William L. (William Loring) Worcester.

On holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands online

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the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.

And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites,
whose name was Manoah ; and his wife was barren, and bare not. And the
angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold
now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a
son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong
drink, and eat not any unclean thing: for, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear
a son ; and no razor shall come on his head : for the child shall be a
Nazarite unto God from the womb : and he shall begin to deliver Israel out
of the hand of the Philistines. Then the woman came and told her hus-
band, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like
the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible : but I asked him not
whence he was, neither told he me his name : but he said unto me, Behold,
thou shalt conceive, and bear a son ; and now drink no wine nor strong
drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to
God from the womb to the day of his death. Then Manoah intreated the
Lord, and said, my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come



SAMSON AND THE PHILISTINES. 165

again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be
born. And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God
came again unto the woman as she sat in the field; but Manoah her husband
was not with her. And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her
husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that
came unto me the other day. And Manoah arose, and went after his wife,
and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest
unto the woman ? And he said, I am. And Manoah said, Now let thy words
come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the
woman let her beware. She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the
vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing:
all that I commanded her let her observe. And Manoah said unto the
angel of the Lord, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made
ready a kid for thee. And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Though
thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread : and if thou wilt offer a burnt
offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he
was an angel of the Lord. And
Manoah said unto the angel of

the Lord, What is thy name, »

that when thy sayings come to ^^^^^B^^^^g^BKUKKBKwk ■
pass we may do thee honour?
And the angel of the Lord said
unto him, Why askest thou thus
after my n a m e, seeing it is
secret? So Manoah took a kid

With a meat offering,* and (Copyright, 1903, by William H. Ran, Phila.)
offered it upon a rock unto Ploughing : plain of Sharon.

the Lord : and the angel did

wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass,
when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the ana'el
of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar: and Manoah and his wife
looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of the
Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew
that he was an angel of the Lord. And Manoah said unto his wife, We
shall surely die, because we have seen God. But his wife said unto him, If
the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering
and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these
things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these. And
the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson : and the child grew,
and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him
at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.t

And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of
the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and

* The Revised Version reads " meal offering." It was of meal or flour,
perhaps mixed with oil.

t Eshtaol was a little east of Zorah, and " the camp of Dan" was the
open valley between the two towns.





166 ON HOLY GROUND.

his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters
of the Philistines : now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father
and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters
of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife
of the uncircumeised Philistines'? And Samson said unto his father, Get
her for me; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew
not that it was of the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philis-
tines : for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath,
and came to the vineyards of Timnath : and, behold, a young lion roared

against him. And the Spirit of
the Lord came mightily upon
him, and he rent him as he
would have rent a kid, and he
had nothing in his hand : but
he told not his father or his
mother what he had done. And
he went down, and talked with
the woman ; and she pleased
Samson well. And after a time
he returned to take her, and he
turned aside to see the carcase
(Copyright, 190.3, by c. h. Graves, Phiia.) of the lion : and, behold, there

A wedding- procession of Jud^a. was a swarm of bees and honey

in the carcase of the lion. And
he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father
and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat : but he told not them
that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion. So his father
went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so
used the young men to do. And it came to pass, Avhen they saw him,
that they brought thirty companions to be with him. And Samson said
unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you : if ye can certainly
declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will
give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments : but if ye cannot
declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of
garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may
hear it. And he said unto them,

Out of the eater came forth meat,

And out of the strong came forth sweetness.

And they could not in three days expound the riddle. And it came to pass
on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband,
that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's
house with fire : have ye called us to take that we have ? is it not so ? And
Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest
me not : thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and
hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my
father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee? And she wept before him
the seven days, while their feast lasted : and it came to pass on the seventh



SAMSON AND THE PHILISTINES. 167



day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him : and she told the
riddle to the children of her people. And the men of the city said unto
him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than
honey? and what is stronger than a lion 1 ? And he said unto them,

If ye had not ploughed with my heifer,
Ye had not found out my riddle.

And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon,
and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of
garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was
kindled, and he went up to his father's house. But Samson's wife was
given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend. . . .

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley
of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came
up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great
strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may
bind him to afflict him : and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred
pieces of silver. And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein
thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict
thee. And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs
that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. Then
the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had
not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now there were men lying-
in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The
Philistines be upon thee,
Samson. And he brake
the withs, as a thread of
tow is broken when it
toucheth the fire. So his
strength was not known.
And Delilah said unto
Samson, Behold, thou hast
mocked me, and told me
lies : now tell me, I pray
thee, wherewith thou might-
est be bound. And he said
unto her, If they bind me
fast with new ropes that
never were occupied, then
shall I be weak, and be as

another man. Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him there-
with, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Sampson. And
there were Hers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them
from off his arms like a thread. And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto
thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightesl
be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my
head with the web. And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him-,
The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep,
and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web. And she said




(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)
The shore at Ashkelon.



168 ON HOLY GROUND.

unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with
me ? Thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein
thy great strength lieth. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily
with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death ; that
he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor
upon mine head: for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's
womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall
become weak, and be like any other man. And when Delilah saw that he
had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines,
saying, Come up this once, for he hath sheAved me all his heart. Then the
lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she
caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to
afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines
be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go
out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the




(Photograph by G. L. Robinson. )

Gaza.

Lord was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out
his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of
brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.
Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great
sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice : for they said, Our god hath
delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. And when the people saw him
they praised their god : for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands
our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. And
it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for
Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the
prison house ; and he made them sport : and they set him between the
pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer
me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may
lean upon them. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the



MIC AH AND THE DANITES. 169

lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about
three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.
And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, Lord God, remember me,
I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, God, that I
may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson
took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on
which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other
with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he
bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and
upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his
death were more than they which he slew in his life. Then his brethren
and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him
up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of
Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years. — Judges XIII.,
XIV., XVI. 4-31.



MICAH AND THE DANITES.

The Book of Judges gives us sad pictures of the life
among the children of Israel. "In those days there was no
king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his
own eyes. ' ' Many of the people had forgotten the Lord and
His tabernacle in Shiloh, and worshipped idols.

Micah lived among the hills of Ephraim, the very tribe
where Shiloh was, yet he had a room in his house as a little
temple of his own, and two images of silver, a molten and a
graven image. For the molten image the metal was melted
and cast, the graven image was carved with a tool. The
ephod was strictly the sacred vest made for the priest ; but
it seems sometimes to mean an image dressed in sacred
garments. Teraphim also means an idol. At first Micah
made one of his sons his priest, but afterwards a Levite
from Bethlehem who was looking for a home became his
priest. The tribe of Levi, to which Moses and Aaron be-
longed, had been appointed to be priests and to care for
the sacred things. They had no home by themselves, but
were given certain towns among the other tribes.

There came one day five men who knew the priest and
recognized his voice, and they lodged at Micah 's house.
They were Danites from Samson's town Zorah and from
Eshtaol near by, who had been sent out to look for a new
home for their tribe, because the lot that had fallen to Dan



170



ON HOLY GROUND.



on the border of the Philistine country was too small. The
Philistines and Amorites were strong, and the Danites never
got possession of all the land that was given them.

The men went on from Micah's house towards the north,
to the beautiful valley under Mount Hermon, where streams

from the great springs
come together to form
the Jordan. It is a
broad, sunny valley
with plenty of water.
There are many trees
and homelike flowers.
Out in the middle of
the valley is a rounded
hill with a great oak
tree on it; a large
spring comes from the
thick bushes, and on
the hill are ruins of
an old town. The
town was Laish, a de-
pendent of Zidon, the
Phoenician city on the
Mediterranean shore.
It was far from Zidon,
but the people felt
secure.

The messengers of
the Danites saw how
good the place was, and they went back to bring their
people; and they came with six hundred armed men, and
took the city of Laish, and when they built it again they
called it Dan.

I must not tell the story, except to say that as the tribe
of Danites went on their way, they took with them the priest
from Micah's house and stole his images. What lawless
times these were when a tribe could go and take a home where
they pleased, and when those that were stronger could carry
away the treasures of others ! We feel sorry for Micah when
his images were stolen away, but he ought to learn to worship
the Lord and not idols.




(Copyright, 1903, by William H. Eau, Phila.)

The stream from the spring of Dan.



MICAH AND THE DANITES. 171

And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah. And
he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels * of silver that were
taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine
ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed
be thou of the Lord, my son. And when he had restored the eleven hundred
shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the
silver unto the Lord from my hand for my son, to make a graven image
and a molten image : now therefore I will restore it unto thee. Yet he
restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred
shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven
image and a molten image : and they were in the house of Micah. And the
man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and
consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was
no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

And there was a young man out of Beth-lehem-judah of the family of
Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there. And the man departed
out of the city from Beth-lehem-judah to sojourn where he could find a
place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he jour-
neyed. And Micah said unto
him. Whence comest thou?
And he said unto him, I
am a Levite of Beth-lehem-
judah, and I go to sojourn
where I may find a place.
And Micah said unto him,
Dwell with me, and be unto
me a father and a priest,
and I will give thee ten
shekels of silver by the
year, and a suit of ap-
parel, and thy victuals. So

the Levite went in. And (Copyright, 1903, by William H. Kau, Phila

the Levite was content to Samaria, from the south.

dwell with the man; and

the young man was unto him as one of his sons. And Micah consecrated

the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house

of Micah. Then said Micah, Now know I that the Lord will do me good,

seeing I have a Levite to my priest.

In those days there was no king in Israel : and in those days the tribe
of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in ; for unto that day
all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel.
And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts,
men of valour, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to
search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land: who when they
came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there. When
they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man
the Levite: and they turned in thither, and said unto him, Who brought




The shekel was a weight of silver about as heavy as a fifty-cent piece.




172 ON HOLY GROUND.

thee hither ? and what makest thou in this place 1 and what hast thou here 1
And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath
hired me, and I am his priest. And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we
pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall
be prosperous. And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before the
Lord is your way wherein ye go.

Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people
that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians,

quiet and secure; and there was
no magistrate in the land, that
might put them to shame in any
thing; and they were far from
the Zidonians, and had no busi-
ness with any man. And they
came unto their brethren to
Zorah and Eshtaol: and their
brethren said unto them, What
say ye? And they said, Arise,
that we may go up against
them : for we have seen the

(Copyright, 1903, by William H. Eau, Phila.)

„,.,.., .,. land, and, behold, it is very

Bedouin iamily moving their camp : ' ' ' ... . . \

J; , , good : and are ye still I be not

slothful to go, and to enter to
possess the land. When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and
to a large land : for God hath given it into your hands ; a place where
there is no want of any thing that is in the earth.

And there went from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah
and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with weapons of war. And
they went up, and pitched in Kirjath-jearim, in Judah : wherefore they
called that place Mahaneh-dan * unto this day : behold, it is behind t Kir-
jath-jearim. And they passed thence unto mount Ephraim, and came unto
the house of Micah. Then answered the five men that went to spy out the
country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in
these houses an ephocl, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten
image? now therefore consider what ye have to do. And they turned
thitherward, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even unto
the house of Micah, and saluted him. And the six hundred men appointed
with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the
entering of the gate. And the five men that went to spy out the land went
up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and
the teraphim, and the molten image : and the priest stood in the entering
of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of
war. And these went into Micah's house, and fetched the carved image,
the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest
unto them, What do ye? And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay

* The camp of Dan.

t " Behind" means " to the west of," for the people of the old time
thought of themselves with faces towards the east.



MICAH AND THE DANITES. 173

thine hand npon thy month, and go with us, and be to us a father and a
priest : is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or
that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel? And the priest's
heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven
image, and went in the midst of the people. So they turned and departed,
and put the little ones and the cattle and the carriage * before them. And
when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in
the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the
children of Dan. And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they
turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou eomest
with such a company? And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which
I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away : and what have I more ? and
what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee? And the children
of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry
fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of thy house-




(Copyright, 1903, by William H. Rau, Phila.)

Cattle in the plain north of Lake Merom.

hold. And the children of Dan went their way : and when Micah saw that
they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house. And
they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had,
and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and
they smote them with' the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.
And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had
no business with any man ; and it was in the valley that lieth by Beth-rehob.t
And they built a city, and dwelt therein. And they called the name of the
city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel :
howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first. And the children of
Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son
of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day

* The goods that they were carrying.

t Rehob Avas mentioned as the most northern place to which the twelve
spies went who were sent from Kadesh.



174



ON HOLY GROUND.



of the captivity of the land. And they set them np Micah's graven image,
Avhieh he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh. — Judges
XVII., XVIII.



THE CHILD SAMUEL.

We must imagine ourselves in Shiloh, ' ' the place of rest, ' '
in the tribe of Ephraim, on a little hill with a meadow about
it, shut in by higher hills, a little off the line of travel. There
are ruins on the hill. At the time of our story a town was
here, and in a place by itself stood the tabernacle, the sacred
tent which was made at Mount Sinai, according to the pattern




Shiloh : the hill in the middle distance is covered hy ruins of the village.

shown to Moses in the mount, and was set up at Shiloh by
Joshua when the land was conquered.



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