The Israelites assemble at Mizpeh: the Levite declares his wrong, Jud_20:1-7. Their decree, Jud_20:8-11, They require the delinquents of the Benjamites to do justice on them; they are denied, Jud_20:12-17. Whereupon, having consulted God, they march to fight against them; are twice foiled; and lose forty thousand men, Jud_20:18-25. Being humbled, and receiving clearer revelation from God, they, by a stratagem, destroy the whole tribe, six hundred men excepted, (who fled away,) and burnt their cities, Jud_20:26-48.
All the children of Israel, i.e. a great number, and especially the rulers of all the tribes, except Benjamin, Jud_20:3,12.
Went out, from their several habitations.
As one man, i.e. with one consent.
From Dan even to Beer-sheba; Dan was the northern border of the land, near Lebanon; and Beer-sheba the southern border, Gen_21:33. Compare 1Ki_4:25.
The land of Gilead, beyond Jordan, where Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh were.
Unto the Lord; as to the Lord’s tribunal; for God was not only present in the place where the ark and tabernacle was, but also in the assemblies of the gods, or judges, Psa_82:1, and in all the places where God’s name is recorded, Exo_20:24, and where two or three are met together in his name, Mat_18:20, for his service, and to seek for counsel and mercy from him: compare Jud_11:11.
In Mizpeh; a place in the borders of Judah and Benjamin, and therefore ascribed to both of them, Jos_15:38 18:26. This they chose, as a place most fit and proper in many respects. First, As a place they used to meet in upon solemn occasions: see Jud_10:17 11:11 1Sa_7:5,16 10:17. Secondly, For its convenient situation for all the tribes within and without Jordan. Thirdly, As being near the place where the fact was done, that it might be more thoroughly examined; and not far from Shiloh, where the tabernacle was, whither they might go or send, if need were.