In the last Chapter - Judges 19, we saw the Levite, along with his servant--though he is not mentioned after being at his concubine's father's house,--his concubine and the asses he took with him to bring his concubine back home with him; have come to the town of Gibeah, which was in the hands of the Benjamites at the time. As they were about to lodge in the street for the night, an old man came upon them and said it was not wise to spend the night on the streets of Gibeah, for unspeakable, damnable acts happen on the streets of Gibeah at night - namely, perverse homosexual act, much like in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah. So the old man brings the Levite and his company into his home, but as night falls, sure enough, here come the sodomites and their Benjamite friends wanting "to know" the man; not the woman but, the man – the Levite. The Levite, in order to save himself from these immoral sodomites, sends his concubine out to them and tells them they can do unto her whatever they want. They rape and abuse her all night until she is too weak to do anything except crawl up to the old man's doorstep and die. In the morning when the Levite is ready to continue on his journey home, he opens the door and finds the dead, lifeless body of his concubine, he says to her "up and let us be going," but of course, dead bodies cannot speak, so she replies not. So, he picks her body up, places it on one of the asses and takes her home with him. Once there, her cuts her body into twelve pieces and sends one piece to each of the twelve Tribes of Israel in order to rile them to anger.
What will they do and how will they respond? We're about to find out in this Chapter as we continue this portion of Israel's history. We will also see what Father thinks of those who would rape, murder and sodomize for their own pleasure. It is time for those criminal types to be tried, executed and sent back to the Father; where they will be taken care of. In this way we express our love for our families, and desire to see them protected from these types.
Remember, the men of Gibeah were of the tribe of Benjamin - a tribe of Israel, so we'll see that this is going to start a civil war amongst the tribes of the children of Israel. The prophet Hosea wrote that what happened in Gibeah was an example of what would be taking place just prior to the visitation of our Lord, which marked another event of the end of this earth age. When there was perversion and it was not safe in the streets the land the word went out, the children of Israel received the message of the perversion, they are now coming together to do something about it.
19:29-20:11 RESENTMENT (Alteration)
Judges 20:1 Then 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. -> As one man=notice, sadly, that because of the death of this one woman--the Levites concubine--we now have excitement, unity amongst the tribes and shortly, the bloodshed of the perverts. Don't get me wrong, I'm as pleased as the next guy that they are finally coming together as one Nation and are going to fight this evilness, however, why was there never this outrage over the evil and idolatry perpetrated against Father recorded in Judges 19?
Unto the LORD=YHVH, in His role of Covenant God. The Ark of the Covenant is in Shiloh at this time, so they are making their thoughts and talks known to YHVH as their witness.
Dan even to Beer-sheba=Dan being the most northern of the territories and Beer-sheba being the most southern, and Gilead being on the east; so in other words, all the tribes have mustered and gathered
Judges 20:2 And the chief of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword. -> People of God=ELOHIM, The One and only True God - our Creator, and Creator of all things.
Four hundred thousand footmen=remember, though this is Chapter Judges 20, we are talking past history and they have one heck of an army gathered. Where are all these soldiers in the future chapters, such as coming to aid of the judges and even Samson's defense? Unbelievable!
Judges 20:3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then said the children of Israel, "Tell us, how was this wickedness?" -> Notice the parenthesis in this verse? Obviously the Tribe of Benjamin weren't invited to this pow-wow - this gathering which was about to come against them. They ask the Levite--themselves even--how could something so wicked and evil have happened within our borders. The Levite now tells his side of the horrible story.
Mizpeh=the Mizpeh on the south-west border of Benjamin, not the one of the east side of the Jordan River.
20:4-7 Recital to tribes
Judges 20:4 And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said, "I came into Gibeah that belongeth to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge. -> He shares what happened with these four hundred thousand soldiers, and what he shared incites them to go to war.
Judges 20:5 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. -> This Levite has changed his story slightly, for the men of Gibeah wanted to "know him," which means they wanted to sodomize him, not kill him. As it was stated in Judges 19:22 "…Bring for the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.". In describing to these soldiers the incident, he has left out the fact that he and the old man sent the woman out to the men to "...do with them what seemeth good to you." That is a strange command to give to a pack of sodomites with perverted minds, and this Levite priest sort of left that part out of his story. The people saw that the woman was dead and all cut to pieces. They also knew that these men of Gibeah abused this woman all night long and that this concubine crawled back to the doorstep and died there in the morning. After hearing the Levites story, you can bet the Tribe of Benjamin and the inhabitants of Gibeah are going to be greatly diminished.
Will they carry out this plan for civil war with Father's Blessing? Are they seeking Him in this?
Judges 20:6 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. -> This man being a Levite, and all the other Levites for that matter should have been familiar enough with Father's law, that they should have known that when such evilness is performed in Israel, that the crime, if it goes unpunished, would allow the sin to then rest upon the entire Nation of Israel, they were to completely put it out of and away from them, failure to do so would have brought Father's wrath upon them.
The murder and honour of this one woman, though a travesty, pales in comparison to the idolatry they allowed against Father. Why didn't these four hundred thousand footsoldiers join together and fight for Him Who fought for them? That's the real travesty.
Judges 20:7 Behold, ye are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel." -> Give here your advise and counsel=hum, have they just completely omitted Father? Where was the question presented to the High Priest to seek the advice and counsel of Him? No, they have nothing to do with Father, and so He is having nothing to do with them until they seek Him.
Counsel= this word in the Hebrew means "to pass judgment upon" and at this point they are going to pass judgment on the inhabitants of Gibeah, they are not yet, saying what they are going to do with their brethren - the Benjamites.
Judges 20:8 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. -> These four hundred thousand soldiers have come to an agreement - one mind, that none will return home to his own house until this matter has been taken care of.
Judges 20:9 But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it; -> Many biblical scholars have many differing opinions as to the meaning of this verse, and the "drawing of lots," meaning, they will draw lots to see which Tribe will go first against the inhabitants of Gibeah, however, one only has to look at the following verses though to understand it. The next verse, v20:10 tells us that they will draw lots and take ten men out of an hundred and a thousand out of ten thousand - this is from every Tribe. So it will not be just one tribe that goes against these men of Gibeah, it'll be men from every tribe.
Judges 20:10 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." -> Besides the warriors, each tribe also presented ten percent of their men in order to provide the provisions for the battle; in other words to gather and bear the food, and other supplies that were needed for the battle, while the fighting men are off doing the actual fighting.
So the leaders of the tribes have spoken "with one mind," they are going to march to Gibeah four hundred thousand strong, and they are going to put a stop to what is going on in Gibeah. There was no time to go home and think about it, and allow the cowards and protesters to put on a sideshow; the battle has to take place here and now.
Judges 20:11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man. -> The leaders were all of one accord - one mind. But, again, we're only talking about taking revenge against men of the city of Gibeah, not the men of the tribe of Benjamin - yet.
20:12-46 THE CIVIL WAR (Introversion)
20:12-14 NEGOTIATIONS (Introversion)
Judges 20:12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What wickedness is this that is done among you? -> Prior to the battle getting started, the leaders of the tribes of Israel sent their representatives to the tribe of Benjamin saying - this wickedness happened within the city of your tribe - you have allowed these "sons of Belial," these worthless scoundrels, the sons of the devil to do these wicked deeds without your doing anything about it. So now all the sons of Benjamin know that the other tribes know of and are aware of the filth that is going on in Gibeah, it is up to them to clean house within their own tribe. Will they do so on their own now, or will they just slap the wrists of the men of Gibeah, or will they protect the rapists and murderers?
Judges 20:13 Now therefore deliver us the men, the children of Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel." But the children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel: -> The unity of the tribes is deafening; they are demanding that the Tribe of Benjamin bring forth all of the men of Gibeah that took part in this sinful act in order that they face their punishment. When the Levite--the woman's husband cut her body up and sent it to the twelve tribes--the trial had already taken place, and the decision as according to Father's Laws concerning murder, described in Deuteronomy 19, Numbers 35 and Leviticus 24. They raped this woman all night until she died, and therefore what they did was and is considered murder and they then are therefore worthy of death. So here is the core of the problem: all of the tribes of Israel want to see God's law upheld and the evil ones amongst them destroyed, however, because these men of Gibeah lived amongst the Tribe of Benjamin, the Benjamites looked on these wicked men as their own family, and therefore instead of delivering these wicked sons of satan over to the other tribes as required by Father's law; they instead, have banded together to protect them. The Benjamites have become part of the wicked deeds of these sons of belial by protecting them.
Here we find the beginning of the falling away and apostasy which will continue generation after generation even to our present day. Sadly, people will protect perversion, rape, and murder. They will turn their heads when they know that something is wrong, and allow people to get away with evil things. Good has become evil and evil – good; evil today is only joked about and made light of.
This is the state of mind of those who are against the death penalty in this country, they will not even protect their own daughters at home against a perverted mind that would break in or enter their home and cause them harm. You can't blame this type of mind on Father, for Father says to kill them and send their souls back to the Him for judgment, no this evilness is all of satan. Our people today have allowed themselves to completely reverse their minds as to what is of Father, and what is of our adversary - satan.
Both - Father's law in the Old Testament, and our Lord - Jesus Christ in the New Testament, declared Capital Punishment for such crimes; and when you think differently; then you are on the opposite side of Father and His laws. If you are a Christian and think differently, then you not only are on the opposite side of Father and His laws, but you are also blind to the truths from His Word.
So here, the tribe of Benjamin is going to risk the well being of the entire tribe for the sake of protecting these perverts and murderers, and in doing so they are also going to protect the sin which has crept into their camp. With their decision; they have spoken out as to what their thoughts are concerning this perversion. The tribe of Benjamin has said they want these evil perverted sodomites to stay in their army, in their families, in all parts of their society, and they will live with and accept them as their own. They will fight with those sodomites against Father, against righteousness and against you.
Judges 20:14 But the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel. -> Notice, neither side--the tribes of Israel, nor the Tribe of Benjamin--has gone to Father and sought His counsel, His advice concerning this situation. It's obvious why Benjamin isn't - they desire to continue in this perverseness, however, the High Priest of the tribes of Israel should have gone to Father seeking the correct course of action since it was concerning going to war against one of the original twelve patriarchal tribes. Civil War is brewing and Father doesn't care for civil war.
Notice also that the Benjamites have mustered their forces in Gibeah, and that their rallying point is the very place where this sin took place. Instead of joining the House of Israel and expelling the evil, they have come together to fight to protect the rights of these miscreants, and allow them to go on doing what they do best - apostasy, perversion, sodomy, rape, murder and all sorts of evil. The Benjamites simply are not interested in cleaning up the filth within their house.
20:15-16 Army of Benjamites
Judges 20:15 And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered seven hundred chosen men. -> Several things to note in all this: sadly, there is not even one man of Benjamin which has spoken out and taken a stand against this evil which has taken place in their homeland, not one. Even Abraham, when contending with Father in Genesis 18 over Sodom, asked Father if He would not destroy it if He found ten men in Sodom: Genesis 18:22 And the men (these were the two angels which had come with the Angel of the LORD to destroy the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah) turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. [18:23] And Abraham drew near, and said, "Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? [18:24] Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? [18:25] That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" [18:26] And the LORD said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes." [18:27] And Abraham answered and said, "Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: [18:28] Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt Thou destroy all the city for lack of five?" And he said, "If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it." [18:29] And he spake unto him yet again, and said, "Peradventure there shall be forty found there." And he said, "I will not do it for forty's sake." [18:30] And he said unto Him, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there." And he said, "I will not do it, if I find thirty there." [18:31] And he said, "Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there." And he said, "I will not destroy it for twenty's sake." 18:32] And he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there." And he said, "I will not destroy it for ten's sake." [18:33] And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.; the next thing to note is the number of men in Benjamin's Army. All they could muster here were twenty six thousand; when they were first numbered by Moses in Numbers 1:36 Of the children of Benjamin, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war; [1:37] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Benjamin, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred. -> their number of able men ready to go to war was thirty five thousand, four hundred, then at the last numbering by Moses in Numbers 26:38 The sons of Benjamin after their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites: of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites: of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites: [26:39] Of Shupham, the family of the Shuphamites: of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. [26:40] And the sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the family of the Ardites: and of Naaman, the family of the Naamites. [26:41] These are the sons of Benjamin after their families: and they that were numbered of them were forty and five thousand and six hundred. -> Here their number had increased to forty five thousand, six hundred; now here about a thousand or so years later, their number has diminished to only twenty six thousand. I suspect because of what the tribe of Benjamin has allowed to prosper in it, Father has withdrawn His blessing from the tribe; sodomites who practice sodomy do not reproduce, but must rely on others to reproduce for them, otherwise they become extinct. Since the late 1970s to early 1980s, when this country started recognizing sodomites and voted them into office and giving them status; Father has come to the point of killing them off by the hundreds of thousands through sicknesses like AIDS. Human nature is human nature, and it doesn't matter what generation you live in, three thousand years ago or today.
Sodomy is not of Father but is a plan of satan whereby flesh man rebels against Father and His perfect plan for man. Just like he—satan--tried to corrupt and interrupt the seed through which Father would be born in the flesh, sodomy is to prevent the souls from entering into the embryo of women, to be born and have the right to chose whether they will serve Father or satan. When Father created man and woman, he gave them a command Genesis 1:26 And God said, "Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the foul of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." [1:27] So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. [1:28] And God blessed them, and God said unto them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." -> sodomites don't replenish anything but their own evil, wicked ways. Their entire lifestyle goes against Father's plan and leads to destruction – one of satan's names – the destroyer. The tribe of Benjamin has a problem far greater then just in this little town of Gibeah, sodomy it is destroying their entire tribe. Their degradation has brought a curse upon them to where they are dying off as a people, a tribe. The population of the army alone has been decreased from over forty five thousand men to just over twenty six thousand men. The sons of belial and the sodomite ways are destroying Benjamin's population and we can witness it by their numbers not increasing as the other tribes were.
Judges 20:16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss. -> Their numbers might have been diminished but the accuracy of those in their ranks, sure had not, these men were sharp-shooters with their sling-shots; at an hair breadth=in other words they could sling stones at a hair and not miss it. There are men today who wish they could hit the mark on a target - less than an hair breadth away, and for that matter, I bet there were some in the Israelite Army who wish they were this accurate.
20:17 Army of Israelites
Judges 20:17 And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these were men of war. -> As has already been decided, the Tribe of Benjamin needs to be taken out behind the wood shed and taught a serious lesson, this will also send a strong message to all those who witness these events.
20:18-46 HOSTILITIES (Division)
20:18-25 UNSUCCESSFUL (Alteration and Introversion)
Judges 20:18 And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, "Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin?" And the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first." -> House of God=Beth-El, they have finally decided to go and seek counsel from Father. Several problems with this though: first, who did they ask counsel of? God=ELOHIM - The Creator, not YHVH - The Covenant God; secondly, they ask "which of us shall go up first"; notice they didn't ask Father "shall we go up?" They had already made up their minds that they were going; now it was just a matter of deciding who was going first. Even though the Israelite Army is "in the right," I suspect Father--since they didn't ask Him if they should go against their brethren--is going to do some wood shedding, and schooling of the Israelite Army, Himself.
Father replies it should be the future king-line - Judah, who should be the first to go up against the Benjamites.
The Israelite Army out numbers the Benjamin Army twenty to one; just like the Gulf War Coalition out numbered Saddam Hussein's Army by pretty much the same margin. Of course when the battle is over, like in the desert storm war with Iraq, the generals and troops took all the glory, and left Father completely out of the equation. It was for this reason back in Judges 7, that Father told Gideon He was going to reduce the number of the Israelite Army when they went up against the Midianite Army. Here, all the need for Father before the battle; was gone after the war was won decisively.
Judges 20:19 And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah. -> Four Hundred thousand against twenty six thousand four hundred - out numbered twenty to one, not good odds if you're a Benjamite. In a sense, fortunately for Benjamin--and they better pray they don't get a big head when they slap brother Judah, as it will not be them, but Father Who gives them the victory over Judah--the Israelites erred when they didn't seek the correct counsel from Father. I sort of feel sorry for Judah as they are about to feel a serious loss of manpower.
Judges 20:20 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. -> They muster at Gibeah, right smack in the heart of where this heinous crime took place - right in the middle of where all the sodomite perversion goes on - a fitting place for the battle to take place. And just like today where the sodomites through their spending of much money and their vote to buy the politicians to their way of thinking, they think they'll have the final victory, however, in the end Father has the final victory.
20:21 Slain of Israel (22,000).
Judges 20:21 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. -> Twenty and two thousand=ouch, the Benjamites put a serious hurting on brother Judah. Two things to remember about Judah: first, they were told in Genesis 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. -> they were told they would always have their hand on the neck of their enemy, which means they would always have the victory; well they didn't have it here against their brother Benjamin; and two, at their last numbering by Moses in Numbers 26:22 These are the families of Judah according to those that were numbered of them, threescore and sixteen thousand and five hundred. -> their numbers were seventy six thousand, five hundred; almost three times what the Benjamites are mustering here, now I'm not saying that Judah's numbers were still at seventy six thousand, but that was what they at least had had at one point.
Judges 20:22 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. -> Just like as when a team or an individual loses a game in any of our competitive sports today and the family members and or other teammates encourage the loser; these men of Israel are encouraging themselves and preparing themselves for the battle the next day.
Judges 20:23 (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.") -> Shall I go up again...=they're finally coming to the understanding that they didn't do this correctly the first time around. However, where are they? They're at the house of God, at Shiloh--not where the Ark of the Covenant is - in Beth-El.
Father tells them that yes, they should go up, but, is He done with His taking them behind the wood shed yet?
20:24 Slain of Israel (18,000).
Judges 20:24 And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day. -> After licking their wounds and seeking counsel from YHVH, they set themselves in array to again go against their brother Benjamin. They're feeling more confident now that Father has said to them - yes go up against him.
Judges 20:25 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 sword. -> Eighteen=bondage, and bondage is due to punishment, and that is what Israel is receiving here - punishment from Father for not initially seeking His counsel as to whether they should start a Civil War against their brother. Yes, Benjamin was--and at this point, still is--wrong protecting the evil within their camp. Likewise also, the Israelites were in the right when they were wanting to expel the evil and those responsible for it from their midst. However, they completely excluded Father when they were taking counsel of themselves and they didn't seek Him to ensure He wanted them to start this Civil War.
In two days fighting, the Israelites have lost forty thousand troops - ten percent of what they started with, the same number of men they mustered for provisions back in v20:10. They have now lost more men than their brother Benjamin has mustered for this war. I'm sure there is much confusion amongst the Israelites at this time.
Judges 20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. -> Fasted=this is the first recorded fasting in Father's Word. In the Strong's, the word "fast" is Hebrew word number H6684 - tsûm, pronounced - tsoom, and means: A primitive root; to cover over (the mouth), that is, to fast: - X at all, fast..
What we're seeing here is that the children of Israel have realized that they are poking their finger into the chest of their Brother Benjamin, yet they had had sin amongst themselves and therefore were acting as Jesus said in the New Testament to not do. We find this in Matthew 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? [7:5] Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. -> They realized they first had to repent of their sins before they could again go against those who perpetrated this heinous act.
Judges 20:27 And the children of Israel enquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, -> Time not only the fighting men of Israel, but all the people – the entire House of Israel, less the Tribe of Benjamin, came to the house of God and wept. The men and women, including the children, the old and young alike of all the tribes and cities came to plead and acknowledge their sins before Father. They now know that they can do nothing by themselves; they must turn to Father to seek and rely upon Him.
All the people are there at the House of YHVH, for they know that they have sinned - what was going on in Ephraim in the times of Gideon, Jephthah and Micah; also in Dan where they stole the gods and such of Micah – they know that they have sin amongst themselves and are repenting of those sins, trying to make right with Father by offering two different Offerings: they offered up both Burnt Offerings and Peace Offerings. As we already learned, the Burnt Offering in the Hebrew is the Olaw and in the Strong's Concordance is Hebrew word number H5930 - ‛ôlâh, or ‛ôlâh, pronounced - o-law', or o-law' and means: Feminine active participle of H5927; a step or (collectively stairs, as ascending); usually a holocaust (as going up in smoke): - ascent, burnt offering (sacrifice), go up to. See also H5766.; and the Peace Offering is the Shelem and in the Strong's is Hebrew word number H8002 - shelem, pronounced - sheh'-lem, and means: From H7999; properly requital, that is, a (voluntary) sacrifice in thanks: - peace offering.. The Burnt Offering as we learned in Genesis 22, is what Abraham was about to offer up to Father when he offered his son – Isaac Mount Moriah. It is a complete submission of repentance; then they also offer the "Peace Offerings" which in the Hebrew is called the "Shelem", which conveys the idea of peace on the ground of perfection of compensation of recompense. Thus it is connected with the thought of rendering payment of vows or praise because of peace enjoyed. The peace offering is Eucharistic rather then propitiatory. "Eucharistic" is something we do in remembrance of, like the communion (the cup of wine and unleavened broken bread in remembrance of the blood of Christ, and his broken body that was given for our sins). "Propitiatory" means to buy off, to regain the favor that you once had. When one pays the price for a gain that someone else receives. Like when Christ paid the price for sin through is death, and you through that price paid get the gift that is given.
During this "revival" here at Bethel, the entire nations of Israel cleansed themselves of their sin through the Burnt and Peace Offerings, and were now right in the eyes of Father. The process in essence is the same in both the Old and the New Testament, though today we do not do the blood sacrifices, therefore there is no need to offer the sacrifice of goats and sheep, for the very Lamb of God paid the price for one and all times. Today, our Burnt Offerings and Peace Offerings is our repentance to Father by our faith in Jesus Christ. Because of His sacrifice on the Cross, the veil has been rent from top to bottom, and now the "name of Jesus" is our authority to approach the throne of God, and our faith in Him is our freedom that we have from the gilt that sin has placed upon us. When we repent, Father removes that judgment from sin that is upon us, and we have a clear conscience.
The Israelites now saw their own shortcomings--that they too all fell short just like the Benjamites, and is the same for us today--so before you go to battle to fight for God, don't ever forget to first repent of those sins in your own life. We all fall short, and it doesn't matter how many times you attend church, and live in that church, you still must get right with the Lord personally, for the church cannot save anyone. When you repent to God in Jesus name, you get a fresh start right there. When the people went before, God was not with them, but now that they are right with God, God is on their side.
Notice the Parenthesis which starts in this verse continues into the middle of the next verse.
Judges 20:28 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 the LORD said, "Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand." -> Phinehas--Aaron's grandson--is the High Priest at this time and he is standing before the Ark seeking Father and His blessing on continuing this war against their Brother Benjamin. This time Father replies that yes, they should again go up against Benjamin and this time He--Father--will give them the victory.
These verses are an excellent example for us today; they teach is that we should never go into battle without asking Father and then taking Him with us. We first have to get our self right with Father through repentance, and then let Him do the instructing as to how to fight our battles. When the battle is over; then it is time to give Father all the praise for the victory, all the victories. Prior to doing something in Father's name, repent and first make sure you are clean, or like we saw here, Father will allow you to be beaten by your enemies.
20:29-46 FULFILLMENT (Alteration)
20:29-33 AMBUSCADE (Intoversion)
Judges 20:29 And Israel set liers in wait round about Gibeah. -> During the first two charges by the Israelite Army; they were over confident and therefore rushed into the battle without plan or thought, more or less with a mob mentality; and both those times they got a good whooping. Now after seeking counsel with Father, He gave them an excellent battle plan of allowing the Benjamites to again think they were coming at them the same identical way; only this time the Israelites had an ambush waiting for the Benjamites. This strategy is the same that Joshua used when the Israelites went up against the king of Ai in Joshua 8. This time the outcome would be much different, don't forget, this time Father was fighting for the Israelites for He had given them His promise that He would deliver the Benjamites into the Israelites hand.
Judges 20:30 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. -> The Israelites will catch the Benjamites off-guard as the Benjamites are seeing the Israelites set themselves as they had the first two times; they're thinking, man o man, we're going to whoop them yet again, this will be easy pickings.
20:31-32 Slain of Israel (Thirty)
Judges 20:31 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 highways, of which one goeth up to the house of God, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel. -> Just like the first two times, as the Israelite Army came out towards the Benjamites; the Benjamites likewise leave the city and come toward and confront the Israelites. This time it will be the Benjamites who are over confident, and just like as how the Israelite numbers made them over confident against their brother the Benjamites, the over confidence will be a detriment. This time the Israelites only lose about thirty men.
In the highways, of which one goeth up to the house of God and the other to Gibeah=this is saying that the main road has a fork in it and at this junction or fork, the road separates with one road leading to the house of God and the other road leading to Gibeah. Notice the house of God and Gibeah lie in the same direction and are not that far apart. This means that the perversion was taking place right under the noses of those who were going to the house of God, and they really didn't care about it until it had gotten out of control and brought to their attention.
20:32-33 Pretended flight
Judges 20:32 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 highways." -> As the two forces come together for this the third meeting, the Israelites feign fear as at the first two meeting, and like at the first two meeting, they turn tail and start to run; only this time it is to draw the Benjamites after them and into the trap the have set. The Benjamites see that things are the same, and with their confidence being high, follow in pursuit, blind to the ambush that has been set for them. With the Benjamites being out-numbered as they are, it'll be very difficult for them to fight and have the victory fighting on two fronts--both forward and rear--simultaneously.
Judges 20:33 And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baal-tamar: and the liers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah. -> Baaltamar=possessor of the palm trees.
As the main Israelite Army is in retreat with the Benjamite Army in pursuit, the men of the ambush come out of their hiding places, completely catching off-guard and surprising the pursuers; it won't take long for the severity of the situation to set in to their minds.
For the Israelite Army it's pay-back time, they cannot get the men back that they lost during the first two days of battle, however, they can make the enemy feel their wrath for their loss. Had this been another peoples, I wouldn't be slightly saddened, but seeing how they were Benjamites, it does sort of sadden me. Now don't take my meaning wrong; I'm pleased that those who allowed the perversion to prosper are getting their just rewards, however, we are talking about one of the Tribes of Israel.
20:34-37 DEFEAT (Introversion)
20:34 Attack by Ambuscade
20:34 Danger unknown
Judges 20:34 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. -> The Benjamite pursuers are in full pursuit without taking stock of their surroundings, and in doing so; they completely miss the Israelite "liers in wait" - those of the ambush. This isn't going to bode well for the Benjamites; they just didn't know it yet.
These next few verses to the end of the Chapter will be a more detailed accounting of the battle that had taken place and the cleansing of the city of Gibeah.
20:35 Slain of Benjamites (25,000)
Judges 20:35 And the LORD smote Benjamin before 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. -> The LORD smote Benjamin=do not overlook this. It was not the Israelites who put the hurting on the Benjamites; it was Father for their allowing the filth to flourish within their walls for so long. The Benjamites should have taken out the trash a long time ago and since they didn't; Father will cleanse them - twenty five thousand one hundred of them to be exact. Do you remember how many the Benjamites started with? Twenty six thousand seven hundred, so this leaves them with only sixteen hundred still able to draw sword--or sling shot in this case--and fight.
Sixteen hundred men to fight, to try and protect the town, but also only sixteen hundred men for all the women of Benjamin. But, Father isn't done with them yet.
20:36 Danger known
Judges 20:36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten: for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjamites, because they trusted unto the liers in wait which they had set beside Gibeah. -> Remember, this is a recap of the battle that had taken place - not new information; the Benjamites thought they had the Israelites on the run and were going to have another easy victory over their Brothers, that is until the Israelite liers-in-wait came out of their hiding places and joined the battle.
20:37 Attack by Ambuscade
Judges 20:37 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. -> With the battle now well in hand, some of the ambushers gathered themselves together and went to the city of Gibeah to take care of business - they slaughtered all the inhabitants of the city of Gibeah - man, woman and child. They wanted to have perversion and live godless lives, Father made a thorough cleansing of this town, this, at this point, is all unbeknownst to the Benjamite Army as their back is facing toward their city of Gibeah.
20:38-41 AMBUSCADE (Alteration)
20:38 Signal arranged
Judges 20:38 Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make a great flame with smoke rise up out of the city. -> The main Israelite Army and the ambushers had made a pact that when they--the ambushers--had defeated the city, they should then make a fire with lots of smoke as a sign signifying that they had cleaned house, at that point the fleeing Israelite Army will turn around and begin to fight in earnest against the Benjamite Army, while at the same time, the ambushers will be coming toward the Benjamites catching them in the middle of the two Israelite battle forces - not a good place to be for the Benjamites.
20:39 Slain of Israel
Judges 20:39 And when the men of Israel retired in the battle, Benjamin began to smite and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons: for they said, "Surely they are smitten down before us, as in the first battle." -> The Benjamites are thinking--incorrectly--that they are about to have a victory for the third day in a row against their Brothers - the Israelites, confidence at this point is high and they have killed about thirty Israelites--the same thirty from v20:31, but it will be short lived for the Israelites allow them to think this for only a short time before they are signaled that the ambushers have taken the city and have the Benjamites trapped between the two over-powering forces of the Israelite Army.
20:40 Signal given
Judges 20:40 But when the flame began to arise up out of the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and, behold, the flame of the city ascended up to heaven. -> As the Benjamites were in full pursuit, one of the men looked behind him and saw the flame and smoke arising from the city and alerted his companions, the all stopped and looked on in horror at the realization of the Israelites being in their city.
20:41 Amazement of Benjamites
Judges 20:41 And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon them. -> It also didn't take but a nano-second for them to then realize that they had been had, and were caught in the middle of a trap; they were amazed at how easily it had been set and they had fallen into it. The very purpose of their fight was now a lost cause, the removal of all good things concerning Father; the protection of perversion; sodomy and sin of every sort, and now they stood there outnumbered both in front and behind them, and the enemy was charging from both directions.
20:42-46 DEFEAT (Alteration)
20:42-44 Slain of Benjamites
Judges 20:42 Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them. -> They - The Benjamites, were now headed in a north easterly direction and fleeing for their lives to get out of and away from both the battle and the area, however the men of God overtook them and utterly destroyed them. They did not allow the Benjamites go back to doing what they had been doing before, but they took control in the name of Father.
Judges 20:43 Thus they inclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down with ease over against Gibeah toward the sunrising. -> In a non-humorous way; it's funny that this is one of the only readings that the Israelites did exactly as Father had instructed them when they entered into the Promised Land - as far as utterly destroying a people, and sadly, it's a Tribe of Israel.
Judges 20:44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valour. -> Don't be confused by these numbers, remember, these verses are a detailed accounting of the battle, so these eighteen thousand men here are a recounting of the men slain from v20:35. The sun rises in the east, and many of the perversions which creep into the houses of God today; come from the heathen religions of the east. The point being, is that when Father is with you, you can be successful, no matter where you are. When there is a battle coming your way, repent and humble yourself before Father, and He will fulfill His promises and give you the victory over your enemy. It is not a man that makes the battle successful, nor is it a man that makes a ministry successful, what makes something successful is Father. It is our Heavenly Father which gives us the victory, and also He gives us all our blessings. The sooner you understand this, the better off you are.
20:45-46 Slain of Benjamites
Judges 20:45 And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men; and pursued hard after them unto Gidom, and slew two thousand men of them. -> Gidom=desolation. This is the only place in Father's Word in which this place is named and it appears to have been situated Gibeah and the cliffs of Rimmon.
After the Israelites slew the eighteen thousand of the Benjamites, it was time to do a mop-up of the rest of those which stood on the side with perversion; they chased after and slew five thousand Benjamites on the highways and two thousand more in this city of desolation - Gidom.
Judges 20:46 So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these were men of valour. -> Twenty five thousand Benjamites fell during this battle and forty thousand Israelites in the previous two - all due to perversion and more notably - sodomy. Today, we're seeing this same perversion taking hold in this country and also around the world; and we have to stand on the side of righteousness, on the side of and with Father, just as the Israelite Army had done so in these Chapters. However, today's acceptance of sodomy is in preparation for the coming of satan and his band of fallen angels. Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 24:37-38 and Luke 17:26-27 that just prior to His return, they would again be here and doing the same things as in the time of Noe (Noah in the Greek); they would be giving and taking in marriage Paul furthered this in I Corinthians 11:3-10 while discussing men and women having power or a cover--Jesus Christ--over their heads, and finishes by saying "because of the angels." The fallen angels--nephilim--will be here, and you can bet that they will be doing all kinds of perverse acts with both men and women.
20:47-21:24 REGRET (Alteration and Introversion)
20:47 The 600 fugitives (Rimmon)
Judges 20:47 But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months. -> When the twenty five thousand men of valor lay dead on the battle field having fought for the protection of these perverts, six hundred of them ran and hid out in the rocks and clefts of Rimmon for four months. Reading this as it is written doesn't add up, for there are one thousand men unaccounted for. Though it doesn't mention it, these men must have been slain during the first two days of battle, when the Israelites lost their eighteen and twenty two thousand, this small number--one thousand--pales in comparison and is most likely the reason they weren't mentioned.
These six hundred Benjamites know that their tribe is gone--almost completely decimated--including most of the women and children. This leaves only eleven Tribes in Israel, these that are hiding out are doomed and are the end of the youngest son's--Benjamin's--seed line. Where are they going to find wives, because all the other tribes have sworn that not one of them will give their daughters to a man of Benjamin to wife? We know the seed line did continue as one of these men is most likely an ancestor to Paul--the writer of the greater percentage of the New Testament--for he states in Romans 11:1 he states that he is an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. So where did these men get their wives? Well find the answer to this in Judges 21.
20:48 Destruction of others
Judges 20:48 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 came to. -> After laying waste to the Benjamite Army, the Israelite Army now turns its attention to and focuses on destroying and exterminating the inhabitants of all the towns of Benjamin - leaving none alive, neither man nor beast. After slaughtering every breathing creature in these towns, they then set fire to and completely gut the cities - Benjamin almost completely destroyed.
So this is how Father used man to handle the perversion that went on in the land of Benjamin – one of the patriarchal tribes, and some of the cities of the Promised Land. The tribe of Benjamin paid a price so that you and I could learn from their loss. Was the tribe of Benjamin completely eliminated? No, for their tribe will be rebuilt to a strong group of people, and the next chapter will tell us how Father had this done. Again, Paul came from the tribe of Benjamin, so we know that Father used the tribe of Benjamin to send the light of His Word to the world. We will find out in the next chapter how they survived and rebuilt their tribe.