Judges 20:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, "Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?" The LORD replied, "Judah shall go first."

New Living Translation
Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God, "Which tribe should go first to attack the people of Benjamin?" The LORD answered, "Judah is to go first."

English Standard Version
The people of Israel arose and went up to Bethel and inquired of God, “Who shall go up first for us to fight against the people of Benjamin?” And the LORD said, “Judah shall go up first.”

New American Standard Bible
Now the sons of Israel arose, went up to Bethel, and inquired of God and said, "Who shall go up first for us to battle against the sons of Benjamin?" Then the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They set out, went to Bethel, and inquired of God. The Israelites asked, "Who is to go first to fight for us against the Benjaminites?" And the LORD answered, "Judah will be first."

International Standard Version
The Israelis mounted up, traveled to Bethel, and asked God what to do. They said, "Who is to lead us in our opening attack against the descendants of Benjamin?" The LORD replied, "Judah is to open the attack."

NET Bible
The Israelites went up to Bethel and asked God, "Who should lead the charge against the Benjaminites?" The LORD said, "Judah should lead."

New Heart English Bible
The children of Israel arose, and went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of God; and they said, "Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin?" The LORD said, "Judah will go up first."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The men of Israel went to Bethel. They asked God, "Who will go first to fight Benjamin?" The LORD answered, "Judah will go first."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the children of Israel arose, and went up to Beth-el, and asked counsel of God; and they said: 'Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin?' And the LORD said: 'Judah first.'

New American Standard 1977
Now the sons of Israel arose, went up to Bethel, and inquired of God, and said, “Who shall go up first for us to battle against the sons of Benjamin?” Then the LORD said, “Judah shall go up first.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then 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.

King James 2000 Bible
And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, Who of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
And the children of Israel arose, and went up to Beth-el, and asked counsel of God; and they said, Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin? And Jehovah said, Judah'shall go up first.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they arose and came to the house of God, that is, to Silo: and they consulted God, and said: Who shall be in our army the first to go to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord answered them: Let Juda be your leader.

Darby Bible Translation
And the children of Israel arose and went up to Bethel, and inquired of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And Jehovah said, Judah first.

English Revised Version
And the children of Israel arose, and went up to Beth-el, and asked counsel of God; and they said, Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
The children of Israel arose, and went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of God; and they said, "Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin?" Yahweh said, "Judah [shall go up] first."

Young's Literal Translation
And they rise and go up to Beth-El, and ask of God, and the sons of Israel say, 'Who doth go up for us at the commencement to battle with the sons of Benjamin?' and Jehovah saith, 'Judah -- at the commencement.'
Study Bible
Civil War against Benjamin
17Then the men of Israel besides Benjamin were numbered, 400,000 men who draw the sword; all these were men of war. 18Now the sons of Israel arose, went up to Bethel, and inquired of God and said, "Who shall go up first for us to battle against the sons of Benjamin?" Then the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first." 19So the sons of Israel arose in the morning and camped against Gibeah.…
Cross References
Numbers 27:21
"Moreover, he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD. At his command they shall go out and at his command they shall come in, both he and the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation."

Judges 20:17
Then the men of Israel besides Benjamin were numbered, 400,000 men who draw the sword; all these were men of war.

Judges 20:19
So the sons of Israel arose in the morning and camped against Gibeah.

Judges 20:23
The sons of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until evening, and inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall we again draw near for battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin?" And the LORD said, "Go up against him."

Judges 20:27
The sons of Israel inquired of the LORD (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
Treasury of Scripture

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.

house of

Judges 18:31 And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, all the …

Judges 19:18 And he said to him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the …

Joshua 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together …

Joel 1:14 Sanctify you a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and …

asked

Judges 20:7,23,26,27 Behold, you are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel…

Judges 1:1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children …

Numbers 27:5,21 And Moses brought their cause before the LORD…

Joshua 9:14 And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the …

Judah

Judges 1:1,2 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children …

Genesis 49:8-10 Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise: your hand shall …

(18) To the house of God.--Rather, to Bethel (as in the LXX., Syriac, Arabic, and Chaldee). The reason why our translators adopted their translation is shown by the Vulgate, which renders it "to the house of God that is in Shiloh." But Beth El cannot mean "house of God," which is always either Beth ha-Elohim or Beth Adonai (house of the Lord). Why they did not meet at the more central Shiloh we cannot say.

Asked counsel of God.--Namely, by the Urim and Thummim. Apparently the high priest was not prevented by any scruple from taking the ephod, with its jewelled breastplate and Urim and Thummim, to any place where its use was needed. The ark was similarly carried from place to place, and had been brought (Judges 20:27) to the venerable sanctuary of Bethel with the high priest. It is not necessary to suppose that the tabernacle was itself removed. It may have been--for Shiloh was never understood to be more than its temporary resting-place. Bethel--as being a sacred place and near Gibeah--would be a convenient place of rendezvous.

Which of us . . .?--Judges 1:1-2.

Judah . . . first.--This is remarkable as indicating that the Urim and Thummim were something more than a pair of lots, and that the questions with which God was consulted by its means were other than those which admitted a mere positive or negative answer.

Verse 18. - The house of God. In this rendering the A.V. follows the Vulgate, which has in demure Dei, hoc est, in Silo. But the Septuagint has Βαιθὴλ, and all the ancient authorities, as well as modern commentators, generally agree in rendering it Bethel. The reason, which seems a conclusive one, for so doing is that the Hebrew בית אל invariably means Bethel, and that the house of God is always expressed in Hebrew by בית האלהים (beth-ha-elohim). The conclusion is that at this time the ark of God, with the tabernacle, was at Bethel, which was only seven or eight miles from Shiloh. Bethel would be eight or ten miles from Gibeah, i.e. about half way between Shiloh and Gibeah. Asked counsel. The same phrase as Judges 1:1, where it is rendered simply asked (see note to Judges 1:1, and vers. 23, 47). In following this precedent the Israelites put the men of Gibeah on the footing of the Canaanite inhabitants of the land. With reference to ver. 9, it is worth considering whether this is not the fulfilment of the purpose there expressed by the Israelites, to go up against Gibeah by lot; either by understanding that the answer asked was given by a Divinely-directed lot, according to which Judah's turn came first (see Joshua 7:14-18; 1 Samuel 14:41; Acts 1:24-26; etc.), or by taking the expression by lot in a wider sense, as meaning generally Divine direction. And the children of Israel arose,.... From Mizpeh, where they were assembled, having heard that the Benjaminites were gathered together to defend the men of Gibeah:

and went up to the house of God; to the tabernacle which was in Shiloh, Judges 18:31, see Joshua 18:1 though the Targum takes Bethel for the name of a place so called; and so do Ben Gersom and Josephus (p), which was near Shiloh, for Shiloh is said to be on the north side of Bethel, Judges 21:19 but as there is no reason to believe the tabernacle was now removed from Shiloh thither, so it is not likely they would go to any other place but where the tabernacle ark, and high priest were:

and asked counsel of God; before Phinehas the high priest, according to the judgment of Urim and Thummim, Judges 20:28.

and said which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? there being no supreme magistrate, judge, or general, to lead them; they did not ask whether they should go to war or no with their brethren; they made no doubt of that, taking it for granted they had sufficient reason for so doing, and that it was according to the will of God; nor did they inquire whether they should be victorious or not, they made no doubt of being victorious, both from their superior numbers, and the justness of their cause; they only inquire who should lead them on, having no general; and this they might do, to prevent any contentions among them about being precedence:

and the Lord said, Judah shall go up first: which tribe pitched their standard first about the tabernacle, and marched first in their journeys in the wilderness, and was ordered to go up first and fight the Canaanites, being a powerful and warlike tribe.

(p) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 2. sect. 10.) Jud 20:18-28. The Israelites Lose Forty Thousand.

18-28. the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God—This consultation at Shiloh was right. But they ought to have done it at the commencement of their proceedings. Instead of this, all their plans were formed, and never doubting, it would seem, that the war was just and inevitable, the only subject of their inquiry related to the precedency of the tribes—a point which it is likely was discussed in the assembly. Had they asked counsel of God sooner, their expedition would have been conducted on a different principle—most probably by reducing the number of fighting men, as in the case of Gideon's army. As it was, the vast number of volunteers formed an excessive and unwieldy force, unfit for strenuous and united action against a small, compact, and well-directed army. A panic ensued, and the confederate tribes, in two successive engagements, sustained great losses. These repeated disasters (notwithstanding their attack on Benjamin had been divinely authorized) overwhelmed them with shame and sorrow. Led to reflection, they became sensible of their guilt in not repressing their national idolatries, as well as in too proudly relying on their superior numbers and the precipitate rashness of this expedition. Having humbled themselves by prayer and fasting, as well as observed the appointed method of expiating their sins, they were assured of acceptance as well as of victory. The presence and services of Phinehas on this occasion help us to ascertain the chronology thus far, that the date of the occurrence must be fixed shortly after the death of Joshua.17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God's favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.
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Alphabetical: against and arose battle Benjamin Benjamites Bethel fight first for go God inquired Israel Israelites Judah LORD Now of replied said shall sons The Then They to up us went Who

OT History: Judges 20:18 The children of Israel arose and went (Jd Judg. Jdg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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