Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along." And his fellow answered and said :-“This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host."

And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said: -"Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.” And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. And he said unto them :-"Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.”

So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch ; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried :“The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the

three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Beth-shittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abel-meholah, unto Tabbath.

And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites. And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying :-"Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan.” Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together and took the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan. And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb'; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.'

[blocks in formation]

XVIII

THE STORY OF SAMSON

(Judges xv. (from v. 9)-xvi) Introductory Note. This story deals with the border warfare between the Israelites and the Philistines, a warlike people who occupied the southern coast plain of Canaan and who proved the most formidable enemies of Israel. The Philistines lived in walled cities of which Gath, Gaza, and Ekron are most often mentioned.

The Nazarites, of whom Samson was one, were persons specially consecrated to the service of the Lord, either for a definite time, or for life. In the latter class belonged Samson and, probably, Samuel and John the Baptist. The rules of the consecration are given in Numbers vi., 1-21.

It is not probable that there is any element of myth or allegory in the story of Samson. The hero is the exact type of the “Berserkers” of Scandinavian legend,-a warrior subject to fits of nervous excitement during which he is possessed of superhuman courage and strength; in the intervals, he is often sulky, stupid and perverse.

Then the Philistines went up and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. And the men of Judah said :-“Why are ye come up against us?”

And they answered :-“To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us.”

Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson:-“Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us?”

And he said unto them :—“As they did unto me, so have I done unto them."

And they said unto him:-“We are come to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines.

And Samson said unto them :-“Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves."

And they spake unto him, saying :-“No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee." And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock. And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire,' and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. And Samson said :

“With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, With the jawbone of an ass have I slain a thousand

inen.”

And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramath-lehi.' And he was sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said :-“Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of Thy

1. 2.

Explain the figure.
Ramath means heights; Lehi means jaw-bone.

servant: and now I shall die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised ?" But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof En-hakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day. And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

Then went Samson to Gaza; and it was told the Gazites, saying "Samson is come hither."

And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying :-"In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.”

And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her :-“Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him : and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.

3. The accent is on the second syllable. The word means The spring of the crier. i. e. The spring which gushed forth in answer to the cry of Samson.

« ForrigeFortsæt »