Judges 20:37
And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait drew themselves along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.
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(37) Results of the ambuscade. (Comp. Joshua 8:15; Joshua 8:19-20.)

Drew themselves along.—The marginal suggestion, made a long sound with the trumpet, is untenable (See Judges 4:6.)

With The edge of the sword.—See Judges 1:8; Joshua 8:24.

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. Drew themselves along, or, extended themselves, i.e. whereas before they lay close and contracted into a narrow compass, now they spread themselves, and marched in rank and file, as armies do. Or, marched or went, Heb. drew their feet. So this verb is oft, used, as Genesis 37:28 Exodus 12:21 Judges 4:6 Job 21:33.

And the liers in wait hasted,.... When the time was come agreed upon for them to rise out of their ambush:

and rushed upon Gibeah; at unawares, with great force and violence entered the city, and took possession of it; or "extended" (x), or spread themselves unto it; before they lay close in a narrow compass, but now they put themselves in a regular order, and marched rank and file, and reached from the meadows in which they were, Judges 20:33, to the city:

and the liers in wait drew themselves along; along the city, in every part of it, spread themselves all over it, and made themselves masters of every corner of it; or "made a long sound" (y) with a trumpet, protracted that to a great length, which was done to terrify the inhabitants, or to let the Israelites know they were possessed of the city:

and smote all the city with the edge of the sword; old men, women, and children, who were not able to bear arms.

(x) "extenderunt se", Tigurine version. (y) "pertraxerunt buccinae sonitum", Paguninus; so Jarchi and Limchi.

And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait drew themselves along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.
37. hasted and rushed] as did the ambush at Ai, Joshua 8:19; but the words are different. See Jdg 9:33 n.

drew themselves along
] Cf. Jdg 4:6. But the massacre of the inhabitants anticipates the signal; the destruction of the city does not begin till the smoke is seen to rise. This half of the verse appears to be a gloss on cl. a, added by some reader who wanted to make rushed upon Gibeah more explicit.

Judges 20:37The Benjaminites, for instance, saw (this is the proper rendering of ויּראוּ with vav consec., which merely indicates the order of thought, not that of time) that they were beaten, and the man of Israel vacated the field before Benjamin (מקום נתן, to give place by falling back and flying), because they relied upon the ambush which they had placed against Gibeah. The Benjaminites did not perceive this till the ambush fell upon their rear. But the ambush itself, as is added in Judges 20:37 by way of further explanation, hastened and fell (fell as quickly as possible) into Gibeah, and went thither and smote the whole town with the edge of the sword. To this there is added the further explanation in Judges 20:38 : "And the arrangement of the Israelites with the ambush was this: multiply, to cause smoke-rising to ascend (i.e., cause a great cloud of smoke to ascend) out of the city." The only objection that can be raised to this view of הרב, as the imperative Hiphil of רבה, is the suffix ם-attached to להעלותם, since this is unsuitable to a direct address. This suffix can only be explained by supposing that there is an admixture of two constructions, the direct appeal, and the indirect explanation, that they were to cause to ascend. If this be not admitted, however, we can only follow Studer, and erase the suffix as an error of the pen occasioned by the following word משׂאת; for the other course suggested by Bertheau, namely that הרב should be struck out as a gloss, is precluded by the circumstance that there is no possible way of explaining the interpolation of so apparently unsuitable a word into the text. It certainly stood in the text used by the lxx, though they have most foolishly confounded הרב with חרב, and rendered it μάχαιρα.
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