1Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was
assembled as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, to
Yahweh at Mizpah.
2The chiefs 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 who drew sword.
3(Now the children of Benjamin
heard that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) The children of
Israel said, Tell us, how was this wickedness brought to pass?
Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered, I came into
Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.
of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about me by night; me
they thought to have slain, and my concubine they forced, and she is dead.
6I 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 Israel.
7Behold, you children of Israel, all of you,
give here your advice and counsel.
8All the people arose as one man,
saying, We will not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn
to his house.
9But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah:
we will go up against it by lot;
10and we will take ten men of
one hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and one hundred of one
thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to get food for the people,
that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the
folly that they have worked in Israel.
11So all the men of Israel were
gathered against the city, knit together as one man.
12The tribes of
Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is
this that is happen among you?
13Now therefore deliver up the men, the
base fellows, who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away
evil from Israel. But Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their
brothers the children of Israel.
14The children of Benjamin gathered
themselves together out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against
the children of Israel.
15The children of Benjamin were numbered on that
day out of the cities twenty-six thousand men who drew the sword, besides the
inhabitants of Gibeah, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men.
16Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left-handed;
everyone could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss.
17The men of
Israel, besides Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men who drew
sword: all these were men of war.
18The children of Israel arose, and
went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of God; and they said, Who shall go up
for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin? Yahweh said, Judah
shall go up first.
19The children of Israel rose up in the
morning, and encamped against Gibeah.
20The men of Israel went out to
battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel set the battle in array
against them at Gibeah.
21The children of Benjamin came forth out of
Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites on that day
Twenty-two thousand men.
22The people, the men of Israel, encouraged
themselves, and set the battle again in array in the place where they set
themselves in array the first day.
23The children of Israel went up and
wept before Yahweh until even; and they asked of Yahweh, saying, Shall I
again draw near to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? Yahweh
said, Go up against him.
24The children of Israel came near against the
children of Benjamin the second day.
25Benjamin 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.
26Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came
to Bethel, and wept, and sat there before Yahweh, and fasted that day until
even; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yahweh.
27The children of Israel asked of Yahweh (for the ark of the covenant of
God was there in those days,
28and 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? Yahweh
said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver him into your hand.
ambushes all around Gibeah.
30The children of Israel went
up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and set themselves in
array against Gibeah, as at other times.
31The children of Benjamin went
out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to
strike and kill of the people, as at other times, in the highways, of which
one goes up to Bethel, and the other to Gibeah, in the field, about thirty
men of Israel.
32The children of Benjamin said, They are struck down
before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and
draw them away from the city to the highways.
33All the men of Israel
rose up out of their place, and set themselves in array at Baal Tamar: and
the ambushers of Israel broke forth out of their place, even out of
34There came over against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out
of all Israel, and the battle was sore; but they didn’t know that evil was
close on them.
35Yahweh struck Benjamin before Israel; and the children
of Israel destroyed of Benjamin that day twenty-five thousand one hundred
men: all these drew the sword.
36So the children of Benjamin saw that
they were struck; for the men of Israel gave place to Benjamin, because they
trusted the ambushers whom they had set against Gibeah.
ambushers hurried, and rushed on Gibeah; and the ambushers drew
themselves along, and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.
38Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the ambushers
was that they should make a great cloud of smoke rise up out of the city.
39The men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to strike
and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons; for they said, Surely
they are struck down before us, as in the first battle.
40But when the
cloud began to arise up out of the city in a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites
looked behind them; and behold, the whole of the city went up in smoke to
41The men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were
dismayed; for they saw that evil had come on them.
turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but
the battle followed hard after them; and those who came out of the cities
destroyed them in the midst of it.
43They enclosed the Benjamites round
about, and chased them, and trod them down at their
resting place, as far as over against Gibeah toward the sunrise.
fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valor.
45They turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon: and
they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men, and followed hard
after them to Gidom, and struck of them two thousand men.
46So that all
who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand men who drew the
sword; all these were men of valor.
47But six hundred men turned
and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and abode in the rock
of Rimmon four months.
48The men of Israel turned again on the children
of Benjamin, and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the entire
city, and the livestock, and all that they found: moreover all the cities which
they found they set on fire.