The Bible in Its Traditions

Judges 20:29–48

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29  And Israel set liers-in-wait against Gibeah round about.

29  and Phinees the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron stood before it in those days; and the children of Israel enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall we yet again go forth to fight with our brethren the sons of Benjamin? and the Lord said, Go up, to-morrow I will give them into your hands.

29  So Israel set ambushes round about Gibeah.

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

30  And the children of Israel set an ambush against Gabaa round about it.

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31  And the children 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 field, in the highways, of which one goeth up to Beth-el, and the other to Gibeah, about thirty men of Israel.

31  And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and arrayed themselves against Gabaa as before.

31  And they brought out their army against Benjamin a third time, just as they had done on the first and second times.

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

32  And the children of Benjamin went out to meet the people, and were all drawn out of the city, and began to smite and slay the people as before in the roads, whereof one goes up to Baethel, and one to Gabaa in the field, about thirty men of Israel.

32  But the sons of Benjamin again burst forth boldly from the city. And since their enemies were fleeing, they pursued them a long way, so that they might wound or kill some of them, just as they had done on the first and second days. And they turned their backs along two paths, one bringing them toward Bethel, and the other toward Gibeah. And they struck down about thirty men.

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

33  And the children of Benjamin said, They fall before us as at the first: but the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them out from the city into the roads; and they did so.

33  For they thought that they were falling back as they had done before. But instead, skillfully feigning flight, they undertook a plan to draw them away from the city, and by seeming to flee, to lead them along the above stated paths.

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

34  And all the men rose up out of their places, and engaged in Baal Thamar; and the liers in wait of Israel advanced from their place from Maraagabe.

34  And so all the sons of Israel, rising up from their positions, set their troops in order, in the place which is called Baaltamar. Likewise, the ambushes that encircled the city began, little by little, to reveal themselves,

35  And YHWH smote Benjamin before Israel; and the children of Israel destroyed of Benjamin that day twenty and five thousand and a hundred men; all these drew the sword.

35  And there came over against Gabaa ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel; and the fight was severe; and they knew not that evil was coming upon them.

35  and to advance upon the western part of the city. Moreover, another ten thousand men from all of Israel were provoking a conflict with the inhabitants of the city. And the war grew heavy against the sons of Benjamin. And they did not realize that, on all sides of them, death was imminent.

36  So the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten. And the men of Israel gave place to Benjamin, because they trusted unto the liers-in-wait whom they had set against Gibeah.--

36  And the Lord smote Benjamin before the children of Israel; and the children of Israel destroyed of Benjamin in that day a hundred and twenty-five thousand men: all these drew sword.

36  And the Lord struck them down in the sight of the sons of Israel, and they put to death, on that day, twenty-five thousand of them, along with one hundred men, all warriors and those who drew the sword.

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37  And the liers-in-wait hastened, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers-in-wait drew forth, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.

37  And the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten; and the men of Israel gave place to Benjamin, because they trusted in the ambuscade which they had prepared against Gabaa.

37  But the sons of Benjamin, when they had seen themselves to be the weaker, began to flee. And the sons of Israel discerning this, gave them room to flee, so that they might arrive at the ambushes that were prepared, which they had positioned near the city.

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38  Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the liers-in-wait, that they should make a great beacon of smoke rise up out of the city.--

38  And when they retreated, then the liers in wait rose up, and they moved toward Gabaa, and the whole ambush came forth, and they smote the city with the edge of the sword.

38  And after they had risen up suddenly from hiding, and those of Benjamin had turned their backs to those who cut them down, they entered the city, and they struck it with the edge of the sword.

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.'

39  And the children of Israel had a signal of battle with the liers in wait, that they should send up a signal of smoke from the city.

39  Now the sons of Israel had given a sign to those whom they had stationed in ambushes, so that, after they had seized the city, they would light a fire, and by the smoke ascending on high, they would show that the city was captured.

40  But when the beacon 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.

40  And the children of Israel saw that the liers in wait had seized Gabaa, and they stood in line of battle; and Benjamin began to smite down wounded ones among the men of Israel about thirty men; for they said, Surely they fall again before us, as in the first battle.

40  And then, the sons of Israel discerned this sign during the battle (for the sons of Benjamin had thought that they fled, and they pursued them forcefully, cutting down thirty men from their army).

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

41  And the signal went up increasingly over the city as a pillar of smoke; and Benjamin looked behind him, and behold the destruction of the city went up to heaven.

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42  Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and they that came out of the city destroyed them in the midst of the men of Israel.

42  And the men of Israel turned back, and the men of Benjamin hasted, because they saw that evil had come upon them.

42  And those who before had pretended to flee, turning their faces, withstood them more strongly. And when the sons of Benjamin had seen this, they turned their backs in flight,

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43  They inclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and overtook them at their resting-place, as far as over against Gibeah toward the sunrising.

43  And they turned to the way of the wilderness from before the children of Israel, and fled: but the battle overtook them, and they from the cities destroyed them in the midst of them.

43  Thus they pursued the Benjamites and drove them away, and smote them with ease, to the east beyond Gibeah.

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44  And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valour.

44  And they cut down Benjamin, and pursued him from Nua closely till they came opposite Gabaa on the east.

44  And so it happened that they were cut down on both sides by the enemies, nor was there any respite for the dying. They were killed and struck down on the eastern side of the city of Gibeah.

45  And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of Rimmon; and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men; and followed hard after them unto Gidom, and smote of them two thousand men.

45  And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men: all these were men of might.

45  Now those who were put to death in the same place were eighteen thousand men, all very robust fighters.

46  So that all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these were men of valour.

46  And the rest turned, and fled to the wilderness to the rock of Remmon; and the children of Israel picked off of them five thousand men; and the children of Israel went down after them as far as Gedan, and they smote of them two thousand men.

46  And when those who remained of Benjamin had seen this, they fled into the wilderness. And they were traveling toward the rock which is called Rimmon. In that flight also, among those who were scattering in different directions, they slew five thousand men. And though they scattered all the more, they continued to pursue them, and then they put to death another two thousand.

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

47  And all that fell of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand men that drew sword in that day: all these were men of might.

47  And so it happened that all of those who were slain from Benjamin, in various places, were twenty-five thousand fighters, very willing to go to war.

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

48  And the rest turned, and fled to the wilderness to the rock of Remmon, even six hundred men; and they sojourned four months in the rock of Remmon.

48  And so there remained from the entire number of Benjamin six hundred men who were able to escape and to flee into the wilderness. And they settled at the rock of Rimmon, for four months.