ταῦτα μὲν ὡς ἂν αὐτοῖς τισι δοκῇ οὕτω σκοπείτωσαν.
159(vii. 1) Μωυσῆς δὲ ὑπὲρ ὧν καὶ προεῖπον ἐπὶ τὴν Μαδιανιτῶν γῆν ἔπεμψεν στρατιὰν τοὺς πάντας εἰς δισχιλίους καὶ μυρίους, ἐξ ἑκάστης φυλῆς τὸν ἴσον ἀριθμὸν ἐπιλεξάμενος, στρατηγὸν δ᾿ αὐτῶν ἀπέδειξε Φινεές, οὗ μικρῷ πρότερον ἐμνήσθημεν φυλάξαντος τοῖς Ἑβραίοις τοὺς νόμους καὶ τὸν παρανομοῦντα τούτους Ζαμβρίαν τιμωρησαμένου. 160Μαδιανῖται δὲ προπυθόμενοι τὸν στρατὸν ἐπὶ σφᾶς ἐλαύνοντα καὶ ὅσον οὐδέπω παρεσόμενον ἠθροίζοντό τε καὶ τὰς εἰσβολὰς τῆς χώρας, ᾗ προσεδέχοντο τοὺς πολεμίους, ἀσφαλισάμενοι 161περιέμενον αὐτούς. ἐλθόντων δὲ καὶ συμβολῆς γενομένης πίπτει τῶν Μαδιανιτῶν πλῆθος ἀσυλλόγιστον καὶ ἀριθμοῦ κρεῖττον οἵ τε βασιλεῖς αὐτῶν ἅπαντες· πέντε δὲ ἦσαν, Ὦχός τε καὶ Σούρης ἔτι δὲ Ῥοβέης καὶ Οὔρης,1 πέμπτος δὲ Ῥέκεμος, οὗ πόλις ἐπώνυμος τὸ πᾶν ἀξίωμα τῆς Ἀράβων ἔχουσα γῆς καὶ μέχρι νῦν ὑπὸ παντὸς τοῦ Ἀραβίου τοῦ κτίσαντος βασιλέως τὸ ὄνομα Ῥεκέμης καλεῖται, Πέτρα παρ᾿ Ἕλλησι λεγομένη. 162τραπέντων δὲ τῶν πολεμίων οἱ Ἑβραῖοι διήρπασαν αὐτῶν τὴν χώραν καὶ πολλὴν λείαν λαβόντες καὶ τοὺς οἰκήτορας γυναιξὶν ἅμα διαφθείραντες μόνας τὰς παρθένους κατέλιπον, τοῦτο Μωυσέος
On this narrative readers are free to think what they please.a
(vii. 1) So Moses, for the reasons which I haveDefeat of the Madianites. Numb. xxxi. 1 (xxv. 16). already stated, sent to the land of the Madianites an army of twelve thousand men in all, selecting an equal number from each tribe; for their general he appointed Phinees who, as we mentioned just now,b had preserved to the Hebrews their laws and punished Zambrias for transgressing them. The Madianites, forewarned that the army was marching upon them and might at any moment arrive, mustered their troops and, having fortified the passes into the country which they expected the enemy to take, awaited their appearance. They came and an engagement ensued, in which there fell of the Madianites a multitude incalculable and past numbering, including all their kings. Of these there were five: Ochus and Sures, Robees and Ures, and,Ib. xxxi. 8 (Josh. xiii. 21). the fifth, Rekemc; the city which bears his name ranks highest in the land of the Arabs and to this day is called by the whole Arabian nation, after the name of its royal founder, Rekemed: it is the Petra of the Greeks. Upon the rout of the enemy, the Hebrews pillaged their country, captured abundance of booty, and put the inhabitants with their wives to death, leaving only the unmarried women, suchIb. 18.
- aThis recurrent formula (see i. 108) must here, at the close of chap, vi, refer to the story of Balaam as a whole and in particular to the miraculous element in it, such as the speaking of the ass.
- b§ 152.
- cBibl. Evi (Εὐείν): Zur (Σούρ): Reba (Ῥοβόκ; in Josh. Ῥοβέ) Hur (Οὕρ): Rekem (Ροκόμ). Josephus omits the last half of the verse in Numbers: “Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.”
- dCf. § 82 (note), where the name appears in the mss. as Ἄρκη.