First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Aminadab was the first who in full faith followed Moses into the Red Sea, while the rest doubted. For this he was rewarded as the origin of royal lineage. In the year of the world 3644.

Balaam, the prophet, son of Beor, and a celebrated man, lived by the river in the land of the children of Amon. To him Balak, the king of the Midianites, sent his trusty messengers with the request that he come and curse the Israelites. And although Balaam sought the counsel of the Lord in the matter, and God forbade him to comply, nevertheless he saddled his ass, and accompanied his messengers. As he approached a narrow defile along the road, the angel of the Lord intercepted him and with a drawn sword barred the way so that Balaam could neither pass on the right nor on the left. The ass sank down under him; and, as he beat the animal on its sides, the Lord opened its mouth. At the same time Balaam saw the angel of the Lord, who punished him. So Balaam wandered away and at the command of the angel, made this prophesy: ‘A Star shall arise out of Jacob and a Sceptre out of Israel.’[Balaam was a soothsayer of Pethor on the Euphrates, and was engaged by Balak, king of Moab, to curse the Israelites, who were encamped in the Jordan valley in great numbers. Balaam encountered great difficulties in undertaking the task, for the Lord repeatedly intervened, commanding him to bless and not cures Israel. To fully understand the story of Balaam and his ass, it is necessary to read 22-24.]

Naason (Nahshon), in the year of the world 3688.[Nahshon was a brother-in-law of Aaron and a descendant in the fifth generation from Judah. He is also mentioned as one of the ancestors of David, and of Christ. The German edition replaces the Latin text’s "Naason (Nahshon), in the year of the world 3688." with "Naason (Nahshon) was a prince of the tribe of Judah in the wilderness."] Joshuah, the son of Nun, was, after the death of Moses, appointed a judge over Israel by the Lord and instructed to parcel out the lands.[Joshua 1:1-6.] He sent out men to spy upon Jericho. Rahab, a harlot, lodged and hid the spies. They promised immunity to her and her house, and to her servants, provided she would place in her window a bloody or red sign. And she let them go forth secretly.[Joshua 2:1-21.] The Israelites miraculously crossed the Jordan, the Levites proceeding in advance with the ark. Joshuah ruled over the people of the Lord for 27 years. He and Caleb were the only ones out of the 600,000 men who left Egypt to reach the promised land.[Numbers 13:1-33; 14:1-7, 14:30, 37, 38.] Joshuah died at the age of 110 years and was buried in the mountains of Ephraim.

Otoniel (Othniel), a brother of Caleb, released the people from the oppression of the king of Mesopotamia and slew him. At this time the angel of the Lord appeared and punished the children of Israel for transgressing the law. He reminded them of the blessings with which God had favored them, and thus he brought them to tears, for they had often wandered from the Lord and suffered bondage in consequence. When they repented, they were relieved of their punishments by various judges; but as often as they did so, they again succumbed to evil and transgressions.

Ahoth (Ahoah) slew Eglon, the king of the Moabites and freed Israel. He was a strong man and used both hands in furtherance of justice.[According to Judges 31:2 ff. Ehud, the father of Ahoah, slew Eglon, and brought the Moabite ascendancy over Israel to an end.]

Sangar (Shamgar), son of Anath, slew 600 Philistines who attempted to enter his land with plowshares. Thereafter they (the Israelites) sinned and fell into the hands of Jahin (Jabin) king of Canaan. The captain (of Jabin) was Sisera, who fought with Barak. Deborah, the prophetess, advised Barak to give battle, and helped him. She was given the honor of judging Israel. [Shamgar smote these 600 Philistines with an ox goad, a light wooden pole shod at one end with an iron spike with which to prick the oxen, and having at the other a small spade with which to clean the plowshare. See Judges 3:31]


The Lineage of Christ is resumed from Folio XXVII verso. It there ended with Aram (Ram). We now begin with Amminadab, son of Ram (which some have assumed to be a contraction of Aram). Below him is a portrait of his son Nahshon. Although the panel is 2 and ¼" wide and 12-5/8" high, it contains no other portraits. The remainder of the space is filled in with floral designs. There is nothing distinctive or particularly significant about either of these portraits.


The Lineage of the Judges of Israel begins with Joshua (Josue) successor of Moses as leader of Israel. In one hand he holds a grapevine, while with the other he makes a gesture as if to call attention to something. He is followed by Othniel (Othaniel), Ahoah (Ahoth), and Sangar (Shamgar). They are grouped in a panel 2-1/8" x 7-1/8". Why Joshua exhibits a vine is not clear. On the other hand Shamgar at least might have been given the ox-goad for a symbol.


The story of Balaam and his Ass is depicted in a small woodcut 6.5" x 4-3/8". The soothsayer of Peor is enroute to curse Israel at the behest of the Moabite king. He is mounted on his faithful ass and beating the animal with a stick. As he approaches a narrow in the road, and the animal has sensed danger for a third time, further progress has apparently become impossible. After the third belaboring the ass turns back his head reproachfully and remonstrates with its master:

Am I not your ass, upon which you have ridden ever since I was yours up to this day? Was I ever in the habit of doing such a thing to you? And he said, No.

And at the same time the Lord who had opened the mouth of the ass, also opened the eyes of Balaam. And he sees the Lord’s angry messenger barring the way. His sword is raised; and a formidable weapon it is! The angel upbraids Balaam for already having smitten the faithful animal three times, and warns him that had the ass not turned aside on each occasion, the rider would certainly have been slain. Balaam contritely surrenders: "If it displeases you, I will return." And Israel was not cursed.