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Andries Hendrik Potgieter Andries Pretorius FW Reitz General Louis Botha Gideon Jacobus Scheepers Jacobus Herculaas de la Rey Johanna Brandt Johannes Cornelius Lötter Koos De La Rey Pres MT Steyn Sarel Cilliers Siener van Rensburg

Debat oor Christendom en Godsdiens

The Biblical Antiquities of Philo

Or the history of philo from the beginning of the world to king david

Chapter 55.

Grief of Samuel. The ark and Dagon: the Philistines plagued: they take counsel as to the return of the ark: it is sent back.

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1. But Samuel knew nothing of all these things, because three days before the battle God sent him away, saying unto him: Go and look upon the place of Arimatha, there shall be thy dwelling. And when Samuel heard what had befallen Israel, he came and prayed unto the Lord) saying: Behold, now, in vain is understanding denied unto me that I might see the destruction of my people. And now I fear lest my days grow old in evil and my years be ended in sorrow, for whereas the ark of the Lord is not with me, why should I yet live?

p. 225

2. And the Lord said unto him: Be not grieved, Samuel, that the ark is taken away. I will bring it again, and them that have taken it will I overthrow, and will avenge my people of their enemies. And Samuel said: Lo, even if thou avenge them in time, according to thy longsuffering, yet what shall we do which die now? And God said to him: Before thou diest thou shalt see the end which I will bring upon mine enemies, whereby the Philistines shall perish and shall be slain by scorpions and by all manner of noisome creeping things.(1)

3. And when the Philistines had set the ark of the Lord that was taken in the temple of Dagon their god, and were come to enquire of Dagon concerning their going forth, they found him fallen on his face and his hands and feet laid before the ark. And they went forth on the first morning, having crucified his priests. And on the second day they came and found as on the day before, and the destruction was greatly multiplied among them.

1 Sam. 5:2-4

4. Therefore the Philistines gathered together in Accaron, and said every man to his neighbour: Behold now, we see that the destruction is enlarged among us, and the fruit of our body perisheth, for the creeping things that are sent upon us destroy them that are with child and the sucklings and them also that give suck. And they said: Let us see wherefore the hand of the Lord is strong against us. Is it for the ark's sake? for every day is our god found fallen upon his face before the ark, and we have slain our priests to no purpose once and again.

p. 226

1 Sam. 5:6
1 Sam. 5:11

5. And the wise men of the Philistines said: Lo, now by this may we know if the Lord have sent destruction upon us for his ark's sake or if a chance affliction(2) is come upon us for a season?

6. And now, whereas all that are with child and give suck die, and they that give suck are made childless, and they, that are suckled perish, we also will take kine that give suck and yoke them to a new cart, and set the ark upon it, and shut up the young of the kine. And it shall be, if the kine indeed go forth, and turn not back to their young, we shall know that we have suffered these things for the ark's sake; but if they refuse to go, yearning after their young, we shall know that the time of our fall is come upon us.

1 Sam. 6:7-12

7. And certain of the wise men and diviners answered: Assay ye not only this, but let us set the kine at the head of the three ways that are about Accaron.(3) For the middle way leadeth to Accaron, and the way on the right hand to Judæa, and the way on the left hand to Samaria. And direct ye the kine that bear the ark in the middle way. And if they set forth by the right-hand way straight unto Judæa, we shall know that of a truth the God of the Jews hath laid us waste; but if they go by those other ways, we shall know that an evil (lit. mighty) time(4) hath befallen us, for now have we denied our gods.

p. 227

8. And the Philistines took milch kine and yoked them to a new cart and set the ark thereon, and set them at the head of the three ways, and their young they shut up at home. And the kine, albeit they lowed and yearned for their young, went forward nevertheless by the right-hand way that leadeth to Judæa. And then they knew that for the ark's sake they were laid waste.

9. And all the Philistines assembled and brought the ark again unto Silo with timbrels and pipes and dances. And because of the noisome creeping things that laid them waste, they made seats of gold and sanctified the ark.

10. And in that plaguing of the Philistines, the number was of them that died being with child 75,000, and of the sucking children 65,000, and of them that gave suck 55,000, and of men 25,000. And the land had rest seven years.


(1) 225:1 The plagues that afflicted the Philistines are only obscurely indicated. They appear to have consisted of noxious reptiles which particularly attacked the children and the mothers. In 9 it is said that sedilia aurea (έδρασ LXX) were offered pro reptilibus pessimis quae exterminauerunt eos, whereas in the Bible these objects represented the bubones characteristic of the plague--the "emerods" of A. V.

(2) 226:1 The phrase et (aut R) conueniens (+ temporarie R) dominatio is unusual. temporarie, which seems likely to be genuine, would represent πρόσκάιροσ. I adopt the aut of R, and take conueniens to be a mistranslation of some word meaning fortuitous (from συμβαίνω or συντυγΧάνω or the like): in 1 Sam. 6:7 LXX the word used is σύμπτωμα ("it was a chance that happened to us").

(3) 226:2 The passage about the three roads in 7 is confused in the MSS. I have made a smooth conflate text which probably conveys the original writer's meaning.

(4) 227:1 an evil (lit. mighty) time: ualidum tempus.