XXXVIII. (Then did Jair judge Israel 22 years.)
The same built a sanctuary to Baal, and led the people astray saying: Every man that sacrificeth not unto Baal shall die. And when all the people sacrificed, seven men only would not sacrifice whose names are these: Dephal, Abiesdrel, Getalibal, Selumi, Assur, Jonadali, Memihel. 2. The same answered and said unto Jair: Behold, we remember the precepts which they that were before us commanded us, and Debbora our mother, saying: Take heed that ye turn not away your heart to the right hand or to the left, but attend unto the law of the Lord day and night. Now therefore why dost thou corrupt the people of the Lord and deceive them, saying: Baal is God, let us worship him? And now if he be God as thou sayest, let him speak as a God, and then we will sacrifice unto him. 3. And Jair 1 said: Burn them with fire, for they have blasphemed Baal. And his servants took them to burn them with fire. And when they cast them upon the fire there went forth Nathaniel, the angel which is over fire, and quenched the fire and burned up the servants of Jair: but the seven men he made to escape, so that no man of the people saw them, for he had smitten the people with blindness. 4. And when Jair came to the place (or it came to the place of Jair) he also was burned. But before he burned him, the angel of the Lord said unto him: Hear the word of the Lord before thou diest. Thus saith the Lord: I raised thee up out
of the land of Egypt, and appointed thee ruler over my peoples. But thou hast risen and corrupted my covenant, and hast led them astray, and hast sought to burn my servants in the flame, because they reproved thee, which though they be burned with corruptible fire, yet now are they quickened with living fire and are delivered. But thou shalt die, saith the Lord, and in the fire wherein thou shalt die, therein shalt thou have thy dwelling. And thereafter he burned him, and came even unto the pillar of Baal and overthrew it, and burned up Baal with the people that stood by, even 1000 men.
187:1 XXXVIII. it is not clear why Jair is selected for the part of an apostate and idolatrous judge. The story of the Three Children (Dan. 3), and perhaps also those of the Maccabaean martyrs, have been in the writer's mind.
Next: Chapter XXXIX