So they (the meeting) sent twelve thousand of the best fighting-men, and gave them orders, saying, Go and put the people of Jabesh-gilead to the sword without mercy, with their women and their little ones.
And this is what you are to do: every male, and every woman who has had sex relations with a man, you are to put to the curse, but you are to keep safe the virgins. And they did so.
Now there were among the people of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins who had never had sex relations with a man; these they took to their tents in Shiloh in the land of Canaan.
And all the meeting sent to the men of Benjamin who were in the rock of Rimmon, offering them peace.
Then Benjamin came back; and they gave them the women whom they had kept from death among the women of Jabesh-gilead: but still there were not enough for them.
And the people were moved with pity for Benjamin, because the Lord had let his wrath loose on the tribes of Israel.
Then the responsible men of the meeting said, What are we to do about wives for the rest of them, seeing that the women of Benjamin are dead?
And they said, How is the rest of Benjamin to be given offspring so that one tribe of Israel may not be put out of existence,
Seeing that we may not give them our daughters as wives? For the children of Israel had taken an oath, saying, Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin.
And they said, See, every year there is a feast of the Lord in Shiloh, which is to the north of Beth-el, on the east side of the highway which goes up from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.
And they said to the men of Benjamin, Go into the vine-gardens, waiting there secretly,