What does Judges 20:26 mean?
ESV: Then all the people of Israel, the whole army, went up and came to Bethel and wept. They sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
NIV: Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the LORD. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD.
NASB: Then all the sons of Israel and all the people went up and came to Bethel, and they wept and remained there before the Lord, and fasted that day until evening. And they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
CSB: The whole Israelite army went to Bethel where they wept and sat before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord.
NLT: Then all the Israelites went up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the Lord and fasted until evening. They also brought burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord.
KJV: Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
NKJV: Then all the children of Israel, that is, all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept. They sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
Verse Commentary:
For the second time in two days, the armies of eleven of Israel's twelve tribes have experienced devastating loss. The remaining tribe, Benjamin, has now killed nearly one in ten—almost exactly one in eleven—of the original forces sent against them. This, despite the Benjaminites being outnumbered by fifteen-to-one at the start of the conflict (Judges 20:12–17). The warriors of Benjamin, defending the town of Gibeah, have killed more enemy troops than they themselves had soldiers to begin with. No mention is made of losses on Benjamin's side, though they clearly are having no trouble holding their positions.

After the first defeat, Israelite leaders sent a delegation to Bethel, which was then the location of the ark of the covenant (Judges 20:27). This would have been relatively close to Gibeah. There they seemed to ask God if they should be pursuing this war, at all (Judges 20:18–23). The army remained behind, battle lines formed, ready to attack again.

Following the second setback, it seems no new lines are formed. Instead, the entire army and all the people travel to Bethel together. Everyone mourns over their losses and defeat. They sit in vast numbers around Bethel, in an attitude of prayer and seeking God's will. The entire nation fasts until nightfall. They offer burnt offerings and peace offerings.

The combined forces of the eleven tribes were already unified in their resolve to bring justice to the guilty men of Gibeah. Now they are unified in supplication of God and worshipping Him. The people have joined to secure God's help in overcoming their loss and frustration.
Verse Context:
Judges 20:18–34 describes three battles between eleven tribes of Israel and the twelfth, Benjamin. Benjamin's forces are outnumbered about fifteen-to-one as they defend the city of Gibeah (Judges 19:14, 22; 20:13). The first two attacks fail, with almost a tenth of the Israelite fighters killed. After a day of fasting and sacrifices, God promises Israel victory. Israel's army uses a new strategy and succeeds. The following section begins with a summary of their eventual victory (Judges 20:35).
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).
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