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Judges 21 - Complete Apostles' Bible

Wives Provided for the Benjamites

1. Now the children of Israel swore in Mizpah, saying, No man of us shall give his daughter to Benjamin for a wife.

2. And the people came to Bethel, and sat there until evening before God. And they lifted up their voice and wept with a great weeping;

3. and said, Why, O Lord God of Israel, has this come to pass, that today one tribe should be counted as missing from Israel?

4. And it came to pass on the next day that the people rose up early, and built there an altar, and offered up whole burnt offerings and peace offerings.

5. And the children of Israel said, Who of all the tribes of Israel, went not up in the congregation to the Lord? For there was a great oath concerning those who went not up to the Lord to Mizpah, saying, He shall surely be put to death.

6. And the children of Israel relented toward Benjamin their brother, and said, Today one tribe is cut off from Israel.

7. What shall we do for wives for the rest that remain? Whereas we have sworn by the Lord, not to give them of our daughters for wives.

8. And they said, What one man is there of the tribes of Israel, who went not up to the Lord to Mizpah? And behold, no man came to the camp from Jabesh Gilead to the assembly.

9. And the people were numbered, and there was not there a man from the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead.

10. And the congregation sent there twelve thousand men of the strongest, and they charged them, saying, Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead with the edge of the sword.

11. And this shall you do: every male and every woman that has known the lying with a man you shall devote to destruction, but the virgins you shall save alive: and they did so.

12. And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead four hundred young virgins, who had not known a man by lying with him; and they brought them to Shiloh in the land of Canaan.

13. And all the congregation sent and spoke to the children of Benjamin in the rock Rimmon, and invited them to make peace.

14. And Benjamin returned to the children of Israel at that time, and the children of Israel gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the daughters of Jabesh Gilead; and they were content.

15. And the people grieved for Benjamin, because the Lord had made a void in the tribes of Israel.

16. And the elders of the congregation said, What shall we do for wives for them that remain? For the women have been destroyed out of Benjamin.

17. And they said, There must be an inheritance of those that have escaped of Benjamin; and so a tribe shall not be destroyed out of Israel.

18. For we shall not be able to give them wives of our daughters, because we swore among the children of Israel, saying, Cursed is he that gives a wife to Benjamin.

19. And they said, Lo! Now there is a feast of the Lord from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north of Bethel, eastward on the way that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and from the south of Lebonah.

20. And they charged the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards;

21. and you shall see; and lo! If there come out the daughters of the inhabitants of Shiloh to perform their dances, then shall you go out of the vineyards and seize for yourselves every man a wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go into the land of Benjamin.

22. And it shall come to pass, when their fathers or their brothers come to dispute with us, that we will say to them, Grant them freely to us, for we have not taken every man his wife in the battle: because you did not give to them according to the occasion, you transgressed.

23. And the children of Benjamin did so; and they took wives according to their number from the dancers whom they seized. And they went and returned to their inheritance, and built the cities, and dwelt in them.

24. And the children of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and his family; they went out from there, every man to his inheritance.

25. And in those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own sight.

The Complete Apostles' Bible

Translated by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton. Revised and Edited by Paul W. Esposito, and, The English Majority Text Version (EMTV) of the Holy Bible, New Testament. Copyright © 2002-2004 Paul W. Esposito.