And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and struck them with the edge of the sword, the men of every city, as also the beasts, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to.
Read Chapter 20
Ambrose of Milan
A proud retort was made, and plans for peace were changed to war. In the first and second encounters, when many were harmed by a few, the Israelites considered yielding, since the battles were so unfavorable. There were four hundred thousand men warring against twenty-five thousand of the tribe of Benjamin, and they strove with seven hundred Gabanites [Gibeonites] experienced in war. When two battles were unfavorable, Israel with eager spirit did not lose hope of victory nor of vengeance for the hope they had fostered.
Superior in cause and number they yet fell back defeated in the battle’s outcome, and, feeling that God was offended, they tried with fasting and much weeping to gain a reconciliation of heaven’s favor. Begging the Lord’s peace, they returned more boldly to war, and they to whom prayer had given courage and who had entertained much hope were now able to do what they planned. On a pretext of withdrawing their front lines, setting ambushes at night in the rear of the city,...
After you found out what transpired in our court, you kept to yourself; therefore, I now summon, as it were, part of my own soul, for I have a friendly yet sorrowful complaint against you for the outrage done to chastity. Was it necessary for an unsurpassed, unheard-of case of virginity to be subjected to a sentence? Could it not have been dismissed? In other words, unless with injury to herself she had been handed over from honored modesty to an indecent surrender of her body, though she offered strong proof regarding herself, she would be exposed to ridicule and marked out as a wanton individual! You have tendered this privilege to virginity, honor of a sort, to which they are pleased to be summoned and invited who plan to recover this boon! Thus, they lose the liberty of a common reputation, nor do they protect themselves by the statutes of sacred or public law; they may not ask their accuser or oppose an informer but may only put on shamelessness and expose themselves to harm.
When this [what had happened to the concubine] became known, (to be brief) almost all the people of Israel broke out into war. The war remained doubtful with an uncertain issue, but in the third engagement the people of Benjamin were delivered to the people of Israel, and being condemned by the divine judgment [they] paid the penalty for their widely immoral behavior.…
And when at first the people of Israel were defeated, yet unmoved by fear at the reverses of the war, they disregarded the sorrow the avenging of chastity cost them. They rushed into the battle ready to wash out with their own blood the stains of the crime that had been committed. - "Duties of the Clergy 3.19.115–16"
At Gibeah also, now a complete ruin, she stopped for a little while remembering its sin, and the cutting of the concubine into pieces, and how in spite of all this three hundred men of the tribe of Benjamin were saved that in after days Paul might be called a Benjamite. - "Letter 108.8"