Judges 20:32
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And the people of Benjamin said, “They are routed before us, as at the first.” But the people of Israel said, “Let us flee and draw them away from the city to the highways.”

King James Bible
And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city unto the highways.

American Standard Version
And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them away from the city unto the highways.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For they thought to cut them off, as they did before. But they artfully feigning a flight, designed to draw them away from the city, and by their seeming to flee to bring them to the highways aforesaid.

English Revised Version
And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us rise, and draw them away from the city unto the highways.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city to the highways.

Judges 20:32 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

After this second terrible overthrow, "the children of Israel" (k.e. those who were engaged in the war), and "all the people," i.e., the rest of the people, those members of the congregation who were not capable of bearing arms, old men and women, came to Bethel, to complain to the Lord of their misfortune, and secure His favour by fasting and sacrifices. The congregation now discovered, from this repeated defeat, that the Lord had withdrawn His grace, and was punishing them. Their sin, however, did not consist in the fact that they had begun the war itself-for the law in Deuteronomy 22:22, to which they themselves had referred in Judges 20:13, really required this - but rather in the state of mind with which they had entered upon the war, their strong self-consciousness, and great confidence in their own might and power. They had indeed inquired of God (Elohim) who should open the conflict; but they had neglect to humble themselves before Jehovah the covenant God, in the consciousness not only of their own weakness and sinfulness, but also of grief at the moral corruption of their brother-tribe. It is certainly not without significance, that in Judges 20:18 it is stated that "they asked God" (בּאלהים ישׁאלוּ), i.e., they simply desired a supreme or divine decision as to the question who should lead the van in the war; whereas, after the first defeat, they wept before Jehovah, and inquired of Jehovah (Judges 20:23), the covenant God, for whose law and right they were about to contend. But even then there were still wanting the humility and penitence, without which the congregation of the Lord could not successfully carry on the conflict against the ungodly. The remark in Judges 20:22, "The people felt (showed) themselves strong, and added (continued) to set in array the war," is thoroughly expressive of the feeling of the congregation. They resolved upon the continuance of the war, in the full consciousness of their superior power and numerical strength; and it was not till afterwards that they complained to the Lord of their misfortune, and inquired whether they should renew the conflict. The question was followed by a corresponding answer on the part of God, "Go up against him," which certainly sanctioned the continuance of the war, but gave no promise as to the result, because the people, thinking that they might be certain of success, had not inquired about that at all. It was not till after the second severe defeat, when 22,000 and 18,000, the tenth part of the whole army, had fallen, that they humbled themselves before the Lord. They not only wept because of the calamity which had befallen them, but fasted the same day before the Lord, - the fasting being the manifest expression of the bending of the heart before God, - and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. The shelamim here are not thank-offerings, but supplicatory offerings, presented to implore the gracious assistance of God, and to commemorate the enjoyment of fellowship with the Lord, through the sacrificial meal associated with this sacrifice (as in Judges 21:4; 1 Samuel 13:9; 2 Samuel 24:25).

Judges 20:32 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Let us flee This was done, not only because they had placed an ambuscade behind Gibeah, which was to enter and burn the city as soon as the Benjamites left it; but it would seem, that the slingers, by being within the city and its fortifications, had great advantage over the Israelite by their slings, when they could not come among them with their swords, unless they got them in the plain of the country.

Joshua 8:15,16 And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness...

Cross References
Joshua 8:5
And I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out against us just as before, we shall flee before them.

Judges 20:31
And the people of Benjamin went out against the people and were drawn away from the city. And as at other times they began to strike and kill some of the people in the highways, one of which goes up to Bethel and the other to Gibeah, and in the open country, about thirty men of Israel.

Judges 20:33
And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place and set themselves in array at Baal-tamar, and the men of Israel who were in ambush rushed out of their place from Maareh-geba.

Judges 20:39
the men of Israel should turn in battle. Now Benjamin had begun to strike and kill about thirty men of Israel. They said, "Surely they are defeated before us, as in the first battle."

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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