Judges 20:21
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The people of Benjamin came out of Gibeah and destroyed on that day 22,000 men of the Israelites.

King James Bible
And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men.

American Standard Version
And 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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the children of Benjamin coming out of Gabaa, slew of the children of Israel that day two and twenty thousand men.

English Revised Version
And 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the children of Benjamin came forth from Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men.

Judges 20:21 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Both sides now made their preparations. The Benjaminites assembled together at Gibeah out of their different towns, and "were mustered 26,000 men drawing the sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah they were mustered, 700 picked men" (הגפּקדוּ, with the reduplication dropped, like the Hothpael in Numbers 1:47). "Out of all this people there were 700 picked men, lamed in the right hand, all these (were) slinging with a stone (hitting) at a hair's breadth without fail." These statement are not quite clear. Since, according to the distinct words of Judges 20:16, the 700 slingers with their left hands were "out of the whole people," i.e., out of the whole number of fighting men mentioned in Judges 20:16, they cannot be the same as the 700 chosen men referred to in Judges 20:15, notwithstanding the similarity in the numbers and the expression "chosen men." The obscurity arises chiefly from the word התפּקדוּ in Judges 20:15, which is separated by the Masoretic accents from שׁבע מ, and connected with the previous words: "Beside the inhabitants of Gibeah they (the men of the towns of Benjamin) were mustered." On the other hand, the earlier translators took the clause as a relative one: "Beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, who were mustered 700 men." And this seems absolutely necessary, because otherwise the following words, "700 picked men," would stand without any connection; whilst we should certainly expect at least to find the cop. vav, if these 700 men were not inhabitants of Gibeah. But even if התפּקדוּ should be taken as a simple repetition of ויּתפּקדוּ, the statement which follows could not be understood in any other way than as referring to the number of the fighting men of Gibeah. There is something striking too in the fact that only Benjaminites "out of the cities" are mentioned, and that emphasis is laid upon this by the repetition of the expression "out of the cities" (Judges 20:14, Judges 20:15). Some have inferred from this, that the Benjaminites as the rulers had settled in the towns, whilst the Canaanites who had been subdued settled as dependants in the villages (Bertheau); or that the Benjaminites had formed military brotherhoods, the members of which lived unmarried in the towns, and that this may possibly account for the abominable crime to which the inhabitants of Gibeah were addicted, and in relation to which the whole tribe took their part (O. v. Gerlach). But such inferences as these are extremely uncertain, as the cities may be mentioned a potiori for all the places inhabited by this tribe. There is another difficulty in the numbers. According to Judges 20:14, Judges 20:15, the total number of the fighting men of Benjamin amounted to 26,000 and 700, without reckoning Gibeah. But, according to the account of the battle, 25,100 were slain (Judges 20:35), viz., 18,000 in the principal engagement, 5000 as a gleaning, and 200 in the pursuit, i.e., 25,000 men in all (Judges 20:44-46), and only 600 were left, who fled into the desert to the rock Rimmon (Judges 20:47). According to these accounts, the whole tribe would have contained only 25,100 + 600 equals 25,700 fighting men, or 25,000 + 600 equals 25,600. Accordingly, in Judges 20:15, the lxx (Cod. Al. etc.) and Vulgate give only 25,000 men; whilst the rest of the ancient versions have 26,000, in agreement with the Masoretic text. Josephus (Ant. v. 2, 10) also gives the number of fighting men in Benjamin as 25,600, of whom 600 were splendid slingers; but he has merely taken the numbers from Jdg 20:44-47. Now, although mistakes do frequently occur in the numbers given, it is a most improbable supposition that we have a mistake of this kind (26,000 for 25,000) in the instance before us, since even the latter number would not agree with Judges 20:44.; and the assumption, that in Judges 20:35 and Judges 20:44. we have an account of all the Benjaminites who fell, finds no support whatever in the history itself. In the verses referred to we have simply a statement of the number of Benjaminites who fell in the defeat which they sustained on the third day, whereas the victories which they gained on the first and second days could hardly have been obtained without some loss on their part; on the contrary, we may confidently assume that they would not lose less than a thousand men, though these are not mentioned in the brief account before us. The other difference between Judges 20:35 and Judges 20:44-46, viz., that 25,100 are given in the one and 25,000 in the other, may be explained on the simple assumption that we have only the full thousands mentioned in the latter, whilst the exact number is given in the former. "Left-handed:" see at Judges 3:15.

Judges 20:21 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the children

Genesis 49:27 Benjamin shall shred as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

Hosea 10:9 O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood...

destroyed

Deuteronomy 23:9 When the host goes forth against your enemies, then keep you from every wicked thing.

2 Chronicles 28:10 And now you purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for slaves and bondwomen to you: but are there not with you...

Psalm 33:16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.

Psalm 73:18,19 Surely you did set them in slippery places: you cast them down into destruction...

Psalm 77:19 Your way is in the sea, and your path in the great waters, and your footsteps are not known.

Ecclesiastes 9:1-3 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works...

Jeremiah 12:1 Righteous are you, O LORD, when I plead with you: yet let me talk with you of your judgments: Why does the way of the wicked prosper?...

Cross References
Judges 20:20
And the men of Israel went out to fight against Benjamin, and the men of Israel drew up the battle line against them at Gibeah.

Judges 20:22
But the people, the men of Israel, took courage, and again formed the battle line in the same place where they had formed it on the first day.

Judges 20:25
And Benjamin went against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed 18,000 men of the people of Israel. All these were men who drew the sword.

Psalm 78:62
He gave his people over to the sword and vented his wrath on his heritage.

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