The people bewail the desolation of Benjamin.
Judges 21:1 And the men of Israel sware in Mispah, saying: Ther shal none of vs geue his daughter vnto any of Beniamin to wife. Judges 21:2 And the people came to the house of God, and abode there till euen, before God, & lift vp their voyces, and wept sore, Judges 21:3 And sayde: O Lorde God of Israel, why is this come to passe in Israel, that there shoulde be this day one tribe lacking in Israel? Judges 21:4 And on the morowe the people rose vp betyme, and made there an aulter, and offered burnt offeringes and peace offeringes. Judges 21:5 And the children of Israel sayd: Who is he among al the tribes of Israel, that came not vp with the congregation vnto the Lorde? for they had made a great othe concerning him that came not vp to the Lord to Mispah, saying: He shall surely dye. Judges 21:6 And the children of Israel had pitie on Beniamin their brethren, and sayde: There is one tribe cut of from Israel this day: Judges 21:7 What shall we do vnto the remnaunt of them, that they may haue wiues? we haue sworne by the Lorde, that we wyl not geue the of our daughters to wiues.
By the destruction of Jabesh-gilead they provide them four hundred wives.
Judges 21:8 And they sayde: Is there any of the tribes of Israel, that came not vp to Mispah to the Lord? And behold, there came none of Iabes Gilead vnto the hoaste and congregation. Judges 21:9 For the people were viewed, and beholde there were none of the inhabitauntes of Iabes Gilead there. Judges 21:10 And the congregation sent thyther twelue thousand men of the strongest, and commaunded them, saying: Go, and smyte the inhabitauntes of Iabes Gilead with the edge of the sworde, both women and children. Judges 21:11 And this is it that ye shall do: ye shall vtterly destroy all the males, and al the women that haue lyen by men. Judges 21:12 And they found among the inhabitautes of Iabes Gilead foure hundred damoselles, virgins, yt had knowne no man, by lyeng with any male: And they brought them vnto the hoast to Silo, whiche is in the lande of Chanaan. Judges 21:13 And the whole congregation sent and spake with the children of Beniamin that were in the rocke of Rimmon, and called peaceably vnto them. Judges 21:14 And Beniamin came againe at that time, and they gaue them wyues which they had saued alyue of the woman of Iabes Gilead: But they suffised them not. Judges 21:15 And the people were sory for Beniamin, because that the Lord had made a breache in the tribes of Israel.
They advise them to surprise the virgins that danced at Shiloh.
Judges 21:16 And then the elders of the congregation, sayd: What shall we do to the remnaunt of them, to get them wiues? seyng all the women of Beniamin are destroyed? Judges 21:17 And they sayde: There must be an inheritaunce for them that be escaped of Beniamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel. Judges 21:18 Howbeit, we may not geue the wyues of our daughters. For the children of Israel had sworne, saying: Cursed be he that geueth a wyfe to Beniamin. Judges 21:19 Then they sayde: Behold, there is a feast of ye Lorde yerely in Silo, which is on the northside of Bethel, & on the cast side of the way that goeth from Bethel to Sichem, and south from Libanon. Judges 21:20 Therfore they commaunded the children of Beniamin, saying: Go, and lye in wayte in the vineyardes. Judges 21:21 And when ye see that the daughters of Silo come out to daunce in daunces, the come ye out of the vineyardes & catche you euery man a wyfe of the daughters of Silo, & go to the lande of Beniamin. Judges 21:22 And when their fathers or brethren come vnto vs to complayne, we will say vnto them, Haue pitie on vs for their sakes: because we reserued not to eche man his wyfe in tyme of warre, neither haue ye geuen vnto them, that ye should sinne at this time. Judges 21:23 And the children of Beniamin did eue so, and toke them wyues according to the numbre of them that dauced, whom they caught: and they went, and returned vnto their inheritaunce, and repayred the cities, and dwelt in them. Judges 21:24 And the children of Israel departed thence at that tyme, & went euery man to his tribe, and to his kinred, and went out from thence euery man to his inheritaunce. Judges 21:25 In those dayes there was no king in Israel: but euery man dyd that whiche seemed right in his owne eyes.