Judges 20 ©

1 The children of Israel assemble at Mizpeh, before whom the Levite declareth his wrong. 8 The resolution of the assembly to punish the Gibeathites. 12 The Benjamites, being required to deliver up the offenders, instead of complying gather themselves together against the other tribes. 18 By the direction of God Judah goeth up first against them; but the Israelites are repulsed with great loss. 22 They renew the fight the second day, and are again defeated with a great slaughter. 26 They seek to God with fasting and sacrifices, and are promised success. 29 They make use of a stratagem, and destroy all the Benjamites, with all that belonged to them, except six hundred men, who flee to the rock Rimmon.


THEN aall the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, bfrom Dan even to Beer-sheba, with the land of Gilead, cunto the LORD in Mizpeh.


And the dchief 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 edrew sword.


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


And 1the Levite, the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said, gI came into Gibeah that belongeth to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.


And hthe men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they 2forced, that she is dead.


And iI took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel: for they have committed jlewdness and folly in Israel.


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


¶And all the people arose as one man, saying, lWe will not 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 mby 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 people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel.


So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as 3one man.


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


Now therefore odeliver us the men, the pchildren of Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and qput away evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not rhearken 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 stwenty and six thousand men that drew sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered seven hundred chosen men.


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


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


¶And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the vhouse of God, and wasked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, xJudah shall go up first.


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


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


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


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

a v.15,17.

(And the children of Israel went up and bwept before the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my 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 cdestroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword.


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


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


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


And Israel set jliers 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 the people, and kwere drawn away from the city; and they began to smite of the people, and 4kill, as at other times, in the highways, of which one goeth up to 5the house of God, and the other to lGibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel.


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

m Jos. 8.5,6.

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


And there came against Gibeah pten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was *sore: but they qknew not that evil was near them.


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

r v.15,44-46.

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


tAnd the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait 6drew themselves along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.


Now there was an appointed 7sign between the men of Israel 8and the liers in wait, that uthey should make a great 9flame with smoke rise up out of the city.


And vwhen the men of Israel retired in the battle, Benjamin began to 10smite and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons: for they said, Surely they are smitten down before us, as in the first battle.


But when the flame began to arise up out of the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and, behold, 11the flame of the city ascended up to heaven.


And when wthe men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were *amazed: for they saw that evil 12was come upon them.


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


Thus ythey *inclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down 13with ease 14over against Gibeah 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 zRimmon: and they agleaned of them in the highways five thousand men; and pursued hard after them unto Gidom, and slew two thousand men of them.

z Jos. 15.32. Not that 1Ch. 6.77.

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

b v.15,44,45.

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


And the men of Israel dturned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that 15came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that 16they came to.