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 to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, vnto the Lord in Mizpeh. Judges 20:2 And the chiefe of all the people, and all the tribes of Israel assembled in the Congregation of the people of God foure hundreth thousand footemen that drewe sword. Judges 20:3 (Now the children of Beniamin heard that the children of Israel were gone vp to Mizpeh) Then the children of Israel saide, Howe is this wickednesse committed? Judges 20:4 And the same Leuite, the womans husband that was slaine, answered and saide, I came vnto Gibeah that is in Beniamin with my concubine to lodge, Judges 20:5 And the men of Gibeah arose against me, and beset the house round about vpon mee by night, thinking to haue slaine me, and haue forced my concubine that she is dead. Judges 20:6 Then 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 abomination and villenie in Israel. Judges 20:7 Behold, ye are al children of Israel: giue your aduise, and counsell herein.
The decree of the assembly.
Judges 20:8 Then all the people arose as one man, saying, There shal not a man of vs goe to his tent, neither any turne into his house. Judges 20:9 But now this is that thing which we will do to Gibeah: we wil goe vp by lot against it, Judges 20:10 And we wil take ten men of the hundreth throughout al the tribes of Israel, & an hundreth of the thousand, and a thousand of ten thousand to bring vitaile for the people that they may do (when they come to Gibeah of Beniamin) according to all the villeny, that it hath done 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 through al the tribe of Beniamin, saying, What wickednesse is this that is committed among you? Judges 20:13 Nowe therefore deliuer vs those wicked men which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away euill from Israel: but the children of Beniamin would not obey the voyce of their brethren the children of Israel. Judges 20:14 But ye children of Beniamin gathered them selues together out of the cities vnto Gibeah, to come out and fight against the children of Israel. Judges 20:15 And ye children of Beniamin were nombred at that time out of the cities sixe and twenty thousand men that drewe sworde, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were nombred seuen hundreth chosen men. Judges 20:16 Of all this people were seuen hundreth chosen men, being left handed: all these could sling stones at an heare breadth, and not faile. Judges 20:17 Also the men of Israel, beside Beniamin, were nombred foure hundreth thousande men that drew sword, euen all 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 of God, saying, Which of vs shal goe vp first to fight against the children of Beniamin? And the Lord said, Iudah shalbe first. Judges 20:19 Then the children of Israel arose vp earely and camped against Gibeah. Judges 20:20 And the men of Israel went out to battell against Beniamin, & the men of Israel put themselues in aray to fight against the beside Gibeah. Judges 20:21 And the children of Beniamin came out of Gibeah, & slewe downe to the ground of the Israelites that day two and twentie thousand men. Judges 20:22 And the people, the men of Israel plucked vp their hearts, and set their battel againe in aray in the place where they put them in aray the first day. Judges 20:23 (For the children of Israel had gone vp and wept before the Lord vnto the euening, and had asked of the Lorde, saying, Shall I goe againe to battel against the children of Beniamin my brethren? and the Lord said, Go vp against them) Judges 20:24 Then the children of Israel came neere against the children of Beniamin the second day. Judges 20:25 Also the second day Beniamin came forth to meete them out of Gibeah, and slewe downe to the grounde of the children of Israel againe eighteene thousand men: all they could handle the sword.
They destroy by a stratagem all the Benjamites except six hundred.
Judges 20:26 Then al the children of Israel went vp and all the people came also vnto the house of God, and wept and sate there before the Lord & fasted that day vnto the euening, and offred burnt offrings and peace offrings before the Lord. Judges 20:27 And the children of Israel asked the Lorde (for there was the Arke of the couenat of God in those dayes, Judges 20:28 And Phinehas the sonne of Eleazar, the sonne of Aaron stoode before it at that time) saying, Shall I yet goe anie more to battel against the children of Beniamin my brethren, or shall I cease? And the Lord said, Go vp: for to morowe I will deliuer them into your hand. Judges 20:29 And Israel set men to lie in waite round about Gibeah. Judges 20:30 And the children of Israel went vp against the children of Beniamin the third day, and put theselues in aray against Gibeah, as at other times. Judges 20:31 Then the children of Beniamin comming out against the people, were drawen from the citie: and they began to smite of ye people and kill as at other times, euen by the wayes in the fielde (whereof one goeth vp to the house of God, and the other to Gibeah) vpon a thirtie men of Israel. Judges 20:32 (For the children of Beniamin sayd, They are fallen before vs, as at the first. But the children of Israel saide, Let vs flee and plucke them away from the citie vnto the hie 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 men that lay in wayte of the Israelites came forth of their place, euen out of the medowes of Gibeah, Judges 20:34 And they came ouer against Gibeah, ten thousande chosen men of all Israel, and the battell was sore: for they knewe not that the euill was neere them. Judges 20:35 And the Lord smote Beniamin before Israel, and the children of Israel destroyed of the Beniamites the same day fiue and twenty thousand and an hundreth men: all they could handle the sword. Judges 20:36 So the children of Beniamin sawe that they were striken downe: for the men of Israel gaue place to the Beniamites, because they trusted to the men that lay in waite, which they had laide beside Gibeah. Judges 20:37 And they that lay in wait hasted, and brake forth toward Gibeah, & the ambushment drewe themselues along, and smote all the citie with the edge of the sword. Judges 20:38 Also the men of Israel had appoynted a certaine time with the ambushmentes, that they should make a great flame and smoke rise vp out of the citie. Judges 20:39 And when the men of Israel retired in the battel, Beniamin began to smite and kill of the men of Israel about thirtie persons: for they said, Surely they are striken downe before vs, as in the first battell. Judges 20:40 But when the flame bega to arise out of the citie, as a pillar of smoke, the Beniamites looked backe, and behold, the flame of the citie began to ascend vp to heauen. Judges 20:41 Then the men of Israel turned againe, & the men of Beniamin were astonied: for they saw that euill was neere vnto them. Judges 20:42 Therefore they fled before the men of Israel vnto the way of the wildernesse, but the battell ouertooke them: also they which came out of the cities, slew them among them. Judges 20:43 Thus they compassed the Beniamites about, and chased them at ease, and ouerranne them, euen ouer against Gibeah on the Eastside. Judges 20:44 And there were slaine of Beniamin eyghteene thousad men, which were all men of warre. Judges 20:45 And they turned and fled to the wildernes vnto the rocke of Rimmon: and the Israelites glayned of them by the way fiue thousand men, and pursued after them vnto Gidom, and slewe two thousand men of them, Judges 20:46 So that all that were slayne that day of Beniamin, were fiue and twentie thousand men that drewe sword, which were all men of warre: Judges 20:47 But sixe hundreth men turned and fled to the wildernesse vnto the rocke of Rimmon, and abode in the rocke of Rimmon foure moneths. Judges 20:48 Then the men of Israel returned vnto the children of Beniamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword from the men of the citie vnto the beasts, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they coulde come by.