20Then all the Israelites were united as one man, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, including those from across the Jordan in the land of Gilead. The entire community assembled in the presence of the LORD at Mizpah.H1121H3478H3318H5712H6950H259H376H1835H884H776H1568H3068H4709 2The leaders of all the people and all the tribes of Israel—400,000 warriors armed with swords—took their positions in the assembly of the people of God.H6438H5971H7626H3478H3320H6951H5971H430H702H3967H505H376H7273H8025H2719 3(Word soon reached the land of Benjamin that the other tribes had gone up to Mizpah.) The Israelites then asked how this terrible crime had happened.H1121H1144H8085H1121H3478H5927H4709H559H1121H3478H1696H1961H7451 4The Levite, the husband of the woman who had been murdered, said, "My concubine and I came to spend the night in Gibeah, a town that belongs to the people of Benjamin.H3881H376H376H802H7523H6030H559H935H1390H1144H6370H3885 5That night some of the leading citizens of Gibeah surrounded the house, planning to kill me, and they raped my concubine until she was dead.H1167H1390H6965H5437H1004H5437H3915H1819H2026H6370H6031H4191 6So I cut her body into twelve pieces and sent the pieces throughout the territory assigned to Israel, for these men have committed a terrible and shameful crime.H270H6370H5408H7971H7704H5159H3478H6213H2154H5039H3478 7Now then, all of you—the entire community of Israel—must decide here and now what should be done about this!"H1121H3478H3051H1988H1697H6098 8And all the people rose to their feet in unison and declared, "None of us will return home! No, not even one of us!H5971H6965H259H376H559H376H3212H168H376H5493H1004 9Instead, this is what we will do to Gibeah; we will draw lots to decide who will attack it.H1697H6213H1390H1486 10One tenth of the men from each tribe will be chosen to supply the warriors with food, and the rest of us will take revenge on Gibeah of Benjamin for this shameful thing they have done in Israel."H3947H6235H582H3967H7626H3478H3967H505H505H7233H3947H6720H5971H6213H935H1387H1144H5039H6213H3478 11So all the Israelites were completely united, and they gathered together to attack the town.H376H3478H622H5892H2270H259H376 12The Israelites sent messengers to the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What a terrible thing has been done among you!H7626H3478H7971H582H7626H1144H559H7451H1961 13Give up those evil men, those troublemakers from Gibeah, so we can execute them and purge Israel of this evil." But the people of Benjamin would not listen.H5414H582H1121H1100H1390H4191H1197H7451H3478H1121H1144H14H8085H6963H251H1121H3478 14Instead, they came from their towns and gathered at Gibeah to fight the Israelites.H1121H1144H622H5892H1390H3318H4421H1121H3478 15In all, 26,000 of their warriors armed with swords arrived in Gibeah to join the 700 elite troops who lived there.H1121H1144H6485H3117H5892H6242H8337H505H376H8025H2719H3427H1390H6485H7651H3967H977H376 16Among Benjamin's elite troops, 700 were left-handed, and each of them could sling a rock and hit a target within a hairsbreadth without missing.H5971H7651H3967H977H376H334H3027H3225H7049H68H8185H2398 17Israel had 400,000 experienced soldiers armed with swords, not counting Benjamin's warriors.H376H3478H1144H6485H702H3967H505H376H8025H2719H376H4421 18Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God, "Which tribe should go first to attack the people of Benjamin?" The LORD answered, "Judah is to go first."H1121H3478H6965H5927H1004H430H1008H7592H430H559H4310H5927H8462H4421H1121H1144H3068H559H3063H8462 19So the Israelites left early the next morning and camped near Gibeah.H1121H3478H6965H1242H2583H1390 20Then they advanced toward Gibeah to attack the men of Benjamin.H376H3478H3318H4421H1144H376H3478H6186H4421H1390 21But Benjamin's warriors, who were defending the town, came out and killed 22,000 Israelites on the battlefield that day.H1121H1144H3318H1390H7843H776H3478H3117H6242H8147H505H376 22But the Israelites encouraged each other and took their positions again at the same place they had fought the previous day.H5971H376H3478H2388H4421H3254H6186H4725H6186H7223H3117 23For they had gone up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the LORD until evening. They had asked the LORD, "Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again?" And the LORD had said, "Go out and fight against them."H1121H3478H5927H1058H6440H3068H6153H7592H3068H559H5066H3254H4421H1121H1144H251H3068H559H5927 24So the next day they went out again to fight against the men of Benjamin,H1121H3478H7126H1121H1144H8145H3117 25but the men of Benjamin killed another 18,000 Israelites, all of whom were experienced with the sword.H1144H3318H7125H1390H8145H3117H7843H776H1121H3478H8083H6240H505H376H8025H2719 26Then all the Israelites went up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the LORD and fasted until evening. They also brought burnt offerings and peace offerings to the LORD.H1121H3478H5971H5927H935H1004H430H1008H1058H3427H6440H3068H6684H3117H6153H5927H5930H8002H6440H3068 27The Israelites went up seeking direction from the LORD. (In those days the Ark of the Covenant of God was in Bethel,H1121H3478H7592H3068H727H1285H430H3117 28and Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron was the priest.) The Israelites asked the LORD, "Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again, or should we stop?" The LORD said, "Go! Tomorrow I will hand them over to you."H6372H1121H499H1121H175H5975H6440H3117H559H3254H3318H4421H1121H1144H251H2308H3068H559H5927H4279H5414H3027 29So the Israelites set an ambush all around Gibeah.H3478H7760H693H5439H1390 30They went out on the third day and took their positions at the same place as before.H1121H3478H5927H1121H1144H7992H3117H6186H1390H6471 31When the men of Benjamin came out to attack, they were drawn away from the town. And as they had done before, they began to kill the Israelites. About thirty Israelites died in the open fields and along the roads, one leading to Bethel and the other leading back to Gibeah.H1121H1144H3318H7125H5971H5423H5892H2490H5221H5971H2491H6471H4546H259H5927H1004H430H1008H259H1390H7704H7970H376H3478 32Then 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.H1121H1144H559H5062H6440H7223H1121H3478H559H5127H5423H5892H4546 33When the main group of Israelite warriors reached Baal-tamar, they turned and took up their positions. Meanwhile, the Israelites hiding in ambush to the west of Gibeah jumped up to fight.H376H3478H6965H4725H6186H1193H693H3478H1518H4725H4629H1387 34There were 10,000 elite Israelite troops who advanced against Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that Benjamin didn't realize the impending disaster.H935H5048H1390H6235H505H977H376H3478H4421H3513H3045H7451H5060 35So the LORD helped Israel defeat Benjamin, and that day the Israelites killed 25,100 of Benjamin's warriors, all of whom were experienced swordsmen.H3068H5062H1144H6440H3478H1121H3478H7843H1145H3117H6242H2568H505H3967H376H8025H2719 36Then the men of Benjamin saw that they were beaten. The Israelites had retreated from Benjamin's warriors in order to give those hiding in ambush more room to maneuver against Gibeah.H1121H1144H7200H5062H376H3478H5414H4725H1145H982H693H7760H1390 37Then those who were hiding rushed in from all sides and killed everyone in the town.H693H2363H6584H1390H693H4900H5221H5892H6310H2719 38They had arranged to send up a large cloud of smoke from the town as a signal.H4150H376H3478H5973H693H7235H4864H6227H5927H5892 39When the Israelites saw the smoke, they turned and attacked Benjamin's warriors. By that time Benjamin's warriors had killed about thirty Israelites, and they shouted, "We're defeating them as we did in the first battle!"H376H3478H2015H4421H1144H2490H5221H2491H376H3478H7970H376H559H5062H5062H6440H7223H4421 40But when the warriors of Benjamin looked behind them and saw the smoke rising into the sky from every part of the town,H4864H2490H5927H5892H5982H6227H1145H6437H310H3632H5892H5927H8064 41the men of Israel turned and attacked. At this point the men of Benjamin became terrified, because they realized disaster was close at hand.H376H3478H2015H376H1144H926H7200H7451H5060 42So they turned around and fled before the Israelites toward the wilderness. But they couldn't escape the battle, and the people who came out of the nearby towns were also killed.H6437H6440H376H3478H1870H4057H4421H1692H5892H7843H8432 43The Israelites surrounded the men of Benjamin and chased them relentlessly, finally overtaking them east of Gibeah.H3803H1145H3803H7291H1869H4496H5227H1390H4217H8121 44That day 18,000 of Benjamin's strongest warriors died in battle.H5307H1144H8083H6240H505H376H582H2428 45The survivors fled into the wilderness toward the rock of Rimmon, but Israel killed 5,000 of them along the road. They continued the chase until they had killed another 2,000 near Gidom.H6437H5127H4057H5553H7417H5953H4546H2568H505H376H1692H310H1440H5221H505H376 46So that day the tribe of Benjamin lost 25,000 strong warriors armed with swords,H5307H3117H1144H6242H2568H505H376H8025H2719H582H2428 47leaving only 600 men who escaped to the rock of Rimmon, where they lived for four months.H8337H3967H376H6437H5127H4057H5553H7417H3427H5553H7417H702H2320 48And the Israelites returned and slaughtered every living thing in all the towns—the people, the livestock, and everything they found. They also burned down all the towns they came to.H376H3478H7725H1121H1144H5221H6310H2719H4974H5892H5704H929H4672H7971H784H5892H4672
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