(Here are pages 238-260, covers Judges and Ruth; as stated before, the PDF will not be created till Esther is completed in the Historical Books; Samuel and Kings are finished but sickness, and other matters has delayed my submission by the date intended. mjm)
JUDGES: 21 Chapters: 400 Years Transition: 12 (13) Judges:
JUDGES open after the death of Joshua: the Israelites asked the Lord who should lead the war against the Canaanites; He said Judah must lead, for I have delivered the land into his hand; Judah requested Simeon to help them in the fight, and we will also help you in your fight; and they went. The Lord defeated the Canaanites and Perizzites; and they killed in Bezek 10,000 men. Adoni-Bezek escaped, but they caught him and cut off his thumbs and great toes; and he said 70 kings I cut off the thumbs and great toes, so God has repaid me; and they brought him to Jerusalem to die. The Judaites (Jews) fought and destroyed by sword and fire Jerusalem. Judah fought the Canaanites in the hill-country and the Negev and lowland. They went against the Canaanites at Hebron (Kiriath-Arba), and smote Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai; thence to Debir (Kiriath-Sepher). Caleb said that the one who takes the city he may marry my daughter Achsah; Othniel his nephew (son of Kenaz, his younger brother) took it and got Achsah. Later she requested the springs of water in the Negev, and Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs. Now the Kenites were from Moses’ brother-in-law (his wife’s (cothen)), they left the City of Palm-Trees with Judah, in the south of Arad and lived with the People. Judah and Simeon defeated and destroyed the Canaanites of Zephath (Hormah). Judah also captured 3 cities with borders: Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron. The Lord was with Judah to drive them out of the hill-country; but they could not drive them out of the valley due to their iron-chariots. They gave Hebron to Caleb as Moses instructed, and he drove out the 3 sons of Anak. But the Benjaminites did not expel the Jebusites from Jerusalem. The house of Joseph went against Beth-El, and the Lord was with them. And they sent spies to Beth-El (Luz); the ones on watch ask a man leaving the city to show them entrance and he will be spared; he did so, and they struck the city, but let go the man and his family; and he moved to the land of the Hittites, built a city and named it Luz which continues (to the time of Samuel). Manasseh did not expel those of Beth-Shean and its towns, or of Megiddo, but the Canaanites still dwelt in them; but Israel made them subservient instead of expelling them. Ephraim did not expel the Canaanites in Gezer; and Zebulun expelled not those of Kitron or Nahalol; but the Canaanites continued as their task-workers. Asher expelled not those of Acco, Sidon, Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or Rehob; but the Asherites dwelt together with the Canaanites. Naphtali expelled not those Beth-Shemesh or Beth-Anath, but dwelt together with the Canaanites, and made them laborers. Now the Amorites forced the Danites into the hill-country and kept them out of the valley; the Amorites resided in Heres, Aijalon, and Shaalbim; yet the house of Joseph prevailed and made them subservient. The border of the Amorites was from the ascent of Akrabbim, from the Rock, and upward.
The Lord’s Angel or Messenger (Malak-Yehowah) came from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: I extracted you out of Egypt, and then I introduced you into the Promised Land of My sworn Covenant; that ye make no covenant with the Canaanites, but to demolish their altars; ye refused to obey; so I will not drive them out, but they shall be your thorns, and their gods your snare. The People (Israel) heard and wept and called the Place Bochim (Place of Tears or Weeping); and there they sacrificed to the Lord. When Joshua had died at a 110, and they buried him in his inheritance in Ephraim; and that Generation with the elders who outlived Joshua, Israel then continued to serve the Lord; but the next Generation (some 20-40 years later), did not know the Lord or His work for Israel. The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served Baalim; they forsook Him for the gods of Canaan to worship idols to provoke Him to anger. They served Baal and the Ashtaroth, and His anger ignited against Israel, and He turned them over to the spoilers who despoiled them; and He sold them to their enemies in defeat. The Lord was against Israel in their goings for evil and distress as He warned and swore. The Lord rose up Judges who saved them from their despoilers; but they refused to listen to their Judges; for they played the harlot with other gods and bowed to them; turning away quickly from the way of their fathers who obeyed the Lord’s commandments. And when the Lord established Judges, He was with that Judge, and saved them from their enemies while the Judge lived: for He regretted and grieved for their groans by those who oppressed and vexed them. But after the Judge died they turned back to worse corruption and idolatry than their fathers; never ceasing from evil and stubbornness. The Lord’s anger burned against Israel: Because this Nation transgressed My Covenant in disobedience, I will not quickly expel those nations (Gentiles) that Joshua left at death; I may prove Israel, if they will keep and walk in the Lord’s way; and it was.
These are the Nations the Lord allowed to prove the next Generation of Israel, those who did not know the Wars of Canaan; so that they might learn War: the 5 Philistines’ Lords, Canaanites, Sidonians, and Hivites of Lebanon, from Mount Baal-Hermon to the Entrance of Hamath. These peoples were to test if Israel would listen to the Lord’s commandments as commanded by Moses. These nations Israel co-existed in the Land: Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites; intermarrying with them, and served their gods in idolatry and evil, forgetting Him to serve Baalim and Asheroth. The Lord’s anger ignited against Israel, and He sold them to Cushan-Rishathaim a King of Mesopotamia, and Israel served him for 8 years. Israel cried to the Lord, and He provided a saviour to save them in Othniel ben-Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Spirit of the Lord visited him, and he judged Israel, and initiated war: and the Lord delivered Cushan-Rishathaim into his hand, and he defeated him; the Land rested from War for 40 years; and Othniel (1st Savior-Judge) died. Israel offended the Lord with evil, so He strengthened Eglon the King of Moab against Israel. And Eglon allied himself with Ammon and Amalek, and they struck Israel and captured the City of Palm-Trees. Israel was subject to Eglon for 18 years. They cried to the Lord, and He provided a saviour in Ehud ben-Gera (2nd Savior-Judge) the left-handed Benjamite. Israel sent the tribute-money to Eglon the King of Moab by Ehud; who made a short sharp two-edged sword or dagger (cubit or 1 1/2 feet in length) which he secured to his right thigh under his clothing. He offered the tribute-money to Eglon, who was very fat; then departed and dismissed tribute envoy; but himself returned to Eglon with a secret errand to the king; Eglon bid silence, then the attendants left. Ehud drew near to Eglon while he was alone in his cool upper room, to convey the message from God; Eglon stood up, and Ehud with his left hand drew the dagger from under his clothing from his right thigh and thrust it into Eglon, the handle followed the blade and the blade went out the back. Ehud secured the upper room and left. His servants returning assumed he was resting but waiting very long became concerned and opened the room and found him dead. Ehud escaped beyond the quarries to Seirah; He then blew the trumpet in the hill-country of Ephraim, and Israel gathered to him. He bid them follow him for the Lord has delivered their enemies the Moabites to them. He took the fords of Jordan preventing the Moabites to cross. 10,000 Moabites were slain, attractive and brave, none escaped; and Moab was subdued by Israel; and the Land rested 80 years. Next Shamgar ben-Anath (3rd Savior-Judge), who himself struck 600 Philistines with his ox-goad and saved Israel.
Israel again did evil to the Lord after Ehud died; and the Lord sold them to Jabin King of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor, and his Captain of the army was Sisera of Harosheth of the Gentiles (Nations). They cried to the Lord because Jabin had 900 iron chariots; and he oppressed Israel 20 years. Now Deborah (4th Savior-Judge) a Prophetess and wife of Lappidoth, judged Israel at the time, who lived under the Palm-Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill-country of Ephraim; and Israel came to her for judgment. She summoned Barak (4th Savior-Judge co-ruled with Deborah) ben-Abinoam of Kedesh-Naphtali, saying that the Lord God of Israel commands him to muster 10,000 men from Naphtali and Zebulun; and He will draw Sisera the Captain of Jabin’s army with chariots and numbers to him. Barak stipulated that Deborah must go to war with him; she replied if she does the honor will not be his, for the Lord will sell Sisera to a woman. Deborah and Barak went to Kedesh. Barak gathered Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh with 10,000; and Deborah went. Heber the Kenite had separated from the sons of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched tent as far as the Oak in Zaananannim by Kedesh. They told Sisera Barak went to Mount Tabor; and he gathered his 900 iron chariots and people fro Harosheth of the Goim (Gentiles, nations) to Kishon. Deborah told Barak to engage against Sisera for the Lord will give victory; and he went with his 10,000 to Mount Tabor; and the Lord defeated them utterly by Barak. Sisera escaped by foot to Jael the wife of the Kenite Heber; for there was peace between King Jabin and the Kenite Heber’s house. Jael met and invited Sisera to hide in her tent, and she covered him with a mantle or blanket. He asked for water for his thirst and she gave him a bottle of milk and covered him; He asked her to stand at the tent door and divert anyone seeking him. Jael took a tent-pin or spike and a hammer and went softly to him and struck the spike through his temples to the ground while he slept, and he swooned or jerked and died. Barak in pursuit of Sisera came, and Jael met him and showed him a dead Sisera by a tent-pin in his temples. God subdued Jabin the King of Canaan by Israel, and they prevailed to destroy him.
Deborah and Barak sang this Song:
Bless the Lord for the leaders in Israel, and for the people who offered themselves freely.
Listen up you kings and princes to my Song of Praise to the Lord God of Israel.
Lord, in Your advance to Seir, and Your march from Edom’s field;
the earth trembled, the heavens dropped, the clouds rained,
and the mountains quaked at Your Presence, (this or that) Sinai at the Lord’s Presence.
In the days of Shamgar ben-Anath, and Jael,
the highways untraveled, and byways travelled; no rulers in Israel.
Then I, Deborah, arose as a Mother in Israel.
Israel chose new gods; war at the gates: no shield or spear among 40,000 in Israel.
My heart is for the governors of Israel who offered themselves willingly among the people.
Bless the Lord! declare ye riders on white donkeys,
ye that sit on rich carpets, and walk by the way:
Far from the noise of the archers, in the places of drawing water,
they will rehearse the Lord’s righteous acts, and His rule in Israel;
then His people went down to the gates.
Awake Deborah with a Song, arise Barak and lead away captives;
the remnant of the nobles of the people;
the Lord came against the mighty for me;
from Ephraim the roots of Amalek; after Benjamin among Thy peoples;
from Machir came governors, from Zebulun the handlers of the marshal’s staff.
Issachar’s princes with Deborah, Issachar and Barak;
into the valley they rushed following him;
by the watercourses of Reuben were great resolve of heart.
They sat with the sheepfolds, by the watercourses of Reuben with great heart searchings;
Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan, and Dan remained in ships,
Asher sat in the sea haven and stayed near his creeks.
The Zebulunites risked their lives, with Naphtali on the high places in the field.
The kings battled, the Kings of Canaan fought,
in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; without money;
the stars fought from heaven, from their courses against Sisera;
the ancient Kishon River swept them away.
My soul march on in strength!
The horse-hoofs stamped by the prancings of the strong ones.
The Lord’s Angel cursed Meroz and its citizens for not aiding the Lord against the mighty. Blessed is Jael, the wife of the Kenite Heber, above women in the tent:
He asked water, she gave milk, with butter in a lordly dish;
she took a tent spike in the left hand, and in her right hand the workmen’s hammer;
she pierced his head through his temples (she severed his head after she pierced his temples); he bowed and fell at her feet dead.
Sisera’s mother looked out the window lattice, asking why his chariot wheels delayed;
her wise ladies answered with her reply:
they have found spoil to divide; a damsel or two for each man;
to Sisera dyed double embroidered garments, from the necks of the defeated.
O Lord, let all Thine enemies so perish;
but let those who love Him be as the sun in high noon.
The Land rested 40 years. The Israelites again offended the Lord with evil, so He handed them over to Midian for 7 years. Midian prevailed against Israel, so that Israel hid in mountain dens and caves and strongholds. When Israel farmed, the Midianites, Amallekites, and the children of the east (Beney-Qedem, Qedemites, easterners), came and encamped against them to destroy the produce and harvest, up to Gaza, leaving no sustenance in Israel, no sheep, ox, or donkey. They invaded with their cattle and tents, as locusts, with countless camels. Thus Israel was reduced by Midian, and they cried to the Lord; who in reply sent a Prophet to the Israelites, saying: The Lord God of Israel says: I saved you from Egypt the house of slavery; and from your oppressors, expelling them, and gave their land to you; I told you not to fear the gods of the Amorites in Canaan; but you refused to obey. Now the Angel of the Lord sat under the Oak-tree in Ophrah of Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. The Lord’s Angel appeared and greeted him: The Lord is with you mighty man of valor; he replied that if so why has all this befallen us? And where are all His wondrous works our fathers told us of from Egypt to Canaan? He has cast us off and delivered us to Midian. The Lord looked at him and commanded him to go in might and save Israel from Midian as I send you. Gideon asked how he was to save Israel, since his family is the poorest of Manasseh, and he the least of his father’s house. But the Lord assured him that He will be with him; and he must strike the Midianites as one man. Gideon asked for a visible sign that it was the Lord speaking. He asked the Angel to stay under the Oak till he returns with meal as an offering; and he agreed; Gideon cooked a kid, baked unleavened cakes or loaves; then put the meat in a basket, the broth in a pot, and set it before the Visitor. The Angel of God told him to put the meat and the unleavened cakes upon this rock and pour the broth out; then the Angel of the Lord extended his staff and touched the meat and the cakes, and fire came from the rock and consumed the meat and cakes; then the Angel departed. Gideon then surprised realized he had seen the Lord’s Angel face to face. The Lord assured him with peace, and that he will not die. Gideon built an Altar there, calling it Jehovah-Shalom (the Lord of Peace); it still exists in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. That night the Lord told him to take his father’s second bullock of 7 years old; and he must demolish his father’s altar of Baal, and to cut down the Asherah next to it; and to build an Altar to the Lord on this stronghold, in an orderly manner; and offer the second bullock on it as a burnt-offering with the wood cut from the Asherah. Gideon did so with 10 of his servants, at night for fear of his father’s household and men of the city. In the morn the citizens saw it and demanded to know who did this; they discovered it was Gideon ben-Joash; they demanded Joash to hand over his son to die for demolishing Baal’s altar and cutting down the Asherah. But Joash responded that if anyone contends to save Baal, they must be put to death immediately; if Baal is a god let him contend for himself against the one who destroyed his altar; he called him Jerubbaal (Baal’s Contender or Opponent). The armies or divisions of the Midianites, Amalekites, and Easterners assembled, and passed over the Jordan, and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. The Lord’s Spirit came upon Gideon (5th Savior-Judge), and he blew the trumpet, and Abiezer gathered after him; he sent messengers (angels) through Manasseh, to those who gathered to him, to Asher, to Zebulun, and to Naphtali; and they gathered to him. Gideon prayed to God for a sign that He will save Israel by his hand as He said; let me, he said, put a fleece of wool on the threshing-floor, and if the dew is on the fleece but not on the ground, then he will know the word is sure; so he did and he wrung out a bowlful of water. Gideon begs for another sign; that another fleece will be dry put the ground soaked; and God did as he asked.
Then Jerubbaal (Gideon) (5th Savior-Judge), and all the people with him, early in the morn and encamped beside the Spring of Harod; the camp of Midian was on the north side by the Hill of Moreh, in the Valley. The Lord told Gideon that people are too many to give victory over the Midianites, lest Israel boast that they saved themselves. He told Gideon to dismiss anyone who is fearful and trembling to return and depart from Mount Gilead; 22,000 departed, leaving 10,000. He reduced the number by bringing them to the waters to drink; those who lap water with their tongue as a dog to stand in one group, and all who bow on their knees to drink in another group. Those who lapped from their hand to mouth were 300, all the rest (9,700) knelt to drink. The Lord told Gideon that He will save Israel from the Midianites by the 300 that lapped; and the rest were dismissed with food in their hand, and their trumpets, to return to their tents; and the camp of Midian was below in the valley. That night the Lord told him to go down to the camp, for He will deliver them to him; but if you fear to go down, then take Purah your servant to the camp; and you will hear their plans; then you will be strengthened to attack; so they went down to the edge of the camp of the armed men. The hosts were like countless locusts along the valley, and camels without number, as sand of the sea-shore. Gideon came near and heard a fighter telling his dream to another, that a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian into the tent and knocked it over, and it fell and flipped over flat; the other replied with the interpretation that it was the Sword of Gideon of Israel, that God has delivered Midian and all the host to him. Gideon after the dream and interpretation, worshipped, then returned to the camp of Israel; saying, up, the Lord has delivered to us the armies of Midian. He divided the 300 hundred men into 3 companies, each with trumpets, empty pitchers with only torches in them; he instructed them to copy his action as they reached the outer limits of the camp, and to say: for the Lord and Gideon. Gideon and his men did so at the time of the middle watch when they changed watch and guard; they blew the trumpets with the right hands, and shattered the pitchers, and held the torches in the left hands, and they shouted: The Sword of the Lord and Gideon. They stood in place encircling the camp; the armies were routed and fled to escape; but the 300 trumpets blew, and the Lord turned each man’s sword against his fellow through all the army; they fled as far as Beth-Shittah toward Zererah, to the border of Abel-Meholah by Tabbath. The Israelites from Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh pursued Midian. He invited those of Ephraim to come against Midian before the waters as far as Beth-Barah to Jordan; and they did so; capturing the 2 princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; Oreb they slew at the Rock of Oreb, and Zeeb at the Winepress of Zeeb; they continued their chase of Midian across the Jordan, carrying the heads of Oreb and Zeeb.
The Ephraimites, west of Jordan, criticized Gideon, that he insulted them by not inviting them at outset of the assault against Midian; he replied that the gleaning of grapes of Ephraim are better than the vintage of Abiezer; and since God has handed over the Princes of Midian Oreb and Zeeb, what is my comparison; with that word they were appeased, and their anger abated. Gideon and the 300 crossed Jordan in hot pursuit but tired. He asked from the men of Succoth for loaves of bread for his tired and hungry men, in pursuit of the Kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna; but they answered asking if he already captured them, so that food should be rewarded to his army. Gideon promised them that after capturing them by the Lord’s help, I will tear your flesh with desert thorns and briers. He asked the same of the men of Penuel, who answered like the men of Succoth; he promised to return in peace and victory and will demolish this Tower. Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their hosts of some 15,000 from the Easterners, for some 120,000 soldiers died. Gideon went by way of tent dwellers on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the secured army; so Zebah and Zalmunna escaped; but he chased both and caught them and routed the host. He returned from the battle from the Ascent of Heres, and caught a young man of Succoth, and interrogated him; he described to him the Princes of Succoth and the Elders, in all 77 men; he came to the men of Succoth and reminded them of their words to him in refusing food for his tired men; so with desert thorns and briers he taught the City Elders a lesson; and he demolished the Tower and killed the men of the city. Then he asked Zebah and Zalmunna what kind of men they killed at Tabor; they told him they were like him, they resembled sons of a king. He said to them that they were his brothers, his mother’s sons; and if they had been spared, by the Lord they would be allowed to live. Gideon told Jether his firstborn to slay them, but he was afraid being young; the two Kings bid him to prove his manhood to slay them himself; he slew them and took the crescents from their camel’s necks. Israel asked Gideon to rule over them, you and your sons and your grandsons, since you saved us from Midian. Gideon declined, telling them the Lord must rule over them. He requested of them to give him the ear-rings of the plunder, for the Ishmaelites had golden ear-rings. They spread a garment and gave the spoil of golden ear-rings, weighing some 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescents and pendants, and the purple garments on the Kings of Midian, and the chains about their camel’s necks. Gideon made an Ephod from them, and put it in his city (Ophrah), and all Israel played the harlot with it there; which was a snare to Gideon and his house. Midian was subdued before Israel, and they did not lift their heads again. And the Land rested 40 years in Gideon’s days. Jerubbaal (Gideon) went home; his own sons, by his many wives, were 70. His concubine in Shechem birthed to him his son Abimelech. Gideon died in old age and was buried in the sepulchre of his father Joash, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. Again, Israel turned to idolatry and harlotry with Baalim, and made Baal-Berith their god; and Israel forgot the Lord God Who saved from all their enemies; neither showed kindness to the house of Jerubbaal-Gideon for all his goodness to Israel.
Abimelech ben-Jerubbaal (6th Judge and King or Ruler) went to Shechem to his mother’s brothers, asking the house of his mother’s father if it’s better that 70 or 1 to rule over them; and to remember he is their bone and flesh; the men of Schechem heard and agreed to follow their brother Abimelech. They gave him 70 silver pieces from the House of Baal-Berith, which he used to hire worthless and useless followers. He went to his father’s house at Ophrah and murdered all 70 sons of Jerubbaal; but Jotham the youngest hid himself. The Shechemites assembled at the House of Milo, and they made Abimelech King by the Oak of the Pillar in Schechem. It was told to Jotham, and he went on top of Mount Gerizim, and shouted for the Shechemites to listen to him that God may hear them: The Trees went to anoint a King over them, and asked the Olive-Tree to reign over them; the Olive-Tree declined not wanting to leave their fatness which honor God and man, to wave to and fro over the Trees. The Trees asked the Vine; which declined, not desiring to leave its new wine, which cheers God and man, to wave over the Trees. The Trees asked the Bramble; which agreed to be anointed King over them if they take refuge in its shade; but if they refuse, let fire from the Bramble consume the Cedars of Lebanon. So, he asked, have you have done right in making Abimelech King, and treated Jerubbaal and his house properly for his fighting and risking his life to deliver them from Midian: rather you have risen against my father’s house, murdered his 70 sons on one stone, and made Abimelech, his maid-servant’s son, your kin, King over the Shechemites; then rejoice in him, and he with you; and if not, let fire from Abimelech devour the Shechemites and the house of Millo; and let the fire from the Shechemites and the house of Millo devour Abimelech. Then Jotham ran away, and escaped to hide at Beer, for fear of his brother Abimelech. He was Prince over Israel 3 years, and then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the Shechemites to deal treacherously with him, to repay his treatment, Jerubbaal’s 70 sons, for blood-guilt murder to him and them. The Shechemites set ambush on the mountain tops for him and robbed all that passed by that way; and it was told to Abimelech. Gaal ben-Ebed came to the Shechemites and they trusted in him; they gathered from their vineyards in the field, trod the grapes, and held a festival, and went into the house of their god to eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. Gaal denounced Abimelech as Jerubbaal’s son and a nobody, and Zebul his officer; rather serve the men Hamor Shechem’s father; would that this people were under my rule, then I would get rid of Abimelech; he challenged Abimelech to a great battle. Zebul the city’s ruler heard and was enraged. So Gaal sent messengers (angels) to Abimelech craftily, warning him that Gaal has attack the city against you; at night you and the people lay in ambush to come against him in the morn by surprise, and meet him as they leave the city, and do what you will. Abimelech and his men by night lay ambush in 4 companies against the Shechemites; Gaal stood at the entrance of the city gate, and Abimelech rose from the ambush to confront him; Gaal told Zebul that the people are coming down the mountains; Zebul said he was seeing the mountains shadows as men; but Gaal said again, the people, as one company, are in the middle of the land by way of the Oak of Meonenim. Zebul asked him about his mouth against service to Abimelech, and to go out to fight the people he despised. So Gaal leading the Shechemites in battle, was chased by Abimelech; and he fled the field of the many wounded, up to the city entrance. While Abimelech was at Arumah, Zebul ousted Gaal and his brothers from Shechem. They told Abimelech, and he with three companies ambushed the city, and they killed the people leaving the city; then he rushed the city at the gate, while the two companies killed those in the field. He fought the city that day, then captured it, killed the citizens, destroyed the city, and salted it. The Shechemites of the Tower entered the Stronghold of the house Elberith; and Abimelech was told; he and his men went to Mount Zalmon, and he and they took axes and cut down branches and carried them on their shoulders; then they sieged the Stronghold and set in on fire, killing about 1,000 men and women. Abimelech besieged and captured Thebez; but the people had fled to the city’s strong Tower and shut themselves in and went to the roof. Abimelech attacked it, and was about to burn it, when a woman on the roof of the Tower threw a millstone down on his head, breaking his skull. He called to his armorbearer while dying to kill him with the sword that it may not be said a woman killed him, and thus he did. Israel departed and returned to their place after his death; for God requited Abimelech’s wickedness and murder of his brothers; and that of the Shechemites with the curse of Jotham ben-Jerubbaal
After Abimelech, arose Tola ben-Puah ben-Dodo of Issachar (7th Judge) at Shamir, in the hill-country of Ephraim. He judged Israel for 23 years and was buried at Shamir. Next Jair the Gileadite (8th Judge) judged Israel 22 years; he had 30 sons riding 30 donkeys’ colts, having 30 cities called Havvoth-Jair in Gilead; he died and was buried in Kamon. Again, Israel outraged the Lord by idolatry in service to Baalim, the Ashtaroth, and the gods or idols of Syria, Sidon, Moab, Ammonites, and Philistines; they forsook the Lord in disobedience. The Lord sold them to the Philistines and Ammonites. That year they vexed and oppressed Israel, for they had done so for 18 years in Trans-Jordan in Gilead. Now the Ammonites crossed Jordan to attack Judah and Benjamin and the house of Ephraim; Israel was distressed, and cried to the Lord, confessing their sin of disobedience and idolatry to Baalim. The Lord responded to Israel, that He saved them when they cried to Him, from the oppression of Egyptians, the Ammorites, Ammonites, Philistines, Sidonians, Amalekites, and Maonites. But, He said, you have forsaken Me for idols; I will no longer save you; rather go to your gods to be saved from distress. But Israel confessed their sin, and begged to be saved now, and for Him to do with them what He will. Israel got rid of the foreign gods to serve the Lord; and He was grieved for Israel’s misery. The Ammonites encamped in Gilead and Israel in Mizpah. The Princes of Gilead asked who could lead the fight against the Ammonites; and they promised to make him head or ruler of all the Gileadites.
Jephthah the Gileadite (9th Judge-Ruler) was a brave warrior, but was a son of a harlot, but Gilead fathered him. Gilead’s wife bore him sons, who when grown rejected and banished him from the household as an outcast; he fled and lived in the land of Tob; and outcasts gathered to him. When the Ammonites warred against Israel, the Elders of Gilead appealed to Jephthah to be their Chief and fight the Ammonites; he reminded them that they hated him, and drove him away, so why come to him in trouble. But they insisted that he help them against the Ammonites, and become, they said, our head; he committed them to their word; if the Lord should give him victory. They made him head and chief, and he spoke these words in Mizpah. He sent messengers to the King of the Ammonites as to their campaign, which he answered, that Israel after the Exodus from Egypt appropriated my land from Arnon to Jabbok to Jordan; and demanded the lands be restored peaceably. Again he sent messengers stating that Israel did not take land of Moab or Ammon; but after the Exodus entreated the King of Edom for passage, which he refused; in like manner the King of Moab; so Israel stayed in Kadesh; going through the Desert or Wilderness, going around Edom and Moab, to the east side of Moab, and encamped on the other side of Arnon, and no closer. Afterwards, Israel sent messengers to Sihon King of the Amorites and Heshbon, asking for passage; Sihon refused, and gathered his people and encamped against Israel in Jahaz for battle; the Lord God of Israel defeated them by Israel’s sword, and Israel thus possessed the land of the Amorites by conquest; occupying the borders from Arnon to Jabbok, and from the desert to Jordan. The Lord our God dispossess the Amorites for us by conquest. Should you now take possession? Are you better than Balak ben-Zippor the King of Moab, who never warred against Israel? Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its towns, in Aroer and its towns, and all the cities along the way, for 300 years; why did you not recover them during that time? I have not sinned against you, but you wrong me to war against me; the Lord judge between Israel and Ammon; but the King of Ammon refused this response. The Spirit of the Lord (Ruach Yehowah) came on Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead and Manasseh, Mizpeh of Gilead, to the Ammonites. He vowed to the Lord for victory, to sacrifice the first thing that meets him at the door of his house after his success as a burnt-offering. He fought and utterly defeated the Ammonites from Aroer to Minnith, 20 cities, even to Abelcheramim; thus, Israel subdued the Ammonites. Jephthah returned to his house in Mizpah, and his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and dances; and she was his only offspring. He saw her and tore his clothes in shame and blame, very troubled for the oath or vow he made to the Lord; she replied that since the Lord has given him victory over the Ammonites, he should do with her according to his vow or oath. She requested a leave of 2 months to go along the mountains and bewail her virginity with her companions; and so she did; then she returned and Jephthah did with her as he vowed (he sacrificed her as a burnt-offering); she died a virgin; and it became a custom in Israel that the Daughters of Israel to yearly celebrate or commemorate the Daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite for 4 days.
The Ephraimites gathered and passed northward and asked Jephthah why he fought the Ammonites without consulting them and said they will burn his house and him with fire. He replied that he and his people were at great strife with the Ammonites, and they turned to the Ephraimites but were not helped; he risked his life against the Ammonites; and the Lord delivered them into his hand. So why do you now come to fight against me? Jephthah and the Gileadites fought against the Ephraimites; who said that the Gileadites were but fugitives of Ephraim and Manasseh. The Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites, so that when a fugitive of Ephraim tried to pass over, and denied being an Ephraimite, he was asked to pronounce Shibboleth, but would say Sibboleth incorrectly; they killed him at the Jordan’s banks; all Ephraimites killed were 42,000. Jephthah judged Israel for 6 years; then he died and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead. Next Ibzan of Beth-Lehem (10th Judge) judged Israel; he had 30 sons and 30 daughters; he got 30 daughters from abroad as wives for his sons; he judged Israel for 7 years; he died and was buried at Beth-Lehem. Next Elon the Zebulunite (11th Judge) judged Israel for 10 years; he died and was buried at Aijalon in Zebulun. Next Abdon ben-Hillel the Pirathonite (12th Judge) judged Israel for 8 years; he had 40 sons, and 30 grandsons, and they rode on 70 young donkeys; he died and was buried in Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill-country of the Amalekites.
Now there was a man of Zorah of the Danites, Manoah, whose wife was barren; the Lord’s Angel appeared to her with news that she will become pregnant and birth a son; that she must not drink wine or strong drink, nor eat anything unclean; the boy must not have a haircut or eat unclean things; for he is a Nazirite from birth to death. Manoah prayed that the Lord would send that Man of God to teach us how to raise the child. God heard and sent His Angel to the woman in the field, her husband not present; she hurried and told her husband, Manoah came to the Man and asked him if he spoke to the woman; and how to raise the child. The Lord’s Angel told him to do all that he instructed his wife, she must abstain from all product of the vine, no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean. Manoah desired the Angel to stay for a meal; but he said that if he is detained he will not eat, and if a burnt-offering is offered it must be to the Lord; for he did not know it was the Lord’s Angel. Manoah asked the Angel’s Name to honor him after his words come true; but he said, why? for it is Wonderful. Manoah offered a kid and grains on the rock to the Lord; and the Angel did wonders while he and his wife watched; as the flames consumed the sacrifice and ascended, so too the Angel ascended in the flames of the altar; they fell face down to the ground. The Angel never appeared again; but Manoah told his wife of his fear of death for seeing God; she replied that if the Lord wanted to kill them He would not have accepted the offerings or showed us or told us these things. The woman gave birth to a son named Samson; which grew with the Lord’s blessing. The Spirit of the Lord began to move on him in Mahaneh-Dan, and Zorah, and Eshtaol.
Samson (13th Judge) went to Timnah and saw a woman of the daughters of the Philistines. He told his parents to arrange for him to marry her; but they objected that he wanted a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines; but he insisted he was pleased with her. But his parents did not know that Lord by him sought occasion against the Philistines; since they were then rulers of Israel. He and his parents went to Timnah; but near the vineyards a young lion roared against him; and the Lord’s Spirit came on him mightily, and he tore him as if a kid with his bare hands; but he did not tell his parents. Samson was pleased with her, and soon went to take her; and on the way the carcass of the lion had a swarm of bees in the lion’s body and honey; he took some honeycomb to eat along the way, then gave the rest to his parents without telling them that he took it out of the lion’s body. Samson’s father went to the woman, and Samson made a feast as the young men were accustomed to do. They brought 30 companions as guests; he put a riddle to them, and if they can explain it in 7 days he will give them 30 linen garments and 30 robes; but if they cannot, they must give him 30 linen garments and 30 robes; they agreed. Samson’s Riddle: From the Eater came forth Food and from the Strong came forth the Sweetness. For 7 days they tried to explain the Riddle, and his wife also they threatened to get the meaning of the Riddle, or, they threatened, would burn her and her family, for making them poor. She complained that he did not reveal it to her, but he said I have not told it even to my parents; she cried for seven days; on the 7th day she begged him, and he told her, and she told them. Before sunset they interpreted the Riddle: What is sweeter than Honey? Or what is stronger than a Lion? But he replied: If ye had not plowed with my Heifer, ye had not found out my Riddle. The Lord’s Spirit mightily came upon him and he went to Ashkelon and killed 30 men and took their clothes as spoil and gave it to the interpreters of his Riddle. His anger burned, so he went to his father’s house; but his wife was given to his companion he used as a friend.
Later, during the wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a kid, and desired to be with her in the bedroom; but her father objected, saying he thought he renounced her, so he married her off to his companion; but offered, in her place, her younger and more beautiful sister. Samson now said he would be blameless to do more mischief to the Philistines. He caught 300 hundred foxes, and tied firebrands between every two tails, then lit them and turned them loose in the standing grain of the Philistines; and it burnt up shocks, standing grain, and the oliveyards. The Philistines was told that Samson the son-in-law of the Timnite did it, because his wife was given to his companion; they burnt up her and her father. But Samson said this thing is reason to get more revenge, and then he will cease. He struck and slaughtered them hip and thigh; then went to stay in the Cleft of the Rock of Etam. The Philistines encamped in Judah and spread out in Lehi. The Judaens demanded why they came; they said for Samson to do to him what he did to them. Then 3,000 Judaens came to him and said the Philistines are our rulers what have done? he replied that I did to them what they did to me. They demanded him to be bound and handed over to them; but he insisted that they swear not to kill him themselves; they agreed that they will bind and deliver him to them; they bound him with 2 new ropes and brought him from the Rock. At Lehi the Philistines shouted as they met him; then the Spirit of the Lord came mightily on him, and the ropes became as flax burnt with fire and fell off his hands; he found a fresh donkey’s jawbone and with it killed 1,000. He then said that Heaps on Heaps by a Donkey’s Jawbone I killed 1,000 men; then he threw the jawbone away; the place was called Ramath-Lehi. He was very thirsty and called on the Lord who gave His servant great deliverance, not to let him now die of thirst, and captured by the uncircumcised. God split the hollow place at Lehi, and water flowed; he drank and his spirit revived; the place was called En-Hakkore to this day. Samson thus judged Israel in the days of the Philistines for 20 years.
Samson went to Gaza to a harlot; the Gazites surrounded the place, waiting quietly all night to kill him at daybreak; but at midnight he took the doors of the city gate by its two posts, pulling them out bar and all, and carried them on his shoulders to the top of the mount before Hebron. Later, he loved a woman named Delilah in the Valley of Sorek. The Lords of the Philistines persuaded her to entice him and discover the secret of his great strength, and how to prevail against him; to bind and afflict him; and they promised each one to give her 1,100 silver-pieces. Delilah asked him to tell her the secret of his strength, and how he may be bound and afflicted. He told her if he is bound with 7 green withes or vines never dried, he would be weak as other men; the Lords of the Philistines gave her the 7 green withes undried; she bound him; while an ambush waited hid in the inner chamber. She told him that the Philistines are on him; he broke the withes as if a string of tow when burnt. The secret of his strength still unknown, Delilah complained to him for mocking and telling her lies; she demanded the secret. He told her to use new ropes never used, and he will be another man. She did as before; but he awoke and broke them as thread. She complained of his trick and mockery and lies; and demanded the truth; he replied that if his hair is weaved into 7 locks with a web; she did and fastened it with the pin; she alerted him, and he awoke and plucked the pin and beam and the web. She complained that he didn’t love her since he has mocked and tricked her 3 times, and she persisted daily with words till he was vexed to death. He revealed his heart and the truth that he was a Nazirite to God from his mother’s pregnancy and no razor has ever cut his hair; if shaven he will be weak as an ordinary man. Delilah told the Philistines to return this once, for he has told his heart and the secret; they came with the money in hand. She let him sleep on her knees or lap, and then had a man shave his 7 locks of hair, and his strength was gone. She alerted him, and he awoke to shake himself as before, but knew not the Lord had departed. The Philistines took him and put out his eyes, brought him to Gaza bound with brass fetters or chains, and made him grind grain in the prison house. But his hair began to grow again; and the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to their god or idol Dagon with joy; for their god has delivered Samson to them; they saw him and praised their god for his capture who had wasted their country and killed many of them. In their festive celebration they called for Samson to entertain them, setting him between the two pillars; Samson asked the youth that led him to rest on the pillars of the house. The house was filled with men and women, along with the 5 Lords of the Philistines, and some 3,000 guests on the roof; watching as he entertained them. Samson prayed to the Lord Jehovah, God, to remember and strengthen him this last time to avenge the Philistines for his two eyes. He took hold of the two middle pillars, and said: let me die with the Philistines, and bowed himself with all his might, and the house collapsed on the Lords and the people in it. He killed more in his death than he did in his life. His relatives and took him and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial place of Manoah his father. He judged Israel 20 years.
Now Micah was an Ephraimite of the hill-country, he told his mother that the money (1,100 silver-pieces) that she uttered a curse and told him was stolen by him; his mother blessed him in the Lord. He restored the money; his mother said she had dedicated the money to the Lord to make of it a graven and molten image; she gave it back to him. After he restored the money, she took 200 silver-pieces and gave to the founder to make a molten and graven idol; and it was in Micah’s house. Micah had a House of Gods, with an Ephod, and Teraphim, and he consecrated one of his sons to be his Priest. (In those days there was no King in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.) Now a young man, a Levite from Beth-Lehem-Judah in Judah’s family, travelled from that city to find another place, and he came to the hill-country of Ephraim to Micah’s house. Micah asked from where he came and to where he was going, and he told him. Micah asked him to stay with him and become a Father and Priest to him; for which he would give 10 silver-pieces yearly, a suit of apparel, and victuals. The Levite was content to stay with him; who was as one of his sons; and Micah consecrated the young Priest in his house. Micah said the Lord will do me good since I have a Levite as Priest.
(In those days there was no King in Israel). At that time the Danites were seeking a place of inheritance, for yet they had not possessed their inheritance in Israel. The Danites sent 5 brave men from Zorah and Eshtaol to spy and survey the land. They came to the hill-country of Ephraim and lodged at Micah’s house; and the recognized the young Levite; and they asked how he got here and what he was doing and what he had; and he said Micah hired him to be Priest. They asked him to inquire from God as to their mission’s success; he told them to go in peace for the Lord goes with them. The 5 Danites came to Laish and saw the people dwelt securely like the Sidonians, safe and quiet, without authority to shame or stop them; far from the Sidonians in isolation. They returned to Zorah and Eshtaol and reported to make a quick assault and possess the land; for the people are secure, and the land large and abundant and God has given it to you. The Danites sent 600 men armed for war; they came and camped behind Kiriath-Jearim in Judah (the place is called Mahaneh-Dan to this day); thence passed through the hill-country of Ephraim to Micah’s house. The 5 spies related about Micah’s houses and his Ephod and Teraphim and idols; so they turned to the house and asked the young Priest his welfare; then they secured the entrance of the city-gate; the 5 spies went and took the idols, Ephod, and Teraphim; and the Priest asked what were they doing; they replied for him to keep silent, and to go with them to be a Father and Priest to a tribe in Israel instead of one man; the Priest was glad and went with them in the midst with the Ephod, Teraphim, and idols. They departed with the little ones, and cattle and goods in front. After while Micah and his neighbors overtook the Danites, and shouted at them; the Danites turned around and ask what was there problem to come with such a company? Micah replied that they have stolen his gods and his Priest, what is left; and you say what is my problem? The Danites retorted to keep quiet before some angry fellows fall upon you and you lose your lives. The Danites continued toward home; Micah returned home seeing that they were too strong for him to stop. They continued to Laish and killed the citizens and burned the city; there was no deliverer or savior, being far from Sidon and secluded in the Valley by Beth-Rehob; and they built a city and called it Dan, their father the son of Israel; but its original name was Laish. The Danites set up their idols, and Jonathan ben-Gershom ben-Moses (Moses’ grandson; some 100 years from the Entrance to Canaan) ((the variant Manasseh, with the altered Nun (N) saves Moses honor, but does not explain the genealogy)) and his sons were Priests to the tribe of Dan till the day of the Captivity of the Land (some 700 years later); the House of God then was in Shiloh.
(In those days there was no King in Israel.) Now there was a certain Levite traveling on the outskirt of the hill-country of Ephraim, who took a second-wife or concubine from Beth-Lehem-Judah; and she played the harlot against him and returned to her father’s house in Beth-Lehem-Judah and stayed 4 months. Her husband went to get her with kind words, with his servant and donkeys. She brought him to her father and he was glad to see him; and his father-in-law retained him for 3 days and nights entertained with food and drink and lodging. On the 4th day he tried to leave early but his father-in-law said to stay awhile to eat then go. But when he later tried to go he begged him to stay the night; he did. Early the 5th day the damsel’s father again insisted that he stay the day till sunset; he did. The Levite rose to depart with his concubine and servant; his father-in-law tried to persuade him to stay another night; but he refused and departed toward Jebus (Jerusalem); his servant suggested they turn to lodge in Jebus of the Jebusites; but the Levite answered that we will not stay in a city of foreigners but in a city of Israel like Gibeah or Ramah. They came to Gibeah of Benjamin and entered to lodge there and waited in the street for hospitality. Now at even an old man came from work in the fields, he was of the hill-country of Ephraim and settled in Gibeah of the Benjamites. The old man asked the visitors why they were there, whence they came and wither they went; the Levite told him from Beth-Lehem-Judah near the hill-country of Ephraim but now are going to the House of the Lord; but no one has invited us to lodge, although we have our own provisions; the old man in peace invited him to not stay in the street but to lodge with him and let him provide for all their needs. They lodged with the old man, who fed the donkeys, washed their feet, and fed them; while their hearts made merry some degenerate men of the city surrounded the house, beating the door, and demanded to the old man to hand over the visitor that they may know them (sexually). The master of the house, the old man, went out to appeal to them as brothers not to do this evil thing; and he offered his daughter and the man’s concubine to satisfy their sexual lusts. The locals rejected the offer; and the Levite grabbed his concubine and thrust her out to them; and they sexually abused her all night till morning and let her go. The woman at daybreak reached the door of the man’s house where her lord was lodging and collapsed at the doorway with her hands on the threshold. Her master, her husband the Levite, told her to get up and let us go; but she answered not; he put her on the donkey and returned home. In his house he took a knife and dismembered his concubine dead body, limb by limb, into 12 pieces; and sent each a piece to all the tribes and borders of Israel. All were shocked that such a deed which had never been done in Israel from the Exodus from Egypt to the present; and they took counsel to act.
All the congregation of Israel assembled as one man, from Dan to Beer-Sheba, with the Land of Gilead, to the Lord at Mizpah. The tribal Princes presented themselves in the Assembly of God’s People, 400,000 foot-soldiers with swords. The Benjamites heard that the Israelites mustered in Mizpah; The Israelites asked the Levite how this wickedness came about; and the murdered woman’s husband told them the details of what they did and what he did. The Israelites vowed to not return home till this is judged. They cast lot to determine how to go against Gibeah; they enlisted 10 men of 100, 100 of 1,000, and 1,000 of 10,000, to get food supply for the fighters against Gibeah of Benjamin, and the folly done in Israel. Israel united against Benjamin and demanded what is this wickedness that was committed. They demanded the degenerates to be handed over to be put to death to remove the evil from Israel. But the Benjamites refused but mustered from all their cities to fight the Israelites; some 26,000, not counting the 700 Gibeahites. Now of the Benjamites were 700 left-handed stone slingers, able to hit a mark at a hair-breath. Israel forces numbered 400,000 swordsmen; and they inquired counsel from God at Bethel for the first to lead against Benjamin; the Lord designated Judah. Israel early in the morn encamped against Gibeah; they engaged in battle; and the Benjaminites slaughtered of the Israelites that day 22,000. The next day the Israelites were encouraged to array themselves in battle again; they wept before the Lord and asked should they go to war, and the Lord said to go. The 2nd day Israel battled Benjamin at Gibeah; and Benjamin destroyed of Israel some 18,000 swordsmen. Israel then went to Beth-El and wept and sat before the Lord and fasted that day till even; and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. The Israelites asked of the Lord (for the Ark of the Covenant of God was then there, and Phineas ben-Eleazar ben-Aaron stood before it) if they continue to war against Benjamin or cease; the Lord said go up, for tomorrow they will be defeated. Israel set an ambush around against Gibeah; on the 3rd day the Benjaminites went to war outside the city, wounding and killing about 30 of Israel along the highways towards Beth-El; saying, they are smitten before us as before; but the Israelites had agreed to flee to lure Benjamin from the city to the highways and the ambush. The Israelites rose to battle at Baal-Tamar, and those in ambush went forth at Maareh-Geba. The Israelites, some 10,000 strong, came against Gibeah in battle; and Gibeah did not know their end was near. The Lord struck Benjamin before Israel; and some 25,100 swordsmen were slaughtered. The Benjaminites saw they were smitten before Israel, trusting in their ambush against Gibeah. So those in ambush rushed on Gibeah and struck the city with the sword. The Israelites had agreed that after attacking the city that they burn it, to cause smoke to ascend; when the cloud arose as a pillar of smoke; the Benjaminites saw behind them that their city was in smoke; then Israel turned around against the dismayed and doomed Benjaminites. They turned in flight from the Israelites towards the desert; but the battle pursued them; but those from the city joined the pursuit trapping the Benjaminites in the middle. Israel enclosed the Benjaminites, routed them, chassed and trod them in their resting-place as far as Gibeah toward sunrise east. Some 18,000 brave Benjaminites died; the rest turned and fled toward the desert, to the Rock of Rimmon; gleaning some 5,000 more along the highways; in hot pursuit to Gidom; and killed another 2,000. So that day some 25,000 brave fighters of Benjamin died in battle. Now some 600 men fled to the desert near the Rock of Rimmon and hid there in the rocks for 4 months. Israel turned against the Benjaminites killing everyone in the city, the cattle, and whatever they found, and they set the city on fire.
Now the Israelites swore in Mizpah that they would not give to Benjamin any of their daughters in marriage. The People came to Beth-El and sat before God, lifting their voices and crying greatly. They prayed: Lord God of Israel why has all this happened, that one tribe has been lost in Israel. Next day, early in the morn, they built an Altar to the Lord, and offered burnt and peace offerings. They asked which tribe was not represented in the Assembly to the Lord; since they swore that those who did not come to the Lord at Mizpah must dye. The Israelites repented and regretted for Benjamin being cut off; how shall we get wives for the survivors? No one came from the camp of Jabesh-Gilead to the Assembly, from the census that was taken. The Congregation sent 12,000 valiant men to kill the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead, men, women, and children; but to spare the virgin girls; and they found some 400 young virgins, which brought to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan. The entire Congregation sent and told the Benjaminites at the Rock of Rimmon in peace’ Benjamin returned, and they gave them the spared women of Jabesh-Gilead; but they still were short of wives. The People grieved still for the breach in Israel; and the Elders consulted and sought to preserve the tribe from extinction; but could not allow their daughters to marry the Benjaminites for the curse of the oath sworn. They suggested, that at the Lord’s Feast at Shiloh, north of Beth-El, east side of the highway leaving Beth-El to Shechem, and south of Lebonah: that they go and hide in the vineyards; and when the Daughters of Shiloh come out to dance, then catch each one a wife and go to the land of Benjamin. And when their fathers come to complain, we will ask them to be gracious in this, since we did not reserve any wives in battle, lest we incur guilt; and they did. The Benjaminites took their new dancing wives and returned to their inheritance, built the cities, and settled in them. (In those days there was no King in Israel: every man did what was right in his own eyes.)
Judges in the Book of Judges: 12 + 1:
1. Othniel: ben-Kenaz, achi-Caleb, wife Achsah bath-Caleb from Debir of Judah: defeated King Cushan-rishathaim of Mesopotamia; ends 8 yrs servitude: years judged unknown: 40 years of rest.
2. Ehud: ben-Gera, left-handed Benjamite from Gilgal of Manasseh: defeats King Eglon of Moab with Ammon & Amalek; ends 18 yrs servitude: 80 yrs rest.
3. Shamgar: ben-Anath [of Naphtali?]: defeated the Philistines.
4. Deborah & Barak: Prophetess, Lappidoth’s wife; from Bethel in Ephraim; & ben-Abinoam of Kedesh-Naphtali: defeated King Jabin of Canaan in Hazor, with Jael, the Kenite Heber’s wife, ends 20 yrs oppression: 40 yrs rest.
5. Gideon: ben-Joash the Abiezrite from Ophrah of Issachar-Manasseh, Jerubbaal: defeated & subdued Midian, killed the Princes, Oreb & Zeeb, and Kings, Zebah & Zalmunna; ends 7 yrs servitude: 40 yrs rest.
6. ((Abimelech: ben-Jerubbaal (Gideon), made King by Schechemites after they murdered Gideon’s 70 sons; ruled 3 yrs; killed by a woman throwing down a millstone on his head from the Tower of Shechemites of Thebez.))
7. Tolah: ben-Puah ben Dodo from Shamir of Manasseh-Issachar-Ephraim; judged for 23 yrs.
8. Jair: the Gileadite from Kamon of Trans-Jordan of Manasseh; judged 22 yrs.
9. Jepthah: the Gileadite, ben-Gilead, from Ramoth-Gilead of Trans-Jordan Manasseh; of a harlot mother by Gilead, and rejected by his brothers of Gilead wife; defeated the Philistines & Ammonites; ends 18 yrs of oppression; judged 6 yrs.
10. Ibzan: of Bethlehem of Judah; judged 7 yrs.
11. Elon: the Zebulunite; judged 10 yrs
12. Abdon: ben-Hillel the Pirathonite of Manasseh-Ephraim; judged 8 yrs.
13. Samson: ben-Manoah of Zorah of Dan-Judah; fought the Philistines; judged for 20 yrs; killed thousands of Philistines in life and more in death.
((The years of Rest were about 200, the years of Servitude or Oppression were about 70, 3 years of usurpation rule of a local King (Abimelech ben-Gideon of Shechem via his mother the harlot-concubine); and the years of Judges rule were about 100.))
Judges resumes the Divine History from Joshua’s death, in the Conquest of Canaan, to complete the occupation and conversion of Palestine to Israel, the transformation of the old land to the new. The nation is tested by each tribe dealing with the challenges as they arise in each adversary and resistance of the natives. Judah and Simeon first strike the Canaanites and the Perizzites in Southern Judah (Hebron and Debir, formerly Kiriath-Arba and -Sepher, and the Negeb from the Dead Sea to the Great Sea coasts: Ashkelon-Ashdod, Gaza, Ekron, Debir, Gerar, Beersheba, Zephath, Hormah, Zoar, etc.), and Judah will increasingly become the power of Israel against the Canaanites and the Philistines. Benjamin and Dan and Simeon becoming dependent on the house of Judah. Some natives were too difficult to drive out, like the Jebusites of Jebus or Jerusalem, and a compromise or mutual toleration developed. It was so with each tribe in their failure to displace the native Gentiles in Canaan and Trans-Jordan. Canaan was never ever completely transformed into Israel from Joshua to David to Messiah. At times Israel would dominate, in a certain locality, but often the natives controlled and subjugated the country. Instead Israel intermarried and shared the customs and cultures of the natives, in violation to the Mosaic laws and the covenant they had with the Lord their God. They became idolatress in every way and place, and God would charge them with harlotry as a nation and a people. Their religious peculiarity and purity would be negated, defiled, and confused as an unfaithful wife to her spouse. The generations would undergo constant changes from good to bad and from evil to repentance and reform. God would deal with Israel according to their obedience or disobedience, their faithfulness or their disloyalty, and countless manners and ways possible. We see in Judges how the Lord relates to His people, and by extension, how God moves with the nations and the world, that is, how the Creator interacts with His creation. Israel would sin, the Lord would be enraged and punish them in different degrees, they would regret and repent, He would raise up deliverers, saviors, judges, and prophets as they needed, but only on temporary bases, avoiding the permanent system of kingship for some 400 years. The Lord would use the natives and the nations to chastise Israel, and when required even the land, the animals, and the earth and heavens as His rod and whip. The natives which were not displaced completely were the Philistines, the Canaanites (the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, and the Jebusites), the Sidonians, and the Hivites; these intermarried with the Israelites, who turned to idolatry to the offence of the Lord; Who in turn sold them into servitude to the King of Mesopotamia. The testimony of God to Israel in responding to their cries and prayers, their distress and repentance was to serve the nation of His faithfulness in His righteousness and holiness; and to bear witness to the Gentiles of His character and attribute of justice and grace. Each generation would undergo the same trial and training in the wisdom of God, and His patience or endurance with Israel would find its limits. In the Judges as deliverers and saviors, as teachers and rulers, we see the condition of the Israel in the varied aspects and states. Israel was increasing in population into the tens and hundreds of millions and the military force was easily mustered into hundreds of thousands and into millions. In like manner with all the nations far and near, warfare soon numbered into millions with those nations which grew into kingdoms and empires; and the human sufferings were unspeakable, and deaths innumerable. War became the most common way of population control for the local populace, and for the distant peoples as subjects to a foreign power. Self-defense was essential to ward off the invaders both small and great. The means of warfare in the offense or defense came in surprising features or instances such as with the women Deborah the Prophetess-Judge, the wife of Lappidoth; and Jael the wife of the Kenite Heber, related to Moses by his wife Zipporah bath-Hobab (or -Jethro) ben-Reuel the Midianite. When Israel became unfamiliar to war they were reluctant to fight and oppose the Gentile influences, and they easily compromised and reverted to idolatry. The Book of Judges as with the Five Books of Moses and the Book of Joshua, is concerned with the spiritual state of the People, their relations to the Lord God of Israel. It traces those events of the history and the generations which reveal that state and condition. The progression of the judgeship into kingship is shown in various instance’s, and polygamy of the leader-ruler proliferated. Gideon had many wives who generated some 70 sons not counting the daughters and other illegitimate offspring. As with the older generations since the Great Flood, all through the patriarchal generations from Abraham to Jacob, polygamy, and inbreeding was the way of mankind; first of necessity, then of immorality. The Law would in time expose and eradicate this evil in the nations conscience and experience. The place of women, children, and servants and slaves was often lower than the value and status of animals. The example of those in power and anointed crowned, and enthroned was at best hypocrisy and depravity, and the exceptions became few and far between. Cities grew to comprise thousands and tens of thousands of citizens and would continue to enlarge into the millions as it is to this day. In Abimelech ben-Gideon the Gentile influence and practice of a King surfaced and did not disappear till they got themselves a King like the nations about them. The distant foreign powers continued to spread their hands to dominate other countries and people, and Israel would be oppressed by mighty nations from Meopotamia, Egypt, Syria, and what we call Europe, along with the Arabs, India and Armenia, and all around their borders. Israel in Canaan-Palestine was situated as a vital way and passage for many nations in their imperial quests. The depravity and insanity of Jephthah’s sacrificing his daughter to the Lord as a burnt-offering based on an illegal and foolish vow, easily atoned for by an animal sacrifice for such guilt. In the same way we judge that yielding to depraved men who wish to commit unspeakable immorality and sexual vice on men and guests, that they may use and abuse a servant-girl, or a slave-maiden, or a concubine or mistress, and even a man’s own daughter reveals the depth and total depravity of human nature both among the Gentiles and in Israel. In Samson (the Nazirite) many of these things as just recounted find display and examples; and the dominance of the Philistines’ shown. After Samson the last judge of Judges, the history focuses on the Priesthood and the Tribes of Israel dealing with Dan and Benjamin. 4 times the expression will occurred in these last chapters: “In those days there was no King in Israel.”
In Micah an Ephraimite of Joseph and Joshua we see idolatry at work within Israel, the Levite easily compromised the sacred priesthood to subserve Micah, and this in service and worship to the Lord. The Danites share in this idolatry and violation of the divine ritual, and Moses grandson or great-grandson, Jonathan, (the Masoretic variant to salvage Moses’ honor by reading ‘Manasseh’, doesn’t help) and his sons became Priests to the Danites. Another example of the depravity of the priesthood is seen in the Levite of Ephraim and a second marriage to a concubine of Bethlehem-Judah who committed harlotry and adultery and ran away. He sought to win her back and travelling back home to the hill-country of Ephraim via Gibeah of Benjamin; where taking hospitality from a local, an old man, was threatened with rape from men of the city; and instead the old man offered his daughter and the Levite’s concubine-wife to their vile intent and lust. The Levite forced his concubine out the house and locked the door behind her; and they gang raped her all through the night till morning, to the brink of death. She walked back to the house and collapsed and the doorstep; the Levite in the morning seeing she was dead, loaded her body on the donkey, went home, dissected her body in 12 parts and sent them throughout Israel. The Assembly of Israel discovered the depravity of the Benjaminites and demand justice executed on the rapists and murderers; Benjamin refused, war ensued, at last the Tribe of Benjamin, known for their many left-handed slingers, were destroyed and annihilated; and to remedy the total extinction of the tribe the allowed young virgins of Shiloh to be kidnapped to become wives to the few hundred Benjaminites that survived the massacre. And from this decimated and exterminated tribe came the house of Kish and Saul.
RUTH: 4 Chapters: Kinsman Redeemer during Judges: Generations of Perez to Boaz to David:
RUTH: In the days of the judging Judges (shephot hash-shophetim) during the famine in the Land; a man of Bethlehem-Judah moved to the country of Moab with his wife and two sons. Their names were Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and his sons Mahlon (Machlon) and Chilion (Chilyon, Kilyon); Ephrathaites of Bethlehem-Judah. Naomi’s husband died; and her sons married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth; and they stayed 10 years. Mahlon and Chilion both died; Naomi got ready to return home, since she heard the Lord visited His people with bread. She and her two daughters-in-law started back to Judah; but Naomi bid them to return to their mother’s house; and that the Lord deal kindly with them as they dealt with the dead and to her; that the Lord grant them rest in the house of a husband. She kissed them; but they cried, and desired to go with her; but she insisted that they go back, since she cannot bear sons for them to marry; for she was too old; and if she did, would they wait till they grew up to marry them; and she grieved for them that the Lord was against her. They cried again; Oprah kissed Naomi and returned; both Ruth refused and clung to Naomi. She said to Ruth to follow her sister-in-law who has returned to her people and her god. Ruth begged her not to send her back; but she will go and lodge with her, and her people and God will be hers also; that nothing but death may sever them. Naomi yielded to her persistence; they both came to Bethlehem; and the city gathered around them, and asked: is this Naomi? but she told them not to call her Naomi (Sweet, Pleasant, Delight) but Mara (Bitter, Sad, Grief); since Shaddai (Almighty-Nourisher, Nurse) has treated me bitterly; for I left full, but the Lord brought me back empty; so do not call me Naomi for He has witnessed against me, and Shaddai has afflicted me. Naomi and Ruth came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest (in the spring).
Naomi’s husband Elimelech’s near kin was Boaz, a wealthy man. Ruth asked Naomi to permit her to glean in the fields of any who might favor her; and Ruth by chance gleaned after the reapers of the field in the lot of Boaz. Boaz came from Bethlehem, and blessed them in the Lord, and they him. He asked the reapers about the young woman, and the foreman said she was a Moabite returned with Naomi, who requested to glean the sheaves after the reapers; and she has continued from morn till now, except a little time in the house. Boaz told Ruth, my daughter glean only in this field and stay near my maidens; watch and glean the field they reap; and I have warned the young men not to touch you; and when you thirst drink from the vessels that they filled. She fell to the ground, asking why he was so kind to her as a foreigner; and he told her that it was reported how she has treated her mother-in-law as a widow; and that you left your family and country and people; the Lord God of Israel repay and reward your work for taking refuge under His Wings. She replied: lord (master), may I find favor and comfort in the kind words spoken to one not like your handmaidens. At meal-time Boaz told her to share bread and vinegar with them, and she was also given parched grain, with leftovers. When she began to glean Boaz commanded his young men to let her glean even of the sheaves without reproach and pull out some from the bundle for her to glean without rebuke. She gleaned till even, and then beat it out, amounting to an ephah of barley. She returned with the gleanings to her mother-in-law; and gave her leftovers she had saved. She asked where she gleaned and worked; blessed be the one that noticed you; and Ruth said his name was Boaz; Naomi said, blessed be the Lord for His continued kindness to the living and dead; and that the man is very close kin. Ruth added that he also instructed her to stay with his young men till the harvest ends. Naomi agreed that Ruth stay with his maidens in his field. She stayed with them till the barley and wheat harvests ended (in autumn), living with her mother-in-law.
Naomi said to her: my daughter what rest may I find for your good? Boaz is a close kinsman, and you are with his maidens, and he winnows barley tonight in the threshing-floor; wash yourself, anoint yourself, get dressed, and go down to the threshing-floor; but do not make yourself known to him, till he has finished eating and drinking; then when he lay down at the end of the heap of grain, to mark the place he slept; then uncover his feet and lay down; he will tell you what to do. She came quietly and uncovered his feet, she lay down. At midnight he was afraid and turned himself to find a woman at his feet; and asked who she was; and she said: I am Ruth your handmaid, spread your skirt over me, for you are a near kinsman. He blessed her in the Lord for her kindness at the end, greater than at the start; that she did not follow young men, rich or poor; but fear not, I will do as you ask, for all know that you are a worthy woman. It is true I am a near kinsman, but there is one still nearer; stay the night here till morn; and if he will perform the Kinsman part then so be it, if not, then I will do so as the Lord lives. She arose early before being detected; for he said let it not be known that a woman came to the threshing-floor. He asked her to hold her mantle (robe), and he filled it with 6 barley-measures; then he went into the city. She came to her mother-in-law; and she told her the man’s decision; and his gift of 6 barley-measures for her mother-in-law. Naomi told Ruth to wait, for he will finish the matter this day.
Boaz went and sat at the city-gate till the other near Kinsman came; and said to him to, turn and sit; and Boaz, along with 10 City Elders sitting, told them: Naomi has returned from the country of Moab, and is selling the parcel of land of our brother Elimelech. I disclose it to yu to buy it in the presence of these Elders, to Redeem it, but if yu will not Redeem it then tell me; for the right to Redeem is yurs as the nearest Kinsman and I am after yu. He said he would Redeem it; Boaz replied in the day yu Redeem it yu must also do so from Ruth the Moabite, the widow (wife) of the deceased, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance; he replied that he cannot Redeem it lest he mar his own inheritance; that Boaz should take the Right of Redemption. Now the custom in Israel in Redeeming and Exchanging property and persons, to confirm all things, was a man removed his shoe (sandal) and gave it to his neighbor, as witness in Israel of the transaction; and he did. Boaz said to the Elders that they were witnesses of his purchase of the property of Elimelech’s sons Chilion and Mahlon from Naomi; also, the purchase of Ruth the Moabite, the widowed-wife of Mahlon, to become my wife, to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, for a memorial here. The people and the Elders replied: We are witnesses; and the Lord make this woman and wife like Rachel and Leah, who both built the house of Israel; and may you do worthily in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem; and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar birthed to Judah, from the seed or offspring which the Lord shall give you of this woman. Boaz took Ruth as wife, and went in to her, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. The women blessed Naomi in the Lord, Who gave her this near Kinsman; may he be famous in Israel. For he (the child) shall be a Restorer and Nourisher of thine old age, because your daughter-in-law who loves you and is better to you than 7 sons, gave him birth. Naomi took and laid the child in her bosom and nursed him; and the neighborhood women said, Naomi has a baby boy; and they called him Obed; he became the father of Jesse the father of David (abi-Yishai abi-Dawid). These are the Generations of Perez: abi-Hezron; abi-Ram; abi-Amminadab; abi-Nahshon; abi-Salmon; abi-Boaz; abi-Obed; abi-Jesse; and abi-David. (8 Generations, not counting Perez and Judah.)
In the Book of Ruth, we are given a window into the times of the Judges of Israel during the days and years of Gideon (the 5th Judge), and perhaps during the 40 years the land rested, which is ascertained in that Salmon was David’s great great-grandfather and thus about 100 years before David, and according to Jephthah (the 9th (8th) Judge), 300 years transpired from Joshua to Jephthah. Those who place Ruth during the times of Samson are not clear. The picture is beautiful and simple. The Kinsman Redeemer is the Mediator between God and man; a Relative or Near-Kin Who can stand before God on our behalf; Who takes us up and in, sharing all He is and has with us. It is a lovely portrait of redemption and salvation. In David’s line we have Tamar and Ruth, Gentiles brought into the family of God. We see sin, ruin, lost, and the need for divine help; and Boaz shines in the dark background of the period of the Judges. The Law was not entirely forgotten, but it was not carefully observed. The Trans-Jordanians Israelites of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, dwelling within and alongside of Moab and Ammon, reveals the mixed condition of Israel’s occupation and the prevalence of the Gentiles in the people’s history, and daily experience. In Ruth we see the Goel, the Kinsman Redeemer, as He is seen in Job 19 and 23, where God is approachable as a man and friend and brother. This is Messiah in all that is meant to our hope and life. But in David will be the fulfillment of this hope and longing, and David is the seed that Ruth produced in her birth of a son to Boaz. And from David the Seed of Woman would come forth in due time in Jesus the Christ, the Messiah of Israel, and the Savior of the world.
We continue in the Scriptures in the Books of Samuel which is in the Hebrew Bible, in the traditional Masoretic Text is one Book called Samuel, but the Greeks and the Latins named them Kings 1st & 2nd, which they name Kings 1st & 2nd Kings 3rd & 4th. The history concludes the dispensation of the Judges, and the generations are seen in light of the Book of the Law as made known in Deuteronomy. The People or the Nation of Israel is governed by the Book, administered and maintained by the Priesthood of Aaron and the Levites. Judges exposed the defect and deterioration of both the Law and the Priesthood as displayed in the People. We read and understood that the People were the Kingdom of the Lord their King and Savior. Yet they lived in opposition to His Headship, and the Kingdom became an anarchy without a Monarch. Israel craved the visible Monarchy as they saw with the Gentiles, and they demanded to have a King, as seen in Abimelech ben-Gideon. Samuel enters the ‘divine drama of redemption’ to reveal a change in the Covenant and the Dispensation, that is the Divine in Economy in its Administration from Judgeship to Kingship, from local Heads to the Federal and National Headship. The failure of Israel to eradicate the local Gentiles, and to fully occupy their inheritance, and their violation of both their covenant relation to the Lord and their obligation to produce a future for their children and grandchildren in testimony to the nations compelled the Lord to interpose a new way to accomplish His long-term goals and Messianic preparations. Ruth has the Seed of the King of the Lord’s Kingdom, but Samuel must be created by God to have the Lord’s man in a new generation which, like in Ruth, must begin with a woman and wife. The Dispensation from Exodus to Malachi, is in three parts, the 1st is Moses and Aaron, from Exodus – Deuteronomy; the 2nd is Joshua and the Judges from Joshua to Samuel, and the 3rd is the Kings, from David & Solomon to Zerubbabel and the Captivity. As in previous dispensations the great dispensation is divided into three parts, it is a Dispensation of Israel as Jehovah’s Kingdom on earth, and it begins United by the Mosaic Law and Covenant supported by the Aaronic and Levitical Priesthood; then it undergoes tests and failure in Israel’s troubles and experience, with the added helps of the Judges and the Prophets; at last the Kingdom is altered in its visible headship and transferred by delegation and anointing to the Kings of Israel and Judah, and then to the Gentile Monarch’s in Israel’s Captivity and Exile. It is the 5th great Dispensation o0f the Historical and Generational Lampstand and corresponds or complements or answer to the 3rd Great Dispensation of the Sons of Noah as the Nations or Gentiles.
As with Joshua the Divine direct speaking continues to fade and is rare; it first occurs in Judges 1:2: “Judah shall go up: I have delivered the land into his hand.” Then later recalls the Exodus and warns about their duties concerning taking the land, and their disobedience; then at last of Samson the Nazarite against the Philistines; and concludes with these few words in chapter 20 against the Benjaminites: “Judah first” “Go up against him.” “Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.” He is silent in Ruth.
We give Bullinger’s ‘Summary of Principal Events’ Appendix 50.viii, from B.C. 1431 to A.D. 69.
Judges: Years of Servitude & Years of Rule
1431 First servitude. Mesopotamia 8 yrs
1423 Othniel. 40yrs [rest]
1393-1392 First Jubilee year (Anno Dei reckoning).
1383 Second servitude. Moab 18 yrs
1365 Ehud. 80 yrs [rest]
1285 Third servitude. Canaan 20 yrs
1265 Barak. 40 yrs
1225 Fourth servitude. Midian 7 yrs
1218 Gideon. 40 yrs
1178 Tola. 23 yrs
1155 Jair. 4 yrs
1151 Jephthah. 6 yrs (300 years from the entry into the Land. See note on chart 50. IV.)
1145 Ibzan. 7 yrs
1138 Elon. 10 yrs
1128 Abdon. 8 yrs
1120 Fifth servitude. Philistine. 40 yrs
[Total years of Rest and Rule: 258; and Total years of Servitude: 93.]
1808 Eli, 40 years.
1040 Samuel, 40 years.
1020 The “Reformation”. 1Sam. 7.
1000 Ends the 45 years of Acts 13:20, and 490 years from the year they should have entered into the Land.
1000 THE KINGDOM. Saul, 40 years.
990 David b.
974 David’s first anointing (16).
960 David, 40 years. Second anointing (30).
953 David’s third anointing (37).
920 Solomon, 40 years.
917 The Temple begun. 573 years after the Exodus. (Cp. Acts 13:20-23).
910 The Temple finished.
897 At the end of twenty years, the “two houses” finished (1Kings 9:10).
880 The Disruption. Rehoboam, 17 years.
863 Abijam, 3 years.
860 Asa, 41 years.
819 Jehoshaphat, 25 years.
796 Jehoram’s accession.
794 Jehoshaphat d.
789 Ahaziah’s accession.
788 Ahaziah slain by Jehu.
788-782 Gap, 6 years. Athaliah’s usurpation.
782 Jehoash, 41 years.
743 Amaziah, 29 years.
714 Amaziah ends.
714-701 Gap, 13 years.
701 Uzziah, 52 years.
687 Hosea’s prophecies begin?
649 Gap. One year between Uzziah’s death and Jotham’s accession.
647 Jotham, 16 years.
634 Micah’s prophecies begin?
632 Ahaz, 16 years.
617 Hezekiah’s accession.
616 Ahaz d.
615 Hosea ends?
613 Siege of Samaria begun.
611 Samaria taken and Israel ends.
603 Sennacherib invades Judah in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah (2Kings 18:13).
588 Manasseh, 55 years.
584 Isaiah killed? (Cp. Isa. 7:6).
533 Amon, 2 years.
531 Josiah, 31 years.
518 Jeremiah’s prophecies begin in Josiah’s thirteenth year.
513 The Book “found” and the Passover in Josiah’s eighteenth year.
500 Jehoahaz, 3 months.
499 Jehoiakim, 11 years.
497 Nebuchadnezzar’s first siege of Jerusalem.
496 Jehoiakim’s fourth year, Nebuchadnezzar’s first. Daniel taken to Babylon.
495 Jehoiakim burns the roll.
494 Nebuchadnezzar’s second year. His dream of the Great Image. Daniel interprets.
489 Jehoiachin, 3 months. Captivity begins in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighth year (second siege).
488 Zedekiah, 11 years.
484 Ezekiel’s prophecies begin.
478 Nebuchadnezzar’s third siege of Jerusalem begins.
477 Jerusalem taken, and Temple destroyed, in Nebuchadnezzar’s nineteenth year. Jeremiah ends.
473 Punishment for the murder of Gedaliah (Jer. 52:30).
462 Ezekiel’s last dated prophecy.
461-454 Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years of “madness”.
454 Twentieth year of Asteiages (Artaxerxes). The commandment to rebuild Jerusalem. (See 50. VI, VII. 5, 12.) Nehemiah’s first visit to Jerusalem.
452 Nebuchadnezzar d. after forty-four years’ reign.
452 Evil-Merodach. Jehoiachin’s captivity ends.
429 Belshazzar, 3 years.
426 Belshazzar slain. “Darius the Median” (Asteiages) takes the kingdom. Cyrus (Asteiages’ son) issues the Decree to rebuild the Temple. Daniel’s vision of the “seventy sevens”. The “seven sevens” begin. Foundations of the Temple laid. Nehemiah’s second visit to Jerusalem.
421 Cyrus ends.
418 Cambyses makes Nehemiah governor. Nehemiah’s third visit to Jerusalem.
411 Darius Hystaspis re-enacts the decree of Cyrus.
410 Haggai and Zechariah begin. The temple superstructure commenced and carried on to completion, from the second to the sixth year of Darius.
408 Zechariah’s last date.
405 The Temple finished and dedicated. The “seven sevens” end, and the “sixty-two sevens” commence.
404 The Passover.
403 Ezra’s last date: 1st of Nisan.
375? Darius Hystaspis d. (according to Herodotus, 63 years old).
4 The Nativity.
0 The Common Era of A.D.
29 The “sixty-nine sevens” end with the “cutting off of the Messiah”, 483 years from the “going forth of the commandment to build Jerusalem” in 454 B.C.
69 Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.