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JUDGES

9But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot; 10and 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 fetch victuals for the people, that they may do, when they come to [1]Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the wantonness that they have wrought in Israel.' 11So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.

12And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying: 'What wickedness is this that is come to pass among you? 13Now therefore deliver up the men, the base fellows that are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel.' But the children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel. 14And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of their cities unto Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel. 15And the children of Benjamin numbered on that day out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who numbered seven hundred chosen men. 16All this people, even seven hundred chosen men, were left-handed; every one could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss.

17And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword; all these were men of war. 18And the children of Israel arose, and went up to Beth-el, and asked counsel of God; and they said: 'Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin?' And the Lord said: 'Judah first.' 19And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah. 20And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel set the battle in array against them at Gibeah. 21And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites on that day twenty and two thousand men. 22And the people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves, and set the battle again in array in the place where they set themselves in array the first day. 23And the children of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until even; and they asked of the Lord, saying: 'Shall I again draw nigh to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother?' And the Lord said: 'Go up against him.'

24And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day. 25And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword. 26Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto Beth-el, and wept, and sat there before the Lord, and fasted that day until even; and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the Lord. 27And the children of Israel asked of the Lord—for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, 28and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days—saying: 'Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease?' And the Lord said: 'Go up; for to-morrow I will deliver him into thy hand.' 29And Israel set liers-in-wait against Gibeah round about.

  1. Heb. Geba.

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