As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians coming after them. Then the Israelites were terrified and cried out to the LORD for help.
The men of Ai turned and looked back, and smoke from the city was rising to the sky! They could not escape in any direction, and the troops who had fled to the wilderness now became the pursuers.
So all the men of Israel got up from their places and took their battle positions at Baal-tamar, while the Israelites in ambush charged out of their places west of Geba.
Then 10,000 choice men from all Israel made a frontal assault against Gibeah, and the battle was fierce, but the Benjaminites did not know that disaster was about to strike them.
The LORD defeated Benjamin in the presence of Israel, and on that day the Israelites slaughtered 25,100 men of Benjamin; all were armed men.
Then the Benjaminites realized they had been defeated. The men of Israel had retreated before Benjamin, because they were confident in the ambush they had set against Gibeah.
The men in ambush had rushed quickly against Gibeah; they advanced and put the whole city to the sword.
The men of Israel had a prearranged signal with the men in ambush: when they sent up a great cloud of smoke from the city,
the men of Israel would return to the battle. When Benjamin had begun to strike them down, killing about 30 men of Israel, they said, "They're defeated before us, just as they were in the first battle."
But when the column of smoke began to go up from the city, Benjamin looked behind them, and the whole city was going up in smoke.
Then the men of Israel returned, and the men of Benjamin were terrified when they realized that disaster had struck them.
They retreated before the men of Israel toward the wilderness, but the battle overtook them, and those who came out of the cities slaughtered those between them.
They surrounded the Benjaminites, pursued them, and easily overtook them near Gibeah toward the east.
The Ammonites marched out and lined up in battle formation at the entrance to the city gate while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were in the field by themselves.
When Joab saw that there was a battle line in front of him and another behind him, he chose some men out of all the elite troops of Israel and lined up in battle formation to engage the Arameans.
He placed the rest of the forces under the command of his brother Abishai who lined up in battle formation to engage the Ammonites.
"If the Arameans are too strong for me," Joab said, "then you will be my help. However, if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I'll come to help you.
Be strong! We must prove ourselves strong for our people and for the cities of our God. May the LORD's will be done."
Joab and his troops advanced to fight against the Arameans, and they fled before him.
When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans had fled, they too fled before Abishai and entered the city. So Joab withdrew from the attack against the Ammonites and went to Jerusalem.
Then Asa cried out to the LORD his God: "LORD, there is no one besides You to help the mighty and those without strength. Help us, LORD our God, for we depend on You, and in Your name we have come against this multitude. LORD, You are our God. Do not let a mere mortal hinder You."
When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they shouted, "He must be the king of Israel!" So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat cried out and the LORD helped him. God drew them away from him.
Call on Me in a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me."
You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day,