Judges 21:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 21:2, NIV: The people went to Bethel, where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly.

Judges 21:2, ESV: And the people came to Bethel and sat there till evening before God, and they lifted up their voices and wept bitterly.

Judges 21:2, KJV: And the people came to the house of God, and abode there till even before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore;

Judges 21:2, NASB: So the people came to Bethel and sat there before God until evening, and raised their voices and wept profusely.

Judges 21:2, NLT: Now the people went to Bethel and sat in the presence of God until evening, weeping loudly and bitterly.

Judges 21:2, CSB: So the people went to Bethel and sat there before God until evening. They wept loudly and bitterly,

What does Judges 21:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Eleven tribes of Israel have been victorious over the rebellious twelfth tribe of Benjamin (Judges 20:35–36). They overwhelmed Benjamin's army and succeeded in purging Israel of the heinous sins taking place in the city of Gibeah (Judges 20:12–13). That much, at least, had been directed by the Lord (Judges 20:27–28), and He is credited with giving them the victory. What's not recorded is any command from God compelling Israel to massacre all the women, children, and nearly all the men of Benjamin, as well (Judges 20:47–48). Only after the carnage is over does the nation realize what they have done.

No celebration followed this victory. Instead, slaughter was followed by bitter weeping. The people of the other eleven tribes of Israel travel once more to Bethel, where the Lord's presence was represented by the ark of the covenant of God (Judges 20:26–27). They meet for the entire day, mourning the loss of the people of the tribe of Benjamin, whom they had just killed.