Judges 11

CHAPTER XI

The history of Jephthah, and his covenant with the Gileadites,

1-10.

He is elected by the people, 11.

Sends an embassy to the king of the Ammonites, to inquire why

they invaded Israel; and receives an answer, to which he sends

back a spirited reply, 12-27.

This is disregarded by the Ammonites, and Jephthah prepares for

battle, 28, 29.

His vow, 30, 31.

He attacks and defeats them, 32, 33.

On his return to Mizpeh he is met by his daughter, whom,

according to his vow, he dedicates to the Lord, 34-40.

NOTES ON CHAP. XI

Verse 1. Now Jephthah-was the son of a harlot] I think the word

zonah, which we here render harlot, should be translated,

as is contended for on Jos 2:1, viz. a

hostess, keeper of an inn or tavern for the accommodation of

travellers; and thus it is understood by the Targum of Jonathan on

this place: vehu bar ittetha pundekitha,

"and he was the son of a woman, a tavern keeper." See the note

referred to above. She was very probably a Canaanite, as she is

called, Jud 11:2, a

strange woman, ishshah achereth, a woman of another

race; and on this account his brethren drove him from the family,

as he could not have a full right to the inheritance, his mother

not being an Israelite.

Verse 3. There were gathered vain men to Jephthah]

anashim reykim, empty men-persons destitute of good sense, and

profligate in their manners. The word may, however, mean in this

place poor persons, without property, and without employment. The

versions in general consider them as plunderers.

Verse 4. The children of Ammon made war] They had invaded the

land of Israel, and were now encamped in Gilead. See Jud 10:17.

Verse 6. Come, and be our captain] The Israelites were assembled

in Mizpeh, but were without a captain to lead them against the

Ammonites. And we find, from the conclusion of the preceding

chapter, that they offered the command to any that would accept

it.

Verse 8. Therefore we turn again to thee now] We are convinced

that we have dealt unjustly by thee, and we wish now to repair our

fault, and give thee this sincere proof of our regret for having

acted unjustly, and of our confidence in thee.

Verse 11. Jepthah went with the elders] The elders had chosen

him for their head; but, to be valid, this choice must be

confirmed by the people; therefore, it is said, the people made

him head. But even this did not complete the business; God must be

brought in as a party to this transaction; and therefore Jephthah

uttered all his words before the Lord-the terms made with the

elders and the people on which he had accepted the command of the

army; and, being sure of the Divine approbation, he entered on the

work with confidence.

Verse 12. Jepthah sent messengers] He wished the Ammonites to

explain their own motives for undertaking a war against Israel; as

then the justice of his cause would appear more forcibly to the

people.

Verse 13. From Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan] That is,

all the land that had formerly belonged to the Amorites, and to

the Moabites, who it seems were confederates on this occasion.

Verse 22. From the wilderness even unto Jordan.] From Arabia

Deserta on the east to Jordan on the west.

Verse 23. The Lord God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites]

Jephthah shows that the Israelites did not take the land of the

Moabites or Ammonites, but that of the Amorites, which they had

conquered from Sihon their king, who had, without cause or

provocation, attacked them; and although the Amorites had taken

the lands in question from the Ammonites, yet the title by which

Israel held them was good, because they took them not from the

Ammonites, but conquered them from the Amorites.

So now the Lord-hath dispossessed the Amorites.-The

circumstances in which the Israelites were when they were attacked

by the Amorites, plainly proved, that, unless Jehovah had helped

them, they must have been overcome. God defeated the Amorites, and

made a grant of their lands to the Israelites; and they had, in

consequence, possessed them for three hundred years, Jud 11:26.

Verse 24. Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god

giveth thee] As if he had said: "It is a maxim with you, as it is

among all nations, that the lands which they conceive to be given

them by their gods, they have an absolute right to, and should not

relinquish them to any kind of claimant. You suppose that the land

which you possess was given you by your god Chemosh and therefore

you will not relinquish what you believe you hold by a Divine

right. Now, we know that Jehovah, our God, who is the Lord of

heaven and earth, has given the Israelites the land of the

Amorites; and therefore we will not give it up." The ground of

Jephthah's remonstrance was sound and good.

1. The Ammonites had lost their lands in their contests with the

Amorites.

2. The Israelites conquered these lands from the Amorites, who

had waged a most unprincipled war against them.

3. God, who is the Maker of heaven and earth had given those

very lands as a Divine grant to the Israelites.

4. In consequence of this they had possession of them for

upwards of three hundred years.

5. These lands were never reclaimed by the Ammonites, though

they had repeated opportunities of doing it, whilst the Israelites

dwelt in Heshbon, in Aroer, and in the coasts of Arnon; but they

did not reclaim them because they knew that the Israelites held

them legally. The present pretensions of Ammon were unsupported

and unjustifiable.

Verse 27. The Lord the Judge be judge-between the children of

Israel] If you be right, and we be wrong, then Jehovah, who is the

sovereign and incorruptible Judge, shall determine in your favour;

and to Him I submit the righteousness of my cause.

Verse 29. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah] The

Lord qualified him for the work he had called him to do, and thus

gave him the most convincing testimony that his cause was good.

Verse 31. Shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for

a burnt-offering.] The text is vehayah

layhovah, vehaalithihu olah; the translation of which, according

to the most accurate Hebrew scholars, is this: I will consecrate

it to the Lord, or I will offer it for a burnt-offering; that is,

"If it be a thing fit for a burnt-offering, it shall be made one;

if fit for the service of God, it shall be consecrated to him."

That conditions of this kind must have been implied in the vow, is

evident enough; to have been made without them, it must have been

the vow of a heathen, or a madman. If a dog had met him, this

could not have been made a burnt-offering; and if his neighbour or

friend's wife, son, or daughter, &c., had been returning from a

visit to his family, his vow gave him no right over them. Besides,

human sacrifices were ever an abomination to the Lord; and this

was one of the grand reasons why God drove out the Canaanites,

&c., because they offered their sons and daughters to Molech in

the fire, i.e., made burnt-offerings of them, as is generally

supposed. That Jephthah was a deeply pious man, appears in the

whole of his conduct; and that he was well acquainted with the law

of Moses, which prohibited all such sacrifices, and stated what

was to be offered in sacrifice, is evident enough from his

expostulation with the king and people of Ammon, Jud 11:14-27.

Therefore it must be granted that he never made that rash vow

which several suppose he did; nor was he capable, if he had, of

executing it in that most shocking manner which some Christian

writers ("tell it not in Gath") have contended for. He could not

commit a crime which himself had just now been an executor of

God's justice to punish in others.

It has been supposed that "the text itself might have been read

differently in former times; if instead of the words

, I will offer IT a burnt-offering, we read

, I will offer HIM (i.e., the Lord)

a burnt-offering: this will make a widely different sense, more

consistent with everything that is sacred; and it is formed by the

addition of only a single letter, ( aleph,) and the separation

of the pronoun from the verb. Now the letter aleph is so like

the letter ain, which immediately follows it in the word

olah, that the one might easily have been lost in the other, and

thus the pronoun be joined to the verb as at present, where it

expresses the thing to be sacrificed instead of the person to whom

the sacrifice was to be made. With this emendation the passage

will read thus: Whatsoever cometh forth of the doors or my house

to meet me-shall be the Lord's; and I will offer HIM a

burnt-offering." For this criticism there is no absolute need,

because the pronoun hu, in the above verse, may with as much

propriety be translated him as it. The latter part of the verse

is, literally, And I will offer him a burnt-offering, olah,

not leolah, FOR a burnt-offering, which is the common

Hebrew form when for is intended to be expressed. This is strong

presumption that the text should be thus understood: and this

avoids the very disputable construction which is put on the vau,

in vehaalithihu, OR I will offer IT up, instead of AND

I will offer HIM a burnt-offering.

"From Jud 11:39 it appears evident that Jephthah's daughter

was not SACRIFICED to God, but consecrated to him in a state of

perpetual virginity; for the text says, She knew no man, for

this was a statute in Israel. vattehi chok

beyishrael; viz., that persons thus dedicated or consecrated to

God, should live in a state of unchangeable celibacy. Thus this

celebrated place is, without violence to any part of the text, or

to any proper rule of construction, cleared of all difficulty, and

caused to speak a language consistent with itself, and with the

nature of God."

Those who assert that Jephthah did sacrifice his daughter,

attempt to justify the opinion from the barbarous usages of those

times: but in answer to this it may be justly observed, that

Jephthah was now under the influence of the Spirit of God,

Jud 11:29; and that Spirit could not permit him to imbrue his

hands in the blood of his own child; and especially under the

pretence of offering a pleasing sacrifice to that God who is the

Father of mankind, and the Fountain of love, mercy, and

compassion.

The versions give us but little assistance in clearing the

difficulties of the text. In the Targum of Jonathan there is a

remarkable gloss which should be mentioned, and from which it will

appear that the Targumist supposed that the daughter of Jephthah

was actually sacrificed: "And he fulfilled the vow which he had

vowed upon her; and she knew no man: and it was made a statute in

Israel, [that no man should offer his son or his daughter for a

burnt-offering, as did Jephthah the Gileadite, who did not consult

Phinehas the priest; for if he had consulted Phinehas the priest,

he would have redeemed her with money."]

The Targumist refers here to the law, Le 27:1-5, where the Lord

prescribes the price at which either males or females, who had

been vowed to the Lord, might be redeemed. "When a man shall make

a singular vow, the persons shall be for the Lord at thy

estimation: the male from twenty years old even unto sixty, shall

be fifty shekels of silver; and if it be a female, then thy

estimation shall be thirty shekels; and from five years old unto

twenty years, the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten."

This also is an argument that the daughter of Jephthah was not

sacrificed; as the father had it in his power, at a very moderate

price, to have redeemed her: and surely the blood of his daughter

must have been of more value in his sight than thirty shekels of

silver.

Dr. Hales has entered largely into the subject: his observations

may be seen at the end of this chapter.

Verse 33. Twenty cities] That is, he either took or destroyed

twenty cities of the Ammonites, and completely routed their whole

army.

Verse 34. With timbrels and with dances] From this instance we

find it was an ancient custom for women to go out to meet

returning conquerors with musical instruments, songs, and dances;

and that it was continued afterwards is evident from the instance

given 1Sa 18:6, where David was met, on his return from the

defeat of Goliath and the Philistines, by women from all the

cities of Israel, with singing and dancing, and various

instruments of music.

Verse 35. Thou hast brought me very low] He was greatly

distressed to think that his daughter, who was his only child,

should be, in consequence of his vow, prevented from continuing

his family in Israel; for it is evident that he had not any other

child, for besides her, says the text, he had neither son nor

daughter, Jud 11:34. He might, therefore, well be grieved that

thus his family was to become extinct in Israel.

Verse 36. And she said unto him] What a pattern of filial piety

and obedience! She was at once obedient, pious, and patriotic. A

woman to have no offspring was considered to be in a state of the

utmost degradation among the Hebrews; but she is regardless of all

this, seeing her father is in safety, and her country delivered.

Verse 37. I and my fellows] Whether she meant the young women of

her own acquaintance, or those who had been consecrated to God in

the same way, though on different accounts, is not quite clear;

but it is likely she means her own companions: and her going up

and down upon the mountains may signify no more than her paying

each of them a visit at their own houses, previously to her being

shut up at the tabernacle; and this visiting of each at their own

home might require the space of two months. This I am inclined to

think is the meaning of this difficult clause.

Verse 39. And she knew no man] She continued a virgin all the

days of her life.

Verse 40. To lament the daughter of Jephthah] I am satisfied

that this is not a correct translation of the original

lethannoth lebath yiphtach. Houbigant translates the

whole verse thus: Sed iste mos apud Israel invaluit, ut virgines

Israel, temporibus diversis, irent ad filiam Jepthe-ut eam

quotannis dies quatuor consolarentur; "But this custom prevailed

in Israel that the virgins of Israel went at different times, four

days in the year, to the daughter of Jephthah, that they might

comfort her." This verse also gives evidence that the daughter of

Jephthah was not sacrificed: nor does it appear that the custom or

statute referred to here lasted after the death of Jephthah's

daughter.

THE following is Dr. Hales' exposition of Jephthah's vow:-

"When Jephthah went forth to battle against the Ammonites, he

vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, 'If thou wilt surely give the

children of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be that whatsoever

cometh out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in

peace from the children of Ammon, shall either be the Lord's, or I

will offer it up (for) a burnt-offering,' Jud 11:30, 31.

According to this rendering of the two conjunctions, vau in the

last clause 'either,' 'or,' (which is justified by the Hebrew

idiom thus, 'He that curseth his father and his mother,'

Ex 21:17, is necessarily rendered disjunctively, 'His father

or his mother,' by the Septuagint, Vulgate, Chaldee, and

English, confirmed by Mt 15:4, the paucity of connecting

particles in that language making it necessary that this

conjunction should often be understood disjunctively,) the vow

consisted of two parts: 1. That what person soever met him should

be the Lord's or be dedicated to his service; and, 2. That what

beast soever met him, if clean, should be offered up for a

burnt-offering unto the Lord.

"This rendering and this interpretation is warranted by the

Levitical law about vows.

"The neder, or vow, in general, included either persons,

beasts, or things dedicated to the Lord for pious uses; which, if

it was a simple vow, was redeemable at certain prices, if the

person repented of his vow, and wished to commute it for money,

according to the age or sex of the person, Le 27:1-8: this was a

wise regulation to remedy rash vows. But if the vow was

accompanied with cherem, devotement, it was irredeemable, as

in the following case, Le 27:28.

"Notwithstanding, no devotement which a man shall devote unto

the Lord, (either) of man, or beast, or of land of his own

property, shall be sold or redeemed. Every thing devoted is most

holy to the Lord.

"Here the three vaus in the original should necessarily be

rendered disjunctively, or as the last actually is in our

translation, because there are three distinct subjects of

devotement to be applied to distinct uses, the man to be dedicated

to the service of the Lord, as Samuel by his mother Hannah,

1Sa 1:11; the

cattle, if clean, such as oxen, sheep, goats, turtle-doves, or

pigeons, to be sacrificed; and if unclean, as camels, horses,

asses, to be employed for carrying burdens in the service of the

tabernacle or temple; and the lands, to be sacred property.

"This law therefore expressly applied in its first branch to

Jephthah's case, who had devoted his daughter to the Lord, or

opened his mouth to the Lord, and therefore could not go back,

as he declared in his grief at seeing his daughter and only child

coming to meet him with timbrels and dances: she was, therefore

necessarily devoted, but with her own consent to perpetual

virginity in the service of the tabernacle, Jud 11:36, 37; and

such service was customary, for in the division of the spoils

taken in the first Midianitish war, of the whole number of captive

virgins the Lord's tribute was thirty-two persons, Nu 31:15-40.

This instance appears to be decisive of the nature of her

devotement.

"Her father's extreme grief on the occasion and her requisition

of a respite for two months to bewail her virginity, are both

perfectly natural. Having no other issue, he could only look

forward to the extinction of his name or family; and a state of

celibacy, which is reproachful among women everywhere, was

peculiarly so among the Israelites, and was therefore no ordinary

sacrifice on her part; who, though she generously gave up, could

not but regret the loss of, becoming 'a mother in Israel.' And he

did with her according to his vow which he had vowed, and she knew

no man, or remained a virgin, all her life, Jud 11:34-39.

"There was also another case of devotement which was

irredeemable, and follows the former, Le 27:29. This case differs

materially from the former.

"1. It is confined to PERSONS devoted, omitting beasts and lands.

2. It does not relate to private property, as in the foregoing.

And, 3. The subject of it was to be utterly destroyed, instead of

being most holy unto the Lord. This law, therefore, related to

aliens, or public enemies devoted to destruction either by GOD,

the people, or by the magistrate. Of all these we have instances

in Scripture.

"1. The Amalekites and Canaanites were devoted by God himself.

Saul was, therefore, guilty of a breach of the law for sparing

Agag the king of the Amalekites, as Samuel reproached him,

1Sa 15:33: 'And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord;'

not as a sacrifice, according to Voltaire, but as a criminal,

whose sword had made many women childless. By this law the

Midianitish women who had been spared in battle were slain,

Nu 31:14-17.

"2. In Mount Hor, when the Israelites were attacked by Arad,

king of the southern Canaanites, who took some of them prisoners,

they vowed a vow unto the Lord that they would utterly destroy the

Canaanites and their cities, if the Lord should deliver them into

their hand, which the Lord ratified; whence the place was called

Hormah, because the vow was accompanied by cherem, or devotement

to destruction, Nu 21:1-3; and the vow was accomplished,

Jud 1:17.

"3. In the Philistine war Saul adjured the people, and cursed

any one who should taste food till the evening. His own son

Jonathan inadvertently ate a honey-comb, not knowing his

father's oath, for which Saul sentenced him to die. But the people

interposed, and rescued him for his public services; thus assuming

the power of dispensing, in their collective capacity, with an

unreasonable oath. This latter case, therefore, is utterly

irrelative to Jephthah's vow, which did not regard a foreign enemy

or a domestic transgressor devoted to destruction, but on the

contrary was a vow of thanksgiving, and therefore properly came

under the former case. And that Jephthah could not possibly have

sacrificed his daughter, (according to the vulgar opinion,) may

appear from the following considerations:-

"1. The sacrifice of children to Molech was an abomination to

the Lord, of which in numberless passages he expresses his

detestation, and it was prohibited by an express law, under pain

of death, as a defilement of God's sanctuary, and a profanation of

his holy name, Le 20:2, 3. Such a sacrifice, therefore, unto the

Lord himself, must be a still higher abomination, and there is no

precedent of any such under the law in the OLD TESTAMENT.

"2. The case of Isaac before the law is irrelevant, for Isaac

was not sacrificed, and it was only proposed for a trial of

Abraham's faith.

"3. No father, merely by his own authority, could put an

offending, much less an innocent, child to death upon any account,

without the sentence of the magistrate, (De 21:18-21,) and the

consent of the people, as in Jonathan's case.

"4. The Mischna, or traditional law of the Jews is pointedly

against it; ver. 212. 'If a Jew should devote his son or daughter,

his man or maid servant, who are Hebrews, the devotement would be

void, because no man can devote what is not his own, or whose life

he has not the absolute disposal of.' These arguments appear to be

decisive against the sacrifice; and that Jephthah could not have

devoted his daughter to celibacy against her will is evident from

the history, and from the high estimation in which she was always

held by the daughters of Israel for her filial duty and her

hapless fate, which they celebrated by a regular anniversary

commemoration four days in the year; Jud 11:40."

-New Analysis of Chronology, vol. iii., p. 319.

The celebrated sacrifice of Iphigenia has been supposed by many

learned men to be a fable founded on this account of Jephthah's

daughter; and M. De Lavaur, Conference de la Fable avec l'

Histoire Sainte, has thus traced the parallel:-

"The fable of Iphigenia, offered in sacrifice by Agamemnon her

father, sung by so many poets, related after them by so many

historians, and celebrated in the Greek and French theatres, has

been acknowledged by all those who knew the sacred writings, and

who have paid a particular attention to them, as a changed copy of

the history of the daughter of Jephthah, offered in sacrifice by

her father. Let us consider the several parts particularly, and

begin with an exposition of the original, taken from the eleventh

chapter of the book of Judges.

"The sacred historian informs us that Jephthah, the son of

Gilead, was a great and valiant captain. The Israelites, against

whom God was irritated, being forced to go to war with the

Ammonites, (nearly about the time of the siege of Troy,)

assembled themselves together to oblige Jephthah to come to their

succour, and chose him for their captain against the Ammonites. He

accepted the command on conditions that, if God should give him

the victory, they would acknowledge him for their prince. This

they promised by oath; and all the people elected him in the city

of Mizpeh, in the tribe of Judah. He first sent ambassadors to the

king of the Ammonites to know the reason why he had committed so

many acts of injustice, and so many ravages on the coast of

Israel. The other made a pretext of some ancient damages his

people had suffered by the primitive Israelites, to countenance

the ravages he committed, and would not accord with the reasonable

propositions made by the ambassadors of Jephthah. Having now

supplicated the Lord and being filled with his Spirit, he marched

against the Ammonites, and being zealously desirous to acquit

himself nobly, and to ensure the success of so important a war, he

made a vow to the Lord to offer in sacrifice or as a

burnt-offering the first thing that should come out of the house

to meet him at his return from victory.

"He then fought with and utterly discomfited the Ammonites; and

returning victorious to his house, God so permitted it that his

only daughter was the first who met him. Jephthah was struck with

terror at the sight of her, and tearing his garments, he

exclaimed, Alas! alas! my daughter, thou dost exceedingly trouble

me; for I have opened my mouth against thee, unto the Lord, and I

cannot go back. His daughter, full of courage and piety,

understanding the purport of his vow, exhorted him to accomplish

what he had vowed to the Lord, which to her would be exceedingly

agreeable, seeing the Lord had avenged him of his and his

country's enemies; desiring liberty only to go on the mountains

with her companions, and to bewail the dishonour with which

sterility was accompanied in Israel, because each hoped to see the

Messiah born of his or her family. Jephthah could not deny her

this request. She accordingly went, and at the end of two months

returned, and put herself into the hands of her father, who did

with her according to his vow.

"Several of the rabbins, and many very learned Christian

expositors, believe that Jephthah's daughter was not really

sacrificed, but that her virginity was consecrated to God, and

that she separated from all connection with the world; which

indeed seems to be implied in the sacred historian's account: And

she knew no man. This was a kind of mysterious death, because it

caused her to lose all hope of the glory of a posterity from which

the Messiah might descend. From this originated the custom,

observed afterwards in Israel, that on a certain season in the

year the virgins assembled themselves on the mountains to bewail

the daughter of Jephthah for the space of four days. Let us now

consider the leading characters of the fable of Iphigenia.

According to good chronological reckonings, the time of the one

and of the other very nearly agree. The opinion that the name of

Iphigenia is taken from the daughter of Jephthah, appears well

founded; yea, the conformity is palpable. By a very inconsiderable

change Iphigenia makes Iphthygenia, which signifies literally, the

daughter of Jephthah. Agamemnon, who is described as a valiant

warrior and admirable captain, was chosen by the Greeks for their

prince and general against the Trojans, by the united consent of

all Greece, assembled together at Aulis in Baeotia.

"As soon as he had accepted the command, he sent ambassadors to

Priam, king of Troy, to demand satisfaction for the rape of

Helen, of which the Greeks complained. The Trojans refusing to

grant this, Agamemnon, to gain over to his side the gods, who

appeared irritated against the Greeks and opposed to the success

of their enterprise, after having sacrificed to them went to

consult their interpreter, Chalchas, who declared that the gods,

and particularly Diana, would not be appeased but by the sacrifice

of Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon.

"Cicero, in his Offices, says that Agamemnon, in order to engage

the protection of the gods in his war against the Trojans, vowed

to sacrifice to them the most beautiful of all that should be born

in his kingdom; and as it was found that his daughter Iphigenia

surpassed all the rest in beauty, he believed himself bound by his

vow to sacrifice her. Cicero condemns this, rightly judging that

it would have been a less evil to have falsified his vow than to

have committed parricide. This account of Cicero renders the fable

entirely conformable to the history.

"Agamemnon was at first struck with and troubled at this order,

nevertheless consented to it: but he afterwards regretted the loss

of his daughter. He is represented by the poets as deliberating,

and being in doubt whether the gods could require such a

parricide; but at last a sense of his duty and honour overcame

his paternal affection, and his daughter, who had warmly exhorted

him to fulfil his vow to the gods, was led to the altar amidst the

lamentations of her companions; as Ovid and Euripides relate, see

Met., lib. 13.

"Some authors have thought she really was sacrificed; but

others, more humane, say she was caught up in a cloud by the gods,

who, contented with the intended sacrifice, substituted a hind in

her place, with which the sacrifice was completed. Dictys

Cretensis says that this animal was substituted to save Iphigenia.

"The chronology of times so remote cannot, in many respects, but

be uncertain. Both the Greeks and Romans grant that there was

nothing else than fables before the first Olympiad, the beginning

of which was at least four hundred and fifty years after the

destruction of Troy, and two hundred and forty years after

Solomon. As to the time of Solomon, nothing can be more

certain than what is related in the sixth chapter of the first

book of Kings, that from the going out of Egypt, under Moses, till

the time in which he began to build the temple, was four hundred

and eighty years.

"According to the common opinion, the taking of Troy is placed

one hundred and eighty years before the reign of Solomon; but his

reign preceded Homer three centuries, according to some learned

men, and always at least one century by those who related it

lowest. Indeed, there is much uncertainty in fixing the express

time in which Homer flourished.

"Pausanias found so much difference concerning this in authors,

that he was at a loss how to judge of it. However, it is

sufficient for us that it was granted that Solomon was at least a

century before Homer, who wrote more than two centuries after the

taking of Troy and who is the most ancient historian of this

famous siege."

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