A A A A A
Bible Book List

Judges 20 New Living Translation (NLT)

Israel’s War with Benjamin

20 Then all the Israelites were united as one man, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, including those from across the Jordan in the land of Gilead. The entire community assembled in the presence of the Lord at Mizpah. The leaders of all the people and all the tribes of Israel—400,000 warriors armed with swords—took their positions in the assembly of the people of God. (Word soon reached the land of Benjamin that the other tribes had gone up to Mizpah.) The Israelites then asked how this terrible crime had happened.

The Levite, the husband of the woman who had been murdered, said, “My concubine and I came to spend the night in Gibeah, a town that belongs to the people of Benjamin. That night some of the leading citizens of Gibeah surrounded the house, planning to kill me, and they raped my concubine until she was dead. So I cut her body into twelve pieces and sent the pieces throughout the territory assigned to Israel, for these men have committed a terrible and shameful crime. Now then, all of you—the entire community of Israel—must decide here and now what should be done about this!”

And all the people rose to their feet in unison and declared, “None of us will return home! No, not even one of us! Instead, this is what we will do to Gibeah; we will draw lots to decide who will attack it. 10 One-tenth of the men[a] from each tribe will be chosen to supply the warriors with food, and the rest of us will take revenge on Gibeah[b] of Benjamin for this shameful thing they have done in Israel.” 11 So all the Israelites were completely united, and they gathered together to attack the town.

12 The Israelites sent messengers to the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What a terrible thing has been done among you! 13 Give up those evil men, those troublemakers from Gibeah, so we can execute them and purge Israel of this evil.”

But the people of Benjamin would not listen. 14 Instead, they came from their towns and gathered at Gibeah to fight the Israelites. 15 In all, 26,000 of their warriors armed with swords arrived in Gibeah to join the 700 elite troops who lived there. 16 Among Benjamin’s elite troops, 700 were left-handed, and each of them could sling a rock and hit a target within a hairsbreadth without missing. 17 Israel had 400,000 experienced soldiers armed with swords, not counting Benjamin’s warriors.

18 Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God, “Which tribe should go first to attack the people of Benjamin?”

The Lord answered, “Judah is to go first.”

19 So the Israelites left early the next morning and camped near Gibeah. 20 Then they advanced toward Gibeah to attack the men of Benjamin. 21 But Benjamin’s warriors, who were defending the town, came out and killed 22,000 Israelites on the battlefield that day.

22 But the Israelites encouraged each other and took their positions again at the same place they had fought the previous day. 23 For they had gone up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the Lord until evening. They had asked the Lord, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again?”

And the Lord had said, “Go out and fight against them.”

24 So the next day they went out again to fight against the men of Benjamin, 25 but the men of Benjamin killed another 18,000 Israelites, all of whom were experienced with the sword.

26 Then all the Israelites went up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the Lord and fasted until evening. They also brought burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. 27 The Israelites went up seeking direction from the Lord. (In those days the Ark of the Covenant of God was in Bethel, 28 and Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron was the priest.) The Israelites asked the Lord, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again, or should we stop?”

The Lord said, “Go! Tomorrow I will hand them over to you.”

29 So the Israelites set an ambush all around Gibeah. 30 They went out on the third day and took their positions at the same place as before. 31 When the men of Benjamin came out to attack, they were drawn away from the town. And as they had done before, they began to kill the Israelites. About thirty Israelites died in the open fields and along the roads, one leading to Bethel and the other leading back to Gibeah.

32 Then the warriors of Benjamin shouted, “We’re defeating them as we did before!” But the Israelites had planned in advance to run away so that the men of Benjamin would chase them along the roads and be drawn away from the town.

33 When the main group of Israelite warriors reached Baal-tamar, they turned and took up their positions. Meanwhile, the Israelites hiding in ambush to the west[c] of Gibeah jumped up to fight. 34 There were 10,000 elite Israelite troops who advanced against Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that Benjamin didn’t realize the impending disaster. 35 So the Lord helped Israel defeat Benjamin, and that day the Israelites killed 25,100 of Benjamin’s warriors, all of whom were experienced swordsmen. 36 Then the men of Benjamin saw that they were beaten.

The Israelites had retreated from Benjamin’s warriors in order to give those hiding in ambush more room to maneuver against Gibeah. 37 Then those who were hiding rushed in from all sides and killed everyone in the town. 38 They had arranged to send up a large cloud of smoke from the town as a signal. 39 When the Israelites saw the smoke, they turned and attacked Benjamin’s warriors.

By that time Benjamin’s warriors had killed about thirty Israelites, and they shouted, “We’re defeating them as we did in the first battle!” 40 But when the warriors of Benjamin looked behind them and saw the smoke rising into the sky from every part of the town, 41 the men of Israel turned and attacked. At this point the men of Benjamin became terrified, because they realized disaster was close at hand. 42 So they turned around and fled before the Israelites toward the wilderness. But they couldn’t escape the battle, and the people who came out of the nearby towns were also killed.[d] 43 The Israelites surrounded the men of Benjamin and chased them relentlessly, finally overtaking them east of Gibeah.[e] 44 That day 18,000 of Benjamin’s strongest warriors died in battle. 45 The survivors fled into the wilderness toward the rock of Rimmon, but Israel killed 5,000 of them along the road. They continued the chase until they had killed another 2,000 near Gidom.

46 So that day the tribe of Benjamin lost 25,000 strong warriors armed with swords, 47 leaving only 600 men who escaped to the rock of Rimmon, where they lived for four months. 48 And the Israelites returned and slaughtered every living thing in all the towns—the people, the livestock, and everything they found. They also burned down all the towns they came to.

Footnotes:

  1. 20:10a Hebrew 10 men from every hundred, 100 men from every thousand, and 1,000 men from every 10,000.
  2. 20:10b Hebrew Geba, in this case a variant spelling of Gibeah; also in 20:33.
  3. 20:33 As in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads hiding in the open space.
  4. 20:42 Or battle, for the people from the nearby towns also came out and killed them.
  5. 20:43 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Judges 20 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Resolve to Punish the Guilty

20 Then all the sons of Israel from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south], including the land of Gilead came out, and the congregation assembled as one man to the Lord at Mizpah. The chiefs of all the people of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand men on foot who drew the sword. (Now the Benjamites [in whose territory the crime was committed] heard that the [other tribes of the] sons of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) And the sons of Israel said, “How did this evil thing happen?” So the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, replied, “I had come with my concubine to spend the night in Gibeah, [a town] which belongs to [the tribe of] Benjamin. But the men of Gibeah rose up against me and surrounded the house at night because of me. They intended to kill me, but instead they raped my concubine [so brutally] that she died. So I took my concubine and cut her [corpse] in pieces and sent her [body parts] throughout the land of the inheritance of Israel; for the men of Gibeah have committed a lewd and disgraceful act in Israel. Now then, all you sons of Israel, all of you, give your advice and counsel here [regarding what should be done].”

Then all the people stood [unified] as one man, saying, “None of us will go to his tent, and none of us will return to his home [until this is settled]. But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it, 10 and we will take ten men out of a hundred throughout the tribes of Israel, and a hundred out of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand to bring provisions for the men, so that when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, they may punish them for all the despicable acts which they have committed in Israel.” 11 So all the men of Israel assembled against the city, united as one man.

12 Then the tribes of Israel sent men through the entire tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What is this evil thing that has been done among you? 13 Now therefore, turn over the men [involved], the [a]worthless and wicked men in Gibeah, so that we may put them to death and remove this wickedness from Israel.” But the Benjamites would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the sons of Israel. 14 Then the [tribe of the] sons of Benjamin gathered from the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the [other] sons of Israel. 15 And the Benjamites assembled out of their cities at that time twenty-six thousand men who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who assembled seven hundred chosen men. 16 Out of all these people were seven hundred choice [b]left-handed men; each one could sling stones at [a target no wider than] a hair and not [c]miss.

17 Then the men of Israel, other than Benjamin, assembled four hundred thousand men who drew the sword; all of these were men of war.

Civil War, Benjamin Defeated

18 The men of Israel arose and went up to [d]Bethel and asked of God and said, “Which of us shall take the lead to battle against the sons [tribe] of Benjamin?” And the Lord said, “Judah [shall go up] first.”

19 Then the [fighting men of the] sons of Israel arose in the morning and camped against Gibeah. 20 The men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin, and assembled in battle formation against them at Gibeah. 21 The sons of Benjamin came out of Gibeah and struck to the ground on that day twenty-two thousand [fighting] men of Israel. 22 But the people, the [fighting] men of Israel, took courage and strengthened themselves and again set their battle line in the same place where they formed it the first day. 23 The sons of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until evening, and asked of the Lord, “Shall we advance again to battle against the sons of our brother Benjamin?” And the Lord said, “Go up against them.”

24 So the sons of Israel came against the sons of Benjamin the second day. 25 And [the fighting men from the tribe of] Benjamin went out of Gibeah against them the second day and again struck to the ground the sons of Israel, eighteen thousand men, all of whom were swordsmen. 26 Then all the sons of Israel and all the people went up and came to Bethel and wept; and they sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 27 And the sons of Israel inquired of the Lord (for the ark of the covenant of God was there [at Bethel] in those days, 28 and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, “Shall I yet again go out to battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin, or shall I quit?” And the Lord said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will hand them over to you.”

29 So Israel set men in ambush around Gibeah. 30 The [fighting men of the] sons of Israel went up against the sons of Benjamin on the third day and placed themselves in battle formation against Gibeah as at other times. 31 The Benjamites went out against [e]their army and were lured away from the city, and they began to strike and kill some of the people as at other times, on the highways, one of which goes up to Bethel and the other to Gibeah, and in the open country, about thirty men of Israel. 32 And the Benjamites said, “They are defeated before us, as at the first.” But the sons of Israel said, “Let us flee and lure them away from the city to the highways.” 33 Then all the men of Israel got up from their places and placed themselves in battle formation at Baal-tamar; and the men of Israel [who were] in ambush rushed from their place in the plain of Maareh-geba. 34 When the ten thousand choice [fighting] men from all Israel came against Gibeah, the battle was hard and fierce; but the Benjamites did not realize that disaster was about to strike them. 35 And the Lord struck down [the tribe of] Benjamin before Israel, so that the sons of Israel destroyed twenty-five thousand one hundred men of Benjamin that day, all of whom were swordsmen.

36 So the Benjamites realized that they were defeated. Then men of Israel gave ground to the Benjamites, because they relied on the men in ambush whom they had placed against Gibeah. 37 Then the men in ambush quickly rushed and attacked Gibeah; and the men in ambush also deployed and struck the entire city with the edge of the sword. 38 Now the appointed signal between the men of Israel and the men in ambush was that they would make a great cloud of smoke rise from the city. 39 So the men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to strike and kill about thirty men of Israel, for they said, “Certainly they are defeated before us as in the first battle!” 40 But when the [signal] cloud began to rise out of the city in a column of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them; and behold, the entire city went up in smoke to heaven. 41 When the men of Israel turned back again, the men of Benjamin were terrified, for they saw that disaster had fallen upon them. 42 Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel [and fled] toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle followed and overtook them. As the [fighting men of the] sons of Benjamin ran among them, the Israelites of the cities came out and destroyed them. 43 They surrounded [the men of] Benjamin, pursued them relentlessly, and overtook them opposite Gibeah toward the east. 44 Thus eighteen thousand men of Benjamin fell, all of these brave and able warriors. 45 The survivors [of Benjamin] turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and Israel caught five thousand of them on the roads and overtook them at Gidom and killed two thousand of them. 46 So all of Benjamin who fell that day were twenty-five thousand men who drew the sword, all of them brave and able warriors. 47 But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon and stayed at the rock of Rimmon for four months. 48 The men of Israel turned back against [the tribe of] the sons of Benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the entire city [of Gibeah] and the livestock and all that they found. They also set on fire all the [surrounding] towns which they found.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 20:13 Lit sons of Belial.
  2. Judges 20:16 Lit impeded in the right hand.
  3. Judges 20:16 This is the verb usually translated as to sin.
  4. Judges 20:18 Apparently the ark of the covenant and the high priest were in Bethel.
  5. Judges 20:31 Lit the people.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Judges 20 The Message (MSG)

20 1-2 Then all the People of Israel came out. The congregation met in the presence of God at Mizpah. They were all there, from Dan to Beersheba, as one person! The leaders of all the people, representing all the tribes of Israel, took their places in the gathering of God’s people. There were four hundred divisions of sword-wielding infantry.

Meanwhile the Benjaminites got wind that the Israelites were meeting at Mizpah.

The People of Israel said, “Now tell us. How did this outrageous evil happen?”

4-7 The Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, spoke: “My concubine and I came to spend the night at Gibeah, a Benjaminite town. That night the men of Gibeah came after me. They surrounded the house, intending to kill me. They gang-raped my concubine and she died. So I took my concubine, cut up her body, and sent her piece by piece—twelve pieces!—to every part of Israel’s inheritance. This vile and outrageous crime was committed in Israel! So, Israelites, make up your minds. Decide on some action!”

8-11 All the people were at once and as one person on their feet. “None of us will go home; not a single one of us will go to his own house. Here’s our plan for dealing with Gibeah: We’ll march against it by drawing lots. We’ll take ten of every hundred men from all the tribes of Israel (a hundred of every thousand, and a thousand of every ten thousand) to carry food for the army. When the troops arrive at Gibeah they will settle accounts for this outrageous and vile evil that was done in Israel.” So all the men in Israel were gathered against the city, totally united.

12-13 The Israelite tribes sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin saying, “What’s the meaning of this outrage that took place among you? Surrender the men right here and now, these hell-raisers of Gibeah. We’ll put them to death and burn the evil out of Israel.”

13-16 But they wouldn’t do it. The Benjaminites refused to listen to their brothers, the People of Israel. Instead they raised an army from all their cities and rallied at Gibeah to go to war against the People of Israel. In no time at all they had recruited from their cities twenty-six divisions of sword-wielding infantry. From Gibeah they got seven hundred hand-picked fighters, the best. There were another seven hundred supermarksmen who were ambidextrous—they could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.

17 The men of Israel, excluding Benjamin, mobilized four hundred divisions of sword-wielding fighting men.

18 They set out and went to Bethel to inquire of God. The People of Israel said, “Who of us shall be first to go into battle with the Benjaminites?”

God said, “Judah goes first.”

19-21 The People of Israel got up the next morning and camped before Gibeah. The army of Israel marched out against Benjamin and took up their positions, ready to attack Gibeah. But the Benjaminites poured out of Gibeah and devastated twenty-two Israelite divisions on the ground.

22-23 The Israelites went back to the sanctuary and wept before God until evening. They again inquired of God, “Shall we again go into battle against the Benjaminites, our brothers?”

God said, “Yes. Attack.”

24-25 The army took heart. The men of Israel took up the positions they had deployed on the first day.

On the second day, the Israelites again advanced against Benjamin. This time as the Benjaminites came out of the city, on this second day, they devastated another eighteen Israelite divisions, all swordsmen.

26 All the People of Israel, the whole army, were back at Bethel, weeping, sitting there in the presence of God. That day they fasted until evening. They sacrificed Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings before God.

27-28 And they again inquired of God. The Chest of God’s Covenant was there at that time with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, as the ministering priest. They asked, “Shall we again march into battle against the Benjaminites, our brothers? Or should we call it quits?”

And God said, “Attack. Tomorrow I’ll give you victory.”

29-31 This time Israel placed men in ambush all around Gibeah. On the third day when Israel set out, they took up the same positions before the Benjaminites as before. When the Benjaminites came out to meet the army, they moved out from the city. Benjaminites began to cut down some of the troops just as they had before. About thirty men fell in the field and on the roads to Bethel and Gibeah.

32 The Benjaminites started bragging, “We’re dropping them like flies, just as before!”

33 But the Israelites strategized: “Now let’s retreat and pull them out of the city onto the main roads.” So every Israelite moved farther out to Baal Tamar; at the same time the Israelite ambush rushed from its place west of Gibeah.

34-36 Ten crack divisions from all over Israel now arrived at Gibeah—intense, bloody fighting! The Benjaminites had no idea that they were about to go down in defeat—God routed them before Israel. The Israelites decimated twenty-five divisions of Benjamin that day—25,100 killed. They were all swordsmen. The Benjaminites saw that they were beaten.

The men of Israel acted like they were retreating before Benjamin, knowing that they could depend on the ambush they had prepared for Gibeah.

37-40 The ambush erupted and made quick work of Gibeah. The ambush spread out and massacred the city. The strategy for the main body of the ambush was that they send up a smoke signal from the city. Then the men of Israel would turn in battle. When that happened, Benjamin had killed about thirty Israelites and thought they were on their way to victory, yelling out, “They’re on the run, just as in the first battle!” But then the signal went up from the city—a huge column of smoke. When the Benjaminites looked back, there it was, the whole city going up in smoke.

41-43 By the time the men of Israel had turned back on them, the men of Benjamin fell apart—they could see that they were trapped. Confronted by the Israelites, they tried to get away down the wilderness road, but by now the battle was everywhere. The men of Israel poured out of the towns, killing them right and left, hot on their trail, picking them off east of Gibeah.

44 Eighteen divisions of Benjaminites were wiped out, all their best fighters.

45 Five divisions turned to escape to the wilderness, to Rimmon Rock, but the Israelites caught and slaughtered them on roads.

Keeping the pressure on, the Israelites brought down two more divisions.

46 The total of the Benjaminites killed that day came to twenty-five divisions of infantry, their best swordsmen.

47 Six hundred men got away. They made it to Rimmon Rock in the wilderness and held out there for four months.

48 The men of Israel came back and killed all the Benjaminites who were left, all the men and animals they found in every town, and then torched the towns, sending them up in flames.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

'Judges 20 ' not found for the version: The Passion Translation.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Judges 20 New King James Version (NKJV)

Israel’s War with the Benjamites

20 So all the children of Israel came out, from Dan to Beersheba, as well as from the land of Gilead, and the congregation gathered together as one man before the Lord 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 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 I went into Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin, to spend the night. And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house at night because of me. They intended to kill me, but instead they ravished my concubine so that she died. So I took hold of my concubine, cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of the inheritance of Israel, because they committed lewdness and outrage in Israel. Look! All of you are children of Israel; 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 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 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, the [a]perverted men who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and 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 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 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.

18 Then the children of Israel arose and went up to [b]the house of God to inquire of God. They said, “Which of us shall go up first to battle against the children of Benjamin?”

The Lord said, “Judah first!”

19 So the children of Israel rose in the morning and encamped against Gibeah. 20 And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin, and the men of Israel put themselves in battle array to fight against them at Gibeah. 21 Then the children of Benjamin came out of Gibeah, and on that day cut down to the ground twenty-two thousand men of the Israelites. 22 And the people, that is, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves and again formed the battle line at the place where they had put themselves in array on the first day. 23 Then the children of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until evening, and asked counsel of the Lord, saying, “Shall I again draw near for battle against the children of my brother Benjamin?”

And the Lord said, “Go up against him.”

24 So the children of Israel approached the children of Benjamin on the second day. 25 And Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah on the second day, and cut down to the ground eighteen thousand more of the children of Israel; all these drew the sword.

26 Then all the children of Israel, that is, all the people, went up and came to [c]the house of God and wept. They sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 27 So the children of Israel inquired of the Lord (the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, 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 my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?”

And the Lord said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.”

29 Then Israel set men in ambush all around Gibeah. 30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in battle array against Gibeah as at the other times. 31 So the children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city. They began to strike down and kill some of the people, as at the other times, in the highways (one of which goes up to Bethel and the other to Gibeah) and in the field, about thirty men of Israel. 32 And the children of Benjamin said, “They are defeated before us, as at first.”

But the children of Israel said, “Let us flee and draw them away from the city to the highways.” 33 So all the men of Israel rose from their place and put themselves in battle array at Baal Tamar. Then Israel’s men in ambush burst forth from their position in the plain of Geba. 34 And ten thousand select men from all Israel came against Gibeah, and the battle was fierce. But [d]the Benjamites did not know that disaster was upon them. 35 The Lord [e]defeated Benjamin before Israel. And the children of Israel destroyed that day twenty-five thousand one hundred Benjamites; all these drew the sword.

36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were defeated. The men of Israel had given ground to the Benjamites, because they relied on the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah. 37 And the men in ambush quickly rushed upon Gibeah; the men in ambush spread out and struck the whole city with the edge of the sword. 38 Now the appointed signal between the men of Israel and the men in ambush was that they would make a great cloud of smoke rise up from the city, 39 whereupon the men of Israel would turn in battle. Now Benjamin had begun [f]to strike and kill about thirty of the men of Israel. For they said, “Surely they are defeated before us, as in the first battle.” 40 But when the cloud began to rise from the city in a column of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and there was the whole city going up in smoke to heaven. 41 And when the men of Israel turned back, the men of Benjamin panicked, for they saw that disaster had come upon them. 42 Therefore they [g]turned their backs before the men of Israel in the direction of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them, and whoever came out of the cities they destroyed in their midst. 43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them, and easily trampled them down as far as the front of Gibeah toward the east. 44 And eighteen thousand men of Benjamin fell; all these were men of valor. 45 Then [h]they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon; and they cut down five thousand of them on the highways. Then they pursued them relentlessly up to Gidom, and killed two thousand of them. 46 So all who fell of Benjamin that day were twenty-five thousand men who drew the sword; all these were [i]men of valor.

47 But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and they stayed at the rock of Rimmon for four months. 48 And the men of Israel turned back against the children of Benjamin, and struck them down with the edge of the sword—from every city, men and beasts, all who were found. They also set fire to all the cities they came to.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 20:13 Lit. sons of Belial
  2. Judges 20:18 Or Bethel
  3. Judges 20:26 Or Bethel
  4. Judges 20:34 Lit. they
  5. Judges 20:35 Lit. struck
  6. Judges 20:39 Lit. to strike the slain ones
  7. Judges 20:42 fled
  8. Judges 20:45 LXX the rest
  9. Judges 20:46 valiant warriors
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes