Judges, Chapter 20

- י י ל -

The Israelites Set Out to Decimate the Tribe of Benjamin

The tribes of Israel gather to avenge the horrifying evil perpetuated by the residents of Gibeah. The tribe of Benjamin refuses to hand over the criminals. Civil war breaks out. The skillful Benjaminites fend off the forces attacking them. The humiliated Israelites go to the temple in Bethel and ask for an answer from heavenshould they continue pursuing this just cause? God tells them to continue the fight as He will support and strengthen them. The armies pray, make sacrifices, fast, and go back to waging war against Benjamin. At the third battle, the Israelites replicate the tactic Joshua used during the conquest of Ai. They lure the people of Gibeah out of the city while another contingent burns the city and leaves the enemy completely unprotected. The tribe of Benjamin is decimated. Only a few survivors flee to the desert. The Israelites understand that the affair of the concubine is an unforgivable, heinous crime and that their brethren must be severely published. They set out to fight a battle in which many of their men and those of Benjamin will perish. Despite the heavy toll, this war is necessary to awaken spiritually and restore morality.

“So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man” (Judges 20:11)

“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” (Judges 20:21)

“Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand” (Judges 20:28)

Saintliness is achieved when we overcome negativity and possess absolute certainty that the light of the Creator informs every thought and every deed.