20:1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and the
congregation was gathered together as a one man, from Dan
even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the b
LORD in Mizpeh.
(a) That is, all with one consent.
(b) To ask counsel.
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 c drew
(c) Meaning, men able to handle their weapons.
20:3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of
Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then d said the children
of Israel, Tell [us], how was this wickedness?
(d) To the Levite.
20:6 And I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent
e her throughout all the country of the inheritance of
Israel: for they have committed lewdness and folly in
(e) That is, her pieces, to every tribe a piece,
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 f house.
(f) Before we have avenged this wickedness.
20:10 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 g 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.
(g) Only these would be charged to provide food for the
20:12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the h
tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness [is] this that
is done among you?
(h) That is, every family of the tribe.
20:13 Now therefore deliver [us] the men, the children of
Belial, which [are] in Gibeah, that we may put them to
death, and put away evil from Israel. But the children of
Benjamin i would not hearken to the voice of their
brethren the children of Israel:
(i) Because they would not allow the wicked to be
punished, they declared themselves in agreement with
their evil, and therefore all were justly punished.
20:18 And the children of Israel arose, and went up k 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.
(k) That is, to the ark, which was in Shiloh some think in
Mizpeh, as in (Jdg 20:1).
20:21 And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and
destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day
l twenty and two thousand men.
(l) This God permitted because by this means he would
punish their sins, by the strength of the Israelites.
20:27 And the children of Israel enquired of the LORD, (for the
ark of the covenant of God [was] m there in those days,
(m) That is, in Shiloh.
20:28 And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, n
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 thine hand.
(n) Or, served in the priest's office in those days: for
the Jews write that he lived three hundred years.
20:31 And the children of Benjamin went out against the people,
[and] were o 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
(o) By the policy of the children of Israel.
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 unto the
(p) Meaning, crossways or paths to various places.
20:34 And there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out
of all Israel, and the battle was sore: but they knew not
that q evil [was] near them.
(q) They did not know that God's judgment was at hand to
20:36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten:
for the men of Israel r gave place to the Benjamites,
because they trusted unto the liers in wait which they had
set beside Gibeah.
(r) Retired to draw them after.
20:39 And when the men of Israel retired in the battle, Benjamin
began to s 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.
(s) For they had grown bold because of the two former
20:41 And when the men of Israel turned t again, the men of
Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon
(t) And withstood their enemies.
20:42 Therefore they turned [their backs] before the men of
Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle
overtook them; and them which [came] out of the cities
they destroyed u in the midst of them.
(u) For they were surrounded from every side.
20:45 And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the
rock of Rimmon: and they x gleaned of them in the
highways five thousand men; and pursued hard after them
unto Gidom, and slew two thousand men of them.
x They slew them one by one, as they were scattered
20:46 So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were y
twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all
these [were] men of valour.
(y) Besides eleven hundred that had been slain in the
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 z cities
that they came to.