1423 to 1383 B.C.
Judges 20)

1: Then (these chapters [20,21], by Fig. Hysterologia, describe events which took place soon after Joshua's death. See 18:1 and 19:1) all the sons of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man (all this excitement, unanimity, and bloodshed about an injury done to a woman; no sense of the evil of idolatry and sin against God, recorded in ch. 19), from Dan even to Beer-sheba, with the land of Gilead, to the Lord in Mizpeh.
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 (ha-’Elohim = the true God. See note on 18:31), four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword.
3: {Now the sons of Benjamin heard that the sons of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh (on the south-west border of Benjamin, not Mizpah on the east of Jordan [10:17; 11:11,29]).} Then said the sons of Israel, “Tell us, how was this wickedness?”

4: And the Levite (Heb. "the man, the Levite"), the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said, “I came into Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.
5: And the men (= masters or head-men) of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they forced, that she is dead.
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.
7: Behold, you all are all sons of Israel; give here your advice and counsel.”

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.
9: But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it;
10: And we will take ten men of an hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual 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.”
11: So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.

12-46. The Civil War.

C  E  12-14. Negotiations.
    F  15,16. Army of Benjamites.
    F  17. Army of Israelites.
   E  18-46. Hostilities.

12-14. Negotiations.

E  e  12. Expostulation.
    f  13-. Requisition.
    f  -13. Refusal.
   e  14. Preparation.

12: And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What wickedness is this that is done among you?

13: Now therefore deliver us the men, the sons of Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel.”

But the sons of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel:

14: But the sons of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the sons of Israel.”

15: And the sons of Benjamin were numbered at that time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered seven hundred chosen men.
16: Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left-handed (Heb. lame, or bound, in his right hand); every one could sling stones at a hair, and not miss.

17: And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these were men of war.

18-46. Hostilities.

E  G¹  18-25. Unsuccessful.
   G²  26-46. Successful.

18-25. Unsuccessful.

G¹  g  i  18. Inquiry.
        k  19,20. Array.
         h  21. Slain of Israel (22,000).
    g   k  22. Array.
       i  23. Inquiry.
         h  24,25. Slain of Israel (18,000).

18: And the sons 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 sons of Benjamin?” And the Lord said, “Judah shall go up first.”

19: And the sons 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 put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah.

21: And the sons of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men.

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.

23: {And the sons of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until evening (at Shiloh [18:31]), and asked counsel of the Lord (by Phinehas, with Urim and Thummin. Cp. v.28, and see Ex. 28:30. Num. 26:55), saying, “Shall I go up again to battle against the sons of Benjamin my brother?” And the Lord said, “Go up against him.”}

24: And the sons of Israel came near against the sons of Benjamin the second day.
25: And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the sons of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword.

26-26. Successful.

G²  H¹  26-28. Promise.
    H²  29-46. Fulfillment.

26: Then all the sons of Israel, and all the People, went up, and came to the house of God (not to be rendered "Beth-el" as in Sept., Syr., for the house of God was in Shiloh [18:31], also the camp of Israel [21:12]), and wept, and sat there before the Lord, and fasted that day until even, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
27: And the sons of Israel inquired of the Lord, {for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
28: And Phinehas (the grandson of Aaron, the contemporary of Jonathan the grandson of Moses [18:30]. This is the only mention of the high priest throughout the book), the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, stood before it in those days,} saying, “Shall I yet again go out to battle against the sons of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease?” And the Lord said, “Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.”

29-46. Fulfilment.

H²  J  29-33. Ambushcade.
     K  34-37. Defeat.
    J  38-41. Ambushcade.
     K  42-46. Defeat.

29-33. Ambushcade.

J  l  29. Ambushcade.
    m  30. Array.
     n  31,32-. Slain of Israel (30).
    m  -32,33-. Pretended fight.
   l  -33. Ambushcade.

29: And Israel set liers in wait round about Gibeah.

30: And the sons of Israel went up against the sons of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.

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 goes up to Beth-el, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel.
32: And the sons of Benjamin said, “They are smitten down before us, as at the first.”

But the sos of Israel said, “Let us flee, and draw them from the city unto the highways.”
33: And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baal-tamar (= lord of the palm trees):

and the liers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows (probably = forest) of Gibeah.

34-37. Defeat.

K  o  34-. Attack by ambushade.
    p  -34. Danger unknown.
     q  35. Slain of Benjamites (25,000).
    p  36. Danger known.
   o  37. Attack by ambushade.

34: And there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was sore:

but they knew not that evil was near them.

35: And the Lord smote Benjamin before Israel: and the sons of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these drew the sword.

36: So the sons of Benjamin saw that they were smitten: for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjamites, because they trusted (confided or placed hope in) to the liers in wait which they had set beside Gibeah.

37: And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait marched forward, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.

38-41. Ambushade.

J  r  38. Signal arranged.
    s  39. Slain of Isral.
   r  40. Signal given.
    s  41. Amazement of Benjamites.

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 rise up out of the city.

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.”

40: But when the flame began to arise up out of the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and, behold, the flame of the city (= the whole city, or the holocaust of the city) ascended up to heaven.

41: And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon them.

4246. Defeat.

K  t  42-. Flight.
    u  -42-44. Slain of Benjamites.
   t  45-. Flight.
    u  -45,46. Slain of Benjamites.

42: Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them;

and them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them.
43: Thus they enclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and tread them down with ease as far as over against Gibeah toward the sun-rising.
44: And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valor.

45: And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto 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.
46: So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these were men of valor.

47–21:24. Regret.

D  v  20:47. The 600 fugitives (Rimmon).
    w  x  20:48. Destruction of others.
        y  21:1-12. First expedient.
   v  21:13-15. The 600 fugitives (Rimmon).
    w   y  21:16-23-. Second expedient.
       x  21:-23,24. Reparation.

47: But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness to the rock Rimmon (= pomegranate), and abode in the rock Rimmon four months.

48: And the men of Israel turned again upon the sons of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well every one of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to.

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