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1 Nowe the men of Israel had sworne in Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of vs giue his daughter vnto Beniamin to wife.

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:

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?

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.

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.

6 And the children of Israel repented them for Beniamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day:

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?

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.

9 For the people were numbred, and behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Iabesh Gilead there.

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.

11 And this is the thing that yee shall doe, Yee shall vtterly destroy euery male, and euery woman that hath lien by man.

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.

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.

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.

15 And the people repented them for Beniamin, because that the Lord had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.

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.

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.

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.

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.

20 Therefore they commanded the children of Beniamin, saying, Goe and lie in wait in the vineyards.

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.

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.

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.

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.

25 In those dayes there was no King in Israel: euery man did that which was right in his owne eyes.

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Commentary for Judges 21

The Israelites lament for the Benjamites.

- Israel lamented for the Benjamites, and were perplexed by the oath they had taken, not to give their daughters to them in marriage. Men are more zealous to support their own authority than that of God. They would have acted better if they had repented of their rash oaths, brought sin-offerings, and sought forgiveness in the appointed way, rather than attempt to avoid the guilt of perjury by actions quite as wrong. That men can advise others to acts of treachery or violence, out of a sense of duty, forms a strong proof of the blindness of the human mind when left to itself, and of the fatal effects of a conscience under ignorance and error.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Judges 21

  • Anne
    According to Proverbs 14:12 there is a way which seems right to a man but its end is the way of death(destruction). We must continue to seek God's face in all of our decisions.
  • April
    Hmm,so I wonder,why didn't they seek GOD on what to do 4 finding wives for the house/tribe of Benjamin?,they asked if they should keep going after them in earlier chapters or cease,so why did they think kidnapping women was the answer during that time?,I get vs25 and all but,how they could seek GOD for help then,but not for that moment is beyond me,I don't always get things that happen n Bible...
  • TerryF
    I think the key to this whole incident is found in the last verse: "every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

    When we keep in mind what Jeremiah 17 says about the heart of man that it is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, it is not surprising that man left to decide what is right in his own eyes, ignoring the clear laws of God, gets it totally wrong as both sides did.
  • Jacqueline
    When we fail to follow the commandments of God then we open to the temptations of the ruler of this world. This is a hard chapter to digest however it gives us a clear picture of what will happen when people are disobedient to God. God is still a loving and just God because He could have blotted out the whole tribe of Benjamin. He shows compassion on those who truly repent.
  • Philimon Makasani Chauke
    BIBLE VERSES ABOUT ONCE SAVED ALWAYS.
  • Fridah
    the other tribes of Israel Lamented for Benjamin meaning they still considered them a brother in Israel however they could not associate with them because as in the other chapters they did a detestable thing so they did not give their wives to the Benjamites

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