NASB — Judges 21 — KJV

Mourning Lost Tribe

1 Now the men of Israel ahad sworn in Mizpah, saying, “None of us shall give his daughter to Benjamin Iin marriage.” 2 aSo the people came to Bethel and sat there before God until evening, and lifted up their voices and wept Ibitterly. 3 They said, “Why, O LORD, God of Israel, has this come about in Israel, so that one tribe should be [missing] today in Israel?” 4 It came about the next day that the people arose early and built aan altar there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.

[1] ILit for a wife aJg 21:7, 18
[2] ILit with great weeping aJg 20:26
[4] aDt 12:5; 2S 24:25

5 ¶ Then the sons of Israel said, “Who is there among all the tribes of Israel who did not come up in the assembly to the LORD?” For Ithey had taken a great oath concerning him awho did not come up to the LORD at Mizpah, saying, “He shall surely be put to death.” 6 And the sons of Israel were sorry for their brother Benjamin and said, “One tribe is cut off from Israel today. 7 What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since we have asworn by the LORD not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?”

[5] ILit there was a great oath aJg 5:23
[7] aJg 21:1

Provision for Their Survival

8 ¶ And they said, “What one is there of the tribes of Israel who did not come up to the LORD at Mizpah?” And behold, no one had come to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly. 9 For when the people were Inumbered, behold, not one of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead was there. 10 And the congregation sent 12,000 of the valiant warriors there, and commanded them, saying, “Go and astrike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the little ones. 11 This is the thing that you shall do: you ashall utterly destroy every man and every woman who has Ilain with a man.” 12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with Ihim; and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

[9] IOr mustered
[10] aNu 31:17; Jg 5:23; 1S 11:7
[11] ILit known lying with aNu 31:17
[12] ILit a male

13 ¶ Then the whole congregation sent [word] and spoke to the sons of Benjamin who were aat the rock of Rimmon, and bproclaimed peace to them. 14 Benjamin returned at that time, and they gave them the women whom they had kept alive from the women of Jabesh-gilead; yet they Iwere not enough for them. 15 And the people were sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.

[13] aJg 20:47 bDt 20:10
[14] ILit did not find it so

16 ¶ Then the elders of the congregation said, “What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?” 17 They said, “[There must be] an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, so that a tribe will not be blotted out from Israel. 18 But we cannot give them wives of our daughters.” For the sons of Israel ahad sworn, saying, “Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin.”

[18] aJg 21:1

19 ¶ So they said, “Behold, there is a feast of the LORD from year to year in aShiloh, which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south side of Lebonah.” 20 And they commanded the sons of Benjamin, saying, “Go and lie in wait in the vineyards, 21 and watch; and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to Iatake part in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and each of you shall catch his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 It shall come about, when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, that we shall say to them, ‘Give them to us voluntarily, because we did not take for each man [of Benjamin] Ia wife in battle, IIanor did you give [them] to them, [else] you would now be guilty.’” 23 The sons of Benjamin did so, and took wives according to their number from those who danced, whom they carried away. And they went and returned to their inheritance and arebuilt the cities and lived in them. 24 The sons of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family, and each one of them went out from there to his inheritance.

[19] aJsh 18:1; Jg 18:31; 1S 1:3
[21] ILit dance aEx 15:20; Jg 11:34
[22] ILit his IILit because aJg 21:1, 18
[23] aJg 20:48

25aIn those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

[25] aJg 17:6; 18:1; 19:1


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The people bewail the desolation of Benjamin.

1 ¶ Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife. 2 And the people came to the house of God, and abode there till even before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore; 3 And said, O LORD God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe lacking in Israel? 4 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. 5 And the children of Israel said, Who [is there] among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the congregation unto the LORD? For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, He shall surely be put to death. 6 And the children of Israel repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day. 7 How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?

[1] Ex 34:12; Dt 7:2; Jg 11:30; 20:1, 8, 10; 21:5; 1S 14:24, 28; Ec 5:2; Jr 4:2; Mk 6:23; Ac 23:12; Ro 10:2.
[2] Gn 27:38; Jsh 18:1; Jg 2:4; 20:18, 23, 26; 21:12; 1S 30:4.
[3] Dt 29:24; Jsh 7:7; Ps 74:1; 80:12; Pv 19:3; Is 63:17; Jr 12:1.
[4] Ex 20:24; Jg 6:26; 2S 24:18, 25; 1K 8:64; Ps 78:34; Ho 5:15; He 13:10.
[5] Lv 27:28; Jg 5:23; 21:1, 18; 1S 11:7; Jr 48:10.
[6] Jg 11:35; 20:23; 21:15; 2S 2:26; Ho 11:8; Lk 19:41.
[7] Jg 21:1, 18; 1S 14:28, 45.

By the destruction of Jabesh-gilead they provide them four hundred wives.

8 ¶ 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 Jabeshgilead to the assembly. 9 For the people were numbered, and, behold, [there were] none of the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead there. 10 And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children. 11 And this [is] the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man. 12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which [is] in the land of Canaan. 13 And the whole congregation sent [some] to speak to the children of Benjamin that [were] in the rock Rimmon, and to call peaceably unto them. 14 And Benjamin came again at that time; and they gave them wives which they had saved alive of the women of Jabeshgilead: and yet so they sufficed them not. 15 And the people repented them for Benjamin, because that the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.

[8] 1S 11:1; 31:11; 2S 2:5.
[10] Dt 13:15; Jsh 7:24; Jg 5:23; 21:5; 1S 11:7; 15:3.
[11] Nu 31:17; Dt 2:34.
[12] Jsh 18:1; Jg 20:18, 23; Ps 78:60; Jr 7:12.
[13] Dt 20:10; Jsh 15:32; Jg 20:47; Is 57:19; Lk 10:5; Ep 2:17.
[14] Jg 20:47; 21:12; 1Co 7:2.
[15] Jg 21:6, 17; 1Ch 13:11; 15:13; Is 30:13; 58:12.

They advise them to surprise the virgins that danced at Shiloh.

16 ¶ Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin? 17 And they said, [There must be] an inheritance for them that be escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel. 18 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. 19 Then they said, Behold, [there is] a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly [in a place] which [is] on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah. 20 Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; 21 And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes: because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not give unto them at this time, [that] ye should be guilty. 23 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 cities, and dwelt in them. 24 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. 25 In those days [there was] no king in Israel: every man did [that which was] right in his own eyes.

[17] Nu 26:55; 36:7.
[18] Jg 11:35; 21:1.
[19] Ex 23:14; Lv 23:2, 4, 6, 10, 34; Nu 10:10; 28:16, 26; 29:12; Dt 16:1, 10, 13; Ps 81:3; Jn 5:1; 7:2.
[21] Ex 15:20; Jg 11:34; 1S 18:6; 2S 6:14, 21; Ps 149:3; 150:4; Ec 3:4; Jr 31:13; Mt 10:17; Lk 17:25.
[22] Gn 1:27; 7:13; Jg 21:1, 7, 14, 18; Pv 20:25; Mk 10:6; 1Co 7:2; Phm 1:9.
[23] Jg 20:48.
[25] Dt 12:8; Jg 17:6; 18:1, 7; 19:1; Ps 12:4; Pv 3:5; 14:12; Ec 11:9; Mi 2:1.


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