Judges 20:35
And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel: and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these drew the sword.
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(35) Destroyed of the Benjamites . . .—Here again we have a summary of the final result, followed by details, in a manner which proves either that the narrative was compiled from various sources (one of which seems to have been a poem), or that it was penned before the “periodic style” of history (lexis katestrammene) had been invented. If written consecutively, and not compiled, the writer must have been one whose method bore the same resemblance to that of later writers, as the style of Hellanicus did to that of Herodotus and Thucydides. It is the style to which Roman writers would have applied the epithet inconditus—the style of the oldest annals. Judges 20:36-46 are not, as has been conjectured by some writers, necessarily a different account of the battle, but contain a loose assemblage of details, which has been added to explain the general result.

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.Baal-tamar is only mentioned here. It took its name from some palm-tree that grew there; perhaps the same as the "palm-tree of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel" Judges 4:5, the exact locality here indicated, since "the highway" Judges 20:31 along which the Israelites enticed the Benjamites to pursue them, leads straight to Ramah, which lay only a mile beyond the point where the two ways branch off.

The meadows of Gibeah - The word rendered "meadow" is only found here. According to its etymology, it ought to mean a "bare open place", which is particularly unsuitable for an ambush. However, by a change in the vowel-points, without any alteration in the letters, it becomes the common word for "a cavern".

34. there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men—This was a third division, different both from the ambuscade and the army, who were fighting at Baal-tamar. The general account stated in Jud 20:35 is followed by a detailed narrative of the battle, which is continued to the end of the chapter. This is the total sum, whereof the particulars are related Judges 20:11,45; and for the odd hundred not there mentioned, they were killed in other places not there expressed.

And the Lord smote Benjamin before Israel,.... Gave Israel the victory over them at Baaltamar; for notwithstanding all the art and stratagem they used, their numbers and their valour, victory was of the Lord, and to him it is ascribed; for until now Benjamin, though fewer in number, had been always victorious; and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjaminites that day 25,100; which is the total sum of all that were slain of them that day, the particulars of which are afterwards given:

all these drew the sword; were armed men.

And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel: and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these drew the sword.
35. As elsewhere the account of the battle is brought to an end with a summing up of the numbers slain, Jdg 20:21; Jdg 20:25; Jdg 20:46, Jdg 3:29, Joshua 8:25. For the numbers see on Jdg 20:15. This later source B, it is to be noted, ascribes the victory to the direct interference of Jehovah; cf. 2 Chronicles 13:15; 2 Chronicles 14:12, where the same verb smote occurs.

Judges 20:35And Jehovah smote Benjamin before Israel (according to His promise in Judges 20:28), so that the Israelites destroyed of Benjamin on that day twenty and five thousand and an hundred men (i.e., twenty-five thousand and upwards).

This was the result of the battle, which the historian gives at once, before entering more minutely into the actual account of the battle itself. He does this in Judges 20:36-46 in a series of explanations, of which one is attached to the other, for the most part in the form of circumstantial clauses, so that it is not till Judges 20:46 that he again comes to the result already announced in Judges 20:35.

(Note: The opinions expressed by De Wette, etc. that Judges 20:35 is spurious, and by Bertheau, that Judges 20:36-46 contain a different account of the battle, simply prove that they have overlooked this peculiarity in the Hebrew mode of writing history, viz., that the generally result of any occurrence is given as early as possible, and then the details follow afterwards; whilst these critics have not succeeded in adducing even apparent differences in support of their opinions.)

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