What does Judges 20:10 mean?
ESV: and we will take ten men of a hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred of a thousand, and a thousand of ten thousand, to bring provisions for the people, that when they come they may repay Gibeah of Benjamin for all the outrage that they have committed in Israel.”
NIV: We'll take ten men out of every hundred from all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred from a thousand, and a thousand from ten thousand, to get provisions for the army. Then, when the army arrives at Gibeah in Benjamin, it can give them what they deserve for all this vileness done in Israel."
NASB: And we will take ten men out of a hundred throughout the tribes of Israel, and a hundred out of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand to supply provisions for the people, so that when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, they may punish them for all the vile sin that they have committed in Israel.'
CSB: we will take ten men out of every hundred from all the tribes of Israel, and one hundred out of every thousand, and one thousand out of every ten thousand to get provisions for the troops when they go to Gibeah in Benjamin to punish them for all the outrage they committed in Israel."
NLT: One-tenth of the men from each tribe will be chosen to supply the warriors with food, and the rest of us will take revenge on Gibeah of Benjamin for this shameful thing they have done in Israel.'
KJV: And we will take ten men of an hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel.
NKJV: We will take ten men out of every hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, a hundred out of every thousand, and a thousand out of every ten thousand, to make provisions for the people, that when they come to Gibeah in Benjamin, they may repay all the vileness that they have done in Israel.”
Verse Commentary:
The verdict has been decided. The leaders of eleven of the twelve tribes of Israel have agreed that the people of the town of Gibeah must be punished for their crimes of rape and murder (Judges 20:1–9). First, they must determine how to maintain supply lines for what might be an extended battle. They decide to set aside ten percent of the fighting men from every tribe. That tenth of the army will be tasked to keep provisions coming until the battle was over.

Which men will participate in that effort will be decided by lots: using small objects like dice or tokens to "randomly" make a selection. This was a common technique meant to remove human bias from decision making (Numbers 26:55; Joshua 14:2). It was a particularly common method when intending to leave a choice to God's providence.
Verse Context:
Judges 20:1–17 depicts Israel's response to an atrocity in Gibeah, a town of the tribe of Benjamin (Judges 19:22, 25). The people agree to punish Gibeah, saying their intent is to purge evil from Israel. When the Benjaminites refuse to hand over the guilty men, the other eleven tribes prepare a large army to invade. Benjamin rallies their own troops and prepares to defend the city of Gibeah.
Chapter Summary:
A massive army collected from eleven of the twelve tribes of Israel gather near the town of Gibeah. Their goal is to purge evil from the land (Judges 19:22–28). The tribe of Benjamin refuses to cooperate. Instead, they assemble an army about one-fifteenth the size of Israel's army. After two failed attempts and a promise of victory from the Lord, Israel uses a false retreat and ambush strategy to destroy Gibeah. This results in the loss of Benjamin's entire army. Israel's wrath spills over onto the territory, itself. All the people, animals, and towns in the tribe's territory are attacked, and it appears that only 600 Benjaminite men survive.
Chapter Context:
In the prior chapter, Benjaminite men of the town of Gibeah committed an act of heinous sin (Judges 19:22–25). In response, the murdered woman's husband rallies Israel with a gruesome message (Judges 19:29–30). Chapter 20 depicts how the tribe of Benjamin refuses to hand over the guilty men. Civil war ensues, resulting in near-total annihilation of their tribe. This creates a new crisis in Israel, as described in chapter 21; Israel doesn't want Benjamin to become extinct.
Book Summary:
The Book of Judges describes Israel's history from the death of Joshua to shortly before Israel's first king, Saul. Israel fails to complete God's command to purge the wicked Canaanites from the land (Deuteronomy 7:1–5; 9:4). This results in a centuries-long cycle where Israel falls into sin and is oppressed by local enemies. After each oppression, God sends a civil-military leader, labeled using a Hebrew word loosely translated into English as "judge." These appointed rescuers would free Israel from enemy control and govern for a certain time. After each judge's death, the cycle of sin and oppression begins again. This continues until the people of Israel choose a king, during the ministry of the prophet-and-judge Samuel (1 Samuel 1—7).
Accessed 5/28/2024 12:15:45 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com