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Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge, by R.A. Torrey, [ca. 1880], at

Judges Chapter 20


jdg 20:0


Jdg 20:1, The Levite in a general assembly declares his wrong; Jdg 20:8, The decree of the assembly; Jdg 20:12, The Benjamites, being cited, make head against the Israelites; Jdg 20:18, The Israelites in two battles lose forty thousand; Jdg 20:26, They destroy by a stratagem all the Benjamites, except six hundred.

Judges 20:1

jdg 20:1

Then all: Jdg 20:2, Jdg 20:8, Jdg 20:11, Jdg 21:5; Deu 13:12-18; Jos 22:12

as one man: Sa1 11:7, Sa1 11:8; Sa2 19:14; Ezr 3:1; Neh 8:1

from Dan: Jdg 18:29; Sa1 3:20; Sa2 3:10, Sa2 24:2; Ch1 21:2; Ch2 30:5

with the: Num 32:1, Num 32:40; Jos 17:1; Sa2 2:9

unto the: Jdg 20:18, Jdg 20:26, Jdg 11:11

in Mizpeh: Jdg 10:17, Jdg 11:11; Jos 15:38, Jos 18:26; Sa1 7:5, Sa1 7:6, Sa1 10:17; Kg2 25:23; It does not appear that the Israelites on this occasion, were summoned by the authority of any one common head, but they came together by the consent and agreement, as it were, of one common heart, fired with a holy zeal for the honour of God and Israel. The place of their meeting was Mizpeh; they gathered together unto the Lord there; for Mizpeh was so very near to Shiloh, that their encampment might very well be supposed to reach from Mizpeh to Shiloh. Shiloh was a small town, and therefore, when there was a general meeting of the people to present themselves before God, they chose Mizpeh for their head quarters, which was the next adjoining city of note; perhaps, because they were not willing to give that trouble to Shiloh, which so great an assembly would occasion; it being the residence of the priests that attended the tabernacle.

Judges 20:2

jdg 20:2

drew sword: Jdg 20:15, Jdg 20:17, Jdg 8:10; Sa2 24:9; Kg2 3:26

Judges 20:3

jdg 20:3

the children of Benjamin: Pro 22:3; Mat 5:25; Luk 12:58, Luk 12:59, Luk 14:31, Luk 14:32

how was: Jdg 19:22-27

Judges 20:4

jdg 20:4

the Levite: Heb. the man the Levite

I came: Jdg 19:15-28

Judges 20:5

jdg 20:5

And the men: Jdg 19:22

beset: Gen 19:4-8

and my concubine: Jdg 19:25, Jdg 19:26

forced: Heb. humbled, Deu 22:24; Eze 22:10, Eze 22:11

Judges 20:6

jdg 20:6

cut her: Jdg 19:29

folly in Israel: Jdg 20:10, Jdg 19:23; Gen 34:7; Jos 7:15; Sa2 13:12, Sa2 13:13

Judges 20:7

jdg 20:7

ye are all: Exo 19:5, Exo 19:6; Deu 4:6, Deu 14:1, Deu 14:2; Co1 5:1, Co1 5:6, Co1 5:10-12

give here: Jdg 19:30; Jos 9:14; Pro 20:18, Pro 24:6; Jam 1:5

Judges 20:8

jdg 20:8

as one man: Jdg 20:1, Jdg 20:11

We will not: Jdg 21:1, Jdg 21:5; Pro 21:3; Ecc 9:10

Judges 20:9

jdg 20:9

by lot against it: Jos 14:2; Sa1 14:41, Sa1 14:42; Ch1 24:5; Neh 11:1; Pro 16:33; Jon 1:7; Act 1:26

Judges 20:10

jdg 20:10

ten thousand: or, myriad, Gen 24:60

Judges 20:12

jdg 20:12

sent men: Deu 13:14, Deu 20:10; Jos 22:13-16; Mat 18:15-18; Rom 12:18

Judges 20:13

jdg 20:13

deliver: Sa2 20:21, Sa2 20:22

children of Belial: Jdg 19:22; Deu 13:13; Sa1 30:22; Sa2 20:1, Sa2 23:6; Kg1 21:13; Ch2 13:7

put away: Deu 17:7, Deu 17:12, Deu 19:19, Deu 21:21, Deu 22:21, Deu 22:24, Deu 24:7; Ecc 11:10

would not: Sa1 2:25; Ch2 25:16, Ch2 25:20; Pro 29:1; Hos 9:9, Hos 10:9; Rom 1:32; Rev 18:4, Rev 18:5; The conduct of the Israelites was very equitable in this demand; but perhaps the rulers or elders of Gibeah ought previously to have been applied to, to deliver up the criminals to justice. However, the refusal of the Benjamites, and their protection of those who had committed this horrible wickedness, because they were of their own tribe, prove them to have been deeply corrupted, and (all their advantages considered) as ripe for divine vengeance as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah had been. Confiding in their own valour and military skill, they seen to have first prepared for battle in this unequal contest with such superior numbers.

Judges 20:14

jdg 20:14

Num 20:20, Num 21:23; Ch2 13:13; Job 15:25, Job 15:26

Judges 20:15

jdg 20:15

twenty: Jdg 20:25, Jdg 20:35, Jdg 20:46, Jdg 20:47; Num 26:41

Judges 20:16

jdg 20:16

lefthanded: Itter yad yemeeno, "obstructed in his right hand;" so the Chaldee Targum, gemid beedaih deyammeena, contracted or impeded in his right hand." Lev. 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. Jdg 3:15; Ch1 12:2

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, or some distant eminence. Vegetius tells us, that slingers could in general hit the mark at 600 feet distance. Sa1 17:40, Sa1 17:49, Sa1 17:50, Sa1 25:29; Ch2 26:14

Judges 20:17

jdg 20:17

four hundred: Jdg 20:2; Num 1:46, Num 26:51; Sa1 11:8, Sa1 15:4; Ch1 21:5; Ch2 17:14-18

Judges 20:18

jdg 20:18

house of: Jdg 18:31, Jdg 19:18; Jos 18:1; Joe 1:14

asked: Jdg 20:7, Jdg 20:23, Jdg 20:26, Jdg 20:27, Jdg 1:1; Num 27:5, Num 27:21; Jos 9:14

Judah: Jdg 1:1, Jdg 1:2; Gen 49:8-10

Judges 20:19

jdg 20:19

rose up: Jos 3:1, Jos 6:12, Jos 7:16

Judges 20:21

jdg 20:21

the children: Gen 49:27; Hos 10:9

destroyed: Deu 23:9; Ch2 28:10; Psa 33:16, Psa 73:18, Psa 73:19, Psa 77:19; Ecc 9:1-3; Jer 12:1

Judges 20:22

jdg 20:22

encouraged: Jdg 20:15, Jdg 20:17; Sa1 30:6; Sa2 11:25; Psa 64:5

Judges 20:23

jdg 20:23

wept: Jdg 20:26, Jdg 20:27; Psa 78:34-36; Hos 5:15

And the: It seems most evident that the Israelites did not seek the protection of God. When they "went to the house of God," (Jdg 20:18), it was not to enquire concerning the expediency of the war, nor of its success, but which of the tribes should begin the attack, and here the question is, "Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother?" Having so much right on their side, they had no doubt of the justice of their cause, and the propriety of their conduct; and having such a superiority of numbers, they had no doubt of success. But God humbled them, and delivered them into the hands of their enemies; and shewed them that the race was not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.

Judges 20:25

jdg 20:25

destroyed: Jdg 20:21; Gen 18:25; Job 9:12, Job 9:13; Psa 97:2; Rom 2:5, Rom 3:5, Rom 11:33

Judges 20:26

jdg 20:26

all the children: Jdg 20:18, Jdg 20:23

wept: Sa1 7:6; Ch2 20:3; Ezr 8:21, Ezr 9:4, Ezr 9:5; Joe 1:14, Joe 2:12-18; Jon 3:5-10

Judges 20:27

jdg 20:27

inquired: Jdg 20:18, Jdg 20:23; Num 27:21

the ark: Jos 18:1; Sa1 4:3, Sa1 4:4; Psa 78:60, Psa 78:61; Jer 7:12; The loss of two battles at length brought this stiff-necked people to enquire of the Lord; for all the company at this time met at Shiloh, and kept a day of fasting and prayer with great earnestness and solemnity. "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear." Isa 59:1

Judges 20:28

jdg 20:28

Phinehas: It is evident, from this mention of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, that these transactions must have taken place not long after the death of Joshua. Num 25:7-13; Jos 22:13, Jos 22:30-32, Jos 24:33

stood: Deu 10:8, Deu 18:5

Shall I yet: Jos 7:7; Sa1 14:37, Sa1 23:4-12, Sa1 30:8; Sa2 5:19-24, Sa2 6:3, Sa2 6:7-12; Pro 3:5, Pro 3:6; Jer 10:23

Go up: Jdg 1:2, Jdg 7:9; Ch2 20:17

Judges 20:29

jdg 20:29

Israel: Though God had promised them success, they knew they could expect it only by the use of proper means. Hence they used all prudent precaution, and employed all their military skill.

liers: Jdg 20:34; Jos 8:4; Sa2 5:23

Judges 20:31

jdg 20:31

drawn: Jos 8:14-16

smite of the people, and kill, as at: Heb. smite of the people wounded as at, etc

the house of God: or, Beth-el, Gibeah. Jdg 19:13, Jdg 19:14; Isa 10:29

thirty: Jos 7:5

Judges 20:32

jdg 20:32

Let us flee: This was done, not only because they had placed an ambuscade behind Gibeah, which was to enter and burn the city as soon as the Benjamites left it; but it would seem, that the slingers, by being within the city and its fortifications, had great advantage over the Israelites by their slings, when they could not come among them with their swords, unless they got them in the plain country. Jos 8:15, Jos 8:16

Judges 20:33

jdg 20:33

rose up: Jos 8:18-22

put themselves: There appear to have been three divisions of the Israelitish army. one at Baal-tamar (which was situated, says Eusebius, near Gibeah); a second behind the city in ambush; and a third, who skirmished with the Benjamites before Gibeah.

Judges 20:34

jdg 20:34

ten thousand: Jdg 20:29

knew not: Jos 8:14; Job 21:13; Pro 4:19, Pro 29:6; Ecc 8:11, Ecc 8:12, Ecc 9:12; Isa 3:10, Isa 3:11; Isa 47:11; Mat 24:44; Luk 21:34, Luk 21:34; Th1 5:3

Judges 20:35

jdg 20:35

twenty: Jdg 20:15, Jdg 20:44-46; Job 20:5; Though the numbers of the Israelites were immensely superior to those of Benjamin, though the stratagem was well laid and ingeniously executed, and the battle bravely fought, yet the inspired historian ascribes the victory to the hand of the Lord, as entirely as if he had smitten the Benjamites by a miracle.

Judges 20:36

jdg 20:36

for the men: Jos 8:15-29

Judges 20:37

jdg 20:37

the liers in wait hasted: Jos 8:19

drew themselves along: or, made a long sound with the trumpets, Exo 19:13; Jos 6:5

Judges 20:38

jdg 20:38

Now there: From this verse to the end of the chapter, we have the details of the same operations which are mentioned, in a general way, in the preceding verses of this chapter.

sign: or, time, Gen 17:21; Kg2 4:16 *marg.

and: Heb. with

flame: Heb. elevation

Judges 20:39

jdg 20:39

And when: Jdg 20:31

smite and kill: Heb. smite the wounded

Judges 20:40

jdg 20:40

a pillar: Gen 19:28; Sol 3:6; Joe 2:30; Rev 19:3

looked: Jos 8:20

flame: Heb. whole consumption

Judges 20:41

jdg 20:41

were amazed: Exo 15:9, Exo 15:10; Isa 13:8, Isa 13:9, Isa 33:14; Luk 17:27, Luk 17:28, Luk 21:26; Th1 5:3; Pe2 2:12; Rev 6:15-17, Rev 18:8-10

was come upon them: Heb. touched them

Judges 20:42

jdg 20:42

the battle: Lam 1:3; Hos 9:9, Hos 10:9

Judges 20:43

jdg 20:43

enclosed: Jos 8:20-22

with ease: or, from Menuchah, etc

over against: Heb. unto over against

Judges 20:45

jdg 20:45

Rimmon: Jos 15:32; Ch1 6:77; Zac 14:10

Judges 20:46

jdg 20:46

twenty: Jdg 20:15, Jdg 20:35

Judges 20:47

jdg 20:47

six hundred: Jdg 21:13; Psa 103:9, Psa 103:10; Isa 1:9; Jer 14:7; Lam 3:32; Hab 3:2, rock of Rimmon, The rock Rimmon was doubtless a strong place; but it is uncertain where situated. It is probable however, that it was near, and took its name from, the village of Remmon, mentioned by Eusebius, fifteen miles north from Jerusalem. It appears that rocks are still resorted to in the East, as places of security; and some of them are even capable of sustaining a siege. Deut. Lam. Roque says, that "The Grand Seignior, wishing to seize the person of the emir (Fakr-eddin, prince of the Druses), gave orders to the pacha to take him prisoner. he accordingly came in search of him, with a new army, in the district of Chouf, which is part of mount Lebanon, wherein is the village of Gesin, and close to it, the rock which served for a retreat to the emir. It is named in Arabic, Magara Gesin, i.e., the cavern of Gessin, by which name it is famous. The pacha pressed the emir so closely, that this unfortunate prince was obliged to shut himself up in the cleft of a great rock, with a small number of his officers. The pacha besieged him there several months; and was going to blow up the rock by a mine, when the emir capitulated.

Judges 20:48

jdg 20:48

smote them: Deu 13:15-17; Ch2 25:13, Ch2 28:6-9; Pro 18:19

came to hand: Heb. was found

they came to: Heb. were found

Next: Judges Chapter 21