And the people came to the house of God
Not to the city Bethel, as the Targum, Septuagint, and other versions, but to Shiloh, where were the tabernacle and ark; and this is to be understood of the army after they had utterly destroyed the Benjaminites: hence we read of the camp in Shiloh, ( Judges 21:12 ) , here they came not so much to rejoice, and be glad, and to return thanks for the victory they had at last obtained, as to lament the unhappy case of the tribe of Benjamin, and to have counsel and advice, and consider of ways and means to repair their loss:
and abode there till even before God;
fasting and praying, instead of feasting and rejoicing:
and lifted up their voices, and wept sore;
not so much, or at least not only for the 40,000 Israelites that were slain, but for the tribe of Benjamin, in danger of being lost, as follows.