Judges 20:44
And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valor.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jdg 20:44-45. There fell eighteen thousand — Namely, in the field of battle. They gleaned of them five thousand — A metaphor from those who gather grapes or corn so cleanly and fully that they leave no relics for those who come after them. The Benjamites could not flee in a body, but scattered up and down the highways, where the Israelites picked up five thousand more and slew them.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. There fell, to wit, in the field, or battle. And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men,.... Just the number they had slain of Israel in the second battle. This is the number of them that were slain when Israel turned upon them, and by that time they got to the east of Gibeah; afterwards 5000 more were slain on the highways, and 2000 near Gidom, as after related:

all these were men of valour; as appears by three times facing and engaging with the army of Israel, so vastly superior to them, and twice beating them.

And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valor.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
44. eighteen thousand men] Contrast the number in Jdg 20:35 from B. The first half of the v. may be assigned to A, and connects with Jdg 20:47; the second half has found its way here from Jdg 20:46, probably by a copyist’s error.Verses 44-46. - And there fell, etc. The account in ver. 35, anticipating the details of the battle, had already given the gross number of casualties in the Benjamite army on this disastrous day as 25,100. We now have the items of the account, viz., 18,000 in the pursuit, in the open plain; 5000 in the highways, i.e. either the highways mentioned in ver. 31, or, as the expression gleaning rather intimates, the highways by which straggling bodies tried to reach any neighbouring cities after the great slaughter had taken place; and 2000 more who were making from Gidom; in all 25,000, which is only 100 men short of the reckoning in ver. 35. The rock of Rimmon. See ver. 47, note. Gidom. Not elsewhere mentioned, nor identified with any modern name. The 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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