Judges 20:41
And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come on them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(41) And when the men of Israel turned again.—Another detail of the rally described in Judges 20:33, and its effect (Judges 20:34).

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. The men of Benjamin were amazed, because of their great disappointment, and the present danger wherewith they were surrounded on every side. And when the men of Israel turned again,.... Turned their faces to the Benjaminites, on whom they had turned their backs; and which they did on hearing the sound of the trumpet, or seeing the flame of the city, or both, and that in order to fight the Benjaminites, and smite them, as now was their opportunity:

the men of Benjamin were amazed; at this strange and sudden change of things, at the sight of the flame of their city behind them, and at the Israelites turning back to fight them, when they thought themselves sure of victory, as at other times:

for they saw that evil was come upon them; that they were in the utmost danger, between two fires, as we usually say, liers in wait behind them, which had seized their city and burnt it, and the army of Israel turning upon them with great spirit and resolution.

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

(t) And withstood their enemies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
41. amazed] An archaism in English, for bewildered; cf. St Mark 10:32, 1 Peter 3:6 (AV., contrast RV.).And 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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