Judges 20:23 MEANING

Judges 20:23
(23) And the children of Israel.--This verse is parenthetical and retrospective. The whole narrative is arranged in a very simple manner, and shows an unformed archaic style.

Against the children of Benjamin my brother.--The words "my brother" show a sort of compunction, an uneasy sense that possibly, in spite of the first answer by Urim, God did not approve of a fratricidal war.

Verse 23. - And the children of Israel went up and wept, etc. This verse must precede chronologically ver. 22, and explains the circumstances under which the battle referred to in ver. 22 took place. The unexpected repulse they had met with had begun to produce its intended effect. There was a humbling of themselves before God, a brokenness of spirit, a deepened sense of dependence upon God, and a softening of their feelings towards their brother Benjamin. All this was shown as they again went to the tabernacle at Bethel to ask the Lord (ver. 18).

17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God's favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.And the children of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until even,.... The evening of the day in which the battle was fought; not that the whole army went up to Shiloh to the house of God there, but a deputation of them, who lamented their defeat, and the loss of so many lives, but not their sins and transgressions, and particularly the idolatry they had been guilty of:

and asked counsel of the Lord, saying, shall we go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? they seemed to have some doubt, by the loss they sustained, whether they were right in going to war with Benjamin, especially as he was their brother; and therefore the question now is, not who should go up first, which was already determined, but whether they should go at all; and still they do not ask any help of God in battle, nor success, but were depending on their numbers, and the justness of their cause, and therefore neither is promised to them, only they have an answer to their question:

and the Lord said, go up against him; for Benjamin was certainly in the wrong, and therefore the Israelites are directed to go against him, and they also were not sufficiently chastised, nor thoroughly humbled.

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