« PreviousContinue »
lem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they, and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it.
And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, come up to us quickly, and help us. Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. And the Lord discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter, at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Beth-horon. And as they fled before Israel, the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. Then spake Joshua to the Lord, and said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal. And Joshua left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses. And all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them. Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord said unto Moses, and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.
§ And it came to pass, a long time after that the Lord had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers,
and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age: and ye have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth; And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
And the people answered, and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; for the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up, and our fathers, out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord for he is a holy God: he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions, nor your sins. If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness
unto you, lest ye deny your God. So Joshua let the peo
ple depart, every man unto his inheritance.
And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun the servant of the Lord died, being a hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in mount Ephraim. And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord that he had done for Israel.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF GIDEON.
B. C. 1285. AND the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the wine-press, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, the Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, O my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of.
And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? And he said unto him, O my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shall smite the Midianites
as one man.
And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign. And Gideon made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour : and presented it. And the angel of God said unto him, lay them upon this rock, And he did so. Then the angel
of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.
§ And the same night, the Lord said unto him, throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: and build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock, and offer a burnt-sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. Then Gideon did as the Lord had said unto him. And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down,. and the grove was cut down that was by it. And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And they said, Gideon the son of Joash. Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. *
Then all the Midianites, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east were gathered together in the valley of Jezreel. But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abi-ezer was gathered after him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh and unto Asher, and unto Zebulon, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them. And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor: and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth besides, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by my hand. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: Let me prove,
I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
§ And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thy hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men. And the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.
§ And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thy hand. But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the