And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the farther side of the hill-country of Ephraim, who took to himself a concubine out of Beth-lehem-judah. 2 And his concubine played the harlot against him, and went away from him to her father’s house to Beth-lehem-judah, and was there the space of four months. 3 And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak kindly to her, to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father’s house; and when the father of the woman saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. 4 And his father-in-law, the woman’s father, retained him; and he remained with him three days: so they ate and drank, and lodged there. 5 And it came to pass on the fourth day, that they rose early in the morning, and he rose up to depart: and the damsel’s father said to his son-in-law, Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward you shall go your way. 6 So they sat down, and ate and drank, both of them together: and the damsel’s father said to the man, Be pleased, I pray you, to stay all night, and let your heart be merry. 7 And the man rose up to depart; but his father-in-law urged him, and he lodged there again. 8 And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the damsel’s father said, Strengthen your heart, I pray you, and stay until the day declines and they ate, both of them. 9 And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father-in-law, the damsel’s father, said to him, Behold, now the day draws toward evening, I pray you stay all night: behold, the day grows to an end, lodge here, that your heart may be merry; and tomorrow leave early, that you may go home.
10 But the man would not stay that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus (the same is Jerusalem): and there were with him a couple of asses saddled; his concubine also was with him. 11 When they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, Come, I pray you, and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it. 12 And his master said to him, We will not turn aside into the city of a foreigner, that is not of the children of Israel; but we will pass over to Gibeah. 13 And he said to his servant, Come and let us draw near to one of these places; and we will lodge in Gibeah, or in Ramah. 14 So they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them near to Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin. 15 And they turned aside there, to go in to lodge in Gibeah: and he went in, and sat down in the street of the city; for there was no man that took them into his house to lodge.
16 And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at evening: now the man was of the hill-country of Ephraim, and he sojourned in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the wayfaring man in the street of the city; and the old man said, Where are you going? And where did you come from? 18 And he said to him, We are passing from Beth-lehem-judah to the farther side of the hill-country of Ephraim; from there I am, and I went to Beth-lehem-judah: and I am now going to the house of Yahweh; and there is no man that takes me into his house. 19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your handmaid, and for the young man that is with your servants: there is no lack of any thing. 20 And the old man said, Peace be unto you; only let all that you lack lie on me; only do not lodge in the street. 21 So he brought him into his house, and gave the asses fodder; and they washed their feet, and ate and drank.
22 As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain base fellows, surrounded the house, beating at the door; and they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into your house, that we may know him. 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, No, my brethren, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man has come into my house, do not this wickedness. 24 Behold, here is my daughter a virgin, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble them, and do with them what seems good to you: but to this man do not any such wicked thing. 25 But the men would not listen to him: so the man laid hold on his concubine, and brought her forth to them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. 26 Then the woman came in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her protector was, till it was light.
27 And her protector rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way; and, behold, the woman his concubine had fallen down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 And he said to her, Get up, and let us be going; but there was no answer: then he took her up upon the ass; and the man rose up, and went to his place. 29 And when he had come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the borders of Israel. 30 And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak.
Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was assembled as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, to Yahweh at Mizpah. 2 And the chiefs of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of Elohim, four hundred thousand footmen that drew swords. 3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) And the children of Israel said, Tell us, how was this wickedness brought to pass? 4 And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was murdered, answered and said, I came into Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge. 5 And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and went around the house against me by night; intending to kill me, and my concubine they forced, and she is dead. 6 And I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel; for they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel. 7 Behold, you children of Israel, all of you, give here your advice and counsel.
8 And all the people arose as one man, saving, None of us will go to his tent, neither will any of us turn to his house. 9 But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot; 10 and we will take ten men of a hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch food for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel. 11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united together as one man.
12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that has come to pass among you? 13 Now therefore deliver up the men, the base fellows, that are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel. 14 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel. 15 And the children of Benjamin were numbered on that day out of the cities twenty-six thousand men that drew swords, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men. 16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left-handed; every one could sling stones at a hair, and not miss.
17 And the men of Israel, besides Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew swords: all these were men of war. 18 And the children of Israel arose, and went up to Beth-el, and asked counsel of Elohim; and they said, Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin? And Yahweh said, Judah shall go up first.
19 And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah. 20 And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel set the battle in array against them at Gibeah. 21 And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites on that day twenty-two thousand men. 22 And the people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves, and set the battle again in array in the place where they set themselves in array the first day. 23 And the children of Israel went up and wept before Yahweh until evening; and they asked of Yahweh, saying, Shall I again draw near to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? And Yahweh said, Go up against him.
24 And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day. 25 And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the swords. 26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came to Beth-el, and wept, and sat there before Yahweh, and fasted that day until evening; and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before Yahweh. 27 And the children of Israel asked of Yahweh, (for the ark of the covenant of Elohim was there in those days, 28 and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And Yahweh said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver him into your hand.
29 And Israel set an ambush against Gibeah all around. 30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and set themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times. 31 And the children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to strike down and kill of the people, as at other times, in the highways, of which one goes up to Beth-el, and the other to Gibeah, in the field, about thirty men of Israel. 32 And the children of Benjamin said, They are destroyed before us, as at first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them away from the city to the highways. 33 And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and set themselves in array at Baal-tamar: and the ambush of Israel broke forth out of their place, even out of Maareh-geba. 34 And there came over against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was severe; but they did not know that evil was close upon them. 35 And Yahweh defeated Benjamin before Israel; and the children of Israel destroyed of Benjamin that day twenty-five thousand one hundred men: all these drew the sword.
36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were defeated; for the men of Israel gave way to Benjamin, because they trusted in the ambush which they had set against Gibeah. 37 And the ambush hurried, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the ambush drew itself along, and struck all the city with the edge of the sword. 38 Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the ambush was, that they should make a great cloud of smoke rise up out of the city. 39 And the men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to defeat and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons; for they said, Surely they are beaten down before us, as in the first battle. 40 But when the cloud began to rise up out of the city in a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them; and, behold, the whole city went up in smoke to heaven. 41 And the men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were dismayed; for they saw that evil had come on them. 42 Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and they that came out of the cities destroyed them in the middle of it. 43 They inclosed the Benjamites all around, and chased them, and trod them down at their resting-place, as far as over against Gibeah toward the sunrising. 44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valor. 45 And they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men, and followed hard after them to Gidom, and struck down of them two thousand men. 46 So that all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand men that drew the sword; all these were men of valor. 47 But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and remained in the rock of Rimmon four months. 48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the entire city, and the cattle, and all that they found: moreover all the cities which they found they set on fire.
Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah, saying, None of us shall give his daughter to Benjamin to wife. 2 And the people came to Beth-el, and sat there till evening before Elohim, and lifted up their voices, and wept a great weeping. 3 And they said, O Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel, why has this come to pass in Israel, that there should be today one tribe lacking in Israel? 4 And it came to pass on the next day, that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. 5 And the children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up in the assembly to Yahweh? For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to Yahweh to Mizpah, saying, He shall surely be put to death. 6 And the children of Israel grieved for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day. 7 What shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by Yahweh that we will not give them of our daughters to be wives?
8 And they said, Who is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Yahweh to Mizpah? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly. 9 For when the people were numbered, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead there. 10 And the congregation sent there twelve thousand of the most valiant men, and commanded them, saying, Go and kill the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the little ones. 11 And this is the thing that you shall do: you shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that has lain by man. 12 And they found among the in habitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, that had not known man by lying with him; and they brought them to the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
13 And the whole congregation sent and spoke to the children of Benjamin that were in the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace unto them. 14 And Benjamin returned at that time; and they gave them the women whom they had kept alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead: and still they were not enough for them. 15 And the people grieved for Benjamin, because Yahweh had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
16 Then the elders of the congregation said, What shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin? 17 And they said, There must be an inheritance for them that are escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe is not blotted out from Israel. 18 However we may not give them wives of our daughters; for the children of Israel had sworn, saying, Cursed is he that gives a wife to Benjamin. 19 And they said, Behold, there is a feast of Yahweh from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north of Beth-el, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah. 20 And they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; 21 and see, and, them, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards, and each man catch his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.22 And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come to complain to us, that we will say to them, Give them graciously to us; because we took not for each man of them his wife in battle, neither did you give them to them; else you would now be guilty.23 And the children of Benjamin did so, and took themselves wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they carried off: and they went and returned to their inheritance, and built the cities, and dwelt in them.24 And the children of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance.
25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.