Now the men of Israel1had sworn in Mizpah, saying, "None of us shall give his daughter to Benjaminain marriage."
22So the peoplecame to Bethel and sattherebeforeGoduntilevening, and lifted up their voices and weptbbitterly .
They said, "Why, O LORD, God of Israel, has thiscome about in Israel, so that onetribe should be missing today in Israel ?"
It came about the nextday that the peoplearoseearly and built3an altarthere and offeredburntofferings and peaceofferings.
Then the sons of Israelsaid, "Who is there amongall the tribes of Israelwho did not come up in the assembly to the LORD ?" For cthey had taken a greatoath concerning him 4who did not come up to the LORD at Mizpah, saying, "He shall surely be put to death."
And the sons of Israel were sorry for their brotherBenjamin and said, "Onetribe is cutoff from Israeltoday.
7"What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since we have 5sworn by the LORD not to give them any of our daughters in marriage ?"
And they said, "Whatone is there of the tribes of Israelwho did not come up to the LORD at Mizpah ?" And behold, noone had come to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly.
For when the people were dnumbered, behold, not one of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead was there.
And the congregationsent12,000 of the valiantwarriorsthere, and commanded them, saying, "Go and 6strike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the littleones.
11"This is the thing that you shall do : you 7shall utterlydestroyeveryman and everywoman who has elain with a man."
And they foundamong the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead400youngvirginswho had not known a man by lying with fhim; and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
Then the wholecongregationsent word and spoke to the sons of Benjaminwho were 8at the rock of Rimmon, and 9proclaimedpeace to them.
14Benjaminreturned at that time, and they gave them the womenwhom they had keptalive from the women of Jabesh-gilead ; yet they gwere not enough for them.
And the people were sorry for Benjaminbecause the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
Then the elders of the congregationsaid, "What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since the women are destroyed out of Benjamin ?"
They said, "There must be an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, so that a tribe will not be blotted out from Israel.
"But we cannotgive them wives of our daughters." For the sons of Israel10had sworn, saying, "Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin."
So they said, "Behold, there is a feast of the LORD from year to year in 11Shiloh, which is on the northside of Bethel, on the eastside of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the southside of Lebonah."
And they commanded the sons of Benjamin, saying, "Go and lie in wait in the vineyards,
and watch ; and behold, if the daughters of Shilohcome out to h12takepart in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and each of you shall catch his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.
"It shall come about, when their fathersor their brotherscome to complain to us, that we shall say to them, 'Give them to us voluntarily, because we did not take for eachman of Benjamin ia wife in battle, j13nor did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty.' "
The sons of Benjamindidso, and tookwives according to their number from those who danced, whom they carriedaway. And they went and returned to their inheritance and 14rebuilt the cities and lived in them.
The sons of Israeldeparted from there at that time, everyman to his tribe and family, and eachone of them went out from there to his inheritance.
2515In thosedaysthere was noking in Israel ; everyonedidwhat was right in his own eyes.