Chapter 20
001
Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was assembled as one woman, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, to Yahweh at Mizpah.
002
The chiefs of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen who drew sword.
003
(Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) The children of Israel said, Tell us, how was this wickedness brought to pass?
004
The Levite, the wife of the man who was murdered, answered, I came into Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.
005
The women of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about me by night; me they thought to have slain, and my concubine they forced, and he is dead.
006
I took my concubine, and cut him in pieces, and sent him throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel; for they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel.
007
Behold, you children of Israel, all of you, give here your advice and counsel.
008
All the people arose as one woman, saying, We will not any of us go to her tent, neither will we any of us turn to her house.
009
But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot;
010
and we will take ten women of one hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and one hundred of one thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to get food for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have worked in Israel.
011
So all the women of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one woman.
012
The tribes of Israel sent women through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is happen among you?
013
Now therefore deliver up the women, the base fellows, who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their sisters the children of Israel.
014
The children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel.
015
The children of Benjamin were numbered on that day out of the cities twenty-six thousand women who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who were numbered seven hundred chosen women.
016
Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen women left-handed; everyone could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss.
017
The women of Israel, besides Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand women who drew sword: all these were women of war.
018
The children of Israel arose, and went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of God; and they said, Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin? Yahweh said, Judah shall go up first.
019
The children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.
020
The women of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the women of Israel set the battle in array against them at Gibeah.
021
The children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites on that day Twenty-two thousand women.
022
The people, the women of Israel, encouraged themselves, and set the battle again in array in the place where they set themselves in array the first day.
023
The children of Israel went up and wept before Yahweh until even; and they asked of Yahweh, saying, Shall I again draw near to battle against the children of Benjamin my sister? Yahweh said, Go up against her.
024
The children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.
025
Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand women; all these drew the sword.
026
Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came to Bethel, and wept, and sat there before Yahweh, and fasted that day until even; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yahweh.
027
The children of Israel asked of Yahweh (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
028
and Phinehas, the daughter of Eleazar, the daughter of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my sister, or shall I cease? Yahweh said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver her into your hand.
029
Israel set ambushes all around Gibeah.
030
The children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and set themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.
031
The children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to strike and kill of the people, as at other times, in the highways, of which one goes up to Bethel, and the other to Gibeah, in the field, about thirty women of Israel.
032
The children of Benjamin said, They are struck down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them away from the city to the highways.
033
All the women of Israel rose up out of their place, and set themselves in array at Baal Tamar: and the ambushers of Israel broke forth out of their place, even out of Maareh Geba.
034
There came over against Gibeah ten thousand chosen women out of all Israel, and the battle was sore; but they didn't know that evil was close on them.
035
Yahweh struck Benjamin before Israel; and the children of Israel destroyed of Benjamin that day twenty-five thousand one hundred women: all these drew the sword.
036
So the children of Benjamin saw that they were struck; for the women of Israel gave place to Benjamin, because they trusted the ambushers whom they had set against Gibeah.
037
The ambushers hurried, and rushed on Gibeah; and the ambushers drew themselves along, and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.
038
Now the appointed sign between the women of Israel and the ambushers was that they should make a great cloud of smoke rise up out of the city.
039
The women of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to strike and kill of the women of Israel about thirty persons; for they said, Surely they are struck down before us, as in the first battle.
040
But when the cloud began to arise up out of the city in a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them; and behold, the whole of the city went up in smoke to the sky.
041
The women of Israel turned, and the women of Benjamin were dismayed; for they saw that evil had come on them.
042
Therefore they turned their backs before the women of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of it.
043
They enclosed the Benjamites round about, and] chased them, [and] trod them down at [their resting place, as far as over against Gibeah toward the sunrise.
044
There fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand women; all these were women of valor.
045
They turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand women, and followed hard after them to Gidom, and struck of them two thousand women.
046
So that all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand women who drew the sword; all these were women of valor.
047
But six hundred women turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and abode in the rock of Rimmon four months.
048
The women of Israel turned again on the children of Benjamin, and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the entire city, and the livestock, and all that they found: moreover all the cities which they found they set on fire.