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Civil War Breaks Out

20 All the Israelites from Dan to Beer Sheba[a] and from the land of Gilead[b] left their homes[c] and assembled together[d] before the Lord at Mizpah. The leaders[e] of all the people from all the tribes of Israel took their places in the assembly of God’s people, which numbered[f] 400,000 sword-wielding foot soldiers.

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Footnotes

  1. Judges 20:1 sn Dan was located in the far north of the country, while Beer Sheba was located in the far south. This encompassed all the territory of the land of Canaan occupied by the Israelites.
  2. Judges 20:1 sn The land of Gilead was on the eastern side of the Jordan River.
  3. Judges 20:1 tn Heb “went out.”
  4. Judges 20:1 tn Heb “and the assembly was convened as one man.”
  5. Judges 20:2 tn Heb “the cornerstones”; or “the supports.” The word is used of leaders in only three other texts—1 Sam 14:38; Isa 19:13; Zech 10:4.
  6. Judges 20:2 tn The words “which numbered” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

The Israelites Punish the Benjamites

20 Then all Israel(A) from Dan to Beersheba(B) and from the land of Gilead came together as one(C) and assembled(D) before the Lord in Mizpah.(E) 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(F) armed with swords.

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