Judges 20:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 20:1, NIV: Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba and from the land of Gilead came together as one and assembled before the LORD in Mizpah.

Judges 20:1, ESV: Then all the people of Israel came out, from Dan to Beersheba, including the land of Gilead, and the congregation assembled as one man to the LORD at Mizpah.

Judges 20:1, KJV: Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the LORD in Mizpeh.

Judges 20:1, NASB: Then all the sons of Israel from Dan to Beersheba, including the land of Gilead, came out, and the congregation assembled as one person to the LORD at Mizpah.

Judges 20:1, NLT: Then all the Israelites were united as one man, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, including those from across the Jordan in the land of Gilead. The entire community assembled in the presence of the LORD at Mizpah.

Judges 20:1, CSB: All the Israelites from Dan to Beer-sheba and from the land of Gilead came out, and the community assembled as one body before the Lord at Mizpah.

What does Judges 20:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Events of the previous chapter were brutal and shocking (Judges 19:22–30). They represent the kind of depravity and immorality which characterized Israel during that part of history (Judges 18:1; 21:25). Given that Israel was without any central leader, and generally unconcerned about God, what happens next is surprising. Since entering the Promised Land, Israel has rarely been pictured as uniting for any reason. That they now come together "to the Lord" is quite a change in attitude.

Representatives from all the people of Israel have come together. Their location is the "Mizpah" found in central Israel, close to the Benjaminite city of Gibeah. The city of Dan was in the northern extreme of Canaan (Judges 18:29), and Beersheba (Genesis 26:33) was in the south. They have even come from the territory of Gilead, east of the Jordan River. In this passage, the writer will repeat that they assemble in full unity and one identity as Israelites.

However, only eleven of the tribes are represented in this congregation at Mizpah. The reason for the gathering is the brutal rape and murder of a concubine by the Benjamite men of the town of Gibeah. Her husband cut her body into twelve pieces, sending them throughout Israel to call attention to the crime and the evil being done by the men of that city.