Israelites Punish the Benjamites
20:1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and
the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan
even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the LORD in Mizpeh.
20:2 And the chief of all the people, even of all the
tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of
the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew
20:3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children
of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then said the children of
Israel, Tell us, how was this wickedness?
20:4 And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was
slain, answered and said, I came into Gibeah that belongeth
to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.
20:5 And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the
house round about upon me by night, and thought to have
slain me: and my concubine have they forced, that she is
20:6 And I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and
sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of
Israel: for they have committed lewdness and folly in
20:7 Behold, ye are all children of Israel; give here your
advice and counsel.
20:8 And all the people arose as one man, saying, We will
not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn
into his house.
20:9 But now this shall be the thing which we will do to
Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it;
20:10 And we will take ten men of an hundred throughout all
the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a
thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual for the
people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of
Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought
20:11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the
city, knit together as one man.
20:12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the
tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is
done among you?
20:13 Now therefore deliver us the men, the children of
Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death,
and put away evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin
would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the
children of Israel.
20:14 But the children of Benjamin gathered themselves
together out of the cities unto Gibeah, to go out to battle
against the children of Israel.
20:15 And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that
time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew
sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered
seven hundred chosen men.
20:16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen
men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair
breadth, and not miss.
20:17 And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered
four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these were
men of war.
20:18 And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the
house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of
us shall go up first to the battle against the children of
Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first.
20:19 And the children of Israel rose up in the morning,
and encamped against Gibeah.
20:20 And the men of Israel went out to battle against
Benjamin; and the men of Israel put themselves in array to
fight against them at Gibeah.
20:21 And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah,
and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day
twenty and two thousand men.
20:22 And the people the men of Israel encouraged
themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place
where they put themselves in array the first day.
20:23 (And the children of Israel went up and wept before
the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying,
Shall I go up again to battle against the children of
Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.)
20:24 And the children of Israel came near against the
children of Benjamin the second day.
20:25 And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah
the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the
children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these
drew the sword.
20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people,
went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat
there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and
offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
20:27 And the children of Israel inquired of the LORD, (for
the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
20:28 And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron,
stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go
out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother,
or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to morrow I
will deliver them into thine hand.
20:29 And Israel set liers in wait round about Gibeah.
20:30 And the children of Israel went up against the
children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in
array against Gibeah, as at other times.
20:31 And the children of Benjamin went out against the
people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to
smite of the people, and kill, as at other times, in the
highways, of which one goeth up to the house of God, and the
other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel.
20:32 And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten
down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel
said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city unto the
20:33 And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place,
and put themselves in array at Baaltamar: and the liers in
wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of
the meadows of Gibeah.
20:34 And there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men
out of all Israel, and the battle was sore: but they knew
not that evil was near them.
20:35 And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel: and the
children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day
twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these drew
20:36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were
smitten: for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjamites,
because they trusted unto the liers in wait which they had
set beside Gibeah.
20:37 And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah;
and the liers in wait drew themselves along, and smote all
the city with the edge of the sword.
20:38 Now there was an appointed sign between the men of
Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make a great
flame with smoke rise up out of the city.
20:39 And when the men of Israel retired in the battle,
Benjamin began to smite and kill of the men of Israel about
thirty persons: for they said, Surely they are smitten down
before us, as in the first battle.
20:40 But when the flame began to arise up out of the city
with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them,
and, behold, the flame of the city ascended up to heaven.
20:41 And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of
Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon
20:42 Therefore they turned their backs before the men of
Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle
overtook them; and them which came out of the cities they
destroyed in the midst of them.
20:43 Thus they inclosed the Benjamites round about, and
chased them, and trode them down with ease over against
Gibeah toward the sunrising.
20:44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all
these were men of valor.
20:45 And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto
the rock of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the highways
five thousand men; and pursued hard after them unto Gidom,
and slew two thousand men of them.
20:46 So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were
twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these
were men of valor.
20:47 But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness
unto the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four
20:48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the children
of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as
well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came
to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came