Daily Tanach, Sunday: Shoftim Chapter 20-Part 1: The vengeance against Binyamin-A civil war begins and Binyamin is decimated

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 20: The vengeance against Binyamin-A civil war begins and Binyamin is decimated

1.       The Jewish people gather to discuss what to do with Binyamin:

  • All the Jewish people went out from their cities and gathered as one nation, from Dan to Beer Sheva, and the land of Gilad [to seek vengeance against the perpetrators of the murder rape]. They gathered in the city of Mitzpah, which was the city where G-d dwelled at that time. All the leaders of the Jewish people from amongst all the tribes were there.
  • The soldiers: There were 400,000 men of the sword present.
  • Binyamin ignores the gathering: The tribe of Binyamin received word of the gathering of the Jewish people in Mitzpah, and they paid no heed to it.

2.       The Levite man retells the story to the gathering of the Jewish people:

  • The Jewish people turned to the Levite man and asked him as to how this evil occurred. So, the Levite man, who was the husband of the murdered woman, told over the story as follows:
  • I arrived in the valley of Binyamin, I and my concubine, to sleep for the night. Members of the city got up and surrounded the home where we were staying, at night. They desired to kill me, and oppressed my concubine and she died. I took my concubine and dismembered her body and sent its parts to all parts of Israel, as they performed a great atrocity amongst us.
  • He pleads for their intervention: The man then asked the gathering of Bnei Yisrael to come up with a plan of action to retaliate for the deed.

3.       Preparing for battle:

  • The decision: All the Jewish people decided unanimously that no one will return to his home until judgement is passed.
  • Recruiting the soldiers and those who will provide food: They decided to perform a lottery and recruit ten men per every 100 men of the tribes of Israel, and 100 men for every thousand, and 1000 for every 10,000 to bring food to the rest of the camp [who remained]. The food was prepared for the soldiers who would go to the Givah to get vengeance for the abomination they did amongst Israel. All the Jewish people gathered in the city in unison, as one man, who are all friends.

4.       A delegation is sent to Binyamin and delivers them an ultimatum:

  • The ultimatum: The tribes of Israel sent a delegation throughout the land of the tribe of Binyamin asking them the following: What is this evil that was performed in your midst? Now, hand over to us the gang of men of the Givah so we can put them to death, and remove the evil from amongst Israel.
  • The reply of Binyamin: The tribe of Binyamin did not choose to listen to the voice of their brothers, the rest of the Jewish people, and refused to hand them over the men that they requested.

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