Compare Translations for Judges 20:18

Judges 20:18 ASV
And the children of Israel arose, and went up to Beth-el, and asked counsel of God; and they said, Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin? And Jehovah said, Judah [shall go up] first.
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Judges 20:18 BBE
And they got up and went up to Beth-el to get directions from God, and the children of Israel said, Who is to be the first to go up to the fight against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Judah is to go up first.
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Judges 20:18 CEB
Then the Israelites marched up to Bethel to ask for direction from God. They inquired, "Who should go up first to fight against the Benjaminites for us?" And the LORD said, "Let the tribe of Judah be first."
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Judges 20:18 CJB
The army of Isra'el began by going up to Beit-El, where they asked God, "Who should go up first to attack the army of Binyamin?" ADONAI said, "Y'hudah first."
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Judges 20:18 RHE
And they arose and came to the house of God, that is, to Silo: and they consulted God, and said: Who shall be in our army the first to go to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord answered them: Let Juda be your leader.
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Judges 20:18 ESV
The people of Israel arose and went up to Bethel and inquired of God, "Who shall go up first for us to fight against the people of Benjamin?" And the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first."
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Judges 20:18 GW
The men of Israel went to Bethel. They asked God, "Who will go first to fight Benjamin?" The LORD answered, "Judah will go first."
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Judges 20:18 GNT
The Israelites went to the place of worship at Bethel, and there they asked God, "Which tribe should attack the Benjaminites first?" The Lord answered, "The tribe of Judah."
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Judges 20:18 HNV
The children of Yisra'el arose, and went up to Beit-El, and asked counsel of God; and they said, Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Binyamin? the LORD said, Yehudah [shall go up] first.
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Judges 20:18 CSB
They set out, went to Bethel, and inquired of God. The Israelites asked, "Who is to go first to fight for us against the Benjaminites?" And the Lord answered, "Judah will be first."
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Judges 20:18 KJV
And the children of Israel arose , and went up to the house of God , and asked counsel of God, and said , Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said , Judah shall go up first.
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Judges 20:18 LEB
Then the {Israelites} got up and went up [to] Bethel, and they inquired of God, saying, "Who will go up first for the battle against the descendants of Benjamin?" And Yahweh said, "Judah [will go] first."
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Judges 20:18 NAS
Now the sons of Israel arose, went up to Bethel, and inquired of God and said, "Who shall go up first for us to battle against the sons of Benjamin?" Then the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first."
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Judges 20:18 NCV
The Israelites went up to the city of Bethel and asked God, "Which tribe shall be first to attack the Benjaminites?" The Lord answered, "Judah shall go first."
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Judges 20:18 NIRV
The people of Israel went up to Bethel. There they spoke to God. They asked him, "Who will go up first and fight for us against the people of Benjamin?" The LORD answered, "The tribe of Judah will go first."
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Judges 20:18 NIV
The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, "Who of us shall go first to fight against the Benjamites?" The LORD replied, "Judah shall go first."
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Judges 20:18 NKJV
Then the children of Israel arose and went up to the house of God to inquire of God. They said, "Which of us shall go up first to battle against the children of Benjamin?" The Lord said, "Judah first!"
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Judges 20:18 NLT
Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God, "Which tribe should lead the attack against the people of Benjamin?" The LORD answered, "Judah is to go first."
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Judges 20:18 NRS
The Israelites proceeded to go up to Bethel, where they inquired of God, "Which of us shall go up first to battle against the Benjaminites?" And the Lord answered, "Judah shall go up first."
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Judges 20:18 RSV
The people of Israel arose and went up to Bethel, and inquired of God, "Which of us shall go up first to battle against the Benjaminites?" And the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first."
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Judges 20:18 DBY
And the children of Israel arose and went up to Bethel, and inquired of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And Jehovah said, Judah first.
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Judges 20:18 MSG
They set out and went to Bethel to inquire of God. The People of Israel said, "Who of us shall be first to go into battle with the Benjaminites?" God said, "Judah goes first."
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Judges 20:18 WBT
And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah [shall go up] first.
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Judges 20:18 TMB
And the children of Israel arose and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God and said, "Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin?" And the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first."
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Judges 20:18 TNIV
The Israelites went up to Bethel 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."
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Judges 20:18 WEB
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.
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Judges 20:18 WYC
Which rose, and came into the house of God, that is in Shiloh; and they counselled with God, and said, Who shall be prince in our host of the battle against the sons of Benjamin? To whom the Lord answered, Judah be your duke. (And they rose up, and came into the House of God, that was in Bethel; and they counselled with God, and said, Who should be the leader of our army in the battle against the Benjaminites? To whom the Lord answered, Judah should be your leader.)
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Judges 20:18 YLT
And they rise and go up to Beth-El, and ask of God, and the sons of Israel say, `Who doth go up for us at the commencement to battle with the sons of Benjamin?' and Jehovah saith, `Judah -- at the commencement.'
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Judges 20 Commentary - Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)

Chapter 20

The tribe of Benjamin nearly extirpated.

- The Israelites' abhorrence of the crime committed at Gibeah, and their resolution to punish the criminals, were right; but they formed their resolves with too much haste and self-confidence. The eternal ruin of souls will be worse, and more fearful, than these desolations of a tribe.

Judges 20 Commentary - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

CHAPTER 20

Judges 20:1-7 . THE LEVITE, IN A GENERAL ASSEMBLY, DECLARES HIS WRONG.

1, 2. all . . . the congregation was gathered as one man--In consequence of the immense sensation the horrid tragedy of Gibeah had produced, a national assembly was convened, at which "the chief of all the people" from all parts of the land, including the eastern tribes, appeared as delegates.
Mizpeh--the place of convention (for there were other Mizpehs), was in a town situated on the confines of Judah and Benjamin ( Joshua 15:38 , 18:26 ). Assemblies were frequently held there afterwards ( 1 Samuel 7:11 , 10:17 ); and it was but a short distance from Shiloh. The phrase, "unto the Lord," may be taken in its usual sense, as denoting consultation of the oracle. This circumstance, together with the convention being called "the assembly of the people of God," seems to indicate, that amid the excited passions of the nation, those present felt the profound gravity of the occasion and adopted the best means of maintaining a becoming deportment.

3. Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh--Some suppose that Benjamin had been passed over, the crime having been perpetrated within the territory of that tribe [ Judges 19:16 ]; and that, as the concubine's corpse had been divided into twelve pieces [ Judges 19:29 ]--two had been sent to Manasseh, one respectively to the western and eastern divisions. It is more probable that Benjamin had received a formal summons like the other tribes, but chose to treat it with indifference, or haughty disdain.

4-7. the Levite, the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said--The injured husband gave a brief and unvarnished recital of the tragic outrage, from which it appears that force was used, which he could not resist. His testimony was doubtless corroborated by those of his servant and the old Ephraimite. There was no need of strong or highly colored description to work upon the feelings of the audience. The facts spoke for themselves and produced one common sentiment of detestation and vengeance.

Judges 20:8-17 . THEIR DECREE.

8-13. all the people arose as one man--The extraordinary unanimity that prevailed shows, that notwithstanding great disorders had broken out in many parts, the people were sound at the core; and remembering their national covenant with God, they now felt the necessity of wiping out so foul a stain on their character as a people. It was resolved that the inhabitants of Gibeah should be subjected to condign punishment. But the resolutions were conditional. For as the common law of nature and nations requires that an inquiry should be made and satisfaction demanded, before committing an act of hostility or vengeance, messengers were despatched through the whole territory of Benjamin, demanding the immediate surrender or execution of the delinquents. The request was just and reasonable; and by refusing it the Benjamites visrtually made themselves a party in the quarrel. It must not be supposed that the people of this tribe were insensible or indifferent to the atrocious character of the crime that had been committed on their soil. But their patriotism or their pride was offended by the hostile demonstration of the other tribes. The passions were inflamed on both sides; but certainly the Benjamites incurred an awful responsibility by the attitude of resistance they assumed.

14-17. the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gibeah--Allowing their valor to be ever so great, nothing but blind passion and unbending obstinacy could have impelled them to take the field against their brethren with such a disparity of numbers.

16. left-handed; every one could sling stones at an hair-breadth, and not miss--The sling was one of the earliest weapons used in war. The Hebrew sling was probably similar to that of the Egyptian, consisting of a leather thong, broad in the middle, with a loop at one end, by which it was firmly held with the hand; the other end terminated in a lash, which was let slip when the stone was thrown. Those skilled in the use of it, as the Benjamites were, could hit the mark with unerring certainty. A good sling could carry its full force to the distance of two hundred yards.

Judges 20:18-28 . THE ISRAELITES LOSE FORTY THOUSAND.

18-28. the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God--This consultation at Shiloh was right. But they ought to have done it at the commencement of their proceedings. Instead of this, all their plans were formed, and never doubting, it would seem, that the war was just and inevitable, the only subject of their inquiry related to the precedency of the tribes--a point which it is likely was discussed in the assembly. Had they asked counsel of God sooner, their expedition would have been conducted on a different principle--most probably by reducing the number of fighting men, as in the case of Gideon's army. As it was, the vast number of volunteers formed an excessive and unwieldy force, unfit for strenuous and united action against a small, compact, and well-directed army. A panic ensued, and the confederate tribes, in two successive engagements, sustained great losses. These repeated disasters (notwithstanding their attack on Benjamin had been divinely authorized) overwhelmed them with shame and sorrow. Led to reflection, they became sensible of their guilt in not repressing their national idolatries, as well as in too proudly relying on their superior numbers and the precipitate rashness of this expedition. Having humbled themselves by prayer and fasting, as well as observed the appointed method of expiating their sins, they were assured of acceptance as well as of victory. The presence and services of Phinehas on this occasion help us to ascertain the chronology thus far, that the date of the occurrence must be fixed shortly after the death of Joshua.

Judges 20:29-48 . THEY DESTROY ALL THE BENJAMITES, EXCEPT SIX HUNDRED.

29-48. And Israel set liers-in-wait round about Gibeah--A plan was formed of taking that city by stratagem, similar to that employed in the capture of Ai ( Joshua 8:9 ).

33. Baal-tamar--a palm-grove, where Baal was worshipped. The main army of the confederate tribes was drawn up there.
out of the meadows of Gibeah--Hebrew, "the caves of Gibeah."

34. there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men--This was a third division, different both from the ambuscade and the army, who were fighting at Baal-tamar. The general account stated in Judges 20:35 is followed by a detailed narrative of the battle, which is continued to the end of the chapter.

45. they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of Rimmon--Many of the fugitives found refuge in the caves of this rocky mountain, which is situated to the northeast of Beth-el. Such places are still sought as secure retreats in times of danger; and until the method of blowing up rocks by gunpowder became known, a few men could in such caves sustain a siege for months.

46. all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men--On comparing this with Judges 20:35 , it will be seen that the loss is stated here in round numbers and is confined only to that of the third day. We must conclude that a thousand had fallen during the two previous engagements, in order to make the aggregate amount given ( Judges 20:15 ).

48. the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword--This frightful vengeance, extending from Gibeah to the whole territory of Benjamin, was executed under the impetuous impulse of highly excited passions. But doubtless the Israelites were only the agents of inflicting the righteous retributions of God; and the memory of this terrible crisis, which led almost to the extermination of a whole tribe, was conducive to the future good of the whole nation.