Judges 20:42
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New International Version
So they fled before the Israelites in the direction of the wilderness, but they could not escape the battle. And the Israelites who came out of the towns cut them down there.

New Living Translation
So they turned around and fled before the Israelites toward the wilderness. But they couldn't escape the battle, and the people who came out of the nearby towns were also killed.

English Standard Version
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel in the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them. And those who came out of the cities were destroying them in their midst.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them while those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of them.

King James Bible
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 in the midst of them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They retreated before the men of Israel toward the wilderness, but the battle overtook them, and those who came out of the cities slaughtered those between them.

International Standard Version
So they turned tail and ran away from the army of Israel toward the wilderness, but they were overtaken in battle when soldiers came out from the cities to destroy them.

NET Bible
They retreated before the Israelites, taking the road to the wilderness. But the battle overtook them as men from the surrounding cities struck them down.

New Heart English Bible
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in its midst.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They turned in front of Israel toward the road to the desert. But the battle caught up with the men of Benjamin. Israel slaughtered whoever came out of the cities on the road to the desert.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and they that came out of the city destroyed them in the midst of the men of Israel.

New American Standard 1977
Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them while those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them, and those who came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and those who came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them.

American King James Version
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 middle of them.

American Standard Version
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and they that came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst thereof.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And began to go towards the way of the desert, the enemy pursuing them thither also. And they that fired the city came also out to meet them.

Darby Bible Translation
And they turned before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in their midst.

English Revised Version
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and they which came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst thereof.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in its midst.

Young's Literal Translation
and they turn before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness, and the battle hath followed them; and those who are from the city are destroying them in their midst;
Study Bible
Defeat of the Benjamites
41Then the men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were terrified; for they saw that disaster was close to them. 42Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them while those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of them. 43They surrounded Benjamin, pursued them without rest and trod them down opposite Gibeah toward the east.…
Cross References
Joshua 8:15
Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.

Joshua 8:24
Now when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field in the wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them were fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword.
Treasury of Scripture

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 middle of them.

the battle

Lamentations 1:3 Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of …

Hosea 9:9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: …

Hosea 10:9 O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood…

(42) Unto the way of the wilderness.--The wilderness is that known as "the wilderness of Bethaven" ( Joshua 18:12). It is described in Joshua 16 as "the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout Mount Bethel." (See Robinson, Bibl. Res. 1:572.) The first thought of fugitives in Eastern Palestine was to get to one of the fords of the Jordan (2Samuel 15:23; 2Kings 25:4-5).

Them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them.--This obscure clause is rendered differently in different versions. If the English Version be correct, as it probably is, the meaning must be that the Benjamites fled to their own cities, and were pursued thither and slain by the Israelites.

Verse 42. - Therefore they turned their backs, etc. The narrative now at length advances one step. The result of the Benjamites finding themselves between the ambushment and the army of Israel was that they took to flight in an easterly direction (ver. 43) toward the wilderness, i.e. the wilderness described in Joshua 16:1 as "the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout Mount Bethel," where the direction of the wilderness relative to Ephraim is also described as being "on the east." In like manner Zedekiah fled towards the plain (arabah) or plains of Jericho - a term nearly synonymous with wilderness (2 Kings 25:4, 5). Them which came out of the cities, etc. This is a very obscure passage, and is very variously explained. Those which came out of the cities must be the same as are so described in ver. 15, and designates the Benjamites who were not inhabitants of Gibeah. The simplest way, therefore, to understand the passage is to render it without reference to the accents: "And the battle overtook him and those that were from the cities (i.e. the men of Gibeah and the rest of the Benjamites), destroying him (the whole Benjamite army) in the midst of him," i.e. going right into the midst of them, and destroying right and left. Some, however, render it in the midst of it, i.e. of the wilderness. The plural participle destroying agrees with the singular noun of multitude, the battle or war, meaning all the men of war. Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel,.... And fled from them:

unto the way of the wilderness; what wilderness is not certain, perhaps the wilderness of Judah; they did not turn directly back towards Gibeah, perceiving that was taken, and in the hands of a body of men that would meet them, and therefore they turned on one side towards the wilderness, if happily they could make their escape thither, and shelter themselves:

but the battle overtook them; that is, they that made war, as the Targum, the Israelites that were engaged in battle with them pursued them, and overtook them:

and them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them; either the Israelites that came out of their cities to assist their brethren destroyed the Benjaminites as they fled, or the Benjaminites who came out of other cities to Gibeah, these were destroyed in the midst of it with the inhabitants, by the liers in wait, when they entered it. 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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OT History: Judges 20:42 Therefore they turned their backs before (Jd Judg. Jdg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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