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Judges 21 (Third Millennium Bible)

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1 Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah, saying, "There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin for a wife." 2 And the people came to the house of God, and remained there till evening before God, and lifted up their voices and wept sorely, 3 and said, "O LORD God of Israel, why has this come to pass in Israel, that there should be today one tribe lacking in Israel?" 4 And it came to pass on the morrow that the people rose early and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. 5 And the children of Israel said, "Who is there among all the tribes of Israel who came not up with the congregation unto the LORD?" For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to the LORD to Mizpah, saying, "He shall surely be put to death." 6 And the children of Israel repented for Benjamin their brother and said, "There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day. 7 What shall we do for wives for those who remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them from our daughters for wives?" 8 And they said, "What one is there of the tribes of Israel who came not up to Mizpah to the LORD?" And behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly. 9 For the people were numbered, and behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead there. 10 And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the most valiant and commanded them, saying, "Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, along with the women and the children. 11 And this is the thing that ye shall do: Ye shall utterly destroy every male and every woman that hath lain with a man." 12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead four hundred young virgins who had known no man by lying with any male; and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. 13 And the whole congregation sent some to speak to the children of Benjamin who were at the rock of Rimmon and to proclaim peace unto them. 14 And Benjamin came again at that time, and they gave them wives whom they had saved alive from the women of Jabeshgilead; and yet so they sufficed them not. 15 And the people repented for Benjamin, because the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel. 16 Then the elders of the congregation said, "What shall we do for wives for those who remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?" 17 And they said, "There must be an inheritance for those who have escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel. 18 However that be, we may not give them wives from our daughters; for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, `Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin.'" 19 Then they said, "Behold, there is a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly in a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah." 20 Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, "Go and lie in wait in the vineyards, 21 and see. And behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards and catch you every man his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, `Be favorable 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.'" 23 And the children of Benjamin did so, and took for themselves wives according to their number from those who danced whom they caught; and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them. 24 And the children of Israel departed from thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family; and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance. 25 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
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