The people bewail the desolation of Benjamin.
Judges 21:1 Nowe the men of Israel had sworne in Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of vs giue his daughter vnto Beniamin to wife. Judges 21:2 And the people came to the house of God, and abode there till euen before God, and lift vp their voices, and wept sore: Judges 21:3 And said, O LORD God of Israel, why is this come to passe in Israel, that there should bee to day one tribe lacking in Israel? Judges 21:4 And it came to passe on the morrow, that the people rose early, and built there an Altar, and offered burnt offerings, and peace offerings. Judges 21:5 And the children of Israel sayd, Who [is there] among all the tribes of Israel, that came not vp with the congregation vnto the LORD? for they had made a great oath concerning him that came not vp to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, He shall surely be put to death. Judges 21:6 And the children of Israel repented them for Beniamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day: Judges 21:7 How shall wee doe for wiues for them that remaine, seeing wee haue sworne by the LORD, that wee will not giue them of our daughters to wiues?
By the destruction of Jabesh-gilead they provide them four hundred wives.
Judges 21:8 And they said, What one [is there] of the tribes of Israel, that came not vp to Mizpeh to the LORD? And beholde, there came none to the campe from Iabesh Gilead to the assembly. Judges 21:9 For the people were numbred, and behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Iabesh Gilead there. Judges 21:10 And the congregation sent thither twelue thousand men of the valiantest, and commaunded them, saying, Goe, and smite the inhabitants of Iabesh Gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children. Judges 21:11 And this [is] the thing that yee shall doe, Yee shall vtterly destroy euery male, and euery woman that hath lien by man. Judges 21:12 And they found among the inhabitants of Iabesh Gilead, foure hundred yong virgins that had knowen no man, by lying with any male: and they brought them vnto the campe to Shiloh, which [is] in the land of Canaan. Judges 21:13 And the whole Congregation sent [some] to speake to the children of Beniamin that [were] in the rocke Rimmon, and to call peaceably vnto them. Judges 21:14 And Beniamin came againe at that time, and they gaue them wiues which they had saued aliue of the women of Iabesh Gilead: and yet so they sufficed them not. Judges 21:15 And the people repented them for Beniamin, because that the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
They advise them to surprise the virgins that danced at Shiloh.
Judges 21:16 Then the Elders of the Congregation said, How shall we doe for wiues for them that remaine? seeing the women are destroyed out of Beniamin. Judges 21:17 And they said, There must be an inheritance for them that bee escaped of Beniamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel. Judges 21:18 Howbeit wee may not giue them wiues of our daughters. For the children of Israel haue sworne, saying, Cursed be he that giueth a wife to Beniamin. Judges 21:19 Then they said, Behold, [there is] a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yerely, [in a place] which [is] on the Northside of Bethel on the East side of the hie way that goeth vp from Bethel to Shechem, and on the South of Lebanon. Judges 21:20 Therefore they commanded the children of Beniamin, saying, Goe and lie in wait in the vineyards. Judges 21:21 And see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to daunce in daunces, then come yee out of the vineyards, and catch you euery man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and goe to the land of Beniamin. Judges 21:22 And it shall bee when their fathers or their brethren come vnto vs to complaine, that we will say vnto them, Bee fauourable vnto them for our sakes: because we reserued not to each man his wife in the warre: for yee did not giue vnto them at this time, that you should be guiltie. Judges 21:23 And the children of Beniamin did so, and tooke them wiues according to their number, of them that daunced, whome they caught: and they went and returned vnto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them. Judges 21:24 And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, euery man to his tribe, and to his family, and they went out from thence euery man to his inheritance. Judges 21:25 In those dayes there was no King in Israel: euery man did that which was right in his owne eyes.