What gave rise to the general convention of the tribes at Mizpeh? ch. 20. 1—7.
How large a number of men of arms came together on this occasion?
What resolution did they adopt?
What message did they first send to Benjamin, and what was the effect of it?
How large a force did the Benjamites muster?
With what religious act did the tribes begin their enterprise, and what answer appeared to be returned to them. N. B. As the children of Israel did not engage in this matter by repenting of their own sins, and first enquiring as they ought, whether they should go up at all, this answer is not to be construed as implying the divine approbation of their proceedings. It is rather to be regarded as the sovereign and righteous connivance of God in their rashness, on seeing them determined to rush forward in their work of vengeance, and is equivalent to his saying "Enquiry on this head is useless; for Judah has already been constituted military leader of the tribes." He was thus pleased to " choose their delusions."
What was the result of the first day's contest?
What was probably the procuring cause of this disaster? Compare ch. 18, with Deut. 13. 12—18.
What did they do preparatory to the second day's engagement, and what encouragement did they seem to receive? N. B. The latter clause of the 23d verse is to be interpreted on the same principles with the 18th. "You have a just cause to go up against them"—to which they should have known that no promise of success was annexed unless they went up in a proper spirit, duly humbled and penitent, which the result proved they were not.—This passage illustrates God's permission to Balaam, Num.22.
What was the issue of the second day's battle, and how were the people affected by it?
What allusion does the prophet make to this affair? Hos. 10. 9.
Through whom did thy renew their enquiry of God, and what response did they now obtain?
What precautions did thy take, and how did the third day's engagement terminate? v.29—43.
How many of Benjamin were slain, and how many escaped?
How did they still further prosecute the victory? v. 48.
Is this severity to be justified? N. B. From the subsequent chapter it appears they became sensible that their resentment had carried them to too great lengths.
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