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arose at midnight and carried away the doors of the gate and the two posts on his shoulder, transferring them to the top of a hill not far from Hebron. Delilah dwelling in the valley of Sorek, was Samson’s next love. Bribed by the Philistines, she endeavoured to extract from him the secret of his wonderful strength; but was three times deceived with false replies. At length, wearied out with her importunities, he told her the real secret; of which she soon availed herself by betraying him into the hands of the Philistines, after his locks had been cut off during sleep. He was therefore taken and deprived of sight, bound with fetters of brass, and made to grind in prison. But his strength returned with his hair; and he was resolved to exert it against his oppressors. At a great festival held in honour of the national god Dagon to rejoice over the terrible enemy delivered over to the Philistines, he grasped with his arms the two middle pillars which supported the house, and pulled it down, slaying more at his death than he had done in his life.
The third division of the book as it now stands may be regarded as a kind of appendix or addition to the preceding. There is no proper connexion between it and the history of the judges. Neither is there any internal bond between the two narratives themselves which form the appendix.
A rich Ephraimite woman, who had dedicated to the Lord 1,100 shekels of silver to make a graven image and a molten image, had been pilfered of it by her son Micah. But he confessed the theft and restored the money to his mother ; of which she took 200 shekels and made what she had intended. Micah had a house of gods, made an ephod and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons as priest.
He afterwards hired a young Levite belonging to a distinguished priestly family to perform religious worship, congratulating himself that he had thereby secured the favour of God. In those days the Danites sought a place of settlement, and sent out messengers to examine the land. They came and lodged in Micah's house. Having requested the Levite to consult the Lord whether their journey should be a prosperous one, they were assured that it would succeed. Proceeding forward they arrived at Laish in the north of Palestine, where they observed a favourable place of settlement. Returning therefore to their own people, they encouraged them to go up against Laish. Accordingly six hundred men, well armed, set forth, and arrived at the house of Micah, where the party who had been entertained before took Micah's images, the ephod, and the teraphim. The priest was easily induced to accompany the Danites. When Micah and his neighbours followed to get back his priest and property, they
were only insulted and threatened. After the Danites had come to Laish, they slaughtered the inhabitants and burnt their city.
The nineteenth chapter commences another history of a different nature. A Levite of the northern parts of mount Ephraim passed the night as he returned home from Bethlehemjudah with his concubine in Gibeah, and was hospitably entertained by an Ephraimite sojourning in the place. But the inhabitants of Gibeah attempted to treat him most shamefully, and actually abused his concubine to death. The Levite, wishing to make known the outrage and excite universal indignation on account of it, cut the body into twelve pieces, which he sent to the twelve tribes of Israel. Hence the congregation of Israel was gathered together to sit in judgment on Gibeah, and resolved to destroy the guilty city. Before carrying out their purpose they endeavoured to obtain satisfaction in a milder form. They sent a message to the tribe of Benjamin, demanding that the evil doers should be given up. When this was refused, war commenced under the divine direction ; but the Benjamites were victorious in two successive battles, killing no less than 40,000 of Israel. In another conflict, however, they were defeated, with the loss of 25,100 men. Six hundred fled to the wilderness, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months. On this
people bewailed the desolation, and concluded to preserve the tribe of Benjamin from extinction; which was effected by procuring wives for the remnant, to whom they were unable to give their daughters in marriage in consequence of an oath. War was declared against Jabesh-gilead whose inhabitants had not come to the general mustering for battle; and accordingly 12,000 of the bravest men were sent to slaughter them, including the married women, reserving 400 virgins who were given to the remnant of the Benjamites. The remaining 200 were advised to surprise and seize the virgins that danced at the annual feast of the Lord in Shiloh. Acting upon such advice of the elders of Israel, the children of Benjamin took for wives the maids they caught, and returned to their inheritance. The record adds : "In those days there was no king in Israel : every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
III. OBSERVATIONS ON CHAPTERS 1. 1-11. 5.—The first chapter gives a history of the conflicts waged between the Israelites and the occupants of Canaan, after the death of Joshua. It contains a very brief summary of the results of all the attempts of the separate tribes against the Canaanites. Beginning with Joshua's death the survey is exceedingly compressed and general
-so much so as to be occasionally obscure, the parts presenting but a loose connexion with one another. How long a period it embraces cannot be definitely ascertained; but i. 27, 28, 30, 33
refer to the time of Solomon; so that the events narrated belong to several centuries. Bertheau thinks that the history in it is a continuation of that which is broken off in the twelfth chapter of Joshua. This is true to a certain extent. The writer of the book of Judges did not consider it in that light, though an interpreter may so look upon it. The book of Judges existed before that of Joshua as we shall see immediately; and it is therefore impossible that the first chapter of which we are speaking was written for the purpose of forming a continuation of the former part of Joshua's book. It does exhibit a valuable sequel, filling up a gap in the history of the chosen people.
The nature of the first chapter has not been well apprehended by some critics. Thus Studera and others call it the work of a careless compiler, who united fragments, and perhaps mere extracts of different narrations into one external piece. This severe judgment is founded on its supposed want of plan and internal contradictions. Among these contradictions are specified verses eight compared with the twenty-first, and ten with the twentieth. Let us see. The eighth verse runs thus : “ Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.” But in the twenty-first verse we read : “And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem, but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.” The two places refer to different times. Soon after Joshua's death, Jerusalem was conquered by Judah and Simeon. It would appear, however, that the Jebusites were not expelled. They were still in the city along with Judah. They may have inhabited it with Benjamin ; the tribe on whom it mainly devolved to expel them. The latter passage refers to the period immediately before David ; while the former relates to a time soon after Joshua. During the interval, the city was never thoroughly taken from the Jebusites. They were never entirely expelled ; as they recovered their footing after defeat, and maintained a position within it. This is a more natural solution than Hävernick's which distinguishes one part of the city from another, implying that though Judah and Simeon took Jerusalem, they did not take the fort of the Jebusites on mount Zion. When therefore it is said that the Benjamites did not drive out the Jebusites, the language is thought to refer to the Jebusite occupation of mount Zion, not of the city generally of which they had long been dispossessed. Another alleged contradiction in the first chapter is
" Das Buch der Richter und Rut, Einleitung, pp. ix. x.
contained in the tenth compared with the twentieth verse : “ And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba), and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.” In the twentieth verse we read : “And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said : and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.” According to the former verse, Judah and Simeon had defeated the three races of the Anakim ; but their total destruction was reserved for Caleb, the possessor of the Hebron territory.
There is considerable similarity between this chapter and passages in the book of Joshua, sometimes amounting even to verbal coincidence: at other times there are slight variations. Compare, for example, Judg. i. 10-15 with Josh. xv. 14-19; 20 with Josh. xv. 13; 21 with Josh. xv. 63; 27, etc., with Josh. xvii. 12, etc.; 29 with Josh. xvi. 10. To account for this, Hävernick supposes that the writer of the book of Joshua, i.e., the Deuteronomist, borrowed from Judges; while, on the contrary, Stähelin thinks that passages were transferred from Joshua to Judges, specifying as examples i. 11, 15, 27, 28. As to i. 18, the latter conjectures that it was deduced from Joshua. Bertheau follows him, alleging that the passages in question suit the place and context in Judges i.,
but not in Joshua. The former hypothesis is more probable. The whole chapter is in a different tone from that of the Deuteronomist. We think it most likely that the writer of Joshua did not follow the present book of Judges but the common source of both, which may have been the Jehovah-document.
The prophetic word in ii. 1-5 wears an isolated and fragmentary appearance, as if it had no connexion with the preceding chapter. It forms a good introduction to the body of the work. Although the paragraph has little connexion with the first chapter, it is suitable in its present place as introductory to the following chapters. It is hypercritical in Bertheau to attribute these verses to another writer than the preceding.
IV. OBSERVATIONS ON 11. 6-XVI.—The second division of the work has an unity which shews that it proceeded from one writer. Thus we meet with certain recurring formulas as “the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord” (ü. 11; iii. 7; vi. 1), or, “the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord” (iii. 12; iv. 1 ; x. 6; xiii. 1), “The land had rest" (iii. 11, 30; v. 31; viii. 28). Peculiar expressions occur, as py or py» to call together or summon (iv. 10, 13; vi.
! 34, 35; vii. 23, 24; x. 17; xii. 1, 2), 7 to sell into the hand (ii. 14; iii. 8; iv. 2, 9; x. 7); 270 gij drawing sword
1 Kritische Untersuchungen, p. 102.
(iii. 22 ; viii. 10, 20; ix. 54; xx. 2, 15, 17, 25, 35, 46); y to be subdued (iii. 30; iv. 23; xi. 33). In short the style, manner, and theology are the same. The causes and consequences of events are clearly and theocratically exhibited.
According to Stähelin the writer of the portion in question was the Jehovist. This is inferred from the similarity of style and manner, as well as of plan, in relation to the book of Joshua. But it has been shewn by De Wette, that there are so many peculiarities of manner and expression as outweigh the coincidences pointed out in the Pentateuch and Joshua compared with this portion of the book of Judges. There is sufficient independence in the ideas, words, and representations of the latter to attest its non-Jehovistic and non-Deuteronomistic authorship. The resemblances, so industriously collected by Stähelin, arise out of the essence of the theocracy, and can be accounted for by the writer's age, his acquaintance with the national traditions, and his general object.
Did the author of ii. 6-xvi. use written sources ? This is a question which has been differently answered. Bertholdt, De Wette, Bertheau, and Bleek, think that he did ; while Stähelin and Hävernick see nothing to necessitate the supposition. It is true, as Stähelin remarks, that the same kind of diction and manner pervades the whole,—that there is no such difference of style and narration as is apparent in the Pentateuch and Joshua. But traces of written documents are still discernible here and there. Certain diversities in language, contents, and mode of representation do appear in the various narratives. Thus it is not improbable that the accounts of Othniel and Ehud, in the third chapter, were derived from a written source. The minute traits and allusions which make the narrative so picturesque, and peculiar terms here and there, different from the wellknown words at the commencement and end, marking the writer's own hand (see in vers. 16, 22, 23, compared with 12, 15, 29), warrant the inference. The song of Deborah could scarcely have been handed down in the mouths of the people from one generation to another; and was therefore drawn from a peculiar source. It may have belonged to a collection of old historical poems—to the book of Jashar perhaps. Whether the historical introduction iv. 4-24 was prefixed to it there, is
problematical. Several differences between the ode itself and its historical preface are rather against the hypothesis. De Wette? specifies verses 6, 14, etc. (compd. with iv. 5, 10), and verse 23. These however do not signify much, and are outweighed by opposite considerations of more importance—such as the fact,
1 Einleitung, p. 242.
2 Ibid., p. 243.