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Judges 21:23

Judges 21:23

And the children of Benjamin did so
Went and laid wait in the vineyards, and when the daughters of Shiloh came out to dance, they rushed upon them:

and took them wives according to their number;
two hundred of them, each man a wife, and no more; for though polygamy was in use in those times, and if at any time necessary, and could be excused, it might seem now; yet it was not indulged to, neither by the elders, nor by the children of Benjamin:

of them that danced whom they caught;
the rape of the Sabine virgins by Romulus, at the arena plays and shows, mentioned by various authors F8, and the carrying off of fifteen Spartan virgins from the dances by Aristomenes the Messenian F9, are sometimes observed as parallel cases to this, and justified by it, particularly that of Romulus F11:

and they went and returned unto their inheritance;
the six hundred Benjaminites, with their wives, returned to their own tribe, which was their inheritance by lot; and these, being the only survivors, had a right to the whole:

and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them:
in process of time they rebuilt the cities the Israelites had burnt in the late war, and repeopled them as their posterity increased. And the Jewish writers say, that in later times they were allowed to marry with other tribes as before, since the oath only bound those present at Mizpeh; for they observe, that it ran only,

there shall not any of us
not any of our sons; they might give wives to Benjamin, and so in time they became numerous again.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 Liv. Hist. l. 1. p. 7, 8. Flor Hist. Rom. l. 1. c. 1. Aurel. Victor. de Vir Illustr. c. 2. Valer. Maxim. l. 1. c. 4.
F9 Hierop adv. Jovinian. l. 1. fol. 17. B, C.
F11 Vid. Albericum Gentil. de armis Roman l. 2. p. 114.
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