Compare Translations for Judges 20:28

  • Judges 20:28 (ASV) and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And Jehovah said, Go up; for to-morrow I will deliver him into thy hand.

  • Judges 20:28 (BBE) And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, was in his place before it,) and said, Am I still to go on with the fight against the children of Benjamin my brother, or am I to give it up? And the Lord said, Go on; for tomorrow I will give him into your hands.

  • Judges 20:28 (CEB) and Phinehas, Eleazar's son and Aaron's grandson, was in charge of ministering before it. The Israelites asked the LORD, "Should we march out once again to fight our relatives the Benjaminites or should we give up?" And the LORD replied, "March up, for I'll hand them to you tomorrow."

  • Judges 20:28 (CEBA) and Phinehas, Eleazar's son and Aaron's grandson, was in charge of ministering before it. The Israelites asked the LORD, "Should we march out once again to fight our relatives the Benjaminites or should we give up?" And the LORD replied, "March up, for I'll hand them to you tomorrow."

  • Judges 20:28 (CJB) and Pinchas the son of El'azar, the son of Aharon, stood before it at that time. They asked, "Should we still go out to battle again against our kinsmen the people of Binyamin, or should we stop?" ADONAI answered, "Attack, because tomorrow I will hand them over to you."

  • Judges 20:28 (CSB) and Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, was serving before it. The Israelites asked: "Should we again fight against our brothers the Benjaminites or should we stop?" The Lord answered: "Fight, because I will hand them over to you tomorrow."

  • Judges 20:28 (DBY) and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And Jehovah said, Go up; for to-morrow I will give them into thy hand.

  • Judges 20:28 (ESV) and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, "Shall we go out once more to battle against our brothers, the people of Benjamin, or shall we cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will give them into your hand."

  • Judges 20 (GNT) All the people of Israel from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, as well as from the land of Gilead in the east, answered the call. They gathered in one body in the Lord's presence at Mizpah. The leaders of all the tribes of Israel were present at this gathering of God's people, and there were 400,000 foot soldiers. Meanwhile the people of Benjamin heard that all the other Israelites had gathered at Mizpah. The Israelites asked, "Tell us, how was this crime committed?" The Levite whose concubine had been murdered answered, "My concubine and I went to Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin to spend the night. The men of Gibeah came to get me and surrounded the house at night. They intended to kill me; instead they raped my concubine, and she died. I took her body, cut it in pieces, and sent one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel. These people have committed an evil and immoral act among us. All of you here are Israelites. What are we going to do about this?" All the people stood up together and said, "None of us, whether he lives in a tent or in a house, will go home. This is what we will do: we will draw lots and choose some men to attack Gibeah. One tenth of the men in Israel will provide food for the army, and the others will go and punish Gibeah for this immoral act that they have committed in Israel." So all the men in Israel assembled with one purpose - to attack the town. The Israelite tribes sent messengers all through the territory of the tribe of Benjamin to say, "What is this crime that you have committed? Now hand over those perverts in Gibeah, so that we can kill them and remove this evil from Israel." But the people of Benjamin paid no attention to the other Israelites. From all the cities of Benjamin they came to Gibeah to fight the other people of Israel. They called out twenty-six thousand soldiers from their cities that day. Besides these, the citizens of Gibeah gathered seven hundred specially chosen men who were left-handed. Every one of them could sling a stone at a strand of hair and never miss. Not counting the tribe of Benjamin, the Israelites gathered 400,000 trained soldiers. 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." So the Israelites started out the next morning and camped near the city of Gibeah. They went to attack the army of Benjamin, and placed the soldiers in position facing the city. The army of Benjamin came out of the city, and before the day was over they had killed twenty-two thousand Israelite soldiers. Then the Israelites went to the place of worship and mourned in the presence of the Lord until evening. They asked him, "Should we go again into battle against our brothers the Benjaminites?" The Lord answered, "Yes." So the Israelite army was encouraged, and they placed their soldiers in position again, where they had been the day before. They marched against the army of Benjamin a second time. And for the second time the Benjaminites came out of Gibeah, and this time they killed eighteen thousand trained Israelite soldiers. Then all the people of Israel went up to Bethel and mourned. They sat there in the Lord's presence and did not eat until evening. They offered fellowship sacrifices and burned some sacrifices whole - all in the presence of the Lord. God's Covenant Box was there at Bethel in those days, and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron, was in charge of it. The people asked the Lord, "Should we go out to fight our brothers the Benjaminites again, or should we give up?" The Lord answered, "Fight. Tomorrow I will give you victory over them." So the Israelites put some soldiers in hiding around Gibeah. Then for the third straight day they marched against the army of Benjamin and placed their soldiers in battle position facing Gibeah, as they had done before. The Benjaminites came out to fight and were led away from the city. As they had before, they began killing some Israelites in the open country, on the road to Bethel and on the road to Gibeah. They killed about thirty Israelites. The Benjaminites said, "We've beaten them just as before." But the Israelites had planned to retreat and lead them away from the city onto the roads. So when the main army of the Israelites pulled back and regrouped at Baaltamar, the men surrounding Gibeah suddenly rushed out of their hiding places in the rocky country around the city. Ten thousand men, specially chosen out of all Israel, attacked Gibeah, and the fighting was hard. The Benjaminites had not realized that they were about to be destroyed. The Lord gave Israel victory over the army of Benjamin. The Israelites killed 25,100 of the enemy that day, and the Benjaminites realized they were defeated. The main body of the Israelite army had retreated from the Benjaminites because they were relying on the men that they had put in hiding around Gibeah. These men ran quickly toward Gibeah; they spread out in the city and killed everyone there. The main Israelite army and the men in hiding had arranged a signal. When they saw a big cloud of smoke going up from the town, the Israelites out on the battlefield were to turn around. By this time the Benjaminites had already killed the thirty Israelites. They told themselves, "Yes, we've beaten them just as before." Then the signal appeared; a cloud of smoke began to go up from the town. The Benjaminites looked behind them and were amazed to see the whole city going up in flames. Then the Israelites turned around, and the Benjaminites were thrown into panic because they realized that they were about to be destroyed. They retreated from the Israelites and ran toward the open country, but they could not escape. They were caught between the main army and the men who were now coming out of the city, and they were destroyed. The Israelites had the enemy trapped, and without stopping they pursued them as far as a point east of Gibeah, killing them as they went. Eighteen thousand of the best Benjaminite soldiers were killed. The others turned and ran toward the open country to Rimmon Rock. Five thousand of them were killed on the roads. The Israelites continued to pursue the rest to Gidom, killing two thousand. In all, twenty-five thousand Benjaminites were killed that day - all of them brave soldiers. But six hundred men were able to escape to the open country to Rimmon Rock, and they stayed there four months. The Israelites turned back against the rest of the Benjaminites and killed them all - men, women, and children, and animals as well. They burned every town in the area.

  • Judges 20 (GNTA) All the people of Israel from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, as well as from the land of Gilead in the east, answered the call. They gathered in one body in the Lord's presence at Mizpah. The leaders of all the tribes of Israel were present at this gathering of God's people, and there were 400,000 foot soldiers. Meanwhile the people of Benjamin heard that all the other Israelites had gathered at Mizpah. The Israelites asked, "Tell us, how was this crime committed?" The Levite whose concubine had been murdered answered, "My concubine and I went to Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin to spend the night. The men of Gibeah came to get me and surrounded the house at night. They intended to kill me; instead they raped my concubine, and she died. I took her body, cut it in pieces, and sent one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel. These people have committed an evil and immoral act among us. All of you here are Israelites. What are we going to do about this?" All the people stood up together and said, "None of us, whether he lives in a tent or in a house, will go home. This is what we will do: we will draw lots and choose some men to attack Gibeah. One tenth of the men in Israel will provide food for the army, and the others will go and punish Gibeah for this immoral act that they have committed in Israel." So all the men in Israel assembled with one purpose - to attack the town. The Israelite tribes sent messengers all through the territory of the tribe of Benjamin to say, "What is this crime that you have committed? Now hand over those perverts in Gibeah, so that we can kill them and remove this evil from Israel." But the people of Benjamin paid no attention to the other Israelites. From all the cities of Benjamin they came to Gibeah to fight the other people of Israel. They called out twenty-six thousand soldiers from their cities that day. Besides these, the citizens of Gibeah gathered seven hundred specially chosen men who were left-handed. Every one of them could sling a stone at a strand of hair and never miss. Not counting the tribe of Benjamin, the Israelites gathered 400,000 trained soldiers. 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." So the Israelites started out the next morning and camped near the city of Gibeah. They went to attack the army of Benjamin, and placed the soldiers in position facing the city. The army of Benjamin came out of the city, and before the day was over they had killed twenty-two thousand Israelite soldiers. Then the Israelites went to the place of worship and mourned in the presence of the Lord until evening. They asked him, "Should we go again into battle against our brothers the Benjaminites?" The Lord answered, "Yes." So the Israelite army was encouraged, and they placed their soldiers in position again, where they had been the day before. They marched against the army of Benjamin a second time. And for the second time the Benjaminites came out of Gibeah, and this time they killed eighteen thousand trained Israelite soldiers. Then all the people of Israel went up to Bethel and mourned. They sat there in the Lord's presence and did not eat until evening. They offered fellowship sacrifices and burned some sacrifices whole - all in the presence of the Lord. God's Covenant Box was there at Bethel in those days, and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron, was in charge of it. The people asked the Lord, "Should we go out to fight our brothers the Benjaminites again, or should we give up?" The Lord answered, "Fight. Tomorrow I will give you victory over them." So the Israelites put some soldiers in hiding around Gibeah. Then for the third straight day they marched against the army of Benjamin and placed their soldiers in battle position facing Gibeah, as they had done before. The Benjaminites came out to fight and were led away from the city. As they had before, they began killing some Israelites in the open country, on the road to Bethel and on the road to Gibeah. They killed about thirty Israelites. The Benjaminites said, "We've beaten them just as before." But the Israelites had planned to retreat and lead them away from the city onto the roads. So when the main army of the Israelites pulled back and regrouped at Baaltamar, the men surrounding Gibeah suddenly rushed out of their hiding places in the rocky country around the city. Ten thousand men, specially chosen out of all Israel, attacked Gibeah, and the fighting was hard. The Benjaminites had not realized that they were about to be destroyed. The Lord gave Israel victory over the army of Benjamin. The Israelites killed 25,100 of the enemy that day, and the Benjaminites realized they were defeated. The main body of the Israelite army had retreated from the Benjaminites because they were relying on the men that they had put in hiding around Gibeah. These men ran quickly toward Gibeah; they spread out in the city and killed everyone there. The main Israelite army and the men in hiding had arranged a signal. When they saw a big cloud of smoke going up from the town, the Israelites out on the battlefield were to turn around. By this time the Benjaminites had already killed the thirty Israelites. They told themselves, "Yes, we've beaten them just as before." Then the signal appeared; a cloud of smoke began to go up from the town. The Benjaminites looked behind them and were amazed to see the whole city going up in flames. Then the Israelites turned around, and the Benjaminites were thrown into panic because they realized that they were about to be destroyed. They retreated from the Israelites and ran toward the open country, but they could not escape. They were caught between the main army and the men who were now coming out of the city, and they were destroyed. The Israelites had the enemy trapped, and without stopping they pursued them as far as a point east of Gibeah, killing them as they went. Eighteen thousand of the best Benjaminite soldiers were killed. The others turned and ran toward the open country to Rimmon Rock. Five thousand of them were killed on the roads. The Israelites continued to pursue the rest to Gidom, killing two thousand. In all, twenty-five thousand Benjaminites were killed that day - all of them brave soldiers. But six hundred men were able to escape to the open country to Rimmon Rock, and they stayed there four months. The Israelites turned back against the rest of the Benjaminites and killed them all - men, women, and children, and animals as well. They burned every town in the area.

  • Judges 20:28 (GW) (Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron, served in front of it.) So the people of Israel asked the LORD, "Should we continue to wage war against our close relatives, the men of Benjamin? Or should we stop?" The LORD answered, "Go! Tomorrow I will hand them over to you."

  • Judges 20:28 (HNV) and Pinechas, the son of El`azar, the son of Aharon, stood before it in those days), saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Binyamin my brother, or shall I cease? the LORD said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver him into your hand.

  • Judges 20:28 (JUB) and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the sons of Benjamin, my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into thy hand.

  • Judges 20:28 (KJV) And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying , Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease ? And the LORD said , Go up ; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand.

  • Judges 20:28 (KJVA) And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying , Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease ? And the LORD said , Go up ; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand.

  • Judges 20:28 (LEB) and Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, [was] standing {before it} [to minister] in those days), saying, "Should we go out once more to battle against the descendants of Benjamin our relatives, or should we stop?" And Yahweh said, "Go up tomorrow; I will give them into your hand."

  • Judges 20:28 (MSG) Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, as the ministering priest. They asked, "Shall we again march into battle against the Benjaminites, our brothers? Or should we call it quits?" And God said, "Attack. Tomorrow I'll give you victory."

  • Judges 20:28 (NAS) and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, Aaron's son, stood before it to minister in those days ), saying, "Shall I yet again go out to battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand."

  • Judges 20:28 (NCV) A priest named Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, served before the Ark of the Agreement.) They asked, "Shall we go to fight our relatives, the Benjaminites, again, or shall we stop fighting?" The Lord answered, "Go, because tomorrow I will hand them over to you."

  • Judges 20:28 (NIRV) Phinehas was serving as priest at the ark. He was the son of Eleazar. Eleazar was the son of Aaron. The people of Israel asked, "Should we go up again to fight against the men of Benjamin? They are our fellow Israelites." The LORD answered, "Go. Tomorrow I will hand them over to you."

  • Judges 20:28 (NIV) with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministering before it.) They asked, "Shall we go up again to battle with Benjamin our brother, or not?" The LORD responded, "Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands."

  • Judges 20:28 (NKJV) and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, "Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?" And the Lord said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand."

  • Judges 20:28 (NLT) and Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron was the priest.) The Israelites asked the LORD, "Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again or should we stop?" The LORD said, "Go! Tomorrow I will give you victory over them."

  • Judges 20:28 (NRS) and Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, "Shall we go out once more to battle against our kinsfolk the Benjaminites, or shall we desist?" The Lord answered, "Go up, for tomorrow I will give them into your hand."

  • Judges 20:28 (NRSA) and Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, "Shall we go out once more to battle against our kinsfolk the Benjaminites, or shall we desist?" The Lord answered, "Go up, for tomorrow I will give them into your hand."

  • Judges 20:28 (RHE) And Phinees, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, was over the house. So they consulted the Lord, and said: Shall we go out any more to fight against the children of Benjamin, our brethren, or shall we cease? And the Lord said to them: Go up, for to morrow I will deliver them into your hands.

  • Judges 20:28 (RSV) and Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, "Shall we yet again go out to battle against our brethren the Benjaminites, or shall we cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up; for tomorrow I will give them into your hand."

  • Judges 20:28 (RSVA) and Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, "Shall we yet again go out to battle against our brethren the Benjaminites, or shall we cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up; for tomorrow I will give them into your hand."

  • Judges 20:28 (TMB) and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, "Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin, my brother, or shall I cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into thine hand."

  • Judges 20:28 (TMBA) and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, "Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin, my brother, or shall I cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into thine hand."

  • Judges 20:28 (TNIV) 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."

  • Judges 20:28 (WBT) And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to-morrow I will deliver them into thy hand.

  • Judges 20:28 (WEB) and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? Yahweh said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver him into your hand.

  • Judges 20:28 (WYC) and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, was sovereign of the Lord's house. Then they counselled (with) the Lord, and said, Shall we go out more to battle against the sons of Benjamin, our brethren, either shall we rest? To whom the Lord said, Go ye up against them, for tomorrow I shall betake (the sons of) Benjamin into your hands. (and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, was the ruler of the Lord's House. And again they counselled with the Lord, and said, Should we go out again to do more battle against our kinsmen the Benjaminites, or should we cease? To whom the Lord said, Go ye up against them, for tomorrow I shall deliver the Benjaminites into your hands.)

  • Judges 20:28 (YLT) and Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, is standing before it in those days -- saying, `Do I add again to go out to battle with the sons of Benjamin, my brother, or do I cease?' And Jehovah saith, `Go up, for to-morrow I give him into thy hand.'

Commentaries For Judges 20

  • 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.

  • 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.