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Judges 20


Resolve to Punish the Guilty

Judges 20:1   Then all the sons of Israel from Dan to Beersheba, including the land of Gilead, came out, and the congregation assembled as one man to the LORD at Mizpah.
Judges 20:2   The chiefs of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, took their stand in the assembly of the people of God, 400,000 foot soldiers who drew the sword.
Judges 20:3   (Now the sons of Benjamin heard that the sons of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) And the sons of Israel said, "Tell us, how did this wickedness take place?"
Judges 20:4   So the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, "I came with my concubine to spend the night at Gibeah which belongs to Benjamin.
Judges 20:5   But the men of Gibeah rose up against me and surrounded the house at night because of me. They intended to kill me; instead, they ravished my concubine so that she died.
Judges 20:6   And I took hold of my concubine and cut her in pieces and sent her throughout the land of Israel's inheritance; for they have committed a lewd and disgraceful act in Israel.
Judges 20:7   Behold, all you sons of Israel, give your advice and counsel here."
Judges 20:8   Then all the people arose as one man, saying, "Not one of us will go to his tent, nor will any of us return to his house.
Judges 20:9   But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up against it by lot.
Judges 20:10   And we will take 10 men out of 100 throughout the tribes of Israel, and 100 out of 1,000, and 1,000 out of 10,000 to supply food for the people, that when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, they may punish them for all the disgraceful acts that they have committed in Israel."
Judges 20:11   Thus all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united as one man.
Judges 20:12   Then the tribes of Israel sent men through the entire tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What is this wickedness that has taken place among you?
Judges 20:13   Now then, deliver up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and remove this wickedness from Israel." But the sons of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the sons of Israel.
Judges 20:14   The sons of Benjamin gathered from the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the sons of Israel.
Judges 20:15   From the cities on that day the sons of Benjamin were numbered, 26,000 men who draw the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah who were numbered, 700 choice men.
Judges 20:16   Out of all these people 700 choice men were left-handed; each one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
Judges 20:17   Then the men of Israel besides Benjamin were numbered, 400,000 men who draw the sword; all these were men of war.

Civil War, Benjamin Defeated

Judges 20:18   Now the sons of Israel arose, went up to Bethel, and inquired of God and said, "Who shall go up first for us to battle against the sons of Benjamin?" Then the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first."
Judges 20:19   So the sons of Israel arose in the morning and camped against Gibeah.
Judges 20:20   The men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin, and the men of Israel arrayed for battle against them at Gibeah.
Judges 20:21   Then the sons of Benjamin came out of Gibeah and felled to the ground on that day 22,000 men of Israel.
Judges 20:22   But the people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves and arrayed for battle again in the place where they had arrayed themselves the first day.
Judges 20:23   The sons of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until evening, and inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall we again draw near for battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin?" And the LORD said, "Go up against him."
Judges 20:24   Then the sons of Israel came against the sons of Benjamin the second day.
Judges 20:25   Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah the second day and felled to the ground again 18,000 men of the sons of Israel; all these drew the sword.
Judges 20:26   Then all the sons of Israel and all the people went up and came to Bethel and wept; thus they remained there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening. And they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
Judges 20:27   The sons of Israel inquired of the LORD (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
Judges 20:28   and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, Aaron's son, stood before it to minister in those days), saying, "Shall I yet again go out to battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand."
Judges 20:29   So Israel set men in ambush around Gibeah.
Judges 20:30   The sons of Israel went up against the sons of Benjamin on the third day and arrayed themselves against Gibeah as at other times.
Judges 20:31   The sons of Benjamin went out against the people and were drawn away from the city, and they began to strike and kill some of the people as at other times, on the highways, one of which goes up to Bethel and the other to Gibeah, and in the field, about thirty men of Israel.
Judges 20:32   The sons of Benjamin said, "They are struck down before us, as at the first." But the sons of Israel said, "Let us flee that we may draw them away from the city to the highways."
Judges 20:33   Then all the men of Israel arose from their place and arrayed themselves at Baal-tamar; and the men of Israel in ambush broke out of their place, even out of Maareh-geba.
Judges 20:34   When ten thousand choice men from all Israel came against Gibeah, the battle became fierce; but Benjamin did not know that disaster was close to them.
Judges 20:35   And the LORD struck Benjamin before Israel, so that the sons of Israel destroyed 25,100 men of Benjamin that day, all who draw the sword.
Judges 20:36   So the sons of Benjamin saw that they were defeated. When the men of Israel gave ground to Benjamin because they relied on the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah,
Judges 20:37   the men in ambush hurried and rushed against Gibeah; the men in ambush also deployed and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.
Judges 20:38   Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the men in ambush was that they would make a great cloud of smoke rise from the city.
Judges 20:39   Then the men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to strike and kill about thirty men of Israel, for they said, "Surely they are defeated before us, as in the first battle."
Judges 20:40   But when the cloud began to rise from the city in a column of smoke, Benjamin looked behind them; and behold, the whole city was going up in smoke to heaven.
Judges 20:41   Then the men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were terrified; for they saw that disaster was close to them.
Judges 20:42   Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them while those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of them.
Judges 20:43   They surrounded Benjamin, pursued them without rest and trod them down opposite Gibeah toward the east.
Judges 20:44   Thus 18,000 men of Benjamin fell; all these were valiant warriors.
Judges 20:45   The rest turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, but they caught 5,000 of them on the highways and overtook them at Gidom and killed 2,000 of them.
Judges 20:46   So all of Benjamin who fell that day were 25,000 men who draw the sword; all these were valiant warriors.
Judges 20:47   But 600 men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and they remained at the rock of Rimmon four months.
Judges 20:48   The men of Israel then turned back against the sons of Benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the entire city with the cattle and all that they found; they also set on fire all the cities which they found.
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