Judges 20 ©

The children of Israel assemble with one accord at Mizpeh, and take notice of the fact done to the Levite’s concubine, v. 1, etc. Give orders what to be done, and send men to the tribe of Benjamin, to require the delinquents to be delivered up to justice, but receive a flat denial, 8. Whereupon having consulted with God, they march up to fight against them, but have twice been defeated, 18. Afterward, being humbled and receiving clearer revelation from God by Phinehas the high priest, they march up yet once more, and smite those of Benjamin, so as that they destroy the whole tribe, both men and women, and burn all the cities, there only remaining six hundred men who fled away, 26.


THEN 1all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together 2as one man, from 3Dan even to Beer-sheba, with the 4land of Gilead, unto the 5LORD in 6Mizpeh.


And the 7chief of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew 8sword.


(Now the children of Benjamin 9heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then 10said the children of Israel, Tell us, 11how was this wickedness?


And the Levite, the 12husband of the woman that was 13slain, 14answered and said, I came into Gibeah that belongeth to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.


And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about 15upon me by night, and 16thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they forced, that she is dead.


And I took my concubine, and 17cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel: for 18they have committed 19lewdness and folly in Israel.


Behold, ye are all 20children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel.


¶And all the people arose as one man, saying, We will 21not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn into his house.


But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up 22by lot against it;


And we will take ten men of an hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual for the 23people, that they may do, when they come to 24Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel.


So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, 25knit together as one man.


¶And the tribes of Israel sent men through 26all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is done among you?


Now therefore deliver us 27the men, the childrena of 28Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. Butb the children of Benjamin 29would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel:


But the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel.


And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time out of the cities 30twenty and six thousand men that drew 31sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered seven hundred chosen men.


Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men 32lefthanded;c33every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, 34and not miss.


And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these were men of war.


¶And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the 35house of God, and 36asked counsel of God, and said, 37Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first.


And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.


And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel 38put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah.


And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and 39destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men.


And the people the men of Israel 40encouraged themselves, and 41set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.


(And the children of Israel went up and wept 42before the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall 43I go up 44again to battle against the children of Benjamin 45my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.)


And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.


And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and 46destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; 47all these drew the sword.


¶Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the 48house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.


And the children of Israel enquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God was 49there in those days,


And 50Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, 51stood before 52it in those days,) saying, Shall I 53yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver 54them into thine hand.


And Israel set liersd in wait round about Gibeah.


And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.


And the children of Benjamin went out against 55the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to smite of the people, 56and kill, as at other times, in the highways, of which one goeth up to the 57house of God, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel.


And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw 58them from the city unto the highways.


And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at 59Baal-tamar: and the liers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even 60out of the meadows of 61Gibeah.


And there came 62against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was sore: but 63they knew not that evil was 64near them.


And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel: and the children of Israel 65destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these 66drew the sword.


So the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten: for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjamites, because they trusted unto the liers in wait which they had set beside Gibeah.


And the liers in wait hasted, and 67rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait 68drew themselves along, and smote all the 69city with the 70edge of the sword.


Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make 71a great flame with smoke rise up out of the city.72


73And when the men of Israel retired in the battle, Benjamin began to smite and 74kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons: for 75they said, 76Surely 77they are smitten down before us, as in the first battle.


But when the 78flame began to arise up out of the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and, behold, the 79flame of the city ascended up to 80heaven.


And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that 81evil was come upon them.


Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the 82battle 83overtook them; and them which came out of the cities they 84destroyed in the midst of them.


Thus they inclosed the 85Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down with 86ease over against 87Gibeah toward the sunrising.


And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valour.


And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of 88Rimmon: and 89they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men; and 90pursued hard after them unto Gidom, and slew two thousand men of them.


So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were 91twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these were men of valour.


But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto the rocke Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months.


And the men of Israel turned again upon the 92children of Benjamin, and smote them 93with the edge of the sword, 94as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they 95set on fire all the cities that they came to.