Now turn those wicked men of Gibeah over to us so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.” But the Benjamites would not listen to their fellow Israelites.
From their towns they came together at Gibeah to fight against the Israelites.
At once the Benjamites mobilized twenty-six thousand swordsmen from their towns, in addition to seven hundred able young men from those living in Gibeah.
Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred select troops who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered four hundred thousand swordsmen, all of them fit for battle.
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.”
The next morning the Israelites got up and pitched camp near Gibeah.
The Israelites went out to fight the Benjamites and took up battle positions against them at Gibeah.
The Benjamites came out of Gibeah and cut down twenty-two thousand Israelites on the battlefield that day.
But the Israelites encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day.
The Israelites went up and wept before the LORD until evening, and they inquired of the LORD. They said, “Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites?” The LORD answered, “Go up against them.”