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Judges 21 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 The Israelites had vowed at Mizpah never to give their daughters in marriage to a man from the tribe of Benjamin. 1 The men of Israel had taken an oath at Mizpah: "Not one of us will give his daughter in marriage to a Benjamite."
2 And the people went to Bethel and sat in the presence of God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly. 2 The people went to Bethel, where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly.
3 "O LORD, God of Israel," they cried out, "why has this happened? Now one of our tribes is missing!" 3 "O LORD, the God of Israel," they cried, "why has this happened to Israel? Why should one tribe be missing from Israel today?"
4 Early the next morning the people built an altar and presented their burnt offerings and peace offerings on it. 4 Early the next day the people built an altar and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.
5 Then they said, "Was any tribe of Israel not represented when we held our council in the presence of the LORD at Mizpah?" At that time they had taken a solemn oath in the LORD's presence, vowing that anyone who refused to come must die. 5 Then the Israelites asked, "Who from all the tribes of Israel has failed to assemble before the LORD?" For they had taken a solemn oath that anyone who failed to assemble before the LORD at Mizpah should certainly be put to death.
6 The Israelites felt deep sadness for Benjamin and said, "Today we have lost one of the tribes from our family; it is nearly wiped out. 6 Now the Israelites grieved for their brothers, the Benjamites. "Today one tribe is cut off from Israel," they said.
7 How can we find wives for the few who remain, since we have sworn by the LORD not to give them our daughters in marriage?" 7 "How can we provide wives for those who are left, since we have taken an oath by the LORD not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?"
8 So they asked, "Was anyone absent when we presented ourselves to the LORD at Mizpah?" And they discovered that no one from Jabesh-gilead had attended. 8 Then they asked, "Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the LORD at Mizpah?" They discovered that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly.
9 For after they counted all the people, no one from Jabesh-gilead was present. 9 For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there.
10 So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. 10 So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children.
11 "This is what you are to do," they said. "Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin." 11 "This is what you are to do," they said. "Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin."
12 Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. 12 They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.
13 The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. 13 Then the whole assembly sent an offer of peace to the Benjamites at the rock of Rimmon.
14 Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives. But there were not enough women for all of them. 14 So the Benjamites returned at that time and were given the women of Jabesh Gilead who had been spared. But there were not enough for all of them.
15 The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel. 15 The people grieved for Benjamin, because the LORD had made a gap in the tribes of Israel.
16 So the Israelite leaders asked, "How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead? 16 And the elders of the assembly said, "With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left?
17 There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever. 17 The Benjamite survivors must have heirs," they said, "so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out.
18 But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God's curse." 18 We can't give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: 'Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjamite.'
19 Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem. 19 But look, there is the annual festival of the LORD in Shiloh, to the north of Bethel, and east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem, and to the south of Lebonah."
20 They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, "Go and hide in the vineyards. 20 So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, "Go and hide in the vineyards
21 When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife! 21 and watch. When the girls of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, then rush from the vineyards and each of you seize a wife from the girls of Shiloh and go to the land of Benjamin.
22 And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, 'Please be understanding. Let them have your daughters, for we didn't find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'" 22 When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, 'Do us a kindness by helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war, and you are innocent, since you did not give your daughters to them.' "
23 So the men of Benjamin did as they were told. They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance. Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them. 23 So that is what the Benjamites did. While the girls were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them.
24 So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes. 24 At that time the Israelites left that place and went home to their tribes and clans, each to his own inheritance.
25 In those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. 25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.