11:36. And she answered him: My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth to the Lord, do unto me whatsoever thou hast promised, since the victory hath been granted to thee, and revenge of thy enemies.
11:37. And she said to her father: Grant me only this, which I desire: Let me go, that I may go about the mountains for two months, and may bewail my virginity with my companions.
Bewail my virginity... The bearing of children was much coveted under the Old Testament, when women might hope that from some child of theirs, the Saviour of the world might one day spring. But under the New Testament virginity is preferred. 1 Cor. 7.35.
11:38. And he answered her: Go. And he sent her away for two months. And when she was gone with her comrades and companions, she mourned her virginity in the mountains.
11:39. And the two months being expired, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed, and she knew no man. From thence came a fashion in Israel, and a custom has been kept:
11:40. That, from year to year, the daughters of Israel assemble together, and lament the daughter of Jephte the Galaadite, for four days.
Judges Chapter 12
The Ephraimites quarrel with Jephte: forty-two thousand of them are slain: Abeson, Ahialon, and Abdon, are judges.
12:1. But behold there arose a sedition in Ephraim. And passing towards the north, they said to Jephte: When thou wentest to fight against the children of Ammon, why wouldst thou not call us, that we might go with thee? Therefore we will burn thy house.
12:2. And he answered them: I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon: and I called you to assist me, and you would not do it.
12:3. And when I saw this, I put my life in my own hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon and the Lord delivered them into my hands. What have I deserved, that you should rise up to fight against me?
12:4. Then calling to him all the men of Galaad, he fought against Ephraim: and the men of Galaad defeated Ephraim, because he had said: Galaad is a fugitive of Ephraim, and dwelleth in the midst of Ephraim and Manasses.
12:5. And the Galaadites secured the fords of the Jordan, by which Ephraim was to return. And when any one of the number of Ephraim came thither in the flight, and said: I beseech you let me pass: the Galaadites said to him: Art thou not an Ephraimite? If he said: I am not:
12:6. They asked him: Say then, Scibboleth, which is interpreted, An ear of corn. But he answered, Sibboleth, not being able to express an ear of corn by the same letter. Then presently they took him and killed him in the very passage of the Jordan. And there fell at that time of Ephraim, two and forty thousand.
12:7. And Jephte, the Galaadite, judged Israel six years: and he died, and was buried in his city of Galaad.
12:8. After him Abesan of Bethlehem judged Israel:
12:9. He had thirty sons, and as many daughters, whom he sent abroad, and gave to husbands, and took wives for his sons, of the same number, bringing them into his house. And he judged Israel seven years:
12:10. And he died, and was buried in Bethlehem.
12:11. To him succeeded Ahialon, a Zabulonite: and he judged Israel ten years:
12:12. And he died, and was buried in Zabulon.
12:13. After him, Abdon, the son of Illel, a Pharathonite, judged Israel:
12:14. And he had forty sons, and of them thirty grandsons, mounted upon seventy ass colts, and he judged Israel eight years:
12:15. And he died, and was buried in Pharathon, in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of Amalech.
Judges Chapter 13
The people fall again into idolatry and are afflicted by the Philistines. An angel foretelleth the birth of Samson.
13:1. And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord: and he delivered them into the hands of the Philistines forty years.
13:2. Now there was a certain man of Saraa, and of the race of Dan, whose name was Manue, and his wife was barren.
13:3. And an angel of the Lord appeared to her, and said: Thou art barren and without children: but thou shalt conceive and bear a son.
13:4. Now therefore beware, and drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.
13:6. Because thou shalt conceive, and bear a son, and no razor shall touch his head: for he shall be a Nazarite of God, from his infancy, and from his mother's womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.
13:6. And when she was come to her husband, she said to him: A man of God came to me, having the countenance of an angel, very awful. And when I asked him whence he came, and by what name he was called, he would not tell me:
13:7. But he answered thus: Behold thou shalt conceive and bear a son: beware thou drink no wine, nor strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite of God from his infancy, from his mother's womb until the day of his death.
13:8. Then Manue prayed to the Lord, and said: I beseech thee, O Lord, that the man of God, whom thou didst send, may come again, and teach us what we ought to do concerning the child, that shall be born.
13:9. And the Lord heard the prayer of Manue, and the angel of the Lord appeared again to his wife, as she was sitting in the field. But Manue her husband was not with her. And when she saw the angel,
13:10. She made haste, and ran to her husband: and told him, saying: Behold the man hath appeared to me, whom I saw before.
13:11. He rose up, and followed his wife: and coming to the man, said to him: Art thou he that spoke to the woman? And he answered: I am.
13:12. And Manue said to him: When thy word shall come to pass, what wilt thou that the child should do? or from what shall he keep himself?
13:13. And the angel of the Lord said to Manue: From all the things I have spoken of to thy wife, let her refrain herself:
Let her refrain, etc... By the Latin text it is not clear whether this abstinence was prescribed to the mother, or to the child; but the Hebrew (in which the verbs relating thereto are of the feminine gender) determineth it to the mother. But then the child also was to refrain from the like things, because he was to be from his infancy a Nazarite of God, ver. 5, that is, one set aside, in a particular manner, and consecrated to God: now the Nazarites by the law were to abstain from all these things.
13:14. And let her eat nothing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: and whatsoever I have commanded her, let her fulfil and observe.
13:15. And Manue said to the angel of the Lord: I beseech thee to consent to my request, and let us dress a kid for thee.
13:16. And the angel answered him: If thou press me I will not eat of thy bread: but if thou wilt offer a holocaust, offer it to the Lord. And Manue knew not it was the angel of the Lord.
13:17. And he said to him: What is thy name, that, if thy word shall come to pass, we may honour thee?
13:18. And he answered him: Why askest thou my name, which is wonderful?
13:19. Then Manue took a kid of the flocks, and the libations, and put them upon a rock, offering to the Lord, who doth wonderful things: and he and his wife looked on.
13:20. And when the flame from the altar went up towards heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended also in the same. And when Manue and his wife saw this, they fell flat on the ground;
13:21. And the angel of the Lord appeared to them no more. And forthwith Manue understood that it was an angel of the Lord,
13:22. And he said to his wife: We shall certainly die, because we have seen God.
Seen God... Not in his own person, but in the person of his messenger.