Judges 20 - Prayer Tents



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Judges 20
The Message
20Then all the People of Israel came out. The congregation met in the presence of GOD at Mizpah. They were all there, from Dan to Beersheba, as one person!H1121H3478H3318H5712H6950H259H376H1835H884H776H1568H3068H4709 2The leaders of all the people, representing all the tribes of Israel, took their places in the gathering of God's people. There were 400 divisions of sword-wielding infantry.H6438H5971H7626H3478H3320H6951H5971H430H702H3967H505H376H7273H8025H2719 3Meanwhile the Benjaminites got wind that the Israelites were meeting at Mizpah. The People of Israel said, "Now tell us. How did this outrageous evil happen?"H1121H1144H8085H1121H3478H5927H4709H559H1121H3478H1696H1961H7451 4The Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, spoke: "My concubine and I came to spend the night at Gibeah, a Benjaminite town.H3881H376H376H802H7523H6030H559H935H1390H1144H6370H3885 5That night the men of Gibeah came after me. They surrounded the house, intending to kill me. They gang-raped my concubine and she died.H1167H1390H6965H5437H1004H5437H3915H1819H2026H6370H6031H4191 6So I took my concubine, cut up her body, and sent her piece by piece—twelve pieces!—to every part of Israel's inheritance. This vile and outrageous crime was committed in Israel!H270H6370H5408H7971H7704H5159H3478H6213H2154H5039H3478 7So, Israelites, make up your minds. Decide on some action!"H1121H3478H3051H1988H1697H6098 8All the people were at once and as one person on their feet. "None of us will go home; not a single one of us will go to his own house.H5971H6965H259H376H559H376H3212H168H376H5493H1004 9Here's our plan for dealing with Gibeah: We'll march against it by drawing lots.H1697H6213H1390H1486 10We'll take ten of every hundred men from all the tribes of Israel (a hundred of every thousand, and a thousand of every ten thousand) to carry food for the army. When the troops arrive at Gibeah they will settle accounts for this outrageous and vile evil that was done in Israel."H3947H6235H582H3967H7626H3478H3967H505H505H7233H3947H6720H5971H6213H935H1387H1144H5039H6213H3478 11So all the men in Israel were gathered against the city, totally united.H376H3478H622H5892H2270H259H376 12The Israelite tribes sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin saying, "What's the meaning of this outrage that took place among you?H7626H3478H7971H582H7626H1144H559H7451H1961 13Surrender the men right here and now, these hell-raisers of Gibeah. We'll put them to death and burn the evil out of Israel." But they wouldn't do it. The Benjaminites refused to listen to their brothers, the People of Israel.H5414H582H1121H1100H1390H4191H1197H7451H3478H1121H1144H14H8085H6963H251H1121H3478 14Instead they raised an army from all their cities and rallied at Gibeah to go to war against the People of Israel.H1121H1144H622H5892H1390H3318H4421H1121H3478 15In no time at all they had recruited from their cities twenty-six divisions of sword-wielding infantry. From Gibeah they got 700 hand-picked fighters, the best.H1121H1144H6485H3117H5892H6242H8337H505H376H8025H2719H3427H1390H6485H7651H3967H977H376 16There were another 700 super marksmen who were ambidextrous—they could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.H5971H7651H3967H977H376H334H3027H3225H7049H68H8185H2398 17The men of Israel, excluding Benjamin, mobilized 400 divisions of sword-wielding fighting men.H376H3478H1144H6485H702H3967H505H376H8025H2719H376H4421 18They set out and went to Bethel to inquire of God. The People of Israel said, "Who of us shall be first to go into battle with the Benjaminites?" GOD said, "Judah goes first."H1121H3478H6965H5927H1004H430H1008H7592H430H559H4310H5927H8462H4421H1121H1144H3068H559H3063H8462 19The People of Israel got up the next morning and camped before Gibeah.H1121H3478H6965H1242H2583H1390 20The army of Israel marched out against Benjamin and took up their positions, ready to attack Gibeah.H376H3478H3318H4421H1144H376H3478H6186H4421H1390 21But the Benjaminites poured out of Gibeah and devastated twenty-two Israelite divisions on the ground.H1121H1144H3318H1390H7843H776H3478H3117H6242H8147H505H376 22The army took heart. The men of Israel took up the positions they had deployed on the first day.H5971H376H3478H2388H4421H3254H6186H4725H6186H7223H3117 23The Israelites went back to the sanctuary and wept before GOD until evening. They again inquired of GOD, "Shall we again go into battle against the Benjaminites, our brothers?" GOD said, "Yes. Attack."H1121H3478H5927H1058H6440H3068H6153H7592H3068H559H5066H3254H4421H1121H1144H251H3068H559H5927 24On the second day, the Israelites again advanced against Benjamin.H1121H3478H7126H1121H1144H8145H3117 25This time as the Benjaminites came out of the city, on this second day, they devastated another eighteen Israelite divisions, all swordsmen.H1144H3318H7125H1390H8145H3117H7843H776H1121H3478H8083H6240H505H376H8025H2719 26All the People of Israel, the whole army, were back at Bethel, weeping, sitting there in the presence of GOD. That day they fasted until evening. They sacrificed Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings before GOD.H1121H3478H5971H5927H935H1004H430H1008H1058H3427H6440H3068H6684H3117H6153H5927H5930H8002H6440H3068 27And they again inquired of GOD. The Chest of God's Covenant was there at that time withH1121H3478H7592H3068H727H1285H430H3117 28Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, as the ministering priest. They asked, "Shall we again march into battle against the Benjaminites, our brothers? Or should we call it quits?" And GOD said, "Attack. Tomorrow I'll give you victory."H6372H1121H499H1121H175H5975H6440H3117H559H3254H3318H4421H1121H1144H251H2308H3068H559H5927H4279H5414H3027 29This time Israel placed men in ambush all around Gibeah.H3478H7760H693H5439H1390 30On the third day when Israel set out, they took up the same positions before the Benjaminites as before.H1121H3478H5927H1121H1144H7992H3117H6186H1390H6471 31When the Benjaminites came out to meet the army, they moved out from the city. Benjaminites began to cut down some of the troops just as they had before. About thirty men fell in the field and on the roads to Bethel and Gibeah.H1121H1144H3318H7125H5971H5423H5892H2490H5221H5971H2491H6471H4546H259H5927H1004H430H1008H259H1390H7704H7970H376H3478 32The Benjaminites started bragging, "We're dropping them like flies, just as before!"H1121H1144H559H5062H6440H7223H1121H3478H559H5127H5423H5892H4546 33But the Israelites strategized: "Now let's retreat and pull them out of the city onto the main roads." So every Israelite moved farther out to Baal Tamar; at the same time the Israelite ambush rushed from its place west of Gibeah.H376H3478H6965H4725H6186H1193H693H3478H1518H4725H4629H1387 34Ten crack divisions from all over Israel now arrived at Gibeah—intense, bloody fighting! The Benjaminites had no idea that they were about to go down in defeat—H935H5048H1390H6235H505H977H376H3478H4421H3513H3045H7451H5060 35GOD routed them before Israel. The Israelites decimated twenty-five divisions of Benjamin that day—25,100 killed. They were all swordsmen.H3068H5062H1144H6440H3478H1121H3478H7843H1145H3117H6242H2568H505H3967H376H8025H2719 36The Benjaminites saw that they were beaten. The men of Israel acted like they were retreating before Benjamin, knowing that they could depend on the ambush they had prepared for Gibeah.H1121H1144H7200H5062H376H3478H5414H4725H1145H982H693H7760H1390 37The ambush erupted and made quick work of Gibeah. The ambush spread out and massacred the city.H693H2363H6584H1390H693H4900H5221H5892H6310H2719 38The strategy for the main body of the ambush was that they send up a smoke signal from the city.H4150H376H3478H5973H693H7235H4864H6227H5927H5892 39Then the men of Israel would turn in battle. When that happened, Benjamin had killed about thirty Israelites and thought they were on their way to victory, yelling out, "They're on the run, just as in the first battle!"H376H3478H2015H4421H1144H2490H5221H2491H376H3478H7970H376H559H5062H5062H6440H7223H4421 40But then the signal went up from the city—a huge column of smoke. When the Benjaminites looked back, there it was, the whole city going up in smoke.H4864H2490H5927H5892H5982H6227H1145H6437H310H3632H5892H5927H8064 41By the time the men of Israel had turned back on them, the men of Benjamin fell apart—they could see that they were trapped.H376H3478H2015H376H1144H926H7200H7451H5060 42Confronted by the Israelites, they tried to get away down the wilderness road, but by now the battle was everywhere. The men of Israel poured out of the towns, killing them right and left,H6437H6440H376H3478H1870H4057H4421H1692H5892H7843H8432 43hot on their trail, picking them off east of Gibeah.H3803H1145H3803H7291H1869H4496H5227H1390H4217H8121 44Eighteen divisions of Benjaminites were wiped out, all their best fighters.H5307H1144H8083H6240H505H376H582H2428 45Five divisions turned to escape to the wilderness, to Rimmon Rock, but the Israelites caught and slaughtered them on roads. Keeping the pressure on, the Israelites brought down two more divisions.H6437H5127H4057H5553H7417H5953H4546H2568H505H376H1692H310H1440H5221H505H376 46The total of the Benjaminites killed that day came to twenty-five divisions of infantry, their best swordsmen.H5307H3117H1144H6242H2568H505H376H8025H2719H582H2428 47Six hundred men got away. They made it to Rimmon Rock in the wilderness and held out there for four months.H8337H3967H376H6437H5127H4057H5553H7417H3427H5553H7417H702H2320 48The men of Israel came back and killed all the Benjaminites who were left, all the men and animals they found in every town, and then torched the towns, sending them up in flames.H376H3478H7725H1121H1144H5221H6310H2719H4974H5892H5704H929H4672H7971H784H5892H4672


The Message (MSG). All Scripture quotations are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. More details.

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