1 And all the children of Israel went out, and all the congregation was gathered as one man, from Dan even to Bersabee, and in the land of Galaad, to the Lord at Massepha. 2 And all the tribes of Israel stood before the Lord in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword. 3 And the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Massepha: and the children of Israel came and said, Tell us, where did this wickedness take place? 4 And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said, I and my concubine went to Gabaa of Benjamin to lodge. 5 And the men of Gabaa rose up against me, and compassed the house by night against me; they wished to slay me, and they have humbled my concubine, and she is dead. 6 And I laid hold of my concubine, and divided her in pieces, and sent the parts into every coast of the inheritance of the children of Israel; for they have wrought lewdness and abomination in Israel. 7 Behold, all ye are children of Israel; and consider and take counsel here among yourselves.
8 And all the people rose up as one man, saying, No one of us shall return to his tent, and no one of us shall return to his house. 9 And now this is the thing which shall be done in Gabaa; we will go up against it by lot. 10 Moreover we will take ten men for a hundred for all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred for a thousand, and a thousand for ten thousand, to take provision, to cause them to come to Gabaa of Benjamin, to do to it according to all the abomination, which * Heb. sons of Belial.they wrought in Israel. 11 And all the men of Israel were gathered to the city as one man.
12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through the whole tribe of Benjamin, saying, What is this wickedness that has been wrought among you? 13 Now then give up the men the † Gr. it, sc. Gabas.sons of transgressors that are in Gabaa, and we will put them to death, and purge out wickedness from Israel: but the children of Benjamin consented not to hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel. 14 And the children of Benjamin were gathered from their cities to Gabaa, to go forth to fight with the children of Israel. 15 And the children of Benjamin from their cities were numbered in that day, twenty-three thousand, every man drawing a sword, besides the inhabitants of Gabaa, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men of all the people, ‡ See chap 3. 15.able to use both hands alike; 16 all these could sling with stones at a hair, and not miss. 17 And the men of Israel, exclusive of Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword; all these were men of war.
18 And they arose and went up to Bæthel, and enquired of God: and the children of Israel said, Who shall go up for us first to fight with the children of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Juda shall go up first as leader. 19 And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gabaa.
20 And they went out, all the men of Israel, to fight with Benjamin, and engaged with them at Gabaa. 21 And the sons of Benjamin went forth from Gabaa, and they destroyed in Israel on that day two and twenty thousand men down to the ground.
22 And the men of Israel § Or, grew strong.strengthened themselves, and again engaged in battle in the place where they had engaged on the first day. 23 And the children of Israel went up, and wept before the Lord till evening, and enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall we again draw nigh to battle with our brethren the children of Benjamin? and the Lord said, Go up against them. 24 And the children of Israel advanced against the children of Benjamin on the second day. 25 And the children of Benjamin went forth to meet them from Gabaa on the second day, and destroyed of the children of Israel yet further eighteen thousand men down to the ground: all these drew sword.
26 And the children of Israel and all the people went up, and came to Bæthel; and they wept, and sat there before the Lord; and they fasted on that day until evening, and offered whole-burnt-offerings and ** Or, unblemished, according to the Heb. peace offering.perfect sacrifices, before the Lord, 27 for the ark of the Lord God was there in those days, 28 and Phinees the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron stood before it in those days; and the children of Israel enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall we yet again go forth to fight with our brethren the sons of Benjamin? and the Lord said, Go up, to-morrow I will give them into your hands. 29 And the children of Israel set an ambush against Gabaa round about it.
30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and arrayed themselves against Gabaa as before. 31 And the children of Benjamin went out to meet the people, and †† Gr. were emptied out of the city.were all drawn out of the city, and began to smite and slay the people as before in the roads, ‡‡ Gr. which is one going up.whereof one goes up to Bæthel, and one to Gabaa in the field, about thirty men of Israel. 32 And the children of Benjamin said, They fall before us as at the first: but the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them out from the city into the roads; and they did so.
33 And all the men rose up out of their places, and engaged in Baal Thamar; and the liers in wait of Israel advanced from their place from §§ Heb. plain of the south.Maraagabe. 34 And there came over against Gabaa ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel; and the fight was severe; and they knew not that evil *** Gr. is coming upon them.was coming upon them. 35 And the Lord smote Benjamin before the children of Israel; and the children of Israel destroyed of Benjamin in that day a hundred and twenty-five thousand men: all these drew sword. 36 And the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten; and the men of Israel gave place to Benjamin, because they trusted in the ambuscade which they had prepared against Gabaa.
37 And when they retreated, then the liers in wait rose up, and they ††† Gr. extended themselves.moved on toward Gabaa, and the whole ambush came forth, and they smote the city with the edge of the sword.
38 And the children of Israel had a signal of battle with the liers in wait, that they should send up a ‡‡‡ Or, a concerted signal.signal of smoke from the city. 39 And the children of Israel saw that the liers in wait had seized Gabaa, and they stood in line of battle; and Benjamin began to smite down §§§ Or, slain ones, i. e. to smite and cause to fall.wounded ones among the men of Israel about thirty men; for they said, Surely they fall again before us, * Gr. as the first battle was.as in the first battle.
40 And the signal went up increasingly over the city as a pillar of smoke; and Benjamin looked behind him, and behold the destruction of the city went up to heaven.
41 And the men of Israel turned back, and the men of Benjamin hasted, because they saw that evil had come upon them. 42 And they turned to the way of the wilderness from before the children of Israel, and fled: but the battle overtook them, and they from the cities destroyed them in the midst of them.
43 And they cut down Benjamin, and pursued him from Nua closely till they came opposite Gabaa on the east. 44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men: all these were men of might.
45 And the rest turned, and fled to the wilderness to the rock of Remmon; and the children of Israel † Or, cut off as stragglers. Gr. gleaned, or picked straws.picked off of them five thousand men; and the children of Israel went down after them as far as Gedan, and they smote of them two thousand men. 46 And all that fell of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand men that drew sword in that day: all these were men of might. 47 And the rest turned, and fled to the wilderness to the rock of Remmon, even six hundred men; and they sojourned four months in the rock of Remmon.
48 And the children of Israel returned to the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword from the city of Methla, even to the cattle, and every thing that was found in all the cities: and they burnt with fire the cities they found.
*20:10 Heb. sons of Belial.
†20:13 Gr. it, sc. Gabas.
‡20:15 See chap 3. 15.
§20:22 Or, grew strong.
**20:26 Or, unblemished, according to the Heb. peace offering.
††20:31 Gr. were emptied out of the city.
‡‡20:31 Gr. which is one going up.
§§20:33 Heb. plain of the south.
***20:34 Gr. is coming upon them.
†††20:37 Gr. extended themselves.
‡‡‡20:38 Or, a concerted signal.
§§§20:39 Or, slain ones, i. e. to smite and cause to fall.
*20:39 Gr. as the first battle was.
†20:45 Or, cut off as stragglers. Gr. gleaned, or picked straws.