Today's reading

Reading 1

Judges chapter 5

(Jdg 5:1) And Deborah singeth -- also Barak son of Abinoam -- on that day, saying: --

(Jdg 5:2) `For freeing freemen in Israel, For a people willingly offering themselves Bless ye Jehovah.

(Jdg 5:3) Hear, ye kings; give ear, ye princes, I, to Jehovah, I -- I do sing, I sing praise to Jehovah, God of Israel.

(Jdg 5:4) Jehovah, in Thy going forth out of Seir, In Thy stepping out of the field of Edom, Earth trembled, also the heavens dropped, Also thick clouds dropped water.

(Jdg 5:5) Hills flowed from the face of Jehovah, This one -- Sinai -- From the face of Jehovah, God of Israel.

(Jdg 5:6) In the days of Shamgar son of Anath -- In the days of Jael -- The ways have ceased, And those going in the paths go [in] crooked ways.

(Jdg 5:7) Villages ceased in Israel -- they ceased, Till that I arose -- Deborah, That I arose, a mother in Israel.

(Jdg 5:8) He chooseth new gods, Then war [is] at the gates! A shield is not seen -- and a spear Among forty thousand in Israel.

(Jdg 5:9) My heart [is] to the lawgivers of Israel, Who are offering themselves willingly among the people, Bless ye Jehovah!

(Jdg 5:10) Riders on white asses -- Sitters on a long robe -- And walkers by the way -- meditate!

(Jdg 5:11) By the voice of shouters Between the places of drawing water, There they give out righteous acts of Jehovah, Righteous acts of His villages in Israel, Then ruled in the gates have the people of Jehovah.

(Jdg 5:12) Awake, awake, Deborah; Awake, awake, utter a song; Rise, Barak, and take captive thy captivity, Son of Abinoam.

(Jdg 5:13) Then him who is left of the honourable ones He caused to rule the people of Jehovah, He caused me to rule among the mighty.

(Jdg 5:14) Out of Ephraim their root [is] against Amalek. After thee, Benjamin, among thy peoples. Out of Machir came down lawgivers, And out of Zebulun those drawing with the reed of a writer.

(Jdg 5:15) And princes in Issachar [are] with Deborah, Yea, Issachar [is] right with Barak, Into the valley he was sent on his feet. In the divisions of Reuben, Great [are] the decrees of heart!

(Jdg 5:16) Why hast thou abode between the boundaries, To hear lowings of herds? For the divisions of Reuben, Great [are] the searchings of heart!

(Jdg 5:17) Gilead beyond the Jordan did tabernacle, And Dan -- why doth he sojourn [in] ships? Asher hath abode at the haven of the seas, And by his creeks doth tabernacle.

(Jdg 5:18) Zebulun [is] a people who exposed its soul to death, Naphtali also -- on high places of the field.

(Jdg 5:19) Kings came -- they fought; Then fought kings of Canaan, In Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo; Gain of money they took not!

(Jdg 5:20) From the heavens they fought: The stars from their highways fought with Sisera.

(Jdg 5:21) The brook Kishon swept them away, The brook most ancient -- the brook Kishon. Thou dost tread down strength, O my soul!

(Jdg 5:22) Then broken were the horse-heels, By pransings -- pransings of its mighty ones.

(Jdg 5:23) Curse Meroz -- said a messenger of Jehovah, Cursing, curse ye its inhabitants, For they came not to the help of Jehovah, To the help of Jehovah among the mighty!

(Jdg 5:24) Blessed above women is Jael, Wife of Heber the Kenite, Above women in the tent she is blessed.

(Jdg 5:25) Water he asked -- milk she gave; In a lordly dish she brought near butter.

(Jdg 5:26) Her hand to the pin she sendeth forth, And her right hand to the labourers` hammer, And she hammered Sisera -- she smote his head, Yea, she smote, and it passed through his temple.

(Jdg 5:27) Between her feet he bowed -- He fell, he lay down; Between her feet he bowed, he fell; Where he bowed, there he fell -- destroyed.

(Jdg 5:28) Through the window she hath looked out -- Yea, she crieth out -- the mother of Sisera, Through the lattice: Wherefore is his chariot delaying to come? Wherefore tarried have the steps of his chariot?

(Jdg 5:29) The wise ones, her princesses, answer her, Yea, she returneth her sayings to herself:

(Jdg 5:30) Do they not find? -- they apportion spoil, A female -- two females -- for every head, Spoil of finger-work for Sisera, Spoil of embroidered finger-work, Finger-work -- a pair of embroidered things, For the necks of the spoil!

(Jdg 5:31) So do all Thine enemies perish, O Jehovah, And those loving Him [are] As the going out of the sun in its might!` and the land resteth forty years.

Reading 2

Judges chapter 6

(Jdg 6:1) And the sons of Israel do the evil thing in the eyes of Jehovah, and Jehovah giveth them into the hand of Midian seven years,

(Jdg 6:2) and the hand of Midian is strong against Israel, from the presence of Midian have the sons of Israel made for themselves the flowings which [are] in the mountains, and the caves, and the strongholds.

(Jdg 6:3) And it hath been, if Israel hath sowed, that Midian hath come up, and Amalek, and the sons of the east, yea, they have come up against him,

(Jdg 6:4) and encamp against them, and destroy the increase of the land till thine entering Gaza; and they leave no sustenance in Israel, either sheep, or ox, or ass;

(Jdg 6:5) for they and their cattle come up, with their tents; they come in as the fulness of the locust for multitude, and of them and of their cattle there is no number, and they come into the land to destroy it.

(Jdg 6:6) And Israel is very weak from the presence of Midian, and the sons of Israel cry unto Jehovah.

(Jdg 6:7) And it cometh to pass when the sons of Israel have cried unto Jehovah, concerning Midian,

(Jdg 6:8) that Jehovah sendeth a man, a prophet, unto the sons of Israel, and he saith to them, `Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, I -- I have brought you up out of Egypt, and I bring you out from a house of servants,

(Jdg 6:9) and I deliver you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all your oppressors, and I cast them out from your presence, and I give to you their land,

(Jdg 6:10) and I say to you, I [am] Jehovah your God, ye do not fear the gods of the Amorite in whose land ye are dwelling: -- and ye have not hearkened to My voice.`

(Jdg 6:11) And the messenger of Jehovah cometh and sitteth under the oak which [is] in Ophrah, which [is] to Joash the Abi-Ezrite, and Gideon his son is beating out wheat in the wine-press, to remove [it] from the presence of the Midianites;

(Jdg 6:12) and the messenger of Jehovah appeareth unto him, and saith unto him, `Jehovah [is] with thee, O mighty one of valour.`

(Jdg 6:13) And Gideon saith unto him, `O, my lord -- and Jehovah is with us! -- and why hath all this found us? and where [are] all His wonders which our fathers recounted to us, saying, Hath not Jehovah brought us up out of Egypt? and now Jehovah hath left us, and doth give us into the hand of Midian.`

(Jdg 6:14) And Jehovah turneth unto him and saith, `Go in this -- thy power; and thou hast saved Israel out of the hand of Midian -- have not I sent thee.`

(Jdg 6:15) And he saith unto him, `O, my lord, wherewith do I save Israel? lo, my chief [is] weak in Manasseh, and I the least in the house of my father.`

(Jdg 6:16) And Jehovah saith unto him, `Because I am with thee -- thou hast smitten the Midianites as one man.`

(Jdg 6:17) And he saith unto Him, `If, I pray Thee, I have found grace in Thine eyes, then Thou hast done for me a sign that Thou art speaking with me.

(Jdg 6:18) Move not, I pray Thee, from this, till my coming in unto Thee, and I have brought out my present, and put it before Thee;` and he saith, `I -- I do abide till thy return.`

(Jdg 6:19) And Gideon hath gone in, and prepareth a kid of the goats, and of an ephah of flour unleavened things; the flesh he hath put in a basket, and the broth he hath put in a pot, and he bringeth out unto Him, unto the place of the oak, and bringeth [it] nigh.

(Jdg 6:20) And the messenger of God saith unto him, `Take the flesh and the unleavened things, and place on this rock -- and the broth pour out;` and he doth so.

(Jdg 6:21) And the messenger of Jehovah putteth forth the end of the staff which [is] in His hand, and cometh against the flesh, and against the unleavened things, and the fire goeth up out of the rock and consumeth the flesh and the unleavened things -- and the messenger of Jehovah hath gone from his eyes.

(Jdg 6:22) And Gideon seeth that He [is] a messenger of Jehovah, and Gideon saith, `Alas, Lord Jehovah! because that I have seen a messenger of Jehovah face to face!`

(Jdg 6:23) And Jehovah saith to him, `Peace to thee; fear not; thou dost not die.`

(Jdg 6:24) And Gideon buildeth there an altar to Jehovah, and calleth it Jehovah-Shalom, unto this day it [is] yet in Ophrah of the Abi-Ezrites.

(Jdg 6:25) And it cometh to pass, on that night, that Jehovah saith to him, `Take the young ox which [is] to thy father, and the second bullock of seven years, and thou hast thrown down the altar of Baal which [is] to thy father, and the shrine which [is] by it thou dost cut down,

(Jdg 6:26) and thou hast built an altar to Jehovah thy God on the top of this stronghold, by the arrangement, and hast taken the second bullock, and caused to ascend a burnt-offering with the wood of the shrine which thou cuttest down.`

(Jdg 6:27) And Gideon taketh ten men of his servants, and doth as Jehovah hath spoken unto him, and it cometh to pass, because he hath been afraid of the house of his father, and the men of the city, to do [it] by day, that he doth [it] by night.

(Jdg 6:28) And the men of the city rise early in the morning, and lo, broken down hath been the altar of Baal, and the shrine which is by it hath been cut down, and the second bullock hath been offered on the altar which is built.

(Jdg 6:29) And they say one to another, `Who hath done this thing?` and they inquire and seek, and they say, `Gideon son of Joash hath done this thing.`

(Jdg 6:30) And the men of the city say unto Joash, `Bring out thy son, and he dieth, because he hath broken down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the shrine which [is] by it.`

(Jdg 6:31) And Joash saith to all who have stood against him, `Ye, do ye plead for Baal? ye -- do ye save him? he who pleadeth for him is put to death during the morning; if he [is] a god he himself doth plead against him, because he hath broken down his altar.`

(Jdg 6:32) And he calleth him, on that day, Jerubbaal, saying, `The Baal doth plead against him, because he hath broken down his altar.`

(Jdg 6:33) And all Midian and Amalek and the sons of the east have been gathered together, and pass over, and encamp in the valley of Jezreel,

(Jdg 6:34) and the Spirit of Jehovah hath clothed Gideon, and he bloweth with a trumpet, and Abi-Ezer is called after him;

(Jdg 6:35) and messengers he hath sent into all Manasseh, and it also is called after him; and messengers he hath sent into Asher, and into Zebulun, and into Naphtali, and they come up to meet them.

(Jdg 6:36) And Gideon saith unto God, `If Thou art Saviour of Israel by my hand, as Thou hast spoken,

(Jdg 6:37) lo, I am placing the fleece of wool in the threshing-floor: if dew is on the fleece alone, and on all the earth drought -- then I have known that Thou dost save Israel by my hand, as Thou hast spoken;`

(Jdg 6:38) and it is so, and he riseth early on the morrow, and presseth the fleece, and wringeth dew out of the fleece -- the fulness of the bowl, of water.

(Jdg 6:39) And Gideon saith unto God, `Let not Thine anger burn against me, and I speak only this time; let me try, I pray Thee, only this time with the fleece -- let there be, I pray Thee, drought on the fleece alone, and on all the earth let there be dew.`

(Jdg 6:40) And God doth so on that night, and there is drought on the fleece alone, and on all the earth there hath been dew.

Reading 3

Judges chapter 7

(Jdg 7:1) And Jerubbaal (he [is] Gideon) riseth early, and all the people who [are] with him, and they encamp by the well of Harod, and the camp of Midian hath been on the south of him, on the height of Moreh, in the valley.

(Jdg 7:2) And Jehovah saith unto Gideon, `Too many [are] the people who [are] with thee for My giving Midian into their hand, lest Israel beautify itself against Me, saying, My hand hath given salvation to me;

(Jdg 7:3) and now, call, I pray thee, in the ears of the people, saying, Whoso [is] afraid and trembling, let him turn back and go early from mount Gilead;` and there turn back of the people twenty and two thousand, and ten thousand have been left.

(Jdg 7:4) And Jehovah saith unto Gideon, `Yet [are] the people too many; bring them down unto the water, and I refine it for thee there; and it hath been, he of whom I say unto thee, This doth go with thee -- he doth go with thee; and any of whom I say unto thee, This doth not go with thee -- he doth not go.`

(Jdg 7:5) And he bringeth down the people unto the water, and Jehovah saith unto Gideon, `Every one who lappeth with his tongue of the water as the dog lappeth -- thou dost set him apart; also every one who boweth on his knees to drink.`

(Jdg 7:6) And the number of those lapping with their hand unto their mouth is three hundred men, and all the rest of the people have bowed down on their knees to drink water.

(Jdg 7:7) And Jehovah saith unto Gideon, `By the three hundred men who are lapping I save you, and have given Midian into thy hand, and all the people go, each to his place.`

(Jdg 7:8) And the people take the provision in their hand, and their trumpets, and every man of Israel he hath sent away, each to his tents; and on the three hundred men he hath kept hold, and the camp of Midian hath been by him at the lower part of the valley.

(Jdg 7:9) And it cometh to pass, on that night, that Jehovah saith unto him, `Rise, go down into the camp, for I have given it into thy hand;

(Jdg 7:10) and if thou art afraid to go down -- go down, thou and Phurah thy young man, unto the camp,

(Jdg 7:11) and thou hast heard what they speak, and afterwards are thy hands strengthened, and thou hast gone down against the camp.` And he goeth down, he and Phurah his young man, unto the extremity of the fifties who [are] in the camp;

(Jdg 7:12) and Midian and Amalek, and all the sons of the east are lying in the valley, as the locust for multitude, and of their camels there is no number, as sand which [is] on the sea-shore for multitude.

(Jdg 7:13) And Gideon cometh in, and lo, a man is recounting to his companion a dream, and saith, `Lo, a dream I have dreamed, and lo, a cake of barley-bread is turning itself over into the camp of Midian, and it cometh in unto the tent, and smiteth it, and it falleth, and turneth it upwards, and the tent hath fallen.`

(Jdg 7:14) And his companion answereth and saith, `This is nothing save the sword of Gideon son of Joash, a man of Israel; God hath given into his hand Midian and all the camp.`

(Jdg 7:15) And it cometh to pass, when Gideon heareth the narration of the dream and its interpretation, that he boweth himself, and turneth back unto the camp of Israel, and saith, `Rise ye, for Jehovah hath given into your hand the camp of Midian.`

(Jdg 7:16) And he divideth the three hundred men [into] three detachments, and putteth trumpets into the hand of all of them, and empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.

(Jdg 7:17) And he saith unto them, `Look at me, and thus do; and lo, I am coming into the extremity of the camp -- and it hath been -- as I do so ye do;

(Jdg 7:18) and I have blown with a trumpet -- I and all who [are] with me, and ye have blown with trumpets, even ye, round about all the camp, and have said, For Jehovah and for Gideon.`

(Jdg 7:19) And Gideon cometh -- and the hundred men who [are] with him -- into the extremity of the camp, [at] the beginning of the middle watch (it hath only just confirmed the watchmen), and they blow with trumpets -- dashing in pieces also the pitchers which [are] in their hand;

(Jdg 7:20) and the three detachments blow with trumpets, and break the pitchers, and keep hold with their left hand on the lamps, and with their right hand on the trumpets to blow, and they cry, `The sword of Jehovah and of Gideon.`

(Jdg 7:21) And they stand each in his place, round about the camp, and all the camp runneth, and they shout, and flee;

(Jdg 7:22) and the three hundred blow the trumpets, and Jehovah setteth the sword of each against his companion, even through all the camp; and the camp fleeth unto Beth-Shittah, at Zererath, unto the border of Abel-Meholah, by Tabbath.

(Jdg 7:23) And the men of Israel are called from Naphtali, and from Asher, and from all Manasseh, and pursue after Midian.

(Jdg 7:24) And messengers hath sent Gideon into all the hill-country of Ephraim, saying, `Come down to meet Midian, and capture before them the waters unto Beth-Barah, and the Jordan;` and every man of Ephraim is called, and they capture the waters unto Beth-Barah, and the Jordan,

(Jdg 7:25) and they capture two of the heads of Midian, Oreb, and Zeeb, and slay Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they have slain at the wine-vat of Zeeb, and they pursue unto Midian; and the heads of Oreb and Zeeb they have brought in unto Gideon beyond the Jordan.

Reading 4

Judges chapter 8

(Jdg 8:1) And the men of Ephraim say unto him, `What [is] this thing thou hast done to us -- not to call for us when thou didst go to fight with Midian?` and they strive with him severely;

(Jdg 8:2) and he saith unto them, `What have I done now like you? are not the gleanings of Ephraim better than the harvest of Abi-Ezer?

(Jdg 8:3) Into your hand hath God given the heads of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and what have I been able to do like you?` Then their temper desisted from off him in his speaking this thing.

(Jdg 8:4) And Gideon cometh in unto the Jordan, passing over, he and the three hundred men who [are] with him -- wearied, and pursuing,

(Jdg 8:5) and he saith to the men of Succoth, `Give, I pray you, cakes of bread to the people who [are] at my feet, for they [are] wearied, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna kings of Midian.`

(Jdg 8:6) And the heads of Succoth say, `Is the hand of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thy hand, that we give to thy host bread?`

(Jdg 8:7) And Gideon saith, `Therefore -- in Jehovah`s giving Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand -- I have threshed your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness, and with the threshing instruments.`

(Jdg 8:8) And he goeth up thence [to] Penuel, and speaketh unto them thus; and the men of Penuel answer him as the men of Succoth answered.

(Jdg 8:9) And he speaketh also to the men of Penuel, saying, `In my turning back in peace, I break down this tower.`

(Jdg 8:10) And Zebah and Zalmunna [are] in Karkor, and their camps with them, about fifteen thousand, all who are left of all the camp of the sons of the east; and those falling [are] a hundred and twenty thousand men, drawing sword.

(Jdg 8:11) And Gideon goeth up the way of those who tabernacle in tents, on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smiteth the camp, and the camp was confident;

(Jdg 8:12) and Zebab and Zalmunna flee, and he pursueth after them, and captureth the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and all the camp he hath caused to tremble.

(Jdg 8:13) And Gideon son of Joash turneth back from the battle, at the going up of the sun,

(Jdg 8:14) and captureth a young man of the men of Succoth, and asketh him, and he describeth unto him the heads of Succoth, and its elders -- seventy and seven men.

(Jdg 8:15) And he cometh in unto the men of Succoth, and saith, `Lo Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye reproached me, saying, Is the hand of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thy hand that we give to thy men who [are] wearied bread?`

(Jdg 8:16) And he taketh the elders of the city, and the thorns of the wilderness, and the threshing instruments, and teacheth by them the men of Succoth,

(Jdg 8:17) and the tower of Penuel he hath broken down, and slayeth the men of the city.

(Jdg 8:18) And he saith unto Zebah and unto Zalmunna, `How -- the men whom ye slew in Tabor?` and they say, `As thou -- so they, one -- as the form of the king`s sons.`

(Jdg 8:19) And he saith, `My brethren -- sons of my mother -- they; Jehovah liveth, if ye had kept them alive -- I had not slain you.`

(Jdg 8:20) And he saith to Jether his first-born, `Rise, slay them;` and the young man hath not drawn his sword, for he hath been afraid, for he [is] yet a youth.

(Jdg 8:21) And Zebah saith -- also Zalmunna -- `Rise thou, and fall upon us; for as the man -- his might;` and Gideon riseth, and slayeth Zebah and Zalmunna, and taketh their round ornaments which [are] on the necks of their camels.

(Jdg 8:22) And the men of Israel say unto Gideon, `Rule over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son`s son, for thou hast saved us from the hand of Midian.`

(Jdg 8:23) And Gideon saith unto them, `I do not rule over you, nor doth my son rule over you; Jehovah doth rule over you.`

(Jdg 8:24) And Gideon saith unto them, `Let me ask of you a petition, and give ye to me each the ring of his prey, for they have rings of gold, for they [are] Ishmaelites.`

(Jdg 8:25) And they say, `We certainly give;` and they spread out the garment, and cast thither each the ring of his prey;

(Jdg 8:26) and the weight of the rings of gold which he asked is a thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold, apart from the round ornaments, and the drops, and the purple garments, which [are] on the kings of Midian, and apart from the chains which [are] on the necks of their camels,

(Jdg 8:27) and Gideon maketh it into an ephod, and setteth it up in his city, in Ophrah, and all Israel go a-whoring after it there, and it is to Gideon and to his house for a snare.

(Jdg 8:28) And Midian is humbled before the sons of Israel, and have not added to lift up their head; and the land resteth forty years in the days of Gideon.

(Jdg 8:29) And Jerubbaal son of Joash goeth and dwelleth in his own house,

(Jdg 8:30) and to Gideon there have been seventy sons, coming out of his loin, for he had many wives;

(Jdg 8:31) and his concubine, who [is] in Shechem, hath born to him -- even she -- a son, and he appointeth his name Abimelech.

(Jdg 8:32) And Gideon son of Joash dieth, in a good old age, and is buried in the burying-place of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abi-Ezrite.

(Jdg 8:33) And it cometh to pass, when Gideon [is] dead, that the sons of Israel turn back and go a-whoring after the Baalim, and set over them Baal-Berith for a god;

(Jdg 8:34) and the sons of Israel have not remembered Jehovah their God, who is delivering them out of the hand of all their enemies round about,

(Jdg 8:35) neither have they done kindness with the house of Jerubbaal -- Gideon -- according to all the good which he did with Israel.