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Resolve to Punish the Guilty 20:1 Then all the sons of Israel from Dan to Beersheba, including the land of Gilead, came out, and the congregation assembled as one man to the LORD at Mizpah.
2 The chiefs of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, took their stand in the assembly of the people of God, 400,000 foot soldiers who drew the sword.
3 (Now the sons of Benjamin heard that the sons of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) And the sons of Israel said, “Tell us, how did this wickedness take place?”
4 So the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, “I came with my concubine to spend the night at Gibeah which belongs to Benjamin.
5 But the men of Gibeah rose up against me and surrounded the house at night because of me. They intended to kill me; instead, they ravished my concubine so that she died.
6 And I took hold of my concubine and cut her in pieces and sent her throughout the land of Israel’s inheritance; for they have committed a lewd and disgraceful act in Israel.
7 Behold, all you sons of Israel, give your advice and counsel here.”
8 Then all the people arose as one man, saying, “Not one of us will go to his tent, nor will any of us return to his house.
9 But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up against it by lot.
10 And we will take 10 men out of 100 throughout the tribes of Israel, and 100 out of 1,000, and 1,000 out of 10,000 to supply food for the people, that when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, they may punish them for all the disgraceful acts that they have committed in Israel.”
11 Thus all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united as one man.
12 Then the tribes of Israel sent men through the entire tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What is this wickedness that has taken place among you?
13 Now then, deliver up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and remove this wickedness from Israel.” But the sons of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the sons of Israel.
14 The sons of Benjamin gathered from the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the sons of Israel.
15 From the cities on that day the sons of Benjamin were numbered, 26,000 men who draw the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah who were numbered, 700 choice men.
16 Out of all these people 700 choice men were left-handed; each one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
17 Then the men of Israel besides Benjamin were numbered, 400,000 men who draw the sword; all these were men of war.
Civil War, Benjamin Defeated 18 Now the sons of Israel arose, went up to Bethel, and inquired of God and said, “Who shall go up first for us to battle against the sons of Benjamin?” Then the LORD said, “Judah shall go up first.”
19 So the sons of Israel arose in the morning and camped against Gibeah.
20 The men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin, and the men of Israel arrayed for battle against them at Gibeah.
21 Then the sons of Benjamin came out of Gibeah and felled to the ground on that day 22,000 men of Israel.
22 But the people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves and arrayed for battle again in the place where they had arrayed themselves the first day.
23 The sons of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until evening, and inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall we again draw near for battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin?” And the LORD said, “Go up against him.”
24 Then the sons of Israel came against the sons of Benjamin the second day.
25 Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah the second day and felled to the ground again 18,000 men of the sons of Israel; all these drew the sword.
26 Then all the sons of Israel and all the people went up and came to Bethel and wept; thus they remained there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening. And they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
27 The sons of Israel inquired of the LORD (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
28 and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, Aaron’s son, stood before it to minister in those days), saying, “Shall I yet again go out to battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?” And the LORD said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.”
29 So Israel set men in ambush around Gibeah.
30 The sons of Israel went up against the sons of Benjamin on the third day and arrayed themselves against Gibeah as at other times.
31 The sons of Benjamin went out against the people and were drawn away from the city, and they began to strike and kill some of the people as at other times, on the highways, one of which goes up to Bethel and the other to Gibeah, and in the field, about thirty men of Israel.
32 The sons of Benjamin said, “They are struck down before us, as at the first.” But the sons of Israel said, “Let us flee that we may draw them away from the city to the highways.”
33 Then all the men of Israel arose from their place and arrayed themselves at Baal-tamar; and the men of Israel in ambush broke out of their place, even out of Maareh-geba.
34 When ten thousand choice men from all Israel came against Gibeah, the battle became fierce; but Benjamin did not know that disaster was close to them.
35 And the LORD struck Benjamin before Israel, so that the sons of Israel destroyed 25,100 men of Benjamin that day, all who draw the sword.
36 So the sons of Benjamin saw that they were defeated. When the men of Israel gave ground to Benjamin because they relied on the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah,
37 the men in ambush hurried and rushed against Gibeah; the men in ambush also deployed and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.
38 Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the men in ambush was that they would make a great cloud of smoke rise from the city.
39 Then the men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to strike and kill about thirty men of Israel, for they said, “Surely they are defeated before us, as in the first battle.”
40 But when the cloud began to rise from the city in a column of smoke, Benjamin looked behind them; and behold, the whole city was going up in smoke to heaven.
41 Then the men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were terrified; for they saw that disaster was close to them.
42 Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them while those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of them.
43 They surrounded Benjamin, pursued them without rest and trod them down opposite Gibeah toward the east.
44 Thus 18,000 men of Benjamin fell; all these were valiant warriors.
45 The rest turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, but they caught 5,000 of them on the highways and overtook them at Gidom and killed 2,000 of them.
46 So all of Benjamin who fell that day were 25,000 men who draw the sword; all these were valiant warriors.
47 But 600 men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and they remained at the rock of Rimmon four months.
48 The men of Israel then turned back against the sons of Benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the entire city with the cattle and all that they found; they also set on fire all the cities which they found.
« Psalm 94 | Psalm 95 | Psalm 96 »
Praise to the LORD, and Warning against Unbelief.95:1 O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the LORD is a great God And a great King above all gods,
4 In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also.
5 The sea is His, for it was He who made it, And His hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
9 “When your fathers tested Me, They tried Me, though they had seen My work.
10 “For forty years I loathed that generation, And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways.
11 “Therefore I swore in My anger, Truly they shall not enter into My rest.”
« Psalm 95 | Psalm 96 | Psalm 97 »
A Call to Worship the LORD the Righteous Judge.96:1 Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
3 Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
4 For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name; Bring an offering and come into His courts.
9 Worship the LORD in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity.”
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
12 Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy
13 Before the LORD, for He is coming, For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness And the peoples in His faithfulness.
« Proverbs 20 | Proverbs 21 | Proverbs 22 »
On Life and Conduct21:1 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.
2 Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.
3 To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.
4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin.
5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
6 The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.
7 The violence of the wicked will drag them away, Because they refuse to act with justice.
8 The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.
9 It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
11 When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12 The righteous one considers the house of the wicked, Turning the wicked to ruin.
13 He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered.
14 A gift in secret subdues anger, And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.
15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity.
16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding Will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.
19 It is better to live in a desert land Than with a contentious and vexing woman.
20 There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up.
21 He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor.
22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
24 “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride.
25 The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work;
26 All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent!
28 A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.
29 A wicked man displays a bold face, But as for the upright, he makes his way sure.
30 There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.
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