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Levite and “Supreme Court”

Our sermon text will be Judges 20:8-48.  This text continues the story of the Levite whose concubine was killed.  After giving his testimony to the ad hoc “supreme court,” the men of Israel came up against the tribe of Benjamin and demanded that they turn over the men from Gibeah to be put to death.  The leaders of Benjamin refused.  What followed was a civil war.

Here are some questions to consider.

1. Read the description of the court proceedings and the verdict that followed (20:1-13a).  Was this a just court hearing? (Deut 17:6; 19:15).  How could this hearing have been conducted in a better fashion?

2. What was the verdict? ((verse 10b; 13a)  How was the verdict to be carried out?

3. Even though this verdict was arrived at through an improper hearing, was this the proper verdict for the crime committed at Gibeah?  How would you support your answer? (Deut 22:22-27; Ex 20:14; Lev 18:20; Num 15:30; etc)

4. Is it ever just or proper for a nation to engage in a cvil war?  What was the cause for the civil war described in our text?  Is there any indication in our text that God condoned this civil war? (vs. 18,23,28).

5. Carefully read verse 35.  Who is credited with having defeated Benjamin?

6. At the end of the civil war, how many Benjaminite women were left alive?  How man Benjaminite men were left?