Judges 21



1 And the men of Israel had promised in Mizpah, saying, There shall not a man of us give his daughter to Benjamin for a wife.

2 And the people came·​·into Bethel, and sat there until evening before God, and lifted their voice and wept with great weeping,

3 and said, O Jehovah, God of Israel, why is this in Israel, that there should be today one tribe missing from Israel?

4 And it was, on the morrow, that the people got·​·up·​·early and built there an altar and offered·​·up burnt·​·offerings and peace·​·offerings.

5 And the sons of Israel said, Who is he that came not up in the assembly of all the tribes of Israel to Jehovah? For there was a great promise concerning him who came not up to Jehovah to Mizpah, saying, Dying, he shall·​·be·​·put·​·to·​·death.

6 And the sons of Israel repented toward Benjamin their brother, and said, Today one tribe from Israel is hewn·​·off.

7 What shall we do for wives for them that remain? And we have promised by Jehovah that we will not give them any of our daughters for wives.

8 And they said, What one is there from the tribes of Israel, that came· not ·up to Jehovah to Mizpah? And behold, there came not a man to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly.

9 And they numbered the people, and, behold, there was no man there from them dwelling·​·in Jabesh-gilead.

10 And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the sons of valor, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite them dwelling·​·in Jabesh-gilead with the mouth of the sword, and the women and the infants.

11 And this is the word that you shall do: You shall doom every male, and every woman that has known a male by lying with him.

12 And they found from those who dwelt in Jabesh of Gilead four hundred damsels, virgins who had not known a man by lying with a male; and they brought them to the camp of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

13 And all the congregation sent and spoke to the sons of Benjamin who were at the rock Rimmon, and they proclaimed peace to them.

14 And Benjamin returned at that time, and they gave them wives which they had let·​·live of the women of Jabesh-gilead; but thus they did not find enough for all of them.

15 And the people repented for Benjamin, for Jehovah had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.

16 And the elders of the congregation said, What shall we do for wives for those remaining? For woman is blotted·​·out from Benjamin.

17 And they said, There must be a possession for those who are escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe be not wiped out from Israel.

18 But we are· not ·able to give them wives of our daughters, for the sons of Israel have promised, saying, Cursed be he who gives a wife to Benjamin.

19 And they said, Behold, there is a festival of Jehovah from days to days in Shiloh which is at the north of Bethel to the rising of the sun, on the highway that goes·​·up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.

20 And they commanded the sons of Benjamin, saying, Go and set·​·an·​·ambush in the vineyards;

21 and see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come·​·out to dance in dances, then come· ye ·out from vineyards, and catch them for yourselves, a man his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.

22 And it shall be, if their fathers come or their brothers, to strive with us, we shall say to them, Be·​·gracious to them for us, for we took not a wife for each man in the war; for you did not give to them, that you should be·​·guilty at this time.

23 And the sons of Benjamin did so, and carried away wives, according to their number from those who danced, whom they snatched·​·away; and they went and returned to their inheritance, and built the cities and dwelt in them.

24 And the sons of Israel went thence at that time, a man to his tribe and to his family, and went·​·out from thence a man to his inheritance.

25 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was upright in his eyes.

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Thanks to the Kempton Project for the permission to use this New Church translation of the Word.