Judges 20:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 20:13, NIV: Now turn those wicked men of Gibeah over to us so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.' But the Benjamites would not listen to their fellow Israelites.

Judges 20:13, ESV: Now therefore give up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and purge evil from Israel.” But the Benjaminites would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the people of Israel.

Judges 20:13, KJV: Now therefore deliver us the men, the children of Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel.

Judges 20:13, NASB: Now then, turn over the men, the worthless men who are in Gibeah, so that we may put them to death and remove this wickedness from Israel.' But the sons of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the sons of Israel.

Judges 20:13, NLT: Give up those evil men, those troublemakers from Gibeah, so we can execute them and purge Israel of this evil.' But the people of Benjamin would not listen.

Judges 20:13, CSB: Hand over the wicked men in Gibeah so we can put them to death and purge evil from Israel." But the Benjaminites would not listen to their fellow Israelites.

What does Judges 20:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Troops amassed from eleven of Israel's twelve tribes (Judges 20:1–11) are waiting to destroy rapists and murderers among the city of Gibeah (Judges 19:22–27). First, a delegation was sent to the twelfth tribe, Benjamin (Judges 19:14). Before they attack the city, the other tribes invite Benjamin to stand with them (Judges 20:12). They ask for cooperation in bringing justice to these unashamed killers. Rather than raid the territory, it would be better if the Benjaminites were to hand the men over for justice. The other tribes want Benjamin to participate in purging the evil which has stained Israel.

Instead of agreeing that the evil in Gibeah must be ended, the people of Benjamin see only an invading army. They refuse to cooperate. The Benjaminites likely agree that what happened in Gibeah was heinous. Their refusal here is probably not about justice, but sovereignty. They seem to resent the idea of other tribes telling them how, and when, to govern their own cities.

Rather than stand with their fellow Israelites in punishing evil, the tribe of Benjamin stands against their brothers. This choice will result in a minor civil war and the near extinction of their tribe.