but this time they had a different plan. They said, “When the men of Benjamin attack, we will run off and let them chase us away from the town and into the country roads.” The soldiers of Benjamin attacked the Israelite army and started pushing it back from the town. They killed about thirty Israelites in the fields and along the road between Gibeah and Bethel. The men of Benjamin were thinking, “We’re mowing them down like we did before.” The Israelites were running away, but they headed for Baal-Tamar, where they regrouped. They had set an ambush, and they were sure it would work. Ten thousand of Israel’s best soldiers had been hiding west of Gibeah, and as soon as the men of Benjamin chased the Israelites into the countryside, these ten thousand soldiers made a surprise attack on the town gates. They dashed in and captured Gibeah, killing everyone there. Then they set the town on fire, because the smoke would be the signal for the other Israelite soldiers to turn and attack the soldiers of Benjamin. The fighting had been so heavy around the soldiers of Benjamin, that they did not know the trouble they were in. But then they looked back and saw clouds of smoke rising from the town. They looked in front and saw the soldiers of Israel turning to attack. This terrified them, because they realized that something horrible was happening. And it was horrible—over twenty-five thousand soldiers of Benjamin died that day, and those who were left alive knew that the Lord had given Israel the victory.
For they thought to cut them off, as they did before. But they artfully feigning a flight, designed to draw them away from the city, and by their seeming to flee to bring them to the highways aforesaid.
The ·Benjaminites [L sons/descendants of Benjamin] said, “We are winning as before!” But the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] said, “Let’s ·run [retreat; flee]. Let’s ·trick them into going farther away [L draw/lure them away] from their city and onto the roads.”
Then the descendants of Benjamin told themselves, “They’re falling right in front of us, just like before!” But the army of Israel told themselves, “Let’s draw them away by escaping to the highways from the city.”
Then the army of Benjamin shouted, “We’re defeating them again!” But the armies of Israel had agreed in advance to run away so that the army of Benjamin would chase them and be drawn away from the town.
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.
and the warriors of Benjamin thought they would succeed again. Benjaminites: This is just like the first time! We’re going to destroy the Israelites today just as we did earlier. But the Israelites were following a new plan: they began to retreat to draw the Benjaminites farther away from the city toward the roads.
for they guessed to destroy Israel as they did before; and by craft, Israel took counsel, feigning them to flee (but the Israelites had taken counsel, and by a carefully thought-out plan, feigned themselves to flee), (so) that they should draw (away the sons of) Benjamin from the city, and that they as fleeing should bring forth (the sons of) Benjamin to the foresaid paths.
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