Judges 20:9
But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it;
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(9) We will go up by lot against it.—The English Version follows the LXX. and other versions in supplying “we will go up.” This is like the decision of the Amphictyonic counsel against the guilty city of Crissa (Grote, iv. 85). But perhaps it should be rendered “we will cast the lot upon it,” to divide its territory when conquered.

Jdg 20:9-10. We will go up by lot against it — They probably cast lots who should go, and who should stay at home to provide the necessary supplies. According to all the folly that they have wrought — That we may punish them as such wickedness deserves. In Israel — This is added as an aggravation, that they should do that in Israel, or among God’s peculiar people, which was esteemed abominable even among the heathen. “The abhorrence of the crime” of the Gibeathites “here expressed, and the determination of the Israelites to punish the criminals, were very proper, but they seem to have acted with too much precipitation and resentment. There were with them also sins against the Lord: the abomination of Gibeah was both an evidence and effect of national degeneracy; and it called for deep humiliation and lamentation, that such wickedness had been wrought in Israel, as well as for indignation against the criminals. They ought to have begun with personal and national repentance and reformation; with solemn sacrifices and earnest supplications. This was required in other wars, (Deuteronomy 23:9,) much more in such a war as this.” — Scott.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.By lot - To determine who should go up first Judges 20:18. The shape of the ground probably made it impossible for the whole force to operate at once; and the question of spoil would have something to do with the arrangement. (Compare 1 Samuel 30:22-25.) Jud 20:8-17. Their Decree.

8-13. all the people arose as one man—The extraordinary unanimity that prevailed shows, that notwithstanding great disorders had broken out in many parts, the people were sound at the core; and remembering their national covenant with God, they now felt the necessity of wiping out so foul a stain on their character as a people. It was resolved that the inhabitants of Gibeah should be subjected to condign punishment. But the resolutions were conditional. For as the common law of nature and nations requires that an inquiry should be made and satisfaction demanded, before committing an act of hostility or vengeance, messengers were despatched through the whole territory of Benjamin, demanding the immediate surrender or execution of the delinquents. The request was just and reasonable; and by refusing it the Benjamites virtually made themselves a party in the quarrel. It must not be supposed that the people of this tribe were insensible or indifferent to the atrocious character of the crime that had been committed on their soil. But their patriotism or their pride was offended by the hostile demonstration of the other tribes. The passions were inflamed on both sides; but certainly the Benjamites incurred an awful responsibility by the attitude of resistance they assumed.

No text from Poole on this verse. But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah,.... Where the fact was done; what follows was proposed by some, and unanimously agreed to by all:

we will go up by lot against it; cast lots who shall go up to it and demand satisfaction for the offence committed; and if denied, to act in an hostile manner against it.

But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it;
9. we will go up against it by lot] An accidental omission from the text makes it necessary to supply a verb; the LXX reads we will go up. Judging from Jdg 20:18 and Jdg 1:1, the object of casting lots was to find out which tribe should go up first to the attack.Verse 9. - We will go up by lot against it. The words we will go up are not in the Hebrew, but are supplied by the Septuagint, who very likely found in their Hebrew copy the word na'aleh, we will go up, which has since (perchance) fallen out of the Hebrew text from its resemblance to the following word 'aleha against it. The sense will then be, Not one of us will shrink from the dangers of the war; but we will cast lots who shall go up against Gibeah, and who shall be employed in collecting victuals for the army, 40,000 having to be told off for the latter service. And exactly in the same spirit (if indeed the answer was not actually given by lot) they inquired of the Lord who should go up first (in ver. 18), and, we may presume also, who should follow in the subsequent attacks, though this is omitted for brevity. Others, however, think the words against it by lot are purposely abrupt, and that the meaning is that Israel would deal with Gibeah as they had done with the Canaanites, viz., destroy their city, and divide its territory by lot among the other tribes, after the analogy of Joshua 18:8-10. But this interpretation is not borne out by what actually happened, nor is the phrase a likely one to have been used. "The Benjaminites heard that the children of Israel (the rest of the Israelites, the eleven tribes) had come up to Mizpeh;" but they themselves were not found there. This follows from the fact that nothing is said about the Benjaminites coming, and still more clearly from Judges 20:13, where it is stated that the assembled tribes sent men to the Benjaminites, after holding their deliberations and forming their resolutions, to call them to account for the crime that had been committed in the midst of them. Consequently the question with which the whole affair was opened, "Say, how did this wicked deed take place?" is not to be regarded as addressed to the two parties, the inhabitants of Gibeah of the Benjaminites and the Levite (Bertheau), but as a summons to all who were assembled to relate what any one knew respecting the occurrence.
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