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Judges 20:1-18 (New International Version)

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Israelites Fight the Benjamites

1 Then all the Israelites1 from Dan to Beersheba2 and from the land of Gilead came out as one man3 and assembled4 before the LORD in Mizpah.5 2 The leaders of all the people of the tribes of Israel took their places in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand soldiers6 armed with swords. 3 (The Benjamites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the Israelites said, "Tell us how this awful thing happened." 4 So the Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, said, "I and my concubine came to Gibeah7 in Benjamin to spend the night.8 5 During the night the men of Gibeah came after me and surrounded the house, intending to kill me.9 They raped my concubine, and she died.10 6 I took my concubine, cut her into pieces and sent one piece to each region of Israel's inheritance,11 because they committed this lewd and disgraceful act12 in Israel. 7 Now, all you Israelites, speak up and give your verdict.13" 8 All the people rose as one man, saying, "None of us will go home. No, not one of us will return to his house. 9 But now this is what we'll do to Gibeah: We'll go up against it as the lot directs.14 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 Gibeaha in Benjamin, it can give them what they deserve for all this vileness done in Israel." 11 So all the men of Israel got together and united as one man15 against the city. 12 The tribes of Israel sent men throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What about this awful crime that was committed among you?16 13 Now surrender those wicked men17 of Gibeah so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.18" 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 chosen men from those living in Gibeah. 16 Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred chosen men who were left-handed,19 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 fighting men. 18 The Israelites went up to Bethelb20 and inquired of God.21 They said, "Who of us shall go first22 to fight23 against the Benjamites?" The LORD replied, "Judah24 shall go first."
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