XXV. And the Philistines sought to fight with
the men of Israel: 1 and they inquired of the Lord and said: Shall we go up and fight against the
[paragraph continues] Philistines? and God said to them: If ye go up with a pure heart, fight; but if your heart is defiled, go not up. And they inquired yet again saying: How shall we know if all the heart of the people be alike? and God said to them: Cast lots among your tribes, and it shall be unto every tribe that cometh under the lot, that it shall be set apart into one lot, and then shall ye know whose heart is clean and whose is defiled. 2. And the people said: Let us first appoint over us a prince, and so cast lots. And the angel of the Lord said to them: Appoint. And the people said: Whom shall we appoint that is worthy, Lord? And the angel of the Lord said to them: Cast the lot upon the tribe of Caleb, and he that is shown by the lot, even he shall
be your prince. And they cast the lot for the tribe of Caleb and it came out upon Cenez, and they made him ruler over Israel. 3. And Cenez said to the people: Bring your tribes unto me and hear ye the word of the Lord. And the people gathered together and Cenez said to them: Ye know that which Moses the friend of the Lord charged you, that ye should not transgress the law to the right hand or to the left. And Jesus also who was after him gave you the same charge. And now, lo, we have heard of the mouth of the Lord that your heart is defiled. And the Lord hath charged us to cast lots among your tribes to know whose heart hath departed from the Lord our God. Shall not the fury of anger come upon the people? But I promise you this day that even if a man of mine own house come out in the lot of sin, he shall not be saved alive, but shall be burned with fire. And the people said: Thou hast spoken a good counsel, to perform it.
4. And the tribes were brought before him, and there were found of the tribe of Juda 345 men, and of the tribe of Ruben 560, and of the tribe of Simeon 775, and of the tribe of Levi 150, and of the tribe of Zabulon 655 (or 645), and of the tribe of Isachar 665, and of the tribe of Gad 380. Of the tribe of Aser 665, and of the tribe of Manasse 480, and of the tribe of Effraim 468, and of the tribe of Benjamin 267. And all the number of them that were found by the lot of sin was 6110. And Cenez took them all and shut them up in prison, till it should be known what should be done with them. 1
5. And Cenez said: Was it not of this that Moses the friend of the Lord spake saying: There is a
of the tribe of Ruben, which said: We desired to sacrifice unto the gods of them that dwell in the land. And he asked the men of the tribe of Levi, which said: We would prove the tabernacle, whether it were holy. And he asked the remnant of the tribe of Isachar, which said: We would inquire by the evil spirits of the idols, to see whether they revealed plainly: and he asked the men of the tribe of Zabulon, which said: We desired to eat the flesh of our children and to learn whether God hath care for them. And he asked the remnant of the tribe of Dan, which said: The Amorites taught us that which they did, that we might teach our children. And lo, they are hid under the tent of Elas, 1 who told thee to inquire of us. Send therefore and thou shall find them. And Cenez sent and found them. 10. 2 And thereafter asked he them that were left over of the tribe of Gad, and they said: We committed adultery with each other's wives. And he asked next the men of the tribe of Aser, which said: We found seven golden images which the Amorites called the holy Nymphs, and we took them with the precious stones that were set upon them, and hid them: and lo, now
they are laid up under the top of the mount Sychem. 1 Send therefore and thou shalt find them. And Cenez sent men and removed them thence. 11. Now these are the Nymphs which when they were called upon did show unto the Amorites their works in every hour. For these are they which were devised by seven evil men after the flood, whose names are these: <? Cham> Chanaan, Phuth, Selath, Nembroth, Elath, Desuath. Neither shall there be again any like similitude in the world graven by the hand of the artificer and adorned with variety of painting, but they were set up and fixed for the consecration (i.e. the holy place?) of idols. Now the stones were precious, brought from the land of Euilath, among which was a crystal and a prase (or one crystalline and one green), and they shewed their fashion, being carved after the manner of a stone pierced with open-work, 2 and another of them was graven on the top, and another as it were marked with spots (or like a spotted chrysoprase) 3 so shone with its graving as if it shewed the water of the deep lying beneath.
12. And these are the precious stones which the Amorites had in their holy places, and the price
of them was above reckoning. For when any entered in by night, he needed not the light of a lantern, so much did the natural light of the stones shine forth. Wherein that one gave the greatest light which was cut after the form of a stone pierced with open-work, and was cleansed with bristles; 1 for if any of the Amorites were blind, he went and put his eyes thereupon and recovered his sight. Now when Cenez found them, he set them apart and laid them up till he should know what should become of them.
13. And after that he asked them that were left of the tribe of Manasse, and they said: We did only defile the Lord's sabbaths. And he asked the forsaken of the tribe of Effraim, which said: We desired to pass our sons and our daughters through the fire, that we might know if that which was said were manifest. And he asked the forsaken of the tribe of Benjamin, which said: We desired at this time to examine the book of the law, whether God had plainly written that which was therein, or whether Moses had taught it of himself.
146:1 XXV. Up to this point Philo has followed the Bible story faithfully enough. He now draws freely on his own imagination, and presents us with an entirely new history of the beginning of the period of the Judges.
Kenaz is the first judge. He and Seenamias, as we read in XX. 6, were the sons of Caleb, and were the two spies sent by Joshua to Jericho (who in the Bible are nameless): at Caleb's request (XX. 10) Joshua gave Kenaz the territory of the three towers (or the tribe of the towers). The context in which this is told is copied from Josh. 14:6 (Cf. 15:16 sqq.). In that place, and in Num. 32:12, Caleb is called the Kenezite. In Josh. 15, Othniel, son of Kenaz, the (younger) brother of Caleb (but another view makes Othniel brother of Caleb), takes Kirjath-sepher and marries Caleb's daughter. This is repeated in Judges 1:13. In Judges 3:10, 3:11 Othniel figures as the first of the judges proper: but all that is said of him is that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel and conquered Chushan-rishathaim.
Thus in the Bible Kenaz is a mere name: he is a younger brother (or other relative) of Caleb, and father of Othniel the first judge: and his is an ancestral or clan-name in the family of Caleb. In Philo he completely ousts Othniel, and there is no pretence of assimilating his story to that of any one who appears in the Bible. He figures as a divinely appointed ruler, a detecter of crime, a mediator, it may be said, between God and Israel, and the recipient of God's own instructions: then as a mighty man of valour, and lastly as a seer. In respect of the amount of space devoted to him be is second only to Moses. It may be merely the author's desire to strike out a new line, or perhaps to import a fresh religious interest into the history of the Judges (though this he could do in other ways, and much of the story of Kenaz has no religious value) that has prompted this sudden burst of inventiveness; or there may have been another motive at work and a hidden meaning in the tale, which I cannot penetrate. I do not find any hint in other writings that tradition clustered round the name of Kenaz: but it is noticeable that the best text of Josephus (Ant. V. 33) substitutes his name (Κενιαζοσ) for that of Othniel: and that in the Pseudo-Epiphanian Lives of the Prophets it is said that Jonah was buried "in the cave of Kainezias, who was judge of one tribe in the days of the anarchy," a sentence p. 147 which neither suggests a knowledge of Philo nor explains itself. All that it, and the passage of Josephus, do suggest is that Philo may be following a current fashion in discarding the name of Othniel, and that he has taken as his text the words in judges: "the Spirit of the Lord came upon" Othniel, and has written a variation upon that theme.
The next judge is Zebul. The name is taken, no doubt, from the story of Abimelech in judges 9:28, etc. Otherwise he is a completely imaginary figure. From him we pass to Deborah; she is followed by Aod (= Ehud), who is here not a judge, but a Midianitish wizard. As in the case of Zebul, Philo has borrowed a Biblical name from another part of Judges, and affixed it to a totally different personality. The remainder of his judges follow the Biblical order fairly well: Gideon, Abimelech (Tola may have disappeared in a lacuna), Jair (whose character is gratuitously blackened), Jephtha (Ibzan is then omitted), Addo (= Abdon), Elon (these two being transposed from the Biblical order), Samson. Then follow, as in the Bible, the stories of Micah's idolatry (the migration of the Danites being wholly passed over) and of the Benjamite outrage, which is located at Nob, the priestly city, instead of Gibeah. Thus the narrative in Judges is represented with approximate faithfulness, save in the case of the first judges, where Philo substitutes Kenaz and Zebul for Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar.
148:1 XXV. 4. In the enumeration of the sinners among the tribes Dan has accidentally dropped out, though it appears in 9. The separate numbers in the text add up to 5410 or 5400, so that 700 or 710 is the number to be assigned to Dan in order to make up the total of 6110.
150:1 9. under the tent of Elas, who told thee to inquire of us. R. has: under the mount of Abraham, and laid up under a mound of earth. J has: under the mount of Abarim.
150:2 10 seq. The Amorites are described in Jubilees 29:11 as being particularly wicked. A special section in the Talmud treating of superstitious practices is called "the ways of the Amorites" (see Jewish Encycl., s.v. Amorites).
The idols are too vaguely described to enable us to form an idea of them: Philo does not seem to have had any special heathen deities in mind. Of the seven sinners who made them we recognize the names of Canaan, Phuth, Nimrod, Elath, who are mentioned in IV. 6, 7, as descendants of Ham. The land of Euilat (Havilah) is described in Gen. 2:11, 2:12 as the home of gold, bdellium, and onyx.
151:1 10. the mount Sychem: possibly a malicious allusion to the Samaritans.
151:2 11. stone pierced with open-work: uelut in diatrium sculpti. Here, and a few lines below, where we have in modum diatridis or diatriti sculptus, I think diatretos must be restored. The word is used by Martial and in the Digest.
151:3 as it were marked with spots. The variants are caraxatus stigminis and chrysoprassus stigmatus. I prefer the first, because it seems clearly right in XXVI. 10. There we have: "The 6th stone was as if it had been a chrysoprase chrysoprassus (or marked (in) caraxatus) . . . and was like a jasper," and there the chrysoprase is plainly superfluous. Caraxatus is also the harder word.
152:1 12. "was cleansed with bristles": de setis emundabatur (-bitur VR). This looks as if it must be wrong, but I find in Damigeron, de labidibus, 47 (ap. Pitra, Spicil. Solesm III. 335), that the chrysolite "pertusus et transiectus cum setis aseminis (? asininis") and worn on the left arm, puts demons to flight. This suggests that, though emundabatur is not very clear, de setis is probably correct.
I may remark in passing that the old Latin version of Epiphanius, de XII. lapidibus (ed. Dindorf, Opp. IV. 1), has phrases recalling our text, e.g. p. 193: flauum ostentat colorem; p. 198: hyacinthus tranquilli maris similtudinem refert.