The Bible in Its Traditions

Judges 20:14–28

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

14  Now then give up the men the sons of transgressors that are in Gabaa, and we will put them to death, and purge out wickedness from Israel: but the children of Benjamin consented not to hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel.

14  Deliver the men of Gibeah, who have perpetrated this deplorable act, so that they may die, and so that the evil may be taken away from Israel.” And they were not willing to listen to the command of their brothers, the sons of Israel.

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

15  And the children of Benjamin were gathered from their cities to Gabaa, to go forth to fight with the children of Israel.

15  Instead, out of all the cities that were their lot, they convened at Gibeah, so that they might bring them assistance, and so that they might contend against the entire people of Israel.

16  All this people, even seven hundred chosen men, were left-handed; every one could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss.

16  And the children of Benjamin from their cities were numbered in that day, twenty-three thousand, every man drawing a sword, besides the inhabitants of Gabaa, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men of all the people, able to use both hands alike;

16  And there were found from Benjamin twenty-five thousand who drew the sword, aside from the inhabitants of Gibeah,

17  And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword; all these were men of war.

17  All these could sling with stones at a hair, and not miss.

17  who were seven hundred very strong men, fighting with the left hand as well as with the right hand, and casting stones from a sling so accurately that they were able to strike even a hair, and the path of the stone would by no means miss to either side.

18  And the children of Israel arose, and went up to Beth-el, and asked counsel of God; and they said: 'Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin?' And YHWH said: 'Judah first.'

18  And the men of Israel, exclusive of Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword; all these were men of war.

18  Then too, among the men of Israel apart from the sons of Benjamin, there were found four hundred thousand who drew the sword and who were prepared for battle.

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

19  And they arose and went up to Baethel, and enquired of God: and the children of Israel said, Who shall go up for us first to fight with the children of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Juda shall go up first as leader.

19  And they rose up and went to the house of God, that is, to Shiloh. And they consulted God, and they said, “Who shall be, in our army, the first to contend against the sons of Benjamin?” And the Lord responded to them, “Let Judah be your leader.”

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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.

20  And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gabaa.

20  And the Benjamites went out of Gibeah to battle against Israel, and arrayed themselves against Israel; and the men of Israel put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah.

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

21  And they went out, all the men of Israel, to fight with Benjamin, and engaged with them at Gabaa.

21  And setting out from there to fight against Benjamin, they began to assault the city.

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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.

22  And the sons of Benjamin went forth from Gabaa, and they destroyed in Israel on that day two and twenty thousand men down to the ground.

22  But the children of Israel rallied themselves, and once more set themselves in array in the same place where they had put themselves in array the first day.

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23  And the children of Israel went up and wept before YHWH until even; and they asked of the YHWH, saying: 'Shall I again draw nigh to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother?' And the LORD said: 'Go up against him.'

23  And the men of Israel strengthened themselves, and again engaged in battle in the place where they had engaged on the first day.

23  Again the sons of Israel, trusting in both strength and number, set their troops in order, in the same place where they had contended before.

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

24  And the children of Israel went up, and wept before the Lord till evening, and enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall we again draw nigh to battle with our brethren the children of Benjamin? and the Lord said, Go up against them.

24  But first they also went up and wept before the Lord, even until night. And they consulted him and said, “Should I continue to go forth, so as to contend against the sons of Benjamin, my brothers, or not?” And he responded to them, “Ascend against them, and undertake the struggle.”

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

25  And the children of Israel advanced against the children of Benjamin on the second day.

25  And when the sons of Israel had continued to do battle against the sons of Benjamin on the next day,

26  Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto Beth-el, and wept, and sat there before YHWH, and fasted that day until even; and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the YHWH.

26  And the children of Benjamin went forth to meet them from Gabaa on the second day, and destroyed of the children of Israel yet further eighteen thousand men down to the ground: all these drew sword.

26  the sons of Benjamin burst forth from the gates of Gibeah. And meeting them, they made such a frenzied slaughter against them that they struck down eighteen thousand men who drew the sword.

27  And the children of Israel asked of YHWH--for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,

27  And the children of Israel and all the people went up, and came to Baethel; and they wept, and sat there before the Lord; and they fasted on that day until evening, and offered whole-burnt-offerings and perfect sacrifices, before the Lord,

27  As a result, all the sons of Israel went to the house of God, and sitting down, they wept before the Lord. And they fasted that day until evening, and they offered to him holocausts and victims of peace offerings.

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 Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease?' And YHWH said: 'Go up; for to-morrow I will deliver him into thy hand.'

28  for the ark of the Lord God was there in those days,

28  And they inquired about their state. At that time, the ark of the covenant of the Lord was in that place.