DevotionalDevotionalDV Judges 19:1-20:48Old TestamentOT John 3:22-4:3New TestamentNT Psalm 104:24-35PsalmPS Proverbs 14:22-24ProverbsPR All

Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Is it possible to be doing the right thing and still seem to be losing the battle? The Lord himself had commissioned the men of Israel, saying, "Go out and fight against them" (Judges 20:23). The Israelites' battle was in retaliation for Benjamin's wickedness. You would think that God would have instantly given the Israelites victory. Instead, they were defeated twice before they finally prevailed!

How important it is not to interpret one lost battle as meaning that God is not with you! Satan may win a battle, but he won't win the war. You are fighting the Lord's battles, not your own. Casualties often occur in war, but victory is sure to come to the one who keeps inquiring of the Lord. Once, then twice, then a third time, the Israelites regrouped and sought the Lord. They knew their cause was just and that the war was not over until they had won.

Never doubt in the darkness what God told you in the light. If God told you to do something for Him, it will succeed. He knows the enemy's strategy and will give you the victory in the end!

Judges 19:1-20:48

A Levite and His Concubine

19 In those days Israel had no king.

Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraimver 16, 18 took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.Ru 1:1But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months,her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him.His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking,ver 6, 8; S Ex 32:6 and sleeping there.

On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourselfver 8; Ge 18:5 with something to eat; then you can go.”So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.S Jdg 16:25And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night.On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.

Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.”10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward JebusS Ge 10:16; S Jos 15:8 (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.

11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the JebusitesS Ge 10:16; S Jos 3:10 and spend the night.”

12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.”13 He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or RamahS Jos 18:25 and spend the night in one of those places.”14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin.Jos 15:57; 1Sa 10:26; 11:4; 13:2; 15:34; Isa 10:2915 There they stopped to spend the night.S Ge 24:23 They went and sat in the city square,S Ge 19:2 but no one took them in for the night.

16 That eveningPs 104:23 an old man from the hill country of Ephraim,S ver 1 who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields.17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”S Ge 29:4

18 He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord.Hebrew, Vulgate, Syriac and Targum; Septuagint going homeS Jdg 18:31 No one has taken me in for the night.19 We have both straw and fodderGe 24:25 for our donkeysS Ge 42:27 and bread and wineS Ge 14:18 for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”

20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.”21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.Ge 24:32-33; Lk 7:44

22 While they were enjoying themselves,S Jdg 16:25 some of the wicked menS Dt 13:13 of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.Ge 19:4-5; Jdg 20:5; Ro 1:26-27

23 The owner of the house went outsideGe 19:6 and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing.S Ge 34:7; S Lev 19:29; S Jos 7:15; S Jdg 20:6; Ro 1:2724 Look, here is my virgin daughter,Ge 19:8 and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”

25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped herJdg 20:5 and abused her1Sa 31:4 throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go.26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold.28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

29 When he reached home, he took a knifeS Ge 22:6 and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel.Jdg 20:6; 1Sa 11:730 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt.Hos 9:9 Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!Jdg 20:7; Pr 13:10

The Israelites Punish the Benjamites

20 Then all IsraelJdg 21:5 from Dan to BeershebaS Ge 21:14; 1Sa 3:20; 2Sa 3:10; 17:11; 24:15; 1Ki 4:25; 2Ch 30:5 and from the land of Gilead came together as onever 11; 1Sa 11:7 and assembled1Sa 7:5 before the Lord in Mizpah.S Jos 11:3The leaders of all the people of the tribes of Israel took their places in the assembly of God’s people, four hundred thousand men1Sa 11:8 armed with swords.(The Benjamites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the Israelites said, “Tell us how this awful thing happened.”

So the Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, said, “I and my concubine came to GibeahS Jos 15:57 in Benjamin to spend the night.S Ge 24:23During the night the men of Gibeah came after me and surrounded the house, intending to kill me.S Jdg 19:22 They raped my concubine, and she died.Jdg 19:25-26I took my concubine, cut her into pieces and sent one piece to each region of Israel’s inheritance,S Jdg 19:29 because they committed this lewd and outrageous actS Jdg 19:23; 2Sa 13:12 in Israel.Now, all you Israelites, speak up and tell me what you have decided to do.S Jdg 19:30

All the men rose up together as one, saying, “None of us will go home. No, not one of us will return to his house.But now this is what we’ll do to Gibeah: We’ll go up against it in the order decided by casting lots.S Lev 16:810 We’ll take ten men out of every hundred from all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred from a thousand, and a thousand from ten thousand, to get provisions for the army. Then, when the army arrives at GibeahOne Hebrew manuscript; most Hebrew manuscripts Geba, a variant of Gibeah in Benjamin, it can give them what they deserve for this outrageous act done in Israel.”11 So all the Israelites got together and united as one against the city.S ver 1

12 The tribes of Israel sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What about this awful crime that was committed among you?Dt 13:1413 Now turn those wicked menS Dt 13:13 of Gibeah over to us so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.S Dt 13:5; S 1Co 5:13

But the Benjamites would not listen to their fellow Israelites.14 From their towns they came together at Gibeah to fight against the Israelites.15 At once the Benjamites mobilized twenty-six thousand swordsmen from their towns, in addition to seven hundred able young men from those living in Gibeah.16 Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred select troops who were left-handed,S Jdg 3:15 each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.

17 Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered four hundred thousand swordsmen, all of them fit for battle.

18 The Israelites went up to BethelOr to the house of God; also in verse 26S Jos 12:9; S Jdg 18:31 and inquired of God.S Jdg 18:5 They said, “Who of us is to go up firstS Jdg 1:1 to fightver 23, 28 against the Benjamites?”

The Lord replied, “JudahS Ge 49:10 shall go first.”

19 The next morning the Israelites got up and pitched camp near Gibeah.20 The Israelites went out to fight the Benjamites and took up battle positions against them at Gibeah.21 The Benjamites came out of Gibeah and cut down twenty-two thousand Israelitesver 25 on the battlefield that day.22 But the Israelites encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day.23 The Israelites went up and wept before the LordS Nu 14:1 until evening,Jos 7:6 and they inquired of the Lord.S Jdg 18:5 They said, “Shall we go up again to fightS ver 18 against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites?”

The Lord answered, “Go up against them.”

24 Then the Israelites drew near to Benjamin the second day.25 This time, when the Benjamites came out from Gibeah to oppose them, they cut down another eighteen thousand Israelites,ver 21 all of them armed with swords.

26 Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord.S Nu 14:1 They fasted2Sa 12:21 that day until evening and presented burnt offeringsLev 1:3 and fellowship offeringsS Ex 32:6 to the Lord.Jdg 21:427 And the Israelites inquired of the Lord.S Jdg 18:5 (In those days the ark of the covenant of GodS Nu 10:33 was there,28 with Phinehas son of Eleazar,Nu 25:7 the son of Aaron, ministering before it.)Dt 18:5 They asked, “Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites, or not?”

The Lord responded, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.S Jos 2:24

29 Then Israel set an ambushS Jos 8:2, 4 around Gibeah.30 They went up against the Benjamites on the third day and took up positions against Gibeah as they had done before.31 The Benjamites came out to meet them and were drawn awayJos 8:16 from the city. They began to inflict casualties on the Israelites as before, so that about thirty men fell in the open field and on the roads—the one leading to BethelJos 16:1 and the other to Gibeah.32 While the Benjamites were saying, “We are defeating them as before,”ver 39 the Israelites were saying, “Let’s retreat and draw them away from the city to the roads.”

33 All the men of Israel moved from their places and took up positions at Baal Tamar, and the Israelite ambush charged out of its placeJos 8:19 on the westSome Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. of Gibeah.Hebrew Geba, a variant of Gibeah34 Then ten thousand of Israel’s able young men made a frontal attack on Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that the Benjamites did not realizeJos 8:14 how near disaster was.ver 4135 The Lord defeated Benjamin1Sa 9:21 before Israel, and on that day the Israelites struck down 25,100 Benjamites, all armed with swords.36 Then the Benjamites saw that they were beaten.

Now the men of Israel had given wayJos 8:15 before Benjamin, because they relied on the ambushJos 8:2 they had set near Gibeah.37 Those who had been in ambush made a sudden dash into Gibeah, spread out and put the whole city to the sword.Jos 8:1938 The Israelites had arranged with the ambush that they should send up a great cloud of smokeJos 8:20 from the city,Jos 8:4-839 and then the Israelites would counterattack.

The Benjamites had begun to inflict casualties on the Israelites (about thirty), and they said, “We are defeating them as in the first battle.”ver 32; Ps 78:940 But when the column of smoke began to rise from the city, the Benjamites turned and saw the whole city going up in smoke.Jos 8:2041 Then the Israelites counterattacked,Jos 8:21 and the Benjamites were terrified, because they realized that disaster had comever 34 on them.42 So they fled before the Israelites in the direction of the wilderness, but they could not escape the battle. And the Israelites who came out of the towns cut them down there.43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them and easilyThe meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. overran them in the vicinity of Gibeah on the east.44 Eighteen thousand Benjamites fell, all of them valiant fighters.1Sa 10:26; Ps 76:545 As they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon,S Jos 15:32 the Israelites cut down five thousand men along the roads. They kept pressing after the Benjamites as far as Gidom and struck down two thousand more.

46 On that day twenty-five thousand Benjamite1Sa 9:21 swordsmen fell, all of them valiant fighters.47 But six hundred of them turned and fled into the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, where they stayed four months.48 The men of Israel went back to Benjamin and put all the towns to the sword, including the animals and everything else they found. All the towns they came across they set on fire.Jdg 21:23

The Levite and His Concubine

19 Now in those days Israel had no king. There was a man from the tribe of Levi living in a remote area of the hill country of Ephraim. One day he brought home a woman from Bethlehem in Judah to be his concubine.But she became angry with himOr she was unfaithful to him. and returned to her father’s home in Bethlehem.

After about four months,her husband set out for Bethlehem to speak personally to her and persuade her to come back. He took with him a servant and a pair of donkeys. When he arrived atAs in Greek version; Hebrew reads When she brought him to. her father’s house, her father saw him and welcomed him.Her father urged him to stay awhile, so he stayed three days, eating, drinking, and sleeping there.

On the fourth day the man was up early, ready to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Have something to eat before you go.”So the two men sat down together and had something to eat and drink. Then the woman’s father said, “Please stay another night and enjoy yourself.”The man got up to leave, but his father-in-law kept urging him to stay, so he finally gave in and stayed the night.

On the morning of the fifth day he was up early again, ready to leave, and again the woman’s father said, “Have something to eat; then you can leave later this afternoon.” So they had another day of feasting.Later, as the man and his concubine and servant were preparing to leave, his father-in-law said, “Look, it’s almost evening. Stay the night and enjoy yourself. Tomorrow you can get up early and be on your way.”

10 But this time the man was determined to leave. So he took his two saddled donkeys and his concubine and headed in the direction of Jebus (that is, Jerusalem).11 It was late in the day when they neared Jebus, and the man’s servant said to him, “Let’s stop at this Jebusite town and spend the night there.”

12 “No,” his master said, “we can’t stay in this foreign town where there are no Israelites. Instead, we will go on to Gibeah.13 Come on, let’s try to get as far as Gibeah or Ramah, and we’ll spend the night in one of those towns.”14 So they went on. The sun was setting as they came to Gibeah, a town in the land of Benjamin,15 so they stopped there to spend the night. They rested in the town square, but no one took them in for the night.

16 That evening an old man came home from his work in the fields. He was from the hill country of Ephraim, but he was living in Gibeah, where the people were from the tribe of Benjamin.17 When he saw the travelers sitting in the town square, he asked them where they were from and where they were going.

18 “We have been in Bethlehem in Judah,” the man replied. “We are on our way to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim, which is my home. I traveled to Bethlehem, and now I’m returning home.As in Greek version (see also 19:29); Hebrew reads now I’m going to the Tabernacle of the Lord. But no one has taken us in for the night,19 even though we have everything we need. We have straw and feed for our donkeys and plenty of bread and wine for ourselves.”

20 “You are welcome to stay with me,” the old man said. “I will give you anything you might need. But whatever you do, don’t spend the night in the square.”21 So he took them home with him and fed the donkeys. After they washed their feet, they ate and drank together.

22 While they were enjoying themselves, a crowd of troublemakers from the town surrounded the house. They began beating at the door and shouting to the old man, “Bring out the man who is staying with you so we can have sex with him.”

23 The old man stepped outside to talk to them. “No, my brothers, don’t do such an evil thing. For this man is a guest in my house, and such a thing would be shameful.24 Here, take my virgin daughter and this man’s concubine. I will bring them out to you, and you can abuse them and do whatever you like. But don’t do such a shameful thing to this man.”

25 But they wouldn’t listen to him. So the Levite took hold of his concubine and pushed her out the door. The men of the town abused her all night, taking turns raping her until morning. Finally, at dawn they let her go.26 At daybreak the woman returned to the house where her husband was staying. She collapsed at the door of the house and lay there until it was light.

27 When her husband opened the door to leave, there lay his concubine with her hands on the threshold.28 He said, “Get up! Let’s go!” But there was no answer.Greek version adds for she was dead. So he put her body on his donkey and took her home.

29 When he got home, he took a knife and cut his concubine’s body into twelve pieces. Then he sent one piece to each tribe throughout all the territory of Israel.

30 Everyone who saw it said, “Such a horrible crime has not been committed in all the time since Israel left Egypt. Think about it! What are we going to do? Who’s going to speak up?”

Israel’s War with Benjamin

20 Then all the Israelites were united as one man, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, including those from across the Jordan in the land of Gilead. The entire community assembled in the presence of the Lord at Mizpah.The leaders of all the people and all the tribes of Israel—400,000 warriors armed with swords—took their positions in the assembly of the people of God.(Word soon reached the land of Benjamin that the other tribes had gone up to Mizpah.) The Israelites then asked how this terrible crime had happened.

The Levite, the husband of the woman who had been murdered, said, “My concubine and I came to spend the night in Gibeah, a town that belongs to the people of Benjamin.That night some of the leading citizens of Gibeah surrounded the house, planning to kill me, and they raped my concubine until she was dead.So I cut her body into twelve pieces and sent the pieces throughout the territory assigned to Israel, for these men have committed a terrible and shameful crime.Now then, all of you—the entire community of Israel—must decide here and now what should be done about this!”

And all the people rose to their feet in unison and declared, “None of us will return home! No, not even one of us!Instead, this is what we will do to Gibeah; we will draw lots to decide who will attack it.10 One-tenth of the menHebrew 10 men from every hundred, 100 men from every thousand, and 1,000 men from every 10,000. from each tribe will be chosen to supply the warriors with food, and the rest of us will take revenge on GibeahHebrew Geba, in this case a variant spelling of Gibeah; also in 20:33. of Benjamin for this shameful thing they have done in Israel.”11 So all the Israelites were completely united, and they gathered together to attack the town.

12 The Israelites sent messengers to the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What a terrible thing has been done among you!13 Give up those evil men, those troublemakers from Gibeah, so we can execute them and purge Israel of this evil.”

But the people of Benjamin would not listen.14 Instead, they came from their towns and gathered at Gibeah to fight the Israelites.15 In all, 26,000 of their warriors armed with swords arrived in Gibeah to join the 700 elite troops who lived there.16 Among Benjamin’s elite troops, 700 were left-handed, and each of them could sling a rock and hit a target within a hairsbreadth without missing.17 Israel had 400,000 experienced soldiers armed with swords, not counting Benjamin’s warriors.

18 Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God, “Which tribe should go first to attack the people of Benjamin?”

The Lord answered, “Judah is to go first.”

19 So the Israelites left early the next morning and camped near Gibeah.20 Then they advanced toward Gibeah to attack the men of Benjamin.21 But Benjamin’s warriors, who were defending the town, came out and killed 22,000 Israelites on the battlefield that day.

22 But the Israelites encouraged each other and took their positions again at the same place they had fought the previous day.23 For they had gone up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the Lord until evening. They had asked the Lord, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again?”

And the Lord had said, “Go out and fight against them.”

24 So the next day they went out again to fight against the men of Benjamin,25 but the men of Benjamin killed another 18,000 Israelites, all of whom were experienced with the sword.

26 Then all the Israelites went up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the Lord and fasted until evening. They also brought burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord.27 The Israelites went up seeking direction from the Lord. (In those days the Ark of the Covenant of God was in Bethel,28 and Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron was the priest.) The Israelites asked the Lord, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again, or should we stop?”

The Lord said, “Go! Tomorrow I will hand them over to you.”

29 So the Israelites set an ambush all around Gibeah.30 They went out on the third day and took their positions at the same place as before.31 When the men of Benjamin came out to attack, they were drawn away from the town. And as they had done before, they began to kill the Israelites. About thirty Israelites died in the open fields and along the roads, one leading to Bethel and the other leading back to Gibeah.

32 Then the warriors of Benjamin shouted, “We’re defeating them as we did before!” But the Israelites had planned in advance to run away so that the men of Benjamin would chase them along the roads and be drawn away from the town.

33 When the main group of Israelite warriors reached Baal-tamar, they turned and took up their positions. Meanwhile, the Israelites hiding in ambush to the westAs in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads hiding in the open space. of Gibeah jumped up to fight.34 There were 10,000 elite Israelite troops who advanced against Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that Benjamin didn’t realize the impending disaster.35 So the Lord helped Israel defeat Benjamin, and that day the Israelites killed 25,100 of Benjamin’s warriors, all of whom were experienced swordsmen.36 Then the men of Benjamin saw that they were beaten.

The Israelites had retreated from Benjamin’s warriors in order to give those hiding in ambush more room to maneuver against Gibeah.37 Then those who were hiding rushed in from all sides and killed everyone in the town.38 They had arranged to send up a large cloud of smoke from the town as a signal.39 When the Israelites saw the smoke, they turned and attacked Benjamin’s warriors.

By that time Benjamin’s warriors had killed about thirty Israelites, and they shouted, “We’re defeating them as we did in the first battle!”40 But when the warriors of Benjamin looked behind them and saw the smoke rising into the sky from every part of the town,41 the men of Israel turned and attacked. At this point the men of Benjamin became terrified, because they realized disaster was close at hand.42 So they turned around and fled before the Israelites toward the wilderness. But they couldn’t escape the battle, and the people who came out of the nearby towns were also killed.Or battle, for the people from the nearby towns also came out and killed them.43 The Israelites surrounded the men of Benjamin and chased them relentlessly, finally overtaking them east of Gibeah.The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.44 That day 18,000 of Benjamin’s strongest warriors died in battle.45 The survivors fled into the wilderness toward the rock of Rimmon, but Israel killed 5,000 of them along the road. They continued the chase until they had killed another 2,000 near Gidom.

46 So that day the tribe of Benjamin lost 25,000 strong warriors armed with swords,47 leaving only 600 men who escaped to the rock of Rimmon, where they lived for four months.48 And the Israelites returned and slaughtered every living thing in all the towns—the people, the livestock, and everything they found. They also burned down all the towns they came to.

19 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah.

And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months.

And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and 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 damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.

And his father in law, the damsel's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there.

And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.

And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry.

And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again.

And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the damsel's father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them.

And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.

10 But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.

11 And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.

12 And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah.

13 And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah.

14 And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin.

15 And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging.

16 And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites.

17 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou?

18 And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to the house of the Lord; and there is no man that receiveth me to house.

19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing.

20 And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street.

21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and 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, 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.

24 Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; 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 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. 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 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 unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.

20 Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the Lord in Mizpeh.

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.

(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?

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.

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.

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.

Behold, ye are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel.

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.

But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it;

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.

11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.

12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is done among you?

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.

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.

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.

16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.

17 And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these were men of war.

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.

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.

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.

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.

27 And the children of Israel enquired of the Lord, (for the ark of the covenant of God 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 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 highways, of which one goeth up to the house of God, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel.

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.

33 And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baaltamar: and the liers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

41 And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon them.

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.

43 Thus they inclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down with ease over against Gibeah toward the sunrising.

44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valour.

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.

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.

47 But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto 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 came to.

John 3:22-4:3

John Testifies Again About Jesus

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.Jn 4:223 Now JohnS Mt 3:1 also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.24 (This was before John was put in prison.)Mt 4:12; 14:325 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.Jn 2:626 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi,S Mt 23:7 that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testifiedJn 1:7 about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’Jn 1:20, 2329 The bride belongs to the bridegroom.Mt 9:15 The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.Jn 16:24; 17:13; Php 2:2; 1Jn 1:4; 2Jn 1230 He must become greater; I must become less.”Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 36.

31 The one who comes from abovever 13 is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth.Jn 8:23; 1Jn 4:5 The one who comes from heaven is above all.32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard,Jn 8:26; 15:15 but no one accepts his testimony.ver 1133 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.34 For the one whom God has sentS ver 17 speaks the words of God, for GodGreek he gives the SpiritIsa 42:1; Mt 12:18; Lk 4:18; Ac 10:38 without limit.35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.S Mt 28:1836 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,S ver 15; Jn 5:24; 6:47 but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than JohnJn 3:22, 26although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.So he left JudeaJn 3:22 and went back once more to Galilee.

John the Baptist Exalts Jesus

22 Then Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. Jesus spent some time with them there, baptizing people.

23 At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism.24 (This was before John was thrown into prison.)25 A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain JewSome manuscripts read some Jews. over ceremonial cleansing.26 So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”

27 John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

31 “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.Some manuscripts do not include and is greater than anyone else.32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true.34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands.36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

JesusSome manuscripts read The Lord. knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John(though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did).So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

24 For John was not yet cast into prison.

25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.

26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.

33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.

34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,

(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.

Psalm 104:24-35

24 How many are your works,Ps 40:5 Lord!

In wisdom you madeS Ge 1:31 them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.Ps 24:1; 50:10-11

25 There is the sea,Ps 69:34 vast and spacious,

teeming with creatures beyond number—

living things both large and small.Eze 47:10

26 There the shipsPs 107:23; Eze 27:9; Jnh 1:3 go to and fro,

and Leviathan,S Job 3:8; 41:1 which you formed to frolicJob 40:20 there.S Ge 1:21

27 All creatures look to you

to give them their foodJob 36:31; Ps 145:15; 147:9 at the proper time.

28 When you give it to them,

they gather it up;

when you open your hand,

they are satisfiedPs 103:5; 145:16; Isa 58:11 with good things.

29 When you hide your face,S Dt 31:17

they are terrified;

when you take away their breath,

they die and return to the dust.S Job 7:21

30 When you send your Spirit,S Ge 1:2

they are created,

and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the LordEx 40:35; Ps 8:1; S Ro 11:36 endure forever;

may the Lord rejoice in his worksS Ge 1:4

32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,S Ps 97:4

who touches the mountains,S Ex 19:18 and they smoke.Ps 144:5

33 I will singS Ex 15:1; Ps 108:1 to the Lord all my life;

I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,

as I rejoiceS Ps 2:11; 9:2; 32:11 in the Lord.

35 But may sinners vanishPs 37:38 from the earth

and the wicked be no more.S Job 7:10

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.Hebrew Hallelu Yah; in the Septuagint this line stands at the beginning of Psalm 105.Ps 28:6; 105:45; 106:48

24 O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!

In wisdom you have made them all.

The earth is full of your creatures.

25 Here is the ocean, vast and wide,

teeming with life of every kind,

both large and small.

26 See the ships sailing along,

and Leviathan,The identification of Leviathan is disputed, ranging from an earthly creature to a mythical sea monster in ancient literature. which you made to play in the sea.

27 They all depend on you

to give them food as they need it.

28 When you supply it, they gather it.

You open your hand to feed them,

and they are richly satisfied.

29 But if you turn away from them, they panic.

When you take away their breath,

they die and turn again to dust.

30 When you give them your breath,Or When you send your Spirit. life is created,

and you renew the face of the earth.

31 May the glory of the Lord continue forever!

The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!

32 The earth trembles at his glance;

the mountains smoke at his touch.

33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

I will praise my God to my last breath!

34 May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,

for I rejoice in the Lord.

35 Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth;

let the wicked disappear forever.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

31 The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.

32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.

33 I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.

35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord.

Proverbs 14:22-24

22 Do not those who plot evil go astray?Pr 4:16-17

But those who plan what is good findOr show love and faithfulness.

23 All hard work brings a profit,

but mere talk leads only to poverty.

24 The wealth of the wise is their crown,

but the folly of fools yields folly.ver 8

22 If you plan to do evil, you will be lost;

if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.

23 Work brings profit,

but mere talk leads to poverty!

24 Wealth is a crown for the wise;

the effort of fools yields only foolishness.

22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.

23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

24 The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.

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