21:1 Now the men of Israel had a sworn in Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife.
(a) This was a rash oath, and not from judgment: for they later broke it, showing secretly the means to marry certain of their daughters. 21:4 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people rose early, and built there an b altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
(b) According to their custom, when they would consult the Lord. 21:6 And the children of Israel c repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day.
21:8 And they said, What one [is there] of the tribes of Israel that d came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly.
(c) Or, were sorry that they had destroyed their brethren, as it appears in ( Judges 21:15 ).
(d) Condemning them as lovers of evil, who would not punish it. 21:13 And the whole congregation e sent [some] to speak to the children of Benjamin that [were] in the rock Rimmon, and to call peaceably unto them.
21:14 And Benjamin came again at that time; and they gave them wives which they had saved alive of the women of Jabeshgilead: and yet f so they sufficed them not.
(e) That is, about four months after the punishment, ( Judges 20:47 ).
(f) For they were short two hundred. 21:17 And they said, [There must be] g an inheritance for them that be escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel.
(g) Benjamin must be preserved to have the twelfth portion in the inheritance of Jacob. 21:19 Then they said, Behold, [there is] a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly [in a place] which [is] on the h north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.
(h) He describes the place where the maids used to dance yearly, and sing psalms and songs of Gods works among them, as the custom was then. 21:22 And it shall be, i 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.
(i) Though they attempted to convince man that they had kept their oath, before God it was broken. 21:23 And the children of Benjamin did so, and took [them] wives, according to their k number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them.
(k) Meaning, two hundred.