12 (A)“If you hear someone in one of your cities, which the Lord your God gives you to dwell in, saying,

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Israel’s War with the Benjamites

20 So (A)all the children of Israel came out, from (B)Dan to (C)Beersheba, as well as from the land of Gilead, and the congregation gathered together as one man before the Lord (D)at Mizpah. And the leaders of all the people, all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand foot soldiers (E)who drew the sword. (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.)

Then the children of Israel said, “Tell us, how did this wicked deed happen?”

So the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, “My concubine and (F)I went into Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin, to spend the night. (G)And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house at night because of me. They intended to kill me, (H)but instead they ravished my concubine so that she died. So (I)I took hold of my concubine, cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of the inheritance of Israel, because they (J)committed lewdness and outrage in Israel. Look! All of you are children of Israel; (K)give your advice and counsel here and now!”

So all the people arose as one man, saying, “None of us will go to his tent, nor will any turn back to his house; but now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah: We will go up (L)against it by lot. 10 We will take ten men out of every hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, a hundred out of every thousand, and a thousand out of every ten thousand, to make provisions for the people, that when they come to Gibeah in Benjamin, they may repay all the vileness that they have done in Israel.” 11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united together as one man.

12 (M)Then the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What is this wickedness that has occurred among you? 13 Now therefore, deliver up the men, (N)the [a]perverted men who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and (O)remove the evil from Israel!” But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren, the children of Israel. 14 Instead, the children of Benjamin gathered together from their cities to Gibeah, to go to battle against the children of Israel. 15 And from their cities at that time (P)the children of Benjamin numbered twenty-six thousand men who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who numbered seven hundred select men. 16 Among all this people were seven hundred select men who were (Q)left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair’s breadth and not miss. 17 Now besides Benjamin, the men of Israel numbered four hundred thousand men who drew the sword; all of these were men of war.

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Footnotes

  1. Judges 20:13 Lit. sons of Belial

11 Now the children of Israel (A)heard someone say, “Behold, the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh have built an altar on the [a]frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan—on the children of Israel’s side.” 12 And when the children of Israel heard of it, (B)the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered together at Shiloh to go to war against them.

13 Then the children of Israel (C)sent (D)Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the children of Reuben, to the children of Gad, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, 14 and with him ten rulers, one ruler each from the chief house of every tribe of Israel; and (E)each one was the head of the house of his father among the [b]divisions of Israel. 15 Then they came to the children of Reuben, to the children of Gad, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying, 16 “Thus says the whole congregation of the Lord: ‘What (F)treachery[c] is this that you have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that you have built for yourselves an altar, (G)that you might rebel this day against the Lord? 17 Is the iniquity (H)of Peor not enough for us, from which we are not cleansed till this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the Lord, 18 but that you must turn away this day from following the Lord? And it shall be, if you rebel today against the Lord, that tomorrow (I)He will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel. 19 [d]Nevertheless, if the land of your possession is unclean, then cross over to the land of the possession of the Lord, (J)where the Lord’s tabernacle stands, and take possession among us; but do not rebel against the Lord, nor rebel against us, by building yourselves an altar besides the altar of the Lord our God. 20 (K)Did not Achan the son of Zerah [e]commit a trespass in the [f]accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.’ ”

21 Then the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh answered and said to the heads of the [g]divisions of Israel: 22 “The Lord (L)God of gods, the Lord God of gods, He (M)knows, and let Israel itself know—if it is in rebellion, or if in treachery against the Lord, do not save us this day. 23 If we have built ourselves an altar to turn from following the Lord, or if to offer on it burnt offerings or grain offerings, or if to offer peace offerings on it, let the Lord Himself (N)require an account. 24 But in fact we have done it [h]for fear, for a reason, saying, ‘In time to come your descendants may speak to our descendants, saying, “What have you to do with the Lord God of Israel? 25 For the Lord has made the Jordan a border between you and us, you children of Reuben and children of Gad. You have no part in the Lord.” So your descendants would make our descendants cease fearing the Lord.’ 26 Therefore we said, ‘Let us now prepare to build ourselves an altar, not for burnt offering nor for sacrifice, 27 but that it may be (O)a [i]witness between you and us and our generations after us, that we may (P)perform the service of the Lord before Him with our burnt offerings, with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your descendants may not say to our descendants in time to come, “You have no part in the Lord.” ’ 28 Therefore we said that it will be, when they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say, ‘Here is the replica of the altar of the Lord which our fathers made, though not for burnt offerings nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between you and us.’ 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against the Lord, and turn from following the Lord this day, (Q)to build an altar for burnt offerings, for grain offerings, or for sacrifices, besides the altar of the Lord our God which is before His tabernacle.”

30 Now when Phinehas the priest and the rulers of the congregation, the heads of the [j]divisions of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and the children of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them. 31 Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and the children of Manasseh, “This day we perceive that the Lord is (R)among us, because you have not committed this treachery against the Lord. Now you have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the Lord.”

32 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the rulers, returned from the children of Reuben and the children of Gad, from the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 So the thing pleased the children of Israel, and the children of Israel (S)blessed God; they spoke no more of going against them in battle, to destroy the land where the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt.

34 The children of Reuben and the children of [k]Gad called the altar, Witness, “For it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.”

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Footnotes

  1. Joshua 22:11 Lit. front
  2. Joshua 22:14 Lit. thousands
  3. Joshua 22:16 unfaithful act
  4. Joshua 22:19 However
  5. Joshua 22:20 act unfaithfully
  6. Joshua 22:20 devoted thing
  7. Joshua 22:21 Lit. thousands
  8. Joshua 22:24 Lit. from fear
  9. Joshua 22:27 testimony
  10. Joshua 22:30 Lit. thousands
  11. Joshua 22:34 LXX adds and half the tribe of Manasseh

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