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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 Living Translation

Judges 20

Israel’s War with Benjamin

1Then 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 men[a] from each tribe will be chosen to supply the warriors with food, and the rest of us will take revenge on Gibeah[b] 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 west[c] 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.[d] 43 The Israelites surrounded the men of Benjamin and chased them relentlessly, finally overtaking them east of Gibeah.[e] 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.

Notas al pie

  1. 20:10a Hebrew 10 men from every hundred, 100 men from every thousand, and 1,000 men from every 10,000.
  2. 20:10b Hebrew Geba, in this case a variant spelling of Gibeah; also in 20:33.
  3. 20:33 As in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads hiding in the open space.
  4. 20:42 Or battle, for the people from the nearby towns also came out and killed them.
  5. 20:43 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.