What does Judges 20:33 mean?
ESV: And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place and set themselves in array at Baal-tamar, and the men of Israel who were in ambush rushed out of their place from Maareh-geba.
NIV: All the men of Israel moved from their places and took up positions at Baal Tamar, and the Israelite ambush charged out of its place on the west of Gibeah.
NASB: Then all the men of Israel rose from their place and lined up at Baal-tamar; and the men of Israel in ambush charged from their place, from Maareh-geba.
CSB: So all the men of Israel got up from their places and took their battle positions at Baal-tamar, while the Israelites in ambush charged out of their places west of Geba.
NLT: When the main group of Israelite warriors reached Baal-tamar, they turned and took up their positions. Meanwhile, the Israelites hiding in ambush to the west of Gibeah jumped up to fight.
KJV: And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baaltamar: and the liers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah.
NKJV: So all the men of Israel rose from their place and put themselves in battle array at Baal Tamar. Then Israel’s men in ambush burst forth from their position in the plain of Geba.
Verse Commentary:
The trap is sprung (Judges 20:29–32). The Israelites have lured the bulk of the fierce army of Benjamin away from the city of Gibeah by pretending to retreat. As hoped, the Benjaminites have given chase, pursuing the Israelites up the road that goes from Gibeah to Bethel.

Now, when the Benjaminite army is far enough from the city, two groups of Israelite soldiers emerge from hiding. The first group positions themselves at a place called Baal-tamar. Scholars are unsure exactly where this spot was, but it seems to have been a strategic spot behind the army of the Benjaminites. This group will cut off any attempt by Benjamin to return to the city.

The second group comes out of hiding at a place called Geba or Maareh-geba. This could be translated as a place name, or as a phrase meaning "the fields of Gibeah" or "west of Gibeah." This was close to Gibeah, itself. A group of specially chosen Israelite soldiers will attack the city now that Benjamin's army has been lured into a chase.
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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