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Dommer 20

Benjaminitterne straffes

1Da samledes alle Israels mænd—fra Dan i nord til Beʼersheba i syd og fra Gilead i øst—for Herrens ansigt i Mitzpa. Alle Israels stammeledere mødte op, og alle stammerne mønstrede tilsammen 400.000 bevæbnede krigere. 3-4 (Benjaminitterne hørte, at alle de andre stammer havde forsamlet sig i Mitzpa.)

„Fortæl os nu, hvordan den forbrydelse gik til,” sagde folkets ledere til den myrdede kvindes mand.

„Jeg og min medhustru ankom til Gibea i Benjamins land for at overnatte,” begyndte han. „Om natten omringede nogle af byens mænd huset i den hensigt at slå mig ihjel, og de voldtog min medhustru, indtil hun døde. Derefter skar jeg hendes lig i 12 stykker og sendte stykkerne ud til Israels 12 stammer for at vise, hvilken afskyelig forbrydelse disse israelitter havde begået. Nu må det være op til forsamlingen her at beslutte, hvad der skal gøres.”

8-11 Alle rejste sig, og deres beslutning var enstemmig: „Ingen af os vender hjem, før vi har udført en hævnaktion mod Gibea. Vi vil udtage en tiendedel af hæren til at sørge for forsyningslinierne—og resten af os vil udslette Gibea for den afskyelige forbrydelse, der er begået blandt Israels folk. Hvem der skal være hærens fortrop, vil blive bestemt ved lodkastning.”

12 Så sendte man delegationer ud til hele Benjaminstammens område med følgende besked: „Hvad er det dog for en skamløs handling, der er blevet begået hos jer? 13 Udlever de onde mænd fra Gibea til os, så vi kan henrette dem og på den måde udrydde det onde fra Israels midte.” Men benjaminitterne ville ikke høre på dem. 14-15 I stedet samlede de en hær på 26.000 mand og sendte hæren til Gibea for at hjælpe byens 700 våbenføre mænd imod den israelitiske hær. 16 I hæren var der 700 udvalgte, venstrehåndede skarpskytter, der med deres stenslynger kunne ramme plet hver eneste gang. 17 Over for dem stod de 400.000 krigere fra de øvrige stammer.

18 Før slaget gik israelitterne til Betel for at rådspørge Gud. „Hvilken stamme skal danne fortrop i slaget mod benjaminitterne?” spurgte de. Herren svarede: „Judas stamme skal gå forrest.”

19-20 Tidligt næste morgen drog hæren af sted og slog lejr tæt ved Gibea. Derfra gik de til angreb mod byen, 21 men benjaminitterne stormede ud af byen og dræbte den dag 22.000 israelitter. 22-24 Da gik israelitterne op til Betel og græd for Herrens ansigt indtil aften. „Skal vi fortsætte kampen imod benjaminitterne, som dog er en del af vores eget folk?” spurgte de. Herren svarede: „Ja, gå i kamp imod dem igen!”

Så opmuntrede israelitterne hinanden og gjorde klar til at fortsætte kampen samme sted næste dag. 25 Men denne gang gik det ikke meget bedre, for benjaminitterne dræbte yderligere 18.000 krigere.

26 Da gik hele hæren op til Betel. De græd og fastede indtil aften og bragte brænd- og takofre til Herren. 27-28 På det tidspunkt var Guds Ark flyttet til Betel, og Pinehas, en efterkommer af Arons søn Eleazar, var præst ved helligdommen. Israelitterne spurgte atter Herren: „Skal vi fortsætte kampen imod benjaminitterne?” Herren svarede: „Fortsæt! I morgen vil jeg give jer sejr over dem.”

29 Så lagde en del af israelitterne sig i baghold på markerne rundt om byen. 30 Næste morgen gik den øvrige del af hæren frontalt til angreb mod Gibea som de øvrige dage. 31 Da benjaminitterne nu stormede ud af byen for at gå til modangreb, trak israelitterne sig tilbage i tre retninger og lokkede benjaminitterne væk fra byen. Benjaminitterne forfulgte de israelitiske soldater og huggede 30 af dem ned dels ude på markerne, dels langs vejen mod nordvest til Gibeon[a] og mod nord til Betel. 32 Det fik dem til at tænke: „Vi slår dem også denne gang!” Men israelitternes slagplan gik jo ud på, at deres hær skulle flygte og derved lokke modstanderne bort fra byen. 33 Da deres hovedstyrker nåede Baʼal-Tamar, forskansede de sig og gik til modangreb. I mellemtiden kom de andre frem fra deres baghold og indtog Gibea uden at møde væsentlig modstand. 34 Det drejede sig om 10.000 af israelitternes bedste krigere. Samtidig var der voldsom kamp mellem hovedstyrken og Benjamins hær, der var uvidende om, at det snart var ude med dem. 35 Den dag gav Herren israelitterne sejr over Benjamins hær, der med et tab på 25.100 mand blev næsten totalt udslettet. 36 Da måtte benjaminitterne acceptere, at de var blevet slået.

Bagholdsangrebet og kampens afslutning foregik på følgende måde: Den israelitiske hovedstyrke havde jo trukket sig væk fra benjaminitterne, da de satsede på deres bagholdsstrategi. 37 Den øvrige hærstyrke kom nu frem fra sit baghold, stormede Gibea og huggede indbyggerne ned. 38 Det var aftalt, at de skulle sætte ild til byen, og det gjorde de så. 39 Da israelitternes hovedstyrke så røgen, standsede de flugten og gik til modangreb på benjaminitternes hær. Da benjaminitterne allerede havde hugget 30 israelitiske soldater ned, og hele hæren var flygtet, var de overbeviste om, at sejren var en realitet ligesom de to foregående dage, 40-41 men da de så sig tilbage mod byen fik de et chok, for byen var i brand, og fjenderne kom imod dem både fra syd og nord. 42 Deres eneste udvej var at flygte i retning af ørkenen, men hovedstyrken og krigerne fra bagholdet, som nu havde sluttet sig til dem, satte efter benjaminitterne. 43-44 Et godt stykke øst for Gibea blev de indhentet, og mere end 18.000 af Benjamins krigere blev slået ihjel dér. 45 Resten af hæren flygtede videre mod nord ind i ørkenen i retning af Rimmons klippe, og endnu 5000 mand blev hugget ned undervejs. 2000 mand nåede frem til Gidom, inden de blev dræbt.

46 Den dag mistede Benjamins stamme mere end 25.000 dygtige krigere. 47 De eneste overlevende var 600 mænd, der undslap til Rimmons klippe og gemte sig i ørkenområdets klippehuler. Her levede de i fire måneder.

48 Efter slaget gik israelitterne en runde til hver eneste by i Benjamins land. De dræbte alt levende, både mennesker og husdyr, og derefter brændte de byerne ned til grunden.

Notas al pie

  1. 20,31 På hebraisk ligner de to navne „Gibea” og „Gibeon” hinanden meget. Selvom den hebraiske tekst, vi har adgang til, siger „Gibea”, er det sandsynligt, at originalen har sagt „Gibeon”, da det passer bedre i sammenhængen.

New International Version - UK

Judges 20

The Israelites punish the Benjaminites

1Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba and from the land of Gilead came together as one and assembled before the Lord in Mizpah. The leaders of all the people of the tribes of Israel took their places in the assembly of God’s people, four hundred thousand men armed with swords. (The Benjaminites 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 Gibeah in Benjamin to spend the night. During the night the men of Gibeah came after me and surrounded the house, intending to kill me. They raped my concubine, and she died. I took my concubine, cut her into pieces and sent one piece to each region of Israel’s inheritance, because they committed this lewd and outrageous act in Israel. Now, all you Israelites, speak up and tell me what you have decided to do.’

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. 10 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 Gibeah[a] 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.

12 The tribes of Israel sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, ‘What about this awful crime that was committed among you? 13 Now turn those wicked men of Gibeah over to us so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.’

But the Benjaminites 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 Benjaminites mobilised 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, 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 Bethel[b] and enquired of God. They said, ‘Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjaminites?’

The Lord replied, ‘Judah shall go first.’

19 The next morning the Israelites got up and pitched camp near Gibeah. 20 The Israelites went out to fight the Benjaminites and took up battle positions against them at Gibeah. 21 The Benjaminites came out of Gibeah and cut down twenty-two thousand Israelites 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 Lord until evening, and they enquired of the Lord. They said, ‘Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjaminites, 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 Benjaminites came out from Gibeah to oppose them, they cut down another eighteen thousand Israelites, 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. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. 27 And the Israelites enquired of the Lord. (In those days the ark of the covenant of God was there, 28 with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministering before it.) They asked, ‘Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjaminites, our fellow Israelites, or not?’

The Lord responded, ‘Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.’

29 Then Israel set an ambush around Gibeah. 30 They went up against the Benjaminites on the third day and took up positions against Gibeah as they had done before. 31 The Benjaminites came out to meet them and were drawn away 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 Bethel and the other to Gibeah. 32 While the Benjaminites were saying, ‘We are defeating them as before,’ 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 place on the west[c] of Gibeah.[d] 34 Then ten thousand of Israel’s able young men made a frontal attack on Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that the Benjaminites did not realise how near disaster was. 35 The Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel, and on that day the Israelites struck down 25,100 Benjaminites, all armed with swords. 36 Then the Benjaminites saw that they were beaten.

Now the men of Israel had given way before Benjamin, because they relied on the ambush 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. 38 The Israelites had arranged with the ambush that they should send up a great cloud of smoke from the city, 39 and then the Israelites would counterattack.

The Benjaminites had begun to inflict casualties on the Israelites (about thirty), and they said, ‘We are defeating them as in the first battle.’ 40 But when the column of smoke began to rise from the city, the Benjaminites turned and saw the whole city going up in smoke. 41 Then the Israelites counterattacked, and the Benjaminites were terrified, because they realised that disaster had come 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 Benjaminites, chased them and easily[e] overran them in the vicinity of Gibeah on the east. 44 Eighteen thousand Benjaminites fell, all of them valiant fighters. 45 As they turned and fled towards the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, the Israelites cut down five thousand men along the roads. They kept pressing after the Benjaminites as far as Gidom and struck down two thousand more.

46 On that day twenty-five thousand Benjaminite 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 for 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.

Notas al pie

  1. Judges 20:10 One Hebrew manuscript; most Hebrew manuscripts Geba, a variant of Gibeah
  2. Judges 20:18 Or to the house of God; also in verse 26
  3. Judges 20:33 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  4. Judges 20:33 Hebrew Geba, a variant of Gibeah
  5. Judges 20:43 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.