Judges 20:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Among all these were 700 chosen men who were left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.

King James Bible
Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.

American Standard Version
Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who were seven hundred most valiant men, fighting with the left hand as well as with the right: and slinging stones so sure that they could hit even a hair, and not miss by the stone's going on either side.

English Revised Version
Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair-breadth, and not miss.

Webster's Bible Translation
Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left-handed; every one could sling stones to a hair-breadth, and not miss.

Judges 20:16 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Then all the people rose up as one man, saying, "We will not any of us go into his tent, neither will we any of us return to his house," sc., till this crime is punished. The sentence follows in Judges 20:9 : "This is the thing that we will do," i.e., this is the way in which we will treat Gibeah: "against it by lot" (sc., we will act). The Syriac gives the sense correctly - We will cast lots upon it; but the lxx quite erroneously supply ἀναβησόμεθα (we will go up); and in accordance with this, many expositors connect the words with Judges 20:10 in the following sense: "We will choose one man out of every ten by lot, to supply the army with the necessary provision during the expedition." This is quite a mistake, because in this way a subordinate point, which only comes into consideration in connection with the execution of the sentence, would be made the chief point, and the sentence itself would not be given at all. The words "against it by lot" contain the resolution that was formed concerning the sinful town, and have all the enigmatical brevity of judicial sentences, and are to be explained from the course laid down in the Mosaic law with regard to the Canaanites, who were to be exterminated, and their land divided by lot among the Israelites. Consequently the meaning is simply this: "Let us proceed with the lot against Gibeah," i.e., let us deal with it as with the towns of the Canaanites, conquer it, lay it in ashes, and distribute its territory by lot. In Judges 20:10 a subordinate circumstance is mentioned, which was necessary to enable them to carry out the resolution that had been made. As the assembled congregation had determined to keep together for the purpose of carrying on war (Judges 20:8), it was absolutely necessary that resources should be provided for those who were actively engaged in the war. For this purpose they chose one man in every ten "to fetch provision for the people," לבואם לעשׁות, "that they might do on their coming to Gibeah of Benjamin according to all the folly which had been done in Israel," i.e., might punish the wickedness in Gibeah as it deserved.

Judges 20:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

left-handed `obstructed in his right hand;' so the Chaldee Targum, {gemid beedaih deyammeena;} `contracted or impeded in his right hand.' Le Clerc observes, that the

700 men left-handed seem therefore to have been made slingers, because they could not use the right hand, which is employed in managing heavier arms; and they could discharge the stones from the sling in a direction against which their opponents were not upon their guard, and thus do the greater execution.

Judges 3:15 But when the children of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite...

1 Chronicles 12:2 They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow...

sling stones
The sling was a very ancient warlike instrument; and, in the hands of those who were skilled in the use of it, produced astonishing effects. The inhabitants of the islands of Baleares, now Majorca and Minorca, were the most celebrated slingers of antiquity. They did not permit their children to break their fast, till they had struck down the bread they had to eat from the top of a pole, on some distant eminence. Vegetius tells us, that slingers could in general hit the mark at

600 feet distances.

1 Samuel 17:40,49,50 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had...

1 Samuel 25:29 Yet a man is risen to pursue you, and to seek your soul...

2 Chronicles 26:14 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows...

Cross References
Judges 3:15
Then the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, and the LORD raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab.

Judges 20:17
And the men of Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered 400,000 men who drew the sword; all these were men of war.

1 Samuel 17:40
Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.

1 Chronicles 12:2
They were bowmen and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand; they were Benjaminites, Saul's kinsmen.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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