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.
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.
(The Benjamites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the Israelites said, "Tell us how this awful thing happened."
So the Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, said, "I and my concubine came to Gibeah in Benjamin to spend the night.
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.
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.
Now, all you Israelites, speak up and give your verdict."
All the people rose as one man, saying, "None of us will go home. No, not one of us will return to his house.
But now this is what we'll do to Gibeah: We'll go up against it as the lot directs.
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."
So all the men of Israel got together and united as one man against the city.
The tribes of Israel sent men throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What about this awful crime that was committed among you?
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.
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 chosen men from those living in Gibeah.
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.
Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered four hundred thousand swordsmen, all of them fighting men.
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."
The next morning the Israelites got up and pitched camp near Gibeah.
The men of Israel 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 men of Israel 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 battle against the Benjamites, our brothers?" The LORD answered, "Go up against them."