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Judges 20:20

ESV And the men of Israel went out to fight against Benjamin, and the men of Israel drew up the battle line against them at Gibeah.
NIV The Israelites went out to fight the Benjamites and took up battle positions against them at Gibeah.
NASB The men of Israel went to battle against Benjamin, and the men of Israel lined up for battle against them at Gibeah.
CSB The men of Israel went out to fight against Benjamin and took their battle positions against Gibeah.
NLT Then they advanced toward Gibeah to attack the men of Benjamin.
KJV And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah.

What does Judges 20:20 mean?

After much investigation, diplomacy, and inquiring of the Lord, a civil war is about to begin between eleven of the tribes of Israel and the twelfth tribe of Benjamin. The point of the attack by the much larger army of Israel (Judges 20:15–17) is the city of Gibeah. It was in that city where mobs of rapists and murderers attacked innocent travelers (Judges 19:22–28), sparking outrage (Judges 20:11–14).

In both ancient and modern warfare, those defending their home territory have a significant advantage over foreign invaders. Defenders typically know the exact layout of the land, buildings, and roads. They are motivated by a common purpose. They can also set up defensive structures to assist their efforts. In this case, Gibeah is defended by the well-prepared army of the tribe of Benjamin. As battle lines are drawn, few would have suspected how difficult Israel's assault would be.
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