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O. T. Commentary - Judges 20:1-18 (Judges 20:1-18)

Robert E. Bell, 01/26/2020
Part of the Old Testament Commentary series, presented at a Sunday Morning service

Today's Old Testament Commentary is from Judges 20:1-18

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Judges 20:1-18

1Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the LORD in Mizpeh. 2And 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. 3(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? 4And 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. 5And 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. 6And 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. 7Behold, ye are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel. 8And 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. 9But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it; 10And 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. 11So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man. 12And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is done among you? 13Now 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: 14But the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel. 15And 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. 16Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss. 17And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these were men of war. 18And 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. (KJV)

Robert E. Bell
About Robert E. Bell: Born in Toronto, Ontario, Bob grew up in Rhode Island where his father pastored the same church for almost 50 years. The oldest of five sons, Bob attended Philadelphia College of Bible and graduated with a B.S. degree in Bible and Christian Education in 1973. He earned his M.A. in Christian Ministry from Wheaton College Graduate School in 1974. After marrying, Bob and his wife Melody moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His first full-time church ministry was at Westminster Presbyterian Church where he served as the assistant-to-the-pastor and later as an elder. Daughter Alison arrived in July 1977 and son Andrew in March of 1981. In August of 1981 the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri where Bob enrolled in Covenant Theological Seminary and graduated with his M.Div. degree in 1984. While in seminary he served as the Church Administrator while their church was without a pastor and then worked as an Admissions Counselor for the Seminary. Their son Aaron was born soon after graduation. Bob has since served churches in Ruston, Louisiana and St. Peters, Missouri. He has been the pastor of Aisquith since December 1994. His two oldest children are married and live in the Baltimore area. He and Melody have seven grandchildren.
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