Legends of Old Testament Characters/Chapter 34

XXXIV.

THE JUDGES.

IF Joshua, the first of the Judges, has, to a great extent, escaped the hands of legend manufacturers, the same may be said of his successors, Phinehas, Othniel, Ehud, Deborah and Barak, Gibeon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon. Even Samson has not been surrounded by such a multitude of traditions as might have been expected.

The Mussulmans have little to say of him, and the Jewish legends are not numerous.

The Rabbi Samuel, son of Nahaman, said that Samson once took two mountains, one in each hand, and knocked them together, as a man will strike together two pebbles. The Rabbi Jehuda said that when the Spirit of the Lord rested on him, he strode in one stride from Zorah to Eshtaol. The Rabbi Nahaman added that his hair stood up, and one hair tinkled against another, so that the sound could be heard, like that of bells, from Zorah to Eshtaol.[1]

Abulfaraj says that Phinehas, the son of Eleazer, the son of Aaron, after the death of Joshua, was commanded by an angel to put the manna, the rod, the tables of the covenant, and the five books of Moses in a brazen urn, seal it with lead, and conceal it in a cave, as the Israelites were too wicked to be entrusted with such a treasure.[2]

  1. Eisenmenger, i. p. 395.
  2. Hist. Dynast. p. 24.