Judges 21:8 MEANING

Judges 21:8
(8) There came none to the camp from Jabesh-gilead.--Jabesh-Gilead, which Josephus calls the metropolis of Gilead (Antt. vi. 5, ? 1), is probably to be identified with the ruins now called El-Deir in the Wady Yabes (Robinson, 3:319). It was six miles from Pella, on the top of a hill which lies on the road from Pella to Gerasa. For some reason with which we are unacquainted, there seems to have been a bond of intense sympathy between the inhabitants of this town and Benjamin. If their abstinence from the assembly of vengeance was not due to this, we must suppose that the sort of companionship in misery caused by these wild events itself created a sense of union between these communities, for it is the peril of Jabesh which first arouses King Saul to action (1 Samuel 11). and in memory of the deliverance which he effected the men of Jabesh alone save the bodies of Saul and Jonathan from the indignity of rotting on the wall of Bethshan (1 Samuel 31:11), which gained them the blessing of David (2 Samuel 2:5-6). We see from these later incidents that Jabesh recovered from the extermination now inflicted on its inhabitants.

17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God's favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.And they said, what one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the Lord?.... This is asked not only to bring them to justice, and put them to death, according to their oath, who should be found guilty, Judges 21:5 but as an expedient to find wives for the surviving Benjaminites; since these, as they came not to Mizpeh, so consequently swore not that they would not give their daughters to Benjaminites; wherefore from among them wives might be given to them, without the violation of an oath:

and, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly; this was observed by some upon the question put, which caused an inquiry to be made as after related. This city was in the land of Gilead, from whence it had its name, on the other side Jordan, and is placed by Adrichomius (a) in the half tribe of Manasseh; and Jerom (b) says it was a village in his time six miles from the city Pella, upon a mountain, as you go to Gerasa.

(a) Theatrum Terrae S. p. 90. (b) De loc. Heb. fol. 88. K. & fol. 93. L.

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