Judges 20:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 20:9, NIV: But now this is what we'll do to Gibeah: We'll go up against it in the order decided by casting lots.

Judges 20:9, ESV: But now this is what we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot,

Judges 20:9, KJV: But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it;

Judges 20:9, NASB: But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up against it by lot.

Judges 20:9, NLT: Instead, this is what we will do to Gibeah; we will draw lots to decide who will attack it.

Judges 20:9, CSB: Now this is what we will do to Gibeah: we will attack it. By lot

What does Judges 20:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Tribal leaders and fighting men of eleven of the twelve tribes of Israel are in unanimous agreement (Judges 20:11). They are committed to hold the Benjaminite town of Gibeah (Judges 19:14) accountable for depraved crimes committed there (Judges 20:1–8). Here, the focus moves to practical matters, such as strategy. The roles of the various divisions need to be sorted out, beginning with who will man the supply lines for the rest of the army.

To make this process more objective, the decision will be made by casting lots. The closest modern equivalent would be rolling dice. Small objects were rolled or drawn from a bag to generate a supposedly random outcome. This was often used in Israel to reveal the genuine will of God. In fact, God often commanded Israel to settle issues in this way (Numbers 26:55; Joshua 14:2). Proverbs 16:33 describes it this way: "The lost is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." The goal is to remove human preference from the decision, leaving the result to God's providence.

Questions about who will attack first will eventually be brought directly to the Lord (Judges 20:18).