The Levite in a general assembly declareth his wrong.
Judges 20:1 Then all the chyldren of Israel went out: and there gathered al congregacyon together as it had bene but one man, euen from Dan to Berseba, and out of the land of Galaad, vnto the land to Marphah, Judges 20:2 and there stode folke oute of all quarters of al the trybes of Israell, in the congregacyon of the people of God, foure hundred thousande fote men that drewe swerdes. Judges 20:3 And the children of Beniamin heard that the chyldren of Israel were gone vp to Marphah. Then sayde the children of Israel: tell vs, how this wickednesse happened. Judges 20:4 And the Leuyte the womans husbande that was slayne, answered and sayde: I came into Gabaah þt is in Beniamin wyth my concubyne to lodge al nyghte. Judges 20:5 And the cytezens of Gabaah rose agaynste me, and set the house roundeaboute vpon me by nyghte, and thoughte to haue slayne me: and caughte my concubyne and forced her, that she dyed. Judges 20:6 And I toke my concubyne, and cut her in peces, and sent her thorow oute al the landes of the enheritaunce of Israel. For they haue committed abhomynacyon and folly in Israell. Judges 20:7 Beholde ye are all chyldren of Israel. Se therfore and geue your aduyse in the case.
The decree of the assembly.
Judges 20:8 Then all the people arose, as it had bene one man sayinge: there shal not a man of vs go to his tente, neither turne into his house. Judges 20:9 And now this is it that we wil do to Gabaah and cast lottes against it. Judges 20:10 And we wyll take ten men of the hundred thorow out al the trybes of Israel, and an hundred of the thousand, and a thousand out of the ten thousand, to fet vitayle for the people to make that they maye go againste Gabaah Beniamin, according to all the folye, that they haue wrought in Israel. Judges 20:11 And so all the men of Israel gathered together, vnto Gabaah, knyt together as it had bene but one man.
The Benjamites, being cited, make head against the Israelites.
Judges 20:12 And the tribe of the trybes of Israel sent men thorow al the tribe of Beniamin sayinge: what wyckednesse is this that is happened among you: Judges 20:13 Now therfore delyuer vs the men, those wycked wretches of Gabaah that we maye sley them, and put awaye euyl from Israel. Neuerthelater the children of Beniamin woulde not herken vnto the voice of their brethren the children of Israell: Judges 20:14 but gathered them selues together out of the cytyes vnto Gabaah, to come out in batayle against the children of Israel. Judges 20:15 And the chyldren of Beniamin were numbred at that tyme, out of the cytyes .xxvi. thousande men that drew swerdes beside the enhabiters of Gabaah, which were numbred seuen hundred chosen men. Judges 20:16 And among al these folke were seuen hundred lefte handed men, which euery one could fling stones at an hear breadeth, & not mysse. Judges 20:17 And the children of Israel besyde the children of Beniamin, were numbred foure hundred thousande men that drew swerdes, and al men of warre.
The Israelites in two battles lose forty thousand.
Judges 20:18 And the children of Israel arose & went vp to Bethel, and asked of God, who shoulde begynne to battel agaynste the children of Beniamin, and the Lorde sayd: Iuda shal beginne. Judges 20:19 And the children of Israel stode vp erlye and beseged Gabaah. Judges 20:20 And the men of Israel went out to battel agaynst Beniamin, & put them selues in araye agaynst them, to fight against Gabaah. Judges 20:21 And the children of Beniamin came oute of Gabaah and destroyed in Israell that daye .xxij. thousande men, and brought them to the earth. Judges 20:22 And the folcke of the children of Israell plucked vp their hertes, and went to agayne, and made battel in the same place where they dyd the fyrst daye: Judges 20:23 but they went fyrste vp & wept before the Lord vnto euen, and asked of the Lorde saying: shal we go againe to battel agaynste the children of Beniamin oure brethren? And the Lord sayde: go vnto them: Judges 20:24 and when the children of Israel were come to the chyldren of Beniamin the second day, Judges 20:25 the children of Beniamin went against them out of Gabaah, the second day, & destroyed to the earth of the children of Israel ones again .xviij.M. men that drew sweardes euery man of them.
They destroy by a stratagem all the Benjamites except six hundred.
Judges 20:26 Then the chyldren of Israell and all the people went vp and came vnto Bethel, and wepte and sat there before the Lorde, & fasted the same daye vnto euen, and offered burntofferinges and peace offeringes before the Lorde. Judges 20:27 And they asked the Lorde: for there was the arcke of the apoyntment of God, in those dayes. Judges 20:28 And Phinehes the sonne of Eleazar, the sonne of Aaron waytyng vpon it at that time, & they sayd: shal we go out any more to battel agaynst the children of Beniamin oure brethren, or shal we cease? And the Lord said go: for to morowe I wil deliuer them into youre handes. Judges 20:29 And Israell set layers awayte against Gabaah rounde about. Judges 20:30 And the children of Israel went against the chyldren of Beniamin the thirde tyme, and put them selues in araye against Gabaah, as twise before. Judges 20:31 Then came the children of Beniamin agaynst the people, tyll they were drawen a great way from the cytye. And they beganne to smyte of the people dead (as twyse before by two hye wayes of which one goeth vp to Bethel, and the other to Gabaah thorow the felde) vpon a thyrty men of Israel. Judges 20:32 For the children of Beniamin thoughte that the other had ben beaten before them, as at the fyrste tyme. But the children of Israell sayd: let vs flee and plucke them awaye from the cyty, vnto the hye wayes. Judges 20:33 And then al the men of Israel rose vp out of their standinge, and put them selues in aray at Baal Thamar. And lykewyse the layers in wayte of Israel came forth oute of their places, euen out of the medowes of Gabaah, Judges 20:34 and came before Gabaah: ten thousand chosen men oute of all Israell, and there was sore battel. But the other wiste not that euyll was so nye them. Judges 20:35 And the Lord plaged Beniamin before Israell, so that the chyldren of Israel destroyed in Beniamin the same daye .xxv. thousande and a hundred men, that drue swerdes euerye one of them. Judges 20:36 It semed the children of Beniamin, that the other had bene put to the worsse. For the men of Israell gaue Rome to Beniamin, because they trusted vnto the layers in wayte, which they had layde againste Gabaah. Judges 20:37 And the layers in wayte hasted and ranne vpon Gabaah, and went and smote al the cytye wyth the edge of the swerde. Judges 20:38 And the apoyntmente of the men of Israell wyth the layers in wayte to runne vpon Beniamin wyth the swerde, was when they shoulde make the smoke ryse vp oute of the cytye. Judges 20:39 And the men of Israell fleed in the battel. And Beniamin began to smyte dead of the chyldren of Israell, aboute a thyrtye personnes, for they supposed that the other had bene put to the worsse before them, as in the fyrste battel. Judges 20:40 Then began to aryse oute of the cytye, a pyller of smoke. And the Beniamytes loked backe: and beholde the wastynge of the hole cytye began to ascende vp to heauen. Judges 20:41 When the men of Israell turned agayne, the men of Beniamin were abasshed: for they saw that euel approched them. Judges 20:42 And they turned before the men of Israell vnto the waye that leadeth to the wildernesse; the other folowing them at the harde hilles. And besyde that they of the cytye destroyed them in the mydle of them. Judges 20:43 And they compassed Beniamin about, and chased them to Menuah, and ouerranne them before Gabaah on the eastsyde: Judges 20:44 & there were slayne of Beniamin .xviij. thousande, and all men of myghte. Judges 20:45 And they turned and fleed to the wildernesse warde & vnto the rocke of ponnegarnettes. And the other slue by the waye of the reste of them .v. thousande men, and sticked vnto them vntyll they came to Gadaam, and slue two thousand mo of them. Judges 20:46 So that al that were slayne that same daye of Beniamin were .xxv. thousand men that drue swerdes, and all men of mighte: Judges 20:47 onlye .vi. hundred men turned & fleed to the wildernesse, vnto þe Rocke of pomgarnettes and abode there .iiij. monethes. Judges 20:48 And then the men of Israel turned backe agayne vnto the children of Beniamin, and smote them wyth the edge of the swerde in the cyties both man and beast and all that came to hande, and moreouer set all the cytyes they coulde come by, on fyre.