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Judges 20

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 1 So all the children of Israel came out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man to the LORD at Mizpeh, from Dan even to Beersheba, including the land of Gilead.

 2 And the chiefs of all the people, of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen who drew the sword.

 3 (The children of Benjamin heard that the other children of Israel had gone up to Mizpeh.) Now the children of Israel said, "Tell us how this wickedness happened?"

 4 So the Levite, the husband of the woman who was slain, answered, "I came into Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, my concubine and I, to spend the night.

 5 And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house at night; they intended to [rape and] kill me, but instead they raped my concubine so that she died.

 6 So I took my concubine and cut her in pieces and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel, for they have committed lewdness and outrage in Israel.

 7 Behold, you are all children of Israel; give your advice and counsel here."

 8 So all the people arose as one man, saying, "None of us will go to his tent, nor will any of us return into his house.

 9 But now this is the thing that we will do to Gibeah: we will go up by lot against it,

 10 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 obtain provisions for the army, so that the army may go to Gibeah of Benjamin and they may repay them for all the vileness that they have done in Israel."

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

 12 The tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What wickedness is this that has been done among you?

 13 Now therefore, deliver the men to us, the wicked children of Belial who are in Gibeah, so that we may put them to death and put away evil from Israel." But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel.

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

 15 And the army of children of Benjamin were numbered out of the cities at that time twenty six thousand men who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who numbered seven hundred chosen men.

 16 Among all these people there were seven hundred chosen left handed men; every one could sling stones at a hair and not miss.

 17 And the men of Israel, besides Benjamin, numbered four hundred thousand men who drew the sword; all these were men of war.

 18 Then the children of Israel arose and went up to the house of God [Bethel], and asked counsel of God and said, "Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin?" And the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first."

 19 Then the children of Israel rose up in the morning and encamped against Gibeah.

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

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

 22  But the people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves, and set their battle array again in the place where they had put themselves in array on the first day.

 23 Then the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until evening and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, "Shall we go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin our brethren?" And the LORD said, "Go up against them."

 24 So the children of Israel came against the children of Benjamin the second day.

 25 And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day and destroyed down to the ground eighteen thousand men more of the children of Israel, all of whom drew the sword.

 26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept; and they sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.

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

 28 And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, "Shall we yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin our brethren or shall we cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand."

 29 So Israel set men in ambush around Gibeah.

 30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day and set themselves in array against Gibeah like the other times.

 31 So the children of Benjamin went out against the people and were drawn away from the city; and they began to smite and kill some of the people as at other times, in the highways, one of which one goes up to the house of God and the other to Gibeah, and 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 away from the city to the highways."

 33 So all the men of Israel rose up out of their place and set themselves in array at Baaltamar, and Israel's men who were in ambush came out of their place out of the meadows of Gibeah.

 34 And ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel came against Gibeah, and the battle was severe; but the Benjamites did not know that disaster was near them.

 35 And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel, and the children of Israel destroyed twenty five thousand one hundred men of the Benjamites that day; all these drew the sword.

 36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were defeated. For the men of Israel had given ground to the Benjamites, because they relied on the men in ambush whom they had set near Gibeah.

 37 And the men in ambush quickly rushed upon Gibeah and spread out and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.

 38 Now the appointed signal between the men of Israel and the men in ambush was that when they made a great cloud of smoke rise up out of the city,

 39 The men of Israel should turn back in the battle. Now Benjamin had begun to strike and kill about thirty of the men of Israel. For they said, "Surely they are defeated before us, as in the first battle."

 40 But when the cloud began to rise up out of the city in a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and behold, the whole city was going up to heaven in smoke.

 41 And when the men of Israel turned on them, the men of Benjamin were terrified, for they saw that disaster had come upon them.

 42 Therefore they turned their backs and fled before the men of Israel toward the wilderness, but the battle overtook them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them when they came through their midst.

 43 Thus they surrounded the Benjamites, pursued them, and easily trampled them down opposite Gibeah toward the east.

 44 Eighteen thousand men of Benjamin fell there, all these were men of valor.

 45 Then they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and Israel cut down five thousand of them on the highways; and they pursued hard after them to Gidom and slew two thousand more of them.

 46 So that twenty five thousand men of Benjamin who drew the sword fell that day, all these were men of valor.

 47 But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness to the rock Rimmon and stayed at the rock Rimmon four months.

 48 Then the men of Israel turned back upon the children of Benjamin and smote every town with the edge of the sword, men and beasts and all that they found. They also set fire to all the cities they came to.


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