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

Phinehas (Phynees) was the son of Eleazar. Because the children of Israel began to commit whoredom with the women of the Midianites and to worship their gods, God commanded that the twelve princes be hanged. Thereupon Phinehas, the priest of God, slew one of the children of Israel, who had illicit relations with a Midianitish woman; and thereby he turned away the wrath of God. Because of this evil there fell in Israel 24,000.

This is an abridgment of Numbers 25:1-9, 14:15:

And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their god. And Israel joined itself unto Baal-peor; and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay every one of its men that were joined unto Baal-peor. And behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed form the children. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. . . . . Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, even that was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites. And the name of the Midianite woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head over a people and of a chief house in Midian.

Phinehas, whose name means ‘brazen mouth’ was a son of Eleazar, and a grandson of Aaron (Exodus 6:25; I Chr. 6:4, 50). Phinehas filled the office of high priest of the Jews for a period of almost twenty years. His zeal and promptitude in punishing the sin of Zimri turned away the wrath of the Lord against the Israelite nation, and was duly rewarded by a promise to his family of perpetual succession in the Jewish priesthood (Numbers 25:6-15). This promise was fulfilled; for except for the interval from Eli to Zadok, the priesthood continued in the family of Phinehas until the destruction of the temple and the captivity of the nation.

Deborah (Delbora) was a prophetess and a judge of Israel under whom Jabin, the king of the Canaanites and Sisera, the general of his army, were slain. He (Sisera) sprang from his chariot and fled into a woman’s house. After a drink of milk he became drowsy and fell asleep. And this same woman drove a nail through his temple and with a hammer pinned him to the ground; and so he was killed.[And Deborah said to Barak, Get up; for this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand: has not the Lord gone out before you? So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. And the Lord discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and his entire host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet. But Barak pursued after the chariots and after the host, etc. Nevertheless, Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned toward her, in the tent, she covered him with a mantle, and he said to her, Give me, I pray of you, a little water to drink, for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. . .Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a nail of the tent and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and drove the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. (Judges 4:14-23)] This same Deborah also made a song of thanksgiving because of the victory of the people.[ Blessed above women shall Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, be blessed shall she be above women in the tent. He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish, she put her hand to the nail and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she struck Sisera, she struck off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples (Song of Deborah, Judges 5:24-26).]

Gideon (Gedeon), the fourth judge, judged Israel for forty years. He slew four kings, Oreb, Zeeb, Zebah and Zalmunna.[Judges 7:25, 8-21.] And so were subjugated the Midianites into whose hands the children of Israel had been given for seven years because of the evils which they had practiced. For while Gideon was threshing the wheat, an angel appeared unto him with the prophecy that the children of Israel should be delivered from bondage through him; and as a sign of future victory, the broth and the unleavened bread were consumed upon a rock; and Gideon’s fleece (of wool) laden with heavenly dew lay upon the dry earth; and when the skin was dry, the earth about it was moist.[And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash, the Abi-ezrite; and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it form the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, the Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor. And Gideon said to him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his miracles that our forefathers told us of? . . . But now the Lord has forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have I not sent you? . . . And he (Gideon) said to him, If now I have found grace in your sight, then show me a sign that your are talking with me. . . And Gideon went in and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour; the flesh he put in a basket, and brought it out to him under the oak, and presented it. And the angel of God said to him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. Then the angel of the Lord put forth his staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight. . . And Gideon said to God, If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew is on the fleece only, and it is dry upon the earth beside it, then shall I know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said. And it was so; for he rose up early in the morning, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said to God, Let not your anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray you, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. (Judges 6:11-14, 17-21, 26-40)]

Abimelech, the fifth judge of the Jews, was a natural although illegitimate son of Gideon. He persuaded the men of Shechem to slay his seventy legitimate brothers, the sons of Gideon, so that he alone might rule. This they did, and all of them were beheaded on a stone, with the exception of Jonathan (Jotham), the smallest, who was hidden. For this the Lord caused Abimelech to suffer an evil death. And Jotham told them the fable of the trees that went to the vine, the fig tree, the olive tree and lastly to the bramble, in order to persuade each in turn to act as the king of the trees. Abimelech afterward quarreled with the men of Shechem; and he fired the tower of Shechem, destroying a thousand persons in it. When he finally besieged and was storming the city of Thebes, he was struck on the head and knocked down by a stone thrown upon him from the walls by a woman. He called upon his armor-bearer to kill him so that it might not be said that he was slain by a woman. And the armor-bearer did as Abimelech wished. [This Abimelech is not to be confused with the king of the Philistines at Gerar (Genesis 20:2), nor with his successor (Genesis 26). The Abimelech here in question was a son of Gideon by his concubine in Shechem (Judges 8:31). After the death of his father he persuaded the men of Shechem to make him king. He put to death seventy of his brothers who dwelt in his father’s house at Ophrah, leaving only Jotham, the youngest alive, who had concealed himself (Judges 9:1-5). And when Jotham learned that Abimelech had been proclaimed king, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifting his voice, called upon the men of Shechem to listen to him. And he told them the fable of the trees, which is said to be the oldest fable extant. It seems the trees went forth once upon a time to anoint a king over them. They invited the olive tree first; but he declined, saying, Should I leave my fatness, on account of which by me they honor God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? The fig tree, next asked, also declined, refusing to forsake its sweetness and good fruit for a royal promotion. And the vine also declined the honor, refusing to leave its wine that cheers God and Man. At last they approached the bramble, who said to them, If in truth you anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow; and if not; let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon (Judges 9:8-15). See also Judges 9:52-54.]

Tola (Thola), of the tribe of Issachar, judged Israel for 23 years. He had 30 sons, who rode asses, and were rulers over 30 cities. He gave them wives. After him the Israelites sinned against the Lord and were punished many fold by the Amonites and Midianites. Thola finally died and was buried in Shamir.[ It was not Tola, but his successor Jair, who had 30 sons who "rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities," which were in the land of Gilead (Judges 10:1-5). This is confirmed by a succeeding paragraph on the same page of the .]

Uzzi (Osy), the priest, was from the seed of Aaron, through the line of Eleazar; and after his death, the priesthood, according to the will of God, passed to the line of Ithamar for 120 years, and Eli, the first high priest of Ithamar was the last.[Ezra: 1-6.]

Jair (Yair), of the tribe of Manasseh, the seventh judge of Israel, had thirty pious sons whom he made rulers over 30 cities. And as the times were quiet and peaceful, it would seem that in the days of these two judges the children of Israel were devoted to God; for which reason all things were fortunate in their outcome. And after he (Jair) had worthily carried the office for twenty years, he died in old age.

During the time of these two judges, Thola and Jayr, Israel was devoted to the Lord, for which reason these same times were peaceful and prosperous. But after their death, life among the Hebrews became dishonorable and irreligious, and the laws were ignored. For this reason the Palestinians (Philistines) destroyed their country with large armies.


The Lineage of the Priests, begun at Folio XXV verso, and continued at XXIX verso, is here resumed with these additions:

  1. Phinees (Phinehas), who is mentioned in the text, is here represented by a woodcut that has not been used before. He wears the mitre of a high priest, bearing the crescent described and illustrated at Folio XXXIII recto. He raises his fingers in benediction. His robes are not those prescribed for his high office.
  2. Abysue (Abishua), son of Phinehas, appears in the same regalia as his father, and this woodcut is also here used for the first time. Abysue is not mentioned in the Chronicle text at this point.
  3. Booz or Buuz (Bukki), the son of Abishua, is not to be confused with Boaz, the husband of Ruth, who is also, later on, styled Booz or Buuz. Bukki is portrayed by the same woodcut used at Folio XXV verso for Levi.
  4. Ozy (Uzzi), the son of Bukki, is represented by the same portrait served for Merari, son of Levi, at Folio XXV verso.


The Lineage of the Judges is here continued with the following additions:

  1. Delbora (Deborah), who appeared as Diana at Folio XXV recto.
  2. Gedeon (Gideon), who appears in very complete armor, his head not only encased, but his face almost entirely covered. Through the slits in his visor he peeps at a helpless protesting little lamb which he holds in both hands, and which is struggling to get away.
  3. Abimelech, middle-aged, jowly, and clean-shaven he seems slightly bored (or mildly disgruntled).
  4. Thola (Tola), who is shown in a fur cap and with both hands tucked away in the ample sleeves of his coat.
  5. Jayr (Jair), a very sickly, decrepit old man, and bald, except for a forelock. He is almost swallowed up in the great coat he wears.