The Levite in a general assembly declareth his wrong.
Judges 20:1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and the Congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan euen to Beer-sheba, with the land of Gilead, vnto the LORD in Mizpeh. Judges 20:2 And the chiefe of al the people, [euen] of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselues in the assembly of the people of God, foure hundred thousand footmen that drew sword. Judges 20:3 (Now the children of Beniamin heard that the children of Israel were gone vp to Mizpeh.) Then said the children of Israel, Tell vs, how was this wickednesse? Judges 20:4 And the Leuite the husband of the woman that was slaine, answered and said, I came into Gibeah that [belongeth] to Beniamin, I and my concubine, to lodge. Judges 20:5 And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about vpon me by night, and thought to haue slaine mee, [and] my concubine haue they forced that she is dead. Judges 20:6 And I tooke my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the countrey of the inheritance of Israel: for they haue committed lewdnesse and folly in Israel. Judges 20:7 Behold, ye are all children of Israel, giue here your aduise and counsell.
The decree of the assembly.
Judges 20:8 And all the people arose as one man, saying, We will not any [of vs] goe to his tent, neither will wee any [of vs] turne into his house: Judges 20:9 But now, this [shall bee] the thing which we will doe to Gibeah, [we will goe vp] by lot against it: Judges 20:10 And we wil take ten men of a hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victuall for the people, that they may doe, when they come to Gibeah of Beniamin, according to all the folly that they haue wrought in Israel. Judges 20:11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the citie, knit together as one man.
The Benjamites, being cited, make head against the Israelites.
Judges 20:12 And the tribes of Israel sent men thorow all the tribe of Beniamin, saying, What wickednesse is this that is done among you? Judges 20:13 Now therfore deliuer vs the men, the children of Belial which [are] in Gibeah, that wee may put them to death, and put away euill from Israel: but the children of Beniamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel. Judges 20:14 But the children of Beniamin gathered themselues together out of the cities, vnto Gibeah, to goe out to battell against the children of Israel. Judges 20:15 And the children of Beniamin were numbred at that time out of the cities, twentie and sixe thousand men that drew sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbred seuen hundred chosen men. Judges 20:16 Among all this people [there were] seuen hundred chosen men left handed, euery one could sling stones at an haire [breadth], and not misse. Judges 20:17 And the men of Israel, beside Beniamin, were numbred foure hundred thousand men that drewe sword; all these [were] men of warre.
The Israelites in two battles lose forty thousand.
Judges 20:18 And the children of Israel arose, and went vp to the house of God, and asked counsell of God, and saide, Which of vs shall goe vp first to the battell against the children of Beniamin? And the LORD said, Iudah shall [goe vp] first. Judges 20:19 And the children of Israel rose vp in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah. Judges 20:20 And the men of Israel went out to battell against Beniamin, and the men of Israel put themselues in aray to fight against them at Gibeah. Judges 20:21 And the children of Beniamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroied downe to the ground of the Israelites that day, twenty & two thousand men. Judges 20:22 And the people the men of Israel incouraged themselues, & set their battel againe in aray, in the place where they put themselues in aray the first day. Judges 20:23 (And the children of Israel went vp and wept before the LORD vntill Euen, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I goe vp againe to battell against the children of Beniamin my brother? And the LORD saide, Goe vp against him.) Judges 20:24 And the children of Israel came neere against the children of Beniamin, the second day. Judges 20:25 And Beniamin went foorth against them out of Gibeah the second day, & destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel againe, eighteene thousand men, all these drew the sword.
They destroy by a stratagem all the Benjamites except six hundred.
Judges 20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people went vp, and came vnto the house of God, and wept, and sate there before the LORD, and fasted that day vntill Euen, and offered burnt offerings, and peace offerings before the LORD. Judges 20:27 And the children of Israel enquired of the LORD, (for the Arke of ye couenant of God [was] there in those daies, Judges 20:28 And Phinehas the sonne of Eleazar the sonne of Aaron stood before it in those dayes.) saying; Shall I yet againe goe out to battel against the children of Beniamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Goe vp; for to morrow I will deliuer them into thine hand. Judges 20:29 And Israel set lyers in waite round about Gibeah. Judges 20:30 And the children of Israel went vp against the children of Beniamin on the third day, and put themselues in aray against Gibeah, as at other times. Judges 20:31 And the children of Beniamin went out against the people, [and] were drawen away from the citie, and they began to smite of the people [and] kill as at other times, in the high wayes, of which one goeth vp to the house of God, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirtie men of Israel. Judges 20:32 And the children of Beniamin said, They are smitten downe before vs, as at the first: But the children of Israel said, Let vs flee, and draw them from the citie, vnto the high wayes. Judges 20:33 And all the men of Israel rose vp out of their place, and put themselues in aray at Baal Tamar: and the lyers in waite of Israel came foorth out of their places, euen out of the medowes of Gibeah. Judges 20:34 And there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men, out of all Israel, and the battell was sore: but they knew not that euill was neere them. Judges 20:35 And the LORD smote Beniamin before Israel, and the children of Israel destroyed of the Beniamites that day, twentie and fiue thousand, and an hundred men; all these drew the sword. Judges 20:36 So the children of Beniamin saw that they were smitten: for the men of Israel gaue place to the Beniamites, because they trusted vnto the lyers in wait, which they had set beside Gibeah. Judges 20:37 And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed vpon Gibeah, and the liers in wait drew [themselues] along, and smote all the citie with the edge of the sword. Judges 20:38 Nowe there was an appointed signe between the men of Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make a great flame with smoke rise vp out of the citie. Judges 20:39 And when the men of Israel retired in the battell, Beniamin began to smite and kill of the men of Israel about thirtie persons; for they saide, Surely they are smitten downe before vs, as [in] the first battell. Judges 20:40 But when the flame began to arise vp out of the citie, with a pillar of smoke, the Beniamites looked behind them, and behold, the flame of the citie ascended vp to heauen. Judges 20:41 And when the men of Israel turned againe, the men of Beniamin were amased; for they saw that euill was come vpon them. Judges 20:42 Therefore they turned [their backs] before the men of Israel, vnto ye way of the wildernes, but the battel ouertooke them: & them which came out of the cities, they destroyed in the midst of them. Judges 20:43 [Thus] they inclosed the Beniamites round about, [and] chased them, and trode them downe with ease ouer against Gibeah toward the sunne rising. Judges 20:44 And there fell of Beniamin eighteene thousand men; all these [were] men of valour. Judges 20:45 And they turned and fled toward the wildernesse vnto the rocke of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the high wayes fiue thousand men: and pursued hard after them vnto Gidom, and slew two thousand men of them. Judges 20:46 So that all which fell that day of Beniamin, were twentie and fiue thousand men that drew the sword; all these [were] men of valour. Judges 20:47 [But] sixe hundred men turned and fledde to the wildernesse vnto the rocke Rimmon, and abode in the rocke Rimmon foure moneths. Judges 20:48 And the men of Israel turned againe vpon the children of Beniamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of euery citie, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to.