Scriptures

Judges chapter .xx.

Then all the children of Israel went out: and there gathered a congregation together as it had been but one man, even from Dan to Berseba and out of the land of Gilead, unto the land to Mazphah and there stood folk out of all quarters of all the tribes of Israel, in the congregation of the people of God, four hundredth thousand footmen that drew swords. And the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mazphah. Then said the children of Israel, tell us how this wickedness happened. And the Levite the woman's husband that was slain, answered and said: I came into Gabaah that is in Benjamin with my concubine to lodge all night. And the citizens of Gabaah rose against me, and set the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: and caught my concubine and forced her, that she died. And I took my concubine and cut her in pieces and sent her thorowout all the lands of the inheritance of Israel. For they have committed abomination and folly in Israel. Behold ye are all children of Israel. See therefore and give your advice in the case. Then all the people arose, as it had been one man saying: there shall not a man of us go to his tent, neither turn into his house. And now this is it that we shall do to Gabaah and cast lots against it. And we will take ten men of the hundredth thorowout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundredth of the thousand, and a thousand out of the ten thousand, to fetch vitailles for the people to make that they may go against Gabaah Benjamin, according to all the folly, that they have wrought in Israel. And so all the men of Israel gathered together, unto Gabaah, knit together as it had been but one man.
And the tribes of Israel sent men thorow all the tribe of Benjamin saying: what wickedness is this that is happened among you. Now therefore deliver us the men, those wicked wretches of Gabaah that we may slay them, and put away evil from Israel. Neverthelater the children of Benjamin would not hearken unto the voice of their brethren the children of Israel: but gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gabaah, to come out in battle against the children of Israel. And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time, out of the cities twenty six thousand men that drew swords beside the inhabiters of Gabaah which were numbered seven hundredth chosen men. And among all these folk were seven hundredth left handed men, which every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss. And the children of Israel beside the children of Benjamin were numbered four hundredth thousand men that drew swords, and all men of war.
And the children of Israel arose and went up to Bethel, and asked of God, who should begin the battle against the children of Benjamin, and the LORD said Iuda shall begin. And the children of Israel stood up early and besieged Gabaah. And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin, and put themselves in array against them, to fight against Gabaah. And the children of Benjamin came out of Gabaah and destroyed in Israel that day twenty two thousand men, and brought them to the earth. And the folk of the children of Israel plucked up their hearts, and went to again and made battle in the same place where they did the first day: but they went first up and wept before the LORD unto evening, and asked of the LORD saying: shall we go again to battle against the children of Benjamin our brethren? And the LORD said: go up unto them and when the children of Israel were come to the children of Benjamin the second day, the children of Ben Iamin went against them out of Gabaah, the second day, and destroyed to the earth of the children of Israel once again eighteen thousand men that drew swords every man of them.
Then the children of Israel and all the people went up and came unto Bethel, and wept and sat there before the LORD, and fasted the same day unto evening, and offered burntofferings and peaceofferings before the LORD. And they asked the LORD: for there was the ark of the appointment of God, in those days. And Phinehes the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron waiting upon it at that time: and they said shall we go out any more to battle against the children of Benjamin our brethren, or shall we cease? And the LORD said go: for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hands. And Israel set layers await against Gabaah round about. And the children of Israel went against the children of Benjamin the third time, and put themselves in array against Gabaah, as twice before. Then came the children of Benjamin against the people, till they were drawn a great way from the city. And they began to smite of the people dead (as twice before, by two high ways of which one goeth up to Bethel and the other to Gabaah thorow the field) upon a thirty men of Israel. For the children of Benjamin thought that the other had been beaten before them, as at the first time. But the children of Israel said, let us flee and pluck them away from the city, unto the high ways. And then all the men of Israel rose up out of their stonding, and put themselves in array at Baal Thamar. And likewise the layers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gabaah, and came before Gabaah: ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and there was sore battle. But the other wist not that evil was so nye them. And the LORD plagued Benjamin before Israel, so that the children of Israel destroyed in Benjamin the same day twenty five thousand and an hundredth men, that drew swords every one of them. It seemed the children of Benjamin, that the other had been put to the worse. For the men of Israel gave Rome to Benjamin, because they trusted unto the layers in wait which they had laid against Gabaah. And the layers in wait hasted and ran upon Gabaah, and went and smote all the city with the edge of the sword. And the appointment of the men of Israel with the layers in wait to run upon Benjamin with the sword, was when they should make the smoke rise up out of the city. And the men of Israel fled in the battle. And Benjamin began to smite dead of the children of Israel, about a thirty persons, for they supposed that the other had been put to the worse before them, as in the first battle. Then began to arise out of the city, a pillar of smoke. And the Benjamites looked back: and behold the wasting of the whole city began to ascend up to heaven. When the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were abashed: for they saw that evil approached them. And they turned before the men of Israel into the way that leadeth to the wilderness, the other following them at the hard heels. And beside that they of the city destroyed them in the middle of them. And they compassed Benjamin about, and chased them to Menuah, and overran them before Gabaah on the east side: and there were slain of Benjamin eighteen thousand, and all men of might. And they turned and fled to the wilderness ward and unto the rock of pomegranates. And the other slew by the way of the rest of them, five thousand men, and sticked unto them until they came to Gadaam, and slew two thousand more of them. So that all that were slain that same day of Benjamin were twenty five thousand men that drew swords, and all men of might: onely six hundredth men turned and fled to the wilderness, unto the Rock of pomegranates and abode there four months. And then the men of Israel turned back again unto the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword in the cities both man and beast and all that came to hand, and moreover set all the cities they could come by on fire.

 

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Praise the Everlasting Lord for His Faithful Word.