13 some evil people have departed from among you to entice the inhabitants of their cities, saying, “Let’s go and serve other gods” (whom you have not known before). 14 You must investigate thoroughly and inquire carefully. If it is indeed true that such a disgraceful thing is being done among you, 15 you must by all means slaughter the inhabitants of that city with the sword; annihilate with the sword everyone in it, as well as the livestock. 16 You must gather all of its plunder into the middle of the plaza and burn the city and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It will be an abandoned ruin forever—it must never be rebuilt again. 17 You must not take for yourself anything that has been placed under judgment. Then the Lord will relent from his intense anger, show you compassion, have mercy on you, and multiply you as he promised your ancestors.
44 So 18,000 Benjaminites, all of them capable warriors, fell dead. 45 The rest turned and ran toward the wilderness, heading toward the cliff of Rimmon. But the Israelites caught 5,000 of them on the main roads. They stayed right on their heels all the way to Gidom and struck down 2,000 more. 46 That day 25,000 sword-wielding Benjaminites fell in battle, all of them capable warriors. 47 But 600 survivors turned and ran away to the wilderness, to the cliff of Rimmon. They stayed there four months. 48 The Israelites returned to the Benjaminite towns and put the sword to them. They wiped out the cities, the animals, and everything they could find. They set fire to every city in their path.
Notes and References
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