Judges 20:42
New International Version
So they fled before the Israelites in the direction of the wilderness, but they could not escape the battle. And the Israelites who came out of the towns cut them down there.

New Living Translation
So they turned around and fled before the Israelites toward the wilderness. But they couldn’t escape the battle, and the people who came out of the nearby towns were also killed.

English Standard Version
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel in the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them. And those who came out of the cities were destroying them in their midst.

Berean Study Bible
So they fled before the men of Israel toward the wilderness, but the battle overtook them, and the men coming out of the cities struck them down there.

King James Bible
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them.

New King James Version
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel in the direction of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them, and whoever came out of the cities they destroyed in their midst.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel to flee in the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them while those who attacked from the cities were annihilating them in the midst of them.

NASB 1995
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.

NASB 1977
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.

Amplified Bible
Therefore, they turned their backs before the men of Israel [and fled] toward the direction of the wilderness, but the battle followed and overtook them. As the [fighting men of the] sons of Benjamin ran among them, the Israelites of the cities came out and destroyed them.

Christian Standard Bible
They retreated before the men of Israel toward the wilderness, but the battle overtook them, and those who came out of the cities slaughtered those between them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They retreated before the men of Israel toward the wilderness, but the battle overtook them, and those who came out of the cities slaughtered those between them.

American Standard Version
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and they that came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst thereof.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they fled from before the sons of Israel to the way of the wilderness, and the battle overtook them, and those at the front placed them in the midst

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And they turned to the way of the wilderness from before the children of Israel, and fled: but the battle overtook them, and they from the cities destroyed them in the midst of them.

Contemporary English Version
The men of Benjamin headed down the road toward the desert, trying to escape from the Israelites. But the Israelites stayed right behind them, keeping up their attack. Men even came out of the nearby towns to help kill the men of Benjamin,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And began to go towards the way of the desert, the enemy pursuing them thither also. And they that fired the city came also out to meet them.

English Revised Version
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and they which came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst thereof.

Good News Translation
They retreated from the Israelites and ran toward the open country, but they could not escape. They were caught between the main army and the men who were now coming out of the city, and they were destroyed.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They turned in front of Israel toward the road to the desert. But the battle caught up with the men of Benjamin. Israel slaughtered whoever came out of the cities on the road to the desert.

International Standard Version
So they turned tail and ran away from the army of Israel toward the wilderness, but they were overtaken in battle when soldiers came out from the cities to destroy them.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and they that came out of the city destroyed them in the midst of the men of Israel.

Literal Standard Version
and they turn before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness, and the battle has followed them; and those who [are] from the cities are destroying them in their midst;

NET Bible
They retreated before the Israelites, taking the road to the wilderness. But the battle overtook them as men from the surrounding cities struck them down.

New Heart English Bible
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in its midst.

World English Bible
Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in its midst.

Young's Literal Translation
and they turn before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness, and the battle hath followed them; and those who are from the city are destroying them in their midst;

Additional Translations ...
Context
Civil War Against Benjamin
41Then the men of Israel turned back on them, and the men of Benjamin were terrified when they realized that disaster had come upon them. 42So they fled before the men of Israel toward the wilderness, but the battle overtook them, and the men coming out of the cities struck them down there. 43They surrounded the Benjamites, pursued them, and easily overtook them in the vicinity of Gibeah on the east.…

Cross References
Joshua 8:15
Joshua and all Israel let themselves be beaten back before them, and they fled toward the wilderness.

Joshua 8:24
When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai who had pursued them into the field and wilderness, and when every last one of them had fallen by the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and put it to the sword as well.


Treasury of Scripture

Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the middle of them.

the battle

Lamentations 1:3
Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.

Hosea 9:9
They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.

Hosea 10:9
O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.









(42) Unto the way of the wilderness.--The wilderness is that known as "the wilderness of Bethaven" ( Joshua 18:12). It is described in Joshua 16 as "the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout Mount Bethel." (See Robinson, Bibl. Res. 1:572.) The first thought of fugitives in Eastern Palestine was to get to one of the fords of the Jordan (2Samuel 15:23; 2Kings 25:4-5).

Them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them.--This obscure clause is rendered differently in different versions. If the English Version be correct, as it probably is, the meaning must be that the Benjamites fled to their own cities, and were pursued thither and slain by the Israelites.

Verse 42. - Therefore they turned their backs, etc. The narrative now at length advances one step. The result of the Benjamites finding themselves between the ambushment and the army of Israel was that they took to flight in an easterly direction (ver. 43) toward the wilderness, i.e. the wilderness described in Joshua 16:1 as "the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout Mount Bethel," where the direction of the wilderness relative to Ephraim is also described as being "on the east." In like manner Zedekiah fled towards the plain (arabah) or plains of Jericho - a term nearly synonymous with wilderness (2 Kings 25:4, 5). Them which came out of the cities, etc. This is a very obscure passage, and is very variously explained. Those which came out of the cities must be the same as are so described in ver. 15, and designates the Benjamites who were not inhabitants of Gibeah. The simplest way, therefore, to understand the passage is to render it without reference to the accents: "And the battle overtook him and those that were from the cities (i.e. the men of Gibeah and the rest of the Benjamites), destroying him (the whole Benjamite army) in the midst of him," i.e. going right into the midst of them, and destroying right and left. Some, however, render it in the midst of it, i.e. of the wilderness. The plural participle destroying agrees with the singular noun of multitude, the battle or war, meaning all the men of war.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
So they fled
וַיִּפְנ֞וּ (way·yip̄·nū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 6437: To turn, to face, appear, look

before
לִפְנֵ֨י (lip̄·nê)
Preposition-l | Noun - common plural construct
Strong's 6440: The face

the men
אִ֤ישׁ (’îš)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 376: A man as an individual, a male person

of Israel
יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ (yiś·rā·’êl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3478: Israel -- 'God strives', another name of Jacob and his desc

toward
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

the wilderness,
הַמִּדְבָּ֔ר (ham·miḏ·bār)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4057: A pasture, a desert, speech

but the battle
וְהַמִּלְחָמָ֖ה (wə·ham·mil·ḥā·māh)
Conjunctive waw, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 4421: A battle, war

overtook them,
הִדְבִּיקָ֑תְהוּ (hiḏ·bî·qā·ṯə·hū)
Verb - Hifil - Perfect - third person feminine singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's 1692: To impinge, cling, adhere, to catch by pursuit

and the men
וַאֲשֶׁר֙ (wa·’ă·šer)
Conjunctive waw | Pronoun - relative
Strong's 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

coming out of the cities
מֵהֶ֣עָרִ֔ים (mê·he·‘ā·rîm)
Preposition-m, Article | Noun - feminine plural
Strong's 5892: Excitement

struck them down
מַשְׁחִיתִ֥ים (maš·ḥî·ṯîm)
Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 7843: Perhaps to go to ruin

there.
בְּתוֹכֽוֹ׃ (bə·ṯō·w·ḵōw)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 8432: A bisection, the centre


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OT History: Judges 20:42 Therefore they turned their backs before (Jd Judg. Jdg)
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