Judges 20

Judges 20

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33 When the main group of Israelite warriors reached Baal-tamar, they turned and prepared to attack. Then the Israelites hiding in ambush west of Gibeah jumped up from where they were

34 and advanced against Benjamin from behind. The fighting was so heavy that Benjamin didn't realize the impending disaster.

35 So the LORD helped Israel defeat Benjamin, and that day the Israelites killed 25,100 of Benjamin's warriors, all of whom were experienced with a sword.

36 Then 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.

37 Then those who were in hiding rushed in from all sides and killed everyone in the town.

38 They sent up a large cloud of smoke from the town,

39 which was the signal for the Israelites to turn and attack 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!"

40 But when the warriors of Benjamin looked behind them and saw the smoke rising into the sky from every part of the town,

41 the Israelites turned and attacked. At this point Benjamin's warriors realized disaster was near and became terrified.

42 So they ran toward the wilderness, but the Israelites chased after them and killed them.

43 The Israelites surrounded the men of Benjamin and were relentless in chasing them down, finally overtaking them east of Gibeah.

44 Eighteen thousand of Benjamin's greatest warriors died in that day's battle.

45 The survivors fled into the wilderness toward the rock of Rimmon, but Israel killed five thousand of them along the road. They continued the chase until they had killed another two thousand near Gidom.

46 So the tribe of Benjamin lost twenty-five thousand brave warriors that day,

47 leaving only six hundred men who escaped to the rock of Rimmon, where they lived for four months.

48 Then the Israelites returned and slaughtered every living thing in all the towns--the people, the cattle--everything. They also burned down every town they came to.

Read Judges 21

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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