THE BOOK OF
Judges 21 ©
The children of Israel mourn for the destruction of the tribe of Benjamin, v. 1, etc. Find out a way to help the residue that remained for wives, without breach of their oath, 5. The inhabitants of Jabesh in Gilead, for not coming up to this battle, are all destroyed, except for four hundred damsels, whom the children of Israel bestow on a part of the remaining Benjamites, 8. For the others, they find good, to grant them leave, to seize upon the dancing maidens at the feast in Shiloh, and to carry them away, as many as they have need of, 10. Bethinking themselves, with what kind of answer they might pacify their lamenting friends, 22.
NOW the men of Israel had sworn in 1Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife.
And the people came to 2the house of God, and abode there till even 3before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore;
And said, O 4LORD God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe lacking in Israel?
And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people rose early, and built there 5an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
And the children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the congregation 6unto the LORD? For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, He shall 7surely be put to death.
And the children of Israel repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel 8this day.
How shall we do 9for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?
¶And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from 10Jabesh-gilead to the assembly.
For the people were numbered, and, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead there.
And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the 11valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children.
And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly 12destroy everya male, and every woman that hath lain by man.
And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to 13Shiloh, 14which is in the land of 15Canaan.
And the whole congregation 16sent some to speak to the children of Benjamin that were in the rockb Rimmon, and to call peaceably unto them.
And Benjamin came again at that time; and they gave them wives 17which they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead: and yet so they 18sufficed them not.
And the people 19repented them for Benjamin, because that the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
¶Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for 20them that remain, seeing 21the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?
And they said, There must be an inheritance 22for them that be escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel.
Howbeit we may not give them wives of our daughters: for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin.
Then they said, Behold, there is a 23feast of the LORD in Shiloh 24yearly in a place which is 25on the north side of 26Beth-el, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.
Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards;
And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to 27dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and 28catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go 29to the land of Benjamin.
And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, 30Be favourable unto them for our sakes: 31because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not 32give unto them at this time, that ye should be guilty.
And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the 33cities, and dwelt in them.
And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance.
Inc those days there was no 34king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own 35eyes.