1
THEN all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation gathered together as one man from Dan to Beer-sheba, to the land of Gilead, to the LORD in Mizpeh.
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And the chiefs of all the families 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 could draw sword.
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(Now the Benjamites heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then said the children of Israel, Tell us, how did this wickedness happen?
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And the Levite, the husband of the woman who was killed, answered and said to them, I came into Gibeah, that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to spend the night.
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And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset me in the house during the night, and they sought to kill me;
and they raped my concubine, and she died.
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And I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent them throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel;
for they had committed sin and wickedness in Israel.
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Behold, you are all here, O children of Israel, give an answer and counsel concerning this crime.
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And all the people arose as one man, saying, We will not any of us go to our tents, neither shall any one of us turn aside to go to his house.
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But now this will be the thing which we shall do to Gibeah;
we will draw lots against it;
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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 take provisions for the people, who cross over against Gibeah of Benjamin, to do to it according to all the wickedness which they have committed in Israel.
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So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, agreeing together as one man.
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¶ And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that has been done among you?
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Now therefore deliver up the wicked men, who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel.
But the Benjamites would not listen to the voice of their brethren, the children of Israel;
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But all the Benjamites gathered themselves together in Gibeah from their cities, to go out to battle against the children of Israel.
15
And the Benjamites were numbered in that day out of the cities twenty-six thousand men that drew sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men.
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Among all these people there were seven hundred chosen men who were lefthanded;
every one of them could sling stones at an hairbreadth, and not miss.
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And the men of Israel, as compared with the Benjamites, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword;
all these were men of war.
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¶ And the children of Israel arose and went up to Beth-el, and inquired of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to battle against the Benjamites?
And the LORD said, Judah shall go first.
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And the children of Israel rose up in the morning and encamped against Gibeah.
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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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And the Benjamites came forth out of Gibeah, and put themselves in array against Israel, and left dead on the ground that day twenty-two thousand men of the children of Israel.
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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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And the children of Israel went up to Beth-el, and wept before the LORD until evening, and they asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall we go up again to battle against our brethren the Benjamites?
And the LORD said, Go up against them.
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And the children of Israel drew near to battle against the Benjamites on the second day.
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And the Benjamites went out against them from Gibeah the second day, and left dead on the ground eighteen thousand men of the children of Israel;
all of these men who drew the sword.
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Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up and came to Beth-el, and wept and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
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And the children of Israel inquired of the LORD (for the ark of the covenant of the LORD was there in those days;
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And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, ministered before it in those days), saying, Shall we yet again go out to battle against our brethren the Benjamites, or shall we cease?
And the LORD said, Go up;
for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hands.
29
So Israel set ambushes round about Gibeah.
30
Then the children of Israel went up against the Benjamites on the third day., and put themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.
31
And the Benjamites went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city: and they began to smite the people, and kill, as at other times, in the highways, one of which goes up to Gibeah, and the other to Beth-el through the field, about thirty men of Israel.
32
And the Benjamites 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.
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And all the men of Israel rose up out of their places, and put themselves in array at Baal-tamar;
and those Israelites in ambush came forth out of their places from the cave which is in Gibeah.
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And there came toward Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was hard fought;
but they did not know that disaster was near them.
35
And the LORD defeated Benjamin before Israel;
and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty-five thousand, one hundred men;
all of those who drew the sword.
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So the Benjamites saw that they were defeated;
and the children of Israel gave ground to the Benjamites, because they trusted in the ambushes that they had set against Gibeah.
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And the men who were in ambush quietly made an attack against Gibeah;
then the men in ambush moved forward and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.
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Now there was an appointed signal between the men of Israel and the men in ambush, which was that they should make a great flame with smoke rise up out of the city.
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And when the men of Israel retreated in the battle, the Benjamites killed of the men of Israel about thirty men;
for they said.
Surely they are defeated before us, as in the first battle.
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But when the smoke began to rise out of the city like a pillar, the Benjamites looked behind them, and.
behold, the flames of the city ascended up to heaven.
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And when the men of Israel turned against them, the Benjamites were terrified;
for they saw that disaster was upon them.
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Therefore they fled before the men of Israel on their way to the wilderness;
but the battle overtook them;
and those who came out of the city first were trapped 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.
44
And there fell of the Benjamites eighteen thousand men;
all these were men of valor.
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And they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon;
and five thousand of them fell in the highway;
all men that drew the sword;
and they pursued hard after them as far as Gibeon, and slew two thousand men of them.
46
So all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand men that drew the sword;
all these were men of valor.
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But six hundred men turned and fled to 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 Benjamites, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and consumed them out of the cities, both men and beasts and all that they found;
also they set on fire all the cities which they found.