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25 That same day, Benjamin’s soldiers came out of Gibeah and attacked, leaving another eighteen thousand Israelite soldiers dead on the battlefield.

26-28 The people of Israel went to the place of worship at Bethel,[a] where the sacred chest was being kept. They sat on the ground, crying and not eating for the rest of the day. Then about sunset, they offered sacrifices to please the Lord and to ask his blessing.[b] Phinehas[c] the priest then prayed, “Our Lord, the people of Benjamin are our relatives. Should we stop fighting or attack them again?”

“Attack!” the Lord answered. “Tomorrow I will let you defeat them.”

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  1. 20.18,26-28 place. . . Bethel: The Hebrew text has “beth-el,” which means “house of God.” This could refer to the town of Bethel, to the place of worship at Mizpah, or to the sacred tent at Shiloh (see 18.30,31).
  2. 20.26-28 sacrifices. . . blessing: See Leviticus 1-3.
  3. 20.26-28 Phinehas: Hebrew “Phinehas the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron.”