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Full text of "Sithron, the star-stricken"

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SITHRON, 

I THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



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•lot vi, '";.::. ,r: '.['■. .m 

SITHRON. 

THE STAR -STRICKEN. 

Translated 

(ALA BESEKET ALLAH) 

from an ancient Arabic Manuscript, 

h 

SALEM BEN UZAIR, 

of Bassbra. r , ■ . ■ ' 



George Redway, 

13, York Street, Covent Garden, 



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Printed in Lottdon 

for SALEM BEN UZAIR 

/a/a bereket Allah.) 



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Prelusive Key-Note. 



T'HE discovery, and publication by translations into English, 
■*■ Polish, Gennan, Portuguese, and other languages, of 
this ancient Arabic Manuscript, will in due time, it is believed, 
work a far greater change in two of the most important 
theologies of the world, than any publication since the Martyr- 
dom on the Cross of the great Jewish Revolutionist, — the 
divinely human Founder of Christianity, This opinion, it is 
scarcely needful to say, alludes expressly to the Jewish and 
Christian religions. And this change will be wrought by the 
gradual union, or at least the closer amalgamation of 
the Hebrew and Christian races in all parts of the earth ; 
thus promoting and immensely increasing the wei&re and 
the happiness of both. 

. The hrst step to this will be the recognition and adoption 
of a more pure and Universal idea of the Omnipotent Power 
than has hitherto been developed and received. Among 
other things, a most important commencement of this will 
be the destruction of all belief in an imaginary Covenant 
between Jehovah and the man Abraham, in the first instance, 
some 4000 years ago, which is as barbarous and absurd as 
any of the former customs of savages on islands of the Pacific, 
or elsewhere. The hardened insensibility of the Enghsh 
public mind at this day (and long since), is curiously and 
hideously displayed in all our most popular Almanacks, 
wherein the so-called Covenant is coupled on the first day of 



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IT PRELUSIVE KEY-NOTE. 

each year with Dog-Hcenses, or other incongruous announce- 
ments ! What on earth has any Christian community to do 
with such a fanaticism 7 

That the Hebrew race will always remain, in some respects, 
a distinct race from all other people, seems very piobabte ; 
but our friends and countrymen, the modem Jews, will not 
be able eventually to resist, escape, and continue to hold 
themselves aloof from the grand evolutions of thought and 
public opinion on theology and social customs, as well as 
other matters, that must follow and inevitably tend to bring 
the long-divided races into closer and more amicable 
relations. 

All this is already entertained, if not contempUued, by a 
number of highly educated and intellectual Jews of the 
present day, such as the son of the Rabbi Nathan Adler, 
by Sir Moses Montefioie, by Sir Julian Goldsmid, by Mr. 
Claude Montefiore, and others who may be designated as 
reformed and refoiming Jews. 

Let me offer a word concerning this Arabic manuscript. 
The original writers of some of the grandest and most 
touching poetry ever given to the world, are unknown; 
and the dates of their composition are unknown. I allude 
more especially to the Psalms, and to the Book of Job. 
The Hebrew flatterers who assigned the Psalms to the hand 
of the warlike King of Israel, are also unknown. No one there- 
fore can be surprised that the writer of this Arabic narrative of 
" Sithron" is unknown. He appears, however, to have been 
an Arabian Jew, of about a century and a half after the 
death of the great Jewish Martyr on Calvary, although his 
historical materials were evidently derived from Hebrew 
writings of the time of David, or not long after. 

Touching the present translation, the reader must under- 
stand that it is faithfully done. The English Editor, how- 



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PRELUSIVE KEY-NOTE. v 

ever wishes to say a word as to his own very subordinate 
part of the work. Inasmuch as the BaghavadrGheeta and other 
Sanskrit writings contain many speculations in metaphysics 
and other developments of modem thought, the reader of 
this translation, by Salem ben Uzair (himself being also an 
Arabian Jew), need not be surprised at finding, now and then, 
similar precursive efforts of human intelligence; and the 
English Editor admits that he has sometimes put such 
speculations in a prominent light. But they are all there : 
the spirit of the original has never been tampered with. 

And now with reference to the opinion of Salem ben 
Uzair, as to the wide spreading and important effect the 
publication of "Sithron the Star-Stricken," will jHoduce. 
The modem student will naturally, if not sternly, say " This 
looks like prodigious presumption, or else the hallucination 
of an over-wrought imagination ; well-meaning perhaps, but 
as madJieaded as the benighted Sfthron, the leading 
character of this strai^ely awakening and pathetic narrative. 
I see no likelihood of such a resultl" You do not? 
" Indeed I do not." Very well. 

A certain conqueror of modem times was in confer^ce 
with one of his great officers, who disputed the coming of a 
very important event, which the emperor clearly foresaw. 
" But I do not see it ! " exclaimed the great officer. The 
emperor then led him to a window, through which the sun 
was shining at midday. " Do you see that star shining up 
there?" The officer smiled, as at a pleasantry, "Indeed I do 
tat. Sire ! " The emperor calmly turned away, with " Very 
well : I do" He knew the star he meant, must be there ! 

THE ENGLISH EDITOR. 



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Sithron, the Star-stricken. 



CHAPTER I. 

I Of the Astrologer ZelophoUk. 2 His nightly studies cf the 
stars. 3 Of his loving wife Mehetaiel, and their child. 
4 How the boy shall be named. 5 Death of Mehetabel 
6 The boy Sithron watcheth the stars by the side of his 
father, who wisheth to teach him astrology. 7 But Sithron 
followeth after vain imaginings. 

VTow while Saul was King of Israel, but en- 
gaged in his last wars with the Philistines, 
there dwelt an astrologer in the City of 
Hebron, whose name was Zelopholek. 

2 And this man was in great repute as an 
astrologer, so that he was held in estimation 
throughout a considerable part of the land of 
Judah. 

3 And in the City of EI-Kalil, so called by 
the Arabs, or Kirjath-arba, or Carioth-arba, 
which was afterwards called Hebron, there was 
no soothsayer by the stars equal unto him. 

4 And Zelopholek was very poor; for al- 
though men of substance came to visit him, 



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even from distant parts, they did not give him 
' money or jewels or raiment, for they considered 
that he could surely obtain such things, if he 
needed them, by consulting the stars. 

5 And Zelopholek would not gainsay this 
opinion lest it should injure his reputation, for 
he was of a proud spirit. 

6 So he, and his wife Mehetabel, were some- 
times without the means of obtaining sufficient 
food. 

7 But Mehetabel was a loving wife, and 
never complained of anything ; for they loved 
each other greatly. 

8 And she bare him a son, whom Zelopholek 
proposed to call Nejmeh Safiyeh, which in the 
Arabic signifieth Clear Star, as a record of a 
new star which he had discovered on the 
morning of the birth of the child. 

9 But Mehetabel, being told by her husband 
that this Arabian name often signifieth a girl 
child, preferred that he should choose another ; 
and Zelopholek then chose Bar-Kochbah, or 
Son of Stars, while the other name should also 
live in their thoughts. 

ID And from this name also Mehetabel 
turned aside, thinking it might lead the child 
into ambition and sorrow ; 

I \ The more so, when Zelopholek told her 



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THE STAR^TRICKEN. 3 

he foresaw that name would be great in future 
ages. 

12 And Mehetabel asked that the boy's 
name should be Sithron, because that she had 
concealed him from her husband, and made her 
pregnancy a mystery as long as she could, on 
account of their poverty. 

1 3 So the child was called Sithron ; but they 
would ever hold in memory the other two 
names which Zelopholek had first proposed. 

14 Now Mehetabel had long been accus- 
tomed to sit on the house-top all night, and 
during the time before dawn, by the side of her 
husband, watching the stars with him, and 
listening to his words ; 

1 5 But not having had enough food during 
a time of cold weather, she fell sick, and soon 
afterwards died. 

16 And Zelopholek mourned for her exceed- 
ingly. 

17 Now the boy Sithron, when he came 
to be of sufficient years to understand, was 
accustomed to sit at his father's feet on the 
house-top, watching the stars. 

18 And great were the pains Zelopholek 
bestowed upon the boy, to teach him to become 
in course of years, a great astrologer like unto 
himself. 



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19 But the bright mind of Sithron, after a 
time, fled away from his fathei^s teachings, 
and went astray in vain imaginings among 
his stars, and among other fields of stars. 



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CHAPTER II. 

1 OftheboySilhron. a He ceasdk to Ihtm to hU fatfter's 
words at night, for his thoughts are not those of astrologers. 
3 He even imagineth that some of the larger stars may te 
worlds. 4 At length he maketh confession to Ms father. 

ow the youth Sithron was of a grave and 
comely aspect ; one who spake little, but 
he was of a loving heart ; 

2 And for that he was very fair, and of a 
gentle and modest mien, some of the neigh- 
bours, who chanced to have heard the name 
that his father first proposed to give him, de- 
clared that indeed he ought to have been a girl 
rather than a boy, and to have had the name of 
Nejmeh Safiyeh; 

3 Hearing which, Sithron would retire with 
troubled blushes, but without words. 

4 Now the youth, continuing to sit at his 
father's feet on the house-top at night, tried to 
listen to his words, yet often he only heard that 
Zelopholek was speaking, without truly hearing 
his father's words : 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 5 

5 For his thoughts strayed away beyond the 
stars that could be seen, and among stars that 
he fancied might be shining far beyond his sight. 

6 And oft-times he said unto himself, not 
daring to speak this aloud to his father, Perad- 
venture some of the largest of those stars may be 
small bodies of shining earth, in some sort like 
unto this earth upon which we live, only brighter ? 

7 Moreover, it may be possible they have 
living creatures upon them, of some sort ; nay, 
peradventure, even men and women of some 
sort, or even angels of some sort and degree ? 

8 For who shall put a limit to the power and 
wisdom of the Creator of All Things ; and who 
can understand the extent and wonder of His 
designs ? 

9 And may it not even be possible that 
several of the largest and brightest of the stars 
are like unto small suns, and give light unto 
very small worlds which we cannot see at all, 
by reason of their smallness and their distance? 

lo But nothing of all this foolishness did 
Stthron dare to speak aloud to his father ; but 
he grieved that Mehetabel, his mother, was 
dead, because he thought that he could have 
told her of these troubles in his mind. 

II He marvelled much that Zelopholek 
never spake of the moon, but as the pale and 



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changeful sister of the sun ; so Sithron con- 
sidered the moon only as a softer lamp for the 
night, or as a dream of the Sun. 

12 Now Zelopholek, being accustomed to 
the silent habit of his son, had for several years 
supposed that the youth was ever attentive to 
his nightly teachings of astrology ; 

13 And he often looked upon him with 
proud and loving eyes, as one who would be 
his successor in the City of Hebron, and in the 
suburbs and villages round about, as the greatest 
astrologer of his generation. 

14 But one night, when the heavens were 
more full of large and brilliant stars, and more 
numerous in all the lesser stars, and the little 
specks that were sparkling in the hour before 
day-break, it came to pass that the mouth of 
Sithron was opened, and he told his father, 
Zelopholek, all that had long been like a dazz- 
ling vision in his brain, and a great trouble 
in his heart ; 

1 5 But also a triumph, only for the fear he 
had of his father's displeasure. 

16 And Zelopholek was amazed, and also 
troubled at what he heard from the mouth of 
his son. 

17 Also- he was disappointed, even unto 
bitterness. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 7 

1 8 Moreover, he was afraid lest the mind of 
Sithron had broken loose from all reason. 

19 Also he was afraid that the neighbours, 
and people round about, should know of these 
strange wonderings and childish fancies, and 
that it might come to the ears of the priests of 
Hebron, who might incite the people to stone 
Sithron, as one who had a wicked mind, and 
a spirit that was bom of darkness, and of lights 
that were evil. 

20 So he ordered his son to be silent as to 
all those things which he had now confessed 
unto him. 



CHAPTER HI. 

I Zelophokk knoweth that he is about to dU. 2 He thtrefore 
placetk Sithron with a carpenter, 'to learn that trade. 3 
£ut Sithron hath no mind for such work. 4 Ztlopholek 
becometh blind, and placeth his son with Azur Jarab, a 
tanner. 5 Sithron hath no mind for that -work, yet siriveth 
tioiwithstanding to learn it. 6 But he spoileih the skins. 
7 Aiur Jarab beaSeth him often, and cruelty. 8 Sithron 
sueth for pardon, but Azur Jarab continueth to beat him, 
and insulteth the memory of Mehetabel, his mother. 

Tn his old age, and his poverty and distress of 
■*■ mind at the dangerous childishness of the 
mind of his son, Zelopholek gave way in his 
strength, and prepared to die. 



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2 He therefore placed Sithron with a car- 
penter named Shuthelah, who was a neighbour, 
so that his son might learn that trade, whereby 
to gain a living. 

3 And Sithron did as best he could, which 
was very ill, so that he spoiled things instead 
of learning to make things ; 

4 For the youth had no mind for that work. 

5 So Shuthelah took him back to Zelopholek 
with kind words and much regretfulness. 

6 And he said that the youth was not alto- 
gether to be blamed, as he had been taught 
from a child to sit upon the house-top at night, 
and he would still continue this, whereby his eyes 
could not be properly watchful for work by day. 

7 Zelopholek spake not of this to Sithron, 
but wept much in secret, so that he found that 
he was about to become blind. 

8 And being anxious that his son should 
learn to do something whereby to gain his 
bread, Zelopholek placed him with Azur Jarab, 
a tanner, who was a wealthy and skilful man in 
that trade. 

9 Very soon after this Zelopholek became 
quite blind : 

10 And he lived alone, having no wife or son 
to help him. 

1 1 But sometimes one or other of his neigh- 



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THE STAR.STRICKEN. 9 

hours, remembering how great had been his 
repute as an astrologer and soothsayer of future 
events, would bring him bread and water. 

1 2 If any one spake unto him in a compas- 
sionate voice, Zelopholek would say, that he 
needed it not ; he was very happy. 

13 If a mess of meat were ofifered to him, he 
would put it gently aside, saying that he fed 
upon light. 

14 And a neighbour, with an unkind tongue, 
said that he well believed those words, as one 
could almost see through him : 

15 Which saying having been told to Zelo- 
pholek, the blind astrologer smiled, saying, that 
man was a wise man, of great discerning. 

16 Now Sithron was slow at learning what 
he was told to do, by Azur Jarab, the tanner, for 
he had no mind for that work. 

1 7 He liked the trade of carpentry better; but 
he disliked both trades, being unable to keep his 
thoughts upon what he was doing. 

18 He was continually thinking of the nightly 
wonders in the heavens, and how much might 
be there of which no prophet, even the greatest 
of their prophets, had ever yet spoken. 

19 Neither had any other man dared to 
spreak of such fancies. 

20 So the youth sometimes spoiled skins of 



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some value, brought from distant lands ; and 
Azur Jarab often beat him cruelly with a stick, 
or with a knotted leathern thong. 

21 Now Sithron, enduring this as best he 
could, without cries, yet with many tears, for 
he knew he had been doing wrong, besought 
his master's forgiveness. 

22 And one day Sithron said, O sir, I pray 
you believe that I have never done thee 
these injuries by a careless hand, or by a care- 
less mind, but because my thoughts are always 
wandering away in the far regions of the 
nightly heavens, even where the eyes of Zelo- 
pholek, my father, ever dwelt; and also the eyes 
of Mehetabel, my mother, who is dead ; 

23 Yea, and in regions far beyond those 
fields of brightness which they both contem- 
plated so constantly. 

24 And speaking thus, the youth fell on his 
knees, weeping bitterly, and he promised to 
strive and satisfy Azur Jarab, his master, with 
better care and usefulness. 

25 But Azur Jarab, hearing the youth say 
those things about the regions beyond the stars, 
continued to beat him with the leathern thong, 
though the youth humbled himself before him, 
with no further speech. 

26 And Azur Jarab said, I do not think thou 



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THK STAR-STRICKEN. u 

can'st ever do any better, being born of a fool 
for a mother ; 

27 For if Zelopholek was truly thy father, 
which some folk doubt, then Mehetabel, thy 
mother, could have had no more sense than the 
fowls of the air or the beasts of the field. 

28 Now when Azur.Jarab said this, Sithron 
ceased weeping, and rose up from his knees ; 

29 And he took an earthen water vessel that 
was near his hand, and cast it at Azur Jarab. 

30 And the earthen vessel smote the tanner 
upon the forehead, so that he was bruised, and 
he staggered back some paces. 

31 And Azur Jarab, recovering himself, 
drove the youth before him with fury. 

32 And he thrust Sithron out of the house, 
being an injured man, and followed him with 
many curses. 



CHAPTER IV. 

1 J priest of Hebron, desireth to lay hands upon SUhron. 2 
Sithron returneih in distress to his father. 3 Hefindeth 
Zelopholek asleep on the top of the house. 4 Certain men 
of substance raise a monument, g The neighbours warn 
Sithron of the intentions of the priest. 5 Sithron, as 
one going mad, wandereth towards the distant hills and 
pastures. 

ow a certain priest of the city of Hebron, 
having been told of some strange things 



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concerning the son of Zelopholek, took counsel 
with another priest as to what they should do. 

2 But they disagreed as to whether the son 
of the astrolc^er should first be laid hands on, 
or whether Zelopholek, his father, should first 
be brought before the High Priest. 

3 And while this dispute was continued, 
Sithron returned to his father's house. 

4 He stood a long time at the door, fearing 
to open it, for he trembled to meet the face of 
his father, after this second and far worse end of 
his apprenticeship. 

5 And something beside, though he knew 
not what, made him tremble when he entered, 
though there was no one in the room. 

6 And this feeling increased as he slowly, 
and with trembling steps went up the stairs. 

7 It was early in the evening, and no stars 
were yet risen ; but he found his father lying 
on the top of the house, in a deep sleep. 

8 And Sithron bent low to look at him, and 
then knelt down beside him for a while. 

9 And he then threw himself upon the body 
of Zelopholek, for he felt that the cold sleep of 
his father was the sleep of death. 

10 And Sithron remained by the side of his 
father jill that night. 

1 1 And when the morning was come, some of 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 13 

the neighbours, seeing the door of the house was 
wide open, and no one within, entered and took 
Sithron away, trying to comfort him. 

1 2 So they buried Zelopholek ; and his son 
mourned for him, fasting and praying, and un- 
willing to take comfort. 

13 But before the astrolc^er was buried, 
many men of substance mourned for him, and 
caused his body to be anointed with precious 
ointment ; and they prepared to erect a high 
moument to his memory. 

14 For his son, they could do nothing, 
seeing he could do nothing for himself. 

15 So Sithron went wandering about the city, 
and was well nigh starved but that some of the 
neighbours were charitable towards him. 

16 For although they knew, from his wild 
talk from time to time about the stars, that he 
had gone mad by following his father's work 
too early, and that he was no better than a fool, 
or one that was well-nigh an idiot, yet some 
people were attracted by his face, by the gentle 
sadness of his manner, and the sweet despair of 
the tones of his voice. 

1 7 But besides his thoughts as to the stars, the 
mind of Sithron of late became perplexed and 
pained over many things he had been taught 
to believe by the priests of Hebron. 



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1 8 Also by many things derived from the 
early prophets, and holy warriors, and con- 
querors, and priests of the children of Israel. 

19 Now the cause of his inward rebellion to 
the great prophets and leaders of his people, 
and also of his seeming foolishness, and the 
seeming idiotcy as of one lost to the world, was 
this: 

20 His mind was unable to reconcile the un- 
measurable greatness of the works of God, out 
of and beyond the earth, with the littleness of 
the mind attributed to God in the earth, as 
taught by the prophets, and leaders, and priest- 
hood of his country. 

2 1 So his brain being strong in thought, but 
not strong enough to bear the weight and mix- 
ture of his thoughts, he began to be really as 
one going mad. 

22 Look at this young fellow, said the people 
in the streets, and listen to the things he saith 
to himself at times, and even to others. He 
is star-stricken. Instead of staring up at the 
heavens by night, he should try his hand at 
earning his bread during the day by staring 
down at the earth of a garden or a field. 

23 But the scoffs of the people did no good, 
neither could they do any harm to one so lost 
to the earth as Sithron, the son of stars, or, as 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 15 

Bar-Kochbah signifieth in Hebrew, one lost 
among the lights of heaven. 

24 And the star -stricken youth, without 
knowing or caring whither he went, strayed 
out of the city, and away beyond the suburbs, 
among vines, and fir trees, and olive groves, 
and stunted oaks, till he came among the 
lonely fields and pastoral hills, some leagues 
away from the city. 



CHAPTER V. 

I Sithron, having wandered among distant pastures^ is dying 
for want of food and shelter. 1 Milkah, the daughter of a 
farmer, findeth him asleep. 3 She taketh him to her father's 
house. ^ Sithron marrieth Milkah. 5 They tend flocks of 
sheep together. 6 Sithron teacheth Milkah to think of the 
stars after his mind, 

T^OR many days and nights Sithron wandered 
away from the suburbs of the city, and 
through villages, where sometimes there was 
given to him a piece of bread or a cup of goats' 
milk. 

2 For some women and young girls often 
took pity of him when they looked in his face; 

3 But Sithron never spake of his hard lot or 
complained of anything ; 

4 So he strayed along, not seeking any place 
or anything, and often slept during the dark 



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■ i6 SITHRON, 

hours of night among groves of fir trees or of 
oaks, having pulled down some of the small 
lower branches and those that had most leaves, 
to cover himself from the cold winds. 

5 But when the night became bright with 
stars, he would seek an opening among the trees, 
and sit at the foot of a tree, gazing upward, 
even as his father before him was used to do ; 

6 But with many different thoughts. 

7 And after a time he found himself among 
hills and vales of pasture, where flocks of sheep 
were feeding; and one night he fell asleep 
among some sheep, even close beside one of 
them ; 

8 And because of the good warmth and 
comfort he had by the side of the woolly body 
of the sheep, he slept through the whole night, 
and even after the sun was just rising. 

9 And it came to pass that Milkah, the 
youngest and fairest daughter of Rekem Ophri, 
the owner of these flocks of sheep, found Sith- 
ron lying asleep by the side of one of the ewes. 

lo And Milkah gazed upon the pale face of 
the youth for some time before she awakened 
him. 

I r And when Sithron awoke he looked up 
at the face of Milkah, and their eyes became 
like unto each other's eyes. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. i? 

12 And this was because they loved each 
other, though neither of them as yet knew that 
it was love. 

13 And Milkah . took Sithron to her father's 
house, and told her father how she had found 
him. 

14 Now Rekem Ophri, seeing how forlorn 
he was, gave him food and lodgment, and fresh 
raiment 

15 And Rekem Ophri, being told by Milkah 
of some things the youth had said about the 
stars, took pleasure in hearing him, though he 
only smiled at what he said, as if it had been a 
dream. 

16 After this, Sithron for some time tended 
the sheep of Rekem Ophri. 

17 And seeing that Milkah, his youngest 
daughter, loved Sithron, and that Sithron loved 
her, Rekem Ophri gave his youngest daughter 
in marriage to him. 

1 8 And many people wondered much at this, 
and wpmen said, What findeth Milkah in this 
young fellow, excepting that he hath bright 
eyes, but of a mad strangeness, and beautiful 
teeth, but with a foolish tongue ? And he hath 
the modest manner of a maiden more than of 
a man. 

19 Now Rekem Ophri gave large flocks of 



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sheep to be tended by Sithron and Milkah, and 
made them happy in his house. 

ao And when evening was come, and the 
flocks had been carefully driven into fold, except 
those old ewes and rams which were left upon 
the hills, Sithron and Milkah sat beneath a tree, 
and he told her many of his thoughts about the 
stars, and of the living things that peradventure 
might be happy within them. 



CHAPTER VI. 

I A son is bom unto Sithron and Milkah. 9 The mind ^ 
Sithron becomes troubled. 3 He douiteth of the covenant 
called circumcision. 4 Sithron conferreth with his wife. 

5 Milkah is perplexed and distressed 

"VFow a son was bom unto Sithron and Milkah, 
■'■ ' and the name they determined to give him 
was Gilead. 

2 The child was fair and strong ; but on the 
fourth day after his birth Sithron awoke from 
a strange dream. 

3 He felt that the dream came from God, yet 
was he much troubled. 

4 For a voice in the dream had told him 
that what Moses had called the Covenant of 
Circumcision had been falsely interpreted : 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 19 

5 That Abraham, and Moses, and Joshua 
had dreamed it, but that God had never sent 
that dream. 

6 After some hours Milkah said unto Sithron, 
Thy face hath been much troubled since thou 
didst awake ; tell me the cause, I beseech thee. 

.7 So he told Milkah the cause, and she be- 
came pale with fear. 

8 But, by-and-bye, she listened to all that 
Sithron said. 

9 On the fifth day after the birth of the boy, 
Sithron declared his repugnance to the ordina- 
tion called Circumcision, and would have no 
mutilation performed on the babe. 

10 Then was Milkah greatly alarmed, for she 
said, The eighth day is at hand, when the priest 
Cometh to perform this ancient covenant and 
rite ; and what will be said if we tell him this 
shall not be done ? 

1 1 And Sithron remained silent. 

12 But on the sixth day after the birth of the 
babe, the mouth of Sithron was opened : 

13 And he spake unto Milkah his wife, and 
said. How shall I believe that the Creator of all 
this earth, and of all that lives within it ; the 
Creator also of the sun; the Creator also of 
the stars, and all that is within them, would 
have made so mean and little a Covenant as 

c 2 



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that which Abraham, and Moses, and Joshua 
dreamed ? 

14 Yea, the Covenant that a priest should cut 
a little circle of skin from a male infant newly 
bom? 

15 Then was Milkah greatly frightened, for 
she said, I see with thy thoughts, and my mind 
is as thy mind in this matter : 

16 But, O my beloved husband, what will the 
priests say unto us, and the high priest, and the 
judges of Hebron ? 

17 What will happen to us if we do not obey 
this law of our forefathers, and prophets and 
leaders of the children of Israel ? 



CHAPTER VII. 

1 Sitkren prepareth for death, a JUilkaH proposeth they 
should fly. 3 7h^ then confer as to another plan. 4 And 
it seemeth possible to evade this law. 5 On the eighth day 
after the h'rih of the baie, the rite of circumcision is per- 
formed: 6 But not according to holy law. 

Tow Sithron, having resolved that the male 
child Gilead should not suffer the muti- 
lation called Circumcision, expected no mercy 
from the priests. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. ai 

2 So he fell upon his face, and prayed to God 
to enable him to endure whatever death might 
befall him, 

3 He could not believe in such a Covenant : 

4 For if the need of this were only a need 
of cleanliness, then truly a Covenant as to the 
use of water had well sufficed, and had been far 
more wise and seemly. 

5 Or, if a distinguishing mark were needed 
for the chosen people, a small slit in the ears 
would have served for both sexes. 

6 Then Milkah, thinking with his mind, pro- 
posed that they should save themselves and the 
child by flight from the fields and pastures. 

y However, on further conference, they settle 
upon another plaji : 

8 There was a friendly priest, named Ozem, 
who often visited the farm of Rekem Ophri ; 
this priest being very old, and of a dim sight. 

9 He also was of a cheerful disposition, and 
liked to eat of baked meats, and to drink wine. 

10 And Sithron said to his wife. Let the rite 
be performed in a darkened room ; and let a 
small circle of skin be cut by the priest from the 
elbow of the babe, or froD^»-^ie thumb of one 
hand, or from the toe (^ one foot. 

11 And this should be done after Ozem, the 
priest, had feasted, and been made merry. 



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12 So it came to pass that on the eighth day- 
after the birth of the male child Gilead, that the 
friendly priest was made drunk, and they took 
him into a darkened room ; and they told him 
of the friends who were there assembled round 
in the dark room, though none were there. 

13 And carrying the child in his swaddling 
clothes, they laid bare the tip of one elbow: 

14 And Milkah assisting the priest, a small 
circle of skin was cut from the elbow of the 
babe, by the holy knife of Ozem. 

15 So the rite of Circumcision was performed, 
and no one but Sithron and Milkah his wife knew 
that it was done in an unusual manner. 

16 Now Sithron and Milkah kept close their 
secret 

1 7 And the boy Gilead throve apace, beyond 
those male babes who undergo the usual muti- 
lation. 

18 And there were no thunders from Mount 
Sinai. 

19 Neitherwere there plagues oran earthquake 
in the city and suburbs and villages round 
about Hebron. 

20 And Sithron continued his favourite talk 
with Milkah on the wonders contained in the 
earth ; and on God's creation of the sun, and all 
the stars. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



I Rekem Ophrigivetk kis eldest dat^hfer Ttlxah in marriagt 
to Kedeth Shunem. a Mekem Opkri dielh.- 3 He hath 
bequeathed his farm and flocks to Tilzah and ktr husband. 
4 TAey behave kindly to Siihron and Milkah. 5 Kedeth 
Shunem sometimes listenetk to Sithron^s words, 

Mow Rekem Ophri, the father of Milkah, 
gave his eldest daughter Tilzah in mar- 
riage to Kedeth Shunem, the owner of many 
herds. 

2 Not long after this, Rekem Ophri died, 
bequeathing all his flocks to his elder daughter 
Tilzah and her husband. 

3 But to Milkah and her husband he left 
nothing, having some fears concerning Sithron. 

4 Now these newly-married ones behave 
kindly to Milkah and to Sithron, and retain 
them as farm servants and shepherds. 

5 Larger flocks of sheep were assigned to 
their care ; for said Kedeth Shunem to himself, 
This young fellow, Sithron, I do not find to be 
the fool people said. 

6 And Kedeth Shunem even listened to 
Sithron sometimes of an evening, urging him to 
talk of what he thought about living things 
being in the stars. 



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7 Yet, said he, These things cannot be as thou 
dreamest; for Moses and Joshua, and many 
prophets and great men since, have said 
nothing of that kind. 

8 But Sithron answered and said, It may 
well be that those great ones said nothing about 
the stars, for their thoughts were filled with 
conquering and slaughtering the believers in 
Baal and Dagon, and possessing their lands, to 
give for an inheritance to the children of Israel. 

9 But all this, said Kedeth Shunem, was done 
by the direct commands of God ; and we know 
this to have been so because Moses and Joshua 
have said so : 

10 Or, they dreamed so, answered Sithron : 
and peradventure God sent that dream to them ; 
but how shall we know this ? 

1 1 Because, answered Kedeth Shumen, it hath 
been thus handed down to us ; and I do not wish 
to speak any more of this, or to hear any more. 

12 So Kedeth Shunem went away, saying to 
himself, I have altered my mind about this 
young fellow ; and I do not think him mad 
or silly, but perhaps somewhat dangerous to 
listen to. 

13 Nevertheless, Kedeth Shunem increased 
the substance of Sithron, and made him steward 
of his herds and camels. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



CHAPTER IX. 

I Tilsah bearetk a male child, a FtsHvities are held, and 
Ktdeth Shunem and Sithron become merry. 3 Silhron 
forgetteth prudence, and danceth, and talketh in private 
against circumcision. 4 Kedeth Shunem becometk alarmed, 
andforceth Sithron to divulge his secret. 5 Kedeth Shunem 
demandetk that Sithron shall justify himself. 

V[ow Tilzah bore a child, which was a male 
child, and Kedeth Shunem rejoiced ex- 
ceedingly. 

2 And there were festivities on the farm 
among all those who tended the flocks, and the 
herds, and the camels, or were busied in the 
house. 

3 And Sithron ate, and also drank wine, and 
was merry with Kedeth Shunem; and presently, 
losing all prudence, he spake in his ear when 
they were alone. 

4 And he said, the rite of Circumcision is a 
foolish and barbarous rite ; do not let the babe 
be mutilated. 

5 Now Kedeth Shunem, being a little drunk, 
laughed at this, thinking it not truly meant, or 
that he had not heard aright ; 

6 But next morning he remembered it with 
a disturbed mind, and, taking Sithron into one 



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of his camel-yards, made him confess his opinion 
against the rite of Circumcision. 

7 Afterwards he made him confess that he 
had evaded it as to his own child, Gilead. 

8 Then Kedeth Shunem set apart an hour 
of the next night in which Stthron should walk 
alone with him in the garden among the tama- 
rind trees, that he might hear what justification 
could be shown : 

9 For said he, Is it not distinctly written in 
the first book of Moses that God said unto 
Abraham, Thou shalt keep my Covenant, 
thou, and thy seed after thee in their genera- 
tions? 

10 This is my Covenant, which ye shall keep 
between me and you, and thy seed after thee : 
every man and male child among you shall be 
circumcised : 

1 1 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your 
foreskin ; and it shall be a token of the Cove- 
nant betwixt me and you ? 

12 Then Kedeth Shunem stepped back a pace , 
or two from Sithron, and waited to hear what 
he would say. 

13 And Sithron answered and said, Bear with 
me, I pray thee, a little while, and let me not 
sink in thy reproof unheard ; for I am grateful 
to thee for many things, 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. aj 

14 Suffer me that I make reply in a parable 
concerning three men : 

15 The first man was in a ship far away on 
the sea, and he was very ill of a fever, and was 
about to die. 

16 So he said to the captain of the ship, Can 
we yet see land ? 

1 7 Then answered the captain, and said, No 
sign of land can be seen. 

18 And the next day the dying man again 
called the captain to him, and said. Can we yet 
see land ? 

19 But the captain said. No, there is no sign 
of it 

20 Then spake the dying man in great grief, 
and said, I cannot die till I see the land ? 

21 For on the land was I bom, and all my 
relations and friends are buried in graves, and 
I cannot die facing the immensity that sur- 
rounds us. 

22 So this man continued dying in the same 
state many days, till at last the captain said. 
There is land yonder ! 

23 Then the dying man besought them to 
carry him upon the deck, and directly he be- 
held the land, he blessed God, and died. 

24 Now this was a man whose mind had a 
terror of immensity, and could not face it 



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25 Let me now speak of the second man, for 
he could bear to look upon immensity and com- 
mune with Almighty Power. 

26 Although he felt himself as a mere man 
amidst the great elements of Power, yet he 
thought himself worthy of much consideration. 

27 And he believed that the great Spiritual 
Elements of Power could come down to the 
earth, and speak to him in a human voice. 

28 Yea, familiarly from a mount, or from a 
whirlwind, or from a bush on fire. 

29 And that this Voice of these great elements 
of power, yea, this Spirit of Immensity, might 
and would dictate to him on matters of the 
smallest and meanest kind. 

30 That was the second man, 

31 Now the third man was so fully impressed 
with a sense of Infinity, and of the Infinite Power 
doing work therein, that he could not conceive 
that the greatest of all things could specially, and 
in Person, concern Itself about the smallest. 

32 The lips of Sithron were closed, so Kedeth 
Shunem said to him. Tell me who are these 
three men, and what does all this purport ? 

33 But Sithron said, Let me be forgiven if I 
anger thee by my interpretation of this parable. 

34 The first man representeth all those people, 
poor heathens and idolaters, all those who can- 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



not feel and worship Immensity, but must con- 
tract their sight to earthly images, and pour out 
to them their prayers. 

35 The second man represents great conquer- 
ors, and prophets and lawgivers, like Moses and 
Joshua, who believe that God came down upon 
the earth to talk to them ; 

36 Giving them special directions for great 
slaughters of men, women and children ; 

37 And concerning also small matters of cut- 
ting circular morsels of the skin of male infants, 
and of burning animals upon altars, with spices, 
to make smoke and incense for divine nostrils. 

38 The third man represents one to whom all 
those shocking things, and all those little things, 
cannot possibly be mingled with and allied to 
the Spirit of the Creator of the sun, and the 
moon, and the earth, and the stars that cannot be 
counted, and all that possibly liveth and moveth 
within them. 

39 And that man is he who now trembleth at 
his own thoughts and his own words, but justi- 
fieth himself before thee : O, Kedeth Shunem, 
my brother ! 

40 Then Kedeth Shunem rent his garments, 
and put dust upon his head, and hurried away 
out of the garden. 



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CHAPTER X. 

1 Kedeik Shttmnt reptattth to his loifi pari of ike famMe of 
Sithron with reference to circumcision, a The dismay of 
Tilzah. 3 She spaketh of Sithron and Milkah with con- 
tempt and fear. 4 Kedeth Shunem drivetk them away 
from his lands. 5 TXey ff> to tend a small flock of sheep in 
Cadesh-Bumea. 

Mow after Kedeth Shunem had taken counsel 
' with himself, he told Tilzah of what 
Sithron had said concerning the rite of circum- 
cision : 

2 Also of what had been done to evade the 
rite ordained by God's Covenant, whereby his 
male child Gilead had been circumcised in the 
wrong place ; 

3 Yea, by the cutting a small circle of skin 
from the elbow of the babe. 

4 Then was Tilzah greatly dismayed ; and 
when Kedeth Shunem also said that Sithron 
had counselled that a like evasion should be 
practised with their new-born child, then was 
Tilzah filled with contempt and anger. 

5 And she said, Of a truth my sister Milkah 
was always a fool, and believed that she did a 
wise thing in marrying a greater fool than her- 
self 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 31 

6 But see you not, O, my husband, that if 
Sithron hath been so loose of counsel as to tell 
diis iniquity to you, he may also tell it to others ; 

7 Then shall our house be disgraced by such 
kindred, and it may be that the priests of the 
City of Hebron, and the country around, shall 
denounce us as amongst the unholy. 

8 And Kedeth Shunem answered and said. 
This fellow shall no longer be my steward, 
neither shall he and his wife have any charge 
over my sheep ; 

9 Neither shall they remain in my fields, or 
have any habitation in the country round about 
Hebron ; 

10 For, if they do not seek some other place, 
I will denounce them to the priesthood of the 
city, who will deal with them according to the 
measure of their iniquity. 

1 1 So the swineherds of the farm of Kedeth 
Shunem came with fire-brands and staves, and 
threatened to bum down the house of Sithron ; 
and they drove him and -Milkah away from the 
fields of their master : 

1 2 Also they drove them far beyond, following 
them for two days and nights ; 

1 3 And the swineherds often cursed them with 
loud voices, crying out. Our master saith ye have 
someway blasphemed the Covenant of God ! 



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14 Yea, and ye have reviled the law of Moses, 
and the great deeds of the holy slaughters of 
Joshua, the Conqueror before God! 

15 Go and seek comfort from the stars, and 
beg of the stars to send you down bread ! 

16 After two days and nights the swineherds 
ceased from following them ; and Sithron with 
Milkah and their child made their way to 
Cadesh-Burnea, near the wilderness, more than 
twenty miles south of Hebron. 

1 7 And at this place they found an owner of 
several flocks of sheep, and were hired to tend 
one of the smallest of the flocks. 



CHAPTER XI. 

I The €hild of Kedeth Shunem is duly circumdsed. 2 He 
eounsdUtk his wife to secrecy as to the iniquity of Silhron 
and Milkah. 3 Tilzah promiseth secrecy. 4 The priest, 
to whom sht privily confideth the secret, communtcateth the 
same to the Church of Hebron. The High priest calleth a 
council. 6 The end of a wicked priest. 

An the eighth day after the birth of a male 
^ child unto Kedeth Shunem, the babe had 
the little circle of skin cut off" by the priest after 
the holy manner of the rite which the Book of 
Moses declareth to be the great Covenant made 
and ordained by Jehovah. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 33 

2 Then counselled he his wife Tilzah that she 
should hold her peace as to the iniquity of the 
evasion of the usual cutting of a little circle of 
skin, by causing it to be cut from another part 
of the child of Sithron ; 

3 For, said he, Who knoweth but we may be 
upbraided and come to shame by our relation- 
ship to this mad fellow and his wife. 

4 And Tilzah answered and said, It is a wise 
counsel that we should not risk being shamed 
by our relationship with these two wicked fools ; 
and I will tell the tale to nobody. 

5 So, a few days after, when Tilzah was in 
conversation with the priest who had duly per- 
formed the holy rite upon her babe, it came to 
pass that she told him the whole story ; 

6 But, said she, it must be a secret between 
thee and me, and nobody else must hear it, 
according to the promise I made unto my 
husband. 

7 And the priest was greatly shocked at what 
he had heard, but agreed with Tilzah that it 
was better for them all that the iniquity should 
never be told. 

8 But it came to pass, not long after, that 
the Church of Hebron was acquainted with the 
whole matter, no one knew how, and the High 
Priest of the City of Hebron called a council. 



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9 And the wicked priest Ozem, who had un- 
consciously committed the profane and devilish 
act of cutting the little circlet of skin from a 
babe's elbow instead of cutting it from the organ 
of generation, according to the holy rite ordained 
by Jehovah, was denounced as a drunken 
conniver at the blasphemy. 

10 And directly this became known to the 
people of Hebron the wrath of all the holiest 
men in the city was kindled, and they would 
have stoned Ozem to death, but he hid himself 
in a fig-garden for some days : 

11 Then being hunted out, he went into a 
fir-grove, and hanged himself. 



CHAPTER XII. 

I Sithron and Milkah being traced, a secret nussenger is sent 
from the High Priest of Hebron. 2 Sithron purpostth to 
give himself up, but Milkah causeth the messenger to be 
afraid, and to hasten back. 3 Wrath of the High Priest. 
4 An armed force is sent from Hebron. 5 Sithron and 
Milkah fly to the land of the Philistines, near Gath. 6 
Th^ are protected by the King of Gath, and the armed 
force from Hebron is put to the sword. 7 Sithron and 
Milkah hire themselves as servants in Gath, and Sithron 
is once more listened to about the stars. 

HE iniquitous pair, Sithron and his wife, were 
traced ere long, and the High Priest of 



T 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 35 

Hebron sent a messenger with his commands 
that they should instantly return to Hebron, 

2 The messenger came privily, as the blas- 
phemers were now in the land of the Philistines. 

3 And Sithron, seeing how they were pur- 
sued, said to Milkah, embracing her, Thou seest 
how they follow us for what I have caused thee 
to have done to our child ; 

4 Therefore carry him away to-night, and 
seek refuge in the City of Gath, and I will 
return with this messenger to Hebron, which 
will cause the priesthood to abandon further 
persecution of thee, and of Gilead our child. 

5 But Milkah answered, and said. Not so, my 
husband, for they will wreak the more vengeance 
upon thee, and stone thee as they would have 
stoned the innocent priest whom we deceived. 

6 Therefore listen to my counsel : Let us 
tell this secret messenger that the uncifcumcised 
Philistines round about are our friends, and that, 
if he doth not immediately depart, they will 
hang him upon the nearest tree, when they are 
told of his errand. 

7 So this was done; and the secret mes- 
senger from the High Priest erf Hebron, being 
in great fear, immediately left them. 

8 And Sithron and Milkah continued to tend 
their flock of sheep in peace, and in happiness. 



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9 But when the messenger returned with his 
news to Hebron, and told of the threat that 
'had been made, the High Priest was wroth, and 
he called a council of priests and judges. 

lo And they told all these abominations to 
the chief ruler of Hebron, and how their mes- 
senger had been insulted and threatened by the 
blasphemers Sithron and Milkah, who were 
dwelling among uncircumcised heathens in the 
pastures near Gath, yea, among the Philistines, 
who befriended them. 

r I So the chief ruler in Hebron called forth 
a captain of great valour, and sent him with 
three hundred soldiers to bring back these blas- 
phemers, and to slay all the Philistine shepherds 
and their servants who opposed them. 

12 And it came to pass that the day before 
that captain and his three hundred armed men 
arrived among the pEistures near Gath, the news 
of their approach became known to Sithron and 
Milkah, and Milkah hastened to the City of 
Gath, and told all the story to soldiers whom 
she met in the great street 

1 3 And the soldiers immediately told the K ing. 

14 Then said Achish, King of Gath, to one of 
his chief princes. How long will it be that these 
circumcised dc^s of Israel believe they can send 
soldiers into the lands of those who worship 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 37 

Other Gods, to get lands and spoil, or to seek to 
alter laws and customs ? 

1 5 Take now three hundred soldiers ; men 
who are entire men , and leave only enough of 
these circumcised land-robbers alive to return to 
tell of the scorn of the King of Gath. 

16 So that prince of the Philistines sent three 
hundred entire men, and they met the captain 
from Hebron with his Israelite soldiers, who 
were fatigued with their journey. 

17 And the captain from Hebron, with all his 
soldiers but five who could run fast, were slain 
with the edge of the sword. 

, 18 After this, Sithron and Milkah hired them- 
selves as servants to one Sorzah, who sold com 
and goat's milk in Gath, and were kindly treated. 

19 And Sorzah, the corn and milk dealer, find- 
ing that Sithron was often on the house-top at 
night, with Milkah by his side, watching the 
stars, asked some questions of him. 

20 After this, Sorzah, who was of good under- 
standing, often asked strange things of him, for 
although he saw that Sithron must be one who 
was afflicted with a sort of madness, yet was 
the owner of the stores pleased with his gentle- 
ness and the bright flow of his speech when 
talking of what might peradventure be living 
within some of the largest stars. 



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1 



CHAPTER XIII. 

I TTu wife of Sorzah giveth birth to a child, and Sorzah 
inviteth two fritnds to eat and drink. They make merry 
ai>out a'raimcision. 3 7^y aik questions of Sithron con- 
cerning the invasions, and conquests, and slaughters of the 
■warlike Jews. 4 Also al>out David's purchase of SauPs 
daughter. 5 David's truthfulruss towards the Philistines 
at this time is doubted. 

Tt came to pass that the wife of Sorzah gave 
birth to a male child, and he invited two 
friends who dwelt in Gath to eat and drink wine 
with him, for this was his first son, all his 
previous children having been daughters. 

2 So he invited his two dearest friends, and 
these were Kiath-azek, who was a grower of 
cotton trees and date trees, and who dealt in 
pomegranates and ranunculus roots ; 

3 And the other friend was Z^lon, who was 
a forger in iron and brass, and one who sold 
helmets and shields. 

4 And Zaglon made merry over the late 
defeat of the three hundred Jewish soldiers who 
came to carry off Sithron because his child, 
Gilead, was a complete child, except a little 
circle of skin that had been cut from one elbow. 

5 Then did those three Philistine friends 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 39 

laugh much about the Jewish rite of circum- 
cision, and all the more because they had heard 
that Moses declared it to be a grand Covenant 
made with Abraham by Jehovah in Person, 

6 We have heard, said Kiath-azek, that some 
of their elders, who are bold enough to reason, 
explain and justify this cruel and stupid cere- 
mony called ' circumcision ' by saying that their 
forefathers were an unwashed and filthy race ; 
but surely their foreseeing God had better have 
made a commandment that his "chosen" people 
should never be filthy; for, if a man have a dirty 
head, yea, even as from one of the Plagues of 
Egypt, ye would say he had better wash out 
the vermin than cut off his head. Wherefore do 
ye laugh ? 

7 And they called Sithron to come in, and 
drink wine with them. 

8 Then spake Sorzah, who had said little up 
to this time, but, being accustomed to drink 
■water only, or milk, he was now somewhat 
drunk with wine ; 

9 And he said unto Sithron, Why should not 
your Moses, and Joshua, and Saul, and David 
have said they coveted the fertile lands and 
cities of other people, and would obtain them 
for themselves by fire and sword and slaughter? 

10 That would have been like unto the honest 



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words of other robbers, and like all other invaders 
and conquerors ? 

1 1 But they said their God commanded them 
to seize upon the goodly possessions of other 
people, whom they were to slaughter, even to 
all the women and children, and hang their 
king^ upon trees, and have those goodly lands 
for an Inheritance ; 

12 And Moses and Joshua, and other great 
circumcised invaders and conquerors, were to 
divide Jill those lands among their own people 
for an inheritance, because their God had ordered 
it, as they said ? 

13 Then spake Kiath-azek, who was also 
unused to drink wine, Tell me now, Sithron, If 
thou knowest, whether it be true that King 
Saul sold his daughter, Michal, to David for an 
hundred foreskins of our people ? 

14 We know that one hundred, nay, two hun- 
dred of our people who fell in battle, were thus 
mutilated, but did your king, Saul, really make 
so vile a bargain as your prophet, Samuel, 
declareth ? 

15 Then did Sithron hold down his head, for 
he was ashamed, and he would make no answer. 

16 So Zaglon, the armourer, now laughed 
aloud, and he said. Behold this star-stricken 
young Israelite, how shamed he is for his people! 



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THE STAS-STSICKEN. 41 

17 He knoweth this thing to be true, or he 
believeth it to be so ; but, when all these fore- 
skins were brought to Saul, what think you the 
king did with them ? 

1 8 But, as none made any guess, Zaglon 
laughed a loud laugh, and said, Doubtless the 
king would have the trophy preserved ; and the 
rings of skin were dried in the sun, and threaded 
upon a thread of silk and of gold for a bridal 
necklace. 

19 Then laughed all these Philistines; but 
Sithron held down his head with shame and 
grief, and hastened away from them. 

20 The three friends then spake of David, 
who was now in Gath, as an enemy to Judah. 

21 And they greatly doubted of David's , 
honesty towards Achish, their king. 

22 For, said they, how can one who has 
warred greviously against us, -be now a friend 
to us, and ready to war on our side ? 

23 And how can one, whose great conquerors 
and lawgivers before him are believed by him 
^d his people to have seen and heard their 
God in Person, down here upon the earth, hold 
any real friendship with us whose Gods of glory 
are Baal and Dagon, and whose shining images 
only are in our temples ? 

24 Now Sithron, when he had left those merry 



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feasters, said unto himself, Wherefore should I 
be troubled at the grievous truths those three 
drunken Philistines may say of my people ; for 
have I not often heard three drunken Jews say 
many bad things of the Philistines, though of 
another sort ? 

25 And being minded to hear what else they 
might say, he again drew near. 

26 So Zaglon called with a loud and merry 
voice, saying. Come hither again, young Israelite, 
for we well know that your great ones of old 
times loved wine ; even Lot was willing to be 
made drunk by his two daughters ; and he 
cifterwards lay with them, and begat children, 
which act met with no reproof at all from your 
God nor from your priests. 

27 Then these three men of Gath shouted and 
beat upon the table, and continued to laugh and 
to feast and be very merry. 

28 And Zaglon again spake to Sithron, saying, 
Thou seest we are feasting on a fat suckling from 
our herds on the hills, and we fear not that our 
God will have a fury against us, like unto thy 
God at times, for what we choose to eat ? 

29 Now answer us truly, dost thou remember 
when thy Jehovah declared that he was furious 
against your people of Israel because of some 
disobedience as to their worship, and commanded 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 43 

your holy man Hezekiah Ezekiel to do penance 
for others by eating bread mixed with human 
dung? 

30 But because your holy man turned aside 
from such a meal, worse than any meal of beasts, 
your Jehovah relented a little, and commanded 
him that he should mix cow-dung with his bread 
as a mercy, instead of the first mixing. 

31 And while Sithron waxed pale and trem- 
bled, for he well knew how all this was believed, 
these three men of Gath shouted, and coughed, 
and made gestures, and Kiath Azek said. Of a 
verity, the God of the Jews must have strange 
whims and fancies, and must indeed be a very 
low sort of God, to order such mean and filthy 
punishments ; unjust, moreover, for the offend- 
ing people, and not their holy man, should have 
been made to eat that stuff, or to have been 
punished after some more human way, 

32 Then spake Sorzah, rising up, and he said 
to the young Israelite, Behold what a glory of 
softened fire and of golden mist streameth in at 
yonder open door ! Go thou to that open door, 
and look up at our Greatest God, even Baal, 
that blazeth in silence up on high ! Dost thou 
think, young Israelite, that such a God would 
even command any of us to eat dung because 
we had made him angry ? 



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33 Then these three men of Gath stood up, 
and pointed to the mist of golden beams stream- 
ing in at the open door, 

34 And Sithron turned aside, and fled through 
the door into the sunlight. 



N' 



CHAPTER XIV. 

I Of King Achisk, and David, who is now in Gath with 
two of his wiva. 2 David is sent away by the Philistine 
princes. 3 David hasteneth to Ziklag, but finding it hath 
been ravaged, he leaves that city. 4 Sithron and Milkah 
journey to Ziklag. 5 David collecttih an army, and 
besiegeth Ziklag. 6 Priests of Hebron send a messenger 
to David, which causeth Sithron and Milkah to fly to 
Jal^ck. 7 News of the defeat of Saul, and David's song 
of lamentation. 

ow while David was still afraid that Saul, 
King of Israel, would seek to take his life, 
for the great envy and jealousy the king bare 
unto him, David bethought him of a stratagem 
tQ escape from Saul. 

3 The cause of this envy and hate was be- 
cause some women of Israel had said, while 
dancing and singing, Saul hath slain his thou- 
sands, and David his ten thousands ; 

3 And no honour seemed so great among 
the warlike Children of Israel as that of slaying 
many thousands. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. « 

4 So from that day Saul endeavoured to kill 
David, or to cause his death by other means ; 
wherefore, David resolved to seek protection 
among the Philistines, whom he had once warred 
against very grievously in aid of Saul. 

5 And Achish, King of Gath, believed David 
when he pretended that he was now ready 
to war against Judah; and Achish received 
him kindly, together with David's two wives, 
Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Car- 
melite, who had been Nabal's wife. 

6 But David's other wife, Michal, had been 
taken away from him by her father, Saul, though 
David had purchased her at a very strange 
and unseemly price. 

7 Therefore, in Gath did David tarry, declar- 
ing unto the king that the Israelites abhorred 
him. 

8 Now David had heard in Hebron of the 
iniquity of Sithron, and of the wrath of the 
priests ; and as he journeyed to Gath he heard also 
of the discomfiture of the three hundred Jewish 
soldiers, who had been sent to seize Sithron ; 

9 But David did not know that Sithron was 
now in the city, or he might have found means 
to get him privily seized, and sent back to 
Hebron. 

lo The fear of this danger, however, lay heavy 



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in the mind of MUkah, and she counselled her 
husband that they should depart 

I r Also did Sithron wish to depart, because 
he had been put to shame for the folly and 
obscenity of some things done by his people, 
as to a marriage-dower of foreskins, and for 
other things said against them. 

12 But David meanwhile had not persuaded 
all men in Gath of his good faith towards the 
Philistines. 

1 3 And one day several princes of the Philis- 
tines, together with Eglon-ekri, a priest of the 
temple of Baal, held conference. 

14 The princes were owners of much land and 
many herds of cattle, and the priest also had 
pastures and many flocks of sheep and goats. 

15 And the princes said, Why cometh here 
this circumcised fighter of many battles against 
us, and against others ? and why playeth he 
not upon the harp among his own mutilated 
people ? 

16 His people talk scornfully of our Gods and 
their Images ; why then should we entertain a 
man whose God is not one of ours, but a God 
who urgeth the Israelites to kill and make spoil 
of other nations for an inheritance, saying they 
worship false gods ? 

1 7 Then spake another of the princes, and said, 



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THE STAR.STRICKEN. 47 

Our king regardeth this David, and often hath 
him to feast with him, because he singeth well 
and playeth upon the harp, and danceth high 
dances : 

1 8 But let us seize him privately and put him 
to death, lest at some future day he bringeth an 
army before our gates ! 

1 9 For will not these circumcised robbers do 
any act of treachery ? Bethink ye of the bar- 
gain they made to be united in friendship with 
a people, whose lands they coveted, provided 
those people would consent to have little circles 
of skin cut from the organs of generation after 
the cruel manner of Israel : 

20 And when those foolish men consented, and 
while they were sick and sore a few days after, 
so that they could not fight, did not the Israelites 
fall upon them with the edge of the sword, and 
take possession of all their lands, and wives and 
daughters, and all else that they had ? 

2 1 Therefore we say let this David, who has 
always been our enemy, and is now a false 
friend, be seized and put to death. 

22 Then spake the priest Eglon-ekri, and said. 
Do not thus, for other means can be found to 
get rid of him. 

23 We Philistines have made our invasions 
and battles, like other nations ; sometimes to 



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gain and to enjoy the lands of others, yet far 
more often to defend our own. 

24 For we Philistines are a pastoral people, and 
would rather continue at peace, if that may be. 

25 It is not thus with the warlike Jews ; for 
they desire to gain possession of all the best 
lands ; which they do not call robbery, but a 
religious duty. 

26 We call upon Baal, our heavenly Sun, and 
upon Ashtaroth, and upon Dagon, to give us 
victory when we are about to go into battles ; 
but these circumcised people say their God 
orders all these battles and robberies of cities 
and pasture lands, and that their Jehovah fights 
on their side with thunders and hail-stones, and 
with darkness or with fire : 

27 And the inheritance of other nations shall 
thus be taken from them and divided among 
tribes of the Israelites. 

28 Then spake another of the Philistine princes 
and said. All these things we have long known ; 
therefore the greater reason for our putting this 
David to death. 

29 But again, said Eglon-ekri, Do not thus, . 
because It is not necessary, and because there 
must be some good in this bad man's nature : 

30 For continually did Saul, his father-in-law, 
seek to kill him ; and when David twice had 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



the means at hand for putting Saul to death, 
and making himself king, he spared Saul. 

31 Therefore, spare David; but let us go to 
the King of Gath, and show him good reason 
for sending David away. 

32 To this the princes of the Philistines 
agreed, saying, if this does not succeed, we will 
then of a certainty take his life, for we are sure 
he is treacherous towards us. 

33 Now David having been told something 
about this conference, sent away his two wives 
privately to Ziklag, which also belonged to the 
King of Gath. 

34 And it came to pass soon afterwards that 
Achish had a friendly conversation with David, 
telling him it were well they should part, and 
recommending him to go to Zikl^, and become 
its ruler. 

35 So David, after a few days, betook him to 
Ziklag. 

36 But, when he arrived there, he found that 
die Amalekites had seized the place, and burnt 
much of it, and had carried away David's wives, 
Ahinoam and Abigail. 

37 And David was greatly grieved at the loss 
of those two of his wives. 



■v.C.oocjIc 



N° 



CHAPTER XV. 

I 77ie pritsts of Hebron sertd a secret messenger to Gaik. a 
Sitkron and Milkah are protected by Eglon-ekri, but th^ 
wish to leave Gath. 3 They go to thank Eglon-ekri, who 
encourageth Sithron to speak of many things. 4 After that, 
Sithron and Milkah joum^ to the banks ofthejabbok. 

w before David left Gath, the fears of 
Milkah were found to have been with 
good reason ; 

2 For the priests of Hebron had sent a secret 
message to David, informing him that Sithron 
and Milkah were somewhere in Gath, and 
urging him to get these blasphemers of Jeho- 
vah's solemn Covenant of Circumcision privily 
seized and sent to Hebron. 

3 Now the secret messenger, when he found 
that David was sent out of Gath, saw that he 
would lose the price of his hire, 

4 So he went to Sorzah, the master of Sithron 
and Milkah, and said. Lo, I come from the 
priests of Hebron, with a secret message for 
David, who has just been sent away: 

5 Who will give me money for the secret 
message which I was to deliver to David from 
the priests of Israel ? 

6 So Sorzah went to ask his wife, and Sorzah's 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 5' 

wife answered and said, Send the messenger to 
one of the head priests of Baal. 

7 And Sorz^h sent the messenger to Eglon- 
ekri. 

8 Whereupon Eglon-ekri gave the messenger 
the price of his hire, and desired that the mes- 
senger should forthwith return to Hebron, and 
inform the priests who sent him, that the Gods 
of the Philistines had never made any foolish 
covenant with them as to cutting off a little 
circle of skin from any male child ; 

9 And that the priests of Gath would protect 
any one who refused to obey that cruel and 
ridiculous custom. 

10 So the messenger took the money, and 
went his way to some other place than Hebron, 
as he had no mind to deliver that message. 

1 1 Then Eglon-ekri sent for Sithron and 
Milkah, and told them of this message from the 
priests of Hebron, and offered them his pro- 
tection if they chose to remain in the city of 
Gath, or money to aid them on their journey 
elsewhere. 

12 And Sithron would have preferred to re- 
main in Gath, but Milkah was troubled by the 
danger they had escaped. 

13 For, said Milkah, The priests of Hebron 
have eyes and ears everywhere, and the King 

E 2 



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of Gath will be friendly towards David in other 
places ; and I beseech thee, my husband, let us 
leave this city directly. 

14 Wherefore, having settled this, during the 
day, they returned at night to thank Eglon-ekri. 

15 And the stars were shining brightly when 
they found Eglon-ekri,who put money, and some 
dates, and fig-cakes, and clusters of raisins into 
Milkah's sleeve when she told him they wished 
to leave Gath, and had come to thank him for 
his kindness towards them. 

16 But when Sithron strove to speak, he was 
choked, and could not utter a word. 

17 So Milkah thanked Eglon-ekri, and said 
they would ever pray for him, if he would let 
them do so, knowing that their God was not of 
the Gods he worshipped. 

18 And Eglon-ekri said he was pleased with 
all her words ; and bade them farewell with 
tender looks. 

19 Then suddenly, as they were about to go 
away, Sithron turned back, still full of trouble, 
and his mouth was opened : 

20 And he said, O priest of Baal! O wor- 
shipper of the Sun through his golden image in 
the solemn temples of thine Idols of Gods that 
are far away in the skies, I also honour as thou 
dost the Giver of light and of life to all things ! 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. S3 

21 But must there not be a God of Gods ? not 
only the God thou chiefly worshippest; not only 
the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, 
and of Moses ; who are but four men ; but the 
God of all the peoples of the earth, whether 
they know that God, or do not know such a 
Spirit ? 

2 2 Must there not be, O priest of Baal ! must 
there not be a God beyond the Sun ? one 
Supreme, who called the Sun itsdf into being, 
and who also called the Moon and the living 
Stars into being ? 

23 All those Stars that we now look up to ? 
yea, and many more stars that we can scarcely 
see ; and that tremble away out of sight ? 

24 And may it not be possible, O priest of the 
Temple of the Sun ! may it not be possible that 
some of the largest of those stars we now look 
up to, may themselves be as smaller suns, and 
give light, and life, and moving creatures to 
some worlds of a kind we cannot comprehend ? 

25 So now, thou kindly priest of Baal! there 
was, not long since, a poor fool in Hebron who 
used to say in his madness such things as those ! 

26 And he was also used to say that the 
Creates- of all those immense things would 
never come down upon the earth to talk with 
men, and still less would such a Creator make a 



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Covenant with men about the smallest matters, 
or even about their battles and slaughters. 

27 And this fool and mad one in the eyes of 
all men, worshipped the Creator of all we see 
on this earth, and all we now see shining above, 
us, denying that the littlenesses of men were as 
images, and reflexions, and commands of the 
Creator's mind. 

28 For these thoughts was he driven as a 
blasphemer, with scoffs and menaces, from his 
native land ; for this was he hunted as a beast, 
yea, as a wicked beast, from place to place, 
together with the wife of his bosom, and his 
little child at his wife's bosom : 

29 O priest of Baal ! that poor fool and mad 
one am I, who now thanketh thee with his broken 
words, even the words of an over-filled heart 

30 So Milkah led her husband away, as one 
that is blind ; and Eglon-ekri wept, 

31 And Sithron and Milkah rose early next 
morning and journeyed towards the banks of 
the river Jabbok ; 

32 And here they found shelter in a goatherd's 
hut some miles to the south-west of Ramoth- 
Gilead. 

33 Now this was in the land of the Ammon- 
ites, not far from the city of Rabbah. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



I David gatherath soldiers, and taketh counsel of Jehovah, 
2 He pursueth the Amalekites and putteth them to the 
sword. J He taketh great spoil, and recovereth his two 
•wives. 4 Hanran, a. goatherd of Jabbok, giveth the charge 
of a herd of goats to Silhron and Milkah. 5 The two 
young daughters of the goatherd love Sithron and Milkah, 
and desire to become the wives of Sithron. 6 The goatherd 
giveth his consent; but Sithron and Milkah, still fearing 
pursuit, go to dwell in Rabbah. 

Co greatly was David distressed at the loss of 
^ his wives, Ahinoam and Abigail, that he 
asked counsel of Jehovah, and collected soldiers, 
promising them great spoil if they would go 
with him to Ziklag. 

2 A goodly army of men was thus collected, 
and David, being encouraged by God, went with 
them to Ziklag. 

3 When the Amalekites spoiled Ziklag they 
slew not any, either great or small, but had con- 
tented themselves by carrying away captives. 

4 But David, and many who were with him, 
had other thoughts, for they lamented bitterly 
the loss of wives, and sons, and daughters. 

5 And so wild in their grief and fury were 
many of them, that they proposed to stone 



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56 SitHRON, 

David ; but David besought them to wait till 
he had again taken counsel from God. 

6 So David called for the ephod, as a medium 
of grace, and inquired of the Lord what he should 
do ? and the Lord answered, Pursue, and thou 
shalt recover all. 

7 And it came to pass, soon after tiiis, they 
found an Egyptian who lay sick in a field ; and 
by this man, after he had received comfort at 
their hands, David and four hundred of his 
soldiers were led to where the Amalekites had 
rested with their spoil. 

8 And behold they were spread abroad upon 
the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, 
because of the great spoil they had taken. 

9 And David smote them with the edge of 
the sword, from the twilight unto the even- 
ing of the next day; recovering all that the 
Amalekites had carried away, besides his two 
wives. 

10 Now Hanran, the goatherd of the hills 
round the valley of the Jabbok, had given one 
of his herds of goats to the charge of Sithron 
and Milkah. 

1 1 And this goatherd one day said to Milkah, 
Thy husband is a good man ; and although he 
hath rather a mad face at times when he re- 
tumeth from loitering at night on the hills, yet 



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THE STARSTklCKEN. 57 

there is no harm in him ; and he is very coniely 
to look upon, as many young women say. 

12 My two daughters are both very young, 
and the elder of them hath much love for thy 
husband, and would fain become one of his 
wives. 

1 3 To this I do not at present consent ; but 
by-and-bye, if he do love my daughter, and thou 
also wouldst like her to be his second wife, per- 
adventure, I may give her to him. 

14 Milkah answered and said, Let that be as 
my husband pleaseth : I shall love her if he 
doth. 

15 Now this goatherd, Hanran, was of good 
possessions ; but although he was the owner of 
several large herds of cattle as well as goats, he 
was accounted a fool by all those who knew him, 
because of the strange things he often did : 

16 So when those who lived on the hills and 
in the Vcdleys near to him heard that he had 
offered his eldest daughter to be the second wife 
of a poor fellow like Sithron, they said it was 
to be expected that a fool should have pleasure 
in a madman for a son-in-law. 

17 And Hanran's two daughters were both 
very young, and were the fairest of all who dwelt 
on those hills. 

iS And one day Hanran overheard his two 



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fair girls talking to each other in secret ; and 
the elder one said, I love Sithron for his eyes, 
and for his teeth, and for his long silken hair : 

19 Then spake the younger girl, and said, And 
I love Sithron for his voice, that sinketh into 
my bosom. 

20 So when Hanran heard this, he called 
Sithron to him, and said, My daughters both ■ 
love thee, and I will give thee one of them to 
wife, but not both. 

21 Go now to thy wife Milkah, and settle 
between ye which one it shall be ; and which 
ever one is chosen, I will give with her a flock 
of goats and some cattle. 

32 Then Sithron went to Milkah and told her 
all this, and they sent for the two girls, and em- 
braced them tenderly. 

23 And Sithron told them he was one that 
was secretly followed with hatred by priests of 
his nation, and his life was always in peril, as 
well as the lives of those who were united 
unto him. 

24 And he said many loving words to the two 
discomfited girls ; after which he told them that 
he must depart 

35 So Sithron and Milkah embraced and 
kissed the two young girls, and took leave of 
Hanran with grateful sorrow. 



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THE STAR-STRTCKEN. 



26 And thinking they would be more safe from 
discovery in a city than in the open country, 
they made their way to Rabbah, which was the 
capital of the Ammonites. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

I Defeat of Saul in his last battle. 1 Death of Saul. 3 
Rejoidngs cf the Philistines. 4 The tidings being iome to 
David, he sin^th a song of lamentation. 5 David is 
anointed King over the house offudah, and goeth to reside 
in Hebron. 

"M'ow it came to pass that Saul, King of Israel, 
^ iu his battle with the Philistines on Mount 
Gilboa was defeated grievously : 

2 All his men who fled not, were slain, and 
Saul was closely pursued ; his sons were slain, 
and Saul himself was deeply pierced by an 
arrow. 

3 Then said Saul unto his armour-bearer, 
Draw thy sword,- and thrust me through there- 
with, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust 
me through and abuse me. 

4 But his armour-bearer would not, for he 
loved Saul. 

5 Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon 



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it : and when his armour-bearer saw that Saul 
was dead, he fell likewise upon his own sword, 
and died with him. 

6 On the morrow, when the Philistines came 
to strip the slain, they found Saul, and his three 
sons, and his armour-bearer fallen on Mount 
Gilboa. 

7 And they cut off Saul's head, and stripped 
off his armour, and sent into the land of the 
Philistines round about, to publish it in the 
temples of their Idols, and among their people. 

8 And they put his armour in the temple of 
Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the 
wall of Beth-shan. 

9 When the people of Jabesh-gilead heard of 
these things, their valiant men went in the night 
and took down the body of Saul, and brought 
it to jabesh, where they buried the bones of 
Saul at the foot of a tree, and fasted seven 
days. 

10 Now it came to pass on the third day that 
a man came from the camp of Saul with his 
clothes rent, and earth upon his head, and he 
told David that the soldiers of Israel had fled 
from the battle on Mount Gilboa, and that Saul 
was dead, and his sons also were dead. 

1 1 Then David rent his clothes, as did all those 
who were with himjand they wept, and mourned. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 6i 

and fasted. For David had ever honoured Saul, 
and ever loved his son Jonathan. 

12 Then David took his harp, and lamented 
with this song over Saul, and over Jonathan 
his son : 

13 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high 
places : how are the mighty fallen ! 

14 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the 
streets of Askalon, lest the daughters of the 
Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the un- 
circumcised triumph ! 

15 Behold it is a greater grief, O Saul ! and is 
it not a deeper shame, O my brother Jonathan ! 
that the daughters of those whose parts are all 
as nature ordered them, should sing and beat 
timbrels of joy at' the fall of those who were 
circumcised before the Lord ! 

16 Ye daughters of Israel weep over Saul, who 
clothed you in scarlet,' with other delights, who 
put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. 

17 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of 
the battle! Thus sang David with his holy 
harp. 

18 After this David inquired of the Lord, 
saying. Shall I go up into any of the cities of 
Judah ? 

19 And the Lord said unto him, Go up. 

20 And David said, Whither shall I go up ? 



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21 And God said. Unto Hebron. 

22 So David went up thither, and his two 
wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abi- 
gail, Nabal's wife, the Carmelite, as Jehovah 
had directed. 

23 And the men of Judah came, and there 
they anointed David over the house of Judah ; 
and David became King in Hebron. 



N' 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

I Sithroti hireth himself in Rabhah to a deaier in dried frttits, 
2 Milkah hireth herself to a gardener's wife in gardens round 
a Temple. 3 Also she doeth some work in pottery. 4 TTie 
child Giiead piayetk at times in the Temple among the Idols. 

ow besides many choice ripe fruits, there was 
a great dealing in the City of Rabbah with 
fruits that had been dried, especially raisins from 
grapes brought out of Chorazin and Bethsaida, 
in Lower Galilee. 

2 And when Sithron offered himself to aid 
in carrying fruits about for sale, the dealer, 
whose name was Kalkor, asked if he liked 
dried fruits ? 

3 And Sithron answered, Not much, as he 
greatly preferred fruits that were fresh. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 63 

4 So Kalkor engaged him to carry about 
dried fruits, but he was never to unpack those 
which came from Chorazin or Bethsaida. 

5 Bearing in mind the kindness of Eglon- 
ekri, the thought came to Milkah that perad- 
venture one of the priests of the temple in 
Rabbah might know something of him. 

6 And this was so ; and the priest to whom 
she went spake for her to the. high priest, 
and she became a servant to the wife of the 
chief gardener of the gardens around the great 
Temple of Baal. 

7 And it often chanced that when the gar- 
dener's wife took women with her to cleanse 
the Idols, and the altar, and the fioors and 
windows from the dust of the hot seasons, that 
she took Milkah among the rest. 

8 And the child Gilead, being now nearly 
four years old,, was allowed to run by her side, 

■ carrying a flower to offer to one or other of the 
Idols. 

9 And when Milkah told the child he should 
not, in case it might be thought not good that 
the child of an Israelite should do this, the 
gardener's wife only smiled, and said. Let be. 

10 This was only in the early time of the day, 
and when there were no rites or ceremonies 
going on ; so the child Gilead would sometimes 



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remain till all were gone, and he then' walked 
about the temple alone, looking up at the Idols : 

II And he would also look at their huge 
gilded feet ; and once he took up a little of the 
soft white sand that lay upon the marUe floor, 
and cast it up over the knees of one of the 
Idols, wishing, as well as fearing, that the Idol 
would awake, and that its great voice would say 
something : 

1 3 When the child told his mother of this, and 
she told his father, it was thought that Gilead 
should not again be left alone in the temple : 

13 For, said Sithron, sadly, The Idol of the 
Sun can tell us nothing, if it desired to do so. 
I would that it could tell us something, or that 
any God, who is not on the earth, would tell us 
something : 

14 The Jewish people are a great people; 
verily from the most ancient of ;^es have they 
been a great people ; and the more so frcwn their 
belief in a personal communion with God upon 
earth; and in his constant and especial care in the 
greatest things ; yea, and in the smallest things. 

15 But seeing that our religion, though, in 
some things, we do so much differ from our own 
people, is hated by the Ammonites, and many 
other nations, for the slaughtering wars waged 
against them, let not the child risk trouble. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 6S 

i6 And Milkah promised to have care of this: 
but she could not at all times be with Gilead : 

17 For besides Milkah's work in the Great 
Temple, she had hired herself to a potter and 
artificer in earthenware for some hours in the day, 
to mould cups in clay, and vessels to hold flowers, 
as she had some natural skill in such arts. 

1 8 So the child Gilead would sometimes escape 
from his mother's side, and steal into the Great 
Temple when none else were there ; 

19 And he would stand beneath an Idol, tremb- 
ling with hopes that it might say some kind 
words to him, or look down upon him kindly. 

20 And it came to pass one day that the child 
spake within himself to an Idol ; and said softly 
within himself. My lord, art thou like unto me 
under the garment folds of thy left arm ? 

21 For Sithron, my father, often looketh 
thereon sadly, and speaketh of some great 
Covenant with a greater God than any here. 

22 And if thou bearest a scar like unto mine, 
O great golden Image! now do I pray thee 
look down kindly upon me, a little child. 

23 Then Gilead fell asleep at the foot of the 
Idol, and he saw, in a dream, that the great 
Image smiled down upon him as he slept 



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N' 



CHAPTER XIX. 

I David in Hdiron. a Abner undeth to Dtcvid, and aiuseti 
Ish-iioshtth to bring back David's wife Michal to him. 
3 Abner and Ish-boshtth are murdered. 4 Davtd is made . 
King of Israel^ and taketh more wives and amcabiKts. 
5 He imiitih the PkiUstines ly a stratagem, and dancelh 
indecently before the ark. 6 David sendeth messengers to the 
King of the Ammonites, by whom they are treated with great 
insult. 7 David sendeth Joab to lay si^ to Rabbah. 

ow there were bom unto David in Hebron, 
a son by Ahinoam, and another son by 
Abigail, and four other sons by his four other 
wives. 

2 Between the house of Saul and the house of 
David there was still war ; but after the quarrel 
between Abner, who had been the chief captain 
of the hosts of Saul, and Ish-bosheth, the son of 
Saul, a messenger was sent to David by Abner, 
offering to bring all Israel to him. 

3 But David answered, Thou shalt not see 
my face except thou first bring back Saul's 
daughter Michal unto me. 

4 And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, 
the son of Saul, saying, Deliver me my wife 
Michal, which I espoused to me for two himdred 
foreskins of the Philistines. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 67 

5 And Ish-bosheth sent and took her from 
her husband, even from PhaJtiel, the son of 
Gaish. 

6 And Phaltiel her husband went with her 
along, weeping behind her. Then said Abner 
to him, Go, return, 

7 And he returned ; for he well knew, if he 
did not, he would presently be unable. 

8 After this did Abner speak with the elders 
of Israel, and in the ears of other elders; and 
then he went to David. 

9 After he had spoken with David, he de- 
parted in peace from Hebron ; but when Joab, 
the chief captain of David's armies, heard this, 
he murmured greatly, for he feared the visit had 
not been in good faith : 

10 Besides this fear, Joab knew that Abner 
had slain his brother Asahel in the battle at 
Gibeon. 

1 1 So, when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab 
caused his' brother Abishai to conceal himself in 
the gate, and having taken Abner aside to speak 
quietly in the gate, behold he smote him under 
the fifth rib, so that he died. 

1 2 And David lifted up his voice in great la- 
mentation ; and said unto his servants. Know ye 
not that there is a prince and a great man fallen 
this day in Israel ? 

F 2 



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1 3 Those who had slain Abner did the King 
denounce as wicked men, saying, The Lord shall 
reward the doer of evil according to his wicked- 
ness ; but David did not seek to punish Joaband 
Abishai. He left that to t^e Lord. 

14 But David lamented over the death of 
Abner ; and of Ish-bosheth, who also was found 
murdered. And no one enquired as to this. 

1 5 Then came all the tribes of Israel to David 
in Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and 
thy flesh ; and they anointed David King over 
Israel. 

16 So the King and his chief men went to dwell 
in Jerusalem, David being thirty years old when 
he began to reign. 

1 7 And David said he perceived that the Lord 
had established him King over Israel ; and that 
the Lord had exalted his Kingdom for His people 
Israel's sake. 

18 And David took him more concubines and 
wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from 
Hebron ; and there were yet bom eleven more 
children unto David. 

19 And the King rejoiced in his life, and the 
fullness thereof. 

20 But when the Philistines heard that the peo- 
ple had appointed their enemy David to be King 
over the warlike Jews, they gathered against him, 



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THE STAR^TRICKBN. 69 

foreseeing danger ; and they spread themselves 
over the valley of Rephaim, which was not far 
from Jerusalem. 

21 And David inquired of the Lord, saying, 
Shall I go up to the Philistines ? Wilt thou 
deliver them into my hand ? And the Lord said 
unto David, Go up : for I will doubtless deliver 
the Philistines into thy hand. 

22 So David went, and smote them, and they 
fled away, leaving many I dols behind them, which 
David and his men burned. 

23 But the Philistines, though they were a pas- 
toral people, were yet a people that would fight, 
and they again offered battle in the same valley to 
the warlike Jews; and when David again inquired 
of the Lord, the Lord said. Thou shalt not go up ; 
but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon 
them over against the mulberry trees. 

24 And let it be when thou hearest a sound 
in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou 
shalt bestir thyself; for then shall the Lord go 
out before thee, and smite the host of the 
Philistines. 

25 And David adopted the strategy which the 
Lord had devised and commanded ; and David 
smote the Philistines from Gebu unto Gazar. 

26 After this, the chosen men of Israel set the 
ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out 



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JO SITHRON, 

of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah ; 
and Uzza and Ahis, the sons of Abinadab, drove 
the new cart. 

27 And David, and all the house of Israel, 
played on instruments before the Lord, who 
seemed ever present with them on the earth ; and 
they played on all manner of instruments made 
of fir- wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and 
on timbrels, and on comets, and on cymbals. 

28 And David danced before the ark with all 
his might ; and David was girded with a linen 
ephod : and his wife Michal, the daughter of 
Saul, looked through a window, as the ark of the 
Lord came into the city, and saw King David 
leaping and dancing before the Lord ; and she 
despised him in her heart ' 

29 So when David returned to bless his house- 
hold, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to 
meet him, and she said, How glorious was the 
King of Israel to-day, who uncovered himself in 
the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one 
of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth him- 
self. 

30 And David said unto Michal, It was before 
the Lord, who chose me in preference to thy 
father Saul, of whom I obtained thee for two 
hundred foreskins ; and in preference over all 
thy house. . 



1 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 7' 

31 Therefore will I play before the Lord, and 
■will be base in mine own sight : and of the 

ciaidservants of whom thou tellest, of them shall 
be had in honour. ' 

32 Therefore Mlchal the daughter of Saul, had 
10 child unto the day of her death ; for seeing 
he had been purchased of her father at so high 
ind unusual a price as that of the mutilation of 
wo hundred Philistine men, it was meet she 
hould be punished bythe Lord with barrenness. 

33 After this, David smote the pastoral Philis- 
ines, and he smpte Moab ; also David smote 
iadadezer, the King of Tobah, and took from 
lim all his chariots, and horsemen, and thousands 
f footmen ; and when the Syrians came to aid 
lie King of Tobah, David led forth the warlike 
ews, and they slew of the Syrians twenty-two 
housand ; and the Syrians became his servants : 

34 And all Israel said that the Lord preserved 
David whithersoever he went, and whatsoever 
le did. 

35 And it came to pass after this, that the King 
f the Children of Ammon died, and Hanun his 
on reigned in his stead. 

36 And David was minded to show kindness 
D Hanun, in memory of his father's kindness ; so 
e sent servants to the land of Ammon, even 
nto their capital city, Rabbah. 



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37 And Sithron and Milkah were troubled 
when they heard of this. 

38 But when those servants arrived at Rabbah, 
the princes of the Ammonites said unto Hanun, 
Thinkest thou that David doth this to honour 
thy father, and that he sendeth true comforters 
to thee ? 

39 Think rather of his invasions at the head of 
the warlike Jews, against people of many lands, 
and of his slaughters and pillages; and now think 
rather that he sendeth these men to search thy 
city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it. 

40 So Hanun, King of Rabbah, remembering 
all David's wars upon other nations, and his 
slaughters and plunders, ordered David's mes- 
sengers to be shaved of one half of their beards, 
and their garments to be cut off in the middle, 
even to their buttocks, and then sent away. 

41 Nowwhen these messengers were returning, 
David heard of what had been done, and ordered 
them not to come to Jerusalem, but to tarry at 
Jericho until their beards were grown ; 

42 And David's wrath was greatly kindled 
against King Hanun and the people of Ammon, 
and he sent Joab with a host of mighty men of 
valour, to lay si^e to Rabbah. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



CHAPTER XX. 

1 7%e head gardener in Raibah dmreth Milkah, and jealous 
women plot against htr. a They accuse the child Gilead of 
profaning the Temple. 3 People seize Gilead to bum him. 
4 Milkah saveth Gilead, and seeketh the high priest, who 
sendeth for Sithron. 5 Heshlag, the high priest, speaketh 
of the God of Israel, and the Gods of Rabbath-Ammon, 
6 King Hanun commandeth Sithron to be brought before 
him, and having listened io Sithron, sendeth him away 
with presents. 7 Joah with the host of the valiant Jews 
arriveth before the walls of the city. 

'Phe head gardener of the gardens around the 
Great Temple, seeing that Milkah was a 
beautiful young woman, desired her greatly, and 
often sought to approach her : 

2 But although Milkah always avoided this, 
and seemed not to perceive it, some of the other 
women who attended to the cleansing of the tem- 
ple and its precious vessels and adornments, be- 
came jealous of her ; 

3 And they accused tiie child Gilead of throw- 
ing stones at the I mage of the Sun, even of Baal ! 
though they knew he had only cast up a little 
white sand. 

4 Then arose all the men who worked in the 
gardens, and the women who attended to cleans- 
ing the Temple and its vessels and adornments, 



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and they laid hands upon the little child, and 
began to kindle a fire to bum him. 

5 But Milkah ran into the midst of them, and 
she seized and dragged a flaming bough out 
of the fire they had kindled, and beat about on 
all sides, so that she bore the child away out of 
the midst of them. 

6 Then hastened she to Heshlag, the high 
priest, and cast herself at his feet, and told all ; 

7 Even of the head gardener, and of the 
jealous women, and of the child playing with 
a litde sand ; everything told she in truthful 
words. 

8 And Heshlag, the high priest, frowned ; but 
presently he seemed as he would smile, and 
gazing in her face, he told her to take the child 
to the place where his father abode, and then to 
send Sithron to him. 

9 So Milkah carried the child Gilead to the 
house of Kalkor, the dried fruit-seller ; and 
Sithron went and appeared before the high 

■ priest 

10 I understand all this matter, said the high 
priest ; place this child safe out of sight for a 
while. I have heard about thee from Eglon- 
ekri, and from others. 

1 1 Thy father was Zelopholek, the astrologer 
of Hebron, and thou wert driven thence because 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 7S 

thou wert said to be mad about the stars ; also 
because thou didst cause a little circle of skin to 
be cut from thy child's elbow, by deluding an 
aged priest as to the usual rite. 

1 2 All this is true, answered Sithron ; and if 
thy servant may speak to thee, he will confess 
as to the nature of his madness. 

1 3 Do this, said the high priest, and I will listen. 

14 So Sithron told Heshlag all he thought 
about the stars. 

1 5 That is well, said the high priest, when 
Sithron had ceased speaking ; I wonder not that 
thy people should call thee mad ; 

1 6 For see how all those worlds, thou fanciest 
to be above us, make the constant attentions 
of thy God to this one world the more unlike 
ordinary sense in a God of the Heavens, and all 
that shine there : 

17 Ye children of Israel are in sooth a very 
strange people as to your idea of a God, for your 
God seemeth to be very seldom up in Heaven ; 
but he is almost always down upon the earth ; 
and upon a very small part of the earth, even 
the land of the Israelitish people. 

18 Thou art an Israelite, and thou knowest all 
this to be as I say ; 

19 For besides conversations with thy earliest 
patriarchs two or three thousand years ago, was 



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not thy God continually in Personal communion 
with Moses and with Samuel, and with Joshua, 
even as now with your David ? 

20 Did they not speak to thy God in person, 
and obtain answers, and orders, and advice, as 
to little customs, little rites, and great wars and 
slaughters ? Deny it if thou canst. 

21 Was not thy God always at hand when 
needed, as if he had been in the next field, or the 
next house, just over head, or close to the ear ? 

22 Is it not thus, to this day ? for doth not 
David continually make inquiry of the Lord ; 
and doth not his God immediately reply to 
David ? Doth not David say this is so ? 

23 Of a truth the God of the warlike children 
of Israel seemeth to be evermore down here, 
not up there ! 

24 I have desired thee to speak, young man ; 
why dost thou remain silent, thou who art an 
Israelite ? 

25 And Sithron only sighed deeply ; but an- 
swer made he none. 

26 Again spake Heshlag, the high priest of 
Rabbath-Ammon, and said. Your great law- 
giver, Moses, hath declared that yom- God came 
down from heaven, and alighted upon a moun- 
tain to talk with him ; and visibly ; and to dic- 
tate Commandments : 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 77 

27 And all your people of Israel believe this, 
even unto the present day. 

28 But our chief God attendeth to the whole of 
this Earth as well as Rabbath-Ammon ; and we 
never expect the Sun of Heaven to come down 
here to us, to talk with us, and advise us, and 
fight on our side : 

29 So we set up his glorious Image in our 
Temples ; and we sing hymns to it, and to any 
other idols of Powers above, and we send up 
incense, in hopes our prayers may be heard, and 
our wants known. 

30 Dost thou think, O child of Israel, that the 
Spirit of Baal, even the Sun thou beholdest up 
yonder, would ever come down, or send a ser- 
vant down, to a small corner of this our earth, 
with an order to bake one of its Kings like a 
hard cake ; and then glut and poison the floor 
of this king's palace with living and dying 
frogs, — the air of his city with thick clouds of 
flies; and then turn the dust of his lands into 
lice, because this king was not as dough that 
could be kneaded, after such hardening } 

31 Answer me, young Israelite, if thou canst : 
which is the true and greater God, — the one who 
hath been ever busy during two or three thousand 
years with a people in one comer of the earth ? 
— or the God who hath for unknown millions 



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of years given life and motion to the whole 
world ? 

32 Then answered Sithron, and said, Besides 
giving life and motion to other worlds in some 
of the stars ; for this thought, O high priest of 
Rabbath-Ammon ! hath long been the cause of 
thy servant's madness, if indeed that charge 
against him be a true charge, for so it seemeth. 

33 Then did Heshlag the high priest bid his 
servants bring wine arid ripe fruits, and set them 
before Sithron. 

34 But while Sithron sat in silence unable to eat 
or to drink, for his heart was too high, there came 
a messenger from the King commanding Sithron 
to appear before him. 

35 So Sithron went, and presented himself 
humbly before King Hanun. 

36 I have been told many things about thee, 
said the King, and am well pleased that the 
servants of the Temple did not burn thy child, 
for I believe no profane acts were intended by 
thy child or by thy wife. 

37 But tell me all thou hast within, about the 
stars. My chief astrologer is just dead,, and I 
hear thou sayest other things than he, or thy 
father before thee, said. 

38 Then Sithron spake his thoughts about the ■ 
stars. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 79 

39 When he ceased speaking, Hanun smiled, 
and said to those around him. This young fellow 
is, no doubt somewhat mad, but there is no evil 
in him, and there is much good. 

40 Then the King ordered his servants to 
bring a robe, that had been newly made for his 
chief astrologer that was dead ; and he gave it 
to Sithron. 

41 It was a robe of dark purple silk, covered 
with silver stars, some large ; and others exceed- 
ing small, even like points of fire and light 

42 And to Milkah, the wife of Sithron, who 
had with such good bravery saved her child 
from being burned, King Hanun sent bracelets 
of fine gold, and a necklace of pearls. 

43 Now it came to pass as Sithron was re- 
turning through the streets of Rabbah, on his 
way to his wife, who with Gilead their child 
was now dwelling at the dry fruit store of Kal- 
kor his master, there was a great tumult rising, 
and the voices of many people in alarm. 

44 And the people said that the sentries who 
were upon the city walls declared there was an 
armed host coming to lay siege to Rabbah, even 
a host led by Joab the captain of the armies of 
the conquering king of Israel. 

45 So when Sithron entered the house of his 
master, he found Milkah in much fear ; for said 



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she, If Joab take the city, we shall be found, 
and sent to the priests of Hebron. 

46 When Kalkor heard these words, he said, 
This may be : give me therefore the King's 
presents to keep secret for you ; even the robe 
with stars, and the bracelets and necklace. 

47 And Sithron gave those things into the 
hands of Kalkor to lay by in safety; for the 
tumult b^an to increase throughout the city, 
although the King had many soldiers, and the 
walls and gates were of great strength. 

48 Meanwhile did Hanun exhort his soldiers 
to be valiant ; and in like manner did Heshlag 
exhort the people. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

I While Joab hesitgetk Rabbah, the Xingof Israel cemmittetk 
adultery with Bathrsheba. 2 Uriah, h^ husband, sent for 
by David, to cover the adultery ; but Uriah resistefh this, 
3 Uriah carrieth to Joab a Utter from David, to bring 
about the death of Uriah. 4 litis is accomplished, and 
David taketh Bath-sheba to wife. 

ow it came to pass, while Joab was destroying 
numbers of the Children of Ammon, be- 
fore Rabbah, and great numbers also of Syrians, 
who came to aid them, David had tarried still 
in Jerusalem. 

2 And it came to pass, in an evening tide, 



N' 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 8i 

that David arose from his bed, being over- 
heated, and walked upon the roof of his house ; 
and he saw a woman washing herself; and the 
■woman was very beautiful to look upon. 

3 And David sent and inquired after the 
woman. And he was told that she was Bath- 
sheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. 

4 And David sent messengers, who took her ; 
and she came in unto the king, and he lay with 
her, and she then returned unto her house, Uriah 
her husband being away at the war. 

5 And Bath-sheba conceived ; and she sent 
unto the king, saying, I am with child by thee. 

6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, Send me 
Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to 
David. 

7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David 
demanded of him how Joab did, and how the 
people did, and how the war prospered ? 

8 And David told Uriah to go down to his 
own house ; for he wished the child of Bath- 
sheba to be thought a child by her husband ; 
and there followed Urijdi a mess of meat from 
the king. 

9 But Uriah went not down to his house, but 
slept at the door of the king's house ; so the 
mess of meat was of no avail. 

lo And when this was told to David, he said 



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unto Uriah, Camest thou not from a journey ? 
Why then did'st thou not go down to thy house ? 
I r And Uriah,being a holy soldier of the Lord, 
said unto David, The Ark, and Israel, and 
Judah abide in tents, and my lord Joab and the 
servants of my lord the king are encamped in 
the open field ; shall I then go into mine house 
to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife ? 

12 As thou livest, and as thy sou! liveth, I will 
not do this thing. 

13 And David said to Uriah, Tarry in Jeru- 
salem this day, and to-morrow I will let thee 
depart. 

1 4 And on the morrow when David had called 
Uriah, he did eat and drink before the king ; and 
the king made him drunk ; but nevertheless in 
the evening Uriah went not down to his house, 
but lay on his bed among the servants of his 
lord the king. 

15 So David, in the morning, wrote a letter to 
Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah ; 

16 And David wrote in the letter, saying, Set 
ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, 
and retire ye from him, so that he may be smit- 
ten and die. 

17 Therefore, when Joab next assaulted the 
city of Rabbah, he assigned Uriah unto a place 
among the most vaHant men. 



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THE STAR'STRICKEN. 8} 

1 8 And the soldiers of Rabbah came forth, and 
fought against the soldiers of Joab, and there fell 
a number of the servants of David ; and Uriah, 
the husband of Bath-sheba, died among them. 

19 Then Joab sent and told David all the 
things concerning the war ; and that some of the 
king's servants had been slain, and that Uriah, 
the Hittite, was also dead. 

20 And when Bath-sheba, the wife of Uriah, 
heard that her husband was dead, she mourned 
for her husband. 

2 1 And when the mourning was past, David 
sent and fetched her to his house, and she be- 
came his wife, and bare him a son, even the son 
she had conceived when the king first com- 
mitted adultery with her. 

22 Now the thing that David had done dis- 
pleased the Lord ; but not deeply. 

23 For the terrible threats of Nathan, the 
prophet, who was sent by the Lord unto David, 
that the sword should never depart from his 
house, because he had slain Uriah, and taken 
the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be his wife, 
were not really visited upon him ; 

24 For the Lord, as Nathan said, hath put 
away thy sin, so that David should not die : 
but that the child that had been born of Bath- 
sheba should die instead, as seemed just 

G 2 



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25 So the Lord struck the child that Uriah's 
wife bare unto David, and it was very sick, and 
though David prayed in great grief and fasted, 
the child died on the seventh day; seeming just. 

26 Then David fasted and wept no longo*, 
saying, Can I bring him back again ? 

27 And David comforted Bath-sheba, his wife, 
and went in unto her, and lay with her, and she 
bare another son, and he called his name Solo- 
mon, and the Lord loved him. 

28 Now these things being heard of by Sithron 
and Milkah, they marvelled exceedingly as to 
the man said to be after God's own heart : 

29 For besides the number of David's wives 
and concubines, they marvelled a;t many other 
things, even lopking back unto the days of 
Moses; whose son had not been circumcised till 
Zipporah, his wife, took a sharp stone by the 
road side, and performed the act of blood. 

30 Then did Zipporah cry unto Moses that he 
was a bloody husband ; even Moses, who was 
soon to be the chosen servant of the Ltx'd. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

1 A messenger from Joab informeth David of his sucass in 
the siege, and caiielh on Dmiid to come in great battle-array. 
2 Sithron preparttk to give himself up to the emissaries of 
the priests of Hebron ; but Milkah proposeth they should 
seerete themselves. 3 Sithron goeth to his master Kalhor 
for the robe and jewels, but Kalkor denieth him, and casteth 
insult on Milkah. 4 Sithron and Milkah secrete them- 
selves. 5 The great battle-array of the King of Israel is 
beheld from the walls of Rabbah. 

KTow from Joab came a messenger to the king 
of Israel, counselling that his lord the king 
should leave Bath-sheba, and all his other wives 
and women, in Jerusalem, and come to Rabbah 
in great batde-array, and reap the glory of the 
fall thereof, lest the glory should be given to the 
name of Joab. 

2 The tidings of preparations for the coming 
of the King of Israel being brought to Rabbah 
by merchants and others, Sithron prepared to 
give himself up to such of the secret emissaries of 
the priests of Hebron as he knew to be in the city ; 

3 For then, said he to Milkah, the pursuit (A 
you and our child Gilead will cease, and if they 
put me to death, I shall not feel it, but rejoice 
in saving you, and in thus ending the life I lead, 
as of a hunted creature of the woods. 

4 But Milkah could not hear Sithron speak 



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thus ; and she urged him to get a bag of dried 
fruits from his master Kalkor, and pay for it 
with the necklace which the King of Rabbah 
had sent to her : 

5 And then they could find some old ruin, or 
other place among the deserted outskirts of the 
city, and there hide themselves till they found 
means to escape to some other land. 

6 So Sithron her husband, not very willingly, 
nor indeed very hopefully as to their safe hiding 
place, went to Kalkor, sitting within the walls of 
his house, and asked him for the robe and the 
necklace which had been placed in his care. 

7 But said Sithron, as for the bracelets, thou 
can'st retain one of them in payment of a bag 
of dried fruits, which I pray thee to give me 
forthwith. 

8 Hearing these words, Kalkor sat silent 
awhile, and then ordered one of his servants to 
bring to Sithron a large bag of dried fruits. 

9 And when the bag was brought and given 
to Sithron, his master Kalkor said, There is the 
bag of dried fruits, and I bestow it upon you of 
my own free grace, as I see you and your wife 
intend to leave me. 

lo But the necklace, said Sithron, and the 
robe, presented to my wife Milkah, and to me, 
where are they ? 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 87 

1 1 Then Kalkor rose from his seat, as if in 
great wrath, and said, Begone, robber of the 
king's palace ! I know nothing of the dark cor- 
ner wherein you have concealed such things. 

12 Then said Sithron, very mildly, Thou 
knowest well that those things were given to me 
by the king, and if they have been stolen, it is 
not I that am the thief 

13 Hearing these words, Kalkor smote upon 
the wall, and said. Begone from my sight, and 
quickly, thou mad starer-up at stars, else will I 
order thee to be beaten, and that bag of dried 
fruits taken from thee ! 

14 But Sithron stood still, with deep sighs. 
And he then said to Kalkor, Do not, I pray thee, 
think these my sad sighs are for the things that 
have been stolen from me, but for the falsehood 
and the wickedness of mankind. 

15 And having said these words, Sithron 
turned meekly away, and passed out at the door. 

16 But the wrath of Kalkor being kindled at 
whatSithron had last said,he followed him to the 
threshold, calling after him, I have heard q{ other 
necklaces and ornaments given to thy wife Mil- 
kah ; — the head gardener of the Temple had not 
her smiles for nought ! 

17 Having thus called out in his rage, Kalkor 
returned within the door-way ; but suddenly he 



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saw Sithron coming back with quite another face, 
so that Kalkor scarcely knew it was he, and was 
frightened at his eyes. 

1 8 And Sithron leapt upon Kalkor, and seized 
him by both his ears, and thrust him backwards 
against the wall ; 

19 And Sithron then whirled Kalkor round, 
and flung him against the door-way, so that 
Kalkor fell upon the floor howling and gasfang, 
for he was a heavy man. 

20 Then ran several of Kalkor's servants inco 
the room, and took up Kalkor, who ordered 
them, as soon as he could speak, to seize Sithron, 
for he had made off with a bag of dried fruits 
for which he had not paid any money. 

2r But Sithron was gone; and although the 
servants pursued him, they could not overtdce 
him ; for Sithron, being light of limb and fleeit 
of foot, was presendy out of sight. 

22 Now alt the people in the city were in agita- 
tion, and all the soldiers and men capable of 
bearing arms were in motion, and there is much 
consternation because of the approach of the 
warlike King of Israel, and his array of battle. 

23 Foralthoughthecityhad beennear!y tafceft 
more than once by Joab, die danger now seemed 
greatly increased. 

24 So without observation, Sithron and Mtl- 



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THE STARSTRJCKBN. 89 

kah, with their child Gilead, found secret shelter 
at the foot of an old ruined tower, near the in- 
ner walls of an obscure part of the city. 

25 And the sound of the coming of David, 
king of I'sraeJ, was very great ; yea the coming 
in wrath, and- in great array of battle of the man 
who was said by his people to be after God's 
own heart 

26 And this sound of David's coming was like 
the sound of mighty waters rolling onwards from 
the desert ; and like the voice of many thunder- 
clouds ; and like the four winds in their fury, 
when the tempest singeth a psalm of destruction : 

27 And as the battle-array of the King ad- 
vanced nearer to the walls of Rabbah, it joined 
and enfolded all the army of joab, which was 
lost in it. 

28 And the sound of many great trumpets, 
and of cymbals, and of all instruments of terrible 
sound, was heard with tremblings of the air, and 
of the hearts of the people within the walls of 
Rabbah. 

29 And when it was noon-tide, the soldiers, 
and all the armed people that stood on the outer 
walls of the city, beheld a thousand chariots of 
polished brass, with the blazing face of the sun 
retorted from the face of each of the chariots of 
polished brass ; 



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30 And in each chariot stood a mighty captain 
of the great battle array of the warlike King, 
lifting up the flashing blade of his spear, while 
dazzling shields, and points of otherspears flashed 
from those who stood close behind him. 

31 And in the centre came the war-chariot of 
the King of Israel, a large war-chariot of bur- 
nished gold, wherefrom the sun looked glaring 
with a larger face than from the polished breast- 
plates of all the other of the thousand chariots 
that came with David before thewalls of Rabbah. 

32 And all those who stood on the walls of 
the city, beheld the coming of the warlike King 
of Israel, like unto the coming of the great day 
of Judgment 

.33 And Hanun, King of Rabbah, who stood 
among them, knew as his blinded eyes closed 
before all those blazing suns that were rolling 
onwards in a half-circle towards Rabbah, that 
both he and Rabbah now beheld their own sun 
for the last time. 

34 But Hanun spake no word. 

35 Neither did Heshl^ utter any word. 

36 But the soldiers and the people breathed 
low sounds as of a stifling sea. 



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THE STAS-STRICKBN. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



I A captain of hosts offereth counsel to David, and a priest 
from Hebron offereth counsel also. 2 Silhron, with his 
wife and child, are starving; and Sitkron, being lame, 
Milkah goeth forth to seek for food. Milkah is seized by 
secret emissaries ; hut her life is spared, providing she will 
lead them to their hiding-place. 4 Milkah leadetk them 
astray. 5 She rtacheth the hiding-place, and findeth the 
child Gilead is dead. 6 Sithron and Milkah bury Gilead. 

VTow one of the capt^ns of the hosts of David 
"^' was a wise man in his generation, and he 
stepped out of his brazen chariot and came to 
the King of Israel : 

2 And he said, Let my Lord the King listen 
to the words of his servant, and grant a few days 
to the people of Rabbah to open their gates ; so 
that their city may not be taken with fire and 
devastation : 

3 For the city containeth many riches in gold 
and in silver vessels in the King of Kabbah's 
palaces, and in the Temples and great houses : 

4 And, in especial, they have great images in 
gold and in silver of their Gods, which would be 
destroyed by fire, instead of being carried away 
to Jerusalem, and melted and moulded for holy 
vessels, and for goblets and cups in the house of 
the King of Israel 



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5 Then David answered and said, Let it be 
made known to the people of Rabbah that a few 
days shall be granted before I assault the city 
with fire and devastation, if afterwards they open 
wide all the great gates ; 

6 And also if they bring out to me in the 
meanwhile, Hanun, King of Rabbah, on whom I 
win heap goodly punishment for the insult of 
shaving, and of cutting off the hinder half of the 
garments of ray messengers, and sending them 
back to me with shame and mockery. 

7 Presently after David had thus spoken, 
there came before him a priest from Hebron, 
and said, Let the ear of my Lcffd the King heAr, 
that somewhere in the city of Rabbah, a blas- 
phemer, a reviler, and a mocker of Jehovah's 
most holy Covenant of Circumcision, hath been 
knowingly harboured, together with his wife, 
and their whelp, the still uncircumcised child : 

8 The man's name is Sithron : let him also, 
O King, with his wife and their whelp, be 
brought forth, and delivered up to thee ; and 
also Heshlag, the high priest, who hath shown 
much favour towards them, 

9 And David answeredand said, I have heard 
of this great iniquity, this breaking of the fii^ 
great Covenant of our Lord God ; not only 
in Hebron, but in Jerusalem hath this iniquity 



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THE STAR-STRICKEf^. 93 

in the sight erf" Jehovah and .of the children of 
Israel been talked about loudly. 

10 Therefore, let it be known to the people of 
Rabbah, that they must bring forth unto me this 
Sithron, and his wife, and their heathen child, 
together with Hanun the king, and Heshlag 
their high priest, or I will presently destroy 
their city with fire and sword, and every living 
thing within it. 

1 1 Now when these words of the warlike King 
of Israel were made known far and wide in the 
besieged city, there was great consternation, but 
also many disputes : 

12 For, said some, How know we what this 
David will do when once he is within our gates ? 

13 And others said. Our gates are strong gates, 
and our walls are high and strong walls, and 
our brave captains and soldiers are all complete 
and natural men, and not like these mutilated 
Israelites ; and as we have several times beaten 
back the mighty man of valour Joab, why may 
not we now beat back this circumcised son of 
Jesse, the son of all sorts of circumcised Jews ? 

14 And others said, Our Kii^ is a good king, 
and a king mu<^ beloved ; and how can we give 
him up to this David, who hath hanged many 
Kings upon trees, and wrought divers cruelties 
upon them beforehand ? 



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15 And others said, What know we of the 
hiding-place of this Sithron, who is also de- 
manded of us ? and what care we that his child 
hath had a little circle of skin cut from his elbow, 
instead of being barbarously cut from the infant 
organs of generation ? 

1 6 As for the King of Rabbah, himself, it 
can be no marvel that he went not forth unto 
David. 

17 Now Sithron and Milkah, in their obscure 
hiding-place at the foot of the ruined tower, 
heard not at first of these things, and as Sith- 
ron had lost nearly all the dried fruits, in his 
flight from the servants of Kalkor, and had 
been hurt by a fall among broken stones, so 
that he was lame, Milk^lh went forth to 
seek for food, because they were all faint with 
hunger. 

18 But while Milkah was seeking for bread all 
the morning, among the people who were hurry- 
ing hither and thither, she was recognized by 
some of the secret emissaries from the priests of 
Hebron : 

19 And presently Milkah was seized, and hur- 
ried away to a house in a by-street 

20 And the men demanded of her where Sith- 
ron, her husband, and their uncircumcised child 
were hidden ; 



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THE SrAll.STRICKE!f. 95 

2 1 But she would not tell them ; so they pre- 
pared to put her to death: 

22 And they kindled a fire to burn her; and 
took her to the fire, and burnt away half of her 
long hair. 

23 But Milkah would not answer them : 

24 During three days would she make no an- 
swer, though the fire was ready all that time. 

25 The men then took counsel together. 

26 After a while, one came to Milkah and said, 
We promise to do our best with the great priests 
to save thy life, and also the lives of Slthron, 
thy husband, and thy outcast child, if thou wilt 
lead us to the place where they lie concealed ? 

27 And Milkah answered, and said, Give me 
some food, to eat by the way, for else I shall 
not have strength to lead you, as the place is 
some way off. 

28 So, the men gave Milkah bread, and water 
to drink, and dates to eat by the way ; and then 
she went forth, telling the men to follow at a 
little distance, lest Sithron should see them 
coming. 

29 And Milkah led the men on through by- 
ways of the city, hour after hour, seeming to 
have lost her way, until nightfall : 

30 And when the night grew dark, and the men 
waxed angry, she eluded them, and hid herself. 



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31 And wien they had gfiven up searching for 
her, and had turned back in great anger, Milkah 
came forth, very faint, but she was able to find 
Sithron and her child. 

32 And as Milkah came near, she held out h^ 
sleeve full of dates, for she had eaten none her- 
self, saying. Here is food. 

33 But when Milkah came dose into the dark 
recess within the foot of die trokeo tower, she 
found the boy was dead. 

34 And the arms of the dead chHd were cold 
and stiff round the neck <rf Sidiron his father, so 
that they could not be removed. 

35 But after a time, and wiA many feeble 
efibrts, and after many -sad words, and Iqving 
words, the arms of the child were unclasped &om 
his father's neck, so that he could be laid down 
upon the ground. 

36 And Sithron, his fether, and Milfcah, his 
mother, buried the child GJlead beneadi the dry 
leaves and undergrowths that were thick la tius 
recess within the foot of the tower, where for 
some while they had made their daily abode, 
and dieir bed by night 



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r 



THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



I The King of Israel ^eth orders to assault th4 Hty. a 7%t 
host of the warlike Jews a^anath. 3 j^ey are met by a 
fieru storm of wind, a, David prayeth to the Lord; but 
the storm doth not at all abate. 

"VTow the great captains and people of Rabbah 
■*■* having refused to bring forth Hanun, their 
King, and Heshlag, their high priest, to be placed 
in the hands of the Israelites ; and also having 
refused to cast open their gates, David was ex- 
ceeding wrath : 

2 And David gave orders to Joab, and his 
mighty men of valour, to assault the city of 
Rabbah ; 

3 To beat down the strong gates, and make 
gaps in the great walls, and to destroy the city 
and the people with fire and sword after the 
spoil had been safely carried away. 

4 So all the chariots of carved brass, and of 
burnished brass, of iron, and of gold, advanced 
in a great crescent when the sun rose high, and 
shone upon all the chariots, and the helmets and 
shields of gold, to the sound and the terror of 
trumpets, and cymbals, of all manner of warlike 
instruments, and of timbrels made from the dried 



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back and belly-skins of uncircumcised Philistines, 
and other worshippers of false Gods : 

5 And behind them came the spearmen ; and 
behind these the thousands with double-edged 
swords ; and behind these, the archers ; and be- 
hind these, came many thousand horsemen. 

6 And the horsemen began to spread them- 
selves widely, and then to surround the whole 
city, so that not a man, woman, or child, should 
escape the edge of the sword. 

7 For such was the will of the King of Israel, 
yea, of the man whom his people beheld as after 
Jehovah's own heart. 

8 And now, in front of all the advancing cres- 
cent, there ran seven hundred men, clad in thick 
garments which had been soaked in water, and 
bearing fire-brands all a-blaze ; 

9 And the bearers of the blazing brands has- 
tened towards the great gates of the city, and 
towards the great walls. 

10 But before they gat near enough to cast any 
brand over the gates, or even the walls, it came 
to pass that a mighty wind arose, yea a storm of 
wind that darkened all the air; 

1 1 So that all the host of the warlike Jews, 
yea the host of the King of Israel, was smitten 
with deep shadow ; and all the chariots, and 
helmets, and shields, and the footmen and horse- 



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THE STAR-STRICKEH. 



men, became as phantoms and fleeting shadows 
of night 

1 2 And the black storm of wind swept roaring 
and hissing round the angles of the city, and 
met the darkened hosts of the King of Israel, 
so that they were beaten back. 

13 The torches of the foremost men had been 
extinguished and cast upon the ground ; and be- 
hold the mighty hosts of David turned, and fled 
in darkness, in confusion, and in terror. 

1 4 Verily, said the soothsayers, and such of the 
priests of Jerusalem and of Hebron as were with 
them, Verily, the Lord of Hosts is this day 
against his servants ! 

15 David now prayed to God that this storm 
should cease ; and he besought the Lord that 
if it continued, it should be changed in its course; 

16 Yea, changed entirely, so that it might turn 
back and pass away over the city of Rafabah. 

17 But while the King of Israel prayed, the 
wind that had driven him back, continued to 
rage with the same fury. 

18 Then spake several of the priests from 
Hebron, and froin Jerusalem ; 

19 And they said. Behold the face of the Lord 
of Hosts is surely turned against us this day ! 



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CHAPTER XXIV. 

I Huhlag speakeih to the Kin£ of Rabbak, and ta the saUitrs 
and the people. 2 They gain courage and issue forth to 
batik. 3 Sithron and Milkah are without food. 4 Milkah 
dieth. S Sithron hath now a lightened heart ta meet ail 
that is to come, 

VTow, when the people of Rabbah saw the 
■'■' great trouble that had fallen from Heaven 
upon the army of the Israelites, they gathered 
courage and held counsel among themselves. 

2 But the great captains and soldiers had 
done this also ; and they went to beseech the 
King to send them forth from the gates in 
pursuit of the besiegers. 

3 While Hanun was deliberating on this, 
there came unto him Heshl^, who explained 
unto the King that the God of Israel had now 
refused to listen to their prayers, and had even 
turned his fury against them : 

4 Then Heshlag stood upon the high chariot 
of one of the Philistine princes, and spake unto 
the soldiers and the people around. 

5 And Heshlag said, Have ye not long since 
known that the God of the Jews is a low and 
earthly God ; and also a capricious God ? 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. lol 

6 For is he not constandy down upon the 
earth among this one nation of the earth, 
attending to all manner of low things and very 
srtiall matters ? 

7 Hath he not taught some of his prophets 
and leaders how to invade and take spoil ; and 
also to commit thefts ? 

8 And are we not told in the writings of 
sdme of their great prophets, that their God 
has come down to teach them to make burnt 
offerings ; also how to make clothes ; also he 
hath taught them masonry and carpenter's work, 
and other such common things of the earth. 

9 And this cannot have beet . told as a para- 
ble, or as a figure of words ; for the things were 
made and done according to Jehovah's teaching; 
as his priests declare. 

10 Then also as to the capriciousness and fury 
(rf their God, do they not show it forth in all 
manner of ways ? 

11 Lo! now we see another caprice in this 
storm of wind, which plainly declareth that 
their God hath come over to our side, even as 
yonder David once came over to the side of 
the King of Gath. 

1 2 Therefore ye see that our ancient enemies, 
the robbers of so many of our fertile lands for 
their inheritance, are about to fall before us. 



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13 Then all the soldiers shouted aloud, and so 
did all the people. 

14 Thus, the people of Rabbah had now 
their own God on their side, together with the 
God of the Jews ; and thus their ancient and 
most remorseless enemies were now in their 
hands. 

15 So Hanun, the King of Rabbah, and his 
chief captains, hastened joyfully through the 
gates of the city, and pursued the retreating 
army of David. 

16 And Heshlag, the high priest, went in 
the midst of them, and exhorted the soldiers in 
the name of the All-ruling Sun, even of the 
mighty BAAL ! 

1 7 Now, the storm of darkness and wind that 
drove back the Israelites, and the clamour of 
the pursuers of them by Hanun, King of 
Rabbah, became known to Sithron and Milkah, 
where they sat starving at the foot of the hollow 
tower. 

18 And Sithron rose up and said to Milkah, 
Thou art drooping, my love, and thou diest for 
lack of food. 

19 The dried fruits which I was bringing to 
thee, were mostly lost by the way, when I ran 
beyond the men who would have seized me on 
a false chaise : 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 103 

20 The dates which thou broughtest hither, 
for me and for Gilead, instead of eating them 
thyself by the way, to sustain thy strength, are 
all gone ; 

21 And the wild fruits and berries from the 
brambles around us, have been stripped from 
the last twigs that bore them. 

22 Now therefore will I go forth to seek 
bread for thee and for me ; and take thou no fear 
for my safety during this time when all men's 
thoughts are far from us. 

23 And Milkah looked into the face of 
Sithron, and laid her hand upon his hand, and 
clasped him round the neck. 

24 And Milkah said, Kiss me my beloved ! 
Kiss Milkah the wife of thy heart of hearts, for 
lo ! she must now leave thee. 

25 O Sithron, my husband! my beloved, the 
first love of my eyes when I saw thee sleeping 
among my father's sheep ; the first love of my 
thoughts, the constant love of my bosom and. of 
my soul ever after. 

26 Kiss me, my Sithron ! and take thy dying 
Milkah's last loving sigh, her last thoughts, her 
last look. 

27 And Sithron folded her in his arms, and 
bent closely over her as she sank back upon 
their bed of dry leaves. 



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28 And Sithron received the last loving sigh 
of Milkah, his beloved, and her last thoughts, 
and her last looks. 

29 So Milkah died in the arms of Sithron, and 
he sank down with her, and remained with her 
folded in his arms all that day, and all the night 
that followed. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

I Sithron moumeth ovtr Milkah, 

VTow Sithron, kneeling beside the body of 
Milkah, prayed aloud in the morning light. 

2 And Sithron said. Here then thou liest, all 
so cold and rigid, O Milkah, my beloved, who 
to me wert ever so warm, and softly moving 
with loving life and thoughts. 

3 Thou foundest rae naked on the hills, like 
a weed in the morning dew, and thou didst 
gather me up, and place me in thy beautiful 
bosom, O my love ! 

4 And thou didst listen to me when I spake 
of the stars, and while all others regarded me 
as a poor fool without reason, thou didst smile 
in my face with the brightness of love, even as 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 10$ 

yonder heavens have often smiled upon me, 
their lost and ever wondering child. 

5 Open thine eyes upon me, O my beloved, 
and come back to me ! Open, once again, thine 
eyes upon Sithron, thy husband ! 

6 If only fora moment, open those sealed lidsl 

7 She openeth not her eyes for a moment : 
Milkah will never again behold her Sithron. 

8 Let the stars also be blind to me hence- 
forth ; for I have seen enough of all things. 

9 I desire to behold no more of anything till 
again I meet thee, beautiful at dawn among the 
silent hills and sheep-folds of death, O Milkah! 

10 Now am I alone ; but thou art not alone, 
for Gilead, the son of our love, is also dead, and 
lying in thine arms. 

1 1 Soon shall I follow thee, soon shzill I again 
be with thee, and with Gilead the child of our 
bodies and of our souls. 

1 2 Wait for me, wait a little while for me, O 
Milkah my best of life ; thou who foundest me 
as a trodden weed, but who livedst to know me 
as one inspired, yea, as one not altogether mad. 

13 And if indeed I be mad, it is not the mad- 
ness that is born of earth, and of earth's thoughts 
and deeds, but the madness of a brain lost in the 
glories of night, and the unseen glories that are 
above the night, and above the day. 



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io6 SITHRON, 

14 O beautiful wife of the Lost-one! he biddeth 
thee sleep sweetly beside the child of our devo- 
tions, — O Milkah! the morning light of heaven 
that came down to bless Sithron. 

15 Now when Sithron had thus prayed, he 
arose, and felt ready for all things, being full 
of strength by the loss of all fear for those he 
loved. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

I Hanun, King of Rabbak, ovtrtakefh the retreating army of 
Israel. 2 The storm aaseth, and confusion changeik 
sides. 3 David and Joab check the flight of their host. 4 
The Israelites turn upon their pursuers. 5 David extolleth 
and blesseth the wisdom and strategy of the Lord. 6 TTie 
two armies reach the open gates at the same time. 7 What 
the conquerors do. 

VTow, the soldiers who had issued from the 
city of Rabbah, led onward by Hanun, 
their King, and exhorted by Heshl^, their high 
priest, overtook the army of the Israelites 
retiring amidst the dark hurricane of wind that 
had driven them away. 

2 And with loud cries of scorn and hatred, 
and the sound of brazen instruments, the tossing 
and flapping of banners, and their curses of the 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. loJT 

circumcised besiegers, the soldiers of Rabbah 
fell upon the Israelites, and commenced a great 
slaughter of their enemies. 

3 But the dark tempest dropped its fury, 
ceasing almost on a sudden, and as the wind 
swept away over the hills, the sky became clear. 

4 The confusion that had been among the 
soldiers of Israel, now began among the soldiers 
of Rabbah, and the King of Israel called upon 
Joab that he should bring his men into order. 

5 And this . was done, and the Israelites 
turned and fought with the soldiers of Rabbah, 
and drove them back towards the city. 

6 And David took Hanun the King of Rab- 
bah prisoner, and also Heshlag their high priest. 

7 And David praised, the Lord God aloud» 
and extolled the wisdom of the Lord in what 
he had done to throw their enemies into his 
hands. 

8 And David said. Behold our Lord is a 
man of war, and the Lord is as a cunning God, 
and though he often fighteth on our side by 
means of the sword, and with fire, and with 
hail stones, he sometimes leadeth his chosen 
people to victory by cunning strategy. 

9 Even as. ye witnessed before, at Baal 
perezim, and at the mulberry-trees of the valley 
of Rephaim ; and as ye heard of the taking of 



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Irt SITHROtf, 

Ai by Joshua, the son of Nun, as Joshua and 
Samuel have recorded. 

10 And the priests from Jerusalem, and the 
priests from Hebron that were with the hosts 
of the warlike Jews, blessed the Lord when they 
heard these words ; and they also glorified his 
servant David, to whose prayers the Lord had 
always listened. 

1 1 And it came to pass that the Ammonites 
were so closely pursued by the soldiers of Israel, 
even unto the gates of the city, that there was 
no time to close the gates behind them ; 

12 For the besiegers entered with them, 
making slaughter of their captains and men of 
valour, as well as of great numbers of their 
soldiers. 

13 Then began the slaughter of the people 
within the city, which continued during the rest 
of the day, as the Hebrew chronicle recordeth. 

14 Old men, and women, and children were 
all put to the sword, except only very young 
women and girls, who were given over to the 
priests of Israel as offerings before the Lord, 
even as was done in former times when thou- 
sands of virgins were given by one of the great 
Jewish conquerors to one of the great Jewish 
priests, before the Lord. 

15 And great numbers of young virgins were 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 109 

also given to the chief captains and mighty men 
of valour of the host of Israel, as part of the 
spoils of war. 

16 And when night was come, the greatest 
numbers of the people, which the soldiers had 
not time enough as yet to put to the sword, 
were driven into temples and palaces^ and other 
large edifices, to be kept as cattle in pens till the 
next day. 

17 So the army of Jehovah's chosen people 
passed the greater part of the night in feasting, 
and making merry, and collecting all sorts of 
spoils of war, besides the young women and 
garls that had already been given over to them. 

18 And David commanded preparations to be 
made for the building of brick-kilns to bum 
people slowly, or partially, before they were 
utterly slain. 

19 For David bore well in mind the insult 
that his messengers had received when he first 
sent them to Rabbah. 

30 And David also ordered men to prepare 
great saws of iron, and axes of iron, and iron 
harrows, as instruments of torture. 

21 So the victorious soldiers of Israel had 
much cause for enjoyment during the night by 
reason of all they had, and of what they were 
to witness next day. 



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CHAPTER XXVII. 

1 Sithron waUketh by the grave of Milkah and their child. 

2 He medilateth what manner of death he is like to die. 

3 The spirit of Zelophokk appeareth before him, and speak- 
eth great words unto him. 4 Afterwards there riseth before 
Sithron three spirits — of Mehetabel, and of Milkah and 
Gilead. 

T o ! where one, star-stricken and forlorn of 
aspect, sitteth at night by the graves of 
his two beloved dead. 

2 He sitteth mourning in deep silence, and 
there is no sound near him, or around him, ex- 
cept the moaning of the winds through the 
broken stone-work of the ruined tower; 

3 And the rustling of the dry leaves in front 
of his seat, and the dropping night-dews of the 
brambles that grow amidst the shattered walls 
above him. 

4 And he sitteth in darkness, but he doth not 
know it ; and he is cold, and doth not know it ; 
and he is hungry and athirst, and taketh no note 
of it: 

5 For all that he knoweth is the loss of Mil- 
kah and of their child. 

6 Behold now in the darkness before him, he 



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THE STAR-STJilCJCEN. m 

seemeth to perceive there ariseth a pale misty 
gleam, as of a lighted smoke rising from the 
damp earth ; 

7 And amidst the pale light of the mist he 
seeth something of a form like unto the form 
of a living man. 

8 And the form becometh not distinct nor of 
human shape, even when the gleaming mist 
grew settled around him. 

9 But Sithron feeleth that it must be the spirit 
of his father ; yea, the spirit risen up of Zelo- 
pholek, his father. 

10 And the spirit that was now risen up 
seemeth to be speaking with a voice not like the 
voice of one upon the earth : 

1 1 For indeed it was no voice that could truly 
be heard, or, if heard, then heard only in the 
spirit of the one now spoken to, even Sithron, 
the star-stricken. 

1 2 And the voice that belonged not to earth, 
could yet be heard by the soul of the one to 
whom it spake ; and could be understood of him. 

13 And the voice said, O clear Star! G child, 
born with the nativity of a new star ! O son of 
the stars, destined to be lost among them, be- 
hold O Bar-Kochbah ! how thy father blesseth 
thee in the hour of thine affliction ; 

14 And the hour of thine approaching death. 



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Ita SITRRON, 

15 For now do I well understand that thou 
shouldest rather have been the father of Zelo- 
pholek, than he the father of thee ; 

16 Because that thy madness in the sight of 
the people, was fjtr more high and more deep in 
truth and in wisdom than thy father's visions and 
his figures, and his devices, and his sooth-say- 
ings before princes and men who were empty. 

1 7 Lo ! the wonders of mine art have become 
as meteors and delusions, and what I believed 
to be strong are as figures drawn upon bright 
sand. 

■18 Now, behold how thy father extolleth thee, 
and blesseth thee ! 

19 Thy father's spirit kisseth thee, and doeth 
honour to thee for thy greater wisdom. 

20 So the phantom of Zelopholek departed 
with an upraised finger, and was no more seen. 

2 1 And Sithron fell upon his face, with prayers 
to God, and thanksgivings. 

22 Thus would he have remained long upon 
his knees, but a new vision rose before him. 

23 For lo ! in the place where the spirit of his 
father had been seen, there came through the 
shades of the night two other forms. 

24 And as they became more distinct, Sithron 
saw that there were three forms : 

25 Even the forms of Mehetabel, his mother, 



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THE STAR.STRICKEN. 1 13 

and of Milkah, his wife, bearing Gilead in her 
aims. 

a6 Then.a voice which seemed to come from 
Mehetabel, said to Sithron, 

27 Lol whereahighmonumentof marble was 
raised up by rich men of Hebron, seeking to 
honour themselves by honouring the name of 
Zelopholek after he was dead. 

28 in his old age and his blindness they took 
no note of him. 

29 But when they came to hear of thee, 
Sithron, my son, O son of my mystery, and son 
of yet greater mysteries in Heaven, and that thou 
beheidest the Creator of All Things as so far 
greater than the God of Abraham, and all his 
race (whom they so familiarly worshipped, seem- 
ing ever close at hand and within hearing), they 
were wroth. 

30 And they revenged themselves upon them- 
selves, believing the revenge fell upon thee ; 

31 For they have broken and cast down the 
marble monument they raised to thy father's 
name, and have trampled the fragments in the 
dust of their own vanity and folly. 

32 Sing ! son of the stars ! sing amidst all thy 
misery. 

33 Then the spirit of Mehetabel smiled upon 
her son, and put forth her hands as to bless him. 



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34 And the spirit of the child Gilead also 
smiled upon his father, and put forth his hands 
towards him, 

35 But when the eyes of Sithron met the eyes 
of Milkah, her eyes which seemed about to 
smile, even as Mehetabel and Gilead had smiled, 
did not smile, but remained fixed upon his face. 

36 And then her eyes, which smiled not, be- 
came all tears, and there was no sight in them : 

37 For her tears flowed down into her bosom, 
as it were rain ; but no word spake she. 

38 Then did Sithron start to his feet, being no 
longer able to bear what he saw. 

39 And he held out both arms opened to em- 
brace Milkah : 

40 But there was no longer anything before 
him that he could embrace. 

41 For all he had beheld was melted away 
into the shades and uncertainties of night. 

42 And after a time, while he still stood with 
his arms extended, the sighs of the wind breathed 
over him, and the soft uncertain moanings of 
night came to his ear ; 

43 Also the falling of the drops of dew from 
the leaves of the brambles and the weeds in the 
flaws of the stones abore his head. 



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THE STARSTRICKEN^. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

I Daoid ordertth the rick spoil to be brought forth. 2 And 
he commandeth the tortures to he prepared. 3 Sithron 
climheth to the top of the ruined tower, and witnessetk the 
tortures. 4 David laketh the crown from King Hanun't 
head. S Heshiag is also brought forth, and stripped. 
6 Sithron descendeth from the tower, to meet death. 

"j^ow when the morning was come, David or- 
dered seven trumpets to be sounded, as a 
signal that all the great spoils of war should be 
brought forth, 

2 So the soldiers, attended by many slaves, 
and many of the people of the city, brought forth 
costly things from the palace of the King of Rab- 
bah, and great golden Idols, and vessels of silver 
set thick with precious stones, from the temples 
of Baal, and rich robes and jewels and armour, 
from the palaces and great houses of all the 
princes and priests, and captains, and merchants; 

3 And all these things were laid in shining " 
heaps before the King of Israel, so that he should 
take what seemed best for himself, and apportion 
the rest for Joab, and the other great captains, 
and the priests from Jerusalem and from Hebron 
who were with him ; 

4 And all that remained, together with all 
that was ctmtained in the houses of the people, 



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was to be taken by the soldiers and divided 
among themselves before the city was made a 
heap of ruins and foul smoke. 

5 Of the young women and girls, the division 
of that part of the spoil had been made already, 
but all the rest of th > women had been put to 
the sword, except those who having infants at 
the breast, had hidden themselves. 

6 The seven trumpets were again sounded, 
and the brick-kilns were lighted, and the saws of 
iron, and the axes of iron, and the harrows with 
iron teeth, which Qavid had commanded to be 
prepared, were placed as he directed. 

7 Now the sound of the seven trumpets 
reached the walls of the broken tower where 
Sithron was lying with his arms enfolding the 
dead body of Milkah, his wife. 

8 And Sithron felt that his last hour was at 
hand. 

9 And he embraced once again the cold 
form of the wife of his bosom, and with gentle 
hands he covered her over with dry leaves and 
boughs. 

ID And Sithron was glad that Milkah was 
dead, and safe from further harm ; 

1 1 And he felt as one lightened of a load, who 
now hath no care what may come, and no care 
for himself. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. ti? 

1 2 And while the trumpets were still sounding-, 
Sithron climbed up the broken stones that re- 
mained of the winding stairs inside the hollow 
tower. 

13 And when at last he had reached the top, 
he looked over the broken parapet, and beheld 
what was doing below some way off. 

14 The reddening smoke of the hot brick-kilns 
was rising above the house-tops of the city. 

1 5 And Sithron looking down beheld the King 
of Israel, and Joab, his great captain, and the 
priests from Jerusalem, and from Hebron ; and 
soldiers with swords standing in rows behind, 
and soldiers with spears behind them, and many 
horsemen behind all. 

16 And these rows stood in a half-circle behind 
David seated on a high seat, in front of whom 
Sithron beheld the instruments of torture lying 
ready upon the ground, with the heated brick- 
kilns also ready, near at hand. 

1 7 Then beheld he great numbers of the people 
brought out of the palaces, and temples, and 
great houses where they had been packed close, 
like steaming cattle, during the night 

18 Among them were many old men, and 
women with infants in their arms ; and these 
were at once driven into the brick-kilns, which 
were glowing with heat : 



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19 And Sithron then beheld numbers of the 
people put under the saws of iron, and sawn 
asunder ; and others, laid down in rows close 
together, and torn in pieces by the iron harrows 
that were dragged over them by horses ; and 
others that were hewn in fragments by those 
who had charge of the iron axes : 

30 And while the air was racked with the 
cries, and the screams, and the groans, and the 
curses of the tortured people, Sithron bethought 
him of how often he had heard David called by 
the Israelites the man after God's own heart. 

2 1 And Sithron bethought him that those who 
had said this were blasphemers of God, for the 
sake of glorifying David. 

22 Now the torturers, and the soldiers with 
the axes, having made an end of most of the 
people before sun-set, Sithron beheld a great 
frame-work of iron brought forth, even the iron 
bed-stead which had belonged to Og, King of 
Bashan. 

23 For after Moses had slain the giant king 
of pastoral Bashan, and taken possession of his 
fertile lands, and his verdant hills covered with 
mighty oaks, he sent Og's iroh bedstead to 
Rabbah, where it had been kept ever since, 
though much coveted as a trophy by the chil- 
dren of Israel. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 119 

24 So this great bedstead of iron was lixed, 
spme thirty cubits in front of where David sat ; 
andSithron then beheld soldiers coming from the 
Palace of Waters, even from the Royal part of 
the city, bringing with them Hanun, King of Kab- 
bah, with his great golden crown upon his head. 

25 And the King of Rabbah was made to stand 
with bare feet in the middle of the iron bedstead, 
with his crown upon his head, in memory of the 
insult he had oifered to the messengers of David. 

26 And it had been told to David that this crown 
of gold with its jewels, was of the weight of a 
Jewish talent of gold; which beinga weight that 
no man's head could bear, was but a lying tale. 

2 7 Nevertheless, the King of Israel desired to 
have that crown, and ordered it to be taken from 
the King of Rabbah. 

28 So this was done, and Sithron saw the crown 
placed upon David's head. 

29 When this was done, the torturers ap- 
proached, bringing with them Heshlag, the 
High Priest of the Temple of Baal, in his rich- 
est robes : 

30 And they stripped off the High Priest's 
robes, with taunts and revilings from all the 
Priests who were among the hosts of Israel ; 
and after he was naked, the torturers made him 
sit down with his back close to the feet of Hanun. 



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3 1 And because of the counsels that Heshlag 
had given to the King of Rabbah, and to the 
princes and soldiers, to pursue the army of Isra^ 
when they retreated before the storm of wind, 
besides tiiat he was the Chief Priest of uncir- 
cumcised worshippers of false Gods, they pre- 
pared some prolonged tortures both for him and 
for King Hanun. 

32 Now when Sithron beheld what was. about 
to be done, he cried to heaven with a loud voice 
that his own hour of martyrdom was come : 

33 And he descended from the top of the 
tower, as quickly as he could, and made for the 
scene of the tortures. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

I Sithron hastmeth to prtsent hitttitlf for martyrdom. 2 David 
sayetk what he will do to the other cities of Amman. 3 Sith- 
ron appeareth before David, declaring who he is. 4 David 
and the priests helieve that he is possessed of devils. 5 Sithron 
deneunceth the Covenant of the God of Moses, and defieth 
David and the priests. 6 ffe believeth in a greater God thaa 
the God of Abraham and Moses. 

VTow Sithron made his way, as best he might, 
*■ ^ across the broken ways and deserted streets ; 
often throwing up both arms with wild cries, as 



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THE STARSTRICKBH. 121 

of a sea-bird that hath lost its mate, and seeketh 
death from the same hands. 

3 And the King of Israel sat on a high seat, 
surrounded by Joab and his great captains and 
tnightymen ofvalour.and soldiers; and he looked 
well pleased upon the mass of mangled bodies 
that lay before hira : 

3 And David said, Thus will I do, even as 
ye now behold, unto the people of all the other 
cities of the heathen children of Ammon, the 
worshippers of false Gods ; yea, before I return 
unto Jerusalem. 

4 So the priests who were with David cried 
aloud. Verily thou art a man after God's own 
heart 

5 Now Sithron was no longer like unto him- 
self.as he had been ; neither was he like any man. 

6 His hair, which had once been silken and 
flowing, had much rotted on his head from grief 
and no care for cleanliness, and what remained 
was not like unto hair, but like rank and blighted 
grass. 

7 And he had the fever of a starving man 
upon him, and also the fever of a broken heart. 

8 So when Sithron came among the soldiers 
well nigh naked, with blighted grass upon his 
head, and gleaming eyes, as of fire that playetb 
upon glass, they quickly made way for him ; 



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and in like manner also did the torturers and 
tiieir men, for they were afraid. 

9 And Sithron stood upright before David, 
King of Israel ; and before all his armed host, 
and all the priests. 

10 And he cried with a loud voice, I am Bar- 
Kochbah ! 

1 1 So David, and all who were with him, mar- 
velled exceedingly, and were in strange fear. 

12 And Sithron said, O King of Israel, I also' 
am of the children of Israel, though men know 
me not : I was Sithron, the son of Zelopholek, 
the astrologer of Hebron. 

13 Behold, I am he who became mad about 
the stars. 

" 14 Also, I am that Sithron who was the loving 
husband of a loving wife, even Milkah who 
sleepeth no longer in his arms. 

15 And both of us were as those who seem 
mad, because we did not believe in the sanctity 
or sense of circumcision ; and because we evaded 
that barbarous rite. 

16 Wherefore, O King ! the priests of Hebron 
have for six years persecuted us, pursuing us, 
and searching to seize us, or cause us to be put 
to death. 

17 Then spake David, and said, I have heard 
of thee, and it would have been better for thee, 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 123 

thou mad star-stricken one, befriended by the 
idolaters of Rabbatb-Ammon, that thou hadst 
been slain by our priestly swords, than by such 
tortures as now await thee, thou blasphemer 
with the tongue of madness. 

18 But Sithron continued to speak on, with eyes 
fixed upon the eyes of the King, even as though 
David had not spoken. 

19 And Sithron said. The priests of Hebron 
have hunted after us, without ceasing ; and they 
have caused the death of our child, and the death 
of the wife of my bosom : 

20 And these years of hunting were because I 
could not believe that Jehovah ever made so 
mean and cruel a Covenant. 

21 Now the priests, and many others cried 
aloud, To the torture ! To the torture, with him ! 
wherefore do we endure these ravings ? 

22 But the torturers were afraid of the white 
gleaming face, and mad figure before them ; and 
so were many others, for they thought Sithron 
was possessed of devils, and that if they killed 
him the devils would break forth, and enter into 
those who were nearest. 

23 And David forbore, as yet, to order the tor- 
tures ; for even he also was afraid. 

24 So Sithron continued to speak, getting more 
fierce in his looks, and standing more erect 



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tZ4 SITHROff, 

25 And he said, Behold, O King, the man who 
became mad by declaring aloud that the Real 
God of yonder Heavens, and of this earth, the 
Real God above yonder Sun, and above our 
Stars, and beyond all the Circling stars of Infi- 
nite Space, had never been down upon this earth 
like a man, to make a Covenant with a man by 
the cutting off a little circle of skin from the 
male parts of a child on the eighth day after its 
birth! 

26 Now cried aloud all the priests, tc^ether 
with many others. To the torture ! to the torture 
with this mad blasphemer, who is filled with 
devils. 

27 But the King of Israel raised his hand to 
forbid this as yet ; and he said to Joab, privily, 
Let be awhile ; for peradventure this madman 
may prophesy. 

28 The father of this fellow was of like mad- 
ness, and so was his mother, as I have heard. 

29 His wife jJso was to have been named 
•Zillah, by reason of her mother's madness, who 
said that she was descended from Tubal Cain. 

30 Many of these things have been told unto 
me ; juid now peradventure this naked fury may 
prophesy. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

I Joab givttk othtr reasons for delay. 2 And Sitiron sa^- 
feth at the delay. 3 77u torturers and soldiers are yet more 
afraid, 4 And Davtd also is afraid. ^ Of the tnadfuss 
of him that was Sithron. 6 And his further ravings. 
7 Death of Hanun and ffeshlag. 8 A gre<^ confusion 
Cometh upon all. 9 TX* lost one is borne away, and dieth 
in a haj^ spirit. 

Xhen Joab said to the King of Israel, There 
"*■ is also another reason for waiting a while. 

2 It may be, that in this fool's ravings we shall 
gain some knowledge of hidden treasures ; and 
afterwards thou canst put him to the worst tor- 
tures ; 

3 And in case he be possessed of devils, let 
him be tortured so closely beside Hanun who 
was King of Rabbah, and Heshlag the High 
Priest of Baal, that the devils shall enter into 
them, before they also are put to death. 

4 And he that had been Sithron scoffed at the 
delay; and he laughed triumphantly, and spat at 
the torturers; and he set his face like a flint 
before the fece of the King of Israel, 

5 And blood gushed from his mouth, and 
from his ears, and trickled down the sharp bones 
of his naked shoulders. 



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6 And his ra^ed hair of blighted grass be- 
came stiff; and tt twisted and curled up like unto 
horns that were alive ; 

7 And he stamped upon the ground, crying 
with a loud voice, Where is my wife ! Where is 
our child ! — 

8 Here, here! under the ground, where ye 
have thrust them ! 

9 And the torturers and the soldiers, and all 
those round about, scuffled backwards, being 
afraid to turn their backs. 

10 And Sithron said. There is no devil within 
me, but a far greater power, for I have a holy 
Spirit within me, even the breath of the Spirit 
of the Real God of Heaven, and of the Uni- 
verse! 

1 1 And I say unto ye all. Behold the King of 
Rabbah who standeth there with bare feet on 
the iron bedstead of the slaughtered giant-king 
of peaceful Bashan ; and behold also the High 
Priest of Baal, who Heth there, naked and in 
bonds ; both of them awaiting your tortures ! 

1 2 Those two men, whom ye call worshippers 
of false Gods, have listened to all that this fool 
and madman have said about the Real God of 
the Universe, with its Sun, and all its worlds of 
Light; 

1 3 And verily I say unto ye all, ikese men 



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THE STAH-STSICKEN. iz? 

are worshippers of a Truer God of the Circle of 
Infinity, than the worldly God ye believe to have 
come down upon the earth whenever ye wanted 
his help, after having made a sacred Covenant 
out of a little ring of infant's skin. 

14 Fools that ye are ! beasts that ye are ! blind 
blasphemers of the Real God above the Sun, the 
Earth, the Moon, and all the Stars ! butchers of 
tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of your 
fellow men ; and butchers now of all these bleed- 
ing bodies that lie around in mangled heaps, yet 
moving. 

1 5 Then he that had thus spoken, staggered 
like one that is drunk, and he foamed at the 
mouth, and being able to utter only a few more 
words, he again defied the king of Israel, and all 
his priests. 

16 And he cried unto David with his latest 
breath, Thou hanger upon trees of many scores 
of kings, each of whom was a more worthy king 
than thou ! Thou male harlot and man-horse of 
many wives and concubines ! Thou purchaser of 
Saul's .daughter by the foul bribe of two hundred 
genital foreskins! Thou slayer of tens upon tens 
of thousands! go on with thy present tortures 
— thou man after Satan's own heart ! 

17 Now Joab snatched a spear from one of the 
soldiers, and hurled it with great wrath at the 



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madman called Sithron ; as did several others 
who bore spears ; 

1 8 But their wrath and their fear were so great, 
that all the spears sang and wavered astray ; 

19 But some of the spears smote both Hanun 
and Heshlag. 

20 And the King of Rabbah, and the High 
Priest of Rabbah, turned their dying looks 
lovingly upon the Star-stricken, as to bid him 
farewell. 

2 1 And the Star-stricken one went to them, 
and embraced them both as they gave up the 
ghost. 

22 Then was David exceeding wroth, and he 
said, Take your swords some of you, and in- 
stantly bring me the head of yonder madman. 

23 So Joab and others drew forth their swords, 
and the Star-stricken one, with a steadfast smile, 
went to meet them. 

24 But before they were near enough to smite 
him, there came thick clouds of tawny smoke 
from the brick-kilns, and the houses that, were 
nearest which had taken fire. 

2 5 And long red tongues of flame came hissing 
and lapping out with the smoke, and began 
to encircle the king of Israel, and the great 
captains, and priests, and soldiers who were 
around and behind him. 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. 129 

26 Then were heard loud cries from the horse- 
men, whose horses dashed hither and thither, 
with white eyes, in their terror and suffocation ; 
and all the host of David rushed away to save 
themselves from the encircling flames. 

26 And no one thought of anything but him- 
self and the flames, 

2 7 And amidst the fighting crowds in this great 
confusion, the Star-stricken one was borne away, 
he knew not whither ; for all consciousness had 
left him. 

28 There was a whirlwind of men raging on all 
sides, even as a whirlwind from the four quarters 
rageth about. 

29 And crowds wrestled with crowds, and 
masses of men trampled over masses of men 
that had been cast down, and cursed them if 
they fell or stumbled over them. 

30 Now when his senses were come back to 
the Lost-one, he knew that he was dying, but 
he saw that it was night, by the stars that spark- 
led so brightly over his uplifted head. 

31 And as he looked around him with failing 
life, and failing sight, he saw that he was lying 
not far from the ruined tower ; 

32 And he crept and crawled towards it slowly 
on his hands and knees, with a revived and com- 
forted heart. 



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33 And the Son of the Stars, the Lost-one 
among their too potent glories, even Bar- 
Kochbah, sought his marriage bed in the recess 
at the foot of the hollow tower ; 

34 Even the same bed where slept Milkah, the 
wife of his soul, and Gilead their child. 

35 And he gathered heaps of dry leaves and 
small boughs over him, and over them, while 
myriads of keen-eyed stars looked down upon 
them through the hollow tower. 

36 And he that had been Sithron, with long 
sighs of sweet rest now, and to come, extended 
his enfolding arms over the grave of those who 
slept beneath ; 

3 7 And he thanked and blessed and worshipped 
the God of All Above, as well as All on the 
earth, with a grateful heart for this happy end. 

38 So Bar-Kochbah, even he that had been 
Sithron, died happily, after a troubled life, 
whereof the troubles were from causes never 
experienced by any man before. 

39 Here endeth a Chronicle, writ by another 
foolish one in his generation ; and peradventure, 
after some centuries, he that was Nejmeh Safiyeh, 
that had been Sithron, that was Bar-Kochbah, 
may seem to rise again in the spirit. 

40 And it may come to pass that the thoughts 
that appeared as mad thoughts, may take lead in 



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THE STAR-STRICKEN. _ 131 

bringing about a mighty change, and a grander 
and a purer scope of mental sight among all 
mankind : 

41 And the Jewish races, and the races of 
the great Jewish Revolutionist and Martyr, who 
founded a more pure and humane creed — even 
of him, who died upon a felon's cross, thrice fifty 
years before this Chronicle was writ, — may 
thereby become more like unto brothers, and 
spread their happy generations over the earth. 

42 But lo ! there will long be a great chasm 
between the two creeds : 

43 And the last creed may be changed before 
the first creed passeth away. 



Allah Aalem. 



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