New Defender's Study Bible Notes
20:16 chosen men lefthanded. This elite corps was evidently the pride of Benjamin’s forces, such that they felt able to defeat Israel’s 400,000 with their 26,700 (Judges 20:2,15). It is possible that left-handedness was a dominant genetic trait among the Benjamites (note Judges 3:15). Their skill with slings was almost incredible, but it has been attained by some even in modern times.
20:26 and wept. This day of weeping, fasting, prayer and offerings, was apparently what God was waiting for. They had gone up to Shiloh and the tabernacle, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept (Judges 20:27) to beseech the Lord for victory, and He answered.
20:28 Phinehas. The fact that Phinehas was still serving as priest at the tabernacle at Shiloh indicates that this distressing series of events occurred quite early, soon after the death of Joshua and the elders that outlived Joshua, during the first anarchistic period in the land of Canaan (Judges 2:7-10). The rapid descent of the new generation of Israelites after Joshua into apostasy, immorality and inter-tribal warfare (illustrated in these last three chapters of the book of Judges) is a doleful commentary on human nature; yet, despite it all, God was still merciful and ready to forgive.
20:46 twenty and five thousand men. Judges 20:15 says there were 26,000 men of Benjamin that “drew the sword.” Since 25,000 fell on “that day,” evidently a thousand had already been slain during the previous days of fighting. The number 25,000 seems here to be a round number for the more accurate count (25,100) mentioned in Judges 20:35.
20:48 all that came to hand. The implication here, though not clearly stated, is that all the women and children as well as the beasts in these Benjamite cites were slain along with the men. The Israelites were dealing with their brother tribe, in the way they had been instructed by God to deal with the wicked Canaanite tribes.