Judges 20:3
(Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then said the children of Israel, Tell us, how was this wickedness?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Heard.—Probably the Benjamites had received the same summons as the other tribes (see Judges 19:29), but insolently refused to notice the summons.

Tell us.—Literally, Tell ye us. The request is addressed to any who could give the necessary information.

Jdg 20:3. The children of Benjamin heard — Like persons unconcerned and resolved, they neither went nor sent thither: partly through their own pride and stubbornness; partly because, as they were loath to give up any of their brethren to justice, so they presumed the other tribes would never proceed to war against them; and partly from a divine infatuation, hardening that wicked tribe to their own destruction. Tell us — They speak to the Levite, and his servant, and his host, who doubtless were present upon this occasion.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.The chief - literally, "the corner stones." (Compare 1 Samuel 14:38.) 3. Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh—Some suppose that Benjamin had been passed over, the crime having been perpetrated within the territory of that tribe [Jud 19:16]; and that, as the concubine's corpse had been divided into twelve pieces [Jud 19:29]—two had been sent to Manasseh, one respectively to the western and eastern divisions. It is more probable that Benjamin had received a formal summons like the other tribes, but chose to treat it with indifference, or haughty disdain. The children of Benjamin heard; like persons unconcerned and resolved, they neither went nor sent thither; partly, from their own pride, and stubbornness, and self-confidence; partly, because as they were loth to give up any of their brethren to justice, so they presumed the other tribes would never proceed to a war against them; and partly, from a Divine infatuation hardening that wicked tribe to their own destruction.

Tell us; the verb is of the plural number, because they speak to the Levite, and his servant, and his host, who doubtless were present upon this occasion. Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh,.... Having no doubt the same notice the rest of the tribes had; but the thing complained of being done in their tribe, and by some of it, they might be willing to screen the delinquents, or were careless about and indifferent to the case, and secure and easy, as imagining their brethren would never go to war with them about it; or were proud and haughty, and would pay no regard to the summons given them:

then said the children of Israel, tell us, how was this wickedness? proclamation was made in the assembly, that if any person there knew anything of this shocking affair, and horrid iniquity, which was the occasion of their meeting together, that they would rise up and declare what was the cause of it, how it came about, and by whom it was done; or they addressed themselves particularly to the Levite, and his host, and his servant, who might all be upon the spot to bear witness in this case, as it is certain the former of them was, who upon this stood up, and spoke as follows.

(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.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. The first half of the verse interrupts the connexion with Jdg 20:1 d; it would be in place before Jdg 20:14. The displacement was no doubt caused by the insertion of Jdg 20:2; Jdg 20:9-13 into the older narrative.

And the children of Israel etc.] Here follows A’s report of what happened at the meeting: the evidence of the Levite is heard. In B the assembly does not ask for evidence; their righteous indignation has been roused, and they proceed to act at once, Jdg 20:9 ff.Verse 3. - The children of Benjamin heard, etc. This seems to be mentioned to show that the absence of the Benjamites from the national council was not from ignorance, but from contumacy. Tell as, etc. This was addressed to all whom it might concern. The Levite answered. There her husband found her, when he opened the house-door to go his way (having given up all thought of receiving her back again from the barbarous crowd), "lying before the house-door, and her hands upon the threshold" (i.e., with outstretched arms), and giving no answer to his word, having died, that is to say, in consequence of the ill-treatment of the night. He then took the corpse upon his ass to carry it to his place, i.e., to his home.
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