What does Judges 20:47 mean?
ESV: But 600 men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon and remained at the rock of Rimmon four months.
NIV: But six hundred of them turned and fled into the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, where they stayed four months.
NASB: But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon; and they remained at the rock of Rimmon for four months.
CSB: But six hundred men escaped into the wilderness to Rimmon Rock and stayed there four months.
NLT: leaving only 600 men who escaped to the rock of Rimmon, where they lived for four months.
KJV: But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months.
NKJV: But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and they stayed at the rock of Rimmon for four months.
Verse Commentary:
Of the men of Benjamin who fought against Israel, then fled for their lives toward the wilderness, nearly all were caught and killed (Judges 20:15, 46). Only a handful escaped to a place known as the "rock of Rimmon." The location was apparently also referred to as "Pomegranate Rock" because the caves and holes in the limestone cliffs resembled the inside of a pomegranate fruit. This might have been near Gibeah; possibly this is the same as a cave called el-Jaia in the Wadi es-Swenit. The formation of those caves provided a perfect hiding place from enemy soldiers.

The remaining men of Benjamin will hide in this location for four months, until it seems safe to emerge.
Verse Context:
Judges 20:35–48 starts with a summary of the final conflict between the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of Israel. This is followed by details about how that result was obtained. The prior passage explained the other eleven tribes preparing for war, struggling, then eventually finding a winning strategy. Benjamin's armies are almost completely wiped out. Israel rages through the territory, destroying everything and everyone they encounter. Only 600 men remain alive out of the entire tribe.
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 5/25/2024 1:36:37 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