XLV. And it came to pass at that time that
a certain man of the tribe of Levi came to Gabaon, and when he desired to abide there, the sun set.
[paragraph continues] And when he would enter in there, they that dwelt there suffered him not. And he said to his lad: Go on, lead the mule, and we will go to the city of Noba, peradventure they will suffer us to enter in
there. And he came thither and sat in the street of the city. And no man said unto him: Come into my house. 2. But there was there a certain Levite whose name was Bethac. 1 The same saw him and said unto him: Art thou Beel of my tribe? And he said: I am. And he said to him: Knowest thou not the wickedness of them that dwell in this city? Who counselled thee to enter in hither? Haste and go out hence, and come into my house wherein I dwell, and abide there to-day, and the, Lord shall shut up their heart before us, as he shut up the men of Sodom before the face of Lot. And he entered into the city and abode there that night.
3. And all the dwellers in the city came together and said unto Bethac: Bring forth them that came unto thee this day, and if not we will burn them and thee with fire. And he went out unto them and said to them: Are not they our brethren? Let us not deal evilly with them, lest our sins be multiplied against us. And they answered: It was never so, that strangers should give commands
to the indwellers. And they entered in with violence and took out him and his concubine and cast them forth, and they, 'Let the man go, but they abused his concubine until she died; for she had transgressed against her husband at one time by sinning with the Amalekites, and therefore did the Lord God deliver her into the hands of sinners.
4. And when it was day Beel went out and
found his concubine dead. And he laid her upon the mule and hasted and went out and came to Gades. And he took her body and divided it and
sent it into all parts (or by portions) throughout the twelve tribes, saying: These things were done unto me in the city of Noba, for the dwellers
therein rose up against me to slay me and took my concubine and shut me up and slew her. And if this is pleasing before your face) keep ye silence, and let the Lord be judge: but if ye will avenge it, the Lord shall help you. 5. And all
the men, even the twelve tribes, were confounded. And they gathered together unto Silo and said every man to his neighbour: Hath such iniquity been done in Israel?
6. And the Lord said unto the Adversary: 1 Seest thou how this foolish people is disturbed? In the hour when they should have died, even when Michas dealt craftily to deceive the people with these, that is, with the dove and the eagle and with the image of men and calves and of a lion and of a dragon, then were they not moved. And therefore because they were not provoked to anger, let their counsel now be vain and their heart moved, that they who allow evil may be consumed as well as the sinners.
204:1 XLV. 1, 2. As noted above, the Benjamites' crime is transferred from Gibeah to Nob.
The name Bethac occurs again in LII. 1. Hophni and Phinehas lived near the house of Bethac.
205:1 6. The adversary, Anticiminus. This sudden introduction of a personage nowhere else named in the book is very curious. That Satan (probably called Mastema in the original, as in Jubilees) is meant, I do not doubt.
Next: Chapter XLVI