The people bewail the desolation of Benjamin.
Judges 21:1 Now, the men of Israel, had sworn in Mizpah, saying,Not a man from among us, shall give his daughter unto Benjamin, to wife. Judges 21:2 So then the people came to Bethel, and abode there, until the evening, before God,and lifted up their voice, and wept bitterly, Judges 21:3 and said, Wherefore, O Yahweh, God of Israel, hath this come about in Israel,that there should be lacking, today, out of Israel, one tribe? Judges 21:4 And it came to pass, on the morrow, that the people rose early, and built there, an altar,and offered ascending-sacrifices, and peace-offerings. Judges 21:5 And the sons of Israel said, Who was there that came not up, in the convocation, out of all the tribes of Israel, unto Yahweh? For, the great oath, had been taken, as to any who came not up unto Yahweh at Mizpah, sayingHe shall be, put to death. Judges 21:6 And the sons of Israel grieved for Benjamin, their brother,and they said, There is cut off, today, one tribe out of Israel. Judges 21:7 What are we to do for them who remain, for wives,seeing that, we ourselves, have sworn by Yahweh, not to give them of our daughters, for wives?
By the destruction of Jabesh-gilead they provide them four hundred wives.
Judges 21:8 So they said, What one of the tribes of Israel is there, that hath not come up unto Yahweh at Mizpah? And lo! no man had come into the camp, out of Jabesh-gilead, unto the convocation: Judges 21:9 When the people were numbered, lo! there was not there a man of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead. Judges 21:10 So the assembly sent thither twelve thousand men, of the sons of valour,and commanded them, saying:Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead, with the edge of the sword, with the women, and the little ones. Judges 21:11 And, this, is the thing that ye shall do,Every male, and every woman that hath cohabited with man, shall ye devote to destruction. Judges 21:12 And they foundof the inhabitants of Jabesh-gileadfour hundred young women, virgins, who had not cohabited with man,so they brought them into the camp, at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. Judges 21:13 Then the whole assembly sent, and spake unto the sons of Benjamin, who were in the cliff Rimmon,and proclaimed to them, peace. Judges 21:14 So Benjamin returned at that time, and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead,but they found not for them [to suffice], even so. Judges 21:15 Now, the assembly, had grieved for Benjamin,because Yahweh had made a breach, in the tribes of Israel.
They advise them to surprise the virgins that danced at Shiloh.
Judges 21:16 So then, the elders of the assembly said, What are we to do for them who remain, for wives,for womankind, hath been destroyed out of Benjamin? Judges 21:17 And they said, There is an inheritance for the escaped of Benjamin,and there must not be wiped out, a tribe, out of Israel. Judges 21:18 Yet, we, may not give them wives, of our own daughters, For the sons of Israel had sworn, saying, Cursed, be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin. Judges 21:19 Then said theyLo! the festival of Yahweh in Shiloh, from year to year, Which [Shiloh] is on the north of Bethel, towards sunrise, by the highway that goeth up from Bethel, towards Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah. Judges 21:20 And they commanded the sons of Benjamin, saying,Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; Judges 21:21 and look, and lo! if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then shall ye come forth out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife, of the daughters of Shiloh,and go your way to the land of Benjamin. Judges 21:22 And it shall be, when their fathers, or their brethren, come in to complain to us, that we will say unto themAs a favour to us, grant them, because we took not for each man his wife in the battle,for, ye yourselves, gave them not unto them, so as, now, to be guilty. Judges 21:23 And the sons of Benjamin did so, and carried off wives, according to their number, of them who were dancing, whom they seized,and they went their way, and returned unto their inheritance, and built the cities, and dwelt therein. Judges 21:24 And the sons of Israel at that time went their several ways from thence, every man to his own tribe, and to his own family,yea they went forth from thence, every man to his own inheritance. Judges 21:25 In those days, there was no king in Israel,every man did, that which was right in his own eyes.