Judges 19; Judges 20; Judges 21

1 There was a certain Levite, who dwelt on the side of mount Ephraim, who took a wife of Bethlehem Juda: 2 And she left him, and returned to her father’s house in Bethlehem, and abode with him four months. 3 And her husband followed her, willing to be reconciled with her, and to speak kindly to her, and to bring her back with him, having with him a servant and two asses: and she received him, and brought him into her father’s house. And when his father in law had heard this, and had seen him, he met him with joy, 4 And embraced the man. And the son in law tarried in the house of his father in law three days, eating with him and drinking familiarly. 5 But on the fourth day, arising early in the morning, he desired to depart. But his father in law kept him, and said to him: Taste first a little bread, and strengthen thy stomach, and so thou shalt depart. 6 And they sat down together, and ate and drank. And the father of the young woman said to his son in law: I beseech thee to stay here to day, and let us make merry together. 7 But he rising up, began to be for departing. And nevertheless his father in law earnestly pressed him, and made him stay with him. 8 But when morning was come, the Levite prepared to go on his journey. And his father in law said to him again: I beseech thee to take a little meat, and strengthening thyself, till the day be farther advanced, afterwards thou mayest depart. And they ate together. 9 And the young man arose to set forward with his wife and servant. And his father in law spoke to him again: Consider that the day is declining, and draweth toward evening: tarry with me to day also, and spend the day in mirth, and to morrow thou shalt depart, that thou mayest go into thy house. 10 His son in law would not consent to his words: but forthwith went forward, and came over against Jebus, which by another name is called Jerusalem, leading with him two asses loaden, and his concubine. 11 And now they were come near Jebus, and the day was far spent: and the servant said to his master: Come, I beseech thee, let us turn into the city of the Jebusites, and lodge there. 12 His master answered him: I will not go into the town of another nation, who are not of the children of Israel, but I will pass over to Gabaa: 13 And when I shall come thither, we will lodge there, or at least in the city of Rama. 14 So they passed by Jebus, and went on their journey, and the sun went down upon them when they were by Gabaa, which is in the tribe of Benjamin: 15 And they turned into it to lodge there. And when they were come in, they sat in the street of the city, for no man would receive them to lodge. 16 And behold they saw an old man, returning out of the field and from his work in the evening, and he also was of mount Ephraim, and dwelt as a stranger in Gabaa; but the men of that country were the children of Jemini. 17 And the old man lifting up his eyes, saw the man sitting with his bundles in the street of the city, and said to him: Whence comest thou? and whither goest thou? 18 He answered him: We came out from Bethlehem Juda, and we are going to our home, which is on the side of mount Ephraim, from whence we went to Bethlehem: and now we go to the house of God, and none will receive us under his roof: 19 We have straw and hay for provender of the asses, and bread and wine for the use of myself and of thy handmaid, and of the servant that is with me: we want nothing but lodging. 20 And the old man answered him: Peace be with thee: I will furnish all things that are necessary: only I beseech thee, stay not in the street. 21 And he brought him into his house, and gave provender to his asses: and after they had washed their feet, he entertained them with a feast. 22 While they were making merry, and refreshing their bodies with meat and drink, after the labour of the journey, the men of that city, sons of Belial (that is, without yoke), came and beset the old man’s house, and began to knock at the door, calling to the master of the house, and saying: Bring forth the man that came into thy house, that we may abuse him: 23 And the old man went out to them, and said: Do not so, my brethren, do not so wickedly: because this man is come into my lodging, and cease I pray you from this folly. 24 I have a maiden daughter, and this man hath a concubine, I will bring them out to you, and you may humble them, and satisfy your lust: only, I beseech you, commit not this crime against nature on the man. 25 They would not be satisfied with his words; which the man seeing, brought out his concubine to them, and abandoned her to their wickedness: and when they had abused her all the night, they let her go in the morning. 26 But the woman, at the dawning of the day, came to the door of the house, where her lord lodged, and there fell down. 27 And in the morning the man arose, and opened the door, that he might end the journey he had begun: and behold his concubine lay before the door with her hands spread on the threshold. 28 He thinking she was taking her rest, said to her: Arise, and let us be going. But as she made no answer, perceiving she was dead, he took her up, and laid her upon his ass, and returned to his house. 29 And when he was come home, he took a sword, and divided the dead body of his wife with her bones into twelve parts, and sent the pieces into all the borders of Israel. 30 And when every one had seen this, they all cried out: There was never such a thing done in Israel, from the day that our fathers came up out of Egypt, until this day: give sentence, and decree in common what ought to be done.
1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and gathered together as one man, from Dan to Bersabee, with the land of Galaad, to the Lord in Maspha: 2 And all the chiefs of the people, and all the tribes of Israel, met together in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen fit for war. 3 (Nor were the children of Benjamin ignorant that the children of Israel were come up to Maspha.) And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was killed being asked, how so great a wickedness had been committed, 4 Answered: I came into Gabaa, of Benjamin, with my wife, and there I lodged: 5 And behold the men of that city, in the night beset the house wherein I was, intending to kill me, and abused my wife with an incredible fury of lust, so that at last she died. 6 And I took her and cut her in pieces, and sent the parts into all the borders of your possession: because there never was so heinous a crime, and so great an abomination committed in Israel. 7 You are all here, O children of Israel, determine what you ought to do. 8 And all the people standing, answered as by the voice of one man: We will not return to our tents, neither shall any one of us go into his own house: 9 But this we will do in common against Gabaa: 10 We will take ten men of a hundred out of all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred out of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to bring victuals for the army, that we may fight against Gabaa of Benjamin, and render to it for its wickedness, what it deserveth. 11 And all Israel were gathered together against the city, as one man, with one mind, and one counsel: 12 And they sent messengers to all the tribe of Benjamin, to say to them: Why hath so great an abomination been found among you? 13 Deliver up the men of Gabaa, that have committed this heinous crime, that they may die, and the evil may be taken away out of Israel. But they would not hearken to the proposition of their brethren the children of Israel: 14 But out of all the cities which were of their lot, they gathered themselves together into Gabaa, to aid them, and to fight against the whole people of Israel. 15 And there were found of Benjamin five and twenty thousand men that drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gabaa, 16 Who were seven hundred most valiant men, fighting with the left hand as well as with the right: and slinging stones so sure that they could hit even a hair, and not miss by the stone’s going on either side. 17 Of the men of Israel also, beside the children of Benjamin, were found four hundred thousand that drew swords and were prepared to fight. 18 And they arose and came to the house of God, that is, to Silo: and they consulted God, and said: Who shall be in our army the first to go to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord answered them: Let Juda be your leader. 19 And forthwith the children of Israel rising in the morning, camped by Gabaa: 20 And going out from thence to fight against Benjamin, began to assault the city. 21 And the children of Benjamin coming out of Gabaa slew of the children of Israel that day two and twenty thousand men. 22 Again Israel, trusting in their strength and their number, set their army in array in the same place, where they had fought before: 23 Yet so that they first went up and wept before the Lord until night: and consulted him and said: Shall I go out any more to fight against the children of Benjamin my brethren or not? And he answered them: Go up against them, and join battle. 24 And when the children of Israel went out the next day to fight against the children of Benjamin, 25 The children of Benjamin sallied forth out of the gates of Gabaa: and meeting them, made so great a slaughter of them, as to kill eighteen thousand men that drew the sword. 26 Wherefore all the children of Israel came to the house of God, and sat and wept before the Lord: and they fasted that day till the evening, and offered to him holocausts, and victims of peace offerings, 27 And inquired of him concerning their state. At that time the ark of the covenant of the Lord was there, 28 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. 29 And the children of Israel set ambushes round about the city of Gabaa: 30 And they drew up their army against Benjamin the third time, as they had done the first and second. 31 And the children of Benjamin boldly issued out of the city, and seeing their enemies flee, pursued them a long way, so as to wound and kill some of them, as they had done the first and second day, whilst they fled by two highways, whereof one goeth up to Bethel and the other to Gabaa, and they slew about thirty men: 32 For they thought to cut them off as they did before. But they artfully feigning a flight, designed to draw them away from the city, and by their seeming to flee, to bring them to the highways aforesaid. 33 Then all the children of Israel rising up out of the places where they were, set their army in battle array, in the place which is called Baalthamar. The ambushes also, which were about the city, began by little and little to come forth, 34 And to march from the west side of the city. And other ten thousand men chosen out of all Israel, attacked the inhabitants of the city. And the battle grew hot against the children of Benjamin: and they understood not that present death threatened them on every side. 35 And the Lord defeated them before the children of Israel, and they slew of them in that day five and twenty thousand, and one hundred, all fighting men, and that drew the sword. 36 But the children of Benjamin, when they saw themselves to be too weak, began to flee. Which the children of Israel seeing, gave them place to flee, that they might come to the ambushes that were prepared, which they had set near the city. 37 And they that were in ambush arose on a sudden out of their coverts, and whilst Benjamin turned their backs to the slayers, went into the city, and smote it with the edge of the sword. 38 Now the children of Israel had given a sign to them, whom they had laid in ambushes, that after they had taken the city, they should make a fire: that by the smoke rising on high, they might shew that the city was taken. 39 And when the children of Israel saw this in the battle, (for the children of Benjamin thought they fled, and pursued them vigorously, killing thirty men of their army) 40 And perceived, as it were, a pillar of smoke rise up from the city; and Benjamin looking back, saw that the city was taken, and that the flames ascended on high: 41 They that before had made as if they fled, turning their faces, stood bravely against them. Which the children of Benjamin seeing, turned their backs, 42 And began to go towards the way of the desert, the enemy pursuing them thither also. And they that fired the city came also out to meet them. 43 And so it was, that they were slain on both sides by the enemies, and there was no rest of their men dying. They fell and were beaten down on the east side of the city of Gabaa. 44 And they that were slain in the same place, were eighteen thousand men, all most valiant soldiers. 45 And when they that remained of Benjamin saw this, they fled into the wilderness, and made towards the rock that is called Remmon. In that flight also, as they were straggling, and going different ways; they slew of them five thousand men. And as they went farther, they still pursued them, and slew also other two thousand. 46 And so it came to pass, that all that were slain of Benjamin, in divers places, were five and twenty thousand fighting men, most valiant for war. 47 And there remained of all the number of Benjamin only six hundred men that were able to escape, and flee to the wilderness: and they abode in the rock Remmon four months. 48 But the children of Israel returning, put all the remains of the city to the sword, both men and beasts, and all the cities and villages of Benjamin were consumed with devouring flames.
1 Now the children of Israel had also sworn in Maspha, saying: None of us shall give of his daughters to the children of Benjamin to wife. 2 And they all came to the house of God in Silo, and sitting before him till the evening, lifted up their voices, and began to lament and weep, saying: 3 O Lord God of Israel, why is so great an evil come to pass in thy people, that this day one tribe should be taken away from among us? 4 And rising early the next day, they built an altar: and offered there holocausts, and victims of peace, and they said: 5 Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the army of the Lord? for they had bound themselves with a great oath, when they were in Maspha, that whosoever were wanting should be slain. 6 And the children of Israel being moved with repentance for their brother Benjamin, began to say: One tribe is taken away from Israel. 7 Whence shall they take wives? For we have all in general sworn, not to give our daughters to them. 8 Therefore they said: Who is there of all the tribes of Israel, that came not up to the Lord to Maspha? And, behold, the inhabitants of Jabes Galaad were found not to have been in that army. 9 (At that time also when they were in Silo, no one of them was found there,) 10 So they sent ten thousand of the most valiant men, and commanded them, saying: Go and put the inhabitants of Jabes Galaad to the sword, with their wives and their children. 11 And this is what you shall observe: Every male, and all women that have known men, you shall kill, but the virgins you shall save. 12 And there were found of Jabes Galaad four hundred virgins, that had not known the bed of a man, and they brought them to the camp in Silo, into the land of Chanaan. 13 And they sent messengers to the children of Benjamin, that were in the rock Remmon, and commanded them to receive them in peace. 14 And the children of Benjamin came at that time, and wives were given them of Jabes Galaad: but they found no others, whom they might give in like manner. 15 And all Israel was very sorry, and repented for the destroying of one tribe out of Israel. 16 And the ancients said: What shall we do with the rest, that have not received wives? for all the women in Benjamin are dead. 17 And we must use all care, and provide with great diligence, that one tribe be not destroyed out of Israel. 18 For as to our own daughters we cannot give them, being bound with an oath and a curse, whereby we said: Cursed be he that shall give Benjamin any of his daughters to wife. 19 So they took counsel, and said: Behold, there is a yearly solemnity of the Lord in Silo, which is situate on the north of the city of Bethel, and on the east side of the way, that goeth from Bethel to Sichem, and on the south of the town of Lebona. 20 And they commanded the children of Benjamin and said: Go, and lie hid in the vineyards, 21 And when you shall see the daughters of Silo come out, as the custom is, to dance, come ye on a sudden out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife among them, and go into the land of Benjamin. 22 And when their fathers and their brethren shall come, and shall begin to complain against you, and to chide, we will say to them: Have pity on them: for they took them not away as by the right of war or conquest, but when they asked to have them, you gave them not, and the fault was committed on your part. 23 And the children of Benjamin did as they had been commanded: and, according to their number, they carried off for themselves every man his wife of them that were dancing: and they went into their possession, and built up their cities, and dwelt in them. 24 The children of Israel also returned by their tribes, and families, to their dwellings. 25 (21-24) In those days there was no king in Israel: but every one did that which seemed right to himself.
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