Judges 20

Then went out all the children of Israel, and the congregation was assembled together as one man, from Dan even to Beer-sheba’, with the land of Gil’ad, unto the Lord in Mizpah. and there presented themselves the chiefs of all the people, of all the tribes of Israel, in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand men on foot that drew the sword. (And the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpah.) And the children of Israel said, Speak, how did this wickedness take place? And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was murdered, answered and said, I came to Gib’ah that belongeth to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to stay one night, When the men of Gib’ah rose against me, and beset the house round about against me by night; me they intended to slay; and my concubine they humbled, so that she died. And I took hold of my concubine and cut her in pieces, and sent her about throughout all the fields of the inheritance of Israel; for they had committed incest and scandal in Israel. Behold, ye are all here children of Israel: furnish for yourselves here advice and counsel. And all the people then arose as one man, saying, We will not go any of us to his tent, neither will we turn any of us into his house. And now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gib’ah: We will go up against it by lot; 10 And we will take ten men out of every hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred out of every thousand, and a thousand out of every ten thousand, to procure provisions for the people; that they may do, when they come to Gib’ah of Benjamin, in accordance with all the scandalous deed that they have wrought in Israel. 11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, associated together as one man. 12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the divisions of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that hath been done among you? 13 Now therefore deliver up the men, those worthless people, who are in Gib’ah, that we may put them to death, and remove evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel. 14 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gib’ah, to go out to battle with the children of Israel. 15 And at that time there were numbered of the children of Benjamin out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew the sword, beside the inhabitants of Gib’ah, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men. 16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lame in the right hand: every one of these could sling a stone at a hair, and would not miss. 17 And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew the sword: all these were men of war. 18 And they arose, and went up to Beth-el, and asked counsel of God; and the children of Israel said, Who of us shall go up at first to the battle with the children of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Judah, at first. 19 And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gib’ah. 20 And the men of Israel went out to battle with Benjamin; and the men of Israel put themselves in battle-array against them by Gib’ah. 21 And the Children of Benjamin came forth out of Gib’ah, and struck down to the ground of the Israelites on that day twenty and two thousand men. 22 And the people the men of Israel took courage, and set themselves again in battle-array in the place where they had arrayed themselves on the first day. 23 And the children of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until the evening, and asked counsel of the Lord, saying, Shall I again approach to battle with the children of Benjamin my brother? And the Lord said, Go up against him. 24 And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin on the second day. 25 And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gib’ah on the second day, and struck down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men: all these were men that drew the sword. 26 Now all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto Beth-el, and wept, and sat there before the Lord, and fasted on that day until the evening, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the Lord. 27 And the children of Israel inquired of the Lord, (for there was the ark of the covenant of God in those days, 28 And Phinehas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, shall I yet continue to go out to battle with the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I forbear? And the Lord said, Go up; for tomorrow will I deliver him into thy hand. 29 And Israel sent men to lie in wait round about Gib’ah. 30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in array against Gib’ah, as at previous times. 31 And the children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to smite some of the people, and kill, as at previous times, in the highways, of which one goeth up to Beth-el, and the other to Gib’ah in the field, about thirty men of Israel. 32 And the children of Benjamin said, They are defeated before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city unto the highways. 33 And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Ba’al-thamar: and those that lay in wait of Israel rushed forth out of their place, out of the meadows of Gib’ah. 34 And there came against Gib’ah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was severe; but they knew not that the evil was overtaking them. 35 And the Lord smote Benjamin before Israel; and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites on that day twenty and five thousand and one hundred men: all these were those that drew the sword. 36 And the children of Benjamin saw that they were defeated; for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjamites, because they trusted unto those that lay in wait whom they had set against Gib’ah. 37 And those in ambush hastened, and spread themselves over Gib’ah; and those that lay in wait moved along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword. 38 Now there was an understanding between the men of Israel and those that lay in wait, that they should make an abundance of columns of smoke rise up out of the city. 39 And when the men of Israel turned round in the battle, and Benjamin began to smite and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons; for they said, Surely they are entirely defeated before us, as in the first battle: 40 Then began the cloud to arise up out of the city as a pillar of smoke; and when the Benjamites looked behind them, behold, the flames of all the city were ascending up to heaven. 41 And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed; for they saw that the evil had overtaken them. 42 Therefore they turned round before the men of Israel unto the way to the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of them. 43 They enclosed the Benjamites round about, chased them, they overtook them in their places of rest, as far as opposite to Gib’ah toward the rising of the sun. 44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men: all these were men of valor. 45 And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of Rimmon; and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men; and they pursued hard after them as far as Gid’om, and slew of them two thousand men. 46 So that all who fell on that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword: all these were men of valor. 47 But six hundred men turned and fled into the wilderness unto the rock Rimmon, and they abode on the rock Rimmon four months. 48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beasts, and all that was found: also all the cities that they came upon did they set on fire.
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