The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiasticus
Next to Moses in the line of prophets comes Josue the son of Nave, that fought so well. With him, name and renown are one;
who is more renowned for the deliverance he brought to God’s chosen people, beating down the enemies that defied him until Israel made their land its own?
What fame he won by those valiant blows he dealt, hurling his armed strength at city after city!
What chieftain had ever stood his ground so manfully? And still the Lord brought enemies to confront him.
On his fierce resolve the sun itself must wait, and a whole day’s length be doubled.
Let enemies attack him on every side, he would invoke the most High, to whom all strength belongs, the great God, the holy God, and his prayer was answered.✻ Hail-stones came down in a storm of wondrous violence,
that fell on the opposing army and shattered the menace of it, there on the hill-side.
So the Gentiles should feel God’s power, and learn that it is a hard matter to fight against him. Ever had Josue followed in that Prince’s retinue,
since the days when Moses yet lived; he it was, and Caleb the son of Jephone, that took a generous part together; they would have engaged the enemy, and saved their own people from guilt by hushing the murmurs of rebellion.
These two alone, out of six hundred thousand warriors, survived the perils of the journey; these two were appointed to lead Israel into the land, all milk and honey, that was its promised home.
On Caleb, too, the Lord bestowed such vigour, that in his old age he was a warrior still, and made his way up into the hill-country, where his descendants held their lands after him;
no doubt should Israel have that he is well rewarded who serves so holy a God.
The judges, too, have their glorious muster-roll, men of resolute heart, that God’s cause never forsook;
be their names, too, remembered in blessing, and may life spring from their bones, where they lie buried;
undying be their memory, in their own posterity continued, undying be the sacred record of their renown.
Dearly the Lord God loved his prophet Samuel, that restored Israel’s fortunes and anointed kings to rule over it.
Well was the divine law kept, when he ruled our commonwealth, and the God of Jacob was gracious to it; here was a prophet of proved loyalty,
and ever his word came true, such vision had he of the God that gives light.
With foes about him on every side, he invoked the Lord, the Almighty, with an unblemished lamb for sacrifice;
and therewith came thunder, sent from heaven, loud echo of the divine voice,✻
that overthrew all the princes of the sea-coast, all the captains of the Philistines.
There must be an end at last to his life, and to the age he lived in; but first he would make profession, with the Lord and the new-anointed king for his witnesses, bribe he had never taken from any living man, though it were but a gift of shoe-leather; and none might gainsay him.✻
Even when he had gone to his rest, he had a revelation for the king’s ear, and gave warning of the death that awaited him; a prophet, even in the tomb, while there was yet guilt among his people to be effaced.
The Holy Bible