The Battle of Gibeah Reconsidered (Judges 20:29-48)

In: Vetus Testamentum
Nadav Naʼaman Tel Aviv University

Search for other papers by Nadav Naʼaman in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



In this article I discuss the episode of the Israelite-Benjaminite battle at Gibeah (Judges 20:29-48). The battle account suffers from many inconsistencies, and to date no satisfactory solution was suggested for its composition. I posit that the battle story has a unified framework (vv. 29-31a and 47-48), and this framework embraces two complete alternative accounts of the battle, each describing a different version of the event (vv. 31b-36a and 36b-46). Following a translation of the two accounts, I analyze each account seeking to show how it describes the related event. I then examine the diachronic and synchronic solutions offered for the way the text has emerged, seeking to clarify how it might have reached its garbled final form.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 563 30 3
Full Text Views 323 1 1
PDF Views & Downloads 106 5 0