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Judges 20 Names of God Bible (NOG)

Israel Slaughters the Tribe of Benjamin

20 All the people of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and from Gilead came to Mizpah. The congregation stood united in the presence of Yahweh. The leaders of all Israel’s tribes took their places in the congregation of Elohim’s people. There were 400,000 foot soldiers with swords. The people of Benjamin heard that Israel had come to Mizpah.

The people of Israel said, “Tell us how such an evil thing could happen.”

The Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, answered, “My concubine[a] and I went to Gibeah in Benjamin to spend the night. The citizens of Gibeah came to attack me. They surrounded the house where I was staying that night. They intended to kill me, but instead, they raped my concubine until she died. So I took my concubine and cut her into pieces. Then I sent the pieces throughout the territory of Israel. I did this because the citizens of Gibeah did this perverted and godless thing in Israel. All you people of Israel, tell me what you think. Give me your advice right now!”

All the people stood united, saying, “None of us will go to his tent or return to his house. This is what we’ll do to Gibeah. We’ll decide by lot who should attack it.[b] 10 We’ll take one-tenth[c] of all the men from the tribes of Israel to get supplies for the troops. When the troops go to Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin they can punish the citizens of Gibeah for the godless thing they did in Israel.” 11 So all the men of Israel assembled. They stood united against the city.

12 The tribes of Israel sent men throughout the tribe of Benjamin. They asked, “How could such an evil thing happen among you? 13 Now hand over those worthless men in Gibeah. We must put them to death to rid ourselves of this kind of evil in Israel.”

But the men of Benjamin refused to listen to the men of Israel. 14 So the men of Benjamin went from their towns and assembled at Gibeah to go to war with the men of Israel. 15 That day 26,000 men armed with swords came from Benjamin’s cities and organized for battle along with 700 of Gibeah’s best men. 16 Out of all these troops, the best 700 were left-handed. Each could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.

17 The men of Israel (Benjamin not included) totaled 400,000 soldiers armed with swords.

18 The men of Israel went to Bethel. They asked Elohim, “Who will go first to fight Benjamin?”

Yahweh answered, “Judah will go first.”

19 The Israelites got up early in the morning and camped at Gibeah. 20 So the men of Israel went to war with the men of Benjamin. The Israelites formed their battle line facing Gibeah. 21 That day the men of Benjamin came out from Gibeah. They slaughtered 22,000 of Israel’s men.

22 But Israel’s troops got reinforcements. They formed their battle line where they had formed it on the first day. 23 The Israelites went and cried in the presence of Yahweh until evening. They asked Yahweh, “Should we continue to wage war against our close relatives, the men of Benjamin?”

Yahweh answered, “Go fight them!”

24 On the second day the Israelite troops advanced against Benjamin. 25 Benjamin went out from Gibeah to meet them. This time they slaughtered 18,000 men from Israel who were armed with swords. 26 Then all the men of Israel and all the troops went to Bethel. They sat there and cried in the presence of Yahweh and fasted that day until evening. Then they sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to Yahweh.

27 In those days the ark of Elohim’s promise was at Bethel. 28 (Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron, served in front of it.) So the people of Israel asked Yahweh, “Should we continue to wage war against our close relatives, the men of Benjamin? Or should we stop?”

Yahweh answered, “Go! Tomorrow I will hand them over to you.”

29 Then Israel placed troops in ambush around Gibeah. 30 On the third day the men of Israel went to fight the men of Benjamin. They formed their battle line facing Gibeah as they did before. 31 The men of Benjamin went out to attack Israel’s troops and were led away from the city. They started to inflict casualties as before. They killed about 30 men from Israel in the open country and on the roads to Bethel and Gibeah. 32 The men of Benjamin shouted, “They’re defeated as before!”

But the men of Israel had said, “Let’s flee in order to lead them from the city to the roads.” 33 So the men of Israel left their positions. They formed their battle line at Baal Tamar. Meanwhile, those waiting in ambush rushed from their position to the west of Gibeah. 34 Then 10,000 of Israel’s best men attacked Gibeah. The battle was fierce. But Benjamin’s men didn’t realize their own evil was about to overtake them. 35 So Yahweh defeated them in front of Israel. On that day the Israelites slaughtered 25,100 men from Benjamin who were armed with swords. 36 Then the men of Benjamin realized they were defeated.

The Israelites had allowed the men of Benjamin to take back some ground. The Israelites relied on those waiting in ambush near Gibeah. 37 The men in ambush quickly charged toward Gibeah. They spread out in the city and killed everyone. 38 The men of Israel had arranged with those waiting in ambush that they would make a big column of smoke rise from the city as a signal. 39 Then the men of Israel would turn around in the battle.

The men of Benjamin had already killed about 30 men of Israel. They even said, “Israel is completely defeated, just like in the first battle.”

40 But when the column of smoke started to rise from the city, the men of Benjamin turned around and saw the whole city going up in smoke. 41 Then the men of Israel turned around, and the men of Benjamin panicked. They realized that their evil had overtaken them. 42 They turned in front of Israel toward the road to the desert. But the battle caught up with the men of Benjamin. Israel slaughtered whoever came out of the cities on the road to the desert. 43 They closed in on the men of Benjamin and pursued them without stopping. They overtook them east of Gibeah. 44 There were 18,000 experienced men from Benjamin who died in battle. 45 The others turned and fled into the desert to Rimmon Rock. But the men of Israel killed 5,000 more on the roads. They caught up with another 2,000 and killed them near Gidom. 46 In all, 25,000 men from Benjamin who were armed with swords were killed that day. They were all experienced men.

47 But 600 men turned and fled into the desert to Rimmon Rock. They stayed at Rimmon Rock for four months.

48 Then the men of Israel went back to attack the rest of the territory of Benjamin. They killed all the people and cattle they found in every city. They also burned down every city they came to.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 20:4 A concubine is considered a wife except she has fewer rights under the law.
  2. Judges 20:9 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
  3. Judges 20:10 Or “10 out of every battalion, 100 out of every regiment, and 1,000 out of every company.”
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Judges 20 New International Version (NIV)

The Israelites Punish the Benjamites

20 Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba and from the land of Gilead came together as one and assembled before the Lord in Mizpah. The leaders of all the people of the tribes of Israel took their places in the assembly of God’s people, four hundred thousand men armed with swords. (The Benjamites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the Israelites said, “Tell us how this awful thing happened.”

So the Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, said, “I and my concubine came to Gibeah in Benjamin to spend the night. During the night the men of Gibeah came after me and surrounded the house, intending to kill me. They raped my concubine, and she died. I took my concubine, cut her into pieces and sent one piece to each region of Israel’s inheritance, because they committed this lewd and outrageous act in Israel. Now, all you Israelites, speak up and tell me what you have decided to do.

All the men rose up together as one, saying, “None of us will go home. No, not one of us will return to his house. But now this is what we’ll do to Gibeah: We’ll go up against it in the order decided by casting lots. 10 We’ll take ten men out of every hundred from all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred from a thousand, and a thousand from ten thousand, to get provisions for the army. Then, when the army arrives at Gibeah[a] in Benjamin, it can give them what they deserve for this outrageous act done in Israel.” 11 So all the Israelites got together and united as one against the city.

12 The tribes of Israel sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What about this awful crime that was committed among you? 13 Now turn those wicked men of Gibeah over to us so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.

But the Benjamites would not listen to their fellow Israelites. 14 From their towns they came together at Gibeah to fight against the Israelites. 15 At once the Benjamites mobilized twenty-six thousand swordsmen from their towns, in addition to seven hundred able young men from those living in Gibeah. 16 Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred select troops who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.

17 Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered four hundred thousand swordsmen, all of them fit for battle.

18 The Israelites went up to Bethel[b] and inquired of God. They said, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?”

The Lord replied, “Judah shall go first.”

19 The next morning the Israelites got up and pitched camp near Gibeah. 20 The Israelites went out to fight the Benjamites and took up battle positions against them at Gibeah. 21 The Benjamites came out of Gibeah and cut down twenty-two thousand Israelites on the battlefield that day. 22 But the Israelites encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day. 23 The Israelites went up and wept before the Lord until evening, and they inquired of the Lord. They said, “Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites?”

The Lord answered, “Go up against them.”

24 Then the Israelites drew near to Benjamin the second day. 25 This time, when the Benjamites came out from Gibeah to oppose them, they cut down another eighteen thousand Israelites, all of them armed with swords.

26 Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. 27 And the Israelites inquired of the Lord. (In those days the ark of the covenant of God was there, 28 with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministering before it.) They asked, “Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites, or not?”

The Lord responded, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.

29 Then Israel set an ambush around Gibeah. 30 They went up against the Benjamites on the third day and took up positions against Gibeah as they had done before. 31 The Benjamites came out to meet them and were drawn away from the city. They began to inflict casualties on the Israelites as before, so that about thirty men fell in the open field and on the roads—the one leading to Bethel and the other to Gibeah. 32 While the Benjamites were saying, “We are defeating them as before,” the Israelites were saying, “Let’s retreat and draw them away from the city to the roads.”

33 All the men of Israel moved from their places and took up positions at Baal Tamar, and the Israelite ambush charged out of its place on the west[c] of Gibeah.[d] 34 Then ten thousand of Israel’s able young men made a frontal attack on Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that the Benjamites did not realize how near disaster was. 35 The Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel, and on that day the Israelites struck down 25,100 Benjamites, all armed with swords. 36 Then the Benjamites saw that they were beaten.

Now the men of Israel had given way before Benjamin, because they relied on the ambush they had set near Gibeah. 37 Those who had been in ambush made a sudden dash into Gibeah, spread out and put the whole city to the sword. 38 The Israelites had arranged with the ambush that they should send up a great cloud of smoke from the city, 39 and then the Israelites would counterattack.

The Benjamites had begun to inflict casualties on the Israelites (about thirty), and they said, “We are defeating them as in the first battle.” 40 But when the column of smoke began to rise from the city, the Benjamites turned and saw the whole city going up in smoke. 41 Then the Israelites counterattacked, and the Benjamites were terrified, because they realized that disaster had come on them. 42 So they fled before the Israelites in the direction of the wilderness, but they could not escape the battle. And the Israelites who came out of the towns cut them down there. 43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them and easily[e] overran them in the vicinity of Gibeah on the east. 44 Eighteen thousand Benjamites fell, all of them valiant fighters. 45 As they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, the Israelites cut down five thousand men along the roads. They kept pressing after the Benjamites as far as Gidom and struck down two thousand more.

46 On that day twenty-five thousand Benjamite swordsmen fell, all of them valiant fighters. 47 But six hundred of them turned and fled into the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, where they stayed four months. 48 The men of Israel went back to Benjamin and put all the towns to the sword, including the animals and everything else they found. All the towns they came across they set on fire.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 20:10 One Hebrew manuscript; most Hebrew manuscripts Geba, a variant of Gibeah
  2. Judges 20:18 Or to the house of God; also in verse 26
  3. Judges 20:33 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  4. Judges 20:33 Hebrew Geba, a variant of Gibeah
  5. Judges 20:43 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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