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Judges 20:8-11: Israel's Resolution against Gibeah

Verse 8:[1] And all the people arose as one man, saying, We will not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn into his house.

[We will not withdraw unto our tents] Understanding, until we have avenged this crime (Vatablus).

We will not any of us go to his tent, that is, his habitation, to wit, until we have revenged this injury.

Verse 9:[2] But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it…

[Let us in common do this against Gibeah, עָלֶ֖יהָ בְּגוֹרָֽל׃] Against it by lot (Vatablus, Pagnine), understanding, we will go up, or we will go (Vatablus, Junius, Piscator, Tigurinus). We will besiege it by lot (Junius and Tremellius), that is, we will cast lots to see who the keepers of the rations might be, and who the warriors (Junius, Malvenda, similarly Vatablus, Drusius). Let us cast lots against it (Arabid).

Verse 10:[3] And we will take ten men of an hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual 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.

[So that they might fetch rations for the army, לָקַ֥חַת צֵדָ֖ה לָעָ֑ם[4]] Verbatim: to take food to the people (Vatablus, similarly Montanus, Jonathan, Septuagint), or, for the people (Tigurinus); so that they might bring, or supply, food, or provisions, to the people, or for the people (Pagnine, Syriac, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Piscator).

[And so that we might be able to fight against Gibeah…and to render to it according to the calamity that it deserves,לַעֲשׂ֗וֹת לְבוֹאָם֙ לְגֶ֣בַע בִּנְיָמִ֔ן כְּכָל־הַ֙נְּבָלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה] [The construction is somewhat more intricate, which thus they explain.] To do them to come unto Gibeah (or to Gibeah [Malvenda]) according to all the turpitude that it had done[5] (Montanus). To do to come by them, unto Gibeah, etc. (Jonathan). [Some thus connect it with what precedes:] Who may take provisions for the people, which is going to do this, which would come against Gibeah (or, which would make war, and come against Gibeah [Tigurinus]) because of all the abomination, etc. (Munster, Tigurinus). Others thus: Who may furnish provisions for the army to conduct the campaign [thus the לַעֲשׂוֹת, to do, is explained], and to invade Gibeah (Castalio). So that they might go forth against Gibeah, and punish them for all the wickedness (Syriac). So that they (understanding, the people [Vatablus]) might act, when it arrives at Gibeah, according to all the filthiness (Pagnine, English). So that, in the invasion of Gibeah, they might act as the shame deserves, etc. (Junius and Tremellius). Hebrew: according to all that disgrace (Piscator). So that the children of Israel might render to them what they deserve for such a crime (Vatablus).

That they may do according to all the folly that they have wrought; that we may punish them as such a wickedness deserves. In Israel: this is added as an aggravation, that they should do that in Israel, or among God’s peculiar people, which was esteemed abominable even among the heathen.

Verse 11:[6] So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together (Heb. fellows[7]) as one man.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּ֙קָם֙ כָּל־הָעָ֔ם כְּאִ֥ישׁ אֶחָ֖ד לֵאמֹ֑ר לֹ֤א נֵלֵךְ֙ אִ֣ישׁ לְאָהֳל֔וֹ וְלֹ֥א נָס֖וּר אִ֥ישׁ לְבֵיתֽוֹ׃

[2] Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֕ה זֶ֣ה הַדָּבָ֔ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר נַעֲשֶׂ֖ה לַגִּבְעָ֑ה עָלֶ֖יהָ בְּגוֹרָֽל׃

[3] Hebrew: ְלָקַ֣חְנוּ עֲשָׂרָה֩ אֲנָשִׁ֙ים לַמֵּאָ֜ה לְכֹ֣ל׀ שִׁבְטֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וּמֵאָ֤ה לָאֶ֙לֶף֙ וְאֶ֣לֶף לָרְבָבָ֔ה לָקַ֥חַת צֵדָ֖ה לָעָ֑ם לַעֲשׂ֗וֹת לְבוֹאָם֙ לְגֶ֣בַע בִּנְיָמִ֔ן כְּכָל־הַ֙נְּבָלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[4] צֵידָה signifies provision for a journey, or a supply of food.

[5] A woodenly literalistic rendering.

[6] Hebrew: וַיֵּֽאָסֵ֞ף כָּל־אִ֤ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶל־הָעִ֔יר כְּאִ֥ישׁ אֶחָ֖ד חֲבֵרִֽים׃

[7] Hebrew: חֲבֵרִים.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday

Matthew Henry: 'The resolution they came to hereupon, which was that, being now together, they would not disperse till they had seen vengeance taken upon this wicked city, which was the reproach and scandal of their nation. Observe, 1. Their zeal against the lewdness that was committed. They would not return to their houses, how much soever their families and their affairs at home wanted them, till they had vindicated the honour of God and Israel, and recovered with their swords, if it could not be had otherwise, that satisfaction for the crime which the justice of the nation called for, Judges 20:8. By this they showed themselves children of Israel indeed, that they preferred the public interest before thei…


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday

Hebrew Highlights: How would you handle לַעֲשׂ֗וֹת לְבוֹאָם֙ לְגֶ֣בַע בִּנְיָמִ֔ן כְּכָל־הַ֙נְּבָלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה?

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