Did the Israelites kill 26,000 (Judges 20:15) or 25,000 (Judges 20:46) swordsmen of Benjamin? Is there a contradiction?
Whether it be a Bible text or any other text, it is important to read carefully, and to not unnecessarily read something into the text that is not there. The questioner has failed in both respects here.
How many of the tribe of Benjamin were killed by the Israelites in the battle described in Judges 20? Verse 46 reads:
So all who fell of Benjamin that day were twenty-five thousand men who drew the sword; all these were men of valor. (Judges 20:46)
25,000 men of Benjamin were killed that day. The text declares this very plainly. But if that is so, why does verse 15 say that 26,000 men of Benjamin were killed?
It doesn’t! Notice what the text says:
And from their cities at that time the children of Benjamin numbered twenty-six thousand men who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who numbered seven hundred select men. (Judges 20:15)
Do you see anywhere in verse 15 that says these 26,000 men were killed? It gives the number of swordsmen in Benjamin before the battle. This is not numbering the dead, but those who came to the battle for Benjamin.
There is no contradiction.
A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.