Sacred Texts  Bible  Apocrypha  Index  Previous  Next 


XXXIX. And after these things came the children
Jud. 10:17, 10:18
of Ammon and began to fight against Israel and took many of their cities. And when the people were greatly straitened, they gathered together in Masphath, saying every man to his neighbours: Behold now, we see the strait which encompasseth us, and the Lord is departed from us, and is no more with us, and our enemies have taken our cities, and there is no leader to go in and out before our face. Now therefore let us see whom we may set over us to fight our battle.

Jud. 11:1
2. Now Jepthan the Galaadite was a mighty man of valour, and because he was jealous of his brothers, they had cast him out of his land, and he went
Jud. 11:3
and dwelt in the land of Tobi. And vagrant men gathered themselves unto him and abode with him.

Jud. 11:5
3. And it came to pass when Israel was overcome in battle, that they came into the land of Tobi to Jepthan and said unto him: Come, rule
Esther 4:14
over the people. For who knoweth whether thou wast therefore preserved to this day or wast therefore delivered out of the hands of thy brethren that thou mightest at this time bear rule over thy people? 4. And Jepthan said unto them: Doth love so return after hatred, or doth time overcome

p. 189

all things? For ye did cast me out of my land and out of my father's house; and now are ye come unto me when ye are in a strait? And they said unto him: If the God of our fathers remembered not our sins, but delivered us when we had sinned against him and he had given us over before the face of our enemies, and we were oppressed by them, why wilt thou that art a mortal man remember the iniquities which happened unto us, in the time of our affliction? Therefore be it not so before thee, lord. 5. And Jepthan said: God indeed is able to be unmindful of our sins, seeing he hath time and place to repose himself of his long-suffering, for he is God; but I am mortal, made of the earth: whereunto I shall return, and where shall I cast away mine anger, and the wrong wherewith ye have injured me? And the people said unto him: Let the dove instruct thee, whereunto Israel was likened, for though her young be taken away from her, yet departeth she not out of her place, but spurneth away her wrong and forgetteth it as it were in the bottom of the deep.

6. And Jepthan arose and went with them and gathered all the people, and said unto them: Ye know how that when our princes were alive, they admonished us to follow our law. And Ammon and his sons turned away the people from their way wherein they walked, to serve other gods which should destroy them. Now therefore set your hearts in the law of the Lord your God, and let us entreat him with one accord. And so will we fight against our adversaries, and trust and hope in the Lord that he will not deliver us up for ever. For although our sins do overabound, nevertheless his mercy filleth all the earth.

7. And the whole people prayed with one accord, both men and women, boys and sucklings. And

p. 190

when they prayed they said: Look, O Lord, upon the people whom thou hast chosen, and spoil not the vine which thy right hand hath planted; that this people may be before thee for an inheritance, whom thou hast possessed from the beginning, and whom thou hast preferred alway, and for whose sake thou hast made the habitable places, and brought them into the land which thou swarest unto them; deliver us not up before them that hate thee, O Lord. 8. And God repented him of his anger and strengthened the spirit of Jepthan.
Jud. 11:14
And he sent a message unto Getal the king of the children of Ammon and said: Wherefore vexest thou our land and hast taken my cities, or wherefore afflictest thou us? Thou hast not been commanded of the God of Israel to destroy them that dwell in the land. Now therefore restore unto me my cities, and mine anger shall cease from thee. But if not, know that I will come up unto thee and repay thee for the former things, and recompense thy wickedness upon thine head: rememberest thou not how thou didst deal deceitfully with the people of Israel in the wilderness? And the messengers of Jepthan spake these words unto the king of the children of Ammon. 9. And Getal said: Did Israel take thought when he took the land of the Amorites? Say therefore: Know ye that now I will take from thee the remnant of thy cities and will repay thee thy wickedness and will take vengeance for the Amorites whom thou hast wronged. And Jepthan sent yet again to the king of the children of Ammon saying: Of a truth I perceive that God hath brought thee hither that I may destroy thee, unless thou rest from thine iniquity wherewith thou wilt vex Israel. And therefore I will come unto thee and show myself unto thee. For they are not, as ye say, gods which have given

p. 191

you the inheritance that ye possess. But because ye have been led astray after stones, fire shall follow after you unto vengeance.

10. And because the king of the children of Ammon would not hear the voice of Jepthan, Jepthan arose and armed all the people to go forth and fight in the borders saying: When the children
Jud. 11:31
of Ammon are delivered into my hands and I am returned, any that first meeteth with me shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord.

11. And the Lord was very wroth and said: Behold, Jepthan hath vowed that he will offer unto me that which meeteth with him first. Now therefore if a dog meet with Jepthan first, shall a dog be offered unto me? And now let the vow of Jepthan be upon his firstborn, even upon the fruit of his body, and his prayer upon his only begotten daughter. But I will verily deliver my people at this time, not for his sake, but for the prayer which Israel hath prayed.

Next: Chapter XL