The people bewail the desolation of Benjamin.
Judges 21:1 Moreouer, the men of Israel sware in Mizpeh, saying, None of vs shall giue his daughter vnto the Beniamites to wyfe. Judges 21:2 And the people came vnto ye house of God and abode there till euen before God, and lift vp their voyces, and wept with great lamentation, Judges 21:3 And sayde, O Lorde God of Israel, why is this come to passe in Israel, that this day one tribe of Israel should want? Judges 21:4 And on the morow the people rose vp & made there an altar, and offred burnt offrings and peace offrings. Judges 21:5 Then the children of Israel said, Who is he among all 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 Mizpeh, saying, Let him die the death. Judges 21:6 And the children of Israel were sory for Beniamin their brother, & said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day. Judges 21:7 How shal we do for wiues to them that remaine, seeing we haue sworne by the Lorde, that we will not giue them of our daughters to wiues?
By the destruction of Jabesh-gilead they provide them four hundred wives.
Judges 21:8 Also they saide, Is there any of the tribes of Israel that came not vp to Mizpeh to the Lord? and beholde, there came none of Iabesh Gilead vnto the hoste and to the Congregation. Judges 21:9 For when the people were vewed; beholde, none of the inhabitants of Iabesh Gilead were there. Judges 21:10 Therefore the Congregation sent thither twelue thousande men of the most valiant, and commaunded them, saying, Goe, and smite the inhabitants of Iabesh Gilead with the edge of the sword, both women, and children. Judges 21:11 And this is it that ye shall do: ye shall vtterly destroye all the males and all the women that haue lien by men. Judges 21:12 And they found among the inhabitants of Iabesh Gilead foure hundreth maides, virgins that had knowne no man by lying with any male: and they brought them vnto the hoste to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. Judges 21:13 Then 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 wiues which they had saued aliue of the women of Iabesh Gilead: but they had not so ynough for them. Judges 21:15 And the people were sorie for Beniamin, because 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 Therefore the Elders of the Congregation said, How shall we doe for wiues to the remnant? for the women of Beniamin are destroyed. Judges 21:17 And they saide, there must be an inheritance for them that be escaped of Beniamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel. Judges 21:18 Howbeit we may not giue them wiues of our daughters: for the childre of Israel had sworne, saying, Cursed be he that giueth a wise to Beniamin. Judges 21:19 Therefore they said, Beholde, there is a feast of the Lord euery yere in Shiloh in a place, which is on the Northside of Beth-el, and on the Eastside of the way that goeth vp from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the South of Lebonah. Judges 21:20 Therefore they commaunded the children of Beniamin, saying, Goe, and lye in waite in the vineyardes. Judges 21:21 And when ye see that the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catche you euery man a wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and goe into the land of Beniamin. Judges 21:22 And when their fathers or their brethren come vnto vs to complaine, we wil say vnto them, Haue pitie on them for our sakes, because we reserued not to eche man his wife in the warre, and because ye haue not giuen vnto them hitherto, ye haue sinned. Judges 21:23 And the children of Beniamin did so, and tooke wiues of them that danced according to their nomber: which they tooke, and went away, and returned to their inheritance, and repaired the cities and dwelt in them. Judges 21:24 So the children of Israel departed thence at that time, euery man to his tribe, and to his familie, and went out from thence euery man to his inheritance. Judges 21:25 In those dayes there was no King in Israel, but euery man did that which was good in his eyes.