20:44 Eighteen thousand Benjaminites, all of them capable warriors, fell dead. 20:45 The rest 1 turned and ran toward the wilderness, heading toward the cliff of Rimmon. But the Israelites 2 caught 3 five thousand of them on the main roads. They stayed right on their heels 4 all the way to Gidom and struck down two thousand more. 20:46 That day twenty-five thousand 5 sword-wielding Benjaminites fell in battle, all of them capable warriors. 6
1 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the rest [of the Benjaminites]) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
2 tn Heb “and they”; the referent (the Israelites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn Heb “gleaned.” The word is an agricultural term which pictures Israelites picking off the Benjaminites as easily as one picks grapes from the vine.
4 tn Heb “stuck close after them.”
5 sn The number given here (twenty-five thousand sword-wielding Benjaminites) is an approximate figure; v. 35 gives the more exact number (25,100). According to v. 15, the Benjaminite army numbered 26,700 (26,000 + 700). The figures in vv. 35 (rounded in vv. 44-46) and 47 add up to 25,700. What happened to the other 1,000 men? The most reasonable explanation is that they were killed during the first two days of fighting. G. F. Moore (Judges [ICC], 429) and C. F. Burney (Judges, 475) reject this proposal, arguing that the narrator is too precise and concerned about details to omit such a fact. However, the account of the first two days’ fighting emphasizes Israel’s humiliating defeat. To speak of Benjaminite casualties would diminish the literary effect. In vv. 35, 44-47 the narrator’s emphasis is the devastating defeat that Benjamin experienced on this final day of battle. To mention the earlier days’ casualties at this point is irrelevant to his literary purpose. He allows readers who happen to be concerned with such details to draw conclusions for themselves.
6 tn Heb “So all the ones who fell from Benjamin were twenty-five thousand men, wielding the sword, in that day, all of these men of strength.