Judges 20

1 Then all the sons of Israel went out. And the congregation was assembled as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, to LORD at Mizpah.

2 And the 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 a sword.

3 (Now the sons of Benjamin heard that the sons of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) And the sons of Israel said, Tell us, how was this wickedness brought to pass?

4 And the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, I came into Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.

5 And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about me by night. They thought to have me slain, and they forced my concubine, and she is dead.

6 And I 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.

7 Behold, ye sons of Israel, all of you, give here your advice and counsel.

8 And all 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.

9 But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah: [We will go up] against it by lot,

10 and we will take ten men of a hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch provision for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin,

11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.

12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that has come to pass among you?

13 Now 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 hearken to the voice of their brothers the sons of Israel.

14 And the sons of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the sons of Israel.

15 And the sons of Benjamin were numbered on that day out of the cities twenty-six thousand men who drew a sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men.

16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left-handed. Every one could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss.

17 And the men of Israel, besides Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men who drew a sword. All these were men of war.

18 And the sons 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 sons of Benjamin? And LORD said, Judah first.

19 And the sons of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.

20 And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin. And the men of Israel set the battle in array against them at Gibeah.

21 And the sons of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites on that day twenty-two thousand men.

22 And the 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.

23 And the sons of Israel went up and wept before LORD until evening. And they asked of LORD, saying, Shall I again draw near to battle against the sons of Benjamin my brother? And LORD said, Go up against him.

24 And the sons of Israel came near against the sons of Benjamin the second day.

25 And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the sons of Israel again eighteen thousand men. All these drew the sword.

26 Then all the sons of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came to Bethel, and wept, and sat there before LORD, and fasted that day until evening, and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before LORD.

27 And the sons of Israel asked of LORD (for 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 sons of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And LORD said, Go up, for tomorrow I will del

29 And Israel set an ambushment against Gibeah round about.

30 And the sons of Israel went up against the sons of Benjamin on the third day, and set themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.

31 And the sons of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city. And they began to smite 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

32 And the sons of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us as at the first. But the sons of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them away from the city to the highways.

33 And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and set themselves in array at Baal-tamar, and the ambushment of Israel broke forth out of their place, even out of Maareh-geba.

34 And there came opposite Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was severe, but they knew not that evil was close upon them.

35 And LORD smote Benjamin before Israel, and the sons of Israel destroyed of Benjamin that day twenty-five thousand and a hundred men. All these drew the sword.

36 So the sons of Benjamin saw that they were smitten, for the men of Israel gave place to Benjamin because they trusted to the ambushment whom they had set against Gibeah.

37 And the ambushment hastened, and rushed upon Gibeah. And the ambushment drew themselves along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.

38 Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the ambushment was, that they should make a great cloud of smoke rise up out of the city.

39 And the men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to smite and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons, for they said, Surely they are smitten down before us as in the first battle.

40 But 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 heaven.

41 And the men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were dismayed, for they saw that evil had come upon them.

42 Therefore they 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.

43 They enclosed the Benjamites round about, [and] chased them, [and] trod them down at [their] resting-place, as far as opposite Gibeah toward the sunrise.

44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men. All these [were] men of valor.

45 And they 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 smote of them two thousand men.

46 So that all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand men who drew the sword. All these [were] men of valor.

47 But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and abode in the rock of Rimmon four months.

48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the sons of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, both the entire city, and the cattle, and all that they found. Moreover they set on fire all the cities which they found.