New Living Translation
Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God, "Which tribe should go first to attack the people of Benjamin?" The LORD answered, "Judah is to go first."
King James Bible
And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first.
Darby Bible Translation
The people of Israel arose and went up to Bethel, and inquired of God, "Which of us shall go up first to battle against the Benjaminites?" And the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first."
World English Bible
The children of Israel arose, and went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of God; and they said, "Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin?" Yahweh said, "Judah [shall go up] first."
Young's Literal Translation
And they rise and go up to Beth-El, and ask of God, and the sons of Israel say, 'Who doth go up for us at the commencement to battle with the sons of Benjamin?' and Jehovah saith, 'Judah -- at the commencement.'
Judges 20:18 Parallel
CommentaryWesley's Notes on the Bible
20:18 Children of Israel - Some sent in the name of all. House of God - To Shiloh, which was not far from Mizpeh. Which - This was asked to prevent emulations and contentions: but they do not ask whether they should go against them, or no, for that they knew they ought to do by the will of God already revealed: nor yet do they seek to God for his help by prayer, and fasting, and sacrifice, as in all reason they ought to have done; but were confident of success, because of their great numbers, and righteous cause.
When direction from the LORD is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim--one of the sacred lots cast before the LORD--to determine his will. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do."
Israel had 400,000 experienced soldiers armed with swords, not counting Benjamin's warriors.
So the Israelites left early the next morning and camped near Gibeah.
For they had gone up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the LORD until evening. They had asked the LORD, "Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again?" And the LORD had said, "Go out and fight against them."
The Israelites went up seeking direction from the LORD. (In those days the Ark of the Covenant of God was in Bethel,
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