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* they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.

22 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, a Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.

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24 Behold, here is my daughter, a maiden, and his concubine, d them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.

25 But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine; and brought her forth unto them; and they

x Gen. 18:4. 1 Sam. 25:41. 2
Sam. 11:3. Luke 7:44. John
13:4,5,14,15. 1 Tim. 5:10.
y 20:5.
10.9.

Gen. 19:4. Hos. 9:9.

z Deut. 13:13. 1 Sam. 1:16. 2: 12. 10:27. 25:25. 2 Cor. 6:15.

a Gen. 19:5. Rom. 1:26,27.

Cor. 6:9. Jude 7.

b Gen. 19:6,7.

c 20:6. Gen. 34:7. Josh. 7:15.
2 Sam. 13:12.

d Gen. 19:8. Rom. 3:8.

e Gen. 34:2. marg. Deut. 21:

14.

knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring they let her go.

26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was till it was light.

27 And her lord 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 was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.

28 And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going: i but none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.

29 And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and * divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Ísrael.

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 unto this day: " consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.

f Gen. 4:1.

m

k 20:6. 1 Sam. 11:7. Rom. 10.2.

g Jer. 5:7,8. Hos. 7:4-7. 9.9.1 Deut. 21:22,23.
10.9. Eph. 4:19.

1 *Heb. the matter of this folly.h 3,27. Gen. 18:12.
i 20:5. 1 Kings 18:29.

V. 19-21. Marg. Ref.-Job 31:32. Notes,
Gen. 18:3-8. 19:1-3.

1 Pet. 3:6.

m 20.7. Prov. 11:14. 13:10. 15. 22. 20:18. 24:6.

misery, nay of final destruction: those therefore who are thus distinguished, instead of being vain, V. 22-25. (Marg. Ref.--Notes, Gen. 19:4-have peculiar cause to tremble; and should be 9.) It seems the men finally refused the Ephraimite's daughter; but at length, attracted by the beauty of the Levite's concubine, they went off with her. They thought also of murdering the Levite; perhaps because he would not at first give up his concubine, and because he resisted their brutal violence. (20:5.)

V. 26-30. The justice of God was displayed even by the enormous wickedness of these men. Adultery was punishable by death; this woman || having committed adultery was about to escape; but in this dreadful manner her iniquity found her out, and she was punished in kind: (Lev. 20:10. Notes, Num. 32:23.) yet this by no means implies, that she did not repent and find mercy. (2 Sam. 18:5.)-It had an inhuman appearance, thus to mangle the dead corpse of this unhappy woman: but it was intended to excite a more general attention, and a keener resentment against so horrible a crime, which called for a punishment proportionably severe. (Marg. Ref.)

V. 1--10.

doubly watchful against temptation, and instant
in prayer for the preserving grace of God. (Notes,
Gen. 39:7—10.)—So much depends on the char-
acter and behavior of the ministers of religion,
that if they marry with improper persons from
corrupt motives, they will be sure to find either a
snare or an affliction.-Kindness is due to those
who behave with affection in the several relations
of life; but every man has his proper place and
duty which require his attendance: pressing im-
portunities may therefore be carried too far; and
they very frequently are, and induce imprudent
and prejudicial concessions. For it is always ad-
visable to set about our work early; and what we
call time enough, generally proves too little.
V. 11-30.

How changeable are human affairs! Our bright est prospects are often unexpectedly clouded, and the deepest calamities suddenly overtake us. We should therefore learn to moderate our affections, to lower our hopes as to this world, and to stand prepared for the worst.-They who teach others, PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. should put themselves to any inconvenience to enforce their precepts by their own example.Men are seldom fully aware of the consequences More inhumanity and villany may be found of yielding to temptation: and few sins are follow- among degenerate professors of Christianity, than ed with such fatal and durable effects as adultery. among infidels: and in general, where we expect But it becomes ministers, and indeed all Chris- the most kindness, we meet with the greatest intians, to shew a readiness to forgive and be rec-juries, that we may learn to "cease from man."— onciled, without upbraiding those who have most An unfeeling dis egard to the wants of others geninexcusably injured them; and to speak comfort-erally accompanies sensuality and ungoverned ably to the penitent, especially when in danger of "being swallowed up of over much sorrow." (Note, 2 Cor. 2:5-11.)-External attractions are very deceitful, and often prove an occasion to the possessors, as well as to others, of much sin and

lusts: and there are numbers who imitate the example of those, whose shameful crimes have been recorded in their punishment; to one who copies the examples of hospitality, integrity, and piety, mentioned with commendation in the Scriptures.

CHAP. XX.

woman that was slain, answered, and Israel assembles at Mizpeh, and the Levite states his wrong, said, I came unto Gibeah that belongeth The Benjamites, when required, refuse to deliver to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to them up, and prepare for war, 12-17. By divine direction Judah goes first to fight with them; yet the Israelites are defeated twice with great loss, 18-25. They humble themselves before God, with fasting and sacrifices, and are prom

1-7. The assembly resolve to punish the men of Gibeah,

811.

ised success, 26-28. They employ a stratagem, and destroy all the tribe of Benjamin, except six hundred men, who flee to the rock Rimmon, 29-48.

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5 And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me; and my concubine have they forced, that she is dead.

6 And I took my concubine, and 1 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.

THE
HEN all the children of Israel
+
went out, and the congregation was
gathered together as one man, from
Dan even to Beer-sheba, with the land
of Gilead, unto the LORD in Mizpeh.
2 And the chief of all the people, even
of all the tribes of Israel presented them-
selves in the assembly of the people of
God, four hundred thousand footmen that

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7 Behold " ye are all children of Israel; give here your advice and coun

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2† Heb. humbled. Deut. 22:24.
Ez. 22:10,11.

1 19:29.

1 Cor. 5:1,6,10-12.

o 19:30. Josh. 9:14. Prov. 20:18.

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(P. O. Gen. 19:1-14.)—When men have cast off the fear of God, they are frequently given up to their own vile lusts, even to disgrace human nature, and to exceed the very beasts in brutishness: (Note, Rom. 1:24-27.) and Israelites especially, who rebel against the light, and grow hardened under the means of grace, will become as abandoned as the inhabitants of Sodom, and far more inexcusable.-When iniquity becomes generally triumphant, few will dare to protest againsɩ it; and it is safer to venture into a den of lions CHAP. XX. V. 1, 2. No mention is here made than into such recesses of iniquity. Yet in the of any judge, or great council of the nation; though worst of times, there are some who venture scorn it is generally thought that the council of seventy and reproach, in being kind to the servants of elders subsisted at this time. Each tribe also apGod for his sake; and who do not grudge the ex- pears to have had some kind of internal governpense of hospitality: for while idleness and sensual inent, to which the Levite sent his message; (19: lusts waste a man's substance, honest labor and 29.) yet independent of the supreme court, which frugality afford the means of being liberal. But was or ought to have been held statedly at the such persons live as strangers in this world, and place of the sanctuary: (Notes, Deut. 16:18,19. must expect to be abused by their wicked neigh-||17:8—13.) and by their united determination, the bors, except when an equitable government af-principal persons and the people were gathered fords them benign protection.-In imitating the together in arms, to the amount of 400,000 men. good actions of God's people, men are very liable It must be supposed, that the Benjamites were to be betrayed into their faults, against which summoned also, but they would not come; and no they need be doubly circumspect: and an unbe-doubt they were offended at the interposition of lieving policy often induces them to make unwar- the other tribes. Mizpeh here mentioned (for rantable concessions; but committing sin to avoid there were several places of that name,) was very danger will generally involve them in still greater|| near Shiloh; and perhaps the encampment of so difficulties.-The righteous Lord permits trans- great a multitude might be more conveniently gressors to execute his just vengeance on one formed there than at Shiloh: but they "were gathanother: and if the scene described in this chap-ered together before the LORD at Mizpeh," and ter appears exceedingly horrible, what will be the discoveries of the day of judgmen Yet such is human nature! And though few believe the humbling truth, the seeds of all this wickedness are in every human heart! and if we have not committed such abominations in our lives, we owe the more gratitude to the Lord, for the restraints of his providence, or the influences of his grace. While therefore it behoves those in authority, to "consider, take advice, and speak their minds," by what means crimes may best be prevented, or

not far from the tabernacle; yet it seems that Phinehas, the high priest, was applied to, not as a ruler or counsellor, but merely in his official ca. pacity, to consult the Lord by Urim and Thummim about such questions as they proposed to him: (Notes, Ex. 28:30. Num. 27:21.) and indeed, considering his wisdom, zeal, and experience, he appears to have been greatly neglected by this new generation of Israel. (28. Notes, Num. 25:6—13, Josh. 22:12—33.)

V. 3-7. Marg. Ref. Notes, 19:23-30.

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V. 8-11. (Mirg. Ref.) The abhorrence of the crime here expressed, and the determination of the Israelites to punish the criminals, were very proper; but they seem to have acted with too much precipitation and resentment. There were "with them also sins against the LORD:" the abomination | of Gibeah was both an evidence and effect of national degeneracy; and it called for deep humiliation and lamentation, that such wickedness had been wrought in Israel, as well as for indignation against the criminals. They ought, therefore, to have begun with repentance and reformation with solemn sacrifices, and earnest supplications. (Note, 26--28.) This was required in other wars, and much more in such a war as this. (Note, Deut. 23:9-14.) No absolute resolution should have been made, till these things had been thoroughly attended to; or till inquiry had been made of the Lord, what he would have them to do on so melancholy an occasion. (Note, 18.) They were not commanded to levy war against any tribe or city in Israel, except for idolatry: (Notes, Deut. 13:12-18. Josh. 22:12-16.) and they had attempted nothing against the idolatrous Danites; whose conduct, though less destructive to the peace of society, more immediately struck at the honor of God and the interests of religion; and more directly belonged to the injunction given by Moses. (Note, 18:30,31.) Not attending to these previous duties and considerations, but going forth to battle under the guilt of their own unrepented sins; confiding in their superior numbers, and the goodness of their cause; and elated with self-preference, on account of their exemption from this crime, and their zeal to punish it; they met at first with severe rebukes: and the Benjamites were employed to chastise them, before they executed the vengeance of God upon the Benjamites, for their far more atrocious wickedness. These observations may help to explain the difficulty, which strikes the reader at the first perusal of this chapter; how it was, that with so good a cause, and such ardent zeal, they should be for a time unsuccessful, and suffer such heavy losses. 750]

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V. 12-14. 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 all 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. (Notes, Hos. 9:9,10. 10:9-11.)---Confiding in their own valor and military skill, they seem to have first prepared for battle, in this unequal contest with such superior numbers. (15,17.)

V. 16. Left-handed.] Whether these men could use either hand, as some learned men suppose the original term to mean; (see Robertson on

;) or only the left hand, as appears to be the more obvious construction, (Notes, 3:15-19.) they would discharge the stones in a direction, against which their opponents were not upon their guard, and thus do the greater execution.

V. 18. This is the only transaction in this whole book, in which express mention is made of the tabernacle, ark, priests, and sacrifices; though they had been instituted in so solemn, authoritative, and particular a manner!--The Israelites, however, did not on this occasion inquire of the Lord, whether they should war against the Benjamites or not; or what reformation, humiliation, or sacrifices, should precede the lamentable service: but they took it for granted that they ought to go up, and that they were worthy to be employed and sufficient to succeed; and so they merely inquired which tribe should have the precedency. Accordingly they received an answer to this question, which neither authorized their undertaking, nor promised success in it.--In every instance of this kind, the pre-eminence was uniformly given to Judah; with reference no doubt to the Messiah, who descended from this tribe. (Notes, 1:1. Gen. 49:8-10.)

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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 put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah.

21 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.

22 And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array, in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.

23 (And the children of Israel went up, and wept before the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.)

24 And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.

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28 And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go ou 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.

29 And Israel set liers-in-wait round about Gibeah.

30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put 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 smite of the people, and kill, as at other times, in the high-ways, of which one goeth up to the house of God, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel.

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32 And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city unto the high-ways.

b

c

25 And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and 33 And all the men of Israel rose up a destroyed down to the ground of the out of their place, and put themselves in children of Israel again, eighteen thou-array at Baal-tamar; and the liers-in-wait sand men; all these drew the sword.

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h Josh. 3:1. 6:12. 7:16. i Gen. 49:27.

k Deut. 23:9. 2 Chr. 28:10. Ps. 33:16. 73:18,19. 77:19. Ec. 9:1 3. Jer. 12:1.

n 21. Gen. 18:25. Job 9:12,13. Ps. 97:2. Rom. 2:5. 3:5. 11:33.

o 1 Sam. 7:6. 2 Chr. 20:3. Ezra 8:21. 9:4,5. Joel 1:14. 2:1217. Jon. 3:5-10.

I 15,17. 1 Sam. 30:6. 2 Sam. p 18,23. Num. 27:21. 11:25. Ps. 64:5.

m 26,27. Ps. 78:34-36. Hos. 5: 15.

q Josh. 18:1. 1 Sam. 4:3,4. Ps. 78:60,61. Jer. 7:12.

V. 20-25. The people were much afflicted at the severe rebuke which they met with on this occasion, and affected with a sense of their sin, as having brought it upon them: and they accordingly made their inquiry more particular than before. But they were not duly humbled: and therefore, though the Lord commanded them to go up to battle, they were again put to the worst, and lost so many men, that the whole number slain in the two encounters amounted to many more, than all the fighting men of the tribe of Benjamin! This was a public rebuke for national crimes, and shewed, that though it was their duty to punish the offenders, they had not gone about it in the proper manner, and in a proper dependence on the Lord. Their neglect of punishing idolatry in the Danites, while they were so zealous to punish the lewdness of the Benjamites, is mentioned by

of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah.

d

34 And there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was sore: but they knew not that evil was near them.

e

35 And the LORD smote Benjamin be fore Israel; and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day 'twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these drew the sword.

r Num. 25:7-13. Josh. 22:13, | † Or, Beth-el. 30-32. 24:33.

s Deut. 10:8. 18:5.

t Josh. 7:7. 1 Sam. 14:37. 23:4 -12.30:8. 2 Sam. 5:19-24. 6.3,7-12. Prov. 3:5,6. Jer. 10: 23.

u 1:2. 7:9. 2 Chr. 20:17.

z 19:13,14. Is. 10:29.
a Josh. 7:5.

b Josh. 8:15,16.

c Josh. 8:18-22.
d 29.

e Josh. 8:14. Job 21:13. Prov
4:19. 29:6. Ec. 8:11,12. Is. &
10.11. 47:11. Matt. 24:44. Luke
21:34. 1 Thes. 5:3.

x 34. Josh. 8:4. 2 Sam. 5:23.
y Josh. 8:14-16.
Heb. smite of the people f 15,44-46. Job 20:5.
wounded as at, &c.

some Jewish writers as the cause of these disas ters, and with great justice. (Notes, 8-11. Josh. 7:1-12. 1 Sam. 15:15.)

V. 26-28. At length the people were con vinced of their error; and instead of murmuring, or questioning the divine authority of the answers which they had received, as unhumbled hearts would have been prone to do, they blamed themselves alone: and by weeping, praying, fasting, sacrifices, and particular inquiries of the Lord, conducted the solemn business, as it should origi nally have been undertaken. (Notes, 8-11. 2 Sam. 6:3-13. 1 Chr. 15:12-14.) All the company seems at this time to have met at Shiloh, and to have kept a day of fasting and prayer, with great earnestness and solemnity. Thus their losses proved eventually blessings, by subserving the cause of true religion. Accordingly they re

36 So the children of Benjamin saw || before the men of Israel unto the way of that they were smitten: for the men of the wilderness; but the battle overtook Israel gave place to the Benjamites, be- them: and them which came out of the cause they trusted unto the liers-in-wait cities they destroyed in the midst of them. which they had set beside Gibeah. 43 Thus they enclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down with ease, #over against Gibeah toward the sun-rising.

37 And the liers-in-wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers-in-wait drew themselves along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.

38 Now there was an appointed sign t between the men of Israel and the liersin-wait, that they should make a great flame with smoke to rise up out of the city.

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44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men: all these were men of valor.

45 And they turned, and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of P Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the 39 And when the men of Israel retir-high-ways five thousand men; and pured in the battle, Benjamin began to smite sued hard after them unto Gidom, and and kill of the men of Israel about thirty slew two thousand men of them. persons; for they said, Surely they are smitten down before us, as in the first battle.

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46 So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword: all these were men of valor.

47 But six hundred men turned, and fled to the wilderness ur to the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months.

48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they

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ceived from the Lord a more particular answer, dire transactions, as an awful example to future and a promise of success. In the mean time the ages of his vengeance against those who comvictories of the Benjamites increased their in-mit such abominations, and those who countesolence, and hardened them to their destruction. Phinehas. (28) Notes, 1,2. 17:1.

V. 29-42. Marg. Ref.-Notes, Josh. 8:7— 28.-The LORD smote Benjamin. (35) Though the numbers of the Israelites were immensely superior to those of Benjamin; though their stratagem was well laid and executed, and the battle bravely fought; yet the inspired historian ascribes the victory to the Lord as entirely as if he had smitten the Benjamites by miracle. (Notes, 4: 15. Josh. 10:9,10.)

nance and protect others in them.-But yet it did not prevent the growth of ungodliness in Israel; so that "the battle in Gibeah against the workers of iniquity did not overtake them." (Note, Hos. 10:9-11.-It does not, however, appear that the Israelites attempted to appropriate any of the spoil: so that they were not actuated by mercenary motives. (Note, 21:16-18.)

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

V. 1-25.

V. 43-48. It is stated before that the armed We are again called to contemplate the fatal men of Benjamin were 26,700: (15) only 25,100 effects of indulged lusts, and taught to mortify on any computation are mentioned as slain in every sinful inclination.-Indignation against sin, this battle: (35,44,45.) yet no more than 600 sur- zeal, promptitude, self-denial, unanimity, and vived. (47) The rest, amounting to 1000 men, resolution in bringing criminals to justice, are must therefore have been slain in the former en- very commendable, when united with a careful gagements, or in the destruction of their cities: investigation of facts and circumstances, that the for it does not appear that any escaped except the innocent may not be involved with the guilty: yet 600 men. After this the Israelites proceeded to repentance of sins, personal and national, with destroy the unarmed Benjamites, with all their fruits meet for repentance, a dependence on the women and children, and cattle, and houses, and mercy of God in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and cities. This indiscriminate slaughter and devas-grace, and an application to him for direction and tation cannot be vindicated; for none but Cana-success, are indispensably necessary to ensure anites, and idolatrous cities in Israel, were to be thus punished. But the people being actuated by vehement indignation, had hastily devoted the whole tribe, by a solemn curse, to utter destruction: and the Lord was pleased to permit these 752]

his acceptance and assistance.-Nature can abhor the crimes of others, some of them at least; but grace teaches us to loathe our own. Nature prompts to punish others with severity; grace inclines us to exercise severity against our own

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