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After the translation to Mycaenae, Mar. Scotus finds these kings:
and >The sons of Pelops by Hippodamia: Thyestes. j Atreus by Europe, had Agamemnon and Menelaus.
Of these kings, Mercator and Bunting leave out the two first, and the last; beginning with Euristheus, and ending with Penthilus. In Tisamenus's time, the Heraclidae returned into Peloponnesus; of which hereafter.
The cotemporaries of Barak and Deborah, were Midas, who reigned in Phrygia, and Ilus, who built Brum; with others mentioned in our chronological table, as contemporaries with Deborah.
Qf Gideon, and of Dcedalus, Sphinx, Minos, and others that lived in this age.
Deborah and Barak being dead, the Midianites, assisted by the Amalekites, infested Israel.. For when under a judge, who had held them in the fear of the Lord, they had enjoyed any quiet or prosperity, the judge was no sooner dead, than they turned to their former impious idolatry. Therefore now the neighbouring nations did so master them in a short time, (the hand of God being with-held from their defence,) as, to save themselves, they' crept into oaves of the mountains, and other the like places of hardest access; their enemies possessing all the plains and fruitful vallies; and in harvest time, by themselves, and the multitude of their cattle, destroying all that grew up, covering the fields as thick as grashoppers; which servitude lasted seven years.
Then the Lord by his angel stirred up Gideon *, the son of Joash, afterwards called Jerubbaal; whose fear and unwillingness, and how it pleased God to hearten him in his enterprize, it is both largely and )recisely set down in the holy scriptures; as also low it pleased God, by a few select persons3, namey three hundred, out of thirty-two thousand men, to make them know that he only was the Lord of hosts. Each of these three hundred, by Gideon's appointment," carried a trumpet, and light in a pitcher, instruments of more terror than force, with which he gave the great army of their enemies an alarm ; who hearing so loud a noise, and seeing, (at the crack of so many pitchers broken,) so many lights about them, esteeming the army of Israel infinite, and stricken with a sudden fear, they all fled without a stroke stricken, and were slaughtered in great numbers; two of their princes being made prisoners and slain. In his return, the Ephraimites began to quarrel with Gideon, because he made war without their assistance, being then greedy of glory, the victory being gotten ; who, (if Gideon had failed and fallen in the enterprize,) would no doubt have held themselves happy by being neglected, But Gideon ap
1 Judg. vi. 3 Judg- *>• *• • Judg- and viL peasing them with a mild answer, followed after the enemy, in which pursuit being tired with travel, and weary even with the slaughtering of his enemies, he desired relief from the inhabitants of Succoth, to the end that, (his men being refreshed,) he might overtake the other two kings of the Midianites, which had saved themselves by flight. For they were four princes of the nations which had invaded and wasted Israel; to wit, Oreb and Zeeb, which were taken already, and Zebah and Zalmunna, which fled.
Gideon being denied by them of Succoth, sought the like relief from the inhabitants of Penuel, who in like sort refused to succour him. To both of these places he threatened therefore the revenge, which, jn his return from the prosecution of the other two princes, he performed; to wit, that he would tear the flesh of those of Succoth with thorns and briars, and destroy the inhabitants and city of Penuel. Now, why the people of these two cities should refuse relief to their brethren the Israelites, especially after so great a victory, if I may presume to make conjecture, it seems likely, first, that those cities set over Jordan, and in the way of all invasions to be made by the Moabites, Ammonites, and Midianites into Israel, had either made their own peace with those nations, and were not spoiled by them; or else they, knowing that Zebah and Zalmunna were escaped with a great part of their army, might fear their revenge in the future: Secondly, It may be laid to the condition and dispositions of these men, as it is not rare to find of the like humour in all ages. For there are multitudes of men, especially of those who foilow the wars, that both envy and malign others, if they perform any praise-worthy actions, for the honour and safety of their own country, though • themselves may be assured to bear a part of the smart of contrary success; and such malicious hearts can rather be contented that; their prince and country
should suffer hazard and want, than that such men as they mislike, should be the authors or actors of any glory or good to either.
Now Gideon, how or wheresoever it were that he refreshed himself, and his weary and hungry soldiers, yet he followed the opportunity, and pursued his former victory to the utmost; and finding Zebah and Zalmunna in Karkor 4, (suspecting no farther attempt upon them,) he again surprized them, and slaughtered those fifteen thousand remaining, having put to the sword in the former attempt a hundred and twenty thousand; and withal he took Zebah and Zalmunna prisoners, whom, because themselves had executed Gideon's brethren before at Tabor, he caused to be slain; or, (as it is written,) at their own request slew them with his own hands; his son, whom 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 mercy 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 leftunsatisfied; for as he slew the seventy-seven 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 first-born by his angel, and drowning Pharaoh and his array in the Red sea. And hereof a world of examples might be given, both out of the scriptures, and other histories.
* A place in Baszn, as it is thought, Judg. viii. 10.
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 4 Lord shaliy &c. But he desired the people, that they would bestow on him the golden ear-rings, which every man had gotten. For the Ishmaelites, 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, two thousand three hundred and eighty pounds, if we follow the account of the shekel vulgar. And because he converted that gold into an Ephod6,—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 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 three hundred men, to destroy a hundred and twenty thousand of their enemies; and afterwards fifteen thousand which remained; we may remember, that, although Gideon with three hundred 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, 4 That the men of Israel being gathered toge
* ther out of Nephtali, and out of Asher, and out of
* Manasseh, pursued after the Midianites7:' for this army Gideon left in the tents behind him, when he went down to view the army of his enemies, who,
3 Judg. yVd. 23. 6 £xod. xxviii. Judg. viii. 28. 7 Judg. vii. 2%