Well, it's not over yet.
You see, when the 12 tribes got the pieces of decaying body parts, they immediately assembled before the Lord in Mizpeh, along with the entire population of Israel and 400,000 soldiers. (What else would you do if you got a hunk of rotting flesh in the mail?)
Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man ... unto the LORD in Mizpeh. And ... four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword. Judges 20:1-2When they arrived at Mizpeh, the Israelites asked the meaning of the rotting flesh messages. So the Levite told them the nasty story that is found in Judges 19, except that he left out the part about how he gave his concubine to the mob to do with as they pleased.
When the Israelites heard this, they all said together in complete unison:
This shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it. Judges 20:9(God's just war theory: Since the town of Gibeah was where the incident with the concubine occurred, and the inhabitants of Gibeah were from the tribe of Benjamin, the other Israelite tribes must go to war with the Benjamites. This may not make much sense to you, but it does to God.)
But first the Israelites ask God what they should do. He tells them to go to war with the Benjamites, saying that the tribe of Judah should go first. (I'm skipping a bit here. See the Brick Testament for the details.) So they did that, but it didn't work out too well, and 22,000 Israelites died.
After their first defeat, the Israelites wept before God and asked him what they should do next. God said to go fight the Benjamites (again). So the next day they tried that, but it didn't turn out so well this time either. Another 18,000 Israelites were killed.
Once again all of the Israelites sit and weep before God, and ask him (for the third time) if they should attack the Benjamites. God give them his usual answer: Attack. This time he promised that he would deliver them into their hands.
And he did. It's not entirely clear, though, how many Benjamites were killed, 25,100, 25,000, or maybe both in two separate battles. But since there were only a total of 26,000 Benjamites soldiers, I'll just give God credit for killing another 25,100.
And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel: and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these drew the sword. Judges 20:35Still, it seems to me that God was also at least partly responsible for the 40,000 Israelites that were killed in the first two unsuccessful battles that he told the Israelites to fight. What do you think, should these be included in God's killings?
10 Dec 09: I've decided to add the 40,000 Israelite deaths to God's total. If you think I'm wrong about that, let me know in the comments.