When the warriors of Benjamin came out to attack, they were drawn away from the town. And as they had done before, they began to kill the Israelites. About thirty Israelites died in the open fields and along the roads leading to Bethel and Gibeah.
Then the warriors of Benjamin shouted, "We're defeating them as we did in the first battle!" But the Israelites had agreed in advance to run away so that the men of Benjamin would chase them along the roads and be drawn away from the town.
When the main group of Israelite warriors reached Baal-tamar, they turned and prepared to attack. Then the Israelites hiding in ambush west of Gibeah jumped up from where they were
and advanced against Benjamin from behind. The fighting was so heavy that Benjamin didn't realize the impending disaster.
So the LORD helped Israel defeat Benjamin, and that day the Israelites killed 25,100 of Benjamin's warriors, all of whom were experienced with a sword.
Then the men of Benjamin saw that they were beaten.The Israelites had retreated from Benjamin's warriors in order to give those hiding in ambush more room to maneuver.
Then those who were in hiding rushed in from all sides and killed everyone in the town.
They sent up a large cloud of smoke from the town,
which was the signal for the Israelites to turn and attack Benjamin's warriors. By that time Benjamin's warriors had killed about thirty Israelites, and they shouted, "We're defeating them as we did in the first battle!"
But when the warriors of Benjamin looked behind them and saw the smoke rising into the sky from every part of the town,
the Israelites turned and attacked. At this point Benjamin's warriors realized disaster was near and became terrified.
So they ran toward the wilderness, but the Israelites chased after them and killed them.
The Israelites surrounded the men of Benjamin and were relentless in chasing them down, finally overtaking them east of Gibeah.
Eighteen thousand of Benjamin's greatest warriors died in that day's battle.
The survivors fled into the wilderness toward the rock of Rimmon, but Israel killed five thousand of them along the road. They continued the chase until they had killed another two thousand near Gidom.
So the tribe of Benjamin lost twenty-five thousand brave warriors that day,
leaving only six hundred men who escaped to the rock of Rimmon, where they lived for four months.
Then the Israelites returned and slaughtered every living thing in all the towns -- the people, the cattle -- everything. They also burned down every town they came to.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)