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he first commanded to do it, refusing it; and in his return from the consummation of this marvellous victory, he took revenge of the elders of Succoth and of the citizens of Penuel ; forgiving no offence committed against him, either by strangers or by his brethren the Israelites. But such mercỳ as he shewed to others, his own children found soon after his death, according to that which hath been said before. The debts of cruelty and mercy are never left unsatisfied; for as he slew the seventy elders of Succoth with great and unusual torments, so were his own seventy sons, all but one, murdered by his own bastard Abimelech. The like analogy is observed by the rabbins, in the greatest of the plagues which God brought upon the Egyptians, who having caused the male children of the Hebrews to be slain, others of them to be cast into the river and drowned; God rewarded them even with the like measure, destroying their own firstborn by his angel, and drowning Pharaoh and his army in the Red sea. And hereof a world of examples might be given, both out of the scriptures and other histories.
In the end, so much did the people reverence Gideon in the present for this victory, and their own deliverance, as they offered him the sovereignty over them, and to establish him in the government; which he refused, answering, I will not reign over you, neither shall my child reign over you, but the Lord shall &c. But he desired the people, that they would bestow on him the golden earrings which every man had götten. For the Ismaelites, neighbours, and mixed with the Midianites, used to wear them: the weight of all which was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold, which makes of ours 2380 pounds, if we follow the account of the shekel vulgar. And because he converted that gold into an u ephod, a garment of gold, blue silk, purple, scarlet, and fine linen, belonging to the high priest only, and set up the same in his own city of Ophra, or Ephra, which drew Israel to idolatry, the same was the destruction of Gideon and his house. There was another kind of ephod besides this of the high
u Exod. xxviii. Judg. viii. 28.
priests which the Levites used, and so did David when he danced before the ark, and Samuel while he was yet young, which was made of linen only.
Now if any man demand how it was possible for Gideon with 300 men to destroy 120,000 of their enemies, and afterward 15,000 which remained, we may remember, that although Gideon with 300 gave the first alarm, and put the Midianites in rout and disorder, yet all the rest of the army came into the slaughter and pursuit ; for it is written, * That the men of Israel being gathered together out of Nephtali, and out of Asher, and out of Manasse, pursued after the Midianites : for this army Gideon left in the tents behind him, when he went down to view the army of his enemies, who with the noise of his 300 trumpets came after him to the execution.
There lived with Gideon Ægeus the son of Pandion, who reigned in Athens; Euristheus king of Mycenæ; Atreus and Thyestes, the sons of Pelops, who bare dominion over a great part of Peloponnesus; and after the death of Euristheus the kingdom of Mycenæ fell into the hand of Atreus. This is that Atreus, who, holding his brother in jealousy, as an attempter both of his wife and crown, slew the children of Thyestes, and causing their flesh to be dressed, did therewith feast their father. But this cruelty was not unrevenged. For both Atreus and his son Agamemnon were slain by a base son of Thyestes, yea the grandchildren and all the lineage of Atreus died by the same sword.
In Gideon's time also those things were supposed to have been done which are written of Dædalus and Icarus. Dædalus, they say, having slain his nephew Attalus, fled to Minos, king of Crete, for succour, where for his excellent workmanship he was greatly esteemed, having made for Minos a labyrinth like unto that of Egypt. Afterwards he was said to have framed an artificial cow for Pasiphaë the queen, that she, being in love with a fair bull, might by putting herself into the cow satisfy her lust, a thing no less unnatural than incredible, had not that shameless emperor Domitian ex
* Judges vii. 23.
hibited the like beastly spectacle openly before the people of Rome in his amphitheatre, on purpose as may seem to verify the old fable. For so it appears by those verses of Martial, wherein the flattering poet magnifieth the abominable show as a goodly pageant in those vicious times:
Junctam Pasiphaën Dictæo, credite, tauro
Vidimus ; accepit fabula prisca fidem.
Quicquid fama canit, donat arena tibi. But concerning that which is reported of Pasiphaë, Servius makes a less unhonest construction of it, thinking that Dædalus was of her counsel, and her pander for the enticing of a secretary of Minos called Taurus, which signifieth a bull, who begat her with child, and that she being delivered of two sons, the one resembling Taurus, the other her husband Minos, it was feigned that she was delivered of the monster Minotaur, half a man and half a bull. But this practice being discovered, and Dædalus appointed to be slain, he fled out of Crete to Cocalus, king of Sicily; in which passage he made such expedition, as it was feigned that he fashioned wings for himself and his son to transport them. For whereas Minos pursued him with boats, which had oars only, Dædalus framed sails both for his own boat and for his sons, by which he outwent those that had him in chase. Upon which new invention Icarus bearing himself overbold, was overborne and drowned.
It is also written of Dædalus, that he made images that could move themselves and go, because he carved them with legs, arms, and hands; whereas those that preceded him could only present the body and head of those men whom they cared to counterfeit; and yet the workmanship was esteemed very rare. But Plutarch, who had seen some of those that were called the images of Dædalus, found them exceeding rude.
With y Gideon also flourished Linus the Theban, the son of Apollo and Terpsichore, who instructed Thamaris, Orpheus, and Hercules. He wrate of the creation, of the sun and moon's course, and of the generation of living creatures; but in the end he was slain by Hercules, his scholar, with his own harp.
y Herind. Plat. Paus. 1. 9.
Again, in this age those things spoken of z Sphinx and Edipus are thought to have been performed. This Sphinx being a great robber by sea and land, was by the Corinthian army, led by Edipus, overcome. But that which was written of her propounding of riddles to those whom she mastered, was meant by the rocky and inaccessible mountain near Thebes which she defended, and by Edipus dissolving her problem, his victory over her. She was painted with wings, because exceeding swift, and with the body of a lion for her cruelty. But that which Palæphatus reports of Sphinx were more probable, did not the time disprove it; for he calls her an Amazonite, and the wife of Cadmus; who when by her help he had cast Draco out of Thebes, (neglecting her,) he married the sister of Draco, which Sphinx taking in despiteful part, with her own troop she held the mountain by Thebes, from whence she continued a sharp war upon the Thebans, till by Edipus overthrown. About this time did Minos thrust his brother out of Crete, and held sharp war with the Megarians and Athenians, because his son Androgeus was slain by them. He possessed himself of Megara by the treason of Scylla, daughter of Nisus the king. He was long master of the sea, and brought the Athenians to the tribute of delivering him every year seven of their sons; which tribute Theseus released, as shall be shewed when I come to the time of the next judge Thola. In the end he was slain at a Camerinus, or Camicus, in Sicilia, by Cocalus the king, while he pursued Dædalus; and was esteemed by some to be the first lawgiver to those islands.
To this time are referred many deeds of Hercules, as the killing of Antæus the giant, who was said to have sixty and odd cubits of length; which though Plutarch doth confirm, reporting that there was such a body found by Sertorius the ? Strab. 1. 6.
a Arist. Pol. 1.
Roman in Libya, where Hercules slew Antæus, yet for myself I think it but a loud lie. That Antæus was of great strength, and a cunning wrestler, bEusebius affirmeth ; and because he cast so many men to the ground, he was feigned to be the son of the earth. Pliny saith, that he inhabited near the gardens Hesperides in Mauritania. cSt. Augustine affirms, that this Hercules was not of Greece, but of Libya; and the Hydra also which he overcame Plato expoundeth to be a subtle sophister.
of the area was thân sus dis
Of the expedition of the Argonauts. ABOUT the eleventh year of Gideon was that famous expedition of the Argonauts, of which many fabulous discourses have been written, the sum of which is this.
Pelias the son of Neptune, brother by the mother's side to Æson, who was Jason's father, reigning in Iolchos, a town of Thessaly, was warned by the oracle of Apollo to take heed of him that ware but one shoe. This Pelias afterwards sacrificing to Neptune, invited Jason to him, who coming hastily, lost one shoe in passing over a brook : whereupon Pelias demanded of him what course he would take (supposing he were able) against one of whom an oracle should advise him to take heed ? To which question, when Jason had briefly answered, that he would send him to Colchos, to fetch the golden fleece, Pelias immediately commanded him to undertake that service. Therefore Jason prepared for the voyage, having a ship built by Argus, the son of Phryxus, by the counsel of Pallas, wherein he procured all the bravest men of Greece to sail with him; as Typhis the master of the ship, Orpheus the famous poet, Castor and Pollux the sons of Tyndarus, Telamon and Peleus, sons of Æacus, and fathers of Ajax and Achilles; Hercules and Theseus; Zetes and Calais, the two winged sons of Boreas; Amphiaraus the great soothsayer, Meleager of Calydon, that slew the great wild boar, Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, or Almenus, the sons of Mars, who were afterwards at
b Euseb. in Chr. Aug. de Civitate Dei, l. 19. C. 12. Eus. in Chr.