, 82 3 - 4 ; ynn 72 4 . In Judges it is synonymous with 
the last-mentioned verb, 2 16 - 18 3 9f - io lf - &c.; cf. Xeh. g 2 , where yens stands 
for aaiu 1 ; and so well established is this signification that tass is construed, 
like other verbs of delivering, rescuing, with j3 or TS, i S. 24 1G 2 S. i8 19 - 31 . 
This is probably the sense in I S. 8-; the Israelites demand a king, "that our 
king may vindicate (judge) us, and march out at our head and fight our 
battles" (, Drus., al.), closely parallel to the present passage. 

III. 12-30. Ehud kills Eglon, king of Moab, and liberates 
Israel. The Israelites again offend Yahweh, who enables the 
king of Moab to defeat them, occupy Jericho, and hold Israel in 
subjection for eighteen years (v. 12 14 ). From this tyranny they 
are delivered by Ehud ben Gera, a left-handed Benjamite, who 
by a ruse secures from Eglon a private audience (v. 15 20 ), assassi 
nates him (v. 2If -), escapes (v. 23 * 26 ), and at the head of his tribes 
men from Mt. Ephraim cuts off the Moabites west of the Jordan 
(v. 27 29 ) . The land enjoys a long period of security (v. 30 ) . 

The author of the Book of Judges has furnished this story with 



, BiAio-o-05. t Howorth, Acad., Jan. 17, 1891, p. 65. 

J Halevy, Melanges d epigraph., p. 81. 

\ In the Amarna correspondence Nahrima, with Canaanite, instead of Ara 
maic, plural ending. 



90 JUDGES 

the usual pragmatic setting, employing in both the introduction 
(v. 12 1 ) and conclusion (v.- * 30 ) material derived from the older 
narrative. As in other cases, he converts the story of a local 
struggle into a chapter of the religious and political history of all 
Israel. The unity and integrity of the story itself (v. 15b ~ 27 ) has 
until recently been unquestioned ; only the beginning has been 
supplanted by the phrases of D, and the sequel of v. 27 is not 
completely preserved in v. 28 29 . Winckler, however, has lately 
endeavoured to prove that the narrative is composite, and to sepa 
rate it into its elements, J and E.* Neither his analysis nor his 
exegesis is likely to be accepted, but he has shown that the story 
is not as homogeneous as has been generally believed. Verse M , 
in particular, is not the sequel to v. 1 1 , but a variant parallel to it ; 
and in the following verses to the end traces of duplication may 
be discovered (see esp. v. 2Glt ). 

It is natural to suppose that the memory of Ehud s exploit was 
kept alive among his tribesmen of Benjamin ; his story retold on 
holidays at Gilgal. It has the quality of the best Hebrew folk- 
stories, and is beyond doubt one of the oldest in the book. From 
what source it was extracted by the author of Judges, it is difficult 
to decide with confidence. Stade ascribes it to E,f chiefly on the 
ground of resemblances between 3 L> and IO T "- I;; ; but the expres 
sions in 3 are probably from the hand of D (cf. 3 !l ). Schrader, 
on the contrary, attributes it to J,$ and as between the two the 
impression which the whole tenor of the narrative makes is favour 
able to the latter hypothesis. 

The events related are in nowise improbable. It would indeed 
be strange if the success of the Israelites in establishing themselves 
west of the Jordan had not tempted others to follow their example. 
The Moabites, whose territory, except in the times of the greatest 
expansion of Israelite power east of the Jordan, extended to the 



* Alttesttiinentl. Untersuchungen, 1892, p. 55-59. Winckler s analysis is: ]. 
^H. ].-,.i8, 1). 17. IS. UiaS. h. 3H>;3. 21. >. L 4;i a . 1>. 23a a . 2(ib/3. 27a a . 2Sa. L Sba. 2V ; E. 13b. ... 16. ... l .ia a . 
Jii. . . . 2.",. 24aj3, 1). 25a3. h. 2Ga. ba. 27. 28h^. 29. 

t/.mr. i. p. 343. 

\ DC \Vette, Einl.*, p. 327. 

$ So also Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 100. Bu. notes that n^nsrin v. 26 is found be 
sides only in J ((Jen. igi 1 - 43 Ex. I2 :; " >) ; this is perhaps true also of the Hiph. 
s nn v. 25 (Gen. 8 1() J). Winckler also attributes the principal narrative to J. 



III. 12-13 91 

northern end of the Dead Sea or beyond, may very well have 
brought under their power the plain of Jericho and the adjacent 
parts of Mt. Ephraim (Benjamin). The well-designed and boldly 
executed ruse by which the tyrant is slain, and in the ensuing 
confusion his retainers cut off, has altogether the note of reality. 
Noldeke,* while recognizing this, thinks that the name of the 
deliverer cannot be historical : Gera is a son (Gen. 46 21 ) or 
grandson (i Chr. 8 :! ) of Benjamin, i.e. a Benjamite clan, Ehud 
himself a great-grandson (i Chr. 7 10 cf. 8 6 ) ; the concurrence of 
the names of two clans of the same tribe is conclusive. There 
is no difficulty, however, in supposing that a clan of Benjamin in 
later times bore the name of the hero Ehud ; or even that, without 
this, the name was introduced into the genealogies of the chron 
icler directly from our text.f 

12-14. The Israelites again offend Yahweh ; with his sup 
port Eglon attacks them and occupies Jericho ; they are subject 
to Moab eighteen years. The usual introduction ; only the 
name of Eglon and his conquest of Jericho, the Palm City, are 
derived from the old story ; the rest is made up of the set formu 
las of 1). 12 a . 4 1 10 13 cf. 3 7 6 1 2 11 (comm. there). Yah 
weh enabled Eglon to prevail over Israel~\ it was Yahweh who, to 
punish the sin of his people, gave him this power ; cf. Ez. 3O 24 
Jer. 27 6 " 8 43 10f- Is. 45 lff . Somewhat similarly Mesha, king of Moab, 
in his inscription : " Omri was king of Israel ; and he oppressed 
Moab a long time, because Chemosh was angry with his land." - 
13. Eglon allied to himself the Ammonites and Amalekites ; very 
likely an exaggeration of D. f The Ammonites were the neigh 
bours of Moab on the NE. and their nearest kindred. The 
Israelite settlements in Gilead interposed between them and the 
Jordan. Moab and Ammon appear as allies against Israel in 
2 Chr. 2O 1 also. The Amalekites were Bedawin, chiefly of the 
southern desert, against whom the Israelites cherished an impla 
cable hatred ; see on i 16 and especially on 6 3 . He went and beat 
Israel and occupied the Palm City ] of the war itself we learn 



* Untersuchungen zur Kritik des A. T., p. 179 f. ; so also Sta., ZA TW. i. p. 343, 
G F/2. i. p. 68. t So also Budde, Richt. u. Sam., p. 100. 

1 Budde, Richt. u. Sam., p. 99. J See further on n 4 . 



92 JUDGES 

nothing from these general phrases, and are tempted to surmise 
that the author of Judges has here curtailed the story. The Palm 
City is Jericho; see on i" ; . The mention of Jericho here has 
been found difficult. According to Jos. 6 21 ~- (i Joshua totally de 
stroyed the city and laid the site under a ban; i K. i6 :U records 
the rebuilding of the city in the reign of Ahab and the fulfillment 
of Joshua s curse. In the intervening centuries the place is 
named only here and in 2 S. io 5 . These passages are commonly 
harmonized with i K. i6 ;u by the supposition that down to the 
time of Ahab Jericho had been an unwalled town, and that Hiel 
drew upon himself the curse by attempting to fortify it ;* but the 
passage before us would rather lead us to infer that Jericho was a 
strong place, the possession of which secured Eglon s hold on his 
conquests west of the Jordan ; and it is not very probable that 
David left this important position, one of the two great eastern 
gateways of his kingdom (cf. 2 S. io r> ), unfortified. 14, 15 a . 
cf. v. 8b - 9 . 

12. pSj?] as the name of a man only in this chapter. As a topographical 
name it occurs repeatedly east of the Jordan in the modern form Aglun; 
cf. Eglon in Judah (Jos. io 3 - 34 ), modern Aglan. Roman names such as 
Juvencus, Vitellius, Vitulus have been compared; see Ba. Moab~\ the land 
of Moab lay east of the Dead Sea, stretching eastward to the confines of the 
desert. On the southwest it bordered on Edom; on the northeast it had the 
Ammonites for neighbours; and on the north, Israelite tribes, Reuben and Gad, 
the former of which early disappears (see on Jud. 5 15 ). Ji v?y 3 *?>] in this 
use 3 is much less frequent than irx; the instances are Dt. 3i 17 Jer. 4 28 
Mai. 2 U Ps. I39 14 . Cf. "C N JP and O >% i- N 3,i> and 3 3p>, and see Ew., 
336 c; Roorda, 506. 13. is*^"l] the plur. refers to the allies, but the 
change of subject is harsh; (S1L give a sing. 

15-18. Ehud, chosen to convey the tribute to Eglon, secretly 
arms himself; he presents the tribute and dismisses the bearers. 

15 a3 . Ehud ben Gera~\ the author passes over to the older nar 
rative which he incorporates. Gera is a Benjamite clan (Gen. 
46- 2 S. i6 5 &c. Shimei ben Gera i Chr. 8 " 7 ) ; that Ehud 
is also a clan name is less certain, and if true would not prove the 
name of our hero unhistorical.f The deliverer comes from the 
tribe on whose soil the Moabite invaders had planted themselves. 



* K\v., G I f. iii. p. 490, Ke., Ba., Be., Di., al. f See above, p. 91. 



in. 13-18 93 

A left-handed man } the literal and original meaning seems to 
have been, a man with his right hand drawn up, contracted by 
accident or disease ; but in usage it has come to signify no more 
than one who has not the natural use of his right hand, left- 
handed. He took advantage of this defect, in consequence of 
which his movements excited no suspicion until he struck the 
fatal blow ; see on v. li; - 2L . The Israelites sent by him tribute} 
lit. a present; -2. S. 8 2 - i K. 5 (EV. 4 21 ) 2 K. ry"- 4 Hos. io 6 Ps. 
72 &c.* On the question whether Eglon s residence was at 
Jericho or east of the Jordan, see on v.- . 16. Ehud provided 
himself with a weapon peculiarly suited to his purpose. A two- 
edged dirk a gomed long] the name of the measure does not occur 
elsewhere in the O.T. ; it appears to correspond to the Greek 
Trvy/j-rj, the distance from the elbow to the knuckles of the 
clenched fist, about thirteen or thirteen and a half inches. The 
old translators and most modern commentators think of a shorter 
dagger, a span long ; but the description of Eglon s corpulence 
(v. 17 ) is pertinent only in relation to the fact that a long dirk was 
buried, hilt and all, in his belly.f He hung it tender his clothes 
on his right thigh~\ the opposite side from that on which the sword 
was usually worn, so that if the guards of the king felt for con 
cealed weapons it would not be likely to be discovered ; while at 
the same time, if it was more than a mere stiletto, it was in 
the most convenient place for a left-handed man to draw. 
17. Now Eglon was a very fat man\ a circumstance of impor 
tance in the sequel of the story is parenthetically introduced by 
anticipation at the first meeting of Ehud and Eglon, instead of in 
v. 20 or ". 18. Comparing small things with great, we may illus 
trate this presentation of tribute by the famous reliefs on the 
black obelisk of Salmanassar, depicting the payment of tribute 
by Jehu, with their long procession of Israelites bearing the treas 
ures of their land to present to the king. \ He dismissed the 



* So in other languages ; e.g. SCipa, Diod. Sic., i. 58 ; cf. Hdt., iii. 89, &c. 

t Stud. 

^ Layard, Monuments of Nineveh, 1849, fol. Ser. I. no. 53; Nineveh, 1849 (8vo), 
p. 347 ; cf. also the payment of tribute to Sennacherib at Lachish ; Egyptian scenes, 
Lepsius, Denkmdler, Abth. iii. pi. 115-118 ; E. Meyer, Gesch. d. alt. Aegyptens, p. 242, 
244. 



94 JUDGES 

people who carried the tribute~\ the payment was, of course, made 
ia kind, so that a considerable number of porters would be neces 
sary, but in the East under such circumstances it is customary to 
employ a much larger number than is necessary ; the size of the 
retinue is a mark of honour. From the following verse * (cf. v. L " ! ) 
we must infer that Ehud accompanied them part way on their 
return, and when he had seen them safe beyond the reach of 
subsequent pursuit, returned alone to the king s residence. 

15. ir-" 1 -p "V-N t: \x] "v^x 2O lfit , (1L ambidextrous: 2TS> more correctly, 
drawn tip, drawn out of shape. The vb. IBS (cognate with B Jx) Ps. 69 16 *, 

* * 
contract, close ; Ar. J0 1, bend into a hoop. The adj. 12 N, of the 

regular type for defects and deformities, would accordingly mean, maimed by 
having the hand bent double, drawn shut, so distorted as to be useless 
(Abulw., Ki. Lex., Ra., Tanch., al). In 2O 1(i , however, the writer cannot 
mean that the 700 Benjamite slingers, this corps if elite, were all maimed or 
deformed,! and in MIL the meaning left-handed is well established ; cf. Shabb., 
103", Menach., 37 a mid., Bechor., 45 b (see Ra. on the last two passages), 
Tos. Bechor., v. 8 (ed. Zuckerm., p. 5403). So Fl. Jos. here, TU>V xetptDv TTJV 
dpicrrepav a/JifLviov KO.TT fKfivr]S TTJV airaffav io"xy v *X UV > Abarb., Stud., Ke., 
Be., Ba., Cass. 16. r "n >:: ] plur. of ns, Ki., ()!., Sta. It was dicrTonov 
0os, Eurip., IL-l. 983, cf. Ecclus. 2i 3 Ilebr. 4 1 - Apoc. I 10 , gladius anceps, 
Prud., Cat/iem., vi. 85; a two-edged dirk, not as Jerome glosses in his transla 
tion, " habens in medio capulum," a double-ended dagger, which is incom 
patible with v. 2 - nriN ir::i] the Jewish interpreters explain gained as a cubit, 
more exactly, a short cubit, cubit minus the fingers; see Ra. in loc., Kashbam 
on Baba bathra, ioo a , Arttch, s. v. TDJ- ; cf. yer. Yoina, iv. 4 (4i r ). J So it is 
translated here by j a. It would thus correspond exactly to the Greek irvy^-fj 
(Poll., ii. 147, 158). See my note in JBL. xii. p. 104. 

19-22. Ehud contrives a private interview with the king 
and kills him. 19. Ehud returns alone. From the sculptured 
stones near Gilgal~\ probably rude stone images ; the translation 
(/Harries \\ is an unnecessary and unwarranted departure from the 
well-known meaning of the word; graven images If perhaps too 



* Tf it be the original sequel of v. 18. 

t This holds even if the words are a gloss, as Bu. conjectures. 
J See also Weiss on Mechilta, fol. 59"; Jastrow, Dictionary, s. v. 
C1L, Lth., Schm., Stud., al. 

j| 27 5\ Jewish and many Christian commentators, AV., RV. 
11 AV "n- RV m s-, and elsesvhere uniformlv in the text. 



in. 18-20 95 

specifically suggests statues. Gilgal itself probably had its name 
from an old stone circle (cromlech),* whose stones, according to 
a popular tradition, were set up by Joshua to commemorate the 
passage of the Jordan (Jos. 4 20 ) ; and it has frequently been sur 
mised that the sculptured stones or images of our text are in 
some way connected with the stones erected by Joshua.f Others, 
gathering from v. iy 26 that when a man had passed this point he 
was safe on Israelite soil, suppose that they were boundary stones 
(images) set up by Eglon. j / have a private communication for 
fhee~] a natural pretext, and all the more likely to be admitted 
without suspicion because Ehud had just brought the tribute of 
his tribesmen; cf. v. 20 . He commanded, Silence /] the command 
is addressed not to Ehud, but to the attendants, || who are to 
leave him in privacy. 20. The verse seems to be parallel to 
v. 1;) , rather than a sequel to it. In v. 1!) Ehud appears before the 
king in his public audience room and announces that he has a 
secret communication to make to him ; the king has the room 
cleared, leaving Ehud alone with him. In v. 20 Ehud goes in to 
him as he is sitting in his roof-chamber alone and announces that 
he has a divine communication for him. The difficulty was early 
felt, and various exegetical expedients have been proposed to 
relieve it. The favourite explanation is that the words of Ehud in 
v. 19 , " I have a private communication to make to thee, O King," 
were not spoken by him in person in the public audience, but 
were conveyed to the king by an attendant ; upon receiving this 
message Eglon dismissed his court and received Ehud alone in 
his private apartments.^ Another hypothesis is, that after hearing 
the words of Ehud, spoken in public, Eglon dismissed the by 
standers and retired to his private roof-chamber, whither Ehud 
was presently conducted.** Either of these suppositions is easy 



* See on a 1 . 

t Fr. Junius, E\v., Knob., Vaihinger, Stud., al.,\vith very various and equally 
groundless hypotheses about the nature of the connexion. 

J RLbG. (alt.), a Lap., Schm., Hgstbg., Ke., Ba., Cass. 

$ BN | Ki., Abarb., Schm., a Lap., Cass., Doom, al. 

|| ALai.fLSC, Fl. Jos., Ra., RLbG., Stud., Ke., Be., Ba., al. 

IT Lth., Stud., Ke., Be., Ba. ; cf. RLbG., Schm. 

** To take the verb in v. 20 as pluperf., Now Ehud had entered, &>c. (Doom.), 
only aggravates the difficulty. 



96 JUDGES 

enough in matter of fact ; but neither of them is exegetically 
plausible. If the author had meant the first, he would have given 
Ehud s words in a different form;* if the second, he would not 
have left it to the imagination of the reader. Where he was sit 
ting in his cool upper story alonc\ not in the public divan. The 
upper story (a/iyah, still called in Arabic by the same name) is 
an additional, ordinarily third, story raised above the fiat roof of 
the house at one corner, or upon a tower-like annex to the build 
ing. It generally contains but a single apartment, of larger or 
smaller dimensions, through which latticed windows on all sides 
give free circulation of air, making it the most comfortable part 
of the house. / hare a divine communication for thee~\ cf. v, !;i . 
The words naturally suggest a communication from the God of 
Israel which had come to Ehud, whether by dream, f oracle, or 
otherwise, and which it concerned Eglon to hear. \ Others sup 
pose that Ehud meant by the intentionally ambiguous phrase, I 
have God s business with you, a divine commission to execute 
upon you. $ It does not appear that the author had this ingenious 
equivocation in mind ; or that he would have thought it worth 
while to protect, by so slender a pretext, Ehud s reputation for 
veracity. He tells of it as a clever and successful ruse, with no 
more reflexion on its morality than on that of the assassination 
itself. lie arose from his chair~\ presumably as a sign of reve 
rence for the oracle. || The movement, which Ehud may have 
reckoned upon, gave him an opportunity to get within striking 



* I have a private communication for the king. 

t FI. Jos. 

% They are so understood by 3TS>, Ra., and most interpreters, ancient and 
modern. It is not necessary, however, to suppose that Ehud assumed the char 
acter of a prophet (Cler., al.). 

\ Schm., Stud., Be., Ba. ; Schni. even imagines that Eglon so understood the 
words. Cf. Aug., >;u. 20 : Potest non esse mendacium, quandoquidem verbi 
nomine solet etiam factum appellare Scriptura, et re vera ita erat. On the whole 
question see further Schm., qu. 7. 8 ; Ba., p. 234 f. 

|| Sanhedr., 6o a , Rabb., Cler., Stud., Ke., al. According to the Midrash the mar 
riage of Ruth (the daughter or granddaughter of Eglon) was the reward of this 
piety; Ruth rab. on i 4 (fol. 29"!, ed. Sulzb.), Yalqut. Other explanations, such as, 
he arose in joy at the announcement (Fl. Jos.), or in alarm at Ehud s menacing 
words and gestures (Be.), to call his guards, or to defend himself or fly (Schm.), 
are in varying degrees improbable. Schnurrer suggested that he wished to draw 
nearer to Ehud for greater secrecy ; cf. perhaps (5. 



III. 20-22 97 

distance without exciting suspicion, which he could hardly have 
done if Eglon had remained seated, and for this reason it is 
related. 21. Ehud, still without arousing suspicion, reaches with 
his left hand for his dirk (v. lu ), quickly draws, and plunges it into 
the king s belly. 22. The force of the blow was such that, in 
spite of the length of the weapon, the hilt followed the blade in ; 
the dirk was doubtless without either guard or cross-piece. 
Ehud left the knife sticking in the wound. And the fat closed 
after the blade~\ the fat which covered the intestines ; cf. v. ir . It 
is not necessary to infer from the preceding clause that the whole 
hilt, pommel and all, disappeared ; so that there is no conflict 
between the two statements.* The last words of the verse are 
very difficult, and almost certainly corrupt. The most probable 
interpretation is, and the dirt came ont~\ the feces ; not from the 
wound, f but through the anus, the usual consequence of such a 
wound in the abdomen. \ This somewhat drastic touch is alto 
gether in the vein of the narrator ; cf. v. 16 - 17- 24b . The emendation 
of the Hebrew text which it necessitates is not difficult. The 
translation preferred in RV., and it (sc. the sword) came out 
behind, gives a mere guess at the meaning of the word, and is 
grammatically unsound. The rendering of RV ms , he (Ehud) went 
out into the antechamber, || is only possible if, with Winckler, we 
ascribe the words to a different author from the first clause of v. 23 . 
For other hypotheses see note. 

19. 3 ? xini] the nominal sentence emphasizing the contrast; he dis 
missed the bearers, but himself turned back, &c. a^ Da] plur. to the sg. VDB; 
images of gods Dt. y 25 I2 3 Is. 2i 9 cf. Hos. n 2 Mi. I 7 , in human or animal 
forms Dt. 4 16 " 18 cf. v. 23 - 25 . So here (R ABI - S (= 6) ^VKTUV, <5 M Thdt. ei Sw- 
Xwv,l 3L. on -^KM] an exclamation like Hush! Hist! Am. 6 10 &c. 20. 
3ir> Nim] circumstantial; Dr 3 . 160 mpcn niSj 3] cf. v. 24 , cool upper-story. 
So in sense (5IL, while 1& thinks of the upper story of a summer palace 
(Am. 3 15 ). Such aflya/is are frequently mentioned in the O.T. ; in private 

* Though it would be possible to ascribe them to two different sources. 

t Vatabl., cf. RLbG. 

J So 1L, statimque per secreta naturae alvi stercora proruperunt, JT, Beres/i. rab., 
99, Rabb., Lth., AV., al. 

$ So, with various modifications, Schm. (aversa pars carports) , Cler. (postica pars 
corporis, supra c tunes ), Tr.-Jun., Rosenm., Simonis (podex), Ges. Thes. (interstitiiim 
ptdutii), Maurer (sterc oreus) , &c. || (5. 

U (GGN iyjpwv; ? transcriptional error for avSpiavrw. 
H 






98 JUDGES 

houses (guest chambers) i K. iy 19 - - " 2 K. 4 1 "- ". as well as in palaces, 2 K. i- 
(latticed windows), Jer. 22 13 - u (spacious). A similar structure was sometimes 
erected over a city gate, 2 S. ig 1 (EV. i8 33 ), or at an angle of the city wall (?) 
(Neh. 3 31 - 32) ; often in Talm. Cf. inrepyov Acts I 13 9 37 - 3 20*. In the modern 
East, see Shaw, Travels, 214-216 (N. Africa); Xiebuhr, J\eisen, i. pi. 68 
(San a"), Thomson, Land and Book 1 , ii. p. 634, 636 (fig.)- l" 1 ^ ^ -\s\xj 
via"? is rightly connected by most scholars with the verb, sitting . . . alone ; 
not in his private aliyah (Vatabl.). rm 1 ?^ 131] not aliquid admirandum et 
stupendum (Brenz) ; phrases like a n?^ nnn (Gen. 35 s ) describe the terror as 
caused by a god (panic). OTiSx is naturally used in speaking to a foreigner; 
but in the mouth of Ehud means Yahweh, and would be so understood. 
NDr] chair. Chairs were found in private houses (2 K. 4 10 ), but are more 
frequently mentioned as the seat of persons of rank, for instance, of Eli 
(i S. i 9 4 13 ), the queen mother (i K. 2 W ), esp. the king (i K. i 4 5 naiSsn NDD 
&c.). The latter stood so high as to require a foot stool (a "n), or was raised 
on a platform and approached by steps (i K. io 19 ). See representations of 
Egyptian chairs and thrones, Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, ed. Birch, i. 
p. 408 ff. ; cf. also Buchholz, Homerische Realign, ii. 2. 85 ; Baumeister, 
Denkm dler, p. 1650 ff. 21. ij J33 n>prpi] the vb. 4 21 (driving a peg) 2 S. i8 u 
&c. 22. ji *OM] (5 reads as a causative, and Bu. would emend N3 \ he 
(Ehud) caused the hilt to enter, which is less natural than fBl axjn *] hilt, 
haft, Arab, nisab. 3n^] blade ; lit. flame. nj-iirifln N^PI] the subject cannot 
be the sword, for ann is fern.; it might grammatically be the blade, an 1 ?, but 
it is hardly in accordance with the natural logic of speech to go back to this 
noun. Moreover, the meanings attributed to pens by those who construe 
thus are fictitious, the product of most improbable etymological combinations, 
that with Ar. cX-&vi straddle being not the least absurd. In the present 
context the subject cannot be Ehud, whose exit is regularly related in the 
next following words; no author is negligent enough to write, and he went 
out to the parshedon, and Ehud went out to the misderon.* If we make Ehud 
the subject, we must either assume that one of these two clauses is a gloss to 
the other (Ew., Bo., al.), or that they came from two different sources and 
have been most awkwardly juxtaposed by the compiler (Winckler). Against 
the former alternative it may properly be urged that the supposed explanation 
is as obscure as the word to be explained. It is barely possible, however, that 
P" ic is a Greek gloss (? irpoffTipov), or the corruption of such a gloss. The 
translations TrpocTTaSa, TrapacrrdSa ( A) ra. TTpodvpa (2) are guesses following 
hints in the sound of the word. In this obscurity it is perhaps best, with 
Jewish exegetical tradition, to find in njisnfl the subject of the vb., and then 
to emend with X6.,t Bu., rnsn Ex. 2g u &c., the feccs (in the stomach and 
bowels not excrement) ; rumens may have arisen by accidental conformation 
to njniD-; v. 2:!a . 



* So Ki. rightly says. f Untersuchungen. p. 180 n. 



in. 23-25 99 

23-26. Ehud s escape. 23. Ehud went out to the . . .] 
Heb. misderon; from the context, the name of the part of the 
building to which Ehud passed from the al iyah, and through 
which he made his exit from the house. The meaning of the 
word is, however, unknown, and in our ignorance of the con 
struction and arrangement of the house, it is of little use to guess. 
The various renderings proposed guard-room, vestibule, portico, 
arcade, gallery, balustrade, staircase, &c. show the inadequacy 
of etymology to determine the meaning of a technical word. 
And closed the doors of the upper story upon him~\ sc. on Eglon, 
shutting him up in the chamber. The plural, doors, of the two 
leaves of a double door (i K. 6 31f - 34 cf. Jud. i6 3 i S. 2i 1:i ).* The 
last words of the verse, and locked them, are, as the false tense 
proves, the addition of a scribe, who, observing that the doors 
were locked (v. 24 - 25 ) , missed an explicit statement here that Ehud 
locked them. 24. So he went out~\ he emphatic ; in English we 
should subordinate the clause, after he went out, &c. Eglon s 
servants came, and found the door of the upper story bolted. 
From the connexion of the clauses, as well as from what follows, 
it is naturally to be inferred that they saw Ehud pass out by the 
usual way ; they would not have sought to intrude unsummoned 
upon a private interview, and in v. b they evidently believe their 
master to be alone. // must be that he is relieving himself in the 
cabinet of the cool chamber\ the sense of decency in such mat 
ters is very highly developed among Orientals, as it was in general 
in the civilized peoples of antiquity. 25. They waited till they 
saw that they were mistaken~\ lit. to the point of confusion (2 K. 2 17 
8 11 ) ; an idiomatic expression suggestive of confounded hopes or 
expectations, perplexity, perturbation. Then, as he did not open 
the door, they took the key and opened it. In the locks still 
in common use in the East the bolt is shot by hand, or by means 
of a thong. A number of pin-tumblers then drop into corre 
sponding holes in the bolt and lock it. The key, which is used 
for unlocking only, is a flat piece of wood in one end of which 
are set pins corresponding in number and position to the tumblers 
of the lock and in length to the depth of the bolt.f It is 

* So fliipai in Horn. 

t Sometimes the key is a bent piece of metal ; but the principle is the same. 



100 JUDGES 

slipped lengthwise under the bolt, which is undercut for the pur 
pose, until its pins entering lift the tumblers clear and allow the 
bolt to be pushed back.* The references in the O.T. make it 
altogether probable that the locks of the ancient Hebrews were 
of this pattern. Having opened, they found their master lying 
dead; cf. the very similar scene, Judith i4 14f -. 26. The two 
halves of the verse have the appearance of doublets ; f the first 
clause of v. 1 cannot be construed in continuation of v. a , and as a 
circumstantial clause depending from the preceding he escaped 
. . . he having passed over, \ is unusually awkward. The structure 
is exactly parallel to v. a , and the significant verb, he escaped, is 
found in both halves. While they u cre delaying] v. 24f -. He 
passed the sculptured stones ] the way in which these are mentioned 
here and in v. 11 is thought to indicate that this was the last Moabite 
outpost, beyond which he was in no danger of being stopped or 
overtaken by the enemy ; but in our ignorance of the topography 
this is a somewhat uncertain inference ; the words may be meant 
only to describe the road Ehud took. In v. x we might even 
translate, he crossed (sc. the Jordan) to, or near, the sculptured 
stones ; || see below. To Seira/i] otherwise unknown. If v. J7 
is the original sequel of v.- GI) , it must have been a place on the 
edge of the highlands of Ephraim. 

It is commonly assumed, though without any distinct intimation 
in the text, that the scene of Ehud s exploit was Jericho, v. 1:! ,^f 
where Eglon resided, either permanently, or, as is more probable, 
at the time for the collection of the yearly tribute. But it is diffi 
cult, if not impossible, to reconcile this with v. 18f - 26b , since Gilgal is 
not on the way from Jericho to Mt. Ephraim, but in exactly the 
opposite direction, toward the fords of the Jordan leading to the 
land of Moab.** All becomes natural, however, if we assume that 



* Russell, Aleppo-, 1794, i. p. 21 f. ; Lane, Modern Egyptians**, p. 19 f. ; Thomson, 
Land and Book-, iii. p. 413 ; cf. Wilkinson, Anct. Egyptians, ed. Birch, i. p. 353 f. 

t Winckler. + Driver 3 , $ 160 (p. 199) ; cf. 4*. 

$ RLbG., Schm., al. ; see on v. 1 - 1 . |j Bu. 

H Fl. Jos., Ba., Cass., and most. 

|t * We cannot evade this difficulty by supposing that a different Gilgal is meant, 
(Masius, K.C., Ba., Ph. Wolff, in Ri. H\VB l . p. 518) ; in this connexion with Moab 
and Jericho, Gilgal in the Jordan valley would necessarily be understood. If the 
author had intended another, he must have added some definition. 



in. 25-26 101 

the residence of Eglon was east of the Jordan, in the land of 
Moab, which is on other accounts also the more probable hypoth 
esis.* The name of the place need not have been mentioned ; 
or it may have been subsequently omitted. f 

23. njrnosn] the versions seem all, in one way or another, to connect 
the word with MH. (Aram. Syr.) "no row, rank ; (@ f^rj\6ev TOI)S diarerayfj.^- 
vovs, & N-nD3xS (^Spa), J5 / i ft -i MV (u<rT6s) ; similarly Abulw., Ra., 
Ki., RLbG., Drus., Cler., and most moderns. n>a] upon him (Eglon), not 
after himself (i.e. mnx Gen. ig 6 ) ; Gen. 7 10 2 K. 4 4 . V; ji] the tense admits of 
no grammatical explanation, cf. 7 13 i6 18 2 S. I3 18 . Other instances Dr 3 . 133; 
Roorda, 536. 24. NX> Nim] the nom. sent, describing the circumstances 
or conditions under which the following action took place; see on the whole 
subject, Dr 3 . 156 ff. vSjn PN xin -pos IN] -jx restrictive; the only explana 
tion of the closed door is, &c. Ew. 354 ; Lex. s. v. The phrase cover one s 
feet (i S. 24 4 ) is a euphemism from the posture assumed in evacuating the 
bowels, the long garments forming a tent-like covering over the lower extremi 
ties (RLbG.); so (5ILCS (vicl.), Ra., Ki. (Comm. ), Drus., Cler., Schm., Ke., 
Cass., al. f Not urinate ((@ B , Ki. Lex. and Comm. on I S. 24*, Mi. Yophi) ; v. 
M. Yonia, iii. 2; Bochart, Hierotoicon, ed. Rosenm., i. p. 777 ff. The root is 
pD; Ki. Comm., Bo., Ol., K6. i. p. 354. mpsn -nn] cstr. of -nn, Ol. 134 d; 
Sta. 191 c. Probably a cabinet or closet in the mps ((g.vvi.MO 3 c v T fi 
airox^p^fffi rov KOITWVOS, J5, RLbG., Schm., Rosenm., Cass., al.). That in 
this sense we should necessarily have sn n>SjT n (Ba.) is too strong an asser 
tion. 25. Ji ia ~\y Vvrm] the Hiph. in this sense only Gen. 8 10 (J). In 13; 
Ln (2 K. 2 17 8 11 ) eia is inf. (Drus.), not pf. (Ki.) ; cf. nSaS i; 2 Chr. 24!. 
From the way in which it is used it seems that the original significance of the 
vb. was no longer very distinctly felt, and that the phrase had become equiva 
lent to a long while (Fl. Jos. iro\vv %p6vov ) ; cf. 1x2 t" very. It is unnecessary 
to assume two roots (Castell, Stud., Fiirst). nnss] nom. instrum., Is. 22* 2 
i Chr. g 27 . pa nxnx Ss;] fallen to the ground, dead. The ptcp. of the 
intrans. vb. is nearly equivalent to an adjective, prostrate on the ground ; 
cf. 4 22 I9 27 i S. 5 3 - 4 3i 8 . See Schultens, Origines, p. 144 (comparison of 
Hebr. with Gr. and Lat. idioms of vb. fall ). 26. ancnspn i;-] for iji with 
inf. cf. Ez. 33 22 Jon. 4 2 . The original meaning of T;, duration, distinctly 
appears in these phrases; cf. 2 K. 9 22 , Ew. 217 e. The verb ig 8 2 S. I5 28 ; 
in Hexat. Gen. ig 15 43! Ex. I2 39 (all J). o^Dan rs- -\iy xini] "not the 
mere addition of a fresh fact like nayi, but the justification of the preceding 
B S 2J," he having passed ; Dr 3 . p. 199. If the text is not composite, this is 



* So Ra., Schm., Stud., F. W. Schultz. According to Winckler, J laid the scene 
in Moab ; E in Jericho. t Bu. 

J Cf. Berachoth, 62> ; Fl. Jos., t.j. ii. 8, 9 ; Burckhardt, Travels, &c., p. 445, 518 f. 
If the text be sound. 



IO2 JUDGES 

the only possible construction. The accus. is commonly interpreted, he passed 
the images; cf. I S. I4 - 3 .* Bu. proposes, he crossed (the Jordan) near the 
images, comparing Gen. 32 3 -, which is, however, usually explained like the 
preceding example. A third possibility is, he passed over to tJie images, cf. I I 2n 
and note there. Winckler s conj. sn rs "O>, he sacrificed to the images, is a 
particularly unhappy conceit. nr-v; 1 :: ,-!] n. pr., ace. of limit of motion after 
eh 1 ^} (Gen. I9 17 Is. 37 3S ). The article is evidence only that the meaning of 
the name was kept in mind, not that it should be translated as appellative 
(Ra., thicket, bush). ">- Jos. I5 10 on the boundary of Judah is much too 
far away. Winckler would seek Seirah east of the Jordan. 

27-29. Ehud raises the Israelites ; they seize the fords 
and cut off all the Moabites on that side of the Jordan. 

The narrative is not free from derangement and repetition, which 
are generally attributed to the interference of the editor, but may 
arise from the combination of two accounts. 27. When he 
camc~\ in the context, we must suppose, to Seirah, though we 
should in that case expect the particle thither. Some recensions 
of (> have, to the hind of Israel, which may be only an addition 
of the translator, but shows that the incompleteness of v. 27a was 
felt, and is entirely suitable to the context. Sounded the alarni\ 
lit. blew the war horn; a summons to arms, 6 34 i S. i3 3 . The 
Highlands of Ephraim~\ 2" 4 " y 24 Jos. iy 15 i K. 4* &c. ; the moun 
tainous interior of Central Palestine, from the Great Plain south to 
the neighbourhood of Jerusalem ; see note. The Israelites from 
the neighbouring parts of this region rose at Ehud s call and has 
tened down, under his lead, to the plain of Jericho. 28. The 
first half verse comes rather late after v. 27b ; the second, they 
followed him down, is parallel to v. 27b . This interruption of the 
natural progress of the story is commonly ascribed to the editor 
who added v. 28a ; f it is possible, however, that v. 28 is the original 
sequel of v. 26 , and v. * 1 of v. 27 , which would give us two complete 
and parallel accounts. Folloio me down~\ f^ erroneously, pursue 
me. They seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites } 
thus cutting off the retreat of those who were on the Israelite side 
of the river; cf. f 4 i2\\ The fords here meant are the lowest 



* That this requires a iay (Winckler) is a rash assertion, 
t Bu. 

J Fl. Jos., Ra., RLbG., Schm. ; not in order to prevent help from coming from 
the Moabite side (Ki.). Cler. combines the two explanations. 



III. 27-29 103 

fords of the Jordan, near Gilgal (Jos. 2" 2 S. ip 15 ).* Others inter 
pret, the fords leading to Moab, the Moabite fords ; but this is not 
distinctive, for all the lower fords of the Jordan led to Moab, and 
1 2 5 , where the construction is the same, cannot well be explained 
in this way. 29. The verse, as a whole, is ascribed by Budde to 
the author of the Deuteronomic book of Judges ; but see above 
on v. 28 . Ten thousand mctf\ see on i 4 . All stout and valiant 
meii] there were no others among them ; f not, every stout and 
valiant man, \ as though they let others go, in conflict with the 
following, not one escaped. The Moabites are represented as an 
army of occupation, rather than as settlers. 



27. 1x133 TPI] (gBPXOai. j _j_ et j yjj v iffpnrjX, a natural addition if the resi 
dence of Eglon was supposed to be east of the Jordan (cf. Ra.). It is conceiv 
able, on the other hand, that the words were dropped from f, as conflicting 
with the supposition that the scene of Ehud s deed was Jericho. If Seirah had 
been meant, the author would probably have written net? 1x133; if Mt. Ephraim, 
the sentence would have been differently arranged. ISIBO ypn^] the horn 
(xepaTivj], buccina ) as a signal calling men to arms, Jud. 6 34 I S. I3 3 2 S. 2O 1 ; 
warning of approach of the enemy, Am. 3 6 Ez. 33 6 Jer. 4 s 6 1 &c.; in battle, 
Am. 2 2 ; sounding the recall, 2 S. 2 28 i8 16 2O 22 . On the form and fabrication 
of the shophar, and its religious uses, see C. Adler, PA OS., Oct. 1889, p. clxxi.; 
The Shophar its Use and Origin, 1894 (Rep. of U. S. Natl. Museum for 
1892, p. 437-450). The Highlands of Kphraim~\ the mountains which form 
the backbone of Central and Southern Palestine extend from the Great Plain 
southward, gradually increasing in elevation to the vicinity of Hebron, south 
of which they fall off, the hills terminating about Tell Arad and Beersheba. )| 
The northern half of this region is the mountain country of Ephraim, occupied 
by West Manasseh, Ephraim, and Benjamin; the southern, the mountain 
country of Judah. There is no natural boundary between the two; the limit 
shifted with the southward expansion of Joseph. At the time of our story the 
territory of Joseph was separated from Judah by a Canaanite belt of which Jeru 
salem was the central stronghold; see above, p. 8. 28. nns IDTI] read m 
(5 and v. b ; 2 K. 5 21 (Ba.) is not parallel to this use of pi. 3NV: ?] equiva 
lent to a dativus incommodi ; cf. 2C 3Nia S>, Ba., Reuss. Not vada Jordanis 
quae transmittunt in Moab IL, Schm., Cler., Be., al. ( 3 S) ; or periphrasis for 
a second genitive, rds 5ta/3cicrect TOV lopSdvov rrjs Mwa/3 @J5, the Moabite 
fords of the Jordan. 29. Sn vx SDI pe> Sj] jstr originally fat, then 

* SWP. Memoirs, iii. p. 170. There are now two fords, one at the pilgrims 
bathing place (Mahadet Hagleh) ; the other, at present overgrown, a mile or more 
south of it. The former must always have been the main crossing. 

t AV. I RV. $ Jerome on Hos. 58. 

|| Robinson, Phys. Geog., p. 32-36. 



104 JUDGES 

robust, vigorous. Others interpret, rich, great (Ki. 2", RLbG., Cler., 
al._), a familiar metaphor, but an inapposite sense in this place. 

30. Moab was siibdued~\ S~ s ir "" (cf. 4 s ) i S. 7, in the closing 
formulas with which the stories of the several judges are brought 
to a conclusion. In the present instance the results of Ehud s 
deed seem to be exaggerated. The story itself tells only of the 
assassination of the king and the slaughter of the Moabites west 
of the Jordan, clearing the land of Israel of these intruders ; of a 
subjugation of Moab it gives no hint. The land enjoyed security 
eighty years ] two generations ; cf. v. 11 above, and see Introduction, 
7- 

ji 2x12 i JDni] Moab was subdued ; 8 2S n- :! I S. 7 1S I Chr. 2O 4 2 Chr. I3 1S 
Ps. io6 4 -; the Xiph. is passive to Iliph. (2 S. S 1 = I Chr. iS 1 ). Not to be 
confounded with the trop. sense, be subdued in spirit, submit to the judge 
ments or reproof of God (Lev. 26 U I K. 22 19 &c.). The phrase belongs 
apparently to the " pre-Deuteronomic " Book of Judges; see We., Comp., 
p. 219; controverted by Kitt., Stud. u. Krit., 1892, p. 50. 

On the moral aspects of Ehud s deed on which the narrator 
in Jud. 3 certainly wasted no reflections and on the difficulties 
which the story made for the older biblical apologetics, see 
Schmid, quaestiones 7-10: Num Ehud Egloni mentitus est? 
Num Eglonem Ehud decepit? Licuitne Ehudi Eglonem ty- 
rannum occidere? Quomodo cum impulsu et instinctu divino 
conciliandum est, quod Ehud adeo solicite ad caedem Eglonis se 
praeparavit, tempus atque alia circumspexit atque observavit? 
In more modern fashion, Bachmann, p. 231 ff. 

III. 31. Shamgar kills six hundred Philistines with an ox- 
goad. Shamgar is often reckoned as the first of the six " Minor 
Judges." * The verse which tells his brief story exhibits, how 
ever, none of the distinctive formulas of the list io " " i2 8 ~ 15 ;t 
and, what is more conclusive, Shamgar is not embraced with them 
in the final chronological scheme of the book ; neither the period 
in which he wrought deliverance for Israel nor its duration is 
given. \ Chapter 4 1 (D) ignores Shamgar, connecting immedi- 

* See Introduction, J 7. f See on zo 1 . 

+ The Jewish explanation is that he died in the first year of his office ; Fl. Jos., 
Juchasin, Abarb., a Lap., al. 



III. 30-31 105 

ately with 3 30 ("when Ehud was dead"). It is to be inferred 
from these facts that the story of Shamgar s exploit was inserted 
here by a hand not only later than the Deuteronomic author of 
3 s0 4 1 , but than the editor who introduced the " Minor Judges " 
and made them a place in the chronology.* 

After him came Shamgar ben Anat/i\ Shamgar is named in 
Jud. 5 6 , where, with Jael, he represents the hour of Israel s deepest 
humiliation under the hand of its foes, just before the appearance 
of Deborah, and there is no reason to doubt that he is a historical 
figure. The story of the slaughter of the six hundred Philistines 
reminds us of Samson, but, in its form, still more of the exploits 
of David s heroes, 2 S. 2I 15 22 23 8ff -,f and is very likely extracted 
from the same or a similar source. The name Shamgar is foreign ; 
perhaps Hittite. Anath is a goddess of whose worship there are 
many evidences in Palestine in names of places which were seats 
of her cult, J and whose name appears on Egyptian monuments 
from the 1 8th dynasty. He smote the Philistines^ all the evi 
dence we have goes to show that the Philistines did not seriously 
trouble the central tribes until shortly before the time of Saul ; see 
above on 3 3 (p. So). The Song of Deborah celebrates the vic 
torious issue of the struggle of the central and northern tribes 
against the Canaanites, who in the days of Shamgar (5") had 
brought Israel to such straits. It knows nothing of a contempo 
raneous oppression by the Philistines. As a champion of Israel 
against the Philistines, therefore, Shamgar appears too early. 
With an ox-goad~\ || the Syrian ploughman s goad is a formidable 
weapon, sometimes eight feet long, armed at one end with a spike, 
at the other with a chisel-shaped blade for cleaning the plough ; 
and on occasion would make a very good substitute for a spear. 
But the six hundred men have always taxed the credulity of the 
commentators, who have had recourse to various rationalizing sub 
terfuges. Clericus, for example, explains that Shamgar did not kill 



* See Ewald, GVI. ii. p. 514 (cf. 449) = HI. ii. p. 317; No., Untersuch,, p. 180; 
cf. also We., Comp., p. 217 f. ; Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 166 (meant to replace Abime- 
lech, the latest addition to the book). t We., Comp., p. 218 n. 

J Beth-anath in Galilee, Jud. i 33 ; Beth-anoth in Judah, Jos. ij 59 ; Anathoth 
near Jerusalem ; the modern Alnata on the Lebanon (see above, p. 52). $ We. 

|| Bochart adduces in illustration, //. vi. 132-135, and Nonnus, Dionys., xx. 315 ff. ; 
cf. Eustath. on //., I.e. 



106 JUDGES 

six hundred men with his own hand, but headed a peasants revolt 
in which so many Philistines fell.* And he too delivered Israel] 
see on 2 16 . The form of the expression of itself would arouse the 
suspicion that the introduction of Shamgar was an afterthought.f 

Whether Shamgar is the original hero of this story may be doubted; 
Jud. 5 6 certainly suggests no such deliverance. The similarity of the exploit 
to those of David s Gibborim has been often observed (e.g. by Schm.). The 
resemblance to the slaughter of the Philistines at Lehi by Shammah ben Age 
(2 S. 23 nf -) is particularly striking; and the conjecture may not seem too 
hazardous that the feat of David s comrade has been ascribed, perhaps partly 
in consequence of the similarity of the names, to the Shamgar of 5 , of whom 
nothing was known. Cf. also Jud. I5 14ff - (Samson at Lehi). With the name 
Shamgar we may perhaps compare Sangar, king of Gargamis (then the chief 
city of the Ilittite country) in the days of Asurnasirpal and Salmanassar II. 
(gth cent. B.C.) ; J cf. also Samgar-nebo Jer. 39 :5 . There was a kingdom San- 
gara on the upper Tigris; a river Sangarius in Asia Minor (//. iii. 187, xvi. 
719; Strabo, xii. p. 543; Ptol., v. I, 6). The similarity of the names may be 
purely accidental; on the other hand it may be evidence of the movements of 
population in these regions. AnatJi\ is represented in an Egyptian stele in 
the British Museum, sitting, holding shield anil javelin in the right hand, 
while with the left she brandishes a battle axe;|| in other places she appears 
on horseback similarly armed, ^[ or sitting upon a lion.** That she was espe 
cially worshipped by the Ilittites (E. Meyer) is not indisputable. In what 
relation this goddess stands to the Babylonian Aiitti is not certain; see 
Schrader, ZDMG. xxvii. p. 404, and, against him, E. Meyer, ib. xxxi. p. 716 ff. 
The evidence given by the Amarna tablets of long and profound Babylonian 
influence in Palestine at an early period makes it probable that they are not 
independent. ft The form of the name nj? p -\yy? is unusual; the conjecture 
that it is abbreviated for pj; % tay p (Baethgen, p. 141) is inadmissible (X6., 
ZDMG. xlii. 479); cf. rather -nn p. ipsn -o^a] the abs. probably ic^r, a 
common form of tioi. instrnin., Sta. 272 a, cf. Barth, Nominalbildiing, p. 262. 
Descriptions in J7. Kclim, xxv. 2; Wayyiqra rab., 29; Abulw., quoting 
R. Sherira; Maundrell (1697) in Early Travels in Pal., eel. Wright, 1848, 
p. 475 f.; Rob., 7? A 2 , iii. 62; esp. Schumacher, " Der arab. Pflug," ZDPV. 
xii. p. 160 f.; Post, PEF. Qn. St. 1891, p. 112-114. 

* Similarly a Lyra, al. f Bertheau. 

% Tiele, Babyl.-Assyr. Gesch., p. 175, 189 f., 197 f., 200 f. 

$ Frequently mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions; W. M. Miiller, Asien it. 
Europa, p. 279; Lrman, Aegypten, p. 682; also in an Amarna letter, PSD A., June 
1888, p. 569. || Wilkinson, Anct. Egypt., ed. Birch, iii. p. 236. 

U Lepsius, Denkmiiler, Abth. iii. pi. 138. 
** De Vogue, Melanges d archeol. orient., p. 47. 

ft On Anath see further, De Vogue, Jour. Asiat., 1867, p. 125 ff. = Melanges 
d archeol. orient., 41 ff. ; Baethgen, Heitrage, 52 f. 



III. 3I-IV. 107 

IV. Deborah and Barak deliver Israel from the Canaanites ; 
the defeat and death of Sisera. 

LITERATURE. G. A. Cooke, The History and Song of Deborah, 1892. 

The Israelites again offend Yahvveh, who gives them into the 
power of Jabin, the Canaanite king of Hazor, and Sisera, his gen 
eral, for twenty years (4 1 " 3 ). Deborah, a prophetess, instigates 
Barak to take the field against Sisera (v. 4 9 ). He raises Zebulun 
and Naphtali and occupies Mt. Tabor. Sisera, advancing against 
him through the plain, is attacked and routed, and his army cut to 
pieces (v. 10 16 ). Sisera escapes on foot to the tent of Jael, who 
conceals him in the tent and kills him while he sleeps (v. 17 22 ). 
Jabin is subdued (v. 23 ^). 

The Song of Deborah, ch. 5 2 31 , is a triumphal ode, celebrating 
the victory of the Israelites under the lead of Deborah and Barak 
over Sisera and the kings of Canaan, and the death of Sisera by 
the hand of Jael. The poem is in places obscure or unintelligible, 
in consequence chiefly of corruption of the text ; but its general 
tenor is clear. By the vividness of every touch, and especially by 
the elevation and intensity of feeling which pervades it, it makes 
the impression of having been written by one who had wit 
nessed the great events which it commemorates.* The prose 
narrative, 4* ", also gives an account of a rising of Israelite tribes 
instigated by Deborah and led by Barak, and of the defeat and 
death of Sisera. The relation of this narrative to the Song must 
be our first inquiry. 

The chief points of difference between the two are these: i. 
In the poem the kings of Canaan assemble to battle (v. 19 ). 
Sisera is evidently at their head, the greatest king among them 
(v. 20 ). In his palace the queen-mother, whose ladies-in-waiting 
are princesses (v. 29 ), sits expecting his return (v. 28 " 30 ).! In the 
prose narrative, ch. 4, Sisera is only the general of Jabin king of 
Hazor (v. 7 - 17 ), who in v. 2 - 23 - 24 (D) is even called king of Canaan. 
2. In ch. 5 all the tribes around the Great Plain Ephraim, 
Benjamin, Machir (Manasseh), Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali 
join in the struggle, while the more remote tribes, Dan, Asher, 



* See Introduction to ch. 5, below. 

f In v. 30 some find mention of the queen ; see comm. there. 



IO8 JUDGES 

and even Reuben and Gilead beyond the Jordan, are bitterly 
reproached for selfishly standing aloof from the cause of all Israel. 
It is the uprising of a whole people. In ch. 4, on the other hand, 
Barak collects a force of ten thousand men out of Zebulun and 
Naphtali only.* 3. The most striking difference is in the descrip 
tion of Sisera s death. In 4-*, as he lies fast asleep on the ground 
in the tent, Jael with a hammer drives a tent-pin through his 
temples into the earth. In 5 " """, on the contrary, as he is stand 
ing at the door of the tent drinking milk from a bowl, Jael strikes 
him a crushing blow on the head, and he sinks dead at her feet.f 
Closer examination shows that the account in ch. 4 is not 
entirely self-consistent. Jabin king of Razor, or of Canaan, has 
really nothing to do with the story ; he takes no part in the strug 
gle, and only reappears in v. 17 and the editor s words at the end. 
Sisera is here, too, the real protagonist ; and that in this version 
of his story also he was originally represented as a king is clear 
from the fact that he has a residence city of his own, remote from 
Hazor. The topographical data of the chapter are conflicting, 
and make it impossible to form a consistent conception of the 
battle and the flight. The Israelites assemble at Kedesh in 
Naphtali, as if for an attack upon Hazor ; but march, peaceable 
and unmolested, by the gates of the enemy s capital to Mt. Tabor. 
Sisera advances against them from Harosheth (v. 13 ), and the battle 
takes place in the plain at the foot of the mountain. The routed 
Canaanites flee toward Harosheth, closely followed by the Israel 
ites (v. 1G ). Sisera escapes alone on foot to the encampment of 
Heber the Kenite near Kedesh (v. !7 cl. n ), many hours distant to 
the north, with Barak in hot pursuit. His flight took him straight 
through the territory of the tribes which were in arms, and past 
the very doors of his master s city. Why did he not take refuge 
within its walls rather than in the tent of a nomad ? 

* In 5 15 it seems that both Deborah and Barak belong to Issachar; while in 
ch. 4 Deborah s home is in the heart of Mt. Ephraim, and Barak s at Kedesh in 
N aphtali. The text of 5 15 , however, is too insecure to permit us to lay great stress 
upon this. 

t See in general, We., Hist, of Israel, p. 240-242 ; Comp., p. 220-223 ; Sta., G VI-. 
i. p. 178; Kue., //CO 2 , i. p. 345 f. ; Bu., Kicht. u. Sam., p. 104-106; Co., EM -., 
p. 93-95; W. R. Smith, OTJC-., p. 132; Wildeboer, Letter kunde dts Ouden ] er- 
bonds, p. 35-39. 



iv. 109 

These inconcinnities probably result, at least in part, from the 
combination of two narratives ; one an account of a war waged by 
Zebulun and Naphtali against Jabin of Hazor, the other of the war 
with Sisera king of Harosheth and his allies which is the subject of 
the Song of Deborah. The two have been superficially harmo 
nized at the most essential point by making Sisera the general of 
Jabin. An analysis of the chapter is scarcely possible ; nor can 
we say what common feature led to the incongruous union. 

The analysis is attempted by Bruston, " Les deux Jehovistes," Revue de 
Theol. et Philos., 1886, p. 35 f. (quoted by Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 70 n.) as 
follows : to the first Jehovist he ascribes . . . 4 2b - 3b - 4 - 9 (with minor traces of 
redaction in v. r - 9 ) ll)a /3- b - i- -i5a. ic 5 i-sia. to t h e second, 4 i- 2a, b a . 3b0. 3a [words 
corresponding to $> 15 ] 10a - u [defeat of Canaanites at Kedesh] 15b - 17 -^ 5 31b . 
If v. 17b is not an editorial addition, Heber must belong to the story of Jabin 
(Bu., Co.), and as Jael unquestionably belongs to that of Sisera, it might be 
conjectured that in making her Heber s wife the writer who combined the 
two stories had attempted to harmonize them by an artifice similar to that by 
which Sisera was made Jabin s general; and it might be further surmised 
that in the original story Jabin met at the tents of Heber a fate like that 
which overtook Sisera at the hand of Jael. But all this is mere conjecture. 

The war of Zebulun and Naphtali against Jabin, king of Hazor, 
and his allies is recounted in Jos. n 1 " 9 , where it is magnified into 
the conquest of all the northern Canaanites by Joshua and all 
Israel, in the same way in which the victory of Judah and Simeon 
over Adoni-zedek (Adoni-bezek) of Jerusalem (Jud. i 4 " 7 ) is elabo 
rated in Jos. 10 into the account of Joshua s conquest of all 
Southern Canaan. We may surmise that the story of Jabin, of 
which we have the fragmentary remains in Jud. 4 Jos. n, came 
from the same source from which Jud. i and the kindred frag 
ments in Jos. were derived (J).* Too little is left of it to make a 
reconstruction possible ; but it is a not improbable conjecture that 
in its original connexion this story formed a chapter in the account 
of the conquest of Northern Canaan, corresponding to the taking 
of Hebron by Caleb and of Bethel by Joseph, the positive com 
plement of Jud. i 30 - 33 . The story of Sisera in ch. 4, after the 
elimination of the elements derived from that of Jabin, gives us a 
number of details which are not found in ch. 5 ; viz., the name of 

* Bu., Richt. 11. Sam., p. 66 ff. 



I 10 JUDGES 

Deborah s husband, Lapidoth; her home, between Bethel and 
Ramah ; * Barak s father s name, Abinoam, and his residence, 
Kedesh in Naphtali ; | Sisera s city, Harosheth ha-goyim ; his 
chariotry ; the position of the Israelites before the action, at 
Tabor. In the description of Sisera s end there is both a close 
resemblance and a striking difference between the two versions. 
Wellhausen, $ W. R. Smith, and others think that 4- originated 
in a prosaic misunderstanding of 5 2(i (see comm. on the vv.). It 
would not follow, however, that ch. 4 is merely a bald prose ver 
sion of ch. 5-|| Dependence on the poem, in this and other 
particulars, does not exclude the use of other sources of tradition, 
from which the details mentioned above may have been derived ; 
and there is no substantial reason to doubt that the basis of ch. 4 
is an old prose story of Sisera, which, though not rivalling the 
Song of Deborah in antiquity, is not conspicuously inferior to 
the other stories in the book. 

It is an interesting question, and one the solution of which, 
if it could be reached, would be of considerable importance, 
whether the prose narrative was originally prefixed to the Ode as 
an introduction, perhaps in such a collection as the Scpher 
ka-yashar, in the manner familiar to us in the great Arab col 
lections. There are no very decisive considerations on either 
side ; on the whole, the impression which ch. 4 makes upon me 
is unfavourable to this hypothesis. From what source the story of 
Sisera in ch. 4 is derived can hardly be determined.^ It is intro 
duced in the usual way (4 1 " 3 ) ; the close is found in 4 -- ; the 
chronological note, naturally, in 5"-. 

1-3. The Israelites again offend Yahweh; he gives them 
into the power of Jabin, king of Canaan, who cruelly oppresses 
them for twenty years. The regular introduction ; the stories of 



* This trait is, however, probably introduced by a later hand; see on vA 

t Perhaps this, too, is an error. J Conip., p. 222. 

$ OTJC*-., p. 132; Sta., GVIi. i. p. 178 n. 

|| " Eine Reproduction, die die speziellen Ziige verwischt und verfalscht ; " We., 
Pro! 2 ., p. 251. The converse opinion of Vernes and others, that the poem is 
derived from the prose narrative, see below, Introduction to ch. 5. 

U For E we might point to nto^J ntt N v. 4 (cf. Holzinger, Einl. in den Hexatetich, 
p. 209 f.), and v". am v.!5 (i S. y 10 &c.). 



IV. i-3 III 

Jabin and Sisera are combined and harmonized by making Sisera 
the general of Jabin. 1. Cf. 2 11 3 7 - - . Ehud being dead~\ post 
poned circumstantial clause, introducing a fact essential to the 
understanding of the situation.* The author s theory is that the 
judges restrained the people from displeasing Yahweh as long as 
they lived; cf. 3" and 2 19 (in contrast to 2 17 ). Observe that 
Shamgar is ignored ; the verse connects immediately with 3, just 
as 3 12 does with 3". 2. Yahweh sold them~\ 2 14 . Jabin, the 
king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor~] the tendency to turn the 
history of the Israelite tribes into the history of the Israelitish 
nation, which is conspicuous in the editing of the book,f shows 
itself in the transformation of Jabin king of Hazor (v. ir Jos. n 1 ) 
into the king of Canaan (v. 23 - 24 ) ; here the two are harmonized, 
Jabin the king of Canaan, who reigned, i.e., had his capital (Jos. 
i3 12 - 21 ), in Hazor. Hazor~\ has not been certainly identified; it 
must be looked for not far from Kedesh. \ Robinson fixed on 
Tell Khureibeh, about an hour south of Kedesh ; Wilson || and 
Gue"rin^[ prefer Khirbet Harreh, the ruins of a fortified place 
about the same distance SE. of Kedesh, overlooking the Huleh ; 
Conder and others would recognize the name in its Arabic equiva 
lent, Gebel Hadlreh, three miles SSW. of Kedesh, a little west of 
the modern village of Deishun.** His general was Sisera ] in 
this way the story of Sisera is harmonized with that of Jabin; 
see above, p. 108 f. Sisera did not reside in his master s capital, 
Hazor, but had a city of his own like an independent king. ft 
Harosheth ha-goyim~\ v. 13 - 16 . Now generally identified with 
el-Harithiyeh, in the narrows of the Kishon valley at the western 
end of the Great Plain ; see on v. 13 . 3. v. a , see 3 9 . Nine 
hundred iron chariots ] v. 13 i 19 ; by means of them he kept com 
mand of the plain; Jos. i7 16 - 18 (J). Thothmes III. counts nine 



* Dr 3 . 159; Ges. 25 141. 2, n. 2; $ 156. I. 2. f See above, p. 90. 

Cf. 2 K. I5 29 Jos. igSoff. i Mace, ii 6 "; Masius on Jos. n 1 . 
BR*. iii. p. 364-366. 

|| Jour. Sacred Lit., 1866, p. 245 ; see SWP. Memoirs, i. p. 237 f. 
IT Galilee, iii. p. 363 ff. ; so also Di. 

** See DB 2 . s. v. ; SWP. Memoirs, i. p. 204; Schiirer, GjV. i. p. 185 n. ; B;id 3 . 
p. 264. 

ft The text cannot mean that Jabin lived at Harosheth (Thdt., Ki., al. ; v. 
Drus.). 



112 JUDGES 

hundred and twenty-four chariots among the spoils of his victory 
in the battle of Megiddo.* He oppressed Israel cruelly for 
twenty years ] half a generation. 

2. The name Hazor appears in the list of Thothmes III. (No. 32) and in 
the Papyrus Anastasi (Miiller, Asien u. Europa, p. 173); also in the Amarna 
despatches. It was fortified by Solomon (i K. 9 15 ), as a place of command 
ing importance in Upper Galilee, and captured by Tiglath Pileser (734 B.C.; 
2 K. 15- )- The most definite clue for the determination of the site is given 
by r Mace. n (;7ff , cf. Fl. Jos., antt. xiii. 5, 6 f. 154-162; v. 5, I 199. 
Extensive ruins at Tell Ilarreh show that it was once a place of considerable 
size and strength; those at Tell el-Khureibeh are less important; at Gebel 
IJadlreh none have been discovered. The last-named site perhaps best agrees 
with the indications in I Mace. No great stress can be laid on the similarity 
of the name; for had ireh is a common Arabic appellative ( sheepfold, pen ). 
The relation of the Jabin of our text to the one in Jos. 1 1, and the question 
how Ilazor, which was totally destroyed by Joshua, is here again the centre 
of the Canaanite power in the north, are much discussed by older commenta 
tors beginning with Thclt. (^. 10). The common solution is, that Hazor had 
been rebuilt (Thdt., a Lyra, a Lap., Masius, Schm., Cler., al. mu.), and that 
the Jabin here named was a successor, and probably descendant, of the Jabin 
of Jos. II. The title king of Canaan gives a good deal of trouble to the 
conscientious old commentator Schmicl, who justly observes that Canaan was 
not a political unity, under one king; cf. also Cler. >nD D] the form of the 
name is not Canaanite, and probably not Semitic; we may perhaps compare the 
numerous Hittite names ending in -sir a (JJtasira, Jlfaurasira, &c., Miiller, 
Asit n u. Europa, p. 332). It is found also in the list of Nethinim (native 
temple-slaves) Ezra 2 53 Neh. 7 55 . nprna] 8 1 i S. 2 16 Ez. 34*. 

4, 5. Deborah. 4. The verse belongs to the old story of 
Sisera. Deborah was the moving spirit in the Israelite rising 
which overthrew Sisera (ij"- 12 - 15 4- yf - 14 ). A prophetess ] in the 
older sense of the word, an inspired woman; cf. Ex. 15 - . 
Impelled by the spirit of Yahweh, she roused her countrymen to 
fight (4* f 5 12 ), and in his name promised them victory. We may 
compare the German Veleda, who instigated and supported 
Civilis in the attempt to throw off the Roman yoke,f and, in 



* Brugsch, Gesch. Aegyptcm, 1877, p. 303. 

t Ka virgo nationis Hructerae late imperitabat, vetere apud Germanos more, 
quo plerasque feminarum fatidicas, et, augescente superstitione, arbitrantur deas. 
Tuncque Veledae auctoritas adolevit ; nam prosperas Gerrnanis res et excidium 
legionum praedixerat. Tac., hist., iv. 61, cf. Germ. 8. 



IV. 3-5 H3 

more modern times, Joan of Arc.* Wife of Lapidoth~\ cf. 2 K. 
22 14 Ex. I5 20 Lu. 2 30 . The name has given occasion to all manner 
of conceits, among which we need only mention that which finds 
in Lapidoth ( torches, flashes f) another name of Barak ( light 
ning ). \ Was judging Israel~\ so the verb is interpreted in v. 5 ; 
the latter verse is, however, secondary. In the connexion of the 
original narrative (v. 4-6 ) we should render, in accordance with the 
constant usage of the book, she delivered Israel, vindicated it; 
see on 3 10 . 5. A circumstantial addition by a latter editor, who 
took the verb in v. 4 in the sense of judge, give judicial decisions, 
describing the way in which she exercised her judicial functions : 
she did not, like Samuel (i S. 7 16f ),go on a circuit, but the 
Israelites from all quarters resorted to her at her home. She 
used to sit under the Deborah Palni\ as arbitress, to settle dis 
putes (v. b cf. i S. 22). || Others, she dwelt under it (cf. 2 K. 
22 M ) ;^[ but it is unlikely that the author represented even the 
prophetess-judge as having her house or tent beneath the holy 
tree. There was a Tomb of Deborah below Bethel (Gen. 35 8 E), 
where, according to the ancestral legend, Deborah the nurse of 
Rebekah was buried. The name of the Mourning Tree (Allon- 
bacuth) under which it stood was explained of the mourning for 
Deborah. This tree is in all probability the same with the 
Deborah Palm,** the origin of whose name the writer evidently 
connects with Deborah, the prophetess and judge. This associa 
tion of names is probably responsible for the idea that Deborah s 
home was in the heart of the mountains of Ephraim. From 5 15 
it would appear that she was of the tribe of Issachar ; and both 
ch. 4 and 5 naturally lead us to think that her home was in or 
near the plain of Jezreel. The conjecture is then not remote that 
it was at Daberath (\afiupw6, Aa/3eipa) Jos. iQ 1 - 2I 28 , the modern 

* Paulus, Reville, Cass. f Of lightning, Ex. 20". 

J The identification is ancient midrash ; see Yalqut, Ki., RLbG., old Cath. 
comm.; recently Hilliger, cf. We., Bu., Cooke. 

These verses seem to stand in the same relation to v. 15 in which Jud. 4 5 does 
to v. 4 . || So RLbG., Abarb., Cler., Reuss, al. 

H Ki., Schm., a Lap., Stud., Ba. ; Ke., Be. confusedly combine the two inter 
pretations. 

** Abarb., Tuch, Ew., De., Di. Ew. plausibly combines it also with the Tabor 
Tree of i S. TO* ( G VI. iii. p. 31). 
I 



1 14 JUDGES 

Deburlyeh at the western foot of Tabor. The similarity of the 
names is at least striking.* Bcht<ecn Ramah and Bethel^ in the 
same region in which Samuel afterwards judged Israel (i S. 7 1Cf )- 
The Benjamite Ramah is meant : the modern er-Ram, two hours 
north of Jerusalem. f On Bethel see on i 2;>> . The Israelites 
went up to her for justice^ to have their causes decided in 
accordance with the common law of Israel. 

4. Deborah^ in Ileb. means .Bee ; cf. the Greek name MAto-cra. J Animal 
names of women are not uncommon in the O.T.; Ba. collects the following: 
Zipporah (little bird), Iloglah (grouse), Iluldah (weasel), Eglah (heifer), 
Rachel (ewe), Jael (wild-goat). nxoj nil s] cf. xno ir^x 6 s , M^ U->N 19* 2O 4 , 
jro ts^N Lev. 2 1 9 , njir nc N Jud. II 1 I6 1 , S jS^fl nsyx ig 1 , njnSx nrx 2 S. I4 5 &c. 
(cf. Engl. colloq., widow woman ), nSina m> J, &c. Apposition of genus and 
species, Ges. 25 131. 2 a. The other prophetesses named in the O.T. are 
Miriam (Ex. I5 20 ), Huldah (2 K. 22 14 ), Noadiah (Neh. 6 14 ); cf. Anna, 
Luke 2 K . Megillak, 14* enumerates seven. niTflS nc*s] the only natural 
interpretation is that which takes ? as the name of Deborah s husband (cf. 

2 K. 22 U ). Men s names with fern, endings are not uncommon in the O.T. ; 
cf. Naboth, i K. 2i lff -. The translation, ein Weib von Feuergeist (Cass.; 
similarly Ar. Montanus, Fr. Bo., al.) is pure midrash ; cf. Megillah, I4 a , 

Yalqut, in /of., and the Rabb. commentators. nasu NM] f$l and apparently 
all verss., judicabat ; and this interpretation is presupposed by v. 5 . If, how 
ever, the verb is synonymous with pe-in as in 2 1G - 18 3 9f - io lf - (see on 3 10 ), 
which was no doubt the meaning in the original connexion, we require not 
the ptcp., but the histor. pf., Ji nasir N^n. NM resuming the subject after the 
two appositive phrases; cf. Gen. 3 12 Jud. 7* &c. 5. njtt V x^ni] the words 
admit either interpretation, sat or dwelt ; for the first cf. 6 11 I S. I4 2 I K. I3 14 
I9 4 ; for the second; Jud. 4- IO 1 I K. 5 5 2 K. 22 14 &c. (Ba.). Doubtless the 
author meant that her home was in the neighbourhood of the holy tree. 
mm inn nnn] Verss., under Deborah s palm, mm inn : f?l inn (Jer. io r h ). 
The intention of this pronunciation and accentuation || is not manifest. There 
is no evidence that ish is a collective, palm grove (Bo., i. p. 458 f.). has 
some other curious information about Deborah; she lived in Ataroth of 
Dcborah,^f had palm trees at Jericho, gardens at Ramah, &c. ; cf. also 
Mcgillah, 14*. Rania!i\ lay on the road north from Jerusalem beyond 
Gibeah (l9 13f -), and is elsewhere named in connexion with Gibeon and Beeroth 



* On Deburiyeh see SWP, Memoirs, 1.363. Cf. Niebuhr, Reconstellation dcs 
Dcboraliedes, \>. 1 1 f. 

t Rob., />A" 2 . i. 576; Guerin, Samarie, i. \>. 199-204; SWP. Memoirs, iii. p. 13, 

J Freq. title name of priestesses of Demeter, Rhea, Artemis. 

$ The constr. of inn docs not occur in the O.T. 

|| With the disjunctive cf. Gen. I4 13 ; Wickcs, Prose Accents, p. 50 f. 

H Modern Atara, midway between er-Ram and el-Birch. 



IV. 5-7 U5 

(Jos. iS 25 ), Mizpeh and Geba (i K. I5 21f - Is. io 20 ). See also Fl. Jos., antt. 
viii. 12, 3 303; OS 2 . 2871; Jerome, Comm. in Has. 5 8 ; in Sop/ion. I 1 " * -. It 
was rightly identified with er-Ram by Brocardus (ca. 1283), Descriptio, etc., 
c. 7; Eshtori Parchi (fol. 68 b ), and other mediaeval Jewish travellers. BflPD 1 ?] 
on the various senses of this word see Batten, JBL. xi. p. 206-210. 

6-9. Deborah calls on Barak to take the field against 
Sisera. 6. The original sequel of v. 4 . Barak ben Abinoam~\ 
the name Barak (Lightning) occurs in Palmyrene and Sabaean 
inscriptions, as well as among the Carthaginians (Barcas) . From 
Kedesh in Naphtati~\ Jos. ig 57 ; "in Galilee, in the Highlands of 
Naphtali " (2O 7 ) ; the modern Qades, west of the Huleh.* This is, 
as has been remarked above, a natural rendezvous for a rising 
against Jabin of Hazor, but hardly for a campaign against the 
Canaanites in the Great Plain ; and makes insuperable difficulties 
in the account of Sisera s flight. Doth not Yahweh, the God of 
Israel, command thee ?~\ now, by me, his prophet. The question 
which compels the hearer himself to make the affirmation is more 
forcible than the affirmation of the speaker ; cf. v. u 6 M Jos. i 9 i S. 
io 1 &c. Yahweh the God of Israel^ 5 3 - 5 6 8 n 21 - 23 2 i 3 cf. Ex. 
5 1 S4 23 J os - 2 4 2 " 3 Is- J 7 C 2ll7 j frequent in Jer.f March on Mt. 
Tabor } Tabor (8 18 ), now Gebel et-Tor, is at the head of the 
northern arm of the Great Plain, the southern end of a low range 
of hills. It is a symmetrical, rounded mountain (A.o<o? /moroaS?/s, 
Polyb., v. 70), presenting from the south the aspect of a segment 
of a sphere, from the north that of a truncated cone. The 
summit is an oblong platform nearly three thousand feet from 
east to west, and about thirteen hundred in its greatest trans 
verse diameter. Its situation and natural strength made it a 
most advantageous position for the Israelites in a war with 
the Canaanites of the Plain. \ Ten thousand men of Naphtali 
and Zebulun~\ that the levy is made from these tribes rather than 
from those nearer to the plain, and from these only, in contrast 
with ch. 5, would agree better with the story of Jabin than with 
that of Sisera. 7. And I will draw oiit to thee\ Yahweh, by his 

* Rob., Z?A >2 . iii. p. 366-369; Gu6rin, Galilee, ii. p. 355-362; SWP. Memoirs, i. 
p. 226-230; Bad 3 , p. 264. f Not in Amos or Hosea. 

J See Burckhardt, Travels in Syria, 1822, p. 332-335 ; Rob., BR 2 . ii. p. 351-360; 
Guerin, Galilee, i. p. 143-163; SWP. Memoirs, i. p. 388-391. 



Il6 JUDGES 

prophet, promises to lead the enemy on to his ruin ; cf. Ex. i4 4 . 
Sisera s march from Harosheth against the Israelites at Tabor 
would bring him into the valley of the Kishon (v. 13 ), whose 
streams, swollen perhaps by a sudden flood, turned defeat into 
disaster (5 21 ). On the field of battle, see on 4 1:! and 5-*. Jab in s 
general^ the words, and the corresponding clause, v. l b , are not 
an interpolation by I) or a still later hand ; * but were introduced 
by the older editor who combined the stories of Jabin and Sisera.f 
See above, p. 109. The title here used is given in the history of 
the Israelite kingdoms to an officer who was at the head of what 
we should call the national militia. He was charged with the 
enumeration and enrollment of the men liable to military service 
(2 S. 24 2 ), raised the levies when war broke out, and commanded 
them in the absence of the king (e.g. 2 S. 1 1 ) . The same sys 
tem doubtless existed in the neighbouring states, for example, in 
Aram-zobah (2 S. io 1(; ), Aram (2 K. 5 1 ), J &c. His chariot corps 
and his troops ] the common mass of footmen in distinction from 
the chariot corps, which was composed of men of rank and wealth 
who were trained in arms. 8. Barak accepts the commission only 
on condition that Deborah accompany him into the field. The 
presence of the prophetess will not only ensure to him divine 
guidance (v. 14 ), but give confidence to him and his followers. 
9. Deborah answers that she will, of course, go with him ; but 
forewarns him that the chief glory of the victory will not fall to 
him, but to a woman. Howbeit thou wilt not gain the glory in the 
expedition on which thou art going ] the rendering of our version, 
the journey . . . shall not be for thine honour, suggests, if it 
does not distinctly express, a sense quite foreign to the text ; 
Deborah was not dissuading him from going. Into the power of 
a woman~\ not Deborah, as numerous scholars understand, influ 
enced partly by an erroneous interpretation of this verse, partly 
by ch. 5, in which the fame of Deborah does indeed eclipse that 
of Barak ; but Jael, || as is quite clear in the sequel of the story, 

* Be., Di. f Kuc., Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 67, 107. 

J Cf. also Gen. 2i---">- 26- (Philistines of Gerar). See Sta., G 17. i. p. 276. 

Jerome (ep. 65, i), Ki., Ahendana, Cler., Hitz., Reuss. 

|| Orig., Ambros., Ephrem, Tanch., Schin., Ba., Be., Ke. Unsatisfactory fusion 
or confusion of the two interpretations, Fl. Jos., an ft. v. 5, 3 $ 203 cl. \J 209; RLbG., 
Abarb., Cass., Octtli. 



IV. 7-9 I I 7 

4 17ir . The words of Deborah are generally understood to be a 
reproof of Barak s lack of faith and courage. Instead of accept 
ing with alacrity the divine mandate, he insisted that she, a 
woman, should take the field with him ; as a penalty, the glory 
which he should have gained by the death of Sisera is taken from 
him and given to a woman.* This interpretation is not, however, 
required by the text or suggested by the context, in which there is 
no sign of disapproval. That Sisera did not fall on the field, but 
was killed in his flight by Jael, was a well-established feature of 
the story ; it is natural that the author should make the prophetess 
foretell this at the outset, and unnecessary to construe the pre 
diction as even an implicit condemnation. It is not at all clear 
that the writer regarded Barak s urgent desire to have the proph 
etess with him as blameworthy. She went with Barak to KedesJi\ 
where he mustered his clans. As the story now stands, she 
accompanied him from the vicinity of Bethel to Kedesh in 
Naphtali, a journey of four or five days. There is no great 
intrinsic improbability in this ; but it is very likely, on other 
grounds, that in the original form of the narrative the homes of 
the two leaders were not so far apart. 

6. Kedesh of Naphtali f] also called Kedesh of Galilee, to distinguish it 
from other places of the same name (Kadesh or Kedesh, i.e. Holy Place). 
Kadesh on the Orontes has already been mentioned (see on 3 3 ). i Chr. 6 57 
(EV. 6 72 ), in a list of Levitical cities, names a Kedesh in Issachar, in con 
junction with Daberath (Deburiyeh) ; and We. (Comp., p. 221) and others 
have conjectured that in the redaction of our story this has been confused 
with the more famous place of the name in Naphtali; but the corresponding 
list in Jos. 2i 28 (cf. ig 20 ) gives the name Kishion. There is a Tell Abu 
Qudeis on the southern side of the Great Plain, midway between Ta annuk 
and Leggun, about a mile north of the road between them, which is perhaps the 
Kedesh of Issachar, and a Khirbet Qadish near the southern end of the Sea of 
Galilee, in the territory of Naphtali. nix xSn] Jos. I 9 Ru. 2 9 . For this use of 
N^n introducing in the form of a question a statement which commands assent, 
cf. Dt. ii 30 I S. 2O 37 Mi. 3 1 , Ges. 25 150. 2, n. i. The verss. freq. render it 
by ISov, ecce, &c. The pf. refers not to an injunction given by Moses (Dt. 2O 17 ; 
Ra., after Mechilta), or to an earlier communication from Deborah (Ki.), but 

* Fl. Jos., Jerome, Ki., Schm., Stud., Ba., Be., Ke., al. 

t On Kedesh in Naphtali see further 2 K. is 29 i Mace. iiG3-74 t pj, y OS-) ij_ j v _ 
2, 3 ; cf. ii. 18, i ; antt. xiii. 5, 6 154 ; OS 2 . 27153. See Eli Smith, Bibl. Sacra, 1843, 
p. n; 1849, p. 374-376. 



Il8 JUDGES 

to the command which follows; cf. 6 14 (Abarb., Cler.). rotPDl V?] 5 14 2O 87 ; 
transitively, v. 7 In describing military operations the vb. seems to be nearly 
equivalent to BC fl (see on 2O 37 ) and to be construed in a similar way; cf. 
3 C32 s (Chr. in the older books SN or hy), 2 nnSj, &c.; cf. de Dieu on 
Jer. 5 8 ; Stud, on Jud. 4"; Ges. T/ies. s. v. 7. \"OS Sl] transitively, draw; 
with ace. pers. Ps. 28* Job 4O- 5 . uinn] mass, multitude ; equivalent to 
DJ? v. 1:! , the common soldiers; Ez. 3i 2 32 20 . 9. ^3 DSN] limiting a preced 
ing statement or correcting an erroneous inference which might be drawn 
from it; cf. Am. 9 8 Nu. I3 28 Dt. 15* I S. I 5 . It may here be merely a 
check to extravagant expectations; it is not necessary to supply in thought, 
"in consequence of my going" (Ki., al.). imNsn rvnn xS] lit. thy glory 
that which is naturally anticipated from success in such an enterprise w ill 
not come, be achieved (Schm., Ba.). The interpretation, the fame will not be 
thine (victoria non reputabitur tibi 3L ; Lth., Stud., Reuss, Kitt., al. mu.), is 
too free, and accentuates too strongly the antithesis between this and the 
following clause. 

10-16. The battle ; rout of the Canaanites. 10. In accord 
ance with Deborah s direction (v. c ), Barak assembled the tribes 
of Zebulun and Naphtali at Kedesh. There went up at his back 
ten thousand mcn~\ of these tribes. Lit. at his feet ; cf. 8" Ex. 
ii* i K. 20 10 &c. And Deborah went with him } to Mt. Tabor 
(v. 12 ). The words probably belong to the old story of Sisera ; 
see on v. 9 . 11. The narrator pauses here, before going on to 
describe the battle, to say what was necessary about the scene of 
Sisera s death ; where Heber s tent was pitched, and how these 
Kenite nomads came to be so far in the north, in order that the 
story might not be interrupted in its midcourse by these explana 
tions. The verse is therefore in a suitable place,* and not super 
fluous by the side of v. 17 ; there is no reason for regarding it as an 
addition of the last editor. | It seems, however, to have come from 
the story of Jabin ; see below. The words, the sons of Hobab, 
Moses* father-in-law, may be a gloss borrowed from i lc or the source 
of ch. i ; but the Kenite is original here. \ Hebe r the Kenite had 
separated from Kaiii\ from the body of his tribe, which roamed 
in the region south of Judah ; see on i" . Heber occurs also as 



* See Schm., Cler., He., Hu. 

f Matthes, Th. T. xv. p. 609, Kuu., U CO 2 , i. p. 367. 
J Sou Hu., Kicht. u. Sam., p. 68, against Mey., /.A TW. i. p. 137 n. 3. 
$ On the wandering branches of Arab clans (tawaif), see W. R. Smith, Kin 
ship and Afarriagt, p. 37. 



IV. 10-13 119 

the name of a. clan of Asher (Gen. 46" Nu. 26 45 ), as well as in 
Judah (i Chr. 4 18 ).* And pitched his tent as far as the Tree of 
Basaanim, which was by Kcdesh~\ cf. Gen. 13". This was the 
northern limit of his wanderings, and the site of his encampment 
at the time of our story. The place is named in Jos. iQ 33 on the 
boundary of Naphtali, but in a connexion which does not enable 
us to determine its situation.! Heber the Kenite appears, there 
fore, to belong originally to the story of Jabin ; see below on v. 17 
and 5 24 . 12 f. Sisera, being informed of Barak s movements, 
assembles his forces, including nine hundred iron chariots (v. 3 - 7 
i 19 ), and marches from Harosheth to the Kishon. Harosheth 
ha-goyim~\ commonly explained, " the Harosheth of the (foreign) 
nations " ; cf. Gel il ha-goyim, Is. S 23 9* ; possibly in distinction from 
a neighbouring Israelite Harosheth. \ The place is mentioned only 
in this chapter (v.-- 13- 16 ) . It must be sought, not in the vicinity of 
Hazor, or elsewhere in Upper Galilee, || but in or near the Plain, 
where alone the chariots would be an effective arm ; cf. Jos. i y 16 " 18 
Jud. i 19 . Thomson^ identified it with the modern Tell Harothieh 
(Harithiyeh), in the narrows of the Kishon valley commanding 
the entrance to the Great Plain from the Plain of Acre. The 
similarity of the names is more striking than conclusive ; but the 
situation is not unsuitable, though somewhat remote.** The 
Kishon valley ] v. 7 5 21 i K. i8 40 Ps. 83 9t . The Kishon, after 
the Jordan the most considerable stream in the land of Israel, 
drains the Great Plain, flowing in the main parallel to the range 

* M. Jastrow, Jr., suggests that this clan name may be in some way connected 
with the Habiri of the Amarna correspondence ; see JDL. xi. p. 120. Miiller 
(Asien u. Europa, p. 174) thinks that the name Kenite here (cf. 5 24 ) has nothing to 
do with the nomadic Kenites of the South, but is derived from a town Kin, which 
according to the Egyptian inscriptions lay in the Great Plain (cf. p. 153) . 

t Conder (Tent Work, ii. p. 132) suggests Khirbet Bessum, on the plateau west 
of the Sea of Galilee, not far from Qadlsh (Kedesh) ; see below on v. 22, p. 125 f. 
Cf. G. A. Smith, Hist. Geography, p. 395 f. 

J Ba. ; more probably goyim originally a particular tribe or people (Duhm). 

Cler. || Van de Velde, Kiepert, Kneucker, al. 

H Land and Book, 1863, ii. p. 143 f. ; 2 ed. ii. p. 215 ff. 

** The conjecture has been accepted, with more or less confidence, by most 
recent writers ; Be., Ba., Conder, Socin, G. A. Smith, al. It is only possible, how 
ever, if the story of Sisera be separated from that of Jabin ; if the chapter is 
treated as a unit, Harosheth must be sought, as Van de Velde and others rightly 
argue, in Upper Galilee. 



120 JUDGES 

of Carmel, and emptying into the sea at Haifa. Its most remote 
southern affluents come from the neighbourhood of Gemn ; the 
northern branch rises near el-Mezra ah, west of Mt. Tabor.* It is 
the latter that is meant here. 14. Deborah gives the signal for 
the attack, and the assurance of victory. f Budde, comparing 3 L 8 
(Jos. lo 8 - 125 S 18a ), suspects that i4 a is an addition of D, which in 
turn has become the occasion of secondary additions in & in v. 8 . 
The verse is, however, in entire accord with the relations between 
the prophetess and the chieftain in v. Gf -, and in form corresponds 
closely to v. (i . Hath not Yahweh gone out before thee .?] the 
question, as in v. <; , a more forcible assertion. Gone out ; to battle, 
as often, see note on 2 15 (p. 73). Yahweh is a mighty warrior (Ex. 
15" ?s. 24 8 ) ; his name is Yahweh of hosts, the god of the embattled 
ranks of Israel (i S. 1 7 45 ) ; in the sacred chest (ark) he accom 
panies them to the field ( i S. 4) ; he marches out for them, or 
with them, to battle (Hab. 3 13 Zech. 14" cf. Ps. 44 ) ; or comes 
storming from his ancient seats in tempestuous fury, discomfiting 
the foe and delivering his people (5 4t ; see comm. there). 
Barak, with his ten thousand men, rushed down to the plain, by 
his sudden onset apparently surprising Sisera upon ground unfa 
vourable to the manoeuvring of his chariots, which thus became a 
source of disorder and disaster. During Vespasian s campaign in 
Galilee (A.D. 67) the Jews, who had fortified the summit of 
Tabor, attempted to surprise the Roman cavalry in the plain 
under Placidus, but through his ruse the enterprise miscarried. \ 
15. Yahweh routed Sisera\ struck the foe with panic, threw them 
into confusion and flight; Fix. i4" 4 Jos. io " i S. 7 . Josephus 
supposes that their discomfiture was caused by a great storm (cf. 
$ M ). All the army ] v. !(I Ex. i4 - 4 &c. ; cf. other expressions v. - 1:! ; 
the mass of footmen in distinction from the chariot corps. At 
the point of the sword~\ see note on i 25 . The phrase appears in 
congruous with the verb and superfluous in the context ; it has 



* Rob., 7>A 2 . ii. p. 363-366; S\VP. Memoirs, i. p. 265 ff. 

f On women in battle among the Arabs see Doughty, Arabia Deserta, i. p. 61 ; 
cf. Ayesha at the Battle of the Camel, Muir, Caliphate, p. 361 ff., &c. 
| Fl. |os., b.j. iv. i, 8. 
$ Chytracus quotes Pindar (Nem. ix. 63), iv yap Aai/uopt oicri c/>d/3ois *euyoi/(ri K<U 



IV. 13-16 I2I 

perhaps been introduced here accidentally or unadvisedly from 
v. 1Gb . Sisera dismounted from his war-chariot^ being hard 
pressed by his pursuers and unable to extricate his chariot from 
the rout, perhaps entangled in the morasses of the Kishon or cut 
off by its streams (see on 5 21 ), he abandoned it, and escaped from 
the field on foot, alone. 16. The routed Canaanites, horse and 
foot, fled toward Harosheth ; Barak, pursuing them to the very 
gates of the city, made an utter end of them. There was not as 
much as one left~\ Ex. i4 28 ; not a single fugitive lived to reach 
safety within the walls. It is not intimated that the city itself 
was taken ; it may safely be inferred that it was not. 

10. SJPI] is not Hiph. (Ki., Schm.), but Qal; the subj. is not Barak (H, 
Lth., al.), but "ten thousand men" (3&). The sg. with plur. numeral 
subj. is unusual ; Ex. 32 28 Jud. 7 3 12 I S. 4 10 2 S. 24 15 are not precisely similar. 
See Roorda, ii. p. 361 f. vS.na] following at his heels; 8 5 Ex. n 8 I S. 2$ 27 
2 S. I5 17 - 18 &c.; equivalent to inns v. 14 . B"N ID^N mir;-] regularly we 
should have D^flSx as in v. 6 ; the other instances of this anomaly, according 
to the Massora, are Ex. 32 28 Job i 3 (twice), cf. man ID^N Gen. 24 G0 . It is 
perhaps only accidental; an abbreviation not properly resolved. 11. ~nDJ 
Gen. 138- ii- 1-* cf. id - 32 . 3 jyxa ^Stf] Baer J>N, as also in I2 11 - 12 . In cn>xa, 
2 is not the preposition (( L Jos. IQ 33 , OS 2 . 29402, 11 Jos. Jud., $&, Mas., Drus., 
Schm., Cler., AV., RV., and most moderns), in Saanim ; for in that case pSx 
would require the article, as in nma SB>NH i S. 22 6 3i 13 ; cf. also Jud. 6 11 
mcya irx nSxn, 9 6 Gen. 35* Jos. 24 26 &c. We must, therefore, take D jjrxa 
(2 radical) as genitive; cf. v. 5 Gen. 12 I3 18 14 358 Dt. ii 31 I S. io 3 and esp. 
Jud. 9 37 B^jjiyn pSx. In Jos. IQ 33 the name is written a^yxa, to which the 
Qere in Jud. 4 11 conforms. It is more probable, however, that the true form 
of the name is preserved in the text of Jud. (Kethib); cf. a^jyja; and on 
nouns with n suffix in general, Barth, Nominalbildung, p. 343 f. ; Suyuti, 
Muzhir, ii. p. 136. I 1 ^??] the punctuation discriminates SN, nSx, pSx from 
nVx, 1 iSt*; but in unpointed texts these could not be distinguished, nor can we 
put much confidence in the constancy of the traditional pronunciation in face 
of the bewildering inconsistency of the versions. Celsus {Hierobotanicon, 
i. p. 34 ff.) thought that the Massorites consistently distinguish terebinth 
( S N, pSs, nSx, n^x) from oak (?^N), and this theory has been generally 
accepted, though with no agreement in the distribution of the names; see 
J. D. Michaelis, Supplementa, p. 72 ff. ; Rosenmiiller, Bill. Alterthumsk., iv. 
p. 229 ff. ; Ges. Thes. p. 50 f. * There is no real foundation for the discrimi 
nation; the words signify in Aramaic tree simply; in Hebrew usually, if 
not exclusively, holy tree, as the place, and primitively the object of worship, 

* Against the whole theory, Lowth on Is. I 29 . 



122 JUDGES 

without regard to the species. The Deborah Tree (pSs Gen. 35) is a palm 
(Jud. 4 5 ), &c. See We., Prolegomena 1 , p. 248 n. = History of Israel, p. 238; 
Sta., GVI. i. 455. On holy trees in Palestine, Baudissin, Studien zn>- semit. 
Religionsgeschichte, ii. 143 ff., esp. 223 ff. trip PN ne vx] 3 1<J i K. 9-, cf. 
ay 2 S. 24!". 12. IT.TI] inclef. subj., Ges. 25 144. 3 b. n^] c. ace., 
Is. 7 1 . 13. p;vi] v. 10 ; call out and assemble by the war cry; cf. the passive 
(Ni.) 6 34f - l8 22i - I S. 14- &c. ay] soldiery, 986.37 an j often; here equivalent 
to pen v 7 ., njne v. 1G . Harosheth~\ at Sheikh Abrek the Galilean foot-hills 
project in a sort of bastion towards Carmel, forming a narrow pass through 
which the Kishon flows, the hills here rising some 350 feet above the bed of 
the stream.* About a mile and a half northwest of Sheikh Abrek, in the 
narrowest part of the pass, el-Harithiyeh lies on the side of the hill, which 
above it is covered with a fine oak forest. The Kishon at this point flows close 
to the rocky base of Carmel, on the opposite side of the pass, and here the 
main road must always have crossed the river. A stronghold at Ilarithiyeh 
would thus command the entrance to the Great Plain from the Plain of Acre, 
and the commercial highways which led through it. The situation of el-Hari- 
thiyeh is not incompatible with the conditions of the narrative in ch. 4, or 
with ch. 5 ; but the arguments by which Thomson supported the identification 
are far from decisive, and the similarity of the names may easily be accidental. 

14. aip] Up ! Summons to action; 5 1 2 7 8 20 - 21 Ex. 32 1 I K. 21" and often. 

Ml -c-N avn n?] the pronominal complement of the relative particle ne N is 
omitted, as commonly after antecedents denoting time at or during which; 
Dr., TBS. p. 149 n.; Ew. 331 c 3. T^sS NX 1 *] on the verb see note on 2 15 . 
The phrase is used of the leader, general, king, at the head of his forces, 9 39 
i S. 8- &c.; of Yahweh as the leader of Israel in war, 2 S. 5 24 cf. Dt. 9 :i 
( JflS naj) &c. 15. NiD D PN nin> arm] cen (subject always God) inspire 
with panic terrors, drive men beside themselves, so that they accomplish their 
own ruin. See, besides the examples cited in the text, Ex. 23-" 2 S. 22 15 
Ps. 144 . The object is generally the enemy in war; see, however, Dt. 2 15 . 
Before Jiarak~\ Jos. io 10 cf. i S. 7 10 . 2in <flS] the words cannot be joined to 
am in any sense which the usage of the phrase warrants; they are either 
miswritten for the following pin ijflS or borrowed from v. 16 . naanrn] chariot, 
wagon, 5 2S 2 K. 5 21 - 2(! 9 27 &c. (331 is usually collective, chariot-corps ). The 
name, with the thing, passed from the people of Palestine to the Egyptians 
(inarakabuti, Miiller, p. 301 ; above p. 38 n.). 16. Jin 13^ ... Sen] Jos. S 24 . 

inx -c; -isu-j N^] stronger than not one (ins -INITJ N 1 Ex. S 27 io 19 ); cf. 

The prepositional phrase is the logical subject of the verb, 



17-22. The death of Sisera. 17. Sisera escapes on foot to 
the tent of Jael. From v. 17a , especially when taken with v.", it 
is obvious that the narrator represented the tent of Jael as not 



* SWl . Afemoh s, i. p. 263. 



IV. 17-19 123 

very remote from the battle field. Verse 171 , on the other hand, 
taken with v. 11 , carries us to the vicinity of Hazor and Kedesh (in 
Naphtali, v. c ), forty or fifty miles away. The most probable solu 
tion of the difficulty appears to be the supposition that Heber the 
Kenite originally belonged to the story of Jabin ; Jael, to that of 
Sisera. In that case v. 17aa is derived from the latter source, v. 17b 
from the former. The words, the wife of the Heber of Kenite, 
are possibly from the same source as v. llb , and the conjecture may 
be hazarded that in the story of Jabin the wife of Heber played a 
part similar to that of Jael in the story of Sisera; see above, 
p. 109.* The alternative is to regard v. 11 and v. 17b as editorial 
additions ; but we should then still have to ask whence the editor 
had the names and why he introduced them here ; moreover, the 
editor (R) calls Jabin king of Canaan, not king of Hazor. 
There were friendly relations between Jabin king of Hazor and 
Heber the Kenite ] the nomads had not been victims of the op 
pression from which the Israelite peasants had suffered, and had 
not taken part in the rising of Naphtali. In the present con 
nexion the words explain why Sisera fled to the tent of Jael. 
18. Jael came out to meet him, as she saw him approaching. 
Walk in, my lord ; walk in to my tent ; have no fear] cf. Gen. 
i9 lf -. Unlike v. 17b , the natural inference from these words is, not 
that Sisera directed his steps to these tents to seek refuge in 
them, but that he came upon them in his flight and was induced 
by Jael to turn aside and conceal himself there. The illustra 
tions which the commentators have collected of the ceremonies 
with which a fugitive now claims protection at an Arab tent are in 
either case irrelevant. f She covered him up with the rug] or 
perhaps, tent curtain. The exact meaning of the word is un 
known ; the renderings proposed can only claim to be suitable to 
the context. 19. Give me a little drink of water] Gen. 24 43 
(J). She opened the milk-skin] the lamb or goat skin in which 

* In 5 24 the words "the wife of Heber the Kenite" are regarded by many 
critics, on formal grounds, as a gloss. The same explanation would have to be 
given of the words " the wife of Heber " in 4 21 . 

t Wetzstein, Reisebericht, p. 148 ; Quatremere, " Les asiles chez les Arabes," 
Mem. de I Acad. des Inscriptions, xv. 2, 1842, p. 307-348. If Heber and Jael origi 
nally belonged to different stories, we may dismiss another mooted question; viz., 
Why did Sisera seek refuge in the tent of Jael rather than in that of Heber ? 



124 JUDGES 

milk was kept, and poured him a drink into a bowl (cf. s" 6 ).* 
Her hospitality exceeded his modest request (cf. 5 - 5 ). His confi 
dence was naturally confirmed by this token of friendliness. 
And covered him~\ again. We miss the adverb in Hebrew as 
much as in English. 20. He bids her stand at the door of the 
tent to put the pursuit off the track, if it should come that way. 
Then, overcome by weariness, he gives himself up to the sense of 
security and falls asleep. It is quite needless to ascribe to the 
draught an intoxicating or stupefying quality.! 21. When he 
was sound asleep, Jael took one of the pins with which the tent 
ropes are fastened to the ground (Is. 33"") > and a hammer, and 
stealthily crept to his side where he lay in the inner part of the 
tent. The tent pin was not of metal j the bronze pins of the 
tabernacle belong to the luxury of that structure but, as still in 
the tents of the Bedawin, of wood. The hammer was probably 
the mallet with which the tent pins were driven. Among the 
Bedawin pitching the tent is woman s business, and so no doubt it 
was in ancient times ; the mallet and pin were accustomed imple 
ments, and ready at hand. || And drove the pin into his temple so 
that it went down into tJic ground^ transfixing his head. He 
being sound asleep and exhausted"^ circumstantial clause, explain 
ing how it was possible for her to kill him in this way ; see note. 
It was certainly an unusual way, and more ingenious than sure ; a 
blow of the mallet upon the temple was a much simpler and safer 
plan than to try to drive the blunt wooden pin through his head. 
Wellhausen ingeniously conjectures that this description of Sise- 
ra s death originated in a prosaic misunderstanding of the poetic 
parallelism in 5 LV .1[ This is not improbable, though the obscurity 
of the terms in 5- forbids too confident assertion ; but we should 
not be warranted in inferring that the author of ch. 4 is also the 
author of this misunderstanding.** 22. Lo, /here was Barak~\ he 
came up at that instant ; the particle calls attention to the striking 



* See Doughty, Arabia Deserta, i. 221, 382, 430, &c. 

t Fl. Jos., Rabb., a Lyra, Drus., a Lap., al. + Fl. Jos., RLbG., Cler., Ba. 
$ Orig., Aug., R. Moses esh-Sheikh ; see Shaw, Travels, 1757, p. 221; Burck- 
hardt, Bedouins and Wahdbys, i. p. 39. || Doughty, Arabia Deserta, i. 221, &c. 
II Coi/ip., p. 222; \V. R. Smith, OTJC-. p. 132. 
** We., Sta. ; contra, Kue., Bu., Co., Cooke. Sec above, p. no. 



IV. 19-22 125 

coincidence ; cf. Gen. 29" Jud. 1 1 34 i S. 9". In the narrative as 
it now runs, Sisera flees from the field in a northerly direction to 
the vicinity of Kedesh in Naphtali ; Barak first follows the rout 
of the Canaanites to Harosheth at the western extremity of the 
Great Plain,* then strikes off to pursue Sisera fifty or sixty miles 
through Galilee, and comes up just as Jael has killed him ; which 
is obviously impossible. The hypothesis that Barak did not 
accompany the main pursuit westward to Harosheth, but followed 
Sisera in his flight in the opposite direction, does violence to v. 16 .f 
See note below. 

17. *?? ] on animal names see on v. 4, and 7 25 . 18. n-no] twice oxytone, 
as frequently before a following N (including rnrp) ; J see Ew. 228 b; Ol. 
228 c; K6. i. p. 443. rostra inoam] ALMO \ s ^ T ^ s^ppei, which in most 
cases stands for Heb. n?n>; cf. Hesych., and Schleusner, s. v. We should 
then perhaps think of one of the goafs-hair curtains which are used to divide 
the tent. The exegetical tradition in general, however, is for a rug or wrap 
of coarse stuff, such as is used to sleep in, and worn as a mantle in cold and 
stormy weather (<5 BNr S2T) > r a thick coverlet with long nap (R. Hai Gaon, 



Ra., Ki.). The Syr. | iVirfl compared by Ges., Ba., Be., al. acquires the sense 
triclinium, pulvinar from the custom of reclining at meals, leaning on the 
elbow, and has nothing to do with the word in our text. IINJ] only here; 
elsewhere in O.T. INJ (pronounced nod}, MH. To. 20. ibv] the masc. imv. 
in direct address to a woman is anomalous. The use of the undefined predi 
cate (3 sm.) when it precedes its subject (Ges. 25 145, 7) is not analogous; 
and the examples of irregularity in the use of the imv. alleged by Ba. (Mi. i 13 
Nah. 3 15 Is. 32 11 ), al., do not lessen the difficulty here. We require the fern., 
noy (Ol. 234 ). onaxi . . . IDNI "fcxvfa to> WK DX n>m] normal structure 
and sequence of tenses in continued hypothesis; Dr. 3 121, p. 130, 136. I. a. 

]>(<] No! Ges. 25 p. 465. rmm] intrans., as in i u (<S BNM %); others, 
transitively, defixit, infixit (<5 APVL0 3LJ52C) . IJ^i ailj Nim] the words are 
pronounced and connected in two ways : HDM 1J?i_ ayu Mini, he had fallen 
into a deep sleep and was exhausted, and PDM f];m_ a-nj Nim,|| he being fast asleep 

so he swooned and died. The first makes the circumstantial clause consist 
of two verbs, which stand in a most unnatural order; the second gives a 
highly superfluous analysis of the act of dying, especially as the swoon could 

* Supposing it to be rightly identified with Harithiyeh. 

f G. A. Smith, Hist. Geog., p. 396 n., adopting Conder s view that Kedesh was 
near the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. 

\ Once before y, 3 times before i. 

Or as a kind of fly or awning. On the Arab tent see Burckhardt, Bedouins 
and Wahdbys, i. p. 37 ff. ; Doughty, Arabia Deserta, i. 224 ff. 

|| Wickes, Prose Accents, p. 140 ; cf. Norzi. 



126 JUDGES 

form no distinguishable physical moment in the passage from deep sleep to 
instant death. I prefer therefore to pronounce ^pi a-nj Nim, he being sound 
asleep and completely exhausted (f|p adj.) ; f|pi H is to be connected with rpj? 
(med. >). 22. If, with Conder and Smith, we look for Kedesh and Heber s 
encampment by the Sea of Galilee at Qadish and Bessum, the identification of 
Ilarosheth with el-Harithiyeh will have to be given up, not only as incom 
patible with v. lfi , but as altogether too remote from the scene of action. Tell 
Abu Qudeis (? Kedesh of Issachar; cf. above, p. 117), between Ta annuk 
and Leggun, lies in the direction of Harithiyeh, and (again assuming that I.I. 
is Ilarosheth) would suit v. 17a - lstf - well enough; but it cannot be the Kedesh 
of v. 17b cf. n (Heber the friend of Jabin of Hazor). On the whole, therefore, 
we do not gain much by trying to substitute another place of the name for 
Kedesh in Xaphtali. 

23, 24. The subjugation of Jabin. The regular close of the 
story ; cf. $. 23. God subdued Jal>in~\ in the story itself we 
have uniformly Yahweh ; the use of Elohim here falls in well 
with the hypothesis that the subjugation of the oppressors, which 
is a standing feature in the close of the stories of the judges, 
belonged originally to the pragmatism of E ; i. c. is pre- 
Deuteronomic. The variations of the versions here, however, 
make it somewhat doubtful whether Yahweh or Elohim was the 
original reading. For the verb in active construction cf. Dt. 9 3 
Neh. 9 24 i Chr. ly 10 . King of Canaan~\ v. 2 - 24 (D) ; in the story 
itself he is called king of Hazor (v. 17 ; see on v. 2 ) . 24. The 
hand of Israel bore harder and harder on Jabin~\ cf. 3 10 (D). 
The relation in v. :ib was completely reversed. Till they finally 
destroyed Jabin king of Canaan altogether^. The chronological 
note corresponding to g 11 - 1 * &c. stands naturally at the end of 
ch. 5. 



23. a^nSx prri] BOX & e( $s, ALM s Kvpws 6 0<r6s, icvpioi, E Deus, &, 
v>, jo-v:. 24. nu rn "pSn . . . l^m] double absolute object, the second being 
an adjective; i S. I4 19 2 S. i8- 5 . See Stud., p. 489; Ges.- 5 113. 3 n. 2. 

The morality of Jael s deed, even more than that of Ehud, has 
been the subject of great searchings of heart among the apologists 
who have felt it necessary to judge it by the standard of absolute 
ethics, and to justify it in that forum. That the inspired prophet 
ess should extol Jael for what, in all the circumstances, bears the 
appearance of a treacherous murder (5 24 cf. 2 - ! - M ) J is, of course, 
the greatest difficulty of all. We need not follow these inter- 



IV. 23-V. 127 

preters into the morasses of casuistry into which an unhistorical 
idea of religion and revelation leads them. To justify the deed 
by the standards of Christian morality, it is necessary to lower 
those standards to the level of the deed. See Abarb., a Lap., 
Schm. (qu. 1 6), and esp. Bachmann, p. 288-297, where additional 
literature will be found. 

V. The Triumphal Ode. 

LITERATURE.* C. F. Schnurrer (1775), in Dissertationes philologico-criticae, 
I 79> P- 36-96; cf. J. B. Kohler in Eichhorn s Repcrtorium, vi. 1780, 
p. 163-172, xii. 1783, p. 235-241; Herder, Briefe das Studium der Thc- 
ologie betreffend, 1780, Geist der hebr. Poesie, 1783 {Werke, ed. Suphan, x. 
p. 77 ff.; xii. p. 172 ff.) ; K. W. Justi, National- Ges dnge der Hebr der, ii. 
1816, p. 210-312; G. H. Hollmann, Commentarius philologico-criticus in 
Carmen Deborae, 1818; R. D. C. Robbins, "The Song of Deborah," Bibl. 
Sacra, 1855, p. 597-642; J. W. Donaldson, Jashar, 1854, p. 237 ff., 261 ff.; 
E. Meier, Ubersetzung und Erkl drung des Debora-Liedes, 1859; f G. 
Hilliger, Das Deborah-Lied iibersetzt und erkl drt, 1867; G. Bickell, Car- 
mina V. Ti. metrice, 1882; Dichtungen der Hebr der, 1882; A. Miiller, Das 
Lied der Deborah, 1887 (" Konigsberger Studien," i. p. 1-21); M. Vernes, 
"Le cantique de Debora," R&J. xxiv. 1892, p. 52-67, 225-255; G. A. 
Cooke, The History and Song of Deborah, 1892; C. Niebuhr, Versuch 
einer Reconstellation des Deboraliedes, 1894. 

The Song of Deborah is an epinikian ode celebrating the victory 
of the Israelites over the Canaanites near Taanach. After an 
opening strain of praise to Yahweh for the great deliverance 
(v. 2 " 5 ) the poet describes the state of things which preceded and 
provoked the war (v. f " s ) . Verse 12 , with its invocation of Deborah 
and Barak, leads over to the Israelite rising; the tribes which 
took part in the glorious struggle receive their meed of praise 
(v. 14- 15a - 18 ) , while reproaches and taunts are heaped upon those 
which held aloof (v. 15b ~ 17 ). Then follows the battle itself and the 
rout of the foe (v. ly ~"), and the death of the flying king by the 
hand of Jael (v. 24 27 ). The anxiety of Sisera s mother as his return 
is delayed, the expectation of triumph and spoil, which is raised 

* The older literature, to the beginning of this century, in Justi, National- 
Gesiingc der Hebrder, ii. 1816, p. 217-225 ; see also Bachmann, Richter, p. 298- 
301 ; Reuss, Gesch. d. A. T., 101. Only the most important titles are given above. 

t See also his Gesch. der poet. National-Literatur der Hebrder, 1856, p. 79 ff. 



128 JUDGES 

again only to be more cruelly disappointed, form the tragic climax 
of the poem (v. 28 " 30 ), which ends with the strain : 

" So perish all thine enemies, O Yahweh ! " 

The movement of the poem is throughout straightforward and 
natural. It sets before us, first, the situation before the revolt ; 
second, the rising of the tribes ; third, the victory and its sequel, 
the death of Sisera. Notwithstanding many obscurities in particu 
lars, especially in v. 1:5 ~ 15 , the main tenor of the narrative from v. 12 on 
is sufficiently clear. The same is true of v.-" 7 , but in the interven 
ing verses ( 8 ~ n ) the difficulties are so accumulated that it is hardly 
possible to be sure even of the general sense and connexion of 
the passage. Verse 9 seems to resume the theme of v. L> , and the 
distinctly marked new beginning in v. 12 shows at least that v. 111 - n 
must be joined to the preceding. We have then, as the natural 
divisions, a. v. 2 " 11 , b. v. 12 18 , c. v. ly 31 . The connexion between 
b. and c. is, from the nature of the matter, closer than between 
a. and b., but this is not a sufficient reason for dividing the poem 
into two, a Hymn of Thanksgiving (v. 2 " 11 ) ; and the Triumphal 
Ode (v. 1 -" 31 ).* On the contrary, v. 2 " 11 form the natural and indis 
pensable introduction to the Ode. 

The obscurity of the middle of the ode was remarked by 
Lowth.f It is of quite a different nature from the difficulties 
which we encounter in the opening verses and in the latter half 
of the chapter. These are due to our defective knowledge of 
its very ancient poetical language, and affect particular words or 
phrases without preventing our understanding the general meaning 
of the passage. In v. 8 " 15 , on the other hand, while clauses here 
and there are plain enough, the whole is unintelligible ; as is 
superabundantly proved by the translations which are given by 
the commentators. We cannot lay this obscurity to the charge of 
the author, who in the other parts of the poem writes clearly and 
directly, but must infer that by some accident of transmission 



* Ewald, Dichter d. A. //-., i. p. 186 ff. Ewald supposes that the Ode was com 
posed for a different oceasion from the Hymn ; viz., for the triumphal procession 
" perhaps on the evening of the same day." 

t De sacra poesi Hebraeorum, p. 274 : " Media, ut verum fateamur, obsederunt 
baud exiguae obscuritates, multuin officientes Carminis pulchritudini, nee facile 
dissipandae, nisi uberior historiae lux accedcret." 



v. 129 

these verses have suffered peculiarly. It would seem that, in a 
manuscript through which our text is descended, this place had 
become in good part illegible. The scribe who copied it made 
out as much as he could, but was not always successful in recover 
ing the vanished letters. The obscurity of the text thus established 
would naturally become a fresh source of corruption. This cor 
ruption is in the main older than the Greek translators, who in the 
worst places read substantially as we do and therefore give us 
little help toward a restoration of the text.* 

Critics have been almost unanimous in attributing the Ode to a 
contemporary, and a participant in the glorious struggle which it 
celebrates. So, to make but a single quotation, Kuenen writes, 
" Form and contents alike prove that it is rightly ascribed by all 
competent judges to a contemporary." f This consensus has re 
cently been challenged by Seinecke \ and especially by Maurice 
Vernes, but neither the methods nor the conclusions of these 
critics have commended themselves to other scholars. 

Seinecke, whose work in general is marred by a perverse fondness for 
paradoxes, gathers from v. 31 that the ode was not written to celebrate the 
victory over Sisera at all; but, like Ex. 15, to encourage the author s contem 
poraries by reminding them of the great deeds of Yahweh in long by-gone 
days, when the enemies of Israel were so fearfully punished that not one of 
them was left. The idea of Yahweh s coming from Edom (v. 4 ) is inconceiva 
ble in ancient times, it is parallel to Is. 63 and refers to a future parousia; 
the colossal exaggeration of v. 20 , " They fought from heaven, the stars in their 
courses fought against Sisera," corresponds to the notions of later times, and 
is to be compared with Jos. io 12 - 14 ; v. 6 (Jael a judge) and v. 14 (" Ephraim, 
whose root is in Amalek," cf. I2 15 ) contain mistakes which a contemporary 

* Probably few scholars would now agree with Ewald (Dichter, \. p. 178 n.) 
and E. Meier (National-Literatur der Hebraer, p. 89) that the text of the poem has 
been transmitted to us substantially intact not to mention the more extravagant 
notions of its impeccability entertained, e.g. by Bachmann (p. 517 ff.). August 
Miiller (Das Lied der Deborah, 1887, i. ff.) has proved, on the contrary, that the 
corruption is extensive and deep-seated. Whether it also is beyond all remedy, 
is a question about which opinions will differ; see, on the other side, Budde, 
Richt. u. Sam., p. 102-104. 

t HCCft. i. p. 346; so also Vatke; We., Comp., p. 222 f . ; Reuss, GAT. $ 101 ; 
Sta., G VI. i. p. 178. Sporadic doubts of older scholars (De Wette in 1817, after 
wards retracted, Hartmann, Rodiger; see Ba., p. 510) were without influence. 

I Gesch. d. Volkes Israel, i. 1876, p. 243-245. 

RHR. vii. 1883, p. 332-338, and often subsequently ; see below. 
K 



130 JUDGES 

could not make. The language exhibits Aramaisms and other marks of late 
date, especially the relative i; : ; the style is artificial; v. 10 , for example, is "a 
frigid conceit of post-exilic times," reminding us of the beginning of Ps. I. 
Finally, the names of Barak, Lapidoth, and perhaps Deborah have an 
unhistorical ring. " We are forced to conclude, therefore, that the story of 
the conflict of Barak and Jael against Jabin and Sisera is a bit of old Hebrew 
mythology, in which the cleansing and purifying powers of nature, thunder, 
lightning, and flame, are arrayed against the mist and clouds." * Vernes f 
contests the common opinion that the poem, compared with the prose narra 
tive (ch. 4), has preserved a number of historical details and bears the fresh 
impress of the events. On the contrary, though the prose story is late and 
exhibits numerous inconsistencies, it is drawn from older sources, and is 
infinitely superior to the poem. In the former, only two tribes take part in 
the struggle; in the latter this is exaggerated to a national movement, all 
Israel is oppressed, almost all Israel unites against the foe. Vague and 
inaccurate phrases such as "new gods" (v. 8 ), "the kings of Canaan" (v. lu ), 
"the times of Jael " (v. ; ), point to a date remote from the events. Moreover, 
besides ch. 4, the author has made use of other writings which are themselves 
late. The names of Taanach and Megiddo (v. 19 ) are taken from Jud. I 27 or 
Jos. I2 21 , that of Meroz J perhaps from the same passage in Jos.; the repre 
sentation of Dan as settled on the seaboard (v. 17 ) can only come from the 
unhistorical partition of Palestine in Jos. The poem must, therefore, be later 
than the latest stratum of Jos. " If the prose narrative is not older than the 
5th cent. n.C., the song put into the mouth of the prophetess-judge may with 
out hesitation be dated a century or a century and a half later." M. Vernes 
final estimate shall be given in his own words : " Nous disons done du chant du 
Debora que c est une (euvre eminement artificielle, dont quelques tirades 
eloquentes ou brillantcs ne peuvent pas dissimuler le vide." In his later 
articles in the Revile dcs etudes juives, M. Vernes reiterates this criticism at 
length, in connexion with an exposition of the chapter, and adds an elaborate 
argument from the language of the poem, which, so far from being archaic, is 
paralleled throughout by that of the Kctubini, and often only there; so that 
the linguistic evidence also brings the Song of Deborah into the company of 
the latest books of the O.T. It is impossible here to examine this argument 
in detail; so far as it seems worth while, we shall take notice of his observa- 



* A mythical interpretation was earlier given to the poem by Steinthal (" Die 
Sage von Simson," /.eitschrift fur Volkerpsychologie, u.s.w., ii. 1862, p. 164), who 
finds in Deborah and Jael the beneficent rain-clouds, in Barak the lightning. This 
explanation was adopted also by Goldziher (Dcr Mythos bei den Hebracrn, 1876, 
p. 162 = Mythology among the Hebrews, 1877, p. 256). 

f AY/A , vii. 1883, p. 332-338; Precis d histoire Jidve, 1889, p. no n. ; K11R. xix. 
1889, p. 65 f. = Essais biblitjues, 1891, p. 163-165 ; finally, REJ. xxiv. 1892, p. 52-67, 
225-255. + Probably Meron, Jos. I2 23 cf. I2 ly . 

$ See the summary, I.e., xxiv. p. 249 f. 



V. I 3 I 

tions on the usage in the critical notes below. Here it can only be said in 
general that, so far as M. Vernes accurately states the facts, they do not justify 
his conclusions. But philological c!/cpi /3eia is not M. Vernes strong point, 
and his statements are frequently most deceptive half-truths. For example, 
" garaph (v. 21 ) s explique par 1 arameen," suggests that rpj in this sense is a 
distinctively Aramaic word, whereas the use of the word in the Song has 
much closer parallels in Arabic. 

The representations of the Song agree entirely with the histori 
cal situation, so far as we are able from our very scanty materials 
to reconstruct it. We detect in it none of the anachronisms by 
which a later writer so easily betrays his own age ; * nor does the 
atmospheric perspective of the narrative indicate that the writer 
stood at a distance from the events which he relates. It exhibits 
neither the vagueness which is the first result of the blurring of 
details in tradition, nor the artificial circumstantiality which marks 
the subsequent attempt to recover them.f The impression of 
reality which we receive from the Ode is hardly to be paralleled 
in another poem in the Old Testament ; and a comparison with 
others, especially with the Song of Moses (Ex. 15), the subject of 
which has the greatest resemblance to the Song of Deborah, 
strengthens this impression. \ These considerations have of 
course no weight with those to whom the poem is " an eminently 
artificial work," the rhetoric of which is sometimes ingenious and 
eloquent, sometimes strained and affected. Against such aesthetic 
judgements there is no arguing. 

The priority of the Ode to the prose narrative in ch. 4, and its 
superiority in point of historical truth, appear from the compari- 

* As when, for example, in the " Song of Moses " (Ex. 15) Israel is already 
established in Canaan (v.^ff-^and unless v.^ b - be rejected as an interpolation 
the temple in Jerusalem already built. 

t The indefiniteness of which Vernes complains is chiefly obscurity arising from 
corruption of the text or context. He appears never to suspect the Massoretic text 
nor the translation which he finds in the popular commentaries. 

% The inference from the impression of reality to the contemporary origin or the 
historical truth of a narrative is not stringent. It is the pre-eminent gift of the poet 
to create this impression even when his story conflicts with our knowledge ; think 
of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare. But the objective character of the art which is 
capable of producing such an illusion is not easily exemplified among Semitic 
poets. It is a simpler and more probable explanation in the present case, that the 
poem was made by one under the immediate inspiration of the events, than that it 
is a supreme work of the creative imagination. Vernes. 



132 JUDGES 

son instituted above in the Introduction to ch. 4 (p. 107 f.). It is 
especially clear in the accounts of Sisera s death, 4 ls ~" 5~ 4 ~ L 7 . See 
further the commentary on the last named verses. 

In the opinion of the great majority of scholars, Deborah her 
self is the author of the Ode.* It is attributed to her in the title 
(v. 1 ), which, however, since we do not know how ancient this 
superscription is, and since in other cases the titles are frequently 
in error,! cannot by itself be regarded as decisive. Here the title 
seems to be distinctly confirmed by v. 7 , " until I, Deborah, arose ; 
till I arose, a matron in Israel." Unfortunately, this evidence is 
not as conclusive as it seems; (55 and 3Lt have the verbs in the 
third person, " until Deborah arose," and even in %\ the form of 
the verbs is ambiguous, and may equally well be rendered, " until 
thou didst arise, Deborah." The latter interpretation accords 
with v. 1 ", "Awake, awake, Deborah; awake, awake, deliver a 
song," which the parallel half verse, "Arise, arise, Barak," &c., 
forbids us to take as the self-invocation of the poet. In v. v> , 
again, Deborah is spoken of in the third person. The natural and 
almost necessary inference from these verses is that Deborah her 
self is not the author of the Ode. || The other indications of her 
authorship which commentators have found in the words of the 
song are indecisive ; in some of them the text is insecure, in 
others the interpretation. Much has sometimes been made of 
the so-called psychological evidence ; the recital of Jael s deed 
(v.- -- r ) and the description of the scene in Sisera s palace (v. 28 " 3 "), 
it is said, could only have been written by a woman .f This is a 
matter which hardly admits of argument, but it is certainly a false 
note when Bertheau finds in the reference to Sisera s mother a 
touch of woman s sympathy.** 

The historical value of the Song of Deborah can hardly be 
exaggerated. It is the oldest extant monument of Hebrew litera 
ture, and the only contemporaneous monument of Hebrew history 

* So, e.g., K\v., Dichter d. A,B., i. p. 186 f . ; Hitz., G VI. i. 112; Kenan, Hist, du 
peuple d Israel, i. p. 316. 

1 1 -.,?., in the ascription of many of the Psalms to David, and in attributing 
Ex. 15 to Moses. J Both without variation. See below, in loc. 

|| We., Geschichte, 1878, p. 252; Reuss, Graetz, Kue., A. Miiller, Kitt., Cooke, 
al. U Herder, Reville, I3a., Be., Cass., al. 

** See also Ba.; and, for a contrast, Herder (Briefe, u.s.w., Brief 7, end). 



v. 133 

before the foundation of the kingdom. When we compare the 
situation of the tribes, as it appears in the poem, with the frag 
mentary traditions of the invasion and settlement in ch. i, we see 
that Israel had in the meantime established itself more securely 
in the land. The Highlands of Ephraim seem to be completely in 
the possession of Joseph, and we may infer from the part taken 
in the struggle by Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali, that the latter 
tribes, too, had gained a firmer footing in Galilee, while Issachar 
had probably already planted itself on both sides of the narrow 
valley which at the eastern end of the Plain separates the hills on 
the north and south. The Canaanites, however, were still masters 
of the Plain ; their fortified cities commanded the passes which 
entered, and the roads which traversed it ; their formidable 
chariotry kept the Highland footmen on either hand in awe 
(cf. Jos. ly 10 18 ). With increasing numbers and strength, it was 
inevitable that the Israelites should turn their eyes to the fertile 
fields and rich traffic of the Plain. After a period probably of 
peaceful expansion, the Canaanite city-kings, alarmed perhaps at 
the steady encroachments of Israel, took the aggressive. They 
blockaded the main roads and cut off communication ; from their 
cities they sent out bands and harried the country, so that the 
unwalled villages were deserted.* 

Incited by Deborah, most of the Israelite tribes concertedly 
took up arms to put an end to this intolerable state of things. 
From the south of the Plain came the three branches of Joseph, 
Ephraim, Benjamin and Machir ; from the north Zebulun, Issachar 
and Naphtali. Each tribe and clan was led by its own chiefs, 
who are repeatedly mentioned with especial honour. The united 
forces were commanded by Barak, a chief of Issachar, or perhaps 
of Naphtali. t The Israelites east of the Jordan, Reuben and 
Gilead (Gad), were also summoned by Deborah s emissaries, but 
either did not respond at all or dallied irresolute till the time for 
action was over ; nor did the more remote northern tribes, Dan 
and Asher, join in the rising. In the Ode these tribes are bitterly 
reproached for their selfish indifference to the cause of Israel, and 

* If this is the meaning of v.". It does not appear from the poem that the land 
was so completely overrun and subdued as it was by the Philistines in the days of 
Saul. t See 



134 JUDGES 

their conduct is contrasted with the alacrity with which Zebulun 
and Naphtali braved the dangers of the field. When Israel is 
arrayed in arms against Canaan, every tribe and clan is bound to 
come to the support of Yahweh among the valiant warriors.* 

We see from this that the Israelite tribes, although separated and to some 
extent broken up in the invasion and settlement of Palestine and the tran 
sition from nomadic to agricultural life with all its profound changes, felt 
themselves to be one people. This consciousness must have come down from 
a time when the tribes were more closely united than they were in the first 
centuries of their settlement in Canaan. But it does not spring solely from 
the fact that they were, or believed themselves to be, of one race, or from the 
memory of the days in which they had wandered and fought side by side; it 
has a deeper root in their religion. Israel is the people of Yahweh (v. 11 - 13 ) ; 
its enemies are his enemies (v. 31 ) ; its victories, his victories (v. 11 ).! To him 
the enthusiasm with which chiefs and people offered themselves for the holy 
war is gratefully ascribed (v.-- u ) ;f the oracle pronounces his curse on the vil 
lagers of Meroz for not coming bravely to his aid. The whole Ode is a 
triumphal Te Deum to Yahweh, Israel s God. 

Yahweh was not a god of Canaan, whose worship Israel, in settling in the 
land and learning to till the soil, had adopted from the natives, but the god 
of the invaders, by whose help they conquered Canaan. His seats were in 
the distant south, whence he comes to succour his people and discomfit their 
foes, "going forth to war from Seir, marching from the region of Edoin." 
Thither, long after the time of Deborah, Elijah journeyed through the desert 
to the old holy mountain, where he found Yahweh (i Ki. 19). It is the old 
and constant tradition, that at this holy mountain Israel solemnly adopted the 
religion of Yahweh. This coincides with the implications of the poem noted 
above, and explains, as hardly anything else could, the strength of the religious 
feeling and the consciousness of religious unity which express themselves in 
the Ode. The indirect confirmation which is thus given to the tradition that 
connects the beginnings of the religion of Israel, the great work of Moses, 
with the holy mountain (Iloreb, Sinai) is of no slight weight. 

The battle was fought near Taanach and Megiddo (v. 1!l ), on the 
southern side of the Plain. The Canaanite city-kings of these 



* For this reason it is very significant that Judah is not named at all. It is diffi 
cult to avoid the inference that the poet did not count it among the tribes of Israel. 
It was originally a small tribe, which grew into importance by union with clans of 
different stock (Caleb, c.), and it was separated from Joseph by a Canaanite belt 
(see above, p. 8) ; but these things hardly account for its absence from the song. 
Simeon and Levi are also wanting ; Reuben is the only one of the older, southern 
group of Leah-tribes that is named. 

f So, at least, these verses are generally understood. 



v. 135 

and neighbouring cities, relying on their chariots and their superi 
ority in arms, gave battle in the open field. Their leader, Sisera, 
was doubtless the king of one of these cities ; and the glimpse 
of his court and harem which is given us in v. 28 " 30 shows that he 
was a powerful and opulent prince. The Israelites were able to 
raise forty thousand men.* They were peasants from the hills, 
and were armed only with peasants weapons ; a regular military 
equipment was hardly to be found among them (v. 8 ). The 
Canaanites were routed ; the treacherous Kishon, perhaps swollen 
by a sudden flood, with its marshes and holes, completed their 
ruin. Sisera, in his flight, passed by the village of Meroz (?), 
whose Israelite inhabitants suffered him to escape. f At the door 
of Jael s tent he halts to beg a drink of water ; she gives him a 
great bowl of milk, and, as he buries his face in it in his thirst and 
haste, fells him with a blow that crushes in his skull. 

The results of the war are unknown to us. It is hardly probable 
that Israel took from the Canaanites any of their strong cities, 
but the power and prestige of the Canaanites and their terrible 
chariots received a severe blow. } The union of Yahvveh s people 
at the call of Deborah in a holy war must have done much to 
strengthen the feeling of oneness in race and religion, and their 
success have deepened their faith in Yahweh of armies, the god 
of the embattled ranks of Israel. Thus the victory in the plain of 
Megiddo foreshadowed and prepared the way for the kingdom 
of Saul and David. 

The Song of Deborah is unsurpassed in Hebrew literature in 
all the great qualities of poetry, and holds a high place among 
Triumphal Odes in the literature of the world. It is a work of 
genius, and therefore a work of that highest art which is not 
studied and artificial, but spontaneous and inevitable. It shows a 
development and command of the resources of the language for 
ends of poetical expression which prove that poetry had long been 
cultivated amonc; the Hebrews. Few fragments of this earlier 



* This is a round number, and naturally not below the mark. Whether the 
total fighting strength of Israel is meant, or that of the tribes engaged, is a question 
which can hardly be answered. 

t This seems to be the point of the contrast with the blessing of Jael. 

J Such as the English yeomen at Agincourt dealt to the prestige of chivalry. 



1 36 JUDGES 

poetry have come down to us ; probably few survived to the cen 
turies with which our Hebrew literature begins, but we cannot 
doubt that the nomadic forefathers of Israel took the same keen 
delight in lyric poetry which is so strongly marked a trait of the 
Arabs.* 

The form of the Ode has received much attention from students 
of Hebrew poetry, and many attempts have been made to reduce 
it to metre and divide it into regular strophes. f Some of these 
schemes are very ingenious ; but those of them which adhere 
more closely to the Massoretic text are so irregular that the terms 
metre and strophe seem to be misapplied, while those which 
achieve greater regularity do so by more or less violent opera 
tions upon the text. They help us very little to a better under 
standing of the poem, and can only with great caution be used as 
a canon for the emendation of its obscure and corrupt places. 
All that can safely be said is that the principal pauses in the poem 
are after v. 11 and v.~, and that the prevailing rhythm of the poem 
has four beats to the line. 

1. And Deborah sang, and Barak~\ cf. Ex. I5 1 . The title was 
probably prefixed by the editor who incorporated the poem in his 
Book of Judges, and expresses his opinion that the Ode was com 
posed by Deborah, and sung in celebration of the victory. The 
grammatical construction makes it not impossible that the words 
and Barak are an addition by a later hand, suggested by the apos 
trophe in v. 12b -. j On that day\ the day of victory; there is no 
reason to think that the writer meant the words in the looser sense, 
at tJiat time (cf. Jer. y 22 34 1:i &c.), nor can they be understood of 



* It is an erroneous inference, however, that there must have been an extensive 
poetical literature before Deborah. Early poetry was not preserved in books, but 
in the breasts of men. It is quite possible that the Song of Deborah itself was 
thus perpetuated for generations ; though we do not need to invoke the aid of this 
hypothesis to explain the state of the text, and cannot admit it as a warrant for a 
radical reconstruction of the poem, such as is attempted by Xiebuhr. 

t See Fr. Roster, Stud. u. Krit., 1831, p. 72 ft".; Ewald, Dlclitcr des A. /> ., i. 
i. p. 178 ff. ; E. Meier, Poet. National-Literatur der Hebraer, p. 79 ff. ; J. Ley, 
Grundzuge des Khythmus, u.s.w., p. 21^ ff. ; Bertheau ; G. Bickell, Carm uia I . T. 
mctrice, p. 195 f f . ; C. A. Briggs, Pres. A cview, vi. 1885, p. 501 ff. ; A. Miiller, 
Konigsberger Studien, i. p. 10 ff. ; &.c. On other schemes, see Ba., p. 521 ff. 

J Be., al. For various conjectures about the part that Barak had in the Song, 
beginning with Ephrem, see Ba. 



v. i-3 137 

a subsequent celebration of the triumph or commemoration of the 
victory. But, as we have seen above (p. 132), Deborah was prob 
ably not the author of the poem, and it certainly bears none of 
the marks of improvisation. Nor is there any evidence in the 
Song itself that it was sung by Deborah, alone or with Barak.* 

2, 3. Exordium. f The poet announces his theme. 2. The 
meaning of the two essential words in the first half-verse is 
obscure. Most recent interpreters adopt the rendering of some 
of the Greek translators : For the leading of the leaders in Israel, 
for the volunteering of the people, praise ye Yahweh. \ The poet, 
according to this interpretation, calls upon his hearers to praise 
God that chieftains were found to head the rising of the clans, and 
that the people nobly responded to their call. This gives a good 
parallelism between the two members, and the whole corresponds 
in sense to v. 9 (the marshals of Israel, the volunteers among the 
people). The meaning ascribed to the words bipheroa perdoth, 
however, rests only on very insecure etymological conjecture, and 
is exposed to grave, if not insuperable, grammatical difficulties. 
The translation of the second clause shares the uncertainty which 
attaches to the parallel first clause, though all the words are 
familiar; cf. 2 Chr. i; 16 Ps. no 3 . Bless ye Yahweh~\ render him 
grateful homage, magnify him. 3. The rulers of the nations are 
summoned to hearken to the praises of Yahweh. The poet would 
make the world a witness of Yahweh s mighty acts and compel it 
to own his greatness; cf. Dt. 32 1 - 3 . Hear, ye kings ; give ear, ye 
potentates^ the two verbs are often coupled in poetical parallelism ; 
cf. Gen. ^ Ex. i^ 26 Nu. 23 18 &c. ; the two nouns also occur 
together, Ps. 2 2 Hab. i 10 . The words are addressed to the rulers 
of the nations of the world, so far as they were within the horizon 
of the poet s contemporaries ; they shall learn the great might of 
Yahweh and his jealousy for his people Israel. /, to Yahweh I 



* The attempts to distribute the parts of the Song between the two singers, with 
or without the addition of a Chorus, are very artificial. See, e.g. Fr. Bottcher, 
Die altesten Dlihnendtchtungen, u.s.w., 1850 ; Donaldson, Jashar, p. 237 ff. Older 
schemes may be seen in Ba. 

t A translation of the Ode will be found below, p. 171 ff. 

J So Schnurrer (1775), Herder 1 , Hollm., Ges., and with minor modifications, 
most commentators in this century. 



I3<S JUDGES 

will sirig~\ for my part ; not /, even /, will sing unto the Lord 
(EV.), which is doubly unjust to the emphasis of the line. 
Observe the repetition of the pronoun, which has a weight in 
Hebrew that we cannot give it in translation. The note of tri 
umph rings in this exaltation of the subject. Most interpreters 
find in this dominant / the self-consciousness of Deborah, heroine 
and poet, but for reasons already set forth this is improbable. 
Wellhausen thinks that the / of this verse, as of Ex. 15, is Israel.* 

1. pi3i rnm imi] Deborah has the leading part; Barak is in an alto 
gether secondary position; cf. Nu. I2 1 Ex. I5 1 . RLbG. and Abarb. (cf. 
Ephr.) think that by this construction the writer meant to imply that Barak 
had no part in the composition of the Ode, of which Deborah alone was the 
author. T^ni, from Tir med. i ; Ko., i. p. 510 f. 2. MI rnjn? 3-1^??] ALMO 
O I g C f v r^> dp^aaOai apx^yovs fv Icrpa7?A, cf. (5 Dt. 32 42 . The intention of 
the translators is no doubt correctly expressed by Procop., STjAoi 77 prjais tv 
T<{5 &PXOVTO.S ev T<J5 lerpaijA dvarpaiveaOai., KCU rbv \abv avrois inreiKeiv fKdvra. 

u ^. 
jna is compared with Arab. p>-2 eminent man (lit. top cacumeii), and 

the fern, is explained as the so-called intensive fern. (Wright, Arab. Gram., 
i. p. 157), used esp. in names of callings, titles of respect, and the like; 
e.g. nassabat, consummate genealogist, * allamat, perfect scholar, etc.; in 
Ileb., perhaps, nS;ip, rnob, &c. (Ges.- 5 122, 4 b); or as one of the words 
which are fern, in tropical significations (Bo. 645 cf. 630). BGN a Ve/ca- 
\v<p0ri aTTO/cdXu/x/xa ev I. (S, more clearly, ev rif dvaKaXfyaadai KetpaXds) connect 
the words with jna Nu. 5 18 Lev. I3 45 , y^ head of long hair Nu. 6 5 Ez. 44- . 
Cass. and Verncs, also, interpret of the wild streaming locks of the warriors 
who have consecrated themselves to the holy war.f > and { (combined with 
other interpretations) give the root the sense which it ordinarily has in Syr., 
Aram., and MIL (but not in YAl.),for the retribution, the avenging, of Israel s 
wrongs; similarly Ki., Abarb., Schm., Kohler, Herder 2 , al. Some modern 
scholars, starting from the assumed primary meaning loose, render the verb, 
set free, liberate ; so Lth. {das Israel wider frcy ist worsen}, Cler., J. D. 
Mich., Justi, Stud. Neither of these interpretations is justified by usage, and 
neither makes a passable parallel to v. b . -ps] nowhere else takes 3 in the 
sense for, on account of; we should expect ^y (Dt. S 10 ). This difficulty 
exists equally for all the interpretations recorded above. The more natural 
rendering of the prep, is with ; and we might perhaps translate, with long 
streaming locks in Israel, -with free gifts of tlic people, praise ye Yahweh, 
thinking of vows and offerings of gratitude for the victory achieved; or we 



* Comp., p. 223; see on the other side, Be., ad loc. 

f The second clause is then rendered in a corresponding way of the taking of a 
warrior s vow. 



V. 3-4 139 

might give 3 with inf. its temporal sense. 3. irrxn . . . ijns 1 ] cf. also Dt. 32* 
Is. I 2 - 10 32 9 ; with a third synonym, a C-pn, Hos. 5 1 Is. 2S 23 a^n] a word of 
the higher style, parallel to aoSn Ps. 2 2 Hab. I 10 Pr. 8 15 3i 4 , to px >BflB> 
Is. 4O 23 . MI mmS -OJN] the accents rightly set off the first pronoun ; cf. 
Ps. 76 s , Dr. 198, Obs. 2. IDTN] make melody, music, canere vel voce vel 
fidibus (Cic., divinat., ii. 59, 122; cf. X2in NIST, NJST xnsr, Gittin, 7"); 
often coupled with vt? (Ps. 2i u &c.). The root is prob. onomatopoetic; see 
Hupfeld, Zeitschr. f. d. Kunde d. Morgenlandes, iii. p. 394 ff., iv. p. 139 ff., 
en*) i. p. 38 f. 



4,5. The awful coining of Yahweh. After the exordium 
(v. 2f -) the poet hurries us in medias res and describes the coming 
of Yahweh from his ancient seats in the South to succour his 
people. The cause of his coming is exposed in the following 
verses (v. 6ff ). This is the only natural explanation of v. 41 ; the 
mention of Sinai in v. 5 , which seems to require a different inter 
pretation, is a gloss. With the description of Yahweh s advent 
compare Dt. 33 2 Hab. 3 3ff - Ps. 68 7ff -, also 2 S. 22 8ff - (Ps. i8 7ff -) Mi. i 2 4 
Ps. 97 s " 5 ; cf. //. xiii. 17-19. 4. Yahweh, when thou wentest 
forth from Seir, whe?i thou marchedst from the region of Edo ;;/] 
the words do not refer to the descent of Yahweh upon Mt. Sinai 
(Ex. i9 1(iff -) or Horeb (Dt. 4 1(M2 5"*) at the institution of the 
religion of Israel.* The imagery bears a certain resemblance to 
the passages last cited, though only in features common to all 
such manifestations ; but the sublime phenomena which attended 
the giving of the law have no obvious connexion with the subject 
of the poem, nor is any suggested by the author. If a contrast 
had been intended between the great deeds of God for Israel in 
former days and the recent humiliation,! or a comparison of his 
intervention in the destruction of Sisera with the prodigies at 
Sinai, \ it must have been intimated in some way. After the 
announcement of the theme in v. 2 ^ we expect praises of Yahweh 
for the great deliverance he has just wrought, not an irrelevant 
historical reminiscence. Finally, Yahweh did not come to Sinai 
from Seir, from the plateau of Edom (v. 4a ), to give the law; and 
no plausible or even possible explanation of these words has 
been proposed by the commentators who interpret v. 4f - of the 



* JC, Ra., a Lyra, Schnurrer, Rosenm., Ke., Be., Hilliger, Ba., Robertson, Cookc, 
al. mu. t Schnur., Ew., Be., Vernes, al. J Rosenm. 



140 JUDGES 

theophany at Sinai. Others, comparing Dt. 33 2 Hah. 3"" , refer 
the verses to earlier wars, such as those against Sihon and Og, in 
which Yahweh led his people to victory,* or to the whole progress 
through the desert to Canaan with Yahweh at their head.f But 
this again is not in the text, and the same objections from the 
context which were urged against the former interpretation are 
valid against this. $ 

Text and context constrain us, therefore, to interpret the verses 
of the coming of Yahweh to the help of his people in the war 
with Sisera. The ancient seats of Yahweh were not in Canaan, 
but in the South, at Sinai (J, Ex. ip 11 1 *- 20 , P passim} or Horeb 
(E, Ex. 3 1 i8 :> 33 Nu. io a ! &c., D passim) ; the latter is the tra 
dition of the northern tribes (i K. iQ 8 ), and is probably to be 
assumed here. Horeb was in the land of Midian, i.e. in Arabia, 
east of the eastern prong of the Red Sea, the gulf of c Aqabah,|| 
among mountains which form the southern continuation of the 
range east of the Arabah. From Horeb, Yahweh would come 
into Canaan from Seir, from the plateau of Edom, as in our verse. 
Cf. especially Dt. 33 2 Hab. 3 3 . When thou wentcst forth~\ to 
battle; see on 2 U 4". Marchedst~\ the two verbs are similarly 
coupled in Hab. 3 12 - 13 Ps. 68 s ; cf. the corresponding noun 
2 S. 5 24 . Seir] is the home of Esau, the land which was given 
him by Yahweh, as Canaan was given to Jacob (Jos. 24* Dt. 2 r> cf. 
Gen. 32 3 33"). It is the mountain range east of the Arabah, 
from the southern end of the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqabah, 
now called in its northern part el-Gibal, in the southern esh- 
Sherah.^1" The region of Edoin~\ identical with Seir; see Gen. 
32 3 and cf. also 36 s . The earth quaked, the heavens dripped^ 



* Ibn Ezra (on Dt. 33 Ps. 68), RLbG., cf. Ki. 

t Ephr., Procop. (including the deliverance from Egypt), Cler., Lette, Justi, Ew., 
Cass., Vernes. 

\ See Schm., p. 463 f., whose statement of the matter can hardly be bettered, 
though he is finally constrained by the mention of Sinai to adopt an interpretation 
which he has himself shown to be untenable. 

$ Kohler (1780), Hollmann, Stud., Reuss, We., Sta., \V. R. Smith, al. 

|| Aelaniticus sinus. Horeb was a distance of eleven days journey, by the Mt. 
Seir road, from Kadesh Barnea (Dt. i 2 ). These are really the only clues that we 
possess. 

IT Sec Buhl, Geschichte der Edomiter, p. 2 ft".; cf. Miiller, Asien 11, Europa^ 
P- 135 t 



V. 4-5 HI 

cf. 2 S. 22 sff - (=Ps. i8 7ff -) Mi. i 3f - Ps. 97 - 5 i44 5 -. For dripped, 
which might have been taken up accidentally from the next 
hemistich, several recensions of (S) have, were in commotion ; 
Budde conjectures that this represents the original reading, the 
heavens swayed. The clouds dripped water, 5. the mountains 
streamed] in the derivative passage, Ps. 68 H , these lines are lack 
ing. The second verb is generally translated trembled (cf. Is. 
64 ), but streamed is a more natural rendering of the Hebrew 
word and gives a better parallel, especially if we adopt the read 
ing of (5 in the previous member. Before Yahweh (that is, 
Sinai), before Yahweh, the God of Israel] the words that is, 
Sinai are a gloss to the mountains in the preceding clause ; * 
originally, as its form shows, a marginal note, made by some one 
to whom the language of v. 3f - suggested Ex. 19. Subsequently it 
intruded into the text in the wrong place. The rhythm of the 
passage also gains by the removal of the words. 

4. TT>sa] with dagesh, distinguishing the inf. from the noun (Pr. 4 12 ); 
Ew. 255 d ; Ol. 160 b. The primary meaning seems to be, walk with 
great steps, stride, stalk ; of the stately march of a religious pomp, 2 S. 6 13 
cf. 2 S. 22 37 Pr. 4 12 Job 1 8", also Jer. lo 5 Pr. 7 8 . nnN ms>] Gen. 32*, parallel 
to "vyir ynx; ms is used of Moab (Gen. 3& 85 Nu. 2i 20 &c.), Aram (Hos. I2 13 ), 
Ephraim (Obad. I 19 cf. Jud. 2O 6 ), Philistines (i S. 6 1 2f- n ), Amalekites 
(Gen. 14"). It is not specifically the plateau in distinction from the moun 
tains, but is simply the region of Edom. ifl Jj a Cif DJ] the particle is not 
climacteric, but cumulative; each clause adds a trait to the completeness of the 
description. IBJ is drop, drip, in distinction from pour, flow, in a continu 
ous stream; usually with ace. as in the next clause. (JJPVLXO s erapaxOil 
A ^ea-Tad-rj M e&rr7/ f I ttirbatum est (Verecundus), i.e. -i^SJ (Bu., Richt. it. 
Sam., p. 104). jis is not melt away, as commonly affirmed, but move in 
waves, be violently agitated, like the Arab. ^-^ (Abulvv., Vollers, SS.). 

5. iSri ann] in Is. 63 19 (accidentally repeated 64 2 ) the vb. is pronounced 
iVn, by which the Ni. of SS? is prob. intended (cf. -V7JJ Is. 34 4 ) ; &S interpret 
shake. So here (5 ffa\tv0^ffav I commoti sunt (Verecundus) 2TS 1 , followed by 
most recent comm. and lexx. (Ges., MV., SS., BDB., Hollm., E. Meier, Stud., 
Ke., Be., Ba., Bi., al.). The pronunciation of 51 is then explained as due to 
false analogy to the 3 sg. pf. of the normal verb. The parallelism, however, 
esp. if we read uicj in v. 4a , is better satisfied if we derive the word from Sro 
stream. In the first two members we see the earth quaking, the heavens 



* Precisely SO in Ps. 



142 JUDGES 

swaying; * in the last two, the clouds dropping rain, the torrents streaming 
down the sides of the mountains. For the vb. cf. Job 36- s Is. 45 s Jer. 9 1 " and 
the poet, use of D^StU streams Ex. 15 s Ps. 78" &c. The suppression of the 
ace., which is expressed in the preceding clause, occasions no difficulty. So 
5L monies flnxerunt.\ TD nr] Ps. 68 9 . Commonly taken deictically, yon 
Sinai, Sinai there ; others, Sinai, I say. The first would only be natural if 
Sinai were in sight, and for neither is there sufficient grammatical warrant. 
Examples superficially similar are collected in the grammars, e.g. Green, 252, 
2 a; Ges. 23 126, 5 n. 2, 136 n. 3, and esp. Driver in BDB. Lex., s. v. nr; but 
they need to be carefully sifted. In some the pron. is pred. ; in a good many 
others (esp. in the Pss.) we may recognize the influence of Aramaic syntax; 
Ex. 32 1 (nsra nr) i K. I4 14 (see Klost.) Is. 23 13 (see Duhm) are glosses, in which 
nr is used just as we use " i.e." The suspicion that in Jud. 5" also the words are 
a gloss receives some confirmation from the variations of the Greek versions; 
see my edition of the Hebrew text in The Sacred Books of the Old Testament, 
&c. S alone renders quite grammatically TOVT^CTTL rb 1/iva; cf. also Ps. 68 9 . 

6-8. The state of things before the war. Travel on the 
highways was stopped, and travellers were constrained to take 
roundabout byways ; the country was harried by armed bands of 
Canaanites, so that the Israelite peasants were compelled to 
abandon their villages. This is not a mere instance and illus 
tration of the insecurity of the land under Canaanite misrule ; it 
is the grievance which was the cause of war. 6. In the days of 
Shamgar ben Anath, in the days of Jael~\ the period immediately 
preceding the appearance of Deborah as leader and deliverer 
(v. 71> ). The asyndeton would imply that Shamgar and Jael were 
contemporaries. The latter can be no other than the heroine 
celebrated in v. 24ff - ; not an otherwise unknown judge of the 
same name, in which case the author must have distinguished 
them in some way, e.g. by adding the name of his father. The 
difficulty, however, which this hypothesis is created to relieve is a 
real one. It is singular that the name of this Bedawi woman 
should be coupled with that of Shamgar. And how can the 
period before the rise of Deborah be called the days of Jael, 
when the deed which made her famous was only the last act in 



* To the ancients the firmament was as solid as the earth. 
t Rabb., Schm., Cler., Ew., al. 

J Ff., Rabb., Schm., Cler., Rosenm., Ke., Ba., and most. 

^Teller (1766), Kohler, Hollmann, Ges., Stud., Be., Oettli ; a female judge, 
Green (1753), Justi. Ew. conjectures that Jair (io ! ) is meant. 



V. 6-7 143 

the deliverance which Deborah had already achieved ? The best 
that can be said is, that, although Shamgar and Jael, both of 
whom in different ways wrought deliverance for their people, were 
living, they did nothing to free Israel from the tyranny of the 
Canaanites until Deborah appeared. But it must be confessed 
that this is not very natural ; and it would perhaps be better to 
regard /// the days of Jael as a gloss.* If this be so, the question 
will arise whether Shamgar was originally an Israelite hero at all. 
In the comm. on 3 31 it has been shown that as a deliverer of Israel 
he belongs to the latest redaction, and that the slaughter of the 
Philistines is premature. If 5 is interpreted independently of 
this unhistorical exploit, it would be quite as natural to see in him 
the oppressor of Israel as its champion.! The name is strangely 
foreign and heathenish. \ The obvious objection to this interpre 
tation is, that Shamgar plays no part in the struggle ; the chief of 
the enemy is Sisera. Caravans ceased, and those who travelled 
the roads went by roundabout paths } the first words are usually 
interpreted, as in fSi, the highways were disused ; cf. Is. 33 8 . It 
is doubtful, however, whether the verb will bear this meaning, and 
the parallelism is impaired. Commerce between different parts 
of the land was cut off, and those who were compelled to jour 
ney by themselves took circuitous and unfrequented bypaths. 
7. The first half-verse evidently continues the description of the 
wrongs which Israel suffered in the days of Shamgar. The mean 
ing of the words, however, is uncertain. The noun (pcrazon) 
occurs again in v. 11 , but no rendering which suits one of these 
places seems to be possible in the other. In v. 7 we might per 
haps give it the sense, village population, or better, by a slight 
emendation, read, hamlets ceased ; the peasants deserted their 
villages for the protection of the walled towns. This is appro 
priate enough in the context, and may be right. || If so, the word 

* Geddes, Bi., Cooke. f Cf. " in the days of the Philistines," is 20 . 

J See above, p. 106. It would be the solitary instance in the O.T. in which an 
Israelite bears openly the name of a heathen god (Baethgen, Beitrage, p. 140 f.). 

We should have to supplement the hypothesis by another, that Shamgar had 
died before the war and been succeeded by Sisera. The names are alike in being 
neither Canaanite nor Hebrew. 

|| It is so interpreted by O>, Abulw., Ra., Ki., Schm., Cler., Kohl., Ke. ( Cass., 
Ba., Bu., al. Cf. CLOP g i (Aug., al.) 



144 JUDGES 

in v." must be given up, a step which, in the unintelligible and 
indubitably corrupt text there, we need not hesitate to take. The 
rendering mighty men* or counsel, leadership, rule, judges ft is 
recommended by the fact that it would be possible in v. 11 also ; 
but has no support in usage or etymology, and in v. 7 is less appro 
priate to the context and parallelism. 

The repetition of the verb ceased without a subject may be 
accidental, or a subject synonymous with perazon may have fallen 
out of the text. J Till thou didst arise, DeboraJi\ the verbs may 
be either the first person or the second person feminine with the 
old ending ; v. 1 - (cf. v. 15 ) makes it probable that the latter is 
intended. Budde thinks v. 71 a gloss ; see note. A matron in 
Israel^ the phrase occurs in the Old Testament only in 2 S. 2O 1CJ , 
a city and a mother in Israel (<& correctly, /^i-poVoAis) , || from 
which Niebuhr infers that Deborah also was not a woman, but a 
town, Daberath-Deburlyeh.^l" 

pirns V?-in] Sin leave off ; intrans., stop, cease Ex. 9 34 Dt. 15" &c.; that 
it may also mean lie idle is not established by i S. 2 5 Job 14. It is on all 
accounts preferable to pronounce the noun PTnx, companies of wayfarers ; 
the same correction of the punctuation is demanded in Job 6 18 - 19 (caravans). 
ni3\-ij oS-i] n:rpj is a poet, synonym of -|-n, cf. Jer. iS 15 . mSpSpy] 
Ps. I25 5t cf. ppSp ; Is. 27! ; in MH. both words are used tropically of tortuous 
conduct, pirns 2 is erroneously repeated from the preceding line, to the 
detriment of both the poetical expression and the rhythm.** 7. pns V?"in 
Ss-iria] v. ut . p ni9 Ez. 38 11 Zech. 2 8 are unwalled hamlets, nan i S. 6 18 
Dt. 3 5 the peasant population of such hamlets; cf. also Esth. 9 19 and MIL 
MID. It is barely possible that the abstract pna might mean peasantry, and 
be construed as collective with a plural verb; but as in this collective use we 
find elsewhere inon, it would be preferable to emend here Pins, which is 
actually found in a few codd.; so Stud. mim inspir i>] the rel. c* with this 
pointing twice in the verse, also Cant. I 7t ; cf. Jud. 6 17 y 12 8 2G , Ges. 25 36; 
SS., s. v. The rel. y is frequent in late BII. (Cant., Eccl., &c.), and in MIL 
supplants TJ N altogether; but it is unsafe to infer that it was of late origin, 
and hence that the half-verse is a gloss (Bu.), or the whole poem of late date 
(Seinecke, Vernes).ft We have equally little ground for pronouncing ;: a 



* i. fortes ; similarly GGMX i ( Verecundus) ; cf. Hab. 3". 
f Teller, Schnurrer, Ges., Hollmann, Be., Reuss, Vernes. 
t Bu. $ See above, p. 132. 

|| See above, p. 25 and n. H Recoiistellation, p. n. 

** Briggs. ft Observe Ti xa, v. 2 ". 



V. 7 -8 I45 

peculiarity of a northern dialect (Nachtigall, Bo., al.).* The relatives "*2 N 
and & are probably of different origin, and may have existed side by side in 
all periods of the language. For \-icp @ I E 3L have the third person, until 
Deborah arose ; Jfy would then be a later change to the first person, dictated 
by the theory that Deborah was the author of the Ode (v. 1 ).! It is simpler 
to take the form Ticp as 2 s.f. with the old ending i (Ges. 25 44. 2 n. 4); 
Rodiger (1839), Bo., Graetz, We., A. Miiller, Reuss, Kitt. 

8. Continues the portrayal of the situation in Israel at the out 
break of the war, as is evident from the second half-verse. \ A 
shield was not to be seen, nor a spear, among forty thousand men~\ 
the hyperbole is not to be pressed ; nor does the language imply 
that the Israelites had been disarmed, as, according to a late and 
exaggerated story (i S. i3 19 "~), they were by the Philistines in the 
days of Saul. But, compared with the well-equipped soldiers of 
the Canaanite kings, they were a motley concourse, armed with 
such rude weapons as each man could lay his hands on, or hur 
riedly fashion from the implements of his peaceful calling. 
Verse 8 * is unintelligible. The English version, following 9T and 
Jewish commentators, || connects the verse with the following, and 
understands it to refer to Israel s sin in worshipping strange gods 
and its consequence, a hostile invasion : " They chose new gods ; 
then was war in the gates." ^f This translation of the last hemi 
stich is impossible ; that of the first, for grammatical reasons, very 
improbable. Moreover, if the poet had meant to speak of the 
apostasy of Israel as the cause of the evils that had befallen it, 
the natural place to do so was before v. G , where the description of 
those evils begins. But that he construed the history of his times 
as the author of the introduction to the Book of Judges does 
(2 6ff -) is nowhere intimated in the Ode, and is in itself most 
improbable. Other attempts to extract a meaning from the 

* Neubauer and Sayce thought that they found the letters *? on a stone weight, 
prob. of the 8 th cent. B.C., which was found on the site of Samaria ; but the read 
ing is disputed. See Acad., Aug. 2, 1890, p. 94 ; Athenaeum, Aug. 2, 1890, p. 164. 
The controversy in the Academy, 1894, is reprinted in PEF. Qu, St., July, 1894, 
p. 220-231 ; 284-287. t See We., Comp., p. 223 n., cf. p. 356; Bi. 

J E. Meier would put v. 8 after v. 9 ; cf. A. Miiller, Cooke. 

Such seems, at least, to be the meaning; the mutilated context warns us 
against too confident an interpretation. || Ra., Ki., Tanch., RLbG., Abarb. 

IT Cf. Dt. 32" Jud. 2U-15. So Drus., Cler., Schm., Schnurrer, Hollm., Stud., 
Ba., Cass., Reuss, Oettli, al. mu. The first clause is rendered in the same way by <E. 
L 



146 JUDGES 

clauses are not more successful. Jerome translates : Nova bella 
elegit Dominus,* et portas hostium ipse subvertit ; clypeus et 
hasta si apparuerint in quadraginta millibus Israel. Ewakl and 
others, "They chose new judges (elo/iim}" f namely, Deborah 
and Barak. In the last hemistich <S> and some recensions of (> 
find " barley bread " (cf. 7 13 ). J See critical note. 

9-11. The text of these verses has suffered so badly that there 
is no reasonable hope that any art or skill by the critic will ever 
be able to restore it. The ancient versions found the text in 
substantially the same state in which it has been transmitted to 
us, and had no tradition to guide them in interpreting it. The 
disjointed words and phrases to which we can attach a probable 
sense do not afford a sufficient basis for conjecture ; the con 
nexion is impenetrably obscure. We are here, as more than once 
in the following verses, in very much the same case as the epi- 
graphist who has before him a badly defaced or mutilated inscrip 
tion, the difficulty of deciphering which, he has reason to suspect, 
is increased by partial and unskilful attempts at restoration. What 
can, with more or less confidence, be made out is this : 9 My 
heart (goes out) to the rulers ( ?) of Israel those who offer 
themselves freely among the people bless ye Yahweh 10 men 
that ride reddish asses that sit on . . . and that walk on the 
road . . . u from (?) a sound of ... between watering-places 
there they rehearse the righteous acts of Yahweh the right 
eous acts of ... in Israel then went down to the gates the 
people of Yahweh. || 

Verse 9 seems to repeat the motive of v.-, but unfortunately the 
one is as obscure as the other ; v. 10 is generally explained as calling 



* S, God chose a new thing, Ephrem, Lth., al. ; generally understood of the deliv 
erance of Israel by a woman. Cf. also RLbG., alt. 

f Meier, Be., Briggs, al. ; cf. Ex. 2i G 22" 8 (Ew.). 

J It is obviously impossible, as it would be unprofitable, in the obscure and cor 
rupt places of this poem, to discuss or even record all the guesses of commen 
tators. I shall pass over in silence such as seem to me to have no claim to serious 
consideration. The curious reader may consult Bachmann. 

I abstain from any interpretative punctuation. 

|| Cf. A. Mu ller, p. 16 f. Perhaps it may not be superfluous to give a warning 
against the inference that because so many words can be recognized, therefore so 
much of the text is sound. 



V. 8-1 1 147 

upon the persons there described, perhaps representing different 
classes of society or men of different pursuits, to join in singing 
Yahweh s praises for the security which they now enjoy, in con 
trast to v. 6 - 7a . The archers (??) among the watering-places are 
also supposed to have something to do with celebrating Yahweh s 
righteous acts. The first part of the poem would thus end, as it 
began, with a summons to laud and magnify Yahweh s great name. 
Verse llb is, upon this supposition, entirely unsuitable after v. lla and 
before v. 12 ; it has been conjectured that it is accidentally mis 
placed from v. 13a .* This interpretation of v. 9 " 11 makes the verses 
interrupt and delay the swift movement of the poem in a way that 
is quite unlike the author, f After the appearance of Deborah 
(v. 7b ), we expect to hear of the preparations for the war, and this 
is confirmed by v. nb , then marched down to the gates the people 
of Yahweh ; cf. also v. 8b . With v. 12 the war itself begins. 

8. n^in DTI^N imi] against the interpretations which make God subject, 
it is decisive that throughout the poem the name mm is used; n^nn new 
things (niBnn Is. 48 6 ) or new men is in this collocation fatally ambiguous. 
The same objection holds against It (Israel) chooses (or, when if chaoses ) 
new gods; an author who meant to be understood would hardly write thus. 
Moreover, the idea is foreign to the poem, and is introduced in an inappro 
priate place. Perhaps a scribe may have tried to restore the partly illegible 
words of his copy by the help of Dt. 32 17 ; cf. Jud. io 14 . New judges ascribes 
to DTI^N a fictitious sense and adds a new element of ambiguity. onS IN 
Di-\> tt ] it is difficult to imagine what is intended by this anomalous pronun 
ciation; see Ges. Thes., and Ba. After rx we expect a finite verb, as in 
v. 11 - 13 - 19 ( ji icnSj TN) 22 , and nnj?^ is apparently accus. ; but erf" (Ps. 35! 
56 2 - 3t ) would be very suspicious here, and then he assaulted the gates would 
hardly admit any interpretation but that of Jerome. (@APVLMO J g j j fa 
&prov Kpidivov, i.e. Dnjri* anS 7 13 (cf. Thdt., Ephr., Aug.), which is certainly 
the most natural pronunciation of the consonants. For a conjecture based on 
this, see Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 103; cf. also Kautzsch, Textkrit. Erldut., 
u. s. w., in his translation of the O.T., p. 6. HN-V ax \yz\ ox % of the oath, or, 
perh. better, interrogative, demanding for its answer an emphatic No ! (Dr 3 - 
39 j3). On (g Aal - <TKfwtj veaviduv K.r.e. see Ew., GGA. 1867, p. 635 f.; We., 
TBS. p. 8; Field, Hexapla, ad loc. The meaning is not that no one dared to 

*Bu. 

t This difficulty would not be so serious, if, with Ew. we made of v>U an inde 
pendent poem ; see above, p. 128. J They chose. 

Many codd. Dn L , Dn s (De Rossi) ; against the Massora, Ochla we-Ochla, 
No. 373. 



148 JUDGES 

raise a hand against the oppression (Schm., Stud., al.). The number, 40,000, 
is in notable contrast to the standing 600,000 of the post-exilic history of the 
Exodus (Hollm., Stud., We.). 9. *?sis" ^ppinS 2 s ] &, Schm., E\v., al. supply 
12N says ; better, simply, belongs to, goes out to, in gratitude and affection (11 
diligit, Ra., Ki., Cler., most moderns), ppm (Is. lo 1 ) seems to be the same as 
ppirp v. 14 (see there) Dt. 33 21 ; the form is best explained as ptcp. Qal. 
Ji a; 3 aiaijrcn] closely resembles v. 2 , and is equally obscure; the ptcp. is 
hardly appositive to B ppin (Stud.), but its counterpart in loose construction 
(Schm., Schnur.). 10. I see no way to do anything with imr, on which, 
unfortunately, the understanding of the whole verse depends. It is commonly 
translated, tell forth, proclaim, laud (it, most comm.; cf. Ps. IO5 2 I45 5 ) ; 
others render consider, meditate, muse (Cler., Schm., Schnur., Herd., Ba., 
al.), which the usage would rather admit, but which is even less suitable in 
the context. niTix mjrx] on the colour (gray, or tawny, inclining to red) 
see A. Miiller, p. 4-6. On riding asses, see on io 4 . ft-? s ;~ ijs"] the noun 
is unknown. The older interpreters, by an impossible etymology, explain it, 
judgement, or place of judgement ; most moderns derive it from 12 (plur. 
Di"ro 3 16 ),* with Aramaic plural ending. As the sense garments is obviously 
unsuitable, it is assumed that the word had the wider sense, cloths ; hence 
either, saddle-cloths, housings, or (rich) carpets (so the most). The phrases 
are supposed by many to designate different social classes, with great diversity 
of opinion as to what classes or how many; others, laying the emphasis on 
the verbs, imagine the call to be addressed to every Israelite, whatever he may 
be about; cf. Dt. 6 7 Ps. I39 3 Is. 37 28 Ps. i 1 &c. (so Stud., Reuss, al.). 
11. B iNi: :! fa C xxrc s ps] D^xxns f is formally possible as denom. Piel from 
Vn arrow, men that shoot arrows (Ki., RLbG., Kuypers, Lette, Ges., al. 
mu.) ; others, cast lots with arrows (Schultens), for the division of the booty 
(Schnur., al.) ; while others still derive it directly from }*xn, to which they give 
the meaning divide sc. the spoil (pSn; Hollm., Stud., Ba.). J But the difficulty 
lies not more in this word than in the preposition p and the noun a^srn; 
(lit. places where water is drawn ). There is no clue to the meaning of the 
line. i:r^ air] the obscurity of the preceding prevents our seeing to what 
place ay refers, or what is the subject of the verb, run i i 4m is frequently 
compared with Arab. /c^ iv., eulogize (or defame ). But as equivalent 
of Heb. n;i:> the word is not conceivable in old Hebrew. mm mpix] seem 
ingly manifestations of his justice in defending and delivering his people; cf. 
i S. I2 7 Mi. 6 5 &c. S&nia uins rpix] see on v. 7 . In the context uma 
must be gen. subj. ; country people (Ba. ) will not do here; ruler ship, rule 
(Be.) or leadership, leaders (Stud., Reuss, al.) are unsupported, and do not 



* Hiller, Schnur., Ges., al. plur. 

t Every conceivable Heb. etymology of this word was discussed by Jewish 
scholars in the Middle Ages ; see Tanch., quoted in Ges. Thes. p. 511. 
J Bu. conjectures 3 pnx 1 : Sp, Hark, how joyful they are ! 



v. i2 149 

suit v. 7 . MI -ITV IN] many commentators, taking urn as jussive continuing 
the imv. wir, feel constrained to make a jussive also of vrv, either emending 
ivv> (Schnur.) or forcing this sense upon the pf. (Hollm., al.). The gates 
(metonomy for cities; cf. (5) are thought by some to be those of the Israelites, 
to which they now return in peace and security, cf. v. 8 (so, with various 
modifications, Stud., Ke., Ba., al.); others, with greater probability, interpret 
of the gates of the enemy s cities, against which Israel now marched (it, Ew., 
Be., Reuss, al.). 

12-22. Israel marches into battle ; defeat and flight of the 
Canaanites. The second part of the Ode. After an opening 
apostrophe to Deborah and Barak, we see the tribes march down 
to the fray and hear the reproachful questions which the absence 
of others evokes. Then we are in the midst of the combat ; the 
heavens themselves fight against Sisera, the torrents of Kishon 
sweep his proud host to ruin. The text of v. 13 15 is so corrupt that 
we can hardly read more than the names of the tribes ; but their 
general purport is manifest. From v. 16 the text is better pre 
served. 12. Rouse thee, rouse thee, Deborah; rouse thee, rouse 
thee, strike up the song] interpreters who assume that in these 
words Deborah calls upon herself to sing the Ode of Victory find 
it hard to explain why this invocation stands thus in the middle 
of the Ode, instead of beginning it.* The explanation of Studer 
and others, that this is the real beginning of the Ode, to which 
v. 2 " is merely a prooemium, hardly relieves the difficulty ; we 
should have to go a step farther, and with Ewald, regard v. 2 11 as 
a distinct poem. The complete parallel between the call to 
Deborah in v. 12a and that to Barak in v. 12b makes it improbable, 
however, that in the former Deborah addresses herself; and we 
have seen other reasons for believing that the heroine is not the 
author of the Ode. In view of the following context, verse 12b is 
best understood as a summons to Barak, not to participate in the 
celebration of the triumph, but to attack the enemy ; and, accord 
ingly, v. 12a , which cannot be separated from v. 12b and referred to 
an earlier time,f is to be explained, not as a call to Deborah to 
sing a song of victory, but to strike up the song of battle. \ The 

* On this difficulty see, e.g. Schnur., who would supply, / said. Niebuhr in his 
Reconstellation actually puts v. 12 in the place of v. 2 . f Stud., Ba., al. 

J Schnur., Kohl., We., Reuss, cf. Bi., Cass. (Reminiscenz an das Schlachtlied 
selbst). 



150 JUDGES 

verse is then in a suitable place. The poet sees the people of 
Yahvveh marching to attack the foe (v. llb ) and breaks in with an 
apostrophe to the two leaders ; to Deborah, to fire the hearts of 
her countrymen by song ; to Barak, to make prisoners the proud 
foemen.* The obscurity of the preceding verses, however, makes 
it impossible to say with confidence that this is the transition 
intended by the poet. Up, Barak ; lead captive thy captive 
train, son of Abinoam~\ a bold prolepsis ; but not an unnatural 
one for a poet after the event. With an equally admissible pro 
nunciation of the Hebrew word we might translate, lead captive 
thy captors, and surmise that Barak, like Gideon (8 18 " 21 ), had his 
own wrongs to avenge as well as those of his people, a touch of 
personal interest which we should welcome.f 

13-15 a . The tribes are in motion against the enemy. The 

verses are so mutilated that we can make out little more than the 
bare names of the tribes. 13. The second member may be 
read, The people of Yahiveh marched down for him j as heroes 
(cf. v. 2:! ) ; something of the same kind seems to have stood in the 
preceding line, of which there remains, then marched down . . . 
nobles. In view of the parallel it might be conjectured that the 
name Israel was originally found in this line. 14. In the first 
two lines nothing is certain but the names, Ephraim and Benja 
min. "From Ephraim their root (is) in Amalek after thee 
Benjamin among thy peoples " is nonsense which must give 
the most courageous translator pause. From Machir marched 
down truncheon-bearers, and from Zebulun those who carry the 
muster-master s staff~\ Machir is here Manasseh, of which tribe it 
was the principal branch. |j In later times the seats of Machir 
were in Gilead ; but there is good ground for the opinion that the 
conquest of this region was made, not in the first invasion of the 
lands east of the Jordan by Israel, but subsequently, by a reflux 



* This is preferable to the explanation which makes the words a shout of the 
Israelite host as they go into battle (Stud, alt., al.). 

t We., Sta., Bu., Kitt. J <5B al. ; $ f or me _ 

That is, after thee came Benjamin, &c. (Schnur., Kohl., Hollm., Stud., al.), or, 
after thee, O Benjamin ! (Schm., alt., Ew., Mei., Ba.) 

|| Machir the first-born son of Manasseh (Jos. 17!) ; or his only son (Gen. 5O- 3 
Num. 262"ft -). Sec Kue., Th. T. xi. 483 ff. 



V. 12-15 IS 1 

movement from Western Palestine.* On Zebulun, see on i ;5 . 
The muster-master (lit. writer) in the later military organization 
(2 K. 25 19 ) was an officer who had charge of the enumeration 
and enrolment of the troops ; a kind of adjutant general. t In 
our text it is probably the chieftains themselves who muster the 
quotas of their own clans ; the poet evidently seeks changing 
expressions for the often recurring idea, chiefs. 15 a . Issachar, 
which is not named at all in ch. i, J is here mentioned with special 
honour as the tribe of Deborah, and apparently of Barak also. 
Unfortunately the text is here again in such disorder that the 
latter point at least is extremely doubtful. The first line may per 
haps be made to read, And the princes of Issachar were with 
Deborah, or, were the people of Deborah ; the rest defies transla 
tion. The second line connects Barak also in some way with Issa 
char ; but, in accordance with the uniform structure of the preceding 
verses, we should rather expect the name of another tribe ; and, on 
the other hand, the omission of Naphtali from this list is strange, 
especially in view of v. 18 . In the third line the words, into the 
plain . . . at his feet, suffice to show that the verse, like those 
before it, describes the tribes pouring down from their hills into 
the plain to give battle to the Canaanites. The original seats of 
Issachar seem to have been south of Naphtali and southeast 
of Zebulun, probably in the hills between the two valleys which 
descend from the eastern end of the Great Plain to the Jordan 
(Wady el-Bireh, Nahr Galud) ; it may comparatively early have 
occupied a part of the range of Gilboa, south of the latter valley. 
Toward the northwest it reached to the foot of Tabor, where it 
met both Zebulun and Naphtali. The territory occupied by 
Issachar was one in which it was peculiarly difficult to maintain 
its independence, and in Gen. 49 14f the tribe is taunted for the 
ignoble spirit in which it preferred peace to freedom. || 

12. -m;?] the accent is shifted for rhythmical variety, the first two being 
milra, the last two mil el ; cf. Is. 5i 9 , Ges. 25 72 Anm. 3; Bo. 1134; Ba., 

* Smend, H WB^. p. 936 ; Sta., G VI. i. p. 149 ; Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 34 ff. 
t JDMich., Schnur., Ba., al. Cf. also i Mace. 5 42 . J See above, p. 49. 

$ All this is merely conjectural ; the tribe is not named in Jud. i, and the 
boundaries and towns assigned to it in Jos. 1917-23 represent a much later time. 
|| See Sta., G VI. i. p. 170 f. 



152 JUDGES 

p. 367. The alliteration ^t:n . . . mim is very likely designed; * with im 
v: c f. 2 S. 22 1 Dt. 3I 31 . Tar ms-i] ^r collective; cf. Ps. 68 19 >3U ; r-ar 
(Yahweh) ; so (3UE and most comm. It is possible to pronounce r\^t thy 
captors, cf. Is. I4 2 ; so S a, Lth., JDMich., We., Sta., Bu. 13. TV bis} the 
context requires in both instances the perf. TV (< BGX ,S2, JDMich., Schnur., 
Stud., Evv., Be., and most recent scholars) ; cf. ITV v. 11 - 14 . H TV undoubtedly 
intends an apocop. impf. Pi. from n-n (Ra., Ki.; cf. Stud.; Ges.- 5 69, i c). 

annsS Tor] -unir is the survivor of a battle or calamity, often parallel to 
i^Sc; collectively Is. i !t . There is nothing in the usage of the word to 
warrant the rendering a little band (Kohl., Stud., Cass., Reuss, and most) f; 
nor can an^sS, in view of the parallel o^ii3J3 (cf. v. 23 ), J refer to the enemy 
(8C, Rabb., JDMich., Schnur., Herd., Stud., al.). H (cf. 1L) joins a;- to 
the first member of the verse, to carry out its misinterpretation of TV; it is 
rightly connected with the following (nirv ay) by (5 BGX , Xoos Kvptov Karefirj 
aiiT<f fv TOIS Kparaio is, || in which avrf (i v ) is also to be preferred to H iS.^f 
In the light of the parallelism, it may be conjectured that the unintelligible 
^ T-ir in v. a is a corruption of SNTJ". In ani3J3 the 3 is perhaps in the 
character of, as (Ges. 25 1 19, 3 b. i), rather than among ; certainly not against. 
14. ana.x ^2] ij2 twice in this verse (cf. jSiais v. b ) Is. 46 3 Mi. 7 12 Pss. Job. 

pSnj?3 B i i;; ] is commonly translated, their root is in Amalek (or, ivhose 
root, &c.), and explained, they are firmly established in that part of the 
territory of Ephraim called the Amalekites Mountain, that is, in the region of 
Pirathon (i2 15 , see comm. ad loc.} ; ** so Hiller (1707), Schnur., Kohl., Hollm., 
and almost all comm. in the present century. But, apart from the enigmatical 
form of the expression, the author cannot mean that only those clans of 
Ephraim which were settled in that district came to the war (Ew., Be.); and 
that that region was the centre and stronghold of the tribe is neither in 
accord with the evidence of history nor relevant in this context. The words 
stand in the place where we should have the predicate of the sentence ; it is 
equally awkward to have to borrow a verb from TV v. 13 (Schnur., Stud.) or 
from ITV v. 14c (Ba.). au ii:* is probably the corruption of a verb, and for 
pScjra we may conjecture that the original reading was p2y3, which is given 
by <APLMO 01st; c f. v. 15 MI rhv? p?:; ! 3 (see there). T22; 3 p:rj3 TiriN] 

* See on the whole subject, Casanowicz, " Paronomasia in the O.T.," JBL. xii. 
: 893, P- 105 ff. ; also separately, Boston, 1894. 

t A remnant, that is, in comparison with the enemy; a little band of Israelites 
who have escaped from former defeats. Ba. quotes Verg., reliquiae Danaum atquc 
immitis Achillei. 

J Remnant of the nobles (Hollm., Ew., Mei., Be., al.) is difficult to justify gram 
matically. So among modern interpreters, Hollm., Ew., Ke., Be., Ba. 

|| Some Heb. codd. connect in the same way (De Rossi) ; so W. Green, 
JDMich., Schnur., Kohl., Mei., Donalds., Bi., Cass., Reuss, Briggs, al. mu. 

If Kohl. 

* The older commentators explained the words of wars against Amalek; so 
8T, Rabb., Ephr., a Lyra, Cler., al. 



v. is 153 

the same Greek texts give us T nx which may with reason be preferred (thy 
brother Benjamin) ; but "psc? is suspicious on account not only of the Ara 
maic form of the plural (cf. Neh. Q 22 - 24 ), but even more of the plural itself; 
among thy kinsmen {popnlarei) is less natural here than in thy ranks, "p"3. 
It would be rash, however, to emend in this desperate content. a^iyis] 
ppm Nu. 2i 18 syn. of njjev:, Gen. 49 10 parallel to Bar, is a staff, carried by 
men of rank and authority; here it is the man who carries such a staff as the 
emblem of his authority (see the parallel clause); cf. Is. 3$ (|| OB. , l^n) 
Ps. 6o 9 Dt. 33 21 (?). The interpretation, law-giver, law-giver s staff, is merely 
an etymological deduction, and is not sustained by usage. IBD oas 2 D ors] 
3 IC 3 cf. I K. 22 34 , the usual construction in Arab. ; we might also render, those 
who march with the B3U , &c.; cf. on 4. With icb in this use cf. i^ir (from a 
root of similar meaning; often coupled with Bair), cf. 2 Chr. 26 11 . In 
2 K. 25 19 V-INH D > % wassn N3xn -\v icon, N3sn -vy may reasonably be 
suspected of being a gloss; in Jer. 52 25 the words have been rendered gram 
matically correct by dropping the article before ICD. Klost. takes IDD (or 
JDD) as n. pr. Bu. conjecturally joins IDD in Jud. 5 14 to the following verse: 
mi3T aj? "oa>S"a ^tr TIED; cf. W. Green (1753), MI ana -insp. 15a. VCM 
mm OJJ -ow>3] my princes is obviously impossible; the correction nSr 
(constr. before preposition), princes in Issachar (Schnur., Stud., Be., al.),* 
though grammatically admissible, is otherwise not much better; i3S>s ns* the 
princes of Issachar gives a satisfactory sense, but we cannot be confident that 
this restores the original text. For a? we might also read av (Bu.). i3S 3"i 
pi3 p] Stud, conjectures that instead of this second Issachar, which neither 
nor 3L seem to have read, the original reading \\ssNapktali; cf. 4 5 18 . 
The insertion of 3 before the first member of the comparison removes the 
grammatical harshness; but it is difficult to imagine a worse anticlimax than, 
and as was Issachar so was Barak. T iS JT3 nSu ! r>s>3] the passive is certainly 
wrong (Miiller) ; the unintelligibility of the preceding clause forbids us to 
say more than this. Perhaps the same verb which in v. u has been corrupted 
to yy~\v originally stood here also. 

15 b -18. The encomium of the tribes which under their gallant 
chieftains marched down to the fray (v. 13 * 15 *) is followed by 
reproaches of those who were missing from the ranks of Israel ; 
their conduct is contrasted with the shining example of Zebulun 
and Naphtali (v. 18 ). Natural as the transition is, the text can 
scarcely be intact; a stichos corresponding to v. 15 seems to be 
lacking.f 15 b . Modern interpreters nearly all translate, By the 

* Other explanations of the form give us grammatical anomalies ; see Ba. It 
will probably not occur to any one to fortify the hypothesis of a plural absolute 
in by the plurals of this form in the Senjerli inscriptions (see D. H. Miiller, 
WZKM. vii. 1893, p. 119 f.). t A. Miiller. 



T54 JUDGES 

watercourses of Reuben (RV. ) ; cf. Job 20 .* The old versions 
all, in one sense or another, render, divisions,^ which is probably 
to be preferred ; the fractions of the tribe were divided in counsel, 
and squandered in dissensions the time for deeds. Great dis 
cussions^ lit. investigations of mind ; to find out one another s 
feeling and purpose. The text is to be corrected by v. 16b , \ where 
in the repetition of the line the important word has been better 
preserved. For the meaning, cf. i S. 2O 1 -. 16. The reproaches 
cast upon the recreant tribes are couched in the form of taunting 
questions. Why safest thou between the . . . ?] the last word, 
which occurs besides in Gen. 49" in a similar figure for base 
inertness (cf. also Ps. 68 13 ), is translated by most recent inter 
preters, folds, enclosures surrounded by a paling or hedge for the 
protection of the flocks. The rendering, ash-heaps, or heaps 
of refuse, by the villages or encampments of the tribe, adheres 
more closely to the concrete meaning of the cognate Hebrew 
words, which is here our only clue. In the next clause the trans 
lation of Jerome, after some of the Greek versions, is generally 
adopted, ut audias sibilos grcgum ; which recent scholars rightly 
interpret, not of the bleating of the flocks, || but of the piping of 
shepherds among their flocks ; ^[ better, perhaps, of the calls 
of the shepherds to their flocks. The rest of the verse is 
repeated by mistake from the end of v. 1 5 .** The seats of Reuben 
were east of the Dead Sea in northern Moab (Num. 32 371 ), where 
its relation to the native population was probably not unlike that 
of Asher and Naphtali among the Canaanites in Galilee (r lf - :C! ). 
Like Simeon, it seems never to have settled down to agri 
culture. In ancient times, according to the patriarchal legend, 
one of the leading tribes of Israel, the first of the Leah group, 
early in the historical period dwindled into insignificance. In the 
Moabite inscription of Mesha it is not mentioned ; Gad has taken 



* JDMich., Schnur., Herd., Kohl., Hollm., E\v., Be., Ba., al. 
t So also Sclim., Stud., Fiirst, Delitzseh (on Job 2O ir ), MV., al. (districts), 
J Houbig., Kohl. ; cf. the ancient versions. 

$ Pagninus, Lth., AV., Ludolf, Teller, Kohl., Ges., Hollm., E\v., al. mu. 
|| S, Lth., Bochart, Schm., Cler., Schnur., Herd., al. 

11 Ges., Hollm. , Stud., E\\., Be., Ba., al. mu. ; the fasloria sidila, Ovid, Met., 
xiii. 785. 

** Teller, Reuss, A. Miiller, Cooke. Hi. conj. that a line (v. 1( c ) has been lost. 



V. i 5 -i 7 155 

its place ; and in Dt. 33 6 the prayer for Reuben is, May Reuben 
live and not die. The fate of the tribe was ascribed to an ances 
tral curse, Gen. 49 3f- , the cause and meaning of which are not 
clear.* 17. Gilead remained on the other side of the Jordan] 
Gilead is the region east of the Jordan, north and south of the 
Jabbok (Nahr ez-Zerqa) , with shifting limits in either direction.! 
The name is sometimes used for the whole of the Israelite pos 
sessions east of the Jordan, of which it was indeed the chief part. 
It was occupied by the tribe of Gad, which is doubtless meant in 
our verse. J The disposition of Reuben and Gad to pursue their 
own interests and let their brethren on the other side of the Jor 
dan fight their own battles is reflected in Nu. 32 lff -. 

The more distant northern tribes also stood apart and were not 
represented in the ranks of Israelite warriors. And Dan, why 
does he live neighbour to the ships .?] the words are difficult ; but 
there seems no sufficient reason for suspecting the text, which is 
supported by the parallel line about Asher. This parallel also 
shows that the northern settlements of Dan (iS 27 *-) are meant, || 
not the earlier seats of the tribe in the southwest ( i 34 *- ; see 
there). ^[ In neither place did Dan actually come down to the 
seaboard.** The words would be quite inexplicable if we had to 
translate, why did he remain in the ships (RV.). The rendering 
adopted above, which gives the meaning of the verb more exactly, 
removes the difficulty, if we may interpret, Why does he live as 
a dependent, under the protection of the Phoenician sea-farers ? ff 
This was probably the situation of the Danites, as it had been of 
the inhabitants of Laish before them (i8 7 - 28 ). The only objection 
to this explanation is, that ships is a somewhat remote metonymy 
for a seagoing people ; compare, however, ship coast for sea 
coast, Gen. 49 13 . Asher abode toward the coast of the Great 
Sea~\ cf. Gen. 49 13 , of Zebulun. And remains by its landings^ 



* See Sta., G VI. i. p. 151 f. t See on n5. 

J Cf. Ps. 60". > here reads Gad. The conquests of Manasseh in northern 
Gilead are probably later than the time of Deborah ; see above, on v. 14 . 
Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 16 n. ; cf. Kitt., GdH. i. 2. p. 65 n. 
|| Procop., Ki., Cler., Stud., Cass. IT Kohl., Hollm., Be., Ba., al. 

** Even in Jos. ig 46 Joppa lies outside his border (Ki., Stud.), 
ft Cf. (5 e:> ri TrapoiKtt irAot ot? ; it is not necessary to suppose that Danites served 
on Phoenician ships (Stud., al.). 



156 JUDGES 

the last word is found only here ; IL in portubus morabatur. The 
parallel line, the meaning of the root, and the use of derivatives 
of the corresponding root in Arabic make the general sense suf 
ficiently certain. Asher occupied the mountainous inland, behind 
the Phoenician coast, and it is not impossible that Asherites may 
have settled in the Phoenician towns, as they did among the 
Canaanites in the interior. There is no reason to imagine that 
they had established themselves on the seaboard in any other 
way ; and in view of what is said of Dan it is hardly necessary to 
press the language even as far as this. See further on i olf -. 
18. In strong contrast to the unpatriotic or cowardly conduct of 
the eastern and northern tribes stands the conspicuous gallantry 
of Zebulun and Naphtali.* Zebulun is a band that recklessly 
exposed itself to death~\ lit. that contemned its life to death.^ 
And Naphtali, tipon the heights of the open field~\ Naphtali dis 
played equal valour. The last words cannot refer to the home of 
Naphtali among the hills of Galilee, \ but to the field on which 
the two tribes won this renown. The expression seems, how 
ever, inappropriate to the scene of the battle against Sisera, in 
the plain on the banks of the Kishon (v. lu 21 ) . Many commen 
tators think that Mt. Tabor (4 6 - 12 - ") is meant ; || but Tabor is not 
mentioned in the Ode, which locates the field of battle, not at the 
foot of the mountain (4 U ), but on the other side of the plain 
near Taanach. The word used for heights does not necessarily 
denote a great elevation, but is rather a relative term (cf. Prov. 8 L> 
9 3 - 14 ) ; and may perhaps be employed here of the mounds and 
hillocks in the plain, which, however inconsiderable, were positions 
of advantage in the battle, especially as rallying points for the 
hard-pressed Canaanites before the rout became complete. 
These elevations, where the enemy fought with the ferocity of 



* According to ch. 4 these two tribes furnished the whole army of Barak. 

t For parallels from Arabic sources illustrating the use of the verb, see Schul- 
tens, Animadvers tones, p. 66 ; Lette, Schnur., ad lac. Cf. e.g., Hamasa, ed. Freytag, 
p. 47. 

J Schm., Cler., Schnur. ; the mountain tribes in contrast to the servile low- 
landers, Stud., E\v. 

$ Kohl., Hollm., al. 

|| Ra., RLbG., Abarb., and many; where the assembled tribes were filled with 
heroic valour (Ba.). 



V. i7-i8 157 

desperation, Zebulun and Naphtali with reckless hardihood 
stormed and carried. So, at least, we can imagine it ; a certain 
interpretation is hardly to be given. There is something tempting 
in IL s in regions Meromc ; the words would then refer to former 
exhibitions of impetuous bravery by these tribes, perhaps against 
Jabin; but the text of ^ is supported by (, and 3L probably 
does not represent a different reading, but an ungrammatical 
translation. 

15b. piNi rojSua] in Job 2O 17 nuSfl is explained in the parallel line ^Sm 
nNsni w :n. c^jSs, usually in the phrase v? VPD, are primarily canals and 
ditches distributing water for irrigation; cf. Prov. 2I 1 Ps. 46 5 and the vb. 
Job 38 25 , also Arab, falag* We can hardly imagine, however, that Reuben 
was at this time so far advanced in agriculture; v. 1G shows that it was chiefly 
a pastoral tribe. For this reason it seems better to understand the word here 
of the divisions of the tribe; cf. nuSfl, nuSfiD, 2 Chr. 35 5 - 12 , and cognate words 
in Aram, and Syr.f 3 1 ? V.i?n] ippn Is. lo lf decrees, edicts ; the form is 
scarcely to be derived from ph (Ol., p. 628; Ges. 25 , p. 261), but from a parallel 
form heq ; cf. Sx cstr. pi. >V?s Jer. 6 4 . But no meaning that can legitimately 
be given to pn is suitable here. J The true reading is preserved in the 
misplaced repetition of this line, v. 16b , 2 s ? npn; see there. 16. a^nea sn jo] 
Gen. 49 14t cf. o\-ifls> f2 |i23S>n DN Ps. 68 14 . The ancient versions for the most 
part render between the territories, boundaries, or between the ranks of the 
two armies (S) ; || <@BGX j n j u( j. <& ^ ffov T ^ s 8iyo/j.las, cf. Gr. Venet. Gen. 49 
dva TO. 7}fj.i<t>6pT<.a; so Ki. on Gen. I.e. and Lex. s.v.; Schm. The interpreta 
tion enclosure is found in Abulw. Lex. s.v., Ki. on Jud. 5 16 (sheep-pens ), 
Abarb., Pagninus, Ludolf (Lex. Aethiop., 1661, p. 66; 1699, p. 76), Teller, 
and NWSchroeder, and is adopted by most modern commentators.^ The 
etymological arguments by which this explanation is supported may be seen in 
Ges. Thes. p. 1471 f. (Roed.); they are, as Stud, justly remarks, far-fetched 
and very dubious. We should perhaps rather compare PSSTN (also MH.), 
rss 2 K. 4 38 Ez. 24 3 , and Ar. c&i, &c. (Schultens) ; the stones on which 
the pot is supported over the fire, fireplace.** a-nip n^p-ic ] cf. Is. 5 26 7 18 
Zech. io 8 (|| yap); the verb is not used in the O.T. or MH. of playing on a 



* JDMich., Supplement/!, p. 2013 (irrigation ditches) ; Schnur. 

t Cf. H diviso contra se Ruben. Of divided mind, perfidy, Ra. ; aloof on the 
other side of Jordan, Ki. ; &c. 

J The contrast between great resolves at first and great vacillation afterwards 
(Schnur., Stud., Evv., Be.) does not lie in the words, and if intended must have 
been in some way indicated. So Stud. 

|| So Ra., Ba. ; Reuben tried to be neutral in the struggle. 

U Ca.na.les unde pecora bibutit (cl. Arab, safita ; JDMich., Schnur.) is phoneti 
cally impossible. ** Cf. Lette, and W. R. Smith, Religion of Semites, p. 357. 



158 JUDGES 

pipe. 3 1 ? Vn] 2 s is obj. gen. (cf. Jer. ij 10 Prov. 25* &c.), and the phrase 
can hardly mean self-questionings, hesitating between pro and contra* Jew 
ish interpreters understand the words of the questionings which the absence 
of Reuben causes among the other Israelites. 17. rvjs ivr n^ pi] mj 
c. c. ace. Is. 33 U Ps. 5 5 I2O 5 ; not, why does he fear the ships (Schm., 
JDMich.; recently, Niebuhr). Bu. (Richf. u. Sam., p. 16 n.) conj. ITNJ; 
cf. Cooke. B^> iinS] the plur. Gen. 49 13 Dt. 33 1! (of Zebulun) &c. vsnss] 

^ 9 

only here; the suff. prob. refers to rpn. Cf. Arab. X-OJ, place where boats 
or ships are drawn up, or where they lie to unload. The translation bays, 
harbours, is scarcely warranted. 

19-22. The battle ; rout of the Canaanites. The kings came, 
they foiight~\ observe the effect of the asyndeton. The kings of 
Canaan~\ united against Israel under the lead of Sisera. At 
Taanach, on the waters of Megiddo] on Taanach and Megiddo 
see on i- 7 (p. 44 ff.).| The waters of Megiddo are the Kishon 
and its branches in the neighbourhood of that city. The field of 
battle was therefore on the southern side of the Great Plain, not, 
as in ch. 4, at the foot of Mt. Tabor at the head of its northern 
arm. Taanach is separated from Tabor by the greatest breadth 
of the plain, about fifteen miles. They made no gain of money] 
it was a most unprofitable campaign for them ; a sarcastic meiosis. 
The gains of war were in the ancient world one of the principal 
causes of war; cf. Ex. 15". 20. From heaven fought the stars ] 
this division j preserves the rhythmical balance of the distich, 
which is needlessly destroyed by the massoretic punctuation. 
The words are a poetical description of the intervention of Yah- 
weh to discomfit the enemy and give victory to Israel ; the 
powers of heaven themselves were arrayed against Sisera and 
the victory was not won by the prowess of Israel alone. || It is 
not necessary to suppose that the poet represented the stars as 
animated beings, the host of Yahweh,^" which in some unseen way 



* Schultens, Animadvers., p. 100, notes that in Arabic other verbs of inquiring, 
investigating, are tropically used of altercation. 

t On Megiddo see also G. A. Smith, Hist. Geography, p. 386 ff., and Conder, 
Crlt. Review of Thcol. and Phil. Lit., iv. 1894, p. 290 f. The attempt to find the 
name Megiddo in Xahr Muqatta (Smith) ought to be given up once for all. 

J Procop., Cler., Trendelenburg, Kohl 2 ., Herd., Mei., Bi., Briggs, A. Muller, al. 

$ Procop., E\v., Be., Ba., al. || RLbG. 

II Hollm. ; cf. Ges., Jesaia, ii. p. 329. 



v. i9-2i 159 

gave aid to Israel ; * or that the figurative language is to be inter 
preted of a furious storm which threw the Canaanites into con 
fusion. I See on v. 21 . From their paths they fought with Sisera~\ 
lit. highways ; their established and unchanging track through the 
sky. The preposition is not to be explained, leaving their paths, \ 
to descend and take part in the battle, but manentes in online et 
cursu suo adversus Sisaram piignaverunt (31) ; we should avoid 
the ambiguity by translating, in their paths. 21. The stream of 
Kishon swept them away~\ not merely the bodies of the slain, 
but the living. The Kishon is not in this part of its course 
a permanent stream, much less at ordinary times a dangerous 
torrent. || The battle must have been fought in the winter or 
spring, more probably the latter ; and it is possible that a heavy 
spring shower suddenly swelled the stream, though it is not neces 
sary to infer this from either v. 20 or v. 21 .^[ The next words are 
obscure ; one of the Greek translations ** and the Targum inter 
pret, stream of the ancients, stream where great deeds were done 
in ancient times ; ff but even if this presented no formal diffi 
culties, it is a strange title to give to the river ; ancient mountains 
(Dt. 33 15 ) is not parallel. Another interpretation, suggested by 
Abulwalid is, stream of encounters, \ % where the two armies met; 
or stream of champions. The former lacks analogy in Hebrew ; 
the latter is a distinctively Arabic turn of the word. The next line 



* Stud. Many older commentators thought that the angels were meant ; so 
Ephrem, Schm., Cler., al. mu. 

t Fl. Jos., antt. v. 5, 4 $ 205 f., gives a highly embellished description of this 
storm; see also Schnur., Hollm., Ke., Reuss. Cf. the Midrash, Pcsachim, n8 b . 
Cass. thinks of a night attack. J E\v., Be., al. H.. 

|| On the Kishon, and the hydrography of the Great Plain in general, see Rob., 
BR-. ii. p. 363 ff. ; SWP. Memoirs, i. p. 265-267 ; ii. p. 39. See also Shaw, Travels, 
1757, p. 274 f. ; and Ba., ad loc. 

H It is said that in the battle of Mt. Tabor, Apr. 16, 1799, a number of Arabs 
were drowned in the stream coming from Deburiyeh, which then inundated a part 
of the plain (Burckhardt, Syria, p. 339). Napoleon himself speaks only of the 
drowning of great numbers in the Jordan, which the rains had swollen making the 
ford dangerous (Bertrand, Campagnes d Egypte et de Syrie, ii. p. 88). 

** (EBGN. The other recensions of <&, with IL5, take the word as a proper noun ; 
so Cler. 

ft Or, ancient stream, Ba. ; cf. RLbG., Abarb. 

JJ Trem.-Jun., Piscat., Lette (alt.), Schnur., Kohl., Hollm., Briggs, al. 

J$ Brave stream, Ew. ; der alte Siegesbach, Reuss. 



160 JUDGES 

is quite unintelligible; conculca anima mca robustos,* or, concul- 
cabit fortiter, is simple bathos, and, aside from that, most inappro 
priate as the conclusion of v. LU 21 , which tell how heaven and earth 
conspired to destroy Sisera. Probably what originally stood here 
formed the end (predicate) of the second stichos of v. 21 , the 
repetition of the words stream of Kishon being a gloss to the 
subject. | The line would in that case correspond in sense to 
the preceding. 22. The verse describes, not the charge of the 
Canaanite chariot corps, but its precipitate flight. We hear in 
the Hebrew words the wild rush of the frantic steeds. Then 
the horses 1 hoofs pounded~\ sc. the earth ; \ but see critical note. 
With the gallop galloping of his steeds ] cf. the description of the 
charge in Nah. 3" f : "The swish of the whip, and the thunder of 
wheels, horses galloping, chariots bounding, horsemen mounting, 
a flash of swords, a gleam of lances," &c. 

19. r|D:> >xa] many interpreters render, a piece, bit, of silver (Tanch., 
Schnur., Kohl., Hollm., E\v., Be., Reuss, al.); but there is no reason to 
prefer this supposed etymological explanation to the sense which alone is 
supported by Hebrew usage. 20. irrpj s i ca> js] the erroneous division of 
the lines in f$l has led some commentators to construe isnSj impersonally 
(Lth., Schnur.), or to supply a^nSx as subject (Schm.). aniSo^r;] on the 
form of the suff. see Bo. 887; cf. Is. 59". *aDD a;-] a? arf->j i S. iy i-j 33 
i K. I2 21 and freq. 21. es~u] fpj MIL shovel, scoop, scrape up, or out 
(Levy, NinVb. i. p. 364); in 5 equivalent of Heb. rp- (e.g. Is. 8 s ); cf. 
Arab, garafa, used of a torrent; giiruf or gurf, a bluff scooped out and under 
mined by a torrent; guraf, a torrent that sweeps everything away, &c. (Lette, 
Hollm.). B^np Sn:] (5 BGX ^e^a.ppovs dpxaiuv, those who were in old 
times, predecessors. Some modern scholars regard it as an abstract noun 
denoting antiquity, connected with Dip as B nip with -\?i, B^ipt with jpr, 
c^iSp with aVy, &c. (see Dietrich, Abhandl. ztir hebr. Gram., p. 35 f.; Barth, 

.Vowinalbilduiig, p. 85); so Ba. If \ve were to go to the Arabic dictionary 

> s 

for the word, it would be the simplest thing to connect it with i*jtX* {TA. 
ix. p. 19 end), one who is always in the front of the fray, a bold, daring man; 
comparing for the form, Lagarde, Bildttng der Nomina, p. 59 f. The words 
]C-ip ^nj at the end of the line are omitted by Bi. as " repetitio prorsus inu- 
tilis." r-nr] cannot legitimately be turned into a past tense (Ki., RLbG., 




Schnur., Kohl., Hollm., al.); it is now generally rendered as a jussive 
(Stud.), but the second pers. of the jussive is rare, except after Ss, and no 
reason is apparent why the imperative should not have been used here as 
usual. ?>] is construed by many, especially older scholars, as direct object 
(robur metonymy for robustos) ; by others as accus. of manner (Herd., Ew., 
Hitz., Be., Cass., Reuss, al.). In accordance with the suggestion made above 
(p. 160), we might conjecture something like !> U flj -pi o^cnp Sno (trample 
under foot, cf. Is. 63*) ; but we can have no confidence in any such restora 
tion. 22. Ji rzSn TX] the vb. v. 265 Is. i6 8 Ps. 74 6 &c., give a heavy blow, 
pound. The construction generally adopted by modern interpreters labours 
under two difficulties; the suppression of the object (the earth), and the 
preposition p in the next line. The old versions all took the verb as passive, 
or at least neuter, as do also Ki., RLbG., Abulw., Tanch., Schm., Cler.; and 
it must be admitted that the construction is much simplified by the rendering, 
then the heels of the horses were battered by the gallop galloping of his steeds. 
It would then be preferable to pronounce i2 i ?n (Pual). wax nnm nnms] 
the repetition probably imitative of the sound of galloping hoofs, as well as 
intensive in sense; cf. the exx. in Ew. 313 a. Observe the suspended stat. 
constr. in the first word. The root only Nah. 3 2 irn DID; not in MH. 
Etymological connexion with in (JDMich., Stipplem. ; Ges. T&es., al.) is 
very improbable; more likely the word is onomatopoetic. wax] his steeds; 
Jer. 8 16 47 3 5O 11 . The suff. refers loosely to the enemy. Others translate, 
under the wild driving of their mighty men (Hollm., Stud., Be., Ba., Reuss, 
al.) ; but this gives a less perfect parallelism and assumes that im could be 
used not only of the horse, as in Nah., but of the charioteer. The only reason 
for this somewhat forced interpretation vanishes if we make isSn passive. 

23-31. Death of Sisera. The third division of the Ode con 
sists of two parts ; the flight and death of Sisera (v. 23 * 27 ) , and the 
scene in his palace, where his mother and her women await his 
return (v. 28 " 30 ) . 23. The curse is obviously a foil to the following 
blessing (v. 24 ) ; the conduct of the people of Meroz is contrasted 
with that of Jael. From this fact, as well as from the position of 
the verse, we may probably infer that the enemy in his flight 
passed this Israelite village, whose inhabitants, instead of cutting 
him off, like cowards allowed him to escape.* Curse Mcroz\ 
the place is unknown, and we have no clue to its situation. 
Assuming that it must have been a town of considerable note, 
some scholars have surmised that the name Meroz is miswritten, 
by accident or design, for Merom (Jos. n 5 ),t or Meron (Jos. I2 20 

* Hollm., Stud., Ew., Don., Be., Ke., Ba., Reuss, Miiller, al. 
t Pagninus, Cler., Fr. Bo., Fiirst. 



1 62 JUDGES 

cf. n 1 (),* or Meroth (Fl. Jos., b.j. ii. 20, 6) ; t but the premise 
is insecure, and the places suggested are all too far from the field 
of battle. It is more probable that Meroz was a mere hamlet 
which lay in the line of Sisera s flight. The various identifications 
that have been proposed by modern travellers may safely be 
dismissed. \ The Messenger of Yahwe/i] not the human messen 
ger who bears the word of Yahweh, his prophet, but God him 
self as he reveals himself to men, cf. on 2 1 6 U ; we should think 
here more naturally of the Yahweh who goes before his people 
into battle (4" cf. 5 4f ), and with the use of Messenger compare 
Kx. 23 20 - 2 5 and Jos. S 13 "". || But it must be conceded that the 
phrase has here some difficulty. Because they came not to the 
help of Yahweh~\ the position of the verse, in the midst of the 
description of the Canaanites wild flight, shows that the words 
refer, not like v. 15b ~ 17 to their failure to join the rising of the tribes, 
but to their failure to help destroy the vanquished foe ; cf. 7 L 4 
gs-o. i5-ir_ _ To the hcl p O j Yahweh as brave men ] cf. v. 13b Ps. 55 11 
&c. Or, among the brave ;*^ not, against the valiant foe.** - 
24. In contrast with the cowardice or perfidy of the men of 
Meroz, the fearless devotion of Jael appears doubly glorious. 
Blessed above women shall Jael be\ the Hebrew superlative ; the 
most blessed of them all. Above Bedawin women shall she be 
blcssed~\ lit. women in the tent, tenting women; cf. 8 n Gen. 4 -" 
Jer. 35 7 , Arabic ahlu-lwabar, the people of the hair-cloth tents, 
Bedawin. ff The words, the wife of Hcber the Kenitc, are a gloss 
derived from 4 17 , which entirely destroys the balance of the verse. \\ 

25. The poet sets us before the door of Jael s tent, where 
Sisera has paused a moment in his flight to beg a drink of water. 

Water he asked, milk she gave~\ the pronouns are very effec 
tive ; no need to name the actors in this tragedy. /// a bowl 
fit for lords she handed him sour inilk~\ a large milk bowl ; cf. 6 ;is . 
The milk is artificially soured by being shaken for a few moments 



* Krusc, Ew., Don., Yernes. f Justi, Krochmal, Boettger. 

J Sec Ba., p. 452. 

$ Deborah (4-*) Kohl., Cass. ; Barak C" (but the word is apparently a gloss), Ra. 
|| Stud. ; cf. Ke. IT So most. 

** Justi, Stud., Cass., Niebuhr. ft Schnur., Stud., al. 

Jt Bi., A. Miiller, Bu., Oettli. Professed metricians like Ley may find it sufficient 
to call the unhappy verse a " decameter (catalectic ?) " ! 



v. 23-26 163 

in the skin kept for the purpose, in which the portion adhering 
to the inner surface of the skin from former occasions serves as 
the ferment to sour the new milk. It is a most grateful and 
refreshing drink, the best the Bedawin have to give.* 26. As 
he was, hastily draining the bowl, Jael seized some heavy object 
that lay close at hand and felled him to the earth with a blow. 
She reaches her hand to the pin\ the word ordinarily means a 
pin or peg, frequently, as in 4 21 , a tent pin ; or an implement 
shaped like a peg (Dt. 23 13 Jud. i6 14 ). The words in the next 
line which name or describe the weapon are very obscure. They 
are generally translated, workmen s hammer ft comparing 4 21 ; but 
it is extremely doubtful whether the Hebrew will bear this sense, 
and the expression is certainly a strange one. The following 
verbs make it clear that it was a heavy, blunt implement which 
crushed Sisera s skull ; a mallet or hammer would be entirely 
suitable in the context, but no light is thrown on the difficult 
words. It is a question of more importance, whether in the two 
lines two different weapons are meant, a pin and a mallet (?), 
as in 4 21 ; or whether, as in the poetical parallelism is intrinsi 
cally not less probable, one weapon under two names or descrip 
tive epithets. In answering this question we cannot be governed 
by the prose story (4 21 ), which is later than the Ode, and may 
have followed a different tradition or even have originated in a 
misunderstanding of 5 2Ga . j The verbs in v. 266 speak of pounding, 
smashing, rather than piercing ; and v. 27 seems to be decisive. It 
describes the collapse of a man who, standing, receives ? mortal 
blow on the head ; not the writhing death agony of one who is 
pinned to the ground ; see comm. there. Wellhausen thinks that 
the pin is the handle of the mallet ; A. Miiller and others doubt 
this. The uncertainty as to the precise nature of the implement 
renders it doubtful what is meant by the pin ; but the main point 
is not affected by this doubt. Jael used one weapon, not two. 
And strikes Sisera a blow, destroys his head~\ puts it out of exist 
ence. The second verb not elsewhere in O.T. Smashes and 



* Doughty, Arabia Deserta, i. p. 263, cf. ii. 304 ; so Schnur., al. The opinion 
that the milk was intoxicating, see above, p. 125. 

t Ki. ; smiths hammer, Ew., al. after 1L ; see crit. note. 

J See above, p. no. $ See against this view, Be. and Reuss. 



I 64 JUDGES 

demolishes his temple } lit. makes it vanish. The two lines are 
symmetrical ; the first verb in each describes the act, the second 
the result. In view of this symmetry we might be tempted to 
conjecture that the name Sisera is a later addition ; she smote, 
destroyed his head, &c. 27. At her very feet he sank down, 
fell, lay still } observe the effect of the asyndeton in the swift 
succession of verbs. The interpreters who, in harmony with 4 21 , 
assume that Sisera was lying asleep, are compelled to do great 
violence to these words. Bachmann candidly says that in accord 
ance with the usage of the three verbs elsewhere, singly or in con 
junction, they would be understood as they are translated above, 
he went down on his knees, fell prostrate, and lay there dead * 
but he feels constrained, in defiance of usage, to render instead, 
he writhed, fell (i.e. died), lay there dead.f Others, to explain his 
fall, imagine that Sisera was lying on a raised bed ! j The words, 
at her very feet he sank down, fell, are accidentally repeated. 
On the spot where lie sank down, there lie fell, killed } lit. a victim 
of violence. 



23. ma ms] the 2 pi. is addressed to the people. For Meroz 
Mafwp; otherwise the tradition of the name is constant. Tnx nx] the inf. 
abs. gives a strong emphasis, curse with all your might. ~ns means, not 
revile, utter curses, but blast with an efficacious curse. Many have inferred 
that the indignant Israelites destroyed the town (Be., Cass., Reuss; cf. {). 
amajp. mrv mtj?S] it is perhaps better to pronounce e liaja, in the character, 
quality, of heroes; cf. n 35 , Ges. 25 p. 366. 24. a^ ja "pan] opp. of TIN 
Gen. I2 3 &c., is also not a benevolent wish, but an effective invocation. The 
imperf. is stronger than the usual ptcp. nana. As the verb with its pers. subj. 
is necessarily definite, ja has not merely comparative force (more blessed than 
other women), but superlative (the most blessed). 25. anns Ssoa] SSD 
6 s8 *, not infrequent in MH., a bowl or basin, here probably of wood. || Beside 
MIL, the word N^D^D is found in Palestinian Aramaic, both Jewish (2P er - 
Nu. 15") and Christian (Evang. Hierosol., John iy = vnrrrip~) ; in Assyr. 
saflit (Schrader, J\AT". p. 20813). On Arab, sifl see Fleischer, Kleinem 
Schriften, ii. p. 556 f.; Frankel, Aram. Lchmu drter im Arab., p. 67. M. 
Vernes, " ccphel, coupe, appartient au chaldeen et au syriaque," mak-s the 
reader rub his eyes, annx (v. 13 Xah. 3 18 Jer. I4 3 &c.), mighty men With 
the notion of extraordinary strength that of extraordinary stature is .laturally 



* See also Stud. f Similarly many others ; see crit. note. 

J Hollm., Rosenm., al. ; against this very absurd theory see Stud. 

\ Reuss, A. Miiller, Bu. |! See Burckhardt, Bedouins and Waldbys, i. p. 46. 



V. 26-27 165 

connected, as e.g. in the case of Saul; and as a bowl for giants would be of 
corresponding proportions, we should probably be not far from the mind 
of the author if we rendered, in a huge bowl ; cf. SN mn, *?N VIN, &c. The 
genitive is, however, not a mere circumscription of the adjective. nxsn] 
parallel to a^n Dt. 32 14 Is. 7 22 . It is not butter (versions and many), nor 
cream (Stud., Ba., Be., Cass., al. mu.), neither of which is in accordance with 
the usage of the word or the habits of Bedawin, but soured milk, the meat 
and drink of the nomads (Schnur.). See Burckhardt, Bedouins and IVahd- 
bys, i. p. 239 f.; Doughty, Arabia Deserta, i. p. 263, 325, 382. 26. imS n-n 
.unStrn] n-p is parallel to nrs , as in Is. 48 13 Ps. 2i 9 26 10 &c. (Ba., We.); not 
in distinction from it, her left hand (<IL, J. Kimchi, RLbG., Cler., Kohl., 
Hollm., Be., Ke., Oettli, al. mu.). njn s w n is pointed as 3 pi. fern.* How the 
punctuators construed this it is difficult to imagine; fortunately it is also 
unnecessary. Most recent grammarians pronounce as 3 s. f. with suff. runSe>n 
(De Dieu, Cler., Schnur., Be., Ol., Sta., Ges. 25 , K6., Bi., al.), taking ,TV as a 
casus pendens ; her hand to the pin she reaches it. The versions show no 
trace of this ending or suff. B *?DJJ n-icSnS] the ancient translators found these 
words perplexing : <5 A1I g (cf. L ) exhibit ei s oTroTO/tds KaraKbiruv, apparently 
meaning, " for the decapitation of exhausted men "; cf. 2T I DJNi pyen i3n i >D i >; 
(gPV al. (O al. as doublet) I roO els re Xos (D^sSyS) dxpe wcrcu. The commonly 
received translation is that of Aquila, et s <r<j>vpav KOTTIUVTUV ( BGX ), IL ad 
fabrorum malleos, 5$ a to the carpenter s hammer ; that the weapon must be 
a hammer or mallet seemed certain from 4 21 (raj?Dn). But although a deriva 
tive of aSn might, for all we know, be the name of a mallet, the form mnSn 
does not tolerate such an explanation. The afformative ut is, to say the least, 
very rare in Old Hebrew, and is specifically the ending of secondary abstract 
nouns,t much like fas in Latin, and never makes nomina instrument. Prob 
ably the punctuation intends a secondary development of the infinitive after 
the Aramaic fashion, as 2u@ PVal - understand it; $ but this is quite impossible. 
We do not gain much by pronouncing rt cVn (It), for, assuming that nnSn 
might mean mallet, how many hammers are we to suppose that Jael used on 
her guest s head? Finally, B^Ssj? does not mean artisans (smiths, carpenters), 
but men who are worn out, or wear themselves out, with toil and hardships; 
hammer of hard-working (or weary) men is a singular metonymy for a 
heavy hammer! v-i to npnr] the verb, only here in O.T., is freq. in MH. 
in the sense, scrape off, efface, erase ; in Arab, mahaqa is destroy utterly, 
so that no trace of the thing remains, annihilate. Most interpreters, assum 
ing that the word must be synonymous with the preceding r\thn, translate, 
smote, shattered, or Ihe like, frequently supporting the rendering by hazardous 
etymologies; but the context does not require us to depart from the sense 



* Other explanations may be found in the older grammars ; cf. Ges. Lgb., p. 800 ; 
Bo. 929 S. The reading of f& is defended by Hollm., Stud., Ba. 

t See Earth, Nominalbildung, p. 413 f. + So Ra. ; n^sy means Sisera. 

\ Cf. Ki., RLbG., JDMich., Herd., Stud., Ke., al. 



1 66 JUDGES 

which MIL and Arab, suggest and which the parallel clause confirms. nxns 
ippi nsSm] it seems preferable, with many codcl., to omit the conjunction 
before the first verb. v n - smash, shatter by a heavy blow, as with a club or 
mace, Ps. no 6 68- (the head) Dt. 33" (loins) Ps. i8 39 . The second verb, 
HD^n, is usually translated pierced, transfixed, sc. with the pin (Versions, Ra., 
Ki., Cler., Schm., Hollm., Ew., and almost all recent scholars). Job 2O 24 is 
alleged in support of this rendering; but the cases are not at all parallel. The 
image of the swift arrow pursuing and overtaking the fleeing man is easily 
connected with the ordinary usage of r|Sn; that the shaft pierced his vitals is 
implied by the following rather than said in insSm. In Jud. 5 26 there is no 
such connexion ; it is impossible to associate making a hole in a man s head 
with any sense in which we know the verb f\hn in O.T. or the cognate 
languages. Here again the meaning transfix has been invented to suit the 
situation described in 4 21 . If 5 26 had been interpreted for itself, no one 
would ever have thought of such a rendering. I take nsSn to correspond to 
npna in the foregoing line, cause to pass away, vanish ; cf. the intrans. use 
Is. 2 1S ; trans. Is. 24 5 (|| "a> , isn). 27. n^ji pa] the preposition need not 
be taken literally; * it is more emphatic than Sx or ?j?. Schnur. and others 
compare the Arab, idiom, 2UcVj ivy? in his presence, &c.; but it may be 
doubted whether the expressions are really parallel. ax* "raj >"o] the first 
two verbs together Ps. 2O 9 cf. Is. io 4 ; y~\2 and a a- Nu. 24. >"o is prop. bend 
the knees, kneel, or crouch, squat on the heels; cf. Jud. 7 5 - i S. 4 19 2 K. i 13 
&c.; said of a mortally wounded man whose knees fail under him 2 K. g 24 . 
That it could be used of the spasmodic drawing up the legs, as of a man who 
while lying received a death wound, f is not inconceivable; it is the sequence 
VDJ jna which makes this impossible. ^DJ is indeed not infrequently used (esp. 
in the ptcp.) of one who is prostrate on the ground (3 25 I9 27 I S. 3i 8 &c.), 
but only of one who has fallen (A. Miiller). in J ] a victim of violence. 
The vb. of persons Jer. 5 Ps. 17^, cf. Pual (of nations) Jer. 4 la &c. 

28-30. In Sisera s palace. With the vision of the king lying 
dead at the feet of his slayer still before our eyes, the poet 
transports us to Sisera s palace, where the queen-mother is 
anxiously watching for her son s return. The presentiment of 
evil which she herself stifles ; the sanguine confidence of the 
ladies of her court, who see in imagination the division of the 
booty, an Israelite maiden or two for each man, and abundance 



* Stud., Reuss, al., e.g. imagine that she held his head between her knees while 
she drove the pin into his temple; cf. Donaldson. The Haggada (Jcbam., 103") 
gives the words an obscene sense. 

t Cler., Ba., al. mu. ; Schm., incurvavit se, quasi se de terra erecturus ; sed 
erectus aliquousque, rursus concidit et jacuit. Similarly Schnur., Cass., Oettli, al. 



V. 28-29 l6/ 

of the richly dyed and embroidered stuffs which they themselves 
prize so highly all this is depicted with inimitable skill. Their 
light-hearted anticipations form a striking contrast to the ill-sup 
pressed forebodings of the mother s heart, and the whole scene pro 
duces on the reader, who knows the ghastly reality, an incomparable 
effect. Lowth* justly says that there is nothing in literature more 
perfect in its kind than these verses. It is only modern senti 
mentality that can discover in this passage the note of a woman s 
pity for the mother of the fallen king. It is the pitilessness of 
triumph ; we need not say, the exultation of gratified revenge. f 
28. Through the window she peered~\ the effect of the tran 
sition is heightened by this postponement of the explicit subject 
to the second clause ; the reader must himself feel who this 
anxious woman is (cf. v. 25 ). The verb rendered peer is used of 
one who, leaning forward, looks down on something below him ; 
cf. 2 S. 6 1G Nu. 23 28 &c. The meaning of the next verb (EV. 
cried) \ is doubtful ; the root is not found elsewhere in the O.T. 
In Aramaic it means, sound the trumpet, raise a clamour, in war 
or jubilee ; in one instance in MH. it seems to be used of the 
clamorous cry of the mourning women ; but neither of these 
senses is appropriate here, || and for the sake of the parallelism, 
especially in these interlocked lines, we desiderate a synonym of 
the preceding peer, as ( Aal - 9T render ; see crit. note. Through 
the lattice-window] the translation is conventional ; we know the 
word, which occurs here and in Prov. 7 6 , only as a synonym for 
window. Why does his chariot corps fail to come ? Why tarry 
the hoof-beats of his chariots .?] the first sign of the return of the 
warriors would be the distant sound of horses feet ; cf. v.- 2 . 
29. The sages t of her princesses answer} there is a fine irony in 
the allusion to the wisdom of these ladies, whose prognostications 
were so wide of the truth. The next line is very variously inter 
preted. Many recent commentators make it parenthetic, but 



* De sacra poesi Hebraeorum, p. 118-120 ; cf. also Herder, Briefe, das Stadium 
der Theologie betrcffend, yter Brief. t See Herder. 

% Cler. (exclamavit)?Hottm., Be., Ke., Reuss, al. ; others interpret more defi 
nitely, ululavit (1L), heulet (Lth.), similarly RLbG., Ew., al. uiu. 

\ If the text be sound ; see crit. note. 

|i In the first it is taken by Schultens, Lette, al. (joyous anticipation of victory). 



1 68 JUDGES 

she (sc. the mother) kept repeating her words to herself,* con 
stantly reverting to her foreboding questionings. I prefer, with 
older scholars, to translate, Yea, she herself replies to herself; f 
she tries to silence her presentiment by the same kind of answer 
which her sage companions give her. 30. No doubt they are 
finding, dividing booty} lit. are they not ; the tenses depict the 
scene. Cf. Is. g . A wench or a couple of them for each maii\ 
a coarse word seems to be intentionally employed. Women 
captives were the slaves of the captors; cf. Dt. 2i 10 " 14 . In the 
remainder of the verse some awkward repetitions mar both the 
rhythm and the sense. It is clear only that richly dyed and 
embroidered stuffs are meant, in the distribution of which the 
women of Sisera s harem had a keen interest. J Reuss, by omit 
ting the intrusive words, restores the verses : Booty of dyed stuffs 
for Sisera ; A piece of embroidered work or two for the neck of 
the booty. || The last words cannot be right ; it is absurd to 
imagine that the victors used these rich stuffs to deck out for the 
triumphal procession the beasts they had taken ; ^[ and if the 
meaning were that they adorned with them the shoulders of their 
fair captives,** these would hardly be called simply the booty, nor 
would this word be used in one line for the dyed stuffs themselves, 
and in the next for the prisoners who are arrayed in them. ft The 
parallelism would lead us to expect here a designation of the 
person or persons for whom these costly prizes were destined, 
corresponding to the words, for Sisera, in the first half of the 
verse. Ewald very ingeniously conjectured, for the neck of the 
queen, \% changing but one letter of the text. Reuss, supposing 
the queen mother to be speaking, emends, for my shoulders. In 
the general disorder of the text in this verse, it is impossible to 

* Lth., Ew., Be., Ke., Oettli. 

t Ra., Cler., Schm., JDMich., Kohl, Stud., Cass. Others, she replied to the 
one of the ladies who spoke (Hollm.) ; or took back her words of doubt (Schnur., 
Justi). 

J Lowth quotes Aen. xi. 782, Femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore. 

So A. Muller. Bickell reconstructs differently; see crit. note. 

|[ Reuss, for my neck ; see below. 

11 JHMich., Schnur., Rosenm., al. ; cf. i S. 1518. 
** Schm. (alt.), Justi, Rod., Ba., Cass., Ke. 

ft Embroidered ornaments for the neck of the dyed garments; Schm., Cler. 
\\ Be., Oettli, Renan, Kautzsch. 



V. 29-31 169 

feel much confidence in any restoration. 31. With consummate 
art the poet breaks off, leaving to the imagination of the reader, 
who knows all, the terrible revelation of the truth. So shall 
perish all thine enemies, Yahweh~\ cf. Ps. 68" 3 92 9 . The one 
word so brings it all before our eyes again ; how proudly they 
marched out under the admiring eyes of their ladies ; how gaily 
they rode into the fray ; the repulse, the defeat, the panic ; the 
wild flight sauve qui pent; the king s death by a woman s 
hand, disgrace worse than death ; the anguish and dismay of those 
who loved him. So perish all thine enemies ! But his friends* 
shall be as when the sun rises in his might~\ splendid, invincible ; 
vanquishing, annihilating the darkness of the night, the mists of 
dawn. No more fitting or impressive figure could be conceived ; 
cf. Ps. i9 5f -. And the land enjoyed security for forty years\ the 
chronological note of the editor of the book ; cf. 3". 

28. pSnn nya] Gen. 26 8 Jos. a 15 i S. ig 12 Joel 2 9 . aa\ n i] aa^ is in all the 
Targums the usual equivalent of Heb. pnn, the noun Naa> of nynn ; f but in 
the places where ynn means cry out in terror or anguish (Is. 15* Mi. 4) it is 
not rendered by aa\ nor is such a sense demonstrable in Syriac. Under these 
circumstances it is unsafe to base an interpretation on Jertis, Jebamoth, xv. 5 
(fol. I5 d ; ed. Sitomir fol. 78*) D>ncn pa inaa^n njjipnn Sip; Tos. Jebam., 
xiv. 7 (ed. Zuckerm. p. 25913), reads imarr. < AL 8 (sub aster.) { have here 
Ka.reiJLavda.vev (elsewhere used for verbs of seeing, gazing), JE Npna looked 
attentively ; which might lead to the conjecture that they read taani. More 
probably they were guided only by the context. Menahem and Ra. seek an 
etymological connexion with naa pupil of the eye. The tense of aa^ni 
conforms to the regular sequence of tenses in prose; but has no parallel in 
the Ode (cf. Ex. 15), and makes a most prosaic impression. || ajU N] we 
know the word only as a synonym of pSn. The rendering lattice comes from 
(QALMOai. Q \ g 5^ T ^ 5i Kr vuTTJs. The etymology which has done duty since 
Lette (Roed. in Ges. Thes., MV., al.), connecting the word with Arab. 
~Saniba it (the day) was cool, is phonetically impossible.^ Other interpreters 
think of a narrow window, loop-hole in the wall; so (gBGN t KT fc T0 o TO^IKOV. 

* 3LS thy friends. 

t Not quite as constantly in the prophets proper as in other books. 

J This reading has been displaced in many other codd. by a doublet. BON" V ac. 

$ So edd. Venet. 1 - 2 and codd. Br. Mus. ; Np^S (Buxt., al.) is mispointed. Ki. 
cites NpmNi as the reading of 2T ; the sense would be the same. 

|| Cf. Dr3. $ 132 n. 

11 It is almost a pity these etymologists did not think of the modern Arabic 
meaning of sanab, moustaches. 



I/O JUDGES 

y?3 ync] ynr is stronger than n:; 1 ?, why in the world . C S 3 cf. Ex. 32 , 
disappoint the expectation of his coming, fail to come (cf. note on 3 25 ) ; here 
parallel to ins put off, delay . -nn?<] on the form of the Pi. see Ges. 23 p. 1 70 
n. 3 ; Ko. i. p. 397. VP13312 ^sys] Bi. makes the prosaic observation, currns 
non facit gressus, and cancels I syal 29. n::yn rvrin" mrrsn] * with the 
superlative cf. Dt. 33 19 Is. 19" &c., Ges. 25 133, 3 n. i. The verb is pro 
nounced as 3 s. f. with suff. 3. s. f. But this discord of number is intolerable; 
we should pronounce njvayri 3 pi. f., and suppose that the object pronoun was 
omitted, being easily supplied from n s in the next line. An alternative would 
be to pronounce the noun ni33n,f the wisdom of her princesses answers her. 
The abstract noun may be followed by the singular verb as in Prov. 9 1 , and 
we should be able to retain the suff. in njjyr. On the whole, however, the 
former construction is probably the safer one here. m rp-^N 3^ ri NTI rjN] 
a^-cx 3^*n answer , like ->3i 3 v ^n; cf. Prov. 22 21 qnSirS cn^N 3^*nS. Tlie 
suffix is unusual, but not against the logic of speech; J on the contrary, it 
seems altogether suitable to the emphasis on the reflexiveness of the action; 
she returns her answer to herself. It is unnecessary, with Bi., to substitute for 
the last pronoun n^ aj 1 ?. This is the only interpretation of the words that 
preserves the parallelism, which is rudely disturbed by making them a par 
enthetic circumstantial clause; and it is also much more like the poet to 
make the anxious mother catch at the straw of hope that shall so cruelly 
disappoint, rather than with too true foresight reject the reasonable answer 
of her ladies. 30. iNsrr xSi] the question carries the affirmation into the 
mind of the hearer; cf. 4- 14 &c. Note the force of the tense, they are ever 
finding fresh booty. a^rsrn am cf. 15 Is. 17 Am. i ifi and similar colloca 
tions of consecutive numbers to indicate that the numeral is to be taken 
loosely. Here it gives the effect of a certain lordly disregard, a wench or 
two, what matter, more or less? cm, only here in Heb., is used by Mesha of 
Moab (1. 17) in recounting the captives he had taken from Israel. It is 
probable that this is a tropical use of the word am womb ; cf. the con 
temptuous cunnus for woman in Latin. || "OJ U XI 1 ?] per capita. In this 
sense nSjVj is common in later Heb. (P and Chr.); 13J (Mesha 1. 16) is 
rare in old Heb. prose except in the distributive phrase an3J s (Jos. y u - I7 - 18 
i S. io 21 <); cf. Ex. I0 11 I2 37 (?) Dt. 22 5 &c. B">3X ^r] booty of dyes, 
for dyed stuffs; cf. MH. Jl>3S nj3 Jer. Kethub., vii. 7 (fol. 31, ed. Sitomir 
fol. 4i a ). Bi. omits c^> 3S hhv K^D D^; Reuss and Miiller om. a^3X ^v and 



* Norzi prefers ni jyn as the reading of old and correct codd. ; so ed. Venet. 
1547 al. The Massora (Ochla -wc-Ochla, Xo. 369) treats it as a plur. ; cf. Dikdnke 
^ 55 ; K6. i. p. 547, 559 f. As sg. it is rendered by Huna sapientior ceteris uxoi i- 
l>;is; cf. Ki., each one. 

t The same change is rightly made by Hitz., De., al. in Prov. 14!, cf. 9 1 . 

I Ba. 

<J Of the versions only IL has come near the true sense ; the words are rightly 
interpreted by Ra., Ki., Lth., Schm., Cler., al. || Hor., Sat. i. 3,107. 



V. 28-31 I7I 

y^s two words further on. ncpn] Ez. i6 13 Ps. 45 15 &c.; embroidery, in which 
patterns were worked with a needle in various colours.* The name, which 
apparently signifies variegated, may also include stuffs woven in patterns of 
different colours. f How such things were prized is to be seen from 2 S. I 24 , 
where also spoils of war are perhaps meant. The dual DTiCfn does not mean 
embroidered on both sides, but a couple of pieces of embroidery, precisely 
as in a\"isrn above. SSir nxixS] Ew. conj. Vrf, queen (Ps. 45 Neh. 2 6 ). 
The pi. nxtx is not conclusive against this (A. Miiller) ; cf. Gen. 27 16 46 29 45" 
&c. \V. Green suggested SSir nxixS, for the neck of him that takes the spoil, 
sc. Sisera; cf. &, RLbG., Buxt, Tremell., Hollm., al. Teller, Don., conj. 
nsoxS ; Reuss, Briggs, al. SSs* nxixV, for my neck, as a spoil; E. Meier mxis 1 ? 
SSe> (De Sacy nxix^), cf. ABa1 -; 1L ad ornanda colla. Bu. reconstructs 
nxix 1 ? D\iS|ii napi SSs NiD D 1 ? D jrax j:ax SSir. 31. E. Meier regarded this 
verse as a later addition to the Ode, on account of its contents and because 
it has no place in the system of strophes, i.e. of Meier s strophes. Winter 
also {ZATW. ix. 1889, p. 223 ff.) strongly doubts its genuineness. To him 
the idea expressed in vanx is a stumbling block. Observe the paronomasia 
in -pinN and vans. 

Translation of the Ode. \ 

2. While .... in Israel, 
While the people offer freely, bless ye Yahweh. 

3. Hear, ye kings; give ear, ye rulers : 
I, to Yahweh I will sing, 

Will hymn to Yahweh, Israel s God. 

4. Yahweh, when thou wentest forth from Seir, 
Marchedst from the region of Edom, 

The earth quaked, the heavens swayed ( ? ) ; 
The clouds dripped water, 

5. The mountains streamed before Yahweh, 
Before Yahweh, the God of Israel. 

6. In the days of Shamgar ben Anath, caravans ceased, 
And wayfarers travelled by roundabout paths. 

7. Hamlets (?) ceased in Israel, 

ceased, 

Till thou didst arise, Deborah, 
Till thou didst arise, a matron in Israel. 

* Joma, y2 b , sub fin.; Ki. Comm.; Schroeder, de vestitu mulierum, p. 221 f. ; 
Braun, de vestitu sacerdotum, ed. za., p. 301 ff. 

t Ki. Lex. s.v. Many scholars think that woven stuffs are exclusively meant; 
see Hartmann, Hebraerin, i. p. 401 ff. ; iii. p. 138 ff. 

J This translation is ancillary to the preceding interpretation, and is as literal as 
possible. Xo attempt has been made to produce a literary version of the poem, 
or to imitate its rhythm. 



1/2 JUDGES 



Shield was not to be seen, nor spear, 
Among forty thousand in Israel. 
9. My heart turns to the marshals (?) in Israel, 

Those who freely offer among the people, bless ye Yahweh. 



Then marched down to the gates the people of Yahweh. 

12. Rouse thee, rouse thee, Deborah, strike up the song; 
Up, Barak, and take thy captives, son of Abinoam. 

13 

The people of Yahweh marched down for him as heroes. 
14. . . Ephraim 

Benjamin 

From Machir marched down truncheon-bearers, 

And from Zebulun those who lead with the muster-master s staff, 
iq. And . . . Issachar with Deborah ; 

And .... Barak 

Among the divisions of Reuben were great discussions. 

1 6. Why didst thou sit still among the dung-heaps, 
Listening to the calling of the flocks? 

1 7. Gilead remained beyond the Jordan ; 

And Dan, why does he seek the protection of the ships? 
Asher sat still on the shore of the Great Sea, 
And remained by its landing-places. 

1 8. Zebulun is a tribe that recklessly exposed itself to death, 
And Naphtali, on the heights of the open field. 

it). The kings came, they fought; 

Then fought the kings of Canaan, 

At Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo ; 

Gain of silver they did not make ! 

20. From heaven fought the stars, 

From their paths they fought with Sisera. 

21. The stream of Kishon swept them away, 
The stream of ... 

22. Then were battered the heels of the horses, 
From the gallop galloping of his steeds. 

23. Curse ye Meroz, saith the Messenger of Yahweh, 
Curse ye bitterly its inhabitants, 



vi.-vm. 173 

Because they came not to the help of Yahweh, 
To the help of Yahweh, like brave men. 

24. Blessed above all women shall Jael be, 
Above all nomad women shall she be blessed. 

25. Water he asked, milk she gave; 

In a bowl for lords she brought him sour milk. 

26. Her hand to the pin she reaches, 
And her right hand to the 

And hammers, destroys his head, 
Smashes and demolishes his temple. 

27. At her very feet he sank down, fell at full length, lay still; 
On the spot where he sank down, there he fell, killed. 

28. Through the window peered 

The mother of Sisera through the lattice : 
Why does his chariotry fail to come? 
Why tarry the footfalls of his chariots? 

29. The sagest of her princesses reply, 
Yea, she answers her own question : 

30. No doubt they are finding, dividing booty; 
A wench or two for each man, 

Booty of dyed stuffs for Sisera, 

A piece of embroidery or two for the neck of . 

31. So shall perish all thine enemies, Yahweh ! 

But his friends shall be as when the sun rises in his power. 

VI.-VIII. Gideon delivers Israel from the Midianites. The 

Israelites again offend Yahweh, who allows the Midianites to harry 
them for seven years. At every harvest time the Bedawin hordes 
come down upon them and strip the land bare (6 1 " 6 ). The cause 
of this punishment is explained by a prophet (v. 7 ~ 10 ). The 
Messenger of Yahweh appears to Gideon and summons him to 
free Israel from the incursions of Midian (v. 11 " 24 ). At the bidding 
of Yahweh, Gideon destroys the altar of the Baal of the place 
and cuts down and burns the sacred post (asheraJi) ; he is saved 
from the vengeance of his towns-folk by the shrewd speech of his 
father (v. 25 " 32 ) . The Midianites again invade the land, and encamp 
in the Plain of Jezreel. Gideon raises his clansmen of Abiezer, 
also the rest of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali ; he is 
assured by a miracle that Yahweh will save Israel by his hand 
(v. 33 " 40 ). At the command of Yahweh his force is reduced to ten 
thousand, and then, by a singular test, to three hundred men 



174 JUDGES 

(y 1 " 8 ). Encouraged by an ominous dream which he heard a 
Midianite telling to his tent-mate (v. 9 ~ 14 ), he furnishes his three 
hundred men with torches, earthen jars, and horns, and surrounds 
and alarms the camp of Midian, which breaks up in wild flight 
(v. 15 " 22 ) . While he follows them up, the Ephraimites head them 
off in the valley of the Jordan and slay the two chiefs (v. 23 "-" ). 
Having appeased the jealousy of the Ephraimites (8 1 " 3 ), he pur 
sues the Midianites across the Jordan. The people of Succoth 
and Penuel refuse him food and are threatened with dire ven 
geance (v. 4 " 9 ). He surprises the foe where they thought them 
selves secure and captures the two kings (v. 10 " 12 ). Returning in 
triumph, he visits exemplary punishment on Succoth and Penuel 
(v. 13 " 17 ) , and puts to death his prisoners to avenge his slain kinsmen 
(v. 18 " 21 ). He refuses the kingdom which his grateful countrymen 
offer him (v. 22f -), but takes the golden ornaments they have 
stripped from the slain and from their camels to make an idol 
(ephod}, which he sets up at Ophrah (v. 24 27 ). The Midianites 
are quelled and dare not lift their heads again ; the land is secure 
for forty years (v. 28 ). The story closes with a brief notice of 
Gideon s family (v. 29 " 32 ) and of the relapse of Israel after his 
death (v.""" ), which forms the connexion with the story of 
Abimelech, ch. 9. 

Studer (1835) called attention to the fact that 8 4ff - is not the 
sequel of the foregoing narrative. In 7 24f - the Midianites are 
intercepted in their flight by the Ephraimites, and the two 
chiefs, Oreb and Zeeb, killed. When Gideon, who is in pursuit 
of them, comes up, the Ephraimites inveigh violently against him 
because they were not summoned at the beginning, and are only 
appeased by his flattering comparison of their achievement with 
his own : Is not the gleaning of Ephraim better than the vintage 
of Abiezer? God has given into your hands the two chiefs of 
Midian ; what have I been able to do to compare with you ? The 
quarrel itself, and especially Gideon s reply, show that the pursuit 
was over ; vintage and gleaning were both complete. In S 4 21 , on 
the contrary, we find Gideon and his three hundred men following 
the retreating marauders across the Jordan, with such uncertain 
prospect of success that the townsmen of Succoth and Penuel 
scoffingly refuse to furnish the food he needs for his hungry men. 



VI.-VIH. 175 

He pushes on, surprises the camp of the Bedawin, and makes pris 
oners the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna. Nothing can 
be clearer than that 8 4 - 1 is not from the same source as 8 1 3 with 
its premises in the preceding narrative. Closer examination shows 
that ch. 6, 7 are not of one piece throughout ; d 25 ^, e.g., is not the 
continuation of 6 11 24 ; the second sign, 6 36 " 40 , is strange after the 
miracle 6 21 ; compare also 6 s4 with 6 155 f~ s , and on the other hand 
6 s5 with 7 23f - 8 1 .* The question thus arises whether those parts of 
ch. 6 1 -8 3 which obviously do not belong to the principal narrative 
are additions made to the old story by the author of the Book 
of Judges or later editors ; f or whether two stories have been 
united by a redactor. \ In the latter case we have further to 
inquire whether the antecedents of 8 4 "- 1 are to be found in either 
of these sources, or whether we have to recognize in 8 4ff - the end 
of a third story, whose beginning has been entirely supplanted. 
Finally, it is to be asked whether any one, or all, of the sources 
of these chapters can be identified with the old books of Israelite 
history which are used in the composition of the Hexateuch. || 
These questions are as yet far from a definitive solution ; the 
attempt which is made below can claim only the character and 
value of a critical experiment. 

On the critical problems of ch. 6-8, see Studer, p. 212-215; Wellhausen, 
Comp., p. 223-228; Pro! 3 ., p. 250 ff. ; Bertheau, p. xxii. f., 129 ff.; Stade, 
GVI. i. p. 181-192; Bohme, ZATIV. v. p. 251 ff.; Kuenen, HCO*. i. p. 343 f., 
346 ff.; Budde, Richt. u. Sam., p. 107-125; Cornill, Einl 2 ., p. 95 f. ; Kittel, 
Stud. u. Krit., 1892, p. 55-60; GdH. \. 2. p. 71-74; Winckler, Altorienta- 
lische Forschungen, p. 42 ff. In regard to the main narrative in 6 1 -8 3 , the 
differences among the critics named above are not very great. Wellhausen 
leaves to it 6 1 ~ 21 -^[ ^ yi-9- 25 8 1 - 3 , and the original account of the making of the 
ephod in 8~ ff -. Stade defines it somewhat more precisely, assigning to it the 
basis of Rd s introduction in 6 1 - 6 , 6 11 - 22 "- * 7 1 - 9 - 25 8 1 - 3 .** Kitt. : &-**. n-24.33f.36-*) 
yi. 9-11. 13-25 gi-s. 24-27a_4-f- The remainder of the chapters consists, according to 
all these critics, of additions by different hands and of different dates; 8 4 21 is 

* See We., Comp., p. 223-226; Sta., GVI. i. p. 181 ff. 

t We., Sta., Kue., Kitt. 

t Be., Bu., Co. So all the critics cited. || Bohme, Bu., Co. 

U Of course excepting the traces of the editor s hand in the introduction. 
** 722 is not all from one hand ; v. 251 * a harmonistic addition, 
ft Except the last words of 6 s (the Amalekites and Bene Qedem) ; 713-22 has 
been retouched. 



1 76 JUDGES 

from a second source, from which ch. 9 also is derived.* Bu., whose analysis 
is adopted by Cornill, finds in ch. 6 1 -8 3 two sources united by a redactor; viz., 

T g2b-(Ja. 11-24 ! ~1. 9-11. 13. * H.* 15-22.* 23-25 gl-3. 29 . JT (y-10. 25-32. 36-40_ fo the first 

editor (Rje) he ascribes extensive additions in 6 2 - 6 , interpolations in 6 11 - 20 , 
535 ^2-8. 12^ the introduction of the horns in 7 15 " 22 , perhaps the latter part of 8 27 ; 
to Rd the characteristic phrases in 6 1 - 2a S~ 8 , perhaps the end of 8-~. Ch. 8 4 - 21 
is the end of an independent story, which is not, however, an irreconcilably 
divergent account of the events narrated in 6 1 -8 3 , but relates to an entirely 
different occurrence. Bu. rightly declares against the exaggerated contrast 
drawn by previous critics between 8 4 21 and 6 1 -S 3 , which makes the latter 
historically worthless. J It is assumed by all these critics, beginning with 
Wellhausen, that the antecedents of the story 8 4 " 21 cannot be found in 6 1 -8 3 . 
The postulates of the former are, it is said, of a wholly different kind. Instead 
of following a divine call to deliver Israel, Gideon has, like Barak (5 12 ), a 
personal wrong to avenge; the Midianites in a foray have killed his brothers 
(8 18f -). To avenge their blood he raises his kinsmen of Abiezer, pursues the 
Bedawin across the Jordan, overtakes and surprises them on the border of the 
desert, and makes them pay the penalty. The motive, the actors, the scene 
of the action, are different. But, on the other hand, the resemblances between 
the two stories are not less striking; the Abiezrites (6 34 ), the three hundred 
men (y 8 ), the two chiefs or kings of Midian whose names sound so suspi 
ciously alike, are the real actors in both. The pursuit across the Jordan and 
surprise in their own desert does not exclude a previous night alarm and flight 
like that narrated in 7 15ff -. That Gideon had a wrong of his own to avenge, 
is not incompatible with the representation that he was called of God to 
deliver Israel from the scourge; the sharp severing of natural and religious 
motives is more in the manner of the modern critic than of the ancient story 
teller. On the other hand, especially if 6 1 -8 3 are regarded as composite 
(Bu., Co.), it is very inconvenient to have S 4 21 left over; such a remainder 
may not unfairly be deemed a failure of the solution. The attempt may 
therefore be made to discover the beginnings of the narrative S 4 - 21 in the 
preceding chapters. || They are, of course, not to be found in that strand of 
the story which ends with 7 24 -8 3 , with which 8- 9 appears to connect imme 
diately. The account of the night attack on the camp of Midian, 7 15 -~, is 
composite; the horns are not introduced by the redactor (from Jericho; Bu.), 
but belong to a different version of the story.^f In one account the panic is 
caused by the shattering of earthen jars, the sudden flashing out of hundreds 
of torches, the war-cry, For Yahweh and Gideon ! The Midianites flee in 



* On the latter point Kitt. expresses himself guardedly ; cf. also Kue. 

t After the removal of some editorial interpolations ; see below. 

1 Cf. also Kitt., GdH. i. 2. p. 73 n. $ Cf. 85 ; Kue. 

|| Compare Winckler, who regards 6!-8 3 as composite (JE) ; S 4 - 22 as a homo 
geneous extract from J added by a later hand. As in 312-30 (Ehud), I am unable 
to follow his analysis. U Be. ; see below on y 16 . 



vi. i 177 

wild disorder (v. 21 ). In the other the camp is alarmed by horns on every 
side sounding the attack; the Midianites, in the darkness thinking that the 
Israelites are upon them, lay wildly about them and kill one another (v. 2 2 ).* 
The antecedents of these two accounts are easily discoverable in 7 1 " 15 ; 7 2 " 8 
belongs to the trumpet version of the story; Gideon s reconnoissance, 7 9 - 14 , to 
the other. In ch. 6, Budde s analysis may in the main be followed. Accord 
ingly we have : J, part of the older material incorporated in 6- - 6 , 6 11 - 24 - w 
ji. 9-11. i3-i5 ( -j- the version of the stratagem in v. 16 - 20 in which the jars and 
torches appear, v. 21 , part of v. 22b describing the direction of the flight, 8 4 21 , 
v. 24 - 2 ^ substantially, v.^- : for E, 6 2 - 6 in part, 6"- 10 - ^ 32 - ^, [the call of 
Gideon to deliver Israel], v. 36 - 40 , v. 35 * (Manasseh), 7 2 - 8 , that version of v. 16 - 20 
in which the horns play the chief part, v. 22a - 22b (in part), v. 23 (?) 24f - 8 1 3 - 29 - 
In ascribing this part of the story to E, I do not affirm that it is all by one 
hand; 6 7 " 10 , e.g., seems to be one of those secondary pieces which we so often 
find in E contexts, both in the Hexateuch and the Books of Samuel. The 
editorial additions in ch. 6-8 (9) are not very extensive or important. 

1-6. The Israelites offend Yahweh; he allows the Midian 
ites to overrun and plunder them for seven years. In this 
introduction the familiar phrases of D appear in v. 1 - 6b ; his hand 
is also probably to be recognized in certain notes of exaggeration 
in v. 2 5 . The substance of v. 2 ~ Ga must be derived from the old 
story which runs through the following chapters. The verses are, 
however, much overloaded, and it is probable that more than one 
source has been put under contribution. 

1. Introductory formulas of the editor ; see on 2 1L ". Midian~\ 
the most important of a group of tribes in N.W. Arabia which the 
Israelite historians reckoned to their own race (Abraham), though 
not of the full blood (the concubine Keturah, Gen. 2$ l ~ G J), and a 
step farther removed than the Ishmaelites. The land of Midian, 
i.e. the district occupied by the settled part of the tribe, was in 
the northern Higaz, east of the Gulf of Aqabah, where a town 
of the name lay. The nomad branches of the tribe wandered 
northward along the margin of the desert, making forays into 
the pastures and cultivated tracts of Edom, Moab, \ and Gilead, 
and even pouring across the Jordan into Western Palestine. 

* See also Winckler, p. 50 f. 

f Disregarding minor traces of the editor s hand. J Cf. Gen. 3& 35 . 

$ On the wanderings or migrations of modern Arab tribes to the north, see 
Doughty, Arabia Deserta, i. 271 f. ; especially the wide range of the Anezy, ib, 
p. 330 ff. 

N 



178 JUDGES 

Seven years ] on the chronology see Introduction 7. 2. The 
power of Midian prevailed over Israel] 3 " cf. 3 - ; words of the 
editor who transforms the annual forays of the Bedawin into a 
subjugation and seven years oppression.* To the same hand 
belongs v. lb , and, in part at least, the amplification of v. 2 " \ For 
safety from Midian they made the . . . which arc in the /tills, and 
the caves, and the fastnesses] cf. i. Sam. 13. The word which is 
omitted in the translation must in the context mean a place of 
concealment or security ; its precise signification is unknown. 
The meaning ravines, gorges, ascribed to it in the lexicons rests 
solely on an absurd etymology. The author thus accounts for the 
abandoned hill-forts and rock dwellings scattered over the land, 
which perhaps were really the work of a more primitive popula 
tion. Many remains of this sort are still found east of the Jordan. 
3-5. The yearly inroads of the Bedawin robbed the Israelitish 
peasants of the fruit of their toil and greatly impoverished them.f 
The verses are not a unit, as appears not only from the awk 
ward surplusage, but from the false sequence of tenses. This 
redundancy is not altogether due to editorial amplification ; both 
the sources from which the following chapters are derived must 
have had such an introduction, and probably both have been 
drawn upon here. 3. The disorder of the text is sufficiently 
shown by a literal translation : Whenever Israel had sown, Midian 
used to come up, and Amalek and the Bene Qedem, and (they) 
used to come up against it (Israel). 4. And they encamped 
against them (Israel) and destroyed, &rc. The confusion of tenses, 
which in English is only awkward, is in Hebrew ungrammatical. 
The Amalekites are Bedawin whom we generally meet in the 
deserts south of Palestine ; the Bene Qedem, as their name 
imports, come from the east, the great Syrian desert. The intro 
duction of the names here is very likely an exaggeration of the 
editor ; cf. on 3". It is possible, however, that the exaggeration 
already existed in E ; cf. v:" J y 12 . Of the rest, we may surmise 
that the frequentative tenses come from one source (?E), the 
narrative aorists from the other. Following this clue it is possible 

* See Introduction $ 6, and above on 312-30 (p. go). 

t Similar incursions of tribes east of the Delta into Egypt, Burckhardt, Syria, 
P- 558 f. 



vi. 2-6 179 

to construct out of the verses two tolerably complete parallel 
accounts ; but the combination can be made in more than one 
way, and we cannot feel any confidence that our analysis thus 
recovers the sources. Cf. also 7 -. As far as the vicinity of 
Gaza\ in the extreme south-west. And they would not leave 
any thing to live on in Israel~] frequentative tenses, as in v. 3 *. 
And sheep and ox and ass\ Jos. 6 21 i S. 22 19 ; sc. they would not 
leave. The words may be a gloss to the preceding subsistence. 
5. The duplication of clauses and confusion of tenses continues. 
Locusts afford an effective figure for the swarming, hungry 
hordes of invaders ; Quid enim locustis innumerabilius et fortius, 
quibus humana industria resistere non potest.* 6. Israel was 
greatly reduced by reason of Midian~\ cf. 2 S. 3 l . The second 
half of the verse is editorial ; cf. on 3. Observe Bene Israel (as 
in v. 1 ) in contrast to Israel v. a . 

1. The name Midian appears in the towns MoS/am or MoSoCra, Ptol., 
vi. 7, 2, and Ma5td,ua (further inland) vi. 7, 27; cf. Euseb., OS" 1 . 2765;.. f 
According to the Arab geographers, it lay five days south of Ailah on the 
eastern side of the Red Sea. J In the Hexateuch, E brings Moses before 
the Exodus into intimate relations with Jethro, the priest of Midian (Ex. 2 15f - 
i8 Iff -). The Mountain of God (Horeb) was in the land of Midian (Ex. 3 1 ) ; 
thither Moses led the people from Egypt. Though it is not expressly stated, 
the narrative of E hardly leaves room for doubt that the Midianites wor 
shipped Yahweh at Horeb before Moses ; and the name nim, till then 
unknown to the Israelites and having no natural etymology in their lan 
guage, is perhaps of Midianite origin. Close relations between Israel and 
Midian are also indicated by the recurrence of Midianite clan names in Judah, 
Reuben, and East Manasseh. || The Midianites appear as caravan traders 
(Gen. 3728-36 j s _ go 6 ) ; nomads dwelling in tents (Hab. 3"). The latest 
stratum of the narrative of the Exodus (p) brings Israel into conflict with 
the Midianites in the plains of Moab shortly before the crossing of the 



* Jerome, on Joel i 6 . 

f See also i K. n 18 . 

J Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, p. 497 f. On modern Midian, see 
Burton, Gold Mines of Midian, 1878 ; Land of Midian, 1879. 

In P Sinai. According to Yaqut, Tur Sina is the name, in the language of 
the Nabataeans, of a mountain near Madyan, which is an extension of the range 
above Ailah. See Le Strange, I.e. p. 73. 

|i Nbldeke, BL. iv. p. 218. Epha, Gen. 25 4 , is in i Chr. 2 4 <J a concubine of 
Caleb; 2 4 ~ a son of Jahdai (in Judaean clan list) ; Epher, i Chr. 4^ (Judah) 5 24 
(East Manasseh) ; Hanoch, Gen. 4&> (Reuben). 



180 JUDGES 

Jordan (Nu. 25 6 - 18 31 Jos. I3 21 )- Nu - 25 fi - ls is a substitute for the fragment 
ary story of the offence at Baal Peor, Nu. 25 1 - r (JE); and, with its sequel 
ch. 31, has no historical worth; the introduction of the sheikhs of Midian in 
Nu. 22 4 - 7 is probably harmonistic. To judge from the echoes in the later 
literature, the defeat of the Midianites narrated in Jud. ch. 6-8 must have 
been most disastrous. "The day of Midian" is for Isaiah (g 3 , cf, io 2; ; also 
Ps. 83 10 - 12 ) synonymous with a signal and irretrievable catastrophe. It has 
often been surmised, though without any very good grounds, that the defeat 
inflicted upon them by Hadad of Edom (Gen. 36 35 ) fell about the same time. 
After the time of the Judges the Midianites scarcely reappear in the his 
tory. See further, Noldeke, BL. iv. p. 217 f. ; Die Amalekiter, u. s. w., 1864, 
p. 7 ff. 2. |na JBS] best taken literally, from before, as with verbs meaning 
withdraw, flee, conceal, and the like; cf. v. llb 9 - 1 n 3 &c. nnnjr] (S BN 
rpu^aXtds, (gi VLOM 9 g ^apdpas, Orig. septa, pens, kraals, cf. i S. 13. The 
etymological explanation of Jewish comm., subterranean chambers or caves 
with a small opening for light (inj),* is not more improbable than that 
adopted from Schultens (Job, p. 49) f by Ges. and many modern scholars, 
which connects it with Arab, manhar (on which see Lane, p. 2858) ; see Stud. 
RLbG., beacons, perhaps towers for fire signals from hill-top to hill-top, to 
give warning of the approach of the enemy; cf. Abulw. nn>sn r.xi] Bu. 
suspects that the words are a gloss to the preceding. nnssn] i S. 23 14 - ly 24 1 , 
with myD Ez. 33 27 ; cf. the fortress MacrdSa Fl. Jos., and. xiv. 11, 7 296; b.j. 
vii. 8, 3 ff. On Amalek see Noldeke, Die Amalekiter, 1864; Bertheau, BL. 
s. v. The historical notices of Amalek all locate them in steppes or desert 
south of Palestine; see I S. 15 (Saul) I S. 30 (David), cf. also Nu. I4 4;j - 4 r> . 
In the traditions of the Exodus, Israel was attacked by the Amalekites before 
reaching the sacred mountain, probably in traversing the deserts north of the 
Sinaitic peninsula (Ex. I7 8ff - E) ; cf. Dt. 25 1 "- 19 I S. 15-. The relentless wars 
waged upon them by Saul and David seem to have broken them up; they are 
scarcely mentioned in the later history. The oracle of Balaam (Nu. 24 20 ) 
foresees their complete disappearance. A fragmentary notice in I Chr. 4 42f - 
tells us that a band of Simeonites exterminated the last remnant of the race in 
their refuge in Mt. Seir. The Bene Qedem (Easterns) are mentioned in 
Jer. 49 28 (in conjunction with the Kedarenes), and Ez. 25 4 - 10 , where they are 
evidently inhabitants of the deserts east of Ammon and Moab; cf. also Is. 1 I 14 . 
4. on Sy urn] the impf. cons, after the frequentatives is not in itself without 
analogy (negligent lapse into simple narration; cf. I2 5f -, and see Dr 3 . 114; 
TBS. p. 24), but the vibration between the two constructions in this and the 
following verses is hardly to be so explained. rvno] subsistence, I7 10 (MIL); 
cf. victus from vivere. Vi:r] Dt. 32 2 2 n 17 Lev. 26 4 - 2 Ez. 34 27 . -5. crvSnxi 
IKS 1 ] Qere ifoi conforming to the preceding iS>">. <ALMO [39 jr 
= wa\ nnnV?] Piel Gen. 13 i 9 -2!i &c.; cf. Iliph. v. 4 . 

* Ra., Ki., Abarb. ; cf. Wetzstein, Ilauran, p. 46. 
t Cf. Schm. 



VI. 7-8 l8l 

7-10. Yahweh sends a prophet to upbraid the Israelites for 
their defection. When the Israelites in their distress cry to 
Yahweh, he sends a prophet, who calls to mind the great deeds of 
their god in saving them from Egypt and giving them the land 
of Canaan, and recites the fundamental law, which here, as in 
Ex. 2o 2f -, has its ground in the great deliverance God has wrought : 
You shall not adopt the religions of Canaan. This prohibition 
they have disregarded. Cf. 2 lb ~ 5a io lulc i S. f f - io 17 19 I2 6 25 . 

The speech breaks off abruptly with this introduction. We 
miss in the words of the prophet the positive accusation and the 
denunciation of Yahweh s anger, and in the narrative, the result 
of his reproof, which not only the whole drift and purpose of the 
speech, but the analogy of similar discourses in Judges and 
Samuel, leads us to expect; cf. 2 1 " 5 and especially io n 1G . It is not 
likely that the author left the speech thus without the point which 
is its reason for being ; more probably the conclusion was dropped 
by the compiler who subjoined v. llff - from the parallel narrative. 
The incompleteness of the speech, as well as the evidence of 
language and style, which in this case is unusually decisive, shows 
that v. 7 10 are not to be ascribed to the compiler,* but to an 
Elohistic hand.f 7. On account of Midian^ the Hebrew 
phrase is not very common and is all but confined to E. \ 
8. A prophet^ lit. a prophet-man ; cf. 4*. Yahweh the God 
of Israel^ 4 ; corresponding phrases are, I am Yahweh thy God 
(Ex. 20 2 ), and, Yahweh our God (Jos. 24 17 ) . / led you up from 
Egypt and brought you out of the slave housc\ the place where 
you were slaves. This deliverance is the origin of the peculiar 
relation between Yahweh and Israel and the ground of its obliga 
tion to keep itself to him only. It is therefore constantly recalled 
as the prime motive to faith in Yahweh and faithfulness to him 
alone, or to aggravate the guilt of unfaithfulness by exposing its 
folly and baseness and justify the extreme severity of judgement ; 



* D ; so Be., We., Sta., Dr., Kitt. f Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 107 f. 

J See Holzinger, Einl. in den Hexateuch, p. 182 f. 

$ Cf. i S. 2 2 ". On these anonymous prophets, who play the chorus to the story, 
see Sta., GVI. i. p. 182 n. The motive here is obvious; reformation must precede 
deliverance. According to Jewish authorities {Seder Olam c. 20), the prophet of 
our text was Phineas. 



1 82 JUDGES 

cf. Am. 3 lb Hos. i3 4 Jud. 2 i S. io ls &c. 9. I rescued you from 
the power of Egypt] Ex. 3 S iS 8 - 1 ", cf. Jud. 8 31 i S. I2 1 "- 11 , also 
Jud. io u (a different verb). And j mm the power of all your 
oppressors^ 2 18 esp. i S. io w .* And expelled them before \ou 
and gave you their land^ the pronouns grammatically refer to 
the oppressors, but the writer is thinking of the populations of 
Canaan ;| cf. Jos. 24 12f - ls Ex. 34" 23" s . 10. I am Yahweh your 
6W] Ex. 2O 2 . You shall not revere the gods of the Amorites, 
in whose land you dwell~\ with the form of the expression cf. 2 K. 
if :> -*\ in substance Ex. 2O 3 (Dt. 5 7 ) Ex. 34" Dt. 6 13 1 * i2 m \ On 
the Amorites, see above on 3 5 . 

8. nnxsa DnnN in^Sjjn] common in E, but not characteristic of that work 
(Di.) ; see Ilolzinger, p. 186. nna;* n 3] crgastulitm ; Ex. 13-"- u 2O 2 Jos. 24 17 
Dt. 5< ; 6 1 - &c. (E, Rje, D). 9. as^snS] see on i 34 2 18 . r^xi] Baer, with 
a few codcl. and old edd., as the context requires. J The recepta is r-oxi ; 
examples of the same anomaly, in some instances explicitly prescribed by the 
Massora, see Bo. 973, 2 ; Dr 3 . 66 n. On the use of the verb sec above 
on 2 3 . n 3>"iNi] the energetic (cohortative) form in the consec. tense; cf. v. ln 
lo 1 - I2 3 (ter) Dr 3 . 69, Obs. It is particularly common in the case of j.ij 
(Nu. 8 19 i S. 2 28 2 S. I2 8 Is. 43 2S ), where perhaps compensation has some 
thing to do with it. 

11-24. The Call of Gideon. First account. The Messenger 
of Yahweh appears to Gideon and summons him to deliver Israel 
from the Midianites. He protests that the task is beyond his 
powers, and is assured of the support of Yahweh. Gideon brings 
food to set before the stranger, at the touch of whose staff fire 
bursts from the rock and consumes the bread and meat. The 
visitor vanishes. Gideon recognizes that it was the Messenger of 
Yahweh and fears for his life. He is reassured, and builds the 
altar, Yahweh-shalom, which stands in Ophrah. 

The passage has no connection with v. 7 " 10 ; its premises are 
rather to be found in v. 2 ~. In what follows, v. 2j ~ 3 - is not the sequel 
of v. 11 "" 4 , but a second account of the call of Gideon and the 
building of the altar. The closest parallels to v. 11 24 are the 

* The similarity between Jud. 6 81 - and i S. io 18 is such as to prove either that 
they are from the same hand or that one author has copied the other, 
t This awkwardness leads Ki. to interpret of Sihon and Og ; cf. Schm. 
J E\v., Krit. Gram., p. 555 ; cf. K.6., i. p. 190. 



VI. 9-1 1 183 

appearance of Messenger of Yahweh to the parents of Samson, 
Jud. i3 2 " 2:! , and the appearance of Yahweh to Abraham at the 
sacred trees of Mamre, Gen. i8 lff - (J). In Jud. 6 11 24 i 3 2 - 23 the 
whole conception and representation, as well as the more external 
features of language and style, strongly resemble the Yahwistic 
narratives of the Hexateuch, and the passages are with consider 
able probability ascribed by Bohme, Budde, and Cornill to the 
same author.* 

The narrative has suffered some changes at the hand of the 
redactor or later editor, the distinctive note of which is the antici 
pation of Gideon s recognition of his visitor (v." a ). In the 
attempt to separate these secondary elements and restore the 
original context, Bohme undoubtedly goes too far ; f Budde s 
analysis is more conservative, but still perhaps subtracts more 
than is necessary. J Verse 17b , in which Gideon already recognizes 
the Messenger, but wishes to have the confirmation of a miracle, 
is clearly not original. Verse 20 , in which the flesh and the cakes 
are disposed on the rock as on an altar and the broth poured out 
as a libation, is also secondary. Corresponding changes have not 
improbably been made in v. 1(! , and in v. 18 - 1<J . 

11. The Messenger of Yahweh ] 2 l ^ i 3 3 . The MaVak Yah 
weh is a theophany. In all the old accounts of such appearances 
the maVak is, first or last, identified with the deity ; see Gen. i6 M4 
2 1 17 - 19 22 11 - 14 - 15 - 18 3 i n - 13 Ex. 3 2ff - Jud. //. /., i 3 3ff - ; cf. also Gen. 3 2 24 - 
with Hos. i2 4f -, Gen. 48 15 - 1(i ; further Gen. 18. 19, in which Yahweh 
appears precisely as elsewhere the MaPak Yahweh. In the Yah 
wistic narratives in the Pentateuch, as in Judges ch. 6 and i 3 , the 
Messenger of Yahweh appears in human form and converses freely 



* The resemblance is admitted by Kue. (ffCO 2 . i. p. 355), who questions the 
validity of Bohme s inference. Kitt. (Stud. u. Krlt., 1892, p. 57 f.) points out 
countervailing differences ; cf. also K.6., Einl., p. 253 f., and on the whole question 
whether J and E can be traced in Jud., see above, Introduction $ 6. 

f ZA TW. v. p. 251 ff. Bohme (p. 259) leaves for the original story only v. 11 to 
may (T^N to ntjn), fijnji to a^an (conclusion to jnc), v.is. i3a. Ma I^N^I to Sxii", 
v.iia. isa to ^Ss, v.i*. i Ja to nixs (I9l>) v.21-24. (The parts about which he is less 
confident in parenthesis.) 

\ Richt. ii. Sam., p. 108 f. ; cf. Co., Einl 1 . p. 95 f. Budde (p. 109) ascribes to J, 
v.u-isa. I3b from nnjN on, v. 14a from i^foi on, v.i 5 - J 6 (read rnrv 13) v. 1 ? 8 - 18a to 
(the original object has been supplanted), v. J 8b- i Ja to niSD, v. 1 * to nSxn, v. 21 - 24 . 



1 84 JUDGES 

with men : in E this anthropomorphism is shunned ; the Messenger 
speaks from heaven, or in a dream, or is revealed in the flames of 
the burning bush (Ex. 3 ").* - And sat down~\ like a wayfarer 
seeking rest in its shade. Under the hofy tree that is in Ophrah^ 
on holy trees see on 4" (p. 121 f.).f Ophrah, v. L 4 (cf. 8 3 ~) Ophrah 
of the Abiezrites, the Abiezrite Ophrah, probably to distinguish it 
from a Benjamite town of the same name (Jos. i8- s i S. i3 17 )- 
The site is unknown ; from ch. 9 it may be probably inferred that 
it was not very far from Shechem. Fer ata six miles WSW. of 
Nabulus has been suggested, $ but this is more probably Pirathon 
(i2 lr ). Wliich (tree) belonged to Joash the Abiczrite~\ the holy 
tree was in the possession of Gideon s family, just as in the other 
narrative (v.- 5 ) the village altar of Baal belonged to JerubaaFs 
father. The Abiezrites were a clan of Manasseh (v. 15 Nu. 26 " || 
Jos. if). Beating out wheat in the wine-press^ threshing in the 
ordinary way was not to be risked ; the threshing-floors were 
especially exposed places.^" The wine-press, on the contrary, a 
square or oblong vat excavated in the sloping surface rock, 
afforded some concealment.** Hither Gideon had brought a few 
sheaves of wheat and was whipping them out with a stick on the 
floor of the press. 12. The Messenger shows himself and 
salutes Gideon. Yahwch is with thee~\ the answer shows that in 
Hebrew (in which the copula is not expressed) the sentence is 
felt to be an assertion,!! rather than a wish. Stalwart hero~\ in 
Jud. only n 1 (Jephthah) ; i K. n 2S 2 K. 5 &c. ; cf. Jud. i8 a .- 
13. The salutation sounds to Gideon almost ironical ; the present 
distress is plain proof that Yahweh is not with them. Where arc 
all his wonderful interventions ] Ex. 3 20 34 Jos. ^ Mi. y 1 . 



* Sce Kostcrs, " De Mal ach Jahwe," Th. T. ix. 1875, p. 369-415 ; Schultz, Alttest. 
ThcoH. p. 600 ff. = Old Test. Theol., ii. p. 218 ff. ; Smend, Alttest. Religionsgc- 
schichte, p. 42 ff. Older literature and theories, see Oehler, Alttest. Theol. 59. 60 ; 
cf. Schm., quacst. 3. 

f On holy trees and tree worship in general, see the literature in Chantepie de 
la Saussaye, Religionsgeschichte, i. p. 61 ; Tylor, Primitive Culture^, ii. p. 214 ff. ; 
Frazer, Golden Dough, 1890, i. p. 56-108. 

J SWP. Memoirs, ii. p. 162. 

$ Rob., BR ~. iii. p. 134; Guerin, Samarie, ii. 179 f. 

|| The name is mutilated, perhaps not by accident ; cf. . IT See on v. 37 . 
** For a description of the wine-press, see Rob., 7> A 2 . iii. p. 137; cf. Nonnus, 
Dionys., xii. 331 ff. ft Fl. IDS., Aug., al. 



vi. ii-i 4 185 

Which our fathers recounted to us~\ phrase parallels, Ps. 44 1 "jS s ; 
cf. Ex. i2- Gf i3 8 - I4f -. But now Yahweh has cast us off and given 
us into the grasp of Midian~\ cf. Jer. i2 7 i S. 12" i K. 8 57 

2 K. 2 1 14 .* 

11. IN^S] is found in Ileb. only in a concrete, personal sense, messenger ; 
or, as we might perhaps translate, agent, thus making the relation of the 
word to roN Sn more obvious. There is no warrant in usage for an explanation 
of the phrase mm -j^Sa which goes back to an assumed abstract sense, the 
sending of Yahweh (Vatke, E\v., Reuss, al.). S XvS ISN] the tree . . . which 
belonged to Joash (<SIL, Cler., Reuss, Kitt.), not Ophrah which belonged to J. 
(S> a, Ki., Drus., Schm., Stud., Be., Oettli). "Ji taan ua pyui] as Gideon 
was, &c.; circumstantial clause. aan Is. 28 27 Ru. 2 17 cf. Dt. 24 20 . ru is 
properly the upper trough, in which the grapes are trodden; am (7 25 ) the 
lower one, in which the must is collected. DijnS] Ex. 9 20 . 13. IJIN a] v. 15 
I3 8 ; a deprecatory formula, if I may speak without offence, begging your 
pardon; cf. Gen. 4^ 44 Ex. 4- 13 (all J), Nu. I2 11 I S. i 20 &c. mm t^i] 
if he really is, as you say. Instead of a conditional sentence with subordinated 
protasis (ON), we have simple parataxis; cf. I3 12 2 K. lo 15 . So very often 
in older English ; e.g. And it please your grace, you did once promise me 
(Shakespeare). See Neiv English Dictionary, i. p. 3i7 b . mx] skeptical; 
what has become of; cf. the ironical use of the particle 9 38 Jer. 2 28 Dt. 32 37 
(>!<) &c. vnw?m] things extraordinary, surpassing men s power or compre 
hension (cf. xSo I3 18 ); especially of the wonderful interventions of God in 
the history of his people, and (later) the wonders of his works in nature. t 
References to Yahweh s wonderful deliverances are frequent in the Psalms, 
but it does not follow that all references to them are so late. The exx. cited 
above (Ex. 3 20 34 Jos. 3 5 ) all occur in Yahwist contexts. In the passage 
before us the words, if not original (J, cf. the Iliphil I3 19 ), must be ascribed 
to Rje, not to Rd, in whom the word seems not to occur. mm USBJ nnjn] 
can hardly be separated from the foregoing (Bu.), but stands or falls with it. 
Cf. Jer. 23 s3 - 39 esp. 12", which Bohme, without sufficient reason, regards as 
the source of the phrase in our text; see also Is. 2 6 . JHD tpa] for the more 
common ma, v. 14 I S. 4 3 2 S. ig 10 &c. 

14. Yahweh turned to him } \ with the following (v. 14 16 ) cf. 
Ex. 3 1 "" 12 . The Messenger is Yahweh himself; see above on v. 11 . 

* From these parallels, chiefly in writings of the age of Jeremiah or later, 
Bohme infers that v. 1;!1 > is an editorial enlargement on the original question, v. 13n . 
Budde agrees as to the beginning of v. 13b (as far as from Egypt), but attributes the 
rest (but now, &c.) to the first narrator, connecting it with v. 13a . 

t Cf. the verb 2 S. 13 - Dt. 178 30" ; of God., Gen. i8 14 Jer. 2i 2 32^. 27. 

J Bohme, Bu., ascribe the words to an editorial hand, but I see no sufficient 
reason for this. 



I 86 JUDGES 

(!o o ayyeXos Kvptbu to conform to v. n . Go in this might of 
thinc\ visible in his powerful frame and the vigorous strokes of 
his staff, which drew from the visitor the admiring address, stal 
wart hero, v. 1 " ; not, the might which is now given thee.* Do 
not I send thec ?~\ | the question as in 4. Since the visitor does 
not reveal himself in his true character till v. 21 , we should expect 
rather, doth not Yahweh send thcc ? cf. 4 6 . We may suppose 
either that Gideon took his visitor for a man of God (cf. 13), or, 
more probably, that the author lapsed from strict dramatic pro 
priety ; see also on v. 1(i . 15. Gideon remonstrates that he is not 
equal to the task. How (by what means) should I deliver Israel? 
My sept is the poorest in Manassch, and I the most insignificant 
man in my family~\ cf. i S. 9 21 . The protestation is, no more than 
that of Saul, to be taken too literally. Both the following nar 
ratives assume that the hero s family was one of rank and influ 
ence in the clan. 16. Yahweh said to him, Surely I will be with 
thce ] ( Bal , the Angel of the Lord said to him, the Lord will 
be with thcc. If it be thought too violent a supposition that 
the author here, as in v. 14 , used the first person in conformity 
with the knowledge of his readers that the speaker was Yahweh, 
rather than with Gideon s supposed ignorance of that fact, we 
may conjecture that the original text was simply, and he said, 
Yahweh will be with thce, \ and that in supplying the explicit sub 
ject and recasting the sentence to correspond with it, the editor 
of %} had Ex. 3 - in mind. As one m.an~\ Nu. i4 15 . 17. Gideon 
asks the stranger to wait till he can set food before him, and pre 
pares him a meal ; cf. Gen. iS 3 ~ 8 Jud. i3 I5 ~ w . If I find favour in 
thy sight~\ Gen. iS 3 ; a favourite phrase of the Yahwist in the Penta 
teuch. Make me a sign that thou art speaking with me\ Gideon 
recognizes his supernatural visitant, but for assurance desires a 
sign such as is given in the sequel. The half-verse thus antici 
pates v.- in in a way that the author of the latter verses cannot have 
done ; v. 1 * 1 connects immediately with v. 17a , just as Gen. i8 ;!a does 
with v. 3b - 4 , and has no ulterior purpose. Verse 171) is therefore an 
editorial addition, probably by the same hand which inserted v. JO 




VI. 14-19 1 87 

under the impression that the meal Gideon prepared was intended 
from the first as a sacrifice, contrary to Gen. i8 3 5 and esp. 
Jud. i3 15f -.* That the words are not part of the original narrative, 
is in some degree confirmed by the unusual relative particle f.f 
18. Originally followed immediately upon v. 17a ; see above. My 
offering^ Gen. 33 10 43" i S. io 27 ; a present to the guest. It is not 
impossible that the word has been substituted for the original 
expression, in conformity with the theory that Gideon from the 
beginning intended a religious offering ; see note. 19. Gideon 
prepared a kid~\ i3 15 - 19 ; in Gen. 18" the rich sheikh Abraham 
kills a calf. An cphah of flour\ The quantity (more than a 
bushel) is altogether disproportionate, especially in the circum 
stances ; cf. i Sam. i 24 , where an ephah of flour is enough to go 
with a three year old bullock (( & ; Jty three bullocks !), Gen. 18. 

The meat he put in a basket and the broth in a pot, and 
brought it out to him under the tree and presented it~\ cf. Gen. i8 8 . 
Bohme and Budde ascribe the half verse (Bu. excepts, and 
brought it out to him under the tree) to the redaction. It seems 
improbable, however, that these concrete details, which are not 
essential to the conception of an offering, or, indeed, consonant 
with ritual customs, were introduced by an editor. 

15. IJIN 13] the pronunciation, in distinction from ji v. 13 , means to 
intimate that Gideon now recognizes his visitor as divine. Sin iflSx] f|Sx is, 
like nnas C, a branch of a tribe (oaiy) larger than the family (2N no); see 
i S. io 19 - 21 . vyxn] i S. g 21 ; often in the sense minor natu, Gen. 2$- 3 43 33 
48 U &c. 16. ~\vy mrix o] verbatim Ex. 3 12 . It has been conjectured above 
that the author wrote, -py rvn> mm (i S. ly 37 ); cf. <g. 17. nix ^ rvs jn] 
perhaps the sign also was suggested by Ex. 3 12 . The words must be construed 
as apoclosis; cf. Gen. 33 10 . m.sj r\vy Ex. 4 17 - 21 Nu. I4 11 - 22 Jos. 24*" Dt. n 3 ; 
nowhere in precisely this sense, in which we should expect mx jru (Jos. 2 12 ). 

icy lain nnxr] we expect -men (Gen. 45 12 ), that it is thou that speakest ; 
the article may have been accidentally omitted. The relative v in Jud. 5" 6 17 
7 12 8 20 ; <y only here in O.T., elsewhere before gutturals u : . 18. Bohme 
ascribes v. 18a (and bring out my offering and set it before thee) to an editor; 
Bu. thinks that the editor has changed the original object of the verb (food; 
cf. Gen. i8 5 Jud. I3 15 ) into a religious offering. But it is not clear that 
nnjc need be taken in this specific sense; J the verb (iron) certainly does not 
suggest such an intention. The noun may possibly have been chosen on 

* Sta., G VI. i. p. 183 n. f Gicsebrecht, ZA TW. \. p. 280 n. ; cf. 712 %*>. 
t In 131 nrucn nxi is an interpolation. 



1 88 JUDGES 

account of its ambiguity, as a hint, not a bald anticipation, of the disposition 
of what Gideon set before the stranger.* \~>Nj>irn . . . \X3 1>J see on i6 2 ; 
Dr 3 . 115 (p. 134). 19- *2 TOf ra\s % ] he prepared it as unleavened cakes, 
made it up into cakes; cf. i S. 28 24 , Gen. i8 ; Nu. n 8 (r-r;), Ex. I2 39 . The 
ephah was according to the smallest computation over a bushel. pi~ n ] (so 
Ki., Nor/.i, Baer) v.- Is. 65* (Qere) ; fu/xo?, jus ; cf. Arab, maraq ; others 
understand the pot liquor in which the meat had been boiled (Ki.; cf. 
Schm.). So] a closely woven shallow basket or tray, Gen. 4O 17 &C. inc] 
Nu. II s I S. 2 14 a cooking vessel, of what kind we have no means of ascer 
taining. Bohme (I.e. p. 254) rejects v. 11)a with v. 21 ; the broth was introduced 
by some one who thought a libation indispensable; the whole representation 
presumes that a religious offering is intended. So I5u. also. But if the object 
was to convert Gideon s hospitality into a sacrifice, it would have been done 
unmistakably. In no ritual that we know was meat presented in a basket (as 
unleavened cakes were) or a libation made of broth. It is conceivable that 
such rites existed in this early time; f l>ut not that such a description proceeds 
from a late editor. I find in the words, however, no certain evidence of a 
sacrificial intention; even uu;i is properly used of bringing food to one, putting 
it within his reach (Gen. 27-). 

20, 21. The food which Gideon brings out is converted into an 
offering. Fire from the rock consumes it ; the Messenger van 
ishes. 20. Messenger of God, instead of Messenger of Yahwch, 
is striking, and with some other peculiarities of expression arouses 
the suspicion that the verse is by a different hand. This sus 
picion is strengthened by the contents of the verse ; and Bohme 
and Budde are probably right in regarding it as a later addition to 
the story. Verse 1 connects equally well with v. 19 . See further in 
crit. note. 21. The Messenger touches the food with the tip of 
his walking-stick, at which fire springs up from the rock and con 
sumes it; cf. i K. iS 33 2 Chr. y 1 2 Mace. 2 10 - 13 Lev. <j*. Thc 
Messenger of Yahweh passed from his sight~\ this is in conflict 
with v."- " :! , in which Gideon addresses his visitor and is answered 
by him as though still present. That the reassuring voice (v.- ;1 ) 
came back from heaven \ is in no way intimated in the text. 
Probably the words are an addition suggested by i3~ J ; the 

* Stud. On the other hand, the word may have been the occasion of the 
editor s misunderstanding and led to the other changes in the verses. 

t We., who is inclined to see here a very old custom. 

+ Ki., RLbCl., Schm., and many. 

Observe how completely the two stories are fused by Fl. Jos., antt. v. 8, 3 
$ 283 f., and cf. the unconscious conformation in the interpretation of Ki., al. 



VI. 20-24 iSQ 

unsuitable position of the clause is explained by a comparison of 
6~ f - with 13"*. 22. Oh, my lord Yahweh /] cry of consternation 
or distress ; Jos. 7", Jer., Ez. ; cf. Jud. ii 3 . Because I have seen 
the Messenger of Yahweh face to face~\ and therefore must die. 
The belief that such a sight forebodes the death of him whose 
profane eyes have thus violated the mystery of godhead, Jud. 13- 
Gen. i6 13 $2 Ex. 20 19(16) 3 f> Is. 6 . 23. Yahweh reassures 
him. Thou art safe~\ lit. it is well with thee ; cf. Gen. 43^ 
Jud. ig 20 . 24. Gideon builds an altar which in the author s day 
was still standing in Ophrah, the name of which, Yahweh-shalom 
(Yahweh is well-disposed), perpetuates the words of God in v. r> . 
Examples of altars with commemorative names, Gen. 33 20 * 35 7 
Ex. i 7 15 . That v. 221 "" 24 are an integral part of the original narra 
tive is rightly maintained by Boh me f and Budde, \ against Well- 
hausen. 

20. 2 n s !O l.sSn] as in 4 23 (q.v.} the tradition is conflicting; only (5 BN 
supports |$ ; all other versions have Angel of the Lord. The text will hardly 
sustain the inference that the original narrator of 6 J -8 3 used Elohim and not 
Yatnveh. || DTiSxn in ^ may be due only to transcriptional accident; so far 
as appears, both Rje and Rd write nirp IN^C. Compare the divine names in 
Nu. 22 Jud. 13.^ Other differences, v. 20 yho, v. 21 iix; v. 20 the rare demon 
strative rSn (i S. I4 1 I7 26 &c.). 21. PJJ?B>D] etymologically, something on 
which a man leans for support, Ex. 2 1 19 Zech. 8 4 , perhaps a walking-stick 
rather than a staff (nac, oar); cf. 2 K. i8 21 Ez. 29 Cf -. vj^ S "l^ nw -JN^CI] 
I3 20 narsn anSa nw -js Sa S> ii. The two narratives are throughout so much 
alike that further assimilation in such details was almost inevitable. Rosters 
seems to go too far in thinking that 6 18 23 has been worked over throughout in 
conformity with ch. 13.** 22. p ^y 13] in the Hexateuch chiefly in J. a^jfl 
D^D SN] Gen. 32 81 Ex. 33 11 Dt. 34 10 cf. 5*. 24. DiSr nin^] many scholars 
take the second noun as genitive, (altar of) the Yahweh of Welfare, cf. mrp 
myax;tt but this is unnecessary (see i S. 25) and against analogy; cf. rather 
IDJ nirv (altar) Ex. I7 15 , ijpns nini (prophetic name of Jerusalem) Jer. 33 16 . 
Other names of a similar sort are rwv nini Gen. 22 14 , HDC ; nini Ez. 48 35 . 
myn ^ax msva] cf. mini anS n>a ry 7 , DTI^D nj, &c., Ew. 286 c ; Roorda, 



* But the original word here was stele (massebah). f 7. A TW. v. p. 252 f. 

J Richt. u. Sam., p. 109. \ Comp., p. 226; cf. Sta., GVI. i. p. 184. 

|| We., Comp., p. 226 ("possibly"). 

IF See Klostermann, Neue klrchl. 7.eitschrift, i. p. 712-716, whose caution on 
this point deserves attention, in spite of exaggeration. ** Th. T. ix. p. 397 f. n. 

ft So Lth., Drus., Cler. (alt.), Ges. (supposing an inscription aiStP nirvS ; cf. 
Schm.), Stud., Sta., al. 



I 90 JUDGES 

449. We. {Co/up., p. 226) finds that the altar and sacrifice (?) of v.~-- 4 
come post festum ; the original altar was the stone itself. Stade {GVI. i. 
j>. 183 f.) thinks the verses possibly the close of a lost account of the origin 
of the holy place at Ophrah. But when the changes made by editorial hands 
in the preceding verses are recognized, v.---- 4 is seen to be the natural and 
almost indispensable close of the narrative before us in v. 14 1 - 

25-32. Call of Gideon. Second account. Yahweh calls Gideon 
first of all to destroy the altar of Baal which belongs to his father 
and the sacred post (asherali) that stands beside it ; to build 
on a designated spot an altar of Yahweh, and offer upon it a 
certain bullock as a dedicatory sacrifice. He does so by night. 
When the sacrilege is discovered and its perpetrator detected, the 
townspeople demand that he be put to death. His father Joash 
persuades them to leave it to Baal to avenge the outrage done 
him, " If he is a god let him take his own part." The oracular 
words of Joash, who as the custodian of the holy place was natu 
rally the priest of Baal, explain the name Jerubbaal. 

These verses are loosely joined to the foregoing by the words, 
///. that night (cf. 7 ), but so far from being the continuation of 
v. 11 24 , v.- 5 a - belong to a second and altogether different account 
of the call of Gideon. The writer who narrates in v. 24 the build 
ing of the altar, Yahweh-shalom, cannot have gone on to relate 
the building of another altar of Yahweh in v. 2t (f- , nor did the 
author of the latter verses have before him v. 21 " 24 . In v. n the holy 
tree at Ophrah, on the land of Joash, is the sacred spot where 
Yahweh appears, and there is no intimation that Israel is addicted 
to heathenish cults, or that its calamities are the punishment of 
defection ; in v. 251t Joash is the proprietary custodian of the vil 
lage altar of Baal with its sacred post (ashcmli), and these must 
be destroyed before Yahweh will deliver his people. The premises 
of v." 5 " ; " are to be found rather in v. 7 " 10 . The latter verses break 
off abruptly (see p. 181). We may infer from the analogous 
passages (2 lb ~ 5a IO IMO i S. 7 3ff IO 1 " 11 i2 Cff -) that in the original con 
nexion the prophet went on to upbraid them more specifically for 
their lapse into heathenism (worship of Baal), and to declare that 
it was for this that Yahweh had given them over to their foes. As 
a sequel to this, Gideon is called to begin the reformation by 
destroying the village altar of Baal and restoring the abandoned 



VI. 25 IQI 

worship of Yahweh. Budde appears to me to be right in seeing 
in v. 25 " 32 , not a free amplification of the story by a later author,* 
but part of a parallel narrative, which may with considerable 
probability be ascribed to E. 

25. That night } cf. 2 S. y 4 2 K. ig 35 . In the present con 
nexion, the night after the appearance of the Messenger of 
Yahweh to Gideon ; originally, if our analysis is correct, the night 
after the prophet delivered his reproof (v. 7 10 ) . Verse 25a speaks 
apparently of two bullocks, and in the sequel we read of the 
sacrifice of the second bullock (v. 26 - 28 ) ; but what is to be done 
with the other does not appear. The text is unintelligible, and 
no satisfactory emendation has been suggested. Kuenenf pro 
posed to restore, with the aid of v. 27 , Take ten men of thy servants 
and a bullock of seven years, but it is difficult to imagine how this 
could have been so corrupted. See critical note. Pull down the 
altar of Baal which thy father has, and cut down the sacred post 
which is by it~\ the altar was the holy place of the town (v. 28 ^) ; 
Joash was its custodian by proprietary right, as the family of 
Micah would have become of his temple in Mt. Ephraim (i7 5ff -), 
or as Gideon s descendants would have been of the image of 
Yahweh in Ophrah (8 27 ). j On Baal see above on 2 13 (p. 69 f.). 
The sacred post which is by it~\ the sacred post (asherah} was 
of wood, and, if we may argue from v. 26 , of considerable size. 
Such posts seem to have belonged to every Canaanite place of 
worship (Ex. 34", altars, steles, asherahs, Dt. i2 3 i K. i4 23 2 K. i; 10 
Is. 17*), and in old times stood not only beside the altars of the 
Baals, but by those of Yahweh (Dt. i6 21 ), even in the temple at 
Jerusalem (2 K. 2i 7 23"). According to Jewish tradition the 
asherah might be a living tree, and many modern scholars infer as 
much from Dt. i6 21 ; but usually, beyond question, it was a post or 
mast. The shape of the asherah is not certainly known ; but it 
is not improbable that asherahs are represented by the posts of 
varying forms, often with a conical top, which occur so frequently 
in sacrificial scenes on Assyrian marbles, and on Assyrian, Phoeni- 

* We., Sta., Kue., Kitt. ; see above, p. 175 f. 
t In Doom., p. 70 n. ; adopted by Kautzsch. 

J On such rights in holy places see We., Reste arabischen Heidcntumes, p. 128 f. ; 
cf. Ibn Hishum, ed. Wiistenfeld, p. 54 f. 



IQ2 JUDGES 

cian, and Cypriote seals and gems.* The origin and meaning 
of the asherah are also involved in obscurity. 26. Gideon is 
directed to build an altar to Yahweh on a different site. On the 
highest point of this stronghold^ the word which follows is not 
intelligible in this context ; either it is a technical term the mean 
ing of which is lost, or, as seems more likely, the text is at fault. 
It is to be presumed that, as in the parallel narrative (v. 24 ), the 
writer has in mind an altar standing in his day, and that the words 
describe its site. He is to dedicate the altar by the sacrifice of a 
bullock, using for fuel the wood of the sacred post which he has 
cut down. The whole burnt offering is the proper dedicatory 
sacrifice. The second bullock~\ v. 2s . The words are grammatically 
unimpeachable, but the disorder of v. 25 makes it doubtful whether 
they are correct ; not improbably the second is interpolated in 
both verses, to conform to the (corrupt) text of v. 25 . 

25. That the text is corrupt should need no demonstration; iirn IB and 
D^JS* yzy J- "i "ID are meaningless and grammatically impossible collocations 
of words. The second bullock of seven years old (EV., following (53LS) t 
would be C jt* fyy 13. As nothing is said in the sequel about any other 
bullock, many interpreters infer that only one is spoken of here, and translate, 
Take the bullock which belongs to thy father, even the second bullock, &c.; 
so Trem.-Jun., Pise., AV., R.V., Ke., al.; the conjunction is explained in the 
same way (ct quideni) by E\v., Stud. (cf. RJes.); it is omitted by <S ALM . 
Ingenious, but improbable explanations of the second bullock (second calf of 
its dam) are given by Abuhv., Tanch. (on I S. 15); cf. Ki., Roecl. (Ges. 7Vtes. 
p. 1451), Bo., al. RJes. and Stud, interpret fatted; Ew. connects ^~ with 
njs 1 in the sense, annosus. The word is omitted by (Q^pv sub ast. S; appar 
ently -nrn -\j and T.rn 13 are doublets, and both corrupt. suggests the 
conjecture pirn nan (cf. I S. 15, We., Dr.), but the corruption is probably 
deeper. With the seven years it seems impossible to do anything at all; 
cf. lE, Tennirah, 28 , Ra., RJes., al.; Ilit/Jg conjectured that they were 
accidentally introduced from 6 1 . mon v s > - nc-.s ms Nni] not upon the altar, 
but beside it. mir.x almost uniformly (5 <SX<ros It Incus AV. grove; RV. 
Asherah, explained (Ex. 34 13 mg.), the wooden symbols of a goddess Asherah. 
The asherah is named in conjunction with high places, altars, steles, carved 
stones, images. The verbs which are used in describing the making and 
erection and the destruction of an asherah show that it was an upright 

* See numbers of them in Lajard, Culte de Mithra, 1857 ; Ohnefalsch-Richter, 
Kypros. See further, art. "Asherah" in A r ew Bible Dictionary (A. & C. Black); 
W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 171 ff. On the goddess Asherah, see 
above on 3 7 (p. 86 f.). t Or, a second bullock 



VI. 2 5 -30 193 

wooden post or mast.* From Dt. i6 21 it has been inferred that it was 
originally a living tree,f for which the post is then supposed to be a conven 
tional substitute; see e.g. Di. on Dt. I.e. But in this passage we should not 
translate, an asherah of any kind of tree (RV.), but, an asherah, any 
wooden object. % For }>>? pale, cf. Dt. 2i 22 . As yet the Phoenician inscrip 
tions, in which the word has been found once or twice, throw no light on the 
subject. The etymology of the word is also obscure. G. Hoffmann would 
connect it with Arab, athar ; perhaps only the mark of a place of worship. 
The Assyr. a$ru, aUrfu, pi. a srdti, also esreti, which Fr. Delitzsch and others 
interpret holy place, sanctuary, temple, have also been compared. See 
New Bible Dictionary, s. v. 26. nya] perhaps a natural stronghold rather 
than a fortification; cf. nj?a mx Is. I7 10 . The word does not occur elsewhere 
in the historical books; cf. mixa in the story of David. roiyaa] nanya is a 
row or rank; in hist, books, of soldiers in line of battle, but hardly, place 
where the ranks are formed {place d armes). || Jerome interprets of the wood 
regularly laid upon the altar, similarly Ke. (MH. usage); Stud., Be 1 ., of the 
courses of stone of which the altar was to be built (cf. the verb, Nu. 23*) ; 
Cler., Be 2 ., al., of a rampart or bastion built of courses of masonry. ^xya 
a^xy fire wood Gen. 22 r - 9 Is. 3<D 33 and often. 



27-32. Gideon destroys the altar of Baal. He is saved from 
the wrath of his townsmen by Joash. 27. Gideon with ten of 
his men carries out the divine command. In this narrative Joash 
is supposed to be a man of much importance in the community, 
with a numerous household of servants, a representation quite 
different from that of v. 11 " 24 .^ For fear of his fellow townsmen, 
and of his own family, who as the custodians of the holy place 
would be most incensed by its destruction, Gideon did his work at 
night. 28. The townspeople awoke in the morning to find the 
altar of the Baal pulled to pieces and the sacred post cut down. 
The second half-verse is somewhat clumsily phrased and is not 
improbably the addition of a scribe, who missed an explicit men 
tion of the fulfilment of the direction in v. 2Cb . 29. Upon inves 
tigation they ascertain that Gideon is the perpetrator of the 
sacrilege. 30. They demand that Joash surrender his son to 
them, that he may expiate his offence by death. To take him by 



* So Saad. and Abulvv. translate. 

t Cf. Si/re on Dt. I2 3 ($ 61) ; Abodah zarah, 45"- b ; Ra., Ki., 
J Cf. Si/re 145 ; Tumid, 28 b . Not impossibly the words } y *?a are a gloss. 
$ Assyr. Handwortcrbiich, p. 148. See against Delitzsch, Jensen, Kosmologie, 
p. 200. || Cf. Schm., JHMich. IT Note especially v. 11 - 15 . 

O 



194 JUDGES 

force might embroil them with the kindred of Joash and be the 
beginning of a blood feud whose end no man could foresee. So 
the Qoreish at Mecca tried to persuade Mohammed s uncle, 
Abu Talib, to withdraw from him his protection, that they might 
kill the pestilent agitator without incurring the vengeance of his 
family.* 31. Joash, who as the proprietary custodian of the 
holy place may be supposed to speak also for the god, rebukes 
their presumption ; will they intervene to prevent Baal from vin 
dicating himself? To all who were arrayed against him~\ lit. 
stood ; others, who stood near him, in which sense the words are 
superfluous. Will you take up Baal s quarrel? Or will you 
vindicate him ?~\ save him from his adversary; cf. Job 13*. If 
he is a god, let him take his own part~\ deorum injuriae dis curae.j 
In the thought of the writer, which, however, we must beware of 
attributing to Joash, the words have an ironical point ; Baal s 
inability to defend himself is a proof that he is no god ; cf. 
i K. iS- 1 " 9 . The conditional sentence would naturally follow 
immediately upon the question in v. a : Will you take Baal s part ? 
will you defend him? If he is a god, let him take his own part. 
This obvious connexion is broken by the sentence which is inter 
posed : Whoever takes up his (Baal s) quarrel shall be put to 
death by morning} in these words, the difficulty of which cannot 
be evaded by a different translation, Joash appears to threaten 
with death any one who rashly puts himself forward as the 
champion of Baal ; he will defend his son by force if need be. j 
This would be in itself a conceivable sequel to his question ; but 
a very tame one compared with v. b , If he is a god, &c. ; both 
cannot be original. Probably, therefore, the intruding words were 
added here by an editor or scribe ; perhaps originally a gloss 
intended for a different place or in a different sense. At the end 
of the verse the words, because he pulled down his altar, seem to 
have been repeated from v. 3LM) with superfluous explicitness. 
32. Explanation of the name Jerubbaal. He (Joash) gave /tint 
that day the name Jerubbaal } better, pronouncing the verb as 
passive, He (Gideon) was called, he got the name. That is to 



* Ibn Hishum, cd. Wiistcnfeld, p. 167-169. 

t Tiberius; Tac., annul., \. 73. J RLbG., Schm., Clcr. 



VI. 3^32 195 

say, Let Baal contend with him, because he pulled down his 
altar} Jerubbaal is another name of Gideon (f S 2 *- 35 9 flassim) ; 
in the present shape of the narrative the relation between the two 
is not clear. For a hypothesis about the use of the names in the 
older stories of J and E, see on 7*. For several centuries after 
the occupation of Canaan the word baal (proprietor) was used 
by the Israelites as innocently as el (nitmcn) or ad on (lord), and 
men whose loyalty to Yahweh is above suspicion gave baal-names 
to their children. Saul had a son Ishbaal ; Jonathan, a son 
Meribaal ; David, a son Baaljada. As in similar compounds of 
el and adon, the unnamed deity is no other than Yahweh. So, 
doubtless, it was with Jerubbaal. In later times, through the 
operation of causes which we cannot develop here, the baals of 
Canaan are set over against Yahweh the God of Israel, and the 
name baal becomes the very signature of heathenism. The old 
proper names compounded with baal then became a stumbling 
block, and in our texts are generally mutilated. Jerubbaal 
becomes Jerubbesheth (28. n^ 1 ), as Ishbaal is perverted into 
Ishbosheth.* In our text also it is assumed that the Canaanite 
Baal (v. 25 ^) is meant, but by an ingenious etymology the name 
is made to signify, Adversary of Baal. 



27. Ji rne>yD . . . vox no nx N y iti xs] combination of two common 
constructions of NT, with the ace. of the person feared, and with p and 
the inf., fear to do something ; cf. Ex. 34 39 . 28. n>pn ijtrn -IBH nm] passive 
with direct obj. in ace.; Ges. 25 121, i; on the frequency of this construction 
in late Hebrew, see Giesebrecht, ZA TW. i. p. 263 f. >uan] Neh. 7* Cant. 4* 
Ps. I22 3t . 31. vSjj nny "WN SsS] Sj? IDJ? in the sense stand up against one 
(^; Dip) is found only in late Hebrew (Ges., Stud.), but we may take IDJ; in 
its usual meaning and still give to the preposition a hostile force. DPNH 
SjraS pann] f the emphatic pronoun in contrast to the last clause, If he is a 
god let him contend for himself. Cf. Job 13" pann SxS ON. jwin] vindi 
cate, avenge ; i S. 25 20 - 31 - ^ Observe how the old imperfect endings roll out 
in the energy of speech. iS a^< ic-x] (5 (with various turns) and IL (qut 
adversarius est ejus) take S an in the sense of Sx an contend against, Jud. 2I 22 
Jer. I2 1 Job 33 13 ; but in this connexion the author cannot have employed the 
preposition with a force exactly the opposite of that which it has in the pre 
ceding and following clauses, especially as he had the choice of three or four 

* See We., TBS. p. 30 f. ; Baudissin, Studien zur semit. Religionsgcschichtc, i. 
p. 108 n. ; Driver, TBS. p. 195 f. 

t B puts the words into the mouth of Gideon. 



196 JUDGES 

usual and unambiguous expressions. ipan ij? ncv] the Ilophal would hardly 
be used if the meaning was that Baal would slay him.* ipan ~\y by morning ; 
usually the morning of the following day; cf. Jud. 16- i S. 25 2 S. 17- - &c. 
(Stud.). Others interpret here of the same day, during the morning (Schm., 
Cler., JHMich., Be.f). V? an 1 ] Job 13^; for reflexive force of suff., cf. Gen. 
22 16 Ex. 32 13 &c. 32. iS {op^i] perhaps better N^I. ^i ?"} 1 ] the author 
explains the name as if it were made from Sjra a^ 1 let Baal contend. Such a 
compound would not be strange (cf. an^rp), and this etymology is accepted 
by many modern scholars ( s >a a TV Baal contends ; Kue., Dr., Baethgen). 
This seems to be excluded, however, by the fact that the impf. of m is yar ib 
(twice in this verse), and that no trace of an alternative yarub exists. We. 
{TBS. p. 31), with greater probability, thinks that the name is formed like 
^NW, J in meaning equivalent to irpsT 1 , Vahweh founds. 

33-35. The Midianites invade the land ; Gideon summons his 
countrymen to resist them. The hordes of Midian and its allies 
cross the Jordan and encamp in the Great Plain. The spirit of 
Yahweh fills Gideon ; he raises his clan, Abiezer ; then his tribe 
Manasseh ; finally, he calls out the tribes north of the plain, 
Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali. Verse 34 belongs to the first narra 
tive (v. 11 24 , J) and may originally have followed immediately upon 
v.- 1 ; in this narrative the description of the invasion preceded 
the appearance of the Messenger of Yahweh to Gideon (v. llb ). 
Verse 33 may then be from the hand of E, who, if our surmise be 
correct, || described at the beginning in general terms the annual 
forays of Midian, and might therefore appropriately relate here 
particulars of their last invasion. The author of y-~ 8 must have 
narrated how Gideon called out at least his own tribe, Manasseh, 
and, if we may argue from the numbers, probably others ; but this 
account would naturally stand after 6 :!G ~ 40 , in which Gideon, who 
seems to be at home, seeks the assurance of a sign that he is 
truly called of God to deliver Israel. Verse v< may, therefore, be 
derived in part from E, but has been attracted from its original 
position by the parallel v. 34 ; the number of tribes called out is 



* In Ez. i8 13 the influence of the common legal formula for the death-penalty 
explains the unusual expression; cf. <0A al. 31.5.. 

f Be. misstates the usage ; ipa iy is found chiefly in P. 

J Cf. also aSrw. 

So also Baudissin, Studicn, u. s. w., i. p. 108 n. ; cf. Sta., GVI. i. p. 181 n. 

|| Above, p. 178 ; the Amalekites and Bcne-Qedem are probably added by R, as 
in other cases. 



VI. 33-35 197 

probably exaggerated by the redactor. Certainly, in its present 
form, 6^ is in conflict with 7 - 3 ; but we cannot be confident that 
the latter verse is original. On the other hand, v. 36 must have 
been preceded in E by an account of the calling of Gideon to 
deliver Israel, which has been omitted by Rje as superfluous 
after 6 11 24 . 

33. Cf. v. 3 - 5 7 12 . The Plain of Jezreel] so called from the city 
Jezreel, the modern Zerin, on a spur projecting from the Gilboa 
range. The Valley of Jezreel (Jos. ly 16 Hos. I st ) is in the vicinity 
of that city, the eastern end of the great depression which divides 
the highlands of Central Palestine from Galilee ; there is no 
evidence that the name was in Old Testament times extended 
to the whole plain.* Until quite recent times such inroads of 
Bedawin into the Great Plain have been of frequent occurrence. f 
34. The spirit of Yahweh took possession of Gideon~\ lit. put him 
on, as a garment, clothed itself with him ; i Chr. i2 18 2 Chr. 24 20 . 
On the spirit of Yahweh, see comm. on 3 10 . He sounded the 
war hortt] y~. Abiezer was called otit~\ v. 35 7~- :i5 i S. I4 20 and 
often ; cf. the active, 4 ia 13 . He raised his own clan ; and it is 
not improbable that in J the three hundred men with whom he 
puts the Bedawin to flight and pursues them over the Jordan were 
merely these clansmen. 35. The critical questions which this 
verse raises have been discussed above. Through all ManasseJi\ 
his own tribe. West Manasseh only can be meant. Asher, 
Zclntlun, and Naphtali~\ see on i 30 " 33 (p. 49 f.) ; here, as in ch. i 
and 4, Issachar is passed over. The two halves of the verse are 
constructed on the same model ; J the second is perhaps an exag 
gerating addition. In 7~ 3 Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh are 
called out after the success of Gideon s stratagem, to pursue the 
fleeing foe. It is hardly possible that both verses are original. 
They went up to meet them~\ may be from E s narrative : He sent 
messengers through all Manasseh, and they went up to meet the 
Midianites. Went up, in the military sense; marched against 
them. In the present connexion the words form an awkward 
parallel to the end of v. a . 

* See Furrer, BL. iii. p. 302 ; Biid.3, p. 229 ; G. A. Smith, Hist. Geog., p. 385. 
t Thomson, Land and Book 2 , ii. 179 f. J Cf. also 7^*. 



198 JUDGES 

33. The plain is called the plain of Megiddo (Zech. I2 n 2 Chr. 35- 
Esdr. i 27 ); the Great Plain (i Mace. I2 411 , Fl. Jos., ante. viii. 2, 3 36; b.j. 
iv. i, 8 54) ; the great plain of Legio (Euseb., OS 1 . 24634) ; the great plain 
of Esdraelon (Judith I s ); see also above on I 27f - (p. 43 ff.). It is the histori 
cal battlefield of Palestine; see esp. G. A. Smith, Hist. Geography, p. 391-410. 
-34. MI r\z ^ nini nm] the same tropical use in 2T here and i Chr. i2 18 , S: 
here; in Syriac freq. of demoniac possession (PS. 1887). P> ^] Niph. as 
pass, to Hiph.; iS---- 3 ; cf. pysj 7 2a 24 . 

36-40. The sign of the fleece. Gideon asks a sign that God 
will deliver Israel by his hand. A fleece exposed at night on the 
threshing floor is drenched with dew, while the ground around is 
dry. In a second test the fleece alone is dry, while the ground is 
wet with dew. It is scarcely to be supposed that after the won 
derful manifestation of the Messenger of Yahweh, v. 21 2:! , Gideon 
ventured to require another sign ; the premises of v.""" 40 are not 
to be sought in v. 11 24 , but in the missing parallel account of the 
call of Gideon, in which the summons to be the champion of 
Israel probably came, not through the Messenger of Yahweh, but, 
as commonly in E, in a dream or night vision.* A revelation of 
this kind may well require the attestation of a tangible sign such 
as Gideon here proposes. This hypothesis is confirmed by the 
fact that in v." G ~ 4U , in contrast with v. 11 " 24 , we have without excep 
tion Elolilm (v. 4(I ) and ha-Elo/um (v. 30 3U ) instead of Yahweh and 
Mafak Yahwch. We may, therefore, with much probability 
attribute v. 30 - 40 to E. 

36. As thou saycst~\ v. 3rb ; the words now refer to v. 14 16 . 
37. The hard, bare surface of the threshing floor and its exposure 
to the wind made it the most suitable place for such an experi 
ment, f 38. The test resulted as he had proposed ; in the morn 
ing he squeezed the fleece and drained out of it dew enough to 
fill a bowl with water. 39, 40. To make sure that this was not 
due to some natural cause, he proposes to invert the experiment ; 
this time the fleece alone shall be dry, while all the ground is 
covered with dew. On the following morning he finds it so. 




VI. 36- VII. i 199 

36. JPBMD ~\w ox] Gen. 24 42 - 49 43* I S. 23 23 ; corresponding constr. of fN 
Ex.8 17 i S. 19"; iiy Ex. g 2 . See Dr 3 . 137 (a). 37. P.J] some modern 
Arab, dialects gurn (Mohit, p. 243), or guran (Bar Bahlul, ed. Duval, 41); 
Ethiopic, see Di. Lex. (perhaps loan-word). 38. I_IM] generally derived 
from TIT; K6. (i. p. 328) would make it from TIT, an (imaginary) softer form 
of ~nx. There is better ground for thinking that the root is in. Scon] 5 25t . 
39. -|2>x irp SN] Gen. 44 18 Ex. 32 22 . ny-an T n-aiNi] on oyen see on 158 
i6 28 . The clause has very likely been borrowed from the intercession of 
Abraham, Gen. i8 32 . It is superfluous before the following, let me try it only 
this time with the fleece, and the sentence gains much by its removal (Bu.). 

VII. 1-8. Gideon s numbers are reduced to three hundred 
men. Gideon, with thirty-two thousand men, encamps near the 
enemy, at Ain Harod. At the command of Yah we h, who will 
not have the victory attributed to human might and prowess, 
Gideon dismisses all who fear the encounter. Of the ten thou 
sand that remain, three hundred are picked out by a singular test ; 
these are furnished with the provisions and the horns of the rest, 
who are dismissed to their homes. The great numbers presup 
pose the raising of more than one tribe (6 s5 ), and, like that verse, 
conflict with 7 23f -, where the tribes are called out after the success 
of Gideon s attack, to pursue the fleeing enemy and intercept 
their retreat. The aim of the whole story (v. 2 ~ s ) seems to be to 
enforce the lesson that it is as easy for Yahweh to deliver by few 
as by many (i S. 14), and that to rebuke man s vaingloriousness 
he chooses the weak things of the world to put to shame the 
strong (i Cor. i 25 27 ; Studer). The verses seem to be from E, 
and belong perhaps to a secondary stratum of that work.* Verse 1 , 
on the other hand, seems to be the continuation of 6 s4 , and to be 
continued in 7 9fr . 1. While the camp of Midian was north of 
Gibeath ha-Moreh~\ the text has, north of him, from Gibeath ha- 
Morch, in the plain, which cannot be right. The cause of the 
disorder is perhaps contamination from v. 8 . In our ignorance 
of the topography, the restoration is merely conjectural. As 6 s3 
locates the camp of the Midianites in the Plain of Jezreel, Ain 
Harod and Gibeath ha-Moreh have naturally been looked for 
there. Stanley would find the former in Ain Galud, a very 
copious spring at the foot of Gilboa, about half an hour east of 

* Bu. ascribes them to Rje ; see above, p. 176. 



200 JUDGES 

Jezreel (Zer m).* Gibeath ha-Moreh is then supposed to be the 
hill now called Nebi Dahi, on the northern side of the valley, 
above Solem (Shunem). The positions would thus be very much 
the same which were occupied by Saul and the Philistines before 
the battle of Mt. Gilboa (i S. 28 4 cf. 2g l ). These conjectures rest, 
however, on a most insecure foundation. Ch. 6 : " is not from the 
same source as 7 1 , and it is not certain that the author of the 
latter (J) laid the scene of action in the Plain of Jezreel. The 
name Moreh occurs elsewhere only in the neighbourhood of 
Shechem (Gen. 12 Dt. n :Jtl ), and, in the absence of any other 
clue, it is the least hazardous supposition that the same place is 
meant here. The other indications in J agree very well with this 
hypothesis. In this narrative Gideon has behind him his clan, 
Abiezer, whose seats are about Ophrah, probably not very far 
from Shechem. I In his pursuit of the Midianites he crosses 
the Jordan not far from Succoth, by the fords ordinarily taken 
between Shechem and Gilead (Gen. 33 17 18 " 20 ; see below on S 5 ), 
as he would do if he had come down by Wady FaVah ; the com 
posite verse 7 23 shows that the direction of the flight and pursuit 
was differently described in the two sources, j 

1. pjn.1 Nin SyjT 1 ] if Gideon had been original here and Jerubbaal been 
introduced by a subsequent hand (Kitt.), we should have had, And Gideon, 
that is, Jei^ibbaal. Tin p; 1 ] cf. the gentile, i-nn 2 S. 23 25 (l Chr. II 27 ). 
Graetx eonj. for Tin py, INI pj? Ps. 83 11 . mien nyaja pass i 1 ? n\n pis njnsi 
pnya] Bu. emends, after v. 8b , "Ji mien nyuj 1 ? pass nnnn "h n^n. It seems to 
me more probable that combination with v. 8 is responsible for the disorder of 
the text, and I should prefer to restore nninn njjajS pasa rrri, omitting i? and 
rc>3. Another possibility misn nj?3J3 pssn iS nin. Am Galud was early sup 
posed to be the scene of David s fight with Goliath (///. ffierosol.}. Eshtori 
Parchi (fol. 67 ) calls this a Moslem blunder. It is more likely that the 
similarity of the name was the occasion of the error, than that a mislocation of 
the conflict with the Philistines (under the influence of I S. 28 4 ) gave rise to 
the name. Ain Galud is often identified with the Tubania of the Talmud 
and the crusading historians; Eshtori Parchi rightly distinguishes them, and 
Ain Tuba un is in fact about a mile NE. of Ain Galud (SUT. RIetnoirs, ii. 



* Sinai and Palestine, 1856, p. 338. So Furrer, BL. iv. p. 239 ; Be., G. A. Smith, 
Hist. Geography, p. 397 f. ; al. Descriptions of Ain Galud in Rob., BRA ii. p. 323 f. ; 
Guerin, Samarie, \. p. 308 f . ; SWP. Memoirs, ii. p. 79. Cf. also D B 2 . i. p. 1288. 

f See above, on 6 11 . J On Tabor, 8 18 , see there. 

See Rob., Z?A 2 . ii. p. 324; G. A. Smith, Hist. Geog., 397 f. n. 



VII. 1-4 2OI 

p. 79). Conder (S1VP, Memoirs, ii. p. 81) would find Ain Harod in Ain 
el-Gema in, much nearer Beisan, imagining that a reminiscence of the "two 
troops" of Israel and Midian survives in the name. Nebi Dahi is now often 
called Little Hermon. misn nym] cf. mis pSx Gen. 12, mio >jiSx Dt. I2 6 ; 
cf. a^jjiya fV?N Jud. 9 37 (see there). 

2-8. Gideon dismisses all but three hundred picked men. 
2. Yahweh will not give the enemy into the power of Gideon s 
army. Lest Israel vaunt itself against me, saying, My own hand 
wrought deliverance for me ] cf. Is. io 13 15 Dt. 8 1U18 9 4f -, and with 
the last phrase i S. 2 ^ x - 31 - ^. Gideon shall first dismiss all who are 
lacking in courage. 3. Proclaim to the people : Whoever is fear 
ful and in terror] cf. Dt. 2O 8 ; a similar measure with a different 
motive. The second verb (harad) perhaps plays upon the name 
Harod, though it is not intimated that the name is derived from 
this terror* The following words, translated in RV., and depart^ 
from Mt. Gilead, present great difficulty. The meaning of the 
verb, which is found only here, is unknown, and the mention of 
Mt. Gilead (east of the Jordan, 5 17 ) is quite irreconcilable with the 
topography of the story. The emendation of Clericus, Gilboa, 
would bring the situation into accord with C 33 ; but if Gideon was, 
as is supposed, encamped on Mt. Gilboa, the direction to return 
home from Mt. Gilboa is entirely superfluous. \ Ewald surmises 
that the words are an old proverbial saying in East Manasseh, in 
the present context meaning no more than " slink from the field of 
battle." But the use of such an expression by the writer, without 
explanation, would simply invite misunderstanding. Twenty-two 
thousand men availed themselves of this permission; ten thou 
sand remained with Gideon. 4. The numbers are still too 
great ; Yahweh prescribes a new test. Take them down to the 
waters, and let me separate them for thee there~\ remove the infe 
rior elements which are not fit for the high enterprise ; the figure 
is taken from the refining of the precious metals by smelting out 
the baser admixture of the ore; Is. i 25 Mai. 3~ 3 . What waters 
are meant, we cannot determine. The common opinion that they 
are the Nahr Galud, the stream which rises in Ain Galud (see 



* Ew., al. t Margin : go round about. J Dathe, Stud. 

GVI. ii. p. 543; so Sta., GVI. i. p. 150; Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 112 n. 



202 JUDGES 

on v 1 ), and, fed by other springs, flows past Beisan to the Jordan, 
labours under all the uncertainties and difficulties which beset 
Stanley s hypothesis. Yahweh will there tell him who shall go 
with him and who not. 5. Those who throw themselves flat on 
the ground, with their faces to the water, and lap it up with their 
tongues like dogs, are to be set by themselves, and those who 
kneel down to drink (from their hands), by themselves. 6. The 
number of those who lapped with their hands to their mouths 
amounted to three hundred mcii\ the words, with their hands to 
their mouths, are as ( shows, a gloss, and in this place an erro 
neous gloss ; to lap with the tongue, and to raise water to the 
mouth with the hand, are precisely the two different ways of 
drinking which are here distinguished. Perhaps the words were 
meant to stand at the end of v. fi , where they would be a correct 
explanation ; see note. The contradiction at this point between 
v! and v. G has involved the whole interpretation in obscurity. 
Clericus imagines the three hundred drinking standing : * intelli- 
guntur qui manu aquam hauserant, eamque e manu stantes bibe- 
bant, nequaquam inflexis genibus ; they were the hardy warriors 
who did not yield to their thirst, f or were too eager to be at the 
enemy to stop even to drink. Josephus, on the contrary, thinks 
that they were the greatest cowards in the army, who in the 
presence of the foe were afraid to drink in the usual manner, j 
The miraculous character of the deliverance is thus heightened. 
The interpretations are equally far-fetched ; if any significance is 
to be attached to the way in which the three hundred drink, we 
should find it in the comparison to dogs (v. 5 ) ; they were the 
rude, fierce men ; compare the name Caleb. It is doubtful, 
however, whether the character of the three hundred is in the 
writer s mind at all. 7. Yahweh will deliver Israel by means of 
the three hundred ; all the rest of the people shall go to their 
homes. 8. Those who are sent home leave their provisions and 
their horns with Gideon, who is thus enabled to furnish each of 



* Cf. Be., Ke., Cass. ; against this impossible theory sec Stud, 
t Or who disregarded convenience ; cf. Aug. 
J Antt. v. 6, 3 217 ; Thdt. ; cf. Procop. 

^ In tin.- number 300 (Greek T) the Fathers saw an allegory of the cross; see 
Aug., quacst. 37. 



VII. 4-8 203 

his three hundred men with a horn. The verse is clearly written 
with reference to v. 1Cff , to explain how Gideon came to have so 
many horns at his disposal. The repeated change in the subject 
of the verbs is harsh and the text is in at least one place at fault. 
Perhaps v. a in its present form is the work of a redactor, who is 
preparing for v. 16 " 22 ; see note. The camp of Midian was below 
him in the valley"] corresponds to v. 1 , and is E s introduction to 
the surprise of the Midianite camp in v. 16 " 22 . 

2. .inn . . . 31] jo comparative with infinitive, Gen. 4 13 27 1 2Q 19 Dt. 28 55 
i K. 8 04 , Roorda, 485. ty iNann] Is. io 15 , glory over. -h nytnn ni] 
i S. 25 s6 - 33 cf. Is. 59 16 63 5 Ps. 44* 98 ; S jptrin io 14 . 3. ijjSjn nnn ncx^] in 
rendering depart, set forth quickly, &c., the versions (<1LS) seem to have 
been guided only by the context and the preposition; depart early (AV.), 
sc. in the morning, follows Ra., Ki., RLbG., Drus., al. in connecting the word 
with Aram. NICX morning ; make a circuit (Abulw., Tanch., Ges., Stud., 
Be., Cass., al.; cf. Ki. Lex.}, connects it with Heb. .TVCX fillet * {encircling 
the head), cf. Ez. f- 10 . Others compare Arab. JL<C in the sense run quickly, 

or spring, bound ; so SS. The context would make the general meaning of 
the verb sufficiently clear if the following words ij^-n inn were intelligible in 
this place. JDMich. conj. inn, flee quickly to Mt. Gilead; but this is both 
intrinsically improbable and in direct conflict with v. 7 - 8 . Cler. proposed inn 
jnSjn, from Mt. Gilboa, which is adopted by Hitz., Be., Graetz, Ke., Doom., 
Reuss, al. ; but Dathe and Stud, rightly observe that the words are then mean 
ingless. Ewald s old Manassite saying, in which Gilead is used proverbially for 
the battlefield, is without the slightest foundation or plausibility. Cass. elabo 
rates a somewhat similar theory. Stud. s explanation is, that, as the Midianites 
in the Plain of Jezreel lay between the men of the northern tribes (6 35 ) and 
their homes, they are bidden to cross the Jordan, and by a circuit through 
Mt. Gilead go around the enemy. But if this was the author s meaning he 
could not have expressed himself more obscurely. If a conjecture may be 
ventured in this state of the text, I would suggest, jyu BQ^XM Gideon put them 
to the test; for the verb cf. v. 4 .f 5. o^on p ui^Sa p S ic N Sa] the vb. ppS 
(onomatopoetic) I K. 2I 19 {bis} 22 38 ; cf. ~\rh Nu. 22 4 &c.; < BX cbrd TOV 
vdaros, better than K (<5 AVLM ). naS mix .rxn] rxn of persons, Gen. 33 15 43 9 
47 2 ; cf. of things Jud. 6 37 8 27 ; see note on the latter verse. io s without suffix, 
Ex. 26 9 36 10 Zech. I2 12 - 13 - 14 . ji y-\y iti S Ssi] the vb. see on 5 27 . At the end 
(JJ.VLMX ^ c f g^j a( ld s jueraiTTTjcrets atirbv Ka.0 avr6v, Pv /ierao-r^o-ets avrbv. 
The words may have been accidentally omitted in ^; the nature of the 



* Originally braid, plait. 

t Cf. RJes., who regards nsxil as equivalent to rp?Pi by metathesis. Graetz 
conj. V\DM break through. 



2O4 JUDGES 

attestation makes it less likely that they were added by &, cf. 1L3- 6. DTO 
Dn fl SN] similarly ( BNVO ( c f. j.-j t j OSi> ^ w #_ v. 6, 3 217), probably 0; see 
Grabe, Ep. ad Mi Hi urn, p. 14; Field, </ /<9<r. An explanation of pp? which 
is in contradiction to ijiu ^n v. 5 ; obviously an erroneous gloss. In its place 
(pj.VLM [ E } iave t nc correct gloss tv TTJ 7X0x7(717 O.VT&V; conflation of the two 
in (5 1>vo S- Perhaps the gloss in flj was meant for the end of v. (i , where it 
would be right in fact (Doom.); hardly genuine at the end of v. 5 (Bu.), 
against which the change of number seems conclusive; at the end of v. 5 , 
whether the words were genuine or a gloss, we should expect VD S N IT;. 
8. The change of subject in inp 1 ! is abrupt and awkward; only less so, that 
in n s r v. 1 ; B>n ms is incorrect. For the latter, the emendation 2"n rnx (or 
c " n ""? J os - 9 " 14 ) would suffice to remove the grammatical difficulty; but the 
statement that the three hundred took the provisions of the rest of the people 
is not obviously relevant. Gideon was not planning a long campaign and had 
no need to encumber his three hundred men with the rations of ten thousand. 
If the author meant to explain how Gideon s men got the jars of v. 1Gff - as well 
as the horns, he would hardly have said it so indirectly, especially as the 
provisions were certainly not transported in earthen jars. If we were sure 
that such was his intention, we should without hesitation emend a>n i"tr, with 
which n-ps also would better accord. 15ut as in v. 16 - 2 - the horns come from 
one version of the stratagem, the jars from the other, this emendation or 
interpretation would constrain us to regard v. Sa as the work of a redactor 
displacing the original beginning of the verse, in which the name of Gideon 
probably stood. If v. 10 --- were homogeneous, v. Sa might be restored : PN npM 
DTS oyn ms, which would remove all formal difficulties. vSn^S i: 1 ^ 1 ] i S. 13- 
4 10 2 S. 19, lS"iN*> Jud. 2O S ; cf. isps 1 ? v." 9 50 &c. The phrase is a survival 
from the nomadic life; the plur. refers to the group of tents belonging to the 
family or clan. 

9-15. Gideon, creeping down to the camp by night to recon 
noitre, hears a Midianite tell an ominous dream. The verses 

belong to the first narrative (J), and originally followed immedi 
ately on v. 1 . 9. That night"\ cf. 6~ 5 . In the present context, the 
night following the dismissal of the greater part of Gideon s force 
(v.- s ) ; in its original connexion, the night after he encamped by 
the spring of Harod (v. 1 ). Up, descend on the cainp\ attack the 
enemy at once ; cf. 4". If he is afraid to attack, he shall go 
down with a single attendant and hear the talk of the camp ; he 
will then hesitate no longer. Gideon does so. 10. T/ioit and 
Phurah, thy pagi\ lit. boy ; the armour-bearer or attendant of a 
warrior of rank, g 54 i S. I4 1 &c. 11. To the outskirts of the 
armed men who were in the encampment] cf. to the outskirts of 
the camp, v. 17 lu . The precise meaning of the word translated 



VII. 9-14 205 

armed men is uncertain ; cf. Ex. 13 Jos. i 14 4 12 . It is natural to 
imagine that in such a raid a part of the invaders, better armed 
and perhaps better disciplined than the rest, lay along the front of 
the camp to cover it from attack ; see note. 12. The immense 
numbers of the invaders ; cf. 6 3 5 8 10 . The verse in its present 
form cannot belong to the original narrative ; it has either been 
amplified and exaggerated by an editor, or is wholly his work, 
combining motives borrowed from 6 3 " 5 . Like the sand on the sea 
shore~\ a common simile for countless numbers; Jos. n 4 i S. 13* 
2 S. iy u . It is probably meant, not of the camels, but of the 
enemy themselves ; but it hangs very loosely at the end of the 
verse and may be an addition by a still later hand. 13. Just 
as Gideon came within hearing, a Midianite was telling his com 
rade a dream. A cake of barley l>read~\ the specific meaning of 
the word rendered from the context, cake or loaf, is not known. 
We are probably to imagine a round, flat, hard-baked ash-cake, 
trundling through the camp till it strikes the tent and turns it 
upside down. The tent is the natural symbol of the nomad ; the 
barley cake might very well represent the peasant. As barley is 
an inferior grain, many interpreters find in the words a scornful 
allusion to the poverty of the Israelite peasantry, who were 
reduced to eating what is fit food only for animals. It is doubt 
ful, however, whether this is intended ; there seems to have been 
a particular kind of barley ash-cake or griddle-bread (Ez. 4 12 ), 
and selul may be the specific name for a cake of peculiar shape 
or solidity, which was made of barley meal. // came to the tent~\ 
not the tent of the head chief,* but that of the narrator, or, per 
haps better, in view of the symbolical character of the dream, to 
a tent. The definite article is idiomatically used in Hebrew when 
an object is made definite in the imagination of the speaker by 
what is done with or to it in the story. And struck it, and it fell, 
and turned it upside down, and the tent lay prostrate] the words 
printed in Roman letters are redundant ; comparison with (!, and, 
in the latter instance, the false tense in |t|, show that they are 
glosses. 14. His comrade interprets the portent. This is noth 
ing else than the men of Israel^ the text has, the sword of Gideon 

* Fl. Jos., Be., al. 



206 JUDGES 

ben Joash, the man of Israel ; but this is a later and erroneous 
interpretation. The barley bread naturally represents the peas 
antry as a class, not an individual among them ; the Hebrew 
phrase translated the men of Israel is uniformly collective ; and 
it is hardly likely that the first narrator made his Midianites know 
by name the deliverer whom Yahweh had just called from the 
flail. The words, the sword of, may be original, but more prob 
ably they come from v.-"". God has given into his hand Midian 
and all the camp\ God, not Yahweh, is proper in the mouth of a 
foreigner ; cf. 3- . Amplification by the editor may be suspected 
here also. Midian and all the camp is redundant, and, of the two, 
the order of the sentence indicates that the latter is original ; it 
also corresponds to the description of the portent (v. 1:i ) . Midian 
and is perhaps from the same hand which over-filled the first half 
of the verse by the insertion of Gideon s name. 15. Gideon 
accepts the omen, returns to his own camp, and prepares for an 
immediate attack. Prostrated himself ~\ in homage to the deity 
who gave the omen. - Up . for Yahweh has given into your hand 
the camp of Midian. 

9. njnca -n] v. 11 cf. i S. 26 (ncn 1 -^) . 11. T^ njprnn] 2 S. 2 7 Zech. 8 y - la . 
a^c cnn nsp Sx] \L> (so uniformly; see Norzi and Lonzano on Ex. I3 1S ). In 
Jos. i 11 4 12 , men in fighting order; syn. aisV?n (Jos. 4 13 Nu. 32 30 - 32 I)t. 3 18 ). 
12. pcya a^Ssj] the verb was perhaps suggested by the comparison to 
locusts, had lighted (and lay) in the plain; it is scarcely to be connected with 
the sense, fall upon, attack (c. 3 pers.), Jos. 1 1 7 &c. (Be., SS., al). S.vtr] see 
on 6 17 ; cf. Giesebrecht, ZATW. i. p. 280 n. 13. Si^s *] Qere S^s, perhaps 
meaning to hint a connexion with n 1 ?^, cf. A. From the context, a round 
(disk-shaped) cake or loaf; /j.ayis S /coAXvpo. A eyKpv<plas 1L siibcinericius 
pants, cn"- 1 is possibly a gloss to the rare word. The conjecture of G. Hoff 
mann is ingenious, but improbable : a clash of fighting about the gates went 
circling about the camp (s nvir an 1 " 1 S^s, cf. 5 s ).* Barley was a grain of inferior 
value; if 2 K. 7 1 may be taken as an average estimate, worth about half as 
much as wheat. It was used for bread, as in the massbt of the Feast of 
Unleavened Bread, cf. further 2 K. 4 4 - Ez. 4 12 John 6- 13 , also Ru. 2 17 &c.; 
and as provender for (the king s) horses, I K. 5 s (EV. 4 2B ), cf. Pesach., 3 b 
inf. In early times its use for food was well-nigh universal; then as a cheaper 
and coarser diet it was chiefly consumed by the poorer classes; finally it 
became almost exclusively provender for animals. See Plin., n. //., xviii. 72, 
antiquissimum in cibis hordeum. 74, panem ex hordeo antiquis usitatum vita 

*QPB. 



vii. 14-15 207 

damnavit, quadripeduuique fere cibus est. Fl. Jos., antt. v. 6, 4 219 (on 

the present passage), fj.aav tdbKei. KpiOivriv vir eiireXeias dvdpuirois dfipurov. 
There is no reason to think that in old Israel the use of barley bread was 
as restricted as it became in later, not to say in modern, times. -janriD 
njns^] cf. Gen. 3 24 , the flaming sword that turned in every direction; it 
seemed to be everywhere. Others, simply turning over and over, or rolling 
like a wheel, which seems less in accordance with the usage of the verb. 
Snsn )>] many Greek MSS. add, of Midian. San] > (gi VLMO su ij aster. 3. 

Snxn Sail] the false tense betrays the gloss; the words are wanting in 
<grv 2i). 71. 75. 121. _ 14. cx , n S 3 nNr pN ] Gen. 47 18 (? J); with verb (pf.) 
Am. 3 3 - 4 . PNT, the content of the preceding relation, what passed in the 
dream; fern. pron. where in Greek or Latin we should have the neuter. 
SiOiS" tt is] is grammatically definite, and in usage regularly collective, the 
(body of) Israelite men (die israelitische Mannschafi), Jud. 7 23 8 22 9 55 2O 20 ; 
so all similar phrases, e.g. onsx C"X 7 24 8 1 I2 1 , pc^a C">N 2O 41 , mirp t"N I5 10 
I S. 15* 2 S. 1 9!"- 42. 43. 44 2O 4 2 K. 23 2 &c. The apparent exceptions are C"N 
138 CM Jud. lo 1 , psija tt"N I S. 4 12 ; * cf. Nu. 25*. With the name of Gideon 
falls also the word ain; cf. v. 2l> . 15. ISDH] in this sense only here, though 
i2D recount, relate, is common; cf. Engl. tale = number and narrative. 

-nrjir rxi] interpretation (so only here; syn. pins and late ic s); lit. 
the breaking of it, a trope similar to the solution of an enigma, &c. 

16-22. Gideon s stratagem ; panic and flight of the Midian- 
ites. The narration is redundant and confused. To carry a 
lighted torch concealed in an earthen jar would give full occu 
pation to both hands ; how Gideon s men managed the horns 
besides does not appear.f Kuenen thinks that the torches and 
jars may have been added by the editor. \ Budde recognizes in 
them an original and characteristic feature of the story; in his 
opinion it is rather the horns, " which come from Jericho," that 
the editor has brought in. The following narrative, however, 
gives plain evidence, not of editorial amplification, but of the 
attempt to combine two accounts. This is particularly clear at 
the beginning and end of the passage (v. 17 , v. 21 - 22 ). The doubling 
is such as the mere introduction of the horns would not produce ; 
and further, as Kuenen rightly saw, the blowing of the horns now 
constitutes the principal strand of the narrative. We have found 



* See We., Klost., ad loc. The exx. in Ew. \ 290 a 3, to which Dr., TBS. p. 38, 
refers, are inconclusive. 

t Studer s explanation is not satisfactory. 
t HC02. i. p. 347. 



208 JUDGES 

above two accounts of the call of Gideon and of the raising of 
his countrymen against Midian. In the sequel of the story, not 
only f- but 8 4ff - represents the enemy as in full flight.* The 
source from which the latter is derived also presumably told how 
they were put to flight ; and as from 8 llff - it does not appear that 
they had previously sustained an actual attack, it may be inferred 
that they had been alarmed by a stratagem such as is described 
in 7" ". These facts seem to commend the hypothesis that the 
trumpets are derived from one source, the jars and torches from 
the other. The former may with considerable probability be 
ascribed to E ; the latter will then come from J. If the latter, 
as there is some reason to believe,! laid the scene of action, not 
in the Plain of Jezreel, but in the vicinity of Ophrah, the execu 
tion of this original manoeuvre is more easily conceivable ; the 
jars could be fetched by Gideon s clansmen from their homes for 
this purpose. The redactor has united the two diverse accounts 
as best he could, binding them together with clauses borrowed 
from one or the other of his sources. That in which the trumpets 
play the leading part, being the more detailed, furnished the warp 
of his fabric. 

To E may be ascribed : v. 1Ca ba [and said to them] 17b - 18a > ba - I0a > ba - ^^ - 2a 
(from mrv cr 1 !) ~ b (in part) fflff -. J s narrative, which is less completely 
preserved, probably ran somewhat as follows: [He gave them, or, they took] 
empty jars, and torches in the jars (v. lt;l> /3) ; and he said to them, See from 
me what to do, and do likewise (v. 17a ). [They surrounded the camp; Gideon 
gave the signal by breaking his jar (? v. 1!)b )] ; J and they broke the jars and 
grasped the torches (? in their left hands, and in their right their swords?) 
and cried, ForYahweh and Gideon! (v. 2()a b *). And they stood as they were 
around the camp, and all the camp ran away. And they fled (v. 21 ) to ... 
(v. 2 - in part). 

16. Gideon divided his three hundred men into three bodies~\ 
the object of this division was to make a simultaneous demonstra 
tion from different sides of the encampment ; the disposition is 
not further detailed. And furnished them all with horns, and 
empty jars, and torches inside the jars ] the horns probably belong 



* Note rpi, v. 4 - ; Kue. f See above, p. 200. J Recast by Rje. 

$ With this attempt at an analysis, cf. Be., p. xxii, and Winckler, Altoricntalische 
Forschnngcn, p. 50 f. 



vn. 16-20 209 

to one version of the story (E), the jars and torches to the other 
(J) ; see above. The horns, and perhaps the jars also, are pro 
vided for in v. 8 " (R) ; see comm. there and note (p. 203 f.). The 
jars were used to conceal the light of the torches till the Israelites 
had got into position around the camp ; * these were broken with 
a startling crash which would sound to the terrified Midianites 
like the clash of arms. 17, 18. Gideon instructs his men. 
You shall see from me and do likewise] an unusual breviloquence ; 
cf. Q 48 . In v. b the same thing is repeated in common phrase, and 
as I do, so shall you do. These words are not improbably edito 
rial ; beside the detailed instructions in the following verse they 
are superfluous, and v. 1Sa would connect much better with the 
preceding if they were away : When I reach the outskirts of the 
camp, 18 and blow a blast on the horn, . . . then you also shall 
blow, <5rv.] the Midianites, hearing the charge sounded on different 
sides of the camp, would be bewildered by the expectation of a 
simultaneous attack from several quarters. And say, For Yah- 
weh and Gideon~\ introduced by the editor from the other nar 
rative (v. 20 ) ; observe the colourless, say, for shout. 

19. The beginning of the middle watch~\ the night was divided 
into three watches ; the first watch, the middle watch, and the 
morning watch (i S. n 11 ). The division into four watches 
(Matt. 1 4 s5 Mk. 6 48 ) was adopted from the Romans; see note. 
They had but just posted the guards~\ Jer. 5i 12 cf. 6 17 . More 
precise note of time ; it was immediately after the turn of the 
watch, not far from eleven o clock. It is not intimated that this 
was a relief guard ; the Midianites may not have thought it neces 
sary to keep guard during the evening. In v. lx Gideon was able 
unobserved to approach near enough to the camp to hear their 
talk.f And blew the trumpets, and smashed the jars which they 
had in their hands\ the juxtaposition of the two clauses corre 
sponds to v. 20 ; the second is probably derived in substance from 
J (Gideon smashed the jar he held ; cf. v. lfia ^) ; but it has been 
thoroughly recast by the redactor ; observe the construction, on 
which see note. 20. The three companies^ as soon as the signal 



* See Lane, Modern Egyptians 5 , 1860, p. 120. 

t These verses, however, are probably not from the same source as v. 19 . 
p 



210 JUDGES 

was given, the other two divisions joined their blasts to those of 
Gideon s own command. And shattered the jars ] the other 
strand of the narrative (J). And held on to the torches ] the 
text adds, with their left hands, and with their right, the horns to 
blow. This is obviously harmonistic ; it is a question, however, 
whether the editor added it all of his own conception, or whether 
he only altered an older text. If, for the horns to blow, we should 
substitute their swords, the words might be thought to be an 
original part of the narrative.* But the swords play no part in 
the rout of the Midianites, as the author explicitly tells us (v. 21 , J); 
the words are therefore better attributed wholly to the redactor. 
And cried, For Yahweh and Gideon /] this seems to be the 
original form of the war cry (cf. v. ls ).f The word Sword! is 
probably a gloss ; cf. v. 14 . The cause of Israelites against foreign 
foes is Yahweh s cause ; and he who smites for Gideon, smites for 
Yahweh (see introduction to ch. 5 ; esp. p. 134). It is a his 
torical misapprehension, however, to describe the conflict with 
the Canaanites (ch. 4. 5) or Midianites (ch. 6-8) as a religious 
war ; and especially to compare it with the wars of Islam. \ 

16. D tt Ni rc S" ] technical term for divisions of a military force; esp. 
columns or parties formed to execute a concerted attack or stratagem; gMft. 
I S. n 11 I3 i:f Job i 17 . It is a second accusative after "m; cf. i S. n 11 
(si:"i), Ges. 25 117,5 <" rnDV.r] see on 3 27 . a^pn nns] "o is a vessel used 
to draw and carry water, Gen. 24 14ff - I K. iS 34 Eccl. I2 r> ; to keep meal in, 
i K. ly 1 -- 1 5 . So in MIT., for honey, oil, barley, dates; see Levy, K HlVb. ii. 
p. 293 f. In all cases where we can form a judgment, a vessel of some size. 
a^pn 2 K.4 3 (B^D). a^D 1 "] torches, not lamps (ij), cf. I5 4f -; see the descrip 
tion in Aruch, s.v. ; Levy, ii. p. 517. Thomson s illustration (Land and 
Book-, ii. p. 182): "I have often seen the small oil lamps of the natives 
carried in a pitcher or earthen vessel at night," is not at all in point. 
17. \?yr\ pi iNin ^HS] learn your part from me by observing what I do. p 
refers to the unexpressed object of INI?; cf. 9 48 . MI so OJN run] cf. 9 33 
Gen. 50 5 Jos. 2 18 2 S. 17 &c. 18. njrcn Sri rn^o] rnoo adverbial accu 
sative; cf. S a^D v. 21 . Of the instances of the plur. a considerable part are in 
passages generally ascribed to E; see Gen. 35" 4i 48 Ex. y- 4 Nu. ii 24 - 31 - 32 22 4 
Jud. 2 12 . pi -uSi niniS] (gi VMXO praem. potato.; so also S(C and some codd. 
of |ij (De Rossi): conformation to v. 20 ; see note there. 19. ti \y HNSI] 
read e"Nn nssi; the article accidentally dropped after the final n. t- jo 
nji3\-in mss^Nn] cf. Lam. 2 19 nn^S N DNI L , Ex. I4- 3 i S. n 11 ipbn nisc N^ 

* Bu., Winckler. t Bu. J Bacthgen, Beitrage, p. 206 f. 



VII. 20-22 211 

The middle watch implies that the night was divided into three, not four, 
parts. On this subject see Berachoth, 3 b . icvn n^n -JN] -JN restrictive; there 
had been no time for anything more; cf. Gen. 27 30 apy NXI NX 11 "|N, Jacob had 
barely gone out; see also Jud. 3-*. The words are understood by not a few 
older interpreters to refer to Gideon and his men : they had barely roused 
the guards (i.e. had reached the furthest outposts of the camp), when they 
sounded; so <5 B i- 3JJ5, Lth., Cler. (a^pn in this sense, Gen. 49 9 Nu. 24). 
Ml a-nan naji] VDJ Kal, Jer. 22 2 f (>); Pi. Jer. 48 12 Ps. 2 9 &c. The inf. 
absol. continuing a finite tense, i S. 2 28 Gen. 4i 43 , Roorda, 385; Ew. 351 c; 
Ges. 25 113, 4 a. The construction is more common and freer in the later 
literature. 20. DnaSa . . . ipnmi] in the original context probably, held on 
to, kept, as in v. 8 ; in the sense of the editor who added the following clause, 
grasped. Notice further the change of construction; in the first clause a, in 
the second the ace.; jnpnS also comes in tardily after all the blowing already 
done (v. 19 - 20a ). pjnjSl mm 1 ? ain] not equivalent to a genitive, gladius 
Domini et Gedeonis (IL, Lth., EV., Drus., Cler., Cass., Kitt, al.). ann is 
rather an exclamatory sentence of one member (Paul, Principien, p. 104), 
probably psychological predicate (observe the indetermination) ; cf. Ges. 25 
i47 3- 

21. And they stood where they were~\ lit. each man in his place; 
cf. i S. 14. They did not rush in, sword in hand, but remained 
as they were, waving their flaring torches and shouting their war- 
cry. The rest of the verse presents considerable difficulty, though 
the meaning is plain enough. The first verb, all the camp ran, 
is not usual in sense run away, flee, and if so interpreted is an 
unnecessary anticipation of the following, they fled. The render 
ings, took to their heels, or ran together, are not sustained by usage. 
Perhaps, by a slight change in the Hebrew, the text should be 
emended, all the camp awoke, and they set up a wild cry and 
fled. The verb then adds an effective touch to the description 
of the night alarm. 22. And they blew the three hundred horns~\ 
repeated by R, to give the following description of the panic in the 
camp the same connexion which it originally had in E (after 
the first words of v. 20 ). Imagining that the Israelites had taken 
the camp by surprise, and in the madness of fear each thinking 
his comrade a foeman, they turned their swords against each 
other, and the panic became complete. Yahweh set each man s 
sword against his comrade~\ cf. i S. I4 20 2 K. * 2 Chr. 2O 23 . 
The direction of the flight is not made clearer by the mul 
tiplication of names in v. 22b , in which the fusion of two sources 



212 JUDGES 

is to be recognized. The sites of the places named are not 
certainly known. From v. 24 it appears that E represented the 
Midianites as turning southward through the Jordan valley, in 
which they are intercepted by the Ephraimites. In J, if our sur 
mise about the scene of the action be correct, they would naturally 
flee eastward by the main route from Shechem to the other side 
of the Jordan, which descends into the great Wady Far ah. 
From the difference of construction in Hebrew, it is probable 
that Screrah is not derived from the same source as Betli-shittah. 

21. iDU i lyn^ runnn "73 yvi] the verbs must all have the same subject; viz., 
the Midianites ((5IL, AV., Cler., al.). The Kethib IDTI represents an inter 
pretation which made Gideon s men the subject of both the last verbs : they 
shouted the war-cry and put (them) to flight (RV.) ; not, they (Midianites) tried 
to save their goods (Jud. 6 n ; Be.) --For yvi I would emend Vp/M, a ^ ^ ie 
camp awoke ; see above. I^TI] shouted in alarm^ raised a great cry, Mi. 4 
Is. 15* cf. Hos.,5 8 (1L, Ki., Schm., Cler., Be., al.) ; <S e<rri/jLavav KCU f(f>vyoi>, prob. 
sounded the retreat (Ra., Stud., al.) 22. nnaiirn rns D ota ij?pm] these 
words are hard to construe : they blew the three htindred horns, gives undue 
prominence to the instruments. The three hundred horns sounded ((5 AVLMO ), 
is against the usage of the verb. Very likely the editor wrote PINCH B>Se> 
nnaiii n, the three hundred blew their horns (>?pn c. c. ace. as in Jer. 4 5 &c.); 
this construction might easily give rise to misunderstanding, since throughout 
the passage the verb is construed with a. njrcn ^mi] T accidentally repeated 
from in;-i3. Such cases are often explained as instances of i explicative, et 
quidem ; E\v. 340 b; fiDB. s.v. Of the places here named, Abel-mcholah, 
the birthplace of Elisha (i K. I9 1U ), was, in the system introduced by Solo 
mon, included in a prefecture which extended from Taanach and Megiddo in 
the Great Plain, by Jezreel and Beth-shean, into the Jordan valley. Euseb. 
(t?5 2 . 22735 cf. 9711) suggests a village, ~Rr)0/j.ae\a, 10 m. S. of Scythopolis; 
doubtless in the modern Wady Malih. This name, however, is given by 
the warm salt spring in the Wady,* and has nothing to do with Meholah. 
There is even less ground for Condor s identification of Abel-meholah with the 
neighbouring Am Ilelweh (Sweet Spring). f Sererah is commonly supposed 
to be miswritten for Seredah (i K. II 26 ), J and the latter to be the same as 
Sarthan (\ K. 4 1 - 7 4(i ), with which it seems to be identified by the chronicler 
(2 Chr. 4 17 ). Sarthan is to be looked for, not in vicinity of Beth-shean, but 
near Adam (Jos. 3 1G ), i.e. probably the modern ed-Damieh, where the main 
road has doubtless always crossed the Jordan. This is confirmed by I K. 7 4i; ; 
the bronze castings for the temple were made in the Jordan district, at the 
crossing (ford) of Adamah between Succoth and Sarthan (read mai ra 



* Rob., /> A"-. iii. p. 306 f. ; SWP. Memoirs, ii. p. 226. 

t S\VP. Memoirs, ii. p. 231 ; G. A. Smith, Hist. Gcogr., p. 581. J <& Sap 



VII. 22-24 213 

] for the meaningless napca). The Succoth of i K. 7 40 is then not 
Ain es-Saqut, about 9 m. from Beisan (Rob., JSR 2 . iii. 309-312; and many), but 
is the same place named in Gen. and Jos., east of the Jordan. With this Jud. S 4 - 5 
admirably agrees; and we shall probably not err in ascribing nrmx Jud. 7 22 
to the author of 8 3ff - (J). As Abel-meholah is named with Sarthan in I K. 4 12 , 
it also may come from J here.* The identification of Sarthan (jmx) with 
Qarn Sartabeh (Talm. SOEPD), the great landmark of the Jordan valley (Van 
de Velde, Knob., Ke., al.), is not possible (Di.). Beth-shittah, only here; 
Shatta, 54 E. m. NW. of Beisan and about 6 m. E. of Zer in (Rob., BR-. ii. 
p. 356) is much too near the supposed scene of the surprise. Tabbath also is 
unknown. The narrative in v. 24 , however, supposes that the places were in 
the valley of the Jordan, toward the middle of its course. 

23-25. The pursuit; death of the chiefs. Gideon summons 
other tribes to pursue the retreating foe. At his bidding the 
Ephraimites pour down from their highlands and intercept the 
Midianites in their flight down the Jordan valley. The two chiefs 
are captured and slain. Verse ** is an editorial addition; v. 24 - 25 
with 8 1 " 3 form the close of the narrative of E. 23. The men of 
Isracl^\ all the men capable of bearing arms. Naphtali, Asher, 
and all Manasseh~\ the men of these tribes, with Zebulun, had ac 
cording to 6 s5 been raised at the beginning of hostilities, only to be 
summarily dismissed (7 3 8 ). Now, before they could have reached 
their homes, they are called out again. Even if we set 6 35b aside 
as an exaggeration of the redactor, the difficulty in y 23 is only in 
part removed. Naphtali and Asher were too remote to be of any 
use in such a pursuit. All Manasseh was called out and pursued 
Midian (cf. y 1 * ), would not be exposed to this objection; but 
cannot be part of the original text ; for, first, it conflicts with 6 3511 
7 3 8 ; second, in 8 1 , where Gideon is berated in such a menacing 
tone by the Ephraimites, it is plain that he has not the whole tribe 
of Manasseh at his back. The entire verse is therefore the 
addition of a redactor. The form of the verse, with the ante- 
position of the object, And messengers he sent, is exactly the same 
as in 6. 24. Gideon sends messengers through the Highlands 
of Ephraim, bidding the tribesmen hasten down into the Jordan 
valley and cut off the retreat of the Midianites by holding against 



* The text of i K. 4 12 is in disorder, " all Beth-shean which is beside Sarthan 
below Jezreel" is obviously corrupt. No O.T. author could have felt it necessary 
to describe in such a way the situation of Beth-shean. 



214 JUDGES 

them some of the streams which they must pass. Seize the water 
courses against them, as far as Beth-barah~\ cf. 3 27f - i2 r f \ The 
watercourses (lit. waters ; cf. waters of Mcgiddo, 5 W ) are not the 
fords of the Jordan (3^ i2 5 ), but a stream emptying into the 
Jordan. The site of Beth-barah is unknown ; in an attempt to fix 
the position of the stream we have to be guided by general con 
siderations : first, it must have been large enough, when held by 
an enemy, effectively to stop the Midianites in their flight ; 
second, it must be far enough south to give the Ephraimites time 
to get there before the Midianites. These conditions are best 
met by the Wady FaYah, a perennial stream, which in the spring 
is impassable at its mouth,* as are also the adjacent fords of the 
Jordan (Damieh). In the tongue of land between W. FaYah and 
the Jordan the Midianites would be in a cul de sac, where, in their 
disorder, destruction was inevitable. Finally, the road leading 
down this Wady from the highlands in a SE. direction would be 
the most advantageous line for the Ephraimites in their movement 
to intercept the foe. We may, therefore, with some confidence 
locate the scene of v.- 4f - near the mouth of the stream which 
comes from Wady FaYah. f As far as Bcth-baraJi\ the site is 
unknown.J And the Jordaii\ that is, hold the Jordan also 
against them. It may perhaps be suspected that the words have 
been added here and in v. b , from 3 ^ i2 5 . 25. The leaders are 
taken and slain. They killed Oreb at Oreb s Rock and Zccb at 
Zceb s Press } the names of these places commemorated the fate 
of the chiefs. It has been thought that Is. 10 - " (the slaughter of 
Midian at Oreb s Rock) follows a different tradition, in which 
Oreb s Rock, which in Jud. f 5 is only mentioned incidentally, 
was the scene of the principal encounter and the overthrow of 
Midian. || But, in so far as the representation of Is. io L>G differs 
from that of Jud., it may be explained as the result of a very 
natural interpretation of the latter. The victory over Midian is 

* A WP. Memoirs, ii. p. 385 ; " a narrow trench full of water ... 5 yards to 10 
yards across." 

t This reasoning does not necessarily assume the historical accuracy of the nar 
rative, but only adequate topographical knowledge on the part of the narrator. 

1 It can, of course, not be Mahudct Abareh, north of the mouth of Nahr 
Galud (S\VP. Great Map, sh. ix. Qk ; Memoirs, ii. p. 79). $ Bu. 

|| Stud., p. 215 ; We. 



VII. 24-25 215 

alluded to also in Is. 9* Ps. 83 9 12 . It is worthy of notice that 
Oreb and Zeeb are both animal names, Raven and Wolf.* 
And pursued Midian~\ on the text, see crit. note. This pursuit 
comes too late after the capture and death of the chiefs ; the 
clause also interrupts the connexion between the account of the 
death of Oreb and Zeeb and the bringing of their heads to 
Gideon. The words are no doubt part of the attempt to har 
monize 7 23 -8 3 with 8 4ff -. The redactor s representation is that the 
main body of the Midianites escaped across the Jordan ; the 
Ephraimites, bearing their trophies, followed them over, and there 
fell in with Gideon. On the other side of the Jordan~\ harmo- 
nistic addition of the redactor.f The author of 7 24fi , on the 
contrary, represented Gideon as following the Midianites in hot 
pursuit down the valley, driving them into the arms of the 
Ephraimites, who bring the heads of the chiefs to him as he 
approaches the scene of the slaughter. 



23. p>yi] v. 2 *; pyri 6 3 - 1 - 35 cf. 410. 13. _ ST^ CN] see on v. 14 . 24. a^s] 
running water, stream, Nu. 24 &c. ma rva] is often explained as equivalent 
to may ma, y being sloughed in the common speech (Cler., Reland, Ges., 
MV., al. mu.) ; but no such tendency appears in Heb. The premise of 
Reland s conjecture, viz., that the place is identical with Bi7#a/3apa (east of 
the Jordan), in the Receptus, John i 28 , is untenable; and with it the chief 
motive for the theory falls. <@ KaiOfi-ripa. (Eaid-^pa ABai. j s transcriptional 
error) ILS would rather suggest msa; cf. Jerome, OS 2 . 10612, quod interpre- 
tatur domus aquae, sive putei. 25. axr ap 1 *] ap^ see on 6 11 ; like nj it is 
sometimes used for the whole; Dt. 15 * &c. jna SN IBTVI] the prep, is quite 
anomalous; we should probably emend r>N (cf. ffirlLC). asn any t^Ni] two 
genitives after one noun; see on i. The singular, C iO, is in accordance with 
Heb. idiom. pi 1 ? ~>3"] on the other side (east) of the J., where Gideon 
was (1LJ5, Ra., Ke., Be., Reuss.), Nu. 22 1 34 15 ; cf. S fiaxa 2 9 , and note on I 1G 
(p. 34) . Not, from the other side of J. (Cler., Stud. , Ew. G VI. ii. p. 546, 
cf. 541, Cass., al.). The view of Ges. (on Is. io 26 ), Cass., al., that Oreb s 
Rock and Zeeb s Press were east of the Jordan, is mistaken. 

VIII. 1-3. The Ephraimites quarrel with Gideon; their 
anger is appeased. The beginning strongly resembles I2 1 7 . 

* On animal names among Semites, cf. W. R. Smith, Journ. of Philology, ix. 
p. 75 ff. ; Kinship and Marriage, p. 190 ff., 218 ff. ; Noldeke, 7.DMG. xl. 1886, 
p. 156 ff. ; J. Jacobs, " Are there Totem-Clans in the Old Testament," Archceol. 
Review, iii. 1889, p. 145 ff. 

t We., Conip., p. 225 ; Sta., G VI. \. p. 187 n. ; Bu., Richt. u. Sam., p. 115 ; al. 



2l6 JUDGES 

Wellhausen regards the latter as a purely secondary development 
of a motive borrowed from 8 1 3 ; * Kittel is of the opposite opinion, 
viz., that S u:! is an imitation of i2 1 ~~.f The identity between the 
two stories does not, however, extend beyond the beginning ; the 
sequel is as different as can be imagined, and in each is in entire 
conformity with the situation. That the Ephraimites, in the pride 
of their pre-eminence as members of the leading tribe in Israel, 
should resent being left out and so deprived of their share of 
glory and of spoil, and should vehemently assail a leader who had 
dared to succeed without their counsel and aid, seems so natural 
a thing that we can without difficulty believe that it happened 
more than once, or was the subject of more than one tale. 
1. What trick is this thou hast played us, not to call us~\ cf. 12 . 
The great tribe is jealous of its natural hegemony, and angry that 
it should seem to be ignored ; see above. They quarrelled with 
him violent! f\ very likely with such threats as are uttered in 12 . 
2. Gideon placates their anger by magnifying their achieve 
ment, and speaking of his own part as an insignificant one. The 
skill with which his answer is turned reminds us strongly of 6 :n , 
which our analysis would assign to the same author. What have 
I done now to compare witJi you .?] now ; after all. Is not the 
gleaning of Ephraim better than the vintage of Al>iczcr~\ an apt 
and striking figure. The Ephraimites had indeed not been called 
into action until after Gideon and his followers had gained the 
first success over the enemy, but a far greater success had been 
reserved for them in the slaughter of the invaders and the capture 
of their chiefs. In contrast with the tribe of Ephraim, and in 
congruity with the metaphor, Gideon does not name himself, but 
his clan, Abiezer. 3. The meaning of the figure. God has 
gireif\ the name may perhaps be some indication of authorship ; 
but, as in many instances, the tradition is not consentaneous. 
What hare I been able to do, to compare with you ?~\ the pride of 
the great tribe ought to be fully satisfied by the event ; God has 
thrown into their hands the chiefs of Midian. He himself had 
only beaten up the game which they had killed. Their a tiger 



* Comp., p. 229 ; cf. Doom., p. 101. 
f Gdtl. i. 2. p. 72 n. ; cf. p. 80 f. 



VIII. 1-3 217 

against him was softened by this speech. It is conjectured that 
8 J was the original sequel of 8 3 ; see above, p. 1 76.* 

1. anaN I:"N V^N nHN^i] plur. with following collective subject. lain no 
uS rvoy nrn] Ges. 25 p. 472; Paul, Prindpien, p. 114 f. nxip ^nSaS] Baer; 
the common edd. have nisip. The normal inf. is Nip; grammarians explain 
the form in the text as due to the analogy of n-^ (Sta. 619 k; K6., i. p. 611). 
Possibly we should rather attribute riNip nSa 1 ? to the analogy of the common 
n^np^- r-3 1 ?.-! -a] ivhen (1LCS); 2 18 Hos. n 1 &c. Be. construes as an 
exclamation, For thou iventest out ! npina] 4 s . 2. 033] v. 3 , an inexact but 
not uncommon shifting of the point of comparison from the act to the person 
(agent or object); Dt. 3 20 &c. A number of codd. and some of the oldest 
edd. have aaa, what have I done to you (Ex. I2 1 - 2. S. l8 13 ). mS 1 ?; ] gleanings 
of a vineyard (Mi. 7 1 ) or olive tree (Is. 17 ); not of grain (tapS). The pred. 
adj. aia is not infrequently uninflected; I S. 19* 2 K. 5 1 - &c., Davidson, Syntax, 
116, Rein. 3. "vsac] one of the rare cases in which a mute loses its 
doubling in consequence of the reduction of the vowel; Ges. 25 20, 3 b. 
3. ainSx] (51L nw. nipp \-iSy nc] inf. in direct regimen; Gen. 37^ Ex. 2 8 
i8 23 Nu. 22 38 &c.; cf. Jud. n 35 . ami nnei IN] nn, excited feeling, passion; 
the specific definition is given by the context; cf. Job I5 13 Eccl. io 4 (NDIC). 
v 1 ?;?:] cf. U02 I m Ex. 4-, also Jud. n 37 . 

4-27. The pursuit beyond the Jordan. Gideon, with his 
three hundred men, follows the Midianites across the Jordan. 
The men of Succoth and Penuel refuse him food for his hungry 
band; with threats of vengeance, he presses on (v. 4 9 ). He sur 
prises the camp and takes prisoners the two kings (v. 1(Mli ). 
Returning in triumph, he inflicts condign punishment on Succoth 
and Penuel (v. 13 17 ), and slays the captive kings to avenge the 
death of his brothers (v. 18 21 ). He declines the offer of the king 
dom (v. L>2f -). Of a part of the gold taken among the spoils he 
makes an image (ephod) which he sets up at Ophrah (v. 24 " 27 ). 

The unity of this part of the story is obvious and unquestioned. 
The only exception is v. 22f -, in which the men of Israel offer 
Gideon the kingdom and he declines from theocratic motives. 
These verses certainly do not belong to the narrative of J ; see 
comm. / ;/ Joe. In the enumeration of the spoils (v. 26 ) some exag 
geration by later editors or scribes may be suspected. On the rela 
tion of 8 4ff to 6 -8 3 , see above, p. 1 76 f . ; and on the connexion 
with ch. 9, see introduction to that chapter. 4. Gideon came to 



See, however, on 8- 2f -. 



2 1 8 JUDGES 

the Jordan^ if our analysis be correct, this is a continuation of J s 
narrative. In 7- he has told us that the Midianites fled to 
Seredah, probably near the principal crossing of the Jordan 
between the vicinity of Shechem and the opposite region of 
Gilead. The Bedawin on their camels (8 2L2G cf. 6 5 ) easily out 
stripped the pursuit and made their escape across the river. The 
answer of the men of Succoth shows that they believed the 
raiders to be already far out of reach ; the surprise of the camp 
shows that the Midianites imagined themselves to be so. Cross 
ing over, he and the three hundred men~\ the participial con 
struction is an unusual one ; the ordinary expression would be, 
and crossed over. Perhaps the word is a gloss ; see note. The 
three hundred men are evidently a constant feature in the dif 
ferent versions of the story ; cf. f ~ 8 . Exhausted and pursuing} 
cf. 4 21 . The ancient translators found the order of the words 
unnatural, and tried various shifts with them. 5. Succot1i\ evi 
dently lay east of the Jordan, not very far from the ford ; Jos. i3 27 
(cf. Ps. 6o 6 ) locates it in the valley; Gen. 33 17 (cf. 32 30 - 31 ) brings it 
into connexion with Penuel, as in our passage ; both are in the 
vicinity of the Jabbok (Nahr ez-Zerqa).* The sites have not 
been recovered. In the Jerusalem Talmud, Succoth is identified 
with Dar ala, the modern Tell Deir Alia just north of the Zerqa ; 
but it is very doubtful whether this is any more than an inference 
of Jewish scholars from the passages in the Old Testament which 
are cited above. f A place north of the Jabbok would be out of 
the line of Gideon s pursuit, if the other topographical notices 
of our story have been rightly interpreted. The connexion in 
Gen. also favours a site south of the Jabbok. j Loaves of bread~\ 
round flat cakes ; i S. io :! . To the men who are at my feet~\ 4 10 . 
Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian~\ cf. Oreb and Zeeb, 
the chiefs of Midian, in ch. 7. The pronunciation of the names 
has very likely been perverted by malicious wit ; see note. 
6. The authorities of the town refuse Gideon s request. The 
translation, princes of Succoth (EV.), is not quite accurate, the 



* On Succoth see Reland, Palacstiiia, p. 308 ; Ncubauer, Geog. du Talmud, 
p. 248 f. ; S. Merrill, East of the Jordan, p. 385 ff. 

f See Merrill, " Identification of Succoth and Penuel," Bibl. Sacra, xxxiv. 1877 
p. 742-754 ; on the other side, Paine, Ib. xxxv. p. 481-498. J Kohl., Ui., Del., al. 



VIII. 4-7 219 

word means rather officials ; here, the men who stood at the head 
of the council of elders ; see on v. 14 . The disposition of the 
tribes east of the Jordan to pursue their separate interests, uncon 
cerned by what befell their kinsmen across the river, is made a 
reproach to them in the Ode of Deborah ; see on 5 17 . It is not 
improbable, moreover, that in Succoth and Penuel, as in Shechem 
(ch. 9), the native population predominated. It is hardly neces 
sary to seek a motive for the refusal in the fear of reprisals by the 
Midianites.* They add to denial, derision. Are Zebah and 
Zalmunna already in thy power, that we should give thy soldiers 
bread ?~\ Gideon was on a bootless errand; the Midianites were 
already far away, and if he and his little company should come 
up with them, it would only be the worse for him. Why should 
they help him on in this wild expedition? 7. He answers their 
jeer with a threat. When he returns victorious, he will requite 
their conduct as it deserves; cf. v. 15 . I will thresh your flesh 
with thorns of the desert and thistles ] cf. v. 16 . With, not of 
instrument, but of accompaniment, together with. He will throw 
them naked into a bed of thorns and trample them together, like 
grain on the threshing-floor.f This is the only natural interpre 
tation of the words, but it does not seem to agree with v. 16 , and 
the text is perhaps glossed ; see note. Palestine has a great 
variety of thorny plants and shrubs, many of which are formi 
dably armed. The meaning threshing-sledges, frequently attributed 
in modern dictionaries and commentaries to the word translated 
above, thistles, is a figment of bad etymology. 

4. lay] this use of the circumstantial ptcp. is anomalous (though cf. 
Nu. i6 27 ). % We expect ia> i; and the text is either to be so emended 
(cf. (SILSJE) ; or, more probably, -\y$ ^abar) was originally a marginal gloss, 
which, when transferred to the text, was forced into construction by pronounc 
ing "bber. 5. ri:D] Jer. Shebiith, ix. 2 (fol. 3S d ) identifies the places named 
in Jos. I3 27 in order from south to north: Beth-nimrah, pinj n>a (now Tell 
Nimrin) ; Succoth, nSjrn (later edd. nSyip ; modern Deir Alia) ; Zaphon, 
me? ( A/iatfoOs Fl. Jos., antt. xiii. 13, 3 356, cf. OS-. 21975; now Amateh, 
near the Jordan, north of Wady er-Rugcib). paSsi nar] < Ze/Jee *cal 
. H, as so often in similar cases, by an inept witticism makes 



* Arias, Cler., Stud., Reuss, a . t So 27, rightly interpreted by Ki. 

J Cf. Ew. $ 341 b, 3. Cf. Jud. 12!. 



220 JUDGES 

the names mean Victim and Protection refused. What the former really was 
can hardly be made out; * the latter is probably a compound of oSx, cf. niirsSx 
in an inscription from Teima.f With the second element, cf. J. JC 1 I Chr. 7 35 , 
ps.-i Gen. 36 4u (Edom). In all probability we have here a genuine Midianite 
name. 6. m:D ir 12^1] probably to be emended TCNM; the uninflected 
predicate of the verbal sentence with a human subject is not in Hebrew used 
with the same freedom as in Arabic; Ges. 25 145, 7; cf. Roorda, 589. Com 
pare 4 1 " 7 3 12 . 7. T." TI . . . nirp nra] consec. pf. after temporal clause, 
l)r ! . 123 ^; Ges. 25 112, 5 c. 1312.1 ^p - N ] cum s pinis (31, cf. S> *?;, 
(5 ev) ; so Drus., Cler., Stud. The preposition rx is not instrumental, / will 
beat you -with thorns (KL, Abarb., al. mu.). Others take nx as nota accusath i 
(Schm. ); recent interpreters who adopt this view construe the verb with two 
accusatives (Ew. 234 e ; Be., Ke., al.), I will make the thorns thresh your 
Jlesh. None of these constructions is satisfactory. The first, which alone is 
grammatically unimpeachable, is hardly the natural expression, and does not 
seem to accord with v. 16 . It is possible that the words PNI naicn ^ip DM 
D^pnan are a gloss borrowed from v. li; , and that the original text in v." was 
merely aaii a r>N THi ii. 3 sip is the most general word in the O.T. for thorn- 
bushes. E\Jpl3n] (5 T M 2 rplfioXoi "A TpayaKCivOai 1L tribuli, so also Jo a, 
Abuhv., Ra., Ki., Abarb., and all older Christian interpreters. In the Egyp 
tian dialect of Arabic berqan is the name of Phaccopappus scoparius Boiss. 
= Centaurea scop. Sieber, a composite plant with thorny heads; see Ascherson 
in Low, Aram. Pjlanzennamcn, p. 429. This is entirely suitable in the con 
text; a teasel or knapweed would be admirably suited to Gideon s purpose; 
see on v. ls . J The meaning threshing-sledges was invented by J. D. Michaelis 
( Orient. Bibliothek, vii. 1 774, p. 17). The steps by which this result is obtained 
are these: p"O ( lightning ) might be applied to fire-stories; fire-stones might 
be set in the bottom of the threshing-sledge; the whole implement might be 
called from these stones, tfna (or ijpia, Ges.) : ergo a- jp-a are threshing- 
sledges. Michaelis theory was taken up by Gesenius in his Lex. (i8io),|| 
and has since maintained its place in commentaries and lexicons (Ges. Thcs., 
MV., SS., Ew., Reuss, al.). It is rightly rejected by Stud., Be 2 ., Ke., Wetz- 
stein (Zeitschr. f. Ethnologic, v. 1873, p. 285), Low (Pflanzennamen, p. 356). 
Stud, rightly observed that rx is entirely irreconcilable with this theory. 

8. Thence he went up to Pcmtc!~\ Succoth lay in the valley; 
Fennel was farther from the Jordan, in the upland. From Gen. 32 

* Note, however, the resemblance to Zeeb in the other version. If Zeeb origi 
nally stood in | s narrative also, it would have to be changed after y 25 . 

t Noldeke, Herichte dcr Berliner Akademic, 1884, p. 815; Baethgen, Beitragc, 
p. 80 f. + Older identifications, see Celsius, Hierobotanicon, ii. p. 192-195. 

$ Captives ground to death under threshing-sledges, Am. i3 2 S. 1281. i.- or a 
description of the modern Syrian threshing-sledge, see Post, PEF. Qu. St., 1891, 
p. 114. || Cf. also Eichhorn, in his (3d) ed. of Simonis 1 Lexicon (1793). 



VIII. 8-1 1 221 

it appears to have been on the Jabbok, at the point where the 
road from the north crossed the stream. It was evidently a 
position of importance, for one of the first acts of Jeroboam I. 
was to fortify Shechem and Penuel (i K. I2 25 ). The name (Face 
of God) was perhaps originally given to some projecting rock in 
whose contour a face was seen ; compare the promontory eoS 
Trpoo-wTrov on the coast near Tripolis.* It has not been identified ; 
Merrill would put it at Tulul ed-Dahab. He made the same 
request at Penuel as at Succoth, and got the same answer. 
9. When I return successful, I will pull down this tower\ the 
stronghold of the town, which was itself probably unwalled ; cf. 
v. 17 9 47 - 51f -. Numerous remains of such towers (of course of later 
date) are found east of the Jordan.f 10. Zebah and Zalmunna 
were in Karkor\ the place is otherwise unknown ; Carcaria, one 
day s journey from Petra, with which Eusebius identifies it, is 
much too remote. On the topography in general see on v. 11 . 
Their force was with theni\ the clans which had taken part in 
the foray had not yet dispersed. The latter part of the verse is 
obviously inserted by the redactor to harmonize 8 10a with y 23 ^. 
The fifteen thousand men whom the kings still had with them 
were the pitiful remnant of the host with which they invaded 
Palestine ; a hundred and twenty thousand fighting men had 
perished. The enormous figures remind us of ch. 19-21 (cf. e.g. 
20 2 ), and especially of Nu. 31, the destruction of Midian in the 
days of Moses. The original narrative may have given the num 
bers of the Midianite host which Gideon with his three hundred 
put to flight, but in the connexion it is not unnatural to suspect 
that the figures (15,000) have been raised. 11. Gideon went 
up by the road . . . , cast of Nobah and Jogbehah~\ the words 
omitted in the translation are generally interpreted, the road of 
the dwellers in tents, i.e., of the Bedawin. So all the ancient ver 
sions ; cf. especially 2T : The way to the camp of the Arabs who 
were encamped in tents in the desert east of Nobah. But the 
Hebrew text does not admit of any grammatical interpretation ; 
probably the name of a place originally stood here. Jogbehah is 



* Strabo, xvi. p. 754 f. 

t Porter, Damascus, ii. p. 195 ; Merrill, East of the Jordan, p. 15, 37, 405. 



222 JUDGES 

named in Nu. 3 2 among the cities built, or fortified, by (lad.* 
It is now generally identified with Khirbet el-Gubeihat, NW. of 
Amman and about midway between that place and es-Salt.f 
The site agrees sufficiently well with the scanty indicia of our 
narrative. The general course of the flight from the fords of the 
Jordan was then south-east, toward the great desert. Nobah 
occurs in Nu. 32 4 -, where we read that a clan Nobah (from the 
context a branch of Machir) conquered Kenath and its depend 
encies, and gave the place its own name. Kenath is commonly 
supposed to be el-Qanawat in the Hauran ; \ but this cannot be 
meant here. It has been suggested that the Nobah in our text 
was the earlier seat of the clan, from which it migrated to the 
north, to Kenath ; but the identification of the latter with Qana- 
wat is rather to be given up. || The Midianites, imagining that 
they are safe from pursuit, allow themselves to be surprised. 
12. The two kings flee, but are pursued and taken. He threw 
all the camp into a fanic~] the panic of the Midianites seems to 
come too late, after the flight and pursuit of the kings. Scharfen- 
berg conjectured, he devoted all the camp, utterly destroyed it 
(see on i 17 ). It is not necessary, however, to touch the text. 
The capture of Zebah and Zalmunna is the point in which the 
interest of the narration centres ; the rest in their fright fled in all 
directions, leaving the kings to their fate; cf. 2 S. \f, and with 
the verb, Ez. 3O 9 .<[[ 

* Most of the other places in this list were in northern Moab ; several of them 
occur also in the inscription of Mesha. 

f See Burckhardt, Syria, p. 361 ; Conder, SEP. Memoirs, p. in f. The identifi 
cation, Knohel on Nu. 32 35 ; Ewald, G VI. ii. p. 547 n. ; Dietrich, in Merx, Archiv, 
i. 1867, p. 346-349; Re., K.C., DL, Bad., al. G. A. Smith strangely supposes it to 
have originated with Conder. In general, the author of this Historical Geography 
is not very well informed about the history of geography. 

\ Descriptions of Qanawat, Burckhardt, Syria, p. 83 ff. ; Merrill, East of Jordan, 
p. 36-42; Bad 3 . 207 f. Kdfada, Fl. Jos., b.j. i. 19, 2 $366; Ptol., v. 15, 23; Plin., 
n. h., v. 74. The identification is made by Euseb., OS 2 . 26g lr> , but is probably 
mistaken; we should not look for the Kenath of Nu. 32 4 2 in the remote NE. 
i Chr. 2 23 , when rightly translated, lends no support to the theory. Dt. 3 14 Jos. I3 30 , 
which put the Havoth-jair in Bashan, are the result of a late and erroneous combi 
nation (Di., NDJ., p. 201 ; Rue., Th. T. xi. p. 479 ff.) ; see below on io 4 . 

Di., NDJ., p. 201 f. ; Sta., G VI. i. p. 149. 

|| Socin, Be. 

If Stud. 



VIII. u-13 223 

8. ^HUC] Merrill (East of the Jordan, p. 390-392) thinks that Fenucl was 
at Tulul ed-Dahab, conical hills, crowned by old ruins, which rise from the 
middle of the Jabbok valley to a height of 250 feet. The stream, with a sharp 
bend, winds between them. With the name Penuel compare Sj?3 JB in 
Carthaginian inscriptions to Sj?3 ]Q rur, in which Halevy and E. Meyer are 
very probably right in seeing, not a mystical epithet, " Tnt, face of Baal," 
but the name of a place; cf. promunturium quod Saturni vocatur, Plin., n. h., 
iii. 19. 10. "iplpa] a similar name (Qarqaru) is found in inscriptions of Sal- 
manassar and Sargon; apparently a place in the vicinity of Ilamath (Schradcr, 
A AT 2 . p. 180). In v. 11 ni puts the camp at Aro er (see on n 33 ).* 
rfix -\yy ns CHD] with the irregular construction of the numeral cf. 2 S. ig 18 
Jud. 2O 25 , Ges. 25 97, 2 n. Dip ^2] in a wider sense than in 6 s - 33 , to include 
all the Bedawin. a Sojn] the slain ; 2O 46 Jos. 8 25 Jer. 6 15 8 12 &c. sin iSc-] 
excludes non-combatants; the phrase 2O 2 - 15 - 17 - ^ 4G 2 S. 24 9 &c. The resem 
blances in this part of the verse to ch. 20 are to be noted. 11. a^ns-a \Ji3C ; n] 
commonly rendered, those iv/io are lodged in tents, i.e., the Bedawin, and 
explained, the road which they ordinarily took in crossing the country, per 
haps a trail which avoided the larger towns. This interpretation is more 
ingenious than convincing. The construct state before a preposition is not 
infrequent (Philippi, Status conslrnctus, p. 57; Ew. 289 b; Ges. 2 130, l); 
but the article before the construct is foreign to the whole genius of the 
Semitic languages, and is not rendered less objectionable by reference to other 
instances of the same error (Ps. H3 5 - 6 123*; cf. Philippi, p. 40 f.; Ol. on 
Ps. H3 5 )- The pass. ptcp. is also a stumbling-block, not so much in itself 
(see Ko., i. p. 176 f.), as because the act. ptcp. of this verb is usual in this 
sense and construction. Finally, yn with a gen. is elsewhere always the way 
to, or by, a place; not that used by such and such persons; f the road leading 
to the Bedawin camps, would be suitable here, but cannot be extracted from 
the text. mar] { torn; by etymological combination. n;M n>n njncm] 
naa is predicate, not adv. accus. of state (Be.). 12. innn] so versions (exc. 
<5 AL ). Scharfenberg conj. nnnn; J Schleusner nnan. If an emendation is 
necessary, i-ron (Ex. 2$ Ps. 83 5 ) would perhaps be preferable to either; 
cf. <5 A e&rpi^ev. Cf. however, Ez. 3<D 9 Zech. 2 4 2 S. if. 

13-17. Gideon returns with his prisoners and punishes Suc- 
coth and Penuel. 13. The end of the verse is obscure. The 
words are now commonly understood to designate the point at 
which Gideon turned back, from the pass of Heres ; and the 
significance of this notice is supposed to be, that from this place 

* Stud, suggested that iplp may be a harder pronunciation of ijny ; cf. Aram. 
s for Njn.v. 

t Nu. ai 1 is not an exception; way of the spies is inadmissible (Di. ad loc). 
J Cf. Fl. Jos., 5tc<f,9e lp e. <EA al. S ( Be., Ke., al. 



224 JUDGES 

he returned to Succoth by a different road from that which he 
had taken in the pursuit, and so took the town by surprise.* In 
our ignorance of the topography, we may hesitate to pronounce 
decidedly against this explanation ; but we cannot have much 
confidence in it. The text is not intact, and it is doubtful whether 
the slight emendation which this interpretation requires is suf 
ficient to restore it. 14. He caught a boy from Succoth and by 
questioning got from him a list of the principal men of the place. 

He wrote down for him the officials of Succoth and its clders~\ 
in v. (5 only the officials (safuii) are mentioned ; in v. 10 only the 
elders (zcqcmni}. The latter are the heads of the families or 
septs which were settled in the town ; all the functions of govern 
ment, so far as they existed in such a state of society, were in the 
hands of the council of elders. f The word sar, on the other 
hand, designates an officer, official, especially one appointed by the 
government ; cf. 9", the commandant of the city, &c. Here also 
it may perhaps mean military officers, the leaders of the men of 
Succoth in war ; cf. the chiefs (sarini) of Midian, "j 25 8 :! . Seventy- 
seven mcn~\ one of those round numbers that are hardly meant to 
be taken arithmetically. In early times the number of elders in a 
city was naturally determined by the number of families that were 
able to establish their right to be represented in the council. 

15. With this description of the men who were to be held 
responsible for the affront he had received, Gideon came to Suc 
coth. The place does not seem to have offered any resistance ; 
it was probably not walled. Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, with 
whom you taunted mc~\ v.. He had kept his prisoners alive in 
order to show them thus to the citizens of Succoth and Penuel. 
To thine exhausted men ] the adjective which Gideon himself uses 
in v/ is effectively put in the mouth of the men of Succoth to 
aggravate their churlishness. 16. He carries out his threat (v. 7 ). 

He took the ciders of the town and thorns of the desert and 
thistles, and threshed with them the men of SitccotJi\ for threshed 
%] has, taught ; cf. i S. 14 -. None of the versions, however, seem 
to have read so, and the correspondence to v." is otherwise so 
close that we should expect the same verb which is used there. 

* E\v. f See also n 5 . 



VIII. 13-17 225 

The form of torture intended is probably one to which there are 
numerous references in Greek authors, and which has survived to 
modern times under the name of carding. Thus Croesus is said 
to have put to death a partisan of his brother : CTTI Kvdffrov eA/cwv 
8i<t>dtipt ; * and in Plato s Inferno the very worst offenders, such as 
the tyrant Ardiseus, are tortured in this way ; f see note. Budde 
suspects that the words, the elders of the town and, are a gloss. 
17. Gideon carries out his threat by destroying the tower of 
Penuel, and slays the inhabitants of the place. It would be 
hazardous to infer, from the fact that the chastisement of Succoth 
precedes that of Penuel, that the author represented Gideon as 
returning by a different road from that which he followed in the 
pursuit ; it would be not unnatural for him to relate the fulfilment 
of Gideon s threats in the order in which they were made (v/" H ), 
without reflecting that on his way back he would come to Penuel 
first. 

13. Dinn n^ynSs] (5 AVLMO s dirb dvajBdo-eus Apes; J so also &. Cf. Jerome 
(OS 2 . 963), adscensus Ares, pro quo Aquila interpretatur saltuum, Symmachus 
montium. The former renders irnnn (cf. I S. 23 18 A els rbv Spv^bv), which 
reminds us of the Moabite names irnn "vp, ntrin -vf>. represents annn; 
t) also is said to have had &povs; the word Din was evidently a stumbling- 
block, as in I 35 (see Field ad loc.}. rkyv pass I 36 Jos. IO 10 I5 7 . BN o.irb eVd- 
vuOev Apes (T?)S Trapard^ews 2 in B is an accidental repetition), i.e. n?jn37D; 
but this would require DinS. Others take Dinn appellatively; so IJu ante soli* 
ortum ; || &, Ra., before the sun set; Ki. gives us the choice of these two 
renderings. Neither is admissible; nS> % D is not the act of rising, but the place 
where or by which one goes up, pass, steps, &c. (Schm.) ; the translation of 
3T confounds the word with Aram. 7JJO, from a different root (cf. Dan. 6 15 ). 
If we interpret, from the pass of I feres, it will be necessary to emend nSpDD; 
the composite preposition is consistent only with the interpretation of <S B OTTO 
twavuBev; see Stud. 14. i^x aroM] 2 S. II 14 &c.; cf. S 3P3 Dt. 24! &c. 
There is as little reason to depart from the usual meaning of the verb as there 
is to infer from it that the Israelites of Gideon s time could all read and 
write. 15. D^TI] v. 5 aifli> n - 16. mao TJN DN ana JP M] the Hiph. of jn> 
without i is anomalous. *[f has the same verbs as in v. 7 (j]\6-r)<rev BN , 



* Hdt., i. 92 ; Plut., de malign. Herod., p. 858. t Rep., x. p. 616 A. 

J JI iiri ; cf. I in ascensione Hares. \ Cf. Stud., Ew. 

|| Similarly, RLbG., Abarb. (he turned back at sunrise), Vatabl., Tremell., Drus., 
Cler. 

IT In Nu. i6 5 the spelling may intentionally leave the choice between Kal () 
and Hiph. 
Q 



226 JUDGES 

^avev AMO s) ; * so also IL conlrivit (with the doublet, ct comminuif), j$ 
renders estannad, tortured. 3T presents an unusual number of variants; ven - - , 
Ra., Ki. -or, ".m-h., m -pj ( dray ), ailt - -p-u ( ven - l TU, typographical error); 
all seemingly rendering by the context. lie taught the nieii of Succoth a lesson 
(Ew., er -mitzigte}, would be well enough; but the unusual form in %) and the 
evidence of the versions make it most probable that the author wrote u -v; i_; a 
mutilated ;: in the square alphabet might easily be read as jr. On this form 
of torture cf. Ildt., i. 92; 1 lut., de. malign. Herod., p. 858; Aristoph., Acharn. 
319 f., with the Scholia; Flat, A ef. x. p. 616 A; Clem. Alex., Strom. \. p. 700 
Potter; esp. Hesych. s.v. e?rt Kt>d<f>wv e\Kuv (licit., i. 92) : TO yap irporepov oi 
yviKpe is b.Ka.vd&v (rupov ffvffTptyavTES ra if^dria fTrl rov ffupov SKVOLTTTOV 6 dt 
aupbs t\yeTo yvdrpo^ 6 ovv Kpoicros TOV e^dpbv irepie^ave rats dxavdais /ecu 
OVTUS t<p6fipev.-\ In Jud. 8 7 - 10 the LXX rendering of the verb is Kara^atvia. 
On carding see New English Diet., s.v. Card and Carder. 

18-21. Gideon puts Zebah and Zalmunna to death to avenge 
his brothers, whom they had killed in their foray. 18. Having 
executed his threat upon Succoth and Penuel, he turns on his 
prisoners. Where arc the men whom you killed at Tabor ?~\ the 
menacing question shows that he knows what they have done, and 
challenges an avowal. They meet it, like admirable savages as 
they are, with a boast : They were just such men as you ; men of 
kingly figure. \ Because this answer does not formally correspond 
to the question, where are the men, many interpreters think it 
necessary to make the question correspond to the answer, and 
translate, what kind of men were flwsc that you slew ? but this 
is against the usage of the particle, and much tamer than what 
the author wrote. Tabor ] is generally understood to be Mt. 
Tabor, on the northern side of the Great Plain. || or a village of 
the name in the vicinity of the mountain.^" But it is not clear 
what Gideon s brothers were doing up there, so far away from the 
seats of the clan ; the narrator does not intimate that they fell in 
a fight with the Midianites, but rather gives the impression that 
they were murdered at their homes. Moreover, the author of this 

* KaTe ai>ei is LXX, as a comparison of <5^ T with B in the light of 6 shows. 
t See also Schleusner, Thesaurus, s.v. xarafaiVw. 

J The spirit of this answer is quite lost when it is supposed that they were igno 
rant of Gideon s relation to their victims, as is done by Stud., al. 
3LS, EV., He., al. 
|| See on 4 !. 
II Cf. i Chr. 6 f7 (Heb. 6<>-) Jos. 19^; note also Aznoth-tabor, Chisloth-tabor. 



VIII. I8-2I 227 

chapter (J) seems not to lay the scene of the action in the Plain 
of Jezreel, as the other version of the story does,* but in the 
vicinity of Shechem. For a conjecture, see critical note. They 
were just like thee~\ the nature of the resemblance is defined in 
the next words ; it was their princely stature and mien ; cf. i S. p 2 
i6 7-ls i K. i. The meaning is clear; on the text see note. 
19. They were my own brothers /] sons of the same mother as 
well as the same father; Gen. 43-" J Dt. 13 Cant. 8 1 ; cf. Gen. 20 -. 
By Yahweh, if you had spared their lives, I would not have 
killed you} it is the personal wrong that whets his sword ; brothers 
blood demands vengeance. 20. He calls on Jether, his oldest 
son, upon whom, after himself, the blood feud devolved, to avenge 
his uncle s death. For the boy it is an honour ; for the captive 
kings an ignominy. Jether is the same name as Jethro (Ex. 4 18 ). 
Besides Moses Midianite father-in-law, it occurs as the name of 
the Ishmaelite father of Amasa (i K. 2 5 cf. 2 Chr. 2 17 2 S. ly 2 ") j 
also of families of Judah (i Chr. 2 32 4 17 ) and Asher (i Chr. 7 s8 ), 
and, with slight variation of form, of an Edomite clan (Gen. 36-"). 
Commentators have felt some difficulty in explaining how this boy 
came to be among the picked three hundred (y 1 " 8 ). In reality 8 4ff - 
is not connected with ch. 7, but belongs to the older and simpler 
version in which Gideon s followers were his clansmen of Abiezer 
(6 s4 ) ; Jether s presence in the expedition, therefore, need occasion 
no surprise. It is more than likely, moreover, that Gideon led his 
prisoners home in triumph, and that they were put to death at 
Ophrah, near the place where the murder had been committed.! 
The boy had not the heart to draw his sword. 21. With true 
Arab spirit the captives challenge Gideon to give the death-stroke 
with his own hand. Slay us thyself, for a man has a man s 
strength} lit. as the man, so is his strength. An immature boy is 
not to be expected to do what requires a man s arm and a man s 
heart. Kimchi and others conceive the meaning to be that 
Jether could not dispatch them outright, but would hack and 
mangle them in his weak and clumsy efforts to kill. J Gideon 
kills them and takes their spoil. The crescents which were on 
the necks of their camels } necklaces or collars (v. 26 ), the elements 

* 633 ; c f. above, p. 200. f Cass. J Stud. 



228 JUDGES 

of which were little golden crescents. They were worn by men 
(v.- ; ) and women (Is. 3 *),* and, like all such ornaments, were 
originally amulets. f Riding camels are still often decorated with 
jingling strings of cowrie shells and metal crescents. In the O.T. 
camels appear only in the possession of the nomad neighbours of 
Israel and in the patriarchal story in Genesis. 

18. HB-N] where, Gen. 37 le i S. ig 2 - 2 S. 9 4 (in all 10 times). So here 
(5C, Abarb., SS. Other renderings : rives ( M , 7rotoi 5s , quales ILS a, Ki., Lth., 
EV., Cler., Schm., Be., Ke., Ges., MY., BDB., al. Stud., rightly feeling that 
it is hazardous to invent a new meaning for the particle for this one place, 
conj. nrN (cf. Doom.); but roix (rlvi rpoVaj, see on 2O 3 ) is found only before 
verbs, and is not used in the sense of qualis. If the explanation given in the 
text be not thought sufficient, the most natural emendation would be NICN ^ 
Gen. 27 :3 " &c., ivho, then, were the men. en-Co 1123] nominal sentence, lit., 
the like of the e is the like of them ; I K. 22 4 Gen. l8 25 44 1S Nu. I5 15 Dt. I 17 
Is. 24^ Jos. I4 11 , Roorda, 488; cf. Ges.- 5 118, 6. f^n ^ja INTO TIN] most 
modern interpreters take TIN distributively, each one resembled tJie children of 
a king ; AV., RV., with Lth., Cler., Schm. (iimisquisque sicut filii regis), Be., 
Ke., al. mu. But TIN is nowhere used in this way, J and this interpretation did 
not suggest itself to any of the ancient translators or commentators. (5 M 3LfT 
render nines ex eis ; (gi^Ai VO g J9 do not represent ins at all. Ra. (alt.), 
Ki., Stud., connect it with the preceding as adverbial accusative, lit., thy 
likeness was their likeness, all one ; but for this again there is no analogy. 
The text can hardly be sound; the simplest emendation is probably TIN SD. 
IN.- figure, stature, bodily presence. At r fal>or~\ inr J^N i S. io 3 , not far 
from Bethel, is as much too far to the south as Mt. Tabor to the north. It 
may perhaps be suspected that the true name of the place where Gideon s 
brothers were killed is preserved in 9 37 ("iNn ^- ^ , and that it has been 
changed here to Mar in conformity with the representation of 6 :!;! . 19. ^n 
mm] a common form of oath; lit. Yahweh is living; Ges. 25 149. ar.^nn iS 
\->j-\n ts-S . . .] cf. I3 2:i . 1 s with pf. in hypothesis contrary to reality; Dr 3 . 
139; Ges. 25 p. 482. Obs. the pf. in apodosis also; they are already as good 
as dead, rvnn spare, let live, Nu. 22 33 2 S. S 2 &c. 20. -r<] = rim Ex. 4^. 
21. imiaj ^-^ND ^] in the sense in which we have translated the words 
(quia juxta aetatem robur cst hoininis II), iriia^ p would be expected; but 
the ellipsis may be possible. 6 I!X on d>s avdpbs 17 di/vanis (rou. a^na 1 ] v. 2G 
Is. 3 1St . The word is connected with Aram. Syr. N-IHD moon, and both name 
and thing appear to be of foreign origin. 

* See Schroeder, DC vestitu mitlicrum, p. 33-44; Hartmann, Die Hebraerin, ii. 
p. 265 ff. t Cf. Gen. 35 4 . 

i The examples alleged, such as i K. $~ 2 K. 15-, are essentially different ; they 
all have the distributive ^ $ See above on 4 5 , p. 113. 



VIII. 21-22 229 

22, 23. Gideon declines the kingdom. The Israelites offer to 
make Gideon and his descendants hereditary rulers ; he refuses 
out of religious scruple. This does not agree with the represen 
tation of J in the preceding narrative, in which Gideon and his 
clansmen of Abiezer act for themselves and by themselves : the 
men of Israel appear on the scene quite unexpectedly ; * we 
must imagine them convoked for the express purpose. f The 
refusal, v. 23 , is at variance also with ch. 9, from which we see that 
Jerubbaal had, at least in the vicinity of Shechem, an authority 
which would in natural course devolve to his sons. J If v. 22 23 
belong to either of the two sources which we have tried to sepa 
rate in ch. 6-9, it must be to E, in which the tribes of Manasseh 
and Ephraim, and perhaps others, take part in the campaign. 
For this origin of the verses we may also adduce i S. 8 7 io 1!) i2 12 
(E), in which the same condemnation of the kingdom, as con 
flicting with the sovereignty of Yahweh, is expressed in very 
similar terms. A later writer (D) || would have no visible motive 
for introducing the offer and rejection of the kingdom in this 
place. If E is the author of the verses, they must have stood in 
his narrative after 8 1 3 ; the editor who combined j^-8 3 with 8 4 21 
(Rje) would be constrained to transpose them to their present 
place. To this hypothesis it may be objected, that the author 
who represented the Ephraimites as meeting the victor in such a 
truculent mood (8 1 " 3 ) can hardly have conceived of their turning 
around and offering to make him king. If 8 1 " 3 are genuine, as I 
have tried to show, the only answer would be that S"- 23 belong to 
a secondary stratum in E (E 2 ), to which we might then perhaps 
ascribe y 23 also. This, again, would have the support of the cor 
responding passages in Samuel, which are commonly attributed to 
E 2 . 22. The men of Israel~\ the body of freemen who formed the 
army ; cf. y u g 5 " . What tribes the author meant to represent as 
taking part in this assembly can hardly be determined ; Manasseh 
and Ephraim pretty certainly, possibly also the others named in 
7 s3 . Rule over ns~\ tf ; cf. reign in Jotham s fable (g 8 - 111 - 1L> 14 ). 

* In 7 14 in the mouth of the Midianite the phrase has a different connotation, 
t Contrast i S. ni- ff- J We. 

} See Vatke, Alttest. TheoL, p. 263 f. ; We., Comp., p. 227 ; Co., Einl*. p. 95 f. 
|| Kitt. 



230 JUDGES 

We should hardly attribute any significance to the fact that the 
latter word is not used here ; * what they offer him and his 
descendants is in fact a kingdom, differing by the hereditary prin 
ciple from the purely personal authority of the Judge (shophef). 
Because tJiou hast delivered us~\ cf. io 18 n " . To deliver his 
people in war is the very calling of a king ; i S. p 10 Is. 33" &C. 
23. / will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; 
Yahwch shall rule over you~\ cf. i S. i 2 1 -- 17 - ly 8 7 io 1!) Hos. i3 lofi 
9 io n . The condemnation of the kingdom as in principle irrecon 
cilable with the sovereignty of Yahweh, the divine king, appears 
to date from the last age of the kingdom of Israel, those terrible 
years of despotism, revolution, and anarchy which intervened 
between the death of Jeroboam II. and the fall of Samaria, when 
history seemed to write large the words of Yahweh by a prophet 
of the time : Thou saidst give me a king and princes ; I give thee 
a king in my anger and take him away in my fury.f It first 
appears in Hosea and in the Ephraimite historians of his time or 
a little later (E 2 ). J 

On v. 22f - see Wellhausen, Coinp., p. 226 f. ; Stacle, GVI. i. p. 190 f. ; 
Kuenen, //CO 2 , i. p. 348; Buclde, Kicht. u. Sam., p. 115-117; Kittel, Gdll. 
i. 2. p. 73 f. (cf. p. 5); Cornill, Einl 1 . p. 95 f. ; Wilcleboer, I.cttcrkundc, 
p. 99. -We. and Sta. (cf. also Kue., Kitt.) surmise that in the original 
narrative the kingdom was not only offered, but accepted; a later editor 
corrected this in a theocratic spirit (v. 23 ). 23. On the gods as kings in 
Semitic religions, see W. K. Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 66 ff. The 
sovereignty of Yahweh was, of course, universally recognized in old Israel 
(cf. e.g. Jud. 5); the whole development of the religion presupposes this 
principle. But it is one thing to acknowledge Yahweh as the divine king, as 
Isaiah, for example, does, and quite a different thing to conclude that he 
cannot endure the existence of a human king in Israel. This is by no means 
a necessary theological inference; it must have had a definite historical reason 
such as the experience of Israel in the 8th century afforded. 

24-27. The origin of the idol at Ophrah. At Gideon s 
request the warriors give him the rings which they have taken 
from the fallen Midianites. Of this gold he makes an idol 



* Observe that rule is employed in v. 23 also, of Yahweh s sovereignty, and in 9 -- 
of Abimelech. f Hos. i3 Iof - 

JVatke, Alttcst. Thcol., p. 478 n.; We., Sta., Co., Bu., Smencl, Alttcst. Kcli- 
gionsgesch., p. 193 f. Is. 6 5 ; see Smend, p. 205. 



VIII. 22-26 231 

(ephod) which he sets up at Ophrah. The Israelites worship 
it ; and it becomes a cause of evil to Gideon and his family. 
The making of the ephod which stood in the holy place at Ophrah 
may very well have been narrated in J ; it was a famous trophy 
of the great victory over Midian. The latter part of v. 27 , which 
makes it a cause of apostasy to Israel and of ruin to the house of 
Gideon, expresses a very different feeling toward it ; both the 
thought and the language betray a later writer (cf. 2 17 , 2 3 ). 
Verse 24 27a are ascribed by Kuenen, Budde, and others to the older 
narrative, which spoke of the ephod without a suspicion of dis 
approval.* The verses are, however, closely connected with v. 22f -, 
and in this connexion, as well as in the additions to v. 26 , the hand 
of the editor must be recognized. 24. Let me make a request 
of you~\ the words connect very naturally with v. 221 - ; he declines 
the kingdom which in their gratitude for deliverance they offer 
him, but asks of them the golden ornaments they have stripped 
from the slain. If v. 22f - are rightly ascribed to a different author 
from v.- 4 27 1 ,! the beginning of v. 24 must have been harmonized by 
the editor who combined them (Rje). In J the request could 
only be addressed to Gideon s followers, the Abiezrites. Every 
man give me the ring of his spoil~\ ear-rings are probably meant ; 
nose-rings appear in the O.T. only as women s adornments. 
They wore gold rings, for they were Ishmaelites~\ Ishmaclite seems 
to be used here not of the race, but of the mode of life, Bedawin. 
In the genealogical systems, the Midianites belong to a different 
branch of the Abrahamidae from the Ishmaelites ; see on 6 1 . We 
are to infer that such ornaments were not worn by the settled 
tribes. J The half-verse is perhaps a gloss. 25. They willingly 
accede to his request ; a mantle is spread on the ground, and the 
rings they had stripped from the slain are thrown into it. The 
mantle (siwla/i) was a wide outer garment or wrapper. It could 
readily be converted into a sack by bringing the corners together 
and tying them; cf. Ex. i2 ?A Prov. 3O 4 . 26. The weight of the 



* Cf. Kitt. In v.26 the list of spoils has been lengthened by other hands (Bu.). 
We. and Sta. consider the whole passage, v. 22 - 2 , a later addition. See the authors 
cited above on v.22f., p. 230. f Kue., Co., Kitt. ; cf. Bu. 

J The caravan-traders, whose connexions extended to the gold lands of Arabia, 
were far richer in such things than the peasants. 



232 JUDGES 

gold rings amounted to seventeen hundred shekels, not far from 
seventy pounds. The figures are not excessively large, even if 
they represent the spoil of Gideon s three hundred men ; a single 
ring might often weigh half a shekel (cf. Gen. 24-). Not 
including the crescents, and the pendants, and the purple garments 
worn by the kings of Midian\ cf. v. 21 . The half- verse is an edi 
torial exaggeration such as we have noted in a number of other 
places. This catalogue of things which were not used in making 
the eplwd is quite superfluous, and only interrupts the narrative.* 
Crescents and pendants^ coupled in the same way in Is. 3 18f -, 
the only other place where the latter word occurs. The transla 
tion pendants (? mr-drops) is suggested by the etymology; just 
what kind of jewelry is meant cannot be certainly known ; on the 
crescents, see on v. 21 . The purple garments worn by the kings of 
Midiaii\ the spoils of the kings naturally fell to the leader of the 
expedition (v.- 1 ). Purple robes are the badge of royalty; but 
would J imagine the Bedawin chiefs riding to a foray in their 
robes of state ? The necklaces that were on the necks of their 
camels~\ v. 21 . Budde sees in these words the only genuine part 
of v. 2l!1) , and regards v. 21b/3 as a gloss, explaining in an unnecessary 
way how Gideon got these crescents. f Wellhausen and Stade, 
on the contrary, rightly hold v." 1 to be genuine, and the whole of 
v. 2fib secondary ; observe the substitution of the general necklaces 
for the rare and characteristic crescents. The author of v. 2(:h wished 
to enumerate all that fell to Gideon in the distribution, as well as 
what was given him at his request by the people, regardless of the 
inappropriateness of the inventory in this place. 27. Gideon 
made it into an epJiod~\ the eplwd was made of the gold rings of 
the Midianites (v. 25 - 2lil1 ) ; \ v. 2(;i) is obviously a gloss ; see above. 
Eplwd is the specific name of a kind of idol; cf. if iS" &c. 
Hos. 3*. This appears here from the material, and the quantity 
of it employed, as well as from the verb, place. That it was so 
understood by the editor is evident from his comment, all Israel 
went whoring after it, his standing expression for heathenish or 
idolatrous worship. The ephod seems to have been peculiarly 




VIII. 26-29 233 

an oracular idol ; see more fully on i f. And placed it in his 
native city, Ophrah~\ where it remained to later times. On the 
verb see note. All Israel went astray after //] 2 17 ; it became 
the object of an idolatrous cult, in which Israelites from all parts 
of the land participated. And it became a snare to Gideon and 
his family^ 2 3 ; the cause of the ruin that overtook his house. 
The clauses are an editorial addition, expressing the judgement of 
a later time, and have possibly supplanted the original close of the 
sentence. 28. Closing formulas of the editor; see on 3 30 . 
And did not lift its head again~\ Zech. i 21 ; their power and spirit 
were completely broken by their defeat. 29. And Jcrubbaal 
ben Joash went and dwelt at his home~\ the verse stands singu 
larly out of place. That the making and setting up of the idol 
at Ophrah is related before his return home, might perhaps be 
explained by supposing that the writer wished to finish at once 
telling what was done with the spoils of the Midianites ; but v. 28 
brings the story of Gideon to a formal close, v." 1 cannot stand 
after it. Budde conjectures that v. 29 originally stood after 8 3 , 
being the conclusion of the first of the two stories of the rout 
of Midian ; from this place it was necessarily removed when & 4ff - 
was combined with 7 24 -S 3 . If 8~ f - be from the same source, place 
must be made for them between 8 :! and 8 20 .* 

24. n^NS j cognate object. uni] imv. corresponding to the preceding 
impf. energ. ; and do you give. an] nose-ring is ordinarily 1*0 DTJ (IN Sy 
Sfl, na), Gen. 24 22 (Sam.) 47 Is. 3 21 Ez. i6 12 Prov. ii 22 . Cf. Jerome on 
Ez. I.e. {Opp. ed. Vallarsi, v. 155); Hartmann, Hebraerin, iii. p. 205. 
25. p.: pnj] certainly, we will give them ; emphasizing the willingness with 
which they accede to his request; cf. 4 9 . nSse n] the particular one taken 
for the purpose, and made definite in the mind of the writer by that fact; cf. 
on y 13 , Ges. 25 126, 4; Davidson, Syntax, 21 e. 26. The omission of the 
unit of measure {shekel) is common; cf. 9* 172.3.4 & Ci a^nnt-n] see on v. 21 . 
nifl *Bjni] the ancient versions took the word as the name of some kind of 
necklace or collar.f Some Jewish interpreters connected it with ]M Ex. 3O 34 
{ffTa.KT-f\~), and explain, capsules in which this sweet-smelling gum was worn 
(older scholars quoted by Ki., RLbG., al.) ; so Schm., Buxtorf. Abulwalid 
suggests that it may be equivalent to the Arab. natafat un , a small, clear pearl 
(from its resemblance to a drop of water), or a bead of gold or silver (origi 
nally of spherical or elongated form) fastened to the lobe of the ear, ear-drop; 

* For an alternative hypothesis, see note below, 
t Only 1L N^^3, diadems, chaplcts. 



234 JUDGES 

cf. <TTa.\d-y[Moi>. This interpretation is adopted by Schroeder, JDMich. (pearls), 
Ges. Thes., Stud.; others simply, ear-drops (Be., Reuss, al.). See esp. Schroe 
der, De vcstitu iiiulieriiiii, p. 45-56. JCJTNH njn] the colour is a red pur 
ple, not violet: see Plm., u. h. ix. 133-135; Delitzsch, J A E 2 . iv. p. 490 ff. 
The name is foreign; ef. Assyr. argamannu, Fr. Del., Assyr. Ihvb., p. 129.* 
The dye \vas extremely costly (Plin., n. h. ix. 124). ^ir] see on 6 17 ; 
observe T;*>X immediately after. 27. IIDN] on the etymology and meaning 
of this word, see note on iy 5 . rsn] 6 3T Gen. 3O 38 i S. 5 2 2 S. 6 17 . 28. 1013 
fi""u] Bu. would emend J ^ Sa, after 2 1S . 29. yerubbaal~\ if the verses 
came originally from E, we should probably have to assume that Jerubbaal 
had been substituted for Gideon by an editor. An alternative would be to 
suppose that the account of the making of the ephod comes from EI (instead 
of J, as in our analysis above) ; v. 29 would then be the conclusion of J s story, 
following immediately upon v. 21 . This hypothesis would also better explain 
the intimate connexion which now exists between v. 22f - and v. 24 - 27 . 

30-35. | Verses 53 " 35 belong to the Deuteronomic framework of 
the book ; thought and expression correspond to those of D in 
2 1 - 1 3 7 (see below). What these verses contain in addition to the 
author s pragmatic formulas ; viz., that the Israelites adopted the 
worship of the Shechemite Baal-berith (v. S!b ), and their ungrate 
ful treatment of Jerubbaal s family (v." ), is derived from ch. 9. 
These notices are inserted not as an introduction to ch. 9, J but as 
a substitute for it. Ch. 9, as will appear below, was not included 
by D in his Book of Judges. The story of Abimelech and the 
Shechemites did not naturally fall into his scheme of apostasy, 
oppression, and deliverance ; its moral was of a different kind. 
He therefore omitted it, only taking the worship of Baal-berith 
as an instance of the chronic lapse into heathenism, and summing 
up the rest in v. 35 , as a proof of Israel s ingratitude to their 
defender, matching their forgetfulness of the divine deliverer. 

Verses 30 32 , on the contrary, form an introduction to the story of 
Abimelech ; some such preparation is presupposed in 9 1 , where 
Abimelech first appears upon the scene. In their present form, 
however, these verses can hardly be attributed to the author of 



* We should naturally expect the name of this colour to be of Phoenician 
origin, and to have come to the Assyrians from the West, rather than from the 
Assyrians to the Hebrews; and though we cannot at present prove this, it is the 
safer assumption. So also G. Hoffmann, /..A. 1894, p. 337 f. 

t On these verses sec especially Buckle, Richt. u. Sam., p. 119-122. 

% So most recent critics. <J I3u. 



VIII. 30-33 235 

ch. 9 ; more than one phrase in them suggests rather a writer famil 
iar with the Priestly narrative in Genesis.* There is no trace of a 
Deuteronomic hand. In view of these facts, the hypothesis of 
Budde is the most acceptable which has been proposed. It is 
that the final editor (Rp) restored ch. 9, which Rd had omitted, 
prefixing to it this introduction (v. 30 " 32 ), the substance of which he 
derived from the pre-deuteronomic source in which he found the 
story of Abimelech. To this source probably belonged also the 
notice of the burial of Jerubbaal ; cf. 2 9 . 30. Now Gideon had 
seventy sons] the number, 9" 5 - 18 24- x ; cf. Abdon s seventy sons and 
grandsons (12"), Jair s thirty sons (io 4 ), &c. Who issued from 
his loins ] lit. thigh ; Gen. 46* Ex. i 5 cf. Gen. 35" (P) f . For he 
had many wives ] the numerous hareem is an evidence of his 
wealth and power; see below on <y. 31. His concubine who 
lived in Shechet/i] 9*- - 18 . The woman was evidently a Canaanite, 
and a free woman (see 9 1 3 ), notwithstanding Jotham s fling (9 18 ). 
The relation of Jerubbaal to her was probably like that of Samson 
to his Philistine wife at Timnath, a sadlqa marriage ; see on i4 5 .t 
He gave him the name AlnmelecJi] the name is not to be inter 
preted, My father (Jerubbaal) is king : as in all similar cases, 
Melek is a divine title or name ; cf. Ahimelech, Elimelech, 
Nathanmelech ; also Malchishua, &c. It is doubtful, however, 
whether we should explain the name, Melek (the god-king) is 
(my) father, or Father of Melek ; the latter, impossible as it 
sounds to our ears, is not without analogy in Semitic proper 
names ; see note. For the worshipper of Yahweh, he is the 
King ; for the Canaanites of Shechem, their Baal-berith. 

32. At a good old age~\ the phrase occurs only in Gen. i5 15 (Rp) 
2 5 8 (P) T ^- nr - 2 9 2S - And was buried in the tomb of Joash 
his father] cf. 2 = Jos. 24 30 . /// Ophrah~\ see crit. note. 

33. On v. 33 35 see above, p. 234. As soon as Gideon died~\ cor 
responding to the general theory of D (2 19 ); the death of the 
judge was always the signal for a lapse into heathenism ; cf. 2 W - u 13 , 
3 11- 12 , 4 1 . The Israelites again apostatized to heathenism] lit. 
returned and went whoring after the baals. Cf. v. 2 2 17 ; Ex. 34 15f- 



* Observe, issuing from his loins (v. 30 ) ; a fine old age (v. 32 ) ; see comm. on the vv. 
t Bu., p. 121 ; cf. W. R. Smith, Kinship and Marriage, ch. 3 ; esp. p. 76. 



236 JUDGES 

Dt. 31. The phrase is not that used by D in the Hexateuch 
(other gods, 2 1 " 11 &c.) ; it may have been chosen here with refer 
ence to the worship of Baal-berith, v. b . On the baals, see on 
2 11 13 . And made Baal-berith their god] specification to the 
general charge. Baal-berith, in 9* called El-berith, was the god 
of Shechem, where he had a temple 9 4 - 4t; .* The author of 8 :i J 
evidently assumes that the people of Shechem were Israelites, 
and generalizes the local worship of Baal-berith. into a defection 
of Israel as a whole. Nothing is clearer, however, in ch. 9 than 
that the population of Shechem was Canaanite ; the insurrection 
fomented by Gaal is a rising of the native inhabitants against 
the rule of the half-Israelite Abimelech ; see esp. v.- s . 34. Did 
not remember Yahweh their god] cf. 3 7 . Who rescued them from 
the power of all their enemies on all sides] cf. i S. i2 n io 18 ; with 
the last phrase, Jud. 2 11 Dt. I2 1 " 25 1U Jos. 23 1 i Chr. 22 . 
35. And were not good to the family of Jerubbaal] the substance 
of Jotham s accusation (9 16 " 1>s ) ; as in the foregoing verses (v. "" !4 ), 
what the Shechemites did is laid to the charge of all Israel. Deal 
well with one, requite good with good, Gen. 2i 23 Jos. 2 1 - Jud. i" 4 . 
Jerubbaal Gideon] the name Jerubbaal alone is used in ch. 9 ; 
Gideon alone in ch. 8 (except v. 3 ) ; on the margin between the 
two, one name is glossed by the other. As the author draws 
directly from 9 1C , he may have written Jerubbaal here, though in 
v. "" he writes Gideon ; comp. on 7 1 . 

30. vn py-uSi] cf. i 1 - vn man CTJ 13; it is all in the past. 31. V^J^DI] 
19 passim, 2O 4 " 5 - 6 ; in 9 18 Jotham says IPCN. Di. (on Gen. 25) has observed 
that in Gen. >jSifl is more than once introduced by R. N^n cj] Gen. 4- 2fi 
I9 :w 22 20 . v:;: 1 rx cr<i] cf. 2 K. ly 34 Neh. 9 7 Dan. i 7 5 1 - (late; Bu.). 
J S ?:^N] Gen. 20 21 26; cf. -pirnx (i S. 21 2 S. 8 17 ),t and the Phoenician 
names "pen, and especially "[bDPnN (iSonn). In the last the grammatical 
relation is unambiguous; the name is, Sister of Milk (Melek). Ahimelech 
is accordingly, Brother of Melek, not, My brother is Melek, and Abimelech, 
Father of Melek. J 32. navj n2"^2] Gen. I5 15 258 i Chr. 29 28 . ^N niD;2 
nt > n ] grammatically incorrect. Doom, would emend may a (6 24 ) ; Kautzsch 
(Ges.- p. 401) suggests that n-\s; % a should stand either after lapM or at the 
end of the verse. Another possibility is that ^I?;TI ON is a gloss from 6- 4 , to 




VIII. 33-35- IX. 237 

which the preceding word was not brought into grammatical accord. 
33. pyu Sj. 2-p] even as a gloss we should require p>"u Nin; cf. 



IX. Abimelech and the men of Shechem. Abimelech, the 
half-Canaanite son of Jerubbaal, persuades the people of Shechem 
to have him for their ruler in preference to the other sons of his 
father. Abetted by them, he kills his brothers, Jotham, the 
youngest, alone escaping the slaughter, and is made king in She 
chem (v. 1 - 6 ). Jotham in a fable vents his contemptuous opinion of 
their new lord, upbraids them for their base ingratitude to Jerub 
baal their defender, pronounces a curse upon them and their king, 
and flees (v. 7 - 1 ). After three years the Shechemites fall out with 
Abimelech ; an insurrection is fomented by one Gaal, a new 
comer (v.- 29 ). Abimelech, apprised of the situation by the 
governor of the city, comes with his soldiers ; Gaal goes out to 
fight with him ; is beaten and driven back into the city, only to be 
cast out by the governor (v. 30 41 ). In a second day s fighting, 
Abimelech takes the place by stratagem, puts the inhabitants to 
the sword, and destroys the city (v. 42 45 ). The people of the 
neighbouring Tower of Shechem take refuge in the temple of 
El-berith ; Abimelech burns it over their heads (v. 46 49 ). While 
besieging Thebez, Abimelech is fatally hurt by a millstone which a 
woman threw from the wall, and dies by the sword of his armour- 
bearer. So Jotham s curse is fulfilled (v/ 50 " 57 ) . 

The character of the narrative as a whole displays a striking 
affinity to 8 4 21 ; of the pragmatism which pervades large parts of 
ch. 6. 7 there is no trace.* We should be inclined, therefore, in 
conformity to our analysis of the preceding chapters, to ascribe it 
to J.f Budde, on the contrary, derives it from E, who, in retelling 
the old folk-story, introduced of his own invention the fable of 
Jotham (v. 7 " 21 ). j 

The unity of the chapter has hitherto been almost unquestioned. 
It is, however, not unquestionable. There are clearly two accounts 
of the origin of hostilities between Abimelech and the Shechem 
ites. In v. 22 " 25 an evil spirit sent by God stirs up the Shechemites ; 

* Stud., We., Co. t Schrader-De Wette, EM*. 209. 

J To E the chapter is attributed by Bruston also (Bu., p. 118 n.). On Jotham s 
fable, Kue., //CO 2 , i. p. 349. See further in crit. note below. 



238 JUDGES 

their armed bands rob all who pass through their territory : in 
v.-* "- 1 a family of new-comers, headed by Gaal, incite a revolt by 
appeals to race-pride and hatred. The sequel of the first of these 
accounts is found in v. 4 - 45 ; Abimelech lays an ambush against 
the city, takes and destroys it : that of the second is v. ;UM1 . We 
obtain thus two complete narratives, and the confused repetitions 
of the story as it now stands disappear. The fable of Jotham 
(v. 7 "- 1 ) is cognate to the first of these two narratives, and carries 
with it its premises in v. 1 ; from this source v. m also is derived. 
If our observation is correct, the version of the story in which 
Gaal plays the leading part may be ascribed to J ; the other to E. 
No traces of D s hand are discoverable in the chapter. The 
story of Gideon is concluded in the usual way in S - s ; the intro 
duction to the story of Jephthah, io (m -, follows. We must infer 
from the absence of D s characteristic setting that the history of 
Abimelech and the Shechemites was not included in the Deutero- 
nomic Book of Judges, into whose pragmatism it could not easily 
be coerced.* It was found, however, in the older Jehovistic book 
which D worked over ; the same sources run through it which we 
have discovered in ch. 6-8 ; and that it lay before U appears from 
g.33-3,-^ w hi c h i s hi s brief substitute for it. It must have been 
restored by a still later editor, who wrote 8 :K) ~ ;! ~ to introduce it.f 

An analysis of ch. 9 is attempted by Winckler (Altorientalische Forschungen, 

p. 59 ff.), as follows: J 9 1 - 5 - - 1 - - ( -- J - *- * i -; E 9 [7-20] ii * s-as. .-;. :n-as 
[ v _;w R?J ;i j. 4. 44. 4.-,. j w h; c h O f the two v. 50 - 54 belong is uncertain; 
v.--- r "- 7 are added by D. 

The story of Abimelech is one of the oldest in the Book of 
Judges, and in various ways one of the most instructive. We 
have learned from ch. i that the Israelites in no part of the land 
completely dispossessed the native population ; that, on the con 
trary, the latter, even where the new-comers were strongest, retained 
many of the most important places. Ch. 9 gives us a glimpse of 
the relations between the two peoples thus brought side by side. 
The Canaanite town, Shechem, J subject to Jerubbaal of Ophrah ; 



* See above, p. 234 f. 

t See Bu., Richt. it. Sam., p. 119-122; and above, Introduction, $ 7. 
J Predominantly Canaanite; Israelites were no doubt settled in the town; they 
were not, however, citizens of Shechem, but gerim. 



ix. 239 

his half-Canaanite son Abimelech, who naturally belongs to his 
mother s people (see on v. 1 ) ; the successful appeal to blood, 
which is thicker than water, by which he becomes king of 
Shechem, ruling also over the neighbouring Israelites ; the inter 
loper Gaal and his kinsmen, who settle in Shechem and instigate 
insurrection against Abimelech by skilfully appealing to the pride 
of the Shechemite aristocracy, all help us better than anything 
else in the book to realize the situation in this period. 

Many scholars see in the story a kind of prelude to the history 
of the kingdom of Saul. Gideon, it is said, was in fact king in 
Ophrah, whatever we think of 8 221 ; * that his sons would succeed 
him is a matter of course (t)~) ; Abimelech is formally created king 
(9), and reigns over Israelites (Joseph) as well as Canaanites ; a 
short-lived Manassite kingdom thus preceded the Benjamite king 
dom of Saul. All this shows that Israel was feeling its way toward 
a stronger and more stable form of government.! There seems 
to me to be some exaggeration in this. It is a very uncertain, 
and in my opinion improbable, conjecture that S 22 - 23 supersede an 
older statement that Gideon was made king in -consequence of 
his victory over Midian, as Saul after the relief of Jabesh Gilead. \ 
That Shechem had been subject or tributary to him, and had 
reason to expect that his sons would maintain their authority over 
the city, does not prove that he was in fact king in Manasseh 
and Ephraim ; that his authority descended not to one son, but to 
all of them jointly, implies quite the opposite. Abimelech is king 
of Shechem, a Canaanite town, in which, as among the Canaanites 
generally, the city-kingdom was the customary form of govern 
ment. That he was also recognized as king by purely Israelite 
towns or clans is not intimated, and is not a necessary inference 
from the fact that he has the Israelites at his back in his effort to 
suppress the revolt of the Canaanite cities (9^). 

The moral of the story is brought out strongly, but naturally. 
Abimelech and the people of Shechem enjoy but a little while the 



* The name Abimelech cannot be appealed to as evidence of this ; see above, 

P- 235- 

t See We., Conip., p. 227; Kitt., GdH. i. 2. p. 73 f . ; especially Sta., GVI. i 
p. 181 ff. (Das manassitische Kanigthuni), esp. p. 190 f. 

J See above, comm. on 8^ . 



240 JUDGES 

fruits of their common crime ; then they fall out, and become 
fatal to each other. Abimelech destroys Shechem, but loses his 
life before Thebez, which had apparently conspired with Shechem 
in the revolt. This righteous retribution is denounced beforehand 
by Jotham, and the writer closes by pointing out how signally his 
prophetic curse had been fulfilled. Studer remarks that we have 
here a religious conception of history very similar to that of the 
Greeks in the time of Herodotus and the contemporary tragic 
poets, " who would have found in the fate of Gideon s house, if it 
had belonged to their national cycle, fruitful material for their 
magnificent compositions." 

1-6. Abimelech is made king of Shechem. Abimelech per 
suades the people of Shechem, his mother s town, to support him. 
With money from their temple treasure he hires a band of bravos 
and murders his brothers. He is formally made king of Shechem 
and Beth-millo. 1. Abimelech the son of Jcrubbaal went to 
Shechem~\ after his father s death (8 3 -). Jcntbbaal throughout 
the chapter ; see on 6 32 y 1 . To his mother s brethren^ the nearer 
kinsmen; cf. 14 " i6 81 . The whole clan of his mother s family^ 
the clan to which it belonged. Shechem , the modern Nabulus,* 
lay in a valley between Mt. Ebal on the north and Mt. Gerizim 
on the south, in the heart of Mt. Ephraim. The neighbourhood 
of the city is well-watered and exceedingly fruitful. The principal 
road from Central Palestine across the Jordan to Gilead started 
from Shechem (Gen. 32 33) ; the continuation of this road west 
ward led down to the seaboard plain. The great north road from 
Jerusalem through Bethel also passed through Shechem, con 
tinuing north by En-gannim (Genm) into the Great Plain, or 
striking off NE. to Beth-shean. It had thus every advantage of 
position, and was doubtless even in pre-Israelite times a pros 
perous and important place. It is mentioned more than once 
in the patriarchal story (Gen. 12 33 34 35 4 37 1 "" )- The treach 
erous attack on Shechem by Simeon and Levi (Gen. 34 49 ") 
must have been among the earliest attempts of Israelites to estab 
lish themselves west of the Jordan. It resulted, in the end, most 
disastrously for the two tribes, which never recovered from the 



* Flavia Ncapolis; Justin Martyr, Apol. \. c. i; Schiirer, GjV. i. p. 546. 



ix. i-2 241 

vengeance which the Canaanites took upon them. At Shechem 
was the ancestral tomb of Joseph (Jos. 24 32 ) ; there according 
to Jos. 24 1 25 ,* Joshua assembled Israel to receive his parting 
instructions and make the solemn covenant of religion ; cf. Dt. 1 1 2 *. 
In Shechem, also, the chief place of Ephraim, the assembled 
tribes made Jeroboam ben Nebat king (i K. 12); one of the 
first acts of his reign was to fortify the place.f 2. He puts his 
kinsmen up to speak for him to the citizens. - The freemen of 
Shechem~\ v. :1 2O 5 i S. 23 11-12 2 S. 2i 12 ; lit., the proprietors, those 
to whom it belonged, the citizens ; then, perhaps, without dis 
tinction of citizen and metic, the inhabitants. Which is the better 
for you, that seventy men rule over you all the sons of Jerubbaal 
or that one man rule over you .?] the authority of Jerubbaal, he 
intimates, would descend to his sons jointly, not to one designated 
successor. If this representation is true, it is evident that we 
cannot think of Jerubbaal as the founder of a kingdom, however 
short-lived ; for in that case the succession must have been his first 
care. Nor need we suppose that the people of Shechem recog 
nized any right to rule in Jerubbaal or his sons ; they would suc 
ceed to his power, that is all. The evils of such a many-headed 
tyranny needed no argument ; the earliest political experience 
of men taught the lesson : OVK ayaOov TroXvKOipavLrj els Koipavos 
IO-TW, ets (3ao-iX(.vs. Wellhausen thinks that the monarchy is here 
regarded as an advance upon the patriarchal rule of the nobles, 
and infers that the story was not written till after the establish 
ment of the kingdom in Israel. I do not think we need see in 
Abimelech s words deep reflections on the advantages of different 
forms of government, behind which must lie the experience of 
the monarchy. The present case was plain enough in itself. 
Remember, besides, that I am your own flesh and blood~\ lit. your 
bone and your flesh ; 2 S. 5* ig 1 " 13 ; J cf. Gen. 29" 2 n . If, as 
has been suggested above (p. 235), Gideon s concubine who lived 



* f? : Shiloh. 

t On Nabulus, see Seetzen, Reisen, ii. p. 170 ff. ; Rob., BK*. ii. p. 275 ff. ; Rosen, 
/.DMG. xiv. 1860, p. 634 ff. ; Guerin, Samarie, i. p. 390-423; SWP. Memoirs, ii. 
p. 203-210; Bad 8 ., p. 218-223; G. A. Smith, Hist. Geog., p. 119 f. It has a singu 
lar interest from the fact that the last remnants of the Samaritans live there, and 
the rites of the old Israelite religion are still in some sort observed. 

J In the last passage David makes the same appeal to the elders of Judah. 

R 



242 JUDGES 

at Shechem (8 ;U ) was a sad i</a wife, this appeal would have 
double force ; for the children of such a marriage belonged to the 
mother s tribe, not to the father s.* 3. His mother s kinsmen 
took up his cause, in which they doubtless discerned their own 
interest, and easily persuaded the freemen. Their hearts inclined 
to follow Abimdech, for they said, He is our brother^ he is one 
of us. 4. They furnish him money from the temple-treasure. 
Seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-berit)i\ the 
temple, like those of other ancient peoples, had its treasure, 
accumulated from gifts, payment of vows, penalties, and the like, 
which was drawn upon by the authorities for public purposes, 
or in times of emergency.! If there was any public treasure 
besides, it was kept in the temple for security ; j and the wealth 
of private persons was often deposited there for safe-keeping. 
So it was, doubtless, in a small way, at Shechem. Baal-berith ; 
cf. El-berith v. 4 ; . The names are equivalent : el is the niemc/i 
loci; bdal, the god proprietor of the place. Baal-berith is 
interpreted, covenant Baal, and explained either as the god who 
presides over covenants, obligations, alliances, and the like ; || or, 
with a more particular reference, the god of the Canaanite league 
at the head of which Shechem stood ; *[ or who presided over 
the treaty between the Canaanite and Israelite inhabitants of 
Shechem.** It is wiser to confess that we know nothing about the 
original significance of the name. With this money Abimelech 
hired a band of bravos. Worthless and reckless i/ien~] ready for 
the commission of any crime. The seventy shekels curiously cor 
respond to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal ; the price of their lives 
was but a shekel each. 5. With these followers he went to his 
father s home in Ophrah and slaughtered his brothers. Seven fy 
men on one stonc\ v. ls . Like a hecatomb of cattle, cf. i S. 14 " -. 
This is not to be regarded as a wanton atrocity : ft the very con 
formity to the precautions taken in slaughtering animals in the 



* See on I4 5 . 

t So at Jerusalem ; I K. 7^ 2 K. 2o 1:i , I K. i$ l * 2 K. i8 lr > cf. 2 K. I2 4 - 22-*. 

+ So, e.g., at Athens in the 67710-0060^0? of the Parthenon ; at Rome in the temple 
of Saturn on the Capitoline (Stud.). $ Cf. 2 Mace. 3 10 - -. 

|| Cf. /ev? op*ios, Dens Jidius ; Ges. Thes., al. Other theories in Schm., QuaesL 
3 (p. 914). E\v., G I I. ii. p. 484. 

** He. We might then perhaps think of the treaty, Gen. 34. ft Stud. 



IX. 2-6 243 

open field * shows that the motive was to dispose of the blood, in 
which was the life of his victims, in such a way that they should 
give him no further trouble. f It is an instructive instance of the 
power of animistic superstitions. Compare the slaughter of the 
seventy sons of Ahab and the brothers of Ahaziah by Jehu, 
2 K. io lff - 12 14 , and that of the princes of Judah by Athaliah, 2 K. 
ii 1 "" . Only Jotham, the youngest son, escaped; cf. 2 K. ii 2 . 
6. The Shechemites make Abimelech king. All Beth-millo\ here 
and in v. 20 named with Shechem, but distinguished from it, is sup 
posed by many interpreters to be the same as the Tower of She 
chem (v. 46 " 411 ) ; \ but the identification is very doubtful, especially if 
we recognize two strands in the narrative. By the massebah tree 
which is at Shechem\ the king was acclaimed at the sanctuary of 
Shechem, as Saul was at Gilgal (i S. n 13 ). Under the holy tree 
at Shechem Jacob concealed the idols and amulets of his house 
hold (Gen. 35 4 ) ; under it, too, Joshua set up the witness-stone, 
which had " heard all the words which Yahweh spoke " (Jos. 24 26f -, 
E). || From the latter passage it appears that in the eighth cen 
tury there was an old standing-stone (massebaK) under the holy 
tree. The word massebah, which in later times was an offence, 
was mutilated by an editor or scribe ; see critical note. 

1. Jos. 24 (E) assumes that at the end of Joshua s life Shechem was in the 
possession of the Israelites; Gen. 48 2 2 Jos. 24 32 give different accounts of the 
Israelite title to the place. That in the days of Abimelech it was still Canaan- 
ite appears beyond question from the following story. The difference in this 
point between Jos. 24 and Jud. 9 is an argument against ascribing the latter 
to E; see, however, Bu., p. 119 n. On the use of nnus S see on I3 2 . 2M no 
is virtually a compound noun; cf. the plur. P13M rvs Nu. I 2 &c. (never T3 
nnx); not, the house of his mother s father, but his mother s fathers-house, 
family. 2. Sa ^JIMS ~^"<] speak in the hearing of, before; for one s self 
(Gen. 50*) or in behalf of another (Gen. 44 18 ) ; sometimes, address one in 
the presence of another (Gen. 23 10 - 13 - 1G ). It does not appear that the phrase, 
which is a common one,^f has any peculiar emphasis, urge the question (Kitt.). 
-iriM CM S33 SsD DM . . . E"N a^j, 3S D33 Sfc sn] the alternative with DM . . . n, 
20 28 2 S. 24 13 I K. 22 G - 15 &c.; cf. Jud. 2 22 . The subject of the inf. is here 

* Cf. Dt. I2 16 - 24. t Somewhat similarly, Hitzig, G VI. i. p. 115. 

J Serar., Schm., Stud., Be., Sta., al. 

Winckler propounds as a novelty the old conjecture that Millo was the name 
of Abimelech s mother s family. || On holy trees, see on 4 11 6 11 . 

H Cf. also, Ss \J7N3 ISM i7 2 ; Mip Ex. 24". 



244 JUDGES 

separated from it by the complementary prep, and its object. In such cases 
the subj. is to be regarded as a nominative; see Ges. 2 115, 2. 4. CV" ] 
II 3 (Jephthah s band) 2 S. 6-> 2 Chr. 13" (]| S; ^j >ja). Prop. empty (7 1U ); 
idle (Prov. I2 11 28 19 ) ; wanton (2 S. 6 20 ). Others, portionless (It inopes), 
like Jephthah himself (cf. Neh. 5 13 ), men without a stake in society; or good 
for nothing, like the empty ears of grain, Gen. 4i- 7 , homines nullius frugis 
(Stud.). Cf. pa.K.6. Matt. 5--; Kautzsch, Aram. Gram., p. 10. avno] 
Zeph. 3 4T cf. Jer. 23 3 - (nvns) Gen. 49 4 . In Arab, the verb means act arro 
gantly, insolently, swagger ; in Aram, and Syr. it is used more particularly of 
the impudent boldness of men heated by wine, or of reckless licentiousness. 
The notion of perfidy which Abuhv. finds in the lieb. word is not confirmed 
by the usage, fJ-ven. i reuchi. m. Aruch p-^ ( c f. Ki.). 6. N^:p r.<a] compare 
the Millo (xi Si :n, always with the article) in Jerusalem, 2 S. 5 9 I K. g 15 - 24 ii -~ 
2 Chr. 32"; an important part of the defences of the city ((S usually 77 <5;cpa). 
At a Beth-millo (query, in Jerusalem?) Joash was murdered (2 K. I2- 1 ). 
Following & NPi^ s r (= Heb. n^o Is. 3y 33 , cf. Ra.) and the context in 
i K. ii- 7 , the word is commonly interpreted fill (of earth), earth-work 
(Ges. T/ies. ), more specifically, an outwork covering the entrance to a city or 
fortress (SS., cf. Sta., GVI. i. p. 343). These etymological explanations are 
uncertain; the word is apparently Canaanite. We have no clue to the site; 
the place must have been near Shechem. 3iT p?N C"] H points 2x2 as 
ptcp. Moph. ((Sen. 28 1 -), a tree set up (cf. Ii 3L), which is perilously near 
nonsense. Context and construction require the designation of a particular 
tree; in place of as:: we should have a genitive with the article. (gALi Vai. g =:= 
Trpos TTJ @a\dvi{i TTJS crTCicrews pronounced 3os*:[n] (Jos. 4 3 cf. I S. 13-"); cf. A 
eTTi TreSiov crr^Xw^aros 3T xr"p i"" 1 !: C". In the light of Jos. 24 2(if - we need 
have no hesitation in emending na-^ri p^x. That ^^ is a noun of the same 
meaning as rax;: (Stud., SS., al.) is a much more hazardous conjecture; the 
article is indispensable, and the noun-type 2-sp inexplicable. In other places 
the rasa has been rendered harmless by substitution of ra?2 (Gen. 33- ); cf. 
Gen. 3 1 49 (DBSS, cf. v. 45 ) and S a here masp e ya. 

7-21. Jotham s apologue. Jotham is apprised of the pro 
ceedings, and, from a safe position on Mt. Gerizim, shouts in the 
ears of the assembly his fable of the trees who made them a king, 
giving it a pointed application to the Shechemites and their new 
lord. The application is not on all fours with the fable. The 
proper lesson of the fable is, that the good and useful members 
of the community have too much to do in their own station and 
calling to leave it for the onerous responsibilities of the kingdom ; 
it is only the idle and worthless who can be persuaded to take the 



* Also BX with the doublet rfj fvperfj (sss:n) ; cf. 



245 

office. It is natural to see in the former part of the fable a refer 
ence to Jerubbaal, who declined the kingdom which the unworthy 
Abimelech had just assumed ; * but if this contrast was in the 
writer s mind, he does not bring it out more distinctly in the 
sequel, which is exclusively occupied with Abimelech. The most 
striking incongruity is in the very point of the application. In 
v. 15 the question is, whether the trees are acting in good faith 
toward the box-thorn in making him king ; in v. 1G , whether in 
making Abimelech king the Shechemites have acted in faith and 
honour toward Jerubbaal and his house. f 

From this discrepancy it has been inferred that the fable (v. 8 " 15 ) 
was not original with the author of v. 7 " 21 , but was borrowed by 
him, perhaps from a collection of popular apologues, and put to 
a use quite foreign to its native purport. J It is somewhat hazard 
ous, however, to draw this conclusion from the premises. Faith 
and honour are indeed used with a different reference in v. 1G from 
that which they implicitly have in v. 15 ; the application is logically 
defective. But such looseness of connexion is not altogether 
uncommon in the moral of apologues ; the parables of the New 
Testament would furnish more than one example. While we 
concede the possibility, therefore, that the author has here drawn 
upon the stores of folk-wisdom, rather than on his own inven 
tion, this supposition is by no means necessary ; and it remains 
the simpler and more natural hypothesis that the fable is of the 
same conception with the rest of the speech. If this be the 
case, it is very doubtful whether we should see in the fable a 
judgment upon the kingdom as a form of government, such 
as a number of recent critics are disposed to find in it. || 
The author had in mind a concrete instance, beyond which 
he had no occasion to travel. The attempt to determine the 



* Ch. 8~ f -. So the older interpreters generally ; see comm. on v. 13 . The reason 
for refusing the kingdom in cp ff - is totally different from that given in 8^. 

t This is true, even if, with Doom., we regard v." ib - 9a as a gloss ; for these 
verses are at least a correct exposition of the author s meaning (Smend). 

J See Reuss, GA T. 104 ; Wildeboer, Letterkundc d. O. V., p. 39-41 ; cf. Smend, 
Alttest. Religionsgesch. p. 66 n. 

^ Cf. e.g. the parable of the Unjust Steward, Lu. I6 1 - - 1 . Stud, refers to the con 
fusion of figures in John io lff -. 

|| So, in different ways, Reuss, Wildeboer, Bu., Smend, al. 



246 JUDGES 

age of the fable by its attitude to the kingdom is therefore very 
precarious.* 

Jotham s speech is hardly to be deemed historical ; f it is the 
way in which the author sets forth, at the appropriate moment, 
the true nature of the new kingdom, and foretells what will come 
of it (cf. v. 50 -). It is noteworthy, however, that these words are 
uttered, not, as in so many similar cases, by a nameless prophet, 
or by an angel, but by the man from whose lips they come with 
the most dramatic fitness. In this also we may perhaps see 
evidence of the antiquity of the whole story. J With the apo 
logue, cf. especially 2 K. i4 9 . 

7. People told Jotham^ that the citizens of Shechem were 
making Abimelech king. The author apparently represents 
Jotham as addressing the multitudes assembled at the holy tree 
to acclaim the king (v/ 1 ). The words lose much of their point if 
we imagine that, after Abimelech had again left Shechem, Jotham 
himself called the people of the town together on Mt. Gerizim 
and delivered to them his speech. He stood on the top of Mt. 
Gerizim~\ Mt. Gerizim is on the southern side of the valley in 
which Shechem lies, Mt. Ebal on the northern ; see above, on 
v. 1 . || From the summit of Gerizim, more than nine hundred feet 
high, a man could hardly make himself heard by people in the 
valley below ; ^[ but the writer s language need not be pressed to 
this absurdity. Modern travellers have remarked a projecting 
crag on the side of the mountain, which forms a triangular plat 
form overlooking the town and the whole valley, a natural pulpit 
admirably suited to the requirements of the story.** Listen to 
me, ye freemen of Shechem, and may God listen to you /] may 
God give ear to your prayers as you give ear to me. 

8-15. The Fable. 8. Once upon a time the trees went about 
to anoint a king over thcni\ they offer the kingdom first to the 



* See, e.g., Reuss, Wildeboer. 

t See, on the opposite side, Kitt., GdH. i. 2. p. 76. J We. $ Kitt. 

|| On Gerizim see Giterin, Samaric, \. p. 424 ff. ; SIVP. Memoirs, ii. p. 148 f., 
187-193. H Kue. 

** Furrer, \Yandernngen durch Palastina, 1865, p. 244 f. ; BL. ii. p. 330; Biid 3 ., 
p. 222. 



IX. 7-13 247 

olive, which in the zone in which it flourishes is the most valuable 
of trees to man ; olea . . . prima omnium arborum est (Columella).* 
In the fertile vale of Shechem (Nabulus) there are still extensive 
and beautiful groves of olive trees. f 9. The olive declines the 
proffered honour. Shall I stop my fatness, with which gods and 
men are honoured^ f^ has, which God and men honour in me ; \ 
but this is probably an alteration from motives of reverence. 
We expect something corresponding to v. 13 , my wine that rejoices 
gods and men; and so the versions generally interpret, though 
the same motive which prompted the correction in fH is apparent 
in their renderings. || As men anointed themselves on feast days, 
and as the head of a guest was anointed as a sign of honour, so 
oil was poured or smeared on the sacred stones which stood for 
the god, and in which, at least in older times, he was believed to 
dwell ; cf. Gen. 28 35 14 .1[ And as oil is in Palestine an impor 
tant article of food, taking the place of butter with us, it is offered 
to the gods with their bread.** And come to rule over the trees~\ 
lit. sway ; the characteristic movement of a tree (Is. 7-), repre 
sented as a gesture of authority ; his subjects must obey his beck 
and nod. 10. They next invite the fig to be their king, but he 
also declines. 11. Shall I stop my sweetness and my prolific 
crop~\ the fig tree bears at two or even three seasons of the year,ft 
and its fruit, fresh or dried, is not only a delicious luxury but one 
of the food staples of the country. \\ 12. Then they turn to the 
vine, only to meet the same refusal. 13. Shall I stop my juice 
that gladdens gods and meji\ exhilarates them. Wine was used in 
libations wherever the grape was known. Among the Greeks and 
Romans it was poured over the sacrificial flesh ; in Israel, at least 



* DC re mstica, v. 8 ; other ancient testimonies are collected by Celsius, Hiero- 
botanicon, ii. p. 334 ft". On the olive in Palestine, see Anderlind, ZDPV. xi. 1888, 
p. 69-77 Thomson, Land and Book-, iii. p. 33 ft". 

t Van de Velde, Narrative, i. p. 386; Rosen, 7.DMG. xiv. p. 638; Petermann, 
Reiseri-, p. 266. J So also most recensions of ; see crit. note. 

$ Geiger, Urschrift, p. 327. || Compare the translations of v. 13 . 

It The custom prevailed very widely ; see references in Di. on Gen. 28 18 , and 
W. R. Smith, cited in the next note. 

** See W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 214 f. On the various uses of 
.oil for food see DB. s.v. 

ft Pliny, n. A., xvi. 113, 114; Shaw, Travels*, 1757, p. 342; Dffi. s.v. 
JJ Fig trees at Nabulus, see Rosen, l.s.c.; Anderlind, I.e. p. 80. 



248 JUDGES 

in later times, it was poured on the ground by the altar ; * prob 
ably in the primitive practise it was poured out before or at the 
foot of the standing stone. The wine which the god thus par 
takes of with his worshippers has the same effect on him as on 
them. 

The teaching of this part of the fable is that men whose char 
acter and ability fit them to rule are unwilling to sacrifice their 
usefulness and the honour they enjoy in a private station, for the 
sake of power. By the repetition of the offer and refusal, the 
author generalizes ; no man of standing in the community would 
want to be king.f The general assertion may, however, be made 
for a particular application, and does not necessarily convey a 
judgement upon the kingdom in principle. Whether we find in it 
such a judgement will depend on our opinion about the origin of 
the fable ; see above, p. 245. However that may be, the older 
interpreters were doubtless right in seeing in the fable in its 
present connexion a contrast between Gideon s refusal (S jL>f -) and 
Abimelech s ready acceptance of regal name and power, t 
14. Their proffer of the kingdom being rejected by all the better 
sort, the trees come down to the common box-thorn, a plant of 
very opposite character from those which they had previously 
addressed ; bearing no fruit, giving no shade, yielding no timber ; 
a useless and noxious cumberer of the ground. 15. Here at 
last they found one who was ready to be their king. - If yon are 
anointing me king orer you in good faith~\ if it be not jest and 
mockery, but serious earnest. Come, take refuge in my shadow~\ 
put yourselves under my protection and confide in me. The 
irony of the fable has its climax in the seriousness of this pledge 
of protection : the image of the trees of forest and field seeking 
shelter in the shadow of the thorn-bush has in it the whole 
absurdity of the situation. Men wanted a king to defend them 
from their enemies (8~ f i S. 9" ) : of what use was a king who 



* Ecclus. so 1 " ; Fl. Jos., antt. iii. 9, 4 \> 234 ; see Di. on Xu. 15" aS 7 ; \V. R. Smith, 
Religion of the Semites, p. 213 f. 

t The Midrash gives an allegorical interpretation : the olive represents Othniel ; 
the fig, Deborah ; the vine, Gideon. See Yalqut, ii. ^ 65 : Ra. ad loc. Jos. Kimehi 
explained the three trees of Gideon, his son, and grandson (S - 23 ). 

1 See Cler. and Schm. on v. 16 . 



IX. I 3 -I5 249 

could not do that ? But if not, fire shall go forth from the box- 
thorn and devour the cedars of Lebanon^ it was doubtless not an 
uncommon thing for a fire, starting among thorns, to spread to 
field and orchard (Ex. 22), or forest (Is. p 18 ), so that the lowly 
thorn became the destruction of fhe stateliest trees. The cedars 
of Lebanon represent the opposite extreme of creation from the 
thorn ; see 2 K. i4 !) , Jehoash s insulting answer to Amaziah of 
Judah. Where there is no power to help, there may be infinite 
possibilities of harm. Those who made the thorn king over them 
put themselves in this dilemma : if they were true to him, they 
enjoyed his protection, which was a mockery ; if they were false 
to him, he would be their ruin.* 

8. uSn -ji^n] the inf. abs. at the beginning of the sentence in cases like 
this has very little emphasis; cf. Gen. 26- 8 43 7 . roi jD] Qere naSc; similarly 
^2 v. 10 - 12 Qere ^; cf. Ps. 26- I S. 28", Ges. 2;i 48, 5; Ko., i. p. 163-166; 
Praetorius, ZA TW. iii. p. 55. 9. ^n^rn] v. 11 - 1: \ The punctuation is entirely 
anomalous, and has given rise to much discussion; see Stud., and Ko., i. p. 240 
242.1 The most probable explanation is that the punctuation intends a Iloph. 
with n interrogative, assuming the elision of the n preformative; shall I be 
compelled to give up, &c. (Ol. 89; Sta. 175 a; Ko., i. p. 242). What the 
author intended is another question. It seems at first sight simplest to take 
the verb as Kal with n interrogative (VP^rvi) ; J but STI is never construed 
with ace. (poetical instances where the object is an inf., such as Job 3 17 , are 
not in point). I prefer, therefore, to regard it as Hiph. ( nS^rn), cause to 
leave off, stop. That the Hiph. does not elsewhere occur is of no great 
weight. The absence of the interrogative particle is no objection; see the 
following note. The idiomatic use of the perfect in these exclamatory ques 
tions is to be noted; cf. Gen. i8 12 i S. 25" (Tnp^i), Dr 3 . 19. It seems to 
be akin to the use of the perfect in hypotheses contrary to reality. || The 
interrogative particle is not usual in such cases. \J - "], pingtiis oliva, Verg., 
gtorg. ii. 424; Hor., epod. ii. 54 f. ; cf. Rom. II 17 . D tt j.si D nSx H33 o lU .x] 
so (gALMXOPV g [ c. (B v fj d(rov(riv TOV 6ebi> AvSpes; IL qua et dii utiintur 
et homines ; & with which they honour Y., and in which men luxuriate ; 



* Stud. 

t Of the Jewish grammarians, De Balmis regards the form as Kal (fol. 9i b end) ; 
Abuhvalid, as Hiph. (Luma , p. 325) ; Kimchi, as Hoph. (Michlol, fol. 63 b f., ed. 
Lyck). 

J Stud., Be., Ko., al.; cf. Ges.*> p. 167. 

\ OL, Sta. ; cf. Ew. This reading is found in the margin of the first two Bom- 
berg edd., and in an Erfurt cod. (JHMich.). 

|| There is a special reason for the impf. in Jud. ir sj . 



250 JUDGES 

JO because by me God and men are honoured* How far these versions had a 
different text from Jl is not clear. They have at least interpreted with a 
correct perception of what the context requires. For o we must then emend 
12 (with which}, and should prefer to pronounce the verb as Niph. (nav), 
though the Pi. with indefinite subject, is not impossible. 10. ^m] see on 
v. 8 . 11. pr": ] cf. the adj. pirs I4 14 - 18 . The primary sense seems to be, 
something which one sucks; cf. Syr. niethaq (Low, Pflanzennamen, p. 333). 
\~2ijr] Ez. 36 :jJ Dt. $2 U . 13. u-nv] the juice of the grape, must, Mi. 6 15 ; 
frequently named with corn ( J" 1 ) and fresh oil ("""is 11 ) as one of the chief 
products of agriculture, e.g. Jer. 3I 1 2 ; as such it is subject to the tithe 
(Dt. I2 17 ), &c. The corresponding Syriac word |ut?).^3 is defined in the 
native lexicons as must, fresh grape juice as it comes from the press ; see 
PS. 1635. In the O.T. u-n\- is used not only of sweet must (D D;:), but of 
grape juice which has undergone fermentation (p) ; cf. e.g. Hos. 4 11 ; so here. 
The etymology still maintained by Ges. 77u-s., 633 f., Fleischer, al. (quia 
inebriat, cerebrum occupaf) is at variance with both the form and meaning of 
the word. 14. "t jsn] rhamnus, (@1L. So in Punic; Dioscorides, i. 119 (ed. 
Sprengel, i. p. 114), pd/j,vos Arppol dradiv (Boch., Cels., Low, Pflanzennamen, 
p. 404); Arab., Syr. dial.; see Low, p. 44. The common species in Palestine- 
is Lycium Europaeiim Linn., spread over the whole country (DB-. i. p. 451). 

16-20. The application. 16. Ami now~\ to come to the 
moral.- If you hare acted in good faith and honour in making 
Abimclech king as you hare done\ the words correspond to v. 1:> 
(/;/ good faith), but are used with a different reference, as imme 
diately appears. In v. 1 3 the question is of their good faith to the 
new king ; in \-. l6 - M of good faith to Jerubbaal and his family. If 
it is thought too improbable a hypothesis that the author invented 
an apologue that does not in strict logic tally with the application 
he intended to make of it, the alternative is to suppose that he 
borrowed and adapted an older fable, the lesson of which was not 
quite the same that he wished to inculcate. f This explanation, 
however, creates other difficulties ; for v. 1 ^ is obviously not a 
natural ending for an independent fable of the purport generally 
attributed to v.* 15 ; it is appropriate, and we might almost say 
intelligible, only as foreshadowing the ruin which Abimelech 
brought upon the Shechemites. Moreover, in the following nar 
rative itself it is the unfaithfulness of the men of Shechem to 



* Several older commentators whose exegetical tact was stronger than their 
grammar, translate fH in the same way ; so Vatabl., Drus., Celsius, al. 
t See above, p. 245. 



IX. i6-i8 251 

Abimelech that is the cause of their undoing, however justly 
this may be regarded as a retribution for their unfaithfulness to 
Jerubbaal. The simplest and most natural explanation seems to 
be that in pointing his moral the author s logic is not strictly 
consequent. Ami if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal^ the 
triple protasis in v. 1(! is separated from its apodosis (v. 19b ) by a 
parenthetic review of Jerubbaal s deserts and the sins of the 
Shechemites (v. 17f -) ; v. lya repeats the substance of v. 16 to resume 
the interrupted construction. In the nature of the case, v. 17f are 
not organically related to the context, and could be omitted with 
out leaving a gap. I see no sufficient reason, however, for regard 
ing them as an interpolation ; they have a vigour and an individu 
ality of expression which are not usually found in glosses.* If 
you have done to him as he deserved ] lit. according to the desert 
of his hands; cf. Is. 3". 17. To give emphasis to the last 
words, he reminds them of Jerubbaal s services, and of the way 
in which they have been requited. In that my father fought for 
you~\ with deepening feeling, my father, instead of Jerubbaal as 
before. And hazarded his life~\ lit. cast his life straight away, 
as a thing of which he recked not; cf. s 18 .| And rescued you} 
it is to be noted that the writer thinks of the people of Shechem 
as Israelites, at variance with v. LW -. 18. Whereas you have risen 
against my father s house and have slain his sons ] this was their 
return for the dangers he had incurred and the deliverance he had 
wrought for them. The Shechemites had with full cognizance 
furnished Abimelech the means to kill his brothers (v. 24 ), and 
shared his guilt in the crime by which they jointly profited (cf. v 2 ) . 
Seventy men on one stone ] the words are here somewhat super 
fluous, and may be borrowed from vA The son of his maid 
servant^ slave-concubine. In 8 31 Abimelech s mother is Gideon s 
concubine, apparently a free woman ; see comm. there. The 
difference of representation probably existed in the sources. 
Because he is your brother] kinsman, fellow-countryman ; v. 2 - 3 . 



* Uoorn. thinks that v.l6b-i9a j s a ll a gloss. Smend, who adopts this opinion, 
recognizes that the verses are at least a correct exposition of the author s meaning 
(Alttest. Religionsgesch., p. 66 n.). 

t The phrase, cast behind one, is commoner (i K. 14 - &c.). Cler. cites Lucan, 
iv. 516 : Project vitam, comites, c. 



252 JUDGES 

19. If, I say, you have acted in good faith ] resuming the protasis 
(v. 1G ) after the digression, v. M -. Rejoice in Abimclech and nun- 
he rejoice in yoit~\ I wish you all joy in one another in your new 
relation. The words have an ironical ring ; much happiness may 
you have in this bramble-king of yours. 20. But if not, fire 
shall go forth from AbimelecJi\ the figure of the fable, v. 1: b . 
And fire shall go forth from the freemen of Shechem, cr-r.] here 
he goes beyond the fable ; not only shall their unworthy king be 
fatal to them, but they to him. With this parting curse he left 
them ; its fulfilment is declared in v/ (;f -, cf. v. 4 -~ 4;i - r0 " 4 . 21. Jotham 
made his escape to Beer, beyond the reach of Abimelech s ven 
geance. The site of Seer is unknown. S. Schmid and Studer are 
of the opinion that Beersheba, in the remote south, is meant. 
Others think that it is the same as Beeroth (Jos. 9 2 S. 4-), now 
el-Blreh, three hours north of Jerusalem.* The name (Well) is 
too common to make this identification anything more than a 
possibility. 

21. n ">X2] Euseb. (OS-. 2387:3) identifies Beer with a village of the name 
(B?7pa) 8 m. X. of Eleutheropolis; probably the modern Khirbet el-Bireh, 
W. of Ain Shems (Beth-shemesh) ; so Ke.f Maundrell (1697) anc Iceland 
(Palaestina, p. 617 f.) regarded el-Bireh north of Jerusalem as the Beer of 
our text. Eshtori Parchi (fol. 68 ") identified this Bireh with Beeroth, and 
since Robinson (J3R-. i. p. 452) this has been the prevailing opinion. J Many, 
as has been said above, believe Beer and Beeroth to be the same place, and 
put them both at el-Bireh. Beeroth belonged to the Gibeonite confederacy, 
and was doubtless at this time a Canaanite town (2 S. 2I 1 , cf. 4-). 

22-25. The Shechemites and Abimelech fall out. God sends 
a spirit of discord between Abimelech and the people of Shechem, 
in just retribution for their common crime. The Shechemites lie 
in wait in the mountains and rob passers by. The verses form 
the introduction to one of the two accounts of Abimelech s attack 
on Shechem (v. 42 " 15 ), and are parallel to v. 2 "" ". This version may 
with considerable confidence be ascribed to E ; observe elolum, 

* On el-BTreh, see Rob. ,BR~. i. p. 451-454; Tobler, Topographic -con Jerusalem, 
ii. p. 495-501 ; Guerin, Judee, iii. p. 7-13; S\VP. Memoirs, iii. p. 3 f . ; DB-. s.v. 
" Beeroth." 

t The distance is, however, considerably greater than Eusebius gives. 

J Sandreczki and Ke. dissent, on the ground that el-BIreh is too remote from 
Gibeon. 



ix. i 9 -2 5 253 

v. 23 , and compare the reflections of v. 24 with Jotham s speech, v. 16 ~ 18 , 
and v. 561 -. 22. Abimelech ruled over Israel three years~\ in the 
foregoing narrative we have heard only how Abimelech was made 
king of Shechem and Beth-millo (v. 6 - 18 - 20 ). In what follows it 
appears that he did not reside at Shechem, and he lost his life in 
trying to put down the revolt of Thebez. It is evident, therefore, 
that his power extended over other cities in Central Palestine ; 
that it included Israelites as well as Canaanites appears from v/" ; 
but the statement that he ruled over Israel is not borne out by the 
rest of the chapter, and is strikingly at variance with v. 23 25 , which 
speaks only of Shechem.* There is therefore good reason to 
suspect that this chronological note is not an original part of the 
story, but an editorial addition. 23. God sent an evil spirit } a 
mischief-making spirit; compare the madness of Saul, i S. i6 14 
i8 lu (the evil spirit of God) ip 9 , and the delusion of Ahab s 
prophets, i K. 22 19 ~ 2n . God is the author of the fatal mistakes 
and misdeeds of men, which they commit to their own undoing ; 
he sends a spirit of infatuation into them to impel them blindly to 
their ruin. This belief corresponds very closely to the Greek idea 
of art), even in the personification of this spirit (i K. 22 2U23 ).t 
The men of Shechem were false to Abimelech^ cf. v. 15-1Ga . 
24. God sent this spirit to foment mischief between them, in 
order that, in fitting retribution, these partners in crime might 
inflict upon each other the just punishment of their deed ; cf. 
v. 56 -, v. 4 - 1S . Some disorder has been introduced into the text, 
apparently in the attempt to render it more explicit, or more 
emphatic; see critical note. 25. Put men in ambush on the 
hill tops to his damage, and robbed all who passed by them on the 
road~\ the position of Shechem, on two of the main arteries of 
trade and travel through Mt. Ephraim, J made this particularly 
serious ; cf. Hos. 6 9 . In what way Abimelech was a sufferer by this 
above others, we are not told. He may himself have levied toll 
on those who passed through his district, in which case his rev 
enues would fall off in the insecurity of the roads ; and doubtless 
those who were about his business, or who were bearing tribute to 



* Cf. also v.2i. f See Sta., G VI. i. p. 435 ; cf. above on 3!, p. 87 f. 

J See above, p. 240. 



254 JUDGES 

him (cf. 3 15 ), would be especially welcome objects of plunder to 
the Shechemites. It was told to Abimelech ] the words have no 
connexion with the following story of Gaal s intrigue (v. 2G ~- J ), but 
are parallel to v. 1 33 , and would naturally be followed by the state 
ment that Abimelech with his soldiers marched against Shechem. 
We probably have the continuation of this narrative in v. 4 - ff ; see 
there. 

22. c MJ pointed by H as if derived from -\\y (like ->cn &c.), cf. -Tvtrn 
I los. S 4 ; in Is. 32 1 nil" 1 as from IT.: . The latter is preferable; see Ki3., i. 
p. 328, 352; and note above on ipi 6 3S . 24. ^y EV;* S EIII . . . Din !s n s 
l^ax] the change of subject between the two inff. (that the murder , . . might 
come, and that he might put the guilt of their blood on Abimelech ) is intolerably 
harsh. (5 straightens out the construction by rendering TOV firayayelv, but 
there is no reason to think that they read s^anS. Probably aiS S was intro 
duced by an ancient scribe who missed the government of C""". The resulting 
awkwardness of structure reminds us of 3-. ^a-p ja B^ar Din] objective 
genitive, as usual with this noun; the crime committed against them, cf. 
Obacl. i 10 Ilab. 2 s 1 " Gen. i6 5 . 25. DO INI] ptcp. Pi., 2 Chr. 20- . STJ] 
rob, c. ace. pers., cf. Dt. 28-; carry off by force (t apere) Jud. 2I- 3 . s > ~Q>] 
i K. 9 s 2 K. 4. 

26-41. Gaal incites the people of Shechem to revolt; they 
are defeated by Abimelech. Gaal, a new-comer in the place, 
persuades the Shechemites to throw off Abimelech s yoke, and 
puts himself at their head (v. 2( " L>y ) . He is disconcerted by Abime 
lech s sudden appearance before the town, but goes out to battle 
against him (v. :w "" /J ). The Shechemites are badly beaten, and 
driven within their walls ; Gaal and his clansmen are thrust out 
(v. 40 -). The narrative has the realism and the humour which 
belong to the best Hebrew folk-stories, and in many respects 
reminds us of the story of Samson. As the other strand in this 
chapter has in general the features of E, we may at least pro 
visionally ascribe this part of the narrative to ]. 

26. Gaal ben Ebed and his kinsmen ] son of a slare is evi 
dently a perversion of the name, which was probably Obed ; see 
crit. note. Whether these new-comers were Israelites or Canaan- 
ites is not clear; see on v.- s . And moved into Shecheni\ so 
the words should probably be translated. The expression is an 
unusual one, and hardly says what we should have expected in the 
context ; but the Hebrew text is supported by all the versions. 



ix. 25-28 255 

The citizens of Shechem put confidence in hini\ by what arts he 
insinuated himself into their confidence we may learn from the 
following verses, in which Gaal appears as a shrewd demagogue. 
27. They celebrated the completion of the vintage, according 
to custom, by a feast at the temple of their god ; see note. Such 
an occasion could hardly fail to quicken local patriotism, and 
bring to the surface whatever latent dissatisfaction there was with 
the rule of their half-Israelite and evidently non-resident king. 
They ate and drank, and reviled Abimelech. 28. Gaal took 
advantage of this temper to instigate a revolt and offer himself 
as a leader. Unfortunately, v. 28 is obscure, and the text perhaps 
not intact. In the connexion the following points seem to be 
certain: i. Gaal does not foment an insurrection of Israelite 
denizens against the rule of the Shechemite Abimelech, but of 
the native Shechemites against the half-Israelite Abimelech. 
2. Of whatever race Gaal may have been, he identifies himself 
with the men of Shechem and speaks as one of them.* 3. He 
appeals to their national pride in the people of Hamor father of 
Shechem, the old blue blood of Canaan against this usurping half- 
breed. In this sense the verse is understood by Rashi, who gives, 
upon the whole, the most satisfactory interpretation of ffl, : " Who 
is Abimelech, that he should be ruler of Shechem, and who are 
the Shechemites, that they should be subject to Abimelech ? Is 
not Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal, who was from the Abiezrite 
Ophrah ; | and is not Zebul merely his lieutenant ? The master 
has no rightful authority in the city, and his lieutenant is of no 
account at all. If you are bent on getting yourselves masters, 
come and be subject to the men of Hamor, who was anciently 
the prince of the land ; why should we be subject to Abimelech? " 
The structure of the latter part of the verse is much simplified, 
however, if instead of the imperative, Serve the men of Hamor, 
we pronounce the verb as a perfect : Were not the son of Jerub 
baal and Zebul his lieutenant (formerly) subjects of the people of 
Hamor abi-Shechem ? Why, then, should we (now) be subject to 
him ? In the first half of the verse the antithesis in the clauses, 



* It is by no means clear that he was an Israelite, as We., Kue., al. think, 
t I.e. an Israelitish stranger. 



256 JUDGES 

Who is Abiinclcch ? and who is Sheckem, that we should serve 
him ? seems to many scholars to be unsatisfactory ; they think 
that we should have a synonymous expression, as in i S. 25 1 ", 
" Who is David, and who the son of Jesse? " I3ut in the light of 
the following, as I understand it, the antithesis is not only toler 
able but effective. Is Abimelech king in his own right? Is 
Shechem naturally his empire, that we should be subject to him? 
So far from it, he himself was formerly a subject of the old 
Hamorite nobility of Shechem. I see no necessity, therefore, 
for any radical change in the text; see critical note. Hamor 
abi-Shechem~\ Gen. 33 1!l 34 ; the old Canaanite aristocracy. 
29. Would that I had the direction of this people; I would get 
rid of Abimelech . ] like a consummate demagogue he first arouses 
the passions of his hearers, then adroitly puts himself forward as 
the man for the crisis. / would sa\ to Abimelech, Enlarge your 
army and come o ///. ] I would defy him to maintain his authority 
over Shechem by arms. So () : %] has, he said to Abimelech. In 
view of v. :!l)f -, the latter reading cannot be interpreted, he sent this 
challenge to Abimelech ; we could only understand the words as 
a swaggering apostrophe in his speech to the Shechemites.* 



26. i3> ]l -;M] 6 BX * vios Iw/37?A (AVLMO 3 t Ae5). E\v., GVI. ii. p. 485. 
thought Sav (an old Canaanite name) the more probable reading; similarly 
KAIL-., Doom., Sta., Kaut/.sch, Bu., Kitt.,f supposing that i ?>3 p (Yahweh is 
Baal) was offensive to later scribes, and was intentionally altered to i2>. 
Iw/^TjX (for Io>/37;5 53 by a common uncial error) is simply "Oi"; cf. I Chr. II 47 
( B ) i Chr. 2 :iT (Aal.) j Chr. 26 ( AaL ) 2 Chr. 23! ( Aal -). So here codd. of * 
(S2/3775 :!l 12j8i5 5li [S]u;/3r75 M (dittogr.), and 11 Obed. J The matter is of some 
importance, for if the name really were ^i av, we should be certain that Gaal 
was an Israelite, independently of the difficult v.- s . - cri U ropi] 2 -o; , pass 
through, traverse : I S. 9 4 and very often. Dt. 29 11 , which is cited by Be.. 
al. in illustration of our verse, is not parallel; r"n:n ia> is probably to be 
explained from rites like those referred to in Jer. 34 18f -. 27. D^-iSn] Lev. 
19- ; the fruit of trees in the fourth year of their bearing is mmS a^iSn jr-ip. 
The word was evidently the name of a festive celebration, accompanied proba 
bly by noisy hilarity, and obligatory shouting in honour of the god. See 
Sprenger, I.ebcn Mohammad, iii. p. 527; Lagarde, Orientalia, ii. p. 13-20; 



* So Ki., Stud. ; cf. Re. t Cf. also We., TBS. p. xii. f. 

j So also Hollenberg, TL/.. 1891, col. 371. 

\J On the reading c^iSn and the rabbinical interpretation of this passage, see 
Geiger, Urschrifl, p. 181 ff.; Malbim on Sifra in loc. (^^rnp { 67). 



IX. 28-29 257 

Mittheilungen, i. p. 227; We., Pro/ 3 , iii. p. 114, and esp. Reste arab, Hei- 
dentumes, p. 107-109. A similar feast at Shiloh, Jud. 2i 19ff -. 28. On this 
verse see Oort, Godgeleerde Bijdragen, 1866, p. 991; Kuenen, Th.T. \. 
p. 703 f. ; Gvl. i. p. 299 f.; \Vellhausen, TBS. p. xiii.; Comp., Nachtrage, 
p. 353 f. n. ; Stade, GVL i. p. 194 f.; W. R. Smith, Th. T. xx. 1886, p. 195-198; 
Kautzsch, ZA TIV. x. 1890, p. 299 f.; Kittel, Gdll. i. 2. p. 77 f. The versions 
agree substantially with $?. (& has in the second clause /cal rls iariv vibs 
^.vxefJ., which is adopted by Oort, Kue., Be., al.; also by We. (transposing 
son of Jerubbaal and son of Shechem}.* But, as W. R. Smith rightly urges, 
: ;3 does not mean a Shechemite ; "the expression would not be idiomatic- 
even if the Shechemites as a whole were called 03C ^3 instead of D3S iSya." 
Sta. and Bu. therefore return in this particular to H. Further n3> was read 
by OIL ^3? SoDXos auroO.t beside which @ M has the doublet Ka.Te5ov\u<ra.To 
TOI)S di/5pas Efj.fj.wp. The latter is adopted by We. (TO;.^), Oort, J W. R. 
Smith, Sta., Bu., al. We should then translate : Who is Abimelech and who 
Shechem, that we should be subject to him? By all means let the son of 
Jerubbaal and Zebul his lieutenant subject the people of Hamor father of 
Shechem. But why should we (Israelites) be subject to him? (WRS., Sta.). 
Kautzsch would emend "ovi : Is he not the son of Jerubbaal, and Zebul his 
lieutenant? Well, let him (Zebul) serve him then, together with the Hamor- 
ites; but why should we (Israelites) serve him? Attempts have also been 
made to relieve the difficulty by transposition : W. R. Smith thinks that v. 28 *- 
ought to follow immediately on v.--j against which the objections of Sta. 
{GVL i. p. 194 n.) seem conclusive. Bu. thinks that they should stand after 
v. 25 . These critical operations seem to me all to start from false exegetical 
premises. It is assumed, originally on the ground of an erroneous explanation 
of @ s Iw/37jX = s ; 3r, that Gaal was an Israelite, and that he stirred up the 
Israelite part of the population to revolt against the rule of the Shechemite 
king, Abimelech. Thus W. R. Smith : " The whole verse is a Hebrew declara 
tion of revolt against the king of Shechem (9 6 ), who for three years has by 
the aid of his mercenaries tyrannized over Israel (v. 22 ). So too in v. 29 njn oyn 
is Israel, and Gaal closes with an open challenge to Abimelech to come forth 
(evidently from Shechem his capital) to meet the Israelites in the field. >; 
These assumptions conflict not only with the implications of the narrative, but 
with its plain words. Gaal gains the confidence of the 03 ^ ^3 (v. 26 ), i.e. of 
the very people who made Abimelech king (v. 6 - 2) ; it is at their vintage 
festival, at the temple of their god, that he makes his incendiary speech. 
W. R. Smith is constrained, therefore, to sever the verses from their context 
and remove them to a different place. If, however, we follow the guidance 
of the context, we shall see that Gaal instigates the native Shechemites, with 



* So also Oort, Bible for Learners, i. p. 395 ; Kitt. 

t They are thereby constrained to take PN as prep., o-ui/ TOIS av&pdaiv E/U/U.I, 
J Oort, Kue., al. formerly conjectured n3j, Let the Hamorites serve them ! 
\ C3S 3N is a gloss from Gen. 34 6 . 



258 JUDGES 

whose cause he identifies himself, to revolt against the half-Israelite Abime- 
lech; * and shall have no occasion for a more radical change in the text than 
to pronounce nav instead of -TO;;; cf. i S. 4.f The antithesis in the last half- 
verse is not between unjx and ii~n >;rjx; it is between i;n:x and Ji ^a"" fa; 
This son of Jerubbaal and his lieutenant Zebul were subjects of the Hamor- 
ites; why should we, freemen of Shechem. be subjects of his? 29. ;r^ ;] 
Nu. II- 9 Jer. 8- 3 Dt. 28 67 2 S. ig 1 Is. 27* Dt. 5 2G Job 2f illustrate different 
constructions of this phrase. See also SS. p. 449 f. rrvpxi] that I might get 
rid of Abimelech ; voluntative, Dr 3 . 62. i s ^ 2N s -CNM] < Kai epu), i^wi; 
cf. S, whose ambiguous form is understood by c as first person. Doom., 
Reuss, Kitt., Kautzsch, emend accordingly. Cler. would give the vb. an 
indefinite subject, some one told Abimelech; but in the context this is highly 
improbable. n - n ] The origin of this anomalous _ is not clear; Ol. $ 247 
suggests that it may be instead of the _ of the lengthened imv. (obs. the foil, 
nxi ). This view is adopted by Ko. i. p. 534, but as there is no other instance 
of this imv. in rv" 1 , the explanation is doubtful. Some codd. and edd. have _; 
see JI-IMich. 

30-34. Zebul warns Abimelech that treason is hatching. 

Zebul informs Abimelech of Gaal s intrigues, and suggests a plan 
by which he and his followers may be drawn into an engagement 
in the open field. 30. Zebul, the governor of the city\ an official 
(sar~) set over the place by Abimelech to represent him. not the 
burgomaster of the town. $ Wellhausen regards the words of 
Gaal in v. 29 , Zebul, his lieutenant, as mere abuse and insult ; 
Zebul was not really an officer of Abimelech, but the head of the 
Shechemites ; he had so far sympathized with the movement 
against Abimelech ; Gaal, in order to supplant him, throws sus 
picion on his loyalty to the Shechemite cause ; Zebul avenges him 
self by betraying Gaal to Abimelech. || This ingenious hypothesis 



* See above, p. 255. 

t Winckler conjectures inix TOV, which lie translates : If the Hamoritcs serve 
him, &c. 

j There were sar im at Succoth (8), but \ve have no reason to believe that at the 
head of the local government of Canaanite or Israelite cities there was a burgo 
master or mayor. 

Camp., p. 353 f. n.; followed by Kautzseh, 7.AT\\ . x. p. 299. 

|] Only so, We. argues, can we comprehend Abimelech s course after Gaal had 
been expelled (v. 41 ). He did not allow himself to be deceived by Zebul s pretence 
of loyalty; the latter was the real leader of the revolt, and perished in the fall of 
the city. So also Kautzsch and Kitt. But if v. 42ff - is not the sequel of v.- -* 1 , but 
another account of the fate of Shechem from a different source, this argument 
ceases to have any cogency. See further, on v. 41 . 



IX. 30-34 259 

seems to me to conflict with the language of our verse, and with 
the following narrative ; see on v. 3611 - 41 . Zebul had no force at his 
command in Shechem ; it was not garrisoned like a conquered 
city ; it is difficult to see how a loyal official could have acted 
differently in the circumstances, or what ground there is for imag 
ining that he was implicated in the treason. Whether he was a 
Canaanite or an Israelite does not appear. 31. He sent mes 
sengers to Abimelech . . . saying] the word omitted in translation 
is anomalous and probably corrupt ; the versions generally render, 
secretly, or, deceitfully, perfidiously. It would be more to the pur 
pose to have the name of the place where Abimelech made his 
residence ; cf. v. 41 , at Arumah ; see note. Gaal and his kins 
men are coining to Shechem, and arc plotting to take the city from 
thce~\ the translation of the last words is based on the context ; 
they are rendered by the ancient versions, invest, besiege the city 
against thee* which cannot be right. Stir up the city to hostility f 
would suit the context, but is unsupported. 32, 33. Zebul 
counsels Abimelech to come by night and conceal his forces in 
the fields near the city. At sunrise he shall discover himself and 
advance to the attack. Gaal and his followers will be drawn out 
of the city to give battle in the open field, and Abimelech will 
have them in his power. Thou shalt do to him as the occasion 
serves } i S. io 7 . 34. Abimelech adopts Zebul s plan ; and dis 
poses his men under cover in four divisions j cf. 7 1S and below, v. 4! . 



31. nrp-3] (gAi VLMO s M6T( i sdjpuv (,-i-mr) ; B ^ <? Kpv(f>y, !L clam, 
& per dolum ; all connecting it with msir, deceit, fraud, ns-v:, id. So 
Ra., Cler., Schm., Rosenm., Be., Cass., Kitt., Reuss. But, i. nc-tn is an 
unexampled and really inconceivable type of noun (Jos. Kimchi). 2. If na-i.-i 
were a synonym of nsis, the text would not say that Zebul sent secretly to 
Abimelech (1-^5), but that he sent deceitfully or fraudulently, i.e. with intent 
to deceive him (Stud.). Jos. Kimchi regarded it as the name of a place, 
identical with n-ns v. 41 (see Ki., comtn. in loc.~)\ so RLbG., Abarb.,Tremell., 
Piscator; cf. Reland, p. 585. Some modern scholars think that the same 
name, probably Arumah, should be read in both places; so Stud., Doom. 
The construction with i would then be explained, he sent messengers to A., 
who was at Arumah (Stud.). -pS;, 1 T^TI rx B^S Ojni] <J| BN TrepiKdO-rivTai, 
i, 1L oppugnat, 3T pi S, & obsident ; all taking $? correctly 



* This is probably the intention of H. 

t Lth., Cler., Schm., Stud., Ke., Kitt., al. mu. 



26O JUDGES 

as ptcp. of iis. The construction, however, is irregular; besiege is not 113 
c. ace., but ^y iri. The forms of 113 and ~ns l - u - are much confused in the 
punctuation (see SS. p. 621), but it is impossible to make ans a transitive 
derivative of >">, nor, if we should emend Bill s, would the only sense sup 
ported by usage, they treat the city in a hostile manner, attack it, be satis 
factory; make hostile, incite to hostility, is wholly fictitious. Stade (SS. 
p. 62i a ) conj. in this sense Eiisa BJH (Hiph. of 11 s II -), "falls nicht grossere 
Verderbnis vorliegt." Possibly the author wrote aits, lay snares for, plot to 
take ; -\^y would then be, to thy detriment. 33. S;- ars] v. 44 2O :ST ( LI N) 
Job I 17 ; of a body of men suddenly emerging from a covered position, and 
rushing to storm a place or attack an enemy. 34. B^ JO njanN] see on y lu . 

35-38. Abimelech s forces appear on all sides ; Zebul taunts 
the braggart. 35. In the morning Gaal goes out to the gate of 
the city.* As he stands there, Abimelech and his troops discover 
themselves. 36. Gaal descries them and exclaims to Zebul, Sec, 
there is a body of men coming down from the tops of the hills ! ] 
Zebul replies, You see the shadow of tlic hills as men~\ his fears 
make him imagine enemies where there are none ; an insinuation 
of cowardice which is succeeded by downright insult. 37. The 
enemy comes into clearer view ; Gaal makes out the divisions 
advancing from different directions. There is a body coming down 
from near the Navel of the Land, and one division is advancing 
from the wa\ to the Diviner s T/re~\ these localities are unknown : 
the former would seem to be a sacred hill ; the latter is a sacred 
tree, whose name (meoneriim ) indicates that it was, or had been, 
the seat of a certain species of diviners ; cf. the Moreh Tree,t 
also in the vicinity of Shechem (Gen. 12", cf. Jud. 7 ), and the 
Massebah Tree, above v.". The latter is not identical with the 
Meonenim Tree of our verse ; apart from the difference of names, 
the Massebah Tree was in all probability close to the town, which 
the other, as our verse shows, was not. Whether the Meonenim 
Tree here is the same as the Moreh Tree of Gen. 1 2, is uncertain ; 
the names are of somewhat similar, but not the same meaning, 
and there is no reason why there may not have been three, or a 
half dozen, well-known sacred trees in the vicinity of Shechem. 
38. Zebul s irony now turns to open taunt. What has become of 



* Not, mar died out (Ritt.) ; he did not suspect the presence of the enemy. 
t Perhaps an oracle-tree. 



IX. 35-41 26 1 

thy bragging] lit. thy (big) mouth; thy boastful words. When thou 
saidst, Who is Abimelech~] v. 28 . Are not these the men for whom 
thou didst express such contempt? March out, now, and fight with 
them /] Zebul, by reminding Gaal, doubtless in the presence of 
many bystanders in that public place, of his former boasts, goads 
him into fighting. He had indeed no choice ; if he declined the 
challenge, his prestige and influence in Shechem were gone. 

39-41. The battle; defeat of the Shechemites. 39. Gaal 
put himself at the head of the citizens of Shechem and went forth 
to battle.* 40. The Shechemites seem to have made no stand 
against Abimelech, who chased them to the very gate of the city, 
with heavy losses. He did not, however, storm the place. 41. 
Abimelech abode in ArumaJi] if this name is to be restored in v. 1 " 1 
(see comm. there), he returned to his residence, satisfied with the 
chastisement he had inflicted upon the Shechemites for listening 
to the seductions of Gaal. Arumah is not otherwise known ; on 
the sole ground of the similarity of the names some scholars 
identify it with El- Ormeh, two hours SE. of Shechem. f It has 
been conjectured that Arumah is the same as Rumah (2 K. 23 36 ), 
but this also is uncertain. \ And Zebul expelled Gaal and his 
kinsmen, so that they should not live in Shechem] Mi.from living. 
We can well imagine that in the smart of defeat the feelings of 
the Shechemites toward Gaal underwent a sudden revulsion, and 
that they were not unwilling to see him made a scapegoat ; per 
haps also thinking that this would suffice to placate Abimelech. 
The verse manifestly brings the story to an end. Abimelech 
resides at Arumah ; Gaal and his clan are banished from Shechem. 
As the original close of the account of Gaal s insurrection (J) it is 
perfectly intelligible and appropriate. But it is just the opposite 
in its present position. After the withdrawal of Abimelech and 
the expulsion of Gaal, the fresh attack on Shechem, the discom 
fiture of its inhabitants by the same stratagem which had been 



* Not, spectante Sichimonim popnlo H,, Be. 

t Van de Velde, Narrative, ii. p. 303, 307; Guerin, Samarie, ii. 2 f. ; SWP. 
Memoirs, ii. p. 387, 402. For the identification, Raumer, Miihlau, Tristram, al. 

J The Ruma of Euseb. (OS-. 288 1() ), in the vicinity of Diospolis, cannot be the 
place in our text. There was another Ruma in Galilee (Fl. Jos., b.j. iii. 7. 21 
$ 233). has in our verse Api^a. 



262 JUDGES 

employed the day before, and the destruction of the city, in 
which his authority had already been re-established, are inex 
plicable. 

35. iiyn ij C HPS] v. 44 Jos. 8- 2O 4 and often; the entrance of the gate. 
The -*;? extends the whole depth of the wall, often many feet; n.-fl is the 
outer opening. 36. c; 1 ] soldiery, esp. foot soldiers; 4 1:i . 37. "ixn -i-oa] 
(5 6^0a\6s, 3L umbilicus ; C<S> interpret stronghold. The meaning of the 
noun is hardly to be questioned (Mishna, Talm.) ; the sense in which it is 
applied here is uncertain. In Ez. 38 1 - , the only other place where it occurs in 
O.T., it is applied to Judaea as the centre of the earth. Comp. the 6^0a\6s at 
Delphi; umbilicus Siciliae (Cic. contra Verr. iv. 106, c. 48), -umbilicus Grae- 
ciae (Liv., xxxv. 18; Stud.). So it is understood here by Ki., RJes.; an 
elevation in the middle of the district, at the intersection of several roads. 
We should have in any case to suppose that it had become a proper name;* 
but should hardly compare Mt. Arapupiov in Rhodes (Stud.).f See above on 
8 18 (p. 228). =-jji;- frs] Dt. i8 w - 14 Mi. 5"; cf. w, a jji;-, Is. 2 Jer. 2f 
2 K. 2i 6 ; the verb, Lev. 19 -^. See W. R. Smith, Journal of Philology, xiv. 
p. 118; \\e.,l\este arab. Heidentumes, p. 148 n.; Sta., C-VI. i. p. 505. What 
particular kind of divination these a^jjiyr practised is not clear. The root is 
probably p; (We., I.e.}. 38. NIBN H-N] where, then; Job i; 15 Is. ig 1 -. On 
the enclitic NIBS, see BDB. s.v. 40. a^n] i6- 4 . 41. atr-i] <S Ml11 KOI 
fTrf<TTp\j/ev A. KO.I fKaQivev fv Apet/xa = n^nsa au ;< i "p^UN au 11 !. This is proba 
bly only a Greek doublet; but it suggests what may have been the original 
reading in |0. 

42-45. Capture and destruction of Shechem. The next day, 
when the Shechemites came out of the city, Abimelech was in 
waiting for them. While two divisions attacked them in front, 
Abimelech himself, with the troops under his personal command, 
got between them and the city and cut off their retreat. After a 
day s fighting, Abimelech carried the place by assault, put the 
inhabitants to the sword, destroyed the city, and sowed the ruins 
with salt. This is not the continuation of the account in v. J( ~ 40 , 
which has its formal conclusion in v. 41 . We cannot imagine why, 
after their disastrous defeat of the day before (v." 9t ) and the ex 
pulsion of Gaal (v. 41 ), the Shechemites took the field again (v. 4 - ), 
especially as Abimelech had withdrawn, and there was no enemy 



* Navel of the land, appcllatively, for highest point (Ges.), is hardly possible in 
the plain prose of this story. 

t The Greek name corresponds rather to Tabor. 



IX. 42-45 263 

in sight.* On the other hand, all becomes plain, if we see in 
v. 4:i the original sequel of v. 25 : Abimelech learns that bands of 
Shechemites are infesting the neighbourhood, robbing and plunder 
ing on the highways, and takes measures to punish them. The 
next day, when they set out on such a predatory excursion, he is 
informed by his scouts, and lays an ambush for them. They, 
not suspecting the proximity of the enemy, fall into the snare and 
are cut to pieces. The city, weakened by the absence of a large 
part of its defenders, falls. Verses 42 " 45 are therefore to be ascribed 
to the same source with v. 23 25 (E). 42. On the following day~\ 
in the present connexion, the day after their defeat and the 
expulsion of Gaal ; in the original context (E), the day after Abim 
elech was apprised that they had begun their guerrilla warfare ; 
see above. The people went out into the country] on an expedition 
like that described in v.- 5 . 43. He concealed his forces in three 
divisions (y 10 p 34 ), in the neighbourhood of the city. When the 
Shechemites came out of the city, and had got to some distance 
from it, he rose from his ambush and attacked them. 44. More 
particular account of the execution of his stratagem. Abimelech 
and the body which was with hini\ under his immediate command ; 
cum cuneo sno 3L. |^, by mistake, the bodies. Made a dash 
and took their stand at the gate~\ cutting off the retreat of those 
who had gone on the expedition, and preventing a sally from the 
town to relieve them. While the other two divisions rushed upon 
all who were in the fields and killed theni] the stratagem has some 
resemblance to that employed at the taking of Ai (Jos. 8).f 
45. After a whole day s fighting, Abimelech took the city, put the 
inhabitants to the sword, pulled down the city, and sowed the site 
with salt. Sowing with salt seems to be a symbol of perpetual 
desolation ; nothing should henceforward thrive there ; cf. Dt. 29^ 
Jer. iy 6 Ps. icy 34 . There is no other trace in the O.T. of such 
a custom. \ If Shechem was really destroyed at this time, it is 
not to be supposed that it long lay in ruins ; its position was too 



* Fl. Jos. imagines that they went out to work in the vineyards (v.-") ; so Ra., 
Schm., Stud., Be., Ke., Reuss, al. mu. Of the older interpreters, Junius and 
Piscator controvert this opinion ; see Schm. t In both accounts, ] and E. 

J See Thdt., qnaest. 18 ; Bochart, Hierozoicon, ii. p. 223 f., ed. Rosenmiillcr. 
Salt ground is in Hebrew equivalent to desert. 



264 JUDGES 

advantageous, its vicinity too fertile for that. It was an important 
place in the early days of the kingdom (i K. 12 ), and was 
rebuilt and fortified by Jeroboam (i K. 12- ). A stratagem similar 
to that employed by Abimelech against Shechem is said to have 
been practised by Himilco against Agrigentum, and by Hannibal 
against Segesta.* 

44. r?y i-\x C^ N-ni] (5 XI TI o.pyj\ ?? /-ter avrov, IL cum cuneo sno, as the 
sense requires; f (5 ; ^ v ^ dpxcu. B -^ ol ap^riyoi, an attempt to get around the 
text which is repeated by Ki., RLbG. Other ingenious exegetical conjectures, 
the common feature of which is that the interpreter supplies what, if he were 
right, the writer must have said expressly, may be seen in Abarb., Schm., Cler., 
l>e., al. Emend, tt Nin (JDMich., Reuss, Kautzsch, al.) ; s^ jxn (Stud.) would 
remove the difficulty, but is on critical grounds not so probable. 45. rv\pi 
nVs] cf. in 1 ;-:, r\r\^ V-\N Jer. if Job 39 Ps. io7 :il . 

46-49. Destruction of the Tower of Shechem. The people 
of the Tower of Shechem, hearing of the fate of the city, take 
refuge in the temple of El-berith. Abimelech burns their asylum 
over their heads, and they perish in the flames. The verses are 
apparently a continuation of the preceding narrative of the de 
struction of Shechem. 46. When tlie inhabitants of tJic Tower of 
Shechem heard //] what Abimelech had done to the city. The 
Tower of Shechem (Migdal-Shechem) was not a citadel within 
the city, like that at Thebez (v/ 1 ), in which the people took 
refuge when the city was captured, but an unwalled town in the 
neighbourhood of Shechem, though not immediately adjacent to it. 
It owed its name to a tower which stood there, \ and was the site 
of the temple of El-berith. Its inhabitants were Shechemites, who 
had joined in the insurrection against Abimelech, and now, with 
good reason, feared his vengeance. As in v. r> - 2 " the people of 
Beth-millo join with those of Shechem in making Abimelech king, 
it has often been thought that the same place is meant here ; $ 
but there is no obvious ground for this, while the difference of 
names is decidedly against it. The situation of the Tower of 
Shechem is not known ; from v. 4Sa it may perhaps be inferred that 



* Frontinus, Strategem., iii. 10, 4, 5 (Cass.j; see also Polyaenus, v. 10, 4. 
t So also I- l. Jos., a/iff, v. 7, 4 247. t Cf. the tower of Penuel, 8 s - ". 

$ So, after Serarius and ether older scholars, Stud., Be., Ke., Reuss, al. Atillo 
also is supposed to be the name of some kind of fortification ; see on v. 1 1 . 



IX. 45-49 265 

it was, like Shechem itself, in the valley, or on the lower slopes of 
one of its sides. They went into the . . . of the temple of 
El-berith\ the meaning of the word passed over in the translation 
is entirely unknown. Some of the ancient versions render, strong 
hold* and many modern scholars think that they find etymologi 
cal support for the interpretation, tower, citadel. In i S. 13", 
however, the only other passage in which the word occurs, it 
clearly denotes a hiding-place, not a fort. Others think, therefore, 
of an artificial cave, or underground chamber ; but this also is 
based on a somewhat remote etymology, and does not altogether 
suit the requirements of v. 49 . For El-berith some Greek texts 
have Bcial-bcrith, as in v. 4 . It is not certain that the same temple 
is meant. The temple of El-berith at the Tower of Shechem was 
apparently not immediately adjacent to the city ; on the other 
hand, it is not very probable that there were two temples in the 
same vicinity dedicated to the same divinity.t The difference of 
the names signifies little. In early times, they were substantially 
equivalent, the el (numai) which was worshipped at a place was 
naturally its bdal (the divinity of the place). It is also possible 
that El is here a later substitution for Baal.\ 47. Abimelech 
learns that the people of the Tower of Shechem are all gathered in 
one place. 48. He leads his men to a hill hard by, to get wood 
to set their asylum on fire. Mt. Zalinon~\ the situation of this 
hill is not known. To identify it, on the strength of the name, 
with the southern peak of Gerizim, on which stands the tomb of 
a Moslem saint, Sheikh Selman el-Farsi, is an absurdity. With 
his axe, Abimelech cut branches of trees, put them upon his 
shoulder, and bade his men with all speed follow his example. 
49. Every man with his load of brush on his shoulder, they return 
with Abimelech, pile the wood against the place in which the 

* , 1L (v.) ; so Lth., EV., al. mu. 

t Temples, that is, houses for the god, can hardly have been very numerous in 
those days. At most places of worship there was probably only an altar under 
the open sky, with its accessories, the sacred stones and posts, which required no 
housing. The temple, in Canaan as in Greece, originally existed only where there 
was an idol to keep in it. See E. Meyer, Gesch. d. Alterthums, ii. p. 429 f. 

J Cf. Eljada, the son of David, for Baaljada; cf. above, p. 195. 

$ Mt. Salmon, Ps. 68 14 , is more probably east of the Jordan ; see \Vetzstein, 
quoted by Guthe, ZDPV. xii. 1890, p. 230 f. 



266 JUDGES 

Shechemites had taken refuge, and set it on fire. About a thou 
sand men and women perish in the flames. 

46. P -O ^N .""3 iris S N] n^s v. 4<Jbis , plur. C ms i S. 13" . The ancient 
versions apparently render from the context, stronghold ((5 6xupw/xa* 3L 
praesidiiim^). Many modern lexx. and comm. interpret, tower, citadel (Ki., 
KLbG., Cler., Simon., Ges., MY., al.), following Abulwalid, who compares 

Arab. _ ^o,t a large, high building, standing apart ( TA.~). De Dieu referred 

to the Eth. in the sense of upper story or room ; JDMich. in that of temple, 
thinking of an open court in the interior of the temple, while Stud, under 
stands the vaos itself. Both these explanations are far-fetched; neither really 
gives us what is wanted here (cf. v. 4y ), and neither is conceivable in I S. 13 , 
where the c % ms are places of concealment (named with caves, holes, cliffs, 
pits), as all the versions rightly understand. J Ra. refers to older Jewish inter 
preters who take the word in the sense, underground chambers (i.>oi ttes) ; he 
himself explains it in both places as a stockade {palissades). Modern scholars 
have compared the Arab. ^.Jw-i grave, narrow excavation for the body at 

the bottom of the grave. The word occurs also in the Xabataean inscrip 
tions from Teima, xmi , where it appears to be a grave or sepulchral chamber 
excavated in the rock (Doughty, Documents epigraphiques, 83. \ = Euting, 
Xabataische fnschriften, 15.-;. 4; cf. Xoldeke, ib. p. 55). || Erom this it has 
been inferred that the Ileb. rvs meant an excavation in the earth or rock, 
perhaps made as a place of refuge. 15ut although this would suit the context 
in Samuel well enough, it is hardly possible in our passage (cf. v. 4 - ), and the 
whole etymological construction is very dubious. r^a S N ."" 2] <5 AM BctaA 
diadr/Kris, p BaaA Bepet#, L HX 5ia6riKr)s, 1L famtm del sui lycrith. 48. ^i 

* Another, a*pa; C IJX o-vreAevo-n;. 

t Synonym of -J&.S. Cf. (Jor an, 2& - ] * 40^- (tower reaching to heaven) 2y 44 . 

Sf> in Sabaean, ms, rn^s (C/S. Pt. i\-. i 4 ; Halevy 353,.;, in Hommel, Siidarabische 
(7i>-es{oi>iat/iit-, \>. 96), and luh., in which the word means a conspicuous building 
(temple, palace), also the upper story or chamber of a house (like lieb. ~^ s ;-, 
e.ff. Jud. 3-"-- ; ). In none of these languages does the signification citadel, tower 
for defence seem to be demonstrable. (Of a watch-tower, in Arab. Polyglott, 
2 K. 18 s -). 

J tB finQpoi li. antra iT caverns in the rock chasms. In Jud. 9^ also an anony 
mous translator renders avrpov. 

$ In distinction from an excavation at the side (lahd) ; see Ibn Hisham, p. 1019. 
Illustrations of these two modes of burial, from Cyprus, see Perrot et Chipiez, 
La drccc primitive, p. 649. 

|| The Nrvvjj is distinguished from the N nu, niches. See also G. Hoffmann, 
7. A. 1894, p. 329 ff. S. Ran (Df aedibus Hebraeorum, 1764, p. 4, c. JDMich., Sup- 
plemeiita, \i. 2151) conjectured that for nrrnx Ps. 68", which <SILS render grave, 
nn ^s should be read ; cf. also SS. p. 622. 



IX. 50-51 26/ 

pcSx] <@ ABLN * EP/J.UV M Aep/Jiuv (Hermon); an old error; Euseb. OS-. 29573 
Se\/xwc. ri2T\in] Jer. 46 22 Ps. 74 5 . The plur. is difficult. There is no 
evidence or probability that the plur. was used of a single axe (Be.; originally 
bipennis, Stud.), and the explanation of Schm., al., that Abimelech took a 
number of axes to distribute to his followers, is an ingenious but improbable 
exegetical makeshift. We expect limp I S. I3 20 ; cf. (APVLMO f^. _-, 31!; . 
a^x;] r\y? v. 41|t , MH. roio (Aram., Syr.). It is generally rendered branch 
((S BN 1L), but in view of w; it should perhaps be taken as collective, brush; 
c f. (g.v a!. (p p T iov, Fl. Jos., 0c/ceX\ot.* Probably a^xy is not ^m 1 .?, but fire 
wood (6- 6 ) . T*Z y arnNi ns] object clause without conjunction, Ges. 25 1 57 a ; 
Roorda, 523. In English also it is possible to say, What you saw I did, &c.; 
cf. the brachylogy, 7 17 . !"> line] do quickly. In this verbal apposition, the 
first verb is of secondary (adverbial) importance in the sentence. 49. ros ] 
fl pronounces nbtr, his branch. Ki. explains this as contracted for To ijr, or 
as made from a corresponding masc. "p- .t If the suffix were indispensable in 
this distributive phrase, as Be. contends, it would be necessary either to accept 
the latter explanation, or to emend irair; cf., however, Ex. I2 3 Job 42". 
Doom, pronounces mir, a branch. rx3 nnxn r\x sn^y I.SM] rn-xn is con 
strued, like its English equivalent, in two ways: set something on fire (i NJ), 
or set fire to (2, rarely *?>) something. The suff. in cn^y cannot refer to row, 
but to the people. 

50-55. Abimelech attacks Thebez. While assaulting its cita 
del he is mortally hurt, and dies by the hand of his armour-bearer. 
His followers disperse. 50. Abimelech went to Thebez} from the 
connexion we should infer that the attack upon Thebez followed 
immediately the destruction of the Tower of Shechem ; and 
probably, further, that Thebez had previously been subject to him, 
and had joined in the revolt set on foot by Shechem. Thebez, 
which is mentioned only here and in the reference to this story 
2 S. ii- 1 , is put by Eusebius thirteen miles from Neapolis on the 
road to Scythopolis. J Robinson identified it with the modern 
Tubas, a large village in a very beautiful situation. 51. There 
was a castle within the city} lit. a tower of stronghold ; cf. the 
figurative use of the phrase, Ps. 6i 3 Prov. i8 10 . All the men and 
women, all the inhabitants of the town~} Heb. and all the inhab 
itants (freemen); || commonly explained as an explicative use of 



* Cf. Cler., Stud. t A masc. is found in MH. + OS 2 . 26244. 

$ BRi. ii. p. 317, iii. p. 305. On the place see also Guerin, Samarie, i. 357-359 ; 
SIVP. Memoirs, ii. p. 229. The place had been identified long before Robinson, by 
Eshtori Parchi (fol. 66 b end). || See above, on 9 2 . 



268 JUDGES 

the particle (even} ; see note. -And went up on the roof of the 
tower ] no doubt it had a flat earthen roof, with a parapet, from 
which they could defend it. 52. Abimelech led the attack on 
the tower. Jle came close up to the door to burn //] it was too 
strong to be forced. Cf. v. 4 1 . 53. A certain woman threw an 
upper millstone ] the upper, movable stone of a hand mill, a foot 
or upwards in diameter and perhaps two inches thick, made of 
the hardest kind of stone.* It was a woman s implement and a 
woman s weapon, but its weight made it a formidable missile when 
hurled from the height of the tower. Smashed his skn//~\ so 
Pyrrhus of Epirus is said to have been killed at Argos. He had 
forced his way into the city, and, in the street fighting which fol 
lowed, his head was broken by a tile thrown by a woman from the 
roof of a house. f 54. To perish by the hand of a woman was 
an ignominy worse than death ; in all haste he calls on a man to 
despatch him. His attendant armour-bearer^ all warriors of dis 
tinction had such a squire; cf. 7" i S. 14"" iG 1 1 3i 4 " ; . Lest men 
say of me, A woman killed him ] the older commentators com 
pare the words of the tortured Hercules in the Treichiniae of 
Sophocles, 1. 1062 f . : 

yvvri 5e, 9ij\vs (pvcra KOVK dvSpbs (pvffiv, 
/J.OVT) /j.e Sri KafletXe <pa.<rya.vov dix a - 

and the imitation of the passage in Seneca s Hercules Oetaeus 
(1. 1180 ff.), in which the resemblance to our verse is closer: 
dirus o nobis pudor j o turpe fatum. femina herculeae necis auctor 
feretur, morior Alcides quibus. j His squire ran him througK\ 
compare the death of Saul, i S. 3i 4 . 55. The men of Israel 
saw that Abimelech was dead~] the soldiers who fought under 
Abimelech against Thebez, and therefore presumably against 
Shechem, were Israelites. The point, as Wellhausen has noted, 
is of prime importance for the understanding of the story. It 
confirms the interpretation we have adopted above, that the revolt 
of Shechem was a Canaanite movement. Thev had raised 



* Descriptions of these mills, Thomson, Land and Book-, i. p. 107 f. ; Wilkinson, 
Ancient Jtffyft, i. p. 358 f. (ed. Birch) ; cf. Hoheisel and God/, in Ugolini, The 
saurus, xxix. The upper stone of such a mill in the Museum of Andover Seminary 
weighs about 27 pounds. t Pans., i. 13, 7 ; Pint., tyrr/ms, 34. 

J Cf. also Judith, i6 r >- (8-".. $ Comp., p. 353. 



IX. 5i-5 6 269 

Abimelech to power because he was one of themselves ; they 
tried to throw off his yoke when they found that he was, after all, 
his father s son. Whether the Israelites who formed Abimelech s 
army were his subjects (v. 22 ), or whether they took his side in the 
conflict against the Shechemites, because he was an Israelite, and 
Jerubbaal s son, the too brief story does not tell us. 

51. > S-IJ2] ;> in this sense is prob. originally derived from n; 1 = 3Lc 
(tned. u), take refuge (cf. n; 1 ^ 6- B JL*X)j ; but it has become confused 
with v from rrjr, y&; see SS. p. 497 ; JDMich., Supplementa, p. 53 ff. 

vyn Sjra Ssi] cf. io 10 2O 26 . The examples of this ivaiv explicativum (Ew. 
340 b; Ges. 25 154 n. b}, at least in the older writers in the O.T., are most 
of them, for one reason or another, dubious. In the present instance it is 
possible that the conjunction was inserted by a scribe who understood ^y^ 
v> n as Aal - 1L did, oi T)yovfj.evoi TT;S 7r6Xews, instead of citizens. The author 
may have written, " All the men and women, all the citizens of the town " 
(comprehensive apposition). A more radical conjecture would be that the 
last words, which are lacking in ( B , are an addition by a later hand; it is 
likely, however, that the omission in @ B is accidental; cf. N . 53. rnx nrx] 
see note on 13-. a:n n^s] 2 S. II- 1 , the upper stone, also called simply am, 
the rider, Dt. 24; opp. r\Tin rhs Job 4i 16 . The mill is DTP; the two 
stones are perh. called n^o because the mill is deft between them. F^ni] a 
wholly anomalous form; Ew., Bo., KS., regard the punctuation as an attempt 
to discriminate from pini (from p->), comparing c vi Ex. i6 20 (DDI); but, 
if this were really the motive, we should expect more frequent instances of 
such discrimination. Moreover, the device in this case would be peculiarly 
ill-chosen, since i is properly the vowel of Hiph. ry; it has in fact misled Ki., 
who derives the form from p" 1 - .~I L U L U] skull, 2 K. 9 35 I Chr. io 10 (prob. 
textual error); elsewhere only in reckoning per capita (P and Chr.). 
54. mnr] adverbial accus. ; on the position of the word see SS. s.v. i ( m] 
I S. 3i 4 = i Chr. io 4 Nu. 25 &c. (MH.) ; the specific word for run through, 
transfix. 

56, 57. The moral of the history. The destruction of She- 
chem and the death of Abimelech was a divine retribution for 
their crime against Jerubbaal s house, the fulfilment of Jotham s 
curse (v. 20 ). There is no trace of the characteristic pragmatism 
of D ; the verses may with probability be ascribed to E.* 

56. God requited the crime of Abimelech, which he committed 
against his father in killing his seventy brothers ^ lit. made it come 

* Budde. 



2/0 JUDGES 

back on Abimelech, the complement, upon his head (i S. 25 ), is 
expressed only in the following sentence, but psychologically 
belongs to both. 57. And all the wickedness of the Sheche mites 
God requited upon their heads, and the curse of Jot h am the son of 
Jerubbaal came true to them~\ was fulfilled ; with the verb cf. 
E S. 9 (1 I)t. 13- Is. 5 1U &c. 

X. 1-5. The Minor Judges: Tola and Jair.* Tola (v." ) and 

Jair (v. "" ), with Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon (i2 s " u ), form a group of 
five judges (with whom Shamgar, 3 u , is often reckoned as the 
sixth), of whose exploits nothing is related. These judges are 
introduced in standing formulas entirely different from those 
which form the setting of the stories of [Othniel], Ehud, Deborah 
and Barak, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson, and exhibit no trace 
of D s distinctive pragmatism. The character of the scheme of 
the Minor Judges is best exemplified by the notice of Elon 
(i2 11 ~ 1 -),t which contains absolutely nothing else: "And there 
judged Israel after him, Elon the Zebulonite ; and he judged 
Israel ten years. And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried 
in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun." The notices of Tola and Jair 
differ from this pattern only in the opening words, ; There arose 
after him." Besides the name and origin of the judge, the years 
of his rule, and the place of his burial, we have in the case of three 
of them (Jair, Ibzan, and Abdon) the number of their sons, sons 
and daughters, sons and grandsons ; evidence that they were 
persons of rank and consequence. The names of Tola, Jair, and 
Elon occur elsewhere in the genealogical systems. Tola is a son 
of Issachar (Gen. 46 13 Nu. 26 23 ), that is, a clan (Nu. /.<.), and, 
as may be inferred from i Chr. 7 " -, the leading clan, of that tribe ; 
Puah, here his father, appears in the lists as his brother, that is, 
another clan of Issachar. Elon is a son (clan) of Zebulun (Gen. 
46 U Nu. 26 26 ) ; and the name of his burial place, though differ 
ently pronounced by R, is doubtless the same, the chief seat of 



* On the so-called " Minor Judges " see Xoldeke, I ntersiichinigcn znr Kritik 
Jcs .1. T., 1869, p. 181-184; Wellhausen, Prolegomena- -, p. 238, Comf>., p. 217 i. 356; 
Stade, Gl I, i. p. 69; Budde, Richt. u. Sam., p. 96-98; Cornill, Einl-., p. 99 f . ; 
Kittel, Gdll. i. 2. p. 9-14. See also Introduction, $ 7. 

t As that of the other judges by Othniel ; above, p. 84, and Introduction, 4. 



IX. 56. X 2/1 

the clan. Jair is a son of Manasseh (Nu. 32^ I.)t. 3 14 i K. 4 1;! ) ; 
in another place (i Chr. 2- 1 23 ), a great grandson of Judah on his 
father s side, and of Machir ben Manasseh on his mother s. The 
identity of the Jair named in all these places with the judge in 
our text is proved by the constant association with the Havoth- 
jair (villages of Jair) in Gilead ; see on v. 4 . The names of Ibzan 
and Abdon do not occur elsewhere, but the mention of their 
numerous posterity has naturally the same significance as in the 
case of Jair ; they are extensive clans with numerous branches and 
alliances. Their prosperity and dignity are symbolized by the 
fact that their sons and grandsons rode upon asses. In the case 
of all five of these Minor Judges, therefore, we probably have, not 
the names of individuals, but of clans.* The chronological 
scheme of the Minor Judges also differs from that of the others. 
Elsewhere we find uniformly, first, the duration of the oppression ; 
second, the duration of the period of security under the judge ; 
there is an interregnum between each judge and the next. In 
the case of the Minor Judges, on the contrary, we have only the 
number of years each judged Israel, and there is no intimation of 
an interval between them ; the formula, And after him, implies, 
rather, that the writer meant to represent their rule as consecutive. 
The first of these ways of reckoning corresponds to D s whole 
construction of the history as a rhythmical succession of apostasy, 
with consequent oppression and deliverance, and the chronolog 
ical data appear imbedded in his formulas ; the second does not 
accord with this theory. Moreover, the seventy years assigned to 
the Minor Judges appear to be independent of the systematic chro 
nology of the book, and to disturb its symmetry. It has been 
inferred from this that the Minor Judges were introduced into the 
book by a hand later than the Deuteronomic author (D).t The 
question is one of considerable difficulty; it can be advan 
tageously discussed only in connexion with the problems of the 
chronology and composition of the book in general ; see Intro 
duction, 4, 6, 7. 



* This does not exclude the possibility that individuals may have borne these 
names (cf. above on 3 lL>ff -, p. 91) ; but for the author of the notices in the Book of 
Judges the individual is clearly lost in the clan. 

t So We., Sta., Bu., Co. Against this inference see Kue., HCCft. p. 342; Kitt. 



2/2 JUDGES 

Of the source from which these notices are derived we can 
affirm nothing. 

1. Tola. There arose after Abimelcch to deliver Israel^ ac 
cording to Budde s not improbable hypothesis, the same hand 
(the last editor) restored ch. 9, which D had omitted,* and intro 
duced the Minor Judges. To deliver Israel was the mission of 
the judge ; see on 2 3 10 . From what foes, or by what deeds, he 
delivered Israel, is not narrated. Tola the son of PnaJi\ both 
are names of clans of Issachar ; see above, p. 270. Son of Dodo~\ 
the name Dodo (var., Dodai) occurs twice in the list of David s 
heroes, 2 S. 23 - i Chr. n 1 - 27* and 2 S. 23 L 4 . It has lately been 
found in the form Dudu on the Amarna tablets.! The versions, 
with the exception of 2T, take the word as appellative, son of his 
(Abimelech s) uncle (father s brother). A man of Issachar\ on 
the text see note. He resided at Shamir in Mt. Ephraim~\ 
there was also a Shamir in the Highlands of Judah (Jos. i5 4x ). 
The Shamir of our text, the seat of a clan of Issachar, probably 
lay in the north-eastern part of the Highlands of Ephraim, not far 
from the plain of Jezreel. See on 5 " (p. 151). The branches of 
Issachar which established themselves south of that valley, had 
their settlements among those of the great tribe of Joseph, and, 
like Benjamin on the south, seem frequently to be included when 
it is spoken of. \ Shamir has not been identified. Schwarz sug 
gested Sanur, a ruined stronghold on a detached rocky hill about 
midway between Nabulus and Genin ; but this seems to be too 
far south and west for a settlement of Issachar, and there is no 
other argument for the identification than the very dubious one of 
similarity of sound. 2. lie judged Israel twenty-three years ] 



* See above, p. 235. 

t In the inscription of Mcsha king of Moab (1. 12), mn seems to be the name 
of a divinity. The Dudu of the Amarna letters (\Vinckler, Thontafelfund Tea lil 
Amarna, Xo. 38, I. I, &c.) is apparently a Canaanite official at the Egyptian court. 
See also Sayce, Higher Criticism, p. 215. 

j This may account, on the other hand, for the fact that Issachar is not named 
in places where we should expect it, as in ch. 4 and 6-8. 

\J Das hciligc Land, 1852, p. 119. On Sanur see Rob., BR-. ii. p. 312 f . ; Guerin, 
Samarie, i. p. 344-350; <S~M"/ J . Memoirs, ii. p. 157 f . ; Bad 3 ., p. 228. Raumer, Van 
<le Velde, Guerin, al., would identify Sanur with the Bethulia of Judith ; see DH-. 
i. p. 420 f. 



X. 1-4 2/3 

the same formula is used of each of the Minor Judges, also of 
Jephthah (12") and Samson (is), but not of any of the other 
heroes of the book. On the chronology, see Introduction, 7. 
He died and was buried in Shamir] from this notice, which, 
mutatis mutandis, is repeated in the case of the other Minor 
Judges, we are probably to infer that the tomb of the epony 
mous ancestor of the clan was in later times shown at Shamir.* 

Cf. 2 9 . 



1. nxiD p JiSin] the latter name is written in the same way i Chr. 7*; 
in Gen. 46 13 Nu. 26 - 3 , nip. See Ochla we-Ochla, No. 201, and Norzi on Gen. I.e. 
As appellative, j?Sin is the crimson worm, cochineal (Coccus ilicis); HNID, 
a plant from which a red dye was obtained (Riibia tinctorum, Linn.; Low, 
PJlanzennamen, p. 251); f the coincidence is noteworthy. On animal names 
see on 7 25 . nn p] nibs TraTpa6t\<t>ov avrov (jraTpbs d5e\0oO PVN 1 s) ; 
similarly Si. 31 patrui Abimelech. Ki. notes that some codd. of had 
nn ~\2 (. pr. ; so Ra.); others, vniax ns "O, i.e. Abimelech s uncle. ( M has 
KCU dvecTT-rjffei 6 Geos (cf. 2 1(i - 18 ) . . . rov 0wXa vibv 4>oua vlbv Kapie [Kaprje] 
7rarpa5A0ou avrov, /cat avrbs /cary/cei K.r.e. Ilollenberg (ZA TW. i. p. 104 f.) 
infers that in flj and the versions a name, rnp (2 K. 25 23 Jer. 4O 8 ), has fallen 
out, and that the original text read : Tola the son of Puah, the son of Kareah, 
his (Abimelech s) uncle, a man of Issachar. The conjecture is attractive, but 
hardly sound : the suff. in nn naturally refers to Puah, not to Abimelech; and 
to explain how a brother of the Manassite Jerubbaal could be of Issachar, we 
should have to travel quite outside the text. J The recension of < which 
furnishes this name omits the words, a man of Issachar, which the scheme 
requires. Perhaps Ka/ne is only a corruption and displacement of Issachar. 
-\y&w> B"N] the definite, the man of Issachar, is out of place; I should 
emend, -W^D ir^x (cf. 1L&8) ; cf. i S. 9 and see note on 7". 

3. Jair. fair the Gileadite~] see on Havoth-jair, v. 4b . He 
judged Israel, 6-r.] see on v. 2 . 4. He had thirty sons} cf. 
Ibzan s thirty sons and thirty daughters (12) ; Abdon s forty sons 
and thirty grandsons (12"). More explicitly than in the latter 
cases, Jair s sons are connected with as many branches or settle 
ments of the clan. Riding on thirty saddle asses } as Abdon s 
descendants rode on seventy saddle asses (i2 14 ) ; cf. also 5. The 

*SeeSta., GVI. i. p. 449 ff. 

t EpvSpd, Onom. vaticana, OS 2 . 19993 < ritbrum, Jerome, ib. 621. 
J Cler. Half-brother; wife s brother ; sister s husband (Hollenb.). See against 
Hollenberg, Be 2 , ad loc. 

This explanation is, however, by no means free from difficulty. 

T 



274 JUDGES 

ass was highly esteemed as a riding beast, and was used by men 
and women of rank (Jud. i 14 i S. 25- 2 S. if 19- Zech. 9 - &c.), 
as it has always been in the East.* It may be suspected that in 
the verse before us the words have been interpolated from i2 14 
(Abdon s sons and grandsons) ; the conflation being facilitated, if 
not occasioned, by the similarity between the Hebrew word asses 
and towns. See critical note. And they had thirty towns ; these 
arc still called Havoth-jair, and arc in the land of Gilcad~\ 
havvoth may have originally denoted, like the Arabic hiwa , with 
which it is commonly connected,! a group of Bedawin tents ; but 
with the transition to pastoral life it would naturally be applied to 
more permanent settlements. In the O.T. it is used only of these 
Havoth-jair. It has been thought that the name Hivvite is of the 
same origin. \ The conflicting statements about the number and 
situation of the Havoth-jair have been a source of considerable 
perplexity to commentators ; see a full discussion of the diffi 
culties in Studer. The original account of the conquest of this 
district is in Nu. 32 " <>l - 41f -, a passage which belongs to the oldest 
stratum of Hebrew historiography and is akin to Jud. i. In 
connexion with the conquest of Gilead by Machir, Jair took the 
havvoth of the Amorites in Gilead (cf. v. " J ), whence they are 
called Havoth-jair ; while Nobah took Kenath with its depend 
encies and gave it his own name, Nobah. || These fragmentary 
old notices are now incorporated in the younger history of the 
Mosaic conquest of the lands east of the Jordan : the conquest 
of this region by Machir (Manasseh), however, falls apparently in 
the period of the Judges, i.e. after the main body of Israel had 
established themselves west of the Jordan.^ In entire accord 
with Nu. 32 41 is Jud. io 4 , according to which the Havoth-jair, 
thirty in number, were in the land of Gilead (cf. also i Chr. 2 "). 
Other passages, which put them in Bashan, are the result of later 
misunderstanding; so Dt. 3 14 cf. v. 4 (sixty fortified cities), and 



* See Rochart, Hicrozoicon, i. p. 151 ff., cd. Kosenm. In the modern East, see 
D11-. i. p. 267 f. f It is not a Hebrew word. J See note on 3" , p. 83 f. 

$ See 15u., Kicht. u. Sain., p. 60, 87, who makes these verses a sequel to 
Jos. r/U- s, and ascribes them to f in the original context of Jud. i. 

|| See above on 8 U . 

II Originally only Gad and Reuben stopped east of the Jordan. 



X- 4-5 275 

Jos. 1 3 s ", both of which belong to the latest redaction of the his 
tory.* In i K. 4 1:) the mention of the Havoth-jair is interpolated 
from Nu. 32 41 .f The account in i Chr. 2- ;i , finally, which makes 
Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead which 
were subsequently lost to Geshur and Aram, of mixed Judaean 
(Hezron) and Manassite (Machir) descent, must reflect post- 
exilic relations. The land of Gilead~\ see on 1 1 1 . 5. Jair died, 
and was buried at Canwn~\ cf. vA Camon was doubtless east of 
the Jordan ; \ not improbably Kamun, which is named by Poly- 
bius in connexion with Fella. The site has not been recovered. 
Eusebius erroneously identified it with Kammona, in the Great 
Plain six miles northwest of Legio, now Tell Qaimun. || 

4. anijr 1 ] -vy is generally a riding ass, Gen. 49" Jud. 10* I2 14 Zech. 9; 
a beast of burden, Is. 30- 24 . In Arabic, specifically the wild ass; see 
Hommel, Namen der Sdngelhiere, p. 121-123. an^y 2 ] the substitution of 
this form for the regular plur. of -py, any, is generally explained as an inten 
tional play on the word, to connect it more closely with nn^y asses (Ki., 
Schm., Stud., al. mu.).^f Perhaps it originated in an accidental repetition of 
the preceding. mn] (S B ^TrauXets. The word is connected by Abulw. with 
Arab, hayy, tents of a clan, clan, kindred (see above, p. 83 f.); similarly 
Cler. (on Nu. 32 41 ), comparing Arab. /iiwa , group of tents, camp. This is 
better than Ges. (TAes. p. 451), direct derivation from mm = rvn, place where 
men live, habitation, comparing German names like Aschersleben, &c. 

X. 6-16. The moral of the history repeated and enforced. 
Preface to a new period of oppression. The religious prag 
matism of the history, with its recurring cycle of apostasy, sub 
jugation, and deliverance, is set forth with all explicitness in the 
Introduction, 2 11 -3 C . In the framework of the book, in which the 
stories of the judges are set, the leading motives of this ouverture 
are generally repeated in a sentence or two of set phrases, but in 
one or two cases they are more fully developed (3 7 ~ 10 6 ~ 10 ), while 
in the passage before us they are expanded to almost as great 

* Di., NDJ. p. 201 ; Kue., Th. T. xi. p. 479 ff. f Klosterm. It is lacking in . 

J Fl. Jos. $ Polyb., v. 70, 12 ; Reland, Palaestina, p. 679. 

|| OS 2 . 272^. On Tell Qaimun see Rob., BR*. iii. p. 114 f. ; Guerin, Samarie, 
ii. p. 241 ff. ; SWP. Memoirs, ii. p. 48, 69 f. Eli Smith (1844) and Robinson sug 
gested that Tell Qaimun Kammona Kuamon (fudith7 3 ) is the Jokneam of 
the O.T. (Jos. 12 &c.), and this identification is in all probability right. 

H Cf. (B TTUlAoVf, TToAtlS. 



276 JUDGES 

length as in 2 llff -. We have learned that 2 llff - is not entirely the 
work of the author of our Book of Judges (D), but contains the 
substance of an older introduction, conceived in a similar spirit, 
which we saw reason to attribute to an elohistic source (E).* 
The same phenomena meet us again in io" ll! : with the charac 
teristic phrases of D is intermingled another strain, which toward 
the end predominates ; and the affinity of this element with E is 
here even more evident than in the former case. Why this ex 
tended introduction should stand thus in the middle of the book 
is not apparent. It may have its explanation in a different order 
of the pre-Deuteronomic Book of Judges. Stade surmises that in 
E it immediately followed the story of Ehud (3 15 " 30 ), and that its 
sequel has not been preserved.! Budde conjectures that it was 
E s introduction to the account of the Philistine oppression, j 
As it does not appear that E contained a story of Samson, it would 
then be supposed, further, that in its original connexion it was 
followed by the history of the Philistine aggressions in the time of 
Samuel and Saul. 

On io- 1(1 see Stade, ZATW. \. p. 341-343, GVI. i. p. 70; Budde, Richt. 
u. Sam., p. 128 f.; Kuenen, IICO 2 . i. p. 340 f.; Kittel, GdH. i. 2. p. 8. Stade 
urges the resemblance of the non-Deuteronomic elements in the passage to 
Jos. 24 (Ka). To that source he ascribes v. 6b - 8 (except the Israelites i and the 
18 years) lu *- I3f.*i4f.. even Vi iif. appears to have an elohistic basis. Buckle s 
analysis is very similar. Kue. and Kitt, on the contrary, discover no traces 
of E. The former ascribes the passage as a whole to D : the latter attributes 
v. fii - 8b - 10a ( ? ) || to Ri. (redactor of the older Book of Stories of the Judges), the 
rest to R d (redactor of the present Book of Judges) ; the suggestions of E in 
the latter are due to a peculiar predilection of the last redactor for the style 
of E. 

6. The verse begins with the standing formulas of D ; cf. 2 11 10 
3" &c., i S. 7 4 i2 10 . The catalogue of foreign religions, which 
includes those of all the neighbouring nations (cf. 2 1L> I)t. 6 14 i3 7f ), 
Syria, Phoenicia, Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, is not improb- 



* See above, p. 63 f., 68 ff. 

t ZATW. i. p. 342. That it was not originally the introduction to the story of 
Jephthah, he infers from n 4 , and from the fact that the theological pragmatism of 
Io c-io i s entirely foreign to that story. 

J Richt. 11. Sam., p. 128. Cf. v.", and observe Judah and Benjamin in v. J . 

Cf. altogether Jos. 24 w-^. || V. s " belongs to Ri. s source. 



X. 6-io 277 

ably a secondary amplification. Forsook Yahwch~\ v. 10 - 13 2 1 " 13 
Jos. 24 20 (E). 7. Cf. 2 14 -- 10 3 s 4- i S. 12". The Philistines and 
the Ammonites] the author of these words intended io cff - to stand 
as an introduction not only to the Ammonite oppression (io lr -i2 7 ), 
but to the Philistine supremacy. Of the latter, however, there is 
no further mention in the following context ; it is the Ammonites 
who, after crushing Israel east of the Jordan, invade Judah, Ben 
jamin, and Ephraim. The Philistine domination begins with i3 l 
(Samson), and continues to the time of Samuel (i S. 7, E). In 
their present connexion, the words, into the power of the Philistines, 
are manifestly out of place. They may have been inserted by the 
latest editor for the purpose of extending the scope of the intro 
duction to include ch. 13-16. The alternative is to suppose, with 
Budde, that in E io 6 " 16 originally prefaced the account of the 
Philistine oppression.* This is perhaps the more probable hypo 
thesis. On the Ammonites cf. 3 13 , and see on n 4 . 8. And they 
broke and crushed the Israelites in that year eighteen years ] from 
what follows the subject appears to be the Ammonites only. The 
impossible collocation, in that year eighteen years, must be attrib 
uted to editorial interpolation or composition. The eighteen years 
probably belong to D s chronology (cf. 6 1 I3 1 ) ; in that year is 
more suitable to the verbs at the beginning of the verse, which 
suggest a signal catastrophe rather than long-continued subjuga 
tion and oppression, and may, as Kittel thinks, be from the source 
from which ch. n 4ff is derived. f D s text may then have run: 
And he sold them into the power of the Ammonites eighteen years. 
The rest of the verse, with v. 9a appears to be an expansion of the 
Israelites, v. 8a ; the oppression was universal, both east and west 
of the Jordan. The land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead] 
cf. n 19ff -; the relation to the latter passage is additional evidence 
of the late date of v. 8b . 9. The Ammonites even crossed the 
Jordan and invaded Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim ; see on v. 8b . 
Judah is mentioned only in I5 9 11 i8 12 . Israel was in great straits] 
2 15 i S. 30". 10. Cf. 3 9 - 15 4 ri 6- 7 . We have sinned against thee] 
v. 1:> i S. i2 10 f Nu. I4 40 2i 7 Dt. i 41 . The formula of confession is 
peculiarly frequent in E (E 2 ). Forsaken Yahweh] v. - 13 2 12f -. 

* See above, p. 276. t Cf. that year, with, after a year (DTT) n 4 . 



2/8 JUDGES 

8. N % \-n njs 3] naturally, the year in which Yahweh gave Israel into their 
power. The year of the death of Jair (Ra., KJes. i !l ) is far-fetched. The 
difficulty which these words make in connexion with the following eighteen 
years has constrained the interpreters to various ungrammatical shifts. H 
endeavours to soften the collision by carrying the second number over to the 
next half-verse; cf. Schm., Ke., al. (5 M 1L omit the troublesome words.* 
ti ^jj -C N] the Gileadite Amorites. In the writer s view the Israelite settle 
ments east of the Jordan were on territory conquered from the Amorites, not 
taken from Moab and Ammon. The same theory is expounded at length in 
II 15 -- 7 ; see there. Gilead here, as often, is the whole region of Israelite 
occupation east of the Jordan. 10. Ji imSx UDT; ] read imSx mm. So 
7 codd. (I)e Rossi) (5 A;!I1 Ol v ; t sporadic correction attesting the sound 
feeling that the name is indispensable. 

11-16. Yahweh reproaches the Israelites with their apos 
tasy. They have learned neither wisdom nor gratitude by 
their past experience. He will deliver them no more ; they may 
appeal to the gods they have chosen. They confess their sin and 
put away the foreign gods. Yahweh cannot bear their distress. 
Compare 2 11 " 1 (the angel at Bochim), 6 s " 1 " (prophet), i S. 7" 
Io i7-rj I2 ;ff - Jos. 24 20 " 3 . Verses 15 - 1 " have the distinctive marks of 
E s style ; in the preceding verses the text of E appears to have 
been altered and expanded by R, to whom the catalogue of 
oppressors, in its present form, must be attributed. 11, 12. The 
Hebrew text presents an anacoluthon which can hardly be imitated 
in English : Nonne ab /Kgyptiis et ab Amoritis et ab Ammonitis 
et a Philistaeis et Sidonii et Amalec et Maon oppresserunt vos, 
et clamastis ad me, et liberavi vos e potestate eorum? The con 
struction is changed in the middle, and v. 11 thus left without its 
predicate (liberavi vos). + Such an anacoluthon is, however, awk 
ward in this simple sentence, and the disorder is perhaps due 
to transcriptional error. The versions render : Did not the 
Egyptians and the Amorites . . . oppress you, and you cried 
unto me, and I delivered you from their power? See note. The 
catalogue of the seven nations, the counterpart of the seven 



* It is perhaps not without significance that in n- ; (the 300 years) these 18 
years seem not to be reckoned. 

t Dominion, which seems to have no Latin attestation, was introduced by the 
Clementine editors ; see Vercellone. 

\ See De Wette, Stud. n. Krit. 1831, p. 305; Stud.: Ges.-" \J 167, 2. 

^ Except (P UN. 



x. n-i2 279 

varieties of heathenism in v. fi ,* corresponds to 2 14b (he sold them 
into the power of their enemies on all sides), as v. (ia ^ to 2. The 
text of E, as is frequently the case with such lists, has been ampli 
fied by a later editor ; originally it must have contained the names 
of the peoples whose oppressions had been related in E s Book 
of Judges, and probably in the order of his narrative. If it had 
been preserved intact, it would have given us a valuable criterion 
for the reconstruction of his work. The editor, on the contrary, 
has accumulated the names of neighbouring nations without any 
discoverable principle of selection or order. We read in it the 
names of some which nowhere else appear as oppressors, while 
we miss others, notably Moab and Midian, which we should cer 
tainly expect to find. The Amorites\ this is referred by the com 
mentators to Sihon king of Heshbon (Nu. 2i 21ff -);t but how the 
invasion and conquest of the Amorites by Israel, which is there 
narrated, can be converted into an oppression of Israel by the 
Amorites, \ and put in conjunction with the tyranny of the 
Egyptians, they do not explain. The name is omitted by 5?. 
The Ammonites ^ the only Ammonite oppression recorded in the 
book is that in the following chapter, from which they were deliv 
ered by Jephthah ; we should not expect to find it referred to in 
this introduction as a thing of the past. In 3 13 the Ammonites 
are named as allies of Moab under Eglon, but since Moab itself 
is not named in our catalogue the supposition that the writer was 
here thinking of Eglon s time is excluded. The omission of 
Moab was felt by the versions to be unaccountable, and the name 
is introduced by ( after the Ammonites, by < instead of the 
Amorites. The Philistines^ in immediate connexion with the 
Ammonites, as in v. 7 . The period of Philistine supremacy began 
near the end of the time of the judges (Samson), and lasted till 
the days of David. The commentators are compelled to refer here 
to Shamgar (3 31 ); see there. 12. The Sidonians\ Phoenicians; 
see on 3 3 (p. 79, Si). There is no record in the O.T. of an 
invasion or subjugation of Israel by the Phoenicians. || That by 
Phoenicians the author meant the northern Canaanites (Jabin, 
ch. 4), or that the Phoenicians may have held a kind of hegemony 

* Rashi. f So, e.g.. Be., Kc. J Note the verb. $ Except BN. 

U In Am. i 9 they are slave-dealers, not captors ; cf. 2 Mace. 8 11 - "**. 



28O JUDGES 

among the northern Canaanites, in virtue of which they supported 
them in their wars with Israel,* are hypotheses which admit of no 
refutation, because they have no foundation. More probably the 
introduction of the Sidonians here is due to the mention of them 
in v. (ib ; cf. i K. ir" . Amalek~\ the Amalekites are named in 3" 
as allies of Eglon, in 6 :5 " " J as joining Midian in its annual raids. f 
Others refer to Ex. if ff -. Maoii\ the Maonites first appear in 
Chronicles as enemies of Jehoshaphat of Judah (2 Chr. 2O 1 ), and 
of Uzziah (2 Chr. 26") ; they are mentioned also in the time of 
Hezekiah (i Chr. 4 41 ). Their seats were south of the Dead Sea; 
in all probability the name is preserved in Ma an, \ on the old 
caravan road from Damascus to Arabia, four hours east of Petra. 
The occurrence of the name in this list of early oppressors of 
Israel is hard to explain. Of the ancient versions 2E alone agrees 
with %l ; some recensions of (? have Midian ; others, with 11, 
Canaan ; S? has Ammon here. That Midian should be omitted 
from the list altogether after the story of Gideon (ch. 6-8) is 
quite as strange as that Maon should be included, and very many 
critics adopt the emendation suggested by (>, Midian. ^ The 
emendation is so self-evident that it is suspicious. It is possible, 
after all, that the editor, who, as the whole catalogue proves, was 
little concerned about historical accuracy, may have written the 
name of an Arab people of his own times, the Minaeans. || The 
omission of Midian is not more strange than that of Moab. See 
note. And you cried unto me, and / delivered you from their 
power } cf. i S. i2 10 and the places cited above on v. 1 ". 13. In 
spite of all this they have forgotten him (v. 10 2 U> - I;! ) and served 
other gods (Dt. f n 10 Jos. 24- i S. S 8 ). Therefore / will not 
deliver you any morc~\ cf. 2 21 . 14. Let them cry to the gods 
they have chosen ; they may deliver them in their time of dis 
tress ; cf. Jer. 2- s Dt. 32" 7t - 2 K. 3 ". 15. We have sinned"] see 

* Be., referring to ]ucl. i8 : - 2S . 

f The mention of Amalck in both places appears to be due to the redaction. 

J Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, p. 39, 508 f. ; Rurckhardt, Syria, 
p. 436 f. ; Doughty, Arabia Deserta, i. p. 32 ff. In i K. n ls Then., Sta., al. would 
read Maon for Midian ; an unnecessary change, see above, p. 179. 

^ So Ik-., Doom.; cf. Stud. 

|| See Glaser, Skizzc dcr Gcsch. it. Geogr. Arabian, ii. p. 450-452; Sayce, Higher 
Criticism, p. 39-46. 



X. i2-i8 28l 

on v. in . Verses 1 1G seem to be entirely derived from E. Do 
thou unto us all that seems good to thce ; only rescue us this day~\ 
punish us thyself in any way that thou seest fit, but save us now 
from our enemies ; cf. 2 S. 24" : " Let me fall by the hand of Yah- 
weh, for his compassion is great ; but by the hand of man let me 
not fall" ; 2 Mace. io 4 . With the phrase, whatever is good in thy 
sight, cf. i S. 3 18 2 S. I5 20 , and in different applications, Jud. ip 24 
i S. i 23 ii 10 14 40 2 S. io 1 -. 16. So they put away the foreign gods 
from among them~] Jos. 24 20 - 23 i S. f Gen. 35- 4 cf. Dt. 31. 
Foreign gods is the phrase of E, for which the Deuteronomic 
expression is, other gods. He could bear the misery of Israel no 
longer] his pity for his people (Hos. n 8 ) and his indignation 
against their enemies overcome him ; he can no longer stand 
aloof and see the heathen oppress Israel. On the Hebrew phrase 
see note. 17, 18. In the original connexion of E, v. 16 must have 
been immediately followed by the raising up of the deliverer 
(cf. n lff -). Verses 17f - are an editorial introduction to the story of 
Jephthah, the material of which is all drawn from ch. n, as S 33 - 35 
is derived from ch. 9.* 17. The Ammonites gathered for war 
and encamped in Gilead ; the Israelites were assembled at Mizpah; 
cf. 7 1 i S. 4 1 2Q 1 &c. The two armies confronted one another, but 
the Israelites had no leader. This representation does not agree 
with u 29 , from which it appears that Jephthah had to raise the 
clans himself; the latter verse is, however, probably from the 
hand of an editor; cf. also n 4 . 18. The people, the chiefs of 
Gilcad~\ the words are explained as a restrictive apposition,! but 
the technical name does not render the expression any less awk 
ward. Perhaps the original text has been glossed. They anx 
iously inquire where they shall find a champion and leader. The 
man who leads them to victory shall be made chief of all Gilead ; 
cf. ii 8 - 9 - 11 -. 

11. -Ji anxsn Sn] to explain the anacoluthon it is supposed that the 
author began intending to say, aariN \ij?8 in . . . nnsDD N^n (Ges. 25 167, 2). 
But neither pcnn nor S v xn, deliver, rescue from an enemy or oppressor, is in 
Judges construed thus with p; they always take T>D (yirin 2 16 - 18 6 14 (IDC) 8 22 
io 12 I3 5 ; S^n 6 9 8 34 9 17 ). There is no discernible reason why the author 

* Mizpah (v. 1 ") is derived from iiH in its present form ; hence lo^f- is later than 
the great interpolation, n 1 - ff- f Be., al. 



282 JUDGES 

should not have written, ji onsD T>D DUHN T^ti in s-Sn, or ^nyc in anps -PC xSn 
Ji "VBI D3HN. fjj with its supposed anacoluthon is thus suspicious on gram 
matical grounds. Ai vi^io g E * 3 cj make the nouns in v. 11 as well as in v. 12 
subjects of the vb. Tin 1 ?, and the text should probably be emended accordingly. 
12. p;-ri] lla.5ia.fj. (S-VBLM c , Xaraav 1 VO ai. s v;, Canaan 11 (thinking doubt 
less of 4- &c.). J"JD is a not impossible corruption of p>2 in old Ilebr. or 
transitional alphabets. 14. anS u ^ v] VaS ^nn Jos. lo 1 2 S. io u Jer. n 12 
Ez. 34 22 ; in a different idiom, Jud. 7 -, see note there. 16. IC DJ li pri] lit. 
^/5 jo/ nwj shortened ; his patience was exhausted. We speak of a short 
temper, impatient and hasty. In Hebrew the phrase is used for complete 
discouragement, when endurance itself is exhausted, Ex. & Nu. 2i 4 Job 2i 4 ; 
but also of a man who is tired out by importunity, Jud. i6 1(i . The application 
of these words to God was a stumbling-block to some of the Jewish interpre 
ters; but cf. Mi. 2" Zech. n 8 . SB;:] rare in old prose, Gen. 4i 51 (E) Nu. 23 21 
I)t. 26 7 . 

XI. 1 -XII. 7. Jephthah delivers Gilead from the Ammon 
ites. Jephthah the Gileadite has been driven from his home to 
the adjacent Syrian district of Tob, where, with a band of wild 
fellows, he leads the life of a freebooter (n 1 ^). When the Am 
monites make war on Gilead, the elders persuade him to come 
and take command against the enemy, promising to make him the 
head chief of all Gilead. He returns with them, and is made chief 
by the people (v. 4 " 11 ). He sends messengers to the king of 
Ammon, contesting his claim to the lands between the Jabbok and 
the Arnon : Israel conquered this territory from the Amorites and 
has held it undisputed for three hundred years. The Ammonites 
refusing to recognize Israel s title, hostilities commence (v. -"-). 
Jephthah vows that if Yahweh gives him victory, he will sacrifice 
the first who comes out of his house to meet him on his return 
(v. : ltf -). He subdues the Ammonites, taking from them twenty 
cities (v:"- f -). Returning in triumph to Mizpah, his only daughter 
comes out to meet him, heading the chorus of women. The 
father s heart is rent, but he can not take back his word ; after a 
respite of two months, he performs his vow. The fate of Jeph- 
thah s daughter is commemorated by the women of Israel in an 
annual four days festival (v: 11 " 1 "). 

The Ephraimites are jealous because they were not called out 
for the war, and cross the Jordan to avenge the slight, but are 



* CBN v agree with 



XI. i-XII. 7 283 

beaten by Jephthah. In their flight many are cut off by the 
Gileadites at the fords of the Jordan, being betrayed by their 
pronunciation (I2 1 ). After judging Israel for six years, Jephthah 
dies and is buried in Gilead (v. 7 ) . 

The long diplomatic communication, defending Israel s title to 
Gilead (n 12 ~ 28 ), is manifestly foreign to the original story.* The 
historical argument is derived chiefly, and in part verbally, from 
Nu. 20, 21 (see comm. below) ; and, though purporting to be an 
answer to the claim of the Ammonites (v. 13 ), in reality deals 
exclusively with Israel s relation to the Moabites (v. 17 - ls ).f Even 
in the appeal to the king (v.- 4 ), the name of Chemosh, the national 
god of Moab, stands, instead of Milcom, the god of Ammon ; 
and the conduct of the present king is contrasted with that of 
Balak king of Moab, who waged no war with Israel. The cities 
named in v. 2(i are well known Moabite cities. j There is general 
agreement among critics that n 12 28 is a late interpolation, the 
motive of which is to establish the title of Israel to its possessions 
between the Arnon and the Jabbok. The insertion of this long 
speech has done some injury to the margins of the original narra 
tive. Verses 3a31 are violently severed from v. lla , of which they are 
the original sequel ; v. llb seems to belong after v." 1 ; v. 20 is further a 
very awkward redactional doublet to v:" 2 , necessitated by the intru 
sion of v. 12 28 before v: w -. See comm. on the verses. At the begin 
ning of ch. ii, the editor seems to have endeavoured with indiffer 
ent success to make out something more definite about the hero s 
origin, taking the hint from v. 7 . Chapter I2 1 6 is regarded by Well- 
hausen as a later appendix to the story. The difficulties in the 
connexion of these verses with ch. 1 1 are, however, exaggerated ; 
the story does not bear the marks of a late fabrication ; and there 
seems to be no sufficient reason why it may not be from the same 
hand with n 4 - 11 - 30 - 40 . See more fully below, and cf. on 8 1 3 . 

* See Stud. ; Noldeke, Unttrsuchungen, p. 195 n. ; We., Comp., p. 228 ; Bu., 
Richt. u. Sam., p. 125 ; al. 

t Even in v. 15 , where alone they are named, the Ammonites come only in the 
second place. 

J Xu. 2i-*-y> treats the whole kingdom of Sihon, from the Jabbok to the Arnon, 
as having been originally Moabite. 

The occasion of the interpolation may have been the intrusion of the Ammon 
ites into the old territory of Israel at the beginning of the 6th century, cf. Jer. 49*. 



284 JUDGES 

Wellhausen and Stade find in the story of Jephthah no histori 
cal elements at all. Jephthah himself is a shadowy figure, whose 
origin and end are equally obscure ; of his great victory over the 
Ammonites, we are told nothing definite. The whole point lies in 
the sacrifice of his daughter, which serves to explain the Gileadite 
women s festival.* Stade infers from n that Jephthah was the 
heros cponymits of a despised Gileadite clan, or one not of full 
blood. Goldziher treats Jephthah and his offering as mythical. f 
The objections to the historical character of the hero and of the 
main features of the story do not seem to be sufficiently well 
founded. That the circumstances of his victories over the Am 
monites were not remembered, or are not more fully narrated 
here, does not prove that nothing of the sort happened ; the 
mythical features which may be recognized in the annual cele 
bration of the women of Gilead may have attached themselves 
to an historical event such as is here related. \ 

1-3. Jephthah s antecedents. The bastard son of Gilead, 
he is driven from home by his brothers, and with a band of free 
companions lives the life of a marauder in the district of Tob. 
The facts in this introduction are drawn from the story, which 
must have begun by telling who Jephthah was, and probably how 
he came to be in Tob (cf. v/ 1 ). The genealogical notice which 
makes him a son of Gilead (v. 1!) ) is clearly not original ; with it 
naturally falls the story of his expulsion by the legitimate sons of 
Gilead (v. 2 ) . From v. 7 we should rather infer that he had been 
banished by the authorities, the elders of Gilead. A not unnatural 
misunderstanding of the latter verse may have given rise to v. lb - 2 . $ 

1. Jephthah the Gileadite was a great warrior"] 6 1 " i S. 9 1 . 
He was the son of a harlot"] cf. Abimelech, S :U 9. The trait may 
very well belong to the original story. || The following words, on 
the contrary, and Gilead begot Jephthah, appear to be a misinter 
pretation of the patrial adjective, the Gileadite, in the sense and 
form of the later genealogical systems ; Gilead is the name of a 



* We., Cotnp,, p. 228 f. ; Sta., G VI. i. p. 68. 

t Der Mythos bci den Hebriiern, p. 113 ff. = Mythology among the Hebrews, 1877, 
p. 96 ff., 104. % Cf. Kuc., Bit., Kitt. $ Cf. P.u., p. 125 f. 

|| Bu., I.e. p. 125, is of the opinion that this also is secondary. 



XL i-3 285 

region or of its population (5"), not of a man. Having made this 
beginning, the editor understands Jephthah s words to the elders of 
Gilead in v. 7 , You have hated me and driven me out of my father s 
house, and his brethren (clansmen) v. :! , literally, and combining it 
with v. la (Jephthah a bastard), interprets the whole situation in 
v. 2 : the legitimate sons drove out their illegitimate half-brother.* 
2. Besides Jephthah, Gilead had sons by his lawful wife. When 
they grew up, they drove Jephthah away. Thou shalt have no 
inheritance in our father s house, for thou art the son of another 
woman~\ if v. lb ~ were an integral part of the old story, and therefore 
to be interpreted historically, we might, with Stade, regard Jeph 
thah as the name of a Gileadite clan which did not stand on an 
equal footing with the others of its kin. But as the name nowhere 
occurs in this character,! and nothing in the subsequent story 
suggests anything of the kind, the solution adopted above seems 
preferable. 3. Jephthah fled from his brethren^ cf. v. 7 ; expelled 
from his father s house. The district of Tofr\ v. 5 . The men of 
Tob appear in 2 S. io (i - 8 among the Syrian allies of the Ammonites 
in their war with David, in immediate connexion with Maachah ; 
the same district is perhaps meant in i Mace. 5 13 2 Mace. i2 17 . 
We have no other clue to the situation of Tob ; it was apparently 
not very remote from Gilead, probably to the NE. There col 
lected to Jephthah worthless fellows, and went out (on forays) with 
hiiti} lit. were raked together. The outlawed man naturally took 
to the life of a freebooter on the outskirts of the settled land. 
So David did when compelled to flee from Saul (i S. 22 lf- 23 1 " 5 25 
27 7ff - &c.). His companions were of the same class; wild and 
reckless fellows, 9*. Such a life was not esteemed dishonourable. J 

1. firs ] probably a decurtate theophoric name; cf. rvms, Sxn.iB . ntsN 
run] I6 1 Jos. 2 1 and often, cf. C J VB n;rN ig 1 ; see note on 4*. As in the case 
of Rahab, early Jewish interpreters try to soften the word; see below on v. 2 . 
-iSvi] the Hiph. is common in P and Chr., also Dt. q 25 a8 41 (Di., Gen., p. 106; 
Dr., Introd., p. 127; Giesebrecht, ZATW. i. p. 235 f.) ; older writers use 

* So substantially, Bu. 

t Cf. Jos. is 48 , a town in the Lowlands of Judah ; Jiphthah-el in Zebulun, 
Jos. I9 14 . 

J Cf. of the Greeks, Thuc., i. 5 ; Germans, Caes., b.g. vi. 23, Latrocinia nullam 
habent infamiam, quae extra fines cujusque civitatis fiunt. The sentiments of the 
Arabs on this subject are well known. 



286 JUDGES 

the Kal both in the sense beget and bear. The clause attaches very 
awkwardly to the preceding: (G makes a better connexion, y ey^vvrjfffv T 
TaXaaS ( BX ), or KO.I ereKev ru> F. (APVL.MO) . but we should hardly take this 
for the original reading (Gies.). ^run xS] Nu. i8 2 J (a) Jos. 19 -* ("pro) 
Nu. 32 l;) (TN). pins ru .s] I Chr. 2-". The word docs not mean pcregrina 
(JIlMich., cl. Dt. 29 -" Jer. 22-), still less, of another tribe (rabbinical inter 
pretation in Ki.); nor does it necessarily connote inferiority. 3. aia "IN] 
in 2 S. io ; - s the versions take avj ">x as a proper name; cf. Klosterm. (king 
of Maachah).* In Jet-. ShebiitJi, vi. i, fol. 36 the region of Tob to which Jeph- 
thah fled is said to have been xri DiD; Neubauer {Geog. du Talmud, p. 239) 
identifies this with the Hippos of Josephus (vita, 65 349), in the Decapolis.f 
S. Merrill adopts this combination; but it rests, so far as the Talmud is 
concerned, on a very insecure basis. (See also Miihlau in Ri. IIIVB,, s.v. ) 

4-11. When war breaks out with the Ammonites, the sheikhs 
of Gilead go after Jephthah, and beg him to take command in 
the war. He expresses his surprise that in their straits they should 
seek the aid of the man whom they have driven into exile. They 
promise that he shall retain his power and be head of all the 
inhabitants of Gilead. Upon these terms he returns with them 
and is proclaimed commander and chief. 4. This verse seems 
superfluous beside v:" a , and is omitted by some Greek manu 
scripts ; Studer questions its genuineness. Of the two, however, 
it is perhaps more likely that v. 5a was inserted by the editor. 
After a ///;/<?] perhaps we should interpret, after a year ; cf. that 
year, io 8 . They overran the Israelites unresisted the first year, 
but the next season, when they again invaded the country, the 
elders summoned Jephthah. The Ammonites ] a people closely 
akin to the Moabites, to whom they seem to have stood in a 
relation somewhat similar to that of Edom to Israel. They lay 
to the northeast of Moab, and east of the Israelite settlements, 
on the border of the desert. Their principal city was Rabbah of 
the Ammonites ( Amman), on the upper Jabbok. In the fertile 
region adjacent to this city they probably early settled down to 
agriculture, but the great body of the tribe seems to have always 
remained at least semi-nomadic. That they periodically harried 
their Israelite neighbours and lifted their cattle, is only what the 

* In the parallel i Chr. 1910 the name is omitted. 

t On the site of Hippos see Schumacher, ZDPV. ix. 1886, p. 324 f. 349 f. ; 
Clerrnont-Ganneau, PEF. Qn. St, t 1887, p. 36-38. 



XI. 4-9 28; 

Beclawin along the margin of the Syrian desert have always done. 
Not seldom their invasions had a more serious character. An 
Ammonite attack on Jabesh-gilead was the occasion which made 
Saul king ( i S. n lff ) ; David waged an embittered war against them 
(2 S. 10-12). 5. See above on v. 4 . The elders of Gilead^ 
v< n. u 10. n c f gic . t ^ e heads O f tne families and clans ; with a 
modern word, the sheikhs. Gilead is often used for the whole 
territory occupied by Israel east of the Jordan, as Canaan for 
their possessions on the west of the river. This territory, whose 
natural boundaries are the Yarmuk on the north and Wady Mogib 
(Arnon) on the south, is divided by the Zerqa (Jabbok) into 
two parts, the northern of which is now called Gebel Aglun, the 
southern, the Belqa. It is the latter which is the scene of our 
story.* 6. Come with us and be our commander~\ an extraor 
dinary authority, a kind of dictatorship, is meant ; see note. 
7. Jephthah expresses his surprise that, after the way they had 
treated him, they should come to him for help in their straits. 
Are not you the men that hated me, and expelled me from my 
father s house ?~\ not only from the house, but from the family ; 
making him a tribeless man, without rights or protection. In 
such a state of society, expulsion from the clan is far more than 
banishment ; it makes a man an outcast and an outlaw. The 
justice or injustice of his banishment is not mooted ; | they have, 
in any case, no reason to expect help from him. 8. Therefore 
we have now returned to thee~\ the particle refers, not to the last 
words of Jephthah (because we are in straits), but to his first 
question : Because we did banish thee, we have now sought thee 
out to bring thee back. So go with us and fight with the 
Ammonites, and thou shalt be our chief, even of all the inhab 
itants of Gilead~\ io ls . Such a sentence may also be conceived 
as conditional : If thou wilt go ... thou shalt be, &c. ; but it is a 
mistake to regard this as a form of the Hebrew conditional sen 
tence. 9. He repeats their proposition, that there may be no 
misunderstanding. If you take me back to fight with the Amman- 

* On Gilead, see Burckhardt, Syria, p. 347-372; Tristram, Land of Israel, 
ch. 22, 23; Merrill, East of the Jordan, 1881 ; Conder, Heth and Moab, 1883; 
SEP. Memoirs, \. 1889; G. A. Smith, Hist. Geogr., p. 517-590; Dfft. s.v. 

t Cler. 



288 JUDGES 

ites, and Ya/iweh gives them over before me, I shall be your chief] 
it is unnecessary to give the words an interrogatory inflection. 

10. Yahweh shall be a -witness between its ] shall hear and take 
note of the words which have passed between us; cf. Gen. 3i 4y , 
Yahweh shall keep watch between us, when we are out of each 
other s sight. That we will do just as than. saycst~\ lit. if we do 
not do ; the usual form of affirmative oath or asseveration. 

11. Jephthah goes with them, and the people acclaim him chief 
and dictator ; cf. 9. So Saul is acclaimed king by all the people 
at Gilgal (i S. n 15 ); Rehoboam goes to Shechem to be made 
king by all Israel (i K. 12 ); Jeroboam is made king there by 
the northern tribes (i K. 12 -""); cf. also i K. i Jff - (Adonijah), 
v. 33tr - (Solomon). It has been generally inferred from v. llb , in con 
nexion with io 17 , that Jephthah was acclaimed at Mizpah. This is 
in itself highly probable ; the Gileadites would naturally assemble 
for the purpose at their principal holy-place (cf. 9 i S. n 15 

1 K. i 1 - 33 i2 l &c.). But io 17 is part of the editor s introduction, 
and n llb is misplaced ; it originally stood in close connexion with 
v. 30 -, from which it has been separated by the interpolation of v. 1 -"-"- , 
and closer examination shows that its proper place is after v. :!1 , 
not before v. 30 ; see below. Jephthah uttered all his words before 
Yahweh at Mizpah] at the holy place, before the stele, altar, or 
idol, in which the deity was believed to dwell, or which symbolized 
his presence ; cf. i S. r ((5) 15 - w 7 lo 11 -- u ls 15^ 2 S. 5" 2i J 6 3 - 14 

2 K. i9 14 . In the present context the words can only mean, he 
repeated before Yahweh what he had said to the elders of Gilead 
when they came to solicit his aid (v. 11 ).* The only object in such 
a repetition would be to bind them by a religious sanction to keep 
their promise; but in that case he must have made them solemnly 
repeat their pledge (v. 8 - 10 ), his words would not hold them ; and, 
furthermore, the promise of the elders had already been fulfilled 
by the people (v. lla ). On the other hand, the statement is perti 
nent, if indeed it is not indispensable, in the account of Jeph- 
thah s vow, v. 31 "- cf. v. 30 - 36 ; see further on v. 31 . Mizpah is not 
Mizpah in Benjamin (Jos. i8 2t; Jud. 20 21 i S. 7 io 17 Neh. 3 7 



* Stud. It is hardly permissible to stretch the words to cover all that had passed 
between him and the elders (Ra.). 



XI. 9~" 289 



&c.),* but Mizpah in Gilead (v. r>4 cf. v. 29 Hos. 5 ). The site has 
not been recovered ; in our story we might think of Gebel Osha , 
an hour north of es-Salt, from whose summit the view takes in a 
large part of Palestine.! 

4. The verse is lacking in @ BN : it is found in all other recensions of <5 
and in all the other versions. J The omission may be due to homoeoteleuton; 
or, less likely, to the same feeling of the redundancy of the verse which has 
led Jerome to condense in translation. D^c] after a time ; I4 8 15* Jos. 23* 
n^:n DIDT, after a long time; or, after a year; see below v. 40 . On the 
Ammonites see Stade, GVI. i. p. 120; Ri. IIWB., D 2 ., s.v. 5. -iySj >jpr] 
cf. Nu. 22 4 (Midian) 22 7 (Moab) I S. 4 3 (Israel) &c. Elders of a city, Jud. 8 16 
r S. II 3 ; cf. -pyn ijpr freq. in Dt. 6. pxp] v. 11 ; synonym of ti fo Mi. 3 1 - 9 ; 
joined with iau ; and Sirs Prov. 6"; commander of troops Jos. io 24 ; dictator 
Is. 3 fi - 7 ; cf. also Is. I 10 22 3 Da. II 18 . 8. ] p~\ there is no occasion for depart 
ing from the ordinary meaning of the particle. In Jer. 5 2 , sometimes adduced 
for the sense nevertheless, notwithstanding, the St. Petersburg codex reads 
J3N; the other exx. cited in Noldius do not support the meaning alleged. 
roSm] perf. in an urgent entreaty; Dr 3 . 119 5; followed by two other 
consec. perff. 9. The protasis with a ptcp., g 15 cf. 6 36 and note there; 
Friedrich, Conditionahatze, p. 16. The apodosis begins, not with jnji (Dr 3 . 
137 a) : if you are going to bring me back . . . Yahweh will deliver them 
up, but with runs -OJN. 11. Mizpah. From Jos. I3 26 , naxsn nci Ramath- 
mizpeh, it is frequently inferred that Mizpah of Gilead is the same with 
Ramoth-gilead (i K. 4 13 ), which was the seat of an ancient sanctuary (Jos. 2O 8 
Dt. 4 43 ), and a strong place of great importance in the Syrian wars (i K. 22 3ff - 
2 K. 8 28 9 lff -)- According to Euseb. (OS 2 . 28791), Ramoth was a village 15 m. 
W. of Philadelphia ( Amman), perhaps the modern es-Salt. But Ramah and 
Mizpah (Mizpeh) are both common names, and the Ramoth of the Kings 
must have been much further north. The form nsxc[n] Jos. n 8 I3 26 , cstr. 
Jud. n -Jbis i g. 22 3 . What may be the reason of this variation in pronuncia 
tion is not clear. The fern. cstr. does not occur, but we have the locative 



12-28. The title of Israel in Gilead. Jephthah demands 
the reason of the Ammonite invasion ; the king replies that he 
makes war to recover the territory between the Jabbok and the 
Arnon, which Israel, when it came up from Egypt, took from 
Ammon, and concludes with a demand for its surrender (v. 12 * -). 

* Reland. Grove, a!., transport the Mizpah of Jud. 20, 21 to Gilead ; see there. 
t See Burckhardt, Syria, p. 353 f . ; Bad 3 ., p. 180. J Lai. omit v. Sa . 

We should naturally look for the Mizpah of Gen. 3i 49 on the Aramaean 
frontier, in northern Gilead. 
U 



2QO JUDGES 

Jephthah denies the claim of the Ammonites to this region : Israel 
took no land from Moab or Ammon ; on the contrary, it scrupu 
lously respected the rights of Edom and Moab ; when denied a 
passage through those countries, it made a long circuit to the 
east, avoiding them altogether, and never crossed the Arnon, the 
border of Moab (v. u ~ 18 ). But when Sihon, the Amorite king of 
Heshbon, refused them transit, they invaded and conquered his 
kingdom, which extended from the Jabbok to the Arnon, and 
from the eastern desert to the Jordan. What Chemosh has given 
to his people they possess by right ; Israel has the same title to 
the lands which Yahweh has given them by conquest (v. 10 ~- 4 ). 
The claim now set up is a new one : Balak, who was king of 
Moab when Israel occupied this region, did not assert his title 
to it by going to war with them ; for three hundred years Israel 
has dwelt unmolested in Heshbon and the other cities which 
Ammon now claims. The wrong is wholly on the side of the 
invader. Yahweh shall decide between them (v. 2r ~ 28 ). The 
representations of Jephthah s ambassadors are unheeded, the 
spirit of Yahweh (battle fury) comes upon him, and he passes 
over to fight with the Ammonites (v. 29 ) . On the interpolation, 
see above, p. 283. 

12. Jephthah demands of the king what right the Ammonites 
have to invade the territory of Israel. What hare I to do with 
thce~\ 2 K. 3 13 c. ; what is there between us to justify this war ? 
The question is asked only to give occasion to the following histor 
ical disquisition. / is really Israel, as in v. 27 , not Jephthah. 
13. The king answers that Israel had taken possession of lands 
belonging to Ammon. From the Arnon to the Jabbok, and to 
f/ic Jordan^ the territory in dispute was bounded by the Arnon 
on the south and the Jabbok on the north, and extended westward 
to the Jordan. The eastern limit was the Syrian desert (v. 22 ). 
The Arnon, now Wady Mogib, flows from the east into the Dead 
Sea, about midway between its northern and southern ends. The 
valley of the Mogib is a deep ravine with precipitous walls.* - 
The Jabbok, now Nahr ez-Zerqa (Blue River), is the principal 



* Sec Burckhardt, Syria, p. 372-375 ; Seetzcn, A ciscn, ii. p. 347 ; Tristram, Land 
of Moab, p. 140-143. 



XI. 12-17 29 1 

eastern affluent of the Jordan, into which it falls about two-fifths 
of the way from the Dead Sea to the Sea of Galilee. It also flows 
through a deep ravine, which divides the high lands into two 
regions of very different character, the Belqa and Gebel Aglun. 
The sources of the stream are near Amman (Kabbah of the Am 
monites), whence it flows, first in an easterly, then in a north 
westerly course, then almost due west till it emerges from the 
mountains. So now restore them peaceably] the plural pronoun 
(fern.) must be understood of the cities in this region ; cf. v. 33 .* 
14, 15. Jephthah s answer is a general denial : Israel did not 
take territory from either Moab or Ammon ; cf. Dt. 2 9 - 19 . Thus 
far, the controversy has been with Ammon only ; now Moab is 
introduced by the side of Ammon ; what follows has reference 
exclusively to Israel s relations to Moab, and the argument has no 
bearing at all on the point which is supposed to be in dispute ; 
see above, p. 283. As a matter of fact, the cities north of the 
Arnon were Moabite, as we know both from the Moabite inscrip 
tion of King Mesha and from the prophets (Is. 15 16 Jer. 48 
&c.).f The only Ammonite city named in the O.T. is Kabbah 
(Philadelphia, Amman). The Ammonites profited by the disas 
ters of Israel, and occupied a considerable part of the old territory 
of Gad (Jer. 49 1 Ez. 25-; cf. i Mace. 5 Gff -). 16. Israel went in 
the desert as far as the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh] the first 
words are generally thought to refer to the crossing of the Red 
Sea (Ex. i3 18 14), but apart from the strangeness both of the 
expression itself and of the juxtaposition with the following, the 
mention of the fact has no relevancy in this connexion. It is 
rather, perhaps, a not altogether distinct reminiscence of Nu. 
i4 25b (E), connected with 2O 14ff - (E). Kadesh~\ now generally 
identified with Ain Qudeis. \ 17. Israel sent messengers to the 
king of Edom~\ from Kadesh. The verse is plainly dependent, 
even in expression, upon Nu. 20 14 21 (E). In Dt. i 2 4 8 no mention 
is made of these negotiations with Edom. He (Israel) sent to 
the king of Moab also, but he would not consent] no account of 



* Be. (cf. Nu. 2I 25 ) ; not, the lands of Moab and Ammon (Stud.), 
t Cf. also Jud. 3 12ff - ; above, p. 90 f. 

Rowlands, in Williams, Holy City 2 i. p. 467 f. ; Trumbull, Kadesh Barnea, 
p. 237 ff. 



2Q2 JUDGES 

this embassy is now found in the Pentateuch, and as there is no 
apparent reason why an editor should have omitted it, if it existed 
in his sources, it may fairly be doubted whether the author of our 
passage had any authority for the statement. He might naturally 
reason that, if Israel proposed to pass around the southern end of 
the Dead Sea, the consent of Moab was as necessary as that of 
Edom. So Israel remained at KadesJi\ Nu. 20 1 Dt. i 46 . 18. The 
Israelites made a long circuit around Edom and Moab, going 
south along the western frontier of Edom to the head of the Gulf 
of Aqabah (Red Sea), and then through the desert to the east of 
Edom and Moab (Nu. 20" 2 1 4 ) ; * cf. the somewhat different repre 
sentation in Dt. 2. They came up on the east of the land of Moab, 
and encamped beyond the Arnon ] Nu. 2 1 11 - 1;i . They did not enter 
the territory of Moab ; for the Arnon is the boundary of Moali\ 
Nu. 2 1 13 22 s ". It is not necessary to suppose that the author 
means the eastern boundary ; \ he may have represented the 
Israelites as keeping beyond the limit of settlement on the east of 
Moab till they crossed the wadies which ran into the Arnon from 
the east, and then turning westward along the northern side of the 
Arnon; this is apparently the representation of Nu. 2i 13 . 

12. -[Si ^ n-] cf. further 2 S. i6 10 ig 23 Jos. 22 24 2 K. 9 18 &c. The idiom 
occurs not only in Hellenistic Greek, but in the classics; see Valckenaer on 
licit., v. 33, Eurip., Hippol. 224, cited by Stud.; Ges. Thes., p. 769. So also 
in Syr. and Arab, (concomitant object; Caspari, 402). 13. pr\v] not the 
lands (msns, cf. v. 15 ) which belonged jointly to Moab and Ammon (Stud.), but 
the cities. J VMO Q cauii 15. N:pl . . . Yvi . _ . cri^o] yri apodosis to the 
temporal protasis (Dr 3 . 127 /3) ; not to be included in the protasis (Kitt.), mak 
ing the apodosis begin with nSiP^i. H 10 0^ ijr] possibly the words have been 
misplaced. In v. 18 (laina "! L " i) they would be much more pertinent. xSi 
HDN] ig 10 ; synon. of ysz xS v. a , cf. Is. I 19 cr>^" i 12 xn EN. The verb is found 
almost exclusively with the negation (the exceptions are Is. I.e., and Job 39 
in a rhetorical question equivalent to negation); refuse assent or consent; 
decline, refuse. The meanings be desirous, be willing frequently attributed 
to the verb are fictitious. 18. if Dtp mins] 2O 43 Dt. 4 47 Is. 4i 25 &c. (prevail- 



* The description of the route in Nu. 21 is made up of heterogeneous elements. 

f In which case the name Arnon must be applied (as it very well may have 
been) to the long southeastern branch of the Mdgib, the Seil es-Sa ideh, the head 
of which is near Katmneh on the Hagg road. See DIP. i. p. 247 n. 

J Stud, gathers from the word that the king of the Ammonites had accused 
Israel of occupying territory which belonged to Moab, as well as that of Ammon. 



XI. 17-22 293 

ing in later books); tt CS n mm Nu. 2I 11 Jos. i 15 13 2 K. IO 33 c. The 
omission of the article is probably explained by the fact that the phrase is a 
unit in sense, like sunrise, sunset, &c., and construed like words designating 
direction (pas, &c.), which do not admit the article. The next step is to drop 
the genitive, Am. 8 1 - &c. pn ~o>:j] Nu. 2i 13 ia>c, on the other side of the 
Arnon; that is, from Moab. Not south of the Arnon (Di. on Nu. I.e.), or east 
of its upper course, but north of it, having crossed its head wadies in the 
desert, east of the Moabite settlements, Nu. I.e. ; cf. Dt. 2 2i . 

19. Israel asks of Sihon permission to cross his country, through 
which they must needs pass to reach the Jordan and invade 
Canaan. King of the Amorites] of the new Amorite kingdom 
which had been established north of the Arnon, in lands wrested 
from Moab (Nu. 2I 20 30 ).* Hcshbon~\ one of the chief cities of 
Moab (Is. i5 4 Jer. 48 2 &c.) ; for a time in the possession of Israel 
(cf. v.-). Its ruins, which still bear the old name, Hesban, lie 
about sixteen miles east of the mouth of the Jordan. f Let me 
pass through thy country] Nu. 21- Dt. 2*. To my place] cf. Nu. 
lo 29 . 20. But Sihon refused Israel passage through his territory] 
so the text is to be emended on the authority of ( A aL ; ffcf has, 
Sihon did not trust Israel to pass, but the use and construction of 
the verb trust are anomalous ; see note. Sihon collected all his 
forces and encamped at Jahaz] Nu. 2i 23 Dt. 2 32 . Jahaz is a 
Moabite city, named in conjunction with Heshbon and Elealeh. j 
It was shown in Eusebius time between Medeba and Debus. 
21. Yahweh gave the Amorites into the power of the Israelites, 
who conquered them and occupied all their territory; Nu. 2i 24 
Dt. 2 33 " 37 . 22. The boundaries of this territory more exactly 
defined ; it was precisely the district now claimed by Ammon 
(v. 13 ) ; cf. Nu. 2I 24 26 Dt. 2 3Cf -. In both the latter passages it is 
carefully explained that Israel took no territory from the Am- 

* Whether this representation is historical or not, is a question into which we 
need not enter here; sec E. Meyer, 7,ATW. i. p. 128 ff. ; Sta., GVI. i. p. 117 f.; 
on the other side, Di., NDJ. p. 133 ; Kitt., GdH. i. i. p. 207 ff. 

t On Heshbon see Reland, Palacstina, p. 719 f. ; Le Strange, p. 456 ; Burckhardt, 
Syria, 365 ; Tristram, Land of Israel^, p. 528 f. ; SEP. Memoirs, i. p. 104 ff. ; Dff 2 . 
i. p. 1348. J See Mesha s inscription, I. 19, Is. 15* Jer. 48-!- **. 

OS 2 . 26494. ArjpoOs is probably Dibon. Reland (Palaestina, p. 825) conj. 
Eo-/3oOs {OS 2 . 25327), Heshbon, which appears intrinsically more probable. The 
scene of the battle seems to have been not far from Heshbon. Jahaz has not been 
identified; for a long list of guesses, see Dlft. s.v. 



294 JUDGES 

monites, and in both the Jabbok is the boundary between their 
conquests and the possessions of Ammon. This seems to mean 
that the upper course of the Jabbok, whose general direction is 
north,* formed the eastern frontier of the Israelite territory in this 
quarter, along which they bordered on Ammon. In Jud. n 13 ", 
however, the Jabbok is clearly the northern boundary of the 
region in dispute, which extends eastward to the desert (v.~), 
leaving no place at all for Ammon. 

23, 24. The divine right of conquest. So now, Yahweh, the 
god of Israel, dispossessed the Amorites before his people Israel, and 
wilt thou possess them~\ their (sc. the Amorites ) territory. Question 
of indignant surprise ; cf. on v. G . 24. Shouldst thou not possess 
the territory of those whom Chemosh thy god dispossesses ft and we 
possess the territory of all whom Yahweh our god dispossesses ?~\ 
the translation is as literal as possible, preserving, at some sacrifice 
of English idiom, the recurring verb. The conquests of a people 
are the conquests of its god, who bestows upon them the territory 
of the conquered ; they hold it by a divine right which should 
be respected by others who hold their own territories by the 
like title. Chemosh is the national god of Moab (i K. ir a 
cf. ii 7 2 K. 23 1:! ), and Moab is the people of Chemosh (Nu. 2i L " J 
Jer. 48 4(! ), just as Yahweh is the god of Israel, and Israel the 
people of Yahweh. So in the inscription of Mesha, king of Moab, 
we read that the king of Israel oppressed Moab a long time, 
" because Chemosh was angry with his land " (1. 5f.) ; he erects a 
sanctuary to Chemosh in gratitude for deliverance (1. 3).J The 
reality and power of the national god of Moab were no more 
doubted by the old Israelites than those of Yahweh himself. A 
conspicuous illustration of this is 2 K. 3 27 , where a signal disaster 
of the Israelite arms before the capital of Moab is attributed to 
the fury of Chemosh, excited by the sacrifice of the king s son. 
The national god of the Ammonites, on the contrary, was Milcom 



* First XK., to Qal at ez-Zerqa, then NW. to its junction with Wady Gerash, 
where it finally turns to the west ; see also on v. 13 . 

t On the text, see note. 

\ Cf. also 1. 8 f., 12 f., 14, 19, 17 f. 

$ See Baudissin, Studien zur scmit. Religionsgeschichte, i. p. 55 ff . ; Smend, 
Alttest. Religionsgesch., p. in f. On Chemosh, see Baethgen, Ucitrage, p. 13-15. 



XI. 23-25 295 

(i K. ii 3 * cf. ii 5 2 K. 23 13 ; also Jer. 49 1-3 ).* From the fact that 
Chemosh is named here instead of Milcom, older commentators 
inferred that Chemosh was worshipped by the Ammonites as well 
as by Moab.| In itself there is no difficulty in admitting this ; 
we know that both Chemosh and Milcom were worshipped in 
Israel for centuries ; but it is inconceivable that the conquests of 
Ammon should be attributed to the national god of the sister 
people, as it would be that the conquests of Israel should be 
ascribed to any god but Yahweh. Others are inclined to assume 
that Milcom may also have been called Chemosh ; { or that 
Chemosh is a slip of the pen on the part of the author ; or a 
scribe s blunder. || But the whole preceding and following con 
text has to do with Moab only, and the name of Chemosh is not 
an accident to be explained by itself ; the error runs through the 
whole learned argument. 

20. nay Ssnri PN prvD pcxn t6i] pro tuto non habebat Sihhon, Israelem 
transire, Ges. Thes. ; cf. Ew. 336 b. The construction is anomalous (Job i$ 2 2 , 
lirn ijs ais paNi xS, is not parallel), and the comparison of the accus. with 
inf. is misleading. <AVLMO g E has xa.1 OVK ^^Arj<re ST/UP rbv la-payX 5te\dfii>, 
which probably represents Ji JIITD fNsri; cf. Nu. 2O 21 *?toa" nx p: anx JNO^I 
iS:m iby; ^[ jsc 11 was corrupted to ictx % which necessitated the introduction of 
the negative, giving the text of J$, followed by (S BN STJO- nxrva urvi] in 
Is. 15* Jer. 4S 34 , Mesha, 1. 19, the name is }T*\ The locative a, Nu. 2i 23 Dt. 2 32 , 
seems to be mistaken for fern, ending, as in Jer. 48 21 Jos. I3 18 I Chr. 6 G3 ; 
Sta. 342 d. ** 24. Ji enaa ic ( nv -\rs % PN] the double accusative would com 
pel us to take the verb in a different sense (cause thee to possess, 2 Chr. 2O 11 ), 
thus destroying the symmetry of the sentence. The final 3 has arisen by 
dittography from the following. 

25, 26. The right of adverse possession. The king of Moab 
at the time of the conquest did not try to recover this territory ; 
for three hundred years Israel has been in unchallenged possession 
of it. 25. Now, art than any better than Balak son of Zippor, 
king of Moab ? Did he have any contention with Israel, or did 
he ever go to war with them ?~\ the story of E (Nu. 22 2ff- ), on 
which the author is probably here as in the foregoing dependent, 

* Mispronounced in ffl. f Cler., Schm.; against this explanation, Stud, 
t Be. Baethgen. || Sayce. H Cf. also Nu. 2I 23 JPJ N^, Dt. 2 30 nax N 1 ?. 
** Hitz. (7., p. 187 f.) and Kneucker (BL. s. v.) think that there were two cities, 
Jahaz and Jahazah. 



296 JUDGES 

gives the answer : Balak did not contest with Israel the possession 
of the lands north of the Arnon. Is the present king of Ammon, 
then, a greater man than Balak, that he would vindicate his claim 
to this territory? The question is not whether he has a better 
claim than Balak, from one of whose recent predecessors the 
country had been taken by the Amorites,* but whether he thinks 
himself superior to Balak, able to do what Balak did not dare, 
namely, to try to take this territory from Israel ; cf. i S. g 2 Am. 6" 
Nah. 3 s . 26. Why had they not recovered these cities in the 
three hundred years during which Israel had inhabited them 
unmolested? In Heshbon and its dependencies} Nu. 2i i5 ; the 
towns and villages which belonged to it (i 27 &c.). Arocr\ is not 
named in Nu. 21 ; Dt. z" fi 3 12 Jos. i2 2 2 K. id" locate it on the 
banks of the Arnon, the southernmost city of Israel east of the 
Jordan ; cf. Mesha, 1. 26, Jer. 48 1U . Eusebius gives a good 
description of its situation. f The ruins, still bearing the name 
Ara ir, lie on the edge of the precipitous north bank of Wady 
Mogib, where the Roman road crosses the gorge.} And in all 
the towns which arc adjacent to the Arnon~\ along its northern 
side ; the southern border of Israel. Instead of these places in 
the extreme south, (& has : in Heshbon and its dependencies, and 
in Jaazcr and its dependencies, and in all the cities along the 
Jordan. Jaazer (Nu. 2i 3 - 2 S. 24 &c.) was eight or ten miles 
west of Philadelphia ( Amman), || and is described as a frontier 
town of Ammon (Nu. 2i 24 (5). The reading of (2> in our verse is 
obviously original ; Aroer and the Arnon in %\ were suggested by 
v. ls (cf. Nu. 2i loif -), and represent the tendency of late editors 
and scribes to enlarge the borders of Israel at the expense of all 
its neighbours. For three hundred years} the addition of the 
numbers given in the preceding chapters for the duration of the 
several " oppressions " and the rule of the successive judges gives 
the sum of three hundred and nineteen years, or, if the eighteen 
years of the Ammonite oppression (io s ) be omitted, three hun- 



* Lth., Pise. t OS*. 212,*,. 

1 Sec Reland, Palacstina, p. 582 f. ; Burckhardt, Syria, p. 372 ; Tristram, Land 
of Moab, p. 144 f. 
$ See crit. note. 

|| OS-. 264, JS) Cf. 212^. 



xi. 25-27 297 

dred and one years.* The coincidence is so close as to suggest 
that the computation was made upon the basis of the present 
chronology of the book. If this be the case, the figures must 
have been inserted by the last editor, or a still later hand.f The 
connexion of v. 2fi with the preceding would be much more 
intimate if the number were omitted : Did Balak make any 
opposition when Israel settled in Heshbon . . . Why didst thou 
(Moab) not reclaim them at that time. 27. Israel has in no 
way offended against Ammon ; the latter is altogether in the 
wrong in the present invasion. / have committed no fault ] the 
/ is Israel, not Jephthah ; see above on v. 12 . Let Yahweh, who 
is arbiter to-day, decide between Israelites and Ammonites ] the 
order of the words seems to favour this construction, \ rather than 
that which connects to-day with the principal verb, Let Yahweh the 
judge decide to-day. Compare in general, i S. 24 llf-15 Gen. ^i 53 



25. nnN a ^B a^an] the words are regarded by many as standing in the same 
relation to each other as the following EnSj chSj ox an a nn, the first a IB being 
inf. absol., the second, participle.^ So Schm.; Roorda, 565; Ew. 312 a; 
SS. There is no similar case (Roorda); and we should perhaps have to 
suppose that the bold and unusual construction was suggested by the analogy 
of the following clauses. Others take both words as adjectives, the reiteration 
being emphatic, art thou so much better (Ges. 25 133, I n.; Green, 296, 3 a). 
The analogy of the following clauses may be recognized also in this explana 
tion. It is not to be assumed that the writer was conscious of the grammatical 
difference which we make between adj., ptcp., and inf. abs.; for him ara was 
aiB. (5 BNT /J.TJ ev dya6$ dyadurepos <ri> virtp Ba\a/c (= $?): (gAPVLMO g j ^ 
Kpeiacrwv el ffv /c.r.e. It is possible that the repetition of aiB is due to a scribe, 
rather than to the author. an a nn] an is a controversy about rights; cf. I2 2 . 
anSj ohSj DN] the inf. abs. formed from the perf. stem, Sta. 626 c; used 

*Cushan-rishathaim ( 3 8),8; Othniel (3 n ),4o; Eglon (3),i8; Ehud (380), 
80; Jabin (4 3 ), 20; Deborah (5 31 ), 40; Midianites (6 1 ), 7; Gideon (8 28 ), 40; 
Abimelech (9), 3; Tola (io 2 ),23; Jair (lo 3 ), 22 = 301; Ammonites (io 8 ), 18 ; 
total, 319. The years of Joshua and the survivors of the generation of the con 
quest (2") are not taken into the account. 

t The alternative is to suppose that 300 is a round number, the coincidence of 
which with the sum of the years in the present chronology is purely accidental, 
a very improbable hypothesis. J EOT, Stud., Be. 

fH (accents) >, Schm., Ke., Kitt., al.; cf. Cler. 

|| On Yahweh as judge, see Smend, Alttest. Religionsgeschichte, p. 99 ff., esp. 
p. 103 f. H Cf. i&26. 



298 JUDGES 

with the perf. on account of the assonance; Bo. 985, i; 988, 2 b. 

26. TI>H> f ] elsewhere ^y~^y (Mesha, 1. 26, Nu. 2 3U and uniformly in the Penta 
teuch), or "\y~\~\y (e.g. Jos. I3 - 5 ); see Frensdorff, JMassoret. IVorterb., p. 314; 
Norzi, ad loc. The name seems to be an internal plural. On the etymology, 
see Lagarde, Semitica, i. p. 30. jm.x i-p *?;] more commonly T> hy, Ex. 2 5 
Nu. 13- Jer. 46 Dan. io 4 (streams, cf. Dt. 2 37 ), Jos. I5 4G Ez. 48 1 (^N, cities); 
adjacent to. Not, on both sides of the Arnon (Kitt.) , which contradicts the whole 
theory of the author, and is without support in usage; cf. Nu. 34 3 . (5 AM t ev 
Ecre/Stop . . . KO.L ev lafrjp /ecu ev rals GvyaTpdtriv O.VTTJS /ecu ev Trdcrais rcus 
Tr6\e<riv TCUS irapa. rrfv lopddvrjv. Other recensions have v Aporjp or ev 777 
Apo?7p( B ); Ij omits the clause altogether. Juxta Jordanem also 11. > nci 
Drosn xS] (S B ^ 5ia rl OVK Ippvcrtij avrovs.* The sing, thou has been used 
throughout, and is intrinsically preferable here; we should therefore probably 
pronounce or^xn (Stud.); the masc. suffix for the fern, is not infrequent; 
here, if necessary, it might be explained as ad sensuni for the people of the 
cities. NTH nya] at that time ; 3 29 4 4 12 I4 4 2i 14 -- 4 , and frequently. There 
is no instance in the O.T. in which the phrase approaches the sense, during 
all that time. This gives considerable support to the hypothesis advanced 
above on other grounds, that three hundred years is an interpolation. 

27. avn Dflt?n rnm astr *] the accents indicate that nvn is to be taken with the 
principal verb (against Be.). 

28, 29. The king of Ammon pays no heed to Jephthah s repre 
sentations. The spirit of Yahweh comes upon the champion, 
and he leads against the foe. In v. L the redactor endeavours to 
recover the thread of the narrative, which is broken by the long 
interpolation, v. 12 28 . 29. The spirit of Yahweh ] see on 3 1 ", and 
cf. i4- ly i S. n (i . He went over to Gilead and Manasseh, and 
went over to Mizpeh of Gilead ; f and from Mizpch of Gilead he 
went over to the Ammonites^ it is not possible to form any satis 
factory notion of these movements or of their object. In v. 11 
Jephthah was already in Gilead, and probably at Mizpah, where 
he apparently still is in v. 30 * 1 ; his setting out against the Ammon 
ites is related in due course in v."-. In itself it is conceivable 
enough that these journeys to and fro in Gilead and Manasseh 
were for the purpose of raising the tribes for the war, \ though we 
should expect some indication of the fact (cf. 6 """ y- 4 &c.) ; but 
this cannot be the intention of the author of the chapter, accord 
ing to whom the Israelites were already assembled (v. Ila cf. io 1 ). 



* The other recensions of (5 have ippvaavTo ( M ttiAa>"ro). 
t On the form Mizpeh see on v. u , p. 289. J Be. 



XI. 28-33 299 

In short, v. 29 is a somewhat unskilful attempt to fasten the new 
cloth, v. 12 "* 1 , into the old garment. 

30, 31. Jephthah s vow. These verses should stand immedi 
ately after v. lla ; having been acclaimed chieftain by the people, 
Jephthah vows that if Yahweh will give him victory over the 
Ammonites, he will offer him a human sacrifice, v. 30 - 31 ; these fate 
ful words were uttered before Yahweh at Mizpah, v. llb cf. v. 35 - 36 . 
He then puts himself at the head of the people and marches 
against the Ammonites, v. 3 -. The order has been deranged by 
the introduction of v. 12 " 29 , and perhaps still further by the acci 
dental consequences of the interpolation ; see above on v. 11 . 
30. Jephthah made a vow to Yahwch~\ cf. Gen. 28 20 " 22 i S. i 11 
2 S. i5 7f- . 31. Whoever it may be that comes out of the door of 
my house to meet me, when I return successful from the Ammon 
ites shall be Yahweh s, and I will offer him up as a burnt offer 
ing the original sequel of this verse is v. Ilb : And Jephthah spoke 
all his words before Yahweh at Mizpah. Quemlibet in hoc loco 
cogitaverit Jephte secundum cogitationem humanam, non videtur 
unicam filiam cogitasse ; alioquin non diceret, cum illam cerneret 
occurrisse, Heu me, filia mea, impedisti me ; in offendiculum 
facta es in oculis meis. . . . Sed quern potuit cogitare primitus 
occurrentem, qui filios alios non habebat? An conjugem cogita 
verit ? * That a human victim is intended is, in fact, as plain as 
words can make it ; the language is inapplicable to an animal, and 
a vow to offer the first sheep or goat that he comes across not 
to mention the possibility of an unclean animal is trivial to 
absurdity. It is not, therefore, a rash vow to sacrifice whatever 
first meets him,f for which he is punished, J but a deliberate one. 
See further on v. 39 , and note at the end of the chapter. 

32, 33. The war ; defeat and subjugation of the Ammonites. 

Jephthah went over to the Ammonites to fight with thcni\ he 
took the aggressive, and, as appears both from the language here 
and from the next verse, invaded their territory. 33. He beat 
them from Arocr till you come to Minnith, tiventy cities, and as 

* Aug., quaest. 49. 

t Fl. Jos., antt. V. 7, IO \ 263, uTroo-^djie^os . . . T!a.v b Tt Kai -npiarov ai>Tw avvrv\ot 
iepoupyjjo-eii/. J Thdt. FI. Jos. 



300 JUDGES 

far as Abcl-kcramim~\ the direction and extent of this victorious 
advance cannot now be made out. Arocr cannot be the city of 
this name on the Arnon (v. L>(1 ),* but " Aroer which is in front of 
Rabbah " (Kabbah of Ammon), Jos. 13"";! that i s > as is S en - 
erally understood, east of that city. Minnith is connected by 
Eusebius with a village called in his day Maanith, four miles 
from Heshbon on the road to Philadelphia ; \ for Abel-keramim 
(Vineyard-meadow) he suggests a village Abel six miles from 
Philadelphia, in what direction is not indicated. The situation 
of Maanith does not suit the requirement of our text ; we should 
look for Minnith in Ammonite territory beyond Aroer, not in the 
immediate vicinity of Heshbon. The other identifications pro 
posed are not verifiable. Twenty towns ] summary account of 
Jephthah s conquests; cf. Jos. lo 41 ^-. But for these words, which 
stand moreover in a somewhat suspicious place, we should take 
the verse as a description of the battle. The Ammonites were 
subjugated"] see on 3 30 ; cf. S 1 8 i S. 7". 

29. nySjn nx nj," i] ~^> with ace. go over, pass, to a place, i8 13 cf. I2 1 
Am. 5 5 6- Is. 23 &c. (SS.)- Pass through, traverse, a region is 2 -o; - , i S. 9 4 
and often. ]^y ^ja -o; - ] an anomalous expression. Like other verbs of 
motion, when the goal is personal, ~o> is construed with ?N (^j, )? V - A2 !2 ;i &c. 
See Ges. 25 118, 2. The instances where the ace. is found (poet, and late; 
cf. i S. I3 2) ), only make it more probable that in our verse we have the language 
of a comparatively late redactor. 31. Ni" 1 "C .x N X 1 ^] the cognate subject 
appears to emphasize the indefiniteness (universality) of the promise, Who 
ever it may be.- - S D rtop 1 ? vXi i is used only of persons; TP3 \iSis would not 
be said of domestic animals. n^ ; irpmSjrni nvr>S n\ni] the last words explain 
the first, which by themselves might be understood in the sense of I S. i n . 
Moses Kimchi interpreted the second clause as an alternative, Shall be Conse 
crated to Yahweh (if unfit for sacrifice), or (if suitable) I will offer it as a 
burnt offering. See below, note on v. 40 . 33. The Ammonite Aroer is 
named only here and in Jos. I3 25 , nan rja S> iti N i>"n> i>. The phrase ^D ?> 
in topographical notices generally means east of (see on i6 3 ). In 2 S. 24 5 
Aroer on the Arnon is meant; see We., TBS. p. 217, 221 ; Dr., 77>.S . p. 285 f. ; 
Di., NDJ. p. 514; so also Nu. 32 :i4 (against DIP. i. p. 248). Nu. 2i- ;b , 
they took all his [Sihon s] country, airo Apot]p ews Apvuv, is jirobably, like 



* Stud. 

f In this verse (P) it is allotted to Gad, which gets "half the country of the 
Ammonites, as far as Aroer," &c. It was therefore an Ammonite town. 

j OS 2 . 28o 44 ; cf. Fl. Jos. I.e., Mafiadtj. $ Ku^r) cinTrtAdi/jopo,- A/3*A, OS-. 2255. 



XL 33-35 301 

we in !$, an error for pa^o. n^n] in Ez. ay 17 , wheat of Minnith, the text is 
corrupt; see Co. Buckingham s Menjah, 6 or 7 m. NE. of Hesban on the 
road to Amman, with which Kneucker {BL. s.v.) and others would identify 
Minnith, seems not to exist; see Tristram, Land of Moab, p. 155; SEP. 
Memoirs, and Map. Minyeh (Conder, flet/i ami Moab, p. 252) is much too 
far south. o^ma Va] Euseb. notes two other Abels, one 12 m. E. of Gadara 
(modern Abil), the other between Damascus and Paneas. Tristram {Land 
of Moab, p. 154 f.), supposing the battle to have been fought at the Moabite 
Aroer, on the Arnon, would recognize our Abel-keramim in the Kurm Dhiban, 
a mile or two east of Uhiban. 

34-40. Jephthah s return; his meeting with his daughter; 
the fulfilment of his vow. Jephthah returns in triumph. 
Among the women who celebrate the victory with choral dances 
his only daughter comes joyfully to meet him. The father is in 
despair, but he must keep his fatal vow. The maiden receives 
her doom in a heroic spirit ; she is ready to die, since Yahweh has 
avenged her father of his foes ; she only asks two months respite 
to mourn her maidenhood. When they are over she returns, and 
Jephthah fulfils his vow. In her memory the women keep a four- 
days festival every year. 34. Jephthah came to his home at 
MizpaJi] from Mizpah he set out to the war, v. nb - 32 . That he 
had a home there, we learn first from this verse ; from v. 3 lla we 
should not have suspected it. The two representations are not 
necessarily irreconcilable. There was his daughter, coming out 
to meet him~\ the author depicts the scene with great vividness ; 
cf. 4" 5 25ff -. With tambourines and choral dances ^ as the women 
met David, i S. i8 <!f - (cf. 21" 29 ), or as Miriam celebrated the 
overthrow of Egypt at the Red Sea, Ex. 15. She was abso 
lutely an only child ; besides this one he had neither son nor 
daughter^ expressions are accumulated to emphasize the total 
bereavement which thus confronted him. 35. He rent his 
garments^ a gesture of violent grief or mourning, Gen. 37* J 
2 S. i3 19 - 31 Job i 20 and often. Oh, my daughter, thoii hast ruined 
me~\ lit. felled me, as by a deadly blow; 2 S. 22 40 cf. Jud. s 27 . 
Thou art become the atithor of my calamity^ with tragic emphasis, 
Thou ! The translation of the English version, Thou art one 
of them that trouble me, is, at least for the modern reader, both 
feeble and misleading ; the verb is one of the strongest in the 
language; cf. Gen. 34 Jos. 6 1S f i S. I4 29 i K. 1 8 17 - 18 . Inas- 



302 JUDGES 

much as I have spoken a solemn word to Yahweh, and cannot go 
back~\ lit. have opened my month wide, uttered a great and dread 
ful vow; cf. Job 35 1(1 Ps. 66 13f . With the last words compare 
Am. i 3 &c. 36. She feels her doom in her father s passionate, 
though vague words, and answers with tragic heroism, So let it 
be ! Since it appears in v. 37 that she is fully aware of her fate, 
although it has not been named, Budde conceives that, by 
accident or design, part of the dialogue has been omitted between 
v. 35 and v. 3C ; the daughter must have asked the meaning of her 
father s enigmatic speech, v."* , and he must have given the explicit 
answer.* To me it seems, on the contrary, much more in accord 
with the native art of the story-teller that he lets the situation and 
a woman s quick presentiment suffice, without this prosaic expla 
nation. My father~\ all the pathos of the situation is in the 
word. With a woman s tenderness and a woman s courage, she 
strengthens him for what is before them both : Thou hast uttered 
thy vow to Yahweh ; do to me what thou hast vowed. Lit. as it 
hath proceeded from thy mouth ; Nu. 3O 2 . The spoken word is 
conceived as a real thing; cf. Is. 55 1 " 1 . Since Yahweh hath 
wrought for thee vengeance of thine enemies~\ for such a victory 
she is content to die. 37. She asks only a brief respite. Spare 
me two months~\ cf. i S. n 3 . That I may go down upon the 
mountains and weep because of my maidenhood^ mourn that my 
young life is cut off in its flower. 38. Jephthah grants her 
request, and sends her away for two months, which she spends 
with her companions in mourning, among the mountains. 
39. When the time was up, she returned to her father. And he 
did to her what he had vowed to do~\ v. :;Ib . The reserve of the 
writer, who draws the veil over the last act of the tragedy, has 
been abused by the rationalistic interpreters who choose to 
imagine that he did something altogether different from what 
he had vowed ; see note below. She not having known a man~\ 
circumstantial clause ; she died a virgin, Gen. 24 " &c. To con 
nect and translate, He did to her what he had vowed, and she did 
not know a man, that is, remained unmarried for the rest of her 
life,f is ungrammatical ; \ if the writer had meant this he must 



Kicht. u. Sam., p. 126. f DKi., Cler., Ko., al. mu. % Be., Bu. 



XI. 35-40 303 

have written the last clause differently. On the history of inter 
pretation see note below, p. 304 f. 40. It became the custom 
for the Israelite women to observe annually a four days mourning 
for Jephthah s daughter. To lament^ this interpretation, which 
is that of the ancient versions,* suits the construction and context 
better than, commemorate, celebrate, which most modern commen 
tators adopt. 

34. irwnpS PN]P ira rum] cf. i S. 9 14 Ex. 4 14 Gen. 24 15 - 45 &c. run of unex 
pected coincidence; see on $*, nV?ncai D^cra] in is a tambourine, used as 
an accompaniment of women s choral dances, Ex. I5 20 I S. l8 6 (cf. Ps. 68 20 
I5O 4 ), and on other festal occasions, Is. 5 12 248 &c. See Niebuhr, Reisebe- 
schreibung, i. p. 1 80 f.; Lane, Modern Egyptian? 1 , p. 366; DB. s.v. "Tim 
brel." On the dances see Spencer, De legibus ritualibus, U iv. c. 4; Leyrer, 
PRE 1 . xv. p. 206-208; DB 1 . i. p. 703-705; Wetzstein, Zeitschr. f. Ethnologie, 
1873, p. 285 ff.; cf. Delitzsch, Hoheslied, p. 1706". .Trm NTI pm] ac tantum 
ilia nnigenita fuit. Cf. Job i 15 , naS >jx pi no^BNi. nai p -HOD i"? ps<] the 
masc. suff. is perhaps to be explained as attraction to the following p, and is 
more probably from the hand of a scribe than of the author. (AVLMO w \^ v 
avrrjs. The Massora notes six passages in which was is read where runs would 
be expected (jnoo) ; see Norzi ad loc., and Frensdorff, Massoret. Worterb., 
p. 255. 35. jnjnan >~on] Hiph. is here causative to Kal in the sense, sink 
down, collapse (the knees giving way) under a blow or wound, 5 2 ~ 2 K. 9 24 ; 
hence, strike down, prostrate, lay low, not bring low, i.e. humble (EV.). The 
identity of the consonants with those of the following i3>, in which we may 
recognize an intentional paronomasia, has led to considerable confusion in the 
versions. ^DVa n^n] not, one of those who, but, as, in the character of, one 
who brings disaster on me ; cf. Ps. 1 1 8" 54 Ex. iS 4 , Ges. 25 p. 366; Roorda, ii. 
p. 204 f. It may be questioned whether the punctuation, which makes the 
ptcp. plural, is correct; cf. Ex. i8 4 with Ps. n8 7 . >fl TPXC] Ez. 2 8 Nu. i6 30 
Dt. ii Gen. 4". 37. Sa p njnn] Dt. 9", -S na-\n 2 K. 4 27 i S. n 3 . 
inv">] corrected by the Qere to Tnjn as in v. 38 . The Kethib would be pro 
nounced >n jn, cf. \^r] Cant, i 9 &c. (n j?-i ); Sta. 192 b. 38. a^snn ijs-] 
cf. o^enn ow v. 39 . 39. C IN n;i> xS ^ni] the pronoun shows that this is 
not the consequence of the preceding : He did to her as he had vowed, and 
(consequently) she did not know a man,^ for which we should have simply i<Si 
C^N nyv, but an additional circumstance. Ml pn <nm] should be joined to the 
following verse. The false division may be due to an interpretation such as 
that appended in some copies of 3u 40. n2-c> a^e] from year to year ; 
2i 19 i S. i 3 2 19 Ex. I3 10 , cf. above on n 4 . nunS] flp^etV; similarly all 
the ancient versions, Ra., al. D. Kimchi, in conformity with his theory 
of solitary confinement, interpreted, to talk with, and console her ; similarly 



* So also Lth., AV., al. f Cler., al. ; recently, Ko. 



\ 



304 JUDGES 

RLbG., Abarb., Urus., Cler., al. Tanch. explained, after Arab., celebrate, 
praise (see note above on 5 11 ) ; so Stud., Be., Ke., Cass., Oettli, RV., al. mu. 
The construction with *? is not favourable to this, and there is also a phonetic 
difficulty in the equation. It is better to abide by the exegetical tradition, 
supported by the construction and the indications of the context, than to 
follow the guidance of a very dubious etymology. 

Jephthali s vow. On the history of interpretation see especially Reinke, 
Beitr age znr Erklaning des Allen Testanientcs, i. p. 419 ff. ; Kohlcr, Bill. 
Geschichtc, ii. I. p. loof.; the older literature also in Pfeiffer, Dubia vexata, 
cent. ii. locus 60; Exercitaliones biblicae, exerc. 7; Dresde, Votuin Jeplitae, 
1767; cf. a Lapide ad loc. The older Jewish and Christian interpreters, 
without exception, understood the words in their plain and natural sense; 
Jephthah fulfilled his vow by offering his daughter as a burnt-offering. See 
for the former, Fl. Jos., antt. v. 7, 10 263-266; Taanith, 4 a ; { in loc.; 
Bcresh. rab. 60, and parallels; Yalqut, ii. 68; Ra. So of the Fathers, 
Orig., Chrysost., Greg. Naz., Thdt., Procop., Ambros. , August., Ilieron., 
Epiph., Ephrem Syr., al.;* followed by Beda, Hugo Victor, Th. Aquinas, 
and the scholastic exegesis generally: see a Lap., ad loc. The notion that 
she was not offered in sacrifice, but shut up in a house by herself, where she 
lived and died unmarried, appears first, so far as I am aware, in the Kimchis 
(end of J2th cent. A. D.). D. Kimchi s explanation was adopted by RLbG., 
Abarb., Sol. ben Melech; a Lyra, Arias, Vatabl., Jun., Drus., Cler., de Dieu, 
al. mu., many of whom suppose that she was dedicated to the service of the 
sanctuary in menial offices, and prohibited to marry; see esp. Cler. The sound 
exegetical sense of Luther rejected these rationalistic subterfuges; in the 
marginal note on ii 39 he writes: Man will, er habe sie nicht geopfert, aber 
der Text steht klar da (Be.). The literal interpretation is maintained by the 
Jesuit commentator Serarius, as well as by Seb. Schmid, Pfeiffer, al.; while 
L. Cappel modified it by the hypothesis that the necessary implication of the 
vow was, that if the first living thing which met him on his return was not 
sacrificable, it should be put to death as C ln, and that this was the fate of his 
daughter.! The interpretation which resolves the sacrifice into a " spiritual 
burnt offering " has found expositors in modern times in Hengstenberg, 
Reinke, Auberlen, Cass., Kohler, Konig {Haiiptprobleme, p. 74 f.), al.; see Be. 
ad loc. On the other side are Vatke, Stud., Ew., Ilitz., Oehler, Diestel, 
II. Schultz, Reuss, Nold., Kue., We., Sta., Baudissin, Kitt, WRSmith, al. 
A parallel from classical legend is the story of Idomeneus told by Servius on 
Aeneid, xi. 264: J Idomeneus rex Cretensium fuit; qui, cum tempestate labo- 
raret, vovit se sacrificaturum Neptuno de re, quae ei primo occurrisset, si 
reversus fuisset; sed casu cum ei filius primus occurrisset, quern cum, ut alii 

* The texts of the Fathers are collected and commented on by Reinke, op. cit. 
t DC voto Jephtae, 1683 ; reprinted in Crit. sacri, on ]ud. ii 3 - 1 , 
+ Repeated with slight variations on Aen., iii. 121, 



xii. 1-7 305 

dicunt, immolasset, ut alii, immolare voluisset, ob crudelitatem regno a civibus 
pulsus est. The story of Iphigeneia suggests itself to every one.* The annual 
lamentation of the women of Gilead for Jephthah s daughter appears to 
belong to a class of ceremonies, the original significance of which, often 
disguised by the myth, is mourning for the death of a god,f and in many of 
which evidence of primitive connexion with human sacrifices survives. In 
the last respect the parallel with Iphigeneia is instructive; for Iphigeneia was 
originally a name of Artemis Tauropolos, at whose festival at Brauron, and 
afterwards at Athens, a human sacrifice was enacted, even to the point of 
causing the blood to spirt from the victim s throat under the sacrificial knife. J 
At Laodicea on the Phoenician coast, the annual sacrifice of a stag was 
regarded as a substitute for the more ancient sacrifice of a maiden. The 
native goddess to whom the offering was made is identified by Pausanias 
(iii. 1 6, 8), doubtless on this account, with the Brauronian Artemis. There 
seems no good reason why we should not include the mourning for Jephthah s 
daughter in this class. As in the case of Iphigeneia, the original significance 
of the myth has been entirely lost in its translation into heroic legend. The 
presence of this primitive mythical element in the sfory of Jephthah s daughter 
does not strictly exclude the possibility that Jephthah himself and his victory 
over the Ammonites, and even the sacrifice of his daughter, may be historical. 
The latter, indeed, would give the simplest explanation of the way in which 
the myth was translated into legend. 

XII. 1-7. Jephthah is assailed by the Ephraimites ; he 
defeats them in battle and cuts off their retreat. The 

Ephraimites cross the Jordan, threatening dire vengeance upon 
Jephthah because they were not called to join in the war against 
the Ammonites (v. 1 ). Jephthah replies that the Gileadites in 
their contest with Ammon had sought the aid of Ephraim in 
vain ; seeing that there was no help to be got from them, they had 
hazarded unsupported an invasion of Ammon ; why should the 
Ephraimites now attack them? (v. 2 ^). He assembles his tribes 
men and defeats Ephraim. The fugitives are intercepted in their 
flight at the fords of the Jordan, and, being betrayed by a peculi 
arity of their speech, are slaughtered on the spot (v. 4 6 ). Jephthah, 



* Especially in that form of the legend in which Artemis demands Iphigeneia 
as a victim in fulfilment of her father s vow, made in the year of her birth, to sac 
rifice the fairest thing that the year should bring forth (Eurip., Iphig. Taur. 18 ff.j. 

t Or for the abduction of the deity (Kore). 

t Eurip., Iphig. Taur. 1449 ff., esp. 1458-1461; see Robert- Preller, Griechische 
Mythologie*, p. 312 f. ; Stoll, in Roscher, ii. p. 304 f. 

$ Porphyry, de abstin., ii. 56 ; see W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 447 f. 
X 



306 JUDGES 

after judging Israel six years, dies and is buried somewhere in 
Gilead. 

Wellhausen regards 12 " as secondary:* it comes too late, 
since in i r !4 Jephthah is already at home, and according to i r 1!l at 
least two months have elapsed ; the answer, 1 2 - , affirming that the 
help of Ephraim had been sought and refused, does not accord 
with ch. 1 1 ; the whole conduct of the Ephraimites, who had no 
business on that side of the Jordan, and were not, as in 8 U; , 
inflated by victory, is here without motive. The story is a mere 
copy of 8 1 "", " originating with some one who did not comprehend 
Gideon s conciliatory course, and wanted to give the arrogant 
tribe a slap." That Jephthah had returned and dismissed his 
forces is assumed by i2 4 also. The two months (ir ! J ) make no 
real difficulty : even if the Ephraimite invasion fell in that period, 
the writer would finish. the story of Jephthah s vow before relating 
it. The resemblance to 8 ~ ;! is obvious ; but it is not evident that 
i2 Ufi is a mere copy of 8 U:! , with a variation animated by dislike of 
Kphraim.t The genuineness and historical character of the 
verses are rightly defended by Kuenen, Budde, Cornill, and 
Kittel. The shibboleth scene is too original to be attributed to a 
"tendency" fiction, especially as it has nothing to do with the 
supposed tendency. The exaggerated number of the slain is of 
itself no reason for rejecting the whole story. 

1. The Ephraimites were called out and crossed to Ziiphon~\ 
Zaphon lay in the Jordan valley, on the eastern bank of the river, 
near Succoth (Jos. i3 27 ) ; according to a passage in the Jerusalem 
Talmud, it was the later Amatho, Amathus, the modern Amateh, 
a little north of the Zerqa (Jabbok), at the mouth of Wady er- 
Rugeib ; see on 8 r> . \ Others, passed northward, which is unin 
telligible. Without calling us to go with tkce~] S 1 . We will burn 
thy house over t/iec~] i K. i6 18 cf. Jud. 9 41 i4 r 15* . 2. / and my 
people were engaged in a contest, and the Ammonites oppressed us 

* Com/)., p. 229 ; so also Sta., G I 7. i. p. 68. 

t Kitt., GdH. i. 2. p. 72 n., on the contrary, thinks 8 1 -"- an imitation of I2 1 - 1 ; see 
above, p. 216. 

t So Stud., E\v., Ke., Cass., al. On Amathiis see Euseb., CAS -. 219--; Reland, 
I alacstina, p. 308, 559 f. ; Burckhardt, Syria, p. 346. 

$ So the ancient versions ; older commentators ; Be., al. mu. 



xii. i-4 307 

sorely"] so (H ; in ffy the second verb has been accidentally dropped ; 
see crit. note. / called upon you, but you did not deliver me from 
fher/i] Jephthah speaks, not in his own name, but in that of his 
people, Gilead, to which the pronouns refer; cf. n 12 -- 7 . No such 
request is narrated in ch. n, but the narrative there certainly 
does not exclude it. An unsuccessful attempt to get help from 
their stronger neighbours across the Jordan may very well be sup 
posed to have preceded the mission of the elders of Gilead to 
recall Jephthah, with which the story of Jephthah begins. There 
was no occasion for mentioning such an attempt in that connexion. 
3. And when I saw that thou wouldst not deliver, I took my 
life in my hand~\ i S. 19 28 21 ; cf. Jud. Q 17 . 4. So Jephthah 
collected all the men of Gilead^ they had returned to their 
homes after the defeat of the Ammonites ; the threatening move 
of Ephraim, therefore, did not follow at once upon Jephthah s 
victory. It is otherwise in 8 1 , where the whole situation is different. 
And the men of Gilead beat Ephraini] the rest of the verse 
is wholly unintelligible. The current interpretation is fairly rep 
resented by RV. : " Because they (the Ephraimites) said, Ye are 
fugitives of Ephraim, ye Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim, and 
in the midst of Manasseh." * They were not a tribe, but a crew of 
runagate Ephraimites ; they had no tribal lands of their own, but 
lived by sufferance in the territories of Ephraim and Manasseh. 
This insult so exasperated the Gileadites that they followed up 
their victory with signal vindictiveness.f Neither the language 
nor the facts, however, allow this interpretation. The word 
rendered fugitive does not mean runagate, but survivor, one who 
escapes from a disastrous battle or the like peril, as in v. 5 ; nor 
had the extraction or the situation of Jephthah s countrymen any 
resemblance to that with which they are supposed to be taunted. 
The origin of the corruption was the accidental repetition of a 
clause from v. 5 . J 

1. rmex i3> ii] ace. of place to which, after -ay; cf. n 20 . Cf. jvsx Gen. 46, 
pox Nu. a6 15 , son (clan) of Gad. (AFVLMO g e take rmox as a proper name 
(Se^etvo, &c.). <S BX AZ9 et s ^oppdv. 2. VT*TI an U \x] party to a contro 
versy, quarrel; whether the one assailed (Jer. I5 10 ) or the assailant (Is. 4i n 

* So, virtually, TL, al. mu. 

t So, e.g., E\v., G VI. ii. p. 455; Be., Ke., Cass., Oettli ; cf. Ki. J We. 



308 JUDGES 

Job 3i 35 ). IN-: p-:; 1 ijai] might perhaps be explained as concomitant object. 
(gAFVLMNO g j K(X ( ( V i0 l Afj.fj.uv eTaireivovv fj.e aipodpa = INS \jiiy prj? ^31; the 
verb might easily be omitted by a scribe after p^y. So Semler, Doom., Bu. 
aarx* P>TNI] p;" c. ace., call one, Neh. g- 8 ; the construction is however 
so unusual that it is probably better, with ( (except B ), to read DD^N; or to 
pronounce r>>"Ni (Iliph.), / tried to call you out. 3. nsiU Xi] Yen 1 ., Noiv.i, 
Baer; cf. JHMich. The form rcr Ni in the received text (Ven 2 .) is probably 
a mere blunder. 4. Ji Brx Bnax V^s i^x 1 ^-~\ in 3 the second half-verse is 
asterisked, as a hexaplar addition to the LXX,* and the entire half-verse is 
lacking in ("> w 75_ -p^g other codd. of the same recension ( M , codd. 54 59 82 m 
jos 128 134) omit from TON "o to the end of the verse. The words BiSfl nrx T 
C"i3X % were copied out of place from v. 5 ; arx* was necessarily added to com 
plete the structure of the clause. The origin of the rest of v. 4b is not so 
obvious : the asyndeton n^-jr; -jira B^DN "pro suggests that the latter is a 
correction of the unintelligible, in the midst of Ephraim. 

5. The Gileadites seize the fords of the Jordan to cut off the 
flight of the routed foe ; 3-* f*. And when the fugitives of 
Ephraim would sav, Let me cross ] those who escaped from the 
field of battle tried singly to slip across the fords, but found 
them occupied by the enemy. To their challenge, Art than an 
Ephraimitc ? they answered, No; but fell unsuspectingly into 
the trap which the Gileadites set for them. 6. Then say shib 
boleth, and he said sibboletli\ the meaning of the word ( ear 
of grain, Gen. 4i 5ff - &c. ; or, perhaps more probably, flood in 
a stream, Ps. 69" Is. 2y 12 f) is of no moment; any other word 
beginning with sh would have served as well. \ So in the Sicilian 
Vespers, March 31, 1282, the French were made to betray them 
selves by their pronunciation of ceci e cieeri ; those who pro 
nounced c as in French (sesi c siscri) were hewed down on the 
spot. When the revolt against the French in Flanders broke 
out, May 25, 1302, the gates were seized, and no one allowed to 
pass who could not utter the to a French tongue unpronounce 
able scilt ende friend? \\ And did not pronounce it exactly 
right ~\ lit. fix. He did not succeed in getting it right. Others 
explain, did not take heed, pay attention, comparing the idiom, fix 



* In the only copy of 5 which is known, the asterisk is wrongly placed before 
Ephraim i : ; the necessary correction is made by Roerdam and Lagarde. Probably 
it originally stood after the Ephraim 2 ; cf. cod. 54 &c. t Ra., Ki., al. 

+ Ki. supposes that they actually used other words; this is but a typical 
instance. Be. || Cass. 



XII. 5-7 309 

the mind on something. Those whose tongues thus bewrayed 
them were cut down at the fords. There fell of Ephraim at that 
time forty-two thousand men~\ cf. 3* . In the battle and the flight ; 
the numbers are doubtless much exaggerated, cf. 8 10 . 

6. The LXX understood n rar to be a password or countersign (a-vvdrma, see 
Schleusner, s.v.) ; this interpretation is most fully expressed in M , KCU tXeyov 
O.VTOIS EfTrare STJ ffvv6rj/j.a KO.I \tyovrfs crvvOri/jLa ov KUT^vOvvav TOV \a\TJaai O TWS, 
K.r.f. ; see Thdt, who is guided by the Syriac to the correct explanation. (5 B 
A, al. translate ffra-^vs. The Greek had no way of reproducing the distinction 
of sounds represented by C* and D, the former of which appeared to Roman (and 
doubtless to Greek) ears peculiarly barbarous; see Jerome, de nominibus hebr. 
(iii. 15, ed. Vallarsi; OS-. IO G ). What the peculiarity of the Ephraimites 
pronunciation was, we can of course not know; * still less should we make 
this verse the basis of extensive inferences about Hebrew dialects. fy xSi 
p 131 1 ?] is referred by many recent comm. to the idiom S aS j an 2 Chr. I2 14 
I 9 :i 3 19 Ezra 7 10 , with ellipsis of a 11 (Stud., Ges. Thes., al.), but the phrase 
itself does not seem to be old, and the alleged examples of the ellipsis (i S. 23 
i Chr. 28 2 2 Chr. 2g 36 ) may be better explained in other ways. The impf., 
which must be taken as frequentative, is singular in the series of narrative 
tenses. Perhaps we should emend ^ N S ; in that case we should render p 
thus, i.e. as the Gileadites pronounced it to them. tanu 1 ] of human beings, 
i K. iS 40 2 K. io 7 14 Jer. 41" &c.; often of human sacrifices, Ez. 23 39 Is. 57 5 . 

7. And Jephthah judged Israel six years, and he died and was 
buried~\ the formula is the same with which the notice of each of 
the Minor Judges is brought to a close; io 2 " 5 1 2 10 - 1L> - 15 , cf. also 
I5 20 . Considerable weight has been laid upon this fact in some 
theories of the chronological system and composition of the 
book ; see Introduction, 4, y.| In the notice of Jephthah s 
burial place there is evidently some corruption of the text, f^ 
reads, in the cities of Gilead (in one of the cities of Gilead, \ is 
quite impossible) ; ( and H render, in his city, Gilead, or, in his 
city in Gilead ; >, in a city of Gilead. Studer conj., / // Mizpah of 
Gilead (n 29 ), Jephthah s city (n :>1 ). 

7. . J ^> 2 "Op" 1 !] (5 Iv ry ir6\ei avrov FaXaaS ( B tv 7r6Xet avroO iv 
I aXaaS) IL in civitate sua Galaad. Cf. S-~ ni3> a n^ a. Gilead, however, 
is not a city, but a country. Stud. conj. i;, 1 ?.) ncxca II 29 ; this may perh. find 



* See J. Marquart, ZATIV. viii. 1888, p. 151-155. 

t See Nold., Untersuchungen , p. 190 ff., who reckons his 6 years with the Minor 
Judges; Rue., HCO 1 . i. 18, n. 7; Bu., Kic/it. u. Sam., p. 135; Kitt., GdH. i. 2. 
p. 12 f. \ Ki., Drus., EV., al. mu. 



312 JUDGES 

thirty grandsons, w/io rode on scrcnty saddle asses\ an evidence 
of wealth and rank; cf. 5" io 4 2 S. i6 L> 13- : see on io 4 . The 
numerous posterity is to be interpreted as in the case of Ib/an 
and Jair ; cf. also 8 s ". 

8. |V- N ] compare "ux, a town in Issachar, Jos. lor*; the tradition of the 
name is however insecure; see (5- 10. i Sl *] so a l so i 1 V - IJ ; " it 1 l>olh < 
and i (same consonants as in p""X2). So MSS. and edd., and so < already 
read ( AiXw/u, &c.).* Baer emends twice px on the authority of Massora 
finalist--; but on this Massora see Frensdorff, Massoretisc/ies Worterbudi, 
265, n. 6. 12. r^] f- i s l* a!K l i 1 ""* s itl e k> side, J os - i9 4 - l4:; (in Dan; 
see on Jud. I 35 ). In the present case there is good reason to believe that the 
names of the judge and of the town were originally pronounced, as they are 
written, alike; prob. Klon, Gen. 46 U (Nold., Untersuchungen, 184). 

XIII.-XVI. The adventures of Samson. 

LlTERA U RK.t A. v. Doorninck, " De Simsonsagen. Kritische studien over 
Richteren 14-16," Th. 7 . xxviii. 1894, p. 14-32. 

1. Samson s birth, ch. 13. The Messenger of Yahvveh appears 
to the wife of Manoah and promises her a son. During her 
pregnancy she shall observe a strict regimen, for her son shall be 
a devotee from birth (13 ""). At Manoah s prayer, the Messenger 
reappears and repeats his injunctions (v. 8 14 ). He ascends to 
heaven in the flames of the sacrifice (v. 1 5 " 2 " ) . The child is born, 
grows up, and begins to be possessed by the spirit of Yahweh 
(v. 24 -*)- 

2. Samson s marriage to the Timnat/iite, and what came of it : 
ch. 14, 15. Samson resolves to marry the daughter of a Philistine 
of Timnath (i4 U4 ). On one of his visits to Timnath he encoun 
ters a lion in the way, and kills him with his bare hands. Some 
time after, passing that way, he finds the carcass occupied by a 
swarm of bees, and takes the honey (v:"" 1 ). At his wedding he 
propounds a riddle suggested by this adventure (v. 1 " 14 ) ; by the 
aid of his wife the answer is discovered (v. " ~ s ). In a rage he 
pays the forfeit, and rushes away without consummating the mar 
riage (v. u L< "). When his anger has cooled off he returns, to find 



* Cf. !L Alnalon. 

f For the older literature, see Reuss, GA T. $ 106. On the mythical interpreta 
tion see below, note at the end of ch. 16. 



XIII.-XVI. 313 

that his bride has been given to another (is 1 " 3 ). He avenges 
himself by letting loose foxes with fire brands tied to their tails 
among the grain fields of Timnath. The Philistines burn the 
woman and her father as the authors of the mischief (v. 4 ). 
Samson retaliates, and takes refuge in a rocky fastness of Judah. 
The men of Judah deliver him bound to the Philistines, but he 
breaks the ropes and, with an ass s jaw-bone, slays a thousand 
Philistines (v. r ~ 17 ). The spring in Lehi (v. 18 20 ). 

3. Samson carries off the gates of Gaza ; i6 u; . Samson visits 
a harlot at Gaza. The Philistines lie in wait for him, but in the 
middle of the night he arises, pulls up the posts of one of the city 
gates, and, putting gate, posts, and bar on his head, carries them 
off to a hill near Hebron. 

4. Samson and Delilah ; :6 4 " ni . Samson loves a woman of 
Sorek, named Delilah. She is bribed by the Philistines to find out 
the secret of his marvellous strength (v. 4< -). Thrice he deceives 
her ; but at last, weary of her importunity, he tells her the truth 
(v. 6 " 17 ). The Philistines secure and blind him, and put him to 
grinding at a hand-mill in prison (v. 18 ~). At a great feast of 
Dagon he is brought into the temple to gratify the multitude. 
With a return of his old strength, he overthrows the principal 
pillars which support the roof, and brings the whole temple down 

.in ruins, perishing with the Philistines (v. 23 "" 1 ). 

The adventures of Samson differ markedly from the exploits of 
the judges in the preceding chapters of the book. Ehud, Deborah 
and Barak, Gideon, and Jephthah were leaders, who, at the head 
of their tribesmen, "turned to flight the armies of the aliens," and 
delivered their countrymen. Samson is a solitary hero, endowed 
with prodigious strength, who in his own quarrel, single-handed, 
makes havoc among the Philistines, but in no way appears as the 
champion or deliverer of Israel. It is easy to see why he should 
have been a favourite figure of Israelite folk-story, the drastic 
humour of which is strongly impressed upon the narrative of his 
adventures ; but not so easy to see what place he has in the 
religious pragmatism of the Deuteronomic Book of Judges, or, 
indeed, in what sense he can be called a judge at all. Even the 
external connexion with the book is of the slightest character ; 



314 JUDGES 

the familiar formulas with which the histories of the judges are 
introduced and concluded are here at their lowest terms (I3 1 15* 
i6 31b ). In the narrative itself no trace of D s hand is detected.* 

The three principal stories, ch. 13, 14 f., 16, are connected by 
more than one link, and probably belonged to a cycle of folk-tales 
long before they assumed a literary form. Ch. 14 presupposes 
ch. 13, and the catastrophe in ch. 16 turns upon the loss of his 
sacred locks ; cf. esp. i6 ~ with i^ The stories of the cycle need 
not all be of equal age ; it is not improbable, for instance, that the 
tale of his birth in ch. 13 is of later origin than the rest ; f but, as 
we have them, they are in substance and form so similar that we 
must attribute them to the same writer. \ In ch. 13 and 14 a 
later hand has made some additions and alterations, by which, in 
ch. 14 particularly, the narrative is somewhat confused, nor is the 
text in other parts quite intact ; but there is no evidence that 
the redactor had more than one original source. In 15 " ltif -, where 
this might be suspected, the doublet may with greater probability 
be referred to the folk-story itself. || 4 

Boh me demonstrated that the language and style of ch. 13 have 
a strong resemblance to J in the Hexateuch ; ^[ and to this source 
the whole group of stories of Samson is with considerable prob 
ability ascribed by Budde.** The reasons for thinking that this is 
the case lie not so much in particular expressions, as in the tone 
and spirit of the whole narration. ft Whether from J or not, the 
chapters undoubtedly belong to the oldest stratum of the book. 
The tales themselves, which are, of course, much older than the 



* From the position of the closing formula, I5 - 11 , Budde and Cornill surmise 
that D omitted ch. 16, which was afterwards restored by another hand, just as was 
done in the case of Abimelech, ch. 9. See above, p. 234 f. 

t Bu., Kick/. 11. Sam., p. 131 ; cf. We., Piol*., p. 256 = History of Israel, 1885, 
p. 245 ; Doom., Th. T. 1894, p. 17. J We., Kue., Bu. 

^S On the text, see Doom. ; Sta., /.A Til , iv. 1884, p. 250 ff. ; Bu. ; Doom., J k T. 
1894, p. 14 ff. 

[| So also Bu. On the attempts to analyze the story see Bu., p. 132 f. 

H 7.AT\V. v. 1885, p. 261 ff. 

** Richt. 11. .Satn., p. 132 f. Against this opinion see Kue., HCO-. i. p. 355 f. ; 
Kitt., S//tJ. it. Krit., 1892, p. 57 f. ; GdH. i. 2. p. 16 f. ; see above on 6 llrt \ p. 183 n. 
and Introduction, $ 6. 

ft Bruston thinks thai in ch. 13 the narrative of the first Jehovist has been 
worked into that of the second Klohist, to whom all the rest of 13-16 belong. 
(Bu., p. 134 n.) 



xin. i-2 3*5 

book, are almost the only specimens of their kind that have been 
preserved ; and they give us a glimpse of a side of old Israelite 
life and character which is rarely represented in the Old Testa 
ment. The scrapes into which Samson s weakness for women 
brought him, the way in which he turned the tables on those who 
thought they had got the best of him, the hard knocks he dealt 
the uncircumcised, and the practical jokes he played on them, 
must have made these stories great favourites with a story-loving 
race, such as all the Semites are ; and the rude humour which 
plays through them all, no less than the entire absence of moral, 
proves them genuine tales of the people. What basis of fact the 
stories may have, is not easy to tell. The name of the hero and 
various traits of the story seem to invite a mythical explanation, 
and many attempts have been made to resolve the whole into a 
solar myth. Other parts of the story, however, are refractory, and 
can only be translated as myth by the most ingenious arbitrariness. 
On this question see note at the end of ch. 16. 

XIII. Samson s birth. 1. The usual introduction by the 
Deuteronomic author ; see on 3 1 -. 2. There was a certain man 
of Zorah, of the clan of the Danites, whose name was ManoaJi\ 
from Zorah and Eshtaol, which is almost always named with it, 
came the Danites who, migrating to the north, established them 
selves at the sources of the Jordan (Laish-Dan), i8" 8-U . In Jos. 
ip 41 it is assigned to Dan (on its border), but in I5 33 to Judah ; 
it was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chr. n 10 ). It is the modern 
village of Sur ah, on the northern side of Wady es-Surar, opposite 
Am Shems (Beth-shemesh) on the southern; see on i 35 .* The 
clan of the Danites } 1 8 n< ]t) , cf. if, the clan of Judah. On the 
original settlements of Dan, see on i 34 - 35 ; and on the history of 
the tribe, and the relation between the story of Samson and that 
of the migration of the Danites (ch. 18), see on 18 . Manoah, 
only in this and the following chapter. The more picturesque 
details with which Josephus embellishes his story are supplied by 



* Euseb. (OS 2 . 29309) locates it ten miles from Eleutheropolis on the road to 
Xicopolis. It was recognized by Eshtori Parchi (fol. 69*) ; Rob., BR?. iii. p. 153, 
cf. ii. p. 12, 17 ; Guerin, Judee, ii. p. 15-17; S WP. Memoirs, iii. p. 158 ; Bad 3 ., p. 163 ; 
see map of the territory of Dan, DB 2 . i. p. 701, and cf. above, p. 53 f. 



316 JUDGKS 

his imagination.* - .///.y wife was barren and had not borne 
children^ cf. Gen. n ;; ". So the mother of Samuel (i S. I L ), and 
of John the Baptist (Luke i 7 ) ; in the patriarchal story, Sarah, 
Rebekah, Rachel. The child of a long unfruitful marriage is 
in a peculiar sense the gift of God, and his birth portends some 
greater purpose of God for him. 

2. Zorah was resettled by the Golah after the return from the exile, Xeh. 
ii- J ; the Manoahites of Zorah (observe the preservation of the name) traced 
their origin, in part through Shobal, in part through Salma, to Calebite clans; 
I Chr. 2~ -- 54 .t ins ir\v >n>i] i S. I 1 2 S. iS 1 " Jud. g 53 ; see We., TBS. 
p. 26, 34; Dr., TBS. p. i; and especially Roorda, $ 480 n., who rightly 
discriminates the case before us from others with which it is frequently 
confounded. "Jin rnsu cj i8-- 1LW (by the side of v?y iS 1 - 1;l ; see there); 
cf. mini rnsyo iy 7 (in Jos. 7 17 mini -2 is error for 1221: ), M S ro rns- C 
Zech. I2 13 . rnsu"D is properly the clan, a number of which make the tribe; 
it is itself composed of a number of families (ax ro), i S. lo- 1 Jos. y u . 

3-7. The Messenger of Yahweh announces Samson s birth. 

-The Messenger of Yahweh appears to Manoah s wife and 
announces the birth of a son. During pregnancy she shall abstain 
from wine and things unclean ; for the child is to be a devotee 
from the womb, no razor shall ever touch his head. He shall be 
the first to deliver Israel from the Philistines (v. """ ). She relates 
the occurrence and the words of the Messenger to her husband 
(v. 0f ), The whole scene strikingly resembles in conception and 
expression the visit of the Messenger of Yahweh to Gideon (6 llff ), 
and is naturally attributed to the same author. \ The story has 
been slightly retouched in places by a later hand, but not so much 
changed as ch. 14. 

3. The Messenger of Yahweh \ see on 2 6 11 . Behold, than art 
barren and hast not borne~\ v.-. The following words, and thou 
shalt conceive and bear a son, by their awkward anticipation of 
v/ a , and by the different grammatical structure, betray themselves 
as an interpolation. || 4. Be careful, and do not drink wine and 

* Antt. v. s, 1-3 275 ff. 

t We., Comp., p. 231 ; cf. also Be. ad loc. We. remarks the occurrence of 
Manahath ben Shobal in the Edomite lists also, Gen. 36-". 

J Stud., Bohme, Bu., al. 

$ On the text see Bohme, ZA TW. v. 1885, p. 261 ff. : cf. Bu., Richt. u. Sam., 
p. 130. || Be., Bohme. 



xni. 2-6 3 T 7 

intoxicating drink ] Heb. shekar : Sicera \_shckar] Hebraeo ser- 
mone omnis potio nuncupatur, quae inebriate potest ; sive ilia quae 
frumento conficitur ; sive pomorum succo ; aut quum favi deco- 
quuntur in dulcem et barbaram potionem, aut palmarum fructus 
exprimuntur in liquorem, coctisque frugibus, aqua pinguior cola- 
tur.* When named with wine, as it often is, it includes all other 
varieties of intoxicating drink ; v. 7 - 14 i S. i ir> Luke i 15 ; cf. the laws 
Lev. io J (priests), Nu. 6 :! (Nazirites). See DB~. i. p. 812. And 
not to eat anything unclean] v. 14 . The flesh of tabooed animal 
kinds, carrion, and the like, is probably meant. The consecrated 
child must be kept in ittero from defilement. The rules for the 
Nazirite, Nu. 6 Iff -, contain no special prescription on this head, 
which was covered by the general law (Dt. 14 Lev. n). The 
Jewish doctors, observing this, make unclean here equivalent to 
prohibited to the Nazirite ; that is, the other products of the vine, 
Nu. 6 3f .t Bohme thinks that these words (and the correspond 
ing clauses in v. 7 14 ) are the addition of a later hand, which exag 
gerates the strictness of the regimen. As this is, however, not 
suggested by the law in Nu. 6, nor by any other example, their 
genuineness may with good reason be maintained. 5. Thou art 
with child, and wilt bear a son~] Gen. i6 u (J) cf. Is. y 14 . The 
present is taken by many as an immediate future, thou art about 
to conceive, \ but this is unnecessary, and, in view of Gen. 16", 
less probable. A razor shall not be used on his head~\ i6 17 
i S. i 11 Nu. 6" (different expressions). For the boy shall be a 
devotee from the womb ] v. 7 i6 17 cf. i S. i 11 . He will be the first 
to deliver] begin to deliver; the verb is used as in io 18 : Who is 
the man who will be first to fight with the Ammonites. The words 
have been taken to imply that Samson should only begin, but not 
complete, the work of deliverance, and Wellhausen would recog 
nize an allusion to Saul ; || but it is doubtful whether the writer 
put so much reflexion into the word begin; cf. I3 25 I6 22 . 6. A 
man of God came to me~] v. 8 i S. 2* g 6 - 7 8 &c. The Messenger 
appeared as a man ; his words showed that he was an inspired 
man ; in later phrase, a prophet. His appearance was like that 



* Jerome, ep. ad Nepotianum, c. n (Opp. ed. Vallarsi, i. 264). It includes, there 
fore, beer, cider, mead, date wine, &c. t Ra., al. J So A ai. U,, EV., and many. 
J Ki. 2, Schm., Drus., Rosenm., al. || Comp., p. 231. 



316 JUDGKS 

his imagination.* His wife was barren and liad not borne 
children^ cf. Gen. ii ;!0 . So the mother of Samuel (i S. i J ), and 
of John the Baptist (Luke i 7 ) ; in the patriarchal story, Sarah, 
Rebekah, Rachel. The child of a long unfruitful marriage is 
in a peculiar sense the gift of God, and his birth portends some 
greater purpose of God for him. 

2. Zorah was resettled by the Golah after the return from the exile, Neh. 
n- J ; the Manoahites of Zurah (observe the preservation of the name) traced 
their origin, in part through Shobal, in part through Salma, to Calebite clans; 
i Chr. 2- --^.t ins C-N vvi] i S. i 1 2 S. iS 1 " Jud. 9; see We., 7 AS. 
p. 26, 34; Dr., TBS. p. I; and especially Roorda, 480 n., who rightly 
discriminates the case before us from others with which it is frequently 
confounded. -:in rnsr 1 ;] iS 2 - 11 - 111 (by the side of vyy iS 1 - ; see there); 
cf. mirv rnsi 2 17" (in Jos. 7 17 mim -: is error for taar), M S r^a rnsm 
Zech. I2 13 . rnarr: is properly the clan, a number of which make the tribe; 
it is itself composed of a number of families (3X ro), I S. IO- 1 Jos. 7 U . 

3-7. The Messenger of Yahweh announces Samson s birth. 

-The Messenger of Yahweh appears to Manoah s wife and 
announces the birth of a son. During pregnancy she shall abstain 
from wine and things unclean ; for the child is to be a devotee 
from the womb, no razor shall ever touch his head. He shall be 
the first to deliver Israel from the Philistines (v."~" ). She relates 
the occurrence and the words of the Messenger to her husband 
(v. flf -) , The whole scene strikingly resembles in conception and 
expression the visit of the Messenger of Yahweh to Gideon (6 llfr ), 
and is naturally attributed to the same author. \ The story has 
been slightly retouched in places by a later hand, but not so much 
changed as ch. 14. 

3. The Messenger of Yahweh \ see on 2 6". Behold, thoit art 
barren and hast not borne~\ v.-. The following words, and thou 
shalt conceive and bear a son, by their awkward anticipation of 
v/ u , and by the different grammatical structure, betray themselves 
as an interpolation. || 4. Be careful, and do not drink wine and 

* Antt. v. 8, 1-3 275 ff. 

t We., Comp., p. 231 ; cf. also Be. ad loc. We. remarks the occurrence of 
Manahath ben Shobal in the Edomite lists also, Gen. 36- :! . 

J Stud., Bohme, Bu., al. 

\ On the text see Bohme, ZATW. v. 1885, p. 261 ff . : cf. Bu., Richt. it. .SVzw., 
p. 130. || Be., Bohme. 



xiii. 2-6 317 

intoxicating drink] Heb. shekar: Sicera [shekar] Hebraeo ser- 
mone omnis potio nuncupatur, quae inebriare potest ; sive ilia quae 
frumento conficitur ; sive pomorum succo ; aut quum favi deco- 
quuntur in dulcem et barbaram potionem, aut palmarum fructus 
exprimuntur in liquorem, coctisque frugibus, aqua pinguior cola- 
tur.* When named with wine, as it often is, it includes all other 
varieties of intoxicating drink; v. 7 - 14 i S. i 15 Luke i 15 ; cf. the laws 
Lev. io 9 (priests), Nu. 6 3 (Nazirites). See DB-. i. p. 812. And 
not to eat anything tinclcan~\ v. 7 - u . The flesh of tabooed animal 
kinds, carrion, and the like, is probably meant. The consecrated 
child must be kept in utcro from defilement. The rules for the 
Nazirite, Nu. 6 lff -, contain no special prescription on this head, 
which was covered by the general law (Dt. 14 Lev. n). The 
Jewish doctors, observing this, make unclean here equivalent to 
prohibited to the Nazirite ; that is, the other products of the vine, 
Nu. 6 3f .| Bohme thinks that these words (and the correspond 
ing clauses in v. 7 ") are the addition of a later hand, which exag 
gerates the strictness of the regimen. As this is, however, not 
suggested by the law in Nu. 6, nor by any other example, their 
genuineness may with good reason be maintained. 5. Thou art 
with child, and ivilt bear a sori] Gen. i6 u (J) cf. Is. y 14 . The 
present is taken by many as an immediate future, thou art about 
to conceive, \ but this is unnecessary, and, in view of Gen. i6 n , 
less probable. A razor shall not be used on his head^ i6 lr 
i S. i 11 Nu. 6 5 (different expressions). for the boy shall be a 
devotee from the womb~\ v. 7 i6 17 cf. i S. i 11 . He will be the first 
to deliver] begin to deliver; the verb is used as in io 18 : Who is 
the man who will be first to fight with the Ammonites. The words 
have been taken to imply that Samson should only begin, but not 
complete, the work of deliverance, and Wellhausen would recog 
nize an allusion to Saul ; || but it is doubtful whether the writer 
put so much reflexion into the word begin; cf. I3 25 I6 22 . 6. A 
man of God came to me~] v. H i S. 2* 9 7 8 &c. The Messenger 
appeared as a man; his words showed that he was an inspired 
man; in later phrase, a prophet. His appearance was like that 



* Jerome, ep. ad Nepotianum, c. n (Opp. ed. Vallarsi, i. 264). It includes, there 
fore, beer, cider, mead, date wine, &c. t Ra., al. % So A al. ft, EV., and many, 
f Ki. 2, Schm., Drus., Rosenm., al. || Comp., p. 231. 



3l8 JUDGES 

of the Messenger of God, very awful~\ inspiring awe and rever 
ence, not terror; see Gen. 28 " Ex. 34 &c. 7. She repeats to 
Manoah the words of the Messenger. From the womb to the 
day of his death~\ this is implied, though not expressed, in v." . 



3. p m? 1 ! rrnm] (5 BNT only KCU crv\\-^/j.^/ri vlov. This is a fragment of a 
different translation from v/ - 7 (ev yacrrpl xs) ; the probable inference is 
that the LXX did not originally contain the words. 4. -i;:r] see the passages 
from the Talm. and Midrash cited by Ki. Lex. s.v. ; also Levy, A7/H7>. s.v. 
-NCE] of prohibited animal kinds, Dt. 14*- " 19 Lev. II 4 > &c., of carrion 
(nflTi3, nSaj), Lev. 22 s cf. Ex. 22 31 . 5. p n-i^i mn -pn ^] v. 7 (Sen. iG 11 . 
The pronunciation seems to be a compromise between ptcp. and perf., and is 
perhaps meant to hint to the reader that the ptcp. (which would be more 
usual after njn) is to be understood in a future sense (perf. consec.) ; cf. 3u 
So Ki., Ko. i. p. 404-406. The author prob. intended a perf. S> nSy 1 N S .TV-I 
12 N- 1] i6 17 i S. i 11 *; cf. Xu. 6 5 rj N-i LI ;~ "op S >LI IJT. The etymology of n-v-: 
(masc., n. b. !), which occurs only in the stories of Samson and Samuel, is 
obscure. rvrv BTiSN i^j] v." i6 17 ; a religions devotee. In ordinary cases the 
obligation of the nazir was assumed only for a certain period, which was 
terminated by a sacrifice of his hair at the sanctuary, Xu. 6 18 . In the light of 
similar practices in other religions, we may with great probability infer that 
this sacrifice was the original content of the vow. From the moment that it 
was assumed, the locks were consecrated and inviolable.* They were not 
merely the outward sign of the wearer s devotion, but, being themselves 
sacred, they consecrated him, and thus brought him under certain incidental 
prohibitions (taboos). That he must with peculiar pains guard against pollu 
tion by contact with death, is intelligible without further explanation. The 
Hebrew nazir had also to abstain from wine and intoxicating drinks, and 
from every product of the vine (cf. Jud. I3 14 Am. 2 llf - Nu. 6 :lf -) ; compare the 
abstinence imposed on priests during their service, Ez. 44 21 Lev. io 9 . In the 
case of Samson and Samuel the obligation was imposed for life by the mother s 
consecration of the unborn child, but this is signalized as something extraor 
dinary, rather than the oldest form of the Nazirate (Ew., al.).f Such absti 
nences have nothing to do with morality. The commentators who have to 
prove Samson a blameless judge are much embarrassed by the Philistine 
women. Ki. (on v. 5 ) imagines that he must have converted them. TT: 

* Cf. Ez. 44 - n . On similar consecration of the hair see Spencer, De It gg. ritual., 
iii. diss. i. c. 6; Goldziher, " Le sacrifice de la chevelure chez les Arabes," RHR. 
xiv. 1886, p. 49-52, cf. x. p. 351 ff. 

t On the Nazirate and similar vows see W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites, 
p. 306 ff. (esp. 314 f.), 463 f. ; cf. Kinship and Marriage, p. 152 ff . ; Wellhausen, 
Reste arnbischen Heidentumes, p. 118, 166 f. ; Stade, (7 17. i. p. 479, 388 f. ; Smend, 
Alttest. Religionsgesch., p. 152 ff. ; Nowack, Hcbr. Archaologie, ii. p. 133 ff. For the 
older literature see DU l . s.v. 



xin. 7-14 

DTI^N] would be best represented by a compound word if we had one like 
Gottgeweihter. jaan p] from the womb on, i.e. from his birth ; v. 7 to the day 
of his death. Ji j^snnS Sm xini] cf. 2 K. io 32 Jud. I3 25 i6 11( - . 6. O nSNn C"N] 
the particular one who came; idiomatic use of the article, Ges.- 5 126,4; see 
above on 7 13 S 25 . D nSsn ^N^::] v. 9 ; but mm -\y^-z v. y - 13 - 1J - 1(! - 17 - *> 21 ; cf. 6 20 . 
In v. 6 we might find a motive for the variation (cf. 2 S. I4 20 ) ; but this expla 
nation would not extend to v. 9 . More probably the substitution is accidental, 
due to the influence of the adjacent DTiSxn C"N. 

8-23. The second visit of the Messenger. The Messenger 
returns at Manoah s request ; the woman calls her husband, and 
to him the Messenger repeats his former prescriptions (v. s ~ 14 ). 
Manoah invites him to stay and eat with them, but he declines, 
nor will he disclose his name (v. 1 *). Manoah offers a kid upon 
the rock ; as the flame rises, the Messenger ascends in it to the 
sky (v. - 1 ) . Manoah fears death, for they have seen a god, but 
his wife reassures him ; if Yahweh had meant to destroy them, he 
would not have accepted their sacrifice nor shown them such 
a portent (v. 22fi ). 8. Manoah prays that the Messenger may 
come again and show them what they shall do about the 
boy that is to be born, how they shall treat him. Manoah be 
sought Yahweh~\ the somewhat unusual verb occurs in the Hex- 
ateuch only in J. 9. And God hearkened to the words of 
Manoah~\ God twice (as in v. 6 ), instead of Yahweh as constantly 
in what follows ; perhaps occasioned in all cases by the preceding, 
man of God. There is no reason to suspect that the variation 
has any critical significance ; see note on v. fi . 10. The woman 
calls her husband. The man who came to me the other day has 
appeared to me} lit. on the day (on which he came). The Hebrew 
phrase is unusual ; the versions generally render, on that day ; see 
note. 11. Manoah follows her to the field, and accosts the 
stranger, asking whether it was he who before spoke to his wife. 
12. Now, if what thou sayest comes true, how shall the boy be 
brought up, and what shall he do~} what is the rule or regimen 
prescribed for him, and what shall his calling be ; or, perhaps, his 
mode of life? 13, 14. The Messenger does not answer Manoah s 
question further than to repeat his injunctions ; the mother shall 
do exactly as she has been told ; she shall not eat any product of 
the vine, drink wine or intoxicating drink, or eat anything unclean. 



320 JUDGES 

Bohme leaves to the author only the words, wine and intoxicating 
drink she shall not drink ; the rest he regards as editorial amplifi 
cation. In regard to the last clause (tabooed foods), see above 
on v. 4 . The other products of the vine are explicitly forbidden, 
Xu. 6 ;in ; they are not mentioned above in v. 4 or v. 7 . The extension 
of the prohibition to everything that comes from the vine is no 
evidence of later date ; the taboo doubtless from the beginning 
included the vine itself, as did that observed by the Rechabites,* 
or that imposed upon the Roman Flamen Dialis, who was not 
allowed even to walk under a trellised vine.f Nor is it conclusive 
against the genuineness of the words that they do not occur in 
v. 4 - 7 . It is not the author s manner to repeat himself with such 
notarial exactness ; cf. the last clause of v." with v. 4 . 15. Let me 
press thec to stay, and prepare before tJiee a Md~\ pregnant expres 
sion, prepare and set before thee. Compare Gen. iS :>rt -, and espe 
cially the story of Gideon, 6 17ff - 16. If thoit press me, I will not 
eat of thy meat; and if thon wilt make a burnt offering, offer it to 
Yahwch~\ the Messenger keeps up the character of a man of God 
(v/ 1 ). In the story of Gideon the Messenger lets him bring the 
food, and then converts it into an offering. In the patriarchal 
story, Gen. 18, Yahweh eats the meal which Abraham prepares. 
Compared with this, the behaviour of the Messenger of Yahweh in 
the stories of Gideon and Manoah seems to represent a more 
advanced stage of theological reflexion. We must, however, 
bear in mind that in Israel, as elsewhere, the intercourse of God 
with men was believed to have been more intimate and natural in 
the remote past; and need not, therefore, infer that Gen. 18 is 
older than Jud. 6 13. .For Manoah did not know that he was 
tlie Messenger of Yahweh~\ cf. Mark 9 5f -. This cannot be the rea 
son for the Messenger s reply, \ but for Manoah s invitation v. 1: b . 
The words would then naturally stand before v. 1Ga , || and Bohme 
accordingly transposes v. 1 "" and v. lfib : Let us detain thee and pre 
pare before thee a kid : for Manoah did not know, &c. And the 
Messenger of Yahweh said to Manoah, &c. The words are, how- 



XIII. 14-iS 321 

ever, even more apposite as an explanation of Manoah s request 
to know the name of his visitor, v. 17 : What is thy name, that when 
thy word comes true we may honour thee ; for Manoah did not 
know that he was the Messenger of Yahweh. And the Messenger 
of Yahweh replied, &c. In any case the clause is misplaced, and 
this dislocation suggests that it is a comment, perhaps originally a 
marginal gloss, rather than part of the original narrative.* 
17. What is thy name, that when thy word comes true we may 
honour thcc\ cf. v. 12 and i S. 9 : The man is held in honour; every 
thing that he says surely comes true. Manoah would know the 
name of the man of God (as he supposes him to be), that he may 
in the event render his due of grateful honour. 18. Why doest 
thou inquire aboiit my name, seeing it is ineffable\ cf. Gen. 32 29 . 
The name is incomprehensible ; beyond your capacity to hear 
and understand; cf. Ps. i39 6 , Knowledge is beyond my capacity; 
it is high above my reach. Not that the name itself is mysterious 
or miraculous. Bohme regards the last clause as a gloss ; but in a 
gloss we should doubtless have a more commonplace phraseology. 

8. mrp SN nua tnjw] in the Hexateuch this verb occurs only in J (Gen. 
25 21 c.); cf. 2 S. 2i 14 24 25 . jnN 13] see note on 6 13 . UT^]] advise 
us; give us a tora to go by. "iVvn] ptcp. Pual; generally explained as 
rejection of a preformative (Ges. 25 52 end) ; more properly an alternative 
form of the ptcp. without m; cf. Arab, qatul and maqtul (Ol. 250 c ; Sta. 
617 b; Lagarde, Bildung der A r omina, p. 63 f.). See in general, Ko. i. 
p. 433 f. The indication of u by i to avoid ambiguity; cf. Jud. i8 29 Job 5". 
9. roy fN PIK^N mjsi mtra natrv NTH] two circumstantial clauses, she being 
in the field, and her husband not tuith her. 10. |*tm n^xn tnarn] the first 
verb is a modifier of the second; the collocation may also be asyndetic; cf. 9 48 
&c. a^a] if the text is sound, we may compare the idiomatic uses of cva 
and BVTO, We., TBS. p. 36 n. 12. -pi at xa> nnj?] cf. i S. 9. For inat 
(plur.) very many codd. and edd. of &. (De Rossi) with (51LS have the 
sing, "pat; in v. 17 this correction is made in the margin of H. The discord 
in number between the verb and its subject is not impossible in Hebrew, 
see Ges. 25 145, 7; but it is more probable that the plural is to be attrib 
uted to a scribe; see further on v. 17 . On the massoretic authority for the 
plur. see Norzi. 14. pn |BJ] only Nu. 6 4 . 15. -piN NJ msyj] the word 



* Stud, ingeniously justifies the position of the clause by assuming an inten 
tional ambiguity in Manoah s invitation : We will set before thee a kid, or, we will 
offer in thy presence a kid ; and finds a reference to this alternative sense in the 
disjunctive reply of the Messenger. 
Y 



322 JUDGES 

generally implies forcible restraint, and here elegantly expresses the urgency 
of the invitation to stay. Ji pjfl ? ns jji] ne>j:, dress and cook an animal, 
6 10 I S. 25 1S Gen. l8 7 - 8 &c. Possibly, as Stud, thinks, there is an inten 
tional ambiguity in the phrase here, as in nnja 6 18 , the writer meaning to 
hint at the sacrificial sense. 16. "priSa SON* sS] Prov. Of 1 . More usual would 
be partitive p. The comment of Thdt. on the response of the Messenger is: 
TpofiTJs, (prjcrLv, ov Seo/ucu 6v<rla.v ov 5^%o/icu. TOVTO p.tv yap 6eov, eKeivo d 
TTJS avdpUTrivys (pveeus iSiov. eyilu 8 ovre d>s S.vOpuiro i XPlifa T P0^ S > OVTe T V 
Qeiav dpTrdfa TJ/XTJV. 17. ~\-i? ^] as the question is really about a person, 
who he is, the personal interrogative ^ is used ad sensum ; elsewhere ~\^H na 
Gen. 32 28 , vst TO Ex. 3 13 , grammatically regular; see E\v. 325 a. T" 1 ^] 
Qere (with (3L<S) "P2"i sing., which many codd. and edd. have in the text; 
see De Rossi. The same correction is made in i K. 8- i8 36 22 13 Jer. I5 16 
Ps. Jig 147 - 101 Ezra IO 12 ; Ochla we-Ochla,l$o. 131. 18. N^a Mini] regularly 
formed adj. from N/s; pronounce fil i: the margin directs that it be read 
with suppression of N, peli. Cf. the fern. rvs^B Ps. 139", unnecessarily altered 
!>y the Qere. K?fl is what surpasses human power or comprehension, and 
therefore excites wonder and admiration, Is. 2Q 14 9 5 25! Ex. I5 11 Pss.; see 
note on TN^DJ 6 13 . renders here, C IDD Nim, which is of importance for 
the interpretation of fnssn DC* in the Talmud, &c. 

19. Manoah took the kid and the cereal oblation, and offered it 
up on the rock to Yahweh~\ the cereal oblation {minhah*) is probably 
added here and in v. 2:1 by a later hand, for the sake of liturgical 
correctness.* Cf. Gideon s cakes (massofh), 6 19 " 21 . The rock~\ 
6 20 (different word), 21 . The article probably indicates that it was 
a rock customarily used for the purpose, a natural monolithic 
altar ; in v.- it is twice called the altar ; see there. The rest of 
the verse presents serious difficulties. The words, while Manoah 
and his wife were looking on, which recur in v. 20 and are beyond 
doubt original there, have probably been introduced in v. 1<J by an 
accident of transcription. f The two words which remain defy 
every attempt to construe them grammatically. By a very slight 
emendation we obtain, he offered it up on the rock to Yahweh, 
who worketh wonderfully ; \ cf. Ex. 15" Ps. 77". The words 
would then refer, not to the portent which is described in v. 20 , but 
to the predicted birth of a son. Such a special ascription to the 
"wonder-working Yahweh," by which the sacrifice bore the title of 
the occasion, would be in entire accord with ancient religion. The 
words have none of the marks of a gloss ; the expression is far too 

* Bohme. t Be. +Aal. E. 



XIII. ig-21 323 

characteristic and too difficult.* 20. As the flame ascended from 
the altar to the sky\ the scene so closely resembles that in the 
story of Gideon (6- 1 ) that there was a strong temptation to sup 
plement the one narrative from the other, f as is done in all detail 
by Josephus here. \ Kimchi, for example, represents the fire as 
coming out of the rock and devouring the offering. Some 
modern critics have suspected that something of this purport 
originally stood in the place of the corrupt v. 19b . || But the stories, 
similar as they are, are nowhere exactly alike ; they are variations 
of the same theme, such as popular story-tellers delight in, not a 
pedantic repetition of it. In ch. 6 Gideon brings out food to his 
visitor, who bids him lay it on the rock, and then himself converts 
it into a burnt offering : here the Messenger declines the offered 
food, but suggests a sacrifice, which Manoah accordingly prepares 
and offers on the rock (the technical word implies not merely the 
placing of the victim on the rock, but the burning it) ; there is 
really no room in the story for a parallel to the bringing of the fire 
out of the rock in ch. 6. We have no reason, therefore, to think 
that the text is here abridged. The altar~\ twice in the verse. 
Studer finds in the substitution of the altar for the rock (v. 19 ) 
confirmation of the suspicion which, on other grounds, he enter 
tains of the whole verse ; Bohme supposes that the altar was intro 
duced by a later hand in the interest of liturgical correctness, and 
would restore in both instances, the rock. The possibility that the 
text has been thus altered is to be admitted (cf. i S. I4 33 - 35 ); but 
the necessity of Bohme s emendation is not obvious. The kid 
was offered as a burnt offering on the rock, which therefore, 
whether usually or on this occasion only, served as an altar.^f Why 
the author may not in the sequel have spoken of it under the 
latter name, I do not see. Indeed, one might perhaps discover 
in the very identification evidence of a primitive time. The Mes 
senger ofYahweh ascended in the flame of the altar] cf. the colour 
less interpolation in 6 21 , end. 21. And the Messenger of Yahweh 



* Against Be., Bohme. 

t We have seen reason to think that 6 21b is an interpolation of this kind from 
1320. 

J Antt. v. 8, 3 283 f. It is to be noted that Josephus does not narrate Gideon s 
sacrifice at all. So also Schm., al. || Stud., Be. H Be. 



324 JUDGES 

did not appear again to Manoah and his wife~\ not, was no longer 
visible to them. Then Manoah knew~\ when he saw him ascend 
in the altar flame ; cf. 6~, Gideon saw that he was the Messenger 
of Yahweh when he brought the fire out of the rock. Bdhme 
regards the first sentence of this verse as an editorial addition ; 
v.- Ib should follow immediately upon v. 201 * . There is, however, no 
manifest motive for the interpolation, while the author may have 
thought it worth while to say that the Messenger, who had visited 
them twice, did not return again. Probably, if we had been 
writing the story, we should have put this sentence after v. L<:1 ; but 
the author preferred to finish what he had to say about the Mes 
senger at this point. The old Hebrew writers did not always have 
the same notions about good style that are entertained by modern 
critics. 22. Manoah is greatly alarmed. We shall surely die, 
for we have seen a god~\ 6" ; see comm. there. The word, a god, 
conveys too much to us, but we have no other to translate it by. 
The Hebrew elohim is used for any superhuman being ; cf. i S. 
28 13 , where the witch of Enclor at the sight of Samuel s ghost 
exclaims, " I see a god (elohim) rising from the earth." 23. His 
wife reassures him. If it had been Yahwetts pleasure to kill us, 
he would not have taken a bu rut offering from ns~\ the words and 
a meal offering are, as in v. ;) , probably of later insertion. By what 
signs the acceptance of a sacrifice was recognized, we do not 
know. And would not have showed us all these things, and 
would not now have announced to us such a thing~\ the first clause 
refers to the appearance of the Messenger and his wonderful 
departure ; the second to the promise of a son and the injunctions 
connected with it. The order may be explained by the fact that 
the most striking sight, the ascent of the Messenger in flame, 
connected itself with the sacrifice. Bohme attributes both clauses 
to editorial expansion. This appears to me possible as regards 
the first (he would not have showed us all these things) ; but I 
see no reason to doubt the genuineness of the last clause. 

19. -\ViTi *?;] 6 21 ; cf. i ^on 6 2) and note there. nii!>;? i ? N^BS-I] cannot by 
any ingenuity be construed.* The conj. nia ^S ioSsD Nim (Maur.) gives us, 
as Stud, rightly observes, a second circumstantial clause, which will not fit into 



F.wald s, und es regt sich wunderbar, is wholly inadmissible. 



xin. 21-25 325 



the context. (gAPVhMXO j g T<J5 Kvpiy rip daviJMffra. TTOIOVVTI, \ Domino mira- 
bilia facienti, followed by IL Domino, qui facit mirabilia. The Greek 
translators therefore read, nwpS K ?DDH mm 1 ?, which gives a satisfactory struc 
ture and sense. (S B (alone) /cat avriveyicev . , . r<? Kvplq, /cat Siexupurev woirjcra.1, 
which represents the text of |^, and agrees literally with 3T, which here and else 
where renders x>Scn by cnc, Pael and Aphel. We may with some plausibility 
conj. that Siexwptcrev is the translation of Aquila. J|J is an attempt to construe 
the words with the following clause, after the words D^NT I.TW NI mjai were 
accidentally transferred to this place from the next verse. With the construc 
tion nis>? i ? N^DD cf. Is. 29" xSoi N^SH ntn ayn rm N^onS ipv IJJH pS, 2 Chr. 26 15 
-n?nS NiSijn 13, Joel 2 s26 (God) N- SflnS DDOJ? ne^. It is a "direct causative 
Hiphil " (Konig s term), and may take an accusative (nsy Is. 28 23 , ->on Ps. 3i 22 , 
n-a Dt. 28 59 &c.), or a gerund in definition. 20. narsn Sys] S interpreting 
as Fl. Jos. and many others, from the rock. 21. MI ^ xS] the interpreta 
tion, was no more seen by them, i.e. disappeared from their sight (Ki. 2), 
is against the usage of this idiomatic phrase, which expresses not continuity, 
but repetition; cf. Ex. 1028.29 z s. 15^; Gen. S 12 Jud. 8 28 2 K. 6 23 &c. 
n^n 1 ?] i S. 3 21 ; cf. njp Prov. i6 1G , HNT Gen. 48",* &c. See K6., i. p. 534 f. 
23. npS xS . . . fan -iS] cf. 8 19 and note there. ji -ijN^n Si] (S t al OVK dc 
eipdiTiffev T7/xas, cf. v. 8 /cat ^airicrdTaj r/^as (|j u^. 1 )) ; + presumably reading 
IJTTI and translating (as in the other places cited) by pseudo-etymological 
connection with TIN. The reading is tempting; we might conjecture that the 
corruption which made ijson of it led to the further amplification of the verse 
by the addition of what now seemed lacking, a mention of the words spoken 
to them. ^> r] now, just now. KaO^s [6] /caip6s ABL : lacking in (gPVMNO 
I IL; sub ast. 5. The word is difficult, because it seems to oppose the hearing, 
as recent, to the seeing and the sacrifice. We might conj. npy 13 (cf. 2i - 2 ), but 
should then have to regard this as the original beginning of the apodosis of 
1 s , and all that intervenes from Pip? is S as an editorial interpolation. 

24, 25. Samson s birth and childhood. She gave him the name 
Samson~] no etymology or explanation of the name is suggested, 
nor is there any hint of its significance elsewhere in the story. 
It is derived from shemesh, sun, and if we remember that Beth- 
shemesh, just across the valley from Manoah s home, was sacred 
to the sun-god, such a name will hardly appear unnatural among 
these Danites. On the form of the name see note, and on the 
mythical interpretation, see note at the end of ch. 16. 25. The 
spirit of Yahweh first stirred him up at Mahaneh Dan (Dan s 
Camp) between Zorah and Eshtaol~\ as the text now stands, we 



* Perhaps in the two last examples we should pronounce as inf. abs. (Sta.). 
t Except BN. j Cf. also 4 Reg. I2 2 17%- 28. 



326 JUDGES 

must suppose that there he first had one of those fits of demonic 
rage which were so terrible to his enemies. The occasion and 
results of this outbreak are not related. The verse cannot be the 
introduction to ch. 14 ; we should rather have to regard it as 
originally the introduction to a lost story of Samson s first exploit. 
The topographical notices, however, excite suspicion. The home, 
or at least the family burial-place, of Manoah was between Zorah 
and Eshtaol (i6 31 ); Dan s Camp, on the other hand, was at 
Kirjath-jearim in Judah, on the western side of that town (iS 1 -). 
The latter statement, which there is no reason to question, is indi 
rectly confirmed by the name itself: whatever its origin, Camp 
of Dan is a much more natural name for a place in Judah 
than for one in the midst of the Danite settlements about Zorah. 
This consideration weighs against the hypothesis, for which there 
is no support, that there were two Camps of Dan, one at Kirjath- 
jearim, and one between Zorah and Eshtaol.* It is possible that 
neither of the conflicting topographical notices in our verse is 
original, and that the author wrote simply, The boy grew up, and 
Yahwch blessed him ; and the spirit of Yahweh began to stir him 
up, disquiet him. Upon this, ch. 14 might very well follow; cf. 
i4 4 . On Zorah see above, on v.~ ; on Eshtaol, see on i6 31 . 

24. pS Stt*] Fl. Jos., laxvpbv S airoff^^aivei rb 6vofj.a, deriving it from jstf 
(see on 3 29 ) ; similarly E. Meier, f Others explain it as an intensive formation 
from cis* (pSTS* for BC CS ), devastator, or (giving a fictitious " primary " sense 
to the root) mighty ; so Be 1 ., Diestel, Ke., KOhler, al. Ew. ( G VI. ii. p. 559) 
thought it possible to connect the name with " ^^ serve, the servant sc. of 
God, i.e. the Nazirite. These are all efforts of misdirected ingenuity to evade 
the palpable derivation from ires sun ; J cf. ^u^u Ezra 4 8ff -, irw Jericho, 
from m> moon, and the Palmyrene n. pr. -m^ (Baethgen, Beitrage, p. 162), 
&c. isyaS nw nn ^nm] sys Kal T ; Niph., Gen. 41 s Dan. 2 3 Ps. 77"" Hithp. 
Dan. 2 lf ; cf. a vs. The sense in all these passages is, disquiet, perturb ; the 
primary meaning is uncertain. 

XIV., XV. Samson s marriage and its consequences. The 

story is of one fabric throughout, and is probably derived from J, 



* Be. See also Schick, 7.DPV. x. p. 137, with Guthe s note. 
t Poet. National-Literatur d. Hebr., p. 105 ; Roskoff, al. Against this view see 
Noldeke, 7.DMG. xv. p. 806 f. + OS 2 . i84 48 3303, Nold., Cass., We., MV., al. mu. 
$ See above, p. 312 f. 



XIII. 25-XIV. 3 327 

but a good many additions and changes have been made by later 
editors or scribes, which disturb the simple and natural progress 
of the narrative. One of the most misleading of these alterations 
is that which lets Manoah and his wife accompany Samson to 
Timnath (i4 s - 6b ), with the insertion of the words, to marry her, in 
v. 8a ; the journeyings to and fro thus become an insoluble puzzle. 
Confusion has also been introduced by (or in) the dates in v. 14b- 15a , 
and toward the close of ch. 14 an accidental corruption of the 
text has made the sequel unintelligible.* 

XIV. 1-4. Samson announces his purpose to marry a Philis 
tine woman of Timnath. Samson went down to Timnatti\ from 
his father s home at Zorah (13"). Timnath f is in Jos. iQ 43 allotted 
to Dan; in Jos. 15 it is set down as a frontier town of Judah. 
According to Jud. i 34 , the Danites had been thrust back from this 
region by the Amorites. In the Philistine invasion, Timnath fell 
into their possession. \ Early in the history of the kingdom, no 
doubt, it was incorporated in Judah ; but, according to 2 Chr. 28 *, 
was reconquered by the Philistines in the time of Ahaz (736- 
728 B.C.). It still bears the name Tibneh, and lies about an hour 
west of Ain Shems (Beth-shemesh, Har-heres, i* 5 ), and somewhat 
farther southwest of Sur ah (Zorah). 2. On his return he asks 
his father to get her for his wife. The negotiations for a bride 
were the business of the bridegroom s father; cf. Gen. 34 4m 
3. His parents object to his marrying a Philistine ; he should take 
a wife of his own people. Samson, however, persists. His father 
and his mother^ the last words are probably an addition to the orig 
inal text (conformation to v. 2 ) ; the verb in Heb. is in the singu 
lar ; observe also my people, and the sing, in Samson s reply, Get 
(thou) her for ic ; it is naturally the father who answers. Are 
there no women among his own kinsmen or of his own race, that 
he must needs go take a Philistine wife? Cf. Gen. 24 3f - 26 34f - 28 lf - 8f . 
The uncircumcised Philistines] uncircumcised is an opprobri 
ous word which is applied almost exclusively to the Philistines 



*See Stade, 7.ATW. iv. 1884, p. 250 ff.; Budde, Richt. u. Sam., p. 130 f.; 
Doorninck, " De Simsonsagen," Th.T. xxviii. 1894, P- I 4~3 2 - 

t Not to be confounded with Timnath-heres, 2 9 . J See above, p. 80 f. 

$ Rob., DK^. ii. p. 17 ; Guerin, Judee, ii. p. 30 f. ; SWP. Memoirs, ii. p. 417. 



328 JUDGES 

among the neighbours of Israel ; cf. i5 ls i S. 14 if "" 3i 4 2 S. i 20 ; 
see Jer. 9 2 1 " 6 . Circumcision seems to have been generally prac 
tised by the other peoples of Palestine.* On the Philistines, see 
on 3". For she suits me\ v." ; lit. is right in my eyes. 4. In 
this seeming perversity there was a divine purpose of which his 
parents were not aware; cf. Gen. 24". For he (Yahweh) was 
seeking an opportunity of the Philistines^ an opportunity for 
Samson to do them a mischief; cf. 2 K. 5 7 , which suggests that 
the rare word may have the by-sense, opportunity, occasion for a 
fight. The second half- verse is superfluous here, and is very 
probably an editorial addition derived from i5 n ;t observe the 
generalization, over Israel (cf. I3 1 ). Doorninck regards the whole 
verse as a gloss, introduced by some one who felt the need of 
some such explanation of the marriage of an inspired man and 
judge of Israel with a heathen woman. The words seem to me, 
however, to be perfectly natural in the context, and not to involve 
any such reflexion. The refusal of Samson s father to get the 
woman for him as a wife in the usual way, explains how he came 
to contract an exogamous marriage. This was the origin of a 
succession of complications, in each of which Samson has an 
injury to requite, so that the mischief which he does the Philis 
tines is always legitimate retaliation (cf. esp. is 3 ); he always has 
a just occasion. And it is in entire accord with the religious 
character of the folk-story that this is ascribed to the purpose of 
Yahweh. 

1. nrjsna] v. 2 ; cf. nnjsn *w v. 5 , Jos. ig 43 . The name of the place was 
doubtless rjcr, with the Canaanite fern, ending which we find in numerous 
names of places. J In Hebrew it appeared to be construct, and there was 
therefore a special tendency to replace it by the accus. nrjrr. 3. i* 1 "CN i 
ICNI ION] observe the sg. verb (cf. v. 5a ). The constr. is possible; but the 
discord in number is more prob. due to the interpolation of ps. ... mj33 
?33i] among; cf. nuas v. 1 - 2 ; a good illustration of the way in which 2 comes 
to its so-called partitive sense (i3 lfi )i and of the difference between it and p 
partitive, 2 representing the part in the unity of the whole, p as separated 
from it. T nx ] i6 31 9 - " 18 , thy kinsmen. TJ: s ;ai] ev iravri TU Xao; crov 
<5 LM S; conformation to preceding. 4. ^h] the vb. (Pi.) Ex. 2i 13 (Pu.) 



* The Shechemites, Gen. 34, are an exception. 

t Bu., supposing, further, that the father s refusal has been omitted by the editor. 
The latter also seems to me probable; see on v. 5 . J Sta., p. 183. 



XIV. 3-4 329 

Ps. 91 10 Prov. i2 21 (Hithp.) 2 K. 5 7 (c. c. S pers.) The primary sense 
is prob. its time, the right time, came, &c. (cf. Arab.). Hence njxn oppor 
tunity, occasion. The pronunciation of the noun is anomalous; cf. ncin 9 31 ; 
see Ol. 213 a; Sta. 262. The same word appears to have been read by 
the Greek translators in Prov. iS 1 (7rpo0cicreis fr/re?) ; see Cappel, Crit. sacr., 
ii. p. 604 f., ed. Vogel and Scharfenberg. 

It is not explicitly said that Manoah adhered to his position and 
declined to abet his son in his perverse course, but it is distinctly 
enough implied in v. to , and to be inferred with certainty from v. 5 7 , 
where Samson takes the business into his own hands, as well as 
from the nature of the marriage which he contracts. It is evi 
dent there that he has no intention of taking his bride to his 
father s home, as he proposes in v. 1 - 3 ; it is understood that she is 
to remain in her father s house.* That is, Manoah having refused 
to receive this Philistine daughter-in-law, Samson makes a sad iqa 
marriage in Timnath, with which, as a matter of course, his parents 
have nothing whatever to do. 

This state of the case is partly obscured in the text before us 
through the insertion by a later hand of the words, and his father 
and mother, in v. 5a , with the corresponding addition of v. 6b , and of 
his father in v. 10a , by which it is made to appear that Manoah 
yielded and undertook the customary negotiations for an ordinary 
marriage. The motive of this change was doubtless the difficulty 
which men in subsequent times found in conceiving that the hero, 
in open disregard of parental authority, contracted such a marriage 
among the Philistines. But, as is fortunately often the case, the 
editor did not carry through his alterations with sufficient thor 
oughness, and the resulting inconsistency and confusion betrays his 
hand. Thus v. 7 is left untouched, while his father, as the subject 
of v. 10a , manifestly comes too late. And, apart from this, the fact 
that the comrades of the bridegroom (v. 11 ) are not Samson s kins 
men and friends from Zorah, but Philistine youths, is incontrover 
tible evidence that the marriage was not sanctioned by his family. | 

The removal of these interpolations leaves a text which is free 
from all difficulty, a plain and straightforward narrative. Manoah 
having refused his aid and consent, Samson goes by himself to 

* This is not merely a consequence of the quarrel; see esp. v. 18 15!. 
t This restoration of the text follows Doom, and Sta. 



33O JUDGES 

Timnath to arrange for his marriage (v. 5 ). As he is approaching 
the town, a lion encounters him ; the fury comes on, and he kills 
it with his bare hands (v. fi ). He goes on, and has a satisfactory 
interview with the woman (v. 7 ). After some time spent in Tim 
nath he returns to Zorah ; * on his way he finds the honey in the 
carcase of the lion and takes some to his father and mother, 
without telling them where he got it (v. 8f -). He goes down again 
to Timnath for his wedding, and makes a feast according to cus 
tom, taking thirty young Philistines as comrades (v. lof -). During 
the festivities he propounds his riddle, with a wager that they 
cannot answer it before the seven days of the feast are over 
(v. 12 " lta ). They are unable to solve it, and appeal with threats to 
his bride to beguile him of his secret (v. 14b 15 ) ; she finally exhausts 
his patience, and he tells her (v. 1(!f -). On the last day, before he 
enters the bride chamber, they triumphantly declare the answer 
and claim the forfeit (v. 18 ). In a rage, he rushes off, kills thirty 
Ashkelonites, and pays the wager ; f then, without seeing his wife 
again, he returns to his father s house. To repair this disgrace, 
she is married out of hand to his best man (v. 1 1 - 20 ). 

The story is admirably told ; and the text, with the exception 
of the intentional changes which have been discussed, in excellent 
preservation. 

5. Samson went down to Timnath~\ the chief reasons for omit 
ting the words, and his father and his mother, have already been 
given ; observe also that when the lion comes roaring to meet 
him, his parents are not with him (v. 5b ), and that in v. 7 there is 
no further mention of his father, precisely at the point where we 
should expect it if he had accompanied his son. And he came 
to the vineyards\ Jfy, they came, \ necessitated by the introduction 
of his father and his mother in the preceding sentence. A full 
grown young lion eame roaring towards him~\ to explain the 
singular pronoun the commentators are constrained to suppose 
that Samson, in his eagerness, had outstripped his slower parents, 
or that he had taken a by-path through the vineyards, while they 



* The words, to marry her, are a particularly ill-placed gloss, 
t This also is probably a later addition ; see on v. 19 . 
+ Cf. <B B , and see crit. note. $ Ki. 



xiv. 5-7 33i 

followed the main road and heard nothing of his adventure.* 
6. The spirit of Yahweh rushed upon him ] with overmastering 
power ; an access of divine rage in which he was irresistible ; 
cf. v. 19 15", i S. io c - 10 ii 6 i8 10 (Saul) i6 13 (David); with other 
verbs Jud. 3 10 6 W I3 25 . On the spirit of Yahweh see on 3*; it is 
here conceived of as a physical force. | He tore it asunder as 
a man tears a kid~\ the verb occurs in Lev. i 17 , in an old ritual, 
of the tearing of a fowl. The fearing of a kid may perhaps also 
be a reference to some ceremonial act ; the point of comparison 
is not so much the ease with which it was done, as the way in 
which it was done ; he tore the lion limb from limb with his bare 
hands. \ Compare the similar stories of David (i S. ly 34 - 36 ) and 
Benaiah (28. 23 20 ). So the Greek athlete Polydamas is said to 
have killed a large and powerful lion in Olympus, without any 
weapon, imitating thus the famous exploit of Hercules. In many 
representations of the combat of Hercules with the Nemean lion, 
the hero is strangling the beast with his bare hands. || He did not 
tell his father and mother] the words are an interpolation derived 
from v. 10 (cf. v. 9 ), and fit into the story very ill.^f 7. He went 
down and spoke to the woman, and she suited Samsoti] lit. was 
right in his eyes (v. 3 ). It was Samson who went down and spoke 
to the woman, not his father,** who appears very much belated 
on this errand in v. 10 ; see comm. there. Bertheau explains : 
After the parents had arranged the marriage (v. 51 ), and, with 
Samson, had returned to Zorah, he used to go down and talk 
to the maiden, and on more intimate acquaintance she pleased 
him well (v. 7 ).tf This is perhaps as good an illustration as could 
be given of the absurdities into which the interpolations lead the 

* Schm., Stud., Be., al. mu. ; cf. vA 

t Doom. ( Th, T. 1894, p. 16 f.) regards this clause, together with v. 19a and i5 14ba , 
as foreign to the original text. 

+ As a matter of fact, to dismember a living animal in this way, even a kid, is 
not very easy ; for which reason Cler. supposes that a boiled kid is meant. 

Pausanias, vi. 5, 5. 

|| See Baumeister, Denkmiiler des klass. Alterthums, i. p. 655 ; Furtwiingler in 
Roscher s Lexikon, 2195 ff. 

11 See above, p. 329. 

** & harmonizes : they -went down and spoke to the woman. Speak for the woman 
would be 3 131 (i S. 2589). 

ft All just like a properly conducted German courtship ! 



332 JUDGES 

interpreter. 8. And he went back after a while\ from Timnatb 
to his father s house at Zorah. So the context imperatively 
requires. In v." he visits Timnath and arranges the preliminaries 
of his marriage ; having done so, in the interval before his wedding, 
he returns to his home ; by the way he finds the honey in the 
carcase of the lion he had slain as he went down to Timnath ; 
goes along eating it on his way to his parents home (v. 8f -) . The 
order of events is plain and natural. This order is completely 
deranged by the addition in our text of the words, to marry her. 
We have to suppose that after his visit to Timnath (v. 7 ), Samson 
went home, leaving his parents at Timnath, where they are (v. 9 ) 
when after a while he himself returns thither (v. 8 ). But in v. 10 
his father comes down, and we have therefore to assume that, after 
Samson s return to Timnath, Manoah went to Zorah and returned 
again. This succession of purposeless journeyings to and fro is 
not intimated in any way in the narrative itself; it is simply a 
complicated and improbable hypothesis necessitated by the words, 
to marry her, in v. 8 ; and the clumsiness of the hypothesis is the 
strongest evidence that these words do not belong to the original 
story,* And he turned aside to see the remains of the lion\ which 
lay off the pathway, in the vineyards (v. 5 ). There was a swarm 
of bees in the carcase, and honcy~\ we are to imagine the body 
dried up, the skin and shrivelled flesh adhering to the ribs, the 
belly hollow.f In a hot and dry climate this change would not 
take a great while ; \ a longer time would be necessary for bees to 
take possession of the mummied carcase, and deposit honey. 
The story, however, does not represent Samson s discovery as an 
e very-day occurrence ; it is part of a wonderful history, and to be 
judged not by the prosaic probabilities of fact, but by the veri 
similitude of the marvellous. Bochart adduces from Herodotus 
the story of the bees that made a hive of the scull of Onesilus, 
which the people of Amathus had fastened up over the city gate. 
It is not unlikely that the story of the bees in the carcase of the 
lion is further to be connected with the wide-spread belief of the 
ancients in the spontaneous generation of these insects in decaying 

* Doom., Sta. t Not merely the osseous skeleton ; 5, Cler., al. 

\ Oedmann, Sammlungen aus d. Naturkunde, u. s. w., vi. p. 135 f. 
$ Mdt., v. 114; Bochart, Hierozoicon, iii. p. 358, ed. Rosenm. 



xiv. 8-9 333 

bodies of animals, familiar to us through Vergil.* 9. He scraped 
it out into his palms, and went along eating it. And he came to his 
father and his mother^ at his home ; see on v. 8 . He did not tell 
theni} v. 16b . 

5. \\ifsfy TVI] omit 12x1 vasi for the reasons set forth above. f ISOM] 
read N3^i with @ BJf KCLI 3j\6ev. (5 ALM /cat e&K\ivev els d/jLireXuva J ( iD i v. 8 ) 
is perhaps an early attempt to explain how his parents, who according to v. a 
accompanied him to Timnath, knew nothing of his adventure. < PVO ^6c\i- 
va.v. mnx T fls] cf. Ez. ig : -. The "VDO is a full-grown young lion, in the 
wantonness of his superabounding strength. See Bochart, Hierozoicon, ii. 
p. 3 ff.; Tristram, Natural Hist, of the Bible 5 , p. 115 ff. i.^x-ip 1 ? JNS] the 
specific word for the roaring of the lion. The construction is pregnant; cf. 
i S. i6 4 2i 2 Jud. i5 14 I9 3 . 6. i-un > p^3 inyc)Bi] Lev. i 17 xS v<3J33 inx yoen 
Sn3 1 ; trop. i S. 24 8 (ona-n). The procedure directed in Lev. I 17 is described 
as a rending of the victim by hand, without actual severance of the parts; see 
Ra. aJ loc.; Sifra, IVayyikra, Parasha 7 (9) with the comm.; Zebachim, 
65 a - b 66 a . Ji Tun N S I] interpolation; see above. 8. npnpS a^D 3S"i] 
Bochart, following RLbG., interprets, after a year (n*), cf. Selden, Uxor 
Hebr., ii. c. 8; but this is here in the highest degree improbable. nSas] 
from ^sj, as irrw/j-a from irl-n-reiv, cadaver a cadendo (Ges. Thes?) nns] on 
the anomalous form see Ol. 216 d.\ \\ cf. nvix (nx) v. 5 . 9. vus SN imin] 
HTI, in this sense not elsewhere in O.T., is freq. in MH.; scrape, e.g. the thin 
sheets of bread from the sides of the oven (nun), or honeycomb from the sides 
of the hive (mns) ; Levy, NHWb. iv. p. 427 f. For the latter, cf. M. Shebiith, 
x. 7; Baba bathra, 66 a ; Baba mezia, 64* (see Ra. on the last passage); cf. 
also the norn. instrum. n-nc, Taanith, 25, &c. This specific sense is abun 
dantly established. That it does not occur again in O.T. is not strange; it is 
precisely these household words of the old Hebrew which are not found in it 
unless by fortunate exception.^ There is no reason to suspect the text (SS.). 
The etymologizing interpretations, break, break out (Mich. Sitppl., Ges. 
Thes., al.), " sich bemachtigen des Honigs " (Be. al.), are worthless. VDS SN] 
in pregnant constr., into his hands ; naturally, with a stick or something of 
the kind. The considerable variations of (5 are apparently derived from a 
Hebrew copy in which vaa had become corrupted to vs. ^b^i ^iSn I^M] iSn 
with two inff. abss., Jos. 6 9 - i S. 6 12 2 S. 3 le 2 K. 2 11 &c. ^M 2] prob. 
through the influence of the preceding verbs; N3M would be more natural. 

* Georg., iv. 299 if. Many other authors are quoted by Bochart, iii. 353 f., among 
them Philo, de sacrificantibus , Opp. ed. Mangey, ii. p. 255. Other lit. is cited by 
Rosenm. in his notes on Bochart, and Stud. Merx, " Der Honig im Cadaver des 
Lowen," Prot. Kirchenzeitung, 1887, 17. col. 389-392, I have not seen. 

t Doom., Sta. J M i^TreAii-as. \ Doom., Sta. 

|| For other explanations see the authors cited by Buhl, Ges. HWb^. s.v. 

11 Abulw., Ki. Lex., al. refer to this sense Jer. 5 31 ; so Buhl. 



334 JUDGES 

10-18. The wedding ; Samson s riddle. 10. He went down 
to the woman and made a feast there\ * Jfy and the versions : His 
father went down to the woman (/), and Samson made a feast. 
This introduction of the father here has a peculiarly absurd effect; 
especially after the other gloss, to marry her (v. 8 ) ; see on v. : and 
v. 8 . -For so bridegrooms used to </<?] on such occasions. The 
note is manifestly added because the custom of the narrator s 
time was different. The difference lies not in the length of the 
festivities,! but in the fact that it was given by the bridegroom at 
the home of the bride s parents, instead of his own, which was 
altogether exceptional. On wedding customs see note on v. L ". 
11. And he took thirty comrades, and they were with hit~\ these 
comrades were Philistines (v. 18 ), and took the place of the kins 
men and friends of the bridegroom, who in an ordinary marriage 
would have attended him to the bride s home, and thence con 
ducted the couple in festive procession to his house. So the story 
originally ran, as we see especially from v. 15b , where it is clear that 
they were invited guests, not special constables. Through misun 
derstanding, or possibly to remove offence, this has been so 
changed that the Philistines themselves select these comrades ; 
and a motive for this unusual course is discovered in their appre 
hension that Samson might be up to some mischief. Thus has 
arisen the present text, which runs in fH : And w/icn they saw 
him, they took thirty comrades; saw what a dangerous-looking 
fellow he was. Many Greek manuscripts, representing a slightly 
different pronunciation of the Hebrew word, since they feared 
him ; see crit. note. 12. As everywhere in the world, the 
wedding festivities were enlivened by various pleasantries and 
plays of wit. \ Samson gives out a riddle, with a wager that the 
guests cannot answer it before the week is out. If you can tell 
me what it is, during the seven days of the feast, and find it out, 
/ will give you, 6<r.] the words, and find it out (yourselves), 
which are lacking in several recensions of O, are a gloss taken 
from v 18 , as the inappropriate position of the words in ^ also 

* Or, And Samson went down (Sta., Doom.). 

t Stud. 

% On riddles at feasts, see Bochart, Hierozoicon, iii. p. 382 f., ed. Rosenm. 

vf The seven days, cf. Gen. 29-" Tob. n 19 ; Wellhausen, GgN. 1893, p. 442. 



xiv. io-i4 335 

shows.* The author of the gloss desired an express proviso 
against such unfair means as the Philistines took to learn the 
secret. Thirty fine linen wrappers and thirty gala dresses ] one 
for each of the comrades. The linen wrappers (Is. 3^ Prov. 3i 24 ) 
were not undergarments, f but rectangular pieces of fine, thin, 
and therefore costly, linen stuff, which might be worn as an outer 
garment over the other dress, or as a night-wrapper upon the 
naked body ; J see note. Gala dressei\ apparel which was worn 
on festival or ceremonial occasions, instead of the every-day 
raiment (v. 13 - 19 Gen. 45- 2 K. 5*). 13. If they are unable to 
guess the riddle, they shall pay the same wager. They accept the 
conditions : Propound thy riddle, and let us hear it ! 14. Out 
of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came 
something sweet~\ the adjectives in the second member are 
descriptive epithets, respectively, of the substantives in the first, 
which they replace in poetic parallelism. It is unnecessary, 
therefore, to try to make out a perfect antithesis between the 
adjectives independently ; there is in reality but one antithesis, 
not two. They could not tell the riddle ] it was, in truth, a very bad 
riddle, and quite insoluble without a knowledge of the accidental 
circumstance which suggested it. The following dates are evi 
dently not in order. According to f^, they could not make out 
the riddle for three days, and on the seventh day appealed to 
Samson s bride to learn the answer for them. || ^[ and S have 
in v. 15 , the fourth day, instead of the seventh, which agrees better 
with v. 14 .** It does not appear, however, why they should give up 
in the middle of the week. It is more probable that the error 
lies in the other number, and that in v. 14 we should restore, for 
six days.-\-\ The story would then run naturally : They cudgel 
their brains in vain for six days ; on the seventh and last day, in 
despair of the solution, they try Samson s wife. Their vehemence 
in v. 15 is better motived if the time is rapidly drawing to a close 
than if they addressed themselves to her several days sooner. A 



* Sta., Doom. t Lth., Cler., Schroeder, Ges., MV., SS., al. 

J Talmud, Abulw., Tanch., Ki., al. Bochart, al. 

|| Ra., Ki., a Lyra, Vatabl., al. understand the seventh day of the week (Sab 
bath), which was the fourth day of the feast. U <S L agrees with $. ** So Be. 
ft The Hebrew words for three and six differ only in one consonant. 



336 JUDGES 

new difficulty meets us, however, in v. 17 , where we read that the 
woman wept upon him the whole seven days that they had the 
feast ; and on the seventh day, tired of her incessant badgering, 
he gave in, and told her the answer. If the companions first 
appealed to her on the seventh day (v. 15 ^), or even on the 
fourth day ((S>), her weeping seems to begin prematurely on 
the first day.* Some commentators explain that she had teased 
him for the first six days merely out of her own curiosity, and 
that on the seventh her importunity was redoubled by the threats 
of her countrymen. f If this had been the meaning of the writer, 
the order of the narrative or the construction of v. llia would in all 
probability have been different ; as it is, nothing of the kind is 
intimated in the text. The dates in v. 14 - 5 are therefore, even 
after their internal contradiction is removed by the emendation 
six, irreconcilable with those in v. 17 ; one or the other must be 
interpolated. The words in v. 17 do not read like a gloss, and the 
removal of them leaves a rather awkward sentence ; the omission 
of the numbers in v. 14 and v. L) , on the contrary, makes no break, 
and Stade rightly rejects them. According to the original story, 
then, the Philistines gave up the riddle right away, thinking it an 
easier and surer way to win the wager, to learn the answer from 
Samson himself through their countrywoman. For six days he is 
obdurate to her persuasions and tears, but at last can bear it no 
longer and discloses the secret. The interpolation in v. 14 - :5 may 
have been due to the feeling that the Philistines would not give up 
so easily. 15. The Philistines set Samson s bride to discover 
his secret. Beguile thy husband^ i6 5 . And make him tell us 
the riddle\ make him betray himself through thee to us. Lest we 
burn thee, &c.~\ 15, cf. I2 1 i K. i6 ls . Did you invite us liither 
to impoverish us .?] see crit. note. 

10. The original text read: Ji nnc is oc >>! ntrxn Sx jic SC TVI. 11. \-PI 
mix onxio] when they saw him, sc. the Timnathite wedding guests {cum ergo 
fives loci illins vidissent eum, 3L) ; the subject is, however, not at hand in the 
context. With |$ agree (g B 3LS, while APVMNO t g nave v T /3et<r0ai 
O.VTOVS (sub obel. S~) avr6v = crx"^; J cf. Fl. Jos., cud, 5^os TTJS t crxi/os rod 
vtaviffKov. The editor who introduced these words probably wrote 0.11x13; 



* Rashi s explanation is, that she wept the remainder of seven days, viz., from 
the fourth on. f Schm., Ke., Be. + Cf. also k 



xiv. i 4 -i8 337 

* which is hardly a natural expression in this connexion, is meant to 
be more explicit. in/vi] the text is to be emended, not by supplying the sub 
ject a\-iB>Sa (Doom 2 .), but by reading npi), He (Samson) took, &c. 12. D^Ss> 
3T1D] the jnD was a fine stuff, of domestic manufacture (Prov. 3i 24 ), an article 
of luxury (Is. 3 23 ). The Talmud mentions various uses to which it was put; 
as a curtain (M. Yorna, iii. 4, Jer. Sola, fol. 24), wrapper {Menach., 37 b ), 
shroud (jfer. Kilaim, ix. fol. 32 b ). M. Kilaim, xxiv. 13, enumerates three vari 
eties; see Levy, NHWb. iii. p. 480. All these uses suppose that it was a sheet 
of considerable size. So it is interpreted by Abulw., Tanch., Ki., Saad. on 
Is. S 23 , JDMich., al. See Schroeder, De vestitu mulierum, p. 339-361 ; 
Hartmann, Hebr derin, ii. p. 346 f. 14, 15. The original text and the first 
form of the gloss seem to have been : avo TPI : a^D 1 * nsw) nT>nn ivin 1 ? by N*?I 
ji ]itrce> rwN i ? noNM (^as>n. ttt"N HN TID] beguile, 2. S. 3 25 I K. 22 20 - 21 - ^ 
&c. Wth^n] inf. Kal (Ki., K6. i. p. 412). The usual inf. is nen. Perhaps 
the inf. Bh> was used for distinction in the sense reduce to poverty, cf. Niph. 
enu be reduced to poverty. Contamination of signification through confusion 
with uh poor may be suspected. Some copies have wvSn (JDMich., cf. 
Ki. Comm., and Lex. s.v.) ; others, to exclude this, WvSn (see Norzi).f xSn] 
the alternative, or not, is N 1 ? as*, not xSn, and would, even if correctly expressed, 
be out of place here. Read a ^n hither, J which is found in some Hebr. 
manuscripts and is supported by 2T. See Bruns, in Eichhorn s Repertorium, 
xiii. p. 70; De Rossi, Baer. 

16. She teases him day by day to tell her the riddle. Sam 
son s wife annoyed him by weeping} was burdensome to him ; 
Nu. 1 1 13 cf. Gen. 45 15 . Thou- only hatest me, and dost not love me 
at all~} his professions of love are belied by his conduct, which 
proves the opposite. Co-ordination of affirmative and negative 
for emphasis. He replies to her reproaches that he has not even 
told his own parents ; that he does not disclose the riddle to her 
is therefore no proof of lack of love or confidence. 17. She 
gave him no rest from her tears and importunities all the seven 
days that they kept the feast (v. 12 ), until on the last day he gave 
in, and told her. Because she besieged him~\ i6 ; pressed him 
harder and harder. She at once communicated the secret to her 
countrymen. 18. The Timnathites waited till the last moment, 
to heighten their triumph and his discomfiture. On the seventh 
day, before he went into the bride-chamber} at night. So Stade 



* Be. would read BPN-V:), cf. 2 S. 3 11 . 

t Baer has _ in his text, _ in the apparatus. 

t Stud., Sta." al. T $ See on v.Hf-. 



338 JUDGES 

with much probability conjectures; cf. 15 .* The text, generally 
interpreted, before the sun set,-\ is unintelligible. See on v. lub and 
crit. note. He sees how he has been duped. If you had not 
plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle] 
used illegitimate means. The rhyme of the original cannot well 
be imitated in English. 19. In a fury, which is not merely anger 
at the deception that has been practised on him, but an access of 
the possession to which he is subject (13" 14), he rushes away 
from the feast and his bride. To Ashkeloii] the city of Ashkelon 
was on the seacoast between Gaza and Ashdod ; i a two days 
journey from Timnath across the whole breadth of Philistia. So 
remote a place, and a large fortified city besides, hardly agrees 
with the general impression we receive from the context, that 
Samson rushed off from the feast in a rage, surprised some 
neighbouring Philistine village and slew the inhabitants, returned 
to Timnath with the spoil, paid his wager, and was away to his 
father s home before the fit was over. Now, there is a Khirbet 
Asqalun little more than an hour south of Timnath, and if the 
half-verse were genuine, we should be strongly inclined to think 
that in the original story this, and not Askelon on the coast, was 
the scene of Samson s exploit. We need not, in such a narrative, 
nicely weigh the probabilities of his finding among the spoil 
precisely the articles he had wagered. || Stade has given good 
reason, however, for regarding the entire half-verse as an addition 
to the narrative, made by an editor who thought it unworthy of 
Samson to run away without paying the wager which he had lost, 
even though the Philistines had won unfairly. In the original 
story, v. 19b followed immediately upon v. 18 ; Samson, in a passion, 
returned to his father s house. That v. 1;)a is secondary is evident 
from the fact that the slaughter of the Philistines at Ashkelon has 
no consequences in the story, in which everything else is so closely 
knit in the nexus of cause and effect.^ These considerations, 



* 7,A TW. iv. 1884, p. 253 f. ; the conjecture is accepted by Bu., Kautzsch, 
Doom 2 . f <GH.2T. + See DB -. s.v. $ SWP. Memoirs, iii. p. 107. 

|| The explanation which would evade this difficulty by supposing that Samson 
made the raid on Ashkelon to reimburse himself for the expense he had been at in 
buying all these clothes (Be.) is more ingenious than plausible. 

H /.ATW. iv. 1884, p. 254 f.; cf. Doom. Th.T., 1894. p. 15 f. 



xiv. i8-2o 339 

especially the last, seem to me decisive. He was angry, and 
went up to his father s house~\ angry at the way in which he had 
been treated by his companions, and especially at the perfidy of 
his wife, which he resents by deserting her. Stade infers from 
v. 18 , before he entered the bride-chamber, that the marriage had not 
been consummated.* They held back, as has been said, to the 
last moment, and just as he was on the point of entering the 
chamber, they give their answer : What is sweeter than honey, 
and what is fiercer than a lion ? Instantly seeing through the 
plot and upbraiding them for it, he rushes out of the house, and 
away to Zorah. In thus mocking her he inflicted on her the keen 
est disgrace, and made her and her family a laughing-stock. To 
repair this disgrace, her father at once gave her into the arms of 
the 7ra/Davu/A<os, and the interrupted wedding was completed. 
20. To his comrade who had been his best maii\ to the one of the 
thirty "comrades" who had borne the part of the <iAos roC 
(John 3 29 ) . 



16. <jnNj8> |~n] all you do is hate me; see notes on 3 2 u 34 . TJN -jSi] 
exclamatory question of surprise and reproach, cf. 9 9 n 23 . 17. p v xn] usually 
with S pers.; lit. make it strait for some one, reduce him to straits, extremi 
ties. Of invasion and siege, Dt. 2& 53 - M - w Is. 29-- 7 Jer. 19. With ace., Job 32 18 
(of inner constraint). 18. no-inn N3 aiaa] (53L2C before the sun setf fol 
lowed by substantially all the comm. The form noin is explained as locative 
accus.; the significance of the case is supposed to be forgotten (cf. nrunn v. 5 ). 
But Din sun is a rare word (Job 9 7 Is. I9 18 , see on Jud. I 35 ), which we 
should not expect to find in old prose instead of tt Ctr, and the assumption 
that the locative is used as a nominative is no less improbable. The case of 
nnjsn v. 5 is entirely different (see there), and the instances in late poetry 
where the ending a is due to the striving after more sonorous forms, or 
blundering archaism, do not make the occurrence of the form here any easier 
to explain. Stade s emendation, n-nnn (I5 1 ), is one of those comparatively 
rare conjectures which are self-evident when once they have been hit upon. 
TiSjya onenn SiS] < w KaTfdafj.dffare TTJV ddfj.a\li> /xoi/, J probably for the 
sake of the paronomasia. 20. i 1 - n;n itt N injnsS] the verb (only here) is 
apparently denominative from yi. On marriage and wedding customs see 
WRSmith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, 1885; Wellhausen, Die 



* Does Fl. JOS. intimate this by his rbv 6e ya^ov imlvov napairelrai. ? (Cler. 

on IS 1 ). t B (alone) before the sun rose ; cf. 8 13 . 

+ (ff;B @ ijporpiao aTe ei/ TJJ So^oiAei fj.ov, 

I) Hardly intended in an obscene sense like c>in MH. (RLbG 2). 



340 JUDGES 

Eke bei den Arabern, GgN. 1893, p. 431-481; Stubhe, Die Ehe im Altai 
Testament, 1886; Nowack, Hebr. Archliologie, i. p. 155 ff. Marriage customs 
in the modern East, Russell, Aleppo*, 1794, i. p. 281 ff.; Lane, Modern Egypt 
ians* 1 , p. 155 ff. ; Wetzstein, Zeitschrift fur Ethnologic, v. 1873, p. 287-294. 
The marriage of Samson is the only instance in the O.T. in which the bride 
remains in her father s house, and the husband lives with her or visits her 
there; but such unions were probably not uncommon in early Israel. 

XV. 1-8. Samson burns the Philistines grain fields. 
When Samson s anger cools, he goes down to Timnath to visit 
his wife, but finds that she has been given to another. To revenge 
himself, he turns loose three hundred foxes with firebrands tied to 
their tails, and sets fire to the grain in the fields. Enraged at their 
loss, the Philistines burn the woman and her father, who had been 
the occasion of the mischief. Samson retaliates, and takes refuge in 
a rocky fastness in Judah. 1. After a while, in the time of wheat 
harvest} the season is noted, to prepare for the story of the destruc 
tion of the grain fields, v. 4f -. Samson went to visit his wife with a 
kid~\ as a present to her, a kind of morning gift. This is another 
indication of the nature of the marriage ; it is not impossible that 
such a gift was expected at every visit of the husband.* A kid 
seems to have been a customary present in such circumstances ; 
cf. Gen. gS 17 - 20 - 23 (Judah and Tamar). When he proposes to enter 
the inner part of the house to see his wife, her father interposes. 
2. / thought you must certainly hate her, so I gave her to thy 
comrade~\ the best man at the wedding, i4 20 . He has a younger 
and fairer daughter whom he offers him in her stead, but Samson 
declines. 3. Samson said to theni\ cf. v. 7 . It is not necessary 
to suppose that in either case the words were spoken in their 
hearing ; the threat was addressed to them. / am without fault 
toward the Philistines, if I do than an injury^ he cannot be 
blamed for retaliating upon them for the wrong that he has suf 
fered ; they have given him just occasion (i4 4 ). 4. The ingen 
ious form which his revenge takes is one of those strokes of rude 
wit in which folk-stories delight. Three hundred foxes ] many 

* In old Arabia such a gift would be called sarfat/, the present a man makes 
to his female friend (sad iqa) ; see W. R. Smith, Kinship and Marriage, p. 76; 
Wellhausen, " Die Ehc bei den Arabern," Nachrichten der kgl. Gesellschaft der 
Wissensch. zu Gottingen, 1893, p. 431-481, esp. p. 465 ff. 



XV. i-s 341 

interpreters, reflecting that the solitary habits of the fox would 
make it very difficult to catch such a number, and that Samson s 
great strength would be of no avail in such an undertaking, sup 
pose that the author meant jackals, which roam in packs, and could 
easily, it is said, be caught by the hundred.* That the Hebrew 
name may have included jackals as well as foxes is quite possible ; 
the Arabs are said in some places to confound the jackal with the 
fox,| and in the modern Egyptian dialect the classical name of 
the fox is given exclusively to the jackal. \ The decision of the 
question is of importance only to those who take the story as a 
veracious account of an actual occurrence. They should consider, 
however, whether the author would thank them for their attempts 
to make Samson s wonderful performance easy. Having caught 
his foxes, Samson turned them tail to tail, and put a torch, that is, 
a stick of wood wrapped with some absorbent material and satu 
rated with oil, between each pair of tails. 5. He set the 
torches on fire, and turned the foxes loose into the Philistines 
standing grain. And burned both the shocks and the standing 
grain~\ Ex. 22. The following words, and the vineyards [and] 
olive orchards, are probably an addition by a later hand, exagger 
ating the mischief. A remarkable parallel to this story is found 
in a Roman ceremony described by Ovid, in which, at the Cere- 
alia in April, foxes with lighted torches tied to their tails were 
turned loose in the Circus. || Older scholars, who noted the 
resemblance, explained it by supposing that the Romans had 
borrowed the custom from the Phoenicians, among whom it kept 



* Bochart, Cler., Rosenmiiller, Ke., Cass., Tristram (DIfl. i. 1086 f.), RV.mg., al. 
mu. In Ps. 63 11 jackals seem to be meant. 

f Niebuhr, Beschreibung von Arabien, p. 166. The jackal is not found in the 
desert ; Doughty, Arabia Deserta, ii. p. 145. 

J See Lane, Arab.-Engl. Lexicon, p. 338*. Hommel, Saugcthierc, p. 310 f., seems 
to be mistaken in his very positive assertion. 

$ See 710. 

|| Fasti, iv. 68 1 ff. Ovid gives a rationalistic explanation, according to which the 
custom commemorated the burning of the grain-fields at Carseoli by a boy who, for 
sport, had tied a wisp of burning hay to a fox s tail. See Preller, Rdmische Mytholo- 
gic z , ii. p. 43 f., where the cognate ceremonies of the Robigalia are also discussed ; cf. 
also Suidas, s.v. Neuipio (Bochart, p. 202 f.). Analogous customs among the Arabs, 
see Wellhausen, Reste arab. Heidentumes, p. 157 f. ; Goldziher, Muhammedanische 
Studien, i. p. 34 f. 



342 JUDGES 

alive the memory of Samson s foxes.* Some modern writers 
give to both the same mythical interpretation.! 6. The fire 
spread f