Judgment Must be Rendered

An umpire named Babe Pinelli once called Babe Ruth out on strikes. When the crowd booed with sharp disapproval at the call, the legendary Ruth turned to the umpire with disdain and said, “There’s 40,000 people here who know that the last pitch was a ball.” Suspecting th … More

Judgment

Shocked by the wickedness of what had happened in the previous chapter Israel gathered at Mizpah which was only four miles north of Gibeah, for action (vv. 1-2). From north to south and from both sides of the Jordan they assembled for vengeance. Leaders from all the tribes but Benjamin and 400,000 warriors prepared for battle. At least a measure of righteousness prevailed among the tribes. The Benjamites were not officially represented since the men who raped the concubine were from Gibeah in Benjamin (v. 3). However something drastic was about to happen.

The children of Israel wanted to know if there was anyone there who knew anything about this.

On request the Levite explained the circumstances of his concubine’s rape (vv. 4-7). A hushed multitude listened and decided to act against Gibeah. The expression of unity here is in marked contrast to the disintegration and lack of cooperation which we will see later in the period of the judges (v. 8). One tenth of the Israelite soldiers collected supplies for those who actually did the fighting (vv. 9-11). Keep in mind that the wars in Canaan were pretty much at an end, the military forces of the nation were not in a prepared readiness, and many were employed in tilling the ground, and dressing the vines.

Application

It is my responsibility to explain how we need to stand together as a family and speak out against sin. The tendency today in many Christian circles is to just sweep sin under the rug and try to cover it up. I need to make sure that sin is dealt with in my life according to the Word of God.

Judges 20:1-11 (English Standard Version)

Then all the people of Israel came out, from Dan to Beersheba, including the land of Gilead, and the congregation assembled as one man to the LORD at Mizpah. And the chiefs of all the people, of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, 400,000 men on foot that drew the sword. (Now the people of Benjamin heard that the people of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) And the people of Israel said, "Tell us, how did this evil happen?" And the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, "I came to Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to spend the night. And the leaders of Gibeah rose against me and surrounded the house against me by night. They meant to kill me, and they violated my concubine, and she is dead. So I took hold of my concubine and cut her in pieces and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel, for they have committed abomination and outrage in Israel. Behold, you people of Israel, all of you, give your advice and counsel here." And all the people arose as one man, saying, "None of us will go to his tent, and none of us will return to his house. But now this is what we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot, and we will take ten men of a hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred of a thousand, and a thousand of ten thousand, to bring provisions for the people, that when they come they may repay Gibeah of Benjamin, for all the outrage that they have committed in Israel." So all the men of Israel gathered against the city, united as one man.

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