THE HOLY BIBLE Douay-Rheims

Book of Judges (Author Samuel)

9:1¤ And Abimelech, the son of Jerobaal, went to Sichem, to his mother's brethren, and spoke to them, and to all the kindred of his mother's father, saying:

9:2Speak to all the men of Sichem: whether is better for you that seventy men, all the sons of Jerobaal, should rule over you, or that one man should rule over you? And withal, consider that I am your bone, and your flesh.

9:3And his mother's brethren spoke of him to all the men of Sichem, all these words, and they inclined their hearts after Abimelech, saying: He is our brother:

9:4And they gave him seventy weight of silver out of the temple of Baalberith: wherewith he hired to himself men that were needy, and vagabonds, and they followed him.

9:5And he came to his father's house in Ephra, and slew his brethren, the sons of Jerobaal, seventy men, upon one stone: and there remained only Joatham, the youngest son of Jerobaal, who was hidden.

9:6And all the men of Sichem were gathered together, and all the families of the city of Mello: and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak that stood in Sichem.

9:7This being told to Joatham, he went, and stood on the top of Mount Garizim: and lifting up his voice, he cried, and said: Hear me, ye men of Sichem, so may God hear you.

9:8The trees went to anoint a king over them: and they said to the olive tree: Reign thou over us.

9:9And it answered: Can I leave my fatness, which both gods and men make use of, to come to be promoted among the trees?

9:10And the trees said to the fig tree: Come thou and reign over us.

9:11And it answered them: Can I leave my sweetness, and my delicious fruits, and go to be promoted among the other trees?

9:12And the trees said to the vine: Come thou and reign over us.

9:13And it answered them: Can I forsake my wine, that cheereth God and men, and be promoted among the other trees?

9:14And all the trees said to the bramble: Come thou and reign over us.

9:15And it answered them: If, indeed, you mean to make me king, come ye, and rest under my shadow: but if you mean it not, let fire come out from the bramble, and devour the cedars of Libanus.

9:16Now, therefore, if you have done well, and without sin, in appointing Abimelech king over you, and have dealt well with Jerobaal, and with his house, and have made a suitable return for the benefits of him who fought for you,

9:17And exposed his life to dangers, to deliver you from the hand of Madian,

9:18And you are now risen up against my father's house, and have killed his sons, seventy men, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his handmaid, king over the inhabitants of Sichem, because he is your brother:

9:19If therefore you have dealt well, and without fault, with Jerobaal and his house, rejoice ye, this day, in Abimelech, and may he rejoice in you.

9:20But if unjustly: let fire come out from him, and consume the inhabitants of Sichem, and the town of Mello: and let fire come out from the men of Sichem and from the town of Mello, and devour Abimelech.

9:21And when he had said thus, he fled, and went into Bera: and dwelt there for fear of Abimelech, his brother.

9:22So Abimelech reigned over Israel three years.

9:23And the Lord sent a very evil spirit between Abimelech and the inhabitants of Sichem; who began to detest him,

9:24And to lay the crime of the murder of the seventy sons of Jerobaal, and the shedding of their blood, upon Abimelech, their brother, and upon the rest of the princes of the Sichemites, who aided him.

9:25And they set an ambush against him on the top of the mountains: and while they waited for his coming, they committed robberies, taking spoils of all that passed by: and it was told Abimelech.

9:26And Gaal, the son of Obed, came with his brethren, and went over to Sichem. And the inhabitants of Sichem, taking courage at his coming,

9:27Went out into the fields, wasting the vineyards, and treading down the grapes: and singing and dancing, they went into the temple of their god, and in their banquets and cups they cursed Abimelech.

9:28And Gaal, the son of Obed, cried: Who is Abimelech, and what is Sichem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerobaal, and hath made Zebul, his servant, ruler over the men of Emor, the father of Sichem? Why then shall we serve him?

9:29Would to God that some man would put this people under my hand, that I might remove Abimelech out of the way. And it was said to Abimelech: Gather together the multitude of an army, and come.

9:30For Zebul, the ruler of the city, hearing the words of Gaal, the son of Obed, was very angry,

9:31And sent messengers privately to Abimelech, saying: Behold, Gaal, the son of Obed, is come into Sichem with his brethren, and endeavoureth to set the city against thee.

9:32Arise, therefore, in the night, with the people that is with thee, and lie hid in the field:

9:33And betimes in the morning, at sun rising, set upon the city, and when he shall come out against thee, with his people, do to him what thou shalt be able.

9:34Abimelech, therefore, arose with all his army, by night, and laid ambushes near Sichem in four places.

9:35And Gaal, the son of Obed, went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city. And Abimelech rose up, and all his army with him, from the places of the ambushes.

9:36And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul: Behold, a multitude cometh down from the mountains. And he answered him: Thou seest the shadows of the mountains as if they were the heads of men, and this is thy mistake.

9:37Again Gaal said: Behold, there cometh people down from the midst of the land, and one troop cometh by the way that looketh towards the oak.

9:38And Zebul said to him: Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst: Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? Is not this the people which thou didst despise? Go out, and fight against him.

9:39So Gaal went out, in the sight of the people of Sichem, and fought against Abimelech,

9:40Who chased and put him to flight, and drove him to the city: and many were slain of his people, even to the gate of the city:

9:41And Abimelech sat down in Ruma: but Zebul drove Gaal, and his companions, out of the city, and would not suffer them to abide in it.

9:42So the day following the people went out into the field. And it was told to Abimelech,

9:43And he took his army, and divided it into three companies, and laid ambushes in the fields. And seeing that the people came out of the city, he arose, and set upon them,

9:44With his own company, assaulting and besieging the city: whilst the two other companies chased the enemies that were scattered about the field.

9:45And Abimelech assaulted the city all that day: and took it, and killed the inhabitants thereof, and demolished it, so that he sowed salt in it.

9:46And when they who dwelt in the tower of Sichem, had heard this, they went into the temple of their god Berith, where they had made a covenant with him, and from thence the place had taken its name, and it was exceeding strong.

9:47Abimelech also hearing that the men of the tower of Sichem were gathered together,

9:48Went up into mount Selmon, he and all his people with him: and taking an axe, he cut down the bough of a tree, and laying it on his shoulder, and carrying it, he said to his companions: What you see me do, do ye out of hand.

9:49So they cut down boughs from the trees, every man as fast as he could, and followed their leader. And surrounding the fort, they set it on fire: and so it came to pass, that with the smoke and with the fire a thousand persons were killed, men and women together, of the inhabitants of the tower of Sichem.

9:50Then Abimelech, departing from thence, came to the town of Thebes, which he surrounded and besieged with his army.

9:51And there was in the midst of the city a high tower, to which both the men and the women were fled together, and all the princes of the city, and having shut and strongly barred the gate, they stood upon the battlements of the tower to defend themselves.

9:52And Abimelech, coming near the tower, fought stoutly: and, approaching to the gate, endeavoured to set fire to it:

9:53And behold, a certain woman casting a piece of a millstone from above, dashed it against the head of Abimelech, and broke his skull.

9:54And he called hastily to his armourbearer, and said to him: Draw thy sword, and kill me: lest it should be said that I was slain by a woman. He did as he was commanded, and slew him.

9:55And when he was dead all the men of Israel that were with him, returned to their homes.

9:56And God repaid the evil that Abimelech had done against his father, killing his seventy brethren.

9:57The Sichemites also were rewarded for what they had done, and the curse of Joatham, the son of Jerobaal, came upon them.

10:1¤ After Abimelech, there arose a ruler in Israel, Thola, son of Phua, the uncle of Abimelech, a man of Issachar, who dwelt in Samir of mount Ephraim:

10:2And he judged Israel three and twenty years, and he died, and was buried in Samir.

10:3To him succeeded Jair, the Galaadite, who judged Israel for two and twenty years,

10:4Having thirty sons, that rode on thirty ass colts, and were princes of thirty cities, which from his name were called Havoth Jair, that is, the towns of Jair, until this present day, in the land of Galaad.

10:5And Jair died, and was buried in the place which is called Camon.

10:6But the children of Israel, adding new sins to their old ones, did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served idols, Baalim and Astaroth, and the gods of Syria, and of Sidon, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines: and they left the Lord, and did not serve him.

10:7And the Lord being angry with them, delivered them into the hands of the Philistines, and of the children of Ammon.

10:8And they were afflicted, and grievously oppressed for eighteen years, all they that dwelt beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorrhite, who is in Galaad:

10:9Insomuch that the children of Ammon, passing over the Jordan, wasted Juda, and Benjamin, and Ephraim: and Israel was distressed exceedingly.

10:10And they cried to the Lord, and said, We have sinned against thee, because we have forsaken the Lord our God, and have served Baalim.

10:11And the Lord said to them: Did not the Egyptians, and the Amorrhites, and the children of Ammon, and the Philistines,

10:12The Sidonians also, and Amalec, and Chanaan, oppress you, and you cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand?

10:13And yet you have forsaken me, and have worshipped strange gods: therefore I will deliver you no more:

10:14Go, and call upon the gods which you have chosen: let them deliver you in the time of distress.

10:15And the children of Israel said to the Lord: We have sinned, do thou unto us whatsoever pleaseth thee: only deliver us this time.

10:16And saying these things, they cast away out of their coasts all the idols of strange gods, and served the Lord their God: and he was touched with their miseries.

10:17And the children of Ammon shouting together, pitched their tents in Galaad: against whom the children of Israel assembled themselves together, and camped in Maspha.

10:18And the princes of Galaad said one to another: Whosoever of us shall first begin to fight against the children of Ammon, he shall be the leader of the people of Galaad.

11:1¤ There was at that time Jephte, the Galaadite, a most valiant man, and a warrior, the son of a woman that was a harlot, and his father was Galaad.

11:2Now Galaad had a wife of whom he had sons: who, after they were grown up, thrust out Jephte, saying: Thou canst not inherit in the house of our father, because thou art born of another mother.

11:3Then he fled and avoided them, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered to him needy men and robbers, and they followed him as their prince.

11:4In those days the children of Ammon made war against Israel.

11:5And as they pressed hard upon them, the ancients of Galaad went to fetch Jephte out of the land of Tob to help them:

11:6And they said to him: Come thou, and be our prince, and fight against the children of Ammon.

11:7And he answered them: Are not you the men that hated me, and cast me out of my father's house, and now you are come to me, constrained by necessity?

11:8And the princes of Galaad said to Jephte: For this cause we are now come to thee, that thou mayst go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be head over all the inhabitants of Galaad.

11:9Jephte also said to them: If you be come to me sincerely, that I should fight for you against the children of Ammon, and the Lord shall deliver them into my hand, shall I be your prince?

11:10They answered him: The Lord, who heareth these things, he himself is mediator and witness that we will do as we have promised.

11:11Jephte therefore went with the princes of Galaad, and all the people made him their prince. And Jephte spoke all his words before the Lord in Maspha.

11:12And he sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon, to say in his name: What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me, to waste my land?

11:13And he answered them: Because Israel took away my land, when he came up out of Egypt, from the confines of the Arnon unto the Jaboc and the Jordan: now, therefore, restore the same peaceably to me.

11:14And Jephte again sent word by them, and commanded them to say to the king of Ammon:

11:15Thus saith Jephte: Israel did not take away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon:

11:16But when they came up out of Egypt, he walked through the desert to the Red Sea, and came into Cades.

11:17And he sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying: Suffer me to pass through thy land. But he would not condescend to his request. He sent also to the king of Moab, who, likewise, refused to give him passage. He abode, therefore, in Cades,

11:18And went round the land of Edom at the side, and the land of Moab: and came over against the east coast of the land of Moab, and camped on the other side of the Arnon: and he would not enter the bounds of Moab.

11:19So Israel sent messengers to Sehon, king of the Amorrhites, who dwelt in Hesebon, and they said to him: Suffer me to pass through thy land to the river.

11:20But he, also despising the words of Israel, suffered him not to pass through his borders: but gathering an infinite multitude, went out against him to Jasa, and made strong opposition.

11:21And the Lord delivered him, with all his army, into the hands of Israel, and he slew him, and possessed all the land of the Amorrhite, the inhabitant of that country,

11:22And all the coasts thereof from the Arnon to the Jaboc, and from the wilderness to the Jordan.

11:23So the Lord, the God of Israel, destroyed the Amorrhite, his people of Israel fighting against him, and wilt thou now possess this land?

11:24Are not those things which thy god Chamos possesseth, due to thee by right? But what the Lord our God hath obtained by conquest, shall be our possession:

11:25Unless, perhaps, thou art better than Balac, the son of Sephor, king of Moab: or canst shew that he strove against Israel, and fought against him,

11:26Whereas he hath dwelt in Hesebon, and the villages thereof, and in Aroer, and its villages, and in all the cities near the Jordan, for three hundred years. Why have you for so long a time attempted nothing about this claim?

11:27Therefore I do not trespass against thee, but thou wrongest me by declaring an unjust war against me. The Lord be judge, and decide this day, between Israel and the children of Ammon.

11:28And the king of the children of Ammon would not hearken to the words of Jephte, which he sent him by the messengers.

11:29Therefore the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephte, and going round Galaad, and Manasses, and Maspha of Galaad, and passing over from thence to the children of Ammon,

11:30He made a vow to the Lord, saying: If thou wilt deliver the children of Ammon into my hands,

11:31Whosoever shall first come forth out of the doors of my house, and shall meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, the same will I offer a holocaust to the Lord.

11:32And Jephte passed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them: and the Lord delivered them into his hands.

11:33And he smote them from Aroer till you come to Mennith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel, which is set with vineyards, with a very great slaughter: and the children of Ammon were humbled by the children of Israel.

11:34And when Jephte returned into Maspha, to his house, his only daughter met him with timbrels and with dances: for he had no other children.

11:35And when he saw her, he rent his garments, and said: Alas! my daughter, thou hast deceived me, and thou thyself art deceived: for I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I can do no other thing.

11:36And she answered him: My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth to the Lord, do unto me whatsoever thou hast promised, since the victory hath been granted to thee, and revenge of thy enemies.

11:37And she said to her father: Grant me only this, which I desire: Let me go, that I may go about the mountains for two months, and may bewail my virginity with my companions.

11:38And he answered her: Go. And he sent her away for two months. And when she was gone with her comrades and companions, she mourned her virginity in the mountains.

11:39And the two months being expired, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed, and she knew no man. From thence came a fashion in Israel, and a custom has been kept:

11:40That, from year to year, the daughters of Israel assemble together, and lament the daughter of Jephte the Galaadite, for four days.

12:1¤ But behold there arose a sedition in Ephraim. And passing towards the north, they said to Jephte: When thou wentest to fight against the children of Ammon, why wouldst thou not call us, that we might go with thee? Therefore we will burn thy house.

12:2And he answered them: I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon: and I called you to assist me, and you would not do it.

12:3And when I saw this, I put my life in my own hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon and the Lord delivered them into my hands. What have I deserved, that you should rise up to fight against me?

12:4Then calling to him all the men of Galaad, he fought against Ephraim: and the men of Galaad defeated Ephraim, because he had said: Galaad is a fugitive of Ephraim, and dwelleth in the midst of Ephraim and Manasses.

12:5And the Galaadites secured the fords of the Jordan, by which Ephraim was to return. And when any one of the number of Ephraim came thither in the flight, and said: I beseech you let me pass: the Galaadites said to him: Art thou not an Ephraimite? If he said: I am not:

12:6They asked him: Say then, Scibboleth, which is interpreted, An ear of corn. But he answered, Sibboleth, not being able to express an ear of corn by the same letter. Then presently they took him and killed him in the very passage of the Jordan. And there fell at that time of Ephraim, two and forty thousand.

12:7And Jephte, the Galaadite, judged Israel six years: and he died, and was buried in his city of Galaad.

12:8After him Abesan of Bethlehem judged Israel:

12:9He had thirty sons, and as many daughters, whom he sent abroad, and gave to husbands, and took wives for his sons, of the same number, bringing them into his house. And he judged Israel seven years:

12:10And he died, and was buried in Bethlehem.

12:11To him succeeded Ahialon, a Zabulonite: and he judged Israel ten years:

12:12And he died, and was buried in Zabulon.

12:13After him, Abdon, the son of Illel, a Pharathonite, judged Israel:

12:14And he had forty sons, and of them thirty grandsons, mounted upon seventy ass colts, and he judged Israel eight years:

12:15And he died, and was buried in Pharathon, in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of Amalech.



Original from Project Gutenberg - Massive cleanup of OCR problems and editing done locally.