And he said to Moses, Go up to Jehovah, thou and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship afar off. And let Moses alone come near Jehovah; but they shall not come near; neither shall the people go up with him. And Moses came and told the people all the words of Jehovah, and all the judgments; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words that Jehovah has said will we do! read more.
And Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar under the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
And the men of E'phraim said to him, "What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight with Mid'ian?" And they upbraided him violently. And he said to them, "What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of E'phraim better than the vintage of Abi-e'zer? God has given into your hands the princes of Mid'ian, Oreb and Zeeb; what have I been able to do in comparison with you?" Then their anger against him was abated, when he had said this. read more.
And Gideon came to the Jordan and passed over, he and the three hundred men who were with him, faint yet pursuing. So he said to the men of Succoth, "Pray, give loaves of bread to the people who follow me; for they are faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmun'na, the kings of Mid'ian." And the officials of Succoth said, "Are Zebah and Zalmun'na already in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?" And Gideon said, "Well then, when the LORD has given Zebah and Zalmun'na into my hand, I will flail your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers." And from there he went up to Penu'el, and spoke to them in the same way; and the men of Penu'el answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. And he said to the men of Penu'el, "When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower." Now Zebah and Zalmun'na were in Karkor with their army, about fifteen thousand men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the East; for there had fallen a hundred and twenty thousand men who drew the sword. And Gideon went up by the caravan route east of Nobah and Jog'behah, and attacked the army; for the army was off its guard. And Zebah and Zalmun'na fled; and he pursued them and took the two kings of Mid'ian, Zebah and Zalmun'na, and he threw all the army into a panic. Then Gideon the son of Jo'ash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres. And he caught a young man of Succoth, and questioned him; and he wrote down for him the officials and elders of Succoth, seventy-seven men. And he came to the men of Succoth, and said, "Behold Zebah and Zalmun'na, about whom you taunted me, saying, 'Are Zebah and Zalmun'na already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are faint?'" And he took the elders of the city and he took thorns of the wilderness and briers and with them taught the men of Succoth. And he broke down the tower of Penu'el, and slew the men of the city. Then he said to Zebah and Zalmun'na, "Where are the men whom you slew at Tabor?" They answered, "As you are, so were they, every one of them; they resembled the sons of a king." And he said, "They were my brothers, the sons of my mother; as the LORD lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not slay you." And he said to Jether his first-born, "Rise, and slay them." But the youth did not draw his sword; for he was afraid, because he was still a youth. Then Zebah and Zalmun'na said, "Rise yourself, and fall upon us; for as the man is, so is his strength." And Gideon arose and slew Zebah and Zalmun'na; and he took the crescents that were on the necks of their camels. Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, "Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also; for you have delivered us out of the hand of Mid'ian." Gideon said to them, "I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the LORD will rule over you." And Gideon said to them, "Let me make a request of you; give me every man of you the earrings of his spoil." (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ish'maelites.) And they answered, "We will willingly give them." And they spread a garment, and every man cast in it the earrings of his spoil. And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold; besides the crescents and the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Mid'ian, and besides the collars that were about the necks of their camels. And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah; and all Israel played the harlot after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family. So Mid'ian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.
All the chiefs of the priests also, and the people, increased their transgressions, according to all the abominations of the nations; and they defiled the house of Jehovah which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And Jehovah the God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up early and sending; because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling-place. But they mocked at the messengers of God, and despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the fury of Jehovah rose against his people, and there was no remedy. read more.
And he brought up against them the king of the Chaldees, and slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and spared not young man nor maiden, old man nor him of hoary head: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and the treasures of the king and of his princes, he brought all to Babylon. And they burned the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burned all the palaces thereof with fire, and all the precious vessels thereof were given up to destruction. And them that had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they became servants to him and his sons, until the reign of the kingdom of Persia; to fulfil the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath, to fulfil seventy years.
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. And so it was, because the children of Israel had sinned against Jehovah their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods; and they walked in the statutes of the nations that Jehovah had dispossessed from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. read more.
And the children of Israel did secretly against Jehovah their God things that were not right; and they built them high places in all their cities, from the watchmen's tower to the fortified city. And they set them up columns and Asherahs on every high hill and under every green tree; and there they burned incense on all the high places, as did the nations that Jehovah had carried away from before them, and they wrought wicked things to provoke Jehovah to anger; and they served idols, as to which Jehovah had said to them, Ye shall not do this thing. And Jehovah testified against Israel and against Judah, by all the prophets, all the seers, saying, Turn from your evil ways, and keep my commandments, my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through my servants the prophets. But they would not hear, and hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, who did not believe in Jehovah their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant which he had made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he had testified unto them; and they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations that were round about them, concerning whom Jehovah had charged them that they should not do like them. And they forsook all the commandments of Jehovah their God, and made them molten images, two calves, and made an Asherah, and worshipped all the host of the heavens, and served Baal; and they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger. Therefore Jehovah was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there remained but the tribe of Judah only. Also Judah kept not the commandments of Jehovah their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they had made. And Jehovah rejected all the seed of Israel; and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. For Israel had rent the kingdom from the house of David; and they had made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king; and Jeroboam violently turned Israel from following Jehovah, and made them sin a great sin. And the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them: until Jehovah had removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said through all his servants the prophets; and Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria, unto this day. And the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and made them dwell in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in its cities. And so it was, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not Jehovah; and Jehovah sent lions among them, which killed some of them. And they spoke to the king of Assyria saying, The nations that thou hast removed and made to dwell in the cities of Samaria know not the manner of the god of the land; therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the god of the land. And the king of Assyria commanded saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye have brought away from thence; and let them go and abide there, and let him teach them the manner of the god of the land. Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and abode in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear Jehovah. And every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities in which they dwelt. And the people of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the people of Cuth made Nergal, and the people of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of Sepharvaim. So they feared Jehovah, and made to themselves from all classes of them priests of the high places, who offered sacrifices for them in the houses of the high places. They feared Jehovah, and served their own gods after the manner of the nations, whence they had been carried away. To this day they do after their former customs: they fear not Jehovah, neither do they after their statutes or after their ordinances, nor after the law and commandment that Jehovah commanded the sons of Jacob, whom he named Israel. And Jehovah had made a covenant with them, and charged them saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow down yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them; but Jehovah alone, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched-out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice. And the statutes and the ordinances and the law, and the commandment which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods. And ye shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you, neither shall ye fear other gods; but ye shall fear Jehovah your God, and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. And they did not hearken, but did after their former customs. And these nations feared Jehovah, and served their graven images, both their children and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they, unto this day.