Judges 20:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 20:12, NIV: The tribes of Israel sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, 'What about this awful crime that was committed among you?

Judges 20:12, ESV: And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What evil is this that has taken place among you?

Judges 20:12, KJV: And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is done among you?

Judges 20:12, NASB: Then the tribes of Israel sent men through the entire tribe of Benjamin, saying, 'What is this wickedness that has taken place among you?

Judges 20:12, NLT: The Israelites sent messengers to the tribe of Benjamin, saying, 'What a terrible thing has been done among you!

Judges 20:12, CSB: Then the tribes of Israel sent men throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What is this evil act that has happened among you?

What does Judges 20:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Eleven of Israel's twelve tribes have gathered to enact justice. They seek to punish a brutal atrocity (Judges 19:22–27) committed by the men of Gibeah, which belongs to the twelfth tribe, Benjamin (Judges 19:14). Evidence has been seen, and witnesses have been heard. The decision has been made to bring vengeance on the wicked men who brought such evil to Israel. The combined forces of the nation—other than the tribe of Benjamin—are camped near to Gibeah, in one of several towns bearing the name "Mizpah."

Despite amassing troops, the other tribes don't intend to pursue a full-scale war. Before attacking, a delegation is sent to the tribe of Benjamin. The messengers will ask, very reasonably, for the rest of Benjamin's people to participate in punishing the unashamed rapists and murderers of Gibeah. If the Benjaminites agree, all Israel will be united in condemning the horrific acts committed there.