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Judges 20 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Then all the People of Israel came out. The congregation met in the presence of God at Mizpah. They were all there, from Dan to Beersheba, as one person! 1 Then all the Israelites from Dan to Beersheba and from the land of Gilead came out as one man and assembled before the LORD in Mizpah.
2 The leaders of all the people, representing all the tribes of Israel, took their places in the gathering of God's people. There were 400 divisions of sword-wielding infantry. 2 The leaders of all the people of the tribes of Israel took their places in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand soldiers armed with swords.
3 Meanwhile the Benjaminites got wind that the Israelites were meeting at Mizpah. The People of Israel said, "Now tell us. How did this outrageous evil happen?" 3 (The Benjamites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the Israelites said, "Tell us how this awful thing happened."
4 The Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, spoke: "My concubine and I came to spend the night at Gibeah, a Benjaminite town. 4 So the Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, said, "I and my concubine came to Gibeah in Benjamin to spend the night.
5 That night the men of Gibeah came after me. They surrounded the house, intending to kill me. They gang-raped my concubine and she died. 5 During the night the men of Gibeah came after me and surrounded the house, intending to kill me. They raped my concubine, and she died.
6 So I took my concubine, cut up her body, and sent her piece by piece - twelve pieces! - to every part of Israel's inheritance. This vile and outrageous crime was committed in Israel! 6 I took my concubine, cut her into pieces and sent one piece to each region of Israel's inheritance, because they committed this lewd and disgraceful act in Israel.
7 So, Israelites, make up your minds. Decide on some action!" 7 Now, all you Israelites, speak up and give your verdict."
8 All the people were at once and as one person on their feet. "None of us will go home; not a single one of us will go to his own house. 8 All the people rose as one man, saying, "None of us will go home. No, not one of us will return to his house.
9 Here's our plan for dealing with Gibeah: We'll march against it by drawing lots. 9 But now this is what we'll do to Gibeah: We'll go up against it as the lot directs.
10 We'll take ten of every hundred men from all the tribes of Israel (a hundred of every thousand, and a thousand of every ten thousand) to carry food for the army. When the troops arrive at Gibeah they will settle accounts for this outrageous and vile evil that was done in Israel." 10 We'll take ten men out of every hundred from all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred from a thousand, and a thousand from ten thousand, to get provisions for the army. Then, when the army arrives at Gibeah in Benjamin, it can give them what they deserve for all this vileness done in Israel."
11 So all the men in Israel were gathered against the city, totally united. 11 So all the men of Israel got together and united as one man against the city.
12 The Israelite tribes sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin saying, "What's the meaning of this outrage that took place among you? 12 The tribes of Israel sent men throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What about this awful crime that was committed among you?
13 Surrender the men right here and now, these hell-raisers of Gibeah. We'll put them to death and burn the evil out of Israel." 13 Now surrender those wicked men of Gibeah so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel." But the Benjamites would not listen to their fellow Israelites.
14 Instead they raised an army from all their cities and rallied at Gibeah to go to war against the People of Israel. 14 From their towns they came together at Gibeah to fight against the Israelites.
15 In no time at all they had recruited from their cities twenty-six divisions of sword-wielding infantry. From Gibeah they got 700 hand-picked fighters, the best. 15 At once the Benjamites mobilized twenty-six thousand swordsmen from their towns, in addition to seven hundred chosen men from those living in Gibeah.
16 There were another 700 super marksmen who were ambidextrous - they could sling a stone at a hair and not miss. 16 Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred chosen men who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
17 The men of Israel, excluding Benjamin, mobilized 400 divisions of sword-wielding fighting men. 17 Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered four hundred thousand swordsmen, all of them fighting men.
18 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." 18 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."
19 The People of Israel got up the next morning and camped before Gibeah. 19 The next morning the Israelites got up and pitched camp near Gibeah.
20 The army of Israel marched out against Benjamin and took up their positions, ready to attack Gibeah. 20 The men of Israel went out to fight the Benjamites and took up battle positions against them at Gibeah.
21 But the Benjaminites poured out of Gibeah and devastated twenty-two Israelite divisions on the ground. 21 The Benjamites came out of Gibeah and cut down twenty-two thousand Israelites on the battlefield that day.
22 The army took heart. The men of Israel took up the positions they had deployed on the first day. 22 But the men of Israel encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day.
23 The Israelites went back to the sanctuary and wept before God until evening. They again inquired of God, "Shall we again go into battle against the Benjaminites, our brothers?" God said, "Yes. Attack." 23 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 battle against the Benjamites, our brothers?" The LORD answered, "Go up against them."
24 On the second day, the Israelites again advanced against Benjamin. 24 Then the Israelites drew near to Benjamin the second day.
25 This time as the Benjaminites came out of the city, on this second day, they devastated another eighteen Israelite divisions, all swordsmen. 25 This time, when the Benjamites came out from Gibeah to oppose them, they cut down another eighteen thousand Israelites, all of them armed with swords.
26 All the People of Israel, the whole army, were back at Bethel, weeping, sitting there in the presence of God. That day they fasted until evening. They sacrificed Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings before God. 26 Then the Israelites, all the people, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the LORD. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD.
27 And they again inquired of God. The Chest of God's Covenant was there at that time with 27 And the Israelites inquired of the LORD. (In those days the ark of the covenant of God was there,
28 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." 28 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."
29 This time Israel placed men in ambush all around Gibeah. 29 Then Israel set an ambush around Gibeah.
30 On the third day when Israel set out, they took up the same positions before the Benjaminites as before. 30 They went up against the Benjamites on the third day and took up positions against Gibeah as they had done before.
31 When the Benjaminites came out to meet the army, they moved out from the city. Benjaminites began to cut down some of the troops just as they had before. About thirty men fell in the field and on the roads to Bethel and Gibeah. 31 The Benjamites came out to meet them and were drawn away from the city. They began to inflict casualties on the Israelites as before, so that about thirty men fell in the open field and on the roads--the one leading to Bethel and the other to Gibeah.
32 The Benjaminites started bragging, "We're dropping them like flies, just as before!" 32 While the Benjamites were saying, "We are defeating them as before," the Israelites were saying, "Let's retreat and draw them away from the city to the roads."
33 But the Israelites strategized: "Now let's retreat and pull them out of the city onto the main roads." So every Israelite moved farther out to Baal Tamar; at the same time the Israelite ambush rushed from its place west of Gibeah. 33 All the men of Israel moved from their places and took up positions at Baal Tamar, and the Israelite ambush charged out of its place on the west of Gibeah.
34 Ten crack divisions from all over Israel now arrived at Gibeah - intense, bloody fighting! The Benjaminites had no idea that they were about to go down in defeat - 34 Then ten thousand of Israel's finest men made a frontal attack on Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that the Benjamites did not realize how near disaster was.
35 God routed them before Israel. The Israelites decimated twenty-five divisions of Benjamin that day - 25,100 killed. They were all swordsmen. 35 The LORD defeated Benjamin before Israel, and on that day the Israelites struck down 25,100 Benjamites, all armed with swords.
36 The Benjaminites saw that they were beaten. The men of Israel acted like they were retreating before Benjamin, knowing that they could depend on the ambush they had prepared for Gibeah. 36 Then the Benjamites saw that they were beaten. Now the men of Israel had given way before Benjamin, because they relied on the ambush they had set near Gibeah.
37 The ambush erupted and made quick work of Gibeah. The ambush spread out and massacred the city. 37 The men who had been in ambush made a sudden dash into Gibeah, spread out and put the whole city to the sword.
38 The strategy for the main body of the ambush was that they send up a smoke signal from the city. 38 The men of Israel had arranged with the ambush that they should send up a great cloud of smoke from the city,
39 Then the men of Israel would turn in battle. When that happened, Benjamin had killed about thirty Israelites and thought they were on their way to victory, yelling out, "They're on the run, just as in the first battle!" 39 and then the men of Israel would turn in the battle. The Benjamites had begun to inflict casualties on the men of Israel (about thirty), and they said, "We are defeating them as in the first battle."
40 But then the signal went up from the city - a huge column of smoke. When the Benjaminites looked back, there it was, the whole city going up in smoke. 40 But when the column of smoke began to rise from the city, the Benjamites turned and saw the smoke of the whole city going up into the sky.
41 By the time the men of Israel had turned back on them, the men of Benjamin fell apart - they could see that they were trapped. 41 Then the men of Israel turned on them, and the men of Benjamin were terrified, because they realized that disaster had come upon them.
42 Confronted by the Israelites, they tried to get away down the wilderness road, but by now the battle was everywhere. The men of Israel poured out of the towns, killing them right and left, 42 So they fled before the Israelites in the direction of the desert, but they could not escape the battle. And the men of Israel who came out of the towns cut them down there.
43 hot on their trail, picking them off east of Gibeah. 43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them and easily overran them in the vicinity of Gibeah on the east.
44 Eighteen divisions of Benjaminites were wiped out, all their best fighters. 44 Eighteen thousand Benjamites fell, all of them valiant fighters.
45 Five divisions turned to escape to the wilderness, to Rimmon Rock, but the Israelites caught and slaughtered them on roads. Keeping the pressure on, the Israelites brought down two more divisions. 45 As they turned and fled toward the desert to the rock of Rimmon, the Israelites cut down five thousand men along the roads. They kept pressing after the Benjamites as far as Gidom and struck down two thousand more.
46 The total of the Benjaminites killed that day came to twenty-five divisions of infantry, their best swordsmen. 46 On that day twenty-five thousand Benjamite swordsmen fell, all of them valiant fighters.
47 Six hundred men got away. They made it to Rimmon Rock in the wilderness and held out there for four months. 47 But six hundred men turned and fled into the desert to the rock of Rimmon, where they stayed four months.
48 The men of Israel came back and killed all the Benjaminites who were left, all the men and animals they found in every town, and then torched the towns, sending them up in flames. 48 The men of Israel went back to Benjamin and put all the towns to the sword, including the animals and everything else they found. All the towns they came across they set on fire.