Judges 20
King James 2000

The War Against the Benjamites

1Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the LORD in Mizpah.

2And 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.

3(Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpah.) Then said the children of Israel, Tell us, how did this wickedness happen?

4And 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.

5And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about me by night, and thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they so ravished, that she is dead.

6And 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 abomination in Israel.

7Behold, you are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel.

8And 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.

9But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it;

10And 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 bring food for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the abomination that they have done in Israel.

11So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united together as one man.

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

13Now therefore deliver us the men, the children of Belial, who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel:

14But the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel.

15And the children of Benjamin numbered at that time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who numbered seven hundred chosen men.

16Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men, left-handed; every one could sling stones at a hair's breadth, and not miss.

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

18And 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.

19And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.

20And 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.

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

22And 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 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.)

Defeat of the Benjamites

24And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.

25And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and cut down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword.

26Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto 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.

27And the children of Israel inquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,

28And 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 tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.

29And Israel set men in ambush round about Gibeah.

30And 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.

31And the children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to strike the people, and kill, as at other times, in the highways, by which one goes up to the house of God, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel.

32And the children of Benjamin said, They are struck down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city unto the highways.

33And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baaltamar: and the men in ambush from Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah.

34And there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was fierce: but Benjamin knew not that evil was near them.

35And the LORD defeated Benjamin before Israel: and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty and five thousand and a hundred men: all these drew the sword.

36So the children of Benjamin saw that they were defeated: for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjamites, because they trusted unto the men in ambush which they had set beside Gibeah.

37And the men in ambush hastened, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the men in ambush moved out, and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.

38Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the men in ambush, that they should make a great flame with smoke rising up out of the city.

39And when the men of Israel retreated in the battle, Benjamin began to strike and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons: for they said, Surely they are struck down before us, as in the first battle.

40But 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 ascended up to heaven.

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

42Therefore 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.

43Thus they surrounded the Benjamites, and chased them, and trod them down with ease opposite Gibeah toward the east.

44And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valor.

45And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of Rimmon: and they cut down of them in the highways five thousand men; and pursued hard after them unto Gidom, and slew two thousand men of them.

46So that all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these were men of valor.

47But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months.

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

Judges 19
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