Judges 20:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 20:15, NIV: At once the Benjamites mobilized twenty-six thousand swordsmen from their towns, in addition to seven hundred able young men from those living in Gibeah.

Judges 20:15, ESV: And the people of Benjamin mustered out of their cities on that day 26,000 men who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who mustered 700 chosen men.

Judges 20:15, KJV: And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered seven hundred chosen men.

Judges 20:15, NASB: From the cities on that day the sons of Benjamin were counted, twenty-six thousand men who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah who were counted, seven hundred choice men.

Judges 20:15, NLT: In all, 26,000 of their warriors armed with swords arrived in Gibeah to join the 700 elite troops who lived there.

Judges 20:15, CSB: On that day the Benjaminites mobilized twenty-six thousand armed men from their cities, besides seven hundred fit young men rallied by the inhabitants of Gibeah.

What does Judges 20:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The people of the tribe of Benjamin are demonstrating a startling, likely misplaced unity with the rapists and murderers of the city of Gibeah (Judges 19:14). The other eleven tribes have responded to a heinous atrocity (Judges 19:22–27) by massing troops nearby. Before attacking, the tribes call on Benjamin to join with them in punishing the evildoers (Judges 20:12). Gibeah, it seems, has prepared their own militia to resist any raids. Those forces number a few hundred, which is nothing compared to the massive force waiting in Mizpah (Judges 20:1–2).

Rather than sending their soldiers into Gibeah, identifying those responsible for raping and murdering a concubine, and turning them over to be executed, the people of Benjamin bolster the militia and prepare for war. Even if the tribe of Benjamin agreed that the criminals needed to be held responsible, they seem completely opposed to the other tribes being involved.

The quantity of troops pulled together is 26 'eleph, a Hebrew term that can mean "thousand" or "clan" or "division" (Judges 6:15). The other eleven tribes have compiled 400 'eleph of men. Regardless of the exact number of people involved, the Benjaminites are drastically outnumbered.