Judges 20:43
Thus they inclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down with ease over against Gibeah toward the sunrising.
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(43) A strong and poetic description of the total rout and massacre which ensued.

With ease.—There is no “with” in the Hebrew, but perhaps it may be understood. The LXX. and Luther make it mean “from Noria.” Others render it “in their rest,” i.e., in the places to which they fled for refuge. The Vulg. paraphrases it: “Nor was there any repose of the dying.” But the whole verse is obscure.

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 language and construction of this verse is poetical; it seems to be an extract from a song, and to describe, in the language of poetry, the same event which the preceding verse described in that of prose.

With ease - Or "rest" Numbers 10:33; Psalm 95:11. The expression is very obscure. The margin takes it as the name of a place.

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. With ease; without great difficulty. Now that God gave them his presence and assistance, they easily did that which before they found too hard for them. Or, unto Menuchah; or, as far as Menuchah; a place so called. See 1 Chronicles 2:52 Jeremiah 51:59.

Thus they enclosed the Benjaminites round about,.... Surrounded them on all sides, the army of Israel being posted in different places, and people coming out of all the cities to their assistance. Josephus (a) says, they were forced into, and cooped up, in a hollow place in a valley, so that they could not escape:

and chased them; or "caused to pursue" (b); calling after them a pursuit, crying to one another as they went along, saying, pursue them, pursue them; so Jarchi and Kimchi; which cry, as it inspired the pursuers with zeal, so they pursued with terror:

and trod them down with ease; they making no resistance, being quite dispirited; the Targrim is,"from the house of their rest,''where they took up their rest, and designed to rest that night, but could not, being so closely pursued, and diligently sought after. Some take "menuchah", rendered "ease", to be the name of a place, from or unto which they were pursued and trodden down, see 1 Chronicles 2:52 and so the Septuagint seems to take it for the name of a place, rendering it, "from Noua":

over against Gibeah, towards the sunrising; that is, as Jarchi interprets it, to the east of Gibeah, there was this overthrow and slaughter made.

(a) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 2. sect. 10.) (b) "persequi fecerunt eum", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius; "vel eos", Vatablus.

Thus they inclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down with ease over against Gibeah toward the sunrising.
43. The unidiomatic style (and … and are not in the original), together with the obscurity of the sense, prove that the text is corrupt. Of the various attempts to emend it, the following is as plausible as any: taking the two Hebr. words for the Benjamites … chased them as a doublet of the next two at their resting place, trode them down, and omitting the latter, we may read they cut down (LXX. cod. B) Benjamin and pursued him as far as over against Geba toward the sunrising. The Gibeah of the text was not E. of the flying Benjamites; as elsewhere it is confused with Geba = Jeba‘, 3 m. N.E. of Tell el-Fûl. Jeba‘ lies on the way to Rammôn; but before the fugitives could reach their place of refuge (Rimmon Jdg 20:45), the narrow defile of the Wadi Suwçnît (1 Samuel 14:4 ff.), between Jeba‘ and Machmâs, would stop further pursuit: accordingly over against Geba they were cut down.

Verse 43. - Thus they inclosed, etc. Another difficult passage, having all the appearance of being a quotation from some poetical description of the battle. The tenses of the verbs and the absence of any conjunctions in the Hebrew makes the diction like that of Judges 5:19. The italic words thus and the two ands ought to be omitted, to give the stately march of the original. "They inclosed, etc.; they chased them; they trod them down," etc. They inclosed seems to refer to the stratagem by which the Benjamites were surrounded by the ambush in their rear and the Israelites in front. Then came the pursuit - "they chased them;" then the massacre - "they trod them down." The three verbs describe the three stages of the battle. With ease. It does not seem possible that the Hebrew word menuchah can have this meaning. It means sometimes a place of rest, and sometimes a state of rest. Taking the latter meaning, the words they trod them into rest may mean they quieted them by crushing them to death under their feet, or in rest may mean unresisting. Some render it unto Menuchah, as if Menuchah was the name of a place, or from Nochah, as the Septuagint does. Others, at the place of rest, i.e. at every place where they halted to rest the enemy was upon them. Judges 20:43The Benjaminites "now turned (flying) before the Israelites to the way of the desert," i.e., no doubt the desert which rises from Jericho to the mountains of Bethel (Joshua 16:1). They fled therefore towards the north-east; but the battle had overtaken (reached or seized) them, and those out of the towns (had perished). The difficult expression מהערים ואשׁר, of which very different, and for the most part arbitrary, explanations have been given, can only be in apposition to the suffix attached to the verb: "Benjamin, and in fact those who had come to the help of Gibeah out of the towns of Benjamin" (see Judges 20:14, Judges 20:15), i.e., all the Benjaminites. The following words, וגו משׁחיתים, are a circumstantial clause explanatory of the previous clause, הדב המּלחמה: "since they (the men of Israel) destroyed him (Benjamin) in the midst of it." The singular suffix בּתוכו does not refer to Benjamin, as this would yield no sense at all, but to the preceding words, "the way of the desert" (see Judges 20:45). - In Judges 20:43 the account is continued by three perfects attached to one another without a copula: "they enclosed (hedged round) Benjamin, pursued him; at the place of rest they trod him down to before Gibeah eastwards." מנוּחה is not used adverbially in the sense of "quietly," which would not give any fitting meaning, but is an accus. loci, and signifies place of rest, as in Numbers 10:33. The notice "to before Gibeah" refers to all three verbs.
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