The Levite in a general assembly declareth his wrong.
Judges 20:1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was assembled as one man, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, with the land of Gilead, to the LORD in Mizpeh. Judges 20:2 And the chief of all the people, [even] of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword. Judges 20:3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then said the children of Israel, Tell [us], how was this wickedness? Judges 20:4 And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said, I came into Gibeah that [belongeth] to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge. Judges 20:5 And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house upon me by night, [and] thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they forced, that she is dead. Judges 20:6 And 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 folly in Israel. Judges 20:7 Behold, ye [are] all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel.
The decree of the assembly.
Judges 20:8 And all the people arose as one man, saying, We will not any [of us] go to his tent, neither will we any [of us] turn into his house: Judges 20:9 But now this [shall be] the thing which we will do to Gibeah: [we will go up] by lot against it; Judges 20:10 And we will take ten men of a hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch provisions for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel. Judges 20:11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, 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 all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness [is] this that is done among you? Judges 20:13 Now therefore deliver [us] the men, the children of Belial, who [are] in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and banish evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren, the children of Israel: Judges 20:14 But the children of Benjamin assembled out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel. Judges 20:15 And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men. Judges 20:16 Among all this people [there were] seven hundred chosen men left-handed; every one could sling stones to a hair-[breadth], and not miss. Judges 20:17 And the men of Israel, besides Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these [were] men of war.
The Israelites in two battles lose forty thousand.
Judges 20:18 And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, 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. Judges 20:19 And the children of Israel rose in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah. Judges 20:20 And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah. Judges 20:21 And the children of Benjamin came forth from Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men. Judges 20:22 And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day. Judges 20:23 (And the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until evening, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.) Judges 20:24 And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day. Judges 20:25 And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen 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 up, and came to the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the LORD. Judges 20:27 And the children of Israel inquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God [was] there in those days, Judges 20:28 And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to-morrow I will deliver them into thy hand. Judges 20:29 And Israel set liers in wait around Gibeah. Judges 20:30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times. Judges 20:31 And the children of Benjamin went out against the people, [and] were drawn away from the city; and they began to smite of the people, [and] kill, as at other times, in the highways, of which one goeth up to the house of God, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel. Judges 20:32 And the children of Benjamin said, They [are] smitten down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city to the highways. Judges 20:33 And all the men of Israel rose out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baal-tamar: and the liers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, [even] out of the meadows of Gibeah. Judges 20:34 And there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was severe: but they knew not that evil [was] near them. Judges 20:35 And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel: and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjaminites that day twenty and five thousand and a hundred men: all these drew the sword. Judges 20:36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten: for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjaminites, because they trusted to the liers in wait which they had set beside Gibeah. Judges 20:37 And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait drew [themselves] along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword. Judges 20:38 Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make a great flame with smoke to rise from the city. Judges 20:39 And when the men of Israel retired in the battle, Benjamin began to smite [and] kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons: for they said, Surely they are smitten down before us, as [in] the first battle. Judges 20:40 But when the flame began to rise from the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjaminites looked behind them, and behold, the flame of the city ascended to heaven. Judges 20:41 And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil had come upon them. Judges 20:42 Therefore they turned [their backs] before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and them who [came] out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them. Judges 20:43 [Thus] they inclosed the Benjaminites on all sides, [and] chased them, [and] trod them down with ease over against Gibeah towards the sun-rising. Judges 20:44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these [were] men of valor. Judges 20:45 And they turned and fled towards the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men; and pursued hard after them to Gidom, and slew two thousand men of them. Judges 20:46 So that all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these [were] men of valor. Judges 20:47 But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness to the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months. Judges 20:48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of [every] city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to.